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 consumer spend in 2020. Consumers last year also spent 3.5 trillion minutes using apps on Android devices […]

Read More

A federal judge has denied an attempt by conservative social network Parler to force Amazon to host it on AWS. As expected by most who read Parler’s ramshackle legal arguments, the court found nothing in the lawsuit that could justify intervention, only “faint and factually inaccurate speculation.” In the order, filed in the Western Washington […]

Read More

Indian stock exchanges on Wednesday approved the $3.4 billion deal between retail giants Reliance Retail and Future Group in yet another setback for Amazon, which has invested more than $6.5 billion in the world’s second-largest internet market and sought to block the aforementioned deal. The Bombay Stock Exchange said in a notification that it had […]

Read More

Following Joseph Biden’s swearing in as the 46th President of the United States, Amazon is offering help in the administration’s stated goals for rolling out the Covid-19 vaccine. In a letter provided to TechCrunch, Worldwide Consumer CEO Dave Clark congratulates Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, while promising, “to assist you in reaching your goal […]

Read More

Rivian has raised $2.65 billion as it prepares to begin production this summer of its all-electric pickup truck. The round, which was led by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates Inc., also included Fidelity Management and Research Company, Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, Coatue and D1 Capital Partners as well as several other […]

Read More

Flipkart on Monday launched SuperCoin Pay that its customers will be able to use across thousands of retail stores across the country as Walmart-owned e-commerce giant bets on its loyalty program to win and sustain its user base in the world’s second-largest internet market. The Bangalore-headquartered e-commerce giant said it had partnered with over 5,000 […]

Read More

While many venture capitalists might hope to fund the next Amazon or Shopify, Crossbeam is a new firm focused on backing the startups built on top of these platforms. And it recently closed its $25 million first fund. We’ve written about well-funded startups like SellerX, Perch and Heroes that acquire and grow Amazon businesses, and […]

Read More

Amazon is selling access to the underlying technology stack of Alexa to let companies — starting with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles — build their own intelligent assistants with unique voices, skills and wake words. The new Alexa Custom Assistant product, which was announced Friday, can coexist and cooperate with the Alexa assistant. Theoretically, this means an […]

Read More

In a brief announcement today, the Canadian nuclear fusion technology developer General Fusion announced that the investment firm created by Shopify founder Tobias Lütke has joined the company’s cap table. The size of the investment made by Lütke’s Thistledown Capital was not disclosed, but with the addition, General Fusion has the founders of the two […]

Read More

A security flaw in Ring’s Neighbors app was exposing the precise locations and home addresses of users who had posted to the app. Ring, the video doorbell and home security startup acquired by Amazon for $1 billion, launched Neighbors in 2018 as a breakaway feature in its own standalone app. Neighbors is one of several […]

Read More

Amazon’s use of dark patterns that add friction to the process of terminating a Prime subscription is being targeted by 16 consumer rights groups in Europe and the US which are taking coordinated action to urge regulatory intervention. One of them — Norway’s Consumer Council (NCC) — has also published a report calling out what […]

Read More

Amazon is doubling down on one of the biggest strengths of its Prime Video streaming service: aggressive pricing. The e-commerce giant on Wednesday launched Prime Video Mobile Edition, an even more affordable tier of the on-demand video streaming service — now also bundling some mobile data. Prime Video Mobile Edition, for which Amazon has partnered […]

Read More

Mobile adoption continued to grow in 2020, in part due to the market forces of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to App Annie’s annual “State of Mobile” industry report, mobile app downloads grew by 7% year-over-year to a record 218 billion in 2020. Meanwhile, consumer spending grew by 20% to also hit a new milestone of […]

Read More

Amazon on Wednesday launched Amazon Academy, a service that will aim to help students in India prepare for entry into the nation’s prestigious engineering colleges. The American firm is the latest entrant to this market where scores of startups and institutes have launched digital offerings in recent years. The e-commerce giant, which has invested more […]

Read More

Amazon has begun the process of removing QAnon-related products from its platform. A spokesperson for the company said that the process may take a few days. Any sellers that attempt to evade the company’s systems and list products will be subject to action, including a blanket selling ban across Amazon stores. News of the ban was […]

Read More

Parler has sued Amazon after the beleaguered conservative social media site was expelled from AWS, filing a fanciful complaint alleging the internet giant took it out for political reasons — and in an antitrust conspiracy to benefit Twitter. But its own allegations, including breach of contract, are belied by evidence they supply alongside the suit. […]

Read More

Embattled social media platform Parler is offline after Apple, Google and Amazon pulled the plug on the site after the violent riot at the U.S. Capitol last week that left five people dead. But while the site is gone (for now), millions of posts published to the site since the riot are not. A lone […]

Read More

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture-capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. Happy 2021, or as our own Danny Crichton aptly names it, December 38, 2020. Equity crew is back to start the new year in full force, with Alex, Natasha and Danny on the mics and Chris behind the scenes. The […]

Read More

Digital services taxes adopted by India, Italy and Turkey in recent years discriminate against U.S. companies, the U.S. Trade Representative said on Wednesday. USTR, which began investigations into the three nation’s digital services taxes in June last year, said it found them to be inconsistent with international tax principles, unreasonable and burdening or restricting U.S. […]

Read More

Hellllooooo, 2021! Welcome back to Human Capital, a weekly newsletter that details the latest in the realms of labor, diversity and inclusion. Not a ton happened this week so I figured I’d use the time to look back on some of the more notable labor stories of 2020. Sign up to receive Human Capital in […]

Read More

A somewhat nebulous, but high-profile and potentially heavily moneyed joint venture is coming to an end: Haven, the JV created by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase, is being “disbanded” according to CNBC, three years after its original formation. One of the main reasons is that each partner in the venture was apparently just pursuing […]

Read More

Healthcare startup Color has raised a sizable $167 million in Series D funding round, at a valuation of $1.5 billion post-money, the company announced today. This brings the total raised by Color to $278 million, with its latest large round intended to help it build on a record year of growth in 2020 with even […]

Read More

Amazon makes a big podcast acquisition, a Chinese robot maker raises $100 million and we review a robotic cat pillow. This is your Daily Crunch for December 30, 2020. The big story: Amazon acquires Wondery Amazon is the latest company to make a big acquisition in the podcast market — it’s buying Wondery, the podcast […]

Read More

Amazon just announced that it’s acquiring Wondery, the network behind podcasts including “Dirty John” and “Dr. Death.” Wondery will become part of Amazon Music, which added support for podcasts (including its own original shows) in September. At the same time, the announcement claims that “nothing will change for listeners” and that the network’s podcasts will continue […]

Read More

Amazon is planning to extend its computer science program Future Engineer to India, demonstrating its growing interest in the education space in the world’s second-largest internet market. In a job recruitment post, the company said that initial research for Amazon Future Engineer, through which it aims to bring computer science education to underserved and underrepresented […]

Read More

AWS, Amazon’s flourishing cloud arm, has been growing at a rapid clip for more than a decade. An early public cloud infrastructure vendor, it has taken advantage of first-to-market status to become the most successful player in the space. In fact, one could argue that many of today’s startups wouldn’t have gotten off the ground […]

Read More

Eneba, a marketplace for gamers that sells games and other products, has raised an $8 million round of funding from Practica Capital and InReach Ventures. The funding is described as a “combination” of a seed and Series A round. Also participating in the funding for the Lithuanian startup was FJ Labs and a group of […]

Read More

An Indian court rejected Future Group’s plea that sought to prevent its partner Amazon from interfering in — and blocking — the Indian retail giant’s $3.4 billion asset sale deal to Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries, delivering a glimmer of hope to the American e-commerce firm that has invested more than $6.5 billion in the world’s […]

Read More

We interview the senior senator from Minnesota about fitness trackers, Sony pulls “Cyberpunk 2077” from the PlayStation Store and Indian delivery startup Zomato raises a massive round. This is your Daily Crunch for December 18, 2020. The big story: Amy Klobuchar discusses Amazon Halo concerns Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar recently wrote an open letter to […]

Read More

After reading a review of Amazon’s new fitness tracker, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar penned an open letter. “Recent reports have raised concerns about the Halo’s access to this extensive personal and private health information,” the lawmaker wrote to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. “Among publicly available consumer health devices, the […]

Read More