New e-commerce restrictions in India just ruined Christmas for Amazon and Walmart

New e-commerce restrictions in India just ruined Christmas for Amazon and Walmart

The Indian government is playing the role of festive party pooper for Walmart and Amazon after it announced new regulations that look set to impede the U.S. duo’s efforts to grow their businesses in India. Online commerce in the country is tipped to surpass $100 billion per year by 2022 up from $35 billion today as more Indians come online, according to a report co-authored by PwC. But 2019 could be a very different year after an update to the country’s policy for foreign direct investment (FDI) appeared to end the…

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Gaming chat startup Discord raises $150M, surpassing $2B valuation

Gaming chat startup Discord raises $150M, surpassing $2B valuation

Chatty gamers are apparently worth billions. Discord, the gaming chat startup with more than 200 million active users, announced Friday that it had secured $150 million in funding at a $2.05 billion valuation. The round was led by Greenoaks Capital with participation from Firstmark, Tencent, IVP, Index Ventures and Technology Opportunity Partners. The company announced this past April that they had raised $50 million in funding at a $1.65 billion valuation. With this latest bout of cash, Discord has now pulled in more than $280 million in funding. The influx…

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Be a Thanksgiving security hero with these family-friendly tips

Be a Thanksgiving security hero with these family-friendly tips

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re: Pretty good at tech stuff Spending time with your family for Thanksgiving Bored because you’re reading this article right now You may not celebrate Thanksgiving where you live, but most of our readers are American. So let’s use this opportunity to review the tech setup of your family. You don’t want to get a call in a few months because your aunt’s computer caught a nasty ransomware and she can’t find her photos again. Updates If you want to get the latest security…

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Internal Facebook memo sees outgoing VP of comms Schrage take blame for hiring Definers

Internal Facebook memo sees outgoing VP of comms Schrage take blame for hiring Definers

TechCrunch has obtained an internal memo published by Facebook’s outgoing head of public policy Elliot Schrage in which he blames himself for hiring PR firm Definers. He admits to having the company push negative narratives about competitors, but says Facebook did not ask or pay Definers to publish fake news. COO Sheryl Sandberg left a comment on the memo, saying it was never Facebook’s intention to play into anti-semitic theories about George Soros. The memo includes a Q&A regarding points raised by a New York Times article detailing how Definers…

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One billion 3D views and counting

One billion 3D views and counting

Alice Lloyd George Contributor Alice Lloyd George is an investor at RRE Ventures and the host of Flux, a series of podcast conversations with leaders in frontier technology. More posts by this contributor Thomas Reardon and CTRL-Labs are building an API for the brain A conversation with Dean Kamen on the myth of “Eureka!” Last week Sketchfab, the 3D content hub, shared an exciting milestone — the company has just crossed 1 billion cumulative pageviews. Taken with the community’s growth — they just surpassed 2 million users, as well as…

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SoftBank’s Deepcore and accelerator Zeroth team up to hunt early stage AI opportunities

SoftBank’s Deepcore and accelerator Zeroth team up to hunt early stage AI opportunities

Two early stage AI programs are joining forces because, even in the world of artificial intelligence, two heads are better than one. Hong Kong-based accelerator Zeroth — which recently grabbed a majority investment from Animoca Brands — and Deepcore, a Japanese incubator and fund that is part of the SoftBank group, are pairing up to use their resources on deal sourcing and other collaboration around artificial intelligence. The two seem complementary, with Deepcore focused on starting new ventures and investing in AI companies more generally, while Zeroth operates Asia’s first accelerator…

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Quantum computing, not AI, will define our future

Quantum computing, not AI, will define our future

William ("Whurley") Hurley Contributor Share on Twitter William Hurley, commonly known as whurley, is an American entrepreneur and the founder of Chaotic Moon Studios, Honest Dollar, and Equals: The Global Partnership for Gender Equality in the Digital Age. He is currently chairing the Quantum Computing Working Group for the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA), and is the founder and chief executive of Strangeworks. The word “quantum” gained currency in the late 20th century as a descriptor signifying something so significant, it defied the use of common adjectives. For example, a “quantum leap” is…

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SparkLabs Taipei closes initial $4.25M for its first fund, adds Jeremy Lin as an advisor

SparkLabs Taipei closes initial $4.25M for its first fund, adds Jeremy Lin as an advisor

SparkLabs Taipei, part of SparkLabs Group, the global network of accelerator programs and funds that works with emerging startup ecosystems, has raised $4.25 million in an initial close led by CTBC Group, along with individual investors, for its first venture capital fund. SparkLabs Taipei also announced today that it has added Atlanta Hawks player Jeremy Lin, who sparked “Linsanity” as the first player of Chinese- or Taiwanese-descent in the NBA, to its board of advisors. The funding was first disclosed in a Form D filed with the SEC this week…

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Online SWATer could face 20 years in prison

Online SWATer could face 20 years in prison

Tyler Barriss aka SWAuTistic caused almost 100 SWATing attacks by calling the police on perceived online enemies and claiming that they were holding hostages and were heavily armed. One of these, in SWATs, launched in Wichita, Kansas last year, led to the death of a father of two named Andrew Finch. Now Barriss is facing up to 20 years in prison after Barriss pled guilty “to making hoax bomb threats in phone calls to the headquarters of the FBI and the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, D.C.” “He also made…

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Google is closing its Schaft robotics unit after failing to find a buyer

Google is closing its Schaft robotics unit after failing to find a buyer

Sad news for anyone into giant robots: Google is closing down Schaft, its secretive unit that develops bipedal robots aimed at helping out in disaster efforts and generally looking badass. The news was first reported by Nikkei, but Google confirmed to TechCrunch that the business will be shuttered. It said it is helping staff find new roles, most of which will likely be outside of Google and its Alphabet parent. Firstly up, many people — myself included — might have forgotten that Google owns Schaft . The company was scheduled to be…

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Here’s the teaser trailer for Niantic’s Pokémon GO-style Harry Potter game

Here’s the teaser trailer for Niantic’s Pokémon GO-style Harry Potter game

The good news: Niantic/WB Games/Portkey has released a trailer for Wizards Unite, the Harry Potter game built in the same spirit as Pokémon GO. The bad news: It… doesn’t show much. If you were hoping for gameplay footage or really anything detailing how the game will work, you’re out of luck. Alas! It’s just a teaser trailer, and tease it does. The game’s newly expanded website, meanwhile, adds just: Please resist the urge to panic. Traces of magic are appearing across the Muggle world without warning and in a rather…

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Google gobbling DeepMind’s health app might be the trust shock we need

DeepMind’s health app being gobbled by parent Google is both unsurprising and deeply shocking. First thoughts should not be allowed to gloss over what is really a gut punch. It’s unsurprising because the AI galaxy brains at DeepMind always looked like unlikely candidates for the quotidian, margins-focused business of selling and scaling software as a service. The app in question, a clinical task management and alerts app called Streams, does not involve any AI. The algorithm it uses was developed by the UK’s own National Health Service, a branch of which…

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Jam City signs mobile game development deal with Disney

Jam City signs mobile game development deal with Disney

Mobile gaming company Jam City is announcing a multi-year deal to create mobile games based on Pixar and Walt Disney Animation characters and films. As part of the agreement, Jam City is taking over development of the match-three puzzle game Disney Emoji Blitz, which launched in 2016. Jam City says that everyone at Disney’s Glendale game studio who’s affected by this will be offered new jobs at the company to continue working on the title. The first new game, meanwhile, will be based on the upcoming sequel to “Frozen” (that’s right,…

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The forgotten ‘Facebook of China’ is sold for $20M

The forgotten ‘Facebook of China’ is sold for $20M

Renren, which was once heralded as the ‘Facebook of China’ and later became China’s answer to MySpace after falling out of fashion among its core young users, is selling its social networking business. Renren’s parent company Beijing Qianxiang Wangjing has agreed to sell all tangible and intangible assets of renren.com to Beijing Infinities Interactive Media, according to a statement. As part of the deal, Qianxiang will receive $40 million worth of shares in Beijing Infinities, a $700 million firm that owns one of China’s major IT news sites DoNews. “I am…

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Tesla, GM and Nissan are all part of a new coalition aiming to extend the EV tax credit

Tesla, GM and Nissan are among a group of 15 companies that launched a new coalition aimed at reforming the electric vehicle tax credit. The group called EV Drive Coalition brings together a mix of automakers, industry giant ABB, climate change and energy lobbying organizations and EV infrastructure companies, including ChargePoint. The coalition, which officially launched Tuesday, wants to pass legislation that would tweak the federal electric vehicle tax credit to “ensure that it works better for more consumers for a longer time frame and spurs increased growth of the…

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In venture capital, it’s still the age of the unicorn

In venture capital, it’s still the age of the unicorn

Howie Xu Contributor Share on Twitter Howie Xu is the vice president of artificial intelligence and machine learning at Zscaler. He previously co-founded TrustPath and served as an entrepreneur in residence at Greylock. This month marks the 5-year anniversary of Aileen Lee’s landmark article, “Welcome To The Unicorn Club”. At the time, the piece defined a new breed of startup — the $1 billion privately held company. When Lee did her first count, there were 39 “unicorns”; an improbable, but not impossible number.. Today, the once-scarce unicorn has become a…

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Travel activities startup KKday lands investment from Alibaba and Line

Travel activities startup KKday lands investment from Alibaba and Line

Taiwan’s KKday, a startup in the increasingly competitive travel activities space, has pulled in an undisclosed funding round that adds two strategic investors to its business: Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba and Japanese chat app company Line. KKday was founded in 2015 to help people who travel overseas to find and book activities, ranging from tours to tourist attraction, transportation, museums and more. The company said it offers over 20,000 “unique experiences” in over 500 cities across 80 countries. There is much potential to move into, it seems, with analyst firm Phocuswright…

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Korean AI startup Skelter Labs lands strategic investment to expand to Southeast Asia

Korean AI startup Skelter Labs lands strategic investment to expand to Southeast Asia

Korean AI startup Skelter Labs is expanding to Southeast Asia after it pulled in undisclosed funding from Singapore-based VC firm Golden Gate Ventures. Skelter Labs was founded in 2015 by founded by Ted Cho, the former engineering site director at Google Korea. It started out developing apps and services that made use of AI but then it pivoted to focus fully on AI tech, which it licenses out to companies and corporations that it works with. Now it is eying opportunities in  Japan and parts of Southeast Asia — which has…

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Make people valuable again

Make people valuable again

Vint Cerf Contributor Share on Twitter Vinton Gray Cerf, a co-founder of i4j — innovation for jobs, is widely hailed as one of “the fathers of the Internet”. Cerf was a manager for the United States’ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) funding groups to develop TCP/IP technology and currently serves as the Chief Evangelist of the Internet for Google. David Nordfors Contributor David Nordfors is the co-chair and co-founder of the i4j Innovation for Jobs Summit together with Vint Cerf. More posts by this contributor The future of business…

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Village Global’s accelerator introduces founders to Bill Gates, Reid Hoffman, Eric Schmidt and more

Village Global’s accelerator introduces founders to Bill Gates, Reid Hoffman, Eric Schmidt and more

Village Global is leveraging its network of tech luminaries to support the next generation of entrepreneurs. The $100 million early-stage venture capital firm, which counts as limited partners (LPs) Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman and many other high-profile techies, quietly announced on Friday that the accelerator it piloted earlier this year would become a permanent fixture. Called Network Catalyst, Village provides formation-stage startups with $150,000 and three-months of programming in exchange for 7 percent equity. Its key offering, however, is access to its…

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Foursquare partners with TripAdvisor

Foursquare partners with TripAdvisor

Foursquare, the former location-based social network turned enterprise location data platform, has today announced a new partnership with TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor will be using Foursquare’s Pilgrim SDK, launched in March 2017, to help the platform better serve users with contextually relevant, real-time information based on their location. Alongside the 13 billion check-ins accumulated on Foursquare’s apps since inception, the company also has analytics based on a consumer panel of more than 70 million people in the U.S. — 10 million of whom that have opted into always-on location sharing. This data…

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After canceling ‘Rift 2’ overhaul, Oculus plans a modest update to flagship VR headset

After canceling ‘Rift 2’ overhaul, Oculus plans a modest update to flagship VR headset

Facebook’s virtual reality arm may soon find itself in the unfamiliar position of playing catch-up with hardware competitors. Last week, TechCrunch reported that Oculus co-founder Brendan Iribe had decided to leave Facebook partially due to his “fundamentally different views on the future of Oculus” and decisions surrounding the cancellation of a next-generation “Rift 2” project. The company’s prototype “Rift 2” device, codenamed Caspar, was a “complete redesign” of the original Rift headset, a source familiar with the matter tells us. Its cancellation signified an interest by Facebook leadership to focus…

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Nomad releases a stunning wireless charging pad with Apple Watch dock

Nomad releases a stunning wireless charging pad with Apple Watch dock

With Apple’s AirPower still missing in action, the Apple accessory ecosystem has been attempting to fill the need with similar products. Some of these third party products are better than others, and the new Base Station from Nomad looks to be the best of them all. The Base Station does two things. One, it wireless charges up to three mobile devices. Two, it charges an Apple Watch through an integrated Apple MFi-certified Magnetic Apple Watch charger. More so, it looks great. A padded leather surface covers three charging coils allowing…

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Unu raises $12 million to build new electric scooter

Unu raises $12 million to build new electric scooter

German startup Unu raised a $12 million funding round led by Ponooc with existing investors Capnamic Ventures, Iris Capital, Michael Baum and NRW.BANK also participating. The company has been building electric scooters (the motorcycle kind) and is working on new products and services. For the past five years, Unu has sold 10,000 scooters. The market for electric scooter is quite different depending on your country. In parts of Asia, they are massively popular and are slowly overtaking gas-powered scooters. You can see more and more electric scooters in Europe, but…

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Translating startup-speak for the corporate buyer

Translating startup-speak for the corporate buyer

Perry Hewitt Contributor Share on Twitter Perry Hewitt works at the intersection of marketing, technology, and mission-driven organizations. Startups salivate at the prospect of entering the enterprise – and for good reason. The enterprise is rife with legacy systems and circuitous processes that frustrate employees and hinder results — and the startup has just the perfect product to fix the problem. Too often though, the pitch to the enterprise falls flat or a promising pilot gets sidelined. Sometimes there’s a clear obstacle, like a mismatch between product and problem to…

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Real estate upstart Compass acquires part of shopping app Spring, including 20+ engineers and CTO

Real estate upstart Compass acquires part of shopping app Spring, including 20+ engineers and CTO

After raising $400 million in September in a round that valued it at $4.4 billion, the real estate startup Compass is making an acquisition to help it double down on growth: it is acquiring a portion of Spring, the mobile-first fashion shopping app that has raised more than $100 million since 2014, to work on parts of Compass’s AI-based real estate platform, which provides a marketplace to post properties for sale and rental across the US and soon other countries. Compass and Spring are not disclosing the financial terms of this…

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Product Hunt Radio: The baby boom and the future of work and education

Product Hunt Radio: The baby boom and the future of work and education

Ryan Hoover Contributor Share on Twitter Ryan Hoover is the founder of Product Hunt and host of Product Hunt Radio. More posts by this contributor Product Hunt Radio: Gen Z, what ‘the kids these days’ are using, and the future of social apps Product Hunt Radio: The evolution of Y Combinator, and counter-intuitive advice for founders In this episode of Product Hunt Radio, I’m visiting TechCrunch HQ to hang out with two journalists that see more startups in a month than most people in a lifetime. Josh Constine is the…

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Hong Kong’s Neat raises $3M to offer easy banking for startups and SMEs

Το Neat είναι μια αμφισβητούμενη τράπεζα για νεοσύστατες επιχειρήσεις και ΜΜΕ

Neat, a Hong Kong-based startup that gives startups and SMEs access to credit cards and banking services has pulled in $3 million in fresh funding. The new round is led by China-based VC Linear Capital with participation from Hong Kong’s Sagamore investments and existing backers Dymon Asia Ventures and Portag3 Ventures . Neat previously landed a $2 million seed round earlier this year. In a nutshell, the company offers quick access to prepaid Mastercard-based cards and basic banking services. Cards are charged at around $7.50 per month, with varying prices on incoming, outgoing…

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Here are where the first Amazon Go stores in San Francisco will be located

Here are where the first Amazon Go stores in San Francisco will be located

Amazon is getting ready to introduce some more of its futuristic convenience stores where buyers can skip the line. San Francisco may be the center of techie desires and culture but all of Amazon’s five existing Go locations have been elsewhere. Today, the company is announcing some new locations for upcoming stores, including one that will be opening in San Francisco today. The company’s location on California & Battery street will be opening its doors for the first time at 7AM this morning, with quick bites, some grocery items and…

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Egypt and Thailand: When the military turns against free speech

Egypt and Thailand:  When the military turns against free speech

Ziad Reslan Contributor Share on Twitter More posts by this contributor Elon Musk deserves tougher love from the SEC Solve, MIT’s take on social innovation challenges, may be different enough to work Wael Abbas, a human rights activist focused on police brutality in Egypt has been under arrest since May on charges of spreading fake news and “misusing social media.” Andy Hall, a labor rights researcher, has been fighting charges under Thailand’s computer crime laws because of a report published online that identified abuses of migrant workers. You wouldn’t normally…

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