TechCrunch

2020-05-15 06:02    2020-05-15 06:47

Amazon Prime Video to globally premiere 7 Indian movies as theaters remain closed

Amazon has secured rights to premiere seven Indian movies that were initially scheduled for a theatrical?release directly on its Prime Video on-demand streaming service in a move that has prompted two major movie theater?chains to express “extreme displeasure” and “disappointment.

TSMC to build a $12 billion advanced semiconductor plant in Arizona with U.S. government support

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.,the world’s largest contract semiconductor foundry, said today that it plans to build an advanced chip foundry in Arizona with support from the state and the United States federal government.

Immunai wants to map the entire immune system and raised $20 million in seed funding to do it

For the past two years the founding team of Immunai had been working stealthily to develop a new technology to map the immune system of any patient. Founded by Noam Solomon, a Harvard and MIT-educated postdoctoral researcher, and former Palantir engineer, Luis Voloch,

The new documentary ‘Spacedrop’ takes viewers inside a simulated space quarantine

“The first Asian Jew in fake space” — that’s how Josh Burstein introduced himself to me when we hopped on the phone earlier this week. The fake space in question is the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS),

Sony shows off first combination image sensor and AI chip

Sony has developed an interesting new hybrid technology: An image sensor with AI processing system built into the hardware, making it a single integrated system. The benefits and applications for this are potentially enormous as imagery and code continue to merge.

Why did Apple buy NextVR?

After plenty of talk about AR as the next computing platform, Apple may have more interest in virtual reality than they’ve previously forecasted. Following an April report from 9to5mac, today Apple confirmed the acquisition of VR broadcasting startup NextVR to Bloomberg.

Forerunner Ventures’ Kirsten Green demystifies the COVID-19 consumer

“In general, the consumer has proven to be more resilient than I would have thought,” said Kirsten Green, founder of Forerunner Ventures, which has investments in breakout D2C stars like Glossier, Hims and Bonobos.

Apple Operations SVP details supply chain safety changes due to COVID-19

Today, Apple released its 2020 Supplier Responsibility progress report. In it, Senior Vice President of Operations Sabih Khan published a letter that details an outline of the plan it created to increase safety and protection efforts in its supply chain worldwide.

Investors cozy up to LA-based Ettitude’s bamboo bedding and sleep wear with $1.6 million

Ettitude, the Los Angeles-based, direct-to-consumer startup making sustainable bedding and sleepwear from bamboo fibers, has raised a sustainably sized round that should keep the company going even in the face of an economic recession. Co-founded by the Melbourne,

Scener now lets you co-watch HBO or Netflix in a ‘virtual theater’ with up to 20 people

Scener, a browser extension that allows users to co-watch Netflix — similar to the newly popular Netflix Party Chrome add-on — is expanding to support HBO NOW and HBO GO. The additions come alongside a full relaunch of Scener,

USPS reportedly reassessing last-mile delivery deals with companies like Amazon

In a time when package deliveries are more essential than ever, the future of the United States Postal Service is very much in limbo. The president of the United States has waged a one-man war on America’s most-liked government agency,

Cruise lays off 8% of workforce amid COVID-19, puts resources towards engineering

Cruise, the self-driving car subsidiary of GM that also has backing from SoftBank Vision Fund, automaker Honda and T. Rowe Price & Associates, is laying off nearly 8% of its more than 1,800-member workforce today as it tries to reduce costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tesla said to be readying new long-lasting, low-cost batteries to put EVs at price parity with gas c

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been touting forthcoming battery technology improvements, going so far as to dub a forthcoming company talk “battery day” in prior public comments.

Forget sourdough, these sisters are launching a starter to create authentic Asian food

For immigrants in the United States, representation can feel complex, celebrated and oftentimes a mix of the two. And that’s exactly why sister duo Vanessa and Kim Pham launched Omsom, a seed-stage food startup that sells packaged “starters” to recreate authentic Asian dishes at home.

Here’s what SpaceX and NASA’s crucial Crew Dragon mission should look like on May 27

SpaceX and NASA are planning a triumphant return to American human spaceflight on May 27, with the SpaceX Demo-2 mission for its Crew Dragon spacecraft. This is the final step required for Crew Dragon to become certified for human flight,

Facebook’s social Zoom competitor Messenger Rooms goes live globally

Zoom was never meant to be a social network, but the enterprise video chat app has become essential software for those looking to stay in touch with friends and family during the pandemic. Today,

DigitalOcean raises $50M more from Access Industries and a16z

Earlier today, DigitalOcean announced that it raised $50 million more from prior investors Access Industries and Andreessen Horowitz. The capital comes after the SMB and developer-focused cloud infrastructure company raised nine-figures worth of debt back in February.

Trump adds another year to Huawei/ZTE ban

Donald Trump this week signed an extension of last year’s national emergency declaration aimed at barring commercial trade with certain foreign telecom companies. The extension comes nearly a year to the day after the first order, this time extending things through May of 2021.

Ameelio wants to take on for-profit prison calling rackets after starting with free letters to inmat

Among the many problems with the prison system are enormous fees for things like video calls, which a handful of companies provide at grossly inflated rates. Ameelio hopes to step in and provide free communication options to inmates; Its first product, sending paper letters,

Mozilla goes full incubator with ‘Fix The Internet’ startup lab and early stage investments

After testing the waters this spring with its incubator-esque MVP Lab, Mozilla is doubling down on the effort with a formal program dangling $75,000 investments in front of early stage companies.

France passes law forcing online platforms to delete hate speech content within 24 hours

France’s lower chamber of the parliament has voted in favor of a controversial law against hate speech on social networks and online platforms. As I described last year, online platforms will have to remove illicit content that has been flagged within 24 hours. Otherwise,

Parenting benefits company Cleo partners with UrbanSitter to address the U.S. childcare crisis

Parenting benefits company Cleo is partnering with on-demand childcare service UrbanSitter to address a problem facing many parents today amid the pandemic: a lack of childcare, even as they’re required to return to work. With summer camps, daycares and schools shut down for months ahead,

Microsoft is acquiring Metaswitch Networks to expand its Azure 5G strategy

Just weeks after announcing a deal to acquire 5G specialist Affirmed Networks, Microsoft is making another acquisition to strengthen its cloud-based telecoms offering. It’s acquiring Metaswitch Networks,

Extra Crunch Live: Join Revolution’s Steve Case and Clara Sieg on May 21 at 3pm ET/12pm PT

On May 21 at 3pm ET/12pm PT, we’re hosting an Extra Crunch Live session with Steve Case and Clara Sieg of Revolution. This chat is the latest in our growing series featuring notable investors, entrepreneurs and technologists. Previously, TechCrunch editorial staff sat down (virtually,

Daily Crunch: Uber will require masks for drivers and passengers

Uber announces some COVID-19 related changes, Google’s Chrome browser is giving users a way to organize their tabs and the Senate rejects an amendment that would have raised the bar for law enforcement access to browsing data. Here’s your Daily Crunch for May 14, 2020. 1.

Give the gift of Extra Crunch membership

Starting today, TechCrunch readers can send an Extra Crunch annual membership as a gift to a friend, family member or co-worker. For a limited time we’re offering the gift at a discounted rate of $99/year (plus tax). The gifting feature can be found here.

WeWork and SoftBank unveil the first 14 startups in their Emerge accelerator for underrepresented fo

SoftBank Investment Fund and WeWork Labs say they’ve officially kicked off the first session of Emerge, an accelerator program designed for underrepresented founders. In their press release,

Twitch announces a new Safety Advisory Council to guide its decision-making

Amazon-owned game streaming site Twitch announced today the formation of a new group that will guide decision-making around new policies and products, the Twitch Safety Advisory Council. The eight-person council consists of both online experts and Twitch creators,

Curri rolls out nationwide delivery service for construction materials industry

A little over a year after its graduation from Y Combinator’s demo day, the on-demand construction materials delivery service?Curri is beginning to offer its services in all 50 states.

Venafi acquires Jetstack, the startup behind the cert-manager Kubernetes certificate controller

It seems that we are in the middle of a mini acquisition spree for Kubernetes startups, specifically those that can help with Kubernetes security. In the latest development,?Venafi, a vendor of certificate and key management for machine-to-machine connections, is acquiring Jetstack,

Cathay Innovation raises $550M for its second global VC fund

With the global economy still sorting itself out in the face of the pandemic, we’re hearing about fewer new venture capital funds these days. However, today is an exception, as Cathay Innovation has raised a $550 million second fund, which is about double the size of its first fund and,

How to protect your equity if you’ve been furloughed or laid off

Those who have a good understanding of equity may be positioned for a big payday down the line.

Unemployed Americans can get a free year of Headspace

Back in March, Headspace announced that it would offer free content to all COVID-19 frontline responders. Now the meditation app is expanding the offer to include all unemployed people in the U.S. You can go here to sign up, by entering information on your most recent job,

These best practices maximize the value of your online events

In the age of digitization, we are lucky enough to be able to reach our audiences and co-workers despite worldwide lockdowns, but people are selective about how they spend their time.

Are stable SaaS valuations driven by logic, or hope?

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between.

COVID-19 shows we need Universal Basic Internet now

Just as the electrification of America brought the nation out of the Great Depression, the Wi-Fi-cation of the nation can ease us out of the COVID-19 collapse.

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