Tech Crunch

Social media firms facing fresh political pressure after London terror attack

 Yesterday UK government ministers once again called for social media companies to do more to combat terrorism. “There should be no place for terrorists to hide,” said Home Secretary Amber Rudd, speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr program. Read More

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Snapcart raises $3M to track offline commerce data in Southeast Asia

 Snapcart, a startup helping to bring transparency to the world of offline commerce in Southeast Asia, has raised $3 million in pre-Series A funding. We first wrote about the company when it launched in September 2015 with the aim of providing data on the largely uncharted world of offline commerce in Southeast Asia, a region of over 600 million consumers and a growing middle class.… Read More

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Trump to create White House office for ‘American Innovation’ to be headed by Kushner

 Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President Trump is going to unveil a new White House agency called the “Office of American Innovation”, which will hold extensive powers to overhaul federal procedures and potentially privatize certain government responsibilities, by culling ideas from the business community, according to a report in the Washington Post. Read More

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Nomos Glashütte’s Metro Neomatik is modern, slim and sophisticated watch

 The smartwatch era has done nothing so much as renew my interest in real watches, which have their own type of special intelligence, albeit laid out in intricate arrays of gears and springs rather than written in silicon. Few watchmakers express this intelligence site so wonderfully as Nomos Glashütte, the German manufactory that produces exquisite timepieces with house made movements in… Read More

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Lyft to let passengers round up their fare and donate the difference to charity

 Lyft is looking at one of its biggest potential opportunities to make up some ground on its rival Uber, given the latter company’s ongoing and worsening PR crisis. So it makes sense that Lyft would go even further in the opposite direction, with a new program that lets riders top off their fare to the nearest dollar, and donate the difference to one of a group of selected charities. The… Read More

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Matroid can watch videos and detect anything within them

 If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth that times the frame rate. Matroid, a computer vision startup launching out of stealth today, enables anyone to take advantage of the information inherently embedded in video. You can build your own detector within the company’s intuitive, non-technical, web platform to detect people and most other objects. Reza Zadeh, founder… Read More

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Crunch Report | Tesla’s Long List of Updated Updates

Tesla’s long list of updated updates, Instacart agrees to settle class-action lawsuit and SB Drive pulls in $4.6 million. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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Tesla Model 3 is ‘just a smaller, more affordable’ Model S, says Elon Musk

 The Tesla Model 3 is not a product iteration along the lines of successive iPhones, Elon Musk clarified on Twitter on Friday. Instead, it’s a “smaller model affordable versions of Model S” with less range, less power and fewer features, according to the Tesla CEO. The Model S is still going to be the leader in terms of it technological capabilities – so think more iPhone… Read More

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SoftBank’s self-driving bus project pulls in $4.6M to push for 2020 commercialization

 SoftBank is doubling down on its self-driving bus project in Japan. SB Drive, an entity created last year to develop autonomous vehicle technology for public transport, just got a cash windfall after Yahoo Japan led a 510 million JPY ($4.6 million) investment. Yahoo Japan, the Yahoo affiliate which is one of Japan’s most influential tech companies, provided 490 million JPY ($4.4… Read More

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Super Mario Run hits Android, rolls out version two on iOS

 Super Mario Run hit Android a day early. Originally expected today, March 23, per Nintendo’s earlier announcement, the game arrived on the Google Play Store yesterday instead, along with an update on iOS. The iOS exclusive ran for three months, and brought the app over 78 million downloads, the gaming company said during its earnings in January. Of those players, more than five… Read More

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Senate debates permanent rollback of FCC’s broadband privacy rules

 Republican Senators led by Arizona’s Jeff Flake proposed a resolution earlier this month that would roll back privacy rules adopted by the FCC last year that prevented ISPs from collecting personal data without asking permission first. Today the Senate was alive with oratory as people spoke for and against the proposal. Read More

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Instagram grows to 1M active advertisers, plans to add more data and direct booking

 Instagram’s advertiser base has doubled again.
The Facebook-owned photo and video app is announcing that it now has 1 million monthly active advertisers, compared to 500,000 in September and 200,000 just over a year ago.
Some of that growth can be attributed to the simple fact that a lot of people use Instagram — 150 million every day, as of January. But James Quarles, who… Read More

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ANA’s new C-3PO jet is fluent in over 6 million forms of communication

 Fancy paint jobs for airplanes are nothing novel, but few airlines ever really commit to making their jets look unique like Japan’s ANA. The air carrier’s latest custom craft is one of its Star Wars series of planes, commemorating everyone’s favorite golden protocol droid with a C-3PO yellow fuselage wrap, and interior decorating to match. The C-3PO ANA Jet follows R2-D2… Read More

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Blue Yard Capital and Earlybird Capital join Disrupt Berlin in December

 Berlin will see Disrupt Europe, our major conference, arrive this December, featuring some of the best known names from the Valley and Europe. Ciarán O’Leary of Blue Yard Capital and Christian Nagel of Earlybird Capital will be among those speaking. Ciarán O’Leary joined Earlybird in 2009 as a Senior Associate and was promoted to Partner in January 2012. He later left in 2016 to… Read More

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Wright Electric unveils its commercial electric plane business

 Gas is the biggest cost for airlines. The easiest way to reduce these costs? Don’t use gas at all. That was the pitch from Wright Electric, a startup building an commercial passenger plane that runs on batteries and can handle flights under 300 miles. These short-haul trips make up 30 percent of all flights and a $26 billion market. Today Wright Electric gave its first preview to the… Read More

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Mobile advertising startup Databerries raises $16M

 Databerries is announcing that it has raised $16 million in Series A funding — money that will help the Paris-headquartered company launch in the United States.
The startup describes its approach as “real life targeting.” It works with brick-and-mortar retailers to direct their ads at consumers who have been to their store or a competitor’s store… Read More

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US authorities ban electronics larger than a phone from flights from 13 countries

 According to numerous reports, US authorities today alerted a number of Middle Eastern and African airlines that starting soon, their passengers will have to check any electronic items larger than a cell phone. That means passengers on these flights will have to put their laptops, tablets, Kindles and portable game consoles into their checked baggage for the foreseeable future. There is still… Read More

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Games firm Netmarble to raise $2.35B in Korea’s largest IPO since 2010

 Netmarble, one of the world’s top mobile and PC gaming firms, has filed to raise as much as $2.35 billion (2.66 trillion won) through an IPO in its native Korea. The firm said in a filing [in Korean] that it will issue 16,953,612 new shares priced between 121,000-157,000 KRW each (that’s approximately $108-$140) with a view to raising up to 2.66 trillion won ($2.35 billion).… Read More

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Vodafone India confirms it is merging with Idea Cellular to form India’s largest telco

 Vodafone India has confirmed that it has reached an agreement to acquire rival Idea Cellular. The deal, which is being painted as a merger, will create India’s largest operator with some 377 million customers. The company revealed it was in talks with Idea Cellular over a deal in January, and the coming-together was announced today. Subject to the relevant approvals, it is expected… Read More

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As hyper-conservative media surged, Republicans’ trust in news cratered

 In 2000, Republicans, Democrats and Independents were all within six percentage points of one another in terms of their trust in the media, ranging from 47 percent to 53 percent. But since that time, figures for both Independents and Republicans have been declining, with Republicans generally declining at a sharper rate. Read More

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Immigrant eyes

 Over the past few years we’ve seen a lot of anger. We’ve seen a seemingly sane country cut itself off from mainland Europe and we’ve seen a seemingly beneficent border police force turn angry. We’ve heard that immigrants steal our jobs, kill our people, and bring in drugs and terror. This is wrong. On the pro-side we know that immigrants, as a whole, commit less crime… Read More

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Google offers more control, after ads on offensive content leads to brand boycott

 Google plans to give its advertising clients more control over where their ads appear on YouTube and the Google Display Network, which posts advertising to third-party websites.
It announced the move in a blog post from its European business after major brands pulled ads from the platform because they appeared against offensive content, such as videos promoting terrorism or anti-Semitism.
The U.K. Read More

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The great enterprise chat race

Track sprinters lined up at starting The competitive deck appears nearly stacked against the startup, and it seems that every other month a new product launches from a major tech company that’s billed in the tech press as the next “Slack Killer.” What Slack does isn’t actually all that original as startup ideas go. It merely provides an environment for teams to share information inside a chat client. Yet… Read More

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Crunch Report | Walmart Acquires Modcloth

Apple investing $500 Million into R&D Centers in China, Walmart acquires Modcloth, and John Mannes reports to us about his trip at South by Southwest. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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Equity podcast: The return of IPOs and Tesla’s billion-dollar bet

 One down, many more to go! The first episode of TechCrunch’s latest podcast, Equity, our venture capital-focused podcast is out.
This week, TechCrunch’s Matthew Lynley, CrunchBase editor-in-chief Alex Wilhelm and I sat down with investor and SaaStr founder Jason Lemkin to talk about Tesla’s $1 billion raise, the return of IPOs and recent acquisitions in the technology… Read More

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Singapore’s Homage, a service for in-home care for the elderly, raises $1.2M

aging, elderly hands clasped Homage, a Singapore-based startup that connects caregivers with elderly people seeking assistance, has closed a $1.2 million seed round. The money comes from 500 Startups’ Southeast Asia fund, Golden Gate Ventures, and SeedPlus, a fund affiliated with Jungle Ventures. Launched in May 2016, Homage was founded by Gillian Tee, a Singaporean who has spent time working in the U.S. where,… Read More

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Netflix is replacing five-star ratings with thumbs up or down

 Netflix announced today that it would ditch its standard five-star rating scheme in favor of a much more simple thumbs up or down option. The streaming service said it had been testing thumbs up and down ratings “with hundreds of thousands of members” in 2016 – and it led to 200% more ratings being given. This makes sense – giving a five-star rating takes some… Read More

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Permira’s Brian Ruder on private equity’s attraction to tech — and where he’s shopping now

 For the last couple of years, private equity firms have been buying up public software companies that had fallen out of favor with investors. In fact, many of the top software deals in the U.S. last year were take-private transactions. Just three of them — the visual analytics company Qlik Technologies, which sold to Thomas Bravo; marketing software company Marketo, acquired by… Read More

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Vevo unveils new social feature, Watch Party, alongside a new app

 As music streaming platforms continue to compete for subscribers, one of the biggest suppliers of premium music video content is adding new features to focus on its own platform as a destination. Vevo — the premium music video hosting company that sees 21 billion views of its content each month globally from some 300 million consumers, powering more than 40% of all traffic on YouTube in… Read More

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Photo-blending app Dubble is back from the dead

 Dubble is officially (re)launching today, in v2, after a year-long hiatus off the app store while the team re-engineered the backend and applied some gloss and community-requested features on the front. We ask co-founder Adam Scott how and why the team has put in so much effort to give a niche photo-blending app a second chance at turning into a self-sustaining community. Read More

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Helpling, Rocket Internet’s home services company, raises further €10M as on-demand space cools

 Helpling, the Rocket Internet-founded company that lets you book a range of home services online, is disclosing €10 million in new funding. The round was led by Asia Pacific Internet Group (APACIG), the joint venture between Rocket Internet and Ooredoo, and also includes a number of other existing investors. Read More

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Alibaba invests in WayRay, a maker of augmented-reality dashboards for smart cars

 After launching its first car last year, Alibaba is digging deeper into the automobile industry. The Chinese Internet and e-commerce behemoth is the lead investor in smart car tech developer WayRay’s $18 million Series B round, the startup announced. Read More

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OceanGate plans an expedition to 3D scan the Titanic

 Seattle-based OceanGate Inc. this week announced plans for a manned expedition to study the R.M.S. Titanic, the world’s most famous shipwreck. Fewer than 200 people have ever visited the Titanic since it sank in April 1912 according to historians’ estimates. To put that in perspective, more people have scaled the summit of Mt. Everest, or flown in space. The new expedition,… Read More

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LimeBike raises $12 million to roll out bike sharing without kiosks in the US

 A startup called LimeBike has raised $12 million in venture funding to make Chinese-style bike sharing mainstream in the US. Andreessen Horowitz led the round joined by IDG Ventures, DCM Ventures and other investors who declined to be named. In China, companies like MoBike and Ofo have raised massive amounts of venture capital and distributed tens of thousands of their GPS-enabled bikes in… Read More

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Prominent Twitter accounts compromised after third-party app Twitter Counter hacked

 A number of prominent Twitter accounts were hacked to tweet Nazi messages after Twitter Counter, a popular tool for analyzing Twitter followers, was hacked. Official Twitter accounts belonging to Amnesty International, Forbes and other prominent organizations, not to mention many regular users, were accessed to post swastikas and other Nazi-related messages in a move thought to be… Read More

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Apple is opening new stores in Downtown Miami, Cologne and Nanjing

 While Apple’s retail team is currently remodeling all its stores, the company is also opening brand new stores around the world. Apple is opening a flagship store in Downtown Miami, a new store in a historic building in Cologne and a third store in Nanjing.
Last weekend, Apple reopened the 35th remodeled store across 18 different states. “Almost 50 percent of the stores in the U.S. Read More

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Burda brings its global investment fund to Southeast Asia

 German media giant Hubert Burda is diving into Southeast Asia’s startup ecosystem after its investment arm opened an office in Singapore. Burda, founded in 1898, is anchored in print media. Despite publishing more than 250 titles across the world, it has forayed into digital with some success through acquisitions and new business units. Unlike other print giants, its digital… Read More

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Uber rival Grab expands its engineering team with new offices in India and Vietnam

 Grab, the main rival to Uber in Southeast Asia, is expanding its engineering footprint after announcing new development centers in India and Vietnam.
The company last month announced plans to open an engineering center in Jakarta, Indonesia, so the addition of bases in Bangalore, India and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, will take it to six R&D locations worldwide. The others are Singapore… Read More

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Bittercoin: true blockchain believers vs. the trough of disillusionment

 The last 12 months have seemed an annus horribilis in the cryptocurrency world. The Bitcoin community is still fighting its years-old esoteric-to-an-outsider civil war, and is still nowhere near consensus; Ethereum’s public image has not recovered from the DAO fiasco; the much-hyped R3 consortium has abandoned blockchain technology; and the SEC rejected the touted Bitcoin ETF. Read More

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CoSMo CEO Michel Morvan talks about augmented intelligence

 Michel Morvan is the CEO of The CoSMo Company, a big data service provider and insight generator. He knows how to use AI to help C-level execs make decisions and he thinks the current crop of AI is just the beginning. Morvan doesn’t believe AI will become “self-aware.” Instead he speaks of “augmented intelligence,” robots that help us think better and make… Read More

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CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna shines hope on the future of genetic modification at SXSW

 Jennifer Doudna, co-inventor of CRISPR Cas9 technology, or the ability to program genes using a special enzyme, spoke about the promises of this technology on stage at SXSW this afternoon. In a keynote today, Doudna noted that while this technology is very young (less than five years old), “it’s been deployed very rapidly for existing applications,” she said. For example,… Read More

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At the Geneva Motor Show, the beautiful… and the damned?

 Passing by the glittering, luxury cars, with models draped elegantly over the hoods, you might get the impression that you were witnessing the height of power for the automotive industry. Not only has the internal combustion engine reached dizzying heights of refinement, but the plethora of electric, hybrid and fuel cell engines could leave you wondering if anything more need ever be… Read More

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Crunch Report | Oculus CTO Is Suing ZeniMax

Bolt Threads creates a tie made from spiderwebs, Oculus’ CTO is suing ZeniMax for money never paid to him and Google has a new startup competition. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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Hulu’s new live TV service scores A&E’s channels, loses Viacom

 Hulu’s forthcoming live TV streaming service is starting to shape up. Today, the company announced it scored a deal with A&E Networks, which will bring six more channels to the core package, including A&E, History, Lifetime, LMN, FYI, and Viceland. The deal follows others Hulu has made with CBS, 21st Century Fox, and Disney which, combined, add 40 networks to its service,… Read More

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Chinese dating app Momo sees record revenue growth thanks to live streaming

American dollars falling in the sky Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on TechNode, an editorial partner of TechCrunch based in China. Momo, China’s top location-based social networking app, has continued its impressive user growth from last year and added solid financial figures to back it up, according its most recent earnings report. The company, which was previously backed by Alibaba, went public… Read More

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Crunch Report| Airbnb Raises $1 Billion

Google’s Jamboard will cost $5,000 plus an annual management fee, Airbnb closes Series F to go over $1 billion, Google goes after Slack and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan are expecting their second baby. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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Kidizen raises $3.2M for a kids’ clothes resale app with a social twist

 Kidizen, a marketplace for secondhand children’s apparel, has raised $3.2 million in Series A funding, the company announced today. The funding was led by Chicago-based Origin Ventures, who backed the startup following its over 100 percent year-over-year growth in 2016, which has allowed the business to reach over a quarter million registered users across the U.S. Also participating in… Read More

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