Daily Crunch: Verizon sells HuffPost to BuzzFeed

HuffPost has a new owner, Facebook says its misinformation-fighting AI is getting smarter and Affirm files to go public. This is your Daily Crunch for November 19, 2020.

The big story: Verizon sells HuffPost to BuzzFeed

TechCrunch’s parent company Verizon Media has sold HuffPost. This is part of a larger deal that also includes an investment in BuzzFeed, a content syndication agreement, potential advertising collaboration and more.

BuzzFeed co-founder and CEO Jonah Peretti was actually one of The Huffington Post founders back in 2005. And it’s been nearly a decade since what was then AOL acquired HuffPost for $315 million.

“I have vivid memories of growing HuffPost into a major news outlet in its early years, but BuzzFeed is making this acquisition because we believe in the future of HuffPost and the potential it has to continue to define the media landscape for years to come,” Peretti said in a statement.

The tech giants

Facebook details AI advances in catching misinformation and hate speech — Facebook’s battle against misinformation will never be over at this rate, but that doesn’t mean the company has given up.

Instagram revamps its mobile messaging app Threads — The redesigned version of the Threads app includes updated navigation and a Status tab, as well as support for posting photos and videos to your Instagram Story.

Google plans to test end-to-end encryption in Android messages — Google says it will start with one-on-one conversations, leaving open the possibility of end-to-end encrypted group chats.

Startups, funding and venture capital

SellerX raises $118M to buy up and grow Amazon marketplace businesses — Somehow, this is a $118 million seed round.

Lime plans for ‘modes’ beyond bikes and scooters in 2021 — Lime CEO Wayne Ting hinted that a “third mode” is in the works for the first quarter of next year.

Near acquires Teemo to expand its data business into Europe — Teemo’s founder and CEO Benoit Grouchko will become Near’s chief privacy officer.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

Inside Affirm’s IPO filing: A look at its economics, profits and revenue concentration — Is Affirm another pandemic-fueled company going public on the back of a COVID-19 bump, or are its business prospects more durable?

Is the internet advertising economy about to implode? — An interview with Tim Hwang on his new book, “Subprime Attention Crisis.”

Is a new game and $100M investment enough for South Korea’s PUBG to return to India? — South Korea-based PUBG Corporation announced last week that it plans to return to India, its largest market by users.

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

Everything else

Tech in the Biden era — President-elect Joe Biden may have spent eight years in an administration that doted on the tech industry, but that long honeymoon (punctuated by four years of Trump) looks to be over.

‘Wonder Woman 1984’ is coming to HBO Max (and some US theaters) on Dec. 25 — The film will debut in theaters internationally on December 16, then launch in U.S. theaters and on HBO Max on December 25.

Fintech unicorn Affirm has a lot of eggs in one basket — The new episode of Equity includes additional thoughts on Affirm’s finances.

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