Indian police open case against hundreds in Kashmir for using VPN

Local authorities in India-controlled Kashmir have opened a case against hundreds of people who used virtual private networks (VPNs) to circumvent a social media ban in the disputed Himalayan region in a move that has been denounced by human rights and privacy activists. Tahir Ashraf, who heads the police cyber division in Srinagar, said on…

Do trade shows still matter in the age of online business?

The death of Mobile World Congress 2020 started as a trickle. First, it was an understandably nervous ZTE. As a Chinese company, it was undoubtedly going to receive extra scrutiny — never mind that ZTE’s Shenzhen headquarters are a two-hour flight from Wuhan. Soon enough, South Korea’s LG backed out, followed by Nvidia and Ericsson.…

Join the Q&A with top speakers at TC Sessions: Robotics+AI (March 3)

Over the past four years, TechCrunch has brought together some of the biggest names in robotics: founders, CEOs, VCs and researchers for TC Sessions: Robotics+AI. The show has provided a unique opportunity to explore the future and present of robotics, AI and the automation technologies that will define our professional and personal lives. While the…

Patreon enters the micro-lending game with Patreon Capital

Patreon, a platform for creators to earn monetary support from fans, is busting out the checkbook. The startup isn’t playing VC quite yet with newly-launched Patreon Capital but they are hocking non-equity cash advances (loans!) for Patreon customers in need of some extra cash for big creative rollouts. Patreon has already made about a dozen…

TubeMogul execs launch Arize AI for AI observability

A new startup called Arize AI is building what it calls a real-time analytics platform for “observability” in artificial intelligence and machine learning. The company is led by CEO Jason Lopatecki, who has also served as chief strategy officer and chief innovation officer at TubeMogul, the video ad company acquired by Adobe. TubeMogul’s co-founder and…

Dell sells RSA to consortium led by Symphony Technology Group for over $2B

Dell Technologies announced today that it was selling legacy security firm RSA for $2.075 billion to a consortium of investors led by Symphony Technology Group. Other investors include Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and AlpInvest Partners. RSA came to Dell when it bought EMC for $67 billion in 2015. EMC bought the company in 2006…

Noom competitor OurPath rebrands as Second Nature, raises $10M Series A

Back in 2018, OurPath emerged as a startup in the U.K. tackling the problem of diabetes. The company helped customers fight the disease, and raised a $3 million round of funding by combining advice from health experts with tracking technology via a smartphone app to help people build healthy habits and lose weight. Now rebranded…

Pandora’s new Apple Watch app lets you leave your iPhone behind

Support for standalone streaming has come to Pandora’s Apple Watch app. The company today announced the official launch of its new standalone app for Apple Watch that lets you listen to music and podcasts on the go, even without your iPhone. The launch makes Pandora the first major third-party — meaning, first besides Apple Music…

Why Kepler is building its full-stack satellite business in Canada

Toronto-based telecommunications startup Kepler Communications surprised many recently when it revealed plans to establish its own satellite assembly and base the operation in its own hometown instead of contracting the work to an existing manufacturer. It might seem a perplexing and unnecessarily costly choice at first, but I spoke to Kepler CEO and co-founder Mina…

Secret’s founder returns with anti-loneliness app Ikaria

“I don’t feel good about that. That sucks” Chrys Bader-Wechseler reflects when asked about the bullying that went down on the anonymous app Secret he co-founded in 2013. After $35 million raised, 15 million users, and a spectacular flame out two years later, the startup was dead. “Since I left secret I feel alive and…

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine is coming to TC Sessions: Space 2020

This year marks our first-ever TC Sessions: Space event, and what better way to kick things off than with the head of NASA: Administrator Jim Bridenstine will join us onstage on June 25 in LA. NASA has been more open than ever before to working with startups and entrepreneurs, and we’ll hear directly from the…

Daily Crunch: Apple blames coronavirus for revenue miss

Apple says the coronavirus outbreak will hurt its manufacturing and sales, Jeff Bezos makes a big commitment to fighting climate change and SpaceX launches more Starlink satellites. Here’s your Daily Crunch for February 18, 2020. 1. Apple will miss revenue forecast as coronavirus impacts its manufacturing and sales In a letter to investors, Apple said…

Jaguar Land Rover debuts electric urban mobility concept vehicle with plans for 2021 pilot

Jaguar Land Rover has introduced a new concept vehicle that cuts a very different figure relative to its usual fare: It’s a four-wheeled electric urban mobility concept called “Project Vector” that looks more like a low-floored airport shuttle train car than a traditional car. This is a look that has increasingly become popular among automakers…

InVideo raises $2.5M and launches an automated assistant to make your videos better

Video editing startup InVideo has new funding and a new product. The San Francisco-headquartered company bills itself as the easiest way for anyone to create professional-quality videos, using a drag-and-drop interface along with a library of templates and stock photos and videos. The resulting videos can then be optimized for Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and other…

How Spotify ran the largest Google Dataflow job ever for Wrapped 2019

In early December, Spotify launched its annual personalized Wrapped playlist with its users’ most-streamed sounds of 2019. That has become a bit of a tradition and isn’t necessarily anything new, but for 2019, it also gave users a look back at how they used Spotify over the last decade. Because this was quite a large…

Spotify mimics Apple’s design with new podcast show page updates

Spotify’s ongoing investments in the podcast-streaming side of its business helped boost podcast listening on its service by 200% last year. But today, only 16% of Spotify’s monthly listeners are engaging with podcats — a number the company today hopes to nudge higher by redesigning the podcast side of its streaming app. The new layout…

Aisera, an AI tool to help with customer service and internal operations, exits stealth with $50M

Robotic process automation — the ability to automate certain repetitive software-based tasks to free up people to focus on work that computers cannot do — has become a major growth area in the world of IT. Today, a startup called Aisera is coming out of stealth that has taken this idea and supercharged it, by…

Facebook prototypes tabbed News Feed with Most Recent & Seen

Facebook may make it easier to escape its ranking algorithm and explore the News Feed in different formats. Facebook has internally prototyped a tabbed version of the News Feed for mobile that includes that the standard Most Relevant feed, the existing Most Recent feed of reverse chronological posts that was previously buried as a sidebar…

New Early Stage speakers to talk fundraising strategies, growth marketing and PR

TC Early Stage SF goes down on April 28, and we are getting pretty damn excited about it! The show will bring together 50+ experts across startup core competencies, such as fundraising, operations and marketing. We’ll hear from VCs on how to create the perfect pitch deck and how to identify the right investors for…

Kickstarter workers vote to unionize

Kickstarter today announced that its staff has decided to unionize. The move reflects a broader movement for worker representation among tech employees. The site joins a growing list of companies whose staff and/or contractors have expressed public interest in unionizing, including Spin, Instacart and Pittsburgh-based Google technical workers, along with media outlets like BuzzFeed and…

Meet Belvo, a YC-backed startup building a financial API for Latin America

In the wake of the $5.3 billion sale of banking API provider Plaid to Visa — a deal generally lauded as intelligent for the larger company — fintech became an even hotter part of the venture capital and startup landscape. While companies in the broad fintech and finservices spaces were already attractive bets for private…

Ring slightly overhauls security and privacy, but it’s still not enough

Security camera maker Ring is updating its service to improve account security and give more control when it comes to privacy. Once again, this is yet another update that makes the overall experience slightly better but the Amazon-owned company is still not doing enough to protect its users. First, Ring is reversing its stance when…

Walmart reports lower-than-expected Q4 earnings, despite e-commerce sales growth of 35%

Walmart’s holiday quarter didn’t perform as expected. That’s the big news today from the retailer’s weak Q4 2019 earnings, which saw revenue of $141.67 billion versus the $142.55 expected and adjusted earnings per share of $1.38 versus the $1.44 expected. The company cited a number of factors, including “softer” than anticipated holiday sales in U.S.…

SpaceX and new partner announce space tourism launches on Dragon starting as early as 2021

SpaceX has a new partner for commercial private astronaut flights aboard its Dragon spacecraft: Space Adventures, a private space tourism company that has already launched private astronauts including Anousheh Ansari, Guy Laliberté and Mark Shuttleworth to space. Space Adventures has worked with seven clients across eight separate missions to the International Space Station (ISS) for…

Tracking China’s astounding venture capital slowdown

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between. Heading into the new year, it wasn’t known that the coronavirus, known as COVD-19, would shutter much of China, slowing its industrial output, its services industry and more. But heading into 2020, China’s venture capital…

Elon Musk says all advanced AI development should be regulated, including at Tesla

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is once again sounding a warning note regarding the development of artificial intelligence – the executive and founder tweeted on Monday evening that “all org[anizations] developing advance AI should be regulated, including Tesla.” Musk was responding to a new MIT Technology Review profile of OpenAI, an organization founded in…

Egnyte unifies its security and productivity tooling into single platform

Egnyte announced today it was combining its two main products — Egnyte Protect and Egnyte Connect — into a single platform to help customers manage, govern and secure the data from a single set of tools. Egynte co-founder and CEO Vineet Jain says that this new single platform approach is being driven chiefly by the…

Black haircare startup Naza Beauty just raised $1 million from Alexis Ohanian’s Initialized Capital

As we all saw in Oscar-winning short film Hair Love, black hair is beautiful but it’s also notoriously difficult to manage. One of the first hair memories Naza founder and CEO Natanya Montgomery has is of her mom brushing her hair into three afro puffs on the top of her head. When she was seven,…

Volocopter and Grab to study the feasibility of deploying air taxi services in Southeast Asia

Air mobility startup Volocopter will be working together with on-demand transportation, food delivery and payments company Grab on a feasibility study around air mobility in Southeast Asia. The joint study is part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the two companies that covers exploration of the potential deployment of air taxi services in…

African crowdsolving startup Zindi scales 10,000 data scientists

Cape Town based startup Zindi has registered 10,000 data-scientists on its platform that uses AI and machine learning to crowdsolve complex problems in Africa. Founded in 2018, the early-stage venture allows companies, NGOs or government institutions to host online competitions around data-oriented challenges. Zindi opens the contests to the African data scientists on its site…

Gojek reportedly buys 4.3% stake in Indonesian taxi company Blue Bird

Gojek has paid $30 million to take a minority stake in Blue Bird, one of the largest taxi operators in Indonesia, according to Bloomberg, which first reported that the deal was in progress last month. Gojek’s stake in Blue Bird is worth $30 million. The taxi operator’s holding company disclosed in a regulatory filing earlier…

SumUp launches Mastercard-powered ‘SumUp Card’ for business payments

SumUp, the London-based fintech company that enables small businesses to take card payments via its device and online, is launching its own pre-paid card in partnership with Mastercard. Dubbed “SumUp Card,” the new offering will enable merchants to gain quicker to access funds collected via SumUp as it will no longer require money to be…

Atomico raises new $820M fund to back ‘mission-driven’ European founders at Series A and beyond

Atomico, the European venture capital firm founded by Skype’s Niklas Zennström, has announced that it has closed its fifth fund — “Atomico V” — giving it another $820 million to invest in European startups. The London-headquartered VC firm’s previous fund closed at $765 million, so this is an increase over three years ago. However, the…

Voodoo Games thrives by upending conventional product design

Will Robbins Contributor Share on Twitter Will Robbins is an early-stage investor at Contrary. Voodoo Games is one of the most interesting startups alive today. In mid-2018, it had 150 million MAUs and raised $200 million from Goldman Sachs, yet I’ve never heard anyone mention the company. That might be normal for an obscure enterprise…

Facebook asks for a moat of regulations it already meets

It’s suspiciously convenient that Facebook already fulfills most of the regulatory requirements it’s asking governments to lay on the rest of the tech industry. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is in Brussels lobbying the European Union’s regulators as they form new laws to govern artificial intelligence, content moderation and more. But if they follow Facebook’s suggestions,…

GGV Capital says mom-and-pop shops can boost e-commerce in emerging markets

Despite the rapid growth of e-commerce in India, Southeast Asia and other emerging markets, the vast majority of retail transactions there still happen offline in small stores that also serve as neighborhood hubs. The central role these stores play in their communities led GGV Capital to develop what the firm refers to as its mom-and-pop…

The Station: Lucid Motors spy shot and the birth of an AV startup

The Station is a weekly newsletter dedicated to all things transportation. Sign up here — just click The Station — to receive it every Saturday in your inbox. Hello again — or perhaps for the first time. This is Kirsten Korosec, senior transportation reporter at TechCrunch and your host here at The Station. This weekly…

So much for pessimism

After WeWork exploded there was — at least supposedly — a change in sentiment among investors and founders alike. Gone were the days of easy nine-figure rounds, expensive growth, negative unit economics and the rest of the excess that Startupland has enjoyed over the past half-decade. Inside this purported sentiment shift, I presumed, was a…

Apple will miss revenue forecast as coronavirus impacts its manufacturing, sales

Today Apple announced that its prior financial forecast, provided during its January earnings cycle, is no longer valid. In a letter to investors today, the technology giant said that it “do[es] not expect to meet the revenue guidance we provided for the March quarter” due to impacts stemming from the coronavirus that has shuttered large…

Rippling starts billboard battle with Gusto

Remember when Zenefits imploded, and kicked out CEO Parker Conrad. Well, Conrad launched a new employee onboarding startup called Rippling, and now he’s going after another HR company called Gusto with a new billboard, “Outgrowing Gusto? Presto change-o.” The problem is, Gusto got it taken down by issuing a cease & desist order to Rippling…

How TikTok decides who to make famous

Hannah Donovan Contributor Share on Twitter Hannah Donovan is the founder and CEO of TRASH. Geneviève Patterson Contributor Share on Twitter Dr. Geneviève Patterson is co-founder and CSTO of TRASH. Part 2: The TikTok System Read part one of this post, “Leveraging TikTok for growth,” on TechCrunch. Leveraging TikTok for growth So what do we…

Leveraging TikTok for growth

Geneviève Patterson Contributor Share on Twitter Dr. Geneviève Patterson is co-founder and CSTO of TRASH. Hannah Donovan Contributor Share on Twitter Hannah Donovan is the founder and CEO of TRASH. Once you have a product, distributing it becomes the next challenge for any entrepreneur. At TRASH (one-tap video editing), we looked to TikTok as a…

Max Q: Spacex gets ready for first human flight

Max Q is a new weekly newsletter all about space. Sign up here to receive it weekly on Sundays in your inbox. This week turned out to be a surprisingly busy one in space news – kicked off by the Trump administration’s FY 2021 budget proposal, which was generous to U.S. space efforts both in…

Beijing Auto Show postponed due to coronavirus

China’s annual auto show in Beijing has been postponed because of novel coronavirus, as the number of cases of people infected surpass 71,000. The Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, which was scheduled to begin April 21, is the latest high-profile event that has been either cancelled or postponed over concerns of coronavirus. A new date will…

Daily Crunch: HQ Trivia is dead

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. HQ Trivia shuts down after acquisition falls through HQ Trivia is dead. On Valentine’s Day, the company laid off its full…

Redbox enters the free, ad-supported streaming market

Redbox has entered the ad-supported streaming market with the launch of Redbox Free Live TV. The company, best known for its DVD rental kiosks, has been dabbling with streaming for years as consumer demand for DVD rentals has simultaneously declined. But despite its name, Redbox’s new streaming service isn’t offering “live TV” similar to what…

Jeff Bezos announced a $10 billion fund to fight climate change

Jeff Bezos (one of the world’s richest men) announced on one of the world’s largest social media platforms (Instagram) that he’s creating a $10 billion fund to combat climate change. In a post on Monday morning Bezos announced that the Bezos Earth Fund will finance “scientists, activists, NGOs — any effort that offers a real…

Google confirms it again removed alleged spying tool ToTok from Google Play

In December, The New York Times reported a popular messaging app called ToTok was actually a spying tool used by the government of the United Arab Emirates to track users’ conversations, location and social connections. The app was removed from the Google Play store in December, while Google investigated, then reinstated in early January. Google…

Boston’s year jump starts as two local startups raise $520M in two rounds

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between. Late last week two Boston-based companies raised big rounds. The size of the two investments — each over the $100 million mark — and their rapid succession made them stand out. The pair of investments…

Images of TCL’s slide-out display smartphone surface in wake of MWC cancellation

This morning brought a look at some of what we’re missing at this year’s Mobile World Congress. The show may have been called off on account of coronavirus concerns, but the news goes on. We knew that TCL was planning to show off a number of “alternative” smartphone form factors, and one just showed up…

MotoRefi raises $8.6 million to bring its auto refinancing platform to the masses

Americans are saddled with $1.2 trillion in auto loans, according to data collected by the Federal Reserve. And while that debt can be refinanced, even U.S. car owners who know it’s an option face a complicated task. MotoRefi, a new fintech startup that was born out of QED Investors in 2017, says it has developed…

Facebook pushes EU for dilute and fuzzy Internet content rules

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is in Europe this week — attending a security conference in Germany over the weekend where he spoke about the kind of regulation he’d like applied to his platform ahead of a slate of planned meetings with digital heavyweights at the European Commission. “I do think that there should be regulation…

SpaceX successfully launches 60 more Starlink satellites but misses booster landing

SpaceX has launched a batch of 60 Starlink satellites to orbit, marking its fifth overall launch of a group of 60 of the small spacecraft and its third this year alone. This launch brings the total constellation to 300 satellites for Starlink on orbit, extending SpaceX’s lead as the largest commercial satellite operator in the…

Smart speaker sales reached new record of 146.9M in 2019, up 70% from 2018

Global smart speaker sales hit a record high last year with shipments of 146.9 million units, up 70% over 2018, according to a recent report on the state of the smart speaker market from Strategy Analytics. Though Amazon still leads in the U.S. by a wide margin, its portion of the worldwide market is now…

Equity Monday: Oyo’s losses, global growth concerns, and four early-stage rounds

Good morning friends, and welcome back to TechCrunch’s Equity Monday, a short-form audio hit to kickstart your week. Regular Equity episodes still drop Friday morning, so if you’ve listened to the show over the years don’t worry — we’re not changing the main show. Here’s last week’s episode with Danny Crichton and Bessemer’s Elliott Robinson which I really…

PullRequest snags remote developer hiring platform Moonlight in case of startup buying startup

PullRequest, a startup that provides code review as a service, announced today that it was buying Moonlight, an early stage startup that has built an online platform for hiring remote developers. The companies did not share the terms. Lyal Avery, founder and CEO at PullRequest, says that he bought this company to expand his range…

Watch SpaceX attempt a rocket reusability record with another Starlink launch live

SpaceX is launching another batch of 60 Starlink satellites to join its existing constellation, which will bring the total to 300 and be the third Starlink launch this year already. The launch will also be a potentially record-setting demonstration of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 reusability, with the shortest turnaround time for a Falcon 9 first stage…

Google ends its free Wi-Fi program Station

Google said on Monday that it is winding down its Station program, as part of which it worked with a number of other partners to roll out free Wi-Fi in more than 400 railway stations in India and in several other public places around the globe. Caesar Sengupta, VP of Payments and Next Billion Users…

Oyo’s revenue surged in FY19, but loss widened, too

Budget-lodging startup Oyo reported a loss of $335 million on $951 million revenue globally for the financial year ending March 31, 2019, and pledged to cut down on its spending as the India-headquartered firm grows cautious about its aggressive expansion. The six-year-old startup’s growing revenue, up from $211 million in financial year ending March 31,…

Original Content podcast: ‘Mythic Quest’ is a likable comedy with a single standout episode

There’s plenty to like about “Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet,” a new series on Apple TV+ — its sympathetic-but-critical portrayal of the video game industry, its goofy-but-likable characters and a couple of big surprises that come at the end of the season. But what really stood out to us — as we discuss on the latest…

With the development of generalized AI, what’s the meaning of a person?

For the next installment of the informal TechCrunch book club, we are reading the fourth story in Ted Chiang’s Exhalation. The goal of this book club is to expand our minds to new worlds, ideas, and vistas, and The Lifecycle of Software Objects doesn’t disappoint. Centered in a future world where virtual worlds and generalized…

Is tech socialism really on the rise?

Greg Epstein Contributor Share on Twitter Greg M. Epstein is the Humanist Chaplain at Harvard and MIT, and the author of The New York Times bestselling book “Good Without God.” Described as a “godfather to the [humanist] movement” by The New York Times Magazine in recognition of his efforts to build inclusive, inspiring and ethical…

Can we debate free will versus destiny in four pages?

The informal TechCrunch book club (which is now a whole week off schedule thanks to the news cycle — let’s see if we can catch up here shortly!) is now venturing into the very, very short story What’s Expected of Us, the third piece in Ted Chiang’s Exhalation collection. If you’re one of those people…

This Week in Apps: YouTube TV cancels Apple’s rev share, more bad news for mobile voting, WhatsApp hits 2B users

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the Extra Crunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all. The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 204 billion downloads in 2019 and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019, according to App…

Startups Weekly: A pre-IPO list of unicorn companies that also generate lots of revenue(!)

[Editor’s note: Want to get this weekly review of news that startups can use by email? Just subscribe here.]  My colleague Alex Wilhelm has been researching the companies that are both getting impressive valuations and also generating annual recurring revenues of around $100 million on more. These are the sorts of companies that any savvy…

The drunken HQ Trivia finale before it shut down was insane

“Not gonna lie. This f*cking sucks. This is the last HQ ever!” yelled host Matt Richards . And it just got crazier from there.The farewell game of HQ Trivia before it shut down last night was a beautiful disaster. The hosts cursed, sprayed champagne, threatened to defecate on the homes of trolls in the chat…

Silicon Valley Community Foundation challenges donors to address local problems

Scott Bade Contributor Share on Twitter Scott Bade is a former speechwriter for Mike Bloomberg and co-author of “More Human: Designing a World Where People Come First.” More posts by this contributor The tech of giving back: an interview with Salesforce’s Chief Philanthropy Officer Omidyar Network CEO opens up about VC-influenced philanthropy Over the last…

‘Capitalism generates a lot of wealth depending on the situation’

Greg Epstein Contributor Share on Twitter Greg M. Epstein is the Humanist Chaplain at Harvard and MIT, and the author of The New York Times bestselling book “Good Without God.” Described as a “godfather to the [humanist] movement” by The New York Times Magazine in recognition of his efforts to build inclusive, inspiring and ethical…

Living with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

The Galaxy Z Flip ships with the same “Care Instructions” as the Fold. It’s a five-item list with the following basic points: Don’t scratch the screen with a pen or fingernail Don’t stick stuff between the screens when folding Don’t get it dusty, wet or feed it after midnight Don’t stick stickers to the screen…

Astronomers warn of ‘worrisome’ light pollution from satellite constellations

The International Astronomical Union has issued the preliminary results from a study on the potential effects of multi-thousand satellite constellations like that being built by StarLink. Finding that Earth-based astronomical observations may be “severely affected,” the body warned that mitigations and rules had better be formed sooner rather than later. The group expressed its concerns…

HQ Trivia shuts down after acquisition falls through

HQ Trivia is dead. Today the company laid off its full staff of 25 and will cease operation of its trivia, sports and word guessing games, a source close to the company confirmed. HQ Trivia had a deal in the works to be acquired, but the buyer pulled out yesterday and investors aren’t willing to…

Rocket Lab will launch a satellite to the Moon for NASA to prepare for the Lunar Gateway

Launch startup Rocket Lab has been awarded a contract to launch a CubeSat on behalf of NASA for the agency’s CAPSTONE experiment, with the ultimate aim of putting the CAPSTONE CubeSat into cislunar (in the region in between Earth and the Moon) orbit – the same orbit that NASA will eventually use for its Gateway…

Vodafone Idea shares tumble 23% after India orders it to pay billions in dues

Shares of Vodafone Idea fell by more than 23% on Friday after India’s apex court ordered the country’s second-largest telecom operator and Airtel, the third-largest telecom network, to arrange and pay billions of dollars in dues in a month. In a strongly worded judgement, the Supreme Court rejected telecom networks’ application to defer paying historic…

Class action suit against Clearview AI cites Illinois law that cost Facebook $550M

Just two weeks ago Facebook settled a lawsuit alleging violations of privacy laws in Illinois (for the considerable sum of $550 million). Now controversial startup Clearview AI, which has gleefully admitted to scraping and analyzing the data of millions, is the target of a new lawsuit citing similar violations. Clearview made waves earlier this year…

Tinder founder funds sex tips app Lover

Want to spice up the bedroom without paying for pills or awkward visits to a sex therapist? A new app called Lover lets you take a sexual personality quiz, explore carnal knowledge tutorials and discretely figure out which turn-ons you share with your partner. Built by board-certified sexual medicine clinical psychologist Dr. Britney Blair, Lover…

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon is now in Florida to prep for its first flight with astronauts onboard

SpaceX has moved its Crew Dragon commercial astronaut spacecraft to Florida, the site from which it’ll launch in likely just two to three months’ time if all goes to plan. The Crew Dragon capsule is now going to undergo final testing and checkouts in Florida before its departure from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, where…

General Catalyst leads $6 million investment in team productivity startup Range

In case you haven’t heard, VCs are loving on workplace software as of late and productivity tools that help teams collaborate seem to be a particular frothy area of investment. A smattering of top VC firms and angels including General Catalyst, First Round Capital, Bloomberg Beta, Biz Stone and Ellen Pao are throwing their confidence…

Married co-founders are a startup’s secret weapon

“If I was running Clearbanc by myself, it probably would have gone off the cliff eight times at this point,” says Clearbanc co-founder Andrew D’Souza.  “If I were running the company by myself, it would be half its size,” adds Michele Romanow, Clearbanc’s other co-founder. In addition to starting the $420 million-backed fintech company together, D’Souza…

The six strategic stages of seed fundraising in 2020

Seed fundraising is rarely easy, but it certainly used to be a lot less complicated than it is today. In a simpler world, a seed investor (or maybe two) would lead a round, which meant that they would write the terms of the deal in a term sheet and then pass that document to their…

Why startups are raising more venture debt as VC dollars near all-time records

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between. As I write to you, SaaS and cloud stocks are busy setting fresh all-time highs and as we’ve seen, venture interest in modern software companies is pushing more money into the sector. But despite it appearing…

Tesla locks in stock surge with $2B offering at $767 per share

Tesla has priced its secondary common stock offering at $767, a 4.6% discount from Thursday’s share price close, according to a securities filing Friday. Tesla said in the filing it will sell 2.65 million shares at that discounted price to raise more than $2 billion. Lead underwriters Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have the option…

Better know a CSO: Dropbox head of security Justin Berman

Justin Berman has one of the most important jobs at Dropbox. As head of security, he oversees the company’s cybersecurity strategy, its defenses and works daily to keep its more than 600 million users’ data private and secure. No pressure, then. Berman joined the file storage and workspace giant a year ago during a period…

Blue Origin’s new rocket engine production facility opens on Monday

Blue Origin is opening its new rocket engine production center in Huntsville, Alabama on Monday, the company said today on Twitter. The new Huntsville facility will be able to produce its rocket engines at a much higher rate than is currently possible, which will be useful as the company is using its in-development BE-4 engine…

Bloomberg memes push Instagram to require sponsorship disclosure

Instagram is changing its advertising rules to require political campaigns’ sponsored posts from influencers to use its Branded Content Ads tool that adds a disclosure label of “Paid Partnership With”. The change comes after the Bloomberg presidential campaign paid meme makers to post screenshots that showed him asking them to make him look cool. Instagram…

PhotoSquared app exposed customer photos and shipping labels

Popular photo printing app PhotoSquared has exposed thousands of customer photos, addresses and orders details. At least 10,000 shipping labels were stored in a public Amazon Web Services (AWS) storage bucket. There was no password on the bucket, allowing anyone who knew the easy-to-guess web address access to the customer data. All too often, these…

This co-op wants to put money back into patients’ hands

Too often, people are asked to give away their insights and time for free. Jen Horonjeff, founder and CEO of healthcare startup Savvy, knows this first hand and is trying to change that by applying a cooperative model to her business. As an infant, Horonjeff was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Since then, she has…

Tradeshift cuts headcount by three figures in effort to turn towards profitability

Last month, Tradeshift, a platform for supply chain payments that has achieved unicorn status in recent years, had some good news and some bad news. It announced a Series F funding round of $240 million in equity and debt, raised from a combination of existing and new investors. It’s now raised a total of $661…

Alibaba Cloud revenue reaches $1.5B for the quarter on 62% growth rate

Alibaba issued its latest earnings report yesterday, and as part of that the Chinese eCommerce giant reported that cloud revenue grew 62% to $1.5 billion U.S., crossing the RMB10 billion revenue threshold for the first time. Alibaba also announced that it had completed its migration to its own public cloud in the most recent quarter,…

Big meditation money, new VC funds, and how do you value Airbnb?

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. After having a good time with NEA’s Rick Yang last week, we thought we’d bring on another venture capitalist. So this week Danny and I had Elliott Robinson from Bessemer swing over for the show. As it turned…

Virgin Galactic relocates SpaceShipTwo ‘VSS Unity’ to its spaceport for preparations ahead of commercial flights

Virgin Galactic is one crucial step closer to actually flying paying customers to space: The space tourism company just relocated its SpaceShipTwo vehicle, the VSS Unity, from its Mojave, California manufacturing facility to Spaceport America in New Mexico, where it will begin flights with a goal of at least sending company founder Richard Branson to…

Where top VCs are investing in construction robotics

Venture capital has been flooding the various subverticals under the robotics umbrella in recent years, and the construction space is one of the largest beneficiaries. Last November, we surveyed 13 of the top robotics-focused VCs to find out which areas of robotics are exciting them most going into 2020. One of the most common areas…

Tamatem, the games publisher for the MENA market, raises $3.5M to reach other ‘underserved’ gamers

​Tamatem, the leading mobile games publisher in the Arabic speaking market, has raised $3.5 million in additional funding — essentially an extension of the startup’s earlier Series A. The round was led by existing investor ​Wamda Capital, with participation from Modern Electronics Company (a subsidiary of AlFaisaliah Group) and North Base Media. Tamatem says the…

Instagram prototypes “Latest Posts” feature

Instagram users who miss the reverse chronological feed might get a new way to see the most recent pics and videos from who they follow. Instagram has been spotted internally prototyping a “Latest Posts” feature. It appears as a pop-up over the main feed and brings users to a special area showing the newest content…

Innovaccer wants to be the service that unifies all healthcare data

The holy grail for technology companies working in the healthcare industry is becoming the gateway for all healthcare data. Big legacy providers like Epic and Cerner are trying to reach out to hospital networks to hoover up all of their data. Google is interested in it. Salesforce is interested in it. Everyone wants to be…

7-month-old Simsim secures $16M for its social commerce in India

Simsim, a social commerce startup in India, said on Friday it has raised $16 million in seven months of its existence as it attempts to replicate the offline retail experience in the digital world with help from influencers. The Gurgaon-based startup said it raised $16 million across seed, Series A and Series B financing rounds…

Maniv Mobility General Partner Olaf Sakkers is coming to TC Sessions: Mobility

In case you haven’t heard, TC Sessions: Mobility is back for second year. This one-day event, which will be held May 14 in San Jose, promises to feature some of best and brightest engineers, policymakers, investors, entrepreneurs and innovators, all of whom are vying to be a part of this new age of transportation. Attendees…

Getting tech right in Iowa and elsewhere requires insight into data, human behavior

Hollie Russon Gilman Contributor Share on Twitter Hollie Russon Gilman is a Fellow at New America’s Political Reform Program, Lecturer at Columbia University, a Non-Resident Fellow at Georgetown’s Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation and is the co-author of Civic Power: Rebuilding American Democracy in an Era of Crisis. More posts by this contributor…

Facebook’s latest experiment is Hobbi, an app to document your personal projects

Facebook is adding another app to its group of experimental projects from the NPE Team, an initiative it announced last year focused on rapidly trying out new ideas in social to see how users react. This week, the team released its fourth app experiment with the launch of Hobbi, a photo and video sharing app…

Nvidia’s Q4 financials look to brighter skies with strong quarterly revenue growth

Major artificial intelligence and graphics chipmaker Nvidia reported its 2020 Q4 financials today (the company’s fiscal quarter ends on January 26th, 2020). The company announced revenues of $3.11 billion for the quarter, a jump of 41% from the year-ago quarter and a small bump from the third quarter. Even more importantly, the company’s gross margin…

Soylent shakes up its executive team, naming Demir Vangelov as its new CEO

Soylent, the once high-flying Los Angeles-based meal replacement startup that has raised $72.4 million in financing from investors including Google Ventures, Lerer Hippeau and Andreessen Horowitz, has shaken up its executive team. This week, the company announced in a blog post that the company’s chief financial officer, Demir Vangelov, would be taking over the top…

LinkedIn will sunset Sales Navigator for Gmail, formerly known as Rapportive, on March 20

It’s par for the course that major tech platforms will launch a lot of services, then sunset those that are less popular. But this week comes one that especially smarts (for me and some of my TechCrunch coworkers at least). LinkedIn has announced that on March 18, it will shut down Sales Navigator for Gmail, an…