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Happy Friday! Join us in wishing Lawrence a very warm welcome to the team! He joins our crack team of cybersecurity journalists, working alongside Zack and Carly. He just published his first article on TC, about T-Mobile reporting that a hacker accessed the personal data of 37 million customers. Welcome aboard!!
Have a good week-end! — Christina and haje
TechCrunch’s top 3
- Alphabet spells out layoffs: With all the talk of tech layoffs over the past two months, it was only a matter of time before we saw something from Google’s parent company, Alphabet. The search engine giant announced it was cutting 6% of its workforce, impacting 12,000 people. And like the others, CEO Sundar Pichai in turn explained how the company “hired for a different economic reality”, Paul writing.
- Game over: With the game being as popular as it is, this new layoff story is a bit of a surprise, but not entirely unexpected since media companies are being hit hard. Entertainment company Fandom, which publishes content under Giant Bomb, GameSpot and Metacritic, has laid off about 10% of its staff in those publications, Ivan reports.
- It’s all about money, money, money: Social media influencers in India must disclose promotional content, i.e. paid promotions, to the government, and now the Ministry of Consumer Affairs has issued some guidelines on how to do so. Jagmeet see you.
Startups and VCs
A $32 million seed round for Chris DeWolfe’s new games company may seem like a throwback to frothier times, like… 2021. But that’s the amount PLAI Labs just raised as part of a deal led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), reports Connie. She points out that’s a lot of moolah in a volatile market, even though it comes from two separate a16z funds: the company’s $600 million debut gaming vehicle and its $4.5 billion crypto fund, both announced last May.
Here is another handle for you:
4 investors discuss the next big wave of alternative seafood startups
There’s a lot of hype around plant-based burgers and nuggets, but seafood alternatives are getting more attention — and funding — from investors these days.
“More than $178 million was injected into alternative seafood products in the first half of 2022, and the market value is expected to reach $1.6 billion over the next 10 years,” she reports.
To learn more about this maturing space, Christine Hall interviewed four investors to get their thoughts on regulation, the “unique challenges” companies face when trying to achieve scale, and how they approach the growth and risks:
- Kate Danaher, Managing Director of Ocean and Seafood, S2G Ventures
- Friederike Grosse-Holz, Director, Blue Horizon
- Christian Lim, Managing Director, Blue Ocean of SWEN Capital Partners
- Amy Novogratz, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Aqua Spark
Three others from the TC+ team:
Tech Crunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get a head start. You can register here. Use code “DC” to get 15% off an annual subscription!
Big Tech inc.
Alright, no more talk about layoffs. We’re going to have fun, because it’s Friday, damn it!
Do you still play Wordle? Or maybe you’ve upgraded to its Quordle clone. Well, Quordle was acquired by Merriam-Webster, Paul reports. If you’ve never tried it, Quordle is similar to the basic concept of Wordle, guessing a word in a certain number of tries, except there are four five-letter words to guess at a time, with only nine trials. This might just be what you need to warm up on a cold winter night.
Here are four more for your Friday fun:
- Your turn: Amanda writes that after weeks of backlash and protests from content creators and fans, the publisher of Dungeons & Dragons has made the decision to place the game under a Creative Commons license.
- A sudden goodbye: After recently cutting third-party clients including Tweetbot and Twitterific, Twitter has gone ahead and officially banned them, Kyle writing.
- ICYMI: Netflix founder Reed Hastings has stepped down as co-CEO but will remain on the board, taylor writing. Meanwhile, Netflix is eyeing free “FAST” streaming channels as an opportunity to grow its advertising business, lauren reports.
- Up, up and away: As Darrell writing, Canada is rising from the sidelines and joining the space race, saying it wants to support commercial space launches.
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