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Apple cancels its car, Google’s AI goes wrong and Bumble stumbles | TechCrunch

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Hello friends, welcome to Week in Review (WiR), TechCrunch’s newsletter covering the biggest happenings in the tech industry.

This week, the investment company KKR announcement that it would acquire VMware’s end-user computing business from Broadcom for $4 billion. As Ron explains, this business included VMware Workspace One and VMware Horizon, two remote desktop applications that were part of the VMware family of products.

Elsewhere, French AI startup Mistral has launched a new model to rival OpenAI’s GPT-4 – and its own cheekily named chatbot, dubbed Le Chat. Outputs were timed with a Microsoft partnership to provide Mistral models to Microsoft’s Azure customers – and a minority investment ($16 million) from Microsoft to Mistral.

Many other things happened. We recap it all in this edition of WiR — but first, a reminder to register to receive the WiR newsletter in your mailbox every Saturday.

News

Canceled Apple Car: Apple has derailed its long-standing, secretive effort to build a self-driving electric car. The company will likely cut hundreds of employees from its team and all work on the project has been stopped. He joins a list of other projects that Apple has abandoned at different stagesincluding AirPower and a TV (not to be confused with Apple TV).

Bumble stumbles: Bumble reported weak fourth-quarter results, showing a net loss of $32 million and revenue of $273.6 million, below Wall Street expectations. To turn things around, CEO Lidiane Jones announced that 30% of Bumble’s workforce, or around 350 employees, would be laid off and that Bumble would embark on an overhaul of its app aimed at boosting growth.

Google’s AI goes wrong: Google apologized this week for an embarrassing AI mistake: an image generation model that injected diversity into images with a farcical contempt for historical context. While the underlying problem is perfectly understandable, Google criticizes the model for “becoming” too sensitive.

Bad look: Matt Mullenweg, CEO of Tumblr owner Automattic, is reportedly on sabbatical. Instead, he argued with Tumblr users this week over a content moderation decision that sparked accusations of transphobia, Amanda reports.

Founder expelled: A group of Byju investors voted last Friday to remove the edtech group’s founder and chief executive officer, Byju Raveendran, and separately filed an oppression and management lawsuit against the company’s management to block the recently launched rights issue.

Funding

GenAI Ebooks: Inkitt, a self-publishing platform using AI to develop bestsellers, has raised $37 million. The startup’s app lets people self-publish stories and then, using AI and data science, selects the ones it considers most compelling to edit and then edit. distribute and sell.

Keeping it old school: Lapse has raised $30 million for its smartphone app that makes you wait for photos to be “developed” – without any ability to edit or retake them – before sharing them with a select group of friends if you wish. .

Analysis

The Techstars estimate: Mary Ann interviewed Maëlle Gavet, CEO of the startup accelerator program Tech starsfollowing changes to its operations that drew heavy criticism.

Podcasts

On Equitythe team talked about startup news from Microsoft and Mistral AI, Thrasio and Glean – and also covered events from COTU Ventures and Zacua Ventures.

In the meantime, Find highlighted Ariel Kaye, founder of Parachute, a direct-to-consumer bedding and home goods company.

And for Chain reactionTC pulled from the archives to broadcast an earlier conversation with Jack Lu, CEO and co-founder of Magic Eden, a “community-centric” NFT marketplace.

Bonus round

Mirai greatly reduced: Toyota is offering $40,000 off a 2023 Toyota Mirai Limited, a fuel cell vehicle that costs $66,000, plus $15,000 of free hydrogen over six years. As Tim writes, there’s only one problem: finding the hydrogen to power it.

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