“Stellantis Chief Executive Spills Secrets on Waymo, Rivian Layoffs, and the Ongoing Decline of EV Enthusiasm”

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TechCrunch Mobility is a weekly newsletter dedicated to all things transportation. Sign up here — just click TechCrunch Mobility — to receive the newsletter every weekend in your inbox. Welcome back to TechCrunch Mobility — your central hub for news and insights on the future of transportation. Of course, as he talked, I wondered if this was wishful thinking or an attempt to show the company was still part of the autonomous vehicle conversation? Robotic Research Autonomous Industries (RRAI), an autonomous vehicle company with a history of working with the Department of Defense, changed its name to Forterra.

North American GPs Struggle to Gain Foothold in Europe

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A few years ago, setting up shop in Europe was the soup du jour for North American VCs. North American VCs, understandably, want a piece of that market, but setting up a successful, long-term strategy in the region hasn’t proved easy. The European startup market comes with nuances that make it a difficult one for North American investors. It’s no wonder then that North American investors have struggled to find a secure footing as they try to straddle the Atlantic. The American guys will enter anyway at the Series A or B.”Reason to keep tryingDespite all those challenges, though, North American firms are still trying to plant roots in the region.

“Latest Updates: Google Debuts Fresh Open LLMs, Rivian Enacts Employee Cutbacks, and Signal Introduces Usernames”

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Google releases new open LLMs, Rivian lays off staff and Signal rolls out usernamesWelcome, folks, to Week in Review (WiR), TechCrunch’s regular newsletter covering noteworthy happenings in the tech industry. This week, Google launched two new open large language models, Gemma 2B and Gemma 7B, in its continued bid for generative AI dominance. The company, which describes the LLMs as “inspired by Gemini,” its flagship family of GenAI models, made each available for commercial and research usage. Change Healthcare hit: Change Healthcare, one of the largest healthcare tech companies in the U.S., confirmed that a cyberattack on its systems occurred recently. YouTube triumphant: YouTube dominates TV streaming in the U.S., per Nielsen’s latest report.

“Firing Fears Dispelled: Byju’s Founder Denies Ouster Claimed by Shareholders”

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In a 758-word letter, content of which was reviewed by TechCrunch, Raveendran claimed that the shareholders violated several “essential” local rules. Raveendran claimed in the letter that the extraordinary general meeting lacked the minimum quorum and failed to win majority support for proposed resolutions. Raveendran claimed the EGM was convened without adhering to the procedures set out by law and only 35 of Byju’s 170 total shareholders attended, representing around 45% ownership in the company. The rights issue resets the startup’s valuation, once at $22 billion, to about $25 million. “Our rights issue has seen an overwhelming response.

Court Filing Reveals Struggle of DuckDuckGo and Neeva in Competition Against Google’s Dominance in Search Startups

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Google’s proposed “Findings of Fact” filing documents the history of search competition, including Google’s own beginnings, its innovations, the competitive landscape, Google’s search ads business, distribution agreements, and more. When shareholders sold stock to various VC firms, those funds were not used to improve the search engine, the filing argues. But it contradicts this point, too, noting that a third of DuckDuckGo’s 50 employees in 2018 were working on improving the search engine, for example. The search engine receives only about 2.5% of general search queries in the U.S., despite estimates that 10% of people in the U.S. claim to be users. This, DuckDuckGo’s leadership had explained, is due to the fact that people often use its search engine for some, but not all of their search queries.

“Instantly Enhance Your Property Listings with Cutting-Edge AI Virtual Staging”

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A startup called Virtual Staging AI is making it possible for Realtors to virtually stage a house with the help of generative AI. Virtual Staging AI, which is part of Harvard Innovation Labs, currently has 4,500 monthly paid subscribers and is looking to transform the real estate and staging industry. Instead of having to share images of empty rooms in a listing, the tool gives Realtors realistic images of furnished rooms. While Realtors could hire someone to digitally stage a room using tools like Photoshop, Virtual Staging AI promises a cheaper and faster way to do so. Real estate has continued to evolve over the years, going from offering only in-person showings to facilitating virtual tours.

Navigating the rough path of electric vehicle makers

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Well, it seems the EV market is a tad more cutthroat than anticipated, with pricing pressure mounting like the suspense in a bad thriller movie. Most interesting startup stories this weekStaying in the world of automotive, there’s been a lot of movement from the avant-garde of EV manufacturers. These price adjustments from Ford and Lucid come hot on the heels of EV industry poster child Tesla’s price reductions, suggesting that the EV market is maturing and that customers are becoming more price conscious. Despite all their rage, they’re still just a rat in a Faraday cage: Struggling EV startup Faraday Future owes the landlord of its Los Angeles headquarters nearly $1 million after missing the last two months’ rent. This week’s big trend: The AI train keeps rumblin’ alongOpenAI has introduced a new generative AI model named Sora, capable of creating videos from text descriptions or still images.

Hurry Now! Last Chance to Save with Disrupt’s 2-for-1 Sale – Ends Today

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The clock is ticking on your chance to seize a scorching deal: TechCrunch Disrupt is returning to San Francisco from October 28–30, and the 2-for-1 ticket offer ends tonight at midnight! What’s in store at TechCrunch Disrupt? Prepare for three electrifying days packed with the latest startup breakthroughs, trends, and products, tailored for every step of your entrepreneurial journey. From startup founders to venture capitalists, Disrupt attracts a diverse crowd eager to explore trends in SaaS, fintech, AI, and space. Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at TechCrunch Disrupt 2024?

Unanimous Vote Removes Founder of Byju’s as Investors Decide

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The participating shareholders — whose combined ownership in Byju’s exceeded 60% — also passed the resolution to reconstitute the board of Byju’s. “At today’s Extraordinary General Meeting shareholders unanimously passed all resolutions put forward for vote. Late last month, Byju’s launched a rights issue where it sought to raise about $200 million at a massively discounted rate. Raveendran told shareholders earlier this week that the rights issue had been fully subscribed and requested all existing investors to participate and maintain their ownership. “[…] I understand that participating in this rights issue may seem like a Hobson’s choice.

Southeast Asia’s Vertical AI Bet: Insights from Antler’s Founder

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A growing roster of vertical AI startups is emerging in Southeast Asia to serve sectors ranging from seafood to finance. Within verticalized AI, different trends are emerging in each country. Since funding structures are different in Southeast Asia than the rest of the world, BorderDollar used their own training data to build a credit scoring system. Building a vertical AI startup comes with its own challenges. But once a vertical AI startup comes together, Salovaara says they can build a very deep competitive moat.