Techmeme
March 30, 2021, 3:10 PM

Top News

Chance Miller / 9to5Mac:
Apple announces a virtual WWDC 2021 from June 7 to June 11, where iOS 15, macOS 12, watchOS 8, and more are expected  —  Apple has officially announced WWDC 2021.  This year, the conference will take place completely virtually starting June 7.  This marks the second year in a row that Apple …
Jay Peters / The Verge:
Google announces upgrades to Maps, including indoor AR directions, a new directions interface with eco-friendly driving routes, and new weather map layers  —  Indoor AR directions, a new directions interface, and more  —  Google is announcing a bunch of new features planned for Google Maps …
Anna Irrera / Reuters:
PayPal says it has started letting US customers use cryptocurrency holdings to pay all 29M of its online merchants globally  —  LONDON (Reuters) - PayPal Holdings Inc will announce later on Tuesday that it has started allowing U.S. consumers to use their cryptocurrency holdings to pay …
Noor Zainab Hussain / Reuters:
Sara Fischer / Axios:
Spotify buys app developer Betty Labs, creator of Locker Room, a live social audio app where fans can talk about sports, which Spotify plans on expanding  —  The acquisition will allow creators of all kinds to host anything from debates to live concerts.
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
LinkedIn adds Creator mode for influencers, launches video Cover Stories, and extends free career training tools in partnership with Microsoft  —  LinkedIn, the social network now with 740 million users around the world, has carved out an identity for itself as the place online where professionals …
Hamish McKenzie / Substack Blog:
Substack raises $65M Series B led by Andreessen Horowitz  —  When we started Substack to build an alternative media economy that unlocks the full potential of the internet and gives more power to writers and readers, we didn't know if the model would work.  A lot of people told us that no one would pay for newsletters.
Axios:
Sebastian Pellejero / Wall Street Journal:
Dapper Labs, maker of NFT-focused NBA Top Shot, raises $305M, sources say at $2.6B valuation; investors include several pro athletes including Michael Jordan  —  Dapper Labs draws investors that include basketball legends Michael Jordan and Kevin Durant, seeking to cash in on the digital-collectibles craze
Sam Byford / The Verge:
Xiaomi announces Mi Mix Fold, its first folding phone, with an 8.01-inch 4:3 OLED display, Snapdragon 888, 5,020mAh battery, and four Harman Kardon speakers  —  The Mi Mix series returns  —  Xiaomi has resurrected its Mi Mix series with the Mi Mix Fold, the company's first commercial folding phone.
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:
Arm unveils Armv9, its next gen chip architecture that adds features for security, AI, and more, as it expects ~300B Arm-based chips to ship in the next decade  —  Arm today announced Armv9, the next generation of its chip architecture.  Its predecessor, Armv8 launched a decade ago …
Tim Hardwick / MacRumors:
Epic Games says it has filed a complaint in support of UK antitrust watchdog's ongoing investigation into Apple's alleged anti-competitive behavior  —  Epic Games today said it had filed a complaint to the UK's antitrust watchdog in support of the government department's ongoing investigation …
Yogita Khatri / The Block:
Ripple says it is acquiring a 40% stake in Asian cross-border payments company Tranglo  —  Crypto firm Ripple has agreed to acquire a 40% stake in Asian payments specialist Tranglo.  The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals is expected to occur sometime this year.
Alex Heath / The Information:
Sources: Snap plans to unveil new Spectacles aimed at AR developers and creators in May and has begun a years-long project to make a camera drone  —  Snap is readying a new push into hardware with a more advanced version of its Spectacles smart glasses that feature displays capable …
More: 9to5Mac
Ben Gilbert / Insider:
Newly created Twitter accounts labeled as Amazon employees are defending the company amid a union drive; Amazon admitted in 2018 to paying for similar tweets  —  - Amazon's paid army of employee Twitter users is at it again, this time criticizing unionization.
NBC News:
Filings: at least 37 charges have been filed by workers against Amazon to the NLRB since February 2020, up 3x from 2019 and 6x from 2018  —  The day after Jonathan Bailey organized a walkout over Covid-19 concerns at an Amazon warehouse in Queens, New York, he was, he said, “detained” …
Dan Seifert / The Verge:
Google Nest Hub (2nd-gen) review: easy and reliable sleep tracking, improved speaker, excellent Google Photos photo frame, but too slow for everything else  —  The new Nest Hub is just as good at being a digital photo frame as before, but it's slow for everything else
Debby Wu / Bloomberg:
Foxconn reports Q4 profit of $1.61B, down 4% YoY, revenue of $70B, up 15% YoY, mainly from consumer electronics, including smartphones  —  - Profit fell nearly 4% despite contributions from new iPhones  — Company says impact of parts shortages will be limited
Marija Butkovic / Forbes:
Cleo, a parenting support app for working parents offered through employers, raises $40M Series C, bringing its total raised to $83M  —  One of the key problems affecting women and families today (that sadly Covid-19 has made even more urgent) is the lack of retention and acceleration …
Thanks:@cammylizz
Sarah E. Needleman / Wall Street Journal:
Cameo, which now has 40,000 personalities, raises $100M from Vision Fund 2 and others at a $1B+ valuation, up from $300M in 2019  —  The four-year-old video platform features more than 40,000 personalities but faces increased competition, potentially from Facebook
BBC:
Chinese police and Tencent seize $46M in assets during bust of what they claim is “world's biggest” video game cheating operation, which made ~$76M in revenue  —  A collaborative effort between Chinese police and gaming giant Tencent has led to the closure of what police say is the biggest ever video-game-cheat operation.
Bloomberg:
Filing: Xiaomi will invest ~$10B over the next decade to manufacture electric cars, with an initial investment of $1.5B in smart vehicle manufacturing  —  - Chinese phone giant aims to outsource vehicle assembly  — Market booms as prices fall, consumers embrace cleaner cars

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David McLaughlin / Bloomberg: