Ilya Sutskever's new AI venture, and time to BeReal about bankruptcy | Equity Podcast

Ilya Sutskever's new AI venture, and time to BeReal about bankruptcy | Equity Podcast

Autonomous Driving

  • Wobby, founded by Raquel Urtasun, raised $200 million for its autonomous trucking approach using generative AI and neural networks, requiring less computation and data.

Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)

  • Ilya Sutskever, former co-founder of OpenAI, launched Safe Super Intelligence to build a safe super intelligence or general AI, prioritizing safety.
  • Critics argue that inherent safety in AGI is challenging due to potential self-awareness and self-preservation instincts.
  • Sutskever's expertise and high-profile co-founders attract attention to the company's goals.
  • The definition of "safe" in the context of AGI remains unclear and varies among experts.
  • OpenAI's undisclosed valuation and vague safety measures raise concerns.
  • Former OpenAI executives' departures for new ventures spark speculation about internal issues.


  • Ginger, a fintech company, offers buy now pay later options for technology purchases, collaborating with buyers and sellers.
  • Ginger's partnerships with large vendors like AWS, Oracle, and Salesforce provide a competitive advantage.
  • The global tech spend is projected to reach $4.7 trillion in 2024, presenting a substantial market opportunity for Ginger.
  • Ginger generates revenue through interest on loans, loan origination fees, and interchange fees.
  • Competitors include, Brex, Ramp, and invoice financing companies.
  • Concerns arise regarding Ginger's risk exposure due to its focus on early-stage startups and potential loan defaults.

Startup Failures

  • Fisker, an EV startup, filed for bankruptcy with estimated assets of $500 million to $1 billion and liabilities of $100 million to $500 million due to poor execution and a challenging environment for EV startups.
  • Synapse, a banking-as-a-service startup, filed for bankruptcy after failing to sell its assets, leaving $85 million in unaccounted customer funds.
  • The CEO of Synapse raised $10 million for a new robotics startup while the company was in turmoil, raising questions about leadership and priorities.

Social Media

  • BeReal, a social media startup promoting authenticity, was acquired by Voodoo, a French mobile gaming app unicorn, for $537 million despite financial struggles.
  • BeReal's potential for growth beyond its current 2-minute authenticity feature holds value, but the specific technology or strategy that attracted Voodoo's investment remains unclear.
  • Voodoo, a mobile game publisher, acquired BeReal, a social media platform, for $540 million.
  • BeReal has 40 million active users, resulting in a customer acquisition cost of $13 per user, which is considered reasonable.
  • The acquisition aims to acquire users and expand Voodoo's customer base.
  • Concerns arise about the potential impact of ads on BeReal's authenticity and user experience, particularly considering Google's recent testing of server-side ad injection.
  • The success of the acquisition hinges on Voodoo's ability to convert BeReal users into Voodoo users and monetize the platform.
  • Acquiring users through acquisitions is a common strategy for startups facing challenges in expanding their user base.
  • The acquisition represents a significant bet for Voodoo and is considered one of the larger investments in the tech industry.

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