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Happy Friday! Join wishes Lorenzo a very warm welcome to the team! He joins our great team of cybersecurity reporters, working with Zack and Carly. He just published his first article on TC, in which T-Mobile reports that a hacker has gained access to personal data of 37 million customers. Welcome aboard!!
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Alphabet describes layoffs: With all the talk of tech layoffs over the past few months, it was only a matter of time before we saw something from Alphabet, Google’s parent company. The search engine giant announced it will cut 6% of its workforce, affecting 12,000 people. And like the others, CEO Sundar Pichai in turn explained how the company “rented for a different economic reality”, Paul writes.
- Game out: With gaming as popular as it is, this next layoff story is a bit of a surprise, though not entirely unexpected as media companies are being hit hard. Entertainment company Fandom, which publishes content under Giant Bomb, GameSpot and Metacritic, laid off about 10% of its staff in those publications, Ivan reports.
- It’s all about money, money, money: Social media influencers in India are required to disclose promotional content, aka paid promotions, to the government, and now the Ministry of Consumer Affairs has released some guidance on how to do that. Jagmeet has more.
Startups and VC
A $32 million seed round for Chris DeWolfe’s newest gaming company may seem like a throwback to lighter times, like…2021. But that’s how much PLAI Labs just raised in a deal led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), reports Connie. She points out that’s a lot of nonsense in a volatile market, even if it comes from two separate a16z funds: the company’s $600 million debut game vehicle and its $4.5 billion crypto fund, both of which were launched last May. announced.
Here’s another handful for you:
4 investors discuss the next big wave for alternative seafood startups
There’s a lot of hype surrounding plant-based burgers and nuggets, but alternative seafood products are attracting more attention — and funding — from investors these days.
“More than $178 million has been pumped into alternative seafood products in the first half of 2022, and the market is expected to be worth $1.6 billion over the next 10 years,” she reports.
To learn more about this maturing space, Christine Hall surveyed four investors to get their thoughts on regulation, the “unique challenges” companies face as they try to scale, and how they approach growth and risk:
- Kate Danaher, general manager 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 more from the TC+ team:
TechCrunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams lead the way. You can sign up here. Use code “DC” for a 15% discount on an annual subscription!
Big Tech Inc.
Okay, no more layoff talk. We’re gonna have some fun, ’cause it’s Friday, damn it!
Still playing Wordle? Or maybe you switched to his clone Quordle. Well, Quordle has been acquired by Merriam-Webster, Paul reports. If you’ve never tried it, Quordle is similar to Wordle’s basic concept of guessing a word in a given number of tries, except it requires guessing four five-letter words at a time, with only nine attempts. It might be just what you need to warm you up on a cold winter night.
Here are four more for your Friday pleasure:
- Your turn: Amanda writes that after weeks of backlash and protest from content creators and fans, the publisher of Dungeons & Dragons has decided to place the game under a Creative Commons license.
- An abrupt goodbye: After recently shutting down third-party clients including Tweetbot and Twitterific, Twitter went ahead and officially banned them, Kyle writes.
- ICYMI: Netflix founder Reed Hastings has stepped down as co-CEO but remains on the board, Taylor writes. Meanwhile, Netflix is looking at free-streaming “FAST” channels as an opportunity to grow its advertising business, Lauren reports.
- Up and away: As Darrell writes, Canada is rising from the sidelines and joining the space race, saying it wants to support commercial space launches.