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Crunch Report | Facebook Smart Speaker on the Way

You are about to activate our Facebook Messenger news bot. Once subscribed, the bot will send you a digest of trending stories once a day. You can also customize the types of stories it sends you. Click on the button below to subscribe and wait for a new Facebook message from the TC Messenger news bot. Thanks, TC Team Original link
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Hulu hires Google marketing veteran Kelly Campbell as CMO

Hulu announced this morning the appointment of Kelly Campbell, the current head of Global Growth Marketing for Google Cloud, as Hulu’s new Chief Marketing Officer. The strategic hire for the streaming service will see Campbell tasked with driving Hulu’s overall marketing strategy across both its subscription video on demand business and its new Live TV service, the company says. Campbell will oversee Hulu’s brand marketing, performance mark...
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Alibaba and Tencent are carving up Southeast Asia’s startup ecosystem

Two global tech forces are putting their mark — and money — into Southeast Asia’s nascent startup ecosystem, but they may not be the Western names that you expect. Rather than Google, Facebook or Microsoft, increasingly Chinese duo Alibaba and Tencent are the driving forces behind the importing of large sums of capital and vast business experience into Southeast Asia’s most promising startups. Both companies, sworn enemies in China, appear ...
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Playkey raises $2.8M to fund its US expansion

Playkey, a game streaming service we saw earlier this year at Disrupt NY, has just closed an additional $2.8 million round of funding from Russia’s Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF) . Created at the suggestion of Vladimir Putin in 2013, the IIDF has invested in 293 companies to-date with the objective to strengthen infrastructure for Russian businesses. However, the investment does not represent official government support or inv...
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Mighty Networks founder Gina Bianchini on building a business in silicon valley

Shripriya Mahesh Contributor Shripriya Mahesh is a partner at Omidyar Network . More posts by this contributor: In episode two of Founder’s Corner , Gina Bianchini, the founder and CEO of Mighty Networks , joins host and Omidyar Network partner Shripriya Mahesh to discuss her mission of empowering people to connect around their passions and pulls back the curtain on how she runs the business and manages her days as CEO. [Embed Soundcloud:] ...
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Desktop Metal gets $115 million in funding to deliver metal 3D printing for manufacturing

Desktop Metal has already earned a number of fans with its 3D printed metal technology — Lowe’s, Caterpillar and BMW were all among its earliest clients. As first noted by CNBC , the Massachusetts-based startup is also getting some healthy monetary support, adding $115 million of venture funds to its coffers this week. The series D features a number of high profile names, including New Enterprise Associates, GV (formerly Google Ventures), G...
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IBM dangles carrot of full encryption to lure buyers to new z14 mainframe

IBM is doing its damnedest to keep the mainframe relevant in a modern context, and believe it or not, there are plenty of monster corporations throughout the world who still use those relics from the earliest days of computing. Today, the company unveiled the z14, its latest z-Series mainframe , which comes with the considerable draw of full encryption. Is that enough for even corporate giants to shell out the dough for one of these computi...
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VCs determined to replace your job keep AI’s funding surge rolling in Q2

These are good times for AI entrepreneurs. Recent analysis of venture data shows that funding for artificial intelligence startups continues its upward trend in 2017, with investment hitting new highs. (For deep dives into aggregate Q2 venture performance, head  here  for the world, and  here  for just the U.S.) Venture, corporate and seed investors have put an estimated $3.6 billion into AI and machine learning companies this year, accordi...
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Vertu is dead

It’s been a long, downward slide for cellphone maker Vertu . The company, founded by Nokia in 1998, was supposed to be a luxury phone provider to the stars and, to a degree, it delivered. They sold the $11,000 phones like expensive watches in boutique stores in tony neighborhoods. Vertu, with its precious metals and fine, hand-cut leather was supposed to maintain its luxury lead for decades. It didn’t. The history of Vertu and be defined as...
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Box announces former Apple, Cisco exec Stephanie Carullo will succeed Dan Levin as COO

Box dropped a bit of a bombshell this afternoon, when it announced that long-time Chief Operating Officer Dan Levin would be stepping down from the role, and Stephanie Carullo would be taking over. Carullo comes with stellar credentials over her 25 year career that include management and executive stints with IBM, Telstra, Cisco and Apple, giving her the kind of enterprise experience Box would be looking for. CEO Aaron Levie was especially ...
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Intuition Robotics raises another $14 million, this time from Toyota Research Institute

Intuition Robotics , maker of the ElliQ robotic elder care assistant , and opened an office in San Francisco. As it looks to grow staff and ramp up testing of the product, the company has raised another $14 million, this time from Toyota Research Institute (TRI). ElliQ, which the company likes to call an “active aging companion,” is made up of an interactive robot attached to a tablet, and is designed to help older adults age in place. The ...
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Trump discussed forming “impenetrable” cyber security unit with Russia

In a series of tweets on Sunday, U.S. President Trump recapped his lengthy meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday. Apparently, the two world leaders discussed collaborating on cybersecurity together. Putin & I discussed forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking, & many other negative things, will be guarded.. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2017 The tweet is a bit curious, con...
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Inside Station F, the startup megacampus that just opened in Paris

Station F is the world’s biggest startup campus. Thousands of entrepreneurs are currently moving into the new building here in Paris. But if you’re still wondering what it actually looks like, we visited Station F and interviewed the two persons behind it — Roxanne Varza and Xavier Niel. Station F is a massive building that has been completely renovated and now features thousands of desks, dozens of conference rooms, VC firms, a stage and m...
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How Carnegie Mellon’s snake robot became the multi-legged snake monster

The snake has long been one of the most compelling demos out of Carnegie Mellon’s robotics lab. Inspired by the biblical reptile of the same name, its long, skinny build makes it perfect for squeezing into tight spaces, guided by the camera embedded in its head. It can wind around rubble and coil around and climb poles for a better view — all in all,  a  pretty impressive piece of engineering. The robot has been deployed in a wide range of ...
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Profiting socially on nickels and dimes

Patrick Wallen Contributor Patrick Wallen is a licensed attorney, a Fellow with Rubicon Venture Capital and a startup and VC professional. More posts by this contributor: As the #DeleteUber count increases, Lyft has cleverly seized the opportunity to distinguish itself as a beacon of goodwill. In its most recent attempts to gain public favor, Lyft will soon be taking a stand by pledging fixed commitments to charities when you take a seat as...
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Emmanuel Macron and how political campaigns will never be the same

Emmanuel Macron has been elected as the president of France. While you’ll be able to read plenty of profiles about him over the next few days, I wanted to use this opportunity to look back at the campaign and how technology has profoundly changed politics. Every major campaign brings its set of changes. Barack Obama used big data and micro-targeting in his 2008 campaign. Then social networks became a great way to address messages to v...
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With revenue of $29.8 billion, Verizon’s first quarter earnings fall short of analyst expectations

Verizon just released its first quarter earnings results , with adjusted earnings per share of 95 cents on revenue of $29.8 billion. Revenue (minus divestitures and acquisitions) is down 4.5 percent from the first quarter of 2016. The numbers also fall short of what analysts had been predicting : EPS of 96 cents per share on revenue of $30.5 billion. Verizon says there was a net decline of 307,000 wireless postpaid connections in the past q...
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Crunch Report | Facebook Launches Camera Effects Platform

You are about to activate our Facebook Messenger news bot. Once subscribed, the bot will send you a digest of trending stories once a day. You can also customize the types of stories it sends you. Click on the button below to subscribe and wait for a new Facebook message from the TC Messenger news bot. Thanks, TC Team Original link
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Alibaba’s Ant Financial may have won the bidding war for MoneyGram after upping its offer to $1.2B

Ant Financial , the Alibaba affiliate company focused on financial services, appears to have finally won its battle with Euronet to acquire MoneyGram , the U.S.-based cross-border payments service, after it increased its bid to $1.2 billion. The firm initially bid $880 million for MoneyGram back in January, but now it has increased its offer from $13.25 per share for NASDAQ-listed MoneyGram to $18.00 following a counter bid from Euronet lod...
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A new on-demand battle is speeding toward the US, and VCs are seeing dollar signs

While Uber’s woes take center stage in the U.S., a different on-demand battle that’s been playing out in China is coming to the states. The battle isn’t over car sharing. It’s not over bus sharing, either, though that, too, is a growing focus for investors and automotive companies that are desperate to understand how cities and transportation are changing. This clash is over the latest wrinkle in urban bike-sharing – dockless bike sharing. ...
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TechCrunch is hosting our first event in Shenzhen this June!

Four years after we made our TechCrunch China events a twice-annual affair in Beijing and Shanghai, we are very proud to announce that we will host the event in Shenzhen, known as ‘The Silicon Valley For Hardware,’ for the very first time this coming June!! This is hugely exciting for us and our China partner Technode . We’ve done one-day events in the city in the past, but this marks the first time that we’ve brought one of our largest sho...
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In Portland, Uber launches initiative to add electric vehicles to its fleet

With a new electric vehicle initiative, Uber is finally speaking Portland’s language. The company shares a rocky history  with the famously green city , but that won’t stop Portland from becoming the first U.S. market where Uber will push a set benchmarks for electrifying its fleet. For the Portland version of  Uber Electric , a program that the company  rolled out to London  last year, the ride-hailing company will team up with  Drive Oreg...
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Yext is set to raise $115.5M in its IPO after final pricing

Yext today said it would price its initial public offering at $11 , meaning the company will raise around $115.5 million in its IPO as it sets up for a debut tomorrow. Yext will be the second enterprise company in the past week alone that will make its public debut tomorrow following this pricing. With Snap’s IPO seen as successful, as well as tech IPOs in general looking good so far, it seems like Yext may be able to capitalize on the appe...
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Nintendo reveals Joy-Con battery grips and new color, standalone Switch dock

Nintendo will offer a special battery grip accessory for its Joy-Con controller accessory, which will be offered in sets of two and add more life to the already considerable 20-hour runtime of the Joy-Cons using their built-in power. Nintendo is also going to add a new color option for Joy-Cons, a Neon Yellow that will make sure everyone knows you’re using a Switch and can’t possibly look away from watching you do it. The new Neon Yellow Jo...
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BlackBerry’s stock had a great day after the company won a big dispute with Qualcomm

Earlier today, BlackBerry’s stock hit its highest point more than a year, and all it took was a lousy $814.9 million arbitration win . It’s a healthy bounce back for the embattled company, which has spent the last year working to make a major shift from all-in phone maker to software and services company. But while shareholders are likely pleased, BlackBerry no doubt would have rather its stock hit its highest level in 15 months due to, say...
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