There are a number of startups looking to disrupt traditional banking. We’ve covered Chime, Zero and Jiko, just to name a few. Another one of those is Varo Money and they’ve raised $45 million led by private equity giant, Warburg Pincus and The Rise Fund, a global impact fund that’s part of another private equity firm, TPG. (That’s the one U2’s Bono is involved… Read More

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 Tile, one of the best known item-tracking gadgets out there, has laid off some 30 people and reportedly froze the potential hires of another 10, TechCrunch has learned. This comes less than a year after the company raised a $25 million B round last May. The layoffs are reportedly due to disappointing sales over the holidays. Read More

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 Rokid, a Chinese startup that makes an AI voice assistant and smart devices, just raised a Series B extension round led by Temasek Holdings, with participation from Credit Suisse, IDG Capital and CDIB Capital. The size of the round was not released, but a source familiar with the deal told TechCrunch that it is $100 million. Read More

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 Apple has updated the look of its web-based App Store, 9to5Mac first reported. It definitely has the feel of the iOS 11 App Store, which Apple completely redesigned and launched last September. But, unlike iOS 11, there’s no focus on app discovery. The functionality is about the same as before, but what it comes down to is the clean design that feels simpler — perhaps due to the… Read More

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 Diversity is good for business — not just from the ethical standpoint, but from the perspective of a company’s bottom line, according to McKinsey & Company. As a follow-up to its “Why Diversity Matters” study in 2015, McKinsey analyzed more than 1,000 companies across 12 countries, looking at their respective profits and value creation. Read More

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 I’ve heard tell of people predicting the weather through achy joints. CES isn’t all that different. You get a sixth sense about the show once you’ve been to a few. A few weeks before the show starts you get a slight throb in your bones, telling you whether this CES will be a memorable one. All signs ahead of this year’s show pointed to a lackluster offering. Read More

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 Snap Inc. has laid off at least two dozen people across several divisions within the company, according to The Information, which first reported the news. Snap has since confirmed these layoffs, which largely affect those on the content teams in the New York and London offices. Read More

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 Peer-to-peer car-sharing platform Turo is expanding to Germany officially, starting today, after acquiring Daimler’s Croove in-house product for providing essentially the same service. Turo also received a significant strategic investment from Daimler at the same time, as it acquired the automaker’s car-sharing experiment, and it now operates peer-to-peer rental services in the U.S. Read More

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 Virtual tourism is a little heavy in 2018. Sure, you’ve seen the Minecraft Eiffel Tower and beamed aboard the Minecraft USS Enterprise, but have you considered where you might wait out the end of days? Well, not you exactly, but people more important than you. Read More

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 Facebook Stories might feel redundant because 300 million people use its other Snapchat clones on Instagram and WhatsApp. But Facebook is convinced that the narrative, ephemeral, camera-first format is the future of sharing… and advertising. So Facebook is doubling down on Stories by testing the ability to create them from desktop, and a much more prominent placement for viewing. Read More

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 The FDA approval process can be like navigating a minefield for health startups hoping to get through regulations and begin selling to the American public. YC company Enzyme.io hopes to help these small businesses by automating the process for them. Biomedical engineer Jared Seehafer came up with the idea through his own experience consulting with health companies. Read More

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 Here’s a surprise: After 22 quarters of consecutive year-over-year revenue declines, IBM today reported that its revenue increased from Q4 2016 to Q4 2017. The company reported revenue of $22.5 billion for the last quarter, up from $21.77 billion a year ago. Read More

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 This year’s CES happened in the shadow of the Spectre and Meltdown disclosures, and virtually every conversation at the show turned to this topic at some point. Because this was CES, we had the ability to talk to quite a few people who are close to this issue, including ARM CEO Simon Segars, who stopped by to talk about security and these recent disclosures and their mitigations. Read More

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 The FCC’s yearly report of broadband deployment keeps some crucial definitions in place that some feared would be changed or eliminated to ease the responsibilities of internet service providers. The threat of a lowered speed standard and the merging of mobile and fixed broadband services will not be carried out, it seems. Read More

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 After debate ended in a close cloture vote on Tuesday, the Senate has voted to pass a bill that will renew for another six years one of the NSA’s most controversial practices. The bill provides for an extension of the U.S. government’s practice of collecting the private communications of American citizens when they are communicating with a foreign target. Read More

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