Techmeme
June 27, 2022, 1:20 PM
 

June 27, 2022

12:30 PM  •
Samantha Cole / VICE:  Stardust, the top iOS period tracker, says in its privacy policy it may disclose “anonymized, encrypted” data to third parties “whether or not legally required”
12:00 PM  •
Sebastian Herrera / Wall Street Journal:  Amazon's Prime Day shopping event, set for July 12-13, appears to be more low-key than previous years, focused on discounting Amazon-made products
10:55 AM  •
Dan Primack / Axios:  Filing: Digital World Acquisition Corp., which wants to take Trump's Truth Social public, discloses a federal grand jury issued subpoenas to each board director
10:15 AM  •
Jen Wieczner / New York Magazine:  Q&A with crypto billionaire Mike Novogratz on crypto as a scam, differences with past crashes, an incoming recession, LUNA's collapse, blaming the Fed, and more
9:45 AM  •
Ellen Huet / Bloomberg:  CB Insights: global VC activity dropped 23% between Q1 2022 and June 23, 2022, after dropping just 1.4% between Q4 2021 and Q1 2022; total funding dropped 27%
9:25 AM  •
Drew FitzGerald / Wall Street Journal:  AT&T and Verizon raise the prices of some monthly and older mobile plans, testing consumer budgets; T-Mobile has kept most of its rates flat
9:10 AM  •
Chainalysis:  A distribution analysis of 10 major DAO governance tokens finds that, on average, less than 1% of all holders have 90% of voting power
9:05 AM  •
Thomas Ricker / The Verge:  Starlink RV review: works in remote locations and power consumption beats expectations, but can't be used on a moving vehicle and storms degrade performance
9:00 AM  •
Bloomberg:  Filing: South Korea's largest car sharing startup Socar files for an IPO in Seoul on August 18, seeking to raise at least ~$119M and pricing shares at ~$26-$35
8:55 AM  •
Vicky Ge Huang / Wall Street Journal:  As crypto markets melt down, hedge funds are increasingly shorting tether, as a bet against either the broader economy or the quality of the assets backing USDT
8:50 AM  •
Thomas Brewster / Forbes:  Investigation: Instagram let a man accused of selling photos of children to pedophiles share images on two accounts months after he was charged and arrested
8:45 AM  •
Yuka Hayashi / Wall Street Journal:  Taiwan-based GlobalWafers announces plans to build a $5B silicon wafer factory in Sherman, Texas, aiming to reach 1.2M wafers per month, covering all US demand
8:40 AM  •
Washington Post:  With Roe overturned, privacy advocates worry period tracking apps are sharing data, with partners or affiliates, that may become evidence of a crime
8:35 AM  •
Andrew Rummer / The Block:  Voyager Digital issues a default notice to Three Arrows Capital for failing to repay a $650M+ loan; Voyager accessed $75M of credit from Alameda Research
8:25 AM  •
Olga Kharif / Bloomberg:  Sky Mavis says it plans to reimburse Axie Infinity users and reopen its Ronin bridge on June 28, after hackers stole 173,600 Ether and 25.5M USDC
8:20 AM  •
Antoni Slodkowski / Financial Times:  Despite UK pressure, Masayoshi Son tells SoftBank shareholders that the Nasdaq remains his “favourite” venue for Arm's IPO, but that nothing has been decided
7:55 AM  •
Harsh Upadhyay / Entrackr:  Bengaluru-based Solv, a B2B marketplace for SMBs, raised a $40M Series A led by Tokyo-based SBI Holdings, bringing its total funding to nearly $80M
7:30 AM  •
Bloomberg:  Naspers subsidiary Prosus sold 131.8M+ JD.com shares, a ~4% stake worth almost $4B, as the e-commerce company “does not form part of [its] core strategic focus”
5:55 AM  •
Michael Waters / MIT Technology Review:  Companies are increasingly weaving data centers, typically located in suburbs and rural areas, into the fabric of cities to further reduce lag times for locals
2:55 AM  •
Kyle Wiggers / TechCrunch:  Paris-based Strapi, which makes an open-source headless CMS, raised a $31M Series B led by CRV and plans to launch its Strapi Cloud service out of beta in 2023
12:30 AM  •
Vishal Singh / Silicon Canals:  Dublin-based &Open, which helps brands send physical and digital gifts at scale to people around the world, raised a $26M Series A led by Molten Ventures

June 26, 2022

9:00 PM  •
Joe Rossignol / MacRumors:  SSD benchmarks show the 256GB 13" MacBook Pro with M2 has ~50% slower read and ~30% slower write speeds than the previous generation 256GB MacBook Pro with M1
7:05 PM  •
New York Times:  Hundreds of procurement documents detail the software bought by China to sift through vast troves of surveillance data, helping “predict” possible troublemakers
6:00 PM  •
Brian Kahn / Protocol:  In the wake of SCOTUS overturning Roe v. Wade, tech companies give “no comment” in response to questions about users' data that can be used in prosecutions
2:25 PM  •
Alex Russell / Infrequently Noted:  A deep dive: how Apple uses iOS WebKit's monopoly to strip-mine and sabotage the web, hurting all browser engine projects and draining the web of its potential
11:00 AM  •
Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:  Sources: Apple is planning one of the most ambitious periods of new products in its history, including M2 and M3 Macs, coming between fall 2022 and H1 2023
8:05 AM  •
Andy Maxwell / TorrentFreak:  How Bungie identified a mass sender of fake DMCA notices to YouTube targeting Destiny content creators and Bungie's own channels, leading to its $7.65M+ lawsuit
2:00 AM  •
Christopher Mims / Wall Street Journal:  A look at Amazon's fight with China-based sellers of generic items trying to game its algorithms to develop Marketplace brands and get the “Amazon's Choice” tag
1:35 AM  •
Manish Singh / TechCrunch:  India's central bank ban on loading non-bank prepaid payment instruments using credit lines has created panic among Indian fintech startups
12:35 AM  •
Oscar Hornstein / UKTN:  UK online grocer Ocado, which licenses its automated warehouse tech to other brands, raised £578M in a share sale and secured a £300M loan facility from banks

June 25, 2022

10:25 PM  •
Tracy Wang / CoinDesk:  Leaked investor call: BlockFi backer Morgan Creek Digital aims to raise $250M to counter FTX's BlockFi bailout, since it could wipe out BlockFi shareholders
9:50 PM  •
Julie Muhn / Finovate:  Detroit-based Autobooks, a payment and accounting service for small businesses, raised a $50M Series C led by Macquarie, bringing its total funding to ~$98M
7:00 PM  •
Richard Waters / Financial Times:  Michael Saylor, whose company MicroStrategy holds bitcoin now worth ~$2.7B, says bitcoin “is still at an early stage in its development and poorly understood”
3:35 PM  •
Ming-Chi Kuo / Medium:  As Apple is expected to debut a headset in January 2023 and Meta slows VR investments, a look at opportunities for the VR supply chain and other headset makers
12:55 PM  •
New York Times:  Sources: Meta told staff not to discuss the Roe v. Wade ruling on wide-reaching internal channels, citing a company memo issued after the May draft opinion leak
10:40 AM  •
Tom's Hardware:  An interview with AMD's SVP Sam Naffziger on challenges facing the company, its coming RDNA 3 chiplet design, GPU performance and power efficiency, and more
7:10 AM  •
Abubakar Idris / Rest of World:  A look at the rise of BNPL services in Nigeria as some doubt the success of local startups amid weak ID verification systems and scant consumer credit records
2:05 AM  •
Paul Bischoff / Comparitech:  Research: 67 separate ransomware attacks impacted 954 US schools and colleges in 2021, costing education institutions an estimated $3.56B in downtime alone

June 24, 2022

9:30 PM  •
FinSMEs:  Berlin-based WorkMotion, whose Global Talent OS service helps HR teams scale onboarding and manage staff abroad, has raised a $50M Series B led by Canaan
8:20 PM  •
Ashleigh Hollowell / VentureBeat:  London-based ESG Book, which provides sustainability data and whose clients include Citi and JP Morgan, raised a $35M Series B led by Energy Impact Partners
6:30 PM  •
Sam Venis / The Block:  Elliptic: US regulators have collected $3.3B+ in penalties from crypto-related businesses across 130+ enforcements since 2009, including $179.7M so far in 2022
5:20 PM  •
Jeffrey Dastin / Reuters:  As anti-abortion state laws kick in, law enforcement could force tech companies to give up users' search history, geolocation, and other pregnancy-related data
4:55 PM  •
Chris Dolmetsch / Bloomberg:  A US judge rules Pinterest must face a lawsuit from digital marketing strategist Christine Martinez, who says she co-created Pinterest but was never compensated
4:40 PM  •
Tracy Wang / CoinDesk:  Sources: Goldman Sachs is looking to raise $2B from investors to buy up distressed assets from crypto lender Celsius Network in the event of a bankruptcy filing
4:35 PM  •
Mark Sullivan / Fast Company:  After SCOTUS overturned Roe v. Wade, Apple, Meta, Google, and other tech companies announce or reaffirm policies supporting employees seeking abortion services
3:30 PM  •
Zheping Huang / Bloomberg:  How TikTok is cashing in on its exploding popularity; source: TikTok plans to grow its e-commerce gross merchandise volume to $2B in 2022 and $23B in 2023
2:45 PM  •
Finextra:  Crypto trading platform Bitpanda, which has 1,000+ staff per LinkedIn and raised $263M at a $4.1B valuation in 2021, says it is cutting its headcount to ~730
2:15 PM  •
FinSMEs:  Tapcheck, a financial wellness service that works with companies like McDonald's to let workers access their earnings before payday, raised a $20M Series A
1:20 PM  •
Mack DeGeurin / Gizmodo:  Report: Twitter gave Elon Musk more user data, including real-time API information, after he complained the large historical data he received wasn't enough
12:25 PM  •
Davey Alba / Bloomberg:  Source: in February, Meta started an official internal process to shut down CrowdTangle, but paused the plan as the EU's Digital Services Act gained traction
11:55 AM  •
Wall Street Journal:  Sources: FTX is in talks to acquire a stake in BlockFi but no equity agreement has been reached; FTX gave the crypto lender a $250M credit line this week
11:15 AM  •
Cameron Thompson / CoinDesk:  Binance launches Binance Institutional to let VIP and institutional investors trade digital assets; the service is not available to Binance.US customers
10:15 AM  •
Brian Newar / Cointelegraph:  Harmony stops its Horizon bridge between Ethereum, Binance Chain, and Bitcoin after a theft of ~$100M in altcoins; Harmony says its BTC bridge was not impacted
10:10 AM  •
Oliver Knight / CoinDesk:  Axie Infinity developer Sky Mavis plans to restart its bridge and reimburse ~$216.5M in USDC and ether on June 28 to the victims of the $625M Ronin bridge hack
10:00 AM  •
Manish Singh / TechCrunch:  Zomato acquires instant delivery service Blinkit, formerly Grofers, for $568.1M in stock; Blinkit raised ~$700M in total and had a $1B+ valuation in June 2021
9:18 AM  •
Lauren Feiner / CNBC:  Zendesk agrees to be acquired by an investor group in an all-cash deal valuing the company at ~$10.2B and will go private once the deal closes; stock is up 25%+
9:10 AM  •
Aaron Tilley / Wall Street Journal:  Walmart says its hybrid cloud system now has 10K “edge nodes” across the US, cutting annual cloud spending by 10%-18% and lessening its reliance on cloud giants
6:50 AM  •
Jonathan Greig / The Record:  The CISA and the US Coast Guard Cyber Command warn companies of Log4Shell exploits in the wild, citing one incident of threat actors exfiltrating 130GB+ of data
4:35 AM  •
Aoyon Ashraf / CoinDesk:  Coinbase Derivatives Exchange plans to launch its first crypto derivatives product, Nano Bitcoin futures (BIT), at 1/100th of the size of a Bitcoin, on June 27
2:05 AM  •
Leo Schwartz / Rest of World:  In Mexico City, Facebook has emerged as a low-cost alternative to food delivery services like Uber Eats and Rappi, as restaurateurs seek to avoid ~30% fees

June 23, 2022

10:25 PM  •
Natasha Lomas / TechCrunch:  Italy's data watchdog finds a local web publisher's use of Google Analytics violates EU data protection rules due to the privacy risk of data transfer to the US
9:45 PM  •
Reuters:  Cisco plans to wind down its business in Russia and Belarus, after suspending its Russia operations in March 2022, and offers to relocate its few hundred staff
8:10 PM  •
Megan Graham / Wall Street Journal:  A look at efforts to reduce online advertising's carbon footprint, which, according to a 2018 study, accounts for roughly 10% of the internet's energy usage
7:10 PM  •
Reuters:  Yandex opens YaLM 100B to the public, claiming the AI research language model contains 100B parameters, “more than any GPT-like model available in open-source”
6:40 PM  •
Jessica Lucas / Input:  A look at r/LossPrevention, a subreddit for busting shoplifters; members monitor Reddit's pro-shoplifting community and share videos of people being apprehended
5:45 PM  •
Xinmei Shen / South China Morning Post:  Report: video game revenue in China fell for a third consecutive month in May 2022, down 6.7% YoY to $3.4B, amid a slowing economy and regulatory uncertainties
5:15 PM  •
Tim De Chant / TechCrunch:  Vibrant Planet, a public-benefit startup that is developing software for forest management, has raised a $17M seed
4:50 PM  •
Wall Street Journal:  Intel delays its scheduled July 22 groundbreaking of a $20B Ohio chip plant due to uncertainty around the Bipartisan Innovation Act, but still plans to build it
3:40 PM  •
Ben Schoon / 9to5Google:  OSOM, founded by ex-Essential employees, scraps its OV1 phone and partners with Solana to produce Saga, a $1,000 Web3-focused Android phone launching in Q1 2023
3:30 PM  •
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:  Amazon launches CodeWhisperer, a GitHub Copilot-like AI pair programming tool, in preview within the AWS IDE Toolkit, supporting Java, JavaScript, and Python
3:10 PM  •
Tracy Qu / South China Morning Post:  China issues new rules for live streamers, including requiring influencers to have relevant qualifications to discuss topics such as law, finance, and medicine
2:15 PM  •
Lucas Matney / TechCrunch:  Cryptoys, which is building blockchain-based kids toys in partnership with Dapper Labs, raised a $23M Series A led by a16z, after a $7.5M seed in October 2021
1:35 PM  •
Danielle Abril / Washington Post:  Yelp closes its NY, Chicago, and Washington DC offices as CEO Jeremy Stoppelman doubles down on remote work and calls hybrid offices “the worst of both worlds”
12:50 PM  •
Financial Times:  Sources: the EU is planning a “phase 2” antitrust investigation into Broadcom's $69B VMware acquisition, which could take well over a year and derail the deal
12:40 PM  •
Zack Whittaker / TechCrunch:  Google details the commercial spyware Hermit, used in Kazakhstan and Italy, targeting Android and iOS; the iOS version has six exploits, including two zero-days
12:30 PM  •
Phillip Tracy / Gizmodo:  Microsoft announces gaming features for Edge, including a new homepage, exclusive free-to-play games, Clarity Boost for streamed games, and a performance option
12:15 PM  •
Jon Porter / The Verge:  Google plans to bring Chrome's Enhanced Safe Browsing, which helps track URLs to monitor dangerous websites, to Chrome for iOS, expanding on Android and desktop
11:40 AM  •
Maria Deutscher / SiliconANGLE:  Evinced, which helps companies build accessible websites and apps, raised a $38M Series B led by Insight Partners; Microsoft's M12 and others also invested
10:40 AM  •
Tarush Bhalla / The Economic Times:  Indian digital payments company Pine Labs acquires Setu, which develops banking APIs, in a cash-and-stock deal worth $70M to $75M; Setu raised $18.5M to date
10:10 AM  •
Mariella Moon / Engadget:  Spotify replaces Concert Hub with a Live Events Feed, populated by Ticketmaster, AXS, DICE, Eventbrite, See Tickets, and other partners, for finding tour dates
9:20 AM  •
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:  Boston-based JobGet, a job marketplace for recruiters and hourly workers, raised a $52M Series B, comprising $40M in equity and $12M in debt
8:50 AM  •
Nilesh Christopher / Rest of World:  A hacktivist claims DALL-E-like Craiyon, formerly DALL-E mini, generated portraits of brown-skinned women in saris almost every time he ran a blank request
8:20 AM  •
Mike Butcher / TechCrunch:  London-based BNPL service Playter raised $55M in equity and debt led by Adit Ventures and Fasanara Capital, following a $1.7M seed in March 2022
8:00 AM  •
Cristiano Lima / Washington Post:  Senate Commerce Chair Maria Cantwell says she does not support the bipartisan privacy bill, a significant blow to long-stalled federal protections for user data
7:45 AM  •
Bloomberg:  Seeking to regain relevance, screenshots show Clubhouse is testing private rooms, internally called Houses, to encourage friendlier social interactions
7:35 AM  •
Wall Street Journal:  A look at the LUNA and UST crash, as Do Kwon says he's “been devastated by recent events” but has “great confidence in our ability to build back even stronger”
7:30 AM  •
New York Times:  Sources: Mark Zuckerberg's top priority is now the metaverse, not securing elections; Meta has ~60 people focused primarily on elections, down from 300+ in 2020
7:25 AM  •
Mia Tsuchida / Bloomberg:  Tokyo-based LegalForce, which uses AI to screen contracts for loopholes and risks, raised a $101M Series D led by Vision Fund 2 and says it has 2,000 clients
7:10 AM  •
Financial Times:  Singapore's fintech policy chief says the country will be “brutal and unrelentingly hard” on “any market bad behaviour” in the crypto industry
6:55 AM  •
Maddie Ellis / Wall Street Journal:  Instagram begins testing tools to verify ages, starting with 17 and under, using either Yoti's facial video analysis, photo IDs, or adults vouching for users
6:00 AM  •
Bloomberg:  A profile of Changpeng Zhao, who built Binance into the largest crypto exchange, as he navigates China's regulatory crackdown in a brutal crypto winter
5:40 AM  •
Washington Post:  The Senate's $52B US chip production bill, passed in June 2021, has been bogged down over unrelated disputes, like climate provisions, delaying the funds
5:20 AM  •
Financial Times:  London-based payments services startup SumUp raised €295M equity and €295M debt at an €8B valuation; a January 2022 report said its target was as high as €20B
2:30 AM  •
Financial Times:  A look at Alibaba's plans to expand into South Asia as its Chinese operations sputter, including through its Daraz unit in Pakistan, acquired for $194M in 2018
1:20 AM  •
Reuters:  Sources: eight buyout offers taking Toshiba private value the deal at up to ~$22B, a 27% premium on its stock; Toshiba had two offers that would keep it public
12:30 AM  •
Francisco Pires / Tom's Hardware:  Cerebras says its “wafer-scale” chip set a record for the largest natural language processing AI model trained on a single device, at up to 20B parameters

June 22, 2022

11:45 PM  •
Sander Lutz / Decrypt:  Coinbase plans to shut down its standalone, trader-focused Pro service by the end of 2022 and replace it with Advanced Trade as part of its main app and website
11:10 PM  •
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:  Mountain View-based Sanas, which develops a call center voice AI that changes users' accents in real time, raised a $32M Series A led by Insight Partners
10:55 PM  •
Jessica Golden / CNBC:  Tel Aviv-based Jackpot, which is developing an app and website to make buying US state lottery tickets easier, raised a $35M Series A led by Accomplice
10:30 PM  •
Manish Singh / TechCrunch:  India-based Cashify, a marketplace for selling and buying used smartphones and other gadgets, has raised a $90M Series E, bringing its total funding to $130M+
9:10 PM  •
Annie Njanja / TechCrunch:  Ghana-based Fido, which offers financial tools and loans to individuals and businesses via its mobile app, raised a $30M Series A led by Fortissimo Capital
8:55 PM  •
Jeffrey Dastin / Reuters:  Amazon is working on letting Alexa mimic any voice after hearing less than a minute of audio, as a way to “make the memories last” of deceased family members
8:15 PM  •
Malathi Nayak / Bloomberg:  A US judge requested data from British and Chinese government agencies about TikTok, WeChat, and Telegram to help Meta defend itself in its FTC antitrust suit
7:35 PM  •
Kyle Wiggers / TechCrunch:  Courier, which provides tools to send and build notifications across multiple channels including email, web, text, and mobile, raised a $35M Series B led by GV
7:05 PM  •
Jared Newman / Fast Company:  Valve's Steam Deck makes a brilliant case against walled gardens by running Arch Linux and allowing software from anywhere, unlike every major game console
6:25 PM  •
Natasha Mascarenhas / TechCrunch:  MasterClass, which offers celebrity-taught online classes, lays off ~120 employees, or 20% of its team; sources: MasterClass was valued at $2.75B in May 2021
6:10 PM  •
Mitchell Clark / The Verge:  Meta rebrands Facebook Pay as Meta Pay; Mark Zuckerberg says Meta is working on an interoperable “wallet for the metaverse” that will have “proof of ownership”
5:45 PM  •
Kyle Wiggers / TechCrunch:  Deno, the company behind a JavaScript, TypeScript, and WebAssembly runtime based on Rust and the V8 JavaScript engine, raised a $21M Series A led by Sequoia
5:05 PM  •
Bill Toulas / BleepingComputer:  Brave says its search engine had 411.7M queries in May, up ~5,000% since its June 2021 launch, and launches Goggles, which lets users customize searches
4:10 PM  •
Oliver Knight / CoinDesk:  eBay acquires NFT marketplace KnownOrigin for an undisclosed sum; DappRadar: KnownOrigin enabled $7.8M in digital collectible trade volume since its 2018 launch
3:50 PM  •
Wall Street Journal:  Sources: Comcast and Google have emerged as the top contenders to help Netflix develop an ad-supported tier, and Netflix has discussed ad partnerships with Roku
3:00 PM  •
Brad Smith / Microsoft On the Issues:  Microsoft details how it curbs Russian propaganda, largely about the war in Ukraine and vaccines; US traffic to such stories rose 80%+ in the war's first weeks
2:45 PM  •
Zach Schonfeld / The Hill:  Microsoft report details Russian cyberattacks across 42 countries beyond Ukraine since the war began, with a 29% success rate and mainly targeting NATO allies
1:20 PM  •
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:  Spotify tests Community, a feature that lets mobile users see their friends' streaming activity in real time and which playlists their friends recently updated

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