TechCrunch Newsletters - Fisker’s cash conundrum

TechCrunch Newsletter
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By Christine Hall

Monday, March 18, 2024

Good afternoon, and welcome to TechCrunch PM. Today’s lineup includes electric vehicle startup Fisker pushing pause on some of its production, a game show hosted by MrBeast, and Onyx Private shuts down customer accounts. We also look at how much power venture capital investors have and a couple of cybersecurity breaches. Have a great rest of your day!



Image Credits: Kirsten Korosec

TechCrunch PM Top 3

Fisker needs capital: The electric vehicle startup is pausing production of its electric Ocean SUV for six weeks, saying that there is “substantial doubt” it can continue without raising some capital. This comes as the company tries to pivot away from a direct sales model in favor of dealer partnerships. That plan has already hit a bit of a roadblock as at least one of the first dozen or so early dealer partners has already walked away from the startup. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that it has hired restructuring advisers to evaluate a potential bankruptcy filing.

MrBeast and the game show: Perhaps the most famous YouTuber is filming what he called “the largest game show in history,” which will include over 1,000 contestants and a $5 million prize.

Onyx Private pivots: The Y Combinator–backed digital bank providing banking and investment services for high-earning millennials and Gen Zers confirmed it is terminating its bank operations and will instead shift to what it is calling a “B2B white-label platform-as-a-service model for community banks, regional banks, and credit unions” that want to launch digital apps built for young, affluent consumers.

TechCrunch PM Top 3 image

Image Credits: MrBeast/YouTube

More top reads

All about venture capital: Could late-stage venture capitals have too much power? Becca found that some founders have given their investors enough of it to block an IPO. Dive in to see how. And Quilt raised $2.5 million to build AI assistants for solutions teams. Meanwhile, Telegram grabbed $330 million through bond sales.

M&A action: App analytics firm Sensor Tower is acquiring rival in a move that consolidates the mobile intelligence industry, creating a powerhouse that could dominate the sector and provide aggressively competitive insights into the app economy. See why this is so shocking.

In cybersecurity news: It appears that two esports competitions were hacked during the livestreamed events. Not much is known about what happened, though tournament organizers suspended and postponed the tournament. Meanwhile, early this morning, the Japan-based multinational tech giant, Fujitsu, warned of a data breach of customer information following an internal investigation. Similarly, it didn’t give much more information, so stay tuned.

Buckle your seat belt: Rivian customers can now request an adapter to use Tesla’s vast North American network of Superchargers, making it the second automaker to do so behind Ford. This gives drivers access to more than 15,000 fast-charging locations across the country.

Why X’s Grok matters, and why it doesn’t: In the battle between open source environments, Devin gets into the pros and cons of releasing the code for something like Grok, and if it actually contributes to the AI development community.

New features: Roblox has two new AI-powered features that help users reduce the time it takes to create avatars and 3D models. Speaking of AI, if you’re a creator who likes to use AI over on YouTube, you now have to disclose to viewers whenever any realistic content was made using AI.

Speak at Disrupt: TechCrunch is assembling a lineup of industry experts spanning the startup landscape to lead engaging breakout sessions or facilitate roundtable discussions. Dive into topics crucial for startup founders, innovators, and entrepreneurs looking to advance their ventures.

More top reads image

Image Credits: marchmeena29 / Getty Images

TechCrunch Minute

Why the AI world is gathering at Nvidia’s GTC 2024 event this week: Chip giant Nvidia is hosting a massive AI conference as part of its GTC event this week, which kicks off Monday. With a keynote planned from Jensen Huang, CEO and co-founder of the company — best known in years past for its gaming hardware and today for its massive market share in the burgeoning AI hardware market — expect Nvidia to make some news. Stick close to TechCrunch for coverage throughout the week.

TechCrunch Minute image

Image Credits: Devin Coldewey

On the pods

On today’s Equity, Alex goes through:

For episode transcripts and more, head to Equity’s Simplecast website.

On the pods image

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin

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