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OurCrowd launches $100M Pandemic Innovation Fund

OurCrowd, the Israeli crowdfunding venture investment platform, today announced the launch of its Pandemic Innovation Fund, with plans to raise a total of $100 million. The money will be invested in “urgent technological solutions for the medical, business, educational and social needs triggered by global pandemics and other health emergencies.” The fund will invest in […]

Tictrac secures $7.5M to expand employee wellbeing platform as WFH balloons

“Employee Wellbeing” SaaS platforms have been around for some time. Both regulation and increasing stress levels and health problems in the workplace have fed the rise of this sector of tech, and with many corporates painting long-term contracts with providers, it’s a lucrative business. Furthermore, with the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing, large remote-workforces look here to […]

Former Pollen employees were asked to sign an ‘NDA masked as a severance agreement’

Pollen, the U.K.-headquartered travel and events marketplace, describes its company culture as built on principles of “freedom” and openness, including a well-publicised pay transparency policy. However, that doesn’t appear to always be the case with regards to the treatment of recently departing employees. When the word-of-mouth marketing company laid off 69 staff from its various […]

Appway raises $37M, its first-ever funding, for financial customer management tools

With the renewed push for more of the services we use everyday to be accessible online and in a non-physical way, a company out of Switzerland that builds tools for financial services companies to interact better with their customers via the web is today announcing a round of funding to expand its operations. Appway, which […]

Self-driving vehicle startup Argo AI completes $2.6B deal with Volkswagen, expands to Europe

Volkswagen Group finalized Tuesday its $2.6 billion investment into Argo AI, the Pittsburgh-based self-driving car startup that came out of stealth in 2017 with $1 billion in backing from Ford. The deal turns Argo into a global company with two customers — VW and Ford — as well as operations in the U.S. and Europe […]

A service that detects ‘China apps’ goes viral in India

The app’s name says it all: Remove China Apps. Developed by a self-proclaimed “Indian startup” named OneTouch AppLabs, Remove China Apps crossed 1 million downloads within 10 days of launch in May. Its overnight success came amid rising China-Indian tensions over the countries’ disputed border in the Himalayas. Most of the app’s installs are found […]

Twitter restricts Republican lawmaker’s Antifa tweet for ‘glorifying violence’

Twitter placed a tweet from a close political ally of the president behind a warning label Monday, citing its policy prohibiting content that promotes violence. The tweet, from Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, suggested that the U.S. government “hunt down” anti-fascist activists in the country like it would pursue international terrorists. “We have placed a […]

Is Zoom the next Android or the next BlackBerry?

As someone who was at both BlackBerry and Android during their heydays, my biggest learning takeaway is that product experience trumps everything else.

Mobile safety app Parachute’s new feature prevents anyone from turning off your live-streamed video

Mobile safety app Parachute is today rolling out a new feature that will prevent an unauthorized person who grabs your iPhone to stop it from recording live video, even if they attempt to turn off the phone entirely. The timely update arrives amid the nationwide George Floyd protests against police brutality and the systemic racism […]

China Roundup: SoftBank leads Didi’s $500M round and Meituan crosses $100B valuation

Hello and welcome back to TechCrunch’s China Roundup, a digest of recent events shaping the Chinese tech landscape and what they mean to people in the rest of the world. Last week, we had a barrage of news ranging from SoftBank’s latest bet on China’s autonomous driving sector to Chinese apps making waves in the […]

Max Q: SpaceX launches astronauts to orbit

This was a HUGE week in space: SpaceX flew its first-ever human spaceflight mission, with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken hopping a ride on a Crew Dragon to the International Space Station. It’s a milestone for commercial spaceflight, for the U.S. space program and for crewed exploration in general. Liftoff! The SpaceX Falcon […]

The coronavirus has hastened the post-human era

I believe we are seeing meaningful recalibrations of our relationship to identity, labor, health and love. In short, the post-human era is beginning in earnest.

Should SaaS founders be raising capital now?

Here are a few cases and best practices that software founders can use to help push a decision forward now if considering a capital raise in the current environment.

Facebook to verify the identities of some user profiles behind viral posts

Lost in the news of the George Floyd protests against police brutality and racism in the U.S., Facebook last week quietly noted it will now require Facebook Profile pages with large followings in the U.S. to verify their identity. The company said that profiles with sizable audiences, who also have a pattern of inauthentic behavior […]

Salesforce names Vlocity founder David Schmaier CEO of new Salesforce Industries division

When Salesforce announced it was acquiring Vlocity for $1.33 billion in February, it was a deal that made sense for both companies. Today, the company announced that the deal has closed and Vlocity CEO David Schmaier has been named CEO of a new division called Salesforce Industries. Vlocity has built several industry-specific CRM tools such […]

Danggeun Market, the South Korean secondhand marketplace app, raises $33 million Series C

Danggeun Market, the startup behind Karrot, South Korea’s largest neighborhood marketplace and networking app, announced today that that it has raised a $33 million Series C. The round was led by Goodwater Capital and Altos Ventures. The funding brings Danggeun Market’s total raised so far to $40.5 million. Its list of investors also include Kakao […]

Apple has just patched the recent iOS 13.5 jailbreak

Well that didn’t last long. Apple has patched a security vulnerability that allowed hackers to build a jailbreak tool allowing deep access to the iPhone software. In a security advisory, Apple acknowledged that it had fixed the vulnerability in iOS 13.5.1, posted Monday. The technology giant credited the unc0ver team, which released the jailbreak just […]

Sony postpones PlayStation 5 event, in order for ‘more important voices to be heard’

Sony’s planned June 4 PS5 event has been postponed indefinitely, as the U.S. grapples with widespread protests over the death of George Floyd. It’s understandably a difficult time to focus on video game launches, amid national and global unrest. pic.twitter.com/ZAY8StN0EU — PlayStation (@PlayStation) June 1, 2020 The company noted via Twitter, “While we understand gamers […]

India’s richest man built a telecom operator everyone wants a piece of

As investors’ appetites sour in the midst of a pandemic, a three-and-a-half-year-old Indian firm has secured $10.3 billion in a month from Facebook and four U.S.-headquartered private equity firms. The major deals for Reliance Jio Platforms have sparked a sudden interest among analysts, executives and readers at a time when many are skeptical of similar […]

Mark Zuckerberg commits Facebook to $10 million donation to ‘groups working on racial justice’

Even as Facebook continues to take a hands-off approach to monitoring violent rhetoric and disinformation on its platform, the company will make a $10 million donation “to groups working on racial justice” in the U.S., according to a late Sunday night post from chief executive Mark Zuckerberg. The commitment from Facebook follows a week of […]

Amid protests, US police scanner apps and others saw record downloads

Downloads of police scanner apps, tools for private communication and mobile safety apps hit record numbers this past weekend in the U.S., amid continued nationwide protests over the police killing of George Floyd, as well as the systemic problems of racial prejudice that plague the American justice system. According to new data from app store […]

Facebook employees stage virtual walkout in protest of company’s stance on Trump posts

Some Facebook employees are virtually walking out today to challenge the company’s lack of response to President Donald Trump’s posts pertaining to protests in light of the brutal killing of George Floyd. Employees participating in the protest requested time off and then added an out-of-office response to their emails notifying senders they are protesting, The […]

After a spate of device hacks, Google beefs up Nest security protections

Google has added its line of Nest smart home devices to its Advanced Protection Program, a security offering that adds stronger account protections for high-risk users like politicians and journalists. The program, launched in 2017, allows anyone who signs up access to a range of additional account security features, like limiting third-party access to account […]

Android update delivers new ‘Bedtime’ features focused on improving sleep

At Google’s 2018 I/O developer conference, the company debuted a new suite of “digital well-being” aimed at helping Android users better manage their screen time. At its 2019 event, it expanded its tools’ capabilities and improved the related parental controls. Although Google I/O isn’t taking place this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company […]

Daily Crunch: SpaceX’s crewed spacecraft successfully launches and docks

SpaceX made history this weekend, tech executives respond to the ongoing protests against racism and Zynga announces a big acquisition. Here’s your Daily Crunch for June 1, 2020. 1. SpaceX’s first crewed spacecraft successfully docks with the International Space Station SpaceX’s Crew Dragon “Endeavor” successfully docked with the International Space Station as planned on Sunday […]

Priyanka Sharma takes over the leadership of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation, the Linux Foundation-based home of open-source projects like Kubernetes, OpenTracing and Envoy, today announced that Dan Kohn, the long-time executive director of the organization, is stepping down, with Priyanka Sharma, the director of Cloud Native Alliances at GitLab, stepping into the general manager role. Kohn will continue to be part […]

Pax launches desktop app, bypassing Apple’s vaping ban

Pax today is announcing a new app for its cannabis vaporizers. The service offers access to device controls, cannabis strain information and safety features. The company previously launched an Android and iPhone app with similar features, but Apple later removed the version on the App Store, stripping iPhone users of features and information. Pax is […]

Tech companies respond to George Floyd’s death, ensuing protests and systematic racism

On Sunday, a fourth night of protests erupted around the country, spurred on by the May 25 death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police. The movement is a response to wide-ranging and systematic inequality that has seen a disproportionate number of black Americans suffer a similar fate, with Floyd’s desperate gasping […]

Partners at B2B European VC henQ discuss remote work’s biggest advantages

HenQ, an Amsterdam-based VC that invests in European B2B software startups typically at seed and Series A, recently disclosed the first close of its fourth fund at €70 million. The final close is expected to top out at between €75-€85 million later this year, and the firm has already begun backing companies out of the […]

Zoom’s earnings to test hot tech valuations

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between. This week will see two richly valued SaaS businesses share their Q1 earnings reports: CrowdStrike and Zoom. Both are 2019 IPOs, but these relatively young public companies have enjoyed a strong run in the public […]

Equinix is buying 13 data centers from Bell Canada for $750M

Equinix, the data center company, has the distinction of recently recording its 69th straight positive quarter. One way that it has achieved that kind of revenue consistency is through strategic acquisitions. Today, the company announced that it’s purchasing 13 data centers from Bell Canada for $750 million, greatly expanding its footing in the country. The […]

Pinterest adds a ‘Shop’ tab to its Lens Camera search results to showcase matching in-stock products

As more retailers are bringing their products online via Pinterest, the company this morning is launching a new “Shop” tab in its Lens camera search results that will show the matching in-stock merchandise similar to a photo you take of something offline in the real world or even uploaded as a screenshot. To use the […]

Equity Monday: Tech’s stance on change, two funding rounds and fintech layoffs

Good morning and welcome back to TechCrunch’s Equity Monday, a brief jumpstart for your week. A big thanks to start to the whole Equity crew for doing a stellar job last week with the show while I was on vacation, especially to Danny for taking on this particular installment of the podcast. Equity Monday is still […]

Zynga acquires Turkey’s Peak Games for $1.8B, after buying its card games studio for $100M in 2017

Today, some news of a huge acquisition out of Turkey that represents the first billion-dollar-plus exit for a startup out of the country. Social gaming company Zynga confirmed that it is buying Istanbul-based Peak Games, the company behind popular Candy-Crush-style mobile gaming apps Toon Blast and Toy Blast, for $1.8 billion — $900 million in […]

Bonusly, the platform for employee recognition, raises $9 million Series A

Bonusly, a platform that involves the entire organization in recognizing employees and rewarding them, closed on a $9 million Series A financing round led by Access Venture Partners. Next Frontier Capital, Operator Partners, and existing investor FirstMark Capital also participated in the round. Bonusly launched in 2013 when cofounder and CEO Raphael Crawford-Marks saw the […]

Global smartphone sales plummeted 20% in Q1, thanks to COVID-19

More dismal numbers confirm what we already knew: Q1 2020 was real rough for an already struggling smartphone category. Gartner’s latest report puts the global market at a 20.2% slide versus the same time last year, thanks in large part to fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Every single one of the global top-five manufactures saw […]

Africa Roundup: DHL invests in MallforAfrica, Zipline launches in US, Novastar raises $200M

Events in May offered support to the thesis that Africa can incubate tech with global application. Two startups that developed their business models on the continent — MallforAfrica and Zipline — were tapped by international interests. DHL acquired a minority stake in Link Commerce, a turn-key e-commerce company that grew out of MallforAfrica.com — a […]

India rejects Walmart-owned Flipkart’s proposed foray into food retail business

The Indian government has rejected Flipkart’s proposal to enter the food retail business in a setback for Walmart, which owns majority of the Indian e-commerce firm and which recently counted its business in Asia’s third-largest economy as one of the worst impacted by the global coronavirus pandemic. The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal […]

Singapore’s micromobility startup Beam raises $26 million

Beam, a Singapore-headquartered micromobility firm that offers shared e-scooters, has raised $26 million in a new financing round as it looks to expand its footprint in Korea, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Taiwan. Sequoia India and Hana Ventures led the two-and-a-half-year-old startup’s Series A financing round, while several more investors from Asia Pacific region participated, […]

The Station: Amazon eyes Zoox, Aurora goes back to school and Cabana hits the road

The Station is a weekly newsletter dedicated to all things transportation. Sign up here — just click The Station — to receive it every Saturday in your inbox. Hi and welcome back to The Station, a newsletter dedicated to all the present and future ways people and packages move from Point A to Point B. I’m […]

6 VCs share their bets on the future of work

As tech companies like Twitter and Facebook gear up for longer-term remote work solutions, the future of work is becoming one of the more exciting opportunities in venture capital, Charles River Ventures general partner Saar Gur told TechCrunch. And as loneliness mounts with shelter-in-place orders implemented in various forms across the world, investors are looking […]

SpaceX’s first crewed spacecraft successfully docks with the International Space Station

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon ‘Endeavor’ successfully docked with the International Space Station as planned on Sunday morning, marking another key milestone during this historic Commercial Crew demonstration mission it’s conducting with NASA. On board Crew Dragon were NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, the test pilots selected to be the first ever humans to fly […]

Watch live as SpaceX’s first astronaut-carrying spacecraft docks with the International Space Station

Today at around 10:30 AM EDT (7:30 AM PDT), SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule will dock with the International Space Station, with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on board. The two have been in flight on orbit since launching from Kennedy Space Center in Florida yesterday at 3:22 PM EDT, a historic launch that […]

Our grimdark meathook cyberpunk now

Jon Evans Contributor Jon Evans is the CTO of the engineering consultancy HappyFunCorp; the award-winning author of six novels, one graphic novel, and a book of travel writing; and TechCrunch's weekend columnist since 2010. More posts by this contributor Living and working in a worsening world Why are people who cite videos always wrong? Ten […]

SpaceX’s astronaut launch marks the dawn of the commercial human spaceflight industry

SpaceX on Saturday launched two NASA astronauts aboard its Crew Dragon spacecraft, and the accomplishment is a tremendous one for both the company and the U.S. space agency. At a fundamental level, it means that the U.S. will have continued access to the International Space Station, without having to rely on continuing to buy tickets […]

NASA astronauts successfully pilot SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft manually for the first time

NASA astronauts Doug Hurley took over manual control of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft on Saturday, shortly after the vehicle’s historic first launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida. Crew Dragon is designed to fly entirely autonomous throughout the full duration of its missions, including automated docking, de-orbit and landing procedures, but it has manual control […]

Director Ani Acopian breaks down her drone-shot video, ’A World Artists Love’

“A drone is a camera,” Ani Acopian begins simply. “And it can fly. It’s basically a flying super-camera! I’d love to see more film and TV productions embrace the nimble and magical nature of drones and use them for more than bird’s eye view establishing shots.” The director’s video for London-based record label AWAL (Artists […]

SpaceX makes history with successful first human space launch

SpaceX made history today, flying NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to space aboard its Crew Dragon spacecraft using a Falcon 9 rocket. The launch, titled ‘Demo-2’, is for the final demonstration mission in the human rating process of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon and Falcon 9, meaning that once this mission is complete, the launch […]

Startups Weekly: Remote-first work will mean ‘globally fair compensation’

Most tech companies base compensation on an employee's local cost of living, in addition to their skills and responsibilities. But expect that to change.

Huawei’s terrible week

When news broke Friday morning that Britain is looking to propose an alliance of democracies to build a 5G alternative to Huawei, you might think that that was the worst thing to happen to the controversial Chinese telecoms giant this week. In fact, it just caps off a series of fast-moving events that surely makes this […]