It’s that time of the week, folks: Week in Review (WiR) time. If you’re new to WiR, this is australiabusinessblog.com’s newsletter recap of the week in tech that was. We get it – you’re a busy person. We are all. So what better way to keep track of what happened than in a summarized, bulleted form? We can’t think of any – and believe us, we’ve tried.
If you haven’t already, subscribe to WiR so you never miss a new edition. And note (if you haven’t already) australiabusinessblog.com’s upcoming events, including the startup-focused Early Stage in Boston on April 20 and our mega-conference Disrupt in San Francisco September 19-21.
With the call to action out of the way, let’s get to the news!
Tragic Murder: Bob Lee, the creator of Cash App and former CTO of Square, was killed this week in a fatal stabbing in San Francisco. Roman writes that prior to joining MobileCoin, Lee spent the early years of Android at Google, focusing on core library development. He then joined Square, the payments company that later became Block, and was an investor in startups including SpaceX, Clubhouse, Tile, and Figma.
Twitter sends doge to the air: On Monday, Alex wrote that Twitter added the symbol for the cryptocurrency dogecoin to a prominent place on Twitter.com, causing the value of dogecoin to skyrocket. Not coincidentally, Twitter CEO Elon Musk is currently embroiled in a lawsuit related to the cryptocurrency — a lawsuit in which Musk’s lawyers called dogecoin a “legitimate cryptocurrency that still has a market cap of nearly $10 billion.”
Gen Z Embraces Fanfix: More and more Gen Z users are jumping on the content creation bandwagon in an effort to make a living outside of the typical 9 to 5 gigs. However, given the recent drama surrounding major social media apps, many creators are concerned. Lauren reports that’s why an increasing number of Gen Zers are jumping on it fan fix — a Patreon competitor that only allows clean content and allows influencers to monetize their followers directly.
A long-promised treadmill arrives: Startup Virtuix — which has long promised a mass-market omnidirectional treadmill, raising more than $1.1 million on Kickstarter and $35 million from investors to bring it to market — has finally started shipping a home version of its product . Brian reports that the $2,595 Omni One includes some upgrades from the original limited-edition Virtuix model, including a new tethering arm, and comes with a custom Pico Neo 3 headset.
Western Digital Infringements: Data storage giant Western Digital confirmed that hackers recently exfiltrated data from its systems during a “network security incident.” Carly writes. The California-based company said in a rack on Monday that an unauthorized third party gained access to “some” of its internal systems on March 26. Western Digital has not confirmed the nature of the incident or disclosed how it was compromised, but the statement suggests the incident may be related to ransomware.
Android apps get uninstall option: Ivan reports that Google announced a new account deletion policy for Android apps this week, which will also make apps that offer account creation an easy way to delete the account. The move will be enforced sometime next year and follows Apple, which implemented a similar policy for apps in the App Store last June.
A publisher-focused alt to Twitter: Aftera kind of Twitter alternative that rethinks how publishers should handle social media has opened its doors to the public. Sarah reports that the startup, like others in this space, gained ground following Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter as many looked for a new place to read and discuss the news or share their own thoughts with their followers. But Post doesn’t want to be just another Twitter clone.
SpaceX hype machine: Hype is building up for the first orbital flight test of Starship, SpaceX’s ultra-heavy launch system. The hype began to peak this week when the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released it air traffic advice identifying April 10 as a primary launch date. But the FAA has yet to issue the all-important launch license for SpaceX, Aria writes – a final legal green light that is a non-negotiable step before the company can run the test.
australiabusinessblog.com isn’t just a source of well-reported writing (how’s that for forced alliteration on a Friday?) – it’s also a podcasting machine, wouldn’t you know. On Equity, the team talked about Y Combinator’s Demo Day as well as Q1 earnings, deals of the week and venture activity in Latin America. TCs Found it podcast highlighted The Nudge, a text-based app that helps users make the best plans in their city. Chain Reaction — which was nominated for a Webby Award (to vote closes April 20, by the way) — interviewed Arianna Simpson, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, about the company’s focus on crypto investments. And TechCrunchLive dug deep into Oma Fertility, a company that has raised more than $70 million to revolutionize in vitro fertilization.
TC+ subscribers get access to in-depth commentary, analysis and surveys – which you’ll know if you’re already a subscriber. If you’re not, consider signing up. Here are a few highlights from this week:
Favorites from YC’s Winter 2023 Demo Day: The TC crew rounded up a few of their top picks from Y Combinator’s Winter 2023 batch, including companies developing comics software, meat-based plants, and heat pumps broken down by Tesla.
Delay climate technology: Tim writes about the delay in closing climate technology deals, which is occurring as investors expect a recession in the coming months. The resilience of climate technology to date has led some to call it the ultimate “recession-proof” investment. Tim investigates whether that is still the case.
A gloomy Q1: Alex writes about how the global venture capital market contracted in the first quarter of 2023 – and would have been even worse had it not been for some mega deals. The dip in funding implies that the current decline in investment among startups is unlikely to change anytime soon.