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TechCrunch has obtained an internal memo published by Facebook’s outgoing head of public policy Elliot Schrage in which he blames himself for hiring PR firm Definers. He admits to having the company push negative narratives about competitors, but says Facebook did not ask or pay Definers to publish fake news. COO Sheryl Sandberg left a
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The Morgan Stanley Multicultural Innovation Lab, Morgan Stanley’s in-house accelerator focused on companies founded by multicultural and female entrepreneurs, hosted its second Annual Showcase and Demo Day. The event also featured companies from accelerators HearstLab, Newark Venture Partner Labs and PS27 Ventures. (Note: I was formerly employed by Morgan Stanley and have no financial ties.) The showcase represented
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Autodesk announced plans to acquire PlanGrid for $875 million today. The San Francisco startup helped move blueprints from paper to the iPad when it launched in 2011. This digitization of construction fits with Autodesk’s vision of digitizing design in general, and CEO Andrew Anagnost certainly recognized the transformational potential of the company he was buying. “There
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Agora, a developer of cloud communication APIs, will create products for new markets and verticals after raising a $70 million Series C led by Coatue Management. Existing investors SIG, Morningside Capital and Shunwei Capital also returned for the round, which brings Agora’s total funding so far to $125 million. The startup’s APIs are used by
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Just days after a CIA report concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, SoftBank’s Vision Fund — the gargantuan investment vehicle anchored by a $45 billion investment from Saudi Arabia’s PIF sovereign fund — is back in check-writing action. Coupang, Korea’s largest e-commerce firm, revealed today that it has
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Feedr, a food tech startup that delivers healthy and personalised meals to office workers as an alternative to companies setting up their own canteens, has picked up just over £1.5 million in pre-Series A funding. The round is led by London early-stage venture capital firm Episode 1. Also participating is Brent Hoberman’s Founders Factory, and
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Xiaomi is diversifying into a new range of phones as the Chinese smartphone maker announced impressive growth with its latest financials. The company announced it will take over selfie app maker Meitu’s smartphone business to go after new demographics, particularly women, while it lodged impressive 49 percent revenue growth in Q3. Xiaomi posted a net profit of 2.481
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Sometimes, it’s hard to imagine a product or industry that a new e-commerce startup hasn’t tried to remake already, from slippers to mattresses, from luggage to lipstick. Yet two childhood friends in New York have seemingly struck on a fresh idea: taking on the stodgy and often expensive world of cookware, where one’s options out of college are usually limited to
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Back in September, Microsoft announced a virtual desktop solution that lets customers run Office 365 and Windows 10 in the cloud. They mentioned several partners in the announcement that were working on solutions with them. One of those was FSLogix, a Georgia virtual desktop startup. Today, Microsoft announced it has acquired FSLogix. It did not
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Instagram is fighting back against automated apps people use to leave spammy comments or follow then unfollow others in hopes of growing their audience. Today Instagram is removing from people’s accounts who use these apps inauthentic follows, Likes and comments that violate its policies; sending them a warning to change their password to cut ties
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Facebook’s founder is facing pressure to accept an invite from eight international parliaments, with lawmakers wanting to question him about negative impacts his social network is having on democratic processes globally. Last week Facebook declined an invitation from five of these parliaments. The elected representatives of Facebook users want Mark Zuckerberg to answer questions in
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Putting a new spin on the term “digital nomad,” U.K. addressing platform what3words has partnered with Airbnb to list stays with Mongolian nomads. The startup’s simplified addressing system is being applied to help adventurous travelers “home share” with Dukha reindeer herders at their mountain camp where there aren’t any street names to anchor a trip.  The partnership is
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Genies is emerging as the top competitor to Snapchat’s wildly popular Bitmoji as Facebook, Apple, and Google have been slow to get serious about personalized avatars. Over one million people have customized dozens of traits to build a realistic digital lookalike of themselves from over a million possible permutations. When Genies launched a year ago
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Lidar technology developer AEye will scale its operations globally through manufacturing partnerships after raising a $40 million Series B. The round was led by Taiwania Capital, the investment firm created and backed by Taiwan’s National Development Council, and included returning investors Kleiner Perkins, Intel Capital, Airbus Ventures, and Tychee Partners. This brings the California-based startup’s
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U.K. car tech startup Lightfoot, which sells a telematics system that gives real-time feedback to drivers combined with a rewards platform to further incentivize good driving, has picked up £3.2 million (~$4M) from London-based early-stage venture fund BGF. Former Dyson CEO Martin McCourt also contributed to the investment, and will join Lightfoot’s board as a non-executive
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European multi-modal travel planning platform, GoEuro, is adding another transport option to its ‘compare and book’ proposition by introducing ferries to the existing mix of trains, planes and buses. The platform is powered by partnerships with more than 800 regional transport operators at this stage. The initial focus for ferries will be on the Mediterranean,
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