Cruise calls for a new way to determine commercial readiness of self-driving cars

Fri, 17 Jan 2020 20:59:16 +0000
Cruise co-founder and CTO Kyle Vogt said Friday that disengagement reports released annually by California regulators are not a proxy for the commercial readiness or safety of self-driving cars. Vogt, in a lengthy post on Medium, called for a new metric to determine whether an autonomous vehicle is ready for commercial deployment. The post suggests […]
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Eaze’s struggles reflect falling VC interest in cannabis startups

Fri, 17 Jan 2020 19:40:52 +0000
Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between. Yesterday, TechCrunch reported that Eaze, a well-known cannabis-focused startup, is struggling to stay in business amidst a cash crunch, leadership turmoil, banking issues and a business model pivot. It’s a compelling, critical read. The news, however, […]
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EU lawmakers are eyeing risk-based rules for AI, per leaked white paper

Fri, 17 Jan 2020 19:12:04 +0000
The European Commission is considering a temporary ban on the use of facial recognition technology, according to a draft proposal for regulating artificial intelligence obtained by Euroactiv. Creating rules to ensure AI is ‘trustworthy and human’ has been an early flagship policy promise of the new Commission, led by president Ursula von der Leyen. But […]
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Baraja’s unique and ingenious take on lidar shines in a crowded industry

Fri, 17 Jan 2020 19:02:34 +0000
It seems like every company making lidar has a new and clever approach, but Baraja takes the cake. Its method is not only elegant and powerful, but fundamentally avoids many issues that nag other lidar technologies. But it'll need more than smart tech to make headway in this complex and evolving industry.
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Where FaZe Clan sees the future of gaming and entertainment

Fri, 17 Jan 2020 18:20:57 +0000
Lee Trink has spent nearly his entire career in the entertainment business. The former president of Capitol Records is now the head of FaZe Clan, an esports juggernaut that is one of the most recognizable names in the wildly popular phenomenon of competitive gaming. Trink sees FaZe Clan as the voice of a new generation […]
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The paradox of 2020 VC is that the largest funds are doing the smallest rounds

Fri, 17 Jan 2020 17:23:31 +0000
I talked yesterday about how VCs are just tired these days. Too many deals, too little time per deal, and constant hyper-competition with other VCs for the same equity. VCs are just tired One founder friend of mine noted to me last night that he has already received inbound requests from more than 90 investors […]
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Harvestr gathers user feedback in one place

Fri, 17 Jan 2020 17:23:30 +0000
Meet Harvestr, a software-as-a-service startup that wants to help product managers centralize customer feedback from various places. Product managers can then prioritize outstanding issues and feature requests. Finally, the platform helps you get back to your customers once changes have been implemented. The company just raised a $650,000 funding round led by Bpifrance with various […]
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Daily Crunch: NBCUniversal reveals its streaming plans

Fri, 17 Jan 2020 17:10:33 +0000
The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here. 1. NBCU’s streaming service Peacock launches April 15 for Comcast subscribers, everyone else on July 15 NBCUniversal shared the details about its […]
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How scooter charging startups want to make the industry more profitable

Fri, 17 Jan 2020 17:00:42 +0000
In an industry where unit economics are low, operators are seeking ways to improve margins while also maintaining fleet reliability and low prices for riders. Charging stations may be part of the solution. Already, there are a handful of companies, other than the operators themselves, looking to address this issue by deploying charging stations. The […]
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Discount student tickets available for TC Sessions: Mobility 2020

Fri, 17 Jan 2020 17:00:31 +0000
“Revolutionary” may be an over-used adjective, but how else to describe the rapid evolution in mobility technology? Join us in San Jose, Calif., on May 14 for TC Sessions: Mobility 2020. Our second annual day-long conference cuts through the hype and explores the current and future state of the technology and its social, regulatory and […]
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Cambridge Analytica email chain with Facebook sheds new light on data misuse scandal

Fri, 17 Jan 2020 16:23:21 +0000
Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Brittany Kaiser has released new documents today that illuminate the initial jockeying between the company and Facebook as they discussed the need for Cambridge Analytica to delete data associated with 87 million Facebook users’ profiles. The data was improperly obtained in 2014 by researchers with access to Facebook’s developer platform who were […]
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LocalGlobe partner Julia Hawkins discusses femtech’s risks and rewards

Fri, 17 Jan 2020 16:21:23 +0000
London-based seed fund LocalGlobe is incredibly active at the early-stage end of the startup pipeline with a broad focus across multiple sectors and areas, including health. We interviewed partner Julia Hawkins about the opportunities and risks related to femtech investing in light of the fund’s early backing for Ferly, a female-founded startup with a subscription […]
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Microsoft announces global Teams ad push as it combats Slack for the heart of enterprise comms

Fri, 17 Jan 2020 16:05:19 +0000
The long-running contest between Microsoft and its Teams service and Slack’s eponymous application continued this morning, with Redmond announcing what it describes as its first “global” advertising push for its enterprise communication service. Slack, a recent technology IPO, exploded in the back half of last decade, accreting huge revenues while burrowing into the tech stacks […]
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Zendesk launches Sell Marketplace to bring app store to CRM product

Fri, 17 Jan 2020 16:00:37 +0000
Zendesk acquired Base CRM in 2018 to give customers a CRM component to go with its core customer service software. After purchasing the company, it changed the name to Sell, and today the company announced the launch of the new Sell Marketplace. Officially called The Zendesk Marketplace for Sell, it’s a place where companies can […]
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Chinese podcasting and audio content app Lizhi debuts on Nasdaq

Fri, 17 Jan 2020 15:01:24 +0000
Lizhi, one of China’s biggest audio content apps, is debuting on Nasdaq today under the ticker symbol LIZI. It is the first of its major competitors, Ximalaya and Dragonfly, to go public (though Ximalaya is expected to also list in the United States later this year). Lizhi is offering 4.1 million shares at an IPO […]
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Cannabis marketing company Fyllo acquires CannaRegs for $10M

Fri, 17 Jan 2020 14:14:44 +0000
Fyllo, a digital marketing company focused on the cannabis industry, has acquired CannaRegs, a website offering subscription access to state and municipal cannabis regulations. Fyllo founder and CEO Chad Bronstein (pictured above) said his company paid $10 million in cash and stock. Bronstein previously served as chief revenue officer at digital marketing company Amobee, and […]
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DigitalOcean is laying off staff, sources say 30-50 affected

Fri, 17 Jan 2020 14:10:16 +0000
After appointing a new CEO and CFO last summer, cloud infrastructure provider DigitalOcean is embarking on a wider reorganisation: the startup has announced a round of layoffs, with potentially between 30 and 50 people affected. DigitalOcean has confirmed the news with the following statement: “DigitalOcean recently announced a restructuring to better align its teams to its […]
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Privacy experts slam UK’s ‘disastrous’ failure to tackle unlawful adtech

Fri, 17 Jan 2020 14:08:37 +0000
The UK’s data protection regulator has been slammed by privacy experts for once again failing to take enforcement action over systematic breaches of the law linked to behaviorally targeted ads — despite warning last summer that the adtech industry is out of control. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has also previously admitted it suspects the […]
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We’ve gone Plaid #

Fri, 17 Jan 2020 14:00:37 +0000
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week Danny and Alex were back together to riff over the latest early-stage rounds, the latest on the late-stage front and more. It was yet another stacked week, forcing us to pick and choose a bit. Starting […]
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Elon Musk shares details about SpaceX’s Starship, including estimated 20 to 30-year service life

Fri, 17 Jan 2020 12:48:30 +0000
Elon Musk appears to be pretty focused on Starship right now, sharing photos of the work being done on the orbital Starship prototype, designed “SN1,” which is currently under construction at SpaceX’s Boca Chica, Texas facility. The CEO answered a volley of questions over Twitter on Thursday evening, providing more details about Starship and how […]
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