November 15, 2023
Dynamic Changes and Protests: A Week of Turbulence in San Francisco

Graffiti and Grievances: Pro-Palestine Messages Color San Francisco

Multiple downtown San Francisco buildings, as well as a stalled Waymo self-driving car, were spray-painted with pro-Palestine graffiti on Sunday amid a mass protest that drew thousands.

Amazon Games Trims Staff: A Strategic Shift in Focus

Over 180 jobs cut as Amazon restructures its gaming and audio divisions.

Amazon’s games division is cutting over 180 positions in its second round of layoffs within a week, part of a broader corporate shake-up. Christoph Hartmann, VP of Amazon Games, explained in an email that this decision followed careful considerations for the company’s future. This move comes after a prior round of cuts in April, affecting 100 jobs. Last week, staff reductions were announced in the streaming music and podcast division, alongside downsizing in human resources. Additionally, Amazon discontinued its live audio service, Amp. Amazon is shifting its games operations to Prime Gaming, bundled with the $139 annual Prime membership.

Voices of Dissent: Diverse Protests Converge at APEC Conference

A mix of activists rally against economic policies and social issues.

Thousands protested against the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in San Francisco, with diverse groups expressing opposition. The rally, including Palestinian liberation activists, anti-capitalist organizations, and climate change advocates, marched towards Moscone Center. The protest encountered police presence, and tensions escalated in the afternoon. Demonstrators criticized APEC as elitist and harmful to workers and marginalized communities. The protest reflects broader discontent with APEC’s economic policies. A significant security presence has been implemented for APEC, drawing attention to potential disruptions. A larger protest is anticipated later in the week, coinciding with the APEC CEO summit.

Carta’s Cost-Cutting Continues: Third Round of Layoffs Announced

The high-valued startup slashes more jobs amidst economic shifts.

Carta, the San Francisco-based equity management startup that attained an $8.5 billion valuation last year, announced its third round of layoffs since the beginning of this year. It previously slashed staff in January and July.

Pathfinder 1 Takes Flight: A New Era of Airships in Bay Area

Sergey Brin’s LTA introduces a revolutionary, helium-based airship.

An enormous experimental airship, Pathfinder 1, nearly double the size of the Goodyear blimp, is set for test flights in the San Francisco Bay Area. Developed by LTA Research & Exploration, backed by Google co-founder Sergey Brin, it emerged from Moffett Field’s hangar for outdoor testing. Unlike the flammable Hindenburg, this 400-foot long airship uses non-flammable helium and has a rigid structure. Test flights began, focusing on both moored and free-flight testing at Moffett Field. Pilots control the ship with a gondola, operating electric motors and fin rudders. LTA envisions these airships aiding humanitarian efforts, delivering supplies to areas without airstrips.

Viktoria Zolotova
Viktoria Zolotova
Head of 3V FUND
Representative Office in the USA