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Happy Friday! We don’t know about you, but we are both ready for some R&R after ploughing through a wall of deep-cringe texts from the Musk/Twitter trial. We hope you get some, too, this weekend.
This afternoon, Tesla is running its second AI day. Last year’s was a hoot, and we have some predictions for what’s coming down the pipe today, too. — Christine and Haje
The TechCrunch Top 3
Startups and VC
When insurtech company Metromile went public via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in February last year, it was valued at over $1 billion. A year and five months later, Lemonade acquired the company for less than $145 million. And yet, things aren’t as bleak as they might seem, Anna reports.
This year, 40% of the world’s population will play games, with total spending nearing $200 billion. The purveyors of web3 want a slice of this gargantuan market, Rita reports. She writes that criticisms of the first generation of crypto games have been well documented, so the question for developers now is what decentralized games should look like.
Let’s do a few more, shall we? Go on, then:
Yeah, that didn’t work: Catherine reports that TestGrid is a “one-stop shop” for testing apps at scale.
8 investors weigh in on the state of insurtech in Q3 2022
Image Credits: Warchi (opens in a new window) / Getty Images
Some services are in such demand, it can insulate their providers against the vagaries of the market. During an economic downturn, consumers don't cut back on pet food or toilet paper. Similarly, everyone needs some form of insurance.
Between 2016 and 2022, insurtech startups received around $43 billion in funding, and despite the downturn, most of the investors that reporter Anna Heim recently surveyed are still positive about the sector's prospects:
Martha Notaras, general partner, Brewer Lane Ventures
David Wechsler, principal, OMERS Ventures
Stephen Brittain and Rob Lumley, directors and co-founders, Insurtech Gateway
Florian Graillot, founding partner, Astorya.vc
Clarisse Lam, associate, NewAlpha Asset Management
Hélène Falchier, partner, Portage Ventures
Adam Blumencranz, partner, Distributed Ventures
"We are simply seeing a reality check happen," said Wechsler. "Unfortunately, there are many companies that should not have raised as much as they did, or perhaps don't have sustainable business models. These companies will struggle to survive."
Three more from the TC+ team:
Raising growth funding for robotics startups: Show, don’t tell: Tips for robotics startups raising a Series B during a downturn, by Jason Schoettler.
Q3 was rough; here’s what Q4 holds in store (maybe): After a series of misfires in Q3, here’s what we expect for startups in Q4, by Anna and Alex.
Bridging the gap: Tokenization is key to linking TradFi to the blockchain, by Jacquelyn.
Big Tech Inc.
SoftBank has been doing some readjusting to company valuations lately, but the latest adjusting is happening with its own company. Kate reports that SoftBank’s Vision Fund is reportedly laying off 30% of its workforce even as it considers a third fund.
Here are five more for you:
Inside Elon’s texts: Amanda and Taylor dig into a document that surfaced that provides a look into the innermost workings of Elon Musk’s mind as he texts back and forth with “friends.” We put that in quotes because, well, you’ll see.
Taking on QVC: Amazon launched a livestream shopping site in India, Manish and Jagmeet write. The delivery giant said Amazon Live will run 15 livestreams a day.
We on a mission: SpaceX and NASA are partnering to send a commercial crew to “boost the orbit of the Hubble Space Telescope.” If it is successful, it will extend the telescope’s life span by as much as 20 years, Aria reports.
What did we just watch?: Meta has a new feature called Make-A-Video that enables you to make videos out of text prompts. To quote Devin, “I just think it’s fascinating that however realistic these videos are in one sense, they’re all so bizarre and off-putting in others.”