India’s Reliance Jio Platforms to sell $1.2 billion stake to Mubadala

Friday • June 5, 2020 • 2:42 GMT
Manish Singh
Abu Dhabi-based sovereign firm Mubadala has become the latest investor in Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Platforms, joining five American firms including Facebook and Silver Lake that have secured stakes in India’s biggest telecom operator at the height of a once-in-a-century global pandemic. Mubadala said it had agreed to invest $1.2 billion in Reliance Jio Platforms […]

Here’s what is driving GM’s reported plans to develop a commercial electric van

Friday • June 5, 2020 • 0:47 GMT
Kirsten Korosec
GM’s electric offensive to bring at least 20 new EVs to market by 2023 reportedly includes a commercial van. Reuters reported Thursday that the company is developing an electric van for the commercial market code named BV1. The vehicle is expected to start production in late 2021 and will use the Ultium battery system that […]

Ethena raises $2 million in seed funding for smarter anti-harassment software

Thursday • June 4, 2020 • 22:59 GMT
Natasha Mascarenhas
Corporate harassment training is often defined by mandatory annual workshops, stock photo-ridden curricula and, often, outdated scenarios. Harvard graduates Roxanne Petraeus and Anne Solmssen think there’s a business in doing better than that. The duo co-founded Ethena, a software-as-a-service startup that sells anti-harassment training software that is more comprehensive and flexible than the status quo. […]

FTC fines kids’ app developer HyperBeard $150K for use of third-party ad trackers

Thursday • June 4, 2020 • 22:34 GMT
Sarah Perez
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today announced a settlement of $150,000 with HyperBeard, the developer of a collection of children’s mobile games over violations of U.S. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule (COPPA Rule). The company’s applications had been downloaded more than 50 million times on a worldwide basis to date, according to data […]

OTTO Motors raises $29M to fill factories with autonomous delivery robots

Thursday • June 4, 2020 • 22:05 GMT
Kirsten Korosec
When Clearpath Robotics CEO and co-founder Matthew Rendall looks at the “miles” of roads inside industrial factories, he sees them filled with autonomous vehicles. And in the past five years, the company has inched toward that goal through its industrial division OTTO Motors. The division, which launched in 2015, has landed a number of customer […]

Mercato Partners just launched Savory, a $90 million fund focused on fueling fast-casual restaurant concepts

Thursday • June 4, 2020 • 21:28 GMT
Connie Loizos
Mercato Partners, a 13-year-old, Salt Lake City, Utah-based investment firm that oversees a growth fund, a secondary investment fund and a venture fund, has launched yet another fund — this one a $90 million vehicle that the firm says will be used to invest in restaurant concepts that are gaining traction. Its timing is interesting, […]

Signal now has built-in face blurring for photos

Thursday • June 4, 2020 • 21:01 GMT
Devin Coldewey
Apps like Signal are proving invaluable in these days of unrest, and anything we can do to simplify and secure the way we share sensitive information is welcome. To that end Signal has added the ability to blur faces in photos sent via the app, making it easy to protect someone’s identity without leaving any […]

Slack drops 10%+ after its revenue growth, guidance fail to impress

Thursday • June 4, 2020 • 20:24 GMT
Alex Wilhelm
Today Slack reported its earnings results for the three months ending April 30, 2020, the first quarter of its fiscal 2021. The well-known SaaS chat service posted revenue of $201.7 million, up 50% compared to its year-ago period. Slack also reported an adjusted per-share loss of $0.02, and per-share losses of $0.13 when counting all […]

VMware acquires network security firm Lastline, said to lay off 40% of staff

Thursday • June 4, 2020 • 19:56 GMT
Zack Whittaker
VMware is acquiring network security firm Lastline, TechCrunch has learned. Since its launch in 2012, Lastline raised about $52.2 million, according to Crunchbase. Investors include Thomvest Ventures, which led the company’s $28.5 million Series C round in 2017; Redpoint and, which led the company’s 2013 funding round; and Barracuda Networks, NTT Finance and Dell […]

Kids now spend nearly as much time watching TikTok as YouTube in US, UK and Spain

Thursday • June 4, 2020 • 19:34 GMT
Sarah Perez
A new study on kids’ app usage and habits indicates a major threat to YouTube’s dominance, as kids now split their time between Google’s online video platform and other apps, like TikTok, Netflix and mobile games like Roblox. Kids ages four to 15 now spend an average of 85 minutes per day watching YouTube videos, […]

New York City’s Wi-Fi kiosks memorialize the dead, amid citywide protests

Thursday • June 4, 2020 • 19:23 GMT
Brian Heater
Since late-2015, LinkNYC kiosks have become a mainstay among New York’s sidewalks. A more modern replacement for decaying and disused public pay phones, the nine-foot-tall towers provide corners with access to public Wi-Fi, USB charging and access to emergency services. The most striking aspect however, are the large side displays that alternate between advertising and […]

Facebook adds labels identifying state-controlled media

Thursday • June 4, 2020 • 19:21 GMT
Devin Coldewey
Facebook will soon add labels to news outlets owned or otherwise controlled by a government, marking that information as, if not necessarily false or unreliable, at least worth considering the origin of. Those so labeled will also be banned from buying ads starting this summer. The company announced its plan to do this a few […]

As Americans look to escape, this peer-to-peer RV rental startup is happy to accommodate them

Thursday • June 4, 2020 • 19:16 GMT
Connie Loizos
The world feels as fragile as ever, and those with any options at all are looking to get away this summer. For many, planes and hotel rooms won’t be an option they consider owing to continued concerns about the coronavirus (not to mention the expense, which 40 million fewer Americans can likely afford). That leaves […]

Lego pauses marketing of police sets, amid protests

Thursday • June 4, 2020 • 18:59 GMT
Brian Heater
Earlier this week, Lego sent a letter to affiliates requesting a wide range of kits be removed from all sites and marketing. The list featured a number of different kits involving police minifigs (yes, including “Donut Shop Opening”), along with the White House. There’s been some murky information surrounding the extent of Lego’s move, but […]

Google says Iranian, Chinese hackers targeted Trump, Biden campaigns

Thursday • June 4, 2020 • 17:45 GMT
Zack Whittaker
Google security researchers say they’ve identified efforts by at least two nation state-backed hackers against the Trump and Biden presidential campaigns. Shane Huntley, director for Google’s Threat Analysis Group, said in a tweet that hackers backed by China and Iran recently targeted the campaigns using malicious phishing emails. But, Huntley said, there are “no signs […]

Twitter has a record-breaking week as users looked for news of protests and COVID-19

Thursday • June 4, 2020 • 16:44 GMT
Sarah Perez
Civil unrest due to the nationwide George Floyd protests drove Twitter to see a record number of new installs this week, according to data from two app store intelligence firms, Apptopia and Sensor Tower. While the firms’ exact findings differed in terms of the total number of new downloads or when records were broken, the […]

SaaS earnings rise as pandemic pushes companies more rapidly to the cloud

Thursday • June 4, 2020 • 16:42 GMT
Ron Miller
As the pandemic surged and companies moved from offices to working at home, they needed tools to ensure the continuity of their business operations. SaaS companies have always been focused on allowing work from anywhere there’s access to a computer and internet connection, and while the economy is reeling from COVID-19 fallout, modern software companies […]

Daily Crunch: Snapchat says it won’t promote Trump

Thursday • June 4, 2020 • 16:09 GMT
Anthony Ha
Snapchat is the latest social media company to take on the president, Fitbit gets approval for its emergency ventilator and we review the new Sonos soundbar. Here’s your Daily Crunch for June 4, 2020. 1. Snapchat is no longer promoting Trump’s posts Snap announced that it will not be promoting content from President Donald Trump’s […]

All Facebook users can now access a tool to port data to Google Photos

Thursday • June 4, 2020 • 16:00 GMT
Natasha Lomas
Facebook’s photo transfer tool is now available globally half a year on from an initial rollout in Europe, the company said today. The data portability feature enables users of the social network to directly port a copy of their photos to Google’s eponymous photo storage service via encrypted transfer, rather than needing to download and […]