Apple canceled its car, Google's AI malfunctioned and Bumble faltered

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Hello friends, welcome to the Week in Review (WiR), TechCrunch's newsletter that covers notable events in the tech industry.

This week, investment firm KKR announced 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 were part of VMware's family of products.

Elsewhere, Mistral, the French AI startup, launched a new model to rival OpenAI's GPT-4 – and its own chatbot dubbed Le Chat. The release was timed with the Microsoft partnership to provide the Mistral model to Microsoft's Azure customers – and a minority investment ($16 million) from Microsoft in Mistral.

And much more happened. We summarize it all in this edition of WiR – but first, a reminder to sign up to receive the WiR newsletter in your inbox every Saturday.

news

Apple Car Cancelled: Apple has foiled its secret, long-running effort to build an autonomous electric car. The company is probably laying off hundreds of employees from the team and all work on the project has stopped. It joins the list of other projects Apple has finished at various stages, including AirPower and a TV (not to be confused with the Apple TV).

The bumblebee stumbles: Bumble posted weak Q4 results, showing a net loss of $32 million and revenue of $273.6 million – falling short of Wall Street expectations. To right the ship, CEO Lydian Jones announced that 30% of Bumble's workforce, or about 350 employees, would be let go and Bumble would launch an app overhaul aimed at revitalizing growth.

Google's AI gone awry: Google apologized this week for an embarrassing AI mistake: an image-producing model that added variety to pictures with a ridiculous disregard for historical context. While the underlying issue is completely understandable, Google blames the model for becoming “oversensitive.”

bad look: Matt Mullenweg, CEO of Tumblr owner Automattic, is believed to be on leave. Instead, they argued with Tumblr users over a content moderation decision this week, leading to accusations of transphobia, Amanda reports.

The founder was taken out: A group of Byju's investors last Friday voted to oust the edtech group's founder and chief executive, Byju Raveendran, and separately filed harassment charges against the firm's leadership and management for stalling its recently launched rights issue. Filed a case.

Grant

GenAI eBook: Inkitt, a self-publishing platform that uses AI to develop bestsellers, has raised $37 million. The startup's app lets people self-publish stories, and then, using AI and data science, it chooses which of these are the most compelling to change and later distribute and sell.

Keeping it old school: Lapse has raised $30 million for its smartphone app, which requires you to wait for photos to be “developed” — with no chance for editing and retaking — before sharing them with a select group of friends if you want. .

Analysis

TechStars estimates: Mary Ann interviews Maëlle Gavet, CEO of startup accelerator program Techstars, in the wake of changes to its operations that have come under severe criticism.

podcast

But equityThe crew talked through startup news from Microsoft and Mistral AI, Thrasio and Glynn — and also covered events at COTU Ventures and Zakua Ventures.

During this, found popular Ariel Kaye is the founder of Parachute, a direct-to-consumer bedding and home goods company.

and for chain reactionTC pulled from the archives to broadcast an earlier conversation with Jack Lu, CEO and co-founder of “community-focused” NFT marketplace Magic Eden.

bonus round

Heavily discounted Mirai: Toyota is offering a $40,000 rebate on the 2023 Toyota Mirai Limited, a fuel-cell vehicle priced at $66,000 — plus $15,000 in free hydrogen over six years. As Tim writes, there's only one problem: finding hydrogen to power it.