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OrbitFab secures National Science Foundation funding to propel its satellite refueling tech to space

On-orbit satellite refueling technology is closer than ever to a practical reality, which could help immensely with the cost and sustainability of orbital businesses. Startup OrbitFab, a 2019 TechCrunch Battlefield finalist, is one of the companies working to make orbital refueling a reality, and it just secured a new contract from the National Science Foundation’s early stage deep tech R&D initiative America’s Seed Fund to further its goals. The contract is specifically for development of a sol...
Tags: Startups, TC, Space, America, Tech, International Space Station, Satellite, Robotics, Spaceflight, Aerospace, TechCrunch, Battlefield, National Science Foundation, Outer Space, International Space Station ISS, NSF

Damon Motorcycles makes acquisition, raises $3M and extends pre-orders

EV startup Damon Motorcycles has acquired the IP of Mission Motors, raised $3 million in funding and announced a special production run of its debut model. The Vancouver-based venture unveiled the 200 mph Hypersport in January and began taking pre-orders for the e-moto, with a base price of $24,995. Damon has positioned its EV entry as an ultra-fast, smart and safe motorcycle. In addition to its go-straight-to-jail top-speed, the Hypersport boasts 200 miles of highway range, 147 ft-lbs of torque...
Tags: TC, Asia, Europe, Jay Leno, California, Cdc, San Francisco, Tech, Spokesperson, Tesla, Ceo, IP, Canada, United States, Motorcycles, Italy

The second wave of unicorn layoffs is brutal

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between. There’s a quote from one great American financial panic that I can’t find this morning, but it went something like this: I don’t understand how yesterday we were so rich and today we are so poor. For startups, we can to adapt the quip somewhat, perhaps to I don’t understand how yesterday everyone was hiring like mad and today layoffs are so prevalent. But, it’s true. After a tim...
Tags: TC, Tech, TechCrunch, Vision Fund, ZipRecruiter Bird

The Station: Bird and Lime layoffs, pivots in a COVID-19 era and a $2.2 trillion deal

Hello folks, welcome back (or hi for the first time) to The Station, a weekly newsletter dedicated to the all the ways people and packages move around this world. I’m your host, Kirsten Korosec, senior transportation reporter at TechCrunch. I also have started to publish a shorter version of the newsletter on TechCrunch . That’s what you’re reading now. For the whole enchilada — which comes out every Saturday — you can subscribe to the newsletter by heading over here, and clicking “The Stat...
Tags: Food, Travis Vanderzanden, Europe, New York, Australia, Washington, China, New York City, Tech, Austin, Munich, Automotive, House Of Representatives, Healthcare, Venture Capital, Tencent

Inside Udaan’s push to digitize India’s B2B retail market

During a recent visit, Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella reiterated his company’s commitment to India and revealed a new fund to help SaaS startups in the country. And then Nadella and Anant Maheshwari, president of Microsoft India, discussed the success story of B2B platform Udaan in three separate onstage public appearances. Headquartered in Bangalore, Udaan is a business-to-business e-commerce marketplace founded by former Flipkart executives Amod Malviya, Vaibhav Gupta and Suj...
Tags: Google, Amazon, Ecommerce, Asia, Microsoft, India, Satya Nadella, Tech, Walmart, Food Network, Payments, Logistics, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Flipkart, TechCrunch, Amazon India

Tesla email reveals two employees have tested positive for COVID-19

Two Tesla employees, who had been working at home for nearly two weeks, have tested positive for COVID-19, according to an internal email sent Thursday morning by the company’s head of environmental, health, and safety department and viewed by TechCrunch . The employees were not symptomatic in the office, and both are quarantined at home and recovering well, according to the email from Tesla’s EHS department head Laurie Shelby. Their co-workers, who were already working from home for nearly...
Tags: TC, Twitter, Spacex, Elon Musk, New York, Email, California, Cars, Tech, Tesla, Supply Chains, Ceo, Automotive, United States, Transport, Buffalo

Zindi taps 12,000 African data scientists for solutions to COVID-19

Since its inception, Cape Town based crowdsolving startup Zindi has been building a database of data scientists across Africa. It now has 12,000 registered on its its platform that uses AI and machine learning to tackle complex problems and will offer them cash-prizes to find solutions to curb COVID-19. Zindi has an open challenge focused on stemming the spread and havoc of coronavirus and will introduce a hackathon in April. The current competition, sponsored by AI4D, tasks scientists to cre...
Tags: Food, TC, New York, Microsoft, Nigeria, Africa, San Francisco, Tech, E-commerce, Ceo, Artificial Intelligence, South Africa, Cape Town, Machine Learning, Kenya, World Health Organization

Africa turns to mobile payments as a tool to curb COVID-19

Africa is using digital finance as a means to stem the spread of COVID-19. Governments and startups on the continent are implementing measures to shift a greater volume of payment transactions toward mobile money and away from cash — which the World Health Organization flagged as a conduit for the spread of the coronavirus. It’s an option facilitated by the boom in fintech that’s occurred in Africa over the last decade. By several estimates, the continent is home to the largest share of the worl...
Tags: TC, Money, Mexico, Nigeria, Africa, Tech, Ceo, Economy, United States, South Africa, President, Vodafone, Cape Town, Mobile Payments, Kenya, World Health Organization

African turns to mobile payments as a tool to curb COVID-19

Africa is using digital finance as a means to stem the spread of COVID-19. Governments and startups on the continent are implementing measures to shift a greater volume of payment transactions toward mobile money and away from cash — which the World Health Organization flagged as a conduit for the spread of the coronavirus. It’s an option facilitated by the boom in fintech that’s occurred in Africa over the last decade. By several estimates, the continent is home to the largest share of the worl...
Tags: TC, Money, Mexico, Nigeria, Africa, Tech, Ceo, Economy, United States, South Africa, President, Vodafone, Cape Town, Mobile Payments, Kenya, World Health Organization

New York State seeks tech talent for its COVID-19 technology SWAT team

New York State is ramping up efforts to combat the growing coronavirus pandemic, including appeals to all industries for help in the form of much-needed medical equipment for healthcare workers. It’s also specifically asking for help from the tech community, through an open call for contributions from individuals and organizations to help form its “COVID-19 Technology Swat Team.” The call, posted to New York State’s official government website, seeks “impactful solutions and skilled tech employe...
Tags: Health, TC, New York, White House, Tech, United States, Software Development, Andrew Cuomo, New York State, TechCrunch, Product Management, Governor, NY State, Coronavirus, COVID-19, COVID

Volvo’s Polestar begins production of the all-electric Polestar 2 in China

Polestar has started production of its all-electric Polestar 2 vehicle at a plant in China amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has upended the automotive industry and triggered a wave of factory closures throughout the world. The start of Polestar 2 production is a milestone for Volvo Car Group’s standalone electric performance brand  — and not just because it began in the midst of global upheaval caused by COVID-19, a disease that stems from the coronavirus. It’s also the first all-electric car ...
Tags: Google, Android, Google Play Store, TC, Europe, China, Cars, Los Angeles, Tech, Tesla, Ceo, Smartphones, Automotive, Ford, Shanghai, Gm

Astra encounters anomaly during pre-launch testing, will evaluate options for next attempt

Rocket launch startup Astra, which had been attempting to claim DARPA’s prize for successful demonstration of flexible space launch capabilities until earlier this month, will not be moving forward with an attempted flight of its launch vehicle this week as planned. The company’s “One of Three” rocket ran into an “anomaly” during pre-launch testing in preparation for its flight this week, and the schedule for a make-up launch are currently is currently up in the air. “Astra’s launch vehicle “...
Tags: Startups, TC, Space, Tech, Ceo, Alaska, Darpa, Rocket, Aerospace, TechCrunch, Kodiak, Alaska Aerospace, Astra, Chris Kemp, Pacific Spaceport Complex, Coronavirus

Ford, 3M, GE and the UAW to build respirators, ventilators and faceshields for coronavirus fight

Ford announced the details of its current manufacturing efforts around building much-needed medical supplies for front-line healthcare workers and COVID-19 patients on Tuesday. Its efforts include building Powered Air-Purifying Respirators (PAPRs) with partner 3M, including a new design that employs existing parts from both partners to deliver effectiveness and highly-scalable production capacity. Ford says that it’s also going to be building face shields, leaning on its 3D printing capabilities...
Tags: Health, Startups, TC, UK, Hardware, Ge, China, Spokesperson, Tesla, Companies, Automotive, United States, Ford, United Kingdom, President, Michigan

Netflix is reducing its traffic on ISPs by 25% in India

Netflix said on Tuesday that it is lowering its traffic on network providers by 25% in India for a period of 30 days, following a similar move in Europe in a bid to reduce the congestion on internet pipelines. The American giant said that despite lowering the strain it puts on internet service providers, it will “maintain the quality” of its service. Amazon Prime Video said it has also started to lower the data consumption that streaming takes up on its platform, while local services Disney’s...
Tags: Apps, Asia, Europe, Media, Internet, India, Disney, Tech, Bank Of America, Netflix, TechCrunch, Netflix India, Amazon Prime Video, Cellular Operators Association of India, TechCrunch TechCrunch, Coronavirus

With the real estate industry facing headwinds, SoftBank-backed Compass lays off 15% of staff

Compass, the real estate brokerage startup backed by roughly $1.6 billion in venture funding, has laid off 15% of its staff as a result of the shifting economic fortunes created by the global response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to an internal email seen by TechCrunch. Citing economic fallout that has seen stock markets plummet 30 percent in just 22 days Compass chief executive Robert Reffkin wrote that the company has seen an over 60 percent decline in real estate showings a...
Tags: TC, Real Estate, New York, California, China, Softbank, Tech, Companies, Qatar Investment Authority, Health Insurance, Ohio, Nevada, Compass, Louisiana, Illinois, Zillow

Jumia adapts Pan-African e-commerce network in response to COVID-19

Pan-African e-commerce company Jumia is adapting its digital retail network to curb the spread of COVID-19. The Nigeria headquartered operation — with online goods and services verticals in 11 African countries — announced a series of measures on Friday. Jumia will donate certified face masks to health ministries in Kenya, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Nigeria and Uganda, drawing on its supply networks outside Africa. The company has offered African governments use of of its last mile delivery network f...
Tags: TC, New York, Nigeria, Africa, Tech, E-commerce, Ceo, World, Uganda, United States, South Africa, United Kingdom, Morocco, President, Kenya, World Health Organization

Ford, GM, Tesla given the ‘go ahead’ to produce ventilators, Trump says

Ford, GM and Tesla have been given the “go ahead” to make ventilators to help alleviate a shortage amid the COVID-19 pandemic, President Donald Trump said in a tweet Sunday that ended with a challenge to auto executives to show how good their companies are. Ventilators are a critical piece of medical equipment for patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by coronavirus. COVID-19 attacks the lungs and can cause acute respiratory distress syndrome and pneumonia....
Tags: Spacex, Elon Musk, Tech, Spokesperson, Tesla, Ceo, Automotive, United States, Ford, United Kingdom, President, Gm, Disease, Andrew Cuomo, Donald Trump, Hyperloop

YC startup Felix wants to replace antibiotics with programmable viruses

Right now the world is at war. But this is no ordinary war. It’s a fight with an organism so small we can only detect it through use of a microscope — and if we don’t stop it, it could kill millions of us in the next several decades. No, I’m not talking about COVID-19, though that organism is the one on everyone’s mind right now. I’m talking about antibiotic-resistant bacteria. You see, more than 700,000 people died globally from bacterial infections last year — 35,000 of them in the U.S. If we ...
Tags: Health, Startups, TC, Y Combinator, Science, Medicine, Articles, Tech, United States, United Nations, Disease, Jurassic Park, Fda, Biotech, Antibiotic Resistance, TechCrunch

Coterie raises $8.5M to build ‘commercial insurance as a service’

Ohio-based Coterie, a startup working on in the commercial insurance space, has announced today it has raised $8.5 million Series A. The company had previously raised a little over $3 million in early investments, bringing its equity capital raised to nearly $12 million to date; the firm also told TechCrunch that it has raised $2.5 million in available venture debt as part of its current round. In an uncertain market, Coterie is better capitalized than it ever has been, thanks to Intercept, and ...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, Tech, Ohio, TechCrunch, Gabi, Hartford, Insurtech, Briza, David McFarland, Coterie

Charter staff told to report to offices despite positive coronavirus tests

Staff at telecommunications giant Charter Communications are still having to work from corporate offices — against the advice from the federal government — despite at least one employee testing positive for coronavirus and other staff coming into contact with another confirmed case. The phone and internet giant, which owns the Spectrum brand, has doubled down in the past week on its policy of disallowing its 15,000 office-based employees to work from home, prompting one engineer to quit over ...
Tags: Health, Security, Verizon, New York, Cdc, Tech, Best Buy, San Diego, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Charlotte, AT T, Charter Communications, Akron Ohio, Telecommuting, Tom Rutledge

County deems Tesla a ‘non-essential’ business during shelter-in-place order

Tesla is not an essential business according to the Alameda County Sheriff, a declaration that could force the automaker to shutter some of its operations in the county under a shelter in-place directive that was ordered  because of the global spread of COVID-19, a disease caused by coronavirus. The county, which includes Fremont, where Tesla’s factory is located, issued Monday a shelter-in-place order that requires all nonessential businesses to close, including bars, gyms and in-dine restau...
Tags: Transportation, Spacex, Elon Musk, Cars, Tech, Tesla, Bloomberg, Ceo, Automotive, Los Angeles Times, Hyperloop, TechCrunch, Tesla Model S, Musk, FREMONT, Alameda County

Refurbished electronics startup Refurbed raises $17M round, led by Evli Growth Partners

Renewed phones, laptops and tablets can be as much as 40% cheaper than their brand new cousins, working equally as well and, because they have been saved from the scrapheap, are therefore a great deal more environmentally friendly. Players in this space include Back Market (raised €48M), Swappa (US) and Amazon Renew. Refurbed, a marketplace for exactly these types of refurbished electronics plans to take advantage of this growing market, after raising a $17 million Series A round of funding led...
Tags: Amazon, TC, Europe, Electronics, Entrepreneurship, Germany, Tech, Companies, Austria, United States, Italy, Poland, Finland, Private Equity, TechCrunch, Startup Company

Kenya turns to M-Pesa mobile-money to stem the spread of COVID-19

Kenya’s largest teleco, Safaricom, will implement a fee-waiver on East Africa’s leading mobile-money product, M-Pesa, to reduce the physical exchange of currency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The company announced that all person-to-person (P2P) transactions under 1000 Kenyan Schillings (≈ $10) would be free starting Tuesday for the next 90 days. The move came after Safaricom met with the country’s Central Bank and per a directive from Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta “to explor...
Tags: TC, Africa, Tech, Economy, President, Vodafone, Kenya, Leader, TechCrunch, P2p, Countries, Central Bank, East Africa, Nairobi, Uhuru Kenyatta, University of Nairobi

Daily Crunch: FDA approves speedier coronavirus test

A just-approved test could speed up the rate of coronavirus testing, the stock market had a historically bad day yesterday and Russian trolls shift to outsourcing. Here’s your Daily Crunch for March 13, 2020. PS: Hope you’re all staying safe! 1. FDA approves new coronavirus test that could speed rate of testing up to tenfold The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted emergency approval for use of a new test that can increase the rate of testing patients by up to 10 times compared to met...
Tags: Health, Verizon, Facebook, Russia, Africa, US, Tech, Bloomberg, United States, Fda, Minecraft, Vietnam, TechCrunch, U S Food and Drug Administration, Internet Research Agency, Saudi Arabia Russia

Raising money in a bear market, and what happened with Sequoia and Finix?

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. Today was something a bit special. We’d originally hoped to have this episode in person, as a group, but the world isn’t flying as much right now so we had to make do. Regardless, please say hello and welcome Natasha Mascarenhas to the Equity crew. Natasha has worked for the Boston Globe, the SF Chronicle, and, most recently, covering venture capital for Crunchba...
Tags: Apple, Startups, TC, Lyft, Podcasts, Tech, Venture Capital, Equity, Alex, TechCrunch, Nea, Jason Lemkin, Boston Globe, Danny, Natasha, SF Chronicle

COVID-19 market turmoil tests NYSE’s shutdown circuit-breakers

For the second time this week trading on the New York Stock Exchange halted for 15 minutes this morning when a market drop triggered the exchange’s internal circuit breaker, shortly after 9:30am. The control, part of the NYSE’s automatic provisions to pause trading, has been put to the test since markets first began realizing the extent of the economic damage a worsening COVID-19 outbreak could cause in the U.S. The NYSE’s circuit-breaker system was implemented after the Black Monday stock crash...
Tags: TC, Europe, China, US, America, Tech, Spokesperson, Economy, United States, President, New York Stock Exchange, Stock Market, Nasdaq, Dow, Dow Jones Industrial Average, TechCrunch

Men’s at-home health startup Vault takes in $30 million from Tiger Global

Vault, an at-home healthcare practice specializing men’s medicine has announced the raise of $30 million in funding from Tiger Capital Group, Declaration Capital and Redesign Health to reach more potential patients and expand to more areas beyond New York, Florida, Tennessee and Texas, where it currently offers treatments. Founder and CEO Jason Feldman, who formerly headed Amazon’s Prime Video Direct and Global Innovation teams before launching Vault last summer, told TechCrunch his startup a...
Tags: Health, Amazon, Startups, TC, Florida, New York, Texas, Funding, Tech, Ceo, United States, Tennessee, Healthcare, Erectile Dysfunction, Hormones, TechCrunch

Applications for TC Pitch Night: Mobility 2020 are now open

Founders: it’s time to get moving. On May 13, the night before TC Sessions: Mobility 2020, TechCrunch is hosting a private Pitch Night for mobility-focused startups. We’re looking to feature 10 early stage mobility startups that are breaking barriers in the industry. TechCrunch is always on the hunt for the most disruptive tech in the industry and this time our spotlight is shining on mobility. The line up for TC Sessions: Mobility 2020 is lit. We’ve got the major players from Boris Sofman ...
Tags: Transportation, Lyft, Uber, Articles, Tech, Automotive, Mobility, TechCrunch, Reilly Brennan, Micromobility, Waymo, Verizon Media, Boris Sofman, TC Sessions: Mobility 2020, Nancy Sun of Ike, Shin-pei Tsay

Visa partners with Paga on payments and fintech for Africa and abroad

Visa has entered a partnership with Nigeria based startup Paga on payments and technology. Founded in Lagos, Paga scaled its fintech business in West Africa, before targeting expansion in Ethiopia and Mexico. The startup has created a multi-channel network for over 14 million customers in Nigeria to transfer money, pay-bills and buy things digitally through its mobile-app or 24,840 agents. The new arrangement allows Paga account holders to transact on Visa’s global network. It will also ...
Tags: Credit Cards, TC, Asia, Money, Mexico, Finance, Nigeria, Africa, Tech, South Africa, Williams, West Africa, Ethiopia, Nfc, Financial Services, Latin America

‘Thinking out loud’ with TechCrunch senior editor Alex Wilhelm

Extra Crunch is now past its first birthday. Over the past year, we’ve learned a lot, made some changes and generally found our groove. Toward the end of 2019, former TechCrunch writer Alex Wilhelm returned to the publication to help grow Extra Crunch, though he still writes for the main site as well. His daily columns dig into the financial side of the startup world and have resonated deeply with our audience, so I wanted to talk to him about what he’s doing and why more people might want to...
Tags: Startups, TC, Media, Tech, Chicago, Portland, Venture Capital, Silicon Valley, News Media, TechCrunch, Alex Wilhelm, Elizabeth Yin, Alex Wilhelm Chatting, Alex Walter Thompson

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