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Papa raises $18 million to expand its business connecting older adults with virtual and in-person companions

The Miami-based startup Papa has raised an additional $18 million as it looks to expand its business connecting elderly Americans and families with physical and virtual companions, which the company c

Gillmor Gang: Watch Party

This Gillmor Gang episode is as much about what we didn’t talk about as what we did. In the run up to the recording session, we somehow suspected we’d talk about Apple’s virtual event on Tuesday

CMU’s MoonRanger robot rover will be the first to search for water ice on the Moon in 2022

Carnegie Mellon University and spinoff space startup Astrobotic are developing a robotic rover to look for water on the Moon, and the little bot just passed the crucial preliminary design review phase

Chinese propaganda network on Facebook used AI-generated faces

Facebook removed two networks of fake accounts spreading government propaganda on the platform Tuesday, one originating in China and one in the Philippines. In its latest report on this kind of coordi

Pinterest breaks daily download record due to user interest in iOS 14 design ideas

The excitement around the ability to customize your iPhone homescreen following the release of iOS 14 has been paying off for Pinterest. According to new third-party estimates, Pinterest’s app h

Explore the global markets of micromobility at TC Sessions: Mobility

While electric scooters first launched at scale in the U.S., they quickly made their way overseas. Now, there’s a bustling electric scooter market in Europe, China, Latin America and one that&#8

WellSaid Labs research takes synthetic speech from seconds-long clips to hours

Millions of homes have voice-enabled devices, but when was the last time you heard a piece of synthesized speech longer than a handful of seconds? WellSaid Labs has pushed the field ahead with a voice

We’re updating The TechCrunch List soon. Founders, send in your recommendations of the most helpful lead VCs

Earlier this year, we launched The TechCrunch List, a carefully curated group of VCs who lead rounds recommended by thousands of founders for their acumen and friendliness, grouped by market focus, st

Tech must radically rethink how it treats independent contractors

Where tech has succeeded in creating of hundreds of thousands of independent contractor positions, it also has to lead the way in reimagining how we may treat them and reward them for their work.

Despite a rough year for digital media, Blavity and The Shade Room are thriving

Last week at TechCrunch Disrupt, TechCrunch media and advertising reporter Anthony Ha sat down with Blavity CEO Morgan DeBaun and The Shade Room CEO Angelica Nwandu to chat about their respective medi

Big tech has 2 elephants in the room: Privacy and competition

The question of how policymakers should respond to the power of big tech didn’t get a great deal of airtime at TechCrunch Disrupt last week, despite a number of investigations now underway in th

Mirakl raises $300 million for its marketplace platform

French startup Mirakl has raised a $300 million funding round at a $1.5 billion valuation — the company is now a unicorn. Mirakl helps you launch and manage a marketplace on your e-commerce website.

Amazon adds support for Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu in local Indian languages push ahead of Diwali

More than seven years after Amazon began its e-commerce operations in India, and two years after its shopping service added support for Hindi, the most popular language in the country, the American gi

Introducing the Expo Pass for TC Sessions: Mobility 2020

Don’t let budget woes keep you from participating in TC Sessions: Mobility 2020 on October 6-7. We’re dedicated to making this event accessible to as many members of the mobility community as poss

HMD is bringing a 5G smartphone and wireless earbuds to the US

Over the past four years or so, HMD has carved out a nice little niche for itself with its Nokia-branded handsets. The instant name recognition of a legacy brand was a nice little perch on which to ga

Event discovery network IRL raises $16M Series B after refocusing on virtual events

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the way a number of companies have had to do business. For the event discovery startup, IRL, it meant pivoting into the virtual events space. This April, the startup qui

Bose introduces a new pair of sleep-focused earbuds

Sleep is tough to come by even when there isn’t a pandemic raging. Even when it doesn’t feel like the world is coming apart at the seams every damn day. Bose’s original Sleepbuds pre-date the cu

HubSpot’s new end-to-end sales hub aims to simplify CRM for midmarket customers

HubSpot, the Boston firm that made its name by helping to define the in-bound marketing concept, sees a pandemic landscape that’s changing the way companies sell, forcing more inside sales. Toda

Mailchimp launches new AI tools as it continues its transformation to marketing platform

Mailchimp may have started out as an easy to use newsletter tool, but that was almost 20 years ago. Today’s company still does email, but at its core, it is now a marketing automation platform f

Microsoft challenges Twilio with the launch of Azure Communication Services

Microsoft today announced the launch of Azure Communication Services, a new set of features in its cloud that enable developers to add voice and video calling, chat and text messages to their apps, as
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