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Well hello again! It’s Thursday – heatwaves are heatwaves and all of MovieUpdates is excited about a fun and engaging robotics event today. However, that’s not all that happens. Since our last newsletter we have 70 new stories on the site, meaning we have been introduced to all kinds of wild and wonderful happenings in our world of startups and business building. It was extra-double-plus difficult to select the best of the best for the newsletter, but we did our best. Enjoying! — Christine and hi
The MovieUpdates Top 3
- Amazon grabs a stethoscopeAmazon showed its continued interest in healthcare by announcing its intention to acquire primary medical provider One Medical for $3.9 billion. Ingrid writes that details are a bit thin on how One Medical will integrate with Amazon, but it has people on Twitter I wonder what the marketplace behemoth will do next. And that’s exactly the kind of thing that Alex is good at. He dives into the deal to let us know what Amazon gets for its billions.
- Someone is watching you: manish brings us an update on Indian edtech giant Byju, which you may recall laying off hundreds of employees a month ago. Now it looks like it will have some legal issues to contend with. A lawmaker is calling for an investigation into the company’s finances.
- It’s not goodbye forever: Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia made a splash today, announcing that he was stepping down from his role after 10 years to spend some time with family and see what else sparked his interest, Kylea reports. Gebbia will remain on the company’s board of directors in an advisory capacity.
Startups and VC
Today has been a cavalcade of robotics. The articles that particularly caught our eye were Brian‘s story, asking whether universities are doing enough to boost robotics startups, and Kirsten‘s piece on Agility’s next Digit robot, which will have a face and hands. Don’t miss too BrianActuator Newsletter, detailing what’s happening in the robotics world. The most recent issue came out yesterday.
We were delighted to see that TextExpander – which has been around for a hot minute but has done bootstrapping so far – has raised a $41 million funding round as Ingrid reports. The company makes business communication faster by creating modular extensible text macros.
- New Kenyan venture fund: After spending years in London matching Kenyans in the diaspora with investment opportunities back home, Njeri Muhia took a bigger challenge by founding Kenyan VC firm FrontEnd Ventures to support the local founders, writes annie.
- Come Fly With Me: Chartering a private plane will never be cheap, but that doesn’t mean it can’t get cheaper. AeroVanti Air Club Announces a $9.75 Million Series A to Offer Lower Hourly Rates to its Club Members, Frederick reports.
- Bye, credit scores: TomoCredit wants credit scores to be a thing of the past and raises $22 million at a $222 million valuation to reach that goal, Mary Ann reports.
- You get a raise!: Talent management HR technology firm 15Five raises $52 million to improve its own performance, reports Ingrid.
- I my-see-lium what you did thereMeati Foods turns mushrooms into meaty treats, raises $150 million to expand business, Christine reports.
Grow Cheat Code: Use Fractional Hiring To Stay On Plan When Cutting Costs
As the winter winds begin to blow, major tech companies like Google, Microsoft, and Lyft have each put in place a workforce freeze.
Similarly, early-stage startups are under pressure to reduce burnout while maintaining forward momentum, but “fractional hiring is a cheat code for growth” when used strategically, says Teja Yenamandra, co-founder and CEO of Gun.io.
“There’s a lot less competition now for the talent you hire, and you might be able to bring in someone who was unaffordable a few months ago.”
(MovieUpdates+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams move forward. You can register here.)
Big Tech Inc.
If you came here for Tesla news, you’re in luck. The mobility, climate, and even crypto squads were in the electric automaker’s full coverage mode, giving you plenty of news to keep your engines running.
Harris and Kirsten delved into the company’s quarterly results, writing about Tesla’s success in the solar game and quarterly earnings decline, respectively. over to crypto, Luke reports on how Elon Musk reveals not only that Tesla owns Dogecoin, but also that the company has dumped 75% of its Bitcoin holdings. And finally, Rebecca writes that Tesla is increasing the cost of its self-driving software, while at the same time Jaclyn writes that the company is on track to launch its battery-electric truck in 2023.
Now for some non-Tesla news. First, Jagmeet reports that Amazon sees India as the next place to launch its Project Kuiper satellite internet business.
Meanwhile, so many companies are hitting the pause button for a number of different things. One of the top stories from yesterday was: Andrew‘s piece on Google that takes a two-week break from hiring and then delays for the rest of the year.
And it’s not the only one: Kylea covers the pullout of GitHub, while Paul writes about Just Eat Takeaway scaling back in France. Rebecca covers both Lyft’s layoffs amid a shutdown of its internal car rental program and Britain’s App Drivers and Couriers Union putting their vehicles in the park for strike in response to files leaked about Uber. Finally, Catherine reports that Zipmex is pausing withdrawals from its digital asset exchange.