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Daily Crunch: Google’s first retail location opened today in NYC

To get a roundup of TechCrunch’s biggest and most important stories delivered to your inbox every day at 3 p.m. PDT, subscribe here. Welcome back to the Daily Crunch for Thursday, June 17. Thank you to Walter Thompson and the Extra Crunch staff for taking the reins I took from Alex. I was released from jury duty, so I’ll be seeing you through the remainder of the week, and we’ll be back to regularly scheduled Alex in no time. But before we get on with the show, I want to let you know that Duolin...
Tags: Google, Amazon, TC, New York, Tech, Chelsea, Nintendo, Pfizer, Amd, Kirsten Gillibrand, Alex, Duolingo, Pittsburgh, Eric Eldon, Ingrid, Newsletters


Spotify acquires Podz, a podcast discovery platform

Podcasts are all the rage, but podcast discovery is a challenge. Today, Spotify announced its acquisition of Podz, a startup that’s trying to solve the problem of podcast discovery. “At Spotify, we are investing to build and scale the world’s best (and most personalized) podcast discovery experience,” the company said. “We believe that Podz’ technology will complement and accelerate Spotify’s focused efforts to drive discovery, deliver listeners the right content at the right time, and accelerat...
Tags: Apple, Apps, Spotify, Podcast, Technology, Tech, Machine Learning, Paris Hilton, Microsoft Windows, Operating Systems, Clubhouse, Artist, Katie Couric, Canaan Partners, M13, Latif Peracha


Ford acquires Electriphi as it prepares to woo EV fleet customers

Ford has two electric vehicles in the pipeline —  the E-Transit cargo van and F-150 Lighting Pro —aimed at commercial customers. Now, the automaker is rounding out its future EV commercial business with the acquisition of battery management and fleet monitoring software startup Electriphi. Terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed. Ford is betting that the software developed by the three-year-old San Francisco startup will help it capture more than $1 billion in revenue just from charging by 20...
Tags: TC, Transportation, Electric Vehicle, San Francisco, Tech, Automotive, Ford, Electric Vehicles, Ghadiali, Electriphi, Muffi Ghadiali, Ford Pro


Delivery service Gopuff acquires rideOS for $115 million

On-demand goods, food and alcohol delivery service Gopuff has acquired fleet management platform rideOS for $115 million, sources familiar with the deal say. This acquisition comes just a few months after the Philadelphia-based startup announced a $1.15 billion funding round at a $8.9 billion valuation, up from $3.9 billion in October. Last fall, the company also raised $380 million and bought BevMo, a beverage retailer. Gopuff did not share its updated valuation with this new acquisition. Gopuf...
Tags: Apple, Transportation, UK, New York, Berlin, Tech, M&a, Mergers and Acquisitions, Philadelphia, Logistics, Delivery, Uber Google, GoPuff, rideOS, Justin Ho, Silicon Valley Pittsburgh


KeepTruckin raises $190 million to invest in AI products, double R&D team to 700

KeepTruckin, a hardware and software developer that helps trucking fleets manage vehicle, cargo and driver safety, has just raised $190 million in a Series E funding round, which puts the company’s valuation at $2 billion, according to CEO Shoaib Makani.  G2 Venture Partners , which just raised a $500 million fund to help modernize existing industries, participated in the round, alongside existing backers like Greenoaks Capital, Index Ventures, IVP and Scale Venture Partners, which is manage...
Tags: Startups, TC, Transportation, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Trucking, Mckinsey, Scale Venture Partners, KeepTruckin, Makani, Recent Funding, G2 Venture Partners, Shoaib Makani G2 Venture Partners, Greenoaks Capital Index Ventures IVP, BlackRock KeepTruckin, Usher Transport


Canoo wants to connect owners to all of their vehicles — not just Canoo’s

Electric vehicle startup Canoo detailed some of the features that may be on its app on Thursday, foremost of which is a one-stop shop functionality that customers could use for their Canoo vehicles – and all their other cars, as well. This unusual approach to its branded vehicle app could potentially pay off big-time for Canoo in terms of user data and revenue via sales on services like tire replacements and insurance. If the average Canoo driver owns two other vehicles, that could mean that 50,...
Tags: Apple, Transportation, Apps, Tech, App, Automotive, Electric Vehicles, Netherlands, Oklahoma, Aquila, Treiber, Solera Holdings, Kranz, Stefan Krause, Ulrich Kranz, VDL Nedcar


CEO Shishir Mehrotra and investor S. Somasegar reveal what sings in Coda’s pitch doc

Coda entered the market with an ambitious, but simple, mission. Since launching in 2014, it has seemingly forged a path to realizing its vision with $140 million in funding and 25,000 teams across the globe using the platform. Coda is simple in that its focus is on the document, one of the oldest content formats/tools on the internet, and indeed in the history of software. Its ambition lies in the fact that there are massive incumbents in this space, like Google and Microsoft. Co-founder and CEO...
Tags: Google, Startups, TC, Cloud, Enterprise, Microsoft, Tech, Mehrotra, Seattle, S Somasegar, Microsoft Co, Coda, Somasegar, Madrona, ECL, Shishir Mehrotra


Mobile dialysis startup eyes human trials in 2022 following encouraging animal study

This past year, three sheep in Canada have been wearing their kidneys on their sleeves. Or more aptly, in jackets on their fluffy backs.  These three sheep are part of an ongoing animal study run by the Buffalo, New York-based startup Qidni Labs, a company pursuing waterless and mobile blood purification systems. Qidni Labs was founded in 2014, has raised $1.5 million and is currently in the due diligence process leading up to another round of funding. Qidni Labs was also an award winner ...
Tags: Health, TC, Medicine, Cdc, US, Tech, Canada, Medicare, Fda, Buffalo, Biotech, Infection, Davita, Dialysis, Morteza, Fresenius


US lawmakers want to restrict police use of ‘Stingray’ cell tower simulators

Igor Bonifacic Contributor Share on Twitter Igor Bonifacic is a contributing writer at Engadget. According to BuzzFeed News, Democratic Senator Ron Wyden and Representative Ted Lieu will introduce legislation later today that seeks to restrict police use of international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) catchers. More commonly known as Stingrays, police frequently use IMSI catchers and cell-site simulators to collect informat...
Tags: Column, Technology, Mobile Security, California, Montana, US, Tech, Sms, Surveillance, Law Enforcement, Mobile Phones, United States, Telecommunications, Judge, District Of Columbia, Mobile Phone


Following lawsuits, Snapchat pulls its controversial speed filter

Lately, Snapchat’s 3D Cartoon lens has been all the buzz, making all of our friends look like Pixar characters. But since 2013, a staple filter on the ephemeral photo sharing app has been the speed filter, which shows how fast a phone is moving when it takes a photo or video. Today, Snapchat confirmed that it will pull the filter from the app. NPR first reported this today, calling it a “dramatic reversal” of Snap’s earlier defense of the feature. Over the years, there have been multiple car acc...
Tags: Apps, Lawsuit, Technology, Selfie, California, Tech, Snapchat, Instant Messaging, Software, Computing, Npr, Bob Marley, Lawyer, Driver, Car Accidents, Snap


Going, going, almost gone! Only a few spots left in Startup Alley at TC Disrupt 2021

Now hear this! Early-stage founders, a shipload of opportunity is about to set sail and you don’t want to miss the boat. We have only a few spots left to exhibit in Startup Alley at TechCrunch Disrupt 2021 (September 21-23). Buy a Startup Alley Pass and take advantage of all the exposure, perks and potential to help your startup cruise to the next level. Every exhibiting startup gets a virtual booth where you can post a company video and links to your website and social media accounts. But don’t...
Tags: TC, Tech, Startup Alley, Startup Battlefield, TC Disrupt, TechCrunch Disrupt 2021, Startup Alley Crawl, Startup Alley Here, Startup Alley cohort TC


There are only a few spots left in Startup Alley at TC Disrupt 2021

Early-stage founders, a shipload of opportunity is about to set sail and you don’t want to miss the boat. We have only a few spots left to exhibit in Startup Alley at TechCrunch Disrupt 2021 (September 21-23). Buy a Startup Alley Pass and take advantage of all the exposure, perks and potential to help your startup cruise to the next level. Every exhibiting startup gets a virtual booth where you can post a company video and links to your website and social media accounts. But don’t stop there. Ho...
Tags: TC, Tech, Startup Alley, Startup Battlefield, TC Disrupt, TechCrunch Disrupt 2021, Startup Alley Crawl, Startup Alley Here, Startup Alley cohort TC


How to launch a successful RPA initiative

Kevin Buckley Contributor Share on Twitter With more than 25 years of experience as a technical and business consultant, Kevin Buckley helps organizations improve business efficiencies, reduce business costs and improve business outcomes through software automation. Robotic process automation (RPA) is rapidly moving beyond the early adoption phase across verticals. Automating just basic workflow processes has resulted in such ...
Tags: Column, Enterprise, Tech, Ap, Automation, Workflow, SaaS, RPA, Business Process Management, Robotic Process Automation, Business Process Automation, Kevin Buckley, EC Enterprise Applications, EC Column, EC How To


Apple AirTags UX teardown: The trade-off between privacy and user experience

Peter Ramsey Contributor Share on Twitter Peter Ramsey is CEO of Built For Mars, a UX consultancy that helps customers build better product experiences. More posts by this contributor Clubhouse UX teardown: A closer look at homepage curation, follow hooks and other features Spotify Group Session UX teardown: The fails and their fixes Apple’s location devices — called AirTags — have been out for ...
Tags: Apple, Tech, Mars, Peter Ramsey, Instead Apple


Anduril raises $450M as the defense tech company’s valuation soars to $4.6B

The AI-powered defense company founded by tech iconoclast Palmer Luckey has landed a $450 million round of investment that values the startup at $4.6 billion just four years in. In April, reports suggested that the company was on the hunt for fresh investment and headed for a valuation between four and five billion, up from $1.9 billion in July 2020. The new Series D round was led by angel investor and serial entrepreneur Elad Gil, a former Twitter VP and Googler with a track record of investmen...
Tags: TC, Facebook, Technology, Government, Tech, Department Of Defense, Nasa, Artificial Intelligence, Border, Marine Corps, Andreessen Horowitz, Customs, Air Force, General Catalyst, Science and Technology, Founders Fund


Mobility startups can be equitable, accessible and profitable

Mobility should be a right, but too often it’s a privilege. Can startups provide the technology and the systems necessary to help correct this injustice? Shared micromobility, in particular, offers an opportunity for more equitable and accessible mobility within cities, but only if done intentionally. Building equity and accessibility into the business model is not always top of mind for startups looking to pay back investors and make money, and it’s a time-consuming task. Is it still possible t...
Tags: Startups, TC, Transportation, Remix, Tech, Accessibility, Equity, Revel, Butler, North Brooklyn, VIA, Micromobility, Frank Reig, Reig, Event Recap, Tiffany Chu


Vitosha Venture Partners launches $30M fund to back Bulgarian-related early-stage startups

Vitosha Venture Partners is a brand new venture fund launching out of Bulgaria, and backed by the Bulgarian government. The 26 million euro ($30M) fund aims to invest in approximately 100 companies, starting from low ticket sizes all the way up to a million, in early-stage and growth-stage companies that are based in or related to Bulgaria. Vitosha will be co-financed by the European Structural and Investment Funds under the Operational Programme for Innovation and Competitiveness 2014-2020, man...
Tags: TC, Europe, Tech, Venture Capital, Bulgaria, Agtech, Eastern Europe, Kamen, Erik Anderson, UiPath, Co-founder, Managing Partner, South Eastern Europe, Vitosha, European Structural and Investment Funds, Max Gurvits


Canoo to build its first electric vehicle factory in Oklahoma

Canoo, the electric vehicle startup that recently became a publicly traded company through a merger with a SPAC, plans to build a factory in Oklahoma that will employ up to 2,000 workers, newly appointed CEO Tony Aquila said Thursday during the company’s investor day presentation. The factory will be located on a 400-acre site in the MidAmerica Industrial Park in Pryor, Oklahoma about 45 minutes from Tulsa. The facility, which the company describes as a “mega microfactory” will include a paint, ...
Tags: Google, TC, Transportation, Electric Vehicle, Tech, Tesla, Austin, Electric Vehicles, Netherlands, Oklahoma, North America, Hyundai, East Coast, Faraday Future, Tulsa, SPAC


Transform launches with $24.5M in funding for a tool to query and build metrics out of data troves

The biggest tech companies have put a lot of time and money into building tools and platforms for their data science teams and those who work with them to glean insights and metrics out of the masses of data that their companies produce: how a company is performing, how a new feature is working, when something is broken, or when something might be selling well (and why) are all things you can figure out if you know how to read the data. Now, three alums that worked with data in the world of big ...
Tags: Facebook, Enterprise, Developer, Big Data, Funding, Tech, Airbnb, Big Data Analytics, Metrics, Redpoint Ventures, Index Ventures, Transform, Looker, Yang, Minerva, Handel


Hit game PUBG Mobile returns to India with scores of questions

Krafton, which filed for an IPO earlier this week, has built a gigantic gaming empire. If the firm is able to raise the target $5 billion from the IPO it will be the largest public offering in its home country, South Korea. The firm has something to celebrate elsewhere in the world, too. On Thursday, it pulled off another feat that no other firm has been able to achieve: Its sleeper hit title, PUBG Mobile, has made a return to India, which banned the title more than nine months ago. The world’s ...
Tags: Apple, Google, TC, Gaming, Apps, Asia, South Korea, China, Ipo, India, Tech, Alibaba, Tencent, Mobile Gaming, New Delhi, South Asia


Wise announces plans to go public via direct listing

Wise, the fintech company formerly known as TransferWise, has announced that it wants to become a public company on the London Stock Exchange. Instead of following the traditional IPO route, Wise plans to go public via a direct listing. This is going to be the biggest direct listing on the London Stock Exchange. If you’re not familiar with Wise, the company specializes in cross-border money transfers. If you want to send money to someone living in another country, traditional retail banks charge...
Tags: Startups, Europe, Finance, Tech, London Stock Exchange, Fintech, Transferwise, Western Union, Wise, Monzo, Wise With Wise


Gusto makes first acquisition, buying Ardius to expand into R&D tax credits

Free money from the government sounds like winning the lottery, but the reality is that most tech startups and even local retail businesses and restaurants can potentially qualify for tax credits related to research and development in the United States. Those credits, which is what helps tech giants keep their tax rates to near zero, are hard for smaller companies to receive because of extensive documentation requirements and potential audit costs. So a number of startups have been launched to s...
Tags: Enterprise, La, Government, New York City, Los Angeles, Tech, HR, United States, SaaS, M&a, R&D, Tax Credit, PPP, Gusto, Reeves, San Francisco Denver


Google announces EPYC-based Tau virtual machines for Cloud

Google this morning announced the launch of Tau, a new family of virtual machines built on AMD’s third-gen EPYC processor. According to the company, the new x86-compatible system offers a 42% price-performance boost over standard VMs. Google notably first started utilizing AMD EPYC processors for Cloud back in 2017, while Amazon Cloud’s offerings date back to 2018. Google claims the Tau family “leapfrogs” existing cloud VMs. The systems come in a variety of configurations, ranging up to 60vCPUs ...
Tags: Google, Cloud, Hardware, Enterprise, Tech, Amd, Google Google, Tau, Google Cloud, Amazon Cloud, EPYC, Virtual Machine, AMD Epyc, Thomas Kurian, Nick Tornow


5 tips for brands that want to succeed in the new era of influencer marketing

Eric Dahan Contributor Share on Twitter Eric Dahan is co-founder and CEO of Open Influence, one of the first agencies to embrace influencer marketing. If I told you a decade ago that a spin bike would be a social community, you’d have had a good laugh. But that’s precisely what Peloton is: A spin bike with a social community where the instructors are the influencers. Peloton is just one example of how social is being integrat...
Tags: Social, Column, Celebrity, Advertising Tech, Youtube, Marketing, Social Media, Tech, Influencer Marketing, Patreon, Online Advertising, Peloton, Eric Dahan, Tiktok, EC Column, EC Marketing Tech


Lordstown Motors reverses claims about “binding orders” for electric pickup truck

Lordstown Motors does not have binding orders from customers for its electric Endurance pickup truck — a reversal from claims made earlier this week by company executives in an effort to restore confidence in the troubled company, according to a regulatory filing released Thursday. Lordstown Motors interim CEO Angela Strand and President Rich Schmidt made a series of statements Tuesday at an Automotive Press Association event that drove up shares in the company, including that it has enough “bin...
Tags: Transportation, Electric Vehicle, Tech, Automotive, Electric Vehicles, SEC, Securities And Exchange Commission, Don, SPAC, Lordstown, U S Securities and Exchange Commission, Steve Burns, Automotive Press Association, Hindenburg, Workhorse Group, Electric Pickup Truck


China launches 3 astronauts to its new space station core module

Three Chinese astronauts have docked at China’s space station core module, named Tianhe, for the first time. The three astronauts flew to space as part of the Shenzhou 12 mission, China’s first crewed mission since 2012. They will call the core module of the Tiangong space station home until September, making it the longest crewed space mission in China’s history. The three men, Commander Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo, arrived to their final destination just over seven hours after tak...
Tags: TC, Transportation, Space, Congress, China, Tech, Bbc, United States, Mars, Spaceflight, Nie, Shenzhou, Zhurong, Ji Qiming, Shenzhou Program, Tiangong Space Station


Amazon’s Appstore lowers its cut of developer revenue for small businesses, adds AWS credits

Amazon is following in the footsteps of app store giants, Apple and Google, with this week’s introduction of its Amazon Appstore Small Business Accelerator Program. The new program will reduce the commissions Amazon takes on app developer revenues for qualifying smaller businesses. Previously, Amazon’s Appstore took a 30% cut of revenue, including that from in-app purchases. Now, it will take only 20% from developers who earned up to $1 million in the prior calendar year. The program will additi...
Tags: Apple, Google, Amazon, Apps, Tech, Developers, Aws, App-store, Amazon Web Services, Amazon Appstore, Previously Amazon, AppStore, Palanidaran Chidambaram


Neo4j raises Neo$325m as graph-based data analysis takes hold in enterprise

Databases run the world, but database products are often some of the most mature and venerable software in the modern tech stack. Designers will pixel push, frontend engineers will add clicks to make it more difficult to drop out of a soporific Zoom call, but few companies are ever willing to rip out their database storage engine. Too much risk, and almost no return. So it’s exceptional when a new database offering breaks through the barriers and redefines the enterprise. Neo4j, which offers a g...
Tags: Google, Fundings & Exits, Startups, Enterprise, Developer, Singapore, Funding, Tech, First, Suez Canal, APAC, Tom Hulme, Neo4j, DTCP, Eifrem, Emil Eifrem


Last-mile, landscaping and leaping robots

I spoke to Refraction AI co-founder/CTO Matthew Johnson-Roberson on the occasion of the Michigan startup’s $4.2 million seed raise. This week we posted a Q&A where he answers a wider range of topics about the delivery robotics company, and this bit jumped out at me: It still boggles my mind that nobody has tried to copy what we’re doing. There were 10 or 12 sidewalk robot companies in early 2015, 2016 and 2017. Many of them, with a few exceptions, went out of business. Image Credits: Refraction...
Tags: Tech, Mountain View, Michigan, Boulder, Robotics, Delivery, Scythe, Fedex, Cto, Starship Technologies, Ollie, Ahti Heinla, Dusty, Nuro, Tessa Lau, Dusty Robotics


Karin Tsai, director of engineering at Duolingo will be speaking at TechCrunch City Spotlight: Pittsburgh on June 29

TechCrunch City Spotlight: Pittsburgh is getting closer, with impressive featured speakers including Carnegie Mellon University President Farnam Jahanian and Mayor Bill Peduto. However, we’ve saved the best for last: Our last speaker is Karin Tsai, director of engineering at Duolingo, a $2.4 billion business that is all about making language learning fun and accessible. The event will be held on June 29, so make sure to register here (for free) to listen to these conversations, enjoy the pitch-o...
Tags: Startups, TC, Events, Tech, EC, Carnegie Mellon University, Duolingo, Pittsburgh, Don, Tsai, Peduto, Bill Peduto, Farnam Jahanian, Duolingo EC, TechCrunch City Spotlight, Pittsburgh City Spotlight