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Tesla to Reveal Long-Awaited Robotaxi on August 8, Shares Rise

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TECH BRIEF

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, despite holding no equity in the AI firm, has become a billionaire with strategic investments in startups such as Reddit, Stripe, and Helion. His hefty personal bets also include those in nuclear energy company Helion and longevity startup Retro Biosciences, which is exploring ways to increase the average human lifespan by a decade. As an investor, Altman's influence extends beyond his financial support, including helping to strengthen the partnership between tech giant Google and Superhuman, a smart email service, during a crucial moment in the latter's trajectory.

Microsoft, in collaboration with quantum computing hardware maker Quantinuum, claims to have significantly improved error rates in quantum computing. They developed more reliable ""logical qubits"" that allow quantum computing to advance to a higher level, promising greater calculation accuracy and commercial scalability. The advancement, which saw a significant reduction in physical qubits needed, has led to improvements in fault tolerance and the possibility of more scientific advancements in the future.

In 2023, Israeli cybersecurity exit deals increased by 65% to $7.1 billion, marking over half of the country's total tech exit deals. Despite a decrease in total tech sector exits year over year, the cybersecurity sector's resilience signals growth for 2024 and beyond. Concerns over global cybersecurity threats have spurred an upward trend in mergers and acquisitions within the sector, despite a decline in funding for high-tech startups.

The U.S. Department of Commerce is offering chip maker TSMC $6.6 billion to construct chip factories in Arizona. The funding comes under the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act, passed in 2022, aimed at bolstering manufacturing of critical tech like semiconductors in the U.S. The massive investment will support TSMC's $65 billion plan to set up three greenfield leading-edge fabs in Phoenix, intending to enhance the reliable domestic supply of chips.

Fintech representation in Y Combinator's Winter 2024 cohort has reduced to 8% from 24% in Winter 2022. Meanwhile, fintech funding experienced a 16% QoQ dip, dropping to its lowest since early 2017. However, equity deal-making saw a 15% rise last quarter. Flipkart co-founder, Sachin Bansal, is looking to secure up to $400 million for his fintech start-up, Navi, at a $2 billion valuation.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has announced that the company will reveal its long-awaited robotaxi on Aug. 8. This comes after the recent cancellation of plans for a much-anticipated low-cost electric vehicle. Despite Musk's ambitious promises, Tesla has not yet delivered a robotaxi, leading to rising skepticism among investors. Tesla shares rose over 3% following the news.

The Solana network has been experiencing issues with congestion due to an increase in spam transactions and a surge in memecoin activity. Developers are leveraging strategies such as software patches, updates, and introducing priority fees to combat the congestion. Upcoming fixes aim to improve transaction scheduling and client performance, particularly during high request volumes.

Digital marketing firm, Ibotta, backed by Walmart, and its shareholders aim to raise up to $472.5 million through an IPO. The Denver-based company intends to offer 2.5 million shares priced between $76 to $84 each. Major stakeholders offering existing shares include CEO Bryan Leach and Koch Industries' venture capital arm.

VC investment in crypto startups swelled by 32% QoQ to hit $2.5B in Q1 2024, leveling with Q1 2023, after a challenging year for these companies. This uptake in investment was fuelled by approval of Bitcoin ETFs in January and AI's intersection with crypto. While some business owners are now raising money, others are capitalizing on the industry's maturation signs.

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