Week in Review - Another week of job slashes and crypto crashes

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By Greg Kumparak

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Hi friends!

Welcome back to Week In Review, the newsletter where we wrap up many of the top stories to cross TechCrunch’s front page over the last seven days.

The big thing this week — at least based on what our backend suggests readers cared about most — was the crypto market plunging hard and fast. Bitcoin is down over 25% month-over-month, from around $41k per BTC to around $30k at the time I’m writing this. Ethereum is down over 30% in the same time frame — from around $3,100 per ETH to around $2,000.

Why? For that I defer to Lucas and Anita and their new podcast/newsletter Chain Reaction. Any time I write about cryptocurrency I tend to feel dumb and wrong within about 48 hours — fortunately, the Chain Reaction team has a much better grasp on this stuff than I do. This week they sat down with repeat-founder-turned-investor Kevin Rose, who says this is his “10th or so” crypto downturn, for some insights.

My goal with Week In Review is to keep you all feeling informed — to make it so that, when you click in at the end of a busy week, you can skim WiR and feel like you’ve got a pretty good sense of what happened in tech. So let’s dive in!

other things

Besides a crypto crash, what else happened this week? Lots.

Google I/O happened!: Whether everyone’s over buying a new phone every year or we’re all just focused on the million other things going on right now, it felt like Google’s annual conference/keynote just kinda… came and went. While Google kept a lot of the actual details under wraps, the big news out of the show was early glimpses of a new Pixel phone, a new “Pro” line of Pixel ear buds, and improvements to Google Maps, Assistant, and Translate. Oh, and Google’s finally making their own smartwatch! Oh, oh, and they’re still playing with the idea of Google Glass. I don’t wear glasses (yet), but the live, real-world subtitles in this concept video would have me rocking a pair in a heartbeat.

More tech layoffs: Unfortunately, the recent trend of tech layoffs continues. Over the last few weeks we’ve seen layoffs from Robinhood, Netflix, Thrasio, Cameo, OnDeck, and MainStreet. This week that list grew to include Carvana, Latch, DataRobot, and Section4. Meanwhile, a number of big tech cos. announced that they’re slowing or outright freezing hiring. Amanda and Natasha have the full breakdown.

Instagram is testing NFTs: Because of course they are. Remember when Instagram was just a place where we’d spend way too much time taking sepia-toned pictures of our breakfast and that was enough?

Tiger Global has nearly depleted its latest VC fund: Well, that was fast. In March of this year, Tiger Global closed its latest venture fund with a gigantic $12.7 billion in commitments. Just months later, Connie Loizos writes “that new fund — which reportedly took less than six months to raise and includes $1.5 billion in commitments from Tiger Global's own employees — is almost fully invested already.”

DJI’s Mini 3 Pro: DJI has a new drone, and TC’s Darrell Etherington is a fan so far (with the caveat that he mostly recommends the most expensive option, which is a few hundred bucks more than the $669 base model).

Row, row, row your… Peloton?: The company best known for its exercise bikes (and more recently treadmills) has a new piece of at-home exercise hardware in the works: a rowing machine. While it feels like rowing machines are having a bit of a moment right now, it’s hard to imagine that this alone turns things around for Peloton after an incredibly rough quarter — but, as Brian Heater puts it, it’s at least “a bright spot” for the company after a streak of bad news.

other things image

Image Credits: Google

added things

We have a paywalled section of our site called TechCrunch+. It costs a few bucks a month and it's full of very good stuff! From this week, for example:

US Visa options for international founders: So you started your company outside of the US and now you want to move to Silicon Valley. What can you do? Immigration attorney Sophie Alcorn runs through the options.

Why Airbnb is reinventing itself: Airbnb went through a major overhaul this week, in a move that CEO Brian Chesky calls a “top-to-bottom upgrade.” Jordan Crook sat down with him to learn what changed and why.

Dutch’s $20M Series A Deck: It’s pitchdeck teardown time! Haje takes a look at the deck used by pet telemedicine platform Dutch to raise a $20M Series A. Can every pitchdeck pull off 14 photos of adorable animals? Probably not. But this one can, much to Haje’s delight.

added things image

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

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