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Happy Monday!

We’re late to the party, but today this zany YouTube video has been playing on repeat. And maybe we’ve been practicing a little in front of the mirror. Shh, don’t tell anyone.

While we have you: stretch. Take a breath. Let’s crash into this week and show it who’s boss! — Christine and Haje

The TechCrunch Top 3

Whelp, back to the drawing board: Rockstar Games confirmed that about 90 videos of early development versions of Grand Theft Auto were leaked, Darrell reports.
Man on the run?: Kate and Manish paired up to give us the latest on Terraform Labs’ Do Kwon. It seems Kwon is not interested in cooperating with investigators regarding the wipeout of Luna cryptocurrency and South Korean authorities have asked for a “red notice,” which is fancy Interpol talk for “no visa for you.”
You say AI, we say deepfake: Deep Nostalgia creator D-ID has a new product that lets you create AI-generated videos from a single image, Ivan writes.

Startups and VC

Everyone wants to get in on the AI image-generation action, but if you’ve been intimidated by the existing options out there where you have to brush off your 1,337 command-line skillz, you’re in luck: Diffusion Bee is a simple Mac app that gives you everything you need to generate your own images from text prompt using the open source AI image-generation framework, Darrell writes.

“Over the last 12 months, founders in Africa were reaching out to me for advice and I was investing personally,” Byld Ventures’ founding partner said in an interview with Tage about its new $15 million fund. “So, I decided to institutionalize it and put a fund together.”


Size matters: Connie reports that VC Ann Miura-Ko is looking to help more students answer the question, Is this idea big enough?
Like a bank vault, except for your house, and digital: Fintech app Portabl raises $2.5 million to help consumers securely store financial data, reports Dominic-Madori.
Burn, baby, bur…Wait, no, please, don’t: Haje reports that Pano has a burning desire to apply AI smarts to wildfire detection.
Ola pumps the brakes: Manish reports that SoftBank-backed Ola is to cut 200 jobs in India.
Oh Deere, that’s encouraging: InnerPlant grows with new John Deere–led $16 million funding round to fuel sustainable farming, Christine reports.

Why growth activation matters

Image Credits: Koldunova Anna (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

In his latest TC+ post, growth expert Jonathan Martinez looks at the grim realities of user acquisition. The plain fact is, few of the people who are motivated enough to make it all the way through a registration flow ever create any value.

“Approximately 95.87% of iOS users drop off after day 30,” writes Martinez. “As a startup founder, how do you prevent leakage after spending significant resources to acquire people at the top of the funnel?”

For starters, product teams need to identify optimal activation metrics that spotlight the right users — the ones who find utility and delight in your offerings.

Other awesome TC+ stories published in the last few days: 

IPO-sta-cart: Keeping financial tabs on Instacart as it preps its IPO by Alex.
The moon or bust: “Just break even” may the worst possible advice for startups in turbulent times by Igor Ryabenkiy.
You think it’s like this, but really it’s like this: YC’s Michael Seibel clarifies some misconceptions about the accelerator by Natasha M and Alex.

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.

It’s not a new iPhone unless something on it is a mystery. In this case, colleagues spoke so much about how to set up the eSIM that Ivan thought a story about it might be popular. He was right.

Nothing like a little competition to get the gears grinding, amirite? Upon seeing the myriad of competitors out there set to launch new electric vehicles in the next few years, Tesla is ramping up production in its Texas and Shanghai factories to get ahead of the wave of vehicles, Jaclyn reports.

Keep calm and shop on: While Alex was keeping tabs on Instacart’s IPO, Aisha wrote about the grocery delivery giant’s new feature called Connected Stores, a suite of in-store tech for retailers.
Sharing is caring: If you’ve been wondering if there was a way for you to share Facebook Reels from third-party apps, Facebook has an API for that, Ivan reports.
Piling on: The U.S. Department of Justice and the state of California are being given some time to present arguments as part of the Apple-Epic antitrust trial, court rules, Sarah writes.
Price check: There has been much talk about last-mile delivery M&A lately, and Paul brought us one more over the weekend: Instabox and Budbee are becoming Instabee in a $1.7 billion merger.

Daily Crunch: Rockstar’s whoopsie means you can get an early look at GTA 6 by Christine Hall originally published on TechCrunch