Hey, TechCrunch besties. After every week in Korea and the Philippines, it’s nice to be again within the States — and barely extra tan (i.e., burnt) than earlier than. Large due to Henry, who was pressured to step in over the previous two weeks due to my failing to appreciate that Korean Air doesn’t supply in-flight Wi-Fi. Speak about an excellent sport.
When you’re questioning about Greg’s standing, to not fear — he’s because of return from a well-deserved parental go away in a month and alter. Within the meantime, I’m right here to nag you about TechCrunch’s upcoming headliner occasions.
TechCrunch Early Stage is quick approaching — it’s on April 20 in Boston this yr, and it’ll host consultants throughout the enterprise and tech panorama who’ll converse to options in getting a startup off the bottom. (Additionally in Boston: City Spotlight, which kicks off February 27.) On the far horizon, there’s TechCrunch Disrupt (September 19–21), which guarantees to be an absolute blowout this yr. Having taken a peek on the preliminary visitor record, let me simply say this: It received’t disappoint.
With these administrative bits out of the way in which, let’s get on with Week in Review. (If you need it in your inbox each Saturday, enroll here). Listed here are the highest tales from the previous a number of days!
Dashed ambitions: Tage solely experiences that allegedly Dash CEO Prince Boakye Boampong was quickly suspended pending an investigation into monetary impropriety on the firm. Boampong, considered one of Africa’s best-known serial entrepreneurs, is reportedly accused of partaking in monetary misreporting; sources inform TechCrunch that executives repeatedly hid financials inside the agency whereas shedding staff at will. Previous to Boampong’s alleged suspension, Sprint had raised tens of tens of millions in enterprise capital at an over-$200 million valuation.
New iOS, new emoji: Apple launched the iOS 16.4 developer beta, which introduced with it the subsequent set of emoji coming to iPhones. Initially unveiled through the draft part final yr, the emoji span classes like food and drinks, exercise, objects, animals and symbols. Sarah writes that among the many highlights are variations on the center emoji, pushing hand gestures and a “shaking face” emoji. Curious customers can take a look at the brand new additions by enrolling in Apple’s Developer Program.
Pony up for Paramount: Forward of the launch of “Paramount+ with Showtime,” a brand new TV streaming service bundle that’ll see Showtime integrated with Paramount+, Paramount introduced that it could be rising the worth of its Paramount+ Premium tier from $9.99 monthly to $11.99 monthly. It’s not an surprising transfer — Paramount CEO Bob Bakish telegraphed the plans in early December — however it may nonetheless put Paramount+ with Showtime at a drawback because it competes with Warner Bros. Discovery’s upcoming HBO Max/Discovery+ service.
Feishu is the new Slack: Feishu, ByteDance’s Slack-like office collaboration app, surpassed $100 million in annual recurring income final yr, Rita writes. ByteDance’s heavy funding in Feishu is telling of the state of enterprise software program in China. At a time when Silicon Valley traders are heralding product-led growth, software program in China continues to be largely relying on gross sales, advertising and companies to recruit customers.
Channeling Instagram: Instagram launched a brand new broadcast chat function this week referred to as “Channels.” Aisha experiences that it lets creators share public, one-to-many messages to immediately have interaction with their followers. Channels help textual content, photographs, polls, reactions and extra. Instagram is beginning to take a look at channels with choose creators within the U.S. and plans to develop the function in coming months.
Salesforce under pressure: Salesforce is searching for new methods to chop prices as activist traders put stress on the corporate. This week, Salesforce applied stricter efficiency measurements for engineering, with some salespeople being put underneath stress to give up or succumb to harsh efficiency insurance policies of their very own. As Ron writes, it’s most likely associated to the truth that activist traders have been circling the corporate, undoubtedly pushing administration to extend productiveness and scale back expenditures.
Safety concerns dog Tesla: Tesla this week issued a recall of its Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta software program, a sophisticated driver-assistance system that federal regulators say may permit autos to behave unsafe round intersections. Affecting over 362,000 autos, the recall was motivated partially, Telsa disclosed, by issues that FSD-driven autos would possibly reply insufficiently to modifications in posted pace limits, amongst different issues. FSD beta software program — from its title and Musk’s guarantees round its capabilities to its rollout and security issues — has been controversial, attracting scrutiny from regulatory companies.
Snapping up users: Snapchat now has over 750 million month-to-month energetic customers (MAUs). The corporate introduced the milestone throughout its Investor Day on Thursday, Sarah experiences. Snapchat mentioned it sees a path to reaching over 1 billion folks within the subsequent two to a few years, however whether or not it’ll really obtain that continues to be to be seen. In any case, 750 MAUs places Snapchat forward of Pinterest (450 million) however behind Fb (2.96 billion).
A Tetris movie: Apple TV+ this week launched the primary trailer for its film “Tetris,” based mostly on the origin story of the favored puzzle online game. Starring Taron Egerton, who performs American online game salesman Henk Rogers, “Tetris” tells the story of Rogers and his mission to safe the distribution rights of the sport. The film will premiere at South by Southwest movie competition in March, after which Apple will launch it worldwide on Apple TV+ (on March 31).
TechCrunch has an exquisite lineup of audio programming, in case you weren’t conscious. In different phrases, we’ve obtained podcasts for days. This week on Equity, Mary Ann and Becca obtained on the mic to speak about Descope’s $53 million seed spherical, Phenomenal Ventures’ new fund and a Mexican neobank’s newest elevate. On Found, Darrell and Becca talked with Alex Rappaport, the CEO and co-founder of ZwitterCo, which makes it sensible for industries to recycle water and improve product restoration with new filtration know-how. And over at TechCrunch Live, the crew went reside (to not be repetitive) with CFO-turned-CEO Christina Ross and her Mayfield Fund associate, Rajeev Batra, to speak in regards to the story behind Ross’ firm, Dice, and the way it meets its prospects the place they’re at.
Is the tech jobs market as bad as it seems?: Ron investigates the state of the tech jobs market, discovering that — whereas some numbers are down — it’s not a clear-cut matter. His top-level remark? Tech employees, particularly these with specialised abilities like engineering, information science, AI and cybersecurity, proceed to be in demand as provide lags behind the variety of open jobs.