Sony and Honda unveil Afeela, Hen Buddy launches a brand new good feeder, and Amazon secures an $8B mortgage •

Hey, people, it’s Kyle, filling in for Greg, who’s out for the subsequent few weeks on parental go away. Whereas he enjoys time together with his lovely, wholesome new child (what higher reward for the vacations, eh?), I’m studying the ropes of Week in Evaluate to verify y’all keep updated with the newest in tech. Hope I do Greg justice — they’re huge sneakers to fill!

Longtime readers know the drill, however for the newbies, WiR goals to pithily recap the previous seven days of tales. We publish on the location and ship WiR to subscribers’ inboxes each Saturday (enroll right here in the event you haven’t already) to make issues handy. Like a buttery croissant, WiR goes nice with a morning cup of espresso — or tea, if that’s your desire. Or sizzling cocoa. Take your decide — no judgment over right here.

Earlier than we dive into the information, a reminder that the TC Early Stage occasion in Boston is quick approaching. Tickets gained’t final — they by no means do — so get ’em earlier than they’re gone in the event you’ll be within the Better Boston space towards the tip of April. We’d like to see your smiling face.

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TikTok bans abound: The U.S. could be getting all the eye for banning TikTok on authorities units, however India did it first — two and a half years in the past now, in reality. In current remarks, FCC commissioner Brendan Carr mentioned that the U.S. ought to comply with India’s lead extra broadly to “weed out … nefarious apps.” India has banned tons of of apps in addition to TikTok, together with PUBG Cellular, Battlegrounds Cellular India and UC Browser, with ties to China amid skirmishes on the border of the 2 neighboring nations.

I’m feeling Afeela: ‘Tis the season for the Client Electronics Present (CES), which continues to change into more and more car-centric. Living proof, Sony and Honda unveiled Afeela, their joint EV model, at a flashy press convention on Wednesday, the place they rolled a four-door sedan onstage. Preorders of the Afeelas are scheduled for the primary half of 2025, the businesses mentioned, with gross sales to start someday similar 12 months. Preliminary shipments might be delivered to prospects in North America within the spring of 2026.

No urge for food for danger: My colleague Natasha wrote a superb piece about how tech employees, burned by current layoffs, are reevaluating their relationships with the trade — notably in gentle of doubtless tumultuous financial occasions forward. Some are working a number of full-time jobs in adjoining industries, whereas others are choosing part-time contracting gigs to make ends meet. Few appear keen to go away tech altogether — however they’re definitely extra cynical than they was.

For the birds: Hen Buddy, a startup behind “good” hen feeders, took the wraps off of its newest mannequin at CES, which caters to hummingbirds. Like its authentic hen feeder, Hen Buddy’s new feeder — which options recyclable and sustainable supplies — has a digicam that’s triggered by movement, which prompts it to take pictures of hen guests. These are then run via an AI algorithm to assist determine the species, alerting house owners via a companion cellular app.

I didn’t do it, I swear: Sam Bankman-Fried’s not responsible plea to a number of federal fraud fees was a tactical response, based on consultants Jacquelyn spoke with. The previous CEO of the crypto trade FTX, whose firm collapsed in November, could be shopping for time to strike a cope with prosecutors, they mentioned. A trial date within the U.S. District Courtroom for the Southern District of New York is about for October 2.

Chopping the gross sales power: Salesforce introduced this week that it’s slicing roughly 10% of its workforce, impacting greater than 7,000 workers, whereas it shutters workplaces in “sure markets.” Much like different corporations hit by important layoffs over the previous 12 months, CEO Marc Benioff mentioned that Salesforce employed too many individuals via the pandemic throughout the increase occasions. The corporate claimed 79,000 workers final February, a 30% improve on 2020.

Billions for Bezos: Amazon secured an $8 billion mortgage, based on a submitting with the U.S. Securities and Alternate Fee. In a press release, an Amazon spokesperson advised that the mortgage provides to the vary of financing choices the corporate has tapped in current months to hedge towards the “unsure macroeconomic setting.” It additionally comes on the heels of a disappointing 12 months for the retailer, which over-expanded throughout the pandemic; in its most up-to-date cost-cutting measure, Amazon internally introduced plans to put off round 18,000 individuals.

I see you: Talking of Amazon, at CES, Amazon-owned Ring introduced again the Peephole Cam, a digicam that matches over current door peepholes to report goings-on outdoor, in house constructing hallways and so forth. Now beginning at $129 — down from the unique worth of $199 — it ships with software program that brings its capabilities consistent with the remainder of Ring’s portfolio, like movement detection and real-time streaming video.

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Have an urge for food for podcasts to kick off the brand new 12 months? Good, as a result of TC’s serving ’em up like hotcakes. On The Podcast, I talked with Darrell about CES-related AI product bulletins whereas Natasha spoke on the consequences of the mass layoffs in tech. In the meantime, the crew of Fairness, TC’s startup-focused present, took a take a look at some early standouts from CES, USV and Doorstead’s offers of the week, plus the newest improvement within the FTX and SBF saga. And final however not least, Discovered sat down with Brex co-founder and co-CEO Henrique Dubugras to talk about his company bank card and expense administration startup.

Don’t subscribe to TC+ but? Disgrace, ’trigger there’s nice content material popping out of there. A few of the hottest this week had been:

Fintech predictions and alternatives for 2023: It’s been an eventful 12 months in fintech. The market has fallen a great distance from the highs of 2021, and whereas 2022 was largely concerning the reset of the funding setting, Victoria predicts 2023 goes to be a 12 months of recalibration for fintech corporations. Learn her thorough piece for extra.

5 failure factors between $5M and $100M in ARR: Tracy Younger, the previous CEO of PlanGrid, a development app for mission managers, breaks down PlanGrid’s key failure factors and what she’s realized from them through the years. As she says within the opening paragraphs: “If these reflections assist even one founder make one much less mistake, I’d take into account this effort worthwhile.”

Is generative AI already changing into a bubble?: Rebecca surveyed greater than 35 buyers working in several geographies, funding levels and sectors about how they had been feeling about generative AI — that’s, ChatGPT, Steady Diffusion and different tech alongside these traces. Curiously, whereas a number of buyers mentioned they had been bullish on the brand new tech total, additionally they admitted that the sector was prone to get misplaced in its personal hype.

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