June 21, 2024
1 Solar System Way, Planet Earth, USA
Technology

Fisker collapsed under the weight of its founder's promises

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Over the past eight years, famed vehicle designer Henrik Fisker suggested his electric vehicle startup would deliver on many promises, but none came true. As Fisker seeks unlikely rescueEmployees told TechCrunch that the blame largely falls on the shoulders of the husband-and-wife team that runs the company.

This week there was also a major disruption in the fintech space. After years of mistakes and struggles, banking-as-a-service fintech Synapse officially went bankrupt. According to Synapse filings, up to 100 fintechs and 10 million end customers could have been affected by the company's collapse.

Elon Musk just got a lot of cash for xAI. The AI ​​startup raised $6 billion with a pre-money valuation of $18 billion as it aims to compete with OpenAI, Microsoft and Alphabet.

In other big money moves, Google is investing almost $350 million on Flipkart. The new investment gives the Walmart-owned Indian e-commerce startup a valuation of $36 billion. Google, which reaches more than 500 million people in India, identifies the South Asian nation as a key overseas market.

News

Sam Altman walking away from a dissolving OpenAI logo
Image credits: Darrell Etherington with licensed Getty files

Was Sam Altman fired from Y Combinator?: Paul Graham is setting the record straight. In a series of posts on X, the Y Combinator co-founder dismissed claims that Sam Altman was pressured to resign in 2019 due to potential conflicts of interest. Read more

Spotify hands out Car Thing refunds: Spotify is facing backlash for its decision to discontinue support for its in-car streaming device, Car Thing. Spotify has started a refund process, but some users are asking the company not to brick their devices. Read more

Are headphones the future of AI hardware?: Unlike With generative AI devices like Humane's Ai Pin and Rabbit's R1, Iyo aims to bring its technology to an already successful category: Bluetooth headphones. Read more

Firefly keeps going: After the personal tragedy, the A Tel Aviv-based startup has raised $23 million for its “infrastructure as code” solution to the growing problem of cloud asset management. Read more

Is Apple going to make the “Sherlock” arc?: Apple reportedly plans to launch a new technology called “smart summaries” in iOS 18, which appears to closely mimic Arc Search's innovative “Search for Me” functionality. Read more

Misinformation is back: A pair of new studies offer evidence that misinformation on social media has the power to change people's minds. Find out who was most responsible for the vast majority of “fake news” in the periods studied. Read more

AI models also have favorite numbers: Gramener engineers conducted an experiment where they asked several major LLM chatbots to choose a random number between 0 and 100, and the results were fascinating. Read more

Mistral presents the coding model: The French AI startup has launched its first generative AI model for coding, called Codestral, which is designed to help developers write and interact with code. Read more

Say hello to meme technology: Is it time to revolutionize the meme industry? With Meme Depot, founder Alex Taub aims to create a comprehensive archive of any meme imaginable with a crypto-focused business model. Read more

AI is coming for tutors: The arrival of AI robots poses a threat to long-established tutoring franchises and professional tutors, and the leading apps are from China. But do they really help students learn? Read more

Analysis

onyx motorcycles-james Khatiblou
Image credits: Bryce Durbin

What happens to a company when its founder dies?: Onyx Motorcycles was already in trouble, and then its 37-year-old owner died unexpectedly without a will or estate plan, leaving millions of dollars in debt. Rebecca Bellan reports on how the ensuing battle for control has put Onyx in legal limbo. Read more

The 'lords of the edge' at OpenAI: Meredith Whittaker has some candid opinions about OpenAI's current leadership. Mike Butcher sat down with the president of Signal to discuss what she describes as a disrespectful “frat house” contingent of the tech industry in a wide-ranging conversation. Read more

Don't expect IPOs from these startups: While 2024 looks to be a better year for tech startups going public, there are still a number of high-profile companies that want to wait a little longer. From Plaid to Figma, Rebecca Szkutak rounds up the companies that don't yet have the desire to go public. Read more

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