Techmeme
March 26, 2021, 4:45 PM

Top News

Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:
Sources: Apple is working on a rugged “Explorer Edition” Watch aimed at athletes and to be used in more extreme environments, for a late 2021 or 2022 launch  —  - Company discusses new model to target different watch buyers  — Device may debut later in 2021 or 2022 at the earliest
Brian Fung / CNN:
At the hearing, lawmakers accused CEOs of being evasive and condescending; CEOs seemed barely able to restrain their exasperation with gotcha yes/no questions  —  Washington (CNN Business)The chief executives of Facebook, Google and Twitter faced withering criticism from members of Congress …
Energy And Commerce Committee / YouTube:
Recording of House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on platform misinformation with Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai, and Jack Dorsey  —  The Subcommittee on Communications and Technology and the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce of the Committee on Energy and Commerce …
Makena Kelly / The Verge:
Patrick Howell O'Neill / MIT Technology Review:
Google said it has shut down a hacking operation in January but, sources say, didn't disclose that it was an active counter-terrorism operation by a US ally  —  The decision to block an “expert” level cyberattack has caused controversy inside Google after it emerged that the hackers in question were working for a US ally.
Maureen Farrell / Wall Street Journal:
WeWork to merge with a SPAC in a deal that would raise $1.3B and values the company at $9B  —  Planned merger with the BowX Acquisition would value WeWork at $9 billion including debt  —  WeWork has agreed to merge with a special-purpose acquisition company, according to people familiar with the matter …
Ken Klippenstein / The Intercept:
Internal Amazon documents show Amazon was aware of the practice of employees using pee bottles, identifying it as a “Tier 1” infraction that can lead to firing  —  In anticipation of Sen. Bernie Sanders's scheduled trip to Bessemer, Alabama, to support the unionization drive …
Owen Thomas / Protocol:
Stewart Butterfield says Slack will introduce audio messages and a Clubhouse-like feature that will allow users to drop into rooms without an invitation  —  Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield said on Clubhouse that Clubhouse-like additions will soon be coming to the app.
Insider:
YouTube has temporarily suspended monetization for three channels operated by David Dobrik following a rape allegation against a former Vlog Squad member  —  - YouTube is temporarily blocking David Dobrik and Durte Dom from making money off ads.  — The company said it demonetized …
Wayne Ma / The Information:
Apple's App Store has been hosting 12+ apps run by a US-sanctioned paramilitary organization in China's Xinjiang region; Apple says the apps comply with US law  —  Apple's App Store has been distributing more than a dozen apps created by a Chinese organization sanctioned by the U.S …
Ryan Browne / CNBC:
Crypto analytics startup Chainalysis raises $100M Series D led by Paradigm, at a valuation of $2B+, four months after raising $100M Series C at a $1B valuation  —  - Chainalysis, a start-up that sells blockchain data analytics tools, has doubled its valuation to $2 billion in a new investment round.
Kate Rooney / CNBC:
Pilot, which helps SMBs outsource accounting tasks like payroll, raises $100M Series C led by Bezos Expeditions and Whale Rock Capital, at a valuation of $1.2B  —  - Pilot raised a $100 million funding round led by Jeff Bezos's venture capital firm Bezos Expeditions and hedge fund Whale Rock Capital …
Jared Council / Wall Street Journal:
Some VC firms are using AI algorithms to help with investment decisions; Gartner forecasts that AI will be involved in 75% of VC investment decisions by 2025  —  Some firms are using AI algorithms to help with investment decisions  —  Venture capitalists who have long funded artificial intelligence startups …
Roland Li / San Francisco Chronicle:
Facebook to reopen Menlo Park HQ and other Bay Area sites at 10% capacity starting May 10, and allow remote work until a month after offices reach 50% capacity  —  Facebook has set a Bay Area office reopening date: May 10.  —  The social media giant will open at 10% capacity starting …
Jane Chung / Public Citizen:
Analysis of Facebook, Apple, Google, Amazon US lobbying: $124M spent on lobbying and campaign donations during 2020 cycle; Facebook and Google are top spenders  —  An updated analysis of the rise in lobbying and campaign contributions from the Big Tech companies: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google
Arjun Kharpal / CNBC:
H&M removed from Chinese e-commerce sites and mapping apps after its statement last year on forced labor in Xinjiang resurfaced and caused a backlash on Weibo  —  - H&M faced backlash on Chinese social media service Weibo over a statement reportedly from last year in which the retailer said it was …
Riley de León / CNBC:
Robotic process automation software maker UiPath files to go public on the NYSE, reports $607.M revenue in FY2021, up 81% YoY, and net loss of $92.3M  —  - UiPath filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol PATH.
Alex Konrad / Forbes:
ServiceTitan, a SoCal-based platform for commercial and residential tradespeople, raises $500M Series F led by Tiger Global and Sequoia at a valuation of $8.3B  —  Covering venture capital, software and startups  —  It's no new live audio app, crypto company or remote-work tool.
Chris Metinko / Crunchbase News:
Ease, which makes cloud-based software to help SMBs provide employee benefits, raises $41M Series C, bringing its total raised to $70M  —  San Francisco-based benefits software developer Ease raised a $41 million Series C to help aid small and medium-sized businesses in providing benefits to their employees.
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