Stripe raises new funding, Uber acknowledges financial uncertainty and a controversial facial recognition startup accidentally exposes its source code.
Here’s your Daily Crunch for April 17, 2020.
The economy may be contracting as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but promising startups are still continuing to raise money to shore up finances for whatever may lie ahead.
The latest development: Stripe, a well-known payments unicorn, announced that it had raised another $600 million in new capital, money that it plans to use to continue investing in product development, further global expansion and strategic initiatives.
“Given the evolving nature of COVID-19 and the uncertainty it has caused for every industry in every part of the world, it is impossible to predict with precision the pandemic’s cumulative impact on our future financial results,” Uber said in a statement.
The controversial facial recognition startup allows its law enforcement users to take a picture of a person, upload it and match it against its alleged database of 3 billion images, which the company scraped from public social media profiles. And for a time, a misconfigured server exposed the company’s internal files, apps and source code for anyone on the internet to find.
Under its new policy, the accelerator is reducing its pro rata investment size from 7% to 4% and is only investing on a case-by-case basis going forward. Apparently the portfolio has gotten too large for blanket investments, and some of the limited partners who back the accelerator’s operations are balking at making commitments to the pro rata program.
First up: We’ll be chatting with Aileen Lee (former KPCB partner, founder and managing director at Cowboy.vc and coiner of the term “Unicorn”) and Ted Wang (Cowboy.vc partner, former partner at Fenwick & West, and former outside counsel to Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, Square and more) on Monday, April 20. And yes, you’ll need to be an Extra Crunch member to tune in.
NASA has said many times that it intends to collect a sample from Mars and return it to Earth. But how will the organization go about scooping up soil from the surface of a distant planet and getting it back here? With a newly-revealed plan that sounds straight out of sci-fi.
Facebook announced that it will be shelving the in-person component of its virtual reality-focused Oculus Connect 7 conference due to COVID-19 concerns and focusing on a digital format. Although the company hadn’t announced dates for the event, the conference is typically held in late September or early October.