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Happy Friday, y’all! Start your weekend off right with some delicious podcast morsels from Equity, Found and Chain Reaction. Also, time is ticking away on a $1,300 savings for TechCrunch Disrupt, so get on that before 11:59 p.m. PDT today. We hope you have a good weekend, see ya Monday!  — Christine

The TechCrunch Top 3

Double “ring” ceremony: Amazon and iRobot’s relationship went to the next level today when the pair announced they were getting hitched, Brian reports. The robot vacuum mapping out your home now takes on a whole new meaning. Double the layoffs: Natasha M noticed a trend among startup layoffs — that certain companies were making multiple announcements in quick succession — and got to work. She outlines what this means and why it’s troubling.  Double the entertainment: A pair-up is also happening in the streaming world. Fans of HBO Max and Discovery+ can cheer the merging of these services into one sometime next year, Ivan writes.

Startups and VC

Sparking interest in electricity: Beacon Power got a jolt of new capital to improve electricity access for sub-Saharan African cities, Tage writes. Making up: Internet privacy company DuckDuckGo and Microsoft are on friendlier terms now following a policy change that now includes third-party Microsoft tracking scripts, Natasha L reports. Billion-dollar milestone: Moving over to TechCrunch+, Alex examines Databricks’ news that it has reached $1 billion in annual run rate and what that means for its valuation. Magnetic attraction: A new round of capital has Zenno Astronautics blasting off with its technology aimed at moving spacecraft by using electromagnets, Aria writes. It’s getting personal: Kenya’s shift to protecting personal data will have some startup implications. Annie outlines what those might be. More out-of-this-world action: LiveEO took in some new funding to further develop its big data approach to making raw geospatial data captured by satellites more usable, Ingrid reports.

How to run growth marketing during a recession

Daily Crunch: Amazon to acquire iRobot in $1.7B all-cash deal

Image Credits: Mihaela Rosu / Getty Images

Last month, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the economy is “in a period of transition,” on the grounds that “we have a very strong labor market. When you are creating almost 400,000 jobs a month, that is not a recession.”

Today, we learned that the U.S. added 528,000 new jobs last month and the unemployment rate has fallen to 3.5%, but for many people in tech, this is a distinction without a difference: According to layoffs.fyi, 467 startups have let go of 64,518 employees so far in 2022.

Marketing can’t cure everything that ails a company, but it is the easiest channel to make iterative changes that produce immediate results.

In his latest TechCrunch+ column, Jonathan Martinez says it’s time to “re-forecast, re-prioritize and refine” strategies to move key growth metrics like ARPU and LTV.

Using multiple examples, he shares a few ways companies can project revenue using shorter time intervals, along with exercises to help fine-tune their marketing stack.

“If new channels and major experiments were in the picture, it’s probably best to shelve those for when the markets recover,” he advises.

(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)

Big Tech Inc.

Elon Musk vs. Twitter, part 1,254: Twitter got a bit snarky, so says Ivan, in its response to Elon Musk’s countersuit. It doesn’t do it justice for me to lay it all out — it’s better if you just take it all in yourself. Speaking of Twitter, Zack reports the social media giant fixed a pesky little security bug. A seat at the table: India doesn’t want to be left out of merger and acquisition deals, so it has crafted some antitrust proposals aimed at getting the country on par with other regions, Manish writes. We’re all “Super”: Well, under a hundred of us anyway. That’s how many influencers are getting a sneak peek at Meta’s new livestream platform, Super, Aisha reports. Giddy up: Rebecca discusses five takeaways from Tesla’s Cyber Roundup, also known as its annual shareholder meeting. Unfortunately, some of the attendees got blisters from their boots.

NEWS RELATED

Feast to famine: How agritech Dehaat went from record funding to layoffs

Feast to famine: How agritech Dehaat went from record funding to layoffs Aditya Narayan Giri joined agritech startup DeHaat’s Patna office on March 17, 2022. The company assigned Giri the responsibility of developing model farms in five states: Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand, and Bihar. Model farms are ...

View more: Feast to famine: How agritech Dehaat went from record funding to layoffs

Dodge unveils Charger EV concept that is faster and louder than a Hellcat

Dodge revealed Wednesday an EV concept that looks — and even sounds — like the gas-powered Charger muscle car that will be discontinued next year. The two-door Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept — the Daytona name a nod to its gas-powered ancestor’s 200 mph NASCAR track milestone — is not ...

View more: Dodge unveils Charger EV concept that is faster and louder than a Hellcat

With Ezetap in the bag, Razorpay CEO Harshil Mathur eyes top spot among omnichannel payment providers

With Ezetap in the bag, Razorpay CEO Harshil Mathur eyes top spot among omnichannel payment providers As lines blur between online payments and digital payments made for physical purchases, Razorpay is joining a host of other service providers that offer a single platform for businesses to accept online as ...

View more: With Ezetap in the bag, Razorpay CEO Harshil Mathur eyes top spot among omnichannel payment providers

Black Girls Code founder Kimberly Bryant has been fired by her board

Kimberly Bryant is officially out from Black Girls Code, eight months after being indefinitely suspended from the organization that she founded. In a statement provided to TechCrunch, a Black Girls Code spokesperson writes that it “believes the decision to remove Ms. Bryant as CEO and as a board member ...

View more: Black Girls Code founder Kimberly Bryant has been fired by her board

Crappy chargers and sky-high prices are huge roadblocks to EV adoption

In the U.S., most electric vehicle owners say that public chargers are easy to use. That is, when they actually work. A new JD Power survey finds that, while public charging stations are a tad easier to come by these days, faulty stations are souring the experience and hampering ...

View more: Crappy chargers and sky-high prices are huge roadblocks to EV adoption

Skyrora completes second stage static fire test of its flagship rocket

UK-based launch company Skyrora hit a new milestone in the development of its Skyrora XL rocket with the completion of a static fire test of the second stage. The single engine, designed and manufactured by Skyrora, completed a nominal 20 second burn, bringing the company one step closer to its ...

View more: Skyrora completes second stage static fire test of its flagship rocket

How Amazon’s continued expansion into healthcare could buoy the sector

Following Amazon’s $3.9 billion acquisition of One Medical, Business Insider reported the company would add mental health services to its portfolio. Although there are skeptics who fear Amazon’s privacy track record in the context of healthcare, some say the company’s moves could be positive for the industry.  The tech ...

View more: How Amazon’s continued expansion into healthcare could buoy the sector

Do we really need a $340, Wi-Fi enabled toaster?

If you’ve heard of Tineco, it’s probably because the 24-year-old company has been making vacuums and hair dryers for a hot minute. The company’s next product is a $339 toaster that connects to your Wi-Fi network and can toast your toast with science and precision, and makes me wonder ...

View more: Do we really need a $340, Wi-Fi enabled toaster?

Netflix’s ad-supported plan may block offline viewing, code suggests

Daily Crunch: Google will unplug its IoT Core service in August 2023

Growing and acquiring with Benchling and Benchmark on TechCrunch Live

Motion capture becomes more accessible as Rokoko raises at $80M valuation

Funding Circle co-founder unveils new Super Payments fintech venture with $27M investment

There’s a reason why US Midwest startups had fewer layoffs, Chicago VC says

Amazon is internally testing a TikTok-like feed in its app

A new TikTok feature lets creators share TikTok Stories to Facebook and Instagram

Polygon’s head of investments remains ‘highly bullish on web3’

Sinclair says its streaming sports service, Bally Sports+, will arrive next month

Apple’s GarageBand update adds new remixs with Katy Perry and SEVENTEEN

Anthony Hopkins sees NFTs as ‘art in a new format’

OTHER NEWS