Daily Crunch: Twitter CEO expresses regret after using his platform to call disabled employee 'the worst'

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Happy International Women’s Day! Did you know that the holiday was adopted by the UN 46 years ago? We read the Wikipedia article about IWD, and learned stuff. Try it — you may learn something too!

On our Found podcast this week, Darrell and Becca are joined by Matt Rogers, the founder and CEO of Mill, a startup that helps its customers turn their food scraps into farm feed. It’s a rad episode. Treat your ears to a gift.

Much love, Christine and Haje

The TechCrunch Top 3

  • A mea culpa for the ages: “Say it, forget it; write it, regret it.” Never were truer words spoken to explain the recent Twitter exchange between Elon Musk and an employee that involved Musk publicly mocking the employee about their disability. Aisha writes that Musk has apologized.

  • Duck, duck, AI goose: Natasha L writes that DuckDuckGo, a privacy search engine, is the latest to dabble in AI. Called DuckAssist, the feature can directly answer straightforward search queries.

  • Gather around the VC dinner table: Berlin-based venture capital fund La Famiglia closed on €250 million in capital commitments for its third seed fund and first growth co-investment fund. Both funds will invest in business-to-business startups. Mike has more.

Startups and VC

Harri writes, "Local governments in the southwestern U.S. are putting up $150,000 to back what they say is a pioneering effort to 'turn air into concrete at scale.'” The funds will help cover the cost of the “reference project,” a collaboration between two climate tech startups and a masonry firm in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Founded by an ex-Apple employee, Humane does work that is shrouded in mystery. Its latest round of funding, a $100 million Series C, attracted a laundry list of notable investors. To date, Humane has raised $230 million from existing and previous investors, including Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. Kyle investigates.

And we have five more for you:

7 investors reveal what’s hot in fintech in Q1 2023

GettyImages 1033407190 1
GettyImages 1033407190 1

Money coins in a pile. Image Credits: Getty Images / Alicia Llop

How are fintech investors adapting during this downturn, and how are they advising the founders in their portfolios?

Mary Ann Azevedo interviewed seven VCs to ask how (or if) any have shifted their thesis to fit current macroeconomic trends and learn more about the types of opportunities they're looking for right now:

  • Charles Birnbaum, partner, Bessemer Venture Partners

  • Aunkur Arya, partner, Menlo Ventures

  • Ansaf Kareem, venture partner, Lightspeed Venture Partners

  • Emmalyn Shaw, managing partner, Flourish Ventures

  • Michael Sidgmore, partner and co-founder, Broadhaven Ventures

  • Ruth Foxe Blader, partner, Anthemis

  • Miguel Armaza, co-founder and general partner, Gilgamesh Ventures

Three more from the TC+ team:

TechCrunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get ahead of the pack. You can sign up here. Use code “DC” for a 15% discount on an annual subscription!

Big Tech Inc.

Ding dong, Ring now has a higher-resolution, battery-powered doorbell, Ivan reports. Upgrades include being able to see someone’s entire body and an easy way to release the battery so it can be recharged.

Meanwhile, Blue Origin is probably seeing red after being named in two separate lawsuits alleging ageist hiring practices. Aria writes that one suit involves employees being asked to seek out younger candidates while the other is being brought by a 64-year-old who claims he repeatedly was turned away from jobs even though interviewers said he was qualified.

And we have four more for you: