Stealth startup Figure releases first photos of its all-purpose humanoid robot

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By Christine Hall and Haje Jan Kamps

Thursday, March 02, 2023

G’day, friends! Good to spend some time with you again. Come spend some time with our finely crafted words and god-awful puns. It’s a service we provide. — Christine and Haje


Image Credits: Figure

The TechCrunch Top 3

  • My friends call me Murphy; you call me Figure: It’s “iRobot” come to life: Figure emerges from stealth with the first images of its humanoid robot, Brian reports. The robots are being tested right now on manual labor tasks such as those being done in warehouses, manufacturing and retail.
  • Can I help you?: Customer relationships got kind of dicey there for a moment during the global pandemic when customers, who could no longer go to a physical store, also didn’t want to sit on a phone or spend hours with a chatbot. Now flush with $23.5 million in new funding, Attio offers customer relationship management software with a no-code feel. Kyle has more.
  • Noodling around: Naomi Osaka, Usher and Apolo Ohno are the latest celebrities to back instant ramen startup Immi, which wants to put its warm bowl of comfort food in every household across the country, Christine writes.

Startups and VC

Former Facebook exec turned VC Chamath Palihapitiya has long been a controversial figure in the investing world. The investor says it could take three years for the market to “accurately” reprice late-stage companies, Connie reports.

Meanwhile, Connie also reports that Felicis today announced it has closed its ninth flagship fund with $825 million, compared with the $600 million core fund that it announced in the summer of 2021. The vehicle brings the firm’s total assets under management to $3 billion. The fund closed 50% more deals last year than in 2021, some as prices were still rising — and it says it regrets nothing.

And another smattering of stories to soothe the savage beast:

How to turn an open source project into a profitable business

Many devs rely on donations and crowdfunding to monetize open source projects, but with the proper planning, teams can leverage their work for commercial clients who’ll put them in a higher tax bracket.

Offering users customer support or consulting services are common revenue streams, according to product development consultant Victoria Melnikova, who also says devs should form partnerships and use platforms like Reddit and Hacker News to reach potential paying customers.

“To find your path, talk to your clients and understand their goals and pains.”

Three more from the TC+ team:

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!

Read More

How to turn an open source project into a profitable business image

Image Credits: Juanmonino / Getty Images

Big Tech Inc.

The photo of Marc Benioff reminds us of the movie “Gladiator” where Russell Crowe’s character yells, “Are you not entertained?” Well, we hope you are entertained by the latest in what we are calling “The Salesforce Saga.” Ron and Alex report that despite all the activist investor, executive departure and layoff woes, Salesforce strikes back with better-than-expected earnings.

Meanwhile, Kirsten, Rebecca and Harri listened in on Tesla Investor Day and shared with you everything Elon Musk and execs shared (and skipped).

Now here’s the short-short version of six more:

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