Daily Crunch: Twitter acquires Fabula AI

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here.

1. Twitter bags deep learning talent behind London startup, Fabula AI

Fabula AI has been developing technology to identify online disinformation by looking at patterns in how fake stuff versus genuine news spreads online — making it an obvious fit for the rumor-riled social network.

Twitter says the acquisition of Fabula AI will help it build out its internal machine learning capabilities, writing that the startup’s “world-class team of machine learning researchers” will become part of an internal research group led by Sandeep Pandey.

2. Review: Ring’s new outdoor lighting products are brilliant

Twenty minutes after opening the box and throwing the instructions aside, Matt Burns says he had five new lights installed around his house and configured to his home’s network.

3. Live from WWDC 2019

The keynote starts at 10am Pacific today.

4. Amazon sellers to hit UK high streets in year-long pop-up pilot

The Amazon pop-up pilot program — which is couched as an exploration of “a new model to help up-and-coming online brands grow their high street presence” — will see more than 100 small online businesses selling on the UK high street for the first time.

5. A look at the many ways China suppresses online discourse about the Tiananmen Square protests

The effects of the crackdown appears to have spread beyond China, with the suspension of many Chinese-language Twitter accounts critical of China, even if they originated outside the country. (For what it’s worth, Twitter said this was part of a “routine action.”)

6. ‘Weirdo’ fintech VC Anthemis marches to its own drummer

Apparently, visiting the Anthemis office is like stepping into a Wes Anderson film. (Extra Crunch membership required.)

7. This week’s TechCrunch podcasts

The latest episode of Equity features a discussion of whether the tech press is too positive in its coverage of startups, while the Original Content team reviews the (excellent) animated Netflix series “Tuca & Bertie.”

Daily Crunch: Leap Motion waves goodbye

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here.

1. Once poised to kill the mouse and keyboard, Leap Motion plays its final hand

Leap Motion raised nearly $94 million for its mind-bending demos of hand-tracking technology, but the company was ultimately unable to find a sizable customer base. Even as it pivoted into the niche VR industry, the startup remained a problem in search of a solution.

Now the nine-year-old company is being absorbed into the younger, enterprise-focused UltraHaptics.

2. Foursquare buys Placed from Snap Inc. on the heels of $150M in new funding

Foursquare just made its very first acquisition, with Placed founder and CEO David Shim becoming president of the location data company.

3. What to expect from Apple’s WWDC 2019

The leaks of new iOS features have already started, and the big news so far is system-wide Dark Mode, following in the footsteps of MacOS.


4. ‘Lion King’ director Jon Favreau explains why he’s remaking an animated classic

After sitting on it for 18 months, I can finally share an interview with the director of the new “Lion King” about how he used game engines and VR to visualize his film.

5. Uber Eats, micromobility services are growing faster than Uber’s core ride-hailing business

In Uber’s Q1 2019 earnings, the company reported gross bookings growth of 230% for its other bets, while ridesharing grew just 22% year-over-year.

6. If you use women as decorative objects, then I will assume your tech is from the 1950s, too

Just a reminder that “booth babes” are a toxic and outdated marketing gimmick.

7. The Slack origin story

Find out how a whimsical online game became an enterprise software giant. (Extra Crunch membership required.)

Daily Crunch: China considers Bitcoin mining ban

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here.

1. Regulators in China are weighing a ban on Bitcoin mining

Cryptocurrency mining has become the latest target for the Chinese government seeking to phase out industries considered to be a drag on the country’s economy.

The National Development and Reform Commission, the top economic planning agency in the world’s largest market for bitcoin mining, released a list of sectors it plans to promote, restrict or eliminate. Crypto mining, the process of creating Bitcoin and other digital currencies through the use of computing power, was namechecked.

2. To cut down on spam, Twitter cuts the number of accounts you can follow per day

The idea with the new limit is that it helps prevent spammers from rapidly growing their networks by following then unfollowing Twitter accounts in a “bulk, aggressive or indiscriminate manner” — something that’s a violation of the Twitter Rules.

3. Apple could release a 31.6-inch 6K external display this year

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has released a new report about future Apple products.

(From left to right) David Liu, Chief Product Officer; Bernie Xiong, Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder; Anita Ngai, Chief Revenue Officer; Eric Gnock Fah, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder; Ethan Lin, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder (PRNewsfoto/Klook)

4. Travel activities platform Klook raises $225M led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund

Klook was founded in 2014 and it serves as an activities platform for users who travel overseas. That covers areas like visits to adventure parks, scuba diving, more localized tours or basics — all of which can be found and paid for using Klook’s platform.

5. UK sets out safety-focused plan to regulate internet firms

The government is now proposing a mandatory duty for platforms to take reasonable steps to protect their users from a range of harms — including but not limited to illegal material such as terrorist and child sexual exploitation and abuse.

6. Don’t worry, RED’s $1,595 titanium Hydrogen One is finally shipping

Fear not, the Titanium version of RED’s wholly ridiculous Hydrogen One is finally here. And yes, it costs as much as you remember.

7. Dote raises $12M and introduces live-streamed Shopping Parties

Shopping Party allows influencers to share live video while browsing different products on Dote and chatting with fans.

Daily Crunch: Pinterest sets IPO range

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here.

1. Pinterest sets IPO range at $15-17, valuing it at $10.6B vs previous valuation of $12.3B

Social media platform Pinterest filed an updated S-1, where it set the price range at $15-17 per share, which would value the company between $10 billion and $11.3 billion.

That’s a tough (or, you might argue, conservative) picture, valuing the company at around $2 billion less than its valuation as a private startup when it last raised funding in 2017.

2. To stop copycats, Snapchat shares itself

Evan Spiegel has finally found a way to fight back against Mark Zuckerberg’s army of clones. His plan is to let other apps embed the best parts of Snapchat, rather than building their own half-rate copies.

3. Grab plans to raise $2B more this year to fund an acquisition spree in Southeast Asia

Fresh from closing a near-$1.5 billion raise from SoftBank’s Vision Fund as part of a huge, multi-billion Series H deal, Grab said today that it plans to extend the round to $6.5 billion to amp up its battle with Go-Jek.


Photo: KTSDESIGN/Getty Images

4. Sinemia faces consumer pushback and a class action suit over a battery of complaints

Earlier this week, we spoke to CEO Rifat Oguz about the service’s ongoing issues. He told us, “As CEO, I can say, we’re still learning.”

5. Gizmodo Media Group acquired by private equity firm Great Hill Partners

Gizmodo Media Group started as part of Gawker Media, and was acquired by Univision following Gawker’s legal defeat (in a lawsuit brought by Terry Bollea) and subsequent bankruptcy.

6. Klaviyo raises $150M Series B after building company the old-fashioned way

Co-founder Andrew Bialecki wrote in a blog post that the founders decided to bootstrap for the first several years because they felt it was the right way to build a business — that, and they had no idea how to raise money.

7. This week’s TechCrunch podcasts

The Equity team has thoughts on Lyft’s plummeting stock price, while Original Content reviews the Theranos documentary, “The Inventor.”



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