November 18, 2019, 4:50 AM

November 18, 2019

4:15 AM  •
Jake Bright / TechCrunch:  OPay, the Africa-focused mobile payments startup founded by Opera, raises $120M Series B to expand from Nigeria to Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa
2:35 AM  •
Steve O'Hear / TechCrunch:  Northzone raises a new $500M fund to invest primarily in Series A and B rounds of European and East Coast US startups, amid a slew of new European VC funds
12:30 AM  •
Catalin Cimpanu / ZDNet:  Chrome, Edge, Safari hacked at elite hacking contest Tianfu Cup, which is now China's top competition after a participation ban on foreign contests like Pwn2Own

November 17, 2019

8:20 PM  •
Paul Sawers / VentureBeat:  Self-driving startup Wayve, which considers sophisticated sensor tech like lidar unnecessary for safe autonomous driving systems, raises $20M Series A
8:07 PM  •
Nikkei Asian Review:  Line and SoftBank's Yahoo Japan announce merger plan, aim to sign a deal by December 2019, and integrate the businesses by October 2020
7:47 PM  •
Anna Nicolaou / Financial Times:  Sources: ByteDance is in talks with record companies to launch a music streaming service as soon as December, initially in Brazil, India, and Indonesia
7:30 PM  •
Dylan Martin / CRN:  Intel unveils plans for a 7nm Xe GPU, codenamed Ponte Vecchio, meant to rival Nvidia in handling datacenter AI workloads, but fails to give a release window
6:35 PM  •
Andrew Allemann / Domain Name Wire:  After ICANN lifted price caps on .org domains in June, the Internet Society has sold Public Interest Registry, the top level domain's operator, to PE firm Ethos
6:00 PM  •
Eric Rosenbaum / CNBC:  The White House confirms that President Trump will tour Apple's manufacturing plant in Austin on November 20
4:35 PM  •
Abrar Al-Heeti / CNET:  Sensor Tower: TikTok has passed 1.5B downloads worldwide on the App Store and Google Play, with 614M downloads in 2019 so far, up 6% YoY
2:30 PM  •
Emma Newburger / CNBC:  HP board unanimously rejects Xerox's ~$33B cash and stock offer to acquire the company
12:10 PM  •
Jim Salter / Ars Technica:  How the mesh Wi-Fi router startup Plume is winning partnerships with some of the biggest ISPs worldwide, despite Eero's fire sale to Amazon
7:05 AM  •
Mike Murphy / Quartz:  Profile of Mixhalo, an app which aims to improve sound quality at concerts by sending Hi-Fi audio directly from the soundboard to attendees' phones
2:00 AM  •
Mark Harris / MIT Technology Review:  New research shows that thousands of ships in Shanghai, the world's busiest port, are falling victim to spoofing of GPS systems that has left experts baffled
1:30 AM  •
Derek Wallbank / Bloomberg:  Enlitic, which is working on an AI-aided medical diagnostic tool that can read radiology scans, announces $25M Series B-1, following a $15M Series B in April
1:05 AM  •
NoCamels:  Israel-based Pcysys, which has developed a cybersecurity risk assessment service that uses automated penetration testing, closes $10M Series A
12:40 AM  •
Katherine Davis / AmericanInno:  Chicago-based Apervita raises $22M for its cloud-based platform that enables insurers and healthcare providers to share clinical and insurance claims data
12:15 AM  •
Jordan Crook / TechCrunch:  Loop Returns, which helps stores on Shopify handle online returns, raises $10M Series A led by FirstMark Capital

November 16, 2019

11:50 PM  •
Annie Musgrove /  pureLiFi, which is developing optical Gigabit Li-Fi components that can be integrated into mobile devices, raises $18M Series B from Temasek, others
11:20 PM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  DroneDeploy, a drone mapping and analytics platform, raises $35M Series D, bringing its total raised to $90M, says it now has over 5,000 enterprise customers
9:00 PM  •
Kevin Roose / New York Times:  As millions pay for premium subscriptions to have a “clean” digital media experience, privacy and freedom from advertising are gradually becoming luxury goods
5:55 PM  •
Mary Ann Azevedo / Crunchbase News:  Qualia, which streamlines closing of real estate deals and claims to handle 15%+ of all US transactions, raises $55M Series C, bringing its total raised to $95M
3:45 PM  •
Pew Research Center:  Survey: ~60% US adults believe they can not avoid data collection by corporations or govt., 81% think the risks of corporate data collection outweigh benefits
2:05 PM  •
Josh Dzieza / The Verge:  A look at Roundup, Montana, which has become a hub in Amazon's supply chain with prep centers that repackage sellers' goods according to Amazon's specifications
12:30 PM  •
Taylor Lorenz / New York Times:  Profile of FaZe Clan, an esports and gaming lifestyle media org with 34 content creators, 15 pro esports players, 11 players/entertainers, and over 214M viewers
11:15 AM  •
Anmol / MSPoweruser:  Microsoft to end Cortana support for iOS and Android apps in eight countries including UK, China on Jan. 31; Cortana content, like reminders, will stop working
8:10 AM  •
The Verge:  Creators say YouTube's new labeling policy for kids' content that holds creators solely accountable are murky, as some video categories fall in a gray area
5:05 AM  •
Tiernan Ray / ZDNet:  Facebook's AI team details XLM-R, a natural language model which translates between 100 languages, but struggles with the limits of existing computing power
2:00 AM  •
Bill Wasik / New York Times:  A look at how the internet deviated from its sunny, American, all-devouring vision of mass empowerment, and why today it doesn't mean the same thing to everyone
1:15 AM  •
Janko Roettgers / Variety:  Verizon releases a Stream TV device running Android TV, heavily featuring YouTube TV, with none of Verizon Media's properties promoted and Netflix app blocked
12:30 AM  •
Tim Bradshaw / Financial Times:  Jimmy Wales' WikiTribune, which launched as a crowdfunded news site in 2017, relaunches as WT:Social, a donor-funded social networking and “news sharing” site

November 15, 2019

11:45 PM  •
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:  Spotify confirms it is testing real-time lyrics synced to music in its mobile app for some users; the feature appears below the playback controls during testing
11:20 PM  •
Tony Wan / EdSurge:  Guild Education, which helps companies connect their employees to online higher-ed programs offered by universities, raises $157M Series D at a $1B+ valuation
10:55 PM  •
Duncan Riley / SiliconANGLE:  Cybrary, a crowdsourced freemium cybersecurity training platform for enterprises that says it has 3M individual users, raises $15M Series B
9:55 PM  •
Christina Farr / CNBC:  PillPack adds “Amazon Pharmacy” to its logo and says it has filed paperwork that adds “Amazon Pharmacy” to the licensed name of its pharmacy fulfillment centers
8:45 PM  •
Olivia Solon / NBC News:  Microsoft hires former AG Eric Holder to determine if AnyVision complies with the ethical principles stipulated during the facial recognition company's Series A
7:45 PM  •
Sophia Kunthara / Crunchbase News:  Filing:, which makes payments software, aims to raise $100M in its IPO, says Q3 revenue was ~$35.2M, up 57% YoY, and losses were ~$5.7M, up 544% YoY
6:55 PM  •
Mary Ann Azevedo / Crunchbase News:  Mexico's first online-only supermarket Justo raises $10M seed round led by Foundation Capital, with 500 Startups, others participating
5:50 PM  •
Mike Butcher / TechCrunch:  Let's Do This, a platform that lists ~30K races and provides personalized recommendations for participants in events like marathons, raises $15M Series A
5:05 PM  •
Alex Sherman / CNBC:  Sources: John Legere has no plans to leave T-Mobile and take the CEO job at WeWork
4:50 PM  •
The Information:  Sources: after exploring partnerships with banks in 2018 to offer an Amazon-branded checking account, Amazon scrapped those plans in their early stages
4:20 PM  •
Emily Stewart / Vox:  Twitter acknowledges that its new guidance on political and cause-based ads is essentially a rough policy outline with lots of details still to be worked out
3:30 PM  •
Bloomberg:  Sources: SoftBank Group completed the first close of $2B for the Vision Fund 2 so it can start backing startups; SoftBank initially targeted $108B for this fund
2:50 PM  •
Todd Spangler / Variety:  Hulu to raise its Hulu + Live TV price by 22%, from $44.99/month to $54.99/month, for all subscribers starting on December 18
2:25 PM  •
Tucker Higgins / CNBC:  The Supreme Court says it will hear Google's appeal in the copyright lawsuit brought by Oracle over Java APIs
1:53 PM  •
CNBC:  Twitter bans political ads globally, will allow some “cause-based” ads with limited targeting and promotion of issue-related fact-based reporting from news orgs
1:05 PM  •
Colin Lecher / The Verge:  Email: Sundar Pichai says Google is scaling back weekly all-hands “TGIF” meetings to once a month; meetings will focus only “on product and business strategy”
12:20 PM  •
Steve Dent / Engadget:  In a Reddit AMA, Google demos Stadia, which is set to launch on Nov. 19 but without key features like Family Sharing, Buddy Passes, Stadia Connect, and more
11:30 AM  •
Stephen Nellis / Reuters:  NUVIA, founded by three former Apple chip execs, raises $53M Series A from Dell and others to develop a new CPU for data center servers
10:55 AM  •
Jason Ronald / Xbox Wire:  Microsoft rolls out its November 2019 Xbox Update with support for Google Assistant in English, improved gamertags, text-based content filters, and more
10:20 AM  •
TechCrunch:  Report finds toxic content on Giphy, including child abuse, depictions of rape, and imagery associated with white supremacy, despite its ban on illicit content
10:01 AM  •
Holger Hansen / Reuters:  Germany passed a law on Thursday that could force Apple to open up the iPhone's NFC chip to rival mobile payment platforms in the country
9:40 AM  •
Washington Post:  Source: NIH and Google planned to release a dataset of 100K chest X-rays in 2017, but scrapped the project after finding personal info on some images
8:05 AM  •
Axios:  Apple says it will remove all 181 vaping-related apps from its App Store, after experts attribute a variety of lung injuries and fatalities to e-cigarettes
7:20 AM  •
Manish Singh / TechCrunch:  TikTok says it has started allowing some users to add links to their profile bios and send their viewers to shopping sites
1:35 AM  •
Maya Shwayder / Digital Trends:  The maker of viral deepfakes of Mark Zuckerberg and Boris Johnson says they show how all personal data, even of those in power, can be used in unexpected ways

November 14, 2019

9:20 PM  •
Dave Gershgorn / OneZero:  Docs show surveillance robots from Knightscope collect data using tools like facial recognition, automatic license plate readers, and wireless device detection
7:55 PM  •
Dell Cameron / Gizmodo:  Sources: FCC plans to scrap and replace the Electronic Comment Filing System, used for public feedback, after the fake comments controversy
7:40 PM  •
BBC:  UK's Labour party pledges free broadband for all by 2030, by nationalizing part of BT and introducing a tax on tech giants, if it wins the general election
7:10 PM  •
Jordan Novet / CNBC:  Nvidia reports Q3 revenues of $3.01B, down 5% YoY, compared to $2.91B expected, with gaming revenue down 6% YoY at $1.66B and data center revenue of $726M
6:50 PM  •
Jeff John Roberts / Fortune:  Automated crypto lending platform Compound raises $25M Series A from a16z, says it now has over $150M worth of assets on its platform
6:10 PM  •
Sarah Emerson / OneZero:  On-demand transcription service Rev lets freelancers listen to “unclaimed” audio or video files, which can contain personal info or even trade secrets
5:41 PM  •
CNBC:  Amazon says it has filed a protest of the Pentagon's decision to award the JEDI contract to Microsoft, claiming “unmistakable bias”, and “errors” in process
4:20 PM  •
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:  Facebook has tested Popular Photos, an Instagram clone with an infinite scroll of pictures, inside its own app in October
4:10 PM  •
Tom Warren / The Verge:  Microsoft plans to launch its xCloud game streaming service in the US in 2020, with plans to expand xCloud preview to Canada, India, Japan, and Western Europe
3:46 PM  •
CNBC:  Sources: the 50 AGs investigating Google are preparing to expand their antitrust investigation beyond Google's ad business into search and Android businesses
3:30 PM  •
Telegraph:  US authorities filed a request in September to extradite ex-Autonomy boss Mike Lynch to face fraud charges over the $11B sale of Autonomy to HP
3:10 PM  •
Bloomberg Law:  New Jersey says Uber owes it about $650M in unemployment and disability insurance taxes because Uber has been misclassifying drivers as independent contractors
3:00 PM  •
Khari Johnson / VentureBeat:  Google Cloud makes Contact Center AI, which automates interactions with customers in call centers, available generally
2:41 PM  •
Alex Sherman / CNBC:  Sources: Apple signed on 200,000 subscribers to Apple News+ in its first 48 hours in March but has since struggled to add customers
1:50 PM  •
Ashley Carman / The Verge:  Facebook launches an Instagram donation button and a fundraising sticker in Facebook Stories, more broadly rolls out fundraising on Facebook gaming live streams
1:15 PM  •
Startups News:  Emerge, which wants to let users interact in an XR telepresence experience by mapping a tactile layer onto 3D projections or holograms, raises $12M Series A
12:35 PM  •
James Vincent / The Verge:  Google search launches an experimental feature on mobile that will use AI to let users check their pronunciation of unfamiliar American English words
12:25 PM  •
Bloomberg:  Following EU scrutiny, Google to stop sharing info with buyers in ad auctions about the type of content on a page where an ad could appear, starting in February
12:20 PM  •
Bloomberg:  Sources: SoftBank passed on investing in Cadre after Jared Kushner did not divest his stake in the real estate startup, as requested by SoftBank
12:13 PM  •
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:  Google says it is now rolling out support for RCS messages in the Android Messages app to all of its users in the US
11:30 AM  •
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:  Punchh, which provides app-based loyalty cards and other analytics services for retailers and restaurants, raises $40M at an estimated valuation of $300M+
11:25 AM  •
Jordan Novet / CNBC:  Salesforce says it will use Microsoft's Azure for its Marketing Cloud service, signaling a thaw in a complicated relationship
11:15 AM  •
Jonathan D. Epstein / The Buffalo News:  ACV Auctions, a Buffalo-based online marketplace for used cars, raises $150M Series E at a valuation of more than $1.5B
10:50 AM  •
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:  Instagram says it is expanding its test making Like counts private to the rest of the world beyond Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, and New Zealand
10:10 AM  •
Samantha Cole / VICE:  Pornhub says PayPal is no longer supporting payments for Pornhub, affecting over a hundred thousand performers using the site as a source of income
10:05 AM  •
George Anadiotis / ZDNet:  Siren, which helps build knowledge graphs from enterprise data, raises $10M Series A led by Atlantic Bridge
9:45 AM  •
Benjamin Mayo / 9to5Mac:  Apple Research app is now available to download for iPhone and Apple Watch; US users can enroll in three health studies
9:35 AM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  Moveworks, which builds an AI platform to automate IT support issues, raises $75M Series B, bringing its total raised to $105M
9:10 AM  •
Mary Ann Azevedo / Crunchbase News:  Toronto-based password manager 1Password raises $200M Series A led by Accel, its first external round of funding in its 14-year history
8:45 AM  •
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:  Eigen, which helps enterprises like banks parse huge documents using AI, raises $37M Series B led by Lakestar and Dawn Capital, at a ~$150M-$180M valuation
8:10 AM  •
Adele Peters / Fast Company:  AMP Robotics, which makes robots that recognize and sort recyclables, raises $16M Series A led by Sequoia Capital
7:25 AM  •
Bloomberg:  Sources: Apple is considering bundling News+, Apple TV+, and Apple Music as soon as 2020 to attract subscribers, meaning less money for News+ publishers
6:45 AM  •
Emma Grey Ellis / Wired:  A look at how scientific experts debunk “lifestyle” misinformation and bad science on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube
5:40 AM  •
New York Times:  How startups around the world, using SoftBank funds, got contractors like drivers and hoteliers to commit via unsustainable incentives, and then cut them off
2:20 AM  •
Khamila Mulia / KrASIA:  Indonesia-based accommodation-sharing platform Travelio raises $18M Series B co-led by Pavilion Capital and Gobi Partners, bringing its total funding to $24M
1:10 AM  •
Roger Cheng / CNET:  How Motorola created the foldable-screen Razr and why it claims it solved the problems faced by Samsung's Galaxy Fold, by focusing on a hinge design

November 13, 2019

11:38 PM  •
Chaim Gartenberg / The Verge:  Motorola announces a new Razr phone with a 6.2" touchscreen display that folds like a clamshell, launching in January on Verizon in the US for $1,500
11:10 PM  •
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:  Apple Music launches Replay, letting subscribers look back at their favorite music in 2019, similar to Spotify's year-end review, Wrapped, but updated each week
10:50 PM  •
Yimou Lee / Reuters:  Foxconn posts Q3 net profit of ~$1B, up 23.3% YoY, beating analyst estimates, despite Apple's declining iPhone sales, which it relies on for ~50% of its revenue
8:55 PM  •
Jordan Novet / CNBC:  Cisco reports Q1 revenues of $13.16B, up 1% YoY, and Infrastructure Platforms revenue of $7.54B, down 1% YoY
7:10 PM  •
Janko Roettgers / Variety:  Oculus CTO John Carmack says he is stepping down but will remain as a “consulting CTO” and will work on an artificial general intelligence as a personal project
6:20 PM  •
Nikkei Asian Review:  Sources: SoftBank's Yahoo Japan is in talks about merging with Naver's Line, Japan's leading chat app, creating a SoftBank subsidiary with 100M+ users in Japan
5:35 PM  •
Sheridan Prasso / Bloomberg:  Investigation into Huawei's Safe City program, which pairs cameras with analysis software in 50+ countries, shows Huawei has overstated drops in crime
4:35 PM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  Canalys: global smart speaker shipments reached 28.6M, up 44% YoY, in Q3 2019 as Amazon shipped 10.4M units, up 66% YoY, and Google shipped 3.5M, down 40% YoY
3:40 PM  •
Kurt Wagner / Bloomberg:  Facebook says 80% of hate speech removed in the past quarter was identified by software, up from 68% in Q1; 4.4M drug-related posts were taken down, a big jump
3:20 PM  •
George Gene Gustines / New York Times:  An in-depth look at how technology has changed the production and distribution of comics, opening up new opportunities while presenting unexpected challenges
2:25 PM  •
Ashlee Vance / Bloomberg:  Inside the Arctic World Archive, where GitHub will store 200 “platters”, each with 120GB of open source software on them, to prevent loss of the software
2:00 PM  •
Emil Protalinski / VentureBeat:  Interview with Boston Dynamics CEO Marc Raibert about Spot, Handle, and Atlas, three of the company's robots, as well as AI, viral promotional videos, and more
1:35 PM  •
Roger Cheng / CNET:  Phil Schiller says kids with Chromebooks are “not going to succeed” because Apple makes “cutting-edge learning tools” and Chromebooks are only good for testing
1:25 PM  •
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:  GitHub announces improvements to code search and notifications and unveils its first native mobile app, available in beta for iOS, with Android app coming soon
1:05 PM  •
Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:  SheerID, an identity management and marketing company that specializes in screening users for certain discounts, raises $64M led by CVC Ventures
12:45 PM  •
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:  Docker restructures, raises $35M from Benchmark and Insight Partners, sells its Docker Enterprise business, team, and IP to Mirantis
12:40 PM  •
Alex Wilhelm / Crunchbase News:  New York-based Hive, which develops a productivity platform for workers, raises $10.6M Series A led by Comcast Ventures
12:35 PM  •
Zack Whittaker / TechCrunch:  Facebook says requests from governments for user data in H1 2019 were up 16% over H2 2018 to 128,617, the highest on record, led by 50,741 demands from the US
12:25 PM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  Chicago-based ThreeKit raises $20M Series A for its platform that creates 3D product renderings for clients on the fly
12:20 PM  •
Mary Jo Foley / ZDNet:  Microsoft says Executive VP Harry Shum, who oversaw AI and Research, is leaving in February 2020, with CTO Kevin Scott taking over his responsibilities
12:15 PM  •
Lauren Feiner / CNBC:  Disney says Disney+ has seen 10M signups since launching on Tuesday
11:45 AM  •
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:  Ping, which uses AI to track the hours lawyers work and fill out timesheets, raises $13.2M Series A led by Upfront Ventures
11:35 AM  •
Paul Sawers / VentureBeat:  Freshworks, which offers a range of customer support and sales software, raises $150M Series H led by CapitalG, Sequoia Capital, and Accel at a $3.5B valuation
11:20 AM  •
Erik Larson / Bloomberg:  Federal judge rules Trump administration's decision to let 3D-printed gun blueprints be shared online was illegal, following lawsuits from several states
11:10 AM  •
Aliya Chaudhry / The Verge:  Privacy-focused open source browser Brave officially launches version 1.0, available on all major platforms
11:05 AM  •
Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:  Sigma Computing, which builds cloud-hosted data analytics tools, doubles its Series B to $60M, with funding from Altimeter Capital and Sutter Hill Ventures
11:00 AM  •
Jake Bright / TechCrunch:  Africa-focused payments startup PalmPay, which has just launched in Nigeria, raises $40M seed round led by Chinese mobile phone maker Transsion
10:50 AM  •
Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:  Colorado-based Liqid, which develops adaptive resource management tools for data centers, raises $28M Series B led by Panorama Point Partners
10:30 AM  •
Tim Hardwick / MacRumors:  Apple says the updated Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR will ship in December, but does not provide an exact date
10:15 AM  •
Chris Welch / The Verge:  Following the introduction of the 16-inch MacBook Pro, Apple is discontinuing the 15-inch model, which was refreshed in May 2019
9:55 AM  •
Jessica Bruder / Wired:  A look at a group of Somali immigrant warehouse workers in Minnesota who stood up to Amazon over labor and civil rights without the clout of a traditional union
9:30 AM  •
John Gruber / Daring Fireball:  16" MacBook Pro first hands-on: while the keyboard's “de-Jony-Ive-ification” is good, we shouldn't be celebrating the return of features we shouldn't have lost
9:10 AM  •
Financial Times:  Popular health websites in UK are sharing sensitive user data with dozens of companies including Google and Facebook along with data-brokers and adtech firms
8:40 AM  •
Dieter Bohn / The Verge:  Apple unveils 16" MacBook Pro with better speakers, 512GB base storage, and new keyboard with scissor switches, available for pre-order now starting at $2,399
8:10 AM  •
Candy Cheng / Bloomberg:  Source: DoorDash is raising $100M at a ~$13B valuation from T. Rowe Price Group and others
8:00 AM  •
Bloomberg:  Nike will stop selling its sneakers and apparel directly on Amazon, ending a pilot program that began in 2017
7:35 AM  •
Darrell Etherington / TechCrunch:  Report: Google is planning to offer checking accounts to users, in partnership with banks and credit unions, starting as early as next year
7:20 AM  •
Jennifer Smith / Wall Street Journal:  Convoy, a digital freight marketplace that matches truckers with cargo shippers, raises $400M Series D at a $2.75B valuation
7:05 AM  •
Lulu Yilun Chen / Bloomberg:  Tencent Q3 earnings misses estimates with net income of $2.9B, down 13% YoY, from revenues of ~$13.7B, up 21% YoY
5:35 AM  •
Julie Jargon / Wall Street Journal:  Social media influencers are encouraging teens to be real in their posts instead of perfect, making them vulnerable to predators looking to take advantage

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