Nigeria’s #StopRobbingUs campaign could spur tech advocacy group, CEOs say

Nigeria’s #StopRobbingUs campaign to curb police harassment of techies could grow into a formal lobbying group for the country’s tech sector, according to founders Bosun Tijani and Jason Njoku. Tijani, the CEO of Lagos based innovation center CcHub and now Kenya’s iHub, helped spearhead the movement last month in response to detainment and extortion of…

Zoho launches Catalyst, a new developer platform with a focus on microservices

Zoho may be one of the most underrated tech companies. The 23-year-old company, which at this point offers more than 45 products, has never taken outside funding and has no ambition to go public, yet it’s highly profitable and runs its own data centers around the world. And today, it’s launching Catalyst, a cloud-based developer…

Edge computing startup Pensando comes out of stealth mode with a total of $278 million in funding

Pensando, an edge computing startup founded by former Cisco engineers, came out of stealth mode today with an announcement that it has raised a $145 million Series C. The company’s software and hardware technology, created to give data centers more of the flexibility of cloud computing servers, is being positioned as a competitor to Amazon…

Rocket Lab successfully launches fifth Electron rocket this year

Rocket Lab has added another successful commercial launch to its track record: The rocket startup’s ‘As The Crow Flies’ mission took off today from its LC-1 launch site in New Zealand as planned. The rocket took off at 9:22 PM ET (6:22 PM PT), during its second launch opportunity of the day after the first…

Watch Rocket Lab’s next Electron rocket launch live

Rocket Lab is launching its ninth Electron rocket today, with the launch set for 00:41 UTC (8:41 PM ET/5:41 PM PT) [Update: They’re now targeting 01:22 UTC (9:22 PM ET/6:22 PM PT)]. The mission, called “As The Crow Flies,” will be taking off from the company’s LC-1 launchpad in New Zealand, carrying a payload from…

Shoe companies Rothy’s and Steve Madden are at each other’s throats

In August, after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from the venture-backed shoe startup Rothy’s, shoe giant Steven Madden filed a pre-emptive lawsuit asking a federal court to rule that its Rosy Flat shoes don’t copy design elements of the Point ballet flat that Rothy’s began selling soon after its 2015 launch. More, it asked that seven…

MyGate raises $56M to bring its security management service to more gated communities in India

MyGate, a Bangalore-based startup that offers security management and convenience service for guard-gated premises, said today it has bagged over $50 million in a new financing round as it looks to expand its footprint in the nation. Chinese internet giant Tencent, Tiger Global, JS Capital, and existing investor Prime Venture Partners funded the three-year-old startup’s…

Labor leaders and startup founders talk how to build a sustainable gig economy

Over the past few years, gig economy companies and the treatment of their labor force has become a hot button issue for public and private sector debate. At our recent annual Disrupt event in San Francisco, we dug into how founders, companies and the broader community can play a positive role in the gig economy,…

Amazon’s Echo gets a decent-sounding refresh

Amazon seemingly didn’t realize what it had on its hands with the original Echo. Released five and a half years back for a select number of Amazon Prime users, the first Alexa device ushered in a consumer electronics revolution. According to numbers from Canalys, 26.1 million smart speakers were shipped in Q2 2019. That’s a…

Feast your eyes the first interstellar comet ever directly observed

The solar system has another interstellar visitor, but there’s no question of this one being an alien spacecraft. It’s a true comet and the first we’ve ever confirmed that comes from interstellar space, and the Hubble Space Telescope captured some amazing imagery of it. Good thing, too — because it’s never coming back. You probably…

The FrankOne is a simple and portable coffee brewing gadget

The FrankOne coffee maker, fresh off a successful crowdfunding campaign, is now available for purchase, and I got a chance to test out one of the first run of these funky little gadgets. While it won’t replace my normal pourover or a larger coffee machine, it’s a clever, quick and portable way to make a…

Inside the shutdown of the ‘world’s largest’ child sex abuse website

This morning, the Justice Department announced that it had brought charges against the administrator and hundreds of users of the “world’s largest” child sexual exploitation marketplace on the dark web. For me, it marked the end of a story I’ve wanted to write for two years. In November 2017, I was working for CBS as…

Tivo’s CEO explains how the company ‘fully embraces’ streaming

Does TiVo has a future beyond the DVR? Dave Shull certainly hopes so. The former Weather Channel CEO joined the company as president and CEO back in May, and when I spoke to him last month, he insisted that he’s excited and optimistic about the company’s prospects. In fact, he said the DVR business “is…

Netflix Q3 earnings exceed estimates, despite disappointing US subscriber growth

Netflix’s Q3 financial report has given the company’s stock a boost in after-hours trading, with profits significantly exceeding analyst expectations. The streaming giant reported revenue of $5.24 billion revenue, up 31% year-over-year and more-or-less in line with predictions of $5.25 billion. More impressively, it reported GAAP earnings of $1.47 per share, compared to analyst estimates…

The comic book ‘Bone’ is getting an animated Netflix series

  Bone, one of the finest comic series to ever hit the shelves, is getting a Netflix series. Word of the project comes from Netflix’s official “See What’s Next” account: Jeff Smith’s award-winning comic book series “Bone” is being adapted into an animated kids series pic.twitter.com/ioT98OPm1O — See What's Next (@seewhatsnext) October 16, 2019 Sadly,…

Every angle of Volvo’s first electric vehicle, the XC40 Recharge

Volvo Cars introduced Wednesday the XC40 Recharge, an all-electric vehicle that CTO Henrik Green described as “a car of firsts and a car of the future.” The XC40 Recharge is hardly the first electric vehicle on the market. But for Volvo the XC40 is a “car of firsts.” This is the company’s first all-electric vehicle.…

Shonda Rhimes signs podcast deal iHeartMedia

Shondaland, the production company founded by “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy” creator Shonda Rhimes, has signed a deal to create a new slate of podcasts for iHeartRadio over the next three years. As part of the deal, Shondaland is launching a new division called Shondaland Audio, with executive Sandie Bailey in charge of day-to-day operations. Rhimes…

Volvo to roll out a new electric vehicle every year through 2025

Volvo Cars used the unveiling of the XC40 Recharge, its first electric vehicle, to lay out an ambitious business strategy that includes introducing out a new EV every year through 2025 and slashing the carbon footprint of the lifecycle of every car and SUV it builds by 40%. All of the changes are aimed at…

YouTube partners with Merchbar to sell music artists’ swag underneath videos

YouTube is partnering with Merchbar on a new integration that will allow artists to sell their official merchandise to their worldwide fans from a shelf just below the video.  The addition is the latest deal focused on helping video creators make more money from their videos, beyond the revenue brought in through advertisements and subscriptions.…

The FCC has reportedly approved the T-Mobile-Sprint merger

Today, the Federal Communications Commission formally approved the merger of Sprint and T-Mobile in a 3-2 vote falling along party lines, The Verge reports. We’ve reached out to the FCC for comment. In April, T-Mobile and Sprint announced the proposed $26 billion deal, which unsurprisingly garnered a lot of questions around anticompetitiveness pretty much immediately.…

Volvo unveils its first electric car, the XC40 Recharge

Volvo Cars introduced Wednesday the XC40 Recharge, its first electric car under a new EV-focused brand that kicks off a company-wide shift towards electrification. “It’s a car of firsts and it’s a car of the future,” CTO Henrik Green said. The Volvo XC40 Recharge is the first electric vehicle in the automaker’s portfolio. It’s also…

&Open helps businesses distribute gifts to reward customer loyalty

&Open is a startup with an unusual name, and one that fills an unusual niche in the business world. It has built a gift giving platform, so that businesses can reward loyalty with a small token of appreciation. The gift depends on the business and the circumstances, but it could be something like a book…

a16z’s Andrew Chen on the opportunities today for consumer tech startups

What’s happening in consumer tech? At TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco last week, Extra Crunch managing editor Eric Eldon sat down with Andrew Chen, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz. Andrew focuses on consumer tech, with investments in companies like Barkbox, Boba Guys, Tinder, Substack and more. They talked about everything from design trends, to marketing,…

In the Accelerator over the Sea

In our oceans the scale of disasters is measured in millions, billions, and trillions, while solutions amount to single digits: individuals or institutions working to impact a chosen issue with approaches often both brilliant and quixotic. Putting such individuals in close contact with both whales and billionaires is the strange alchemy being attempted by the…

Hulu ramps up its personalization efforts, starting with launch of Like / Dislike buttons

Hulu says it’s working on several product changes to make its service more personalized to viewers. It recently launched an enhanced recommendation engine that now accounts for not just what you watch, but also when. And today, it’s introducing the first of what will be many more personalization-focused improvements, with the addition of Like and…

Daily Crunch: LinkedIn now supports real-world events

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. LinkedIn gets physical, debuts Events hub for people to plan in-person networking events LinkedIn is bringing its professional networking features into…

This app waits on hold for you

DoNotPay helps you get out of parking tickets, cancel forgotten subscriptions, and now it can call you when it’s your turn in a customer service phone queue. The app today is launching “Skip Waiting On Hold”. Just type in the company you need to talk to, and DoNotPay calls for you using tricks to get…

Uber integrates electric moped service Cityscoot in Paris

Uber wants to become a super app by providing multiple services in a single app. That’s why the company is announcing an integration with French startup Cityscoot. Cityscoot is a free-floating electric scooter service (moped scooters). Just like other free-floating mobility services, you can open an app, locate the nearest vehicle around you, unlock it…

Autify raises $2.5M seed round for its no-code software testing platform

Autify, a platform that makes testing web application as easy as clicking a few buttons, has raised a $2.5 million seed round from Global Brain, Salesforce Ventures, Archetype Ventures and several angels. The company, which recently graduated from the Alchemist accelerator program for enterprise startups, splits its base between the U.S., where it keeps an…

Microsoft launches new open-source projects around Kubernetes and microservices

Microsoft today announced two new open-source projects: Dapr, a portable, event-driven runtime that takes some of the complexity out of building microservices, and the Open Application Model (OAM), a specification that allows developers to define the resources their applications need to run on Kubernetes clusters and which Microsoft developed in cooperation with Alibaba Cloud. As…

Foursquare CEO calls on Congress to regulate the location data industry

The chief executive of Foursquare, one of the largest location data platforms on the internet, is calling on lawmakers to pass legislation to better regulate the wider location data industry amid abuses and misuses of consumers’ personal data. It comes in the aftermath of the recent location sharing scandal, which revealed how bounty hunters were…

The Analogue Pocket might be the perfect portable video game system

Very few modern tech companies have executed on their mission as consistently, and at such a high level of quality as Analogue. Analogue’s obsessively engineered modern consoles for old-school physical cartridge video games are museum-quality hardware design, housing specially tuned processors that offer pitch- and pixel-perfect play of all NES, Sega Genesis, SNES and other…

Instagram will give you more control over your third-party apps…in about six months

Instagram is slowly rolling out a new feature that will help better protect your personal data from being accessed by your long discarded, third-party applications — that is, any app you had once authorized to access your Instagram profile over the years. This may include websites you used for printing your Instagram photos, various dating apps,…

Former Dropbox CTO Quentin Clark just joined General Catalyst as a managing director

Quentin Clark resigned a couple of weeks ago as the CTO of Dropbox at the same time that the storage company announced two other execs — Bharat Mediratta and Tim Young — were joining its leadership team in Clark’s stead. Now we know where Clark was headed — into the world of venture capital and,…

UK quietly ditches porn age checks in favor of wider online harms rules

A controversial UK government scheme to introduce mandatary age checks for accessing online pornography has been dropped — for now. Introduction of the measure, which was intended to protect children from accessing inappropriate content online, had already been delayed by several months this year, most recently after a bureaucratic oversight. The technical and regulatory challenges…

These are the Under Armour-designed suits for Virgin Galactic’s space tourists

A day after NASA debuted the space suits set to be worn by the first woman on the moon, Virgin Galactic showed of its own gear at an event in New York. Created in collaboration with fitness wear company, Under Armour, the gear is designed for wear by Virgin’s private astronauts. The getup includes a…

Justice Dept. says it’s taken down ‘one of the world’s largest’ child exploitation sites on the dark web

The Justice Department says it’s dismantled one of the largest child exploitation sites on the dark web. With the help of international partners in the U.K. and South Korea, U.S. prosecutors have brought charges against a South Korean citizen, Jong Woo Son, for conspiracy to advertise, product, and distribute child abuse imagery. Son was charged…

Canva, now valued at $3.2 billion, launches an enterprise product

Canva, the Australian-based design tool maker, has today announced that it has raised an additional $10 million to bring its valuation to $3.2 billion, up from $2.5 billion in May. Investors in the company include Mary Meeker’s Bond, General Catalyst, Bessemer Venture Partners, Blackbird and Sequoia China. Alongside the new funding and valuation, Canva is…

RealTime Robotics scores $11.7M Series A to help robots avoid collisions

One of the major challenges facing engineers as they develop more agile robots is helping them move through space while avoiding collisions, especially in a dynamic environment. RealTime Robotics, a Boston-based startup announced an $11.7 million Series A investment to help solve this problem. SPARX Asset Management led the round with participation from some strategic…

NASA extends contact with Boeing for SLS rocket, paving the way for up to 10 Artemis missions

NASA has a new contract extension in place with Boeing, which will cover rocket stages for its Space Launch System (SLS) beyond Artemis I and Artemis II, the missions covered under the current contract it holds with the aerospace company. The new contract includes production of the core stage of the rocket for Artemis III,…

Live Caption, Google’s automatic captioning technology, is now available on Pixel 4

Live Caption, Google’s automatic captioning system first introduced at its I/O developer conference this May, is now officially available, alongside the launch of the new Pixel 4. But unlike some of the other technologies highlighted at the company’s Pixel hardware event yesterday, Live Caption won’t be limited to Google’s new smartphone alone. After the initial…

Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global is buying a startup that uses neuroscience to boost app usage

When Arianna Huffington stepped down from her role at the Huffington Post to start Thrive Global, she said the goal of her new business was to help a generation “avoid the burnout that all too often comes with success today.” In practice, that has meant creating a business that sells mindfulness and general health and…

Evervault raises $3.2M from Sequoia, Kleiner for an API to build apps with privacy baked in

Data privacy for apps is typically part of the purview of compliance teams — a model that isn’t always perfect, judging by the number of breaches and the extensive regulation that’s been (and still being) put in place to force companies and organizations to behave better. Now, in an effort to improve how apps manage…

Europe issues interim antitrust order against Broadcom as probe continues

Europe has ordered chipmaker Broadcom to stop applying exclusivity clauses in agreements with six of its major customers — imposing so called ‘interim measures’ based on preliminary findings from an ongoing antitrust investigation. The move follows a formal statement of objections issued by the Competition Commission in June. At the time the regulator said it would…

All Raise expands to new geos, launches ‘VC Cohorts’

Dozens of impeccably dressed women outfitted in jumpsuits and Rothy’s gathered at the Greylock offices last week for a “structured networking” session hosted by All Raise, an 18-month-old nonprofit organization that seeks to amplify the voices of and support women in tech. The organization, active in the Bay Area and New York City, is announcing…

Autonomous ‘Mayflower’ research ship will use IBM AI tech to cross the Atlantic in 2020

A fully autonomous ship called the ‘Mayflower’ will make its voyage across the Atlantic Ocean next September, to mark the 400-year anniversary of the trip of the first Mayflower, which was very much not autonomous. It’s a stark way to dive home just how much technology has advanced in the last four centuries, but also…

Amazon Pay users in India can now pay their utility, mobile and cable bills with Alexa

Amazon Pay users in India can now use voice command with Alexa to pay their utility, internet, mobile, and satellite cable TV bills, the e-commerce giant said on Wednesday. This is the first time, the company said, it is pairing these functionalities with Amazon Pay in any market. The e-commerce giant, which competes with Walmart’s…

Founders, get advice from top experts at Disrupt Berlin this Dec. 11-12

What are the best strategies today for raising your startup’s first funding round, finding users and building your team? How can you best handle major new challenges like Brexit and global trade wars? These are the some of the key questions we will be answering this year at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin, as part of a…

Brazilian unicorn Ebanx will hit $2 billion in payments processed by the end of the year

Ebanx, the newly minted Brazilian financial services unicorn, expects to process $2 billion in payments by the end of the year and is looking to expand its offerings into domestic payments as it grows. Since its launch in 2012, Ebanx has primarily focused on helping international merchants sell locally in Brazil. The Brazilian business accounts…

Only 3 days left: Apply to TC Top Picks @ Disrupt Berlin 2019

Deadline countdowns are relentless, and the application window to our TC Top Picks program is rapidly shrinking. The countdown ends and the window slams shut in just three days on 18 October at 12 p.m. (PT). If you want a shot at winning a free Startup Alley Exhibitor Package at Disrupt Berlin 2019, then take…

Booqed, a Hong Kong-based platform for on-demand work spaces, raises $1.675 million in seed funding

Booqed, a Hong Kong-based platform for booking short-term work spaces, announced today that it has raised $1.675 million in seed funding. Participants included Colliers International, the commercial real-estate management company, Techstars and Lazard Korea. The company participated in Proptech Accelerator, the Toronto-based accelerator program for property and real estate startups run by Colliers and Techstars,…

Healx raises $56M Series B to use AI to find treatments for rare diseases

Healx, a Cambridge, U.K.-based startup using AI to help discover new treatments for rare diseases, has raised $56 million in Series B funding. Leading the round is London-base VC firm Atomico, with participation by Intel Capital, Global Brain and btov Partners. All previous investors, including Balderton Capital, Amadeus Capital Partners, and Jonathan Milner have also…

Databricks brings its Delta Lake project to the Linux Foundation

Databricks, the big data analytics service founded by the original developers of Apache Spark, today announced that it is bringing its Delta Lake open-source project for building data lakes to the Linux Foundation and under an open governance model. The company announced the launch of Delta Lake earlier this year and even though it’s still…

Brazilian unicorn Ebanx will hit $2 billion in payments processed by the end of the year

Ebanx, the newly minted Brazilian financial services unicorn, expects to process $2 billion in payments by the end of the year and is looking to expand its offerings into domestic payments as it grows. Since its launch in 2012, Ebanx has primarily focused on …

Google Nest Mini hands-on

Two years after the release of the Home Mini, Google’s back with the sequel. Well, “sequel” might be a bit strong. The Nest Mini is more like one of those 1.5 movies they release on home video with a little extra footage than the theatrical release. That’s not a compliant, exactly. The truth is there…

SpaceX files paperwork to launch up to 30,000 more Starlink global internet satellites

SpaceX has filed documents with the International Telecommunication Union, which governs international use of global bandwidth, to launch up to 30,000 more satellites for its Starlink global broadband constellation, SpaceNews reports. That’s on top of the 12,000 it already has permission to launch. Why so many? SpaceX says that it’s about ensuring its network can…

LinkedIn gets physical, debuts Events hub for people to plan in-person networking events

LinkedIn, the Microsoft-owned social network for the working world with around 650 million users, is known best as a place where people connect with each other online either to build work connections, for recruitment, or for professional development. Now, the company is taking a step to bring its networking features into the physical world: the…

The Station: A new self-driving car startup, Inside Tesla’s V10 software, Lilium’s big round

If you haven’t heard, TechCrunch has officially launched a weekly newsletter dedicated to all the ways people and goods move from Point A to Point B — today and in the future — whether it’s by bike, bus, scooter, car, train, truck, flying car, robotaxi or rocket. Heck, maybe even via hyperloop. Earlier this year,…

Flowhub raises $23 million for its retail management software for cannabis dispensaries

As cannabis dispensaries flourish across the country alongside the push to legalize medicinal and recreational marijuana use, demand for tools to manage the specificities of the weed retail business continues to increase. Looking to address that need, Flowhub, a cannabis retail management software vendor, has raised $23 million from a consortium of investors including e.ventures,…

Twitter says it will restrict users from retweeting world leaders who break its rules

Twitter said it will restrict how users can interact with tweets from world leaders who break its rules. The social media giant said it will not allow users to like, reply, share or retweet the offending tweets, but instead will let users quote-tweet to allow ordinary users to express their opinions. The company said the…

David Sacks’s Craft Ventures just closed its second fund with $500 million

Craft Ventures, the venture firm launched in 2017 by serial entrepreneur David Sacks, has closed its second fund with $500 million in capital commitments, an amount the firm was said to begin targeting roughly a year ago. Craft’s debut fund had closed with $350 million. The outfit — which Sacks runs with other serial entrepreneurs…

With Alibaba, Pivotal and Lightbend on board, Reactive flexes its ROI muscle in the microservices world

Mahendra Ramsinghani Contributor Mahendra Ramsinghani is the founder of Secure Octane, a Silicon Valley-based cybersecurity seed fund. More posts by this contributor Investors are waking up to the emotional struggle of startup founders Lessons from cybersecurity exits The Linux Foundation recently announced the launch of the Reactive Foundation. Its founding members are Alibaba, Lightbend, Pivotal…

AMC Theatres launches its own on-demand streaming service

AMC Theatres announced a new service today called AMC Theatres On Demand — a marketplace where members of AMC’s Stubs loyalty program can buy or rent individual movies to watch at home. The launch of an iTunes-style, à la carte movie marketplace seems almost quaint at a time when all the major media companies seem…

Will unreliable research bury your healthcare startup?

For healthtech founders and funders, scientific claims and conclusions are more than policy — business models depend upon the lucid appraisal of clinical problems, evaluating inadequacies in current standards of care, a clear understanding of disease pathways, and designing superior interventions.  At each step along this value chain, founders stand on the shoulders of the…

Hands-on with the new Pixel 4

After the onstage presentation at Made by Google 2019, we got our hands on a Pixel 4. In this video, you can watch us do a quick run-through of the major new features — like Motion Sense, which provides gesture controls that don’t require you to touch your phone, and improved Night Sight, which allows…

Product lessons from building our subscription service Extra Crunch

Subscription has been all the rage in media circles as the industry searches for new, sustainable business models. We’ve seen companies from infrastructure plays like Substack and Pico to brand verticals like Holloway and The Athletic receive venture funding, all with the goal of changing the economics of news, information and entertainment. Every day, I…

ZeroDown, valued at $150 million, plans to take on Zillow

Days out of Y Combinator, venture capitalists valued ZeroDown, a financial and real estate technology startup, at $150 million. The company had the perfect match of experienced founders and eye-popping ambitions to carve a new path to home ownership. “I think we will be known as a company that makes it easier to buy a…

NASA’s new Artemis spacesuits make it easier for astronauts of all sizes to move on the Moon

NASA revealed new spacesuits, specifically created for the Artemis generation of missions, which aim to get the first American woman and the next American man to the surface of the Moon by 2024. The new design’s toppling feature is greater mobility and flexibility, in basically every respect. NASA unveiled both a full suit designed for…

Walmart launches in-home grocery delivery in three cities: Kansas City, Pittsburgh & Vero Beach

Walmart will bring your groceries to you and put them away in the fridge, with the launch of its new service, InHome. The retailer is today debuting its new in-home grocery delivery service in three cities: Kansas City, (Missouri and Kansas); Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Vero Beach, Florida. Customers in these markets can subscribe to InHome…

Up close with Google’s budget Chromebook, the Pixelbook Go

The Chromebook has been a marked hit for Google — well, for Google’s hardware partners, at least. Low cost devices have flooded the market, with a stranglehold on the educational category in particular. Google’s own first party offerings, on the other hand, have been a bit more curious. Devices like the Pixelbook and Pixel Slate…

Thirty-one women who “run the world” — and what can be learned from them

Today, a new book called “Girls Who Run the World” hits real and virtual bookshelves, and for anyone with a middle-school aged kid or looking to inspire a high-schooler, it might be worth checking out. Featuring 31 women who are the CEOs of companies that they have created themselves — think Spanx, Glossier, Caribou Sciences,…

How Lockheed Martin Ventures manages its early-stage $200M fund

In niche markets like aerospace, where the traditional VC model might not yield an abundance of available funding, corporate venture funds can offer entrepreneurs an interesting alternative. Unlike traditional VCs, firms like Lockheed Martin Ventures are in constant contact with internal business units about challenges they need solved, or improvements they’re seeking that cannot be…

Kabuto is building smart suitcases for geeks

French company Kabuto is launching a Kickstarter campaign today for the second generation of its smart carry-on suitcase. The company was previously known as Xtend. If you think about smart suitcases, chances are you picture a suitcase with a battery pack in it and that’s it. In other words, they are not that smart. Kabuto…

TikTok taps corporate law firm K&L Gates to advise on its U.S. content moderation policies

As TikTok continues its rapid U.S. growth, the company is being challenged to better explain its content moderation choices. Why, for example, is the short-form video app censoring the Hong Kong protests but not U.S. political content? Why is it banning political ads, but supports hashtags like #trump2020 and #maga, each with millions, or even…

Up close with Google’s new Pixel 4

This is the Pixel 4, the handset that literally everyone saw coming. Even by Google’s standards, the handset leaked like crazy. Some was almost certainly by design as the company looked to hype up its new flagship amid slowing smartphone sales. That said, showing up for preorder on two different sites in the past few…

Watch OpenAI’s ‘human-like’ robot solve a Rubik’s Cube one-handed

There’s always been something so annoying about people who found the need to stack additional challenges onto solving a Rubik’s Cube quickly, whether it was doing it blind-folded or while juggling or one-handed. While it might have just been a challenge for them, it also seemed like a need to show off. OpenAI is clearly…

Uber, Lime and Spin scooters are now legal in SF

Uber, Lime and Spin have officially deployed their electric scooters on the streets of San Francisco as part of the city’s permitting program. Last month, the city announced Uber’s JUMP, Lime, Ford’s Spin and Scoot were granted permits to operate the shared electric scooter services. Scoot, however, has operated in the city since last year.…

Spearhead will give $1M to 15 founders to invest freely

Spearhead, an investment fund launched by AngelList’s Naval Ravikant and Accomplice’s Jeff Fagnan, plans to raise roughly $100 million for its third fund to provide founders $1 million each to invest in technology startups of their choosing. The firm, created in 2017, initially provided founders $200,000 in investment capital sourced from Spearhead I, a $25…

Entrepreneur First, the ‘talent investor’, pulls out of Hong Kong

Entrepreneur First (EF), the Greylock-backed “talent investor” that recruits and backs individuals pre-team and pre-idea to enable them to found startups, is pulling out of Hong Kong, TechCrunch has learned. According to sources, the London HQ’d company builder has told provisional candidates for its 2020 Hong Kong cohort that they should instead apply to one…

Annie Leibovitz used the Pixel 4 to shoot a new collection of photos

Google ended today’s hardware event by going deep on the photo technology in its new Pixel 4, and brought out someone who’s actually been using the camera — legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz. The company announced that it’s working with Leibovitz back in October 2018. Today, she spoke about the experience of working with the Pixel 3…

Google aims to change the definition of good photography with Pixel 4’s software-defined camera

Google’s new Pixel 4 camera offers a ton of new tricks to improve its photographic chops, and to emphasize the point, it had Professor Mark Levoy, who leads camera technology development at Google Research, up on stage to talk about the Pixel 4’s many improvements, including its new telephoto lens, updated Super Res Zoom technology…

Amazon migrates more than 100 consumer services from Oracle to AWS databases

AWS and Oracle love to take shots at each other, but as much as Amazon has knocked Oracle over the years, it was forced to admit that it was in fact a customer. Today in a company blog post, the company announced it was shedding Oracle for AWS databases, and had effectively turned off its…

Here’s everything Google just announced at the Made By Google 2019 event

  Google held its annual “Made By Google” hardware event this morning in New York City, where they launched all sorts of new gear back to back to back. Didn’t have time to watch the whole stream, but still want to know the bulletpoints of what’s new? We’ve got you covered. Stadia Launch Stadia, Google’s…

Headless CMS company Strapi raises $4 million

French startup Strapi has raised a $4 million seed round led by Accel and Stride.vc. The company has been working on an open-source Node.js headless content management system. That’s a lot of technical words in a row, but it’s not that hard to understand what Strapi is. Content management systems, or CMS, are web applications…

Google Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL not launching in India

The Pixel 4 and Pixel XL smartphones, that Google just unveiled at a press conference in New York, won’t launch in India, one of the company’s key overseas markets, the Android-maker said on Tuesday. The bottleneck lies with Project Soli, a radar-based motion-sensing technology baked into the new Pixel smartphones that relies on using certain…

Google’s new voice recorder app transcribes in real-time, even when offline

At Google’s hardware event this morning, the company introduced a new voice recorder app for Android devices which will tap into advances in real-time speech processing, speech recognition and A.I. to automatically transcribe recordings in real-time as the person is speaking. The improvements will allow users to take better advantage of the phone’s voice recording…

Google overhauls Nest Aware cloud recording plan

Google is updating the Nest Mini today, the device formerly known as Google Home Mini. And the company used this opportunity to announce an update to its home awareness product, Nest Aware. If you have Nest security cameras, you can subscribe to a Nest Aware plan. It currently costs $5 a month for 5-day video…

Google launches Nest Wifi mesh router and extender with built-in Google Assistant

Today at its Google hardware event, Google introduced new mesh routers called Nest Wifi. This is a successor tot he Google Wifi product it introduced a couple of years ago, but with a number of improvements. The new Nest Wifi consists of two types of devices, one a router that plugs into your modem, and…

Google’s Pixel 4 is official

The rumors and leaks have been pretty relentless. In fact, over the past three days, the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL have gone up for preorder on at least two different sites. While it’s true that Google’s never been particularly great at keeping this stuff under wraps, this was pretty silly. Anyway, the Pixel…

The Apple TV app arrives on Roku, ahead of Apple TV+ streaming service launch

Ahead of the arrival of Apple TV+, the brand-new Apple TV app is launching on Roku devices, starting today. The app currently allows Apple customers to access their iTunes video library and subscribe to Apple TV channels directly from Roku devices. And, on November 1, it will also be home to the Apple TV+ streaming…

Google Home Mini is now Nest Mini

Google this morning unveiled the long awaited follow up to the Home Mini. The latest version of the company’s wildly popular entry-level smart speaker has been rebranded the Nest Home Mini, in keeping with the branding refresh of its smart home offerings. The new version of the device looks a lot like its predecessor, but…

For $164, Jaguar will let you co-pilot its I-Pace race taxi around the Nürburgring

The Green Hell, as the famed Nürburgring Nordschleife was nicknamed back in the late 1960s, is a 73-corner nearly 13-mile track in Germany that can challenge even the most accomplished professional race car drivers. Now, for about $164, thrill seekers can be a passenger for one lap. Jaguar announced a RACE eTAXI promotion that customers…

Google teases fully wireless Pixel Buds, arriving Spring 2020

As rumored, Google just dropped a little hint about its next generation Pixel Buds. The company unveiled a pair of fully wireless earbuds following the release of its promising, but fairly disappointing tethered earbuds. The new headphones are certainly nice looking, maintaining the same pastel color scheme it offers on its Pixel handsets. The headphones…

Google’s cloud gaming service Stadia will launch on November 19th

Google dropped a bit of news right off the bat at this morning’s Made by Google event: Stadia, its on-demand cloud game streaming service, will launch on November 19th. Stadia is Google’s experiment in changing up the way we play video games; rather than rendering video games on a console or a powerful local PC,…

TiVo’s ad-supported streaming service, TiVo Plus, launches today

TiVo’s answer to The Roku Channel, TiVo Plus, is launching today. The company had already unveiled its plans for ad-supported streaming earlier this month with the debut of two new models of its DVR, the TiVo Edge. Like The Roku Channel, TUBI, Vudu’s Movies on Us, and others, TiVo Plus is available to stream for…

Beats brings noise-canceling to its on-ear Solo headphones

Beats this morning announced that it will be bringing its excellent noise-cancellation technology to its Solo line of on-ear headphones. The Solo Pro are the official followup to the Solo 3, a branding shift that’s in line with its other technologies. The noise canceling is the same introduced with the Studio over-ear line, way back…

Fortnite returns with the launch of a new map for Chapter 2

After approximately 48 hours offline, Fortnite has returned from its black hole hiatus with a brand new map for the launch of Chapter 2. The new map features 13 points of interest, and also includes a web of rivers that allow for new water gameplay, such as swimming, fishing, and armed motorboats that seem awfully…

8 tips for founders trying to raise their first round of venture capital

If you’re an avid TechCrunch reader, someone who loves to absorb endless startup profiles and pore through fundraising stories, you might think raising venture capital is easy. In reality, it’s very, very difficult and not the best source of capital for most businesses. For startups hoping to scale far and wide as fast as possible,…

Interior design startup Havenly raises $32 million

Interior design platform Havenly is raising $32 million in new funding to create its first private label brand as the startup aims to integrate its own products into its design recommendation engine. The Denver-startup is an online interior design consultancy of sorts which pairs users looking to redesign their homes or apartments with expert designers.…

Ex-Uber exec launches startup to autonomously reposition electric scooters and bikes

Just how Android is the operating system for a number of mobile phones, Tortoise wants to be the operating system for micromobility vehicles, its co-founder Dmitry Shevelenko, who previously served as Uber’s director of business development, told TechCrunch. Given the volume of micromobility operators in the space today, Tortoise aims to make it easier for…

Facebook’s new Portal increases privacy, but is still searching for a reason to exist

The timing of the original Portal’s launch was less than ideal. The company reportedly pushed things back as the Cambridge Analytica scandal hit full broil, only to be hit with another data breach disclosure. If there’s a lesson to be learned with this year’s sequel, it’s that there may just not be a good time…

Algolia finds $110M from Accel and Salesforce for its search-as-a-service, used by Slack, Twitch and 8K others

Algolia, one of the group of startups that provides search as a service for websites and apps as an alternative to Google and other search engines, is announcing a major round of funding today to fuel its growth. The startup — which already has over 8,000 customers, including big names like Twitch, Slack, Discovery and…

Wheels raises $50 million for pedal-less e-bike share

Wheels, the startup founded by Wag founders Jonathan and Joshua Viner, just announced a $50 million round led by DBL Partners. This round brings Wheels’ total funding to $87 million. Wheels currently operates in six markets, including San Diego, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Scottsdale, Ariz., Salt Lake City and Cleveland. The plan is to use…

Walmart’s Flipkart confirms it is entering the food retail business in India

India’s Flipkart is entering the food retail business as the e-commerce giant looks to expand its reach in the nation, its chief executive said on Tuesday. Flipkart, which sold majority stake in the company to Walmart for $16 billion last year, has registered an entity called ‘Flipkart Farmermart Pvt Ltd’ — in compliance with local…

Newly-rebranded Thimble raises $22M to bring flexible insurance to the gig economy

Thimble, which offers flexible, short-term insurance to small businesses and freelancers, is announcing that it has raised $22 million in a Series A funding round led by IAC. Until today, the startup was known as Verifly, a name tied to the company’s initial aim of providing insurance to drone pilots. However, founder and CEO Jay…

Germany says it won’t ban Huawei or any 5G supplier up front

Germany is resisting US pressure to shut out Chinese tech giant Huawei from its 5G networks — saying it will not ban any supplier for the next-gen mobile networks on an up front basis, per Reuters. “Essentially our approach is as follows: We are not taking a pre-emptive decision to ban any actor, or any company,”…

Smart home startup Level Home emerges from stealth with $71M and a new take on the smart lock

As companies like Google, Amazon and Apple hone their strategies to build the brain that helps you use the smart home of the future, where a new wave of internet-enabled appliances, climate and security systems and other connected objects can be connected and controlled through their hubs, a new smart home startup called Level Home…

True Balance raises $23M to bring its payments app to more small cities and towns in India

South Korean startup True Balance, which operates an eponymous financial services app aimed at tens of millions of users in small cities and towns in India, has closed a new financing round as it looks to court more first time users in the world’s second largest internet market. True Balance said on Tuesday that it…

Watch Google unveil the Pixel 4 live right here

Google is about to unveil its new smartphone lineup, the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. And if you’re an Android fan, you know that the Pixel is one of the most interesting Android phones out there thanks to a bloatware-free operating system and some incredible cameras. The conference starts at 10 AM Eastern Time…

South Korea-based Mathpresso, developer of tutoring app Qanda, raises $14.5 million Series B

Seoul-based education technology startup Mathpresso announced today that it has raised $14.5 million in Series B funding. The company’s flagship app is Qanda, which provides students with math and science help and tutoring. Participants in the round include Legend Capital, InterVest, NP Investments and Mirae Asset Venture Investment. This brings Mathpresso’s total funding so far…

GoFundMe launches free platform for nonprofits and charities, rolls out button to donate anywhere

GoFundMe has made its name primarily as a platform for individuals to create fundraisers for personal causes — a service that has seen hundreds of campaigns go viral through social media to raise collectively well over $5 billion in funding to date. Now, the startup is taking the next step in its ambition to build…

Surfing the reverse mullet with Alexis Ohanian

For many years the allure of Silicon Valley was contingent on the ability to move here. Its ecosystem didn’t work remotely. “We see a very strong indication that where you’re located does matter… come to Silicon Valley,” intoned Joe Kraus of Google Ventures at the first Disrupt conference I ever intended, speaking for essentially all…

Bird’s chief legal & policy officer is leaving the company

Bird, the $2.5 billion electric scooter business, is losing its chief legal and policy officer. David Estrada, who was hired last year from Kitty Hawk, is joining another mobility company, SoftBank-backed Nuro. A spokesperson for Bird tells TechCrunch Estrada is leaving the Santa Monica-based company to be closer to his family. Nuro, for its part,…

Harley pulls plug on LiveWire production shortly after EV debut

Harley Davidson has halted production and delivery of its first electric motorcycle, the LiveWire, after discovering what the Milwaukee-based manufacturer described as a non-standard condition. Harley Davidson told TechCrunch it is not recalling LiveWire motorcycles already on the road. Reuters was the first to report that Harley Davidson had stopped production and deliveries. “We recently discovered…

Libra claims 180 potential replacements for 7 mutineers

Attempting to signal its popularity despite high-profile defections from Visa, Stripe, and more, the Facebook-led cryptocurrency Libra Assocation announced that 1,500 organizations have expressed interest in joining the Libra project. 180 of those meet eligibility requirements to become members, which could replace the 7 companies that dropped out of the Association this month including Kayak…

Leo Labs and its high-fidelity space radar track orbital debris better than ever — from New Zealand

Ask anyone in the space business and they’ll tell you that orbital debris is a serious problem that will only get worse, but dealing with it is as much an opportunity as it is a problem. Leo Labs is building a global network of radar arrays that can track smaller debris than we can today,…

WeWork pulls thousands of phone booths out of service over formaldehyde scare

WeWork, the co-working empire once valued at $47 billion before reality struck, plunging the business and its investors into crisis, has another problem to add to its growing pile — one which doesn’t exactly reflect well on its core business of kitting out and maintaining modern working environments. The problem is a safety concern affecting…

Hulu rolls out 4K content to Xbox One, with Amazon Fire TV and others coming ‘soon’

Hulu this summer finally brought back 4K content to its service, after abruptly removing it in 2018 while it focused on other priorities. Initially, its 4K content was only available on Apple TV 4K and Chromecast Ultra. Today, Hulu says it’s available on Xbox One devices, with support for Amazon Fire TV and LG WebOS…

Jackson Square Ventures just closed its third fund with $193 million; here’s how it plans to invest it

Jackson Square Ventures (JSV), an eight-year-old, San Francisco-based early-stage venture firm that takes its name from the neighborhood in San Francisco where it’s headquartered, has closed its third fund with $193 million in capital commitments — a sizable step up from its first two funds, which had both rounded up roughly $120 million from the…

Announcing TechCrunch Robotics & AI on March 3, 2020 at UC Berkeley

Robotics is back! We are excited to announce that on March 3 next year TechCrunch will host its fourth annual TC Sessions: Robotics & AI at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall. Last year, 1500 founders, technologists, engineering students and investors turned up for a day of main stage interviews with the top figures in AI and…

Uber lays off another ~350 across Eats, self-driving and other departments

Uber has just laid off around 350 employees across a variety of teams within the organization, marking what the company says is its third and final phase of layoffs of the process it began earlier this year, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said to employees today in an email obtained by TechCrunch (full email below). Those…

Founder’s guide to the pre-IPO secondary market

Ryan Conner Contributor Share on Twitter Ryan Conner is a corporate attorney at Atrium part of the General Counsel Group representing early-stage startups. The increase in activity in the pre-IPO secondary market means that founders, early employees, and investors are receiving liquidity much sooner in a company’s lifecycle than ever before. For most startups and…

Daily Crunch: Facebook has a weak stance on political ads

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 should ban campaign ads. End the lies. Facebook recently formalized its approach to political advertising, declaring, “We don’t believe, however,…

Shipping giant Pitney Bowes hit by ransomware

Shipping tech giant Pitney Bowes has confirmed a cyberattack on its systems. The company said in a statement that its systems were hit by a “malware attack that encrypted information” on its systems, more commonly known as ransomware. “At this time, the company has seen no evidence that customer or employee data has been improperly…

Disney+ tweets all the movies and shows coming to its streaming service

In an impressive bit of pre-launch marketing, Disney today announced basically every movie and TV show coming to its upcoming streaming service Disney+ by way of a massive Twitter thread. The thread, which was posted in chronological order starting with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, reveals not just Disney’s best-known titles but…

Google updates its Titan security keys with USB-C

Google has revealed its latest Titan security key — and it’s now compatible with USB-C devices. The latest Titan key arrives just weeks after its closest market rival Yubico — which also manufactures the Titan security key for Google — released its own USB-C and Lightning compatible key, but almost two years after the release…

Fortnite’s black hole stunt is the kind of alpha energy we’re here for

As you are likely already aware, Epic Games is pulling a massive PR stunt that has shrunk the world’s most popular game down to a single black hole. As part of Fortnite’s Season 10 live event, called “The End”, the entire Battle Royale Island was sucked into a black hole, with every Fortnite social media…

India’s Reliance Jio unveils video call assistant to help businesses automate customer support

Before Google moves to bring its human-sounding robot calling service Duplex to help users automate their interactions with businesses to international markets, an Indian giant is deploying its own solution to get a jumpstart on the local market. Reliance Jio today unveiled AI-powered Video Call Assistant service that will allow businesses to automate their customer…

UK biotech startup Mogrify injects $16M to get novel cell therapies to market soon

Cambridge, UK-based biotech startup Mogrify, which is working on systematizing the development of novel cell therapies in areas such as regenerative medicine, has closed an initial $16 million Series A. The raise follows a $4M seed in February — taking its total raised to date to $20M. Put simply, Mogrify’s approach entails analysis of vast…

Samsung opens Android 10 One UI beta ahead of final launch

After pushing back a planned early-October launch, Samsung has introduced the Android 10 beta of its One UI. The 2.0 version of the Android skin follows a little under a year after the first version’s beta (released in November 2018). The concept goes counter to the earliest Android overlays, instead intending to create a simpler…

Reddit now lets iOS users share to Snapchat

Reddit users can now share their favorite content from the site to Snapchat, thanks to a new integration that allows sharing of text, link, and image-based posts on iOS from Reddit’s “Safe for Work” communities. The move makes Snapchat the first platform partner that Reddit is testing content sharing integration with, the company says, and…

DoorDash opens a shared kitchen in Redwood City

DoorDash is opening its first shared commissary kitchen in Redwood City, Calif., bringing new delivery and pickup options to customers in Peninsula towns including Atherton, Menlo Park and Palo Alto. This is part of a broader trend of companies like Deliveroo opening shared kitchens that allow restaurant partners to expand their delivery footprint without dealing…

Pelion Venture Partners adds Jeff Kearl as a managing director, opens Southern California presence

The Salt Lake City-based Pelion Venture Partners is opening an outpost in Southern California and has added Jeff Kearl as a managing director to head up operations in the region. Kearl was the chief executive officer of Stance, a direct-to-consumer retailer selling socks and clothing basics, and has a long history of investing in startup…

Thoma Bravo makes $3.9 billion offer to acquire security firm Sophos

Sophos announced this morning that private equity firm Thoma Bravo, has agreed to buy the British company for £3.1 billion ($3.9 billion USD). The price is based on $7.40 USD per share and the company indicated that the board of directors will recommend that shareholders accept the offer. Sophos CEO Kris Hagerman, as you would…

Opendoor appoints CFO, CPO

Opendoor has named Gautam Gupta its chief financial officer and chief business offer, critical roles as the business continues to alter the way in which homes are bought and sold. Uber’s former head of finance, Gupta joined the $3.8 billion home-selling platform as its chief operating officer in 2017. The company, which has raised more…

State-run IRCTC delivers India’s best trading debut in 2 years

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), a state-run firm that offers train ticketing and catering services in India, more than doubled on its first day of trading in what was the best public debut for a local firm in two years. The firm sold 20.1 million shares, or a 12.5% stake on Monday, generating…

Foodvisor automatically tracks what you eat using deep learning

Meet Foodvisor, a startup that has built a mobile app that helps you log everything you eat in order to lose weight, follow a diet or get healthier. You can add data by capturing a photo of your plate before you eat. “We’ve spent a little over two years doing research and development before we…

Friday deadline alert: Apply to TC Top Picks @ Disrupt Berlin 2019

We dedicate this countdown post to all the early-stage startup founders who hunger for an opportunity to break new ground. This is the final week you can apply to be a TC Top Pick and exhibit your startup — for free — in Startup Alley at Disrupt Berlin 2019 on 11-12 December. The application window…

Porsche has a new, cheaper version of the all-electric Taycan

Porsche introduced Monday the Taycan 4S, a third version of its all-electric vehicle. The 4S, which will offer a performance battery plus option, looks like the Taycan that Porsche unveiled in September. And indeed, inside all of the Taycans, including the 4S, are the same chassis and suspension, permanent magnet synchronous motors and other bits.…

Facebook should ban campaign ads. End the lies.

Permitting falsehood in political advertising would work if we had a model democracy, but we don’t. Not only are candidates dishonest, but voters aren’t educated, and the media isn’t objective. And now, hyperlinks turn lies into donations and donations into louder lies. The checks don’t balance. What we face is a self-reinforcing disinformation dystopia. That’s…

SoftBank reportedly preps a package to take control of WeWork parent company

SoftBank Group, the multi-billion dollar Japanese technology conglomerate and investment firm, has put together a  bid that would save WeWork parent company We Co., just weeks before the co-working real estate company’s imminent collapse, The Wall Street Journal reports. With the collapse of the company’s planned initial public offering, We Co. is facing a cash…

Original Content podcast: For better or for worse, ‘The Politician’ is absolutely bonkers

We all agree: “The Politician” is a crazy show that tries to do everything at once. After all, why settle for a fast-talking satire about a high school election; a more serious treatment of wealth, illness and emotional turmoil; or a showcase for the musical talents of “Dear Evan Hansen” star Ben Platt? Instead, why not…

Fortnite is just a black hole right now

Fortnite just blew up its entire map and all that’s left is a black hole. Some are speculating that this is simply a teaser for a new Fortnite map, but it’s unclear when that new map will arrive. On Epic Games’ status page, it says Fortnite is currently experiencing a minor service outage, noting “anomaly detected.”…

Kik says it’s ‘here to stay,’ following shutdown reports

It’s been a rough run for Kik of late. The once mighty messaging service announced in late September that it would be shutting down its app. CEO Ted Livingston noted in a blog post that the startup would be trimming its headcount from over 100 people to “an elite 19 person team,” following a protracted…

Samsung’s Galaxy Fold concierge service is live in the US for those who need it

Part of Samsung’s reboot of the Galaxy Fold was the announcement of a Premiere Service. Along with a reinforced version of the phone and a lot more warning labels, the company announced that it would also be a 24/7 care service…just in case something happened with the device. I had some issues with my in…

Week in Review: The ‘smart home’ is still so, so stupid

Hey everyone. Thank you for welcoming me into you inbox yet again. Last week was a short one, but I talked about the merger of a couple of the worst adtech companies in the world. If you’re reading this on the TechCrunch site, you can get this in your inbox here, and follow my tweets…

AI-based firefighter safety startup Prometeo wins IBM Call for Code Challenge

During an event at the United Nations Delegates Dining Room in New York City, IBM unveiled the winners to its annual  Call for Code Global Challenge. The competition, which is targeted at computing solutions for global problems, crowned five winners, ranging from first responders to health care info. Prometeo took the top price for its…

Why each Libra member’s mutiny hurts Facebook

There’s a strategic cost to the defection of Visa, Stripe, eBay, and more from the Facebook-led cryptocurrency Libra Association. They’re not just names dropping off a list. Each potentially made Libra more useful, ubiquitous, or reputable. Now they could become obstacles to the token’s launch or growth. Fearing regulators’ inquiries not just into their Libra…

Google’s Pixel 4 briefly went up for preorder on Best Buy Canada

The Pixel 4 is set to be unveiled at an event on Tuesday. This much we know for sure. We know a bunch more, too, (as outlined in this rumor roundup from yesterday), thanks to both official reveals and unofficial leaks. How much of this was planned is hard to say, but Google seemingly doesn’t…

Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Active 2 is a solid smartwatch for Android users

Samsung makes good, underrated smartwatches. It’s just been difficult to get much attention in a category so utterly dominated by a single player. Even still, the company has managed to hold onto the number two spot in global market share, according to recentish numbers. At 11.1 percent, it’s a little less than a third of…

California’s Privacy Act: What you need to know now

This week California’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, published draft guidance for enforcing the state’s landmark privacy legislation. The draft text of the regulations under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) will undergo a public consultation period, including a number of public hearings, with submissions open until December 6 this year. The CCPA itself will take…

The Yeti X brings real-time level monitoring to the popular USB mic

It’s clear why Logitech bought Blue back in July 2018. The Southern Californian audio company (an acronym for “Baltic Latvian Universal Electronics,” incidentally) has become synonymous with USB microphones since releasing the first Snowball back in 2005. What seemed like a niche at the time has since become a cultural touchstone, positioning the company well…

Startups Weekly: YC grad Revel’s plan to connect women over 50

Hello and welcome back to Startups Weekly, a weekend newsletter that dives into the week’s noteworthy news pertaining to startups and venture capital. Before I jump into today’s topic, let’s catch up a bit. I’ve been on a bit of a startup profile kick as of late. Last week, I was tired from Disrupt. Before…

VC Brad Feld on WeWork, SoftBank, and why venture firms may have to slow down their pacing in 2020

Yesterday, we had a chance to talk with longtime venture investor Brad Feld of Foundry Group, whose book “Venture Deals” was recently republished for the fourth time for good reason. It’s a storehouse of knowledge, from how venture funds really work to term sheet terms, from negotiation tactics to how to choose (and pay for)…

Pegging Libra just to the $ could soothe regulators, a16z says

What if Libra wasn’t backed by a basket of international currencies, but only the dollar? Regulatory pushback to the Facebook-led cryptocurrency Libra has caused major partners including Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, and eBay to pull out of the Libra Association. But one of the remaining members has floated a major change to the stablecoin that could…

Amid security concerns, the European Union puts 5G — and Huawei — under the microscope

The European Union is putting under the microscope the rollout of new, high-speed mobile networking technologies known as 5G in a move that could affect the technology’s dominant company — Huawei. Regulators focused on specific security threats linked to technology providers headquartered in countries with “no democratic and legal restrictions in place,” according to a…

Source: Nike has picked up Russell Wilson’s Tally/TraceMe in a rare acquisition

Nike has long been synonymous with premium sneakers and other sports gear, but now it seems that the company could be extending its brand into another area — digital media — thanks to the rumored acquisition of a Seattle-based startup. TechCrunch has learned from a source that the multibillion-dollar sports giant has acquired TraceMe, which…

Apple creates its own TV studio, will produce WWII drama ‘Masters of Air’

While Apple has a long list of new programming lined up for its TV+ subscription streaming service, the company won’t actually own any of the announced shows — until now. That’s changing because Apple has formed its own in-house studio, which will produce “Masters of Air,” a  follow-up to “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific,”…

Cryptocurrency’s bad day continues as the SEC blocks Telegram’s $1.7 billion planned token sale

Cryptocurrency’s bad news day continues to get worse as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has said it has filed an emergency action and received a restraining order for the $1.7 billion planned token offering of Telegram’s blockchain. The move from the SEC follows the continued dissolution of the corporate alliance that was supporting Facebook’s…

Why it might have been time for new leadership at SAP

SAP CEO Bill McDermott announced he was stepping down last night after a decade at the helm in an announcement that shocked many. It’s always tough to measure the performance of an enterprise leader when he or she leaves. Some people look at stock price over their tenure. Some at culture. Some at the acquisitions…

Alexa now speaks Spanish, including in multi-lingual mode

At Amazon’s hardware event last month in Seattle, the company announced plans to launch multi-lingual modes for its Alexa devices in the U.S., Canada, and India, where the smart voice assistant would be able to speak a combination of English and Spanish, French and English, and Hindi and English, respectively. Today, Amazon says the multi-lingual…

eBay, Stripe, and Mastercard drop out of Facebook’s Libra Association

Oof — a week after PayPal announced plans to part ways with Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project and the related association of the same name, three more names are reportedly breaking away: eBay, Stripe and Mastercard. (Update: and now Visa!) In a comment to TechCrunch, a Stripe spokesperson leaves the door open for them to potentially…

Life with the Samsung Galaxy Fold

Avoid pressing hard on the screen. Tap lightly to keep it safe. Your Galaxy Fold isn’t water or dust resistant. Don’t allow any liquids or foreign objects to enter it. Don’t attach anything to the main screen, such as a screen protector. So begins your journey. It’s the story of one of the most fascinating…

Brad Feld: what founders need to know about recent changes in VC deal terms

Extra Crunch offers members the opportunity to tune into conference calls led and moderated by the TechCrunch writers you read every day. This week, TechCrunch’s Connie Loizos hopped on the line with prominent investor, entrepreneur, thought leader, and Techstars co-founder Brad Feld to discuss the latest edition of his book “Venture Deals”, his advice to…

Electric moped startup Revel could expand to Texas next

Revel, the New York-based shared electric moped startup, appears to be preparing to expand into Texas, according to job listings first spotted and reported by Thinknum Alternative Data. The expansion into Texas would be Revel’s fourth market and its first west of the Mississippi River, a move that would be consistent with comments CEO and…

Instacart shoppers are organizing a nationwide protest

Instacart has long been at odds with its shoppers — the people who go to the grocery store on behalf of customers. From November 3-5, thousands of Instacart shoppers plan to protest with three demands. They want Instacart to change the default tip amount to at least 10%, ditch the service fee and commit to…

Polte raises $12.5 million to track devices using LTE signal

Polte has raised another $12.5 million. The company is building a service that leverages 4G (and potentially 5G) signal to track things around for commercial and industrial use cases. The main advantage of that is that using cellular signal uses a lot less battery than acquiring GPS location and transmitting it over cellular. Today’s funding…

Waymo and Renault to explore autonomous mobility route in Paris region

Waymo and Renault are working with the Paris region to explore the possibility of establishing an autonomous transportation route between Charles De Gaulle airport and La Défense, a neighbourhood just outside of Paris city limits that plays host to a large number of businesses and skyscrapers, including a large shopping center. This is part of…

Google’s Pixel 4 launches next week, here’s what we expect

Here in New York, the air is crisp and the leaves have begun to turn crimson and brown. That can only mean one thing: hardware season is upon us. Backdropped by cloudy, gray Manhattan skies, Google is set to take to the stage on Tuesday, October 15, to show off its just-in-time-for-the-holidays hardware line. As…

Uber to acquire grocery delivery startup Cornershop

Uber will acquire Cornershop, a grocery delivery startup that began life serving the Latin American market and recently shifted to offer service in Toronto, its first North American city. Uber announced on Friday that it expects that its acquisition of a majority ownership stake in Cornershop in early 2020, once it receives all the necessary…

Nomad’s new Base Station Pro offers a taste of what Apple’s AirPower had promised

Accessory maker Nomad already offers a couple of excellent wireless chargers that work great with Apple and other Qi-compatible devices, but they’re introducing a new one that could be their most versatile yet. Using technology provided by partner Aira called ‘FreePower,’ the new Nomad Base Station Pro will be able to charge up to three…

Club Factory raises $100M to expand its lifestyle e-commerce platform in India

Club Factory, a Chinese e-commerce platform that sells fashion and beauty items and electronics accessories, has raised $100 million in a new financing round as it looks to expand its footprints in India. The new financing round — Series D — was led by Qiming Venture Partners Bertelsmann, IDG Capital, and” other Fortune 500 companies…

Twitter comes back to the Mac

Twitter has returned to the Mac with the debut of a new Catalyst-powered app for mac OS Catalina, launched on Thursday. The company in June had been among the first to announce its plans to take advantage Mac Catalyst — Apple’s new toolset for bringing iPad apps to the Mac desktop — following Apple’s Worldwide…

Apester unveils a new Story Strip format for online publishers

Apester, which helps digital publishers add interactivity to their content, is rolling out a new format called the Story Strip. CEO and co-founder Moti Cohen told me that the Story Strip is modeled on the Story format popularized by Snapchat and Instagram — a format that he praised for being one of the few content…

Toyota’s LQ concept car will make friends with you via its onboard AI

Toyota is doubling down on its prediction that the key to building a compelling car of the future will be creating a true connection between car and driver (or passenger, depending on whether or now you’re using autonomous mode). The car maker’s new LQ concept is an evolution fo the Concept-i vehicle it unveiled at…

IAC outlines its plans for a Match Group spinoff

Digital media holding company IAC has taken the next step toward spinning off Match Group, with a proposal outlining what that process would look like. Match Group (which owns Tinder, PlentOfFish, OkCupid, Hinge and of course Match itself) is already a publicly-traded company, but IAC remains the majority owner. With the spinoff, IAC says it…

Checking In On 2019’s IPO Cycle

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 this week. Instead of our regular lineup, we got Alex on the phone with an IPO expert to dig into the year’s IPO cycle both at home and abroad. Helping with the effort…

Rahko raises £1.3M seed from Balderton for quantum machine learning tech

There remains a problem with the race to create a quantum computer, which is that experiments in this area can be extremely error-prone. Rahko is a new UK startup that thinks is can address this problem with what’s known as ‘Quantum machine learning’. It’s now raised a £1.3M ($1.6M) in a seed round led by…

Descartes Labs snaps up $20M more for its AI-based geospatial imagery analytics platform

Satellite imagery holds a wealth of information that could be useful for industries, science and humanitarian causes, but one big and persistent challenge with it has been a lack of effective ways to tap that disparate data for specific ends. That’s created a demand for better analytics, and now, one of the startups that has…

Trump gets on Twitch

The reelection campaign will be livestreamed. US president Donald Trump has joined Amazon-owned livestreaming platform Twitch. Twitch is best known as a social video streaming platform for gamers but does host other content, including politics. The verified DonaldTrump Twitch account, spotted earlier by Reuters, has just one video in the recent broadcast section so far:…

Final day to save up to €600 on passes to Disrupt Berlin 2019

Tick tock it’s now o’clock, startuppers. The last few hours of super early bird savings on passes to Disrupt Berlin 2019 are slipping away faster than grains of sand through an hourglass. The bird bites the dust and prices go up as of 11:59 p.m. (CEST) tonight, 11 October. Buy your passes to Disrupt Berlin…

CrunchMatch helps you network with ease at Disrupt Berlin 2019

One of the most exciting aspects of Disrupt Berlin 2019, which takes place on 11-12 December, is networking with like-minded startuppers from around the world. But with thousands of attendees, hundreds of early-stage startups exhibiting in Startup Alley — and only two programming-packed days to take it all in — how the heck can you…

Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski to speak at Disrupt Berlin shortly after raising $460 million

Klarna is quietly becoming a fintech giant. Following its latest founding round, the company is now valued at $5.5 billion. That’s why I’m excited to announce that Klarna co-founder and CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski will join us at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin. If you live in Europe and regularly purchase stuff online, chances are you’ve used Klarna…

Sahara Reporters founder Sowore remains detained in Nigeria

The founder of African investigative digital media site Sahara Reporters Omoyele Sowore remains detained in Nigeria on charges including treason, his wife Opeyemi Sowore told TechCrunch. Her husband founded Sahara Reporters to create and aggregate news content, social media tips, and self-digital reporting toward exposing corruption in Africa and his home country of Nigeria. After…

Red Heart’s Heat Wave yarn knits together hand-crafting and new textile technology

Affordable and readily available, Red Heart is the yarn brand that many knitters, including me, used the first time we picked up a pair of needles. I was surprised to see a pitch from them land in my inbox, since hand-knitting yarn is usually something I don’t get to cover for TechCrunch. But the brand…

Africa e-tailer Jumia’s shares fall 4% day after IPO lockup expiration

Shares of Africa focused e-commerce company Jumia dropped 4% the day after the lockup period expired for its April IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. The lockup provision prevents major shareholders — namely those who purchased equity pre-public listing — from selling their shares for a specified number of days following the IPO. Jumia’s…

SAP’s Bill McDermott on stepping down as CEO

SAP’s CEO Bill McDermott today announced that he wouldn’t seek to renew his contract for the next year and step down immediately after nine years at the helm of the German enterprise giant. Shortly after the announcement, I talked to McDermott, as well as SAP’s new co-CEOs Jennifer Morgan and Christian Klein. During the call,…

Upgrade, the newest company by Renaud Laplanche, has a new credit card that it swears is good for you

Three years ago, the founder of LendingClub, Renaud Laplanche, took the wraps off his second act, a consumer lending venture called Upgrade that now employs 350 people, has lent roughly $2 billion to 200,000 people, and has raised $142 million from outside investors. At the time, it was jumping into a crowded market that has…

Original Content podcast: Malka Older on reviving the clones of ‘Orphan Black’ for Serial Box

“Orphan Black” ended its five-season run back in 2017, but Serial Box is currently continuing the story with “Orphan Black: The Next Chapter,” a weekly series of e-books and audiobooks. While spin-ff novels and licensed fiction are nothing new, I was particularly interested in this revival because Serial Box is a venture-backed startup bringing back…

Bill McDermott steps down as SAP’s CEO

SAP today announced that Bill McDermott, its CEO for the last nine years, is stepping down immediately. The company says he decided not to renew his contract. SAP Executive Board members Jennifer Morgan and Christian Klein have been appointed co-CEOs. McDermott, who started his business career as a deli owner in Amityville, Long Island and…

Udacity will offer 100,000 free programming classes as part of the “Pledge to America’s Workers”

Udacity, the online education company founded by Sebastian Thrun, is launching a new scholarship initiative as part of the Pledge to America’s Workers job training initiative undertaken by the administration of President Donald Trump.  Under the leadership of newly minted chief executive Gabe Dalporto, Udacity is committing to giving away free introductory technology training classes…

NASA Administrator “very confident” SpaceX crew launch could happen in early 2020

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine was at SpaceX HQ in Hawthorne, Calif. on Thursday, delivering an address alongside NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, who will launch aboard SpaceX’s commercial Crew Dragon capsule, and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. Bridenstine kicked off with some brief remarks about the importance and priority of the crew launch mission,…

Elon Musk says that NASA is free to share all SpaceX IP with “anyone it wants”

SpaceX CEO joined NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine at SpaceX HQ in Hawthorne today to provide an update on the commercial crew launch program that the company is working on with the agency. During the remarks, which detailed the current state of the program and next steps, Musk reiterated twice that the intellectual property it’s developing…

Why venture capital firms need culture experts

When Susan Fowler’s 2017 blog post shined a light on Uber’s raucous culture, outlining rampant harassment and sexism, a debate erupted. What role do the deep-pocketed investors behind the company, those who allowed it to scale to monstrous proportions, have in developing and nurturing its culture? Entrepreneurs and venture capitalists themselves wondered aloud, how involved…

Autonomous trucking startup Einride eyes U.S. market with $25 million in new funding

Einride, the Swedish autonomous vehicle startup known for its futuristic pods designed to haul freight, has raised $25 million in a Series A round that will be used to fund its expansion into the United States. The round was co-led by the EQT Ventures fund and NordicNinja VC, a  fund backed by Panasonic, Honda, Omron…

NASA’s new Moon-bound spacesuit is safer, smarter, and much more comfortable

The next Americans to set foot on the Moon will do so in a brand new spacesuit that’s based on, but hugely improved from, the original Apollo suits that last went up there in the ’70s. With easier entry, better mobility, and improved communications, these won’t be nearly as clumsy or restrictive — though you…

Apple Arcade’s black box

Apple Arcade is a new kind of App Store. One where eclectic, indie and original content can shine. A place where gamers can play without being hounded by ads or strong-armed into spending on in-app purchases. But unlike the original App Store, Apple Arcade’s marketplace is a black box. There’s no way for consumers or…

Steam will soon let you play local-only multiplayer games with far off friends

  Co-op video games are wonderful. Alas, it’s not always possible to get everyone in front of the same TV — and not all co-op games have online play, so playing across the Internet is out. With that in mind, Valve has been working on something it calls “Remote Play Together” that it’s planning on…

Rocket Lab’s new 5-year FAA license will help it streamline its rocket launch process

Rocket Lab has received a new 5-year Launch Operator License from the Federal Aviation Administration, which grants it permission to do multiple launches of its Electron rocket from its LC-1 launch site in New Zealand without having to seek individual clearance for each one. While not the only limiting factor, this should help Rocket Lab…

Top VCs, founders share how to build a successful SaaS company

Last week at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco, we hosted a panel on the Extra Crunch stage on “How to build a billion-dollar SaaS company.” A better title probably would have been “How to build a successful SaaS company.” We spoke to Whitney Bouck, COO at HelloSign; Jyoti Bansal, CEO and founder at Harness, and…

Your mass consumer data collection is destroying consumer trust

Jascha Kaykas-Wolff Contributor Jascha Kaykas-Wolff is CMO of Mozilla. These are dark days for trust. Darkest of all for marketers and advertisers. Only 3% of people trust marketing and advertising, the lowest of any industry or practice, and that trust is falling fastest among millennials, an ominous sign for the future. We have no one…

BoxGroup raises its first externally backed fund to invest in seed-stage startups

BoxGroup, the seed-stage investment firm led by David Tisch, has today announced that it has raised its very first fund from limited partners. To date, Box Group has been internally backed, meaning that the cash came from none other than the three partners at the firm, David Tisch, Adam Rothenberg, and Nimi Katragadda. BoxGroup has…

Verily, Alphabet’s other money-making, non-Google business, partners with Color on genetic analysis

Color Genomics, the genetics testing company, is partnering with Alphabet’s health technology focused subsidiary, Verily Life Sciences, to provide information from its genetic tests to the company’s Baseline Health Study participants. The emphasis from both companies is on providing “actionable” results. While genetic testing services have caught the public’s imagination for their ability to provide…

Daily Crunch: Apple pulls Hong Kong app

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 pulls HKmap from App Store, the day after Chinese state media criticized its ‘unwise and reckless decision’ to approve it…

To beat Amazon Go, Standard Cognition buys cashierless DeepMagic

Valued at $535 million, autonomous retail startup Standard Cognition has emerged as a soon-to-be tech giant and the best hope for merchants to compete with Amazon Go. Cashierless checkout is poised to transform brick-and-mortar commerce, and shop owners fear having to battle Amazon’s technology alone or partner with it, exposing data it could use against…

Flaw in Cyberoam firewalls exposed corporate networks to hackers

Sophos said it is fixing a vulnerability in its Cyberoam firewall appliances, which a security researcher says can allow an attacker to gain access to a company’s internal network without needing a password. The vulnerability allows an attacker to remotely gain “root” permissions on a vulnerable device, giving them the highest level of access, by…

Lab-grown meat could be on store shelves by 2022, thanks to Future Meat Technologies

Are consumers ready for meat grown in a lab? Companies like Memphis Meats, Aleph Farms, Higher Steaks, Mosa Meat and Meatable are all trying to bring to supermarkets around the world meat made from cultivated animal cells, but the problem has always been the cost.  Now, Future Meat Technologies has raised $14 million in new…

Apple rolls out new Siri audio clip grading opt-in and request history deletion feature in beta

Apple is rolling out a new opt-in notice for Siri audio sample review with the beta of iOS 13.2. This new opt-in feature was promised back in August after reports that audio from Siri requests were being reviewed by contractors and that the audio could contain sensitive or personal information. Apple had previously halted the…

Dyson kills its electric car project and turns to solid-state batteries

Dyson said it will end its electric vehicle project after determining it could not make the car commercially viable or find a buyer. The company, known for its high-tech vacuum cleaners and fans, said in a statement Thursday that its automotive team had developed a fantastic car, but decided to close the project. Dyson also…

Apple Watch Series 5’s banner feature needs to be turned up to 11

Steven Aquino Contributor Share on Twitter Steven Aquino is a freelance tech writer and iOS accessibility expert. More posts by this contributor iPhone 11 Pro is the most accessible iPhone yet Apple puts accessibility features front and center Reviewing Apple Watch Series 5 is not hard. It is so largely similar to last year’s Series…

Amazon Music arrives on Apple TV

Amazon Music is now available on the Apple TV, including both the Apple TV 4K and the Apple TV HD running tvOS 12.0 or later, Amazon announced this morning. The launch is yet another example of the eased tensions between the two rivals, who finally came to an agreement to support each other’s streaming media…

Nexkey raises $6M Series A round to make your company’s doors smarter

Nexkey, a company that provides a mobile access control solution for commercial buildings and workspaces, today announced that it has raised a $6 million Series A round led by Upfront Ventures. K9 Ventures, Mark IV Capital and Anand Chandrasekaran, the former Head of Platform for Messenger at Facebook, also participated in the round. Upfront also…

Getting more people to open your emails

Julian Shapiro Contributor Share on Twitter Julian Shapiro is the founder of BellCurve.com, the growth marketing team that trains startups in advanced growth, helps you hire senior growth marketers, and finds you vetted growth agencies. He also writes at Julian.com. More posts by this contributor What’s the right way to sponsor a YouTube influencer? How…

Get ready to see more looping videos on Spotify, as Canvas launches into beta

Spotify is opening up its Canvas feature to more artists, the company announced this morning, which means you’ll see a lot more of those looping videos on the app starting soon. The feature has been in limited testing before today with select artists. When available, you don’t just see the album artwork behind the player…

Google takes AMP to the OpenJS Foundation

AMP, Google’s somewhat controversial project for speeding up the mobile web, has always been open-source, but it also always felt like a Google project first. Today, however, Google announced that the AMP framework will join the OpenJS Foundation, the Linux Foundation-based group that launched last year after the merger of the Node.js and JS foundations.…

Coinbase is launching Coinbase Pro mobile app

Cryptocurrency exchange company Coinbase is launching a mobile app for its advanced users today. You can now download the Coinbase Pro mobile app on iOS — the Android version is coming soon. Coinbase Pro is the company’s exchange that lets you set up advanced order types, such as limit orders. Those are fairly standard features…

Russia’s Yandex introduces an Echo Dot-style smart speaker

In May of last year, Yandex launched the Yandex.Station. The $160 smart speaker was a clear logical step for the so-called “Google of Russia.” This week, the company is back with the next-next logical step. The Yandex.Station Mini is essentially its take on the Echo Dot/Google Home Mini. At 3,990 rubles (around $61), it’s clearly…

Holoride makes its in-car VR available to the public for the first time

Audi spin-out Holoride is launching to the general public for the first time, though a collaboration with Ford and Universal Pictures . The young company is focused on a unique twist on virtual reality: In-car VR, to be experienced by a passenger while a vehicle is in motion. VR in cars might sound like a…

Cisco hit by an internal network outage

Not a great start to the day for Cisco employees, many of which are struggling in the face of an internal IT outage. The technology and networking giant confirmed in a tweet it was “aware of some disruption” to its IT systems and is “working” on restoring the network. Worse, the company’s corporate blog also…

Tiger Global values people management tool Lattice at ~$200M

The secretive New York-based hedge fund Tiger Global Management has led a $25 million Series C investment in Lattice, an employee performance and engagement management tool, with participation from the startup’s existing investors. The round, which values Lattice in the ballpark of $200 million, says co-founder and chief executive officer Jack Altman, comes just six…

App revenue climbs 23% year-over-year to $21.9B in Q3

Global app revenue continues to climb, thanks to the growth in mobile gaming and the subscription economy. In the third quarter of 2019, consumer revenue grew 22.9% year-over-year from $17.9 billion to reach an estimated $21.9 billion across both the App Store and Google Play worldwide, according to new data from Sensor Tower. Notably, the…

Porsche and Boeing are partnering to develop “premium” electric flying cars

The electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) industry is heating up, with a lot of companies finding dance partners for what looks like could be a boom industry — provided the significant technical and regulatory hurdles still standing in the way of viable commercial consumer air travel are overcome. Now, automaker Porsche is throwing its…

Parsley Health nabs $26 million Series B to launch telemedicine products

Parsley Health, the NY-based service that focuses on the source of a medical issue rather than the symptoms, has today announced the close of a $26 million Series B round of funding led by White Star Capital, with participation from FirstMark Capital, Amplo, Alpha Edison, Arkitekt Ventures and Galaxy Digital. Flatiron Health founder Nat Turner…

Xage now supports hierarchical blockchains for complex implementations

Xage is working with utilities, energy companies and manufacturers to secure their massive systems, and today it announced some significant updates to deal with the scale and complexity of these customers’ requirements including a new hierarchical blockchain. Xage enables customers to set security policy, then enforce that policy on the blockchain. Company CEO Duncan Greatwood…

India’s Vahdam Teas raises $11M to grow its tea-commerce business in the US and Europe

Vahdam Teas, an India-based e-commerce startup that sells fresh tea in international markets, has closed a new financing round as it looks to expand its presence in the U.S. and Europe. The three-year old startup said it has raised $11 million in its Series C financing round. The round, which according to a person familiar…

NASCAR could debut hybrids as early as 2022

NASCAR could introduce hybrid powered cars as early as 2022, NASCAR’s SVP for Racing Development John Probst told TechCrunch. The auto-racing series — which is America’s most popular motorsport — opened up on the development of competition vehicles powered by gas and electricity. “We travel the world visiting other sanctioning bodies and are not ignorant…

Grammarly raises $90M at over $1B+ valuation for its AI-based grammar and writing tools

While attention continues to be focused on the rise and growing sophistication of voice-based interfaces, a startup that is using artificial intelligence to improve how we communicate through the written word has raised a round of funding to capitalise on its already-profitable growth. Grammarly — which provides a toolkit used today by 20 million people…

Adobe’s Creative Cloud app gets a new look

As Adobe expanded its product lineup and cloud-based services in recent years, its core Creative Cloud app, the desktop app you use to download the rest of the Creative Cloud apps, started to feel a bit limited. Today, the company is introducing a completely redesigned Creative Cloud app that better integrates your Creative Cloud Libraries…

Salesforce adds integrated order management system to its arsenal

Salesforce certainly has a lot of tools crossing the sales, service and marketing categories, but until today when it announced Lightning Order Management, it lacked an integration layer that allowed companies to work across these systems to manage orders in a seamless way. “This is a new product built from the ground up on the…

Clari snags $60M Series D on valuation of around $500M

Clari uses AI to help companies find key information like the customers most likely to convert, the state of orders in the sales process or the next big sources of revenue. As its revenue management system continues to flourish, the company announced a $60 million Series D investment today. Sapphire Ventures led the round with…

Calm and Room made a $4,000 branded ‘meditation booth’

Call it clever branded. Call it peak Silicon Valley. Either way, the Calm Booth by Room will run you $4,915. Perhaps it’s worth it for the peace of mind — and the dozen annual Calm subscriptions the companies throw in. I’m not going to tell you how to spend your hard earned venture capital. And…

Sources: Lilium is looking to raise up to $500M for its electric flying taxis

“Flying cars” — airborne vehicles designed for urban and other short-distance commutes to replace conventional private automobiles — are (at best) still years away from being a reality, with significant safety, technology and business model hurdles to clear before they ever hit the sky. Now, sources tell us that one of more promising startups in…

Electric moped startup Revel raises $27.6 million as it eyes new markets

In less than two years, Revel has gone from an idea to a shared electric vehicle startup with more than 1,400 mopeds across Washington D.C., and Brooklyn and Queens, New York. Now, it’s ready to grow up — and beyond these three cities — with a fresh injection of $27.6 million in capital raised in…

Okta wants to make every user a security ally

End users tend to get a bad rap in the security business because they are often the weakest security link. They fall for phishing schemes, use weak passwords and often unknowingly are the conduit for malicious actors getting into your company’s systems. Okta wants to change that by giving end users information about suspicious activity…

We’re T-minus 48 hours and counting startup fans. You heard right — only 48 short hours stand between you and substantial savings on all passes to Disrupt Berlin 2019, which takes place 11-12 December. Super early bird prices start at €345 + VAT and, depending on which pass you choose, you can save up to…

New Vector scores $8.5M to plug more users into its open, decentralized messaging Matrix

New Vector, a European startup founded in 2017 by the creators of an open, decentralized communications standard called Matrix to drive adoption and grow an ecosystem around an alternative messaging protocol for instant messaging and VoIP apps, has raised an $8.5 million Series A funding round. Investors in New Vector’s Series A round include enterprise…

GoCardless CEO Hiroki Takeuchi is coming to Disrupt Berlin

GoCardless has been around for 8 years. But the company has experienced tremendous growth over the past couple of years. It now has a shot at becoming a global leader when it comes to payments via direct debit. Its co-founder and CEO Hiroki Takeuchi has become a fintech expert, and that’s why I’m excited to…

Apple pulls HKmap from App Store, the day after Chinese state media criticized its “unwise and reckless decision” to approve it

Less than a day after Apple was criticized by Chinese state media for allowing HKmap in the App Store, the crowdsourced map app said it had been delisted. Its removal comes less than a week after Apple reversed its initial decision to reject the app, which provides information about the location of pro-democracy demonstrations, street…

SmileClubDirect’s former CEO is back with a new dental startup called Tend

A growing number of newer dental brands has been attracting money from venture investors who are still kicking themselves for missing runaway stories. Most notable among these breakout companies is newly public SmileDirectClub, which sells teeth-straightening products directly to consumers and is beloved by analysts even though its shares have slipped since its September IPO.…

Creators of modern rechargeable batteries share Nobel prize

If you had to slip a couple AAs into your smartphone every morning to check your email, browse Instagram, and text your friends, chances are the mobile revolution would not have been quite so revolutionary. Fortunately the rechargeable lithium-ion battery was invented — a decades-long task for which three men have just been awarded the…

Waymo to customers: “Completely driverless Waymo cars are on the way”

Waymo, the autonomous vehicle business under Alphabet, sent an email to customers of its ride-hailing app that their next trip might not have a human safety driver behind the wheel, according to a copy of the email that was posted on Reddit. The email entitled “Completely driverless Waymo cars are on the way” was sent…

The first spacecraft that can service satellites to extend their life launched today

Up until now, commercial satellites have essentially been disposable. Even the massive, multi-ton ones that can have service lives spanning a decade or more eventually just become so much space trash once they’re out of fuel, or they experience some kind fo terminal mechanical failure. A new spacecraft built by Northrop Grumman and launched aboard…

Facebook sure does love free $peech

Ensuring politicians in the 2020 election stay truthful is hard work, so Facebook has decided it’s going to sit this one out. Joe Biden’s campaign team sent a letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, COO Sheryl Sandberg and global elections policy chief Katie Harbath that essentially called on the company to take down a Trump campaign…

Virgin Orbit plans to launch first commercial small satellites to Mars

Richard Bransons-backed small satellite launch operation Virgin Orbit wants to be the first to dedicate a mission to bringing commercial cube sats to the red planet, the company announced today. Working with Polish satellite company SatRevolution, Virgin Orbit has established a consortium along with a group of Polish academic institutions to jointly work on at…

Pinterest launches a ‘Lite’ app for emerging markets

Pinterest is the latest tech company to introduce a “Lite” version of its mobile application to meet the needs of users in emerging markets. With Pinterest Lite, launched on Monday, users will benefit from a faster download and an app that takes up less storage space on their mobile device, the company says. Pinterest previously…

DHS cyber unit wants to subpoena ISPs to identify vulnerable systems

Homeland Security’s cybersecurity division is pushing to change the law that would allow it to demand information from internet providers that would identify the owners of vulnerable systems, TechCrunch has learned. Sources familiar with the proposal say the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), founded just less than a year ago, wants the new administrative…

Andreessen Horowitz hires Julie Yoo as general partner

Julie Yoo has joined Andreessen Horowitz as its newest general partner. She will make investments out of the venture capital firm’s bio fund, which closed on $450 million in 2017. Yoo spent the last eight years as a co-founder and chief product officer of Kyruus, a venture-backed healthcare provider matching tool. She’s joins as a16z’s…

Silicon Valley’s competing philosophies on tech ethics with The New Yorker’s Andrew Marantz

“If Silicon Valley is going to keep telling itself the story that the only uses of their technology will be the most optimistic, the most hopeful, the most salubrious, the most prosocial,” New Yorker staff writer Andrew Marantz told me in Part 1 of this recent conversation for Extra Crunch, “you can try to rebut…

Daily Crunch: China pressures Apple

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. China attacks Apple for allowing Hong Kong crowdsourced police activity app Apple’s decision to greenlight an app called HKmaps, which is…

Social Club, a ‘censorship free’ Instagram clone for pot, gets booted from the App Store

Apple has booted a cannabis-promoting app from the App Store, Social Club, after it devolved into a place where users were openly posting drugs for sale, and became filled with photos of various drugs, guns and weaponry, racist content, memes, gore videos, and adult and child pornography, according to its users. The app is inexplicitly…

Toys R Us relaunches its website where online sales are powered by Target

Toys R Us is back online, thanks to a new deal with Target. Tru Kids, the parent company that acquired the defunct toy chain following its bankruptcy, has announced the relaunch of the ToysRUs.com website as it begins the process of opening its retail stores across the U.S. As a part of its comeback strategy,…

Gnarbox 2.0 backup SSD is a photographer’s best friend in the field and at home

Working photographers, and enthusiasts who just love taking plenty of pictures, know that even the biggest SD cards can sometimes fill up, especially when you’re working with large file sizes, shooting both JPG and RAW, and shooting 4K video. The solution? A good mobile backup drive. There are a number of options out there that…

European risk report flags 5G security challenges

European Union Member States have published a joint risk assessment report into 5G technology which highlights increased security risks that will require a new approach to securing telecoms infrastructure. The EU has so far resisted pressure from the U.S. to boycott Chinese tech giant Huawei as a 5G supplier on national security grounds, with individual…

Eureka Robotics’ new robotic arm is designed for optical lenses and mirrors

Last year, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore had a small viral sensation on its hands with the release of Ikea Bot. The robot did laps around its inept human counterparts by autonomously assembling an Ikea in under nine minutes. That same team is behind NTU spinoff, Eureka Robotics, which this morning debuted Archimedes, a six-axis robotic…

Walgreens partners with FedEx to accept online returns, print labels

FedEx and Walgreens are partnering to make online returns more convenient, in a move that’s a part of a growing trend where brick-and-mortar retailers cater to the needs of e-commerce shoppers in order to increase foot traffic at their stores. Under the new agreement, consumers will be able to drop off their online returns at…

Toyota, GM, Nvidia, Bosch and others form new autonomous driving tech consortium

We’re still very much in the collaboration phase of autonomous driving, since it’s looking still quite a ways off from being anything consumers can use on the regular. That means there’s plenty of opportunity for things like the new “Autonomous Vehicle Computing Consortium” (AVCC) announced today to form. This industry group includes Arm, Bosch, Continental,…

Uber’s newest feature alerts drivers that pets will be joining the ride

Uber is piloting a new feature that lets U.S. riders alert drivers that a pet will be coming along, the latest effort from the company to appeal to a broader audience and become to the one-stop shop for transportation, meals and other services. The feature called Uber Pet will be available beginning October 16 in…

China attacks Apple for allowing Hong Kong crowdsourced police activity app

Apple’s decision to greenlight an app called HKmaps, which is being used by pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong to crowdsource information about street closures and police presence, is attracting the ire of the Chinese government. An article in Chinese state mouthpiece, China Daily, attacks the iPhone maker for reversing an earlier decision not to allow…

Amazon, Walmart confront India’s slowing economy as holiday season growth stalls

Even India’s biggest festive season, featuring blinding marketing blitzkrieg and heavy discounts from Amazon India and Walmart’s Flipkart, has failed to escape the pains of slowing economy. Online retailers in India sold goods worth $3 billion in the six-day festive sale that concluded last week, growing at an impressive 30% since last year, according to…

3 days left to save on passes to Disrupt Berlin 2019

What does Disrupt Berlin 2019 have in common with the movie “Three Days of the Condor?” Frankly, not much except that there are only three days of the super early bird special left before prices go up. The analogy may be a stretch, but the facts are real. Right now, you can save up to…

Tick-tock: Hurry and apply to TC Top Picks @ Disrupt Berlin 2019

Early-stage startup founders know that M&Ms are essential ingredients for startup success. We’re not talking about the melt-in-your-mouth-not-in-your-hand confection; we’re talking money and media. Apply to be TC Top Pick at Disrupt Berlin 2019 and — if you make the cut — you’ll receive a free Startup Alley Exhibitor Package, the VIP treatment and plenty of exposure…

MIT is reviewing its relationship with AI startup SenseTime, one of the Chinese tech firms blacklisted by the U.S.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology said it is reviewing the university’s relationship with SenseTime, one of eight Chinese tech companies placed on the U.S. Entity List yesterday for their alleged role in human rights abuses against Muslim minority groups in China. A MIT spokesperson told Bloomberg that “MIT has long had a robust export controls…

Suse’s OpenStack Cloud dissipates

Suse, the newly independent open-source company behind the eponymous Linux distribution and an increasingly large set of managed enterprise services, today announced a bit of a new strategy as it looks to stay on top of the changing trends in the enterprise developer space. Over the course of the last few years, Suse put a…

Southeast Asian real estate portal 99.co agrees to joint venture with iProperty, as their rival PropertyGuru prepares for IPO

Southeast Asian real estate portal 99.co has agreed to form a joint venture with iProperty. As part of the deal, iProperty owner REA Group will invest $8 million of working capital into the venture, expected to be finalized by the second quarter of 2020. 99.co and REA Group, a real estate-focused digital advertising conglomerate that…

EV subscription startup Canoo, co-founder sued for alleged harassment

Just weeks after Canoo took the wraps off of its electric vehicle, the Los Angeles-based startup and co-founder Stefan Krause has been accused of gender and marital discrimination, harassment, breach of contract, and wrongful termination in a lawsuit filed Tuesday. The lawsuit, which was filed by Christina Krause, the company’s former head of communications and Stefan…

Looking for a job selling weed? EpicHint pitches training for cannabis dispensary ‘budtenders’

Adriana Herrera first came up with the idea for EpicHint, a training and staffing service for cannabis dispensaries, while she was surfing off the coast of Oaxaca, Mexico. Decompressing after the dissolution of her last startup venture — her second attempt at running her own business — Herrera realized quickly that surfing and #vanlife wasn’t…

What the hell is up with this Essential device?

Essential CEO Andy Rubin has been pretty silent over the past year for, well, lots of reasons — both business and otherwise. The company has struggled to sell devices, reportedly shipping only 88,000 handsets in its first year. On a far more serious note, Rubin has been plagued by reports of inappropriate behavior during his…

Senate report says Russian election interference ‘invariably’ supported Trump, recommends national PSA

A bipartisan Senate investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election released today definitively implicates the country in online operations designed specifically to get then-candidate Donald Trump elected. The tactics used were “overtly and almost invariably supportive” of his campaign even to the detriment of other Republicans. The report recommends major chances to how disinformation…

Report: WeWork expected to cut 500 tech roles

The WeWork saga continues this week with new reports the company may slash as many as 500 tech roles. The co-working business, whose eccentric co-founder and chief executive officer Adam Neumann stepped down two weeks ago, is expected to let go of 350 employees within its corporate division, The Information reports. Initial cuts will be…

Instagram launches Create mode with On This Day throwbacks

Instagram has finally turned Throwback Thursday into an official feature. It’s part of the new Instagram “Create” mode that launches today in Stories, bringing the app beyond the camera. Create makes Instagram a more omni-purpose social network with the flexibility to adapt to a broader range of content formats. For now, the highlight of Create…

Boeing backs Virgin Galactic with strategic $20M investment

Virgin Galactic has $20 million more to pursue its goal of space tourism with a new investment from Boeing announced this morning. The two companies are both deeply involved in human spaceflight, but in different ways — and Boeing seems to feel that it’s better to join Virgin than try to beat them at this…

Europe’s recharged antitrust chief makes her five year pitch to be digital EVP

Europe’s competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager, set for a dual role in the next Commission, faced three hours of questions from members of four committees in the European Parliament this afternoon, as MEPs got their chance to interrogate her priorities for a broader legislative role that will shape pan-EU digital strategy for the next five years.…

Twitter admits it used two-factor phone numbers and emails for serving targeted ads

Twitter has said it used phone numbers and email addresses, provided by users to set up two-factor authentication on their accounts, to serve targeted ads. In a disclosure Tuesday, the social media giant said it did not know how many users were impacted. The issue stemmed from the company’s tailored audiences program, which allows companies…

Dig into the key issues in venture today with investor and Techstars co-founder Brad Feld

Few can hold a candle to Brad Feld’s list of accolades in the startup, tech and venture world. As a multi-time founder of both startups and venture firms alike, Feld is widely known for having co-founded the Techstars accelerator — now a Silicon Valley and startup institution — as well as Foundry Group, the early…

How I Podcast: Broken Record’s Justin Richmond

The beauty of podcasting is that anyone can do it. It’s a rare medium that’s nearly as easy to make as it is to consume. And as such, no two people do it exactly the same way. There are a wealth of hardware and software solutions open to potential podcasters, so setups run the gamut…

Startup says ‘Sober is the new black’

Maveron, Slow Ventures and Female Founders Fund have invested $10 million in a startup that claims it’s carving a new path to sobriety. Tempest offers a $647 eight-week virtual “sobriety school” to help people, particularly women and “historically oppressed individuals,” get sober. The program is led by the company’s founder and chief executive officer Holly…

The budding industry of cannabis tech

Brian Kateman Contributor Share on Twitter Brian Kateman is president and co-founder of the Reducetarian Foundation. More posts by this contributor Ethical fashion is on the rise Fish replacement may be the next big wave in alternative protein development From food and drink to health and wellness and beyond, there’s one plant we can’t seem…

With $15M round and 100K tablets sold, reMarkable CEO wants to make tech ‘more human’

The reMarkable tablet is a strange device in this era of ultra-smart gadgets: A black and white screen meant for reading, writing, and sketching — and nothing more. Yet the company has sold 100,000 of the devices and now has attracted $15 million in series A funding from Spark Capital. It’s an unusual trajectory for…

Daily Crunch: Apple releases latest MacOS update

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’s MacOS Catalina is now available Catalina bucks the trend of recent MacOS updates with some pronounced changes — the underlying…

After several disappointing quarters, Chinese EV maker Nio’s sales surge

Nio delivered 4,799 vehicles in the third quarter, a 35.1% surge in sales and a positive development for the Chinese electric automaker that has been plagued by cost overruns, a voluntary battery recall and macroeconomic conditions such as declining passenger vehicle sales and reduced EV subsidies. The company said Tuesday it also exceeded the middle…

Google makes moving music and videos between speakers and screens easier

Google today announced a small but nifty feature for the Google Assistant and its smart home devices that makes it easier for you to take your music and videos with you as you wander about the different rooms in your home. ‘Stream transfer’ as Google prosaically calls it, allows you to simply ask the Assistant…

Arm brings custom instructions to its embedded CPUs

At its annual TechCon event in San Jose, Arm today announced Custom Instructions, a new feature of its Armv8-M architecture for embedded CPUs that, as the name implies, enables its customers to write their own custom instructions to accelerate their specific use cases for embedded and IoT applications. “We already have ways to add acceleration,…

Microsoft adds per-app time limits to its parental controls

Microsoft is following Apple and Google’s lead with today’s launch of per-app and per-game time limits in its parental control software. Already, the company allows parents to limit screen time across Windows 10, Xbox One, and Android via the Microsoft Launcher. However, it hadn’t yet allowed parents to limit the amount of time a child…

Startup studio eFounders has a portfolio valuation of $1 billion

European startup studio eFounders has shared some metrics about its portfolio companies. The startup studio has launched 23 companies with a focus on software-as-a-service enterprise products. While eFounders might not be a familiar name, some of the companies in its portfolio have become promising startups with impressive growth, such as Front, Aircall, Forest, Spendesk, Mailjet…

Nadella warns government conference not to betray user trust

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, delivering the keynote at the Microsoft Government Leaders Summit in Washington, DC today, had a message for attendees to maintain user trust in their tools technologies above all else. He said it is essential to earn user trust, regardless of your business. “Now, of course, the power law here is all…

Facebook’s Workplace hits 3M paying users, launches Portal app in a wider push for video

The rapid rise of Slack — which has recently broken the 100,000 mark for paying businesses using its service — has ushered in a rush of competition from other companies across the worlds of social media and enterprise software, all aiming to become the go-to conversation layer for businesses. Today, Workplace, Facebook’s effort in that…

Google’s Grasshopper coding class for beginners comes to the desktop

Google today announced that Grasshopper, its tool for teaching novices how to code, is now available on the desktop, too, in the form of a web-based app. Back in 2018, Grasshopper launched out of Area 120 as a mobile app for Android and iOS and since then, Google says, ‘millions’ have downloaded it. A larger…

Over 30 civil rights groups demand an end to Amazon Ring’s police partnerships

Over 30 civil rights organizations have penned an open letter that calls on government officials to investigate Amazon Ring’s business practices and end the company’s numerous police partnerships. The letter follows a report by The Washington Post in August that detailed how over 400 police forces across the U.S. have partnered with Ring to gain…

Satya Nadella looks to the future with edge computing

Speaking today at the Microsoft Government Leaders Summit in Washington DC, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella made the case for edge computing, even while pushing the Azure cloud as what he called “the world’s computer.” While Amazon, Google and other competitors may have something to say about that, marketing hype aside, many companies are still in…

Lawyers for former Tinder execs file to dismiss defamation lawsuit

Last week, former Tinder CEO Greg Blatt filed a defamation lawsuit against Sean Rad and Rosette Pambakian, who are part of a group of Tinder founders and former executives who accused Blatt (pictured above) of sexual harassment and assault as part of a broader suit. Now Rad and Pambakian’s attorneys have filed their own motion…

CBS News is bringing a 60 Minutes-inspired news show to streaming service Quibi

Jeffrey Katzenberg’s streaming service Quibi, due to launch in April, has partnered with CBS News to modernize “60 Minutes”-style programming for the era of bite-sized video. Instead of an hour-long newsmagazine, CBS News will launch “60 in 6,” which will condense original news stories into 6-minute long episodes, designed for consumption on mobile devices. The…

Robinhood revives checking with new debit card & 2% interest

This time it actually has insurance. Zero-fee stock trading app Robinhood is launching Cash Management, a new feature that earns users 2.05% APY interest on uninvested money in their account with the ability to spend it through a special Mastercard debit card. The waitlist opens today in the US with the first users to be…

Sony’s next console is…the PlayStation 5, arriving holidays 2020

Part of me wishes Sony had gone for something a little flashier. The PlayStation Unicorn or PlayStation Trebuchet or something. But there’s something to be said for consistency. Simplicity. The next version of Sony’s perennial favorite gaming console will be, drum roll… the PlayStation 5. The company notes that nothing is particularly revelatory in this…

Forward Networks raises $35M to help enterprises map, track, and predict their networks’ behavior

Security breaches and other activity that causes network surges and outages are all on the rise in the enterprise, and today, a startup called Forward Networks, which has built a clever way to help businesses monitor their network traffic to identify when things are going wrong, has raised a round of $35 million to continue…

Chinese firms Tencent, Vivo, and CCTV suspend ties with the NBA over Hong Kong tweet

Smartphone maker Vivo, broadcaster CCTV, and internet giant Tencent said today they are suspending all cooperation with the National Basketball Association, becoming the latest Chinese firms to cut ties with the league after a tweet from a Houston Rockets executive supporting Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters offended many in the world’s most populous nation. Vivo, which…

Contentstack raises $31.5M Series A round for its headless CMS platform

Contentstack, a startup that offers a headless CMS platform for enterprises, today announced that it has raised a $31.5 million Series A round led by Insight Partners. Existing investors Illuminate Ventures and GingerBread Capital also participated in this round. The company says that it saw its revenue grow by 4x in the first half of…

With a possible Apple tag waiting in the wings, Tile unveils Sticker, an adhesive device for tracking objects

We are still waiting to see if Apple officially unveils a new spin on the business of tracking tags — the small devices that you put on ‘dumb’ objects like keys, wallets and other objects you have a habit of losing or leaving places to be able to pinpoint their location — but in the…

Opera’s desktop browser gets built-in tracking protection

Browser maker Opera today announced the launch of version 68 of its flagship desktop browser. The marquee feature of the launch is the addition of a tracker blocker that will make it harder for advertisers and others to track you while you browse the web — and which has the additional benefit of speeding up…

Eight Chinese tech firms placed on U.S. Entity List for their role in human rights violations against Muslim minority groups

Eight Chinese tech firms, including SenseTime and Megvii, have been added to the U.S. government Entity List for their role in enabling human rights violations against Muslim minority groups in China, including the Uighurs. The firms were among 28 total organizations, mostly Chinese government agencies, that were implicated “in the implementation of China’s campaign of…

German tech investor leads Series A for Germany’s first medical Cannabis startup

German just hit a new milestone in the space where venture capital and the burgeoning Cannabis industry meet. Berlin startup Demecan has completed a Series A financing round of 7 million euros to expand its production facility for medical cannabis and the wholesale trade in Germany. It’s become the only German company allowed to produce…

This startup just raised $8 million to help busy doctors assess the cognitive health of 50 million seniors

All over the globe, the population of people who are aged 65 and older is growing faster than every other age group. According to United Nations data, by 2050, one in six people in the world will be over age 65, up from one in 11 right now. Meanwhile, in Europe and North America, by…

Mars Curiosity Rover finds evidence of an ancient oasis on Mars

On its latest trek through the Gale Crater on Mars, the Curiosity Rover has discovered evidence that’s leading . scientists to believe that there was an oasis at the base of that 150-kilometer-wide crater. Curiosity scientists described the scene in an article in “Nature Geoscience” published earlier this week. Researchers analyzing data from the Rover…

Group Nine acquires PopSugar

Group Nine — the digital media company formed by the merger of Thrillist, NowThis, The Dodo and Seeker — just announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire women’s lifestyle publisher PopSugar. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but The Wall Street Journal reports that it’s an all-stock transaction that values…

Via is launching an on-demand public transit network in the city of Cupertino

Shuttle startup Via and the city of Cupertino are launching an on-demand public transportation network, the latest example of municipalities trying out alternatives to traditional buses. The aim is for these on-demand shuttles, which will start with six vans branded with the city of Cupertino logo, to provide more efficient connections to CalTrain and increase…

The NBA should learn from Google China

By now, you’ve probably heard about the tweet heard ‘round the world, or at least, the part of the world where Mandarin is spoken. The GM of the Houston Rockets basketball franchise wrote a tweet — since deleted — supporting the democracy protesters that have lit up Hong Kong these past few weeks. As Eben…

Instagram is killing its creepy stalking feature, the Following tab

Instagram is removing its Following tab, a feature that became better known as a stalking tool than one to aid with new account discovery, as the company had intended. Today, Instagram says that its Explore tab is the go-to place to find new people, places and hashtags to follow. Meanwhile, the Following tab is now…

Hulu finally launches support for downloads, initially to ad-free viewers

Hulu is finally adding downloads to its streaming service, years after Netflix and Amazon Prime Video did the same. The company had promised over a year ago that it would soon roll out support for offline viewing, having developed a way to include advertising with its downloads. However, the downloads feature launching today is only…

Sequoia shares wisdom with Disrupt SF Battlefield competitors and Startup Alley Top Picks

Editor’s note: James Buckhouse is design partner at Sequoia.  Last Tuesday, the teams competing in Startup Battlefield at Disrupt SF, as well as founders chosen as Top Picks in Startup Alley, visited Sequoia Capital’s office in San Francisco for a discussion with partners Jess Lee, Roelof Botha, Mike Vernal, Alfred Lin and James Buckhouse. The…

Laurel Bowden of VC firm 83North on the European deep tech and startup ecosystems

London and Tel Aviv based VC firm 83North has closed out its fifth fund at $300 million, as we reported earlier. It last raised a $250 million fund in 2017 and expects to continue the same investment mix, while tracking developments in emerging areas like healthcare AI and autonomous vehicles. In a conversation with general…

Armenia and the technology of diaspora

It’s a tough world out there for small countries. Technology is the future, everyone knows that; but how do you claim your share of that future when you’re competing with America, China, the EU, and India? How do you build a thriving ecosystem of tech wealth and tech education — successful international businesses whose alumni…

Daily Crunch: Render wins the Startup Battlefield

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. And the winner of Startup Battlefield at Disrupt SF 2019 is… Render In the beginning, there were 20 startups. After three…

Amazon introduces a Kindle for kids

While it’s true that many parents are doing their best to reduce screen time as much as possible, there’s something to be said for the Kindle Kids Edition. The best and worst thing about the device are its limitations. It’s purpose built for reading, and that’s about it. For that reason, the Kindle line makes…

Trump tweet gets it wrong on net neutrality ruling

President Trump this morning randomly addressed a recent court ruling on net neutrality, calling it a “great win” that will “lead to many big things including 5G.” Perhaps he didn’t read the ruling closely, because it in fact is an enormous blow to the FCC and the “unhinged” logic on which it based the rollback…

Apple’s MacOS Catalina is now available

For years now, Apple’s been judicious with its MacOS updates. Understandably so. Given the massive online outcry every time Facebook changes the placement of a button, it’s in UX designers’ best interest to keep changes gradual and subtle. These days, the overarching philosophy of operating system design seems to be more about guiding the user’s…

Get guaranteed rent for your home from new startup Doorstead

Missing out on a month’s rent because you can’t find a tenant is a huge loss. Searching for someone to fill a home takes work, while property managers are incentivized to price your place too high leading to costly vacancies. But new startup Doorstead wants to take on the risk and the work for you.…

Waymo is creating 3D maps of Los Angeles to better understand traffic congestion

Waymo, the autonomous vehicle company under Alphabet, has started creating 3D maps in some heavily trafficked sections of Los Angeles to better understand congestion there and determine if its self-driving vehicles would be a good fit in the city. For now, Waymo is bringing just three of its self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans to Los Angeles…

Checking in of the state of ISAs

Income share agreements (ISAs) rose to public awareness this year — if measured in press articles and discussion on “VC Twitter” — after several years of niche experimentation among a small community of education advocates. An ISA in a financing model where the student participates in an education program without paying tuition, then pays a…

Spotify gains Siri support on iOS 13, arrives on Apple TV

In a long-awaited move, Spotify announced this morning its iOS 13 app would now offer Siri support and its streaming music service would also become available on Apple TV. That means you can now request your favorite music or podcasts using Siri voice commands, by preferencing the command with “Hey Siri, play…,” followed by the…

iPhone 11 Pro is the most accessible iPhone yet

Last year’s iPhone was an outlier for me. Although I reviewed the then-new iPhone XS line, the model I ultimately chose for myself was the “lesser” iPhone XR. I chose it mostly for aesthetic reasons. As much as I appreciated its well-rounded technical merits, I was downright giddy at the notion I could have an…

Roku to launch low-cost versions of its soundbar and subwoofer under Walmart’s onn brand

Roku will produce lower-cost versions of its new Smart Soundbar and Wireless Subwoofer for Walmart under the retailer’s own onn brand, the company announced this morning. While already Roku offers distinct versions of some of its streaming media players exclusively for retailers like Walmart and Best Buy, the company had briefly mentioned a larger deal…

Next Insurance raises $250M from Munich Re, becomes a unicorn

Next Insurance, a three-year-old U.S.-based firm that sells insurance products to small businesses, has become the latest unicorn in the nation after bagging $250 million in a new financing round, the startup said today. Germany-based Munich Re, one of the world’s largest reinsurers, alone funded Next Insurance’s Series C round, the two said in a…

83North closes $300M fifth fund focused on Europe, Israel

83North has closed its fifth fund, completing an oversubscribed $300 million raise and bringing its total capital under management to $1.1BN+. The VC firm, which spun out from Silicon Valley giant Greylock Partners in 2015 — and invests in startups in Europe and Israel, out of offices in London and Tel Aviv — last closed…

Berlin’s Tier Mobility scoops up $60M as its scooter-based transportation service passes 10M rides

On the heels of Bird closing a $275 million round to help put itself in pole position in the electric scooter market, a smaller European rival has also raised some money to grow its own business. Tier Mobility, a Berlin-based startup that operates a fleet of 20,000 scooters across 40 cities in 12 countries, has…

Ritesh Agarwal to invest $700M in Oyo’s new $1.5B financing round

India’s largest budget lodging startup Oyo Hotels and Homes said today it plans to raise about $1.5 billion as part of a new financing round as the startup looks to expand its footprints in the U.S. and Europe. Ritesh Agarwal, the founder and CEO of Oyo, said he will invest $700 million in the startup’s new…

5 days left to save on passes to Disrupt Berlin 2019

A show of hands, startuppers. Who’s ready to save some money on passes to Disrupt Berlin 2019, our premier tech conference that takes place on 11-12 December? Then listen up, because our super early bird pricing ends in just five days. Right now, passes start at €345 + VAT and, depending on which pass you…

This Week in Apps: censorship, openness and antitrust

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the new Extra Crunch series where we’ll help you keep up with the latest news from the world of apps — including everything from the OS’s to the apps that run upon them, as well as the money that flows through it all. The app industry in 2018…

Why we’re still waiting on the Postmates S-1

In a wide-ranging conversation at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco last week, Postmates co-founder and chief executive officer Bastian Lehmann made light of the company’s lack of IPO documents. The San Francisco-based on-demand delivery business was expected to publicly file its IPO prospectus in September in preparation for a fall exit, sources familiar with the matter…

“Human Compatible” is a provocative prescription to re-think AI before it’s too late

Dr. Stuart Russell, a distinguished AI researcher and computer scientist at UC Berkeley, believes there is a fundamental and potentially civilization-ending shortcoming in the “standard model” of AI, which is taught (and Dr. Russell wrote the main textbook) and applied virtually everywhere. Dr. Russell’s new book, Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control,…

An interview with Dr. Stuart Russell, author of “Human Compatible, Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control”

(UC Berkeley’s Dr. Stuart Russell’s new book, “Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control, goes on sale Oct. 8. I’ve written a review, “Human Compatible” is a provocative prescription to re-think AI before it’s too late,” and the following in an interview I conducted with Dr. Russell in his UC Berkeley office on…

No one could prevent another ‘WannaCry-style’ attack, says DHS official

The U.S. government may not be able to prevent another global cyberattack like WannaCry, a senior cybersecurity official has said. Jeanette Manfra, the assistant director for cybersecurity for Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), said on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt SF that the 2017 WannaCry cyberattack, which saw hundreds of thousands of computers…

Top VCs in Edtech, Dropbox, first mover advantage, India’s Netflix, scooters, and more

Editor’s Note This week, we hosted 23 panels on all aspects of building startups on the Extra Crunch stage at TechCrunch Disrupt SF. Thanks to the thousands of attendees who attended those talks, as well as the workshops we held on the Breakout Stage — your enthusiasm was palpable. We also had hundreds of new…

The siphon and the forge

The tech industry has won at capitalism. From America to China, from Amazon to Alibaba, from Alphabet to Tencent, the most valuable and most dynamic companies in the world are technology companies. But what kind of capitalism? Because there are really two different modes, two ways to get rich. One is to claim a share…

Week in Review: Tech’s trashiest merger

Hey everyone. Thank you for welcoming me into you inbox yet again. Last week, I talked about Juul’s unraveling mission statement and the highly-valued startup’s new Big Tobacco CEO. I got some great email responses and plenty of a pro-Juul DMs. If you’re reading this on the TechCrunch site, you can get this in your…

Miss out on Startup Battlefield? Apply to TC Top Picks at Disrupt Berlin 2019

Did you miss the deadline to apply for Startup Battlefield at Disrupt Berlin 2019? Well don’t despair, founders. There’s more than one way to place your early-stage startup in front of thousands of influential technologists, investors and global media. Apply to be considered for our TC Top Picks program and the opportunity to exhibit in Startup Alley for…

HTC stopped innovating on smartphones, new CEO admits

Several months back, we invited HTC cofounder and CEO Cher Wang to appear on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt. Sometimes, however, life happens. Two weeks ago, the company announced that Wang would be stepping down from the role, which would immediately be filled by longtime telecom vet, Yves Maitres. Thankfully, the former Orange exec also agreed…

NASA shares 3D Moon data for CG artists and creators

If you want to set your movie or game on the Moon, it’s not hard to find imagery of our photogenic satellite. But NASA has just released a useful and beautiful new set of data just for creators that includes not just imagery but depth data, making it simple to build an incredibly detailed 3D…

Report: WeWork cofounder Adam Neumann may have to unload property to pay off a giant loan

Adam Neumann may be out of the daily flow of WeWork, but he seemingly remains top of mind to some of the company’s bankers. According to a new Business Insider piece, Neumann is working with JPMorgan, UBS, and Credit Suisse to consider new terms for a $500 loan that he took out before WeWork filed…

And the winner of Startup Battlefield at Disrupt SF 2019 is… Render

At the very beginning, there were 20 startups. After two days of incredibly fierce competition, we now have a winner. Startups participating in the Startup Battlefield have all been hand-picked to participate in our highly competitive startup competition. They all presented in front of multiple groups of VCs and tech leaders serving as judges for…

NASA calls for input on Moon spacesuits and plans to source them commercially in future

NASA issues a new formal request for info from industry specifically around spacesuits. The agency is hoping to gather information in order to help it figure out a future path for acquisition of spacesuit production and services from external industry sources. That doesn’t mean it’s outsourcing its spacesuit design and production immediately – NASA will…

$35M-funded Omni rental in acquihire talks with Coinbase

Physical storage-turned-rentals startup Omni is dealing with layoffs today, two sources familiar with the situation tell TechCrunch. Omni just shed seven operations team members. The startup is in talks to sell its engineering team to Coinbase after also receiving interest from Thumbtack. Omni’s rental business was doing poorly without enough users paying a few bucks…

HTC’s new CEO discusses the phonemaker’s future

On September 17, HTC announced that cofounder Cher Wang would be stepping down as CEO. In her place, Yves Maitre stepped into the role of Chief Executive, after more than a decade at French telecom giant, Orange. It’s a tough job at an even tougher time. The move comes on the tail of five consecutive…

How ‘the Internet broke America’ with The New Yorker’s Andrew Marantz

When Elizabeth Warren took on Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook earlier this week, it was a low moment for what New Yorker writer Andrew Marantz calls “techno-utopianism.” That the progressive, populist Massachusetts Senator and leading Democratic Presidential candidate wants to #BreakUpBigTech is not surprising. But Warren’s choice to spotlight regulating and trust-busting Facebook was nonetheless noteworthy,…

Startup Battlefield: Finals – OmniVis – TechCrunch

Worldwide, cholera causes 5 million infections annually, with $2 billion spent every year in treatments and lost productivity that could be avoidable through early detection. OmniVis technology reduces the detection process from 3-5 days down to 30 minutes, accurately and aff ordably. Additionally, OmniVis’ data gathering & reporting tools provide insights over disease hotspots; enabling…

Startup Battlefield: Finals – Orbit Fab – TechCrunch

Orbit Fab is building a supply chain for fuel in Earth orbit. Over $3 billion is spent annually launching fuel into space. Our customers realize capital cost savings over 50% and fl exible new business models. One year after venture funding, our technology is fl ying in orbit and we became the fi rst private…

Startup Battlefield: Finals – Traptic – TechCrunch

Traptic builds giant farming robots to save the world’s food production system from a critical labor shortage.

Startup Battlefield: Finals – StrattyX – TechCrunch

StrattyX lets anyone take advantage of algorithmic trading. Historically, hedge funds and banks leveraged teams of coders to maximize returns and minimize losses, leaving everyday investors behind. The StrattyX app allows all investors to take advantage of these advanced trading tools. With StrattyX, people can create bots to test scenarios, and automatically trade on information…

PayPal is the first company to drop out of the Facebook-led Libra Association

PayPal is the first company to walk away from Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency. PayPal’s decision to take its ball and go home was first reported by The Wall Street Journal . “PayPal has made the decision to forgo further participation in the Libra Association at this time and to continue to focus on advancing our existing…

Annual Extra Crunch members can receive $1,000 in AWS credits

We’re excited to announce a new partnership with Amazon Web Services for annual members of Extra Crunch. Starting today, qualified annual members can receive $1,000 in AWS credits. You also must be a startup founder to claim this Extra Crunch community perk. AWS is the premier service for your application hosting needs, and we want…

As Sinai Ventures returns first fund, partner Jordan Fudge talks new LA focus

At age 27, Jordan Fudge is quietly making a splash in the VC world. Fudge is the managing partner of Sinai Ventures, a multi-stage VC fund that manages $100 million and has more than 80 portfolio companies including Ro, Drivetime, Kapwing, and Luminary. His 2017 investment in Pinterest — a secondary shares deal from his…

Snap CEO isn’t expecting much from Facebook antitrust investigations

Facebook’s relentless feature copy of Snapchat has been seen as one of the chief examples of the company’s competitive overreach, but Snap CEO Evan Spiegel isn’t sure whether antitrust activity from the government is going to change the company’s near-term prospects of competing with Instagram. “I mean the history of antitrust would basically say that…

Amid mounting concerns around vaping cannabis, entrepreneurs say regulators need to step up

As concerns over the safety of vaping products for cannabis sweeps across the country, executives in the industry are passing the buck to regulators to come up with a solution. The need for national regulation touches everything from how to bank cannabis businesses to how to manage the distribution of cannabis products, but the pain…

How you shouldn’t handle your data breach

So you’ve had a data breach. Don’t worry, it’s not just you. These days it happens to everyone, no matter how large or small your company is. It’s almost inevitable, some might say, and not a case of if but when. A lot is already out of your control. Whether a hacker broke in and…

Top VCs on how to break into venture capital

Becoming a venture capitalist is notoriously difficult. One part timing, one part experience, another part network. Rarely can someone provide succinct instructions on how to break into the field of private market investing or how to create your own VC fund. Onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco, established VCs Theresia Gouw, the founder of a…

Daily Crunch: Facebook faces government pressure over encryption

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 being leaned on by US, UK, Australia to ditch its end-to-end encryption expansion plan U.S. Attorney General William Barr,…

Amid AR/VR experiments, Apple reportedly buys UK visual effects studio

Apple has reportedly acquired UK special effects studio IKinema, a startup that may be useful in Apple’s quest to bolster its mobile devices with AR special effects and in its more far-flung attempts to enter the AR/VR headset market. The company issued its standard confirmation for the deal to several other publications, “Apple buys smaller…

Ellen Pao calls out Twitter’s ‘public town square’ model as flawed

Project Include CEO Ellen Pao, who has been working to foster diversity, inclusion and ethics in the tech industry, called out Twitter’s “public square” model as flawed — and a decision that indicates a lack of ethical consideration, on Twitter’s part. The topic of Twitter came up on a panel at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2019…

Former Tinder CEO strikes back against sexual misconduct accusations with defamation lawsuit

Former Tinder CEO Greg Blatt has filed a defamation lawsuit against Sean Rad and Rosette Pambakian, seeking at least $50 million in damages and accusing them of having “conspired to make false allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault against Blatt with the specific intent to damage Blatt’s good name, personal and professional reputation, and…

Microsoft says Iranian hackers targeted 2020 presidential candidate

Microsoft said it has found evidence that hackers associated with Iran have targeted a 2020 presidential candidate. The tech giant’s security and trust chief confirmed the attack in a blog post, but the company would not say which candidate was the target. The threat group, which Microsoft calls Phosphorous — also known as APT 35…

Amazon’s Prime Video app disappears from the App Store

In what will hopefully turn out to be just a mistake, the Amazon Prime Video app has disappeared from the Apple App Store, making it unavailable for new downloads or updates to users both on iOS and Apple TV. Twitter users began to tweet to Amazon for help about the problem on Friday morning, to…

Stephen Curry invests in Guild Education

Stephen Curry, along with SC 30, Inc. President Bryant Barr, just announced an investment in Guild Education, which helps Fortune 1000 companies, like Disney and Loews, offer debt-free degrees to their employees. “We pioneered what we call education as a benefit,” Guild Education co-founder and CEO Rachel Carlson told TechCrunch. “We’re the tech platform and…

Alteryx acquires machine learning startup Feature Labs

Alteryx, a publicly traded analytics company, announced this morning that it has acquired Feature Labs, a machine learning startup that launched out of MIT in 2018. The company did not reveal the terms of the deal. Co-founder and CEO Max Kanter told TechCrunch at the time of the launch, that company had been based on…

Why San Francisco is still the gold mine for tech startups

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where each week we discuss other people’s copious dollars and lacking sense. This week was special! Kate and Alex at Disrupt where they recorded live in front of an audience. Equity has recorded at Disrupt before. Equity has taped before an audience before. But this was…

AI Medical Service raises $42.9 Series B for AI-based software that checks endoscopy scans for signs of cancer

AI Medical Service, a Tokyo-based company developing AI-based software to help detect gastric cancer, announced today that it has raised a $42.9 million Series B. Investors include Globis Capital Partners, World Innovation Lab and Sony Innovation Fund by IGV. The funding will be used for clinical trials of its software, which looks for signs of…

Tourlane cofounder Julian Stiefel to speak at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin this December

Back in May, Tourlane raised $47 million in its ongoing mission to address the complex problems that still exist today around booking group travel. Tourlane has become a major player in this sector. We’re excited to announce that co-founder/co-CEO Julian Stiefel will be speaking at Disrupt Berlin in December! Tourlane works directly with service providers…

Google-backed Dunzo raises $45M to expand its hyperlocal delivery startup in India

An Indian startup that is increasingly posing a threat to established food and grocery delivery businesses and e-commerce giants just closed a new financing round to expand its business in the nation. Bangalore-based Dunzo said today it has raised $45 million from Google, Lightbox, STIC Ventures, and 3L Capital in a new financing round. The…

Here are the five Startup Battlefield finalists at Disrupt SF 2019

Over the past two days, 20 startups have taken the stage at Disrupt SF, laying out their visions, demonstrating their technology and answering questions from our expert judges. The startups came from all across the world, and they’re tackling industries ranging from cholera detection to orbital refueling. Now we’ve taken the judges’ feedback and chosen…

Greyparrot uses computer vision to improve waste management

Meet Greyparrot, a London-based startup that wants to improve waste management. The company uses computer vision to make sorting more efficient at different stages of the waste chain. And Greyparrot has been selected as a wildcard for the Startup Battlefield at TechCrunch Disrupt SF. The company has been using machine learning with images of different…

StrattyX lets you buy and sell shares using automated rules

StrattyX is a trading interface that lets you set up sophisticated “if-this-then-that” rules and execute orders on the stock market. The startup is participating in the Startup Battlefield at TechCrunch Disrupt SF. There are plenty of brokers that let you buy and sell shares using a mobile app and a web interface. But if you…

Startups ‘are staying private way too long’ says Salesforce founder Marc Benioff

“What public markets do is indeed the great reckoning. But it cleanses [a] company of all of the bad stuff that they have.” That’s Salesforce founder and chief executive officer Marc Benioff talking about the benefits of public markets. It’s something that private companies seem to be ignoring in the go-go days of the current…

LifeCouple wants to improve your romantic relationship

Good relationships require ongoing commitment and work. LifeCouple, launching today in public beta at TechCrunch Disrupt SF Startup Battlefield, wants to help make that work a bit easier for you and your partner. Through its app, LifeCouple enables couples to address and monitor any challenges in their relationship. The startup does this by serving up…

CEO David Krane suggests GV could sell the rest of its Uber stake at the end of its lockup period next month

Today at TC’s Disrupt show in San Francisco, we took the stage with David Krane, a longtime veteran of Google who took the reins as the CEO of its venture arm, GV,  three years ago but hasn’t spoken publicly since. We asked him why he’s been in hiding before diving into some questions about Uber…

NASA’s first all-electric experimental X-plane is ready for testing

NASA will fly a crewed X-plane, one of the experimental aircraft it creates to test various technologies, for the first time in two decades in the near future. This X-plane, the X-57 Maxwell to be exact, is significant for another reason, too: It’s the first fully electric experimental plane that NASA will fly. The delivery…

Avalow wants to be your gardening coach

What’s the opposite of a green thumb? Whatever it is, I have that. My house and yard are full of succulents not because they’re trendy, but because anything else I try to plant dies within a month. When I turn to Google to figure out why my zucchini plant randomly turned white and fell over…

Zuckerberg says Facebook will sue to stop EU’s global content takedowns

Facebook plans to challenge Europe’s top court, which today ruled that EU countries can order Facebook to globally remove content that violates local laws. Facebook currently complies with proper legal requests to remove content that breaks a nation’s laws, but can leave it up for global viewers if the post doesn’t violate its Community Standards.…

Business as the Greatest Platform for Change with Marc Benioff (Salesforce) – TechCrunch

Startup founders often think it’s impossible to achieve financial success while building a socially responsible company, but Marc Benioff and his co-founders built this notion into Salesforce before the company even made a dime. Hear Salesforce Chairman & co-CEO Marc Benioff discuss his new book, Trailblazer: The Power of Business as the Greatest Platform for…

The lack of cybersecurity talent is “a national security threat,” says DHS official

One of the most senior officials tasked with protecting U.S. critical infrastructure says that the lack of security professionals in the U.S. is one of the leading threats to national cybersecurity. Speaking at TechCrunch Disrupt SF, Jeanette Manfra, the assistant director for cybersecurity for the Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), said that…

Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk on SoftBank comparisons: ‘They’re broad, we’re focused; we invest in what we know’

Naspers, a South African internet company that has become a major investor in a wide range of digital commerce companies, has in recent years drawn comparisons to the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank. For one thing, Naspers, like SoftBank, is very global in nature, with investments in more than 90 countries. Naspers, like SoftBank, doesn’t shy from…

Zola, the $650M wedding portal, taps the travel market with an expansion into honeymoons

The wedding industry is estimated to be worth some $100 billion in the U.S. alone, and now one of the fastest-growing companies in that space — the wedding planning site Zola — is making a move to augment its position with a sidestep into travel. Today at Disrupt (our conference in San Francisco), the company…

Facebook is being leant on by US, UK, Australia to ditch its end-to-end encryption expansion plan

Here we go again. Western governments are once again dialling up their attack on end-to-end encryption — calling for either no e2e encryption or backdoored e2e encryption so platforms can be commanded to serve state agents with messaging data in “a readable and usable format”. US attorney general William Barr, acting US homeland security secretary Kevin…

WeWork expected to announce major layoffs

WeWork, the co-working business once valued at $47 billion, is expected to announce significant layoffs this month, following reports the company was looking to slash as many as 5,000 roles, or one-third of its workforce, Bloomberg reports. Now expected to go public in 2020 at a valuation as low as $10 billion, WeWork is also in…

We’ll have self-flying cars before self-driving cars, Thrun says

Once you get up high enough, you don’t have to worry about a lot of the obstacles like pedestrians and traffic jams that plague autonomous cars. That’s why Sebastian Thrun, Google’s self-driving team founder turned CEO of flying vehicle startup Kitty Hawk, said on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt SF today that we should expect true…

Orbit Fab raises $3M to make orbital refueling easier, cheaper and more accessible

Orbit Fab, one of the companies competing in this year’s TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield in San Francisco this week, has closed a seed round of $3 million. The funding comes from Type 1 Ventures, TechStars and others, and will help Orbit Fab continue to build on the great momentum it has already bootstrapped with its space-based…

Lora DiCarlo founder says CES award snub did company ‘a pretty big favor’

CES parent the Consumer Technology Association created a public relations disaster in January when it unceremoniously revoked an award from sex tech startup, Lora DiCarlo and its product Osé. “Vela [now Osé] does not fit into any of our existing product categories and should not have been accepted for the Innovation Awards Program,” the organization…

T4 wants to transform market research data with a combination of AI and humans

When T4 co-founder and CEO Maks Khurgin was working at Bain and Company, he ran into a common problem for analysts looking for market data. He spent way too much time searching for it and felt there had to be a better way. He decided to build a centralized market data platform himself, and T4…

Civic Champs app gives nonprofits the tech tools to manage volunteers

Nonprofits employ 10% of the U.S. workforce and generate some $2 trillion in revenue each year and yet, many charitable organizations are still using pen and paper to track their volunteers. Civic Champs, a startup that presented onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt SF, has developed a platform that aims to give non-profits the tech tools they…

Meet Vise AI, the startup reimagining portfolio management

The founders of Vise AI met when they were 13, a couple of teenagers more interested in applied artificial intelligence than English class. Fast-forward several years and the pair has relocated from the Midwest to San Francisco to raise money for a financial technology business they’ve been self-funding since 2016. As teenagers with an inordinate…

Self-driving vehicle startup Zoox has expanded to Las Vegas

Zoox, the autonomous vehicle startup, is expanding to Las Vegas, CTO Jesse Levinson said at TechCrunch Disrupt SF. The startup, which has raised $800 million and has been testing on public roads in San Francisco, said Las Vegas is a target market for its autonomous driving fleet and service. Las Vegas will serve as an…

Osano makes business risk and compliance (somewhat) sexy again

A new startup is clearing the way for other companies to better monitor and manage their risk and compliance with privacy laws. Osano, an Austin, Texas-based startup, bills itself as a privacy platform startup, which uses a software-as-a-service solution to give businesses real-time visibility into their current privacy and compliance posture. On one hand, that…

Maisie Williams’ startup Daisie is preparing for new partnerships, funding

Maisie Williams, best known as ‘Arya’ on Game of Thrones, is preparing to take her startup Daisie to the next stage. Right now, the app works to connect creators with one another to work on each others’ projects, but now Williams wants to help those projects find an audience. On the app, creators establish a…

Cybersecurity is a bubble, but it’s not ready to burst

Oren Yunger Contributor Oren Yunger is an investor at GGV Capital, focused on enterprise IT infrastructure, development tools and cybersecurity. He was previously chief information security officer at a SaaS company and a public financial institution. The global cybersecurity market is booming: Cybersecurity-related spending is on track to surpass $133 billion in 2022, and the market…

Art on Blockchain pioneer Verisart raises $2.5M for art and collectibles certification

A lot of talk has been made about verifying valuable items on an immutable blockchain, but the main pioneer in this space has been Verisart, which appeared a few years ago to use a blockchain to create certification for the fine art and collectibles market. But despite the blockchain hype of the last few years,…

Daily Crunch: Taboola acquires Outbrain

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. Publisher adtech startups Taboola and Outbrain merge in $850M deal to take on Google and Facebook The content recommendation rivals —…

Notarize and Guaranteed Rate partner on new product that allows homebuyers to complete the entire closing process online

Notarize, a startup that enables people to get documents notarized online, announced today that it has partnered with Guaranteed Rate, one of the largest retail mortgage lenders in the U.S. Guaranteed Rate’s new product, called FlashClose, integrates Notarize’s real estate API and allows customers to close real estate transactions and execute mortgages online. The service…

TikTok explains its ban on political advertising

Already under fire for advancing Chinese foreign policy by censoring topics like Hong Kong’s protests and pro-LGBT content, the Beijing-based video app TikTok is now further distancing itself from U.S. social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, with a ban on political ads on its app. The company today says it will not allow…

Bird raises $275 million Series D round at $2.5 billion valuation

Bird has closed a $275 million Series D round led by CDPQ and Sequoia Capital, Bird CEO Travis VanderZanden announced at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco today. The round values Bird at a $2.5 billion pre-money valuation, according to sources familiar with the round. This round comes a few months after TechCrunch reported Bird was looking…

Kitty Hawk reveals its secret project, Heaviside

Sebastian Thrun is waving a device in his hand with an excited, almost gleeful expression on his face as he trots from a makeshift aircraft hangar toward the secret project that Kitty Hawk Corp. has been working on for nearly two years. The serial entrepreneur and co-founder of X, the Alphabet moonshot factory, isn’t trying…

Here’s how much the all-electric Polestar 2 will cost in its launch markets

Volvo group’s Polestar electric performance car sub-brand has announced pricing for the Polestar 2, the company’s second production car, a four-door mid-sized fastback that will begin production in 2020 and start shipping as early as next June. Starting prices are set at between 58,800€ (around $63,720 U.S.). Those prices include three years of service and…

First mover advantage: Does it matter in startup fundraising?

Russ Heddleston Contributor Share on Twitter Russ is the cofounder and CEO of DocSend. He was previously a product manager at Facebook, where he arrived via the acquisition of his startup Pursuit.com, and has held roles at Dropbox, Greystripe, and Trulia. Follow him here: @rheddleston and @docsend More posts by this contributor Data says there…

No near-term IPO for Impossible Foods, CEO says

The market was receptive to meat replacement products, as the Beyond Meat public offering recently indicated. But rival meat alternative maker Impossible Foods doesn’t see an IPO on its near-term roadmap, according to its founder and CEO, Patrick Brown. Speaking to the audience at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2019 on Wednesday, Brown said the company has…

Sony’s new A9 II mirrorless full-frame camera has the speed sports photographers need

Sony today announced a successor to its popular A9 mirrorless interchangeable lens full-frame camera. The A9 II carries over some of the specs and stats of its predecessor, like the 24.2 megapixel stacked imaging sensor, but adds an upgraded BIONZ X image processor, which powers the much more powerful autofocus capabilities in the new camera.…

IronSource, a mobile adtech startup, confirms $400M+ raise at $1B+ valuation

On the same day that two Israeli-founded adtech startups, Taboola and Outbrain, announced a merger to create a $2 billion company, another Israel-founded company focusing on advertising and marketing for mobile has also closed a huge funding round. IronSource, which has built a video ad network and user acquisition technology for mobile app publishers, has…

Europe’s top court sets new line on policing illegal speech online

Europe’s top court has set a new line for the policing of illegal speech online. The ruling has implications for how speech is regulated on online platforms — and is likely to feed into wider planned reform of regional rules governing platforms’ liabilities. Per the CJEU decision, platforms such as Facebook can be instructed to…

Instagram launches Threads, a Close Friends chat app with auto-status

What if Instagram could automatically tell your Close Friends you’re 🏠 (home), 🤓 (working), 🚗 (on the move), or 🛋️ (chilling and might want to hang out)? That’s the idea behind Instagram’s new companion app Threads, a Close Friends-only messaging experience that opens to the camera with shortcuts for instantly sending specific people photos and…

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon arrive at Cape Canaveral ahead of key test for crew flight

SpaceX’s facility at Cape Canaveral just received a crucial new delivery: A Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule that it will be using for an upcoming in-flight abort test. This test, which will demonstrate the spacecraft and launch system’s ability to abort the launch mid-flight in case of any emergencies, is an important and…

Harness launches Continuous Insights to measure software team performance

Jyoti Bansal, CEO and co-founder at Harness, has always been frustrated by the lack of tools to measure software development team performance. Harness is a tool that provides Continuous Delivery as a Service, and its latest offering, Continuous Insights, lets managers know exactly how their teams are performing. Bansal says a traditional management maxim says…

Lyft launches a driver rewards program

Lyft is rolling out rewards for its drivers to give them access to things like cash bonuses, ride credits, and free or discounted tax services. Initially, the rewards program will be available to drivers in Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Nashville, New Orleans, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. Drivers earn points for…

Stock trading app Robinhood revamps its newsfeed with The Wall Street Journal and ad-free videos

Robinhood may be best known its free stock trading, but today it’s rolling out a new version of the newsfeed, adding content from Reuters, Barron’s and market coverage from The Wall Street Journal, with no paywall or additional charge. In addition, Robinhood is introducing video into the newsfeed, with ad-free videos from CNN Business, Cheddar and…

Publisher adtech startups Taboola and Outbrain merge in $850M deal to take on Google and Facebook

Some consolidation is afoot in the world of advertising. Taboola and Outbrain, rivals that both operate advertising-based content recommendation engines for publishers — which typically appear in the form of boxes at the bottom of articles online that feature a mix of stories from the publications themselves, plus ads and sponsored content from other sites…

India’s Fyle bags $4.5M to expand its expense management platform in US, other international markets

Fyle, a Bangalore-headquartered startup that operates an expense management platform, has extended its previous financing round to add $4.5 million of new investment as it looks to court more clients in overseas markets. The additional $4.5 million tranche of investment was led by U.S.-based hedge fund Steadview Capital, the startup said. Tiger Global, Freshworks, and…

Uber launches a shift-work finder app, Uber Works, starting in Chicago

What do you do when your current business model is so staggeringly loss-making you’re having to warn investors it may never turn a profit, at the same time as it’s under increasing legal and regulatory attack? One answer might be to pivot. Uber isn’t doing that, exactly. Not yet anyway. But it has just officially…

Redesigned Google Shopping goes live, with price tracking, Google Lens for outfits and more

Google Shopping is getting a redesign with several new features, including options to shop local stores, track prices and even find style inspiration through Google Lens. Already, Google Lens’ smart image recognition technology can help identify objects, translate text, and find similar items. Now, using a photo of an outfit you like — for instance,…

Beat the deadline: Apply to TC Top Picks @ Disrupt Berlin 2019

Here’s a solid shout-out to early-stage startup founders who love the word “free.” You have just two weeks left to apply to be a TC Top Pick and exhibit in Startup Alley at Disrupt Berlin 2019 for — you guessed it — free. Attending Disrupt Berlin as a TC Top Pick is a VIP experience and an…

Notion Capital launches new $150M fund aimed at European B2B tech

Notion Capital today announces a new $150M fund in a bid to bolster its claim to being the go-to investor for European B2B tech. Launched ten years ago after the $700M exit of MessageLabs by co-founders Ben and Jos White, this new fourth fund will continue its previous focus on Series A SaaS and enterprise…

In a new filing, the venture firm Mithril Capital says it has been under assault by its former general counsel

It’s been a strange year for Mithril Capital Management, the venture firm cofounded in 2012 by Peter Thiel and his longtime associate Ajay Royan. Though Mithril enjoyed its biggest exit to date in February, when Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $3.4 billion — plus another potential $2.35 billion in payments  — for the surgical…

Africa Roundup: CcHub’s iHub acquisition, Andela’s $50M run-rate and layoffs, Transsion’s IPO

Two of Africa’s powerhouse tech incubators joined forces in September. Nigerian innovation center and seed-fund CcHub acquired Nairobi based iHub. The purchase amount was undisclosed, but CcHub will finance the deal out of its real-estate project to build a new 10-story HQ in Lagos, CcHub CEO Bosun Tijani told TechCrunch. Details are emerging on how the…

Natalist founder Halle Tecco wants to get you pregnant

Halle Tecco is no stranger to conception struggles. The Rock Health founder and former CEO has been public about her journey on social media, including two rounds of IVF, eventually leading to a healthy baby girl. Now, she wants to help others make babies, too. To get there, Tecco has joined a class of new…

MyMilk Labs launches Mylee, a small sensor that analyzes breast milk at home

Many expectant mothers are told that breastfeeding will come naturally, but it is often a fraught and confusing experience, especially during the first few weeks after birth. Parents often worry about if their babies are getting enough nutrition or if they are producing enough milk. MyMilk Labs wants to give nursing mothers more information with…

Molecule.one uses machine learning to make synthesizing new drugs a snap

Say you’re a pharmaceutical company. You’ve figured out that a novel molecule could be effective in treating an illness — but that molecule only exists in a simulation. How do you actually make it, and enough of it, to test in the real world? Molecule.one is a computational chemistry platform that helps bring theoretical substances…

The Future of Action Cinema with Ang Lee and Will Smith – TechCrunch

“Gemini Man” from Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee has not one, but two characters played by Will Smith — assassin Henry Brogen, and a younger clone of Brogen who’s been sent to kill him. Lee and Smith will discuss the process of making the film, how they used CGI to create a younger version of…

Leo Aerospace provides bespoke rocket launches — from a hot air balloon

The demand for orbital launches is increasing steadily, and the industry is nowhere near keeping up. Leo Aerospace thinks it can help with a launch technique that’s more efficient and requires far less infrastructure than an ordinary rocket: a hot air balloon. With a rocket attached to it, of course. It sounds wacky at first,…

OzoneAI wants companies to pay you for your data, upending the ad model

Imagine this. Instead of giving away your personal data so web giants can show you ads, you cut out the middle person and allow advertisers to pay you directly for your data. It’s a novel idea for a new startup that bills itself as a “data privacy” company. OzoneAI says it preserves users’ privacy by…

OmniVis could save lives by detecting cholera-infected water in minutes rather than days

Clean drinking water is one of the most urgent needs in developing countries and disaster-stricken areas, but safety tests can take days — during which tainted water can infect thousands. OmniVis aims to make detection of cholera and other pathogens as quick, simple, and cheap as a pregnancy test. Its smartphone-powered detection platform could save…

Samsung pulls the plug on Chinese smartphone production

Samsung this morning confirmed with Reuters that it has shuttered handset production in China. The move comes as the company continues to struggle in the world’s No. 1 smartphone market. As we noted in a deeper dive into China’s smartphone sales back in August, the Korean hardware giant has struggled to maintain a market share…

Chris Dixon from A16Z announces free crypto startup school at TechCrunch Disrupt

Chris Dixon, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, announced a new crypto-related startup school at TechCrunch Disrupt today in San Francisco. Dixon says that the firm is not looking for equity, but really wants to provide a way to teach some best practices in the emerging field of crypto currency. “We are going to run…

Will Smith just dropped $10K on a startup that pitched him on Disrupt’s stage

Actor and Hollywood media mogul Will Smith surprised the TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2019 audience this afternoon by announcing he would invest $10K in a startup that pitched to him onstage as part of an “elevator pitch” contest, where the winner would get to take a selfie with the star. The company, Socionado.com, helps companies with…

Render announces object storage service at TechCrunch Disrupt

It was a big day for startup Render, which participated in the TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Battlefield today. While it was at it, it also announced some upgrades to its managed cloud platform. First of all, it announced the ability to spin up object storage in the cloud, while greatly simplifying the tasks associated with adding…