Google, Mozilla team up to block Kazakhstan’s browser spying tactics

Google and Mozilla have taken the rare step of blocking an untrusted certificate issued by the Kazakhstan government, which critics say it forced its citizens to install as part of an effort to monitor their internet traffic. The two browser makers said in a joint statement Wednesday it deployed “technical solutions” to block the government-issued…

Kobiton raises a $5.2M Series A round for its mobile testing platform

Kobiton, an Atlanta-based mobile testing platform that helps developers test their apps on real devices using the open-source Appium automation framework, today announced that it has raised a $5.2 million Series A round. The round was led by BIP Capital, with support from seed investors KMS Technology and Kinetic Ventures, as well as BetterCloud executive…

African incubator MEST has a new MD and 11 fresh startup investments

Pan-African incubator MEST announced investments in 11 startups from its 2019 cohort that will each receive $100,000 in financing. The $1.1 million backing for a graduating class is the largest to date for the Accra-based organization — which operates as a training program and seed fund for African innovators to build successful commercial tech companies.…

Xiaomi launches Mi A3 Android One smartphone with 48MP rear camera in India for $181

Google has found a committed partner for Android One in Xiaomi. The Chinese electronics giant today announced the launch of Mi A3, an Android One smartphone, in India as the company looks to expand its handset offering in its most important market. The Mi A3, which is the third Android One handset from Xiaomi, features…

Fresh out of Y Combinator, Tandem lands millions from Andreessen Horowitz

Tandem, one of the most sought after companies to graduate from Y Combinator’s summer batch, will emerge from the accelerator program with a supersized seed round and an uncharacteristically high valuation. The months-old business, which is developing communication software for remote teams after pivoting from crypto, is raising a $7.5 million seed financing at a…

Here are the 82 startups from day 2 of Y Combinator’s S19 Demo Days

Team TechCrunch was back for Day 2 of Y Combinator’s Summer 2019 Demo Days where we heard from another massive chunk of startups that are taking disruption very seriously, even if they’re aiming to upend companies that only launched in Y Combinator a few classes ago. The total class of on-record Demo Days launches came…

Why are revenue-based VCs investing in so many women and underrepresented founders?

David Teten Contributor Share on Twitter David Teten is a Venture Partner with HOF Capital. He was previously a Partner for 8 years with HOF Capital and ff Venture Capital. David writes regularly at teten.com and @dteten. More posts by this contributor Why are revenue-based VCs investing in so many women and underrepresented founders? Who…

Should your new VC fund use revenue-based investing?

David Teten Contributor Share on Twitter David Teten is a Venture Partner with HOF Capital. He was previously a Partner for 8 years with HOF Capital and ff Venture Capital. David writes regularly at teten.com and @dteten. More posts by this contributor Why are revenue-based VCs investing in so many women and underrepresented founders? Who…

DoorDash acquires autonomous driving startup Scotty Labs

DoorDash has been on an acquisition tear of late, with Scotty Labs as its latest target. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but this comes after DoorDash acquired Caviar in a deal worth $410 million. Scotty Labs, a tele-operations company that is working on technology to enable people to remotely control self-driving cars, raised…

Timbuk2’s Parker is a commuter backpack made for the long haul

It’s finally Bag Week again! The most wonderful week of the year at TechCrunch. Just in time for back to school, we’re bringing you reviews of bags of all varieties: from backpacks to rollers to messengers to fanny packs. Honestly, I’d thought I’d have grown out of backpacks by this point in my life. I had a…

Walmart sues Tesla for negligence after multiple solar panel fires

Walmart is suing Tesla for breach of contract and gross negligence after rooftop solar panel systems on seven of the retailer’s stores allegedly caught fire, according to a filing. Walmart said the lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday in New York state court, arose from years of gross negligence and failure to live up to industry…

YC-backed Stoic is a journaling app with a focus on understanding your feelings

The process of using the Stoic journaling app is simple: You open the app in the morning and the evening, when you’ll be prompted to answer a couple of questions and perform a few simple exercises. For example, this evening the app asked me to rate my current level of fulfillment and to identify what…

The American AI Initiative: A good first step, of many

Mark Minevich Contributor Share on Twitter Mark Minevich is a digital fellow at IPsoft. More posts by this contributor Japan’s ‘Society 5.0’ initiative is a road map for today’s entrepreneurs The path to general AI — and possibly superintelligence — is being paved before our eyes. And with the proliferation of an AI-driven society, the…

Researchers look into keeping autonomous vehicles from becoming mobile vomitoriums

If you’re like me, and I’m just going to assume most of you are, motion sickness is a serious consideration on any car trip where you’re not driving. So what are we supposed to do in self-driving vehicles? Researchers are finally looking into this question with an experiment designed to see just what makes people…

MoviePass exposed thousands of unencrypted customer card numbers

Movie ticket subscription service MoviePass has exposed tens of thousands of customer card numbers and personal credit cards because a critical server was not protected with a password. Mossab Hussein, a security researcher at Dubai-based cybersecurity firm SpiderSilk, found an exposed database on one of the company’s many subdomains. The database was massive, containing 161…

Waxed canvas bags from Waterfield, Manhattan Portage, Saddleback and more

It’s finally Bag Week again! the most wonderful week of the year at TechCrunch. Just in time for back to school, we’re bringing you reviews of bags of all varieties: from backpacks to rollers to messengers to fanny packs. This year, like last year, I decided to focus on a specific niche in the bag…

Netflix aims to retain subscribers with launch of a feature to track new releases

Hoping to keep viewers engaged with its content, Netflix today announced the launch of a new section called “Latest” in its TV app, designed to highlight the streaming service’s recent and upcoming releases. The addition isn’t just another row or two within the main Netflix homepage. Instead, the “Latest” section gets its own dedicated area…

Independent report on Facebook bias catalogues mild complaints from conservatives

An independent investigator has issued a preliminary report on its work determining the existence and/or extent of bias against conservatives on Facebook . It’s refreshingly light reading — the complaints are less “Facebook is a den of liberals” and more “we need more transparency on ad policies.” The report was undertaken in May of last…

NASA confirms mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa to explore its icy oceans

NASA has confirmed a mission to Europa, one of the Moons of Jupiter, will indeed happen. The mission was initially explored starting in 2017, with the space agency looking for reports on how it might proceed, and now NASA has said it will go ahead and move to the key stop of finalizing mission design,…

Fitbit cofounders James Park and Eric Friedman are coming to Disrupt SF

Ten years ago, a hardware startup launched a fitness device on stage at TechCrunch 50. The $99 gadget combined a pedometer with a diet monitoring system, designed to help wearers meet their fitness goals. Of course, a lot has changed for Fitbit in the intervening decade. The company has since become synonymous with fitness trackers…

Daily Crunch: Apple Card launches in the U.S.

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here. 1. Apple Card launches today for all US customers, adds 3% cash back for Uber and Uber Eats Customers can apply for…

The 11 best startups from Y Combinator’s S19 Demo Day 1

Y Combinator, the genesis for many of the companies that have shaped Silicon Valley including Airbnb, PagerDuty and Stripe, has minted another 200 some graduates. Half of those companies made their pitch to investors today during Day 1 of Y Combinator’s Summer 2019 Demo Day event and we’re here to tell you which startups are…

Shazam data is powering Apple Music’s newest chart, the Shazam Discovery Top 50

Apple continues to make use of Shazam, the music recognition app it acquired for $400 million in 2018. Earlier this month, Apple publicly launched its Music for Artists dashboard which included insights powered by Shazam data. Today, Apple announced that Shazam data will also now power a new Apple Music chart: the Shazam Discovery Top…

IBM is moving OpenPower Foundation to The Linux Foundation

IBM makes the Power Series chips, and as part of that has open sourced some of the underlying technologies to encourage wider use of these chips. The open source pieces have been part of the OpenPower Foundation. Today, the company announced it was moving the foundation under The Linux Foundation, and while it was at…

‘This is Your Life in Silicon Valley’: The League founder and CEO Amanda Bradford on modern dating, and whether Bumble is a ‘real’ startup

Sunil Rajaraman Contributor Sunil Rajaraman is the co-founder of Scripted.com More posts by this contributor ‘This is Your Life in Silicon Valley’: Former Pinterest president, Moment CEO Tim Kendall on smartphone addiction ‘This is Your Life in Silicon Valley’: Nomiku Founder CEO Lisa Fetterman on why Silicon Valley doesn’t care about female founders Welcome to…

GitHub adds 21 new partners to its free Student Developer Pack

For a few years now, GitHub has been running a program that gives students around the world free access to GitHub Pro and various free and discounted services from other partners as part of its GitHub Education program. In total, over 1.5 million students have now signed up for the program, with about 750,000 being…

Microsoft’s new Chromium-based Edge browser is now in beta

Microsoft today launched the first beta builds of its new, Chromium-based Edge browser for Windows and Mac. The new beta channel, which will see a new update roughly every six weeks, will join the existing dev and canary channels, which will continue to see daily and weekly updates, respectively. Over the course of the last…

Google’s lightweight search app, Google Go, launches to Android users worldwide

Google Go, a lightweight version of Google’s search app, is today becoming available to all Android users worldwide. First launched in 2017 after months of beta testing, the app had been designed primarily for use in emerging markets where people are often accessing the internet for the first time on unstable connections by way of low-end…

Y Combinator’s Michael Seibel on building startups, early-stage deal-making and tech’s center of gravity

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. We have a special episode ready for you today. As many of you know, it’s that time of year when hundreds of nascent startups make their big 2-minute pitch to the top venture capitalists of “Silicon Valley” (San…

MIT develops a sensor that can work underwater without a battery and send back data

MIT researchers have created a new underwater sensor and communication system that doesn’t require batteries, and barely uses any power at all. This could help set up an underwater ‘internet of things’ according to MIT, which would allow for real-time sea temperature and marine life monitoring, without requiring regular equipment and power swaps to make…

Discover the startups exhibiting at Disrupt SF 2019

We’re just a few weeks away from kicking off our flagship event, Disrupt SF 2019, that takes place on October 2-4. If you’re an investor looking to increase your portfolio, it’s the perfect time to start planning your Disrupt strategy. Never fear, we’re here to help you make the most of your valuable time. But…

DigitalOcean launches managed MySQL and Redis database services

Half a year after launching its managed PostgreSQL service, upstart hosting and cloud services platform DigitalOcean today announced the launch of its managed MySQL and Redis database offerings, too. Like most of the company’s latest releases, this move exemplifies DigitalOcean’s ambition to move beyond its discount hosting roots and to become a more fully-fledged cloud…

Facebook unveils new tools to control how websites share your data for ad-targeting

Last year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company would be creating a “Clear History” feature that deletes the data that third-party websites and apps share with Facebook. Today, the company is actually launching feature in select geographies. It’s gotten a new name in the meantime: Off-Facebook Activity. David Baser, the director of product…

H20.ai announces $72.5M Series D led by Goldman Sachs

H2O.ai‘s mission is to democratize AI by providing a set of tools that frees companies from relying on teams of data scientists. Today it got a bushel of money to help. The company announced a $72.5 million Series D round led by Goldman Sachs and Ping An Global Voyager Fund. Previous investors Wells Fargo, NVIDIA…

PressReader aims to add more personalization to its digital news platform by acquiring News360

A pair of digital news companies are teaming up, with PressReader acquiring News360. PressReader was founded back in 1999 as Newspaper Direct. It now operates a platform that converts newspapers and magazines into digital formats, while offering a $29.99 monthly subscription that provides unlimited access to more than 7,000 of those titles. News360, meanwhile, is…

Waymo self-driving cars head to Florida for rainy season

Waymo is taking some of its autonomous vehicles to Florida just in time for hurricane season to begin testing in heavy rain. The move to Florida will focus on testing how its myriad of sensors hold up during the region’s rainy season as well as to collect data. All of the vehicles will be manually…

Apple Card launches for all U.S. customers today, adds 3% cash back for Uber and Uber Eats

Apple this morning announced its highly anticipated new credit card, Apple Card, is launching today for all customers in the U.S. Customers will be able to apply for the Apple Card through the Wallet app on the iPhone, then immediately begin using it by way of Apple Pay — before the physical card arrives in…

IAC acquires nursing marketplace NurseFly for $15M

NurseFly, a startup that’s created a job marketplace for short-term nursing positions, is announcing its acquisition by holding company IAC. While the companies aren’t disclosing the deal terms, a source with knowledge of the acquisition said the price was $15 million. Co-founder and CEO Parth Bhakta told me that hospitals often hire travel nurses (signed…

SpaceX’s spacefaring Tesla Roadster has made a full trip around the Sun

Somewhere in space, a mannequin wearing a SpaceX spacesuit and driving a cherry red original Tesla Roadster that once belonged to Elon Musk is celebrating its first trip around the sun. The absurd ‘Starman’ and Roadster combo was launched last year aboard the first Falcon Heavy test flight from Kennedy Space Center, and has now…

LA-based gaming company, Scopely, expands in Spain and Ireland

The Los Angeles-based gaming company, Scopely is expanding its geographical footprint in Spain and Ireland. The company is building out its Barcelona offices tripling its office space and planning to significantly expand its 100-person-strong team in the city. Meanwhile, Scopely is also planning to invest heavily in expanding its strategy-focused game studio, DIGIT, in Dublin. Scopely…

Starship Technologies raises $40M, crosses 100K deliveries and plans to expand to 100 new universities

Starship Technologies invented the category of rolling autonomous sidewalk delivery robots, and to date, the company has made over 100,000 commercial deliveries on behalf of customers. The milestone comes as Starship adds $40 million in Series A funding, bringing its total funding to $85 million. When it announced an additional $25 million in June 2018,…

IFTTT warns against migrating Nest devices to Google accounts

Google says it’s moving Nest devices over to a unified Google ecosystem for the sake of simplicity. But simple can be complicated, as is certainly the case here. In May, after user pushback, the company announced that it would maintain Works with Nest connections for some third-party integration. IFTTT’s popular applets for the company’s camera,…

Yubico launches its dual USB-C and Lightning two-factor security key

Almost two months after it was first announced, Yubico has launched the YubiKey 5Ci, a security key with dual support for both iPhones, Macs and other USB-C compatible devices. Yubico’s latest Yubikey is the latest iteration of its security key built to support a newer range of devices, including Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and MacBooks in…

Reputation.com nabs $30M more to help enterprises manage their profiles online

In these days where endorsements from influential personalities online can make or break a product, a startup that’s built a business to help companies harness all the long-tail firepower they can muster to get their name out there in a good way has raised some funding to expand deeper into feedback and other experience territory.…

Summer flash sale: Score 2-for-1 passes to Disrupt Berlin 2019

The dog days of summer are upon us, and even busy startuppers across Europe are enjoying a well-deserved vacation. Down time’s important and so is saving money, so all this week we’re holding a 2-for-1 summer flash sale on passes to Disrupt Berlin 2019. Disrupt Berlin takes place on 11-12 December and, depending on the…

SpotQA picks up $3.25M seed funding for its automated software testing

SpotQA, a new automated software testing platform that claims to be significantly faster than either manual testing or existing automated QA solutions, has raised $3.25 million in seed funding. Leading the round is Crane Venture Partners, the newly-outed London venture capital firm focusing on “intelligent” enterprise startups. Also participating is Forward Ventures, Downing Ventures and…

State attorneys general to launch antitrust investigation into big tech companies, reports say

The state attorneys in more than a dozen states are preparing to begin an antitrust investigation of the tech giants, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times reported Monday, putting the spotlight on an industry that is already facing federal scrutiny. The bipartisan group of attorneys from as many as 20 states is expected to formally…

All 84 startups from Y Combinator’s S19 Demo Day 1

It’s that time of year, Silicon Valley’s investor technocrati and advice-giving Twitter celebrities descended upon Pier 48 in San Francisco to judge the latest summer batch of Y Combinator startups. TechCrunch was there, as well, and we were tapping away feverishly as co-founders pitched to woo investors. There are 197 companies in total in the…

This hand-tracking algorithm could lead to sign language recognition

Millions of people communicate using sign language, but so far projects to capture its complex gestures and translate them to verbal speech have had limited success. A new advance in real-time hand tracking from Google’s AI labs, however, could be the breakthrough some have been waiting for. The new technique uses a few clever shortcuts…

Who are the major revenue-based investing VCs?

David Teten Contributor Share on Twitter David Teten is a Venture Partner with HOF Capital. He was previously a Partner for 8 years with HOF Capital and ff Venture Capital. David writes regularly at teten.com and @dteten. More posts by this contributor Revenue-based investing: A new option for founders who care about control How To…

Revenue-based investing: A new option for founders who care about control

David Teten Contributor Share on Twitter David Teten is a Venture Partner with HOF Capital. He was previously a Partner for 8 years with HOF Capital and ff Venture Capital. David writes regularly at teten.com and @dteten. More posts by this contributor Revenue-based investing: A new option for founders who care about control How To…

Porsche is integrating Apple Music into the all-electric Taycan

Porsche said Monday it will integrate Apple Music into its upcoming all-electric Taycan sports car, the first time the music streaming service has been offered as a standalone app within a vehicle. The announcement illustrates the latest efforts by Porsche to focus on digital entertainment in its vehicles as well as its further alignment with…

The five technical challenges Cerebras overcame in building the first trillion transistor chip

Superlatives abound at Cerebras, the until-today stealthy next-generation silicon chip company looking to make training a deep learning model as quick as buying toothpaste from Amazon. Launching after almost three years of quiet development, Cerebras introduced its new chip today — and it is a doozy. The “Wafer Scale Engine” is 1.2 trillion transistors (the…

LA-based Brainbase raises $3 million for its intellectual property licensing management tech

It’s been nearly a century since Walt Disney first introduced Mickey Mouse to the world. In the ensuing decades, Disney, and the mythmakers of Hollywood have churned out storytelling franchises that are worth billions. But the ways in which many of these mythmaking houses have kept track on the various characters they’ve come up with,…

Segway-Ninebot’s new scooter drives to its docking station for a recharge

At an event in Beijing last week, Chinese scooter company Segway-Ninebot Group unveiled a trio of new products. The most compelling of the bunch was no doubt the KickScooter T60, which harnesses AI to drive itself back to the charging station. The company says it will start piloting the products next quarter, with a timeline…

Men’s personal care startup Huron raises $1M

Huron founder and CEO Matt Mullenax is hoping to build a big business around body wash. “For us, the broader mission is A+ personal care for guys everywhere — not just guys in New York or guys in the Bay Area or guys in Los Angeles,” he said. The startup has raised $1 million in…

Baidu beats estimates on strong video streaming growth

Chinese technology group Baidu on Monday posted a revenue of 26.33 billion yuan ($3.73 billion) for the quarter that ended in June, beating analysts’ estimates of 25.77 billion yuan ($3.65 billion) as its video streaming service iQiyi continues to see strong growth. The 19-year-old firm’s shares were up over 9% in extended trading. The company,…

YC’s latest VR bet is a team building a cyberpunk anime MMO

There are niche startups and then there are VR companies going after fans of the “cyberpunk fantasy anime aesthetic.” Ramen VR is one of only a few virtual reality startups that Y Combinator has bet on in the past few years and is only one of two in the company’s most recent batch of bets.…

ULA tapped to launch Astrobotic’s lunar lander to the Moon in 2021

The United Launch Alliance (ULA) has been chosen to launch the lunar lander of one of the companies chosen by NASA for its commercial lunar payload program. ULA will deliver Astrobotic’s Peregrine lander to the Moon in 2021, the companies announced today. Peregrine will fly aboard ULA’s Vulcan Centaur rocket, taking off from Space Launch…

RYU’s line of backpacks offer style and function for exploring the city or weekends away

Yes, it’s Bag Week, where we celebrate all the best bags of the year here at TechCrunch. And there is little more satisfying than finding a basic black one that’s functional, stylish and unique. Luckily, Canadian urban athletic apparel maker RYU makes three such bags, and while each one has its own particular appeal depending…

TikTok’s new ‘Hashtag Challenge Plus’ lets video viewers shop for products in the app

TikTok, the short-form video platform favored by young adults and teens, has launched a new feature that allows users to shop for products associated with a sponsored Hashtag Challenge, without leaving its app. These sponsored challenges are Gen Z-friendly marketing campaigns where users are prompted to post videos of them using a product — like…

Join The New Stack for Pancake & Podcast with Q&A at TC Sessions: Enterprise

Popular enterprise news and research site, The New Stack, is coming to TechCrunch Sessions: Enterprise on September 5 for a special Pancake & Podcast session with live Q&A  featuring, you guessed it, delicious pancakes and awesome panelists! Here’s the “short stack” of what’s going to happen: Pancake buffet opens at 7:45 am on Thursday, Sept.…

WP Standard’s Weekender leather duffle is built for life

Have you heard? It’s Bag Week! It’s the most wonderful week of the year at TechCrunch. Just in time for back to school, we’re bringing you reviews of bags of all varieties: from backpacks, to rollers to messengers to fanny packs. WP Standard makes exceptional leather goods and the company’s new leather duffle is no…

Twitter blocks state-controlled media outlets from advertising on its social network

Twitter is now blocking state-run media outlets from advertising on its platform. The new policy was announced just hours after the company identified an information operation involving hundreds of accounts linked to China as part of an effort to “sow political discord” around events in Hong Kong after weeks of protests in the region. Over…

A newly funded startup, Internal, says it wants to help companies better manage their internal consoles

Uber and Facebook and countless other companies that know an awful lot about their customers have found themselves in hot water for providing broad internal access to sensitive customer information. Now, a startup says its “out-of-the-box tools” can help protect customers’ privacy while also saving companies from themselves. How? With a software-as-a-service product that promises…

Without evidence, Trump accuses Google of manipulating millions of votes

The President this morning lashed out at Google on Twitter, accusing the company of manipulating millions of votes in the 2016 election to sway it towards Hillary Clinton. The authority on which he bases this serious accusation, however, is little more than supposition in an old paper reheated by months-old congressional testimony. Trump’s tweet this…

Mammoth Media introduces Choose Your Own Adventure-style storytelling to its chat fiction app Yarn

The chat fiction stories offered in Mammoth Media‘s mobile app Yarn are about to get more interactive. The branching narrative mechanic should be familiar to anyone who read Choose Your Own Adventure books when they were kids — you read a story, and at certain key moments, you choose from different options that determine where…

These are the games coming to Google Stadia

Google’s game streaming service isn’t set to launch until November, but the company kept the hype train going through the mid-August doldrums with a Gamescom Stadia Connect live stream. As promised, the online press conference was “all about the games,” featuring what looks to be a nearly complete list of launch (and some post-launch) titles.…

Twitter says accounts linked to China tried to ‘sow political discord’ in Hong Kong

Twitter says a significant information operation involving hundreds of accounts linked to China were part of an effort to deliberately “sow political discord” in Hong Kong after weeks of protests in the region. In a blog post, the social networking site said the 936 accounts it found tried to undermine “the legitimacy and political positions…

After data incidents, Instagram expands its bug bounty

Facebook is expanding its data abuse bug bounty to Instagram. The social media giant, which owns Instagram, first rolled out its data abuse bounty in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which saw tens of millions of Facebook profiles scraped to help swing undecided voters in favor of the Trump campaign during the U.S.…

Ally raises $8M Series A for its OKR solution

OKRs, or Objectives and Key Results, are a popular planning method in Silicon Valley. Like most of those methods that make you fill in some form once every quarter, I’m pretty sure employees find them rather annoying and a waste of their time. Ally wants to change that and make the process more useful. The…

Developers accuse Apple of anti-competitive behavior with its privacy changes in iOS 13

A group of app developers have penned a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, arguing that certain privacy-focused changes to Apple’s iOS 13 operating system will hurt their business. In a report by The Information, the developers were said to have accused Apple of anti-competitive behavior when it comes to how apps can access user…

‘Breaking Into Startups’: Torch CEO and Well Clinic founder Cameron Yarbrough on mental health & coaching

Chad M. Crabtree Contributor Share on Twitter Chad M. Crabtree is the editor-in-Chief at Career KarmaCareer Karma, covering the Future of Work, Tech Education, and Startups. There has long been a stigma associated with therapy and mental health coaching, a stigma that is even more pronounced in the business world, despite considerable evidence of the…

Shell’s first electric vehicle fast charger lands in Singapore

Royal Dutch Shell, the energy giant known for its fossil fuel production and hundreds of Shell gas stations, is creeping into the electric vehicle-power business. The company’s first DC fast charger launched Monday at a Shell gas station in Singapore. Greenlots, an EV charging startup acquired by Shell in January, installed the charger. This is…

The five great reasons to attend TechCrunch’s Enterprise show Sept. 5 in SF

The vast enterprise tech category is Silicon Valley’s richest, and today it’s poised to change faster than ever before. That’s probably the biggest reason to come to TechCrunch’s first-ever show focused entirely on enterprise. But here are five more reasons to commit to joining TechCrunch’s editors on September 5 at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center…

MIT built a better way to deliver high-quality video streams to multiple devices at once

Image via Getty Images / aurielaki Depending on your connection and the size of your household, video streaming can get downright post-apocalyptic – bandwidth is the key resource, and everyone is fighting to get the most and avoid a nasty, pixelated picture. But a new way to control how bandwidth is distributed across multiple, simultaneous…

Microsoft acquires jClarity, an open source Java performance tuning tool

Microsoft announced this morning that it was acquiring jClarity, an open source tool designed to tune the performance of Java applications. It will be doing that on Azure from now on. In addition, the company has been offering a flavor of Java called AdoptOpenJDK, which they bill as a free alternative to Oracle Java. The…

Trump and Tim Cook talked easing tariffs again

On Friday night, the President once again tweeted about Apple . This time, however, things were a bit more positive. “Having dinner tonight with Tim Cook of Apple,” he wrote in advance of the meeting. “They will be spending vast sums of money in the U.S. Great!” The pair had dinner at Trump’s golf club…

All that glitters is not gold: How healthtech startups can achieve true value

Eli Cahan Contributor Share on Twitter Eli Cahan is a medical student at NYU on leave to complete a master’s in health policy at Stanford as a Knight-Hennessey Scholar. His research addresses the effectiveness, economics, and ethics of (digital) health innovation. Healthtech is apparently in a golden age. Just a few weeks ago, Livongo and…

Prices for passes to Disrupt SF 2019 increase next week

Is it just us or is the summer disappearing faster than ever? Disrupt San Francisco 2019 is right around the corner (October 2-4) and the great early-bird migration is upon us. Your opportunity to save big bucks disappears on August 30. Depending on which pass you purchase, you can save up to a whopping $1,300.…

An anonymous hentai porn site exposed over a million users’ emails

A popular hentai porn site that promises anonymity to its 1.1 million users left a user database exposed without a password, allowing anyone to identify users by their email addresses. You might not have heard of Luscious.net unless you’re into hentai and manga porn but it’s one of the most popular websites in the U.S.,…

Simon Data hauls in $30M Series C to continue building customer data platform

As businesses use an increasing variety of marketing software solutions, the goal around collecting all of that data is to improve customer experience. Simon Data announced a $30 million Series C round today to help. The round was led by Polaris Partners . Previous investors .406 Ventures and F-Prime Capital also participated. Today’s investment brings…

YouTube Originals become ad-supported and free after September 24th

In an email distributed to YouTube Premium subscribers, the company confirmed that access to YouTube’s original programming will no longer be exclusive to Premium customers after September 24th, 2019. Instead, many of YouTube’s Original series, movies, and live events will be offered to all YouTube viewers for free, supported by ads. Premium members, however, can…

Binance launches Venus, which it calls an “independent, regional version” of Facebook’s Libra

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, announced today that it will launch an open blockchain project called Venus to develop regional stablecoins pegged to fiat currencies (or traditional currencies usually issued and backed by a government). Based in Malta, Binance launched its decentralized trading service, Binance Chain, earlier this year, and since then has issued…

Watch the trailer for the Apple TV+ drama ‘The Morning Show’

Apple is giving viewers their first extended look at “The Morning Show,” a drama starring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell. Previously, all that we’d seen from the show were a few brief clips in a broader promo for Apple’s upcoming subscription service TV+, followed by an ominous teaser trailer that was literally just…

YC’s Earth AI closes funding for its platform to make mining less wasteful

Discovering and drilling for the important minerals used for industry and the technology sector remains incredibly important as existing mines are becoming depleted. If the mining industry can’t become more efficient at finding these important deposits, then more unnecessary, harmful drilling and exploration takes place. Applying AI to this problem would seem like a no-brainer…

US Commerce Department adds 46 Huawei affiliates to entity list

The United States Department of Commerce announced this morning the addition of 46 Huawei affiliates to its Entity List. Effective today, the companies join more than 100 entries added to list over connections to the embattled Chinese consumer electronics giant. The DoC also used this morning’s news to announce an extension of its Temporary General…

Disney+ comes to Canada and the Netherlands on Nov. 12, will support nearly all major platforms at launch

Disney+ will have an international launch that begins at the same time as its rollout in the U.S., Disney revealed. The company will be launching its digital streaming service on November 12 in Canada and The Netherlands on November 12, and will be coming to Australia and New Zealand the following week. The streaming service…

Sonos Bluetooth-enabled, battery-powered speaker leaks ahead of official launch

Sonos has an event coming up at the end of the month to reveal something new, but leaks have pretty much given away what’s likely to be the highlight announcement at the event: A new, Bluetooth-enabled speaker that has a built-in battery for portable power. The speaker originally leaked earlier this month, with Dave Zatz…

Roku launches a Kids & Family section on The Roku Channel, plus parental controls

Roku’s home entertainment hub, The Roku Channel, is expanding into kids’ programming. The company this morning announced plans to aggregate kids and family movies and TV alongside the channel’s other content, including its free, ad-supported movies and television, live TV, and subscriptions. In addition to the launch of the new “Kids & Family” section on…

Rocket Lab successfully launches rideshare rocket with two experimental USAF satellites on board

Rocket Lab has successfully launched its eight mission, an Electron rocket rideshare flight carrying four satellites to orbit for various clients. The Electron launched from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand, at 12:12 AM NZST (8:12 AM ET). This was its second attempt, after a scrub last week due to adverse weather conditions…

Twitter is blocked in China, but its state news agency is buying promoted tweets to portray Hong Kong protestors as violent

Twitter is being criticized for running promoted tweets by China’s largest state news agency that paint pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong as violent, even though the rallies, including one that drew an estimated 1.7 million people this weekend, have been described as mostly peaceful by international media. Promoted tweets from China Xinhua News, the official…

Uncork Capital cracks open two new funds

Uncork Capital, the now 15-year-old, early-stage venture firm formerly known as SoftTech VC, has closed up two new pools of committed capital totaling $200 million: $100 million for its sixth early-stage fund, and $100 million for an “opportunity” fund so it can stuff a little more capital into those of its portfolio companies that start…

Minecraft to get big lighting, shadow and color upgrades through Nvidia ray tracing

Minecraft is getting a free update that brings much-improved lighting and color to the game’s blocky graphics using real-time ray tracing running on Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics hardware. The new look is a dramatic change in the atmospherics of the game, and manages to be eerily realistic while retaining Minecraft’s pixelated charm. The ray tracing…

Founder how-to content on the Extra Crunch Stage at Disrupt Berlin 2019

Disrupt Berlin 2019, our premier European tech conference, takes place on 11-12 December and draws 3,000 people from more than 50 countries. Every year we work hard to improve our content programming and present it in new and engaging ways to a very savvy startup audience. This year be sure to check out the Extra…

Spotify Family Accounts are getting parental controls

Want to give your kids access to Spotify, but only the “clean” stuff? It’ll be an option soon. Spotify’s family plan — the one that gets you six accounts for 15 bucks — is picking up a feature that the company says people have been asking about for years: parental controls. Under the new setup,…

HPE Growth backs WeTransfer in €35M secondary funding round

WeTransfer, the Amsterdam-headquartered company that is best know for its file-sharing service, is disclosing a €35 million secondary funding round. The investment is led by European growth equity firm, HPE Growth, with “significant” participation from existing investor Highland Europe. Being secondary funding — meaning that a number of shareholders have sold all or a portion…

RedDoorz raises $70M to expand its budget hotel network in Southeast Asia

Singapore-based budget hotel booking startup RedDoorz is tiny in comparison to fast-growing giant Oyo. But it is holding its ground and winning the trust of an ever growing number of investors. On Monday, the four-year-old startup announced it has raised $70 million in Series C financing round, less than five months after it closed its…

The Bugatti Centodieci is a $8.9 million homage to the early 90s EB110 supercar

The Bugatti Centodieci is the French automaker’s most powerful supercar yet — coming in a skosh above the Chiron at 1,600 horsepower. But it’s not just the power — or the $8.9 million price tag — that makes the Centodieci stand out. The angular supercar, still dotted with the signature Bugatti design elements, tips its…

Tesla pitches a solar rental program to boost its renewable energy business

Tesla is pitching customers on a new rental offering for solar power as a way to revive the flagging fortunes of its renewable energy business. Once among the largest installers of renewables in the country through SolarCity, Tesla has seen its share of the market decline significantly since its acquisition of SolarCity three years ago.…

Original Content podcast: Netflix’s ‘Wu Assassins’ is a punching, kicking delight

When we reviewed “Another Life” last week, we described it as an old-fashioned science fiction space show, something that’s been absent from TV for the past decade or so. “Wu Assassins” is another new Netflix series, and it’s also is a kind of a throwback — this time to ’90s martial arts series like “Vanishing…

The mainstream media have still not learned the lessons of Gamergate

This week the New York Times published a five-years-later retrospective on Gamergate and its aftereffects, which is chilling and illuminating, and you should go read it. It makes an excellent case — several excellent written cases, actually — that “everything is Gamergate,” that it and its hate-screeching online mobs were the prototype for all the…

Week in Review: Snapchat beats a dead horse

Hey. This is Week-in-Review, where I give a heavy amount of analysis and/or rambling thoughts on one story while scouring the rest of the hundreds of stories that emerged on TechCrunch this week to surface my favorites for your reading pleasure. Last week, I talked about how Netflix might have some rough times ahead as…

NASA and SpaceX practice Crew Dragon evacuation procedure with astronaut recovery vessel

NASA and SpaceX continue their joint preparations for the eventually astronaut crew missions that SpaceX will fly for the agency, with a test of the emergency evacuation procedure for SpaceX’s GO Searcher seaborne ship. The ship is intended to be used to recover spacecraft and astronauts in an actual mission scenario, and the rehearsals this…

Voyage’s driverless future, ghost work, B2B growth strategies, and Black Hat takeaways

Inside Voyage’s plan to deliver a driverless future In the autonomous vehicle space, startups have taken radically different strategies to building our AV future. Some companies like Waymo have driven all across different types of environments in order to rack up the datasets that they believe will be needed to effectively maneuver without a human…

Ikea doubles down on smart home tech with new business unit

Ikea’s smart home investments to date have been smart but scattered – now the Swedish home goods brand says it’s going to amp up its smart home bets with a brand new dedicated business unit. The company’s smart home endeavors began in 2012, and focused on wireless charging and smart lighting. It’s iterated in both…

SoftBank reportedly plans to lend employees as much as $20 billion to invest in its VC fund

SoftBank has a plant to loan up to $20 billion to its employees, including CEO Masayoshi Son, for the purposes of having that capital re-invested in SoftBank’s own Vision venture fund, according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal. That’s a highly unusual move that could be risky in terms of how much…

Next Apple Watch could include new ceramic and titanium models

Apple’s next Apple Watch revision could include new materials for the case, including titanium and ceramic. That’s according to new assets pulled form the latest watchOS beta release, as uncovered by Brazilian site iHelp.br (via 9to5Mac). The new screens discovered in the beta show graphics used to pair the Apple Watch during setup, and list “Titanium…

Privacy researchers devise a noise-exploitation attack that defeats dynamic anonymity

Privacy researchers in Europe believe they have the first proof that a long-theorised vulnerability in systems designed to protect privacy by aggregating and adding noise to data to mask individual identities is no longer just a theory. The research has implications for the immediate field of differential privacy and beyond — raising wide-ranging questions about…

Startups Weekly: The mad dash to the public markets

Hello and welcome back to Startups Weekly, a weekend newsletter that dives into the week’s noteworthy startups and venture capital news. Before I jump into today’s topic, let’s catch up a bit. Last week, I wrote about the differences between raising cash from angels and traditional venture capitalists. Before that, I summarized DoorDash’s acquisition of…

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ review

It’s true, you’ve got the Galaxy Note to thank for your big phone. When the device hit the scene at IFA 2011, large screens were still a punchline. That same year, Steve Jobs famously joked about phones with screens larger than four inches, telling a crowd of reporters, “nobody’s going to buy that.” In 2019,…

Flexible stick-on sensors could wirelessly monitor your sweat and pulse

As people strive ever harder to minutely quantify every action they do, the sensors that monitor those actions are growing lighter and less invasive. Two prototype sensors from crosstown rivals Stanford and Berkeley stick right to the skin and provide a wealth of physiological data. Stanford’s stretchy wireless “BodyNet” isn’t just flexible in order to…

ClearBrain launches analytics tools focused on connecting cause and effect

Businesses need to understand cause and effect: Someone did X and it increased sales, or they did Y and it hurt sales. That’s why many of them turn to analytics — but Bilal Mahmood, co-founder and CEO of ClearBrain, said existing analytics platforms can’t answer that question accurately. “Every analytics platform today is still based…

L.A.-based Upfront Ventures has two new general partners, bringing its GP count to eight

Upfront Ventures, the 23-year-old, LA-based venture capital firm, is gearing up for far more deal-making. In addition to filing paperwork with the SEC this summer to raise its third growth-stage investment fund (it is also investing a $400 million early-stage fund and probably announcing another soon), the firm just added two new general partners to…

Daily Crunch: Cloudflare is going public

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here. 1. Cloudflare files for initial public offering The web infrastructure company has recently found itself at the center of political debates around…

How ‘ghost work’ in Silicon Valley pressures the workforce, with Mary Gray

The phrase “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” was originally meant sarcastically. It’s not actually physically possible to do — especially while wearing Allbirds and having just fallen off a Bird scooter in downtown San Francisco, but I should get to my point. This week, Ken Cuccinelli, the acting Director of the United States…

Lumineye helps first responders identify people through walls

Any first responder knows that situational awareness is key. In domestic violence disputes, hostage rescue, or human trafficking situations, first responders often need help determining where humans are behind closed doors. That’s why Megan Lacy, Corbin Hennen and Rob Kleffner developed Lumineye, a 3D printed radar device that uses signal analysis software to differentiate moving…

Slack co-founder Cal Henderson and Spark Capital’s Megan Quinn are coming to Disrupt SF

If there was one company at the top of everyone’s mind this year, it was Slack. The now-ubiquitous workplace messaging tool began trading on the New York Stock Exchange in June after taking an unusual route to the public markets known as a direct listing. Slack bypassed the typical IPO process in favor of putting…

Google discloses its acquisition of mobile learning app Socratic as it relaunches on iOS

Google publicly disclosed its acquisition of homework helper app Socratic in an announcement this week, detailing the added support for the company’s A.I. technology and its relaunch on iOS. The acquisition apparently flew under the radar — Google says it bought the app last year. According to one founder’s LinkedIn update, that was in March…

Northrop Grumman to build its OmegA rocket at NASA’s VAB as first commercial tenant

NASA is celebrating alongside Northrop Grumman at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, as the latter becomes the first commercial partner to make use of the Vehicle Assembly Building on-site at the base. The VAB, as it’s more commonly known, is a cavernous building that’s used to build and test rockets ahead of rolling them out…

Amazon customers say they received emails for other people’s orders

Users have said they are receiving emails from Amazon containing invoices and order updates on other customers, TechCrunch has learned. Jake Williams, founder of cybersecurity firm Rendition Infosec, raised the alarm after he received an email from Amazon addressed to another customer with their name, postal address and their order details. Williams said he ordered…

Showcase your startup in Startup Alley at Disrupt SF 2019

What’s the lifeblood of any early-stage startup? Money and media coverage. Opportunities to acquire both abound at Disrupt San Francisco 2019, our flagship tech conference that takes place on October 2-4. It’s all about networking and making the right connections to make your startup dreams come true, and there’s no better networking mecca than Startup…

Why startups ads are taking over the subway

If you’re a New Yorker, one of the easiest ways to keep up-to-date on the latest consumer products — furniture, beauty products, mobile apps, you name it — is to hop on the subway. Even before you board, you may find yourself walking through a station filled with colorful startup ads. And once you’re actually…

SmileDirectClub files to go public amidst concerns from dental associations

SmileDirectClub, the at-home teeth-straightening service, is on its way to becoming a public company. SmileDirectClub is seeking to raise up to $100 million in its IPO, according to its S-1 filed today. The number of shares and price range for the offering have yet to be determined. Prior to this, SmileDirectClub reached a $3.2 billion…

YC-backed Lokal wants to bring local news, classifieds to 900 million Indians in their regional languages

Each month millions of Indians are coming online for the first time, making India the last great growth market for internet companies worldwide. But winning them presents its own challenges. These users, most of whom live in small cities and villages in India, can’t speak English. Their interests and needs are different from those of…

Postmates lands permit to test its Serve autonomous delivery robots in SF

Postmates has officially received the green light from the city of San Francisco to begin testing its Serve wheeled delivery robot on city streets, as first reported by the SF Chronicle and confirmed with Postmates by TechCrunch. The on-demand delivery company told us last week that it expected the issuance of the permit to come through…

Y Combinator-backed Holy Grail is using machine learning to build better batteries

For a long, long time, renewable energy proponents have considered advancements in battery technology to be the holy grail of the industry. Advancements in energy storage has been among the hardest to achieve economically thanks to the incredibly tricky chemistry that’s involved in storing power. Now, one company that’s launching from Y Combinator believes it…

Twitter to test a new filter for spam and abuse in the Direct Message inbox

Twitter is testing a new way to filter unwanted messages from your Direct Message inbox. Today, Twitter allows users to set their Direct Message inbox as being open to receiving messages from anyone, but this can invite a lot of unwanted messages, including abuse. While one solution is to adjust your settings so only those…

Y Combinator-backed Narrator wants to become the operating system for data science

Cedric Dussud, Michael Nason, Ahmed Elsamadisi and Matthew Star (pictured above, in order) spent the summer sharing a house in San Francisco, cooking meals together and building Narrator, a startup with ambitions of becoming a universal data model fit for any company. Narrator is one of more than 100 startups graduating next week from Y…

8 million Android users tricked into downloading 85 adware apps from Google Play

Dozens of Android adware apps disguised as photo editing apps and games have been caught serving ads that would take over users’ screens as part of a fraudulent money-making scheme. Security firm Trend Micro said it found 85 individual apps downloaded more than eight million times from the Google Play — all of which have…

Motorola has GoPro aspirations for its latest budget handset

Good on Motorola for keeping it interesting. At the end of the day, I’m not sure how large a market there is for a budget “action camera” phone, but in a world of samey electronics, at least the Lenovo-owned brand continues to shade in interesting corners. Honestly, I’m surprised more phones didn’t attempt to position…

How should B2B startups think about growth? Not like B2C

Tyler Elliston & Kevin Barry Contributor Tyler Elliston is the founder of Right Side Up, a collective of growth marketers that primarily helps early to mid-stage companies scale. Kevin Barry is the co-founder of Right Percent, a B2B-only performance marketing agency that develops tailored acquisition strategies for early to mid-stage companies. Over the years, we’ve…

YouTube shuts down music companies’ use of manual copyright claims to steal creator revenue

YouTube is making a change to its copyright enforcement policies around music used in videos, which may result in an increased number of blocked videos in the shorter term — but overall, a healthier ecosystem in the long-term. Going forward, copyright owners will no longer be able to monetize creator videos with very short or…

Protein replacement startups are coming for food additives as Shiru launches from Y Combinator

Shiru, a new company that’s launching from the latest batch of Y Combinator-backed startups, is joining the ranks of the businesses angling for a spot at the vanguard of the new food technology revolution. The company was founded by Jasmin Hume, the former director of food chemistry at Just (the company formerly known as Hampton…

How-to: Exhibit for free in Startup Alley at Disrupt Berlin 2019

We love a good how-to, especially one that saves early-stage startup founders money and positions them for mad success. We’re talking about how to apply to be a TC Top Pick and exhibit at Disrupt Berlin 2019 — for free. Our TC Top Picks program is what we call a pre-Disrupt competition. If you’re a…

China’s Transsion and Kenya’s Wapi Capital partner on Africa fund

Chinese mobile-phone and device maker Transsion is teaming up with Kenya’s Wapi Capital to source and fund early-stage African fintech startups. Headquartered in Shenzhen, Transsion is a top-seller of smartphones in Africa that recently confirmed its imminent IPO. Wapi Capital is the venture fund of Kenyan fintech startup Wapi Pay—a Nairobi based company that facilitates digital…

Twitter leads $100M round in top Indian regional social media platform ShareChat

Is there room for another social media platform? ShareChat, a four-year-old social network in India that serves tens of million of people in regional languages, just answered that question with a $100 million financing round led by global giant Twitter . Other than Twitter, TrustBridge Partners, and existing investors Shunwei Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, SAIF…

Apple is suing Corellium

Apple is suing virtualization software company Corellium, according to documents filed today in Florida. Corellium allows customers to create and interact with virtual iOS devices — a software iPhone, for example, running actual iOS firmware, all within the browser. Apple says this is copyright infringement, and is demanding Corellium stops “all uses of” its iOS…

Toolkit for digital abuse could help victims protect themselves

Domestic abuse comes in digital forms as well as physical and emotional, but a lack of tools to address this kind of behavior leaves many victims unprotected and desperate for help. This Cornell project aims to define and detect digital abuse in a systematic way. Digital abuse may be many things: hacking the victim’s computer,…

Cloudflare has a third cofounder, Lee Holloway, who’s credited with making the company what is today

Not every co-founder is acknowledged at the companies that they help to launch. Sometimes, they quit or they’re elbowed out. Often, they’re conveniently written out of the company’s history. In the case of Cloudflare, a third co-founder who began the company with CEO Matthew Prince and COO Michelle Zatlyn is little known outside the company…

These robo-shorts are the precursor to a true soft exoskeleton

When someone says “robotic exoskeleton,” the power loaders from Aliens are what come to mind for most people (or at least me), but the real things will be much different: softer, smarter and used for much more ordinary tasks. The latest such exo from Harvard is so low-profile you could wear it around the house.…

The renaissance of silicon will create industry giants

Navin Chaddha Contributor Navin Chaddha leads Mayfield. The firm invests in early-stage consumer and enterprise technology companies and currently has $2.7 billion under management. More posts by this contributor A people-first view of investing in innovation or entrepreneurs who take people for granted will fail Jason Kilar on founding Vessel and the wonderful world of…

Elysium and the quest to bottle the fountain of youth

Alice Lloyd George Contributor Share on Twitter Alice Lloyd George is an early stage investor based in New York and the host of Flux, a series of podcast conversations with leaders in frontier technology. More posts by this contributor One billion 3D views and counting Thomas Reardon and CTRL-Labs are building an API for the…

Traces AI is building a less invasive alternative to facial recognition tracking

With all of the progress we’ve seen in deep learning tech in the past few years, it seems pretty inevitable that security cameras become smarter and more capable in regards to tracking, but there are more options than we think in how we choose to pull this off. Traces AI is a new computer vision…

Microsoft Azure CTO Mark Russinovich will join us for TC Sessions: Enterprise on September 5

Being the CTO for one of the three major hyperclouds providers may seem like enough of a job for most people, but Mark Russinovich, the CTO of Microsoft Azure, has a few other talents in his back pocket. Russinovich, who will join us for a fireside chat at our TechCrunch Sessions: Enterprise event in San…

Daily Crunch: Microsoft admits humans can listen to Skype, Cortana audio

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here. 1. Microsoft tweaks privacy policy to admit humans can listen to Skype Translator and Cortana audio The change comes after a recent…

Corey Weiner is taking over as CEO of mobile ad company Jun Group

After 18 years at the helm, Mitchell Reichgut is stepping down as CEO of Jun Group, with COO and President Corey Weiner taking over as chief executive. The news comes just about a year after Jun Group was acquired by Advantage Solutions, but Reichgut said the acquisition was a “non-factor” in his decision. “I think…

Gradjoy is a Y Combinator backed fintech to help you knock out your student loans

The right people to solve the trillion dollar student debt crisis might be the ones who are suffering from it the hardest. If you’re a recent college graduate, there’s a 50 percent chance you took on debt when you moved off campus. If you’re like the average student borrower, you graduated with $29,800 of loan…

Local governments are forcing the scooter industry to grow up fast

Gone are the days when tech companies can deploy their services in cities without any regard for rules and regulations. Before the rise of electric scooters, cities had already become hip to tech’s status quo (thanks to the likes of Uber and Lyft) and were ready to regulate. We explored some of this in “The…

US Cyber Command has publicly posted malware linked to a North Korea hacking group

U.S. Cyber Command, the sister division of the National Security Agency focused on offensive hacking and security operations, has released a set of new samples of malware linked to North Korean hackers. The military unit tweeted Wednesday that it had uploaded the malware to VirusTotal, a widely used database for malware and security research. It’s not…

Media software Plex launches a new desktop app for Mac and Windows

Plex today is launching a new desktop application for Mac and Windows, with the goal of eventually replacing Plex Media Player as the company’s only desktop solution. The app’s arrival also signals a change in direction for the company, which will also now remove its existing Windows Store application and end support for the traditional…

Apple, Samsung continue growth as North American wearables market hits $2B

New numbers out of Canalys show strong continued growth for the North America wearables market for Q2. The market hit $2 billion value for the quarter, according to the firm, marking a 38% year over year growth. It’s not exactly earth shattering, but it’s steady for a category that felt almost dead in the water…

Look inside Virgin Galactic’s shiny new Spaceport America

For a couple years now Virgin Galactic’s Spaceport America was more aspirational than functional, but now it’s been built out with the necessaries for commercial spaceflight — mainly coffee. The company just showed off the newly redesigned space from which it plans to launch flights… sometime. Much of the undulating, aesthetically rusted building, located deep…

How about earning crypto tokens to carbon-offset your Uber rides?

Most of us, by now, are aware that all sorts of crazy stuff is happening to the planet’s climate and the blame is pretty much universally recognized as lying with humans, pumping more and more carbon into the atmosphere. Scientists are now saying tree planting, for instance, has to happen very, very quickly if we…

Cloudflare says cutting off customers like 8chan is an IPO ‘risk factor’

Networking and web security giant Cloudflare says the recent 8chan controversy may be an ongoing “risk factor” for its business on the back of its upcoming initial public offering. The San Francisco-based company and former Battlefield finalist, which filed its IPO paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, earlier this month took…

Cloudflare files for initial public offering

After much speculation and no small amount of controversy, Cloudflare, one of the companies that ensures that websites run smoothly on the internet, has filed for its initial public offering. The company, which made its debut on TechCrunch’s Battlefield stage back in 2010, has put a placeholder value of the offering at $100 million, but…

Walmart Canada rolls out nationwide grocery delivery through Instacart

Walmart’s relationship with Instacart deepened today with an expansion of their partnership across Canada for grocery delivery. Walmart Canada had previously run a 17-store pilot program with Instacart, starting last September, in both the Greater Toronto area and Winnipeg. With the expansion, Walmart Canada will offer same-day grocery delivery from nearly 200 Walmart stores nationwide.…

What will Tumblr become under the ownership of tech’s only Goldilocks founder?

This week, Automattic revealed it has signed all the paperwork to acquire Tumblr from Verizon, including its full staff of 200. Tumblr has undergone quite a journey since its headline-grabbing acquisition by Marissa Mayer’s Yahoo in 2013 for $1.1 billion, but after six years of neglect, its latest move is its first real start since…

Alibaba cloud biz is on a run rate over $4B

Alibaba announced its earnings today, and the Chinese ecommerce giant got a nice lift from its cloud business, which grew 66 percent to more than $1.1 billion, or a run rate surpassing $4 billion. It’s not exactly on par with Amazon, which reported cloud revenue of $8.381 billion last quarter, more than double Alibaba’s yearly run…

YouTube’s new AR feature lets you virtually try on makeup while watching videos

Earlier this summer, YouTube announced its plans for a new AR feature for virtual makeup try-on that works directly in the YouTube app. Today, the first official campaign to use the “Beauty Try-On” feature has now launched, allowing viewers to try on and shop lipsticks from MAC Cosmetics from YouTube creator Roxette Arisa’s makeup tutorial…

Elon Musk: Spotify is “coming” to Tesla vehicles in North America

Tesla owners in the U.S. and Canada may finally get that free Spotify Premium integration they’ve been asking for. Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted late Wednesday night that Spotify premium integration is “coming.” Musk, who has talked about bringing Spotify to owners in North America before, did not provide a timeline. In other words, the…

Fitz Frames, with $2.5M in seed funding, wants your kid to have custom glasses

Fitz Frames is today launching out of beta to offer affordable, custom-made glasses for families, and in particular, for children. The company, which has raised $2.5 million in seed funding, was founded by Heidi Hertel is led CEO Gabriel Schlumberger. The company declined to disclose its investors, but shared that it was a mix of…

The Google Assistant now lets you annoy your family members with assignable reminders

Do you sometimes have to nag your significant other to take out the trash on Monday night? Now, you can do so in a more passive-aggressive way by sending them a reminder through the Google Assistant instead of in person. “Hey Google, remind Alex to take out the trash at 8pm,” is all it takes.…

Spotify will reportedly test a price hike for its premium service in some markets

Spotify is set to test a price increase for its family plan, upping the cost by around 13 percent in some Scandinavian markets, Bloomberg reports. The price increase is designed as a limited test to figure out whether it might be able to roll out higher pricing for its service globally. The report notes that…

What security pros need to know from Black Hat & Def Con 2019

Black Hat and Def Con came and went as quickly as it ever does. The week-long pair of back-to-back conferences, referred to as “hacker summer camp,” draws in the security crowd from across the world onto Las Vegas, where startups tout their technologies as hackers and researchers reveal their findings. This year we saw ordinary-looking…

Flower delivery startup UrbanStems raises $12M to fund national expansion

UrbanStems is announcing that it has raised $12 million in Series B funding. CEO Seth Goldman told me the startup has already been using the money to expand nationally. He explained that UrbanStems now has two delivery models — there are bike couriers who deliver plants and flowers within two hours in New York City…

UPS takes minority stake in self-driving truck startup TuSimple

UPS said Thursday it has taken a minority stake in self-driving truck startup, TuSimple, just months after the two companies began testing the use of autonomous trucks in Arizona. The size of minority investment, which was made by the company’s venture arm UPS Ventures, was not disclosed. The investment and the testing comes as UPS…

Instagram says growth hackers are behind spate of fake Stories views

If you use Instagram and have noticed a bunch of strangers watching your Stories in recent months — accounts that don’t follow you and seem to be Russian — well, you’re not alone. Nor are you being primed for a Russian disinformation campaign. At least, probably not. But you’re right to smell a fake. TechCrunch’s…

Amazon launches a new program to donate unsold products from third-party sellers to charity

Amazon will make it easier and more affordable for its third-party sellers to donate of their unwanted excess inventory and returns, rather than having the items sent back or destroyed. The company on Wednesday announced the launch of a new program, Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) Donations, which will distribute excess and returned products to charitable…

Kitty Hawk’s Flyer personal VTOL has now flown over 25,000 times

Flying cars, or at least their functional equivalent, edge closer to reality every day – and startup Kitty Hawk wants you to know it’s putting in the flying time to make it happen. The company, led by former Google self-driving car visionary Sebastian Thrun, has now flown its first aircraft, the one-person Flyer, over 25,000…

Birth control delivery startup Nurx approaches $300M valuation

Nurx, citing 200,000 current patients and a monthly growth rate as high as 20%, has raised $32 million in Series C equity funding in a round co-led by existing investors Kleiner Perkins and Union Square Ventures. The company has also secured $20 million in debt, bringing total new capital to $52 million. The San Francisco-based…

The New Soundboks is a massive, pro-level, battery-powered Bluetooth speaker

The new Soundboks is impressive. It has everything: a sturdy housing, Bluetooth, large battery, XLR-inputs, and several methods to connect multiple Soundboks. Indoor or out, the new Soundboks sounds great. The Soundboks isn’t shy. It’s an extrovert. This speaker will stand tall among strangers and be the loudest in the room. It doesn’t try to…

Incorta raises $30M Series C for ETL-free data processing solution

Incorta, a startup founded by former Oracle executives who want to change the way we process large amounts data, announced a $30 million Series C today led by Sorenson Capital. Other investors participating in the round included GV (formerly Google Ventures), Kleiner Perkins, M12 (formerly Microsoft Ventures), Telstra Ventures and Ron Wohl. Today’s investment brings…

Microsoft tweaks privacy policy to admit humans can listen to Skype Translator and Cortana audio

Microsoft is the latest tech giant to amend its privacy policy after media reports revealed it uses human contractors to review audio recordings of Skype and Cortana users. A section in the policy on how the company uses personal data now reads (emphasis ours): Our processing of personal data for these purposes includes both automated…

Huawei pushes back launch of 5G foldable, the Mate X

If you were desperately ripping days off of your calendar until you could get your hands on Huawei’s $2,600 5G foldable, the Mate X — which was originally slated to launch next month — it sounds like you’re going to have to wait a bit longer, per TechRadar which attended a press event at Huawei’s…

Southern California athletic brand, Vuori, raises $45 million from Norwest Venture Partners

The four-year-old, Southern California athletic brand Vuori has picked up a $45 million growth equity investment from the investment firm Norwest Venture Partners. The company, which says it’s profitable, will now join a stable of consumer startup brands that includes Birdies, Casper Sleep, Grove Collaborative, Jolyn, Kendra Scott, Madison Reed and Topo Athletic. Founded by…

Launching out of YC, Blair is aiming to reshape the financing of college tuition

It’s generally agreed that Higher Education in the United States has gradually become more and more unaffordable. Students are dependent on external financial resources for which many of them do not even qualify. Students that are able to secure a loan, often have to take on debts they can’t really afford. And if they don’t…

WebKit’s new anti-tracking policy puts privacy on a par with security

WebKit, the open source engine that underpins Internet browsers including Apple’s Safari browser, has announced a new tracking prevention policy that takes the strictest line yet on the background and cross-site tracking practices and technologies which are used to creep on Internet users as they go about their business online. Trackers are technologies that are…

Apply to the TC Hackathon at Disrupt Berlin 2019

Hey hackathon fans, get ready to pack your bags and book your tickets to Berlin. That’s right, baby, the TC Hackathon returns to Disrupt Berlin 2019 on 11-12 December. We’re looking for creative code warriors of every stripe to compete in a grueling, exhilarating marathon that will test your physical, mental and technical limits. It…

YC-backed Eden Farm wants to cut out the middlemen between farmers and restaurants in Indonesia

Eden Farm is a startup with the ambitious goal of building a food distribution network for Indonesia, where many restaurants currently rely on markets for fresh ingredients. But this means high markups and unreliable supplies for restaurant owners and lower profits for farmers, co-founder and CEO David Gunawan tells TechCrunch. The company, part of Y…

Energy Vault raises $110 million from SoftBank Vision Fund as energy storage grabs headlines

Imagine a moving tower made of huge cement bricks weighing 35 metric tons. The movement of these massive blocks is powered by wind or solar power plants and is a way to store the energy those plants generate. Software controls the movement of the blocks automatically, responding to changes in power availability across an electric…

Racial bias observed in hate speech detection algorithm from Google

Understanding what makes something offensive or hurtful is difficult enough that many people can’t figure it out, let alone AI systems. And people of color are frequently left out of AI training sets. So it’s little surprise that Alphabet/Google -spawned Jigsaw manages to trip over both of these issues at once, flagging slang used by…

VMware says it’s looking to acquire Pivotal

VMware today confirmed that it is in talks to acquire software development platform Pivotal Software, the service best known for commercializing the open-source Cloud Foundry platform. The proposed transaction would see VMware acquire all outstanding Pivotal Class A stock for $15 per share, a significant markup over Pivotal’s current share price (which unsurprisingly shot up…

TransferWise’s debit card launches in Australia and New Zealand, with Singapore to follow

International money transfer startup TransferWise’s debit card is now available in Australia and New Zealand, with a Singapore launch expected by the end of this year as the company expands its presence in the Asia-Pacific region. TransferWise’s debit card, which features low, transparent fees and exchange rates, first launched in the United Kingdom and Europe…

Flatfair, the ‘deposit-free’ renting platform, raises $11M led by Index Ventures

Flatfair, a London-based fintech that lets landlords offer “deposit-free” renting to tenants, has raised $11 million in funding. The Series A round is led by Index Ventures, with participation from Revolt Ventures, Adevinta, Greg Marsh (founder of Onefinestay), Jeremy Helbsy (former Savills CEO) and Taavet Hinrikus (TransferWise co-founder). With the new capital, Flatfair says it…

Another day, another reversal in stock fortunes as recession fears grow

U.S. stock markets plummeted today as recession fears continue to grow. Yesterday’s good news about a reprieve on tariffs for U.S. consumer imports was undone by increasing concerns over economic indicators pointing to a potential global recession coming within the next year. Phones, laptops and game consoles get tariff reprieve until December The Dow Jones…

Fantasy football startup Sleeper nabs VC funding to take on ESPN

Sleeper is looking to take on fantasy league apps from major players like ESPN and has amassed venture funding from Silicon Valley investors to take down them down. The Bay Area startup is aiming to treat a fantasy football league more like a social platform than a loose jumble of league mechanics, distinguishing itself as…

Audi e-tron becomes the first all-electric vehicle to earn IIHS top safety rating

The 2019 Audi e-tron has become the first battery-electric vehicle to earn a top safety rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, an achievement that Tesla and other electric models like the Chevy Bolt have not been able to capture. Scoring an IIHS top safety award isn’t easy. A vehicle has to earn good ratings…

Every TC Sessions: Enterprise 2019 ticket includes a free pass to Disrupt SF

Shout out to all the savvy enterprise software startuppers. Here’s a quick, two-part money-saving reminder. Part one: TC Sessions: Enterprise 2019 is right around the corner on September 5, and you have only two days left to buy an early-bird ticket and save yourself $100. Part two: for every Session ticket you buy, you get…

WW launches Kurbo, a hotly debated ‘healthy eating’ app aimed at kids

Kurbo Health, a mobile weight loss solution designed to tackle childhood obesity which was acquired for $3 million by WW (the rebranded Weight Watchers), has now relaunched as Kurbo by WW — and not without some controversy. Pre-acquisition, the startup was focused on democratizing access to research, behavior modification techniques, and other tools that were…

Credit Karma glitch exposed users to other people’s accounts

Users of credit monitoring site Credit Karma have complained that they were served other people’s account information when they logged in. Many took to a Reddit thread and complained on Twitter about the apparent security lapse. “First time logging in it gave me my information, but as soon as I refreshed the screen, it gave…

Artificial intelligence can contribute to a safer world

Matt Ocko Contributor Share on Twitter Matt Ocko is co-Managing Partner and co-founder of DCVC (Data Collective). Alan Cohen Contributor Share on Twitter Alan Cohen is an operating partner at DCVC. We all see the headlines nearly every day. A drone disrupting the airspace in one of the world’s busiest airports, putting aircraft at risk…

Making sense of the WeWork S-1 (or trying to)

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. Today is our promised Equity Shot (a short-form, single-topic episode) on the WeWork S-1. You can read Kate’s notes here, or Alex’s here as a place to start. Given that we didn’t know when the WeWork S-1 filing…

Inside Voyage’s plan to deliver a driverless future

In two years, Voyage has gone from a tiny self-driving car upstart spun out of Udacity to a company able to operate on 200 miles of roads in retirement communities. Now, Voyage is on the verge of introducing a new vehicle that is critical to its mission of launching a truly driverless ride-hailing service. (Human…

Daily Crunch: Final Oculus co-founder departs Facebook

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here. 1. Facebook is losing its last Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell, the final Oculus co-founder remaining at Facebook, announced in an internal memo…

Ex-NSA chief Mike Rogers and Team8 founder Nadav Zafrir will be at Disrupt SF

What happens when two former spies meet the startup world? We’re about to find out. We’re pleased to announce former National Security Agency director Adm. Mike Rogers will be at Disrupt SF on October 2-4. The former U.S. intelligence head oversaw the shadowy agency during one of its most tumultuous times in its history in…

Huawei employees reportedly aided African governments in spying

A new report from The Wall Street Journal could be another damning piece of evidence for a company already under a good deal of international scrutiny. The paper is reporting that technicians working for Huawei helped members of government in Uganda and Zambia spy on political opponents. The report cites unnamed senior surveillance officers. The…

Why chipmaker Broadcom is spending big bucks for aging enterprise software companies

Last year Broadcom, a chipmaker, raised eyebrows when it acquired CA Technologies, an enterprise software company with a broad portfolio of products, including a sizable mainframe software tools business. It paid close to $19 billion for the privilege. Then last week, the company opened up its wallet again and forked over $10.7 billion for Symantec’s…

‘Private’ and ‘hidden’ mean different things to Facebook

Facebook’s leadership made a pretty heavy-handed indications this year that it believes Facebook Groups are the future of the app, they announced all of this alongside their odd declaration that “The future is private.” Now, Facebook is changing the language describing the visibility of privacy of groups. As the Groups feature comes front-and-center in recent…

Pandora opens up podcast submissions to all creators

The battle for podcasters among music streaming services continues. A day after Spotify announced the launch of its podcast analytics dashboard, Pandora is today expanding its own podcasting efforts with the arrival of a self-service online hub for creators. The new Pandora for Podcasters will allow creators to submit their shows for inclusion on the…

Google’s new ‘Assignments’ software for teachers helps catch plagiarism

Just in time for the new school year, Google’s educational arm, Google for Education, today announced the launch of new tools aimed at helping teachers fight plagiarism. The company this morning is unveiling Assignments, an updated version of the software previously known as CourseKit, which will ship with new features that help instructors check students’…

With $40 million in funding and a $200 million valuation, will the only museums be Museums of Ice Cream?

Call the rollers of big rounds, The well-capitalized ones, and have them back makers of rooms themed like concupiscent curds. Let the influencers gather in the styles they love to wear, and let other startups throw away their term sheets like last month’s newspapers. Let be be finale of seem. The only museum is the…

AT&T and T-Mobile team up to fight scam robocalls

Two major U.S. carriers, AT&T and T-Mobile, announced this morning a plan to team up to protect their respective customer bases from the scourge of scam robocalls. The two companies will today begin to roll out new cross-network call authentication technology based on the SHAKEN/STIR standards — a sort of universal caller ID system designed…

Ajit Pai formally recommends T-Mobile/Sprint merger approval

Ajit Pai has long signaled that he would approve a T-Mobile/Sprint merger, but today the FCC Chairman made it official. In spite of widespread opposition suggesting that the combining of the country’s third and fourth largest carriers would reduce competition in the marketplace, Pai takes the stance that such a move would actual promote competition.…

Oyo to invest $335M in vacation rental business in Europe push

Indian budget hotel booking startup Oyo will invest 300 million euros ($335 million) in its vacation home rental business, it said Wednesday, as it looks to expand its footprint in Europe and possibly closely compete with global giant Airbnb, one of its investors. The Gurgaon-based startup, which acquired Amsterdam-based holiday rental company Leisure in May…

WeWork S-1, building marketplaces, improving content marketing, and the demise of Tumblr

WeWork’s S-1 misses these three key points After much discussion, WeWork finally dropped its S-1 filing with the SEC today as it makes preparations for its IPO. While the company has been producing sizable revenues the past few years, the company didn’t disclose everything I think it needed to in order for investors to make…

Slack announces new admin features for larger organizations

Slack has been working to beef up the product recently for its larger customers. A couple of weeks ago that involved more sophisticated security tools. Today, it was the admins’ turn to get a couple of new tools that help make it easier to manage Slack in larger settings. For starters, Slack has created an…

Skip unveils its first custom electric scooter

Skip is beginning to test the first electric scooter that the startup built entirely in-house. They’re not quite ready for primetime, but Skip expects to deploy them in San Francisco this October. That’s notably when San Francisco plans to allow service providers to deploy electric scooters as part of the city’s first permanent permitting program.…

WeWork’s S-1 misses these three key points

No startup is as polarizing as WeWork, and for good reason. The company, whose relentless growth has seen it open 528 locations across 111 cities in just about nine years, has never been entirely forthcoming on exactly how the unit economics add up at its locations. And so we have had a beautiful Rorschach test…

New Facebook ad units can remind you when a movie comes out

Facebook is launching two new ad units designed to help movie studios promote their latest releases. The first unit is called a movie reminder ad, and it does exactly that —since studios usually start marketing their titles months or even years before release, they can now include an Interested button in their Facebook ads, allowing…

Misfit releases a new Wear OS smartwatch

It’s almost certainly no coincidence that Misfit’s new smartwatch bears more than a passing resemblance to the Fossil devices announced a week or two back. The one-time modular fitness startup has been part of the Fossil family since 2015, introducing its first full-on smartwatch two years later. The lines have continued to blur between the…

Peer-to-peer boat rental marketplace Boatsetter raises $10M as it looks to grow globally

Obviously, not everyone owns their boat, and boat ownership is far more unique than car ownership – which makes it maybe an ideal category for peer-to-peer marketplace rentals. P2P boat rental startup Boatsetter recognized this opportunity, and is now announcing a $10 million Series A “extension” funding round to help it grow its business, with…

Self-driving truck startup Starsky launches Hutch, its API and nerve center

Starsky Robotics has been building its self-driving — and human-driven — truck business for three years now. And it’s finally ready to show off its first product. It’s not, as one might presume, a self-driving truck. This product, called Hutch, offers what in Starsky’s view is far more valuable: automatic access to its trucking capacity,…

Corporate carpooling startup Scoop raises $60 million

Enterprise carpooling startup Scoop just closed a $60 million round led by Activate Capital with participation from Goldman Sachs, NGP Capital, Total Group, BNP Capital and others.to fuel its expansion and growth. This round brings Scoop’s total funding to $106 million. Scoop, which launched back in 2015, is a corporate carpooling service that works with…

Procore brings 3D construction models to iOS

Today, Procore, a construction software company, announced Procore BIM (Building Information Modeling), a new tool that takes advantage of Apple hardware advances to bring the 3D construction model to iOS. Dave McCool, senior product manager at Procore, says that architects and engineers have been working with 3D models of complex buildings for years on desktop…

A new app can detect Bluetooth credit card skimmers on gas pumps

A team of computer scientists has built a new app that can wirelessly detect credit card skimmers, often found discreetly placed on gas pumps and bank ATMs. Gone are the days where entire card skimmers would take over the front facade of an entire cash machine. Credit card skimmers are tiny, almost invisible — and…

Oru’s new foldable kayak weighs under 20 lbs and assembles in just 2 minutes

California-based kayak maker Oru has built a great brand on the strength of its origami-inspired folding kayaks, and now it’s launching its lightest and most portable model yet with a new Kickstarter project. The Oru Inlet miraculously packs up to the size of a suitcase, weights less than 20 lbs, and can unfold and be…

Business management startup vCita acquires email marketing tool WiseStamp

Just a couple of months after disclosing a $15 million round of funding, vCita, the business management SaaS for SMEs, has made an acquisition: It’s acquiring WiseStamp, a veteran of the Israeli startup scene that launched its email marketing tool a decade ago. Unsurprisingly, terms of the deal remain undisclosed. However, I understand that vCita…

WeWork reveals IPO filing

WeWork, now known as The We Company, released its IPO prospectus Wednesday morning months after filing confidentially to go public. The company indicated plans to raise $1 billion in what is likely a placeholder amount. Backed by billions from SoftBank and its mammoth Vision Fund, the highly-anticipated float is expected as soon as next month.…

Apply to Startup Battlefield at Disrupt Berlin 2019

Audacious. Bold. Innovative. If those adjectives describe your early-stage startup, if you’re champing at the bit to launch your company to the world — we want you! Apply to compete in Startup Battlefield at Disrupt Berlin 2019. Our premier pitch competition takes place on 11-12 December, and a select cohort of startups will compete for bragging…

Facebook’s human-AI blend for audio transcription is now facing privacy scrutiny in Europe

Facebook’s lead privacy regulator in Europe is now asking the company for detailed information about the operation of a voice-to-text feature in Facebook’s Messenger app and how it complies with EU law. Yesterday Bloomberg reported that Facebook uses human contractors to transcribe app users’ audio messages — yet its privacy policy makes no clear mention…

TestCard founder: Attending Disrupt Berlin is a ‘no-brainer’

We love Berlin’s electric, evolving, early-startup ecosystem. Let’s be perfectly blunt: Whether you’re a startup founder, investor, hacker or tech leader, you can’t afford to miss Disrupt Berlin 2019, which takes place on 11-12 December. Get your super early-bird passes here. TechCrunch honors its Silicon Valley roots, and we pack that ethic in our carry-on…

Nigerian logistics startup Kobo360 raises $30M backed by Goldman Sachs

Nigerian freight logistics startup Kobo360 has raised a $20 million Series A round led by Goldman Sachs and $10 million in working capital financing from Nigerian commercial banks. The company — with an Uber -like app that connects truckers and companies to delivery services — will use the funds to upgrade its platform and expand…

YC-backed startup Binks can ship custom-made clothing to Indian women in just three days

Binks is a custom clothing startup created after co-founder and CEO Aamna Khan realized how frustrating it is to find well-fitting women’s workwear in Indian cities. Currently participating in Y Combinator’s accelerator program, Binks solves the problem by using computer vision and machine learning to provide customers with clothing sewn to their measurements, shipped in…

Only 24 hours left to apply to Hardware Battlefield at TC Shenzhen

Holy hardware, startup founders! You have only 24 hours left to apply to the Hardware Battlefield at TC Shenzhen on November 11-12. This hardware-only pitch competition, cousin to TechCrunch’s world-renown Startup Battlefield, is a real game-changer. Got hardware? Want to launch on a world stage? Do. Not. Delay. Apply to compete in TC Hardware Battlefield 2019…

Tech companies get a reprieve thanks to a reversal from the President on tariffs

President Donald Trump and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative have issued technology companies some temporary tariff relief. Citing an unwillingness to hit consumers with higher prices on things like computers, mobile phones, laptops, video game consoles, computer monitors, clothes and shoes before the holidays, the President and his trade reps are holding off…

Twitter exec says edit button isn’t ‘anywhere near the top of our priorities’

At a press event in San Francisco, Twitter Product Lead Kayvon Beykpour talked about a number of product changes coming to the company’s service, he also addressed the oft-memed user request for an edit button. Long story, short, you shouldn’t expect to see the button anytime soon. “Honestly, it’s a feature that I think we…

Google details AI work behind Project Euphonia’s more inclusive speech recognition

As part of new efforts toward accessibility, Google announced Project Euphonia at I/O in May: An attempt to make speech recognition capable of understanding people with non-standard speaking voices or impediments. The company has just published a post and its paper explaining some of the AI work enabling the new capability. The problem is simple…

Twitter tests ways for users to follow and snooze specific topics

You may soon be able to organize Twitter’s web of hashtags and handles in a smarter way, that is if the company can pull off its ambitious new rethinking of the app’s timelines. The company isn’t getting rid of the process of a following users but at a press event in SF, company execs announced…

Axios’ Dan Primack on ‘the most polarizing startup that exists’

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week was a bit special. Instead of meeting up at the TechCrunch HQ to record the episode, Kate and Alex met up in muggy Boston at Drift’s office, where we linked up with Axios’s Dan Primack. And…

Would you rent out your living room for a few hours? This startup is counting on it

Recharge, a startup that tried convincing hotels to let its customers rent their rooms by the hour and even minute, has revamped and rebranded. Now Globe, the company is hoping to convince guests to sign up for short stays instead in people’s homes so that they can kick back between other commitments, and, if the…

Tech leaders condemn tech’s role in elevating white supremacy

A group of tech leaders has banded together to speak out against white supremacy and rampant hate speech on tech platforms. The group, Build Tech We Trust, refers to itself as a collective of tech CEOs, activists, changemakers and workers who are committed to countering hate and terrorism. In a public letter published today, Project…

Pete Buttigieg echoes Warren with $80B rural broadband plan

Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg has unveiled his plan to address the broadband gap in this country: an $80 billion “Internet for All” initiative and set of related reforms. It echoes Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) announcement last week, which is, generally speaking, a good thing. It’s detailed in a document entitled “Investing in an American…

Confidence: The currency of acceleration

Eric Paley Contributor Eric Paley is a managing partner at Founder Collective. More posts by this contributor Redefining dilution When venture capital becomes vanity capital Imagine you’re a billionaire starting a new company. You’re happy to bet your entire fortune on it. As a result, capital is no constraint. How fast should you burn money?…

Y Combinator bets on a startup building a weed breathalyzer for cops

Y Combinator has kept an eye on cannabis startups over the years, but it’s their latest investment that’s sure to attract the attention of both marijuana users and law enforcement. SannTek Labs, which is launching with new funding out of Y Combinator’s latest jumbo class of startups, is building a new kind of breathalyzer that…

Xiaomi tops Indian smartphone market for eighth straight quarter

Xiaomi has now been India’s top smartphone seller for eight straight quarters. The company has become a constant headache for Samsung in the world’s second largest smartphone market as sales have slowed pretty much everywhere else in the world. The Chinese electronics giant shipped 10.4 million handsets in the quarter that ended in June, commanding…

Facebook contractors said to have collected and transcribed users’ audio without permission

“The future is private.” Clearly, Facebook still has a way to go. Facebook has become the latest tech giant to face scrutiny over its handling of users’ data, following a report that said the social media giant collected audio data and recordings from its users and transcribed it using third-party contractors. The report came from…

Daily Crunch: Verizon is selling Tumblr

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here. 1. Verizon is selling Tumblr to WordPress.com parent, Automattic It’s been six years since Yahoo acquired the popular blogging platform for more…

CBS and Viacom are merging into a combined company called ViacomCBS

In a widely anticipated move, CBS and Viacom have agreed to reunite. The two media giants split back in 2006, although the Redstone family maintained control through National Amusements, a privately held holding company. Now they’re coming back together in an all-stock merger, creating a new entity with the straightforward-but-ungainly name ViacomCBS. The move is,…

DirecTV Now’s rebranding to ‘AT&T TV NOW’ is officially rolling out

AT&T’s live TV streaming service, DirecTV Now, is getting a new name. The company in July announced that the service would soon be rebranded to AT&T TV NOW at some point later in the summer. The company today confirmed that change is officially rolling out. The company teased the rebrand’s launch on its Twitter account…

The secret of content marketing: Avoid high bounce rates

Julian Shapiro Contributor Share on Twitter Julian Shapiro is the founder of BellCurve.com, a growth marketing agency that trains you to become a marketing professional. He also writes at Julian.com. More posts by this contributor How to see another company’s growth tactics and try them yourself How do startups actually get their content marketing to…

The ClockworkPi GameShell is a super fun DIY spin on portable gaming

Portable consoles are hardly new, and thanks to the Switch, they’re basically the most popular gaming devices in the world. But ClockworkPi’s GameShell is something totally unique, and entirely refreshing when it comes to gaming on the go. This clever DIY console kit provides everything you need to assemble your own pocket gaming machine at…

Aluminum packaging is coming for your water as Coca-Cola’s Dasani brand takes the plunge

Coca-Cola’s Dasani brand is the latest company pitching bottled water to go the aluminum can route. It’s part of a broader rejiggering of the water brand’s plans to use mostly recycled material for their water bottles by 2030. The company is debuting a hybrid bottle that’s made from half renewable and recycled PET plastic in…

Facebook is losing its last Oculus co-founder

Facebook spent billions on Oculus in 2014, and in the years since the organization has been absorbed deeper into Facebook while the startup’s co-founders have stepped back in prominence. Today, the final Oculus co-founder remaining at Facebook, Nate Mitchell, announced he was leaving the company in an internal memo sent to employees. The news was…

Domino’s launches e-bike delivery to compete with UberEats, DoorDash

Domino’s will start using custom electric bikes for pizza delivery through a partnership with Rad Power Bikes, as it aims to become more competitive with on-demand apps like DoorDash, GrubHub and UberEats. Hundreds of e-bikes will be deployed across corporate-owned stores later this year in Baltimore, Houston, Miami and Salt Lake City, the company said Tuesday.…

Actijoy founder talks up the benefits of TechCrunch Disrupt

TechCrunch’s flagship tech conference — Disrupt San Francisco 2019 — takes place on October 2-4. Disrupt is the OG of tech startup conferences, and it rolls old school in keeping with the feisty, do-what-it-takes spirit of Silicon Valley. Disrupt is the intersection of now and future tech. It’s where startuppers of every stripe gather to learn,…

$600M Cray supercomputer will tower above the rest — to build better nukes

Cray has been commissioned by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to create a supercomputer head and shoulders above all the rest, with the contract valued at some $600 million. Disappointingly, El Capitan, as the system will be called, will be more or less solely dedicated to redesigning our nuclear armament. El Capitan will be the third…

Google Docs, Sheets and Slides get a new font for faster reading

Google today announced that it is bringing a new font to Docs, Sheets and Slides that was explicitly designed to improve reading speeds. The new font, Lexend, was developed by Thomas Jockin, who is probably best known for his Quicksand font. While Google stresses how this will benefit students, most of us could probably benefit…

Allbirds is now selling socks

Allbirds is now selling socks. The shoe brand that’s de rigueur for investors, entrepreneurs, and aspirants in Silicon Valley has been bitten by the sock bug. But, because this is Allbirds (and Silicon Valley), the company didn’t just launch a new line of socks. They’re using a “brand new material” called Trino that uses a…

Oregon joins lawsuit opposing T-Mobile/Sprint merger

Oregon this week became the 15th state (plus the District of Columbia) to sign onto a lawsuit seeking to stop a T-Mobile/Sprint merger. The suit, co-signed by 16 attorneys general, argues that a merger between the country’s third and fourth largest carriers would greatly reduce competition in the wireless industry. “It’s important that Oregon join…

How even the best marketplace startups get paralyzed

Josh Breinlinger Contributor Share on Twitter Josh is a Managing Director at Jackson Square Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm with $245 million under management, where he focuses his investments in early stage marketplaces. More posts by this contributor Marketplaces Are Eating Firms Amazon Vs. Hachette: Fewer Middlemen Equals A Better World Over the…

Darren Bechtel (yes, of those Bechtels) has raised $97.5 million for his firm, Brick & Mortar Ventures

Brick & Mortar Ventures, a young, San Francisco-based venture firm that’s focused on startups innovating in or around architecture, engineering, construction, and facilities management, has closed with $97.2 million in capital commitments. The fund is one in a sea or debut funds that have swung open their doors in recent years, though it’s also interesting…

Facebook’s AR dev toolkit exits closed beta on Instagram

Not one to let Face App and Snapchat steal its spotlight, Facebook announced today that it’s opening its closed beta of Spark AR on Instagram, letting any developer build and share an augmented reality filter on the platform. The company announced this change was coming at its F8 keynote earlier this year. Phone-based AR isn’t…

Apple brings contactless student IDs to a dozen more universities

Ahead of the upcoming school year, Apple this morning announced it’s bringing contactless student IDs in Apple Wallet to several more U.S. universities. The expansion will allow over 100,000 college students to carry their student ID on their iPhone or Apple Watch, where it can be used for a variety of tasks including paying for…

Walmart tops U.S. online grocery market, with 62% more customers than next nearest rival

Walmart is dominating the U.S. online grocery market, according to new research out this week from the analysts at Second Measure. The nationwide retailer today offers grocery pickup and delivery in nearly every U.S. state, and had 62% more customers in June than its next nearest rival. And no, in this case, that rival is…

Phones, laptops and game consoles get tariff reprieve until December

Electronics manufacturers are no doubt breathing a collective sigh of relief this morning at the news that the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has delayed tariffs on a number of categories. A long list of exports, including livestock, foodstuff and clothing will have the additional 10 percent tariff imposed on September 1. Others, including “cell…

Spotify’s podcast dashboard comes out of beta

Over the last couple of years, Spotify has made a big push into podcasts. The tip of the spear has been major investments, including acquisitions of companies like Gimlet and Anchor. It’s all part of the company’s attempt harness a massively growing category and build an audience beyond music. The other great thing about podcasts…

Roku expands its free, live TV selection with 5 more channels, including fubo’s Sports Network

The Roku Channel continues to expand beyond ad-supported movies and premium subscriptions, with today’s announcement of the addition of several more live TV channels available to anyone with a Roku streaming device or Roku TV. The company says today it’s adding five free live TV channels to this offering, including most notably, fubo’s Sports Network.…

Clumio raises $51M to bring enterprise backup into the 21st century

Creating backups for massive enterprise deployments may feel like a solved problem, but for the most part, we’re still talking about complex hardware and software setups. Clumio, which is coming out of stealth today, wants to modernize enterprise data protection by eliminating the on-premise hardware in favor of a flexible, SaaS-style cloud-based backup solution. For…

MasterClass founder launches Outlier, offering online courses for college credit

Aaron Rasmussen, co-founder and former creative director of MasterClass, has a new startup called Outlier.org. Like MasterClass, Outlier is bringing education online, but with a key difference — these are college classes offering real college credit. The startup is launching a pilot version of its first two courses, Calculus I and Introduction to Psychology, for the…

Samsung’s Note 10 game streaming arrives in early September

GalaxyPlay Link got fleetingly little stage time at last week’s Unpacked event. It’s true that Samsung had a lot of information to jam into the hour-long press conference, but the offering was glazed over during a brief segment on mobile gaming — a surprising choice given how big of an industry the category has become.…

Nvidia breaks records in training and inference for real-time conversational AI

Nvidia’s GPU-powered platform for developing and running conversational AI that understands and responds to natural language requests has achieved some key milestones and broken some records that have big implications for anyone building on their tech – which includes companies large and small, since much of the code they’ve used to achieve these advancements is…

DJI slims down and simplifies its smartphone gimbal

As we noted last month, DJI’s camera stabilizer line began life as an offshoot of the company’s drone offerings. Since then, however, it’s grown into a pretty massive portfolio in its own right, spanning from SLR to standalone pocket offerings. For obvious reasons, the Osmo Mobile has been one of the more popular models. Designed…

Rimeto lands $10M Series A to modernize the corporate directory

The notion of the corporate directory has been around for many years, but in a time of more frequent turnover and shifting responsibilities, the founders of Rimeto, a 3 year old San Francisco startup, wanted to update it to reflect those changes. Today, the company announced a $10 million Series A investment from USVP, Bow…

Snap introduces Spectacles 3, with two HD cameras and 3D effects on Snapchat

Snap has introduced a third generation of its Spectacles wearable sunglass cameras, and these include new 3D effects for use in Snapchat. You can capture 3D snaps, with a slight side-to-side depth effect thanks to dual angle cameras; 3D filters, which add AR graphics effects to captured video; 3D lenses, which add stickers and characters…

SNES controller for Switch shows up in FCC filing, hinting at SNES games for Nintendo Online

Nintendo looks set to release wireless SNES controllers for the Nintendo Switch, which likely means it’ll also be bringing classic SNES titles to its Nintendo Online virtual gaming library. The news comes via an FCC filing (hat tip to Eurogamer) , which includes a diagram of what looks very clearly to be the backside of…

Dostavista, the ‘crowdsourced’ same-day delivery service, raises $15M Series B

Dostavista, the “crowdsourced” same-day delivery service founded in Russia but operating in several countries, has raised a $15 million Series B. Leading the round is Vostok New Ventures, with participation from existing investors Flashpoint, and Addventure. Founded in 2012 by Mike Alexandrovski, after he initially considered creating a game where players would be asked to…

Singularity 6 raises $16.5M from Andreessen Horowitz to create a ‘virtual society’

When Fortnite reached stratospheric popularity early last year, there were undoubtedly an awful lot of VCs on the sidelines looking enviously at the massive platform and wondering what opportunities could be gleaned from its rapid rise. Epic Games went on to raise later that year at a nearly $15 billion valuation so some of those…

Rocket Internet’s Caterwings acquires German business catering marketplace Lemoncat

Caterwings, the Rocket Internet-founded corporate catering marketplace that operates in 8 countries, has acquired German competitor Lemoncat. Terms remain undisclosed, although I understand from a source close to the company that it was an “8-digit all stock” deal and sees investors, which include Lukasz Gadowski, Target Global, Point 9, and Northzone, pick up shares in…

Facebook denies making contradictory claims on Cambridge Analytica and other ‘sketchy’ apps

Facebook has denied contradicting itself in evidence to the UK parliament and a US public prosecutor. Last month the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee wrote to the company to raise what it said were discrepancies in evidence Facebook has given to international parliamentarians vs evidence submitted in response to the Washington, DC…

WeChat Pay and Alipay partner QFPay raises $20 million to develop new digital payment solutions

Digital payments startup QFPay announced today that it has raised $20 million in new funding led by returning investors Sequoia Capital China and Matrix Partners. MDI Ventures, the investment arm of state-owned Indonesian telecom Telkom Indonesia, Rakuten Capital and VentureSouq also participated as new strategic investors. According to Crunchbase, this brings QFPay’s total raised so…

China’s largest Q&A platform, Zhihu, raises $434 million from investors including Kuaishou, Baidu and Tencent

Zhihu, the largest question and answer platform in China, has raised a $434 million Series F. This is not only the company’s biggest round since it launched in 2011, but also one of the largest secured over the past two years by a Chinese Internet culture and entertainment company, said China Renaissance, which served as…

Porsche packs the power into its newest Cayenne plug-in hybrids

Porsche is upping its plug-in hybrid game with several new vehicles added to its lineup, including a power-packing 2020 Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid. The plug-in version of this flagship SUV combines a 14.1-kilowatt-hour battery and 134-horsepower electric motor with a 4.0-liter twin turbocharged V8 engine found in the traditional gas-powered Cayenne Turbo. The electric motor…

Automattic’s bargain-bin Tumblr deal plugs right into the WordPress business model

Tumblr has been an millstone around the neck of its owners, first Yahoo and later Oath and Verizon Media, pretty much since it was acquired in 2013. They never found an answer to the question that new owner Automattic is presumably about to take a crack at: how to make this unruly erstwhile porn factory…

How lawyers help bring your acquisition deal to fruition

Last week when Salesforce announced it was buying ClickSoftware for $1.35 billion you might not have realized it, but the law firm Shearman & Sterling was advising Salesforce throughout the deal. In fact, there are lawyers involved in every transaction of this sort, from the initial call to the closing. As you would expect, there…

Blade raises $4.3M from Coinbase, SV Angel to reshape cryptocurrency derivatives trading

Exchanges like Coinbase have ballooned in size by taking the mechanics of equity markets and fitting them to cryptocurrency markets, but as the space expands in its scope and craftiness, new exchanges trading asset classes native to cryptocurrency are taking off and attracting the attention of top Silicon Valley VCs, oh, and Coinbase too. Blade…

Verizon is selling Tumblr to WordPress parent, Automattic

Six years after Yahoo purchased Tumblr for north of $1 billion, its parent corporation is selling the once dominant blogging platform. WordPress owner Automattic Inc. has agreed to take the service off of Verizon’s hands. Terms of the deal are undisclosed, but the number is “nominal,” compared to its original asking price, per an article…

This hacker’s iPhone charging cable can hijack your computer

Most people don’t think twice about picking up a phone charging cable and plugging it in. But one hacker’s project wants to change that and raise awareness at the dangers of potentially malicious charging cables. A hacker who goes by the online handle MG took an innocent-looking Apple USB Lightning cable and rigged it with…

Nio electric vehicles sales took a hit as it scrambled to handle battery recall

Nio delivered just 837 electric vehicles in July, a nearly 38% drop from the previous month that was largely caused by a voluntary recall of its high-performance ES8 SUV. The Chinese automotive startup issued a voluntary recall in June of nearly 5,000 ES8 SUVs after a series of battery fires in China and a subsequent…

Daily Crunch: Twitter tests reply subscriptions

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here. 1. Twitter’s latest test lets users subscribe to a tweet’s replies Many people already receive push notifications when selected accounts send out…

PopBase launches its platform for social media stars to share and monetize their work

It’s been almost a year since PopBase first launched on the Battlefield Stage at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2018. In the ensuing months the company has been working hard to sign up influencers and get its platform for social media stars ready for prime time. The company is launching its early access release today… enabling social…

How young VCs bootstrap new venture firms

We spend a lot of time talking about new funds, and new startup venture raises, but we spend little time talking about the cash flow challenges of running a venture fund. Let’s change that today. Starting a new venture fund is extremely challenging. In addition to just the monstrous task of fundraising — which can…

London edtech startup Pi-Top sees layoffs after major contract loss

London-based edtech startup Pi-Top has cut a number of staff, TechCrunch has learned. According to our sources the company has reduced its headcount in recent weeks, with staff being told cuts are a result of restructuring as it seeks to implement a new strategy. One source told us Pi-Top recently lost out on a large…

Venmo launches instant transfers to bank accounts

PayPal -owned payments app Venmo today announced support for instant transfers to U.S. bank accounts. The feature is an optional alternative to Venmo’s standard bank transfer service, which typically takes one to three business days to process transactions. With Instant Transfer, however, funds from your Venmo account can hit your bank account within minutes. As…

Postmates to drop IPO filing next month

Postmates plans to make its IPO paperwork public in September, TechCrunch has learned. Despite previous reports indicating the on-demand delivery company is seeking an M&A exit, sources close to the matter say Postmates is on track to go complete an initial public offering this year. With the S-1 dropping in September, San Francisco-based Postmates is…

Polarity raises $8.1M for its AI software that constantly analyzes employee screens and highlights key info

Reference docs and spreadsheets seemingly make the world go ’round, but what if employees could just close those tabs for good without losing that knowledge? One startup is taking on that complicated challenge. Predictably, the solution is quite complicated as well from a tech perspective, involving an AI solution that analyzes everything on your PC…

Huawei’s new OS isn’t an Android replacement… yet

If making an Android alternative was easy, we’d have a lot more of them. Huawei’s HarmonyOS won’t be replacing the mobile operating system for the company any time soon, and Huawei has made it pretty clear that it would much rather go back to working with Google than go at it alone. Of course, that…

SpaceX, Blue Origin, ULA and Northrop Grumman bid for U.S. national security launch contract

The U.S. Air Force is looking to lock in its launch providers for national security satellite missions to take place between 2022 and 2026, and the bids for this so-called “Phase 2” procurement contract are now in. The field of competitors looking to become one of the two companies chosen is a who’s who of…

Announcing the Disrupt SF 2019 agenda

Disrupt SF 2019 is set to be the biggest and best Disrupt yet. We’ve got a little something for everyone, including space chats with Lockheed Martin’s Marillyn Hewson and Blue Origin’s Bob Smith, a word from Snap CEO Evan Spiegel, a fireside chat with two of 2019’s big VC winners, Ann Miura-Ko and Theresia Gouw,…

Sequoia leads $40M investment in mobile messaging startup Attentive

Attentive, a startup helping retailers personalize their mobile messages, is announcing that it has raised $40 million in Series B funding. The startup was founded by Brian Long and Andrew Jones, who sold their previous startup TapCommerce to Twitter. When they announced Attentive’s $13 million Series A last year, Long told me the startup is…

Roblox announces new game creation tools and marketplace, $100M in 2019 developer revenue

A week after gaming platform Roblox announced its new milestone of 100 million monthly users — topping Minecraft — the company said at its fifth annual developer conference that its developer community is on track to earn $100 million in 2019.  Roblox also introduced a new set of developer tools for building immersive, more realistic…

BuzzFeed CTO joins men’s health startup Ro

Ro, a two-year-old startup known for its online pharmacy of men’s health products, has named BuzzFeed’s Todd Levy its chief technology officer. Levy first joined BuzzFeed in 2014 as the digital media company’s vice president of engineering; he was named CTO in 2016. Prior to BuzzFeed, Levy co-founded and led link management tool bit.ly. Levy…

Light Field Lab raises $28 million to rethink the 3D TV

3D TVs may have grabbed all of the headlines a decade ago at CES, but the tech never found a useful inroad into consumers homes. Not everyone has given up on them, though they look a bit different now. Light Field Lab, a Bay Area startup that emerged from stealth two years ago, wants to…

Nike launches a subscription service for kids’ shoes, Nike Adventure Club

Just in time for back-to-school shopping, Nike today officially announced its entry into the subscription service market with the launch of a “sneaker club” for kids called Nike Adventure Club. The new program is specifically designed to make shopping easier for parents who struggle to keep up with their quickly growing children’s shoe needs. Instead…

Lucidworks raises $100M to expand in AI-powered search-as-a-service for organizations

If the sheer amount of information that we can tap into using the internet has made the world our oyster, then the huge success of Google is a testament to how lucrative search can be in helping to light the way through that data maze. Now, in a sign of the times, a startup called Lucidworks,…

TechCrunch’s Enterprise event early bird deadline extended: buy now & save $100

Even the most enterprising startup founders can suffer a bout of procrastination or last-minute decision making. We get it. That’s why we’re extending the early-bird deadline for  TC Sessions: Enterprise 2019 in San Francisco on September 5. You now have until August 16 at 11:59 p.m. (PT) to save $100 on this day-long conference focused on…

Twitter’s latest test lets users subscribe to a tweet’s replies

Twitter in more recent months has been focused on making conversations on its platform easier to follow, participate in, and in some cases, block. The company’s latest test, announced via a tweet ahead of the weekend, will allow users to subscribe to replies to a particularly interesting tweet they want to follow, too, in order…

Bosch is working on glasses-free 3D displays for in-car use

German auto industry giant Bosch is developing new technology that will add glasses-free 3D imaging to future versions of its in-car digital display technology. These 3D displays use passive 3D tech, which mans you won’t need to wear glasses to see the effect, and it also skips eye tracking, which is a key ingredient for…

Deliveroo is exiting the German market

UK on-demand food delivery startup Deliveroo is pulling the plug on its service in Germany. The startup expanded into the market more than four years ago. But in an email sent to users it writes that — “regrettably” — it will be exiting Germany on August 16. “This was not an easy decision and one…

India’s Reliance Jio inks deal with Microsoft to expand Office 365, Azure to more businesses; unveils broadband, blockchain, and IoT platforms

India’s Reliance Jio, which has disrupted the local telecom and features phone businesses in less than three years of its existence, is now ready to aggressively foray into many more businesses. In a series of announcements, the subsidiary of India’s largest industrial house Reliance Industries today said it will commercially launch its fiber-optic broadband business…

India’s Meesho raises $125M to expand its social commerce business

Meesho, a Bangalore-based social commerce startup, has raised $125 million in a new financing round to expand its business in the country and change the way millions shop online. The Series D round was led by Naspers, and existing investors SAIF, Sequoia, Shunwei Capital, RPS and Venture Highway participating as well. Facebook also participated in the…

ByteDance launches a new search portal that returns a mix of results from the Web and its own platforms

ByteDance has taken another step into search with the launch of a new search portal today. Called Toutiao Search, the portal is part of the website for Toutiao, the news aggregator owned by ByteDance, and currently optimized only for mobile. Though it is part of Toutiao’s website, the portal is separate from the Toutiao’s own…

Competition among alternative protein players gets hot as companies beef up with new deals

The competition for control of the burgeoning market for burger replacements (and other alternatives to animal proteins) continues to heat up. Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods the two leading contenders for top purveyor of plant-based patties (and other formulations) have spent most of the typically sleepy summer months jockeying for the position as top supplier…

3D-printing organs moves a few more steps closer to commercialization

New successes in printing vascular tissue from living cells point to the accelerating pace of development of 3D printing tissue — and eventually the ability to manufacture organs from small samples of cells. Late last month Prellis Biologics announced a $8.7 million round of funding and some significant advancements that point the way forward for…

Democratic Presidential nominees are ignoring the issue of our cybersecurity infrastructure

Robert Ackerman Jr. Contributor Robert Ackerman Jr. is the founder and a managing director of AllegisCyber, an early-stage cybersecurity venture firm, and a founder of DataTribe, a cybersecurity startup “studio” in metropolitan Washington, D.C. More posts by this contributor Too few cybersecurity professionals is a gigantic problem for 2019 Cyber breaches abound in 2019 With…

Navy ditches touchscreens for knobs and dials after fatal crash

A collision at sea that claimed the lives of 10 sailors has led to the Navy deciding to replace an unpopular touchscreen interface in some ships with more traditional mechanical controls. “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should,” a Navy official said of the outgoing technology. The crash in question involved the U.S.S. John…

Vector’s launch business in peril after ‘major change in financing’

Small satellite launch startup Vector has indefinitely shut down operations “in response a major change in financing,” the company confirmed. Co-founder and CEO Jim Cantrell has also been cut loose as part of the upset. The news comes as a surprise to the space startup community, and apparently to its employees. The company lined up…

Tesla explodes after crash on Russian highway

A Tesla vehicle involved in a collision burst into flames and exploded on a highway near Moscow last night, local media reported. The occupants were slightly injured, but the car is toast. The model of the car is not clear from reporting, but seems to be either a Model S or Model 3. It was…

Original Content podcast: ‘Another Life’ is no masterpiece, but we want a second season anyway

Most critics haven’t found much to like in “Another Life,” a new space opera on Netflix, but look: We had a good time with it. The show stars Katee Sackhoff (best known as Starbuck on “Battlestar Galactica”), who plays Niko Breckinridge, the leader of an expedition across the galaxy to make contact with aliens who…

2020 and the black-box ballot box

One of the scarier notions in the world today is the prospect of American voting machines being compromised at scale: voters thrown off rolls, votes disregarded, vote tallies edited, entire elections hacked. That’s why the nation’s lawmakers and civil servants flocked (relatively speaking) to Def Con in Las Vegas this week, where hackers at its…

Week in Review: Netflix’s big problem and Apple’s thinnest product yet

Hey. This is Week-in-Review, where I give a heavy amount of analysis and/or rambling thoughts on one story while scouring the rest of the hundreds of stories that emerged on TechCrunch this week to surface my favorites for your reading pleasure. Last week, I talked about the Capital One breach and how Equifax taught us…

Tesla Model 3 owner implants RFID chip to turn her arm into a key

Forget the keycard or phone app, one software engineer is trying out a new way to unlock and start her Tesla Model 3. Amie DD, who has a background in game simulation and programming, recently released a video showing how she “biohacked” her body. The software engineer removed the RFID chip from the Tesla Model…

Y Combinator-backed Trella brings transparency to Egypt’s trucking and shipping industry

Y Combinator has become one of the key ways that startups from emerging markets get the attention of American investors. And arguably no clutch of companies has benefitted more from Y Combinator’s attention than startups from emerging markets tackling the the logistics market. On the heels of the success the accelerator had seen with Flexport,…

How tech is transforming the intelligence industry

Shay Hershkovitz Contributor Share on Twitter Shay Hershkovitz is a Senior Research Fellow at The Intelligence Methodology Research Center (IMRC). At a conference on the future challenges of intelligence organizations held in 2018, former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats argued that he transformation of the American intelligence community must be a revolution rather than…

Telegram introduces new feature to prevent users from texting too often in a group

Telegram, a popular instant messaging app, has introduced a new feature to give group admins on the app better control over how members engage, the latest in a series of interesting features it has rolled out in recent months to expand its appeal. The feature, dubbed Slow Mode, allows a group administrator to dictate how…

Kobalt, Apple and smartwatches, Hadoop, customer support, and social work and AI

The Kobalt EC-1: How a Swedish saxophonist built Kobalt, the world’s next music unicorn My favorite pieces we host on Extra Crunch are our EC-1 series of in-depth profiles and analyses of high-flying, fascinating startups. We launched Extra Crunch with a multi-part series on Patreon, and then we covered augmented reality and Pokémon Go creator…

We’re all doomed, 2019 edition

Every year the great and good (and bad) of the hacker/information-security world descend on Las Vegas for a week of conferences, in which many present their latest discoveries, and every year I try to itemize the most interesting (according to me) Black Hat talks for TechCrunch. Do not assume I attended all or even most…

Most EU cookie ‘consent’ notices are meaningless or manipulative, study finds

New research into how European consumers interact with the cookie consent mechanisms which have proliferated since a major update to the bloc’s online privacy rules last year casts an unflattering light on widespread manipulation of a system that’s supposed to protect consumer rights. As Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force in May…

Startups Weekly: Angel vs. VC

Hello and welcome back to Startups Weekly, a weekend newsletter that dives into the week’s noteworthy startups and venture capital news. Before I jump into today’s topic, let’s catch up a bit. Last week, I wrote about DoorDash’s acquisition of Caviar, which no one saw coming. Before that, I jotted down some notes on SoftBank’s…

How safe are school records? Not very, says student security researcher

If you can’t trust your bank, government or your medical provider to protect your data, what makes you think students are any safer? Turns out, according to one student security researcher, they’re not. Eighteen-year-old Bill Demirkapi, a recent high school graduate in Boston, Massachusetts, spent much of his latter school years with an eye on…

How a Swedish saxophonist built Kobalt, the world’s next music unicorn

You may not have heard of Kobalt before, but you probably engage with the music it oversees every day, if not almost every hour. Combining a technology platform to better track ownership rights and royalties of songs with a new approach to representing musicians in their careers, Kobalt has risen from the ashes of the…

Adobe’s Amit Ahuja will be talking customer experience at TechCrunch Sessions: Enterprise

As companies collect increasingly large amounts of data about customers, the end game is about improving the customer experience. It’s a term we’re hearing a lot of these days, and we are going to be discussing that very topic with Amit Ahuja, Adobe’s vice president of ecosystem development, next month at TechCrunch Sessions: Enterprise in…

Biotech researchers venture into the wild to start their own business

Much of Silicon Valley mythology is centered on the founder-as-hero narrative. But historically, scientific founders leading the charge for bio companies have been far less common. Developing new drugs is slow, risky, and expensive. Big clinical failures are all too common. As such, bio requires incredibly specialized knowledge and experience. But at the same time,…

Car2go hikes hourly rental rates by as much as a third

By-the-minute car rental service Car2go is raising its rates for short trips under the guise of variable pricing, the company announced to its users today. As we’ve seen with other variably priced services like delivery and ride hailing, in practice this means you never really know what it will cost but will have little choice…

Apple starts selling Mophie’s take on AirPower

There’s no shortage of AirPower knockoffs on the market. Many have been in the works since Apple took the wraps off its in-house version, positioned as more affordable alternatives. Since the company unceremoniously pulled the plug on the project, however, they’re the only game in town. We reviewed a $99 one a while ago. It…

Reports say White House has drafted an order putting the FCC in charge of monitoring social media

The White House is contemplating issuing an executive order that would widen its attack on the operations of social media companies. The White House has prepared an executive order called “Protecting Americans from Online Censorship” that would give the Federal Communications Commission oversight of how Facebook, Twitter and other tech companies monitor and manage their…

Hundreds of exposed Amazon cloud backups found leaking sensitive data

How safe are your secrets? If you used Amazon’s Elastic Block Storage, you might want to check your settings. New research just presented at the Def Con security conference reveals how companies, startups and governments are inadvertently leaking their own files from the cloud. You may have heard of exposed S3 buckets — those Amazon-hosted…

Daily Crunch: Uber reports big losses and slowing growth

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here. 1. Uber lost more than $5B last quarter Uber reported earnings for the second time as a public company, posting its largest-ever…

Why AI needs more social workers, with Columbia University’s Desmond Patton

Sometimes it does seem the entire tech industry could use someone to talk to, like a good therapist or social worker. That might sound like an insult, but I mean it mostly earnestly: I am a chaplain who has spent 15 years talking with students, faculty, and other leaders at Harvard (and more recently MIT…

Proterra, the Tesla of electric buses, closes in on $1 billion valuation

Proterra has authorized shares to raise $75 million, a new round of funding that would push the electric bus maker’s valuation past $1 billion, TechCrunch has learned. The company authorized the sale of 10,857,762 shares at a price of $6.91 in a Series 8 round, according to a securities filing that was obtained by the…

Last chance for early-bird tickets to TC Sessions: Enterprise 2019

It’s down to the wire folks. Today’s the last day you can save $100 on your ticket to TC Sessions: Enterprise 2019, which takes place on September 5 at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco. The deadline expires in mere hours — at 11:59 p.m. (PT). Get the best possible price and buy your early-bird ticket…

Preclusio uses machine learning to comply with GDPR, other privacy regulations

As privacy regulations like GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act proliferate, more startups are looking to help companies comply. Enter Preclusio, a member of the Y Combinator Summer 2019 class, which has developed a machine learning-fueled solution to help companies adhere to these privacy regulations. “We have a platform that is deployed on-prem in…

Robocall blocking apps caught sending your private data without permission

Robocall-blocking apps promise to rid your life of spoofed and spam phone calls. But are they as trustworthy as they claim to be? One security researcher said many of these apps can violate your privacy as soon as they are opened. Dan Hastings, a senior security consultant cybersecurity firm NCC Group, analyzed some of the…

Skip scooters are returning to Washington, D.C. after battery fires

Following battery issues and a single-alarm fire caused by improperly disposed of batteries in Washington, D.C., Skip has been given the green light to resume operations in Washington, D.C. and the surrounding areas of Alexandria and Arlington. The plan is to redeploy the scooters in the coming weeks. In June, a battery on one of…

Amazon’s lead EU data regulator is asking questions about Alexa privacy

Amazon’s lead data regulator in Europe, Luxembourg’s National Commission for Data Protection, has raised privacy concerns about its use of manual human reviews of Alexa AI voice assistant recordings. A spokesman for the regulator confirmed in an email to TechCrunch it is discussing the matter with Amazon, adding: “At this stage, we cannot comment further…

The smartwatch category is growing, as Apple remains dominant

Last week Samsung and Fossil kicked off the week by announcing new smartwatches. On the same day. At the same time. From a brief moment, it felt like 2015 all over again, when the world of smartwatches felt exciting and new. Mid-way through 2019, the good news for smartwatches is that the category continues to…

Startups seek sperm… And venture capital backing

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week we were helmed by Kate Clark and Alex Wilhelm, but those of you who love the show having guests on don’t despair. As we explain at the top, there’s a lot of folks coming on the…

Autonomous air mobility company EHang to deploy air shuttle service in Guangzhou

China’s EHang, a company focused on developing and deploying autonomous passenger and freight low-altitude vehicles, will build out its first operational network of air taxis and transports in Guangzhou. The company announced that the Chinese city would play host to its pilot location for a citywide deployment. The pilot will focus on not only showing…

India’s Lendingkart raises $30M to help small businesses access working capital

As India continues its race to adopt digital payments at a pace and scale seen rarely worldwide, the country’s startups are quickly building solutions to bring financial services to businesses. And they are attracting significant capital from local investors and global giants to scale their ambitions. Lendingkart, one of the many startups in the country…

HarmonyOS is Huawei’s homegrown operating system for smartphones and smart home devices

After months of conflicting statements from Huawei executives, the Chinese networking giant on Friday officially unveiled HarmonyOS, the much-anticipated microkernel-based, distributed operating system that it has developed to power smartphones, laptops, and smart home devices as the company attempts to reduce its reliance on American firms. HarmonyOS will be made available for deployment in smart…

Zindi rallies Africa’s data scientists to crowd-solve local problems

Zindi is convening Africa’s data scientists to create AI solutions for complex problems. Founded in 2018, the Cape Town-based startup allows companies, NGOs or government institutions to host online competitions around data-oriented challenges. Zindi’s platform also coordinates a group of more than 4,000 data scientists based in Africa who can enroll to join a competition,…

A.Capital Partners, founded by Ronny Conway, targets $140 million for its third fund

Silicon Valley investor Ronny Conway is raising his third early-stage venture fund, shows a new SEC filing that states the fund’s target is $140 million and that the first sale has yet to occur. The now six-year-old firm, A.Capital, focuses on both consumer and enterprise tech, and has offices in Menlo Park and San Francisco.…

The Russians are coming! The Russians are … complicated!

Did you know that Russia’s security services, particularly those related to hacking / information security, have been in the throes of vicious high-stakes infighting for years? Did you know that the perceived Russian doctrine which informed much Western analysis of Russian strategies never actually existed? Did you know that the Kremlin’s secrecy has built an…

Facebook could face billions in potential damages as court rules facial recognition lawsuit can proce

Facebook is facing exposure to billions of dollars in potential damages as a federal appeals court on Thursday rejected Facebook’s arguments to halt a class action lawsuit claiming it illegally collected and stored the biometric data of millions of users. The class action lawsuit has been working its way through the courts since 2015, when…

Glow raises $2.3M to help podcasters make money

Glow is a new startup that says it wants to help podcasters build media business. That’s something co-founder and CEO Amira Valliani said she tried to do herself. After a career that included working in the Obama White House and getting an MBA from Wharton, she launched a podcast covering local elections in Cambridge, Mass.,…

Hyundai’s fuel cell SUV just scored a top safety rating from IIHS

The Hyundai Nexo, a hydrogen fuel cell SUV first unveiled at CES 2018, has earned a top safety award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The award, announced Thursday, marks two firsts. The Nexo is the first fuel cell vehicle to earn IIHS’s top safety award. Then again, it’s also the first fuel cell…

Uber stock plummets following second-quarter earnings report

Uber has disclosed earnings for the second time since becoming a public company, reporting revenues of $3.16 billion on losses of $5.2 billion for the second quarter of 2019. Uber (NYSE: UBER) closed up more than 9% Thursday at $42.98 per share, just below its $45 IPO price, but took a nose dive of more…

Cultivated data is the next Gold Rush

Bernard Moon Contributor Bernard Moon is co-founder and partner at SparkLabs Group, a network of accelerators and venture capital funds. More posts by this contributor Dilution: The good, the bad and the ugly Fintech is playing the long game Five years ago, Frank Meehan, my SparkLabs Global Ventures co-founder, described the goal of our seed-stage fund as follows: “The…

Apple expands its bug bounty, increases maximum payout to $1M

Apple is finally giving security researchers something they’ve wanted for years: a macOS bug bounty. The technology giant said Thursday it will roll out the bug bounty program to include Macs and MacBooks, as well as Apple TV and Apple Watch, almost exactly three years after it debuted its bug bounty program for iOS. The…

This charming little camera prints instantly to receipt paper

I’m a big instant camera fan, but the film is expensive and the digital printers just aren’t very good. So I was delighted to see this alternative seeking funds on Kickstarter: the Alulu camera, which prints photos in black and white on receipt paper. Why did no one do this before? The idea is so…

Samsung is bringing PC game streaming to the Note 10

One of the more interesting news tidbits from yesterday’s Unpacked event got a bit drowned out in all of the noise. Understandably so — Samsung jammed a lot into an event that ran just over an hour, virtually sprinting through a handful of gaming announcements. The below video is the best demonstration we have of…

This startup is helping food app delivery workers start their own damn delivery companies

Following many months of pressure, DoorDash, one of the most frequently used food delivery apps in the U.S., said late last month that it was finally changing its tipping policy to pass 100% of tips along to workers, rather than employ some of that money toward defraying its own costs. The move was a step…

ULA successfully launches fifth U.S. Air Force protected communications satellite

The United Launch Alliance (ULA), a joint-effort commercial launch service provider set up by Boing and Lockheed Martin, succeeded in launching a U.S. Air Force communications satellite to orbit today, the fifth in a series of launches to form a constellation. The satellite, code-named AEHF-5 (for the fifth ‘Advanced Extremely High Frequency” spacecraft) is already…

Auto supplier Continental shifts gears — and its capital — to an electric future

Continental AG, a global auto-parts supplier, will no longer invest in parts used in internal combustion engines, the latest sign that the automotive industry is being forced to respond to increasingly strict emissions laws. Instead, the company said it will put more focus and capital on the electric powertrain, which it believes is the “future…

Voxel51 raises $2 million for its video-native identification of people, cars and more

Many companies and municipalities are saddled with hundreds or thousands of hours of video and limited ways to turn it into usable data. Voxel51 offers a machine learning-based option that chews through video and labels it, not just with simple image recognition but with an understanding of motions and objects over time. Annotating video is…

Daily Crunch: Samsung unveils the Galaxy Note 10

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here. 1. This is Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 and 10+ The landscape has changed dramatically since the Galaxy Note was first unveiled in…

‘The Operators’: Experts from Airbnb and Carta on building and managing your company’s customer support

Tim Hsia & Neil Devani Contributor Share on Twitter Tim Hsia is the CEO of Media Mobilize and a Venture Partner at Digital Garage. Neil Devani is an angel investor and venture capitalist focused on companies solving hard problems. More posts by this contributor ‘The Operators’: Experts from WeWork and Brex talk marketing – Getting…

GitHub gets a CI/CD service

Microsoft’s GitHub today launched the beta of a new version of GitHub Actions with full continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) capabilities built right into the service. General availability is planned for November 13. The company also today announced that it now has more than 40 million developers on its platform. Ten months ago, GitHub launched…

Apple Music for Artists comes out of beta with an iOS app and Shazam data

Apple Music launched its data dashboard for musicians more than a year ago. Today, the company is taking that product — Apple Music for Artists — out of beta, and adding some new features in the process. For one thing, it’s no longer a web-only product, because Apple is releasing an iPhone app. On both web…

Only 24 hours left to save $100 on TC Sessions: Enterprise 2019

Heads up all you enterprising enterprise software startuppers. You have only 24 hours before the price goes up on tickets to TC Sessions: Enterprise 2019. Save $100 and join us in San Francisco on September 5 — along with some of the industry’s top founders, CEOs, investors and technologists. Buy your early-bird ticket before 11:59…

Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson joins Disrupt SF to talk about U.S. crewed spaceflight

The space race is back on, but this time it’s closer to home: A number of U.S. companies are vying to become the first to return Americans to crewed launches, after an eight year hiatus marked by the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011. Lockheed Martin is one of that very small group,…

Keith Rabois, BoxGroup back New York-based Brex competitor

Considering its unparalleled success, it was only a matter of time before a Brex copycat emerged. Ramp Financial, a new startup led by Capital One-acquired Paribus founders Eric Glyman and Karim Atiyeh (pictured), has raised $7 million, TechCrunch has learned. The capital came from Keith Rabois of Founders Fund, BoxGroup’s Adam Rothenberg and Coatue Management,…

Apple is under formal antitrust probe in Russia

Make way for another antitrust investigation into big tech. Step forward Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS), which has opened an official probe of Apple — following a complaint lodged in March by security company Kaspersky Labs. Kaspersky’s complaint to FAS followed a change in Apple’s policy towards a parental control app it offers, called Kaspersky…

The Navy taps YouTube creators for its latest recruiting campaign

The US Navy is turning to YouTube creators for help in finding technical recruits. Captain Matt Boren, the chief marketing officer at US Navy Recruiting Command, told me that while past recruiting efforts have focused on TV and other traditional media, that’s no longer the best route to reach the post-millennial generation. “For our audience…

Statespace picks up $2.5M to help gamers train

Gaming continues to grow in popularity, with esports revenue growing 23 percent from last year to top $1 billion in 2019. But the metrics by which talent is evaluated in gaming, and the methods by which gamers can train to better hone their craft, are varied and at times non-existent. That’s where StateSpace, and specifically…

Netflix signs multi-year deal with ‘Game of Thrones’ showrunners

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the creators and showrunners of HBO’s adaptation of “Game of Thrones,” have found a new home. Netflix has signed a multi-year film and TV pact with the writer-producers; according to The Hollywood Reporter, the deal is worth $200 million. This follows expensive Netflix deals with other high-profile showrunners, including Ryan Murphy ($300…

Opsani helps optimize cloud applications with AI

Opsani, a Redwood City, California startup, wants to go beyond performance monitoring to continually optimizing cloud applications, using artificial intelligence to help the software learn what is the optimal state. “We have come up with a machine learning technique centered around reinforcement learning to tune the performance of applications in the cloud,” company co-founder and…

Google adds playable podcast episodes to search results

Google is making it easier to find and listen to audio content specific to your search interests, with playable episodes surfaced in results that start rolling out today. Playable podcasts will show up in results when you use “podcasts” as a keyword in your search, in combination with other terms. It’s intended to deliver you…

Flawed office printers are a silent but serious target for hackers

You probably don’t think too much about your humble office printer. But they’re a prime target for hackers, if any of the dozens of vulnerabilities found by security researchers are anything to go by. The latest research by the NCC Group just revealed at the Def Con security conference shows just how easy of a…

Beynd gets $2M seed to improve customer experience with better onboarding

Customer experience is a term that gets bandied about quite a bit these days. If you can improve the customer experience, you can win more customers. Beynd, a Utah startup, wants to help by providing a better, more automated onboarding workflow. Today, it announced a $2 million seed round. The round was led by Peak…

The UK’s National Health Service is launching an AI lab

The UK government has announced it’s rerouting £250M (~$300M) in public funds for the country’s National Health Service (NHS) to set up an artificial intelligence lab that will work to expand the use of AI technologies within the service. The Lab, which will sit within a new NHS unit tasked with overseeing the digitisation of…

Google Travel adds flight price notifications and a limited time flight price guarantee

Google is building out its travel product with more features to convince you to use it to book flights and plan trips directly, instead of having to go anywhere else. The company is adding more sophisticated pricing features, including historical price comparison for specific itineraries – and notifications about when a price is likely to…

Google launches ‘Live View’ AR walking directions for Google Maps

Google is launching a beta of its augmented reality walking directions feature for Google Maps, with a broader launch that will be available to all iOS and Android devices that have system-level support for AR. On iOS, that means ARKit-compatible devices, and on Android, that means any smartphones that support Google’s ARcore, so long as…

FlixMobility extends Series F at $2B+ valuation as it gears up to add cars to its bus and train network

Back in July it emerged that FlixMobility — the company behind the network of ubiquitous green FlixBus coaches that crisscross Europe and parts of the US — had raised about €500 million in the largest-ever round of funding for a German tech company. That turned out not to be the full story. Today, the company…

Sperm storage startups are raising millions

A number of startups are bringing technology and innovation to the fertility industry, with a growing few focused specifically on male fertility. “Society at large doesn’t understand the subject of fertility,” Tom Smith, the co-founder and chief executive officer of men’s sperm storage startup Dadi tells TechCrunch. “People see it as a female issue.” Dadi…

Japan’s mobile payments app PayPay reaches 10 million users

Paytm, India’s biggest mobile payments firm, now has 10 million customers in Japan, the company said as it pushes to expand its reach in international markets. Paytm entered Japan last October after forming a joint venture with SoftBank and Yahoo Japan called PayPay. In addition to 10 million users, PayPay is now supported by 1 million…

Group dating app 3fun exposed sensitive data on 1.5 million users

More than 1.5 million users of a group dating service had their personal data exposed — including their real-time location — because of a vulnerability in the app. The app, 3fun, bills itself as a “private space” where you can meet “local kinky, open-minded people.” But the data wasn’t private at all. Ken Munro, founder…

Mubi founder Efe Cakarel is coming to Disrupt Berlin

Most entrepreneurs who have tried to compete with Netflix have failed. But Efe Cakarel isn’t one of them. As the founder and CEO of Mubi, he has created a beloved movie streaming service. That’s why I’m excited to announce that Mubi founder Efe Cakarel is joining us at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin. Mubi has been around…

Stock trading app Robinhood gets UK broker license

Robinhood, the Silicon Valley-based stock trading app that was recently valued by investors at $7.6 billion, has received regulatory approval in the U.K., breaking cover on its plans to set up shop in London (as reported exclusively by TechCrunch 7 months ago). Specifically, Robinhood International Ltd., a Robinhood subsidiary, has been authorised to operate as…

Google and Twitter are using AMD’s new EPYC Rome processors in their datacenters

AMD announced that Google and Twitter are among the companies now using EPYC Rome processors during a launch event for the 7nm chips today. The release of EPYC Rome marks a major step in AMD’s processor war with Intel, which said last month that its own 7nm chips, Ice Lake, won’t be available until 2021…

Africa’s top mobile phone seller Transsion to list in Chinese IPO

Chinese mobile-phone and device maker Transsion will list in an IPO on Shanghai’s STAR Market, Transsion confirmed to TechCrunch. The company—which has a robust Africa sales network—could raise up to 3 billion yuan (or $426 million). “The company’s listing-related work is running smoothly. The registration application and issuance process is still underway, with the specific…

Earbuds lets audiences stream the playlists of athletes, entertainers and each other

Earbuds, a new startup from Austin founded by former Detroit Lions lineman Jason Fox, wants to bring the power of social media to your eardrums. The company is one of a growing number of startups trying to rejuvenate the music streaming market by combining it with social networking so that audiences can listen to the…

Postmates lands first-ever permit to test sidewalk delivery robots in San Francisco

On-demand delivery business Postmates says it’s been granted the first-ever permit for sidewalk robotics operations in the city of San Francisco. According to San Francisco Public Works, the permits are active for 180 days and authorize the testing of up to three autonomous delivery devices. We’ve reached out to the Public Works department for comment.…

Warren makes $85B federally-funded broadband promise

As part of her bid for the presidency, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has made some bold proposals to improve access to broadband in underserved areas, and has made it clear that restoring net neutrality is also among her priorities. She proposes $85 billion to cover the enormous costs of making sure “every home in America…

Instagram ad partner secretly sucked up and tracked millions of users’ locations and stories

Hyp3r, an apparently trusted marketing partner of Facebook and Instagram, has been secretly collecting and storing location and other data on millions of users, against the policies of the social networks, Business Insider reported today. It’s hard to see how it could do this for years without intervention by the platforms except if the latter…

Salesforce is acquiring ClickSoftware for $1.35B

Another day, another Salesforce acquisition. Just days after closing the hefty $15.7 billion Tableau deal, the company opened its wallet again, this time announcing it has bought field service software company ClickSoftware for a tidy $1.35 billion. This one could help beef up the company’s field service offering, which falls under the Service Cloud umbrella.…

Learn how enterprise startups win big deals at TechCrunch’s Enterprise show on Sept. 5

Big companies today may want to look and feel like startups, but when it comes to the way they approach buying new enterprise solutions, especially from new entrants, they still often act like traditional enterprise behemoths. But from the standpoint of a true startup, closing deals with just a few big customers is critical to success.…

The Galaxy Book S is Samsung’s Windows-powered answer to the MacBook Air

We were hoping for at least one surprise during today’s big event. At the end of Unpacked, Samsung debuted the Galaxy Book S, a thin and light system created in tandem with Microsoft and Qualcomm. The laptop runs Windows 10 on a Qualcomm mobile chip. Among other things, the chip gives the device some crazy…

The Note’s most impressive new feature is only available on the 10+

The new Note’s 3D scanning feature got what may well have been the loudest applause line of today’s big Samsung event. It’s an impressive feature for sure, but it’s the kind with little real-world value at the moment — and it’s only available on the pricier Note 10+. Understandable on the latter, at least. After…

Lyft stock surges as company reports huge revenues and huge losses

In its second quarterly earnings release as a public company, Lyft showed it still isn’t afraid to lose money as long as that means surging revenues. Update: The company’s stock price jumped as high as 12% after-hours following the Q2 earnings release, but by 1:30pm PT the stock had sunk below the day’s close (following…

Your security team is probably an infuriating obstacle – but it doesn’t have to be this way

Security is empty, meaningless theater — or, at least, that’s the lesson taught to most employees of most large companies. Security is your password expiring every few months, your inability to access crucial services if you’re new or a contractor, a salty message from a team you’ve never met explaining that your new initiative is…

Samsung’s Galaxy Note gets even larger (and smaller)

The first Note was a spectacle. It wasn’t just the reintroduction of the stylus. In 2011, the idea of a 5.3-inch phone was laughable. Around the same time, Steve Jobs famously mocked a push toward 4-inch-plus phones, telling a press conference, “no one’s going to buy that.” With the average phone size hovering about 5.5…

The headphone jack dies not with a bang, but a Note

Next month marks three years since Apple unceremoniously murdered the headphone jack. Courage. The company was roundly mocked for its own hype, and the intervening product cycles have been marked by several companies proudly showcasing their staunch refusal to cave. None were more vocal about clinging to the 3.5mm jack than Samsung. And the company…

This is Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 and 10+

Eight years later, the Galaxy Note is undeniable. The original device, unveiled at IFA 2011, seemed unfathomably massive for a handset — all 5.3 inches of it. Nearly a decade and hundreds of millions of handsets later, the line has transformed the way we think about mobile devices. Sure the stylus hasn’t become a mainstream…

There’s a 5G version of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10+ headed for Verizon

The 5G iPhone isn’t expected until roughly this time next year. But when it comes to the next-gen cellular technology, Samsung has already been there and done that. Back in the February, the company announced an everything and the kitchen sink version of the Galaxy S10, sporting 5G — its first device to do so.…

U.S. regulators take aim at Tesla over Model 3 safety claims

Tesla’s claims about the safety of its Model 3 electric vehicle prompted U.S. regulators to send a cease-and-desist letter and escalate the matter by asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate, according to documents released by the nonprofit legal transparency website PlainSite. The documents show correspondence between the lawyers at National Highway Traffic Safety Administration…

Government and nonprofit discounts available for Disrupt SF 2019

Disrupt San Francisco 2019 takes place on October 2-4. More than 10,000 people — tech founders, investors, hackers, leaders, makers and shakers — will gather for three days focused on early-stage startups. And if you work for a government agency or a nonprofit, we have great news in the form of a deep discount on…

Trump administration bans federal agencies from buying Huawei, ZTE tech

The Trump administration has banned U.S. federal agencies from buying equipment and obtaining services from Huawei and two other companies as part of the government’s latest crackdown on Chinese technology amid national security fears. Jacob Wood, a spokesperson for the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, was quoted as saying that the administration will…

With MapR fire sale, Hadoop’s promise has fallen on hard times

If you go back about a decade, Hadoop was hot and getting hotter. It was a platform for processing big data, just as big data was emerging from the domain of a few web-scale companies to one where every company was suddenly concerned about processing huge amounts of data. The future was bright, an open…

Daily Crunch: Disney reveals streaming bundle

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here. 1. Disney will bundle Hulu, ESPN+ and Disney+ for a monthly price of $12.99 Disney’s streaming services just became even more appealing,…

Handy co-founder Oisin Hanrahan becomes chief product officer at acquirer ANGI Homeservices

ANGI Homeservices — which operates HomeAdvisor, Angie’s List and other brands — is naming Handy CEO Oisin Hanrahan as its new chief product officer. Handy offers on-demand access to workers who can clean, assemble furniture, mount TVs and perform other tasks around the home. It was acquired last year by ANGI (a publicly-traded subsidiary of…

Only 48 hours left for early-bird tickets to TC Sessions: Enterprise 2019

If enterprise software makes your entrepreneurial heart beat faster, you do not want to miss TC Sessions: Enterprise 2019 on September 5 in San Francisco. And if you really want to make your heart sing, buy an early-bird ticket and save $100. But act quickly, because that deal disappears in just 48 hours on August…

At Disrupt SF, learn how to take a digital brand offline from Brooklinen, Framebridge and thredUP

Over the past couple decades, retail has fundamentally changed. Amazon has swept in and devoured mom and pop stores, while incumbent brands face increased competition from a new crop of digital-first companies. But not everything changes. People still want to see and feel the goods they’ll purchase, and most brands still see huge benefits from…

Virtual reality game-streaming platform Vreal shuts down

Vreal, an ambitious game-streaming platform that aimed to let VR users explore the worlds that live-streamers were playing in, is shutting down and laying off its staff after raising $15 million in venture capital. The startup announced the shutdown on its website’s homepage. The Seattle startup raised cash from investors including Axioma Ventures, Upfront Ventures…

HealthTech VCs, fundraising in August, reducing churn, North, and co-ops as startups

What tech gets right about healthcare This week, our long-time healthtech correspondent Sarah Buhr talked to leading health VCs Phin Barnes of First Round Capital, Matt Ocko of DCVC, and Nick Naclerio of Illumina Ventures about what they are seeing in the healthtech ecosystem, how they are thinking about investments in the space, as well…

Nike buys an AI startup that predicts what consumers want

Nike’s market cap has swollen past $100 billion, but the shoe company still sees potential to learn more about what customers want and how to source and stock products to meet those needs. The company announced that it has acquired the Boston area startup Celect to help Nike beef up its predictive analytics strengths. Like…

Ment.io wants to help your team make decisions

Getting even the most well-organized team to agree on anything can be hard. Tel Aviv’s Ment.io, formerly known as Epistema, wants to make this process easier by applying smart design and a dose of machine learning to streamline the decision-making process. Like with so many Israeli startups, Ment.io’s co-founders Joab Rosenberg and Tzvika Katzenelson got…

How to fundraise in August

August is often considered the black hole of venture capital fundraising. Everyone is on vacation (well, everyone who’s not a founder anyway), while half of Silicon Valley is slogging down to Black Rock City for Burning Man. It understandably can just seem like an exercise in futility to try to raise any funding at all.…

PodcastOne is launching LaunchpadDM, a free hosting platform for independent podcasters

PodcastOne, the celebrity podcasting network from the founder of radio powerhouse WestwoodOne, is launching a free hosting platform for podcasters. The Los Angeles-based syndicated podcasting platform, which counts athletes, politicians, talk radio, and reality television stars like Adam Carolla, Shaquille O’Neal, Steve Austin, Kaitlyn Bristowe, Dan Patrick, Spencer and Heidi Pratt, Jim Harbaugh, Ladygang, Dr. Drew,…

Rookout lands $8M Series A to expand debugging platform

Rookout, a startup that provides debugging across a variety of environments including serverless and containers, announced an $8 million Series A investment today. It plans to use the money to expand beyond its debugging roots. The round was led by Cisco Investments along with existing investors TLV Partners and Emerge. Nat Friedman, CEO of GitHub;…

Morty raises $8.5M series A to help first-time homebuyers secure their mortgages

For the past decade, Brian Faux has been fighting on the front lines of housing finance. In between pursuing a career in mortgage lending and holding stints at Freddie Mac and Wells Fargo, Faux spent more than two years in the detritus of the 2008 financial crisis advising the Department of Housing and Urban Development…

FEMA is about to run a national test of the Emergency Alert System

Testing, testing. Is this emergency warning system on? We’re about to find out. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, will later today buzz every television and radio in the U.S. with a test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS). If you’re watching television or listening to radio at 2:20pm ET (11:20am PT), you’ll see…

FedEx ends ground-delivery contract with Amazon

FedEx is ending a partnership with Amazon to supply the ecommerce company with ground delivery shipping after its current contract ends this month, the company confirmed to Bloomberg. This is the second contract FedEx has allowed to end without renewal with Amazon, following a similar decision in June that covered only Express air shipments. The…

CircleCI brings its continuous integration to Microsoft programmers for first time

CircleCI has been supporting continuous integration for Linux and Mac programmers for some time, but up until today, Microsoft developers have been left on the outside looking in. Today, the company changed that announcing new support for Microsoft programmers using Windows Server 2019. CircleCI, which announced a $56 million Series D investment last month, is…

Toyota partners with AI startup Preferred Networks on building helper robots for humans

Toyota is enlisting the help of startup Preferred Networks, a Japanese company founded in 2014 with a focus on artificial intelligence and deep learning, to help move forward its goal of developing useful service robots that can assist people in everyday life. The two companies announced a partnership today to collaborate on research and development…

Zendesk puts Smooch acquisition to work with WhatsApp integration

Zendesk has always been all about customer service. Last spring it purchased Smooch to move more deeply into messaging app integration. Today, the company announced it was integrating WhatsApp, the popular messaging tool, into the Zendesk customer service toolkit. Smooch was an early participant in the WhatsApp Business API program. What that does in practice…

Can a radical new event disrupt how VCs raise funds, unlocking cash for Europe?

For many years there’s been an accepted way to raise capital as a venture capital fund. Essentially, GPs (General Partners who set up and run venture capital firms) go ‘cap in hand’ to LPs (Limited Partners who invest into their VC firms) in pension funds, privately run ‘family offices’, ‘ultra-high net worths’ and other such…

Twitter ‘fesses up to more adtech leaks

Twitter has disclosed more bugs related to how it uses personal data for ad targeting that means it may have shared users data with advertising partners even when a user had expressly told it not to. Back in May the social network disclosed a bug that in certain conditions resulted in an account’s location data…

Brolly launches ‘Brolly Contents’ to tackle the antiquated home contents insurance market

Brolly, the U.K. insurance app that lets you keep track of your various policies so that you are correctly and competitively covered, is launching a new product to plug what it sees as a gap in home contents insurance. Dubbed “Brolly Contents,” the new offering promises “flexible” monthly cover for all or a subset of…

Applications still open for Hardware Battlefield TC Shenzhen

We’re still in the hunt for innovative early-stage hardware startup founders. And by that, we mean boundary-pushers, exceptional disrupters and all-around game-changers. If that sounds like you, you still have time to apply to compete in Hardware Battlefield at TC Shenzhen on November 11-12. Don’t miss your chance to compete in our epic, hardware-focused pitch competition.…

Through a new partnership and $72 million in funding, LanzaTech expands its carbon capture tech

For nearly fifteen years LanzaTech has been developing a carbon capture technology that can turn waste streams into ethanol that can be used for chemicals and fuel. Now, with $72 million in fresh funding at a nearly $1 billion valuation and a newly inked partnership with biotechnology giant, Novo Holdings, the company is looking to…

Gogoro announces Yamaha, Aeon and PGO are the first manufacturers that will use its swappable batteries in their own scooters

Gogoro, the Taiwanese electric vehicle company, has announced its first manufacturing partners. Yamaha, Aeon Motor and PGO will all launch new scooters this summer that run on Gogoro’s swappable batteries and charging infrastructure. This means consumers who like Gogoro’s battery system will have a choice between buying Gogoro’s own scooters or scooters from its three…

With warshipping, hackers ship their exploits directly to their target’s mail room

Why break into a company’s network when you can just walk right in — literally? Gone could be the days of having to find a zero-day vulnerability in a target’s website, or having to scramble for breached usernames and passwords to break through a company’s login pages. And certainly there will be no need to…

In a 130-page court filing, Kik claims the SEC’s lawsuit “twists” the facts about its online token

CEO Ted Livingston of Kik Kik Interactive has hit back at the Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit that claims a $100 million token sale was illegal. The company, which owns Kik Messenger, filed a 130-page response today in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleging that the SEC is “twisting” the…