TikTok Banned In US For 2024*

This is now a tech-headline-prediction newsletter. Place your bets.

TikTok has not actually been banned in the US… yet! At the rate VC Twitter is talking about it though you’d think it was going to happen any minute now. Calling my shot that something like a ban will happen in 2024 and would like the record to show that this has nothing to do with the fact that TikTok was the first app that made me feel old. Do I love being spoon fed hilarious Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia clips cut on top of random video game recordings? Of course. I have the same caveman brain you do. Do I love the fact that Bin Laden has entered the chat as Gen Zs new misunderstood crush? Ehhhhhn. Not as much.

TikTok Says That It Is Removing Videos Promoting Osama Bin Laden’s Justification For 9/11
TikTok denies that it was promoting one side of an issue of another. In a blog post, the company said that during the month of October, it “removed more than 925,000 videos in the conflict region for violating our policies around violence, hate speech, misinformation, and terrorism, including content promoting Hamas.” - Deadline

Coatue Raises $1.4 Billion Fund, Cuts Fees as Venture Firms Navigate Frigid Market
Coatue Management recently raised $1.4 billion for a companion fund to its $7.7 billion VC growth fund, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter. Coatue is not charging existing investors in the growth fund management fees to invest in the companion fund. That saves the backers the roughly 2% fee used to cover the cost of running a VC firm. - The Information

Biggest Stablecoin Issuer Tether Now Wants to Become a Major Bitcoin Miner
Tether Holdings Ltd. is taking steps to become one of the world’s top Bitcoin miners, as the $87 billion stablecoin operator makes a hefty investment in the already highly competitive sector. The company plans to spend about half a billion dollars over the next six months, its incoming chief executive Paolo Ardoino said in an interview, both through constructing its own mining facilities and by taking stakes in other companies. - Bloomberg

VCs and Tech Companies at Odds Over AI Regulation
On Tuesday, a venture capital industry group released a set of guidelines on “responsible AI,” calling on companies to promote measures such as AI safety checks, and “fostering trust through transparency.” VC firms including Mayfield, SoftBank, General Catalyst, Felicis, Bain Capital and IVP endorsed the guidelines. But another group of investors and prominent tech leaders, including Marc Andreessen, Kleiner Perkins partner Bucky Moore and Meta Platforms’ AI research chief Yann LeCun came out in opposition. - The Information

Unity 6 debuts next year with AI-powered innovations and platform updates
Unity, the global game engine and monetization platform, said that its Unity 6 platform will launch in 2024 with AI innovations and platform updates. The company for crafting and nurturing real-time 3D content unveiled an array of cutting-edge AI innovations and platform upgrades at its annual developer conference, Unite. These introductions are designed to augment the means by which game developers materialize their visions and manage successful games. - Venture Beat

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Sam Lessin, Intern at The Information + GP at Slow Ventures and former VP of Product at Facebook, released a presentation last month on the state of early stage VC that’s worth checking out if you haven’t already. Here’s the TLDR in his words:

$1B Seed Backed 'Small businesses' FTW: It has never been easier for super small lean teams to build serious businesses with extreme capital efficiency and getting profitable early. There will be more software and community driven 'billionaire' founders of tightly held companies in the coming years than ever before & seed investors are ideally positioned to provide the single 'shot' of high risk capital for liftoff and do very very well backing these shots.

$10B Factory-Farmed Unicorns & The The Multi-Stage Firms Designed to Build Them Are F*ed: The 10B manufactured startup where multi-stage 'Asset Managers' charging VC carry could buy up and predictably manufacturer of the public markets is a broken thesis from the last decade. This goes away along with all the funds trying to profit off this model in a low interest rate phenomenon, with the possible exception of regulatory capture based industries (government contracting, etc)

$100B Platform Wins: were never manufactured... and never can be. This period is very very unlikely to yield platforms that look like this but you have to keep your mind open for where they 'can' happen (crypto, etc.) ... probably NOT AI.

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