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Discord walked away from Microsoft talks, may pursue an IPO

A month after reports that Microsoft sought to buy the hot voice chat app Discord surfaced, those talks are off, a source familiar with the deal confirmed to TechCrunch. Discord is considering plans to stay independent, possibly charting a path to its own IPO in the not-too-distant future. first reported news that the deal was off. The two companies were deep in acquisition talks that valued Discord at around $10 billion before Discord walked away. According to the WSJ, three companies were ex...
Tags: M&A, TC, Clubhouse, Discord, Facebook, Mergers and Acquisitions, Microsoft, Social Media, Software, Voice Chat


Facebook invests in audio with short-form Soundbites feature, podcast support and a Clubhouse clone

Facebook today officially announced a suite of new audio products — an indication that it’s taking the threat from Clubhouse and other audio platforms more seriously. The company is doing more than just building its own take on Clubhouse, however, it’s also announcing tools that allow podcast creators to share long-form audio, a new Spotify integration for music and a brand-new short-form experience called Soundbites. The Clubhouse clone was probably the most-discussed of the new products ahead ...
Tags: Apps, Social, TC, Artist, Audio Networking, Facebook, Instagram Reels, Mark Zuckerberg, Messenger, Mobile Applications, Player, Podcast, Social Media, Social Network, Spotify, United States


Facebook is expanding Spotify partnership with new ‘Boombox’ project

Facebook is deepening its relationship with music company Spotify and will allow users to listen to music hosted on Spotify while browsing through its apps as part of a new initiative called “Project Boombox,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Monday. Facebook is building an in-line audio player that will allow users to listen to songs or playlists being shared on the platforms without being externally linked to Spotify’s app or website. Zuckerberg highlighted the feature as another product desi...
Tags: TC, Ceo, Computing, Facebook, Instagram, Mark Zuckerberg, Operating Systems, Reporter, Social Media, Social Software, Software, Spotify, The Social Network


Popl tops $2.7M in sales for its technology that replaces business cards

If you’re spent any time on TikTok lately, then you’ve probably seen a number of Popl’s ads. The startup has been successfully leveraging social media to get its modern-day business card alternative in front a wider audience. Packaged as either a phone sticker, keychain or wristband, Popl uses NFC technology to make sharing contact information as easy as using Apple Pay. To date, Popl has sold somewhere over 700,000 units and has generated $2.7 million in sales for its digital business card tech...
Tags: Startups, TC, Gadgets, Facebook, Apps, Y Combinator, Instagram, Social Media, Linkedin, Tech, Software, Nfc, Salesforce, Social Network, HubSpot, Ucla


Facebook faces ‘mass action’ lawsuit in Europe over 2019 breach

Facebook is to be sued in Europe over the major leak of user data that dates back to 2019 but which only came to light recently after information on 533M+ accounts was found posted for free download on a hacker forum. Today Digital Rights Ireland (DRI) announced it’s commencing a “mass action” to sue Facebook, citing the right to monetary compensation for breaches of personal data that’s set out in the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Article 82 of the GDPR provides fo...
Tags: Social, TC, Facebook, Twitter, Europe, Lawsuit, Privacy, US, Social Media, Tech, Eu, European Union, Ireland, Personal Data, Data Protection, Litigation


Sales scheduling platform Chili Piper raises $33M Series B funding led by Tiger Global

Chili Piper, which has a sophisticated SaaS appointment scheduling platform for sales teams, has raised a $33 million B round led by Tiger Global. Existing investors Base10 Partners and Gradient Ventures (Google’s AI-focused VC) also participated. This brings the company’s total financing to $54 million. The company will use the capital raised to accelerate product development. The previous $18M A round was led by Base10 and Google’s Gradient Ventures 9 months ago. It’s main competitor is Calend...
Tags: Google, TC, Spotify, Europe, Marketing, Sales, Tech, Atlanta, Artificial Intelligence, Food And Drink, Tiger, Tiger Global, Intuit, Twilio, Piper, Forrester


Pearpop raises from The Chainsmokers, Alexis Ohanian, Amy Schumer, Kevin Hart, Mark Cuban, Marshmello, and Snoop Dogg

Pearpop, the marketplace for social collaborations between the teeming hordes of musicians, craftspeople, chefs, clowns, diarists, dancers, artists, actors, acrobats, aspiring celebrities and actual celebrities, has raised $16 million in funding that includes what seems like half of Hollywood, along with Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six venture firm and Bessemer Venture Partners. The funding was actually split between a $6 million seed funding round co-led by Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary’s Soun...
Tags: Android, TC, Hollywood, Instagram, Amy Schumer, Social Media, Tech, Author, Software, Mark Cuban, Alexis Ohanian, Tony Hawk, Kevin Hart, Ashton Kutcher, Black Mirror, TechCrunch


Alyce, an AI-based personalised corporate gifting startup, raises $30M

Swag has a long and patchy history in the world of business. For every hip pair of plaid socks, there are five t-shirts you may never wear, an itchy scarf, a notepad your kids might use, and an ugly mug; and most of all, likely thousands of dollars and lots of time invested to make those presents a reality. Now, a startup that has built a service to rethink the concept behind corporate gifts and make them more effective is today announcing a round of funding to continue expanding its business — ...
Tags: Google, TC, Ecommerce, Enterprise, Adobe, Boston, Marketing, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Sales And Marketing, Gifting, General Catalyst, Corporate Gifts, Swag, Larry Bohn, Alyce


Twitter said to have held acquisition talks with Clubhouse on potential $4B deal

Twitter held talks with Clubhouse around a potential acquisition of the live drop-in audio networking platform, with a deal value somewhere around $4 billion, according to a report from Bloomberg. TechCrunch has also confirmed the discussions took place from a source familiar with the conversations. While the talks occurred over the past several months, they’re no longer taking place, though the reason they ended isn’t known according to the report. It’s also worth noting that just a few days ag...
Tags: Startups, TC, Apps, Twitter, Social Media, Tech, Bloomberg, Software, Monetization, Computing, M&a, Freeware, Internet Culture, Social Network, Operating Systems, Clubhouse


Answers being sought from Facebook over latest data breach

Facebook’s lead data protection regulator in the European Union is seeking answers from the tech giant over a major data breach reported on over the weekend. The breach was reported on by Business Insider on Saturday which said personal data (including email addresses and mobile phone numbers) of more than 500M Facebook accounts had been posted to a low level hacking forum — making the personal information on hundreds of millions of Facebook users’ accounts freely available. “The exposed data in...
Tags: TC, Facebook, UK, US, Social Media, Tech, Eu, European Union, Data Breach, United Kingdom, Data Security, Computer Security, Business Insider, Zuckerberg, Gdpr, Hunt


Clarence Thomas plays a poor devil’s advocate in floating First Amendment limits for tech companies

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas flaunted a dangerous ignorance regarding matters digital in an opinion published today. In attempting to explain the legal difficulties of social media platforms, particularly those arising from Twitter’s ban of Trump, he makes an ill-informed, bordering on bizarre, argument as to why such companies may need their First Amendment rights curtailed. There are several points on which Thomas seems to willfully misconstrue or misunderstand the issues. The first i...
Tags: Apple, Google, TC, Facebook, Twitter, Lawsuit, Fcc, Supreme Court, Opinion, Government, Social Media, Tech, Donald Trump, First Amendment, Srinivasan, Trump


Supreme Court tosses ruling that said Trump blocking Twitter critics was unconstitutional

The Supreme Court has vacated a previous ruling that found former President Trump violated the First Amendment by blocking his Twitter foes. The ruling was upheld by a Manhattan federal appeals court in 2019, which deemed Trump’s actions unconstitutional. The court found that because Trump used Twitter to “conduct official business” and interact with the public that his decision to block users ran afoul of the First Amendment. “… The First Amendment does not permit a public official who utilizes...
Tags: Social, TC, Facebook, Twitter, Supreme Court, Congress, Government, Social Media, Tech, Mit, Manhattan, Donald Trump, Trump, Thomas, Clarence Thomas, Ginni Thomas


Thrasio raises $100M for its Amazon roll-up play, appoints retail CFO for its next steps

Thrasio, an early mover and leading player in the wave of startups emerging to consolidate and scale companies that sell their goods mainly via Amazon’s Marketplace, has raised some more funding and is making a key executive appointment to do some scaling of its own. The company, which to date has acquired and consolidated some 6,000 companies selling on Amazon, has picked up $100 million, and alongside that it’s announcing a new CFO, retail vet Bill Wafford, as it eyes up its next steps, includ...
Tags: Amazon, Startups, TC, Ecommerce, Seo, Walgreens, Jc Penney, FBA, SPAC, Amazon Marketplace, Oaktree, Silberstein, Roll Up, Jason Finger, Amazon s Marketplace, Josh Silberstein


Facebook says Trump can’t skirt its ban through daughter-in-law’s account

Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump promoted a new interview with the former president on Facebook and Instagram Tuesday, but a workaround to Trump’s ban on two of the world’s most popular social networks wasn’t long for this world. She was apparently swiftly cautioned by Facebook that anything posted “in the voice of President Trump” is not currently allowed on Facebook or Instagram and would be subject to removal. Trump himself remains banned on Facebook pending a decision by the Oversight Boar...
Tags: Social, TC, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Instagram, Abc, Washington Post, Social Media, Tech, Donald Trump, Trump, Oversight Board, Lara Trump, Lara Trump @laraleatrump Facebook, View Fox News


Apple invests $50M into music distributor UnitedMasters alongside A16z and Alphabet

Independent music distribution platform and tool factory UnitedMasters has raised a $50M series B round led by Apple. A16z and Alphabet are participating again in this raise. United Masters is also entering a strategic partnership with Apple alongside this investment.  If you’re unfamiliar with UnitedMasters, it’s a distribution company launched in 2017 by Steve Stoute, a former Interscope and Sony Music executive. The focus of UnitedMasters is to provide artists with a direct pipeline to...
Tags: Apple, TC, Spotify, US, Social Media, Tech, Music Industry, Ceo, Companies, Software, United States, Nba, Espn, Manufacturing, National Basketball Association, Ben Horowitz


Facebook gets a C – Startup rates the ‘ethics’ of social media platforms, targets asset managers

By now you’ve probably heard of ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) ratings for companies, or ratings for their carbon footprint. Well, now a UK company has come up with a way of rating the ‘ethics’ social media companies.     EthicsGrade is an ESG ratings agency, focusing on AI governance. Headed up Charles Radclyffe, the former head of AI at Fidelity, it uses AI-driven models to create a more complete picture of the ESG of organizations, harnessing Natural Language Processing to automate t...
Tags: TC, Facebook, Twitter, Europe, UK, Technology, Microsoft, Finance, US, Articles, Social Media, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, United States, United Kingdom, Governance


Sequoia Capital India on its early investment in Appier, the fund’s latest exit

Chih-Han Yu, chief executive officer and co-founder of Appier Group Inc., right, holds a hammer next to a bell during an event marking the listing of the company on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, at the company’s office in Taipei, Taiwan on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. Photographer: Billy H.C. Kwok/Bloomberg via Getty Images Appier’s initial public offering on the Tokyo Stock Exchange yesterday was a milestone not only for the company, but also Sequoia Capital India, one of its earliest investors. Fou...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Asia, Japan, Ipo, India, Marketing, SU, Taiwan, Harvard, United States, Sequoia Capital, St Louis, Trend Micro, Yu


“Link-in-bio” company Linktree raises $45M Series B for its social commerce features

If you browse Instagram, you are probably familiar with the term “link in bio.” Links aren’t allowed in post captions, and users are only allowed one URL in their bios, so many create a simple website with multiple links for their followers. Linktree, one of the most popular “link in bio” services with more than 12 million users, announced today it has raised $45 million in Series B funding. The round was co-led by Index Ventures and Coatue, with participation from returning investors AirTree Ve...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Instagram, Australia, Social Media, Tech, Major League Baseball, Social Commerce, Index Ventures, Sydney Australia, Dan Rose, Coatue, Zaccaria, Linktree, Alex Zaccaria


Amid pandemic, Middle East adtech startups play essential role in business growth

Denis Lagutenko Contributor Denis Lagutenko is the founder of digital marketing agency . He is an affiliate marketing expert and a member of Forbes Councils. The pandemic’s impact on the business world encouraged adtech startups and digital marketing agencies to collaborate more, helping brands survive the pandemic by bringing businesses closer to consumers. Although overall spending on advertising slowed in 2020, it is expected to recover in 2021 and reach $6...
Tags: TC, Column, Asia, Advertising Tech, Saudi Arabia, Social Media, Tech, Qatar, Egypt, Middle East, Jordan, Uae, Adtech, Online Advertising, Digital Marketing, Western Europe


Argentina’s Digital House raises over $50M to help solve LatAm’s tech talent shortage

Digital House , a Buenos Aires-based edtech focused on developing tech talent through immersive remote courses, announced today it has raised more than $50 million in new funding. Notably, two of the main investors are not venture capital firms but instead are two large tech companies: Latin American e-commerce giant Mercado Libre and San Francisco-based software developer Globant. Riverwood Capital, a Menlo Park-based private equity firm, and existing backer early-stage Argentina-based vent...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Education, Funding, Marketing, San Francisco, Tech, E-commerce, Online Courses, Venture Capital, Brazil, Argentina, Private Equity, Software Development, Latin America


Crypto social network BitClout arrives with a bevy of high profile investors, and skeptics

While much of the recent wave of relentless hype around NFTs — or non-fungible tokens — has been most visibly manifested in high-dollar art auctions or digital trading cards sales, there’s also been a relentless string of chatter among bullish investors who see a future that ties the tokens to the future of social media and creator monetization. Much of the most spirited conversations have centered on a pre-launch project called BitClout, a social crypto-exchange where users can buy and sell tok...
Tags: TC, Elon Musk, Kim Kardashian, Social Networks, Social Media, Tech, Cryptography, Bitcoin, Reddit, Currency, Silicon Valley, Alexis Ohanian, Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, Cryptocurrencies, Terry Crews


Clubhouse says its Android launch will take ‘a couple of months’

Social audio app Clubhouse has now promised a time frame of sorts for the launch of its anticipated Android version, following its recent hire of an Android software developer last month. In its weekly Townhall event on Sunday, Clubhouse co-founder Paul Davison remarked that the company was working “really hard” to come to Android, but said it’s going to take a “couple of months” to make that happen. That seems to indicate a time frame that’s closer to late spring or summer 2021. Clubhouse had p...
Tags: Google, Android, Startups, TC, Mobile, Apps, Twitter, Social Media, Tech, Android Apps, Clubhouse, Blackrock, Social Apps, Davison, Sarah Perez, Paul Davison


Fraud prevention platform Seon raises a $12M Series A round led by Creandum

Seon, which lets online businesses fight online fraud like fake accounts has raised a $12 million Series A round led by Creandum, with participation from PortfoLion, part of OTP Bank. The funding appears to be one of Hungary’s larger series A rounds to date.   Seon is a fraud-detection startup that establishes a customers’ ‘digital footprint’ in order to weed out false accounts and thus prevent fraudulent transactions. Clients include Patreon, AirFrance, Rivalry and Ladbrokes Launched in 2017, t...
Tags: TC, Europe, Social Media, Tech, Ceo, Hungary, Mobile Payments, Online Payments, Financial Services, Ladbrokes, Patreon, Creandum, Revolut, Izettle, Cfo, General Partner


Big Tech companies cannot be trusted to self-regulate: We need Congress to act

Arisha Hatch Contributor Share on Twitter Arisha Hatch is Vice President and Chief of Campaigns at Color Of Change. It’s been two months since Donald Trump was kicked off of social media following the violent insurrection on Capitol Hill in January. While the constant barrage of hate-fueled commentary and disinformation from the former president has come to a halt, we must stay vigilant. Now is the time to think about how to ...
Tags: Google, Social, Startups, TC, Facebook, Column, Congress, Opinion, Social Media, Policy, Capitol Hill, Donald Trump, Charlottesville, Social Media Platforms, Trump, Misinformation


Taipei-based Influenxio gets $2M from DCM Ventures for its “microinfluencer” marketing platform

Influenxio’s team, with founder and chief executive officer Allan Ko in the center “Microinfluencers” are gaining clout among marketers. Though they may have as little as a thousand followers, microinfluencers tend to focus on specific content and be seen as more engaging and trustworthy by their audience, said Allan Ko, founder and chief executive officer of Influenxio. The Taipei-based startup, which connects brands with Instagram microinfluencers through its online platform, announced toda...
Tags: Google, Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Asia, Hong Kong, Japan, Microsoft, Yahoo, Advertising, Tech, Taiwan, Taipei, KO, DCM Ventures, Influencer


Makers of ‘kid’s first virtual world’ Animal Jam targets Gen Z teens with Fer.al debut

Before kids graduate to the expansive virtual worlds in games like Roblox, Minecraft, and Fortnite, they often get their start in online social gaming with a game like Animal Jam. Here, kids learn to personalize their avatar, explore a world, chat with other players, and trade items in a safe environment with parental controls. Today, the company behind this popular title, WildWorks, is launching a new game, Fer.al, which builds on Animal Jam’s legacy while catering to a slightly older crowd of ...
Tags: Google, TC, Gaming, Apps, Games, Kids, Instagram, Teens, Social Media, Tech, Virtual Worlds, Salt Lake City, Stacey, Ryan, Jam, Fer


Brandwatch is acquired by Cision for $450M, creating a PR, marketing and social listening giant

Online consumer intelligence and social media listening platform Brandwatch has been acquired by Cision, best known for its media monitoring and media contact database services, for $450 million, in a combined cash and shares deal. TechCrunch understands Brandwatch’s key executive team will be staying on. The move combines two large players to offer a broad range of services from PR to marketing and online customer engagement. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021. Cision h...
Tags: TC, Europe, Business, England, London, Marketing, Social Media, Communication, Tech, Content Marketing, Ceo, Artificial Intelligence, SaaS, Brighton, Machine Learning, Leader


Facebook to restore news sharing in Australia after government amends proposed law

Facebook said it will begin restoring news sharing to Australian users’ feeds in “the coming days” after reaching an agreement with the country’s government. The social media giant made the drastic move of restricting news content in Australia last Wednesday after a dispute over a proposed media bargaining code that is expected to be voted into law soon. The code would have forced Facebook, and other major tech companies like Google, to make revenue-sharing agreements with publishers for content...
Tags: Google, TC, Facebook, Publishing, News, Facebook Pages, Australia, Social Media, Tech, Policy, New Zealand, Josh Frydenberg, Google Facebook, William Easton, Facebook Australia


Facebook restricts users in Australia from sharing or viewing news links

Australian Facebook users will be forced to go elsewhere to read news after the company announced Wednesday that they will be restricting users in the country from sharing or viewing news links on the platform. The drastic move follows debate on proposed legislation from the Australian government that seeks to push internet platforms — with a particular focus on advertising giants Facebook and Google — to pay news publishers directly for access to share their content. Pulling back entirely was a...
Tags: Google, TC, Facebook, Australia, Social Media, Tech, Software, Computing, Rupert Murdoch, News Corp, World Wide Web, Murdoch, Australia Facebook, Facebook Platform, William Easton Facebook


YouTube to expand Shorts to the U.S., add 4K and DVR to YouTube TV, launch in-video shopping and more in 2021

YouTube has a host of big product updates coming this year, and it just detailed a lot of them in a blog post from Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan. Google’s streaming video site plans to expand its TikTok-esque Shorts mobile video creation and consumption tool to the U.S. (it’s currently in beta in India), make YouTube TV a more full-featured in-home cable alternative, add customization and control options to YouTube Kids and more. Many of the product updates detailed by Mohan are expansions of...
Tags: Google, Startups, TC, Ecommerce, Video, Youtube, India, Social Media, Software, United States, Virtual Reality, Streaming Video, Youtube Kids, World Wide Web, Video Hosting, Youtube Music



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