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Hello, you crunchy delights,
Dunno ’bout you, but we’re getting a little excited about our TC Early Stage event in Boston on April 20, and Darrell just announced the first group of speakers for the event. It’s gonna be a good one!
Our Black History Month feature of the day is this one-hour documentary on YouTube — KQED’s mobile film unit following author and activist James Baldwin in the spring of 1963, as he’s driven around San Francisco to meet with members of the local African American community. As a Bay Area resident, Haje found it interesting on a couple of different levels: Local history is rad, and seeing SF in the 1960s is a special treat.
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Quick query: We thought Google might be sad today, what with all of that Microsoft news, but Google came out swinging with its own announcements from its Google Live from Paris event. One of the more popular announcements today is that its newer AI-powered “multisearch” has gone global. Sarah writes that this combines text and images in a single query. There’s also a variation for local business searches.
- Now, where did I put that map…: If you’re planning a trip to London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco or Tokyo, Google has something you might like. Aisha reports on another big announcement on Google Maps, which launched Immersive View in those five cities. This gives you a better way to, well, immerse yourselves in the city (more Google news in the Big Tech section).
- What’s Elon up to now?: March 1. That’s the date when Tesla CEO Elon Musk says he will finally reveal his Master Plan 3. Kirsten has more on what that could be and why we’ve been waiting.
Startups and VC
Kyle reports that a founder grew frustrated using standard document apps like Acrobat and Microsoft Office to print out and mark up documents. He wondered why there wasn’t a way to read and write on a PC that felt as fluid as paper, which led him to experiment with PDF processing software. By 2020, those experiments had grown into a fully fledged, custom PDF editor. Using AI, the editor — called Macro — pulls out key terms, sections and equations to make documents interactive and hyperlinked. Macro raised $9.3 million to continue its journey.
Almost exactly a year ago, dbt Labs shined a spotlight on the opportunities in the world of developer tools for data analytics when the startup closed a Series D of $222 million at a $4.2 billion valuation. Today, dbt Labs announced it acquired Transform, adding semantic tools to its data analytics platform, Ingrid reports.
Moar? U want moar? Yer in luck, m’droogs:
- Op3n Sesame: Sesame Labs raises $4.5M to help improve web3 marketing tools, Jacquelyn reports.
- For science!: Mike reports that Planet A Ventures announces a €160 million European, science-backed climate fund.
- Well, look what we have here: Paul reports that data observability platform Acceldata raises $50 million.
- Step right up: IBM acquires GraphQL startup StepZen to step up its game in API management, Ingrid reports.
- That seems like an extreamly good idea: Streamdal wants to bring greater visibility to streaming data architectures, writes Kyle.
Dear Sophie: Will published articles better my odds of getting an O-1A or H-1B visa?
I’m the founder and CEO of a startup in Istanbul, and I’ve heard that articles in publications about an entrepreneur or a startup can be a big plus when applying for an O-1A or H-1B visa.
Is that true? Which publications are valid? Should they be tier-1 or in English? Thank you for your help!
— Tenacious in Turkey
Three more from the TC+ team:
- New York Technology: How the NYT is building a modern tech stack to drive every part of its media biz, by Ron.
- To bravely go: AI is the next frontier, argues Dominic-Madori. But for whom?
- Whoops, yes, we need that back, plz: Jacquelyn takes a deeper dive into FTX’s attempts to claw back political donations, and how experts claim it may target its largest recipients.
TechCrunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get ahead of the pack. You can sign up here. Use code “DC” for a 15% discount on an annual subscription!
Big Tech Inc.
Psst, some Russian hackers are believed to be behind the “WhisperGate” data-stealing malware being used to target Ukraine, Carly reports. She writes that “the info-stealing malware uses file names designed to masquerade as legitimate Microsoft Office files and is similar to other TA471 tools, such as GraphSteel and GrimPlant, which were previously used as part of a spear-phishing campaign specifically targeting Ukrainian state bodies.” However, this new malware is even more of a pain. Read her story to find out why.
As promised, it’s Google mania today. The company has some new features to show off: Rebecca reports on electric vehicles with Maps built in, while Ivan writes about better contextual translation features. The company is also sunsetting the feature that put playable podcasts directly in search results, Sarah reports. Oh, and if you have some skin in the big game on Sunday (also Christine’s birthday), Brian writes that Giannis, Doja Cat and Amy Schumer will be peddling Google’s Pixel during the Super Bowl.
Now here’s four more that don’t talk about Google:
- We’re thinking this will ultimately be a no: Paul reports that a UK regulator is saying Microsoft’s proposed $68.7 billion Activision merger will create “higher prices, fewer choices.”
- Now, there’s more to the story: Manish has been following the sweeping app ban in India and now has more details on why, including Chinese influence and loan-collection practices.
- ChatGPT does a Bing good: Sarah reports that Bing saw a 10x jump in downloads following yesterday’s Microsoft-ChatGPT news.
- Go back to what you were doing: Warner Bros. Discovery now says Discovery+ users will have to migrate to a stand-alone plan in the U.S. Lauren has more.