Daily Crunch: Epic Games escalates legal battle with Apple

The battle between Epic Games and Apple continues, Facebook faces criticism in India and Pinterest appoints its first Black board member. This is your Daily Crunch for August 17, 2020.

The big story: Epic Games files injunction against Apple

Epic’s legal and PR fight with Apple and its App Store policies seems to be escalating. The Fortnite-maker has filed an injunction in U.S. District Court, saying it was notified by Apple that all of its developer accounts and access to developer tools will be cut off at the end of next week.

“[Apple] told Epic that by August 28, Apple will cut off Epic’s access to all development tools necessary to create software for Apple’s platforms — including for the Unreal Engine Epic offers to third-party developers, which Apple has never claimed violated any Apple policy,” Epic’s lawyers said in their court filing.

Fortnite was removed from Apple’s App Store (and the Google Play Store) last week after Epic introduced direct payments. Apple said at the time that it would “make every effort to work with Epic to resolve these violations.”

The tech giants

Facebook faces heat in India after report on hate speech posts — The debate was sparked by a Wall Street Journal report claiming that Facebook’s top public-policy executive in India had opposed applying the company’s hate-speech rules to a member of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party.

Pinterest announces first Black board member — Pinterest has appointed Andrea Wishom, president of real estate company Skywalker Holdings and former Harpo Studios executive, to its board of directors.

Google warns users in Australia free services are at risk if it’s forced to share ad revenue with ‘big media’ — Google has fired a lobbying pot-shot at a looming change to the law in Australia that will force it to share ad revenue with local media businesses.

Startups, funding and venture capital

Deepfake video app Reface is just getting started on shapeshifting selfie culture — Reface (previously Doublicat) is an app that uses AI-powered deepfake technology to let users try on another face/form for size.

DST Global pumps $35 million into Asian e-grocer Weee! — The delightfully named startup delivers groceries, like fresh kimchi and Japanese desserts, to major cities across the U.S.

Amex acquires SoftBank-backed Kabbage after tough 2020 for the SMB lender — Amex’s acquisition will include employees, technology and financial data, but “Kabbage’s pre-existing loan portfolio is not included in the purchase agreement.”

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

Founders can raise funding before launching a product — I spoke to Precursor Ventures’ Charles Hudson about how to pitch VCs before you’ve built a real product.

Robinhood raises $200M more at $11.2B valuation as its revenue scales — Robinhood already raised capital multiple times this year, including an initial $280 million round at an $8.3 billion valuation, and a later $320 million addition that brought its valuation to $8.6 billion.

How tech can build more resilient supply chains — Coatue’s Caryn Marooney recently made the jump into venture capital.

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

Everything else

SpaceX will attempt to break a rocket reusability record with a launch this week — SpaceX is preparing for yet another launch of Starlink satellites on Tuesday.

US Commerce Department updates rules to further limit Huawei’s chip access — The new restrictions follow a similar decree announced in May.

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