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We hope you’re meeting the week with open arms, crunchers, and that the week loves you right back. Unrequited love from abstract conceptual measurements of time are so heartbreaking.

Let’s kick this off by reminding you there’s only 5 days left to save $1,000 on Disrupt passes!  — Christine and Haje

The TechCrunch Top 3

  • No one likes a cheater: Definitely not Russian game developer Battlestate Games, which banned and doxed 6,700 cheaters from its Escape from Tarkov game. Lorenzo has more.
  • You get a loan and you get a loan!: Ingrid writes that U.K.-based open banking loans platform Abound secured $601 million in new funding to “supercharge” its consumer lending business that makes loans between £1,000 and £10,000 with some generous repayment options of up to five years.
  • Microsoft’s next stop: Microsoft’s automation journey has the software giant making a pit stop in Business App Suite City to drop off AI-powered Copilot capabilities, Kyle reports.

Startups and VC

Also today, we are releasing the final episode of our Inside Startup Battlefield podcast miniseries, which is all about TechCrunch’s pitch competition. It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for — the winner is announced!

And we have five more for you:

Creating remote work rituals that stick

A group of ants working as a team to form a three dimensional geometric sculpture from glue and matchsticks. The ants are dip ends of matchsticks in glue dripping from a bottle of glue and place in position to form the shape on a marble worktop.

Image Credits: peepo (opens in a new window) / Getty Images (Image has been modified)

Remote teams have a lot of flexibility when it comes to when and how they work, but adding some structure can enhance productivity and transparency without sacrificing freedom.

“Ultimately, asynchronous work only serves you when you compartmentalize phases of work with your team,” says Stefanie Palomino, chief product officer and general manager at ROOM 3D.

This post offers several tips that can help managers deploy active listening techniques that foster engagement, improve communication, and ideally, reduce the number of meetings that take place.

Says Palomino: “The routines people create are negotiated over time, but it’s something we’ve come to take for granted.”

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.

Natasha L has the latest on what’s up with WhatsApp. The Meta-owned messaging platform agrees to clean up its user messaging in the European Union so that its terms of service on users is more transparent.

European and U.S. police organizations arrest suspected members of the DoppelPaymer ransomware gang. Carly writes that this particular gang targeted at least 601 companies worldwide, with one of its most serious attacks targeting the University Hospital in Düsseldorf that resulted in the death of a patient.

More for your Monday:


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