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Equity Monday: The TikTok mess, and a grip of neat European VC activity

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This is Equity Monday, our weekly kickoff that tracks the latest big

Microsoft set to acquire Bethesda parent ZeniMax for $7.5B

Microsoft this morning announced plans to acquire ZeniMax Media Inc. for $7.5 billion in cash. The gaming holding company is the parent to a number of high profile publishers, including Bethesda Game

ByteDance says it will own a majority of TikTok. Oracle says ByteDance will own 0%. WTF is this deal?

You know a deal is signed and going to close when the parties keep fact checking each other and no one can agree on what the deal actually says. We’ve been following the TikTok / Oracle deal for som

Amazon details its low-bandwidth Sidewalk neighborhood network, coming to Echo and Tile devices soon

Last year, Amazon announced its Sidewalk network, a new low-bandwidth, long-distance wireless protocol it developed to help connect smart devices inside and — maybe even more importantly —

The Lumos Matrix is the ideal urban bike helmet for a smarter, safer day trip

With many of us are still more or less confined to our own homes and limited social spaces for the foreseeable future, and for a lot of you, that has led to a rediscovery of the joys of biking. Bike r

Osso VR raises $14 million to bring virtual reality to surgical and medical device training

It seems that distance learning is even coming for the healthcare industry. As remote work becomes the order of the day in the COVID-19 era, any tool that can bring training and education services to

Nikola’s chairman steps down, stock crashes following allegations of fraud

Nikola Corp. founder and Executive Chairman Trevor Milton is stepping down from the electric truck company effective immediately. This comes in the wake of a report from a noted short-selling accusing

Amnesty calls for human rights controls on EU digital surveillance exports

In a new report, Amnesty International says it’s found evidence of EU companies selling digital surveillance technologies to China — despite the stark human rights risks of technologies li

With $100M in funding, Playco is already a mobile gaming unicorn

Playco is a new mobile gaming startup created by Game Closure co-founder Michael Carter and Zynga co-founder Justin Waldron, as well as game producers Takeshi Otsuka and Teddy Cross. Although the Toky

Ireland’s data watchdog slammed for letting adtech carry on ‘biggest breach of all time’

A dossier of evidence detailing how the online ad targeting industry profiles Internet users’ intimate characteristics without their knowledge or consent has been published today by the Irish Co

Language learning service Babbel says it has now sold over 10M subscriptions

Babbel, the popular Berlin-based online language learning service, today announced that it has now sold a total of 10 million subscriptions to its service. For a language learning service, that’

Kindred Capital closes £81M second fund to back early-stage European startups

Kindred Capital, the London-based VC that backs early-stage founders in Europe, has closed its second seed fund at £81 million. That’s only a tad larger than the the firm’s first fund, wh

TikTok fact checks: US IPO, Chinese ownership, $5B in taxes

There is no shortage of speculation and reports around TikTok’s future in the U.S. Amid a swirl of rumors, TikTok’s Chinese parent ByteDance issued a statement (in Chinese) on Monday morni

Indian mobile gaming platform Mobile Premier League raises $90 million

Mobile Premier League (MPL) has raised $90 million in a new financing round as the two-year-old Bangalore-based esports and mobile gaming platform demonstrates fast-growth and looks to expand outside

Senate’s encryption backdoor bill is ‘dangerous for Americans,’ says Rep. Lofgren

"You cannot eliminate encryption safely," said the House Democrat.

Thanks to Google, app store monopoly concerns have now reached India

Last week, as Epic Games, Facebook, and Microsoft continued to express concerns about Apple’s “monopolistic” hold over what a billion people can download on their iPhones, a similar story unfold

How FaZe Clan is continuing to lead the esports world

The esports world is evolving quickly and so are the professional organizations that drive it. FaZe Clan is among the world’s most popular. At TechCrunch Disrupt 2020 we talked to FaZe Clan CEO

Original Content podcast: ‘Wireless’ shows off Quibi’s Turnstyle technology

“Wireless” is probably the best showcase so far for Quibi’s Turnstyle technology. That’s the technology that allows the streaming video app to switch seamlessly between landscape and portrait

Trump administration’s WeChat ban is blocked by U.S. district court

A few days ago, the U.S. Commerce Department published a series of rules that aimed to block the downloading of TikTok and WeChat by American users, following an executive order signed by President Tr

Gangster capitalism and the American theft of Chinese innovation

It used to be “easy” to tell the American and Chinese economies apart. One was innovative, one made clones. One was a free market while the other demanded payments to a political party and its lea
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