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Happy Friday, y’all! Start your weekend off right with some delicious podcast morsels from Equity, Found and Chain Reaction. Also, time is ticking away on a $1,300 savings for TechCrunch Disrupt, so get on that before 11:59 p.m. PDT today. We hope you have a good weekend, see ya Monday!  — Christine

The TechCrunch Top 3

Double “ring” ceremony: Amazon and iRobot’s relationship went to the next level today when the pair announced they were getting hitched, Brian reports. The robot vacuum mapping out your home now takes on a whole new meaning. Double the layoffs: Natasha M noticed a trend among startup layoffs — that certain companies were making multiple announcements in quick succession — and got to work. She outlines what this means and why it’s troubling.  Double the entertainment: A pair-up is also happening in the streaming world. Fans of HBO Max and Discovery+ can cheer the merging of these services into one sometime next year, Ivan writes.

Startups and VC

Sparking interest in electricity: Beacon Power got a jolt of new capital to improve electricity access for sub-Saharan African cities, Tage writes. Making up: Internet privacy company DuckDuckGo and Microsoft are on friendlier terms now following a policy change that now includes third-party Microsoft tracking scripts, Natasha L reports. Billion-dollar milestone: Moving over to TechCrunch+, Alex examines Databricks’ news that it has reached $1 billion in annual run rate and what that means for its valuation. Magnetic attraction: A new round of capital has Zenno Astronautics blasting off with its technology aimed at moving spacecraft by using electromagnets, Aria writes. It’s getting personal: Kenya’s shift to protecting personal data will have some startup implications. Annie outlines what those might be. More out-of-this-world action: LiveEO took in some new funding to further develop its big data approach to making raw geospatial data captured by satellites more usable, Ingrid reports.

How to run growth marketing during a recession

daily crunch: amazon to acquire irobot in $1.7b all-cash deal

Image Credits: Mihaela Rosu / Getty Images

Last month, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the economy is “in a period of transition,” on the grounds that “we have a very strong labor market. When you are creating almost 400,000 jobs a month, that is not a recession.”

Today, we learned that the U.S. added 528,000 new jobs last month and the unemployment rate has fallen to 3.5%, but for many people in tech, this is a distinction without a difference: According to layoffs.fyi, 467 startups have let go of 64,518 employees so far in 2022.

Marketing can’t cure everything that ails a company, but it is the easiest channel to make iterative changes that produce immediate results.

In his latest TechCrunch+ column, Jonathan Martinez says it’s time to “re-forecast, re-prioritize and refine” strategies to move key growth metrics like ARPU and LTV.

Using multiple examples, he shares a few ways companies can project revenue using shorter time intervals, along with exercises to help fine-tune their marketing stack.

“If new channels and major experiments were in the picture, it’s probably best to shelve those for when the markets recover,” he advises.

(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)

Big Tech Inc.

Elon Musk vs. Twitter, part 1,254: Twitter got a bit snarky, so says Ivan, in its response to Elon Musk’s countersuit. It doesn’t do it justice for me to lay it all out — it’s better if you just take it all in yourself. Speaking of Twitter, Zack reports the social media giant fixed a pesky little security bug. A seat at the table: India doesn’t want to be left out of merger and acquisition deals, so it has crafted some antitrust proposals aimed at getting the country on par with other regions, Manish writes. We’re all “Super”: Well, under a hundred of us anyway. That’s how many influencers are getting a sneak peek at Meta’s new livestream platform, Super, Aisha reports. Giddy up: Rebecca discusses five takeaways from Tesla’s Cyber Roundup, also known as its annual shareholder meeting. Unfortunately, some of the attendees got blisters from their boots.

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Launch price TC Sessions: Crypto tix going, going…

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Truework, which helps lenders verify borrowers’ income and employment, raises $50M

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Biden signs CHIPS bill, in bid to supercharge US semiconductor production

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Portal Ventures closes on $35 million debut fund for early stage crypto startups

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Babylon Health dials back some services in the UK

Fox-owned Tubi expands its free streaming service to five Latin American countries

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