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

Zoom admits some calls were routed through China by mistake  

Hours after security researchers at Citizen Lab reported that some Zoom calls were routed through China, the video conferencing platform has offered an apology and a partial explanation. To recap, Zoom has faced a barrage of headlines this week over its security policies and privacy practices, as hundreds of millions forced to work from home […]

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2020-04-03 20:14:17

Before suing NSO Group, Facebook allegedly sought their software to better spy on users  

Facebook's WhatsApp is in the midst of a lawsuit against Israeli mobile surveillance outfit NSO Group. But before complaining about the company's methods, Facebook seems to have wanted to use them for its own purposes, according to testimony from NSO founder Shalev Hulio.

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2020-04-03 16:53:11

Insight closes $9.5B fund to help support portfolio companies through the pandemic  

We’re now several weeks into what has become a very big dip for the global economy due to the coronavirus pandemic, but amidst that, we are seeing are some notable pockets of investment activity emerging that will help shape how the future startup landscape will look. Today, one of the biggest venture capital firms in […]

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2020-04-03 15:56:34

The pendulum will swing away from founder-friendly venture raises  

After picking through some COVID-19-focused PitchBook data this morning, it's clear that the era of founder friendly venture terms is heading for a reset.

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2020-04-03 13:43:47

Bustle Digital Group shuts down The Outline as part of broader layoffs  

Bustle Digital Group, owner of a portfolio of digital media properties including Bustle itself, says it laid off two dozen staffers today. That includes eliminating the entire staff of The Outline, a culture site that it acquired a year ago. In a statement, a BDG spokesperson said the company will continue to host The Outline’s archives, […]

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2020-04-03 13:14:15

Google research makes for an effortless robotic dog trot  

As capable as robots are, the original animals after which they tend to be designed are always much, much better. That's partly because it's difficult to learn how to walk like a dog directly from a dog — but this research from Google's AI labs make it considerably easier.

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2020-04-03 13:02:20

Want to survive the downturn? Better build a platform  

When you look at the most successful companies in the world, they are almost never just one simple service. Instead, they offer a platform with a range of services and an ability to connect to it to allow external partners and developers to extend the base functionality that the company provides. Aspiring to be a […]

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2020-04-03 13:01:14

Emergent BioSolutions gets $14.5M in federal funding to expedite COVID-19 plasma therapy development  

Last week, we spoke to the Head of Emergent BioSolutions’ Therapeutics Business Unit Dr. Laura Saward about her company’s work developing plasma-based potential treatments for COVID-19. Now, the company announced that it has received $14.5 million in funding from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), which is part of the U.S. Department of […]

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2020-04-03 12:29:53

How Homage is tackling Southeast Asia's growing eldercare need  

The world's population is aging, but the needs of elderly people are still being underserved. A United Nations report found that older people make up more than one-fifth of the population in 17 countries, and by 2100, a majority of the world's population, or 61%, will be aged 60 and above. One of the most […]

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2020-04-03 11:28:46

GM and Honda are co-developing two new electric vehicles due to arrive in 2024  

GM and Honda will jointly develop two new electric vehicles slated for 2024, the latest move by the two automakers to deepen their existing partnership. Under the plan, the automakers will focus on their respective areas of expertise. Honda will design the exterior and interiors of the new electric vehicles; GM will contribute its new […]

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2020-04-03 10:58:32

Valispace raises $2.4M to become the 'Github for hardware', joins fight against COVID-19  

Hardware engineering is mostly document-based. A typical satellite might be described in several hundred thousand PDF documents, spreadsheets, simulation files and more; all potentially inconsistent between each other. This can lead to costly mistakes. NASA lost a $125 million Mars orbiter because one engineering team used metric units while another used English units, for instance. […]

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2020-04-03 10:22:37

SpaceX's latest Starship prototype fails under pressure testing  

The process of designing, testing and building an entirely new spacecraft is definitely a difficult one and bound to encounter some issues. SpaceX’s efforts to build Starship, its massive new fully reusable spaceship, is no exception. The most recent Starship prototype, designated “SN3,” failed catastrophically during cryogenic proof testing, which is designed to simulate pressures […]

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2020-04-03 10:09:30

Zoom will enable waiting rooms by default to stop Zoombombing  

Zoom is making some drastic changes to prevent rampant abuse as trolls attack publicly shared video calls. Starting April 5th, it will require passwords to enter calls via Meeting ID, as these may be guessed or reused. Meanwhile, it will change virtual waiting rooms to be on by default so hosts have to manually admit […]

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2020-04-03 09:48:45

OctoML raises $15M to make optimizing ML models easier  

OctoML, a startup founded by the team behind the Apache TVM machine learning compiler stack project, today announced it has raised a $15 million Series A round led by Amplify, with participation from Madrona Ventures, which led its $3.9 million seed round. The core idea behind OctoML and TVM is to use machine learning to […]

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2020-04-03 09:25:06

Join prolific enterprise/SaaS seed investor Jonathan Lehr April 6 at 2pm EDT for a live conference call  

It's a tough fundraising environment out there, but one of the few glimmers of hope lies in the enterprise and SaaS markets. Critical customer problems + recurring revenues is probably where you want to be right now to weather the storm that's hitting the startup world these days. That's why we are excited to bring […]

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2020-04-03 07:50:38

'Artemis Fowl' is skipping theaters for Disney+  

With movie theaters largely closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Disney is pushing back its slate of upcoming films. And at least one movie won’t be making it into theaters at all, with “Artemis Fowl” heading straight to streaming instead. The company announced today that the film will debut exclusively on Disney+, and that the […]

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2020-04-03 07:38:14

Stocks drop as unemployment spikes  

Stocks fell in regular trading Friday, as all major American indices fell in the wake of a broadly negative jobs report. With more than 700,000 jobs lost in the March data, unemployment in the United States rose from 3.5% to 4.4%. The markets have been bracing for widespread job losses due to the continued fallout […]

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2020-04-03 07:25:06

Daily Crunch: Google publishes coronavirus mobility reports  

Google uses its ad-tracking data to provide a glimpse at how the world is responding to coronavirus, the CDC changes its tune on face masks and Apple accidentally reveals that AirTags are coming. Here’s your Daily Crunch for April 3, 2020. 1. Google is now publishing coronavirus mobility reports, feeding off users' location history Google […]

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2020-04-03 07:02:35

Keeping the score on Zoom  

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch's venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. How are you holding up? Are you keeping up? And most importantly, are you hydrating yourself? There’s so much news lately that we’re all falling a bit behind, but, hey, that’s what Equity is for. So, Natasha, Danny, […]

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2020-04-03 06:46:32

As tech layoffs surge, some support emerges for those without a job  

The massive surge of COVID-19-related layoffs has put tech in a unique position. While the startup world is facing layoffs itself, it is also trying to help get people back to work. Back at the end of 2019, the SoftBank-backed belt-tightening period led to a flurry of crowdsourced spreadsheets with employee names from companies like […]

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2020-04-03 06:40:39

Google rolls back SameSite cookie changes to keep essential online services from breaking  

Google today announced that it will temporarily roll back the changes it recently made to how its Chrome browser handles cookies in order to ensure that sites that perform essential services like banking, online grocery, government services and healthcare won’t become inaccessible to Chrome users during the current COVID-19 pandemic. The new SameSite rules, which […]

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2020-04-03 06:33:03

Nordic challenger bank Lunar adds €20M to its Series B  

Lunar, the Nordic challenger bank that started out life as a personal finance manager app (PFM) but since acquired a full banking license last year, has extended it Series B round with an additional €20 million in funding. It brings the Series B total to €46 million, having disclosed €26 million in August last year. […]

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2020-04-03 05:37:09

Zelos is like a cross-game battle pass, rewarding you for completing challenges in games you already play  

People seem to love the concept of the battle pass. Largely popularized by Fortnite, battle passes reward players for playing well, and playing often. The better you do, the more XP you earn; the more XP you earn, the more stuff (new looks for your character, or victory dances to fire off at the end […]

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2020-04-03 05:13:21

NASA details how it plans to establish a sustained human presence on the Moon  

NASA’s Artemis program aims to bring humans back to the Moon, with the goal of staying there for good in the interest of pursuing additional science and exploration missions, including to Mars. But how will the agency actually make it possible for people to remain on the Moon for longer-term science missions? NASA has provided […]

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2020-04-03 04:56:58

Apple brings its hardware microphone disconnect feature to iPads  

Apple has brought its hardware microphone disconnect security feature to its latest iPads. The microphone disconnect security feature aims to make it far more difficult for hackers to use malware or a malicious app to eavesdrop on a device’s surroundings. The feature was first introduced to Macs by way of Apple’s T2 security chip last […]

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2020-04-03 04:56:46

The pandemic is already reshaping tech's misinformation crisis  

Since 2016, social media companies have faced an endless barrage of bad press and public criticism for failing to anticipate how their platforms could be used for dark purposes at the scale of populations — undermining democracies around the world, say, or sowing social division and even fueling genocide. As COVID-19 plunges the world into […]

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2020-04-03 04:38:39

Google is now publishing coronavirus mobility reports, feeding off users' location history  

Google is giving the world a clearer glimpse of exactly how much it knows about people everywhere — using the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity to repackage its persistent tracking of where users go and what they do as a public good in the midst of a pandemic. In a blog post today, the tech […]

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2020-04-03 03:53:49

Pandemic puts the brakes on micromobility  

As of this writing, nearly a million people globally have been infected with the novel coronavirus and 50,322 have died. Healthcare systems are overwhelmed, consumers and profiteers are hoarding supplies and some service workers have launched strikes while many others have been let go. In the world of micromobility, we’ve seen Bird lay off hundreds […]

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2020-04-03 03:48:46

Germany's Xpension pension platform raises €25M in a Series C growth round  

The German pension and insurance industry was a laggard in the world of online a few years ago, but in recent times it has quickly caught up. There's further evidence of this trend with the news that Xpension (trading as xbAV), an online platform for pensions and life insurance, has raised €25 million in its […]

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2020-04-03 03:39:52

ZmURL customizes Zoom link previews with images & event sites  

Sick of sharing those generic Zoom video call invites that all look the same? Wish your Zoom link preview’s headline and image actually described your meeting? Want to protect your Zoom calls from trolls by making attendees RSVP to get your link? has you covered. Launching today, ZmURL is a free tool that lets […]

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2020-04-03 03:28:59

CDC is expected to tell Americans to wear cloth masks, save medical masks for health workers  

On Thursday, the White House said that it will likely soon adjust previous guidelines that discouraged non-health workers from wearing face masks. The change would be issued as “guidance” from the CDC, but according to the president—who continues to hesitate at exerting federal power during the COVID-19 crisis—it will not be made mandatory. Supplies of […]

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2020-04-03 03:05:45

Forward Partners launches Forward Advances, a revenue-based finance solution for startups  

Forward Partners, the early-stage venture fund and startup studio, has long offered something a little different to the U.K’s tech startup ecosystem, and today the VC is continuing that trend with the launch of “Forward Advances,” a revenue-based finance solution for startups that need to bolster marketing. Aimed at “fast-growing” e-commerce, marketplace and B2C SaaS […]

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2020-04-03 02:59:39

Longtime VC Neil Sequeira: funding founders without in-person meetings is 'quite difficult'  

"If you want to be in this industry, because it's a relationship-driven but also a reputation-based business, these aren't the moments to take advantage of people."

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2020-04-03 01:55:30

Peloton launches an Android TV app  

With gyms across the country closed for business, at-home exercise companies like Peloton have found an unexpected opportunity. As the connected fitness company looks to onboard new customers, they’re also expanding platform support, announcing today that they would be bringing their app to Android TV, the OS used by millions of smart TVs. Peloton announced […]

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2020-04-03 01:38:53

Sleep apnea retrofit designed by doctors and engineers could help address ventilator shortage  

The FDA has been working to adapt its policies and restrictions to respond to the growing need for unconventional solutions like shortages of medical equipment needed for treating COVID-19 patients. A group of doctors, engineers and medical researchers from UC Berkeley, UCSF and working hospitals has devised a creative solution to the ventilator shortage they’re […]

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2020-04-03 01:29:19

In the wake of COVID-19, UK puts up £20M in grants to develop resilience tech for critical industries  

Most of the world — despite the canaries in the coal mine — was unprepared to cope with the coronavirus outbreak that’s now besieging us. Now, work is starting to get underway both to help manage what is going on now and better prepare us in the future. In the latest development, the UK government today […]

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2020-04-03 01:09:44

27 TV show recommendations from TechCrunch while you're stuck at home  

With shelter-in-place orders worldwide, it’s never been a better time to curl up on the couch and loss oneself in a TV show. That’s what we’re doing. Some TechCrunch staffers are watching perennial favorites like The Wire or The West Wing or Gilmore Girls. Others are trying new shows like Devs or McMillions. The Covid-19 […]

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2020-04-03 01:09:40

Disney debuts its streaming service in India for $20 a year  

Disney+ has arrived in the land of Bollywood. The company on Friday (local time) rolled out its eponymous streaming service in India through Hotstar, a popular on-demand video streamer it picked up as part of the Fox deal. To court users in India, the largest open entertainment market in Asia, Disney is charging users 1,499 […]

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2020-04-02 21:08:45

Google and USCF collaborate on machine learning tool to help prevent harmful prescription errors  

Machine learning experts working at Google Health have published a new study in tandem with the University of California San Francisco’s (UCSF) computational health sciences department that describes a machine learning model the researchers built that can anticipate normal physician drug prescribing patterns, using a patient’s electronic health records (EHR) as input. That’s useful because […]

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2020-04-02 20:24:14

Using AI responsibly to fight the coronavirus pandemic  

Even in times of great crisis, we should strive to advance AI for good.

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2020-04-02 19:23:17

Henry Ford Health System to conduct first large US study of hydroxychloroquine's ability to prevent COVID-19  

Despite false assertions by the president to the contrary, any potential treatments to counter or prevent COVID-19 are still only at the stage of early investigations, which include one-off treatment with special individual case authorizations, and small-scale clinical examinations. Nothing so far has approached the level of scrutiny needed to actually say anything definitively about […]

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2020-04-02 17:42:09

Apple accidentally confirms the existence of an unreleased product, AirTags  

Whoops! Apple inadvertently revealed the existence of an unreleased product, AirTags, in a support video uploaded to its YouTube account today. The video, “How to erase your iPhone,” offers a tutorial about resetting an iPhone to factory settings. Around the 1:43 mark, it instructs users to turn off “Find my iPhone” as part of the […]

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2020-04-02 14:40:23

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

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

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2020-04-02 13:43:45

Instacart to provide shoppers with face masks, hand sanitizers and thermometers  

Instacart will start providing health and safety kits to its full-service shoppers. These kits will include a face mask, hand sanitizer and a thermometer, the company announced today. The kits will be available for free to shoppers starting next week. Shoppers, according to Instacart, will be able to request a kit by registering with their […]

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2020-04-02 13:37:17

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

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

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2020-04-02 13:22:47

Activity-monitoring startup Zensors repurposes its tech to help coronavirus response  

Computer vision techniques used for commercial purposes are turning out to be valuable tools for monitoring people's behavior during the present pandemic. Zensors, a startup that uses machine learning to track things like restaurant occupancy, lines, and so on, is making its platform available for free to airports and other places desperate to take systematic measures against infection.

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2020-04-02 12:54:52

Visa's Africa strategy banks on startup partnerships  

Visa has prioritized growth in Africa, and partnering with startups is central to its strategy. This became obvious in 2019 after the global financial services giant entered a series of collaborations on the continent, but Visa confirmed it in their 2020 Investor Day presentation. On the company’s annual call, participants mentioned Africa 28 times and […]

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2020-04-02 12:21:06

Google Cloud launches a managed Memcached service  

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

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2020-04-02 12:05:40

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

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

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2020-04-02 12:03:34

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

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

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2020-04-02 11:39:42

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

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

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2020-04-02 10:55:28

Pinterest CEO and a team of leading scientists launch a self-reporting COVID-19 tracking app  

There have been a few scattered efforts to leverage crowd-sourced self-reporting of symptoms as a way to potentially predict and chart the progress of COVID-19 across the U.S., and around the world. A new effort looks like the most comprehensive, well-organized and credibly backed yet — and it has been developed in part by Pinterest […]

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2020-04-02 10:55:13

Daily Crunch: Amazon announces new warehouse safety steps  

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

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2020-04-02 10:16:08

Flagship Pioneering raises $1.1 billion to spend on sustainability and health-focused biotech  

Flagship Pioneering, the Boston-based biotech incubator and holding company, said it has raised $1.1 billion for its Flagship Labs unit. Flagship, which raised $1 billion back in 2019 for growth-stage investment vehicles, develops and operates startups that leverage biotechnology innovation to provide goods and services that improve human health and promote sustainable industries. “We’re honored […]

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2020-04-02 09:59:45

Disney+ beat Netflix in recent US downloads (report)  

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

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2020-04-02 09:57:49

HBO makes some top shows, movies and documentaries free to stream on HBO NOW and HBO GO  

Giving people even more of a reason to stay home and follow the social distancing measures designed to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S., HBO said it would be making 500 hours of programming free to stream over HBO NOW and HBO GO without a subscription, starting Friday, April 3. Shows that audiences […]

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2020-04-02 09:56:27

IRL pivots into virtual event calendar In Remote Life  

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

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2020-04-02 09:54:40

Apple, Laurene Powell Jobs and Leonardo DiCaprio launch a GoFundMe with $12M for the hungry  

Apple has made a donation to a new fundraising campaign, America’s Food Fund, along with Laurene Powell Jobs, Leonardo DiCaprio and the Ford Foundation. Together, they’ve contributed $12 million toward the $15 million goal for the new initiative being hosted on fundraising platform GoFundMe. The proceeds will go to benefit World Central Kitchen and Feeding […]

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2020-04-02 09:48:47

Estimote launches wearables for workplace-level contact tracing for COVID-19  

Bluetooth location beacon startup Estimote has adapted its technological expertise to develop a new product designed specifically for curbing the spread of COVID-19. The company created a new range of wearable devices that co-founder Steve Cheney believes can enhance workplace safety for those who have to be co-located at a physical workplace even while social […]

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2020-04-02 09:47:44

FCC enacts $200M telehealth initiative to ease COVID-19 burden on hospitals  

The FCC has developed and approved a $200 million program to fund telehealth services and devices for medical providers, just a week or so after the funding was announced. Hospitals and other health centers will be able to apply for up to $1 million to cover the cost of new devices, services and personnel. The […]

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2020-04-02 09:33:34

How 6 top VCs are adapting to the new uncertainty  

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

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2020-04-02 09:18:30

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

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

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2020-04-02 08:57:02

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

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

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2020-04-02 08:47:12

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

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

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2020-04-02 08:22:12

Facebook Messenger launches Mac & Windows apps  

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

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2020-04-02 08:21:59

US markets shrug off record unemployment numbers as tech shares rise  

Despite reports of historic unemployment, with roughly 6.6 million Americans filing for unemployment, domestic stocks rose during regular trading today. One day after grim estimates on the potential death toll from the COVID-19 epidemic in the U.S. sent stocks tumbling, and amid a continuing economic fallout from the government’s response to slow the spread of […]

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2020-04-02 07:57:49

The space in between: The stratosphere  

We have airplanes and drones in our airspace and satellites in space, but what about the space in between: the stratosphere?

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2020-04-02 07:18:27

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

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

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2020-04-02 06:41:13

White House says it is ordering more companies to make ventilators  

With the national stockpile of inventory of life-saving healthcare equipment getting dangerously close to zero, President Trump on Thursday signaled that he will leverage a key national security provision to order additional companies to produce ventilators. Trump’s reluctance to employ the law known as the Defense Production Act (DPA) has puzzled many as the administration […]

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2020-04-02 06:39:28

Tesla delivers 88,400 electric vehicles, beating expectations  

Tesla delivered 88,400 vehicles in the first quarter, beating most analysts expectations despite a 21% decrease from the previous quarter as the COVID-19 pandemic put downward pressure on demand and created logistical challenges. Tesla said Thursday it produced 103,000 electric vehicles in the first quarter, about 2% lower than the previous period. The deliveries and production […]

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2020-04-02 05:40:41

SaaS growth appears to slow as churn concerns rise  

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

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2020-04-02 04:54:40

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

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

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2020-04-02 04:46:58

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

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

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2020-04-02 04:39:05

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

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

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2020-04-02 04:07:52

You can now buy AWS' $99 DeepComposer keyboard  

AWS today announced that its DeepComposer keyboard is now available for purchase. And no, DeepComposer isn’t a mechanical keyboard for hackers but a small MIDI keyboard for working with the AWS DeepComposer service that uses AI to create songs based on your input. First announced at AWS re:Invent 2019, the keyboard created a bit of […]

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2020-04-02 04:05:53

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

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

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2020-04-02 03:54:15

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

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

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2020-04-02 03:45:16

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

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

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2020-04-02 02:43:07

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

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

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2020-04-02 02:32:21

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

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

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2020-04-02 01:31:26

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

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

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2020-04-02 01:30:27

Stocks fall sharply as US government warns of hard weeks ahead  

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

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2020-04-01 21:27:16

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

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

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2020-04-01 21:16:25

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

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

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2020-04-01 21:10:50

Notion hits $2 billion valuation in new raise  

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

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2020-04-01 20:44:50

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

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

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2020-04-01 20:40:35

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

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

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2020-04-01 19:44:59

Mobile payments firms in India are now scrambling to make money  

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

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2020-04-01 18:51:47

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

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

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2020-04-01 18:37:37

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

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

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2020-04-01 16:40:12

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

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

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2020-04-01 15:53:25

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

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

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2020-04-01 15:05:18

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

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

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2020-04-01 11:58:25

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

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

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2020-04-01 11:04:50

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

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

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2020-04-01 10:16:14

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

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

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2020-04-01 09:52:23

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

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

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2020-04-01 09:51:11

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

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

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2020-04-01 09:32:32

How bad will SaaS churn get in the downturn?  

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

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2020-04-01 09:08:41

What happens to edtech when kids go back to school?  

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

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2020-04-01 08:53:42

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