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Global VC firm Partech reaches first close of largest African fund at €245 million • TechCrunch

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What’s up, Crunchy readers!

True crime has its grip on us all, and Lorenzo’s review of “Tracers in the Dark” is fascinating. In the book, the author covers how cops go after cybercriminals, and it shows that there is hope in stopping drug dealers, dark web market kingpins and child abusers. And it’s all thanks to the immutable, persistent nature of the Bitcoin blockchain, the perfect place to follow the money.

Our Black history month mention of the day is Ijeoma Oluo’s “So You Want to Talk About Race,” which Haje read last year and which served as a bit of an eye-opener to all the things he thought he knew but really didn’t about how race shows up, ranging from police brutality and cultural appropriation to the model minority myth. For white people, it’s 100% worth a read before you start asking dumb and embarrassing questions to your people-of-color friends.

Christine and Haje

The TechCrunch Top 3

  • First close is the best close: Global venture capital firm Partech made a first close on its new fund of €245 million, which makes it the largest Africa-focused fund. Tage writes that “overwhelming interest from LPs meant Partech Africa II surpassed what was initially set for the entire fund at first close.”
  • Bing, not Chanandler Bong: Frederic writes that Microsoft is celebrating “a new day of search” by launching the new Bing, complete with ChatGPT.
  • Capture this: Drone imagery firm DroneBase is now Zeitview. It also landed $55 million to continue developing its air and ground data capture technology, Kyle reports.

Startups and VC

You wait for ages for a real-world application of AI image generation, and then suddenly, two come along at once. Brian writes about how FRIDA’s robot arm attempts to bring DALL-E-style AI art to real-world canvases, and Haje covers how 3D laser cutting company Glowforge adds AI image generation to its software package.

Almost a year ago to the day, the 50-year-old investing powerhouse Sequoia Capital announced that it had reorganized itself around a singular, permanent structure, Connie reports. Now, thanks to an SEC form filed on Friday, we know how much is sitting in the Sequoia Capital Fund. And because we are sneaky capitalists doing it for the clicks. If you wanna know how much, you gotta read the article.

And we have five more for you, complete with a soundtrack that jackknifes between a number of unlikely genres:

Cybersecurity teams, beware: The defender’s dilemma is a lie

Image of a group of yellow plastic toy soldiers pointing guns at each other on a blue background.

Image Credits: A. Martin UW Photography (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

The Defender’s Dilemma is one of cybersecurity’s touchstones: “Defenders have to be right every time. Attackers only need to be right once.”

It may sound authentic, but David J. Bianco, a staff security strategist at Splunk, says it’s actually a false narrative that leaves systems less secure.

“Defenders rightly expect attackers to lie and cheat to achieve their goals, but sometimes we forget that lying and cheating can work both ways.”

Three more from the TC+ team:

TechCrunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get ahead of the pack. You can sign up here. Use code “DC” for a 15% discount on an annual subscription!

Big Tech Inc.

What’s your status? Well, if you’re a WhatsApp user, you can now give a voice status update, Jagmeet writes. Each voice note can be up to 30 seconds and then set as your status. So now people have a voice to go with your photo.

Today was all about the OnePlus smartphone: Brian gives you a rundown of the $699 OnePlus 11, which arrives February 16, and he also looks at some of OnePlus’ additional products like a tablet and mechanical keyboard. Then Ivan writes about the Buds Pro 2, which will run you a cool $179 but has improved sound and noise cancellation.

And we have five more for you:




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