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It’s April 25, 2022. We’ve been watching Elon closely for most of the day, but it seems (pending details and regulatory flaws), the deed is done. The spark-space-sausage and battery-powered car man is now also the lucky owner of a bird watching app. alyssa and Taylor put together a handy timeline for the entire write-this-as-a-sitcom-writer-and-lose-your-job saga, if you’ve lost track of the Venn diagram intersections between ornithology and billionaire drama.
The MovieUpdates Top 3
- Elon Musk sealed the deal with Twitter: That’s a closing, folks – after closely monitoring this for the past week, we’ll now have to find something else to obsess over. Musk and Twitter reached an agreement for $54.20 a share, valuing the social media giant at $44 billion. Musk kept talking about “freedom of speech,” making us wonder whether a particular former president’s account will be reinstated.
- Meta has a shop, a real one: For a company trying to sell us through the metaverse, it’s interesting to find that Meta’s way of doing this is to get us into a store so we can try out all their gadgets and gadgets galore. Although perhaps we shouldn’t be so surprised. I assume their target audience is one that likes to see things from every angle. Well played!
- Zenda digitizes school fees in Africa: As someone preparing to send my oldest to college in two short years, I was intrigued by anniethe coverage of how Zenda, based in the UAE, is helping parents on the other side of the world, now focused on Africa, pay school fees online instead of having to present bank deposits as proof of payment. The company is also researching a number of financial wellness products, which, let’s face it, we all need more of.
Startups and VC
It’s pretty rad what you can do with large data sets, and Kyle’s article takes a look at how some Swiss researchers model and predict future markets and which startups will be funded.
I’ve been pretty cranky the past few days, it seems. Today I wrote about the dumbest photography product I’ve reviewed in many years, and over the weekend an article came out about how scammers are using expired domains to trick Google on our subscription site, TC+.
More? But yes, of course:
- Not enough people? Make up some fake ones: You’d think 8 billion people would be enough, but tech doesn’t seem to agree. Mike examines why very soon we will see many artificial humans popping up in just about every corner of the internet.
- Pay me when I think: In the US, more than $15 billion in rent is paid late every month, causing all kinds of stress. Circa wants to end that and has raised $2 million to sort things out for landlords with between 1,000 and 10,000 tenants.
- Fintech trading platform: Rooser created a seafood trading platform and raised $23 million of bones or clams, or whatever you call them, to continue his journey.
- From sea to sparkling seaSupposedly singing Sea-shaNFty’s all the time, OpenSea bought Gem, shortly after one of the latter’s co-founders was thrown overboard for allegedly acting like absolute human waste.
A few TC+ stories you may also have missed:
Submit your questions to a MovieUpdates+ Twitter Space with Immigration Lawyer Sophie Alcorn
On Tuesday, April 26 at 2:30 PM PT / 5:30 PM ET, MovieUpdates+ will host a Twitter Space featuring Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley-based immigration attorney and the author of the Dear Sophie column that appears on MovieUpdates+ every Wednesday.
She will discuss a number of relevant issues for technology workers and founders considering opening a store in the US, including H-1B visas, pathways for international student founders, and her advice for members of the Ukrainian IT community who are affected. by the ongoing Russian invasion.
This Space is open to everyone, so click through for the chat and submit your immigration-related questions so we can ask them during the Q&A.
(MovieUpdates+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
- You can’t write about Chevy’s Corvette without a little prince in the background. So while that’s underway, the new EV model will, at first glance, transport you back to the days of Michael Keaton in “Batman,” the soundtrack for which, as you recall, Price played a large part. Anyway, the video is absolute car porn, but the technology behind it can also make you spin. General Motors’ new battery technology uses the heat from the car to improve range, acceleration and efficiency. My husband has asked me what kind of car I want next, and maybe I just found it.
- Lots of streaming news today: It seems that Apple’s App Store and Apple Music were still having issues when we went to press. Amazon Prime is now on TikTok with a little help from Jason Derulo. Lauren put up a good argument for why Netflix should go into live sports (we’re talking big money, big, huge) and Spotify started a fund to support independent open source projects and help developers keep them running.
- It now looks like the Google Pixel Watch will be a thing. if Brian points out it’s been “a long, rocky road” for this watch, but I’m excited to show off some new frosting to my iPhone friends.
- Investors step into feature stores and I’m happy Kylea is here to explain all about what those are and why they are attractive.