TechCrunch

2019-04-23 02:10    2019-04-23 02:55

Smartcar accuses $50M-funded rival Otonomo of API plagiarism

Ruthless copying is common in tech. Just ask Snapchat. However, it’s typically more conceptual than literal. But car API startup Smartcar claims that its competitor Otonomo copy-and-pasted Smartcar’s API documentation,

India’s ZestMoney raises $20M to grow its digital lending service

Fintech is very much still hot in Asia. ZestMoney, a startup that helps consumers with no credit history get loans to buy online, announced today it has raised a $20 million Series B. The round is led by Quona Capital,

Vine reboot Byte begins beta testing

Twitter shut down Dom Hoffman’s app Vine, giving away the short-form video goldmine to China’s TikTok. Now a year and half since Hoffman announced he’d reimagine the app as V2 then scrapped that name, his follow-up to Vine called Byte has finally sent out the first 100 invites to its closed beta.

Tesla plans to launch a robotaxi network in 2020

Tesla expects to launch the first robotaxis as part of broader vision for an autonomous ride-sharing network in 2020, CEO Elon Musk said during the company’s Autonomy Day.

Tesla vaunts creation of ‘the best chip in the world’ for self-driving

At its "Autonomy Day" today, Tesla detailed the new custom chip that will be running the self-driving software in its vehicles. Elon Musk rather peremptorily called it "the best chip in the world...objectively." That might be a stretch, but it certainly should get the job done.

China’s fast-growing Starbucks competitor Luckin Coffee just filed to go public on the Nasdaq

China’s Luckin Coffee has registered plans with the SEC to go public on the Nasdaq, setting a placeholder amount of $100 million, shows its filing.

Tesla’s full self-driving computer is now in all new cars and a next-gen chip is already ‘halfway do

The Tesla computer, a new custom chip designed to enable full self-driving capabilities, is now in all new Model 3, X and S vehicles, CEO Elon Musk said during the company’s Autonomy Day.

“Anyone relying on LIDAR is doomed,” Elon Musk says

Today at Tesla’s first Autonomy Day event, Elon Musk took questions from the press but didn’t have time for questions about Lidar. Historically, he’s been vocal about the technology, and this time he put it as clear as he could.  “LIDAR is a fool’s errand,” Elon Musk said.

Streaming TV service Philo gets a little more expensive

As the internet TV services have matured, their pricing has as well. The majority have raised their price points — some have even done so multiple times. Today, Philo is following suit…but only by a little. The streaming TV service has been one of the cheapest on the market,

The new new web

Over the last five years, almost everything about web development has changed. Oh, the old tech still works, your WordPress and Ruby On Rails sites still function just fine — but they’re increasingly being supplanted by radical new approaches. The contents of your browser are being sliced, diced,

Security lapse at contract startup Evisort exposed sensitive data

Evisort, a document and contract management company, left one of its document databases unsecured, exposing customer data. The startup, founded by former Harvard and MIT students in 2016, bills itself as an artificial intelligence contract management company,

Talk media and TED2019 key takeaways with TechCrunch’s Anthony Ha

Anthony just returned from Vancouver, where he was covering the TED2019 conference — a much-parodied gathering where VCs, executives and other bigwigs gather to exchange ideas. This year, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey got the biggest headlines,

Why it’s so hard to know who owns Huawei

It’s one of the greatest technology “startup” success stories of the personal computer and smartphone eras. Yet, despite selling 59 million smartphones and netting $27 billion in revenue last quarter in its first-ever public earnings report this morning,

Blueland launches with a suite of eco-friendly cleaning supplies designed to reduce plastic waste

Sarah Paiji had the idea to launch the eco-friendly refillable cleaning supply retailer Blueland after hearing about the abundance of microplastics in the water she was using to dilute her child’s baby formula. Paiji wanted to cut back on her plastic consumption,

Daily Crunch: Samsung delays the Galaxy Fold

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.

Samsung confirms Galaxy Fold delay, shares ‘initial findings’ on faulty units

Samsung has just confirmed that it will delay the release of the Galaxy Fold. Confirming this morning’s report, the company sent TechCrunch a statement noting that the foldable will not make its previously announced Friday ship date. Once again,

JCPenney explains why it dropped Apple Pay

JCPenney quietly ditched Apple Pay this month. The decision was announced in response to a customer complaint on Twitter, but without any context or further explanation at the time. JCPenney had first rolled out Apple Pay into testing in 2015, then expanded to all its U.S.

Facebook makes its first browser API contribution

Facebook today announced that it has made its first major API contribution to Google’s Chrome browser. Together with Google, Facebook’s team created an API proposal to contribute code to the browser, which is a first for the company. The code,

Down To Shop is a tongue-in-cheek mobile shopping network

Cyrus Summerlin and Max Hellerstein, who previously created the Push for Pizza app (which allowed users to order a pizza with the push of a button), are officially launching their new startup today, Down to Shop. The app bills itself as both a modern reinvention of QVC and “the funnest way to shop.

Tesla Autonomy day is here. Here’s how to watch

It’s a big week for Tesla and it’s kicking off April 22 with “Autonomy Investor Day.” What is Autonomy Investor Day, you ask? The details are vague, but it’s supposed to be a demonstration that explains and showcases Tesla’s autonomous driving technology.

Beyond Meat prices its public offering

Beyond Meat, the meat replacement company whose packages of Beyond Burgers line grocery store aisles across America, has priced its initial public offering. The company is looking to raise roughly $200 million in the stock sale for its portfolio of burger, chicken and sausage replacements,

Audioburst raises $10M to build A.I.-powered infotainment systems for cars, ad solutions

Audioburst, a startup that uses A.I. technology to extract the best bits from podcasts and talk radio to create new listening experiences, has raised an additional $10 million in strategic funding from Dentsu and Hyundai Motor Company.

Samsung reportedly pushes back Galaxy Fold release

Can’t say we didn’t see this coming. Four days out from the Galaxy Fold’s official release date, Samsung is pushing things back a bit, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal that cites “people familiar with the matter.” There’s no firm timeframe for the launch,

SiriusXM’s new streaming-only ‘Essential’ plan targets smart speaker owners

Last week, Amazon and Google rolled out free music streaming services to cater to the growing base of smart speaker owners. Now, SiriusXM is going after this market, too. The company has launched a new plan called SiriusXM Essential which targets those who listen in-home and on mobile devices,

A hotspot finder app exposed 2 million Wi-Fi network passwords

A popular hotspot finder app for Android exposed the Wi-Fi network passwords for more than two million networks. The app, downloaded by thousands of users, allowed anyone to search for Wi-Fi networks in their nearby area.

Corporations and private investors are backing new “green” deals as climate worries mount

In the nine years since private equity and venture capital investments into sustainable technologies last crossed the $6 billion threshold, the problems caused by global carbon emissions have only intensified. Now,

Tencent’s latest investment is an app that teaches grannies in China to dance

Besides churning out video games for China’s young generations, Tencent has also been attuned to the need of silver-haired users: its latest bet is an app that teaches middle-age and elderly users, most of whom are female, how to dance. Called Tangdou, or “sugar beans” in Chinese,

Go-Jek brings in Misfit co-founder and ex-Facebook head to lead Vietnam business

Ambitious ride-hailing startup Go-Jek’s Southeast Asia expansion plan suffered a blow when it lost the leadership team behind its business in Vietnam, but now it has replaced them with the former head of Facebook in the country. Christy Trang Le,

Confirmed: Pax Labs raises $420 million at a valuation of $1.7 billion

Pax Labs, the popular vape maker, has today confirmed the close of a $420 million equity round, including from existing investors Tiger Global Management and Tao Capital Partners, and new investors including Prescott General Partners.

Huawei says it shipped 59M smartphones in Q1 as revenue jumped 39% to $27B

Fresh from an $8.8 billion profit last year, much-maligned Chinese tech giant Huawei is touting yet more growth. The firm said today that revenue in the first quarter of 2019 grew 39 percent year-on-year to reach $26.78 billion, or 179.7 billion CNY.

Sony launches a taxi-hailing app to rival Uber in Tokyo

Sony last year announced it would enter Japan’s taxi-hailing space and, good to its word, the electronics giant has kicked off its S.Ride service in Tokyo. The service — which was first noted by CNET — is a joint venture between Sony,

Resurgent HappyFresh raises $20M for its online grocery service in Southeast Asia

It’s been a tricky past few years for HappyFresh, the startup seeking to bring Instacart-like grocery deliveries to Southeast Asia. It’s been through a series of rebuilding measures, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel after it announced a $20 million Series C. Launched in 2015,

China’s new gaming rules to ban poker, blood and imperial schemes

Lots of news has surfaced from China’s gaming industry in recent weeks as the government hastens to approve a massive backlog of titles in the world’s largest market for video games. Last Friday, the country’s State Administration of Press and Publication,

What you missed in cybersecurity this week

It’s been a busy week — it’s tough to keep up with all the cybersecurity news. We’ve collected some of the biggest cybersecurity stories from the week — from TechCrunch and afar — to keep you up to date with the latest hacks, privacy breaches and security stories you need to know.

Notes from the Samsung Galaxy Fold: day six

I’m starting to get that thing where my iPhone XS screen feels super tiny when I switch back from the Fold to send a text message from my number. Someone recently asked me if I’m going to have trouble giving the device back to Samsung in a few days, and while the answer is a […]

Sri Lanka blocks social media sites after deadly explosions

The government of Sri Lanka has temporarily blocked access to several social media services following deadly explosions that ripped through the country, killing at least 207 people and injuring hundreds more. Eight bombings were reported, including during Easter services at three churches,

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