Apple cancels its car, Google's AI malfunctions, and Bumble falters.

Image credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

Hey folks, welcome to Week in Review (WiR), TechCrunch's newsletter covering noteworthy events in the tech industry.

Investment firm KKR announced this week that it will acquire VMware's end-user computing business from Broadcom for $4 billion. As Ron explains, these businesses included VMware Workspace One and VMware Horizon – two remote desktop applications that were part of the VMware product suite.

Elsewhere, Mistral, the French AI startup, has launched a new model to rival OpenAI's GPT-4 – and its own chatbot called Le Chat. The releases are timed by Microsoft's partnership to make Mistral models available to Microsoft Azure customers – and a minority investment ($16 million) from Microsoft in Mistral.

A lot happened. We recap it all in this edition of WiR – but first, a reminder to sign up to receive the WiR newsletter in your inbox every Saturday.

News

Uninstall Apple Car: Apple has thwarted its long-running secret effort to build a self-driving electric car. The company will likely dismiss hundreds of employees from the team, and stop all work on the project. It joins a list of other projects that Apple has canceled at various stages, including AirPower and TV (not to be confused with Apple TV).

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stutter stumbles: Bumble posted weak fourth-quarter results showing a net loss of $32 million and revenue of $273.6 million — below Wall Street expectations. To set the record straight, CEO Lidiane Jones announced that 30% of Bumble's workforce, or about 350 employees, will be laid off, and that Bumble will embark on an overhaul of the app aimed at reviving growth.

Google's artificial intelligence goes awry: Google apologized for an embarrassing AI flaw this week: an image-generating model that pumps diversity into images with a comical disregard for historical context. Although the underlying problem is well understood, Google blames the model for becoming overly sensitive.

Bad form: Matt Mullenweg, CEO of Automattic, which owns Tumblr, is supposedly on sabbatical. Instead, he sparred with Tumblr users this week over a content moderation decision that sparked accusations of transphobia, Amanda reported.

The founder is forced out: A group of investors in Byju's last Friday voted to remove the founder and CEO of the edtech group, Byju Raveendran, and separately filed a suppression and management suit against the leadership at the company to block the recently launched rights issue.

Finance

GenAI eBooks: Inkitt, a self-publishing platform that uses artificial intelligence to develop best-selling books, has raised $37 million. The startup's app allows people to post stories themselves, and then, using artificial intelligence and data science, selects what it believes are the most compelling from these stories to later edit, distribute and sell.

Keeping it old school: Lapse has raised $30 million for its smartphone app that makes you wait for photos to be “developed” — with no chance to edit and retake them — before sharing them with a select group of friends if you so choose.

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analysis

Techstars Accounts: Mary Anne interviews Maëlle Gavet, CEO of startup accelerator program Techstars, in the wake of changes to its operations that have drawn harsh criticism.

Podcasts

on justicethe crew talked through startup news from Microsoft, Mistral AI, Thrasio, and Glean — and also covered events at COTU Ventures and Zacua Ventures.

while, is found Highlight Ariel Kaye, founder of Parachute, a direct-to-consumer bedding and home goods company.

And for Chain reactionTC was pulled from the archives to broadcast a previous conversation with Jack Le, CEO and co-founder of Magic Eden, a “community-centric” NFT marketplace.

Bonus round

Mirai sharply reduced: Toyota is offering a $40,000 rebate on the 2023 Toyota Mirai Limited, a fuel cell car that retails for $66,000 — plus $15,000 in free hydrogen over six years. As Tim wrote, there's only one problem: finding the hydrogen to power it.



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