Daily Crunch: Airbnb cancels all DC bookings during inauguration week

Airbnb takes a big step to avoid violence at the inauguration, Intel gets a new CEO and Affirm goes public. This is your Daily Crunch for January 13, 2021.

The big story: Airbnb cancels all DC bookings during inauguration week

Airbnb said today that “in response to various local, state and federal officials asking people not to travel to Washington, D.C.” it will be canceling all reservations in the area for next week, which is the week of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. This will apply to all reservations on Airbnb-owned HotelTonight as well.

The company had already said that it would ban anyone who was involved in last week’s riot in the U.S. Capitol, but it’s now taking a much more aggressive step to avoid housing anyone who might have violent plans during the inauguration.

They also said guests will be given a full refund, while hosts will still receive full compensation for these reservations.

The tech giants

Pat Gelsinger stepping down as VMware CEO to replace Bob Swan at Intel — Gelsinger would be replacing Intel’s interim CEO Bob Swan on February 15.

Affirm doubles after starting to trade despite strong IPO pricing — Affirm’s explosive debut comes on the heels of similarly strong results from DoorDash, C3.ai and Airbnb.

Apple announces new projects related to its $100 million pledge for racial equity and justice — For starters, the company will contribute $25 million to the Propel Center, an innovation and learning hub for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Startups, funding and venture capital

Rapyd raises $300M on a $2.5B valuation to boost its fintech-as-a-service API — Rapyd’s customer base now includes about 5,000 businesses.

Flo gets FTC slap for sharing user data when it promised privacy — The FTC has reached a settlement with Flo, a period and fertility tracking app with 100 million+ users.

E-commerce optimization startup Tradeswell raises $15.5M — The key goal is to allow e-commerce businesses to improve their net margins.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

Venture capitalists react to Visa-Plaid deal meltdown — The leading sentiment seems to be, “Congratulations, you’re no longer selling your company for billions of dollars!”

Will startup valuations change given rising antitrust concerns? — Even a few smoke signals is enough to start raising concerns.

Dear Sophie: What’s the new minimum salary required for H-1B visa applicants? — The latest edition of “Dear Sophie,” the advice column that answers immigration-related questions about working at technology companies.

Everything else

These robo-fish autonomously form schools and work as search parties — Researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have created a set of fish-shaped underwater robots that can autonomously navigate and find each other.

Survey: Help shape the future of TechCrunch — We’re always looking to make TechCrunch better, and part of that is regularly gathering feedback from the people who matter most: You!

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