How to Grease a Chatbot: E-Commerce Companies Seek a Backdoor Into AI ResponsesRead more

Photo by Shane Burke

Why 2023 Is Shaping Up to Be a Year of Restructurings, Sales in Tech

Photo: Photo by Shane Burke

This has been a brutal year of fast-rising interest rates and fast-declining tech valuations, contributing to the recent cascade of mass layoffs and crypto bankruptcies. Next year, though, could be even more brutal. Money-losing companies that need to raise capital may find themselves running out of options: The pressure to sell may get more intense. A signal of how bad things could get, at least for private tech firms, came on Monday with our report about a venture investor telling startups to prepare for “deep cuts” and to assume they won’t be able to raise new money until 2024. Then there’s today’s news that Axel Springer’s tech news site Protocol is closing, which feels like another straw in the wind of what is to come.

Companies reliant on advertising could be in for a particularly tough time. Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav told investors today the ad market was weaker now than it was during Covid-19, while BuzzFeed executives said Monday they were preparing for “further deterioration in the macro environment.” It makes sense, then, that a new round of digital media consolidation could be on the way. Axios reported today that CVC Capital Partners teamed up with media collective Group Black to make an offer for Vox Media. Separately, BuzzFeed’s latest financial results on Monday showed that its losses steeply increased in the third quarter. It burned through nearly $6 million in cash in that period, almost as much as it burned through in the first two quarters of the year. 

Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Microsoft's Satya Nadella, left, and Peter Lee. Photo by Bloomberg, Microsoft
How Microsoft Swallowed Its Pride to Make a Massive Bet on OpenAI
Satya Nadella didn’t want to hear it. Last December, Peter Lee, who oversees Microsoft’s sprawling research efforts, was briefing Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, and his deputies about a series of tests Microsoft had conducted of GPT-4, the then-unreleased new artificial intelligence large-language model built by OpenAI.
Art by Clark Miller
The AI Age e-commerce ai
How to Grease a Chatbot: E-Commerce Companies Seek a Backdoor Into AI Responses
When Andy Wilson’s company received its first successful client referral through ChatGPT, he was shaken to his core.
Chris Britt, co-founder and CEO of Chime.
Exclusive startups Finance
Chime’s Slowdown Highlights Limits of Bank Disruptors
Chime found a way to offer zero-fee banking services without being a bank itself. But that approach is starting to show its limits.
Art by Clark Miller
The Big Read markets Finance
The Master of Destruction Rides Again
In the spring of 2022, the irascible Wall Street short seller Marc Cohodes was in a particularly foul mood.
Art by Mike Sullivan
startups asia
Venture Capitalists Face Pressure to Divest From China
Silicon Valley venture capitalists are coming to terms with a new reality: Their once-prized China investments may be victims of a simmering cold war.
Art by Clark Miller.
Social Studies culture
The Day TikTok Went Dark in India
On June 29, 2020, as thunderstorms swept Mumbai and daily Covid-19 cases in India surged by almost 20,000, millions of people began experiencing a flood of network errors on their mobile devices.