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MediaLab acquires messaging app Kik, expanding its app portfolio

Popular messaging app Kik is, indeed, “here to stay” following an acquisition by the Los Angeles-based multimedia holding company, MediaLab. It echoes the same message from Kik’s chief executive Tim Livingston last week when he rebuffed earlier reports that the company would shut down amid an ongoing battle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Livingston […]

This Week in Apps: League of Legends goes mobile, Tim Cook talks to China and more

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 in 2018 saw 194 billion downloads and more than $100 billion in purchases. Just in the past quarter, consumer spending exceeded $23 billion and installs topped 31 billion. […]

HuffPost is reportedly on the auction block

Late last night the Financial Times reported that HuffPost, arguably one of the crown jewels of Verizon Media Group’s remaining network of media properties (which includes TechCrunch), is up for sale. Verizon has been shedding media properties in a retreat from the strategy that it had begun to execute with the acquisition of AOL for […]

The new iPhone is ugly

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a bit old-fashioned when it comes to phones. Everyone scoffs at my iPhone SE, but the truth is it’s the best phone Apple ever made — a beautiful, well designed object in just about every way. But damn is the iPhone 11 Pro ugly. And so are […]

Mercedes-Benz app glitch exposed car owners’ information to other users

Mercedes-Benz car owners have said that the app they used to remotely locate, unlock and start their cars was displaying other people’s account and vehicle information. TechCrunch spoke to two customers who said the Mercedes-Benz’ connected car app was pulling in information from other accounts and not their own, allowing them to see other car […]

HTC releases a cheaper blockchain phone

Whatever you might say about HTC (and believe me, there’s plenty to say), at least the company takes some fascinating chance. As newly minted CEO Yves Maitre admitted to me at Disrupt a couple of weeks back, the once mighty smartphone giant has lost the thread in recent years. But if nothing else, the Exodus […]

Startups Weekly: The unicorn from down under, an Uber TV show and All Raise’s expansion

In this week's newsletter: Pendo raises $100M, 'cloud kitchens' is an oxymoron and 'Super Pumped' is hitting the small screen.

Apple’s China stance makes for strange political alliances, as AOC and Ted Cruz slam the company

In a rare instance of bipartisanship overcoming the rancorous discord that’s been the hallmark of the U.S. Congress, senators and sepresentatives issued a scathing rebuke to Apple for its decision to take down an app at the request of the Chinese government. Signed by Senators Ron Wyden, Tom Cotton, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Congressional […]

AI is helping scholars restore ancient Greek texts on stone tablets

Machine learning and AI may be deployed on such grand tasks as finding exoplanets and creating photorealistic people, but the same techniques also have some surprising applications in academia: DeepMind has created an AI system that helps scholars understand and recreate fragmentary ancient Greek texts on broken stone tablets.

Adam Neumann planned for his children and grandchildren to control WeWork

WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann didn’t plan for his family’s control of WeWork to end at his death but instead expected to pass that control to future generations of Neumanns, too, says Business Insider. The outlet reports that in a speech Neumann gave to employees in January of this year, footage of which it says it […]

VR/AR startup valuations reach $45 billion (on paper)

Despite early-stage virtual reality market and augmented reality market valuations softening in a transitional period, total global AR/VR startup valuations are now at $45 billion globally — include non-pure play AR/VR startups discussed below, and that amount exceeds $67 billion. More than $8 billion has been returned to investors through M&A already, with the remaining […]

Tilting Point acquires game monetization startup Gondola

Tilting Point announced yesterday that it has acquired Gondola, a company that aims to increase to improve game monetization by optimizing in-game offers and video ads. Tilting Point CEO Kevin Segalla described his company’s model as “progressive publishing” — usually, mobile game developers starting working with Tilting Point because they need help with user acquisition, […]

Where are US fintech’s next billion-dollar startups?

As fintech investments soar to new heights, investors are looking at the bottom and top levels of the services stack to find the next billion-dollar startups. That’s the word from seasoned investors like Andreessen Horowitz’s managing director, Angela Strange, who has invested in a number of successful financial services technology companies. For Strange and Chris […]

Alphabet’s Wing begins making first commercial drone deliveries in the U.S.

Alphabet -owned drone delivery spin-out Wing is starting to service U.S. customers, after becoming the first drone delivery company to get the federal go-ahead to do so earlier this year. Wing is working with FedEx Express and Walgreens on this pilot, and their first customers are Michael and Kelly Collver, who will get a “cough […]

Daily Crunch: Zuckerberg has thoughts on free speech

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. Zuckerberg on Chinese censorship: Is that the internet we want? The Facebook CEO spoke yesterday at Georgetown University, sharing his thoughts […]

Harley-Davidson has resumed production of the LiveWire

Harley-Davidson has resumed production and deliveries of its electric LiveWire motorcycle after determining an issue with charging was isolated to a single vehicle. HD halted production and delivery of its first electric motorcycle earlier this week after discovering what it described at the time as a “non-standard condition.” Harley-Davidson didn’t recall any of the LiveWire […]

Who will own the future of transportation?

Autonomous vehicles are often painted as a utopian-like technology that will transform parking lots into parks and eliminate traffic fatalities — a number that reached 1.35 million globally in 2018. Even if, as many predict, autonomous vehicles are deployed en masse, the road to that future promises to be long, chaotic and complex. The emergence […]

$35B face data lawsuit against Facebook will proceed

Facebook just lost a battle in its war to stop a $35 billion class action lawsuit regarding alleged misuse of facial recognition data in Illinois. Today it was denied its request for an en banc hearing before the full slate of ninth circuit judges that could have halted the case. Now the case will go […]

Bloomberg Beta, now six years old, closes its third $75 million fund

Bloomberg Beta, a San Francisco-based outfit that uses Bloomberg LP’s money to make bets on startups, has closed its third fund with $75 million, according to Roy Bahat, who’d previously run the online media company IGN and who operates the fund as an equal partnership with Karin Klein and James Chan. (Klein formerly ran Bloomberg’s […]

YellowHeart allows musicians and concert organizers to take more control of resold tickets

YellowHeart is trying to solve a problem that should be familiar to anyone who’s ever tried to buy a ticket to a popular concert: Those tickets will often get snatched up by scalpers, who then resell them at a much higher price. In fact, the startup’s CEO Josh Katz said he founded the company because […]

Exclusive: 2019 HAX report reveals hardware startup trends

Hardware startups are expanding from the world of consumer tech; global hardware accelerator HAX knows this better than most and details the latest trends in its yearly report. One of the most active early-stage hardware investors, the group today released exclusively to TechCrunch its yearly report with insights on hardware startups. The report highlighted several […]

Former Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd has passed away

Mark Hurd, who until last month, was one of two CEOs leading the database software giant Oracle, has passed away at age 62, one month after telling employees in a letter that he was taking a leave of absence owing to health reasons. Staffers, who were notified that Hurd died earlier this morning, have been offering their […]

A set of new tools can decrypt files locked by Stop, a highly active ransomware

Thousands of ransomware victims may finally get some long-awaited relief. New Zealand-based security company Emsisoft has built a set of decryption tools for Stop, a family of ransomware that includes Djvu and Puma, which they say could help victims recover some of their files. Stop is believed to be the most active ransomware in the […]

Three of the best tackle the thorny issue of Brexit for startups at Disrupt Berlin

The turbulence of Brexit has left both UK and European startups alike wondering about the best path forward. From recruiting to acquiring investment to scaling into other parts of Europe, the challenges seem to be mounting. By December, who knows what will have happened on the Brexit landscape, such is the chaos. At Disrupt Berlin […]

Report: T-Mobile partners with Jeffrey Katzenberg’s mobile streaming service Quibi

On the heels of getting the FCC’s proposal to merge with Sprint, T-Mobile announced a plan to partner with the Jeffrey Katzenberg’s mobile streaming service, Quibi. According to statements provided to the L.A. Times, Quibi CEO Meg Whitman specifically called out T-Mobile’s “impressive 5G road map” as a good fit for the soon-to-launch streaming service. […]

Greylock GP Sarah Guo is as bullish on SaaS as ever

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where each week we discuss other people’s money and what sense their investment choices make (or don't).

Volvo creates a dedicated business for autonomous industrial and commercial transport

Volvo Group has established a new dedicated business group focused on autonomous transportation, with a mandate that covers industry segments like mining, ports and moving goods between logistics hubs of all kinds. The vehicle maker has already been active in putting autonomous technology to work in these industries, with self-driving projects including at a few […]

Japan will participate in NASA’s Lunar Gateway project for the Artemis program

Japan has officially announced that it will participate with NASA’s Lunar Gateway project (via NHK), which will seek to establish an orbital research and staging station around the Moon. The Lunar Gateway is a key component of NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to land the first American woman and the next American man on the […]

Watch NASA’s first ever all-woman spacewalk live

NASA astronauts Christina H Koch and Jessica Meir will make history this morning, as they take part in the first ever spacewalk in the agency’s history featuring only women. The two astronauts will be venturing outside of the International Space Station in order to effect a repair on a failed power controller for the station, […]

Last few hours to apply: TC Top Picks @ Disrupt Berlin 2019

This is it, startup founders. Today, October 18, is the last day and your final opportunity to be chosen as a TC Top Pick, to score a free Startup Alley Exhibitor Package and to shine a bright spotlight on your company at Disrupt Berlin 2019 on 11-12 December. You have only a few hours left to beat […]

Mobile game startup Madbox raises $16.5 million after 100 million downloads

French startup Madbox is raising a $16.5 million (€15 million) Series A funding round from Alven. The company is developing mobile games and handles everything from start to finish, from game design to publishing and user acquisition. Madbox is a young player in the mobile game space. The company is the result of the merger […]

Kenyan telco Safaricom’s Alpha incubator faces uncertain future

Safaricom’s Nairobi based Alpha innovation incubator may have an uncertain future, according to sources. With two high-level departures, and the passing of Safaricom’s CEO Bob Collymore, there are questions on how or if Alpha will continue to operate. The space was established in 2017 to spur new product development for Safaricom, which is Kenya’s largest […]

Catalan separatists have tooled up with a decentralized app for civil disobedience

Is our age of ubiquitous smartphones and social media turning into an era of mass civil unrest? Two years after holding an independence referendum and unilaterally declaring independence in defiance of the Spanish state — then failing to gain recognition for la república and being forced to watch political leaders jailed or exiled — Catalonia’s […]

Swarm gets green light from FCC for its 150-satellite constellation

Swarm Technologies aims to connect smart devices around the world with a low-bandwidth but ever-present network provided by satellites — and it just got approval from the FCC to do so. Apparently the agency is no longer worried that Swarm's sandwich-sized satellites are too small to be tracked.

Airbnb’s WeWork problem

Airbnb may be another overvalued 'unicorn,' but it's no WeWork.

Every state but Alaska has reported vape lung victims, now numbering 1,479 nationwide

A lung condition apparently caused by vaping has been reported in every state but Alaska, the CDC has announced. The total number of suspected and confirmed cases has risen to 1,479, and at least 33 people have died as a result of the affliction.

Nintendo Switch hits another sales milestone

Nintendo’s North American Switch unit sales have already surpassed the lifetime worldwide unit sales of the Wii U. The company announced Thursday that they had sold 15 million units of the popular handheld console in North America, further noting that the Switch had been the most popular console in the U.S. for 10 months in […]

Getting press for your startup: the true role of communications

Welcome to this edition of The Operators, a recurring Extra Crunch column produced by insiders with executive experience.

The battle to become the Mexican Nubank just started

Although the market is still in its early stage with just a handful of neobanks with running services, the stage is set for an amusing upcoming battle.

Atlassian acquires Code Barrel, makers of Automation for Jira

Atlassian today announced that it has acquired Code Barrel, the makers of Automation for Jira, a low-code tool for easily automating many aspects of Jira that’s also one of the most popular add-ons for Jira Software and Jira Service Desk in Atlassian’s marketplace. The two companies did not disclose the price of the acquisition. Sydney-based […]

Bosch’s new ‘ear’ for the Space Station’s Astrobee robot will let it ‘hear’ potential mechanical issues

Bosch is set to launch a new AI-based sensor system to the International Space Station that could change the way astronauts and ground crew monitor the ISS’s continued healthy operation. The so-called “SoundSee” module will be roughly the size of a lunch box, and will make its way to the ISS via Northrop Grumman’s forthcoming […]

How Unity built the world’s most popular game engine

What do BMW, Tencent, Pokémon Go creator Niantic, movie director Jon Favreau and construction giant Skanska have in common? They’re all using the same platform to create their products. Founded in a small Copenhagen apartment in 2004, Unity Technologies’ makes a game engine — a software platform for building video games. But the company, which […]

Zubale, founded in Mexico City last year by two HBS grads, just raised $4.4 million to put locals to work over their smart phones

A year ago, at a demo day south of San Francisco, we watched a number of recently formed startups pitch investors on their companies. One that stood out to us at the time was Zubale, a Mexico City-based outfit whose founders were looking to connect big corporations with Latin Americans eager to address tasks on […]

New NVIDIA Shield Android TV streaming device leaks via Amazon listing

The fact that NVIDIA is updating its Shield TV hardware has already been telegraphed via FCC filing, but a leak earlier today paints much more of a detailed picture. An Amazon listing for a new NVIDIA Shield Pro set-top streaming device went live briefly before being taken down, showing a familiar hardware design, a new […]

HBO Max scores all 21 Studio Ghibli films

HBO’s streaming services have long succeeded on the strength of original programming, but in a post AT&T acquisition world, the company is having to create a streaming service supergroup of exceptional content to lure consumers into coughing up more cash. HBO has been on a shopping spree for its HBO Max service. It bought right […]

Zuckerberg on Chinese censorship: Is that the internet we want?

China is exporting its social values, political ads are an important part of free expression, and the definition of dangerous speech must be kept in check, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg argued today in a speech at Georgetown University. He criticized how American companies that do business with China were becoming influenced by the country’s values. […]

Google Maps adds more Waze-like features, including driving incident reports

Google Maps is starting to look a lot more like Waze. Google today announced a series of new features that will allow drivers using the Maps app on iOS to report accidents, speed traps, and traffic jams. And on both iOS and Android, users will be able to report other driving hazards and incidents, like […]

Juul will stop selling mango, creme, fruit and cucumber pod flavors in the U.S.

Juul has stopped selling a number of its flavored nicotine products — mango, creme, fruit and cucumber — in the U.S., pending a review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Now, the vaping company will only sell the flavors that taste like tobacco, mint or menthol in the U.S., the company announced today. “We […]

Luna Display now supports older Macs as a secondary screen

Secondary display companies are among the latest to get a taste of Sherlocking, after Apple introduced Sidecar as part of the recent Catalina update. Honestly, the feature is far and away the best thing about the latest version of MacOS and as a number of third-party app developers have discovered over the decades, it’s hard […]

Tesla gets green light to start producing EVs in China

China’s industry ministry has add Tesla to a government list of approved automotive manufacturers, a designation that allows the electric automaker to begin producing vehicles in the country. Tesla’s inclusion on the list published by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology was reported by Reuters. A Chinese tech site also reported the news and […]