General News

FreightHub, a European ‘digital freight forwarder’, scores $20M Series A

TechCrunch - 1 hour 57 min ago
 FreightHub, a Berlin and Hamburg-based startup that claims to be Europe’s first fully digital freight forwarder, has raised a $20 million Series A round, just 1.5 years since launch. The round is led by VC firm Northzone, with participation from existing investors. The latter includes Rocket Internet’s Global Founders Capital (GFC), Cherry Ventures, Cavalry Ventures, and La Famiglia. Read More
Categories: General News

Uber doubles down on Indonesia after hiring its first country president

TechCrunch - 2 hours 26 min ago
 As part of its new approach to Asia, Uber has announced a first president for its business in Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy and the world’s fourth most populous country. Monika Rudijono will take up the role in January, joining from advertising and marketing firm Grey where she had been presidential director. She’ll report directly to Brooks Entwistle, who… Read More
Categories: General News

Here’s what people were Googling in 2017

TechCrunch - 2 hours 55 min ago
 There are few metrics in the world that offer as much insight into our society as Google’s annual “Year in Search.” More than any of the other year-end download and streaming roundups, Google’s offers a clear snapshot of the things that captured our imaginations and baffled us during what felt like a particularly turbulent year. Read More
Categories: General News

Payments startup iZettle raises $47M, reportedly at a $950M valuation

TechCrunch - 2 hours 57 min ago
 iZettle — the payments startup based out of Stockholm that competes against companies like Square, Paypal and SumUp to provide card transactions using smartphones and tablets as well as related accounting services — has raised another €40 million ($47 million), money that CEO and co-founder Jacob de Geer told TechCrunch would be used to expand into more markets beyond the 12 where… Read More
Categories: General News

Techstars is launching its first accelerator program in Asia in partnership with Rakuten

TechCrunch - 4 hours 54 min ago
 Techstars is bringing its global accelerator program to Asia for the first time in partnership with Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten and its chat app Viber. The companies will run a three-month program in Singapore starting in July, according to a joint announcement made today. The focus will be on social messaging and, in particular, technologies and startups that align with Viber, the… Read More
Categories: General News

Google is opening a China-based research lab focused on artificial intelligence

TechCrunch - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 21:57
 Google has officially announced that it is opening an AI center in Beijing, China. The confirmation comes after months of speculation fueled by a major push to hire AI talent inside the country. Google’s search engine is blocked in China, but the company still has hundreds of staff in China which work on its international services. In reference to that workforce, Alphabet chairman… Read More
Categories: General News

New York City moves to establish algorithm-monitoring task force

TechCrunch - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 19:43
 New York City may soon gain a task force dedicated to monitoring the fairness of algorithms used by municipal agencies. Formed from experts in automated systems and representatives of groups affected by those systems, it would be responsible for closely examining algorithms in use by the city and making recommendations on how to improve accountability and avoid bias. Read More
Categories: General News

Facebook Messaging VP David Marcus joins Coinbase board

TechCrunch - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 18:25
 Coinbase is growing up fast — or at least trying to. As an emblem of its current effort to accommodate the massive demand on its platform, the mainstream U.S. cryptocurrency exchange just added Facebook Vice President of Messaging Products David Marcus to its board of directors. Read More
Categories: General News

Trump signs bill banning Kaspersky Lab software from federal use

TechCrunch - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 17:56
 Capping off months of controversy, espionage claims and international intrigue, the U.S. government ban on Kaspersky Lab software has been signed into law. The ban, wedged into the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), would preclude all federal computers and connected networks from using antivirus software made by the Russian cybersecurity firm. “Considering the… Read More
Categories: General News

How hate speech crowdfunding outfit Hatreon crept back online

TechCrunch - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 17:28
 If you want to make a living creating white supremacist content, you’re probably not going to do it via sites like Kickstarter and Patreon, which prohibit hate speech. Fortunately there’s Hatreon, a hate speech crowdfunding site that, despite having been booted from the web by a couple hosts, is back online and eager to let you back your favorite xenophobe. Read More
Categories: General News

Lyft goes international with Toronto launch

TechCrunch - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 17:19
 Lyft has officially opened for business in Toronto, its first market outside the U.S. The Canadian expansion was announced last month, and December 12 is the first day of official operations with ride-hailing services available in the city. Lyft service in Toronto includes standard Lyft service, Lyft Plus, Lyft Premiere, Lyft Lux and Lyft Lux SUV rides. Read More
Categories: General News

Trump wants to send astronauts to the Moon on the way to Mars

TechCrunch - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 16:51
 The Trump administration had previously signaled its intentions to send astronauts back to the Moon, but now that renewed space exploration objective is official. On Monday, the president signed Space Policy Directive 1, a document detailing a shift in U.S. policy that would reprioritize a mission to put American boots on the Moon for the first time in 45 years. Read More
Categories: General News

Alabama Supreme Court blocks order to preserve digital voting records

TechCrunch - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 15:40
 Following an eleventh-hour order instructing voting officials in Alabama to keep the digital ballots generated in Tuesday’s Senate election, the state’s Supreme Court has issued a stay to block that decision. The order to preserve the records was issued by the Montgomery County Circuit Court on Monday afternoon and the stay that will effectively nullify that order was issued… Read More
Categories: General News

To fix SoundCloud, it must become the anti-Spotify

TechCrunch - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 15:18
 Startups die by suicide, not competition. It wasn’t that anyone was stealing SoundCloud’s underground rappers, bedroom remixers and garage bands. SoundCloud stumbled because it neglected these hardcore loyalists as it wrongly strove to usurp Spotify as the streaming home of music’s superstars. Read More
Categories: General News

More Republicans in Congress criticize FCC’s net neutrality plan

TechCrunch - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 15:04
 2017 has been a year of bitter partisanship, but it’s nice to see that with some issues, politicians can put aside their differences to oppose something that’s harmful — and more importantly, unpopular. That’s increasingly the case with net neutrality: a handful of Republican representatives have joined their voices to those asking the FCC to delay the vote that… Read More
Categories: General News

Target adds an e-gifting option to its website

TechCrunch - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 14:42
 Target today unveiled a new e-gifting feature designed for those who think gift cards are too impersonal, but who are just too busy (or too lazy) to actually shop for and mail gifts themselves. The retailer is announcing the launch of a feature called “GiftNow” which lets you browse its site, then pick out an item to be sent via email to your gift recipient. The recipient can choose… Read More
Categories: General News

Trump signs bill reinstating the FAA’s drone registration requirement

TechCrunch - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 14:19
 Back in late-2015, the FAA introduced new rules requiring owners of  small drones to submit their devices to a database and attach a registration code to the side of the product. In May of this year, a judge in the D.C. Circuit shot down the rule, and the FAA began the process of returning the registration fee. Now the registry is back on, courtesy of a bill signed into law by President Trump. Read More
Categories: General News

HotelTonight is revamping their rewards program with infinite levels

TechCrunch - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 13:52
 Last year HotelTonight launched HT Perks, their own twist on a hotel loyalty program. The program is level-based, meaning user “level up” as they meet certain tiers of lifetime spend in the app. It was generally well received but maybe a little under ambitious – it maxed out at level 4 – which granted a user as much as 20% off in extra savings after spending a… Read More
Categories: General News

Betting consumers are tired of bad bank behavior, Aspiration raises $47 million for its alternative

TechCrunch - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 13:27
 A who’s-who of celebrities, investors and celebrity investors have come together to invest $47 million into Aspiration, the company launched by a former speechwriter for President Bill Clinton to challenge the traditional banking industry. Read More
Categories: General News

Hulu adds its ‘My Stuff’ watchlist and picture-in-picture mode to its web app

TechCrunch - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 13:01
 Hulu today is rolling out a handful of new features to the beta version of its Live TV service on the web, including a picture-in-picture mode, improved search, and, most notably the addition of the user-controlled watchlist, dubbed “My Stuff.” The updates arrive at a time when Hulu is still dealing with a surge of complaints about its new interface. To say that not everyone has… Read More
Categories: General News