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IBM acquires Databand to bolster its data observability stack

by Kyle Wiggers / about 2 hours

IBM today announced that it acquired Databand, a startup developing an observability platform for data and machine learning pipelines. Details of the deal weren’t disclosed, but Tel Aviv-based Databand had raised $14.5 million prior to the acquisition. Databand employees will join IBM’s data and AI division, with the purchase expected to close on June 27. […]

Finli puts service-based business payment management in the palm of your hand

by Christine Hall / about 3 hours

Finli’s platform was developed so owners could send invoices, look up customer information and check on payment status in between gigs.

TikTok is testing the ability to restrict livestreams to viewers who are 18+

by Aisha Malik / about 17 hours

TikTok is testing a new setting that lets users restrict their livestreams to viewers who are 18 years of age and above. The company confirmed to TechCrunch that the new setting is currently in limited testing with select users. Screenshots of the new setting shared by product intelligence firm Watchful.ai show that users who have […]

Voyantis emerges from stealth to predict customer lifetime value

by Kyle Wiggers / about 20 hours

Voyantis, a startup developing tools to estimate a customer’s lifetime value, today emerged from stealth with $19 million in seed funding from Target Global, Square Peg, Schusterman Family Investments, Kaedan Capital and Operator Partners. CEO Ido Wiesenberg tells TechCrunch that the funds will be used to expand Voyantis’ product offering and support more use cases […]

TikTok reportedly drops plans to expand its live ecommerce ‘Shop’ venture to the US

by Aisha Malik / about 22 hours

TikTok has reportedly dropped plans to expand its live ecommerce “TikTok Shop” initiative to the United States and additional parts of Europe, according to the Financial Times. The company launched TikTok Shop in the UK last year, its first market outside Asia, allowing companies and influencers to sell products through QVC-style live streams. However, the […]

Google halts KakaoTalk updates on Play Store in Korea after messaging app refused to remove its own payment links 

by Kate Park / about 23 hours

Google has stopped providing updates to popular messaging app KakaoTalk in South Korea, according to a local report, after Kakao continued using an external payment link in its Android app, against Google’s new in-app payments policy. Google’s new policy requires developers selling digital goods and services to use Google’s first-party billing system, but Kakao has […]

Tesorio’s tools aim to help businesses automate payments collection

by Kyle Wiggers / 1 day

Although finance teams ultimately control budgets within their companies, investment in technology under the chief financial officer’s purview had been limited — at least until recently. That’s the assertion of Tesorio CEO Carlos Vega, who observed that, prior to the pandemic, most cash management processes had been run in spreadsheets and Word documents. “Cash is […]

Google-backed Glance to launch in US within two months

by Manish Singh / 1 day

Glance, a subsidiary of adtech giant InMobi Group, is planning to launch its lock screen platform on Android smartphones in the U.S. within two months, a source familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. The startup is engaging with wireless carriers in the U.S. for partnerships and is gearing up to launch on several smartphone models […]

Onomondo secures cash to expand its wireless network for IoT devices

by Kyle Wiggers / 1 day

Onomondo, a startup offering a dedicated wireless network for internet of things (IoT) devices, today announced that it raised $21 million in a funding round led by Verdane with participation from Maersk Growth, People Ventures, and The Danish Growth Fund. In an email, CEO Michael Karlsen told TechCrunch that the new cash will be put […]

TikTok says ‘Project Texas’ will bolster security for U.S. users in wake of China data access concerns

by Ivan Mehta / 2 days

Over the weekend, TikTok wrote to Republican Senators to assure them that it’s working on a program called “Project Texas” to bolster data security for U.S.-based users. This was in response to the Senators’ letter to the company dated June 27 that questioned its data access policy after BuzzFeed News reported some China-based employees had […]

This Week in Apps: Period tracking app privacy, Snapchat’s paid subscription, calls for TikTok ban

by Sarah Perez / 4 days

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the weekly TechCrunch series that recaps the latest in mobile OS news, mobile applications and the overall app economy. The app industry continues to grow, with a record number of downloads and consumer spending across both the iOS and Google Play stores combined in 2021, according to the […]

Samsung’s cloud gaming hub brings Xbox, Twitch and more to newest smart TVs

by Lauren Forristal / 5 days

Samsung announced yesterday that it is bridging its hardware and software for a better gaming experience, bringing the Samsung Gaming Hub to its 2022 lineup of smart TVs and monitors. Game streaming content on the hub includes Xbox, NVIDIA GeForce Now, Google Stadia and Utomik, along with apps YouTube and Spotify. Twitch has also been […]

Reddit acquires natural language processing company MeaningCloud

by Aisha Malik / 5 days

Reddit announced Friday that it’s acquiring MeaningCloud, a natural language processing company, for an undisclosed amount. The MeaningCloud team has joined Reddit and will support machine learning projects across its product, safety and ads teams. The acquisition marks Reddit’s first office in Spain. MeaningCloud was founded in 2015 and specializes in extracting meaning from unstructured […]

Spotify is testing in-app podcast creation tools

by Ivan Mehta / 5 days

Spotify is testing new tools that will allow you to record, edit, and publish podcasts directly from the company’s main app. The company introduced this feature in New Zealand last month. This will remove the need of having a separate app — like Spotify-owned Anchor — to record and publish a quick take for podcasts. […]

Short video app Triller confidentially files to go public

by Aisha Malik / 5 days

TikTok rival Triller has confidentially submitted paperwork for an initial public offering of its class A common stock with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The announcement comes as the company ended its $5 billion merger with video-tech company SeaChange International two weeks ago. Similar to TikTok, Triller allows users to create and share short-form […]

Open source developers urged to ditch GitHub following Copilot launch

by Paul Sawers / 5 days

Software Freedom Conservancy, a not-for-profit organization that provides support and legal services for open source software projects, has called on the open source community to ditch GitHub after quitting the code-hosting and collaboration platform itself. The move comes a week after Microsoft-owned GitHub launched the commercial version of Copilot, an AI-powered pair-programmer that collaborates with […]

Google will reimburse developers $90 million to settle a lawsuit over Play Store earnings

by Ivan Mehta / 5 days

Google said Thursday it will pay $90 million to settle a lawsuit with US developers that accused Google of abusing its power of app distribution and charging an unfair fee of 30% for app purchases and in-app purchases made through the Play Store. The company noted that US developers who made less than $2 million each […]

Instagram test ditches video posts in favor of Reels

by Aisha Malik / 6 days

Instagram is testing a change that turns video posts into Reels, the company confirmed to TechCrunch. The company says the change, which is currently being tested with select users around the world, is part of Instagram’s plan to simplify video on the app. “We’re testing this feature as part of our efforts to simplify and […]

Facebook begins testing NFTs with select creators in the US

by Ivan Mehta / 6 days

After debuting NFT support on Instagram in May, Meta has launched digital collectibles support on Facebook with select creators. A spokesperson for Meta told TechCrunch that the company has started a slow rollout that allows a select group of creators in the United States to post digital collectibles on Facebook. With this feature, these creators […]

TikTok tests a dedicated Shop feed that highlights products you can buy now

by Aisha Malik / 6 days

TikTok is testing a dedicated “Shop” feed tab that lets users browse and purchase products from a number of different categories, such as clothing and electronics. The company confirmed to TechCrunch that the feed tab is currently being tested in Indonesia. The Shop tab serves as a hub for products being sold in TikTok Shop, […]

Instagram rolls out an account deletion option on iOS to comply with Apple’s new policy

by Ivan Mehta / 6 days

You can now delete your Instagram directly from the mobile app. The Meta-owned social media app has now rolled out a new option that lets you opt to delete or deactivate your Instagram account on iOS in order to comply with Apple’s updated App Store Review Guidelines that now mandate all apps that offer account […]

Snowplow secures fresh cash to capture and create behavioral data

by Kyle Wiggers / 6 days

Snowplow, a platform designed to create data for AI and business intelligence applications, today announced that it raised $40 million in a Series B funding round led by NEA, Snowplow investors, Atlantic Bridge and MMC. Co-founder and CEO Alex Dean said that the new cash will enable Snowplow to grow its team, establish a second […]

TaskHuman lands $20M to expand its virtual coaching platform

by Kyle Wiggers / 6 days

TaskHuman, a professional development platform focused on coaching, today announced that it raised $20 million in Series B funding led by Madrona with participation from Impact Venture Capital, RingCentral Ventures, Sure Ventures, USVP, Gaingels, PeopleTech Angels, Propel(x) and Zoom Ventures. The latest infusion brings the company’s total raised to $35 million, which CEO Ravi Swaminathan […]

Marketing automation startup Rocket Reach nabs $24M for expansion

by Kyle Wiggers / 6 days

Retail Rocket, a retention management platform for brands, today announced that it raised $24 million in a Series A round led by Cyprus-based private equity fund Flintera. In addition to the fundraising, Rocket Rocket revealed that it acquired SailPlay, a startup developing software to help retailers build loyalty programs and send mass message campaigns. New […]

Modular closes $30 million seed round to simplify the process of developing AI systems

by Kyle Wiggers / 6 days

AI has transformative potential. But if you ask the co-founders of Modular, a startup emerging from stealth today, the software used to develop it is “monolithic,” fractured into silos piled with layers of complexity. Big Tech companies have made helpful contributions, like TensorFlow and PyTorch — AI development frameworks maintained by Google and Facebook, respectively. […]

Wattpad introduces a creator program that can pay writers up to $25,000

by Ivan Mehta / 6 days

Storytelling platform Wattpad is introducing a new creator program for writers that can earn them up to $25,000 in compensation. The company is also debuting a new metric called “Engaged Readers,” to help writers gauge readers’ interest in their stories, and Wattpad Creator Portal, a new site for writers to get tips and tricks about […]

Apple says developers will have to submit a new version to use third-party payment systems in South Korea

by Ivan Mehta / 6 days

Apple announced Thursday that developers can now use a third-party payment system for the South Korea App Store. The company specified that developers will need to submit a separate binary for iOS or iPadOS “distributed solely on the App Store in South Korea.” The company said that it’ll charge 26% commission from app developers using […]

Amazon Prime Video’s Watch Party feature is now available on smart TVs and streaming devices

by Ivan Mehta / 6 days

Amazon Prime Video’s Watch Party feature, which lets you watch a movie or a TV show together with your friends remotely, is now available on smart TVs, streaming devices like Roku, and gaming consoles like Xbox or PlayStation. Before this expansion, the feature was available on desktops, Fire TV devices, and on the Prime Video […]

The company behind Pokémon Go, Niantic lays off 8% of staff and cancels 4 projects

by Amanda Silberling / 7 days

Pokémon Go developer Niantic is running into trouble as it builds “the real-world metaverse.” Like so many other tech companies facing turbulent economic times, the company decided to let go of 8% of its staff, affecting about 85 to 90 people. Just seven months ago, the company raised $300 million at a $9 billion valuation, […]

Google’s Switch to Android app for iOS users is now compatible with all Android 12 phones

by Aisha Malik / 7 days

Google announced today that its Switch to Android app for iOS users is now compatible with all Android 12 phones. The iOS app, which launched earlier this year, makes the transition between the mobile platforms easier to manage by helping users import their contacts, calendar, photos and videos to their new Android phone. Prior to today’s […]

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