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Daily Crunch: Pentagon locks down unsecured email server that exposed sensitive military data

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Hello! If you had the day off for President's Day, we hope it was a peaceful transition into work today. Please send good vibes to Haje as he figures out what to do with his damaged car (it’s a long story). Meanwhile, today’s Black History Month recommendation comes from Henry on “Blues Legacies and Black Feminism” by Angela Davis. Let’s dig in. — Christine

The TechCrunch Top 3

  • What happens when something is unsecured?: Well, unfortunately for the U.S. Department of Defense, it meant that sensitive military emails get leaked, Zack reports.

  • “That’s no moon — it’s a space station”: Vast makes its first acquisition of Launcher in a move that brings it closer to building artificial gravity space stations in low Earth orbit. Aria has more.

  • Success breeds IPO: Shared vehicle company Lime reported its first profitable year, with Rebecca writing that “Lime has figured out how to make shared micromobility a sustainable business.” So what happens when you are good at what you do? The company is now eyeing an initial public offering.

Startups and VC

FreshToHome, an Indian meat startup going after a piece of the country’s food delivery market, has a new backer in Amazon, which led a $104 million round in funding. Manish writes that this investment marks the largest check Amazon’s Smbhav Venture Fund has written thus far. Meanwhile, FreshToHome has made a name for itself, expanding its presence by 100% over the past year.

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Now here are five more:

5 tactics for managing paid customer acquisition during a downturn

3D Rendering Magnet and Chrome Balls
3D Rendering Magnet and Chrome Balls

Image Credits: akinbostanci (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

When economic conditions change, companies adjust their marketing tactics: When the pandemic began, junk mail volumes fell dramatically. After vaccines rolled out, mailboxes were once again full of irrelevant offers.

Paid marketing is a core tactic for early-stage startups, but this downturn is a good time for founders to reexamine customer acquisition strategies, says Brian Rothenberg, an investment partner at early-stage VC fund Defy.

"Capital is more expensive now than it’s been in years," he writes in TC+. "Where else can you invest to drive higher returns and to build a more durable competitive advantage?"

Two 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.

It was “game on” for hackers today. First, some hackers allegedly stole Activision games and employee data, Lorenzo reports. The company said the breach happened in December and was confirmed by a gaming blog. Stay tuned for more on that. Also, Coinbase is claiming that the same hackers that targeted hundreds of other companies, the so-called 0ktapus hackers, stole some of its employees’ information, Carly writes.

In the ongoing conversation about how ChatGPT is taking over the world, Mark Harris weaves for us the web of nonprofits accelerating Sam Altman’s AI vision.

And we have five more for you: