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Alexa is going kid-friendly

In a briefing earlier this week, Amazon told TechCrunch that it was surprised by how Alexa has been embraced by families. But while the smart assistant isn’t exactly risqué (with a couple of notabl

Challenger bank Starling adds investment service Wealthify to its in-app marketplace

Starling, the U.K. challenger bank founded by Anne Boden, continues to execute on its “marketplace banking” vision, adding integration with Aviva-backed online investment service Wealthify

Twitter beats expectations with $665M in revenue amid its turnaround hopes

It looks like Twitter, the oft-beleaguered social network that’s still worth more than Snap, will still hold that status for a little longer after delivering a stronger-than-expected quarter th

Xiaomi promises to give money back to customers if its profits get too high

Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone maker tipped for a public listing this year, has made a unique pledge: if it makes too much money, it’ll give a chunk of its profits back to its customers. Yes, th

WhatsApp raises minimum age to 16 in Europe ahead of GDPR

Tech giants are busy updating their T&Cs ahead of the EU’s incoming data protection framework, GDPR. Which is why, for instance, Facebook-owned Instagram is suddenly offering a data download

New Harry Potter game, launching today, lets players enroll in Hogwarts

In the first step of what could be an endless exploration of the wizarding world of Harry Potter, the Los Angeles mobile games studio Jam City is releasing its Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery game

Former Google China head targets AI opportunities with new $900M Sinovation fund

Sinovation Ventures, one of China’s prominent funds which is helmed by former Google China head Kaifu Lee, has announced a new investment fund that’s targeted at a total raise of $900 mil

Sign up for Startup Alley in Tel Aviv

Hey startups! TechCrunch Tel Aviv 2018 is just about 6 weeks away, and we’re coming back to the Mediterranean for our inaugural day-long conference at the Tel Aviv Convention Center on 7 June. The a

Opera launches a new mobile browser

Opera today announced a new mobile browser, Opera Touch, that shows that there’s still plenty of room for a competitor in the mobile browsing world. Opera Touch takes some ideas from the company

Techtonic Group raises $2 million to transform tech hiring through apprenticeships

Where the two companies are using price arbitrage between the costs of developers in emerging markets and coders in the U.S., Techtonic Group is simply offering access to talent. The company’s p

Say hello to the new Gmail with self-destructing messages, email snoozing and more

Today, Google is launching the biggest revamp of Gmail in years. The company is bringing to the flagship Gmail service many (but not all) of the features it trialed in Inbox for Gmail, and adding a fe

Fat Lama, the online marketplace for renting out things you own, raises $10M

Fat Lama, the startup that offers a fully insured peer-to-peer rental marketplace for almost anything, is getting a little fatter. The London-based company has raised $10 million in Series A funding i

Grab’s acquisition of Uber Southeast Asia drives into problems

The long-rumored Grab acquisition of Uber’s Southeast Asia business may be official now, but it’s far from complete. In fact, what should be a celebratory coming-of-age moment for the Sout

Real-time developer tool startup Pusher pulls in $8M in Series A funding

Pusher, the London startup that provides tools and cloud infrastructure for developers to add real-time functionality to their apps, such as push notifications and messages, has pulled in $8 million i

German insurance ‘robo-advisor’ Clark scores $29 million Series B

Clark, one of a plethora of so-called ‘insurtech’ startups offering something akin to a digital insurance brokerage all delivered through a convenient mobile app, has closed a hefty $29 mi

Looks like Google is changing Android’s gun emoji into a water gun

Back in 2016, Apple swapped out the graphic used for its gun emoji, replacing the realistically drawn handgun with a bright green water gun. Just a few days ago, Twitter followed suit. And now, it see

Facebook shuffle brings a new head of US policy and chief privacy officer

Trying times in Menlo Park, it seems: amid assaults from all quarters largely focused on privacy, Facebook is shifting some upper management around to better defend itself. Its head of policy in the U

Particle brings an LTE cellular model to market for networked devices working off of 2G and 3G

Particle, a developer of networking hardware and software for connected devices, has released an LTE-enabled module for product developers. The new device specifically targets folks whose devices were

Hidden Amazon page drops hints about a ‘Fire TV Cube’

Rumors have been floating around for a few months now of a new device from Amazon that would mash-up the media streaming capabilities of its Fire TV line with the voice assistant abilities of the Echo

Facebook and the perils of a personalized choice architecture

The recent Facebook-Cambridge Analytica chaos has ignited a fire of awareness, bringing the risks of today’s data surveillance culture to the forefront of mainstream conversations.
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