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Chinese podcasting and audio content app Lizhi debuts on Nasdaq

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 t

Cannabis marketing company Fyllo acquires CannaRegs for $10M

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 mi

We’ve gone Plaid #

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 a the latest early-stage rounds, the latest on the late-stage front,

Privacy experts slam UK’s “disastrous” failure to tackle unlawful adtech

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 industr

Cloud services provider DigitalOcean is laying off staff, sources say 30-50 affected

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 th

Elon Musk shares details about SpaceX’s Starship, including estimated 20 to 30 year service life

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 answe

Caregiving startup Homage raises $10 million Series B to enter new Asian markets

In many countries, an aging population coupled with a low birth rate is increasing the demand for qualified caregivers. In Asia, the need is especially urgent because rapid demographic shifts and changing social structures means family members who traditional

Funnel closes $47M Series B to prepare marketing data for better reporting and analysis

Funnel, the Stockholm-based startup that offers technology to help businesses prepare — or make “business-ready” — their marketing data for better reporting and analysis, has closed $47 million in Series B funding. Leading the round i

Xiaomi spins off POCO as an independent company

Xiaomi said today it is spinning off POCO, a sub-smartphone brand it created in 2018, as a standalone company that will now run independently of the Chinese electronics giant and make its own market strategy. The move comes months after a top POCO executive &

Trucks VC general partner Reilly Brennan is coming to TC Sessions: Mobility

The future of transportation industry is bursting at the seams with startups aiming to bring everything from flying cars and autonomous vehicles to delivery bots and even more efficient freight to roads. One investor who is right at the center of this is Reil

SpinLaunch spins up a $35M round to continue building its space catapult

SpinLaunch, a company that aims to turn the launch industry on its head with a wild new concept for getting to orbit, has raised a $35M round B to continue its quest. The team has yet to demonstrate their kinetic launch system, but this year will be the year

‘PigeonBot’ brings flying robots closer to real birds

Try as they might, even the most advanced roboticists on Earth struggle to recreate the effortless elegance and efficiency with which birds fly through the air. The «PigeonBot» from Stanford researchers takes a step towards changing that by invest

Investors like Sundar Pichai; they just pushed Alphabet into the trillion-dollar club for the first time

Alphabet this afternoon became the fourth tech giant to join the highly exclusive trillion-dollar club, one whose original member, Apple, saw its market cap soar past $1 trillion for the first time in August 2018 and which has since welcomed — and pushe

Visa’s Plaid acquisition shows a shifting financial services landscape

When Visa bought Plaid this week for $5.3 billion, a figure that was twice its private valuation, it was a clear signal that traditional financial services companies are looking for ways to modernize their approach to business. With Plaid, Visa picks up a mod

Foxconn and Fiat Chrysler partner to develop EVs and an ‘internet of vehicles’ business

Foxconn Technology Group, the Taiwanese electronics giant best known for its iPhone manufacturing contract, is forming a joint venture with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to build electric vehicles in China. The joint venture was disclosed in a regulatory filing.

Copilot is a subscription personal finance tracker aiming to kill Mint

When Intuit acquired Mint more than a decade ago, mobile was in a different place — as were tech-enabled financial services. There hasn’t been much progress for the personal finance tracker app category in the meantime. Mint has stumbled along wit

Space Angels’ Chad Anderson on entering a new decade in the ‘entrepreneurial space age’

Space as an investment target is trending upwards in the VC community, but specialist firm Space Angels has been focused on the sector longer than most. The network of angel investors just published its most recent quarterly overview of activity in the space

NBCU’s streaming service Peacock launches April 15 for Comcast subscribers, everyone else on July 15

NBCUniversal officially unveiled its new streaming service Peacock today, announcing that the service will be available at no additional cost for Comcast’s Xfinity X1 and Flex customers on April 15, before launching nationally on July 15. The company ha

Marijuana delivery giant Eaze may go up in smoke

The first cannabis startup to raise big money in Silicon Valley is in danger of burning out. TechCrunch has learned that pot delivery middleman Eaze has seen unannounced layoffs, and its depleted cash reserves threaten its ability to make payroll or settle it

VCs are just tired

I was in SF last week and met with more than a dozen VCs over the course of two days. This was post the holidays, post their visits to the ski chalets in Tahoe and the island beaches, and in the smack dab of one of the most important fundraise periods of the

Can a $350 headband deliver better sleep?

Sleep is the next battleground on which the war for wearable health will be waged. Smartwatch and fitness band makers have been dipping their collective toes in the water for a few years now, but there’s only so much that can be done from the wrist. I wrot

SiteMinder raises $70M at $750M valuation after cresting $70M ARR in 2019

Today SiteMinder, an Australian software company focused on the hotel industry, announced a $70 million (USD) round that values the company at $750 million. That’s about $1.08 billion in Australian dollars, making the firm a Down Under Unicorn, even if

What we know (and don’t) about Goldman Sachs’ Africa VC investing

Goldman Sachs is investing in African tech companies. The venerable American investment bank and financial services firm has backed startups from Kenya to Nigeria and taken a significant stake in e-commerce venture Jumia, which listed on the NYSE in 2019. Tho

Matera raises $11.2 million to let you handle residential property management yourself

Matera, the French startup formerly known as illiCopro, is raising a $11.2 million funding round (€10 million). The company has been building a SaaS platform to give you all the tools you need to handle property management for your residential building. Ind

Hyundai and Kia put over $110M into UK electric delivery vehicles startup Arrival

Forget the consumer market for electric vehicles. It turns out delivery vehicles could be the ‘Trojan horse’ for electric to really take off. Korean auto giants Hyundai and Kia put over $110 million in UK startup Arrival, which emerged from relative steal

Loliware’s kelp-based plastic alternatives snag $6M seed round from eco-conscious investors

The last few years have seen many cities ban plastic bags, plastic straws, and other common forms of waste, giving environmentally conscious alternatives a huge boost — among them Loliware, purveyor of fine disposable goods created from kelp. Huge demand an

TRI-AD’s James Kuffner and Max Bajracharya are coming to TC Sessions: Robotics+AI 2020

With the Tokyo Summer Olympics rapidly approaching, 2020 is shaping up to be a big year for TRI-AD (Toyota Research Institute – Advanced Development). Opened in 2018, the research wing is devoted to bringing some of TRI’s work into practice. The organ

44% of TikTok’s all-time downloads were in 2019, but app hasn’t figured out monetization

Despite the U.S. government’s concerns over TikTok which most recently led to the U.S. Navy banning service members’ use of the app, TikTok had a stellar 2019 in terms of both downloads and revenue. According to new data from Sensor Tower, 44% of

Venture Highway announces $78.6M second fund to invest in early-stage startups in India

Venture Highway, a VC firm in India founded by former Google executive Samir Sood, said on Thursday it has raised $78.6 million for its second fund as it looks to double down on investing in early-stage startups. The firm, founded in 2015, has invested in mor

Chrome gets global media controls

Here is a small but useful new feature in Google Chrome: global media controls that allow you to control all of the audio and video sources in your current tabs from a single widget. With this, you can switch to the next song from your favorite web-based musi

Daily Crunch: Mozilla lays off 70

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. Mozilla lays off 70 as it waits for new products to g

Are OYO’s deep cuts a reality check for unicorns?

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between. After a short pause, we’re back on the topic of unicorn layoffs. While it’s cheery that a number of companies are chugging ahea

As customer demand shifts, Bose plans to shutter 119 retail locations

This stuff is never easy. Buying habits change with technology, and just about every brick and mortar operator has felt some squeeze from online purchasing. Seems even flagship brands like Bose technology aren’t immune from the powers of next-day shipping.

Twitch’s loss of top streamers impacts hours watched and streamed in Q4 2019, report says

The loss of several big-name streamers is finally taking its toll on Twitch, according to a new report from StreamLabs and Newzoo out today. In August 2019, top streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, announced his intention to leave Twitch for Microsoft

WorkBoard triples again in 2019, raises $30M from a16z to celebrate

WorkBoard, a SaaS startup that provides goal setting and management software to other companies, announced today that it has closed a $30 million Series C. The new capital comes less than a year after the startup raised a $23 million Series B. WorkBoard has r

Pinterest’s diversity report is missing some key data

Pinterest today released its latest diversity report, showing slight gains in representation of underrepresented minorities while also hitting its three hiring goals. The company has long been recognized as an industry leader when it comes to promoting divers

Allen Institute for AI’s Incubator expands with $10M fund from high-profile VCs

The Allen Institute for AI (AI2) started its incubator up two years ago, helping launch companies like Xnor.ai, Blue Canoe, and WellSaidLabs. Their success has attracted funding from not just local Seattle VC outfit Madrona, but Sequoia, Kleiner Perkins, and

Epsagon scores $16M Series A to monitor modern development environments

Epsagon, an Israeli startup that wants to help monitor modern development environments like serverless and containers, announced a $16 million Series A today. U.S. Venture Partners (USVP), a new investor led the round. Previous investors Lightspeed Venture Pa

Mojo Vision’s AR contact lenses are very cool, but many questions remain

Companies keep trying to make glassholes happen. Understandably. After the smartphone and the wrist, the face is the next local battlefield for computational space, if decades of science fiction movies have taught us anything. But we’ve seen the Google Glas

Amazon’s fresh $1B investment in India is not a big favor, says India trade minister

India’s trade minister isn’t impressed with Amazon’s new $1 billion investment in the country. A day after Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos announced that his company is pumping in an additional $1 billion into its India operations, making the total lo
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