Facebook staff protests the social network’s stance on Trump posts, Volkswagen finalizes its $2.6 billion investment in Argo AI and we examine complaints about the layoff process at events and travel startup Pollen.
Here’s your Daily Crunch for June 2, 2020.
1. Facebook employees stage virtual walkout in protest of company’s stance on Trump posts
Some Facebook employees virtually walked out yesterday to challenge the company’s lack of response to President Donald Trump’s posts — specifically his posts discussing the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd. Facebook has since acknowledged the walkout and said it will not require employees to use their paid time off.
Also, CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a Sunday night post that he will donate $10 million to “groups working on racial justice.”
2. Self-driving vehicle startup Argo AI completes $2.6B deal with Volkswagen, expands to Europe
The deal turns Argo into a global company with two customers — VW and Ford — as well as operations in the U.S. and Europe and an instant jump in its workforce. Autonomous Intelligent Driving, the self-driving subsidiary that was launched in 2017 to develop autonomous vehicle technology for the VW Group, will be absorbed into Argo AI.
3. Former Pollen employees were asked to sign an ‘NDA masked as a severance agreement’
Pollen, the U.K.-headquartered travel and events marketplace, describes its company culture as built on principles of “freedom” and openness, including a well-publicized pay transparency policy. However, that doesn’t appear to always be the case with regards to the treatment of departing employees.
4. LinkedIn introduces new retargeting tools
LinkedIn has already been testing these capabilities with a few advertisers, including TOPdesk, which says it’s increased conversions by 20% while lowering the cost per conversion by 24%.
5. 12 top cybersecurity VCs discuss investing, valuations and no-go zones
We spoke to a dozen cybersecurity VCs to hear their thoughts on cybersecurity valuations during the pandemic, which companies are sparking investors’ interests and the kinds of startups that aren’t. (Extra Crunch membership required.)
6. Twitter restricts Republican lawmaker’s Antifa tweet for ‘glorifying violence’
Twitter placed behind a warning label a tweet from a close political ally of the president, citing its policy prohibiting content that promotes violence. The tweet, from Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, suggested that the U.S. government “hunt down” anti-fascist activists in the country like it would pursue international terrorists.
7. Locus Robotics raises another $40M as retailers increasingly look to automate
Locus has already seen good traction here in the United States for its bin-moving robots. In February, the company announced that its robots have passed 100 million units picked.
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