YC makes a Product Hunt, Product Hunt makes an a16z, a16z makes a YC

Tech innovation is a cycle, especially in the main character-driven world of early-stage venture capital and copycat nature of startups. The latest proof? Y Combinator this week announced Launch YC , a platform where people can sort accelerator startups by industry, batch and launch date to discover new products. The famed accelerator, which has seeded the likes of Instacart, Coinbase, OpenSea and Dropbox, invites users to vote for newly launched startups “to help them climb up the leaderboard, try out product demos and learn about the founding team,” it said in a blog post . If it sounds familiar, it’s because — in my perspective — Y Combinator is taking a not-so-subtle swipe at Product Hunt , a nearly decade-old platform that is synonymous with new startup launches and feature announcements. TechCrunch+ is having an Independence Day sale! Save 50% on an annual subscription here . (More on TechCrunch+ here if you need it!) Y Combinator doesn’t necessarily agree with this charac

Google will start erasing location data for abortion clinic visits

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision to strip federal abortion rights in the U.S., many people are questioning how the apps they use every day might suddenly be turned against them . As concerns mount over the endless well of data that tech companies built an entire industry around, Google is taking at least one step to mitigate some potential harm related to location tracking. The company announced Friday in a blog post that it would remove location history data about some “particularly personal” places from a Google account shortly after someone visits. Locations that will have their data deleted include “medical facilities like counseling centers, domestic violence shelters, abortion clinics, fertility centers, addiction treatment facilities, weight loss clinics, cosmetic surgery clinics, and others,” according to the blog. Google also noted that Fitbit users who use the device’s companion software as a period tracker currently must delete those entries one by one, b

Crypto mega hedge fund Three Arrows Capital reportedly files for bankruptcy in New York

Crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC) has filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy in New York, according to a report in Bloomberg . The mega fund, founded by Credit Suisse traders Zhu Su and Kyle Davies, at one time managed an estimated $10 billion in assets and was a linchpin among crypto finance players. Its insolvency has forced major industry players to reshuffle operations and limit customer withdrawals amid a crypto selloff that seemed to catch plenty of mega firms off-guard. Chapter 15 bankruptcy will allow the foreign firm to protect its stateside assets while the liquidation is carried out in the British Virgin Islands following a court order this week after 3AC defaulted on a $660 million loan to Voyager Digital. The firm is based in Singapore. The firm’s ongoing collapse is causing trouble for plenty of venture-backed crypto darlings. Earlier today, BlockFi announced a deal with FTX US and noted that it had lost around $80 million from its dealings with 3AC. FTX US dea

Google will reimburse developers $90 million to settle a lawsuit over Play Store earnings

Google said Thursday it will pay $90 million to settle a lawsuit with US developers that accused Google of abusing its power of app distribution and charging an unfair fee of 30% for app purchases and in-app purchases made through the Play Store. The company noted that US developers who made less than $2 million each year between 2016 and 2021 through Google Play Store earnings will be eligible for compensation. “A vast majority of US developers who earned revenue through Google Play will be eligible to receive money from this fund if they choose. If the Court approves the settlement, developers that qualify will be notified and allowed to receive a distribution from the fund,” the search giant noted in a blog post . Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, the legal firm that represented the plaintiffs, said that developers were entitled to a minimum compensation of $250 — with some settlements going above $200,000. The firm noted that more than 48,000 US developers are eligible for paym

Meta’s co-accused Sama to retain BCorp status until case is determined

Meta’s main subcontractor for content moderation in Africa, Sama, will retain its BCorp certification until the case against it in Kenya, over claims of union busting and exploitation, is determined. The referenced case, which also includes allegations against Meta, was filed in May this year by Daniel Motaung, a former content moderator in the East African country. The corporate responsibility group, B Lab, told TechCrunch that the decision to uphold Sama’s certification was made after its standards management team concluded an initial review of allegations against the company, as captured in a Time magazine article , and following similar complaints received through its complaint process. The BCorp status is a stamp of approval for companies seen to meet high standards of transparency, performance and accountability, taking into account several factors including employee welfare, company structure and work process. The status is arguably one of the reasons Sama says it’s an ethical

Sharpen your credit card, the Apple Store is down

At June’s WWDC , Apple launched a slew of new and exciting products, only to mention that they’d be available to order at some point later this month. Well, as the end of the month draws closer by the minute, it looks like Apple is updating its store, presumably to make some of those tasty morsels of carved-out-of-aluminum goodness available for ordering. So, what are we expecting? As Greg summarized, the company made a ton of announcements , but most of those aren’t relevant to the hardware side of things. Including, well, this cavalcade of stupidity . Ahem. Here’s everything Apple just announced at the WWDC 2022 keynote   Anyway, here’s a few of the announcements you can touch with your fingers — hardware, in other words — that we’re expecting to show up available to order: The new M2 processor itself, although you probably need to order a computer to get one; Apple hasn’t made a habit of letting you raw-dog its silicon quite yet. … In the MacBook Pro , as reviewed by Br

Micropyramid lenses triple the light that hits solar panels

Stacks of teeny lenses that look like inverted pyramids could juice up solar panels, helping them capture more light from any angle on both sunny and overcast days. Solar panels perform best in direct sunlight, which is why some solar systems track the big fireball across the sky, turning to face it for maximum light. Unfortunately, such tracking tech is pricey and moving parts can break. Shortcomings like these motivated researchers at Stanford to develop an alternative. The resulting tech — named Axially Graded Index Lens, or AGILE for short — offers a way to boost the efficiency of static solar panels, even in diffuse light, authors Nina Vaidya and Olav Solgaard said in a peer-reviewed paper . P rototype arrays of AGILE lenses successfully concentrated light into a 3x smaller area, while retaining 90% of its power in the best-case scenario, and well ahead of more elementary concentrators when the light was more slanted (sometimes concentrators can sacrifice light intensity but c

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