Fisker collapsed under the weight of its founder's promises

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For the past eight years, famed vehicle designer Henrik Fisker suggested his EV startup would deliver on many promises, but none came to fruition. As Fisker searches for an unlikely rescue, employees told JS that much of the blame rests on the shoulders of the husband-and-wife team that runs the company.

This week also saw major disruption in the fintech space. After years of missteps and struggles, banking-as-a-service fintech Synapse officially went bankrupt. Based on Synapse's filings, as many as 100 fintechs and 10 million end customers could have been affected by the company's collapse.

Elon Musk just got big money for xAI. The AI ​​startup has raised $6 billion at a pre-money valuation of $18 billion as it aims to compete with OpenAI, Microsoft and Alphabet.

In other big money moves, Google is investing nearly $350 million in Flipkart. The new investment gives the Indian e-commerce startup, owned by Walmart, a valuation of $36 billion. Google, which reaches more than half a billion people in India, identifies the South Asian country as a key overseas market.

News

Image credits: Darrell Etherington with files licensed from Getty

Was Sam Altman Fired From Y Combinator?: Paul Graham sets the record straight. In a series of posts on read more

Spotify is handing out Car Thing refunds: Spotify is facing backlash for its decision to end support for its in-car streaming device, Car Thing. Spotify has now instituted a refund process, but some users are asking the company not to brick their devices. read more

Are earbuds the future of AI hardware?: unlike generative AI gadgets like Humane's Ai Pin and Rabbit's R1, Iyo wants to build its technology into an already successful category: Bluetooth earbuds. read more

Firefly plots: After a personal tragedy, the The Tel Aviv-based startup has raised $23 million for its “infrastructure as code” solution to the growing problem of cloud asset management. read more

Is Apple Going to “Sherlock” Arc?: Apple is reportedly planning to release a new technology in iOS 18 called 'smart recaps' that looks to closely mimic Arc Search's innovative 'Browse for me' functionality. read more

Disinformation will be back soon: A pair of new studies provide evidence that misinformation on social media has the power to change people's minds. Find out who was most responsible for the vast majority of 'fake news' in the periods studied. read more

AI models also have favorite numbers: Engineers at Gramener conducted an experiment where they asked several large LLM chatbots to choose a random number between 0 and 100 – and the results were fascinating. read more

Mistral unveils encryption model: The French AI startup has released its first generative AI model for coding, called Codestral, which is designed to help developers write and use code. read more

Say hello to meme technology: Is it time to disrupt the meme industry? With Meme Depot, founder Alex Taub aims to build a comprehensive archive of every meme imaginable with a crypto-focused business model. read more

AI comes for teachers: The arrival of AI bots threatens long-standing tutoring franchises and professional tutors, and the leading apps come from China. But do they actually help students learn? read more

Analysis

onyx motorcycles-james Khatiblou
Image credits: Bryce Durbin

What happens to a company when the founder dies?: Onyx Motorbikes was already in trouble – and then its 37-year-old owner died unexpectedly without a will or succession plan, leaving millions of dollars in debt. Rebecca Bellan tells how the subsequent battle for control has left Onyx in legal limbo. read more

The 'edgelords' at OpenAI: Meredith Whittaker has some candid thoughts on the current leadership at OpenAI. Mike Butcher sat down with the Signal president for a wide-ranging conversation about what she describes as a disrespectful “frat house” contingent of the tech industry. read more

Don't expect IPOs from these startups: While 2024 appears to be a better year for tech startups going public, there are still a number of high-profile companies that are willing to wait a little longer. From Plaid to Figma, Rebecca Szkutak rounds up the companies that aren't yet eager to go public. read more

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