Facebook launches petition feature, its next battlefield

Gather a mob and Facebook will now let you make political demands. Tomorrow Facebook will encounter a slew of fresh complexities with the launch of Community Actions, its News Feed petition feature. Community Actions could unite neighbors to request change from their local and national elected officials and government agencies. But it could also provide…

The AI market is growing, but how quickly is tough to pin down

Holden Page Contributor Share on Twitter Holden Page is an editor and journalist at Crunchbase News. More posts by this contributor Furniture startups skip the showroom and go straight to your door If you work in tech, you’ve heard about artificial intelligence: how it’s going to replace us, whether it’s over-hyped or not and which nations will leverage…

Technology’s dark forest

We used to be such optimists. Technology would bring us a world of wealth in harmony with the environment, and even bring us new worlds. The Internet would erase national boundaries, replace gatekeepers with a universal opportunity for free expression, and bring us all closer together. Remember when we looked forward to every advance? I…

Stung by criticism, Facebook’s Sandberg outlines new plans to tackle misinformation

Stung by criticism of its widely reported role as a platform capable of spreading disinformation and being used by state actors to skew democratic elections, Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg unveiled five new ways the company would be addressing these issues at the annual DLD conference in Munich, staged ahead of the World Economic Forum. She…

The social layer is ironically key to Bitcoin’s security

A funny thing happened in the second half of 2018. At some moment, all the people active in crypto looked around and realized there weren’t very many of us. The friends we’d convinced during the last holiday season were no longer speaking to us. They had stopped checking their Coinbase accounts. The tide had gone…

Following a record year, Illinois startups kick off 2019 on a strong foot

Jason Rowley Contributor Jason Rowley is a venture capital and technology reporter for Crunchbase News. More posts by this contributor Global VC market sees highest-ever concentration of supergiant dollar volume in Q4 2018 SoftBank’s Vision Fund inches closer to $100B Illinois’s startup market in 2018 was very strong, and it’s not slowing down as we…

TechCrunch Conversations: Direct listings

Last April, Spotify surprised Wall Street bankers by choosing to go public through a direct listing process rather than through a traditional IPO. Instead of issuing new shares, the company simply sold existing shares held by insiders, employees and investors directly to the market – bypassing the roadshow process and avoiding at least some of Wall…
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TaxScouts, the UK startup that helps prepare your taxes, picks up £1.2M led by...

TaxScouts, the U.K. “tax preparation” startup founded by TransferWise and Marketinvoice alumni, has created some new paperwork of its own. The London-based company has raised £1.2 million in seed funding. Leading the new round is SpeedInvest, with participation from Finch Capital and SeedCamp. It adds to £300,000 in pre-seed investment that TaxScouts announced six months…

Axa Venture Partners raises $150 million early-stage fund

Axa Venture Partners, the venture capital arm of insurance company Axa, is raising an early-stage fund. Today’s new $150 million fund (€130 million) is called AVP Early Stage II. Previously, Axa Venture Partners had raised a $110 million early-stage fund back in 2015. So far, it has invested in 40 companies, such as Hackajob, K4Connect,…

Digital Garage teams up with Blockstream to develop blockchain financial services in Japan

The global crypto market may have tanked last year, but notable names have joined forces to develop Bitcoin and blockchain financial services in Japan, which has emerged as one of the world’s most crypto-friendly markets. Blockstream, a blockchain startup founded by Bitcoin contributors, announced this week that it has launched a joint venture in Japan…