Fisker collapsed under the weight of its founder’s promises

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Welcome back to TechCrunch’s Week in Review — TechCrunch’s newsletter recapping the week’s biggest news. Want it in your inbox every Saturday? Sign up here.
Over the past eight years, famed vehicle designer Henrik Fisker suggested his EV startup would deliver on a lot of promises, but none came true. As Fisker looks for an unlikely rescue, employees told TechCrunch that the blame rests largely on the shoulders of the husband-and-wife team who steer the company.
This week also had a major disturbance in the fintech space. After years of missteps and struggles, the banking-as-a-service fintech Synapse officially went bankrupt. Based on Synapse’s filings, as many as 100 fintechs and 10 million end customers could have been impacted by the company’s collapse.
Elon Musk just got a lot of cash for xAI. The AI startup raised $6 billion at an $18 billion pre-money valuation as it aims to compete with OpenAI, Microsoft and Alphabet.
In other big money moves, Google is investing nearly $350 million into Flipkart. The new investment gives the Walmart-owned Indian e-commerce startup a valuation of $36 billion. Google, which reaches more than half a billion people in India, identifies the South Asian nation as a key overseas market. 
Was Sam Altman fired from Y Combinator?: Paul Graham is setting the record straight. In a series of posts on X, the Y Combinator co-founder brushed off claims that Sam Altman was pressured to resign in 2019 due to potential conflicts of interest. Read More
Spotify doles out Car Thing refunds: Spotify is facing backlash over its decision to discontinue support for its in-car streaming device, Car Thing. Spotify has now instituted a refund process, but some users are asking the company not to brick their devices. Read More
Are earbuds the future of AI hardware?: Unlike generative AI gadgets like Humane’s Ai Pin and Rabbit’s R1, Iyo is aiming to build its technology into an already successful category: the Bluetooth earbud. Read More
Firefly forges on: On the heels of personal tragedy, the Tel Aviv-based startup has raised $23 million for its “infrastructure as code” solution to the growing issue of cloud asset management. Read More
Is Apple going to “sherlock” Arc?: Apple is reportedly planning to release a new technology called “smart recaps” in iOS 18, which appears to closely mimic Arc Search’s innovative “Browse for me” functionality. Read More
Misinformation is so back: A pair of new studies offers evidence that misinformation on social media has the power to change people’s minds. Find out who was most responsible for the vast majority of “fake news” in the studied time periods. Read More
AI models have favorite numbers too: Engineers at Gramener performed an experiment where they asked several major LLM chatbots to pick a random number between 0 and 100 — and the results were fascinating. Read More
Mistral unveils coding model: The French AI startup has released its first generative AI model for coding, dubbed Codestral, which is designed to help developers write and interact with code. Read More
Say hello to meme tech: Is it time to disrupt the meme industry? With Meme Depot, founder Alex Taub aspires to build a comprehensive archive of any meme imaginable with a crypto-focused business model. Read More
AI comes for tutors: The arrival of AI bots is posing a threat to long-established tutoring franchises and professional tutors, and the leading apps are from China. But do they actually help students learn? Read More
What happens to a company when its founder dies?: Onyx Motorbikes was already in trouble — and then its 37-year-old owner passed away unexpectedly with no will or succession plan, leaving behind millions of dollars in debt. Rebecca Bellan reports on how the ensuing battle for control has put Onyx in legal limbo. Read More
The ‘edgelords’ at OpenAI: Meredith Whittaker has some candid thoughts about the current leadership at OpenAI. Mike Butcher sat down with the Signal president to discuss what she describes as a disrespectful “frat house” contingent of the tech industry in a wide-ranging conversation. Read More
Don’t expect IPOs from these startups: While 2024 is looking to be a better year for tech startups going public, there’s still a number of high-profile companies that are wanting to wait just a little bit longer. From Plaid to Figma, Rebecca Szkutak rounds up the companies that aren’t itching to go public just yet. Read More
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Welcome back to TechCrunch’s Week in Review — TechCrunch’s newsletter recapping the week’s biggest news. Want it in your inbox every Saturday? Sign up here. Over the past eight years,…
What is AI? We’ve put together this non-technical guide to give anyone a fighting chance to understand how and why today’s AI works.
President Joe Biden has vetoed H.J.Res. 109, a congressional resolution that would have overturned the Securities and Exchange Commission’s current approach to banks and crypto. Specifically, the resolution targeted the…
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Tumblr officially shut down “Tips,” an opt-in feature where creators could receive one-time payments from their followers.  As of today, the tipping icon has automatically disappeared from all posts and…
Generative AI improvements are increasingly being made through data curation and collection — not architectural — improvements. Big Tech has an advantage.
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Jasper Health, a cancer care platform startup, laid off a substantial part of its workforce, TechCrunch has learned.
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Live Nation says its Ticketmaster subsidiary was hacked. A hacker claims to be selling 560 million customer records.
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An autonomous pod. A solid-state battery-powered sports car. An electric pickup truck. A convertible grand tourer EV with up to 600 miles of range. A “fully connected mobility device” for young urban innovators to be built by Foxconn and priced under $30,000. The next Popemobile. Over the past eight years, famed vehicle designer Henrik Fisker…
Late Friday afternoon, a time window companies usually reserve for unflattering disclosures, AI startup Hugging Face said that its security team earlier this week detected “unauthorized access” to Spaces, Hugging…
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Using stalkerware is creepy, unethical, potentially illegal, and puts your data and that of your loved ones in danger.
The design brief was simple: each grind and dry cycle had to be completed before breakfast. Here’s how Mill made it happen.
Google is embarrassed about its AI Overviews, too. After a deluge of dunks and memes over the past week, which cracked on the poor quality and outright misinformation that arose…
Welcome to Startups Weekly — Haje‘s weekly recap of everything you can’t miss from the world of startups. Sign up here to get it in your inbox every Friday. In…
The product, which ZeroMark calls a “fire control system,” has two components: a small computer that has sensors, like lidar and electro-optical, and a motorized buttstock.
The RAW Dating App aims to shake up the dating scheme by shedding the fake, TikTok-ified, heavily filtered photos and replacing them with a more genuine, unvarnished experience. The app…
Yes, we’re calling it “ThreadsDeck” now. At least that’s the tag many are using to describe the new user interface for Instagram’s X competitor, Threads, which resembles the column-based format…
Japanese crypto exchange DMM Bitcoin confirmed on Friday that it had been the victim of a hack resulting in the theft of 4,502.9 bitcoin, or about $305 million.  According to…
This is not a drill! Today marks the final day to secure your early-bird tickets for TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 at a significantly reduced rate. At midnight tonight, May 31, ticket…
Instagram is testing a way for creators to experiment with reels without committing to having them displayed on their profiles, giving the social network a possible edge over TikTok and…
U.S. federal regulators have requested more information from Zoox, Amazon’s self-driving unit, as part of an investigation into rear-end crash risks posed by unexpected braking. The National Highway Traffic Safety…
You thought the hottest rap battle of the summer was between Kendrick Lamar and Drake. You were wrong. It’s between Canva and an enterprise CIO. At its Canva Create event…
Voice cloning startup ElevenLabs introduced a new tool for users to generate sound effects through prompts today after announcing the project back in February.
We caught up with Antler founder and CEO Magnus Grimeland about the startup scene in Asia, the current tech startup trends in the region and investment approaches during the rise…
Temu is to face Europe’s strictest rules after being designated as a “very large online platform” under the Digital Services Act (DSA).
Meta has been banned from launching features on Facebook and Instagram that would have collected data on voters in Spain using the social networks ahead of next month’s European Elections.…
Stripe, the world’s most valuable fintech startup, said on Friday that it will temporarily move to an invite-only model for new account sign-ups in India, calling the move “a tough…
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