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Back to beautiful and warm ☀️ San Francisco!  

Here's a few great reads for this week:

  • 😃 Alfred Chuang and Sam Bankman-Fried's Priorities - By 2030, Web3 and decentralization of the Internet must become mainstream. Today, Amazon Web Services controls one third of the western internet infrastructure.  This is just wrong.  Having a decentralized and energy efficient infrastructure for supporting the internet has always been the goal. Mis-information controlled by centralized social media platform has to stop. The infrastructure for the future is not just physical.  It is in the cloud.  It is in the data. Great talk by Alfred and Sam
  • 🍎 How Apple’s App Store Policies Squeeze NFT Startups - NFT Marketplaces allow creators to sell directly to users and also allows users to trade directly with each other. When people trade directly, these marketplaces take a tiny fee—typically 2% to 3% of the transaction volume. Yet Apple charges the marketplace 30% of the entire transaction value.  Apple has told startups it must sell NFTs through in-app purchases, forcing many startups to limit functionality in apps to dodge fees up to 30% of the transaction. 500 Apple employees focus solely on reviewing 100,000 apps and can review 90% of these apps within 24 hours. Impressive!  Read more
  • 📢  What is Whisper - an automatic speech recognition (ASR) system “trained on 680,000 hours of multilingual and multitask supervised data collected from the web.” It’s the latest attempt of OpenAI trying to make speech recognition and translation more accessible. Its focus on improving ASR is especially important—a 2020 Stanford study found that existing ASR Systems have a much lower error rate with White users (19%) than Black users (35%). OpenAI claims that about a third of Whisper’s audio dataset is non-English and that it processes accents, background noise, and technical language at a very robust level. Whisper can translate from non-English to English, which could make speech-to-text translation a much more accessible feature and eliminate the biases we see today. Pretty cool
  • 👋 60,000 workers have been laid off so far in 2022 - At least 60,000 workers have been laid off in 2022 just from U.S. privately held tech startups, based on data collected by Layoffs.fyi (which is likely undercounting, as not all companies publicly disclose exact job cuts). Layoffs are happening in big companies too.  Meta is reportedly eyeing cost cuts 10%. It has slashed teams and projects, and told affected employees they have 30 days to find a new gig within the company — or else they’re out.  This sucks
  • 🇭🇰  Hong Kong is finally open! I cannot wait to go home and see my parents. =)  I should be there by November.  Yay!  Read more

This week a total of 25 startups raised $344.2M in funding, 1 M&As:

  • $67.9M goes to 7 Enterprise startups
  • $46.3M goes to 4 FinTech startups
  • $13M goes to 1 Web3/Crypto startup
  • $12M goes to 1 eCommerce startup
  • $50M goes to 1 Healthcare startup
  • $3M goes to 1 BioTech startup
  • $9M goes to 2 Construction startups
  • $16M goes to 1 AgTech startup
  • $55.3M goes to 3 Renewable Energy startups
  • $38M goes to 2 Hardware startups
  • $33.7M goes to 2 Public Safety startups
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Edith

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