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Chamath launches SPAC, SPAC, and SPAC as he SPACs the World with SPACs

SPACs are going to rule the world, or at least, Chamath‘s future portfolio. Chamath Palihapitiya, the founder of Social Capital, has already tripled down on SPACs, the so-called ‘blank check‘ vehicle that takes private companies and flips them onto the public markets. His first SPAC bought Virgin Galactic last year, and his second SPAC bought []

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Daily Crunch: Partial US TikTok ban is imminent

The Trump administration moves forwards with plans to ban TikTok and WeChat (although TikTok gets a partial extension), Unity goes public and we announce the winner of this year‘s Startup Battlefield. This is your Daily Crunch for September 18, 2020. The big story: US TikTok ban is imminent The U.S. Commerce Department has released details []

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SaaS Ventures takes the investment road less traveled

Most venture capital firms are based in hubs like Silicon Valley, New York City and Boston. These firms nurture those ecosystems and they‘ve done well, but SaaS Ventures decided to go a different route: it went to cities like Chicago, Green Bay, Wisconsin and Lincoln, Nebraska. The firm looks for enterprise-focused entrepreneurs who are trying []

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Gaming companies are reportedly the next targets in the US government‘s potentially broader Tencent purge

Some of the biggest names in online gaming in the United States have received letters from the U.S. government requesting information about their relationship with the multibillion-dollar Chinese technology company, Tencent, according to reports. Even as the U.S. Department of Commerce moves to block new downloads of the Chinese company‘s popular messaging and payment app, []

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Gaming companies are reportedly the next targets in the US government‘s Tencent purge

Some of the biggest names in online gaming in the United States have received letters from the U.S. government requesting information about their relationship with the multibillion-dollar Chinese technology company, Tencent, according to reports. Even as the U.S. Department of Commerce moves to block new downloads of the Chinese company‘s popular messaging and payment app, []

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Salesforce announces 12,000 new jobs in the next year just weeks after laying off 1,000

In a case of bizarre timing, Salesforce announced it was laying off 1000 employees at the end of last month just a day after announcing a monster quarter with over 5 billion in revenue, putting the company on a 20 billion revenue run rate for the first time. The juxtaposition was hard to miss. Earlier []

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Check out this never-before-seen clip from HBO‘s The Perfect Weapon

At Disrupt 2020, we got a chance to see some never-before-seen footage from HBO‘s upcoming documentary The Perfect Weapon. The documentary, which was executive produced by John Maggio, is based on the book by the same(ish) name written by David Sanger, Washington correspondent for the New York Times. We got to sit down for an []

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Salesforce announces 12,000 new jobs in the next year just weeks after laying off 1000

In a case of bizarre timing, Salesforce announced it was laying off 1000 employees at the end of last month just a day after announcing a monster quarter with over 5 billion in revenue, putting the company on a 20 billion revenue run rate for the first time. The juxtaposition was hard to miss. Earlier []

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And the winner of Startup Battlefield at Disrupt 2020 is Canix

We started this competition with 20 impressive startups. After four days of fierce pitching in a wholly new virtual Startup Battlefield arena, we have a winner. The startups taking part in the Startup Battlefield have all been hand-picked to participate in our highly competitive startup competition. It was an unprecedented year as we moved all []

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Are high churn rates depressing earnings for app developers?

It‘s great to improve your subscription app‘s retention rates, but don‘t do it for the 85/15 split.

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MIT engineers develop a totally flat fisheye lens that could make wide-angle cameras easier to produce

Engineers at MIT, in partnership with the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, have devised a way to build a camera lens that avoids the typical spherical curve of ultra-wide-angle glass, while still providing true optical fisheye distortion. The fisheye lens is relatively specialist, producing images that can cover as wide an area as 180 degrees []

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Battery tech superstars JB Straubel of Redwood Materials, Celina Mikolajczak of Panasonic coming to TC Mobility 2020

It was a trickle at first that has evolved into a slow and steady stream. Now, a wave of new electric vehicles is building, promising to deliver an unprecedented number of models to North America, Europe and China over the next two to three years. There might not be a better time to dig into []

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In the WeChat, TikTok US shutdown order, TikTok gets Nov. 12 stay, keeping it up through the US election and Oracle dealmaking

The U.S. Commerce Department has nowannounced the details of how it will enforce the shutdown of TikTok and WeChat in the country, after announcing in August plans to do so by September 20 over national security concerns. The news is structured along two dates, September 20 and November 12. Both apps and their app updates []

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In the WeChat, TikTok US shut down order, TikTok gets Nov. 12 stay, keeping it up through the US election and Oracle dealmaking

The U.S. Commerce Department has nowannounced the details of how it will enforce the shutdown of TikTok and WeChat in the country, after announcing in August plans to do so by September 20 over national security concerns. The news is structured along two dates, September 20 and November 12. Both apps and their app updates []

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Zoox becomes fourth company to land driverless testing permit in California

Zoox, the automated vehicle technology startup that was acquired by Amazon this year, has been issued a permit from California regulators that will allow it to test driverless vehicles on public roads. The permit is not for all public roads in the state, but it‘s still notable considering the company will be able to test []

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The stages of traditional fundraising

What you think when you hear "seed funding" and "A rounds" might be different from what investors think. You both need to be on the same page as you move forward.

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Amid layoffs and allegations of fraud, the FBI has arrested NS8‘s CEO following its 100+ million summer financing

The tagline from today‘s announcement from the United States Attorney‘s office for the Southern District of New York says it all: Adam Rogas Allegedly Raised 123 Million from Investors Using Financial Statements that Showed Tens of Millions of Dollars of Revenue and Assets that Did Not Exist. Rogas, the co-founder and former chief executive and []

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How the NSA is disrupting foreign hackers targeting COVID-19 vaccine research

The headlines aren‘t always kind to the National Security Agency, a spy agency that operates almost entirely in the shadows. But a year ago, the NSA launched its new Cybersecurity Directorate, which in the past year has emerged as one of the more visible divisions of the spy agency. At its core, the directorate focuses []

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Instagram CEO, ACLU slam TikTok and WeChat app bans for putting US freedoms into the balance

As people begin to process the announcement from the U.S. Department of Commerce detailing how it plans, on grounds of national security, to shut down TikTok and WeChat starting with app downloads and updates for both, plus all of WeChat‘s services, on September 20, with TikTok following with a shut down of servers and []

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Chime adds 485M at a 14.5B valuation, claims EBITDA profitability

In the midst of IPO week we have to add another name to our future debuts‘ list, namely Chime, which announced a huge new round of capital today. The 485 million Series F values the consumer fintech giant at 14.5 billion, a huge figure given that Chime was most recently worth 5.8 billion after raising []

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VCs have to train themselves to ‘ask the stupid questions,‘ says Hoxton Ventures‘ Hussein Kanji

If venture capitalists could predict the future, why wouldn‘t they just start companies themselves? That‘s the question Hussein Kanji, founding partner at Hoxton Ventures, asked rhetorically at Disrupt 2020. If anyone says that they have predictive power in this industry and says they know where the future is gonna be, I just question the wisdom []

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It‘s game on as Unity begins trading

Unity Software, which sells a game development toolkit primarily for mobile phone app developers, raised 1.3 billion in its initial public offering. The company, which will begin trading today with the ticker symbol U, priced its shares at the top end of its expected range, selling 25 million shares at 52 per share. The company‘s []

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Outschool, newly profitable, raises a 45M Series B for virtual small group classes

Outschool, which started in 2015 as a platform for homeschooled students to bolster their extracurricular activities, has dramatically widened its customer base since the coronavirus pandemic began.The platform saw its total addressable market increase dramatically as students went home or campus to abide by COVID regulations instituted by the CDC. Suddenly, live, small-group online learning []

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Ride-hailing was hit hard by COVID-19 - Grab‘s Russell Cohen on how the company adapted

Ride-hailing services around the world have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and Grab was no exception. The company is one of the most highly-valued tech startups in Southeast Asia, where it operates in eight countries. Its transport business suffered a sharp decline in March and April, as movement restriction orders were implemented. But []

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