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The team who went to CES is back at their desks. If you missed the barrage of stories — or simply couldn’t stay on top of them — Brian wrote up an amazing CES 2023 debrief. Give that a skim, and you’ll be safe in the knowledge that you didn’t miss anything major as you grab your favorite easy chair and a book to settle in for the weekend.  — Christine and Haje

The TechCrunch Top 3

  • Slasher movie, but IRL: Tesla is reducing its prices again, this time for U.S. buyers, by as much as 20%, Kirsten reports. This new lower base, which dips below $55,000, “is important because it allows buyers to qualify for the $7,500 federal tax incentive,” she writes.
  • Claws out: Fintech startup Mayfair debuted its high-yield APR for businesses, buoyed by $10 million in funding from investors like Tiger Global. Mary Ann has more on how the company is able to offer such a high interest rate.
  • If A then B: Manish writes about Google warning India that if its antitrust ruling is allowed to stand, it will pose a threat to national security and cause Android device prices to rise in the region.

Startups and VC

It seems like SPACs aren’t completely dead yet, as World View, a company developing stratospheric balloons for Earth observation and tourism, is heading to the public markets, Aria reports. The company announced Friday that it would merge with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Leo Holdings Corp. II in a deal worth $350 million, as it seeks to build out what it calls “the stratospheric economy.”

And we have five more for you:

  • E Ink leaves monochrome behind: Harri writes that E Ink’s latest color displays have her dreaming of electronic paper magazines.
  • Twitter rival raises moneys: Twitter rival T2 raises its first outside funding — $1.1 million from a group of high-profile angels, reports Ingrid.
  • Layoffs in crypto: Manish reports that Crypto.com cuts 20% of jobs amid “unforeseeable” industry events.
  • Layoffs in crime reporting: Amanda reports that crime reporting app Citizen lays off 33 employees.
  • Layoffs in fintech: Jagmeet reports that Greenlight, a kids-focused fintech startup, lays off 104 employees to optimize expenses.

You’re not going to grow into your 2021 valuation

Many, if not most, of the founders who are attached to their 2021 valuations are living in a fantasy, according to Jeremy Abelson and Jacob Sonnenberg of Irving Investors.

For this TC+ post, they worked out “the simple math behind how long it will take companies to price their IPO at a flat round to their previous 2021 valuations.”

Companies with 75% YoY growth “can entertain the discussion,” but “if you are growing sub 30%, there is a strong chance that growing into your 2021 valuation is impossible.”

Three more from the TC+ team:

  • The right funds, the right way: Carlos Antequera shares 4 tips to find the funding that fits your business.
  • Much strategery: Becca asks whether it makes sense to raise a structured round over taking a valuation cut?
  • Crypto chaos continues: Crypto in for a “choppy year” of slow capital deployment, investors share with Jacquelyn.

TechCrunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get ahead of the pack. You can sign up here. Use code “DC” for a 15% discount on an annual subscription!

Big Tech Inc.

Are you scooting around Paris right now? Well, this could be your last time. Romain has a lengthy look at how scooters in Paris are at a crossroads as the city ponders whether to put the brakes on renewing contracts with three companies. As Michael Scott said, “Buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy one.”

Meanwhile, Sarah and Kirsten paired up on a scoop that Tokyo-based news aggregator SmartNews laid off 40% of staff in the U.S. and China.

And we have five more for you:

  • The tweet is on: Ivan writes that Twitter users are reporting that third-party apps on the site are facing issues. Meanwhile, over at Twitter alternative Mastodon, Medium launches its own community. Sarah has more.
  • A little bit of history repeating: Devin writes that President Biden’s call to “unite against big tech abuses” sounds kinda familiar.
  • Layoffs in robotics: Alphabet’s robotics division is letting people go, Brian reports.
  • If you like clickety-clack on your keyboard: Frederic reports that Keychron gets it right with its Q10 Alice-style keyboard.
  • Do you hear what I hear?: VALL-E’s quickie voice deepfakes should worry you, Devin writes.

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