Amazon says it’s ‘disappointed’ after Staten Island fulfillment center workers unionize – TechCrunch

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Have a great day, and welcome to Daily Crunch for Friday, April 1, 2022! It was a slow news day at TC Towers because we double-checked every PR speech for April Fool’s silliness and every PR agency in the world advised their clients to put embargoes in place literally any other day of the year.

Alex and Mary Ann kept Equity strong this week in a particularly enjoyable episode covering – among other things – Instacart lowering its valuation. Now, if you’ll forgive us, we’re just going to listen to Rick Astley on repeat. Trick’s on you, 900 people trying to trick us into clicking on these links. – Christina and Salvation

PS Before you forget – TechCrunch Disrupt is back with an in-person event in October. Join us! We even have a two-person offer code for you, so you can bring a friend!

TechCrunch’s Top 3

  • Another Amazon center votes to unionize: Today’s big news didn’t make Amazon laugh, but employees at the e-commerce giant’s JFK8 fulfillment center in Staten Island were thrilled to spend the weekend. They voted to unionize. Brian has been watching this closely for TechCrunch, and he reports that Amazon is likely to challenge the results of the vote and has seven days from today to do so.
  • This is not an exercise: In case you missed the one from last night, President Joe Biden plans to enact the Defense Production Act so that the United States can avoid a possible shortage of minerals and materials needed for batteries used for electric vehicles and the energy storage.
  • Sad SaaS?: Speaking of valuations, it’s not just Instacart that could see its valuations fall. Alex Wilhelm unpacks a Silicon Valley Bank report that suggests late-stage software-as-a-service companies may also see lower valuations, and startups trying to raise later-stage capital may not have such an attractive price.

Startups and VCs

A quiet news day today, but some fun gems surfaced:

  • British fashion rental company By Rotation is expanding its community rental platform in the United States
  • Gotta love how pizza became one of the measures of robot agilityand for my part, I’m glad to see MIT looking into the phrase “complex manipulation of dough”.
  • These robots are soft on berries: About robots, a team of researchers has found a way for robots to pick very fragile fruits, such as raspberries.
  • Game over: E3, one of the biggest gaming fairs in the world, announced that it was canceling E3 for another year and promised that it would try to continue next year.
  • Loyal Wordle players got the fuzzy end of the lollipop this week when the answer word did not match the word their friend found. I really wish this was the biggest problem facing the world right now, but as someone who uses puns as part of my mental health regimen… thanks, Sarahfor unraveling this mystery!

As a startup nerd with a particular fondness for the art of VC pitching, I’m excited to attend Lotti Siniscalco’s Pitch Deck Teardown at TC Early Stage in a few weeks.

The How and Why of OT Security Fundraising

hand holding a padlock and in the background the html code on a computer screen

Picture credits: SOPA Images (Opens in a new window) /Getty Pictures

Operational technology, which keeps critical infrastructure running 24/7, is an area facing significant cybersecurity risk, and with the US government taking steps to mitigate the threat, security companies are dealing with in this area stand to benefit the most, writes Matt Gatto, managing director at Insight Partners.

In a guest post for TC+, he explains how recent attacks on critical infrastructure, pending regulation, and growing concerns about Russian cyberattacks are creating new opportunities in OT.

“Now is a good time for OT security vendors to seek funding,” says Gatto. “The combination of increasing OT cyberattacks and emerging government regulations is fueling a funding frenzy.”

(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams grow. You can join here.)

Big Tech inc.

  • It’s electric!: The US Department of Transportation has announced new national fuel economy standards for 2024 that will bring the country closer to President Joe Biden’s goal of half of vehicles sold in the US being battery-electric by 2030 That means automakers will have to figure out how to get from the industry standard 37 miles per gallon to 49 mpg.
  • GoPro’s new battery packs a triple punch: Just when you thought it was safe to head back to your camera bag for a fresh battery, GoPro unveils a new Volta Battery Grip that gives you three times the shooting time. It’s ideal for perfecting your next Michael Bay impersonation.

April Fool!

Image of Formlabs 2D printer, an April Fool's joke

Picture credits: Formlabs

I don’t know about all of you, but I’m on my last nerve, and between elections, pandemics, invasions, and the recent death of my favorite band’s drummer, I’ve lost at least 95% of my senses. humor over the past two years. Yet tech startups try to prank us every year. Here are the five least cringe-worthy April Fool’s Day jokes this year.

  • 3D printing darlings Formlabs announces the launch of a 2D printer. Given my extremely mixed results with the first printers I had from Formlabs, I would be hesitant to order one, but let’s face it; if they launched a 2D printer it would probably be better than a lot of other junk I’ve had on my desk over the years, so who knows. I’m 99% sure it’s a joke, unfortch.
  • Twitter has been tracking its userbase, saying it’s working on an edit button. It’s been the platform’s most requested feature since we all started tweeting in the 2000s, and everyone knows at this point it’s probably not going to happen. (Besides, it’s a terrible idea.) Yes. Way to piss off the masses!
  • The Makers of Heardle Had a Subtle April Fool’s Day Joke that 100% got me this morning. The Wordle knock-off for music fans is super fun; the outrage I had that he wasn’t available to play today really let me down, made me cry and hurt me.
  • tvTV has launched a TV specially designed for Apple TV. I particularly appreciate the company’s effort to create renders for a product that doesn’t make sense in so many dimensions that I fear it will create a wormhole and suck us all into an alternate universe, where 2D printers exist, there’s a Twitter edit button, and Apple TV becomes a cartridge for a toaster.
  • And finally, a dumb beer subscription site did a dumb shot to sell its stupid products through what can only be described as bait and switch stupidity. I hope their stupid marketing team and the stupid executives who greenlighted the stupid idea get it into their stupid heads that you can’t just scam people and get away with it. They say all attention is good attention, but consider this my stupid take: it was stupid. Let’s not do this kind of nonsense again and don’t give your money to stupid companies.

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