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If you haven’t followed NFTs, here’s why you should start

Digital content has value, and crypto collectors are flocking to lay their namesake on the biggest collections of tomorrow.

This Week in Apps: Twitter targets creators, Clubhouse security, Spotify’s plans for paid podcasts

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the weekly TechCrunch series that recaps the latest in mobile OS news, mobile applications and the overall app economy. The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 218 billion downloads and $143 billion in global c

Storm Ventures promotes Pascale Diaine and Frederik Groce to partners

Storm Ventures, a venture firm that focuses on early stage B2B enterprise startups, announced this week that it has promoted Pascale Diaine and Frederik Groce to partners at the firm. The two new partners have worked their way up over the last several years.

6 Copenhagen investors share their outlook on investing in 2021

While Denmark and Copenhagen don’t often come up as a destination for European startups, it has a thriving local tech scene that’s home to some of the better startup conferences. After all, who doesn’t want to visit Copenhagen? A highly educated pop

What the NFT? VC David Pakman dumbs down the intensifying digital collectibles frenzy

Non-fungible tokens have been around for two years, but these NFTs, one-of-one digital items on the Ethereum and other blockchains, are suddenly becoming a more popular way to collect visual art, primarily, whether it’s an animated cat or an NBA clip o

What the NFT? VC David Pakman dumbs down the digital collectibles frenzy and why it’s taking off now

Non-fungible tokens have been around for two years, but these NFTs, one-of-one digital items on the Ethereum and other blockchains, are suddenly becoming a more popular way to collect visual art, primarily, whether it’s an animated cat or an NBA clip o

Astra awarded NASA launch contract for storm observation satellites

Astra, the Alameda-based space launch startup that recently announced its intent to go public via a SPAC merger, has secured a contract to deliver six cube satellites to space on behalf of NASA. Astra stands to be paid $7.95 million by the agency for fulfilme

Daily Crunch: Facebook launches rap app

Facebook unveils another experimental app, Atlassian acquires a data visualization startup and Newsela becomes a unicorn. This is your Daily Crunch for February 26, 2021. The big story: Facebook launches rap app The new BARS app was created by NPE Team (Faceb

EC roundup: BNPL startups, growth marketing tips, solid state battery market map, more

When I needed a new sofa several months ago, I was pleased to find a buy now, pay later (BNPL) option during the checkout process. I had prepared myself to make a major financial outlay, but the service fees were well worth the convenience of deferring the en

Salesforce delivers, Wall Street doubts as stock falls 6.3% post-earnings

Wall Street investors can be fickle beasts. Take Salesforce as an example. The CRM giant announced a $5.82 billion quarter when it reported earnings yesterday. Revenue was up 20% year over year. The company also reported $21.25 billion in total revenue for th

With $62.5M in debt financing, Road Runner Media puts digital ads behind commercial vehicles

If Southern California-based Road Runner Media succeeds, you’ll start seeing a lot more ads while you’re driving. That’s because the startup is placing digital screens on the backs technicians’ vans, delivery vehicles, buses and other

Yelp puts trust and safety in the spotlight

Yelp released its very first trust and safety report this week, with the goal of explaining the work that it does to crack down on fraudulent and otherwise inaccurate or unhelpful content. With focus on local business reviews and information, you might think

In freemium marketing, product analytics are the difference between conversion and confusion

Considering that fewer than 5% of free users move to paid plans, even a slight improvement in conversion can translate to significant revenue gains.

Facebook launches BARS, a TikTok-like app for creating and sharing raps

Facebook’s internal R&D group, NPE Team, is today launching its next experimental app, called BARS. The app makes it possible for rappers to create and share their raps using professionally created beats, and is the NPE Team’s second launch i

Broaden your view of ‘best’ to make smarter, more inclusive investments

Research shows that diverse teams, companies and founders pay, so why are all of the VC home runs from white men, or Asian men in Asia, plus a few Asian men in the U.S.?

Sources: Lightspeed is close to hiring a new London-based partner to put down further roots in Europe

Lightspeed Venture Partners, the well-known Silicon Valley venture capital firm that has backed the likes of DoubleClick and Snapchat, is in the midst of hiring a second London-based investment partner as it looks to put down further ties to Europe, TechCrunc

Sources: Lightspeed Venture Partners is close to hiring a new London-based partner to put down further roots in Europe

Lightspeed Venture Partners, the well-known Silicon Valley venture capital firm that has backed the likes of DoubleClick and Snapchat, is in the midst of hiring a new London-based investment partner as it looks to put down further ties to Europe, TechCrunch h

How to ace the 1-hour, and ever-elusive, pitch presentation at TC Early Stage

Lisa Wu, a partner at Norwest with investments like Calm, Plaid, Opendoor and Grove Collaborative, has a message for founders: Think like a VC during your pitch presentation. After all, accepting capital isn’t simply adding more money to your balance sh

Aurora acquires a second lidar company in push to bring self-driving trucks to the road

Aurora, the autonomous vehicle company that recently closed its acquisition of Uber’s self-driving subsidiary, has snapped up another startup.  This time, Aurora is buying OURS Technology, the second lidar startup it has acquired in less than two years. Au

Hear from Black Female Founders, Latinx founders, Startout and Socos Labs next week at TC Sessions: Justice 2021

We’re less than a week away from TC Sessions: Justice 2021, a deep, day-long exploration of diversity, inclusion and equity in tech. On Wednesday, March 3, leading experts, founders, social justice warriors will discuss topics ranging from systemic bias, es

As BNPL startups raise, a look at Klarna, Affirm and Afterpay earnings

To better understand what's going on with the companies hoping to help you finance your next mistaken purchase, let's check out earnings results from Klarna, Afterpay and Affirm.

Atlassian is acquiring Chartio to bring data visualization to the platform

The Atlassian platform is chock full of data about how a company operates and communicates. Atlassian launched a machine learning layer, which relies on data on the platform with the addition of Atlassian Smarts last fall. Today the company announced it was a

Jamaica’s JamCOVID pulled offline after third security lapse exposed travelers’ data

Jamaica’s JamCOVID app and website were taken offline late on Thursday following a third security lapse, which exposed quarantine orders on more than half a million travelers to the island. JamCOVID was set up last year to help the government process tr

Jumia co-CEO Jeremy Hodara talks African e-commerce, and his company’s path to profitability

This month, African e-commerce giant Jumia released its second full-year financials for Q4 and its fiscal year 2020. The results were mixed — active customers and gross profit increased, while orders and gross merchandise volume (GMV) fell. A particula

Only a few hours left to buy early-bird passes to TC Early Stage 2021

By now you probably know that we’re hosting two TC Early Stage events this year — one on April 1-2 and another on July 8-9 — each with its own set of topics, speakers and content — both designed to help nascent startup founders build a better, more su

Relativity Space unveils plans for a new, much larger and fully reusable rocket

3D-printed rocket company Relativity Space has just revealed what comes after Terran 1, the small launch vehicle it hopes to begin flying later this year. It’s next rocket will be Terran R, a much larger orbital rocket with around 20x the cargo capacit

Why are we still dating LinkedIn in 2021?

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. Natasha and Danny and Alex and Grace were all here to chat through the week’s biggest tech happenings. Before we get i

First Boulevard raises $5M for its digital bank aimed at Black America

The murder of George Floyd last May ignited many things in the United States last year — one of which that was perhaps unexpected: a rise in the number of digital banks targeting the Black community. Some members of the Black community took their belie

Newness raises $3.5 million for its ‘Twitch for beauty streamers’

Newness, a startup co-founded by former Twitch employees, has raised $3.5 million in a Sequoia-led seed round for its live-streaming platform aimed at beauty creators and their fan communities. Though today’s creators are not without options when it com

Has a startup finally found one of food science’s holy grails with its healthy sugar substitute?

A little less than three years ago at the Computer Science Museum in Mountain View, Calif. the founders of a young company hailing from Cambridge, England addressed a crowd of celebrities, investors and entrepreneurs at Y Combinator’s August Demo Day pr

TechCrunch Early Stage is the startup bootcamp you’ve always needed

Wondering how to nail that virtual pitch meeting and raise VC funding? Or how to build a high-octane sales team? What about recruiting early team members that will fuel future growth? Managing the finances of a new company while also wondering about your own

MyHeritage now lets you animate old family photos using deepfakery

AI-enabled synthetic media is being used as a tool for manipulating real emotions and capturing user data by genealogy service, MyHeritage, which has just launched a new feature — called ‘deep nostalgia‘ — that lets users upload a phot

Brandwatch is acquired by Cision for $450M, creating a PR, marketing and social listening giant

Online consumer intelligence and social media listening platform Brandwatch has been acquired by Cision, best known for its media monitoring and media contact database services, for $450 million, in a combined cash and shares deal. TechCrunch understands Bran

How to land startup funding from real estate giant Brookfield, which manages $600 billion in assets

There are big investment firms, and then there are big investment firms. Brookfield Asset Management, the Toronto-based,122-year-old outfit whose current market cap is $63 billion and that oversees $600 billion in assets, clearly falls into the latter camp. T

How to land startup funding from Brookfield Asset Management, which manages $600 billion in assets

There are big investment firms, and then there are big investment firms. Brookfield Asset Management, the Toronto-based 122-year-old outfit whose current market cap is $63 billion and that oversees $600 billion in assets, clearly falls into the latter camp. T

Singapore-based Raena gets $9M Series A for its pivot to skincare and beauty-focused social commerce

Raena was founded in 2019 to create personal care brands with top social media influencers. After several launches, however, the Singapore-based startup quickly noticed an interesting trend: customers were ordering batches of products from Raena every week an

Tim Hortons marks two years in China with Tencent investment

Tim Hortons, the Canadian coffee and doughnut giant, has raised a new round of funding for its Chinese venture. The investment is led by Sequoia China with participation from Tencent, its digital partner in China, and Eastern Bell Capital. The round comes tw

Newsela, the replacement for textbooks, raises $100M and becomes a unicorn

Newsela, a SaaS platform for K-12 instructional material backed by the likes of TCV, Kleiner Perkins, Reach Capital, and Owl Ventures, announced today that it has raised $100 million in a Series D round. The financing was led by new investor Franklin Templeto

Bessemer Venture Partners closes on $3.3 billion across two funds

Another major VC firm has closed two major rounds, underscoring the long-term confidence investors continue to have for backing privately-held companies in the tech sector. Early-stage VC firm Bessemer Venture Partners announced Thursday the close of two new
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