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Group-edited weblog about technology start-ups, particularly the Web 2.0 sector.



Luckin Coffee's board initiates investigation into $300M potential fraud  

China-based Luckin Coffee, the fastest growing coffee brand in the world, has over the years dazzled VCs, public market investors and, frankly, us with its dizzyingly high growth, expanding from a handful of stores and delivery kiosks to tens of thousands in a just a few years, quickly outpacing Starbucks' aggressive expansion in the world's […]

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2020-04-02 13:43:45



T-Mobile customers on unlimited wireless family plans get a free year of Quibi  

T-Mobile this morning officially announced its exclusive partnership with the new streaming service, Quibi, set to launch on April 6. The service will be made available for free for a year to T-Mobile customers on its unlimited wireless family plans. The streaming service, founded by Hollywood media mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg, has been specifically built for […]

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2020-04-02 13:22:47



Google Cloud launches a managed Memcached service  

Google today announced the beta of Memorystore for Memcached, a new service that provides a fully managed in-memory datastore that is compatible with the open-source Memcached protocol. It will join Redis in the Memorystore family, which first launched in 2018. As Gopal Ashok, Google’s product manager for Memorystore notes in today’s announcement, Redis remains a […]

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2020-04-02 12:05:40



Forward launches 'Forward At Home' primary care service to address COVID-19 healthcare crunch  

The global coronavirus pandemic has already caused a tremendous strain on healthcare resources around the world, and it’s leading to a shift in how healthcare is offered. Startup Forward, which debuted in 2016 and has since expanded its tech-focused primary care medical practice to locations in major cities across the U.S., is launching a new […]

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2020-04-02 12:03:34



Jim Fruchterman raises $1.7M for Tech Matters, a new effort to help nonprofits do tech better  

Social entrepreneurship pioneer Jim Fruchterman has launched a new nonprofit, Tech Matters, with $1.7 million in backing from corporate and foundation sources, including Twilio, Okta, Working Capital, Facebook and Schmidt Futures. Tech Matters is Fruchterman's new vehicle to address what he sees as a crippling weakness in the social good sector: the failure to use […]

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2020-04-02 11:39:42



Venture-backed Celularity receives FDA approval for early trials of a new cell therapy for COVID-19  

Celularity, the venture-backed developer of novel cell therapies for cancer treatments, has received an initial clearance from the Food and Drug Administration to begin early-stage clinical trials on a potential treatment for COVID-19. The company, which has raised at least $290 million to date (according to Crunchbase), uses “Natural Killer” (NK) cell therapies to boost […]

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2020-04-02 10:55:28



Daily Crunch: Amazon announces new warehouse safety steps  

Amazon says it will start taking additional steps to ensure the safety of its warehouse workers, SoftBank backs out of its latest WeWork investment and Zoom tries to fix its security issues. Here’s your Daily Crunch for April 2, 2020. 1. Amazon begins running temperature checks and will provide surgical masks at warehouses Amazon has […]

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2020-04-02 10:16:08



Disney+ beat Netflix in recent US downloads (report)  

Netflix may still dominate global streaming, but Disney+ has made a huge splash in the United States, where it launched in November. That much was pretty clear already, and other reports have already suggested that Disney+ was the most downloaded app and biggest search trend in the United States last year. Now a new report from […]

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2020-04-02 09:57:49



IRL pivots into virtual event calendar In Remote Life  

What do you do if you’re an event discovery startup and suddenly it’s illegal to attend events? You lean into the cultural shift and pivot. Today, $11 million-funded calendar app IRL is morphing from In Real Life to In Remote Life. It will now focus on helping people find, RSVP for, plan, share, and chat […]

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2020-04-02 09:54:40



How 6 top VCs are adapting to the new uncertainty  

As the global economy grinds to a halt, every business sector has been impacted, including the linked worlds of startups and venture capital. But how much has really changed? If you read VC Twitter, you might think that nothing has changed at all. It’s not hard to find investors who say they are still cutting […]

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2020-04-02 09:18:30



Modsy confirms layoffs, 10 months after announcing its $37M Series C  

Modsy, an e-commerce company that creates 3D renderings of customized rooms, has confirmed to TechCrunch that it laid off a number of staff. In addition, several of its executives, including CEO Shanna Tellerman, will take a 25% pay cut. TechCrunch first heard about the layoffs from a source. The company's confirmation of cuts comes amid […]

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2020-04-02 08:57:02



A bug bounty alone won't save your startup — here's why  

In this world, there is no such thing as perfect security. Every app or service you use — even the websites you visit — have security bugs. Companies go through repeated rounds of testing, code reviews and audits — sometimes even bringing in third-parties. Bugs get missed — that’s life, and it happens — but […]

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2020-04-02 08:47:12



Amazon begins running temperature checks and will provide surgical masks at warehouses  

Amazon has detailed some new measures it’s taking to prevent any further spread of COVID-19 at its warehouse facilities in the U.S. and Europe, according to Reuters, including temperature checks and distributing face masks to employees at Amazon warehouses and Whole Foods stores. The commerce giant has seen a dramatic increase in demand as countries […]

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2020-04-02 08:22:12



Facebook Messenger launches Mac & Windows apps  

Facebook Messenger is finally getting desktop apps almost 9 years after its debut. After seeing over a 100% increase in desktop browser audio and video calling, Messenger today releases its Mac and Windows desktop apps. They bring the same features as the browser version, but make it easier to keep your chat threads handy than […]

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2020-04-02 08:21:59



Virgin Orbit announces new plans for first Asian spaceport in Oita, Japan  

Virgin Orbit may be focusing its production efforts right now on making ventilators to support healthcare workers battling COVID-19, but it’s also still making moves to build out the infrastructure that will underpin its small satellite launch business. To that end, the new space company unveiled a new partnership with Oita Prefecture in Japan to […]

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2020-04-02 06:41:13



SaaS growth appears to slow as churn concerns rise  

A set of charts provided to TechCrunch detail how the growth rate of SaaS companies, in both B2B and B2C, are falling. The market could be in for SaaS's first patch of hard times in recent memory.

what do you think?

2020-04-02 04:54:40



'A perfect storm for first time managers,' say VCs with their own shops  

Until very recently, it had begun to seem like anyone with a thick enough checkbook and some key contacts in the startup world could not only fund companies as an angel investor but even put himself or herself in business as a fund manager. It helped that the world of venture fundamentally changed and opened […]

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2020-04-02 04:46:58



Encore's musical messages let you commission a video performance to send to loved ones  

Encore, the U.K. marketplace that lets you find and book a musician or band online for your event, is launching a new online product to help musicians find an additional revenue stream during the coronavirus pandemic, and bring a little joy to all of us. Dubbed musical messages, the new offering lets you pay one […]

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2020-04-02 04:39:05



Lending startups are angling for new business from the COVID-19 bailout  

As the largest federal stimulus package in the history of the United States, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, injects a planned $2.2 trillion into the U.S. economy, fintech startups are angling to get a seat at the table when it comes to distributing the cash. “In the last crisis, banks stepped away […]

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2020-04-02 04:07:52



Money transfer service Azimo partners with Siam Commercial Bank for faster payments to Thailand  

Azimo, the London-headquartered international money transfer service, has partnered with Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) to deliver instant payments for its customers from Europe to SCB bank accounts in Thailand. According to the World Bank, Thailand is one of the top remittance destinations globally, with $6.7 billion received from abroad each year, and Azimo says […]

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2020-04-02 03:54:15



Flux and Pleo partner to bring itemised digital receipts to Pleo's 'smart' expense cards  

When three former employees of Revolut founded Flux in 2016, the mission was clear: build a platform to bridge the gap between the itemised receipt data captured by a merchant's point-of-sale (POS) system and what little information typically shows up in your bank statement or mobile banking app. Off the back of this, the young […]

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2020-04-02 03:45:16



Consumers spent record $23.4 billion on apps in Q1 2020, thanks to being stuck indoors  

Time spent in mobile apps has been surging, as people stuck at home due to the coronavirus outbreak have been turning to apps to do their shopping, manage their finances, find new exercises, work from home, and stay entertained. According to new data from App Annie, released today, Q1 2020 was the largest-ever quarter in […]

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2020-04-02 02:43:07



ARCH Venture Partners raises $1.46 billion across two funds for biotech investing  

Against a backdrop where the life-or-death consequences of biotechnology innovation are becoming increasingly apparent as the world races to develop vaccines and therapies to treat COVID-19, life sciences investor ARCH Venture Partners has raised $1.46 billion in funding to finance new tech development. The two funds, ARCH Venture Fund X and ARCH Venture Fund X […]

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2020-04-02 02:32:21



Google to shut down its India-focused Q&A app Neighbourly  

Google is shutting down Neighbourly, a Q&A social app that it launched in Mumbai two years ago, the company has informed users. The app, developed by company's Next Billion Initiative, aimed to give local communities an outlet to seek answers to practical questions about life, routine and more. At the time of the app’s launch, […]

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2020-04-02 01:31:26



NASA and SpaceX add some retro flair to the Falcon 9 rocket flying the first crewed Dragon launch  

NASA and SpaceX are moving ahead full-steam with the Demo-2 launch of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft - the first launch to carry astronauts to space aboard a private launch vehicle from American soil. The Falcon 9 rocket that will propel the Crew Dragon to space will include a NASA logo that has been - technically […]

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2020-04-02 01:30:27



Stocks fall sharply as US government warns of hard weeks ahead  

A recent rebound in domestic equity prices faded further into the distance today, as American stocks fell for a second consecutive day following modest Tuesday declines. After rising from new 52-week lows, all domestic indices are down after the American president warned of difficult weeks ahead as the country reels from the economic and social […]

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2020-04-01 21:27:16



NASA issues agency-wide crowdsourcing call for ideas around COVID-19 response  

There’s crowdsourcing a problem, and then there’s crowdsourcing a problem within NASA, where some of the smartest, most creative and resourceful problem-solvers in the world solve real-world challenges daily as part of their job. That’s why it’s uplifting to hear that NASA has issued a call to its entire workforce to come up with potential […]

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2020-04-01 21:16:25



Self-driving car engineer Anthony Levandowski files motion to force Uber into arbitration  

Anthony Levandowski, the star self-driving car engineer who was at the center of a trade secrets lawsuit, has filed a motion to compel Uber into arbitration in the hopes that his former employee will have to shoulder the cost of at least part of the $179 million judgment against him. The motion to compel arbitration […]

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2020-04-01 21:10:50



Notion hits $2 billion valuation in new raise  

Notion, a startup that operates a workplace productivity platform, has raised $50 million from Index Ventures and other investors at a $2 billion valuation, the company told The New York Times. A Notion spokesperson confirmed the raise and valuation to TechCrunch. As startups across the board begin looking at layoffs or raising at less than […]

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2020-04-01 20:44:50



In a significant change, Apple customers can now buy or rent titles directly in the Prime Video app  

A recent update from Amazon has made it easier for Apple customers to buy or rent movies from its Prime Video app. Before, customers using the Prime Video app from an iOS device or Apple TV would have to first purchase or rent the movie elsewhere — like through the Amazon website or a Prime […]

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2020-04-01 20:40:35



This adorable tiny record maker lets you cut your own 5-inch vinyl singles  

Vinyl has been coming back for the last few years, but unlike MP3s, CDs or even cassette tapes (also coming back), records aren’t easy to record on your own. This tiny toy record maker makes it easy, though you probably shouldn’t expect that famous vinyl sound quality. The Easy Record Maker was created by designer […]

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2020-04-01 19:44:59



Mobile payments firms in India are now scrambling to make money  

Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and chief executive of India's most valuable startup, Paytm, posed an existential question in a recent press conference. "What do you think of the commercial model for digital mobile payments. How do we make money?" Sharma asked Nandan Nilekani, one of the key architects of the Universal Payments Infrastructure that created […]

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2020-04-01 18:51:47



Nextdoor updates its app to allow businesses to link to fundraisers, gift cards and more  

Neighborhood social networking app Nextdoor is rolling out a few changes focused on supporting local businesses. The COVID-19 outbreak has forced many businesses to close their doors, sometimes for good, while others are struggling to stay afloat. As a result, many Nextdoor users have been posting on the app asking how they can help support […]

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2020-04-01 18:37:37



An EU coalition of techies is backing a 'privacy-preserving' standard for COVID-19 contacts tracing  

A European coalition of techies and scientists drawn from at least eight countries, and led by Germany’s Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute for telecoms (HHI), is working on contacts-tracing proximity technology for COVID-19 that’s designed to comply with the region’s strict privacy rules — officially unveiling the effort today. China-style individual-level location-tracking of people by states […]

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2020-04-01 16:40:12



Olive, a startup developing an automation tool for healthcare administration, raises $51 million  

Time is money, as the old adage goes, and this is doubly true in healthcare systems operating with thin margins now made even thinner thanks to the loss of revenue caused by a freeze on elective procedures. Stepping in with a technology that automates much of the time-consuming back-end processes hospitals and healthcare providers need […]

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2020-04-01 15:53:25



Proposed amendments to the Volcker Rule could be a lifeline for venture firms hit by market downturn  

In the wake of the financial crisis, Congress passed regulations limiting the types of investments that banks could make into private equity and venture capital funds. As cash strapped investors pull back on commitments to venture funds given the precipitous drop of public market stocks, loosening restrictions on the how banks invest cash could be […]

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2020-04-01 15:05:18



Ex-NSA hacker drops new zero-day doom for Zoom  

Zoom’s troubled year just got worse. Now that a large portion of the world is working from home to ride out the coronavirus pandemic, Zoom’s popularity has rocketed, but also has led to an increased focus on the company’s security practices and privacy promises. Hot on the heels of two security researchers finding a Zoom […]

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2020-04-01 11:58:25



Aspen Neuroscience raises $70M for its experimental Parkinson's Disease treatment  

Since 2012, Dr. Jeanne Loring, the founder of the eponymous Loring Lab at Scripps Research, has been thinking about how to use pluripotent stem cells as a potential treatment for Parkinson Disease. Now, eight years later, Aspen Neuroscience, the company she founded to bring her research to market has raised $70 million in funding and […]

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2020-04-01 11:04:50



Philter Labs nets additional funding in quest to build a better portable smoking filter  

Philter Labs aims to reduce the stigma associated with vaping tobacco and cannabis. The company’s product is simple enough: It’s a portable filter that, to my surprise, eliminates nearly all secondhand smoke and vapor. The company today is announcing an additional $1 million in funding from a private equity firm that invests in the cannabis […]

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2020-04-01 10:16:14



Addionics, a startup creating 'next-gen' batteries for electric cars and more, raises $6M  

Addionics, an Israeli/U.K. startup that is developed next-generation rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles and other applications, has raised $6 million in funding. The round is led by Next Gear Ventures, and includes a $2.5 million grant as part of the European Union’s Horizon2020 innovation competition. Founded by former Imperial College London academics, Addionics has created […]

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2020-04-01 09:52:23



DeepMind's Agent57 AI agent can best human players across a suite of 57 Atari games  

Development of artificial intelligence agents tends to frequently be measured by their performance in games, but there’s a good reason for that: Games tend to offer a wide proficiency curve, in terms of being relatively simple to grasp the basics, but difficult to master, and they almost always have a built-in scoring system to evaluate […]

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2020-04-01 09:51:11



Original Content podcast: 'Star Trek: Picard' launches with a bumpy, memorable season  

Star Trek TV shows generally take a while to get good — but if any of them was going to have a strong start, you’d think it’d be “Star Trek: Picard.” After all, it returns Patrick Stewart to the role that made him famous, that of one-time Starfleet captain Jean-Luc Picard. Plus, the writing team […]

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2020-04-01 09:32:32



How bad will SaaS churn get in the downturn?  

It's easy to say that churn will go up; some customers will close, cancelling contracts (boosting gross churn) while other customers will slow software budget growth (limiting net retention). But how bad will things really get?

what do you think?

2020-04-01 09:08:41



What happens to edtech when kids go back to school?  

In just a few weeks, homeschooling has gone from a rarity to a baseline in homes across the country. Jonah Liss, a 16-year-old student at International Academy of Bloomfield Hills in Michigan, was sent home out of precaution due to the coronavirus outbreak. While the transition has been okay for Liss, who has used some […]

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2020-04-01 08:53:42



Scaleway launches managed Kubernetes clusters  

Cloud hosting company Scaleway has launched Kubernetes Kapsule, a new service that lets you manage Kubernetes clusters on Scaleway's infrastructure. The service works with a wide-range of Scaleway instances and lets you create large clusters that scales depending on demand. Kubernetes is an open-source platform to manage containers and the server infrastructure behind those containers. […]

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2020-04-01 08:40:44



Audible has the first Harry Potter audiobook (as read by Stephen Fry!) streaming for free right now  

If you’ve ever tried to buy the Harry Potter audiobooks, you probably noticed something kind of tricky: there are two very different versions. The version most widely available in the U.S. is narrated by Jim Dale. The U.K. version is read by Stephen Fry. Which is better? I won’t get into that — that’s something […]

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2020-04-01 08:39:10



LinkedIn's making its recruitment tools free to those fighting the coronavirus pandemic  

Like many other websites at the moment, the career-oriented networking platform LinkedIn has seen a big boost in traffic as a result of people being asked to work from home and stay indoors overall to slow the spread of the coronavirus, with a bump of 55% more conversational activity between existing connections in recent weeks. […]

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2020-04-01 07:15:21



YouTube sellers found touting bogus coronavirus vaccines and masks  

YouTube has been criticized for continuing to host coronavirus disinformation on its video sharing platform during a global health emergency. Two US advocacy groups which campaign for online safety undertook an 18-day investigation of the video sharing platform in March — finding what they say were “dozens” of examples of dubious videos, including videos touting […]

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2020-04-01 06:54:11



DoorDash now delivers from over 1,800 convenience stores nationwide  

DoorDash announced today it’s expanding beyond food to also deliver from convenience stores, like 7-Eleven, Wawa, CircleK, Casey’s General Store and others. The service is partnering with over 1,800 convenience store locations across the U.S., in order to provide easy access to household essentials like toilet paper, cleaning supplies, over-the-counter medicine, as well as hot […]

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2020-04-01 06:50:01



Detroit to be first to deploy Abbott Labs' 5-minute COVID-19 test, mayor says  

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said today on Wolf Blitzer's CNN show that the city of Detroit is on track to be the first city to deploy Abbott Labs’ five-minute COVID-19 test. The mayor said the test would be available for first responders. The goal, he said, was to test those first responders who are self-isolating […]

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2020-04-01 06:27:26



Palantir provides COVID-19 tracking software to CDC and NHS, pitches European health agencies  

As the floor drops out from under many startups, some tech companies are finding a path forward by meeting new government needs. Among them is Palantir, a secretive government-friendly big data operation that's able to ingest vast amounts of information to visualize trends and track individuals — useful tasks as the spread of COVID-19 threatens […]

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2020-04-01 06:14:23



Researchers to study if startup's wrist-worn wearable can detect early COVID-19 respiratory issues  

It’s highly unlikely that the current coronavirus crisis will be neatly and fully “solved” by any one endeavor or solution, which makes new studies like one involving startup WHOOP’s wrist-worn fitness and health tracking wearable all the more important. The study, conducted by the Central Queensland University Australia (CQUniversity), in partnership with the Cleveland Clinic, […]

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2020-04-01 05:57:41



Mobile app spending to double by 2024, despite economic impacts of COVID-19  

The spread of COVID-19 has already had a significant impact on the mobile app industry, and that will continue in the years to come. According to a revised 2020-2024 market forecast from app intelligence firm Sensor Tower, a sizable increase in app downloads for industries like remote work and education will lead to a large […]

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2020-04-01 05:55:41



T-Mobile officially completes merger with Sprint, CEO John Legere steps down ahead of schedule  

After months of regulatory maneuverings, T-Mobile and Sprint officially completed their $26 billion merger today. The new combined parent company is called T-Mobile and will now trade on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol TMUS with Sprint no longer trading on the NYSE. For consumers, it will seemingly take a little time before the effects […]

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2020-04-01 05:36:03



Tim Draper's Los Angeles-based blockchain-focused venture studio adds a venture partner  

The Los Angeles-based venture capital studio focused on blockchain and fintech startups, which longtime venture investor Tim Draper now calls home, has added a new venture partner to its team. Draper Goren Holm, the firm Draper manages alongside co-founders Alon Goren and Josef Holm, said Rodney Sampson has joined the crew as a venture partner. […]

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2020-04-01 05:26:12



Spotify and Warner Music Group renew their global licensing deal, resolve issue in India  

Spotify and Warner Music Group have renewed their global licensing partnership, the two said on Wednesday, confirming that the giant music label’s songs will now be available on the Sweden-headquartered firm’s platform in India. In a joint statement, the two companies said, “Spotify and Warner Music Group are pleased to announce a renewed global licensing […]

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2020-04-01 05:17:20



A former chaos engineer offers 5 tips for handling online disasters remotely  

It's often the small things that can make all the difference when working remotely; things that seem obvious in the moment, but may have been overlooked.

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2020-04-01 05:16:41



Daily Crunch: Zoom faces security scrutiny  

Researchers reveal a number of security issues with videoconferencing app Zoom, investors warn Indian startups of tough times ahead and Uber Eats expands its grocery options internationally. Here’s your Daily Crunch for April 1, 2020. 1. Maybe we shouldn't use Zoom after all Zoom's recent popularity has shone a spotlight on the company's security protections […]

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2020-04-01 05:07:57



Okta launches Lifecycle Management Workflows to make building identity-centric processes easy  

Okta, the popular identity and access management service, today used its annual (and now virtual) user conference to launch Lifecycle Management Workflows, a new tool that helps IT teams build and manage IFTTT-like automated processes with the help of an easy to use graphical interface. The new service is an extension of Okta’s existing automation […]

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2020-04-01 04:46:18



ImmunityBio and Microsoft team up to precisely model how key COVID-19 protein leads to infection  

An undertaking that involved combining massive amounts of graphics processing power could provide key leverage for researchers looking to develop potential cures and treatments for the novel coronavirus behind the current global pandemic. Immunotherapy startup ImmunityBio is working with Microsoft’s Azure to deliver a combined 24 petaflops of GPU computing capability for the purposes of […]

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2020-04-01 04:42:41



Operation COVID-19 will allow self-reporting of cases, to get ahead of official figures  

The Canadian founder of a startup who caught COVID-19 from Justin Trudeau's wife has launched an initiative to allow anyone to self-report their own case of the disease and publish the results, helping authorities to get ahead of the pandemic. Operation COVID-19 will visualize both official and suspected cases of the Coronavirus in data lists […]

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2020-04-01 04:36:18



Uber Eats beefs up its grocery delivery offer as COVID-19 lockdowns continue  

Uber Eats has beefed up grocery delivery options in three markets hard hit by the coronavirus. Uber’s food delivery division said today it’s inked a partnership with supermarket giant Carrefour in France to provide Parisians with 30 minute home delivery on a range of grocery products, including everyday foods, toiletries and cleaning products. The service […]

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2020-04-01 03:22:04



'Content network effect' makes TikTok tough to copy  

Many TikTok videos don’t start from scratch, so neither can its competitors. TikTok is all about remixes where users shoot a new video to recontextualize audio pulled from someone else’s clip, or riff on an existing meme or concept. That only works because TikTok’s had time to build up an immense armory of content to […]

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2020-04-01 02:46:39



Take your shot: Apply to TC Top Picks at Disrupt SF 2020  

TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco is known around the world as the place where the early-stage startup community gathers to learn and launch, connect and collaborate. We know COVID-19 has created challenges, but Disrupt SF is still on schedule (keep tabs on our updates here). Like startup founders everywhere, we quickly learn where, when and how […]

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2020-04-01 02:27:56



Hio wants to put networking events back on your remote-only calendars  

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and the COVID-19 pandemic has surged event cancellations across the country. Tech workforces have found ways to stay productive: back-to-back Zoom calls, work-from-home happy hours and more Twitter threads than anyone asked for. But Jason Craparo, the founder of events platform Hio, wants to put organic, face-to-face networking […]

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2020-04-01 02:26:47



Grab hires Peter Oey as its chief financial officer  

Grab announced today that it has hired Peter Oey as its new chief financial officer. Prior to joining Grab, Oey was the chief financial officer at LegalZoom, an online legal services company based near Los Angeles. Before that, he served the same role at Mylife.com, an online platform that aggregates information about people based on […]

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2020-04-01 01:49:31



VR chair startup raises funds, as pandemic boosts prospects for VR and gaming  

Roto VR, startup which markets an interactive, ‘360 degree’ chair, has raised £1.5 million in a funding round led by Pembroke VCT. Others in the round include TVB Growth Fund, managed by The FSE Group. The chair is designed to make VR more accessible to a mass audience, many of whom have turned to VR […]

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2020-04-01 01:47:46



Investors tell Indian startups to 'prepare for the worst' as Covid-19 uncertainty continues  

Just three months after capping what was the best year for Indian startups, having raised a record $14.5 billion in 2019, they are beginning to struggle to raise new capital as prominent investors urge them to “prepare for the worst" and cut spending. In an open letter to startup founders in India, ten global and […]

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2020-04-01 01:26:56



Africa Roundup: Africa's tech ecosystem responds to COVID-19  

In March, the virus gripping the world — COVID-19 — started to spread in Africa. In short order, actors across the continent’s tech ecosystem began to step up to stem the spread. Early in March Africa’s coronavirus cases by country were in the single digits, but by mid-month those numbers had spiked leading the World […]

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2020-04-01 01:09:18



Vericool raises $19.1 million for its plant-based packaging replacement for plastic coolers  

Vericool, a Livermore, Calif.-based startup that’s replacing plastic coolers and packaging with plant-based products, has raised $19.1 million in a new round of financing. The company’s stated goal is to replace traditional packaging materials like polystyrene with plant-based insulating packaging materials. Its technology uses 100% recycled paper fibers and other plant-based materials, according to the […]

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2020-03-31 21:35:04



FCC mandates strict caller ID authentication to beat back robocalls  

The FCC unanimously passed a new set of rules today that will require wireless carriers to implement an tech framework to combat robocalls. Called STIR/SHAKEN, and dithered over for years by the carriers, the protocol will be required to be put in place by summer of 2021.

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2020-03-31 19:44:04



On-demand shuttle startup Via hits $2.25 billion valuation on latest funding round led by Exor  

On-demand shuttle startup Via has hit a $2.25 billion valuation following a Series E funding round led by Exor, the Agnelli family holding company that owns stakes in PartnerRe, Ferrari and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The Series E funding round, which included other investors, totaled $400 million, according to a source familiar with the deal. Exor invested […]

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2020-03-31 18:31:03



FDA introduces a new program to expedite deployment of potential coronavirus treatments  

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a new program today that’s designed to foster close collaboration between public and private organizations in order to “bring coronavirus treatments to market as fast as possible,” according to U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Alex Azar in a press release. The program, dubbed the […]

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2020-03-31 18:27:45



Apple acquires Dark Sky, Android version shutting down in July  

Dark Sky, the popular weather app, has been acquired by Apple . News of the acquisition comes by way of Dark Sky’s own blog. The company says that there will be “no changes” for users on iOS right now — but for Dark Sky users on Android, the forecast isn’t so good. The company says […]

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2020-03-31 17:53:06



What does a pandemic say about the tech we've built?  

There’s a joke* being reshared on chat apps that takes the form of a multiple-choice question — asking who’s the leading force in workplace digital transformation? The red-lined punchline is not the CEO or CTO, but: C) COVID-19. There’s likely more than a grain of truth underpinning the quip. The novel coronavirus is pushing a […]

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2020-03-31 16:35:41



Brandless founder Tina Sharkey joins the board of PBS  

Tina Sharkey, the founder and former CEO of the recently closed D2C brand Brandless, has today been appointed to the board of directors of PBS. Sharkey is an independent board member. Before her time at Brandless, Sharkey spent years in the media world. She scaled Johnson & Johnson’s platform for new and expecting moms, called […]

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2020-03-31 16:31:21



How to value a startup in a downturn  

The value of technology companies has fallen as the broader public markets have repriced themselves in light of COVID-19-related market and economic disruptions. And as the public markets sort out the new value of a huge piece of global business, private companies are being shaken as well. What happens in the public markets trickles into […]

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2020-03-31 15:33:41



Marriott says 5.2 million guest records were stolen in another data breach  

Marriott has confirmed a second data breach in three years — this time involving the personal information on 5.2 million guests. The hotel giant said Tuesday it discovered in late February the breach of an unspecified property system at a franchise hotel. The hackers obtained the login details of two employees, a hotel statement said, […]

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2020-03-31 15:19:33



Despite economy, General Catalyst announces $2.3 billion in commitments across three funds  

General Catalyst, the 20-year-old venture firm that has been bulking up in recent years, announced this morning that it has secured $2.3 billion in capital commitments across three funds: a $600 million early-stage fund, a $1 billion growth fund for companies with $10 million-plus in annual revenue and a $700 million “endurance fund” to back […]

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2020-03-31 15:18:25



OrbitFab secures National Science Foundation funding to propel its satellite refueling tech to space  

On-orbit satellite refueling technology is closer than ever to a practical reality, which could help immensely with the cost and sustainability of orbital businesses. Startup OrbitFab, a 2019 TechCrunch Battlefield finalist, is one of the companies working to make orbital refueling a reality, and it just secured a new contract from the National Science Foundation’s […]

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2020-03-31 15:05:13



Venture capital isn't escaping the downward spiral of the global economy  

Q1 VC data is not great, and it's hard to imagine that Q2's results are going to look much better.

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2020-03-31 13:17:36



VR workplace training startup Strivr lands $30 million Series B  

Virtual reality has been two years away from mainstream adoption for the past six years. In that time, huge companies have made big VR bets only to walk away, countless VR startups have faded or flared out and investment has slowed significantly. Building an attractive VR product for large enterprises to train employees remotely has […]

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2020-03-31 12:13:28



Startup group works to get flat-packed protective boxes to front-line COVID-19 medical workers  

There are a number of initiatives by startup companies and entrepreneurs looking to support the healthcare response to COVID-19, and one that’s addressing a need in the realm of personal protective equipment is the COVID Box project launched by a group of volunteers in Toronto that includes startup founders and employees, as well as doctors […]

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2020-03-31 12:08:01



Fitbit adds GPS and Spotify control for the Charge 4  

Let's be real: Now isn't the ideal time to launch a health tracker. For a majority of us, expectations have dramatically plummeted for step counts, workout minutes and other gamified metrics. But hardware launches will, for the most part, go on. Fitbit eschewed its normal press event this time out — for increasingly good reason […]

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2020-03-31 11:55:04



Microsoft launches Edge Zones for Azure  

Microsoft today announced the launch of Azure Edge Zones, which will allow Azure users to bring their applications to the company’s edge locations. The focus here is on enabling real-time low-latency 5G applications. The company is also launching a version of Edge Zones with carriers (starting with AT&T) in preview, which connects these zones directly […]

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2020-03-31 11:38:45



Xerox drops $34B HP takeover bid amid COVID-19 uncertainty  

Xerox announced today that it would be dropping its hostile takeover bid of HP. The drama began last fall with a flurry of increasingly angry letters between the two companies, and confrontational actions from Xerox, including an attempt to take over the HP board that had rejected its takeover overtures. All that came crashing to […]

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2020-03-31 11:23:23



Dining and takeout startup Allset raises $8.25M as it adapts to life under lockdown  

Even though this might seem to be the absolute worst time to try to round up funding for a restaurant-related startup, Allset is announcing that it’s raised an $8.25 million Series B. It was not, to be clear, an easy process. CEO Stas Matviyenko (who founded the company with COO Anna Polishchuk) admitted that when […]

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2020-03-31 11:08:19



Leading VCs discuss how COVID-19 has impacted the world of digital health  

In December 2019, Extra Crunch spoke to a group of investors leading the charge in health tech to discuss where they saw the most opportunity in the space leading into 2020. At the time, respondents highlighted startups in digital therapeutics, telehealth and mental health that were improving medical practitioner efficiency or streamlining the distribution of […]

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2020-03-31 10:59:45



Facebook launches a global version of its Community Help feature in response to the COVID-19 pandemic  

Facebook first launched its Community Help feature in 2017, to give users a way to offer assistance, search for help and receive help in the wake of a crisis. The feature has since been used to connect Facebook users after man-made, accidental and natural disasters, like terrorist attacks or weather events, for example. Today, Facebook […]

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2020-03-31 10:49:45



Wide Open School organizes free educational resources to help parents and teachers homeschool  

Nearly 300 million kids are missing school worldwide because of the coronavirus outbreak, including some 54 million in the U.S. alone. That’s left parents scrambling for resources to help continue their children’s education, often while also working from home themselves — an almost insurmountable challenge. Today, the nonprofit media organization Common Sense is launching a […]

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2020-03-31 09:53:27



Stocks post worst quarter since 2008 financial crisis  

The first quarter of 2020 ended with a whimper — with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq posting their worst quarter in decades — as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause uncertainty and volatility across all major stock market indices. At the beginning of the quarter, we were still basking in a […]

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2020-03-31 09:48:49



Palo Alto Networks to acquire CloudGenix for $420M  

Palo Alto Networks announced today that it has an agreement in place to acquire CloudGenix for $420 million. CloudGenix delivers a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) that helps customers stay secure by setting policies to enforce compliance with company security protocols across distributed locations. This is especially useful for companies with a lot of branch […]

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2020-03-31 09:45:54



Roku's update adds support for Spanish voice commands, visual search results and more  

Roku announced today it’s preparing to roll out the next version of its operating system, Roku OS 9.3, which powers its popular media players, TVs and other devices. The flagship feature of this latest release is the introduction of Spanish Language Roku Voice support — meaning consumers will be able to speak their voice commands […]

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2020-03-31 09:17:27



Niantic squares up against Apple and Facebook with acquisition of AR startup 6D.ai  

Even as the pandemic forces Niantic to shift the way its outdoor-friendly titles are played, the gaming company is charging ahead with its efforts to build out an augmented reality platform which allows users to interact with the real world. Today, the studio behind Pokemon Go announced that it has acquired 6D.ai, a promising SF-based […]

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2020-03-31 08:42:45



Daily Crunch: Amazon warehouse workers walk out  

Amazon faces worker complaints over its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, General Motors says it’s moving fast to manufacture face masks and we’ve got some numbers quantifying the video conferencing boom. Here’s your Daily Crunch for March 31, 2020. 1. Amazon warehouse workers are walking out and Whole Foods workers are striking Yesterday, warehouse workers […]

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2020-03-31 07:21:23



Color is launching a high-capacity COVID-19 testing lab and will open-source its design and protocols  

Genomics health technology startup Color is doing its part to address the global COVID-19 pandemic, and has detailed the steps it’s taking to support expansion of testing efforts in a new blog post and letter from CEO Othman Laraki on Tuesday. The efforts include development of a high-throughput lab that can process as many as […]

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2020-03-31 06:42:19



Dear Sophie: How do we craft a strong H-1B petition? If I'm not selected, what are my options?  

Thank you for asking the questions that are on the minds of many H-1B first-timers. Don't worry! Several options exist if you're not selected.

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2020-03-31 06:09:51



Amid shift to remote work, application performance monitoring is IT's big moment  

In recent weeks, millions have started working from home, putting unheard-of pressure on services like video conferencing, online learning, food delivery and e-commerce platforms. While some verticals have seen a marked reduction in traffic, others are being asked to scale to new heights. Services that were previously nice to have are now necessities, but how […]

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2020-03-31 05:26:05



Substack offers $100K in grants for independent writers  

Substack is taking several steps to support the writers and publications using its newsletter platform. After all, just as writers and newsrooms are starting to build real businesses on Substack, the COVID-19 pandemic is dealing a huge financial blow to the media industry. In response, the startup says it will donate $100,000 in grants — […]

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2020-03-31 05:14:08



China's Pinduoduo raises $1.1 billion in private share placement  

Chinese e-commerce firm Pinduoduo said on Tuesday it had raised $1.1 billion in a private share placement that will enable its further expansion and allow it to capture "additional opportunities" during the times of uncertainty. The Nasdaq-listed firm said some of its long-term investors financed the deal. The investors were granted newly issued Class A […]

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2020-03-31 04:50:10






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