Hello everybody! Welcome back to Week in Review, the newsletter where we recap the most read stories to cross TechCrunch over the past week. Our goal: If you’ve had a busy few days, you should be able to click this on Saturday, take a look, and still get a good idea of what happened this week.
I will be AFK for the next two bulletins, with the excellent Henry Pickavet filling in for me while I am away. Henry is one of the best humans I know – so be nice!
O Most Read This week’s story, unfortunately, has been one of layoffs – specifically, layoffs at Coinbase. The cryptocurrency exchange announced on Tuesday that it will lay off 18% of its workforce, with CEO Brian Armstrong saying the company has “grown really fast” over the past year and a half.
Kaiser violated: Ufa. A hacked employee email account, nearly 70,000 patient records potentially exposed. In a notice sent to affected patients, Kaiser says the “potentially exposed” data included names, service dates and lab test results.
more layoffs: Coinbase was not the only company to report layoffs this week. Real estate tech companies Redfin and Compass confirmed cuts of around 450 employees each, while Canadian fintech Wealthsimple laid off nearly 160.
Spotify buys voice simulation company: In 2014, Val Kilmer underwent a tracheotomy as part of his treatment for throat cancer. For its role in the recently released “Top Gun: Maverick”, London-based startup Sonantic was asked to recreate the voice of Kilmer with AI. This week, Spotify announced that it is acquiring Sonantic. Because? They’re not getting too specific, but it’s not too hard to think of ways Spotify could use realistic yet simulated voices – think standalone audiobooks or auto-generated podcast commercials.
Elon sued by Dogecoin: Is it Elon’s fault that Dogecoin – a cryptocurrency that started out as a joke – massively increased in value and then imploded? A class-action lawsuit filed in Manhattan this week alleges that Musk “used his pedestal as the richest man in the world to operate and manipulate the Dogecoin Pyramid Scheme for profit, exposure and entertainment” and seeks damages of $258 billion.
SpaceX’s letter: On Wednesday of this week, SpaceX employees posted an “open letter” to the company’s internal chat system that said “Elon’s behavior in the public sphere is a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment” and asked the SpaceX to “quickly and explicitly separate itself from Elon’s personal brand.” As of Friday morning, at least one of the employees involved in the letter had been fired, with SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell calling it “excessive activism”.
Did work say it’s time to go back to the office? Need something to listen to on the way? Ever wondered what your favorite TechCrunch writer is like? Good news! We have podcasts. A lot of them, in fact. (Fun fact: since we are spread all over the world, many of us talk more on podcasts than in real life.)
This week Lucas and Anita spoke with the inimitable Aaron Levie (CEO of Box) about their thoughts on web3 – specifically, why it won’t work. Check it out in Chain Reaction.
Want even more TechCrunch? Head over to the aptly named TechCrunch+ where we can dig a little deeper into the topics our subscribers tell us they care about. Some of the good things this week include:
Which visa is best for starting a startup?: Immigration attorney Sophie Alcorn is back with yet another edition of the “Dear Sophie” advice column, this time helping a German founder figure out the right path to navigate a US startup
Brex exits the SMB market. What’s next?: This week, Brex announced that it is largely exiting the SMB market, with plans to cut services to its smaller customers on Aug. Alex and Mary Ann take a look at what this could mean for the market – and Brex competitors.
What is the catalyst behind the cryptocurrency crash?: Cryptocurrency prices have continued to fall this week. Because? In this week’s issue of The Exchange, Alex gives an overview of some of the biggest “issues that are currently disrupting the web3 market.”