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Alternative protein companies have raised a whopping 1.5 billion through July of this year

Companies like Perfect Day, Impossible Foods, and a host of other startups that are developing replacements for animal farmed goods used in food, clothes, cosmetics, and chemicals have raised a whopping 1.5 billion through the first half of the year. That‘s according to a new report from The Good Food Institute which is tracking the []

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Ansa Biotechnologies wants to usher in a new era of DNA manufacturing

Daniel Arlow has spent the last eighteen years studying genomics and synthetic biology. The arc of his career has taken the first-time founder of the new startup Ansa Biotechnologies from MIT to the famous Keasling Lab at the University of California at Berkeley and now to the world of startups. Now, Arlow is ready to []

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Supercell‘s CEO talks about its majority owner Tencent, finding its next hit, and more

Mobile games maker Supercell has been one of the great, understated, breakthroughs of the European startup world. The Helsinki-based mobile games maker built an empire out of Clash of Clans, raking in tons of money and catching the eye of world class investors and eventually a new strategic majority shareholder in the form of Tencent []

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Connected fitness startup Tonal raises another 110 million

Connected home fitness startup Tonal announced today that it has raised an additional 110 million. The latest round of funding includes existing investor L Catterton and new names, including Delta-v Capital, Amazon‘s Alexa Fund and Mousse Partners, along with athletes Stephen Curry, Paul George, Michelle Wie and Bobby Wagner. The round brings the Bay Area-based []

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A conversation with Tunde Kehinde of Lidya on finance and the digital divide

Small and medium businesses have been some of the hardest hit in the Covid-19 pandemic.And all that has been as true in emerging markets as it has been for SMBs in the developed world. Tunde Kehinde has had a front-row seat witnessing and responding to that crisis. He‘s the CEO and co-founder of Lidya, a []

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Finance and the digital divide: a conversation with Tunde Kehinde of Lidya

Small and medium businesses have been some of the hardest hit in the Covid-19 pandemic.And all that has been as true in emerging markets as it has been for SMBs in the developed world. Tunde Kehinde has had a front-row seat witnessing and responding to that crisis. He‘s the CEO and co-founder of Lidya, a []

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SmartNews‘ Kaisei Hamamoto on how the app deals with media polarization

Six years ago, SmartNews took on a major challenge. After launching in Japan in 2012, the news discovery app decided that its first international market would be the United States. During Disrupt, co-founder Kaisei Hamamoto talked about how SmartNews adapts its app for two very different markets (the video is embedded below). Hamamoto, who is []

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Infarm raises 170M in equity and debt to continue building its ‘vertical farming‘ network

Infarm, the vertical farming company that has built a network of urban farms to grow fresh food closer to consumers, has raised 170 million in new investment in a first close of a Series C. Leading the round which is expected to reach 200 million and is a mixture of equity and debt []

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Interswitch to revive its Africa venture fund, CEO confirms

Pan-African fintech company Interswitch plans to fire up its corporate venture arm again-according to CEO Mitchell Elegbe-who spoke at TechCrunch Disrupt on Wednesday. The Nigerian founder didn‘t offer much new on the Lagos-based firm‘s expected IPO, but he did reveal Interswitch will revive investments in African startups. Founded by Elegbe in 2002, Interswitch pioneered the []

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Southeast Asia‘s East Ventures on female VCs, foreign investment, consolidation

Melisa Irenes path to becoming a partner at one of Southeast Asia‘s most esteemed venture capital firms is an unconventional one. I always consider myself to be quite lucky, said Irene, who was promoted to be a partner at East Ventures in January 2019. At 25 years old, she was the Jakarta-based investment firm‘s first []

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Narrator raises 6.2M for a new approach to data modelling that replaces star schema

Snowflake went public this week, and in a mark of the wider ecosystem that is evolving around data warehousing, a startup that has built a completely new concept for modelling warehoused data is announcing funding. Narrator which usesan 11-column ordering model rather than standard star schema to organise data for modelling and analysis []

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SmartNews‘ U.S. app unveils new features for the elections, COVID-19 and local weather

At TechCrunch Disrupt today, SmartNews announced the release of major new features for the American version of its news discovery app, designed to make it easier for users to get updates about the elections, COVID-19 and the weather. Several features focus on the presidential race, and other candidates up for vote this year. SmartNews, which []

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Blume Ventures‘ Karthik Reddy on Indian startup ecosystem, geo-political tension with China and coronavirus

Despite the coronavirus outbreak, which has slowed down deal-making across the world, dozens of startups in India have raised considerable amounts in recent months. Unacademy, which raised 110 million in February, closed a new round of 150 million this month. These large check sizes, and the frequency at which they are being bandied out, were []

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TechCrunch statement on sweep at our venue

There have been a couple of articles published in the last two days reporting on an impromptu sweep that took place outside of a venue we are using for our TechCrunch Disrupt event in San Francisco this week. We wanted to detail what we know about what happened and the steps that are being taken []

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Justice Department says WeChat users won‘t be penalized under Trump‘s executive order

In a Wednesday filing in federal court, the United States government said that users who use or download WeChat to convey personal or business information will not be subject to penalties under President Donald Trump‘s executive order banning transactions with the Tencent-owned messaging app. Trump issued the executive order against WeChat on August 6, the []

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The art of pivoting with Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins and Jessica Matthews

Building and growing a startup is hard, but pivoting said startup into something new and then achieving that same growth is even harder. But it‘s not impossible. Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, founder and CEO of PromisePay, and Jessica Matthews, founder and CEO of Uncharted Power, both have experiences doing this. At TechCrunch Disrupt, they shed some light []

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Gillmor Gang: In The Bag

This may be counterintuitive. I hope so. I remember the day I first started using Twitter. My friend Gabe Rivera suggested it would be a good idea to sign on to the fledgling network. Basically it was a land grab - claim the real estate of my name. I most likely was aware of the []

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Lightspeed announces the launch of its Southeast Asia operations

Lightspeed Venture Partners announced the launch of its Southeast Asia operations today. Based out of the firm‘s new regional headquarters in Singapore, Lightspeed‘s team there will invest in startups throughout Southeast Asia from the three global funds it closed earlier this year, which total about 4 billion. The Southeast Asia team consists of partner Akshay []

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PlayVS is halfway to recruiting every state into its global esports community

Millions of high school kids play online multiplayer games, but they seldom have crosstown rivals in Fortnite or Valorant. PlayVS wants to make that happen with its platform for school-sponsored esports, and it‘s growing like crazy, doubling its staff in the last year and putting thousands of schools on its platform. PlayVS connects online games []

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JAWS architect Glen Gordon is joining Sight Tech Global, a virtual event Dec. 2-3

For people who are blind or visually impaired,JAWS is synonymous with freedom to operate Windows PCs with a remarkable degree of control and precision with output in speech and Braille. The keyboard-driven application makes it possible to navigate GUI-based interfaces of web sites and Windows programs. Anyone who has ever listened to someone proficient in []

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Daily Crunch: Facebook unveils the Oculus Quest 2

Facebook makes its next steps in VR, Apple releases iOS 14 and the PlayStation 5 gets a launch date. This is your Daily Crunch for September 16, 2020. The big story: Facebook unveils the Oculus Quest 2 Facebook announced the smaller, more affordable follow-up to the Oculus Quest VR headset launching on October 13 at []

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Prox helps influencers and experts make money by connecting with fans

If you‘ve got a large online following, as well as knowledge that might be valuable to that audience, Prox is a startup currently in beta testing that‘s building tools to help you make money. Michael Mathieu, formerly the CEO of YuMe, joined Prox as CEO in January. The goal, he told me, is to create []

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Daphne Koller: ‘Digital biology is an incredible place to be right now‘

Working at the intersection of biology and computing may be the most exciting new spot for technologists at the moment. That‘s the word from Daphne Koller, the founder and chief executive officer of Insitro the biotech company that‘s raised over 243 million in the two short years since it launched. Speaking at our virtual []

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Can‘t stop, won‘t stop: Social Capital Hedosophia just filed for its fourth SPAC, says new report

According to a new report in Bloomberg, Social Capital Hedosophia has filed plans confidentially with the SEC to raise 500 million for its newest blank-check company. It will be the fourth special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, to be raised by the outfit, which is headed up by Chamath Palihapitiya and his longtime investment partner, []

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