Daily Crunch: Zoom launches its events marketplace

Zoom has a new marketplace and new integrations, Spotify gets a new format and we review Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Go. This is your Daily Crunch for October 14, 2020.

The big story: Zoom launches its events marketplace

Zoom’s new OnZoom marketplace allows anyone to host and sell tickets for virtual events. It’s also integrating the ability for nonprofits to accept donations.

The company made a couple other announcements at its Zoomtopia user conference. For one thing, it’s also integrating with a starting lineup of 35 third-party “Zapps,” allowing products like Asana and Dropbox to integrate directly into the Zoom experience.

In addition, Zoom said it will begin rolling out end-to-end encryption (a feature it’s been promising since acquiring Keybase in May) to users next week.

The tech giants

Spotify introduces a new music-and-spoken word format, open to all creators — The new format is designed to reproduce the radio-like experience of listening to a DJ talk about the music, and it also enables the creation of music-filled podcasts.

Microsoft reverse engineers a budget computer with the Surface Laptop Go — Brian Heater writes that the Laptop Go is a strange and sometimes successful mix of Surface design and budget decisions.

Google launches a suite of tech-powered tools for reporters, Journalist Studio — The suite includes a host of existing tools as well as two new products aimed at helping reporters search across large documents and visualizing data.

Startups, funding and venture capital

Getaround raises a $140M Series E amid rebound in short-distance travel — The rebound is real: I took my first Getaround this weekend.

Augury taps $55M for tech that predicts machine faults from vibration, sound and temperature — The startup works with large enterprises like Colgate and Heineken to maintain machines in their production and distribution lines.

Plenty has raised over $500M to grow fruits and veggies indoors — The funding was led by existing investor SoftBank Vision Fund and included the berry farming giant Driscoll’s.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

What the iPhone 12 tells us about the state of the smartphone industry in 2020 — While the iPhone 12 was no doubt in development long before the current pandemic, the pandemic’s global shutdown has only exacerbated many existing problems for smartphone makers.

Databricks crossed $350M run rate in Q3, up from $200M one year ago — The data analytics company scaled rapidly to put itself on an obvious IPO path.

Dear Sophie: I came on a B-1 visa, then COVID-19 happened. How can I stay? — The latest advice from immigration lawyer Sophie Alcorn.

(Reminder: Extra Crunch is our subscription membership program, which aims to democratize information about startups. And we’re having a fall sale!)

Everything else

NASA loads 14 companies with $370M for ‘tipping point’ technologies — NASA has announced more than a third of a billion dollars’ worth of “Tipping Point” contracts awarded to over a dozen companies pursuing potentially transformative space technologies.

Harley-Davidson should keep making e-motorcycles — That’s Jake Bright’s takeaway after three weeks with the LiveWire e-motorcycle.

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 3pm Pacific, you can subscribe here.


By Anthony Ha

Daily Crunch: G Suite becomes Google Workspace

Google rebrands G Suite, Apple announces its next event date and John McAfee is arrested. This is your Daily Crunch for October 6, 2020.

The big story: G Suite becomes Google Workspace

To a large extent, Google Workspace is just a rebranding of G Suite, complete with a new set of (less distinctive) logos for Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs and Meet. But the company is also launching a number of new features.

For one thing, Google is (as previously announced) integrating Meet, Chat and Rooms across applications, with Gmail as the service where they really come together. Other features coming soon are the ability to collaborate on documents in Chats and a “smart chip” with contact details and suggested actions that appear when you @mention someone in a document.

Pricing remains largely the same, although there’s now an $18 per user per month Business Plus plan with additional security features and compliance tools.

The tech giants

Apple will announce the next iPhone on October 13 — Apple just sent out invites for its upcoming hardware event, all but confirming the arrival of the next iPhone.

Facebook’s Portal adds support for Netflix, Zoom and other features — The company will also introduce easier ways to launch Netflix and other video streaming apps via one-touch buttons on its new remote.

Instagram’s 10th birthday release introduces a Stories Map, custom icons and more — There’s even a selection of custom app icons for those who have recently been inspired to redesign their home screen.

Startups, funding and venture capital

SpaceX awarded contract to help develop US missile-tracking satellite network — The contract covers creation and delivery of “space vehicles” (actual satellites) that will form a constellation offering global coverage of advance missile warning and tracking.

Salesforce Ventures launches $100M Impact Fund to invest in cloud startups with social mission — Focus areas include education and reskilling, climate action, diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as providing tech for nonprofits and foundations.

Ÿnsect, the makers of the world’s most expensive bug farm, raises another $224 million — The team hopes to provide insect protein for things like fish food and fertilizer.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

Inside Root’s IPO filing — As insurtech booms, Root looks to take advantage of a warm market and enthusiastic investors.

To fill funding gaps, VCs boost efforts to find India’s standout early-stage startups — Blume Ventures’ Karthik Reddy says, “There’s an artificial skew toward unicorns.”

A quick peek into Opendoor’s financial results — Opendoor’s 2020 results are not stellar.

(Reminder: Extra Crunch is our subscription membership program, which aims to democratize information about startups. You can sign up here.)

Everything else

John McAfee arrested after DOJ indicts crypto millionaire for tax evasion — The cybersecurity entrepreneur and crypto personality’s wild ride could be coming to an end after he was arrested in Spain and now faces extradition to the U.S.

Trump is already breaking platform rules again with false claim that COVID-19 is ‘far less lethal’ than the flu — Facebook took down Trump’s post, while Twitter hid it behind a warning.

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 3pm Pacific, you can subscribe here.


By Anthony Ha

Daily Crunch: Microsoft launches Azure Communication Services

Microsoft takes on Twilio, Google launches a work-tracking tool and Mirakl raises $300 million. This is your Daily Crunch for September 22, 2020.

The big story: Microsoft launches Azure Communication Services

Microsoft announced today that it’s ready to compete with Twilio by launching a set of features that allow developers to add voice and video calling, chat, text messages and old-school telephony to their apps.

“Azure Communication Services is built natively on top a global, reliable cloud — Azure,” wrote Microsoft’s Scott Van Vliet. “Businesses can confidently build and deploy on the same low latency global communication network used by Microsoft Teams to support 5B+ meeting minutes daily.”

This is just one of a number of announcements that Microsoft made at its Ignite conference this morning. Other additions include a platform for detecting biological threats and the Azure Orbital service for satellite operators.

The tech giants

Google launches a work-tracking tool and Airtable rival, Tables — Tables’ bots help users do things like scheduling recurring email reminders when tasks are overdue and messaging a chat room when new form submissions are received.

Amazon adds support for Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu in local Indian languages push ahead of Diwali — The company said this move should help it reach an additional 200-300 million users in India.

Pinterest breaks daily download record due to user interest in iOS 14 design ideas — Following the release of iOS 14, the excitement around the ability to customize your iPhone home screen has been paying off for Pinterest.

Startups, funding and venture capital

Mirakl raises $300 million for its marketplace platform — Mirakl helps companies launch and manage a marketplace on their e-commerce websites.

Pure Watercraft ramps up its electric outboard motors with a $23 million series A — Pure Watercraft is building an electric outboard motor that can replace a normal gas one for most boating needs.

Morgan Beller, co-creator of the Libra digital currency, just joined the venture firm NFX — And yes, that means she’s leaving Facebook.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

Despite a rough year for digital media, Blavity and The Shade Room are thriving — A recap of my Disrupt discussion with Morgan DeBaun of Blavity and Angelica Nwandu of The Shade Room.

Big tech has 2 elephants in the room: Privacy and competition — There’s clearly a nervousness among even well-established tech firms to discuss this topic.

How has Corsair Gaming posted such impressive pre-IPO numbers? — The company was founded in 1994, making it more of a mature business than a startup.

(Reminder: Extra Crunch is our subscription membership program, which aims to democratize information about startups. You can sign up here.)

Everything else

TikTok, WeChat and the growing digital divide between the US and China — Catherine Shu discusses the dramatic shift in the relationship between tech companies in both countries.

Tech must radically rethink how it treats independent contractors — Just as COVID-19 has accelerated the move to remote work, our current crisis has accelerated the trend toward hiring independent contractors.

Bose introduces a new pair of sleep-focused earbuds — The timing of the Sleepbuds II could hardly be better.

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 3pm Pacific, you can subscribe here.


By Anthony Ha

Daily Crunch: Zoom reports spectacular growth

Zoom’s latest earnings report was even better than expected, SoftBank announces a new fund to invest in founders of color and Google pulls a trending app that targets apps from China.

Here’s your Daily Crunch for June 3, 2020.

1. Remote work helps Zoom grow 169% in one year, posting $328.2M in Q1 revenue

Zoom’s customer numbers were similarly sharp, with the firm reporting that it had 265,400 customers with more than 10 seats (employees) at the end of the quarter, which was up 354% from the year-ago period.

Not all of the news coming out of its latest earnings report was positive, however. CEO Eric Yuan confirmed that a plan to implement end-to-end encryption does not in fact extend to non-paying users.

2. SoftBank launches $100M+ Opportunity Growth Fund to invest in founders of color

The Opportunity Growth Fund “will only invest in companies led by founders and entrepreneurs of color,” according to an internal memo from SoftBank’s COO Marcelo Claure, who said the fund will initially start with $100 million — meaning there is room for SoftBank or other limited partners to add more over time.

3. Google pulls ‘Remove China Apps’ from Play Store

The top trending app in India, which was downloaded more than 5 million times since late May and enabled users to detect and easily delete apps developed by Chinese firms, was pulled from Android’s marquee app store for violating Google Play Store’s Deceptive Behavior Policy.

4. Facebook and PayPal invest in Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant Gojek

Facebook and PayPal are joining Google and Tencent as high-profile tech firms that have backed the five-year-old Southeast Asian ride-hailing startup, which also offers food delivery and mobile payments.

5. The fundraising marketplace has stabilized. Or has it?

DocSend CEO Russ Heddleston said the last two weeks could be establishing a new normal for fundraising this year. Even though most VCs aren’t taking in-person meetings, they were more active in the past month than they were in May of both 2019 and 2018. (Extra Crunch membership required.)

6. Venture firms rush to find ways to support Black founders and investors

Firms like Benchmark, Sequoia, Bessemer, Eniac Ventures, Work-Bench and SaaSTR Fund founder Jason Lemkin all tweeted in support of the cause and offered to take steps to improve the lack of representation in their industry. But some Black entrepreneurs and investors are questioning the firms’ motivations.

7. Lili raises $10M for its freelancer banking app

CEO Lilac Bar David suggested that no traditional banking solutions are really designed to solve the problems faced by freelancers — whether they’re designers, programmers, fitness instructors, chefs or beauty professionals. She described Lili as the first “all-in-one” solution, offering both a bank account and a broader suite of financial tracking tools.

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.


By Anthony Ha

Daily Crunch: Zoom acquires security startup Keybase

Zoom acquires some encryption expertise, Uber makes a big investment in scooters and we review the new 13-inch Macbook Pro.

Here’s your Daily Crunch for May 7, 2020.

1. Zoom acquires Keybase to get end-to-end encryption expertise

Keybase, whose encryption products include secure file sharing and collaboration tools, should give Zoom some security credibility as it goes through pandemic demand growing pains. A number of Zoom security issues have come to light the last couple of months as demand as soared and exposed security weaknesses in the platform.

Under the terms of the deal, Keybase will become a subsidiary of Zoom and co-founder and Max Krohn will lead the Zoom security engineering team, reporting directly to Yuan to help build the security product.

2. Uber leads $170 million Lime investment, offloads Jump to Lime

As part of the deal (which was reported earlier this week but is now official), Lime is also acquiring Uber’s micro-mobility subsidiary Jump. There will be more integrations between Uber and Jump in the future, but both apps will remain active for now.

3. Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch review

With this week’s news, the 13-inch becomes the third and final member of the MacBook family to get the new keyboard. It’s not “Magic” as the name implies (Apple really does love the M-word), but Brian Heater says improvements are immediate and vast.

4. Nintendo sells a lot more Switches, as people stay and home playing Animal Crossing

The company says it has sold 21 million Switch units in the past year, handily beating a 19.5 million forecast. 6.2 million of those systems were the newer, cheaper Switch Lite, which hit the market in September. All of this comes as Nintendo has run up against shortage through a combination of increased popularity and a a global supply chain knocked off balance from COVID-19.

5. How will digital media survive the ad crash?

Bustle Digital Group’s Jason Wagenheim told us that he’s anticipating a 35% decline in ad revenue for this quarter. And where he’d once hoped BDG would reach $120 or $125 million in ad revenue this year, he’s now trying to figure out “what does our company look like at $75 or $90 million?” (Extra Crunch membership required.)

6. Apple awards $10 million to rapidly scale COVID-19 sample collection kit production

Apple has awarded $10 million from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund to COPAN Diagnostics, a company focused on producing sample collection kits for testing COVID-19 to hospitals in the U.S. The money comes from the fund that Apple established to support the development and growth of U.S.-based manufacturing — to date, the fund has been used to support companies tied more directly to Apple’s own supply chain.

7. Sonos debuts new Arc soundbar, next-generation Sonos Sub, and Sonos Five speaker

Sonos has introduced a trio of new hardware today, adding three new smart speakers to its lineup, including the Sonos Arc soundbar that includes Dolby Atmos support, as well as Sonos Five, the next version of its Sonos Play:5 speaker, and a third-generation Sonos Sub.

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.


By Anthony Ha

Daily Crunch: Verizon buys videoconferencing company BlueJeans

Verizon makes a move into videoconferencing, Jeff Bezos discusses a plan to test Amazon employees for COVID-19 and Apple is reportedly working on new over-ear headphones. Here’s your Daily Crunch for April 16, 2020.

1. Verizon is buying b2b videoconferencing firm BlueJeans

TechCrunch’s parent company is buying veteran videoconferencing platform BlueJeans Network — shelling out less than $500 million on the acquisition, according to the Wall Street Journal. (A Verizon spokeswoman confirmed that the price-tag is sub-$500 million but did not provide a more exact figure.)

“Customers will benefit from a BlueJeans enterprise-grade video experience on Verizon’s high-performance global networks,” the company said in a statement. “In addition, the platform will be deeply integrated into Verizon’s 5G product roadmap, providing secure and real-time engagement solutions for high growth areas such as telemedicine, distance learning and field service work.”

2. Bezos details Amazon’s COVID-19 testing plans in shareholder letter

Jeff Bezos dropped Amazon’s annual shareholder letter today, which includes more information on the Amazon-built testing labs that were announced last week. Bezos said the company is considering “regular testing of all Amazonians, including those showing no symptoms.”

3. Apple said to be working on modular, high-end, noise-cancelling over-ear headphones

Bloomberg reports that Apple is developing its own competitors to popular over-ear noise-cancelling headphones like those made by Bose and Sony, but with similar technology to that used in the AirPod and AirPod Pro lines.

4. Unicorn layoffs keep piling up as the economy gets worse

Yesterday, news broke that a trio of well-known, heavily-backed unicorns — Carta, Zume and Opendoor — were cutting staff.

5. Punitive liquidation preferences return to VC — don’t do it

VC Pascal Levensohn says that several of his current portfolio companies have recently proposed “emergency bridge” convertible note financings of between $5 million and $15 million, each featuring a painful feature for non-participants. (Extra Crunch membership required.)

6. DoD Inspector General report finds everything was basically hunky-dory with JEDI cloud contract bid

While controversy has dogged the $10 billion, decade-long JEDI contract since its earliest days, a report by the Department of Defense’s Inspector General’s Office concluded that the contract procurement process was fair and legal.

7. Google Play adds a ‘Teacher Approved’ section to its app store

All apps found in this section are vetted by a panel of reviewers, including more than 200 teachers across the U.S., and meet Google’s existing requirements (around government regulation and advertising) for its “Designed for Families” program.

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.


By Anthony Ha

Daily Crunch: IBM names new CEO

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. Arvind Krishna will replace Ginni Rometty as IBM CEO in April

Krishna, IBM’s senior vice president for cloud and cognitive software, will take over on April 6 after a couple months of transition. Rometty will remain with the company as chairman of the board.

Krishna reportedly drove the massive $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat at the end of 2018, and there was some speculation at the time that Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst was the heir apparent. Instead, the board went with a more seasoned IBM insider for the job, while naming Whitehurst as president.

2. Apple’s redesigned Maps app is available across the US, adds real-time transit for Miami

The redesigned app will include more accurate information overall as well as comprehensive views of roads, buildings, parks, airports, malls and other public places. It will also bring Look Around to more cities and real-time transit to Miami.

3. Social media boosting service exposed thousands of Instagram passwords

The company, Social Captain, says it helps thousands of users to grow their Instagram follower counts by connecting their accounts to its platform. But TechCrunch learned this week Social Captain was storing the passwords of linked Instagram accounts in unencrypted plaintext.

4. Elon Musk just dropped an EDM track on SoundCloud

That is a real headline and I probably don’t need to say much else. Listen to the track, or don’t.

5. Being a child actress prepared me for a career in venture capital

Crystal McKellar played Becky Slater on “The Wonder Years,” and she writes about how that experience prepared her to be a managing partner at Anathem Ventures. (Extra Crunch membership required.)

6. Moda Operandi, an online marketplace for high-end fashion, raises $100M led by NEA and Apax

High-end fashion might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about online shopping, but it has actually been a ripe market for the e-commerce industry.

7. Why Sony’s PlayStation Vue failed

Vue launched in March 2015, offering live and on-demand content from more than 85 channels, including many local broadcast stations. But it failed to catch on with a broader audience, despite — or perhaps, because of — its integration with Sony’s PS3 and PS4 devices, and it shut down this week. (Extra Crunch membership required.)


By Anthony Ha

Daily Crunch: Salesforce launches vertical clouds

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. Salesforce doubles down on verticals, launches Manufacturing and Consumer Goods Clouds

Salesforce unveiled two new business units today as part of its strategy to build specialized solutions for specific industries.

For example, with its Manufacturing Cloud, Salesforce says it has built a way for sales agreements to link up with a company’s ERP and forecasting software, allowing for improved demand prediction.

2. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S6 combines creative flexibility with great design

Darrell Etherington says the new Galaxy Tab S6 (with pricing starting at $649.99) expands the definition of what a tablet can be.

3. Facebook rolls out new video tools, plus Instagram and IGTV scheduling feature

The highlights include better ways to prep for and simulcast live broadcasts, ways to take better advantage of Watch Party events, new metrics to track video performance and a much-anticipated option to schedule Instagram/IGTV content for up to six months in advance.

4. Hear how to build a billion-dollar SaaS company at TechCrunch Disrupt

This year we’ll welcome three people to the Extra Crunch stage who know first-hand what it takes to join the billion-dollar club: Battery Ventures partner Neeraj Agrawal, HelloSign COO Whitney Bouck and Harness CEO Jyoti Bansal.

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5. Beekeeper raises $45M Series B to become the ‘Slack for non-desk employees’

Beekeeper has built a mobile-first communications platform for employers who need to communicate with blue-collar and service-oriented workers.

6. How to get people to open your emails

We tackle the obvious stuff that can help with low open rates, as well as bigger challenges: Let’s say 60% of your audience opens your email — how can you get the remaining 40% to open and read it too? (Extra Crunch membership required.)

7. This week’s TechCrunch podcasts

The Equity team has some thoughts on the latest WeWork drama, and how it shows that valuations are essentially meaningless. And on Original Content, we review the Netflix documentary series “The Family.”


By Anthony Ha

Daily Crunch: Slack makes its Wall Street debut

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. Slack prices IPO at $26 per share

Slack is debuting on the New York Stock Exchange today. Trading hasn’t opened yet as I write this, but The Wall Street Journal reports that the company has set a price of $26 per share.

The enterprise communication company is pursuing a direct listing, eschewing the typical IPO process in favor of putting its current stock on to the NYSE without doing an additional raise or bringing on underwriter banking partners.

2. Waymo takes its self-driving car ambitions global in partnership with Renault-Nissan

Waymo has locked in an exclusive partnership with Renault and Nissan to research how commercial autonomous vehicles might work for passengers and packages in France and Japan.

3. UK age checks for online porn delayed after bureaucratic cock-up

Digital minister Jeremy Wright said the government failed to notify the European Commission of age verification standards it expects companies to meet. Without this notification, the government can’t legally implement the policy.


4. iRobot acquires education startup Root Robotics

Root Robotics is the creator of an eponymous coding robot, a two-wheeled device designed to draw on whiteboards and other surfaces, scanning colors, playing music and otherwise playing out coding instructions.

5. SaaS data protection provider Druva nabs $130M, now at a $1B+ valuation, acquiring CloudLanes

Druva has made a name for itself as a provider of cloud-based solutions to protect and manage IT assets.

6. Why all standard black Tesla cars are about to cost $1,000 more

Tesla will start charging $1,000 for its once-standard black paint color next month, according to a tweet by CEO Elon Musk.

7. Tally’s Jason Brown on fintech’s first debt roboadvisor and an automated financial future

We sat down with Tally’s founder and CEO Jason Brown to discuss a new funding round, Tally’s growth strategy and the company’s vision for an automated financial future. (Extra Crunch membership required.)


By Anthony Ha

Daily Crunch: Salesforce is buying Tableau

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. Salesforce is buying data visualization company Tableau for $15.7B in all-stock deal

This is a huge deal for Salesforce as the company continues to diversify beyond CRM software and into deeper layers of analytics.

Salesforce reportedly worked hard to buy LinkedIn (which Microsoft ultimately picked up instead). And while there isn’t a whole lot in common between LinkedIn and Tableau, this deal should help the company extend its engagement with existing customers.

2. Maker Faire halts operations and lays off all staff

Financial troubles have forced Maker Media, the company behind crafting publication MAKE: magazine as well as the science and art festival Maker Faire, to lay off its entire staff of 22 and pause all operations.

3. Google Assistant comes to Waze navigation app

Google Assistant in Waze will provide access to your usual Assistant features, like playback of music and podcasts, but it’ll also offer access to many Waze-specific abilities, including letting you ask it to report traffic conditions, or specifying that you want to avoid tolls when routing to your destination.

4. Microsoft acquires Psychonauts-maker Double Fine Productions

In addition to making Psychonauts, Double Fine notably raised around $3 million in a Kickstarter campaign to create the adventure game it eventually titled Broken Age. As is the case with past Microsoft studio acquisitions, it sounds like Double Fine will continue to operate externally, underneath the Xbox Game Studios umbrella.

5. Former Unity Technology VP files lawsuit alleging CEO sexually harassed her

In a statement to TechCrunch, a Unity spokesperson said the allegations are not true and that it intends to “vigorously defend against the false allegations.”

6. Economic development organizations: good or bad for entrepreneurial activity?

In developing VC markets such as the Midwest, some may think that funding from the government or economic development organizations are a godsend — but entrepreneurs need to ensure that this money isn’t a double-edged sword. (Extra Crunch membership required.)

7. This week’s TechCrunch podcasts

The Equity team has some thoughts on SoftBank’s Vision Fund, and what its difficulties raising more money mean for the late-stage investment landscape. Meanwhile, Original Content reviews Netflix’s “Always Be My Maybe,” and we also have a bonus interview with the director of “I Am Mother.”


By Anthony Ha

Daily Crunch: Google is acquiring Looker

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. Google to acquire analytics startup Looker for $2.6 billion

Google Cloud has been mired in third place in the cloud infrastructure market, and grabbing Looker gives it an analytics company with a solid track record. The startup has raised more than $280 million in funding.

Like other big acquisitions, this deal is subject to regulatory approval, but it is expected to close later this year if all goes well.

2. Uber Copter offers on-demand JFK helicopter service for top-tier users

Uber is adding regular helicopter air service with Uber Copter — a new service line launched today that will provide on-demand transportation from Lower Manhattan to JFK airport for, on average, between $200 and $225 per person. That price includes car service to and from the helipad at each end.

3. In trying to clear ‘confusion’ over anti-harassment policy, YouTube creates more confusion

After a series of tweets that made it seem as if YouTube was ignoring its own anti-harassment policies, the video platform published a blog post in an attempt to clarify its stance. Instead, the post raises more questions about YouTube’s commitment to fighting harassment and hate speech on its platform.

4. Sources: Bird is in talks to acquire scooter startup Scoot

The stage of the negotiations is not clear, but it sounds like the deal is not closed. Both Scoot and Bird declined to comment.

5. Apple’s global accessibility head on the company’s new features for iOS 13 and macOS Catalina

“One of the things that’s been really cool this year is the [accessibility] team has been firing on [all] cylinders across the board,“ Apple’s Sarah Herrlinger told us. “There’s something in each operating system and things for a lot of different types of use cases.”

6. A first look at Amazon’s new delivery drone

The drone has an ingenious hexagonal hybrid design with very few moving parts, and Amazon says it’s chock-full of sensors and a suite of compute modules to keep the drone safe.

7. This year’s Computex was a wild ride with dueling chip releases, new laptops and 467 startups

Computex picked up the pace this year, with dueling chip launches by rivals AMD and Intel and a slew of laptop releases. (Extra Crunch membership required.)


By Anthony Ha

Daily Crunch: Meet the new CEO of Google Cloud

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. Google Cloud’s new CEO on gaining customers, startups, supporting open source and more

Thomas Kurian, who came to Google Cloud after 22 years at Oracle, said the team is rolling out new contracts and plans to simplify pricing.

Most importantly, though, Google will go on a hiring spree: “A number of customers told us ‘we just need more people from you to help us.’ So that’s what we’ll do.”

2. Walmart to expand in-store tech, including Pickup Towers for online orders and robots

Walmart is doubling down on technology in its brick-and-mortar stores in an effort to better compete with Amazon. The retailer says it will add to its U.S. stores 1,500 new autonomous floor cleaners, 300 more shelf scanners, 1,200 more FAST Unloaders and 900 new Pickup Towers.

3. Udacity restructures operations, lays off 20 percent of its workforce

The objective is to do more than simply keep the company afloat, according to co-founder Sebastian Thrun. Instead, Thrun says these measures will allow Udacity to move from a money-losing operation to a “break-even or profitable company by next quarter and then moving forward.”

Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

4. The government is about to permanently bar the IRS from creating a free electronic filing system

That’s right, members of Congress are working to prohibit a branch of the federal government from providing a much-needed service that would make the lives of all of their constituents much easier.

5. Here’s the first image of a black hole

Say hello to the black hole deep inside the Messier 87, a galaxy located in the Virgo cluster some 55 million light years away.

6. Movo grabs $22.5M to get more cities in LatAm scooting

The Spanish startup targets cities in its home market and in markets across Latin America, offering last-mile mobility via rentable electric scooters.

7. Uber, Lyft and the challenge of transportation startup profits

An article arguing that everything you know about the cost of transportation is wrong. (Extra Crunch membership required.)


By Anthony Ha