Indonesia fintech Wagely makes bank while helping the unbanked

Wagely, a fintech out of Indonesia, made a name for itself with earned wage access: a way for workers in Southeast Asian countries to get advances on their salaries without resorting to higher-interest loans. With half a million people now using the platform, the startup has expanded that business into a wider “financial wellness” platform, … Read more

Apple cancels its car, Google’s AI goes awry and Bumble stumbles

Hello, folks, welcome to Week in Review (WiR), TechCrunch’s newsletter covering noteworthy happenings in the tech industry. This week, investment firm KKR announced that it would acquire VMware’s end-user computing business from Broadcom for $4 billion. As Ron explains, that business included VMware Workspace One and VMware Horizon — two remote desktop apps that had … Read more

Waymo can now charge for robotaxi rides in LA and on San Francisco freeways

Waymo received approval Friday afternoon from the California Public Utilities Commission to operate a commercial robotaxi service in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Peninsula and on San Francisco freeways. The approval removes the last barrier for the Alphabet company to charge for rides in these expanded areas. Importantly, it opens up new territory for Waymo … Read more

Bfree, a Nigerian startup enabling lenders recover debt ethically, gets $3M backing

Bfree, a tech-enabled debt collection startup based in Nigeria, was founded to automate and introduce ethical debt recovery processes after its founders witnessed the use and adverse effects of aggressive retrieval techniques, such as incessant calling and debt-shaming, by predatory digital lenders. After its launch in 2020, the startup introduced a number of scalable debt … Read more

Dailyhunt in talks to acquire social network startup Koo

Media startup Dailyhunt is in advanced stages of talks to acquire the Bengaluru-headquartered social network Koo, two sources familiar with the matter told me. The potential deal under discussion involves a share-swap agreement and could be finalized within weeks, the sources added, requesting anonymity as the matter is private. The deliberation follows Koo, which has … Read more

COTU Ventures launches $54M fund for pre-seed and seed startups in MENA

Dubai-based early-stage venture capital firm COTU Ventures is announcing that it has raised $54 million for its inaugural fund to support startups in the Middle East from pre-seed to seed stages. With a final close achieved last year, COTU Ventures, which identifies and backs founders from the inception to post-product launch, invests between $500,000 to … Read more

Stellantis CEO dishes on Waymo, Rivian cuts staff and the great EV softening continues

TechCrunch Mobility is a weekly newsletter dedicated to all things transportation. Sign up here — just click TechCrunch Mobility — to receive the newsletter every weekend in your inbox. Subscribe for free. Welcome back to TechCrunch Mobility — your central hub for news and insights on the future of transportation. Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares and I covered … Read more

Google releases new open LLMs, Rivian lays off staff and Signal rolls out usernames

Welcome, folks, to Week in Review (WiR), TechCrunch’s regular newsletter covering noteworthy happenings in the tech industry. This week, Google launched two new open large language models, Gemma 2B and Gemma 7B, in its continued bid for generative AI dominance. The company, which describes the LLMs as “inspired by Gemini,” its flagship family of GenAI … Read more

Quick thinking and a stroke of luck averted a moon lander disaster for Intuitive Machines

Intuitive Machines’ spacecraft touched down yesterday on the lunar surface . . . sideways. CEO Steve Altemus confirmed during a press conference Friday that, while it wasn’t a perfect landing, it’s nothing short of a miracle the spacecraft landed intact at all. Using a small model of the lander, Altemus demonstrated how engineers believe the spacecraft, called Odysseus, made its … Read more