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Thu, Apr 15
Tomorrow's events:  VIRTUAL: Hannover Messe (day 5), VIRTUAL: NVIDIA GTC – AI Conference (day 5)
top news
US sanctions Russia for 2020 election interference and SolarWinds hack, blacklisting six tech companies that provide support to Russian intelligence services (NBC News)
Jeff Bezos says Amazon Prime now has 200M+ subscribers, up 50M from the beginning of 2020, and Amazon's net profit in 2020 was $21.3B (David Priest / CNET)
Executives from Intel, Nvidia, and TSMC say the global chip shortage will likely continue at least into 2022 and maybe into 2023 (Sam Machkovech / Ars Technica)
Facebook's own ads that display the number of Facebook Dating users in a specific region show the service may have far fewer users than competitors like Tinder (Ashley Carman / The Verge)
Oculus says developers can now sell recurring subscriptions to their Quest apps, and each subscription will have a free trial period (Cameron Faulkner / The Verge)
Google updates Earth with historical 3D time lapses that show the devastating effects of climate change, using satellite photos from the last 37 years (Jay Peters / The Verge)
Microsoft launches a Kids Mode for Edge, with two age range options of between 5 to 8 years or 9 to 12 years (Tom Warren / The Verge)
Google's Project Zero updates its vulnerability disclosure policy to include a 30-day cushion before publishing bug details to give users time to apply patches (Catalin Cimpanu / The Record)
Content moderation
FBI Director Wray says social media companies play a key role in disseminating the messaging of domestic violent extremists, similar to foreign disinformation (Wall Street Journal)
[Thread] A Facebook moderator at Accenture who just quit decries inadequate mental health support and says the current system is bad for Facebook itself (Ryan Mac / @rmac18)
climate initiatives
Facebook says it has reached its target of powering its global operations entirely on renewable energy, after investing $8B in green energy projects (Engadget)
Apple announces $200M investment fund for forest restoration projects that will develop financially viable initiatives to restore woodland areas (Benjamin Mayo / 9to5Mac)
IPOs
KKR-backed mobile gaming company AppLovin closes down 18.5% on its first day of trading, after raising $2B in its IPO at a valuation of $28.6B (Megan Graham / CNBC)
TuSimple, which is developing autonomous trucks, closes flat in its trading debut, after raising $1.35B in its IPO, giving it a market cap of ~$8.5B (Aparna Narayanan / Investor's Business Daily)
funding deals
Walmart says it is investing in GM's self-driving unit Cruise, bringing its latest round to $2.75B, up from $2B in January when Microsoft invested (Matthew Boyle / Bloomberg)
Benchling, which provides cloud-based software to manage biotech R&D, raises $200M led by Sequoia Capital Global Equities at $4B valuation, 5x its value in May (Amy Feldman / Forbes)
UserZoom, which is used by companies like Google and Microsoft to evaluate and improve their UX and design elements, raises $100M led by Owl Rock (Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch)
C2i Genomics, which claims its software can accurately detect residual cancers by analysing genome sequences, raises $100M Series B led by Casdin Capital (Marcella McCarthy / TechCrunch)
TetraScience, which helps life sciences companies analyze data, raises $80M Series B bringing its total raised to $88M+ (Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat)
Seeq, a data analytics startup focused on the manufacturing industry, raises $50M Series C led by Insight Partners, bringing its total raise to ~$115M (Taylor Soper / GeekWire)
Xwing, which is developing software to enable pilotless flight of small passenger aircraft, raises $40M at a $400M post-money valuation (Aria Alamalhodaei / TechCrunch)
Routable, which enables B2B payments by automating bill payment and invoicing processes, raises $30M Series B led by Sam Altman, and Lattice CEO Jack Altman (Mary Ann Azevedo / TechCrunch)
Chili Piper, which makes appointment scheduling software for sales teams, raises $33M Series B led by Tiger Global, bringing its total raised to $54M (Mike Butcher / TechCrunch)
more news
Federal judge overturns $506M+ in damages that Apple was ordered to pay PanOptis and related companies for willfully infringing patents covering 4G LTE tech (Bloomberg)
Amazon launches a $250M fund in India to invest in startups that focus on helping SMBs automate and digitize their operations (Manish Singh / TechCrunch)
House Judiciary Committee formally approves a 450-page report accusing Big Tech of buying and crushing smaller rivals, a potential blueprint for legislation (Diane Bartz / Reuters)
Leaked doc: EU considers a ban on using AI for social credit scores, surveillance, and more; non-compliant companies could be fined up to €20M or 4% of turnover (Politico)
International coalition of 35 children's and consumer groups calls on Mark Zuckerberg to scrap plans for an Instagram for children (Natasha Singer / New York Times)
In its first update as a public company, Deliveroo says orders rose 100%+ YoY to £71M in Q1 and total transactions rose 130% YoY to £1.65B (Ryan Browne / CNBC)
Facebook says it is testing a News Feed feature in the US to let users tap on topics underneath posts and ads to explore content from related businesses (Sarah Perez / TechCrunch)
Tech industry group funded by Amazon, Facebook, Google, and others says it supports a corporate tax hike like the one Biden proposed in his $2T plan (Lauren Feiner / CNBC)
Review of DJI's new $999 Mavic Air 2S: great for beginners with a big one-inch camera sensor but is expensive and there's a significant crop in 4K 60fps (Vjeran Pavic / The Verge)
Massachusetts seeks revocation of Robinhood's broker-dealer license, charging that it encourages inexperienced investors to place risky trades without limits (Reuters)
Some Clubhouse power users discuss the app's problems with scammers, moderation issues, stolen jokes, copied room concepts, celebrity imposters, and more (Ashley Carman / The Verge)