Daily Crunch: COVID-19 vaccine trials show promise

Vaccine researchers have some good news, Google Maps adds end-to-end bikesharing directions and Roblox launches a new virtual event platform. Here’s your Daily Crunch for July 20, 2020.

The big story: COVID-19 vaccine trials show promise

Two vaccine trials — one conducted at the University of Oxford, and another by researchers in Wuhan — both had promising results, with a vaccine leading to an increased antibody response, while also appearing to be safe for human use.

The Oxford team is now ready to move on to phase three trials — these are the large-scale human trials that come before approval. However, my colleague Darrell Etherington warns against getting prematurely excited about these results:

It is very early to make too many assumptions about what these early trials indicate, however. For instance, we still don’t really know how effective antibodies are in patients that have recovered from having COVID-19 once, so a lot more investigation is required by scientists in better understanding the efficacy of antibodies, and potentially vaccines, over the long term.

The tech giants

Snap turns on Minis, bite-sized third-party apps in Snapchat — Unveiled last month, Snap Minis are lightweight, simplified versions of apps that live within Snap’s Chat section.

Google Maps rolls out end-to-end directions for bikeshare users — Google Maps has long offered cycling directions, and it could already point users to bikesharing locations. The new update makes things even simpler, combining both walking and biking directions for end-to-end navigation.

GM details 12 upcoming electric vehicles from Cadillac, GMC, Chevrolet and Buick — In its latest sustainability report, General Motors said it’s on track to deliver 20 electric vehicles by 2023.

Startups, funding and venture capital

TC Early Stage is covering every aspect of operations, from legal to recruiting to finding product market fit — The event starts tomorrow!

Dumpling launches to make anyone become their own Instacart — The startup connects shoppers to all the resources they need to migrate off the Instacart platform and start their own personal-shopping business.

Roblox launches Party Place, a private venue for virtual birthday parties and other meetups — Party Place is based on the technology Roblox uses to host its own virtual events.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

‘Edtech is no longer optional’: Investors’ deep dive into the future of the market — In our latest survey, VCs look at the larger impact of rapid change on edtech.

From farm to phone: A paradigm shift in grocery — Signia Ventures’ Sunny Dhillon discusses how the grocery business has changed dramatically in recent months.

Despite Tesla-led hype, private investment in EV startups appears steady — In the latest edition of The Exchange, Alex Wilhelm investigates the latest data on electric vehicle investment.

(Reminder: Extra Crunch is our subscription membership program, which aims to democratize information about startups. You can sign up here.)

Everything else

So long, TechCrunch — Our longtime COO Ned Desmond says goodbye.

Original Content podcast: ‘The Old Guard’ is extremely dumb fun — This Netflix action movie is soooo dumb, but my podcast co-host Darrell Etherington really liked it.

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