TechCrunch

2020-02-25 11:13    2020-02-25 12:32

Grab raises up to $856M to boost its payments business as rumors swirl of a merger with rival Gojek

Southeast Asian on-demand transport rivals Grab and Gojek deny that they are involved in talks to merge, but today Grab announced a piece of news that — at the very least — is sure to divert attention from that story, or more likely stoke the fires of speculation that it is indeed gearing up for […]

Speedinvest raises new €190M fund to continue backing early-stage European tech startups

Speedinvest, the European seed-stage VC that was started from Vienna but has since added offices in London, Berlin, Munich and San Francisco, has raised a new €190 million fund. It brings the firm’s total assets under management to more than €400 million.

Graphcore, the AI chipmaker, raises another $150M at a $1.95B valuation

The UK has a strong history when it comes to processors, but the global chip market has seen some ups and downs of late.

Revolut raises $500 million at a $5.5 billion valuation

Fintech startup Revolut is raising a large Series D round of funding. TCV is leading the $500 million round, valuing the company at $5.5 billion. Over the past few years, Revolut has raised $836 million in total. Some existing investors are also participating in today’s funding round,

VC firm Oxx says SaaS startups should avoid high-risk growth models

Oxx, a European venture capital firm co-founded by Richard Anton and Mikael Johnsson, this month announced the closing of its debut fund of $133 million to back “Europe’s most promising SaaS companies” at Series A and beyond. Launched in 2017 and headquartered in London and Stockholm,

Forensic Architecture redeploys surveillance state tech to combat state-sponsored violence

The specter of constant surveillance hangs over all of us in ways we don't even fully understand, but it is also possible to turn the tools of the watchers against them.

Mirantis co-founder launches FreedomFi to bring private LTE networks to enterprises

Boris Renski, the co-founder of Mirantis, one of the earliest and best-funded players in the OpenStack space a few years ago (which then mostly pivoted to Kubernetes and DevOps), has left his role as CMO to focus his efforts on a new startup: FreedomFi.

Venmo prototypes a debit card for teenagers

Allowance is going digital. Venmo has been spotted prototyping a new feature that would allow adult users to create a debit card connected to their account for their teenage children.

Homie CEO resigns after allegations of sexual harassment from job applicant

Jordi Greenham, the co-founder and CEO of Mexican long-term rentals startup Homie, has resigned after a sexual harassment investigation was carried out by the company’s ethics board. On February 14, Homie launched an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against Greenham,

Huawei’s ill-fated foldable returns with a more robust upgrade

MWC may have been canceled on account of rising coronavirus concerns, but the party still went on for Huawei (albeit to what appears to have been a mostly empty room). A year after wowing crowds with the Mate X, the company is introducing the Mate Xs. Rather than a proper successor,

Max Q: How to build a Starship

Max Q is a new weekly newsletter all about space. Sign up here to receive it weekly on Sundays in your inbox. Busy week for SpaceX – across funding, space tourism, and next-gen spacecraft. There’s also a space station resupply mission coming up that it’s getting ready for,

Intuit confirms that it is buying Credit Karma for $7.1B in cash and stock

The week is kicking off with a major piece of M&A in the world of financial technology startups. Today Intuit — the accounting, tax filing and financial planning software giant behind QuickBooks, TurboTax and Mint,

Shipt shoppers are the latest gig workers to organize

Inspired by the work of Instacart shoppers over the last few years, a handful of workers at Target-owned Shipt, a grocery delivery service, are beginning to organize. With the help of two key Instacart shopper-activists, Vanessa Bain and Sarah Clarke, who goes by a pseudonym,

In Fortnite’s new spy-themed season, more is more

The new season of Fortnite’s second chapter finally landed last week, shaking up a reimagined map that burst dramatically out of a black hole in the game last year. Over the weekend, we scoped out what’s changed in a game now sprinkled with secret agents,

How to make a deal with a VC at a tech conference

Which one should you attend? How do you get in? And above all, what is it that you want to get out of this schmooze session?

New Netflix feature reveals the top 10 most popular programs on its service

Netflix is adding a new feature that will rank the 10 most popular programs on its service in your country, the company announced today. Its top 10 Overall list will display the most popular programs from across all Netflix content, including both movies and shows. In addition,

With cinnamon, fruit and mint-flavored nicotine gum, is LA’s Lucy Goods the next Juul?

David Renteln, the Los Angeles-based co-founder of Soylent and the co-founder and chief executive of new nicotine gum manufacturer Lucy Goods, thinks there should be a better-tasting, less-medicinal offering for people looking to quit smoking. That’s why he founded Lucy Goods,

Katherine Johnson, legendary NASA mathematician and ‘hidden figure,’ dies at 101

Katherine Johnson, a mathematician who defied prejudice in the ’50s and ’60s to help NASA send the first men to the moon, has died at the age of 101. Only recently famous after the film “Hidden Figures” was made about her and her colleagues,

Deviceplane wants to bring over-the-air updates to Linux edge devices

Deviceplane, a member of the Y Combinator Winter 2020 class is developing an open source toolset to manage, monitor and update Linux devices running at the edge, “We solve the hard infrastructure problems that all these companies face including network conductivity, SSH access,

Facebook’s Creator Studio gains a mobile companion

Facebook’s Creator Studio has added a mobile companion. The insights dashboard for creators and publishers, which debuted globally in August 2018, is now available as a mobile app for both iOS and Android. Similar to the desktop hub,

Daily Crunch: Sony unveils its first 5G smartphone

Sony announces a camera-centric phone, Microsoft offers more details about the next Xbox and a liquid biopsy startup raises $165 million. Here’s your Daily Crunch for February 24, 2020. 1. Sony announces its first 5G flagship, the triple lens Xperia 1 II Sony has announced its first 5G smartphone:

Boom says its supersonic XB-1 aircraft test program will be “fully carbon neutral”

Commercial aviation isn’t typically the place to look if you’re after carbon-light initiatives. Jet fuel isn’t generally very green, and airplanes burn a lot of it when traversing the skies.

A team of Imagineers will discuss Disney’s tech breakthroughs at TC Sessions: Robotics + AI, March 3

With TC Sessions: Robotics + AI 2020 a little over a week away, you likely thought we were finished with our big announcements. Understandably. We have top executives from Amazon and Toyota Research, and some of the hottest startups and biggest VCs.

Cruise can now transport passengers in self-driving cars in CA

Cruise recently received a permit to transport passengers in its autonomous vehicles in California. Granted by the California Public Utilities Commission, the permit is part of the state’s Autonomous Vehicle Passenger Service pilot. As part of the program,

ProtoPie helps designers translate their work to engineering without the hassles

It’s the golden age of design for software companies. Designers are becoming more visible and popular on engineering teams, figuring out everything from the visuals of color palette and fonts to the deeper interaction flows and user experience journeys that underlie products.

Target breaks into the top 10 list of US e-commerce retailers

Target’s investments in store remodels, same-day delivery, and drive-up services are paying off. The retailer, which used to rank No. 11 in U.S. e-commerce sales, has now jumped three spots to break into the top 10 list as the No. 8 retailer, according to a new report from analyst firm eMarketer.

A boom, a bust, a reckoning, a race: four takes on today’s startup market

Where are we today in the startup business cycle? We'll summarize a few different perspectives on the question, and then come up with our best synthesis of the group.

Disney+ launches discounted annual subscriptions for European users

Disney is offering a discount on its new streaming service for select European markets ahead of its March 24th launch, the company announced on Monday. Customers who pre-order Disney+ before March 23rd will get £10 or €10 a full year’s subscription, bringing the cost down to around £49.99 or €59.

Coronavirus fears hit markets, bringing US shares down as tech and SaaS slip

Fears over the potential impact of the coronavirus spreading in Europe, Asia and the Middle East have sent stocks plummeting in Monday’s open — with tech stocks among the hardest hit. The reason for the declines are clear: Over the weekend,

Microsoft offers a closer look at the next Xbox

It’s been a few months since Microsoft announced the impending arrival of the Xbox Series X. The somewhat redundantly named console made cameo during the Game Awards, getting a late 2020 date in the process. We got at glimpse at the big, boxy design and peek into a handful of features,

Equity Monday: Stocks fall, Square earnings, and Capiche raises $1.1M

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.

Your next tire change could be performed by a robot

Waiting in a service station waiting room purgatory one day, Victor Darolfi had a simple thought. “I sat at America’s Tires for three hours and thought, hey, we use robots to put tires on at the factory,” the founder explains. “Why don’t we bring robots into the service industry?

Databricks makes bringing data into its ‘lakehouse’ easier

Databricks today announced that launch of its new Data Ingestion Network of partners and the launch of its Databricks Ingest service.

The Plaid “mafia” begins with John Whitfield joining student loan fintech startup Summer

So far this year, one of the most eye-popping startup exits has been Visa’s $5.3 billion acquisition of fintech data services platform Plaid. It’s a major exit in the white-hot fintech space, and while that transaction is still going through regulatory reviews,

Karius raises $165 million for its liquid biopsy technology identifying diseases with a blood draw

“What Karius is good at is identifying those novel microbes before they become an outbreak like coronavirus,” says Mickey Kertesz, a chief executive whose life sciences startup just hauled in $165 million in new funding. While the new money may have been raised under the looming threat of Covid 19,

Sony announces its first 5G flagship, the triple lens Xperia 1 II

Sony has announced its first 5G smartphone: The Xperia 1 II — which, for the curious and/or confused, is pronounced ‘Xperia One, Mark Two’. Which isn’t at all confusing, er. “No one understands the entertainment experience better than Sony,” said president of mobile communications, Mitsuya Kishida,

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