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ByteDance says it will own a majority of TikTok. Oracle says ByteDance will own 0%. WTF is this deal?

You know a deal is signed and going to close when the parties keep fact checking each other and no one can agree on what the deal actually says. We’ve been following the TikTok / Oracle deal for sometime here on TechCrunch, and over the weekend, it seemed like we finally got to the finish line of one of the strangest M&A processes we’ve seen. But the last 48 hours have made everything so confused, I am not sure we even know what the deal is despite it being approved. President Trump repo...
Tags: Startups, Apps, Wtf, Government, China, US, Walmart, Policy, Donald Trump, Oracle, Cnbc, TechCrunch, Trump, Toutiao, Bytedance, Douyin


Google pulls India’s Paytm app from Play Store for repeat policy violations

Google has pulled Indian financial services app Paytm from the Play Store for repeatedly violating its policies. Paytm is India’s most valued startup and claims over 50 million monthly active users. Its marquee app, which allows users to exchange money with one another, disappeared from the Play Store in India earlier Friday. On Friday, Google said that Play Store prohibits online casinos and other unregulated gambling apps that facilitate sports betting in India, a day before the popular ...
Tags: Travel, Google, Apps, Asia, India, Play Store, Ipl, TechCrunch, Paytm, Indian Premier League, Suzanne Frey, Disney Hotstar


Fabletics’ Adam Golderberg and Kevin Hart on what’s next for the activewear empire

Like plenty of other modern direct-to-consumer companies, influencer marketing has been an essential part of Fabletics’ journey. Actress Kate Hudson co-founded the company and co-CEO Adam Golderberg believes that its network of spokespeople has been key to the company’s growth. We were joined on our virtual TechCrunch Disrupt 2020 stage by Goldenberg and comedian Kevin Hart who has been working as a brand partner for Fabletics. “You can have the best product, which we believe we have, but...
Tags: TC, Clothing, Marketing, Brand, Tech, E-commerce, Kevin Hart, Ambassador, Actress, Kate Hudson, Influencer Marketing, TechCrunch, Subscription Services, Jordan Crook, Comedian, Lululemon


Fabletics’ Adam Goldenberg and Kevin Hart on what’s next for the activewear empire

Like plenty of other modern direct-to-consumer companies, influencer marketing has been an essential part of Fabletics’ journey. Actress Kate Hudson co-founded the company and co-CEO Adam Goldenberg believes that its network of spokespeople has been key to the company’s growth. We were joined on our virtual TechCrunch Disrupt 2020 stage by Goldenberg and comedian Kevin Hart who has been working as a brand partner for Fabletics. “You can have the best product, which we believe we have, but...
Tags: TC, Clothing, Marketing, Brand, Tech, E-commerce, Kevin Hart, Ambassador, Actress, Kate Hudson, Influencer Marketing, TechCrunch, Subscription Services, Jordan Crook, Comedian, Lululemon


Silver Lake leads $500 million round in India’s Byju’s

Byju’s has raised $500 million in a new financing round that values the Indian online learning platform at $10.8 billion, a source familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. The round is led by Silver Lake, and existing investors Tiger Global, General Atlantic and Owl Ventures have also participated in it, India’s second most valuable startup Byju’s said in a statement, but declined to reveal the size of the round and its valuation. “We are excited to welcome a strong partner like Silver Lake to ...
Tags: Facebook, Apps, Asia, Education, India, Funding, Tech, Atlantic, New Delhi, Bond, Mary Meeker, Silver Lake, TechCrunch, Owl Ventures, Byju, Greg Mondre


Silver Lake leads $500 million investment round in Indian online learning giant Byju’s

Byju’s has raised $500 million in a new financing round that values the Indian online learning platform at $10.8 billion, a source familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. The round was led by Menlo Park-headquartered PE firm Silver Lake, and existing investors Tiger Global, General Atlantic and Owl Ventures have also participated in it, India’s second most valuable startup Byju’s said in a statement, but declined to reveal the size of the round and its valuation. “We are excited to welco...
Tags: Facebook, Apps, Asia, Education, India, Funding, Tech, Atlantic, Tiger Global, New Delhi, Bond, General Atlantic, Mary Meeker, Silver Lake, TechCrunch, Reliance Jio


Indonesian insurtech startup PasarPolis gets $54 million Series B from investors including LeapFrog and SBI

PasarPolis, the Indonesian-based startup focused on making insurance policies more accessible in Southeast Asia, announced today it has closed a Series B round totaling $54 million. Investors include LeapFrog Investments and SBI Investment, both firms that focus on financial services; AlphaJWC; Intudo Ventures; and Xiaomi. Gojek’s venture capital arm, Go-Ventures, which participated in PasarPolis’ Series A two years ago, also returned for the new round. Founded in 2015 by chief executive officer...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Asia, Indonesia, Southeast Asia, Insurance, Tech, Thailand, Vietnam, Financial Services, TechCrunch, Asean, Gojek, Kumar, Mitra


After early-COVID layoffs, Hipcamp is buying competition, hiring

When shelter-in-place was first announced in the United States, most companies in the travel space saw bookings drop. Some shuttered. Hipcamp, a San Francisco-based startup that provides private land for people who want to go glamping or camping, found itself in a similar spot. (even though its entire sell is about getting you away from crowds). “Bookings took a precipitous drop as people sheltered-in-place, and we actually encouraged people to cancel,” founder Alyssa Ravasio said in an intervie...
Tags: Travel, TC, Australia, Cdc, Jay Z, US, San Francisco, Economy, Canada, United States, New South Wales, Sharing Economy, Airbnb, Websites, Andreessen Horowitz, Will Smith


Austin’s Fox Robotics raises a $9M Series A for its robotic forklifts

The COVID-19 pandemic is, understandably, proving to be a major driver for robotics and automation adoption. The already hot categories are proving to be even more appealing as companies look to technology amid the spread of a deadly and highly contagious virus. Warehouses and fulfillment centers are, naturally, a big category for funding. Amazon, which has continued to operate as an essential service throughout the pandemic, has helped demonstrate the roles robots can play. It has also, unfortu...
Tags: Amazon, Startups, Tech, Austin, Fox, Robotics, TechCrunch, Menlo Ventures, Recent Funding, Fox Robotics, Eniac Famiglia SignalFire Congruent AME, Charles DuHadway, Berkshire Grey Those, Fox Robotics Fox


Palantir's financials just leaked ahead of its public listing, showing it lost nearly $580 million last year and has yet to turn a profit

Palantir recorded a loss of $580 million in 2019, TechCrunch and The New York Times both reported Friday. Palantir had total revenues of roughly $742 million last year, a 25% jump from 2018, according to the reports — one of the first glimpses at the secretive data company's financials. The documents reportedly showed that Palantir is increasingly reliant on government contracts, making around half of its revenue from government work, despite recent efforts to grow its business with private co...
Tags: Trends, New York Times, SEC, The New York Times, Donald Trump, Palantir, TechCrunch, PitchBook, TechCrunch The New York Times


Sony WH-1000XM4 headphone review

There was a mixed reaction among the TechCrunch staff when Sony’s WH-1000XM4 were announced the other week. There was excitement among those looking for new headphones and disappointment for those who’d recently purchased a different pair. The product’s predecessor are pretty universally regarded as some of the best over-ear headphones you can get for the price point, so the biggest question, really, was what the new ones bring to the table. So let me just say this off the bat. If you own ...
Tags: Reviews, Google, New York, Hardware, Tech, Headphones, Bluetooth Headphones, Sony, TechCrunch, Alexa, Brian Heater, Nura, WH-1000XM4


Fearing coronavirus, a Michigan college is tracking its students with a flawed app

Schools and universities across the United States are split on whether to open for the fall semester, thanks to the ongoing pandemic. Albion College, a small liberal arts school in Michigan, said in June it would allow its nearly 1,500 students to return to campus for the new academic year starting in August. Lectures would be limited in size and the semester would finish by Thanksgiving rather than December. The school said it would test both staff and students upon their arrival to campus a...
Tags: Amazon, Virginia, Tech, Pennsylvania, United States, Michigan, Albion, Signal, TechCrunch, Tufts University, Temple University, Bucknell University, HIPAA, Gilda, Matthew Johnson, Chuck Carlson


Fearing coronavirus, a Michigan college tracks its students with a flawed app

Schools and universities across the United States are split on whether to open for the fall semester, thanks to the ongoing pandemic. Albion College, a small liberal arts school in Michigan, said in June it would allow its nearly 1,500 students to return to campus starting in August for the new academic year. Lectures would be limited in size and the semester would finish by Thanksgiving rather than December. The school said it would test both staff and students upon their arrival to campus and ...
Tags: Amazon, Virginia, Tech, Pennsylvania, United States, Michigan, Albion, Signal, TechCrunch, Tufts University, Temple University, Bucknell University, HIPAA, Gilda, Matthew Johnson, Chuck Carlson


Hour One raises $5M Seed to generate AI-driven synthetic characters from real humans

All of the people pictured above are real, but what you are seeing are synthetically-generated versions of their real selves. And they can be programmed to say anything. Tech futurists have long warned about humans being replaced by life-like AI-driven figures, where it would be almost impossible to tell between machine and human. Indeed, there’s even a new book on this subject of ‘deep fakes’. But that future comes a step closer today with the news that Hour One, which creates AI-driven synthet...
Tags: TC, Europe, Articles, Tech, E-commerce, Ceo, Artificial Intelligence, Science and Technology, TechCrunch, Cto, Emerging-technologies, Artificial General Intelligence, Eze Vidra, Remagine Ventures, Kindred Ventures, Sam Englebardt Co Founder


Facebook tests TikTok-style video format on its main app in India

Facebook is going all in on short-form videos. After flirting with the idea in Lasso, a TikTok-clone it tested in select markets, and adding a similar feature called Reels to Instagram recently, the company is exploring a new venue for this TikTok-esque experience: The big blue app. The company confirmed to TechCrunch that it is testing short-form videos in the Facebook app in India, its biggest market by users. In the current avatar, ‘Short Videos’ has a dedicated section within the news ...
Tags: Social, Facebook, Apps, Asia, Instagram, Youtube, India, Tech, TechCrunch, Gaana, Reliance, Reliance Jio, Reliance Industries, Navarra, Lasso, Facebook India


Mux raises $37M Series C as its API-based video streaming service scales

This morning, Mux, a startup that provides API-based video streaming tooling and analytics, announced that it has closed a $37 million Series C round of capital. Andreessen Horowitz led the round, which included participation from Accel and Cobalt. Prior to this funding round, Mux most recently raised a roughly $20 million round in mid-2019. In total, the company had raised a hair under $32 million before its Series C, according to PitchBook data. The Mux round lands amidst a number of tre...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, Video, Tech, Google Analytics, Andreessen Horowitz, Amazon Web Services, TechCrunch, Accel, Zencoder, Jon Dahl, Dahl, Brightcove, Shen, Mux, A16z


Jump bikes are now on the Lime app and heading to more cities

Three months ago, Jump’s bright red bikes and scooters had disappeared from city streets after Uber unloaded the micromobility company to Lime as part of a complex $170 million fundraising round. When the Jump bikes were finally spotted it was in a recycling yard, where more than 20,000 of them laid in piles, awaiting their demise. The Jump brand wasn’t erased completely. New, unused Lime bikes were tucked away in storage. Lime has started to add those Jump bikes to cities like Denver, London...
Tags: Transportation, Washington, Tech, Jump, TechCrunch, Lime, Rochester Minnesota, Lime Lime, Denver London Paris Seattle, Lime apps Lime


Instagram Reels launches globally in over 50 countries, including US

Instagram Reels, the company’s significant effort in challenging TikTok on short-form creative content, is launching globally, starting today. The feature is being made available across 50 countries, including the U.S., as TechCrunch had previously reported. The expansion means Reels will now be available in key international markets, such as India, Brazil, France, Germany, the U.K., Japan, Australia, Spain, Mexico, Argentina and several others. The timing is fortuitous, given TikTok’s uncertain...
Tags: Social, Startups, Facebook, Apps, Europe, Video, Instagram, India, US, Brazil, TechCrunch, Trump, Lasso, Vishal Shah, Video Apps, Instagram Stories


Announcing Sight Tech Global, an event on the future of AI and accessibility for people who are blind or visually impaired

Few challenges have excited technologists more than building tools to help people who are blind or visually impaired. It was Silicon Valley legend Ray Kurzweil, for example, who in 1976 launched the first commercially available text-to-speech reading device. He unveiled the $50,000 Kurzweil Reading Machine , a boxy device that covered a tabletop, at a press conference hosted by the National Federation of the Blind .  The early work of Kurzweil and many others has rippled across the comm...
Tags: Apple, TC, Media, Microsoft, Events, Tech, Mit, Artificial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, William Gibson, Philanthropy, UC Berkeley, TechCrunch, Ray Kurzweil, Kurzweil, Verizon Media


Instrumental raises $20M to scale its AI-powered manufacturing tech

This morning Instrumental, a startup that uses vision-powered AI to detect manufacturing anomalies, announced that it has closed a $20 million Series B led by Canaan Partners. The company had previously raised $10.3 million across two rounds, including a $7.5 million Series A in mid-2017. According to a release, the Series B was participated in by other venture groups, including Series A investors Root Ventures, Eclipse Ventures, and First Round Capital, which also led its Seed round. Stanford S...
Tags: Apple, Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Stanford, China, Tech, Ai, Computer Vision, TechCrunch, Instrumental, Canaan, Canaan Partners, Hrach Simonian, Shedletsky, Anna Katrina Shedletsky


Thanks to COVID-19, everybody wants Density’s technology tracking building occupancy and use

Before the COVID-19 epidemic, Density was being used by companies like TechCrunch’s parent company, Verizon, to see how it could better use office space after the Yahoo!/Aol merger. Now, thanks to the COVID-19 epidemic everyone wants the company’s technology to track building and room occupancy and use. It’s one reason why the company managed to raise $51 million in a new round of funding led by Kleiner Perkins with participation from previous investors like Dick Costolo’s 01 Advisors and the Lo...
Tags: TC, Verizon, Dick Costolo, Los Angeles, Tech, TechCrunch, Kleiner Perkins, Mark Suster, Density, Kleiner, Farah, Yahoo AOL, Ilya Fushman, Andrew Farah, Suster, Fushman


Hevo draws in $8 million Series A for its no-code data pipeline service

Hevo founders Manish Jethani and Sourabh Agarwal According to data pipeline startup Hevo, many small- to medium-sized companies juggle more than 40 different applications to manage sales, marketing, finance, customer support and other operations. All of these applications are important sources of data that can be analyzed to improve a company’s performance. That data often remains separate, however, making it difficult for different teams to collaborate. Hevo enables its clients’ employees to...
Tags: Google, Amazon, Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Asia, Hong Kong, Enterprise, Singapore, India, Tech, United States, TechCrunch, Bangalore, Grofers, Data Analytics


So long, TechCrunch

Let me lead with the news: After more than eight years as TechCrunch’s COO, I am leaving on August 21. My decision is as much about my appetite for a green field as it is a recognition that TechCrunch’s team is ready to put a fresh stamp on our remarkable brand. TechCrunch’s leadership is now in the hands of Matthew Panzarino, our editor-in-chief, and Joey Hinson, our director of business operations. They are seasoned TechCrunchers and deeply respected by the team. I am confident that they will...
Tags: TC, Mark Zuckerberg, Tech, Silicon Valley, Alex, Matthew, TechCrunch, Matthew Panzarino, Include, Tim Armstrong, Joey, Alexandra, OATH, Ned Desmond, Steve Jennings Getty, TechCrunch Disrupt SF


Astra completes Rocket 3.1 static test fire ahead of launch attempt

Another small rocket launcher is readying to demonstrate their ability to launch a vehicle to space, after a few setbacks exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Astra has just completed a second static test fire of its Rocket 3.1 orbital launch vehicle, and that means it’s now ready for a trip to Alaska where it’ll hopefully make its first trip to orbit from a spaceport in Kodiak. Astra originally started out as a company with the specific goal of answering the DARPA launch challenge,...
Tags: TC, Transportation, Space, California, Tech, Ceo, Telecommunications, Alaska, Darpa, Satellite, Gps, Spaceflight, Aerospace, TechCrunch, Spaceport, Kodiak


Many popular Twitter accounts simultaneously hacked to spread cryptocurrency scam

A number of high-profile Twitter accounts were simultaneously hacked on Wednesday by attackers who used the accounts — some with millions of followers — to spread a cryptocurrency scam. @bitcoin, @ripple, @coindesk, @coinbase, and @binance were among the accounts hacked with the same message: “We have partnered with CryptoForHealth and are giving back 5000 BTC to the community,” followed by a link to a website, which we are not linking to. Some of the accounts were quickly back under their ow...
Tags: Security, Twitter, Spacex, Money, Finance, Tech, Spokesperson, Tesla, Bitcoin, Jack Dorsey, Social Engineering, Cloudflare, Cryptocurrencies, Phishing, Coinbase, TechCrunch


Decrypted: As tech giants rally against Hong Kong security law, Apple holds out

It’s not often Silicon Valley gets behind a single cause. Supporting net neutrality was one, reforming government surveillance another. Last week, Big Tech took up its latest: halting any cooperation with Hong Kong police. Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and even China-headquartered TikTok said last week they would no longer respond to demands for user data from Hong Kong law enforcement — read: Chinese authorities — citing the new unilaterally imposed Beijing national security la...
Tags: Iphone, Apple, Google, Security, Facebook, Twitter, Hong Kong, Technology, Supreme Court, Microsoft, Privacy, Government, China, Bt, Tech, Spokesperson


Google signs up Verizon for its AI-powered contact center services

Google today announced that it has signed up Verizon as the newest customer of its Google Cloud Contact Center AI service, which aims to bring natural language recognition to the often inscrutable phone menus that many companies still use today (disclaimer: TechCrunch is part of the Verizon Media Group). For Google, that’s a major win, but it’s also a chance for the Google Cloud team to highlight some of the work it has done in this area. It’s also worth noting that the Contact Center AI prod...
Tags: Google, TC, Verizon, Asia, Europe, Technology, Cloud Computing, Articles, Tech, Ceo, Artificial Intelligence, Speech Recognition, Machine Learning, Text-to-speech, TechCrunch, Natural Language Processing


Facebook expands Instagram Reels to India amid TikTok ban

As scores of startups look to cash in on the video content void that ban on TikTok and other Chinese apps has created in India, a big challenger is ready to try its hand. Instagram said on Wednesday it is rolling out Reels — a feature that allows users to create short-form videos (up to 15 seconds long) set to music or other audio — to a “broad” user base in India. The Facebook -owned service first began testing Reels, which has been widely referred as “TikTok clone”, in select markets l...
Tags: Google Play Store, Social, Facebook, Apps, Asia, Instagram, China, Germany, India, Tech, Times, New Delhi, TechCrunch, App Annie, Roposo, Gaana


Microsoft secretly seized domains used in COVID-19-themed email cyberattacks

A court has granted a bid by Microsoft to seize and take control of malicious web domains used in a large-scale cyberattack targeting victims in 62 countries with spoofed emails in an effort to defraud unsuspecting businesses. The technology giant announced the takedown of the business email compromise operation in a Tuesday blog post. Tom Burt, Microsoft’s consumer security chief, said the attackers tried to gain access to victims’ email inboxes, contacts and other sensitive files in order t...
Tags: Security, Crime, Email, Microsoft, Russia, Tech, Spokesperson, Iran, Fraud, Fbi, Cybercrime, United States, Social Engineering, Phishing, Federal Bureau of Investigation, TechCrunch


Why investors are cheering the Uber-Postmates deal

This morning as the markets rally, shares of Lyft are up 3% while Uber shares are up 6%. Why is Uber so far ahead of Lyft, its domestic ride-hailing rival that is suffering from the same economic impacts? It appears that investors are heartened that Uber has closed its Postmates acquisition after both firms danced around each other for some time, leading to all sorts of leaks that wound up being not coming true. The Exchange is a daily look at startups and the private markets for Extra Cr...
Tags: Food, Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Transportation, Lyft, Uber, Tech, Companies, Transport, Postmates, TechCrunch, Doordash, Market Analysis, Extra Crunch