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Day: June 22, 2023

Day: June 22, 2023

Andreessen Horowitz creates ‘Perennial’ evergreen fund amid market slowdown

Andreessen Horowitz, the storied venture firm known for being an early investor in some of the biggest tech companies including Airbnb, Coinbase and GitHub, has created a new fund to continue growing its business despite the slowdown in traditional VC funding. The evergreen fund is titled a16z Perennial Venture Capital Fund, according to a filing made with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week. The filing shows that the fund will operate from Andreessen Horowitz’s Menlo Park office. Additionally, the venture firm has registered its Perennial Management business with the U.S. regulator. It has been listed as a “large advisory

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TikTok’s COO is leaving the company

TikTok’s longstanding COO V Pappas just announced plans to leave their executive role at the company. Pappas, who previously held positions as the global head of creative insights and audience development at YouTube, has been with TikTok for nearly five years. According to LinkedIn, Pappas first joined TikTok parent company ByteDance as a strategic advisor in November 2018. “Given all the successes reached at TikTok, I finally feel the time is right to move on and refocus on my entrepreneurial passions,” Pappas wrote on Twitter. “… It has been an exhilarating ride with so many celebratory milestones, moments and industry

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Inflection debuts its own foundation AI model to rival Google and OpenAI LLMs

Inflection, a well-funded AI startup aiming to create “personal AI for everyone,” has taken the wraps off the large language model powering its Pi conversational agent. It’s hard to evaluate the quality of these things in any way, let alone objectively and systematically, but a little competition is a good thing. Inflection-1, as the model is called, is of roughly GPT-3.5 (AKA ChatGPT) size and capabilities — as measured in the computing power used to train them. The company claims that it’s competitive or superior with other models on this tier, backing it up with a “technical memo” describing some

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Falling into these 3 traps means you will never raise VC funding

Over the years, I’ve spoken with a quite a few startup founders. Many of them are smart, likable and have really great ideas that they’re able to convey in a pitch deck. Yet many of them struggle to get funded. Why is it so hard to get a term sheet? If everything seems to be going well, but you’re not getting the traction you think you need for your fundraise, it’s probably because you’ve run into one of these three problems. The market is too small There are a number of incredibly cool products that just don’t have a market

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Fearless Fund raises multi-million-dollar follow-on round from Bank of America, Costco and Mastercard

Fearless Fund today said it has received a multi-million-dollar follow-on investment from Bank of America, Costco and MasterCard for its second fund, though it declined to share how much the new investment was. All of the limited partners in this follow-on investment are returning investors. Launched in 2019 by Arian Simone, Keisha Knight Pulliam and Ayana Parsons, Founders Fund invests in early-stage consumer and technology startups founded by women of color. Its portfolio includes Partake Foods, Slutty Vegan and Bread Beauty. The firm launched Fund 2 last year, and so far has invested in five companies, writing checks of up

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AWS launches $100M program to fund generative AI initiatives

Amazon, keen to avoid being left behind in the hyper-competitive AI race, is launching a new program to bolster startup companies and organizations focused on generative AI. Called the AWS Generative AI Innovation Center, the program will put $100 million toward connecting AWS-affiliated data scientists, strategists, engineers and solutions architects with customers and partners to — as Amazon puts it in a press release — “accelerate enterprise innovation and success with generative AI.” “Through free workshops, engagements and training, AWS will help customers imagine and scope the use cases that will create the greatest value for their businesses, based on

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Robots learn to perform chores by watching YouTube

Learning has been a holy grail in robotics for decades. If these systems are going to thrive in unpredictable environments, they’ll need to do more than just respond to programming — they’ll need to adapt and learn. What’s become clear the more I read and speak with experts is true robotic learning will require a combination of many solutions. Video is an intriguing solution that’s been the centerpiece of a lot of recent work in the space. Roughly this time last year, we highlighted WHIRL (in-the-Wild Human Imitating Robot Learning), a CMU-developed algorithm designed to train robotic systems by watching

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Kibsi raises $9.3M for its no-code computer vision platform

Kibsi is an Irvine, California-based startup that is building a no-code computer vision platform that allows businesses to build and deploy computer vision applications. Among the things that set Kibsi apart from many other players in this space is that it lets businesses reuse their existing cameras to create insights into virtually anything they want to track, be that in a warehouse, restaurant or on an airport ramp. The company today announced that it has raised a total of $9.3 million in pre-seed and seed funding. The participants in these rounds were GTMfund, NTTVC (which led the $4 million pre-seed

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Robinhood acquires credit card startup X1 for $95M

Robinhood announced on Thursday that it was acquiring X1, a no-fee credit card startup, for $95 million in cash. X1, which offers an income-based credit card with rewards, raised a total of $62 million in venture-backed funding from investors like Soma Capital, FPV, Craft Ventures and Spark Capital since its 2020 inception. The company announced its most recent raise of $15 million in December, when it also touted a 50% boost in its valuation. On the one hand, while X1’s valuation is not known, it looks like Robinhood is getting a good deal with $95 million. If you take a

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