- KillerStartups Newsletter
- Messaging App Scandals and Climate Tech Unicorns
Messaging App Scandals and Climate Tech Unicorns
A Company of 20 million Bot Users??
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Tweet of the Week
Meme of the Week
Notes from The Staff
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News Picks of the Week
Messaging Startup With a User Base of Bots - Yahoo Finance
IRL, a messaging app startup that once boasted a $1.2 billion valuation, is shutting down after revelations that the majority of its users were automated or from bots. The company had claimed to have 20 million monthly active users, but an investigation by the board of directors found that 95% of the users were not genuine.
Earlier this year, a former employee raised concerns about the prevalence of bots on the platform, and the Securities and Exchange Commission had already initiated an investigation into the company's business performance and potential securities law violations.
The downfall of IRL serves as a cautionary tale, with leaders from other startups emphasizing the importance of building a real business without fraud. Despite its ambitions, IRL's aspirations of becoming a global messaging giant like WeChat now seem unlikely.
Generative AI Hype Causes a MASSIVE Acquisition - TechCrunch
Finance automation company Ramp has acquired Cohere.io, an AI-powered customer support tool startup. Cohere.io, which raised $3.1 million in seed funding, offers automation products using generative AI and LLMs (large language models) to automate customer support and resolve up to 60% of tickets.
Ramp plans to adapt Cohere.io's technology to help its customers automate workflows and analyze spend data. The acquisition will enable Ramp to leverage Cohere.io's expertise in generating content for infrequent and complex questions. The founders of Cohere.io chose Ramp over other suitors due to Ramp's access to customer data and its rapid growth.
Anduril Industries, one of California's earliest tech startups, is acquiring rocket-engine business Adranos to supply rocket motors used in missiles. The acquisition will strengthen Anduril's presence in the military market, particularly as demand for rocket motors increases following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The consolidation in the industry has left only two major providers, and Anduril aims to bring greater competition to the solid rocket motor market.
Adranos, based in Indiana, offers a unique solid rocket motor technology with a higher range. Anduril's acquisition spree has allowed it to expand into new areas such as drones and surveillance equipment, supported by its proprietary software.
Virtual Power Plant for YOUR HOME - TheNextWeb
Hamburg-based startup 1KOMMA5° has become a climate tech unicorn after securing €430 million in funding. The company's flagship product is Heartbeat, an IoT device that optimizes the energy system in homes by connecting solar panels with other energy infrastructure such as storage, car chargers, and heat pumps.
By intelligently linking these devices, 1KOMMA5° aims to decarbonize the energy grid, save money for homeowners, and improve overall efficiency. Heartbeat includes features like automatically purchasing cheap power and selling excess power back to the grid.
The funding round, led by G2VP, will be used to expand compatibility with existing energy devices and establish an R&D site in Berlin.
Tweet of the Week
Startup success requires as many of these as possible:
low cost of customer acquisition
high lifetime value.
You almost never get all five, and when you do, it's magic.
— Garry Tan 陈嘉兴 🛡️ (@garrytan)
Jun 25, 2023
Meme of the Week
Weekly Poll Question
Is AI a GIFT or a CURSE?
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