It’s been a busy few weeks for the smart home race. Amazon, Google and Apple have all announced new smart speakers aimed at — among other things — cementing their respective positions at the center of users’ connected households. Adding onto the introduction of a whole bunch of new Echo devices, Amazon is also improving […]

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Last fall, social analytics startup SocialRank sold its product and business to Trufan, allowing the team to focus on something new: a professional social network. Today, they’re officially unveiling Upstream to the public. To be clear, CEO Alex Taub told me that he’s not trying to replace LinkedIn — he acknowledged that thanks to network effects,”If you […]

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Panoply, a platform that makes it easier for businesses to set up a data warehouse and analyze that data with standard SQL queries, today announced that it has raised an additional $10 million in funding from Ibex Investors and C5 Capital. This brings the total funding in the San Francisco- and Tel Aviv-based company to […]

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Reliance Retail, India’s largest retail chain, said on Sunday evening that its proposed deal to acquire Future Group’s assets for a whopping $3.4 billion — against which Amazon has filed a legal proceeding — is fully enforceable under the Indian law and it intends to complete the deal “without any delay.” Mukesh Ambani’s firm issued […]

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Flipkart is acquiring a 7.8% stake in Aditya Birla Fashion as the Walmart-owned Indian e-commerce firm makes a further push into the apparel category in one of the world’s largest retail markets. The e-commerce group will pay $203.8 million for its stake in Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail, a conglomerate that operates over 3,000 stores, […]

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In memory of the death of Quibi, here’s a quick sendoff from four of our writers who came together to discuss what we can learn from Quibi’s amazing, instantaneous, billions-of-dollars failure. Lucas Matney looks at what the potential was for Quibi and how it missed the mark in media. Danny Crichton discusses why billions of […]

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New numbers from Canalys point to a strong growth in smart speaker shipments in Mainland China this year. The market is on track to grow in 2020, having gotten the COVID-19 pandemic mostly under control in recent months. The rest of the world — much of which continues to struggle with the virus — is […]

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Six years ago, Amazon essentially created a new consumer electronics category. Expectations weren’t particularly high when the first Echo device debuted in November of 2014. Amazon, after all, has never shied away from throwing a new device against the wall to see what sticks — if anything, that’s become a defining characteristic of the last […]

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The world of distributed computing took on a new profile this year when Folding@home, a 20-year-old distributed computing project, found itself picking up thousands of new volunteers to help COVID-19 researchers generate more computing power to fold proteins and run other calculations needed for screening potential drug compounds to fight the novel coronavirus. Today, a […]

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Amazon is now offering Prime members one-hour grocery pickup at all Whole Foods Market locations across the U.S., the company announced this morning. Prime members can use the Amazon app or website to place orders from the Whole Foods Market tab to shop, then select their one-hour pickup window at checkout on orders of $35 […]

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Google faces a big antitrust suit, Amazon offers to pay customers for shopping data and we review the iPhone 12. This is your Daily Crunch for October 20, 2020. The big story: DOJ files antitrust suit against Google The suit accuses Google of “unlawfully maintaining monopolies in the markets for general search services, search advertising, […]

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Netflix plans to give users in India access to its service at no charge for a weekend as part of a test to expand its reach in the country, a top company executive said Tuesday. The American streaming giant, which today reported slow user growth for the quarter that ended in September, recently stopped offering […]

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Amazon has launched a new program that directly pays consumers for information about what they’re purchasing outside of Amazon.com and for responding to short surveys. The program, Amazon Shopper Panel, asks users to send in 10 receipts per month for any purchases made at non-Amazon retailers, including grocery stores, department stores, drug stores and entertainment […]

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After investigating Google for more than a year, the Justice Department has finally issued its antitrust lawsuit against the search giant, alleging that the company is “unlawfully maintaining monopolies in the markets for general search services, search advertising, and general search text advertising in the United States.” The full suit is here. It cites Section […]

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It’s been a busy few weeks for smart speakers. Amazon kicked things off in late September with newer, rounder versions of both the Echo and Echo Dot. Less than a week later, Google updated the Home, after four years, with the rebranded Nest Audio. And then, last week, Apple unveiled the long-awaited $99 HomePod Mini, […]

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Extended warranties — those offers to add an extra year or two to an existing product warranty to give you a little more peace of mind in case something goes wrong with something you’ve purchased — have long been a part of the sales process when you’re buying big-ticket items from large stores. Today, a […]

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Sit quietly for a moment and pay attention to the different sounds around you. You might hear appliances beeping, cars honking, a dog barking, someone sneezing. These are all noises Cochlear.ai, a Seoul-based sound recognition startup, is training its SaaS platform to identify. The company’s goal is to develop software that can identify almost any […]

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The South Korean government has made no secret of its ambition to be a key player in the global artificial intelligence industry, including making the semiconductors powering AI functionalities. This week, the country’s information and communications technology regulator announced plans to develop up to 50 types of AI-focused system semiconductors by 2030, Yonhap News Agency […]

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Apple today introduced a new feature designed for use with its HomePod speakers, including its just-introduced HomePod Mini: Intercom. Similar to Alexa’s “announce” feature, Intercom will allow HomePod owners to leverage their smart speakers — and other Apple devices — to communicate with all family members at once. The feature will make the most sense […]

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Apple reveals the $99 HomePod Mini

  • Oct 13, 2020

Today, during its iPhone hardware event, Apple unveiled the $99 HomePod Mini. The HomePod Mini is clearly a reach for a broader swath of new users. The original HomePod managed to impress audiophiles but its high price served as a high barrier of entry to new users looking for a new smart speaker. Complicating that […]

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After several failed startup attempts and nine years spent building Nuvemshop into Latin America’s answer to Shopify, the four co-founders of the company have managed to raise $30 million in venture capital funding as they look to expand their business. The new funding came from previous investor Kaszek Ventures and new lead investor Qualcomm, with […]

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Kayhan Space, the Boulder, Colorado and Atlanta-based company launched from Techstars’ virtual space-focused accelerator, wants nothing more than to be the air traffic control service for satellites in space. Founded by two childhood friends, Araz Feyzi and Siamak Hesar, who grew up in Iran and immigrated to the U.S. for college, Kayhan is tackling one […]

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Amazon has quietly launched a new augmented reality application that works with QR codes on the company’s shipping boxes to create “interactive, shareable” AR experiences. Called simply “Amazon Augmented Reality,” the retailer describes the app as a “fun way to reuse your Amazon boxes until you’re ready to drop them in the recycling bin.” As […]

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At our recent TechCrunch Mobility event, we spoke with Amy Gu, the founder and managing partner of Hemi Ventures, Olaf Sakkers, a founding partner at Maniv Mobility and Reilly Brennan, the founding general partner at Trucks VC. We discussed a wide range of things, from frayed U.S.-China relations, to the mobility industry’s eager embrace of […]

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Alphabet’s self-driving technology company hits a major milestone, Apple TV+ extends its free subscription period and Affirm files to go public. This is your Daily Crunch for October 8, 2020. The big story: Waymo opens up driverless ride-hailing Waymo hit a major milestone today: It’s offering fully driverless rides to (some) members of the public. […]

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No-code is the new blockchain

  • Oct 09, 2020

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast (now on Twitter!), where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week Natasha was on vacation, so Danny and your humble servant had to endeavor alone. She’s back next week, so we’ll be back to full strength as a collective soon enough. But even with […]

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Mobile usage continues to remain high amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, which has prompted social distancing measures and lockdown policies, and has pushed consumers to connect online for work, school and socializing. This, in turn, has helped drive record spending in apps during the quarter, as well as a huge surge in time spent in apps. […]

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A new startup called Tradeswell said it’s using artificial intelligence to help direct-to-consumer and e-commerce brands build healthier businesses. The company is led by Paul Palmieri, who previously took mobile advertising company Millennial Media public and then sold it to TechCrunch’s corporate parent AOL (now Verizon Media). Afterwards, Palmieri founded Grit Capital Partners, but he […]

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Veritonic is announcing that it has raised $3.2 million in Series A funding led by Greycroft, with participation from Lerer Hippeau and Amazon-owned audiobook service Audible. CEO Scott Simonelli, who founded the New York startup with COO Andrew Eisner and CTO Kevin Marshall, told me that his goal is to create a new category of […]

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Amazon has received delivery of its very first, custom-built EV delivery van — a vehicle built through its partnership with electric transportation startup Rivian. The van doesn’t look too different from existing, traditional fuel and hybrid commercial delivery vans (though there are a lot more rounded edges), but most of the innovation is happening in […]

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