Elon Musk raised $6B for AI startup, while TikTok may be dodging Apple’s commissions


Musk’s infant AI venture, xAI, is on the brink of securing a whopping $6 billion in funding, with heavyweight investors like Sequoia Capital and Future Ventures eager to join the party. Originally targeted at $3 billion, the demand skyrocketed, reflecting the immense interest in Musk’s latest tech endeavor. Meanwhile, rumors suggest TikTok may be sidestepping Apple’s commissions by nudging users towards purchasing digital tipping coins directly from their website, potentially evading the 30% cut. As for startup insights, ex-Monzo Bank founder Tom Blomfield’s candid remarks shed light on the high stakes of venture capitalist expectations, emphasizing the pursuit of unicorns capable of delivering monumental returns.

In the startup scene, EyeEm’s pivot towards training AI models with user photos sparked controversy, with users facing hurdles to opt-out. Techstars CEO Maëlle Gavet’s struggles resemble a tech-themed “Game of Thrones” episode, featuring a cascade of challenges from labor laws to internal dissent. On the acquisition front, ButcherBox devoured Truffle Shuffle to diversify its offerings, while Rubrik made a splash on Wall Street, witnessing a surge in share prices post-IPO.

In fundraising news, RevenueCat secured $12 million to expand its subscription management services, while Backflip raised $15 million to revolutionize real estate flipping. The OpenAI Startup Fund quietly amassed $15 million, raising eyebrows regarding its operational structure. Elsewhere, Google Cloud’s stellar performance underscored the burgeoning demand for AI tools, while Tesla’s Autopilot faced scrutiny from the NHTSA following fatal crashes. Apple’s rumored product event teases updates to the iPad lineup, while Meta’s AI chatbot, Llama 3, aims to engage users with mixed success. Lastly, Google’s AI-powered “Speaking practice” feature aims to enhance language learning capabilities.