Google releases new open LLM, Rivian lays off employees, and Signal releases usernames


Welcome to the Week in Review (WiR), TechCrunch’s regular newsletter, covering notable events 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 LLM as “inspired by Gemini”, has made its flagship family of GenAI models each available for commercial and research use.

Elsewhere, troubled database company MariaDB revealed it could be taken private in a $37 million deal. The non-binding offer comes 14 months after MariaDB went public via SPAC, writes Paul.

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.


Tragedy: Earlier this week, Marco Tropper, the 19-year-old son of former YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, was found dead at UC Berkeley of a drug overdose.

Cake Sale: The future of bankrupt electric motorbike startup Cake is still uncertain, but most of its US inventory is going to a Florida guy, Shawn reports.

Change Healthcare Hit: Change Healthcare, one of America’s largest healthcare tech companies, has confirmed that its systems have recently been cyber-attacked.

Rivan Sorting: Rivian is laying off 10% of its salaried workforce to cut costs in an increasingly tough market for electric vehicles, putting even more pressure on its future, more affordable EV called the R2. Used to be.

Dunzo Buyout: Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart has in recent weeks discussed a possible acquisition of Reliance Retail-backed hyperlocal delivery startup Dunzo, reports Manish.

More Privacy: Signal now lets you keep your phone number private with the launch of Usernames.

YouTube Winner: According to the latest report from Nielsen, YouTube dominates TV streaming in the US.

Valuation Reduction: Byju’s says its recently launched $200 million rights issue has been fully subscribed, but the startup’s founder is talking to some of its key investors amid a rift between the edtech group and some of its largest shareholders. Urged to participate, writes Manish.


Attractive Grooming: France-based Planity has raised $48 million to expand its software-as-a-service product for hair salons.

Brick laying robots: Dutch startup Monumental has received a $25 million tranche for its robotic carts and arms that help lay bricks for construction.


Sections in danger: Alex and Ron take a look at the reasons why the Customer Data Company segment may be put up for sale by corporate parent Twilio. Pressure from workers has a lot to do with this.


But equityThe crew talked about Reddit’s upcoming IPO as well as some impressive raises for adtech startups Lura, Bioptimus, and Dilly.

found Enter the vast web of the wedding industry with Shan-Lin Ma, co-founder and CEO of Zola. Ma talked about why she decided to start the business after trying to buy a gift for a friend and realizing that wedding registries were still in the past.

And chain reaction was on Steve Kaczynski is co-author of the book “The Everything Token” and co-host of the Web3 morning show “Coffee with the Captain.”

bonus round

New AI Chip Enterprise: SoftBank Group’s Masayoshi Son is reportedly seeking $100 billion to create a new venture that will compete with companies like Nvidia in the field of AI chips.

OnePlus returns to watches: OnePlus’ upcoming Watch 2 – the company’s first smartwatch in years – promises to last up to 100 hours “in full smart mode.”

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