Concert workers get paid, Fidelity cuts Reddit’s rating, and AI takes over Minecraft

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Hey folks, welcome to Week in Review (WiR), TechCrunch’s regular newsletter that sums up the week in tech. I hope the summers treat you well, it’s a balmy 90 degrees here in New York! and that some much-needed R&R is the order of the day.

Speaking of agenda, mark your calendars for Disrupt, the annual Core Contributor conference, starting in September. Whether you’re a startup rookie learning the ropes or a founder determined to change the world, Disrupt will provide the tools, knowledge, and connections to help you make it happen. You don’t want to miss it.

Elsewhere, stay tuned for City Spotlight on June 7 (Wednesday), which will highlight Atlanta, Georgia, this round. Atlanta has emerged as one of the nation’s most vibrant new hubs, with booming cybersecurity and software-as-a-service industries, as well as a slew of investors looking to back hot new startups coming from the metro. City Spotlight speakers include Mayor Andre Dickens who couldn’t wait to hear his point of view.

Now with the PSAs out of the way, here’s your WiR!

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Loyalty on Reddit: This week, Fidelity, the lead investor in Reddit’s latest funding round in 2021, cut the estimated value of its stake in the social media platform by 41% from the investment. The devaluation, part of a larger trend that has hit a variety of growth-stage startups around the world over the past year, raises uncertainty about whether Reddit will maintain its initial intent to go public at a valuation of around $ 15 billion.

Amazon Prime data: Amazon is considering offering low-cost or possibly free domestic cell phone service to Prime subscribers in the United States, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The tech giant is reportedly in talks with Verizon, T-Mobile, Dish Network and AT&T.

Gig workers get paid: Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and other app-based transportation and delivery companies will have to pay California gig workers potentially millions of dollars in unpaid vehicle expenses between 2022 and 2023. The backlog comes from a Proposition 22 provision, the controversial law that classifies gig workers as independent contractors rather than employees and promises them half-hearted protections and benefits.

Volkswagen’s trump card: Volkswagen is banking heavily on the upcoming ID.Buzz electric van. With vehicle availability still a year away, the automaker is counting on years of pent-up anticipation to not only sell the bus shrouded in nostalgia but also have it act as a halo product to bring customers to the full lineup of EVs. of the brand. .

Shopify Launches Shop Cash: Shopifys Shop app is introducing a new rewards program called Shop Cash, the ecommerce platform announced on Friday. The new program is funded by Shopify and earns shoppers 1% on purchases made using the online payment service Shop Pay.

Stripe Gets Credit: Stripe wants to make it easier for businesses to access credit. The private financial infrastructure giant today announced a new charge card program from Stripe Issuing, its commercial card issuance product. Denise Ho, head of product at Stripe, gave TechCrunch exclusive details to read the piece Mary Ann.

AI Conquers Minecraft: AI researchers have created a Minecraft bot that can explore and expand its capabilities in the game’s open world, but unlike other bots, this one basically wrote its own code through trial and error andmany of GPT-4 queries. Called Voyager, this experimental system is an example of an embodied agent, an artificial intelligence that can move and act freely and intentionally in a simulated or real environment.

YouTube shorts, in minutes: Dumme, a startup putting artificial intelligence into video editing, is already generating demand before opening to the public. The Y Combinator-backed company has hundreds of video creators testing its product, which leverages AI to create short-form videos from YouTube content, and has a waiting list of more than 20,000 pre-launch, it says .


Need a new podcast to start your weekend off right? Good news TC has you covered (and more). Over on Equity, the crew took a look at the latest from Web Roulette, Stripe’s acquisition of Okay, what Klarnas’ Q1 means for the fintech and QED market, and a16z’s early-stage strategies. Found spoke with Dr. Stacy Blain, co-founder and chief science officer of Concarlo Therapeutics, about the company’s new treatment solutions for drug-resistant cancer. At Chain Reaction, Gary Vaynerchuk, president of VaynerX and CEO of VaynerMedia and NFT collection VeeFriends, spoke about his experiences in the creative media industry. And the folks over at TechCrunch Live dived into how AI doomerism is over the top and why the blowhards who blow want it that way.


TC+ subscribers have access to in-depth commentary, analysis and surveys you know if you are already a subscriber. If you’re not, consider signing up. Here are some highlights from this week:

Concurrency Issues in the Age of AI: Artificial intelligence is rapidly changing the way companies perceive, reason and adapt to the market. But these game-changing capabilities are creating an upheaval in how companies interact with competitors and consumers. Advisor to Henry Hauseris in the Perkins Coies Litigation and Antitrust Practice Groups. He reflects on this in an informative piece.

Salesforce becomes a data company: Could the data exhaustion generated by the Salesforce family of products become more valuable than the products themselves, at least in terms of new revenue added? This piece explores possibility.

Why don’t more scientists become founders?: Why is it so common to see outsiders carrying research out of the lab and not the scientists themselves? It’s a complex matter to unravel, but Rebecca does it skillfully.

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