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Fisker loses customer money, Robinhood launches credit card and Google generates travel directions | TechCrunch

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Hey friends, welcome to Week in Review (WiR), TechCrunch’s newsletter recapping notable tech events from the past few days.

This week, TC automotive reporter Sean O’Kane revealed how electric vehicle startup Fisker temporarily lost track of millions of dollars in customer payments as it ramped up deliveries, leading to an internal audit which started in December and lasted for months.

Elsewhere, Lorenzo reported how Facebook was spying on Snapchat user traffic as part of a secret project known internally at Meta as “Project Ghostbusters.” According to court documents, the goal was to intercept and decrypt network traffic between people using the Snapchat app and its servers.

And Manish wrote about the resignation of Stability AI founder and CEO Emad Mostaque late last week. Mostaque’s departure from Stability AI – the startup known for its popular image generation tool Stable Diffusion – comes amid an ongoing fight for stability (pun intended) within the company, which reportedly spent around $8 million per month in October 2023 with little revenue to be made. show it.

Many other things happened. We wrap it all up in this edition of WiR – but first, a reminder to sign up to receive the WiR newsletter in your inbox every Saturday.

News

Fisker suspended: Fisker’s bad week continued with a halt in the startup’s stock market listings. The New York Stock Exchange decided to delist Fisker, citing its “abnormally low” inventory levels.

AI-powered routes: As part of an upgrade to its Search Generative Experience, Google has added the ability for users to ask Google Search to plan a travel route. Using AI, search will draw on ideas from websites across the web, as well as reviews, photos and other details.

The new Robinhood map: Nine months after acquiring credit card startup X1 for $95 million, Robinhood announced Wednesday the launch of its new Gold Card, powered by X1 technology, with a list of features that could make Apple users envious Card.

At AT&T, it’s mom who says: The personal information of some 73 million AT&T customers was leaked online this week. But AT&T won’t say how, although the responsible hack took place more than three years ago.

Funding

Thriving co-pilot: Copilot, the budgeting app, raised $6 million in a Series A round led by Nico Wittenborn’s Adjacent. The application partly benefits from the disappearance of Mint, Intuit’s financial management product.

Liquid assets: In an article examining the broader venture-backed beverage industry, Rebecca and Christine highlight canned water startup Liquid Death’s recent $67 million fundraising, which brought the company’s total company worth more than $267 million. Talk about liquidity.

HVAC company: Dan Laufer, a former Nextdoor executive, raised $25 million from Canvas Ventures and others for PipeDreams, a startup that acquires family-owned HVAC and plumbing businesses and scales them using its software. planning and marketing assistance.

Analysis

Is Nvidia the next AWS? : Ron writes that there are many parallels between the growth trajectories of Nvidia and AWS.

Podcasts

This week on Equity, the team delved into Robinhood’s new credit card, Fisker’s latest woes, and even Databricks’ new AI model that it spent $10 million on. They also highlighted two companies building child-focused startups and, in conclusion, looked at a new $100 million fund aimed at supporting innovative climate technologies.

Meanwhile, on FindAllison Wolff, co-founder and CEO of Vibrant Planet, a cloud-based planning and monitoring tool for adaptive land management, explained why the wildfires we are seeing today are hotter and spreading more quickly than we can contain them and how appropriate land management can help promote smaller, slower-burning fires.

And on Chain reaction, Jacquelyn interviewed Scott Dykstra, CTO and co-founder of Space and Time. Space and Time aims to be a verifiable compute layer for Web3 that scales zero-knowledge proofs, a cryptographic action used to prove something about a piece of data without revealing the original data itself.

Bonus round

Spotify tests online learning: In its ongoing efforts to encourage its more than 600 million users to spend more time and money on its platform, Spotify is launching a new line of content: e-learning. Starting with a UK rollout, the (traditionally audio) streaming platform is testing the waters for an online educational offering of freemium video courses.

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