Sony and Honda launch Afeela, Bird Buddy launches new smart feeder and Amazon secures $8 billion loan • Alaska Green Light Blog
#Sony #Honda #launch #Afeela #Bird #Buddy #launches #smart #feeder #Amazon #secures #billion #loan #Alaska Green Light Blog Welcome to Alaska Green Light Blog, here is the new story we have for you today:
Hey guys, this is Kyle, covering for Greg who’s on maternity leave for the next few weeks. While he’s enjoying time with his beautiful, healthy newborn (what better gift for the holidays, right?), I’m learning the basics of Week in Review to ensure you stay current with the latest technology . I hope I’m doing justice to Greg – they are big footsteps!
Longtime readers will be familiar with the exercise, but for the newbies, WiR aims to succinctly summarize the last seven days of Alaska Green Light Blog stories. We’re posting on the site and sending WiR to subscribers’ inboxes every Saturday (sign up here if you haven’t already) to make things more convenient. Like a buttery croissant, WiR goes great with a morning cup of coffee – or tea, if you prefer. Or hot cocoa. Take your pick – no judgment over here.
Before we dive into the news, a reminder that the TC Early Stage event in Boston is fast approaching. Tickets don’t last long – they never do – so get them before they’re gone if you’re in the greater Boston area towards the end of April. We would love to see your smiling face.
TikTok bans abound: The US might get all the attention for banning TikTok on government devices, but India did it first — two and a half years ago, in fact. In a recent comment, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said the US should follow India’s example more broadly to “root out nefarious apps.” India has banned hundreds of apps alongside TikTok, including PUBG Mobile, Battlegrounds Mobile India and UC Browser, with ties to China amid skirmishes at the two neighboring states’ borders.
I feel Afeela: ‘Tis the season for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which is becoming more and more car-focused. Case in point: Sony and Honda unveiled Afeela, their joint EV brand, at a flashy press conference on Wednesday, where they rolled a four-door sedan onto the stage. Pre-orders for the Afeelas are slated for the first half of 2025, the companies said, with sales expected to begin later that same year. First deliveries to customers in North America will take place in spring 2026.
Not willing to take risks: My colleague Natasha wrote an excellent article on how tech workers, burned by recent layoffs, are reassessing their relationships with industry — especially with potentially turbulent economic times ahead. Some work multiple full-time jobs in related industries, while others choose part-time jobs to make ends meet. Few seem keen to abandon technology altogether – but they are certainly more cynical than they used to be.
For the birds: Bird Buddy, a startup behind “smart” bird feeders, unveiled its latest model for hummingbirds at CES. Like its original bird feeder, Bird Buddy’s new bird feeder — which is made from recyclable and sustainable materials — features a motion-triggered camera, which causes it to snap photos of bird visitors. These are then run through an AI algorithm to help identify the species and alert owners via an accompanying mobile app.
I didn’t, I swear: Sam Bankman-Fried’s plea of not guilty to multiple federal fraud allegations was a tactical response, experts say Jaquelyn spoke with. The former CEO of crypto exchange FTX, whose company collapsed in November, could buy time to finalize a deal with prosecutors, they said. A hearing in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York is scheduled for October 2.
Sales Staff Reductions: Salesforce announced this week that it will cut about 10% of its workforce, affecting more than 7,000 employees, while closing offices in “certain markets.” Similar to other companies that have been hit by significant layoffs over the past year, CEO Marc Benioff said Salesforce hired too many employees during the boom times caused by the pandemic. The enterprise demanded 79,000 employees last Februarya 30% increase over 2020.
Billions for Bezos: Amazon secured an $8 billion loan, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. In a statement, an Amazon spokesperson told Alaska Green Light Blog that the loan expands the range of financing options the company has tapped into in recent months to hedge against the “uncertain macroeconomic environment.” It also follows a disappointing year for the retailer, which has expanded excessively during the pandemic; In its latest austerity measure, Amazon announced internally plans to lay off around 18,000 employees.
Speaking of Amazon, at CES, Amazon-owned Ring brought back the Peephole Cam, a camera that fits over existing door viewers to record what’s happening outdoors, in apartment building hallways, and so on. Now starting at $129 – less than the original $199 price tag – it comes with software that brings its capabilities in line with the rest of the Ring portfolio, like motion detection and real-time streaming video.
Appetite for podcasts to start the new year? Good, because TC serves them like hotcakes. on The Alaska Green Light Blog Podcast, I spoke to Darrell about CES-related AI product announcements, while Natasha discussed the impact of the mass layoffs in the tech space. Meanwhile, the crew of Equity capital, TC’s startup-focused show, took a look at some early highlights of the week’s deals from CES, USV and Doorstead, as well as the latest developments in the FTX and SBF saga. Last but not least, Found caught up with Brex co-founder and co-CEO Henrique Dubugras to talk about his corporate credit card and expense management startup.
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Haven’t subscribed to TC+ yet? It’s a shame, because there’s great content coming out. Some of the most popular this week were:
Fintech Predictions and Opportunities for 2023: It’s been an eventful year in the fintech space. The market has fallen a long way from the 2021 highs and while 2022 has been largely about rebalancing the funding environment, Victoria forecasts that 2023 will be a year of recalibration for fintech companies. Read her in-depth article for more.
5 Failure Points Between $5M and $100M in ARR: Tracy Young, the former CEO of PlanGrid, a construction app for project managers, breaks down PlanGrid’s top failure points and what she’s learned from them over the years. She says at the beginning: “If these considerations help just one founder to make one mistake less, I would consider this effort worthwhile.”
Is Generative AI already becoming a bubble?: Rebecca surveyed more than 35 investors active in different regions, investment phases and sectors for their opinion on Generative AI – ie ChatGPT, Stable Diffusion and other technologies in this direction. Interestingly, several investors said they were optimistic about the new technology overall, but also admitted that the sector was likely to get lost in its own hype.