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Apr 8, 2020 5:00 PM ET

This low-flying growth equity firm, with payments and logistics bets, just closed a $257 million fund

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 8, 2020 - Activant Capital, a seven-year-old, Greenwich, Conn.-based growth equity firm that’s still making a name for itself, has managed to secure $257 million in fresh capital commitments, despite that the U.S. economy appears to be headed into a recession. It’s something of a coup for founder Steve Sarracino. It also begs the question: Who is Steve Sarracino, and why are people trusting him and his 10-person firm with their investing dollars? To find. [more...]

Apr 8, 2020 4:55 PM ET

Latin America Roundup: Grupo ZAP, Grow Mobility, Wavy get acquired; Credijusto adds $100M; Cornershop, iFood brace for delivery boom

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 8, 2020 - Image Credits: Ihor Kashurin (opens in a new window)/ Getty Images Sophia WoodContributor   Sophia Wood is a Venture Partner at Magma Partners. Sophia is also the co-founder of LatAm List, an English-language Latin American tech news source. More posts by this contributor Latin America Roundup: SoftBank adds $1B, Stori raises $10M and Grow Mobility puts on the brakes Latin America Roundup: Loft raises $175M, SoftBank invests in Mexico’s Alphacredit and Rappi pulls. [more...]

Apr 8, 2020 4:50 PM ET

Restaurant management platform Toast cuts 50% of staff

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 8, 2020 - Image Credits: Toast Last valued at $5 billion, restaurant management platform Toast has joined the sweep of startups laying off employees due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Toast reduced the size of its staff by 50% through layoffs and furloughs, according to a blog post from Toast’s CEO, Chris Comparato. It also reduced executive pay across the board, froze hiring, halted bonuses and pulled back offers. The company’s flagship product helps restaurants. [more...]

Apr 8, 2020 4:45 PM ET

Tyto Care raises $50 million as it looks to buy and build new services during COVID-19 demand surge

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 8, 2020 - Image Credits: Tyto Care(opens in a new window) Tyto Care, the provider of a home health diagnostic device and telemedicine consultation app, said it has raised $50 million in a new round of funding. The round was led by Insight Partners,  Olive Tree Ventures, and Qualcomm Ventures,  according to a statement, and brings the startup’s total capital raised to more than $105 million. The funding comes just as Tyto has seen a dramatic surge in. [more...]

Apr 8, 2020 4:40 PM ET

Hong Kong startup Neat raises $11 million Series A to give small companies more financial services

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 8, 2020 - Image Credits: Neat(opens in a new window) Neat, a Hong Kong-based fintech startup, announced today that it has raised a $11 million Series A to help small businesses do cross-border trade. The round was led by Pacific Century Group, with participation from Visa and MassMutual Ventures Southeast Asia, and returning investors Dymon Asia Ventures, Linear Capital and Sagamore Investments. Neat  also announced a strategic partnership with Visa, which means that in the. [more...]

Apr 8, 2020 4:40 PM ET

Zoom sued by shareholder after security issues tanked its stock price

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 8, 2020 - Just when it looked like Zoom‘s getting its act together, the company‘s troubles got bad to worse. Yesterday, one of its shareholders sued the company in the US for “overstating its privacy standards and failing to disclose that its service was not end-to-end encrypted.” According to a report by Reuters, shareholder Michael Drieu said in the court filing that media coverage around these privacy issues tanked the company‘s stocks.  In the midst of general. [more...]

Apr 8, 2020 4:35 PM ET

Livongo stock jumps over 10 percent on revised earnings guidance, pointing to digital health boom

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 8, 2020 - Livongo Health’s stock jumped over ten percent on a day that saw most exchanges tumble after a day of crazy volatility. The digital diagnostics and therapeutics company is benefiting from booming demand for digital health services as remote medicine takes center stage for beleaguered health care providers looking to keep treating patients while also responding to the COVID-19 epidemic. Livongo,  a provider of behavioral management treatments and diagnostic tools for chronic conditions including. [more...]

Apr 8, 2020 4:30 PM ET

Silicon Valley Bank only started processing stimulus loan applications today

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 8, 2020 - Image Credits: dem10 (opens in a new window)/ Getty Images In a sign of just how broken the process is for startups looking to receive stimulus dollars, Silicon Valley Bank,  the bank that claims “more innovative startups bank with us than any other bank,” only just began processing claims today. “Since the CARES Act and the PPP were announced, we have been hard at work advocating for our clients to have access to this funding.. [more...]

Apr 8, 2020 4:30 PM ET

Netflix now lets you lock your personal profile with a PIN to keep kids (and roommates) out

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 8, 2020 - Image Credits: Chesnot / Getty Images Want to let your kids poke around Netflix without them wandering their way beyond the kids section? Got a roommate who keeps inexplicably forgetting to use their profile and is totally screwing up your “Continue Watching” list? Good news! Netflix is now letting users set a PIN to keep individual profiles locked down. The new feature comes as part of a wider update this morning focusing on improved parental. [more...]

Apr 8, 2020 4:25 PM ET

Australian startup SafetyCulture nabs $800 million valuation on $35.5 million round

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 8, 2020 - Image Credits: Shih Wei Wang / EyeEm / Getty Images SafetyCulture, the Australian enterprise software company that manages security and compliance checks at companies around the world, has raised $35.5 million at an $800 million valuation in its latest round of funding. Nearly half of the new money was meant to provide liquidity to employee shareholders who had been with the company over three years, according to a person familiar with the transaction.. [more...]

Apr 8, 2020 4:20 PM ET

Tesla to cut salaries, furlough workers as COVID-19 shutdowns expected to last until May 4

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 8, 2020 - Image Credits: Mason Trinca for The Washington Post / Getty Images Tesla  will suspend production at its U.S. factories until at least May 4 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting the company to cut pay for salaried employees between 10% and 30% and furlough workers, according to an internal email sent Tuesday night and viewed by TechCrunch. Pay cuts for salaried employees — which ranges from 30% for vice presidents, 20% for director-level executives. [more...]

Apr 8, 2020 4:20 PM ET

Away, the high-flying travel brand, just furloughed half its employees and laid off 10%

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 8, 2020 - Pretty much everyone is getting socked by the COVID-19 shutdown. Among the latest to say so in a public way is Away, the trendy, five-year-old, New York-based travel brand that has raised roughly $180 million from investors over the years, including a $100 million round last year that pegged the company’s valuation at $1.4 billion — nearly three times where it was valued a year earlier. With travel down nearly 100% as the. [more...]

Apr 8, 2020 4:15 PM ET, a virtual tutor for kids learning English, raises $1 million seed round

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 8, 2020 - Image Credits: Aliyev Alexei Sergeevich (opens in a new window)/ Getty Images, a startup that develops virtual tools to help kids learn English, announced today that it has raised $1 million in seed funding from LETA Capital. The capital will be used to expand into new markets and develop new features including mini-classes about health. The San Francisco-based company’s app features a AI-based virtual tutor called Buddy who coaches kids through a. [more...]

Apr 8, 2020 4:10 PM ET

Phos, the UK fintech that offers a software-only POS for smartphones, raises €1.3M

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 8, 2020 - Phos, the U.K. fintech that offers a software-only PoS so that merchants can accept payments directly on their phones without the need for additional hardware, has raised €1.3 million in funding. The round was led by New Vision 3, an early-stage VC based in Bulgaria (where a part of the Phos team is based), with participation from a number of unnamed angel investors. It brings the total raised by Phos. [more...]

Apr 8, 2020 4:10 PM ET

Spotify is testing real-time lyrics

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 8, 2020 - Spotify is partnering with Musixmatch, again. Spotify might be adding real-time lyrics to its app, again. Dozens of Twitter users around the world have reported that lyrics are now popping up as they listen to Spotify. A user with beta confirmed the feature to Android Police. But, this seems to be server-side enabled, as not all users with that beta can see the lyrics. [email protected]     omg i just. [more...]

Apr 8, 2020 4:05 PM ET

Rakuten Mobile’s low-cost data plan fully launches in Japan

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 8, 2020 - Image Credits: Europa Press News (opens in a new window)/ Getty Images Rakuten  Mobile announced the full commercial launch of its low-cost data plan in Japan today. Priced at 2,980 yen (about $27) per month, the plan gives users unlimited calls and data where Rakuten has its own networks. The company also raised the amount of domestic roaming data in response to increased usage of remote working and online education tools. Earlier this week, Prime Minister. [more...]

Apr 8, 2020 4:05 PM ET

PlayStation 5’s new DualSense controller is a sleek and futuristic gaming accessory

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 8, 2020 - Sony  has revealed the design of the PlayStation 5‘s controller — a follow-on to its popular DualShock line that takes on a new name for a new generation: DualSense. The DualSense controller is kitted out in black and white, and in some ways looks like a futuristic, plastic armor-plated robot companion more than a gamepad. It’s still recognizably a product of the DualShock legacy, however, and has the same familiar button layout as. [more...]

Apr 8, 2020 4:00 PM ET

Foxconn’s contentious Wisconsin plant will be used to make ventilators

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 8, 2020 - The Taiwanese company has partnered with healthcare company Medtronic. Foxconn’s dubious Wisconsin factory — the subject of billions of dollars of tax subsidy scrutiny — will be used to produce ventilators to aid in treatment for COVID-19 around the US. The company, best known for assembling Apple’s iPhones at factories in China, has entered into a partnership with healthcare firm Medtronic for the project, which will see ventilators produced “as soon as. [more...]

Apr 8, 2020 4:00 PM ET

Uber for Business expands its corporate Eats delivery feature to 20 more countries

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 8, 2020 - Uber  for Business, a platform designed for corporate customers, is expanding its food delivery Eats product to more than 20 countries this year, in response to a surge in demand as more employees work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The expansion kicks off Wednesday, starting with Brazil, Canada, France and the UK. The ride-hailing company launched Business for Uber in 2014 to give companies a tool that would streamline payments. [more...]

Apr 8, 2020 4:00 PM ET

New email service, OnMail, will let recipients control who can send them mail

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 8, 2020 - A number of startups over the years have promised to re-invent email only to have fallen short. Even Google’s radical re-imagining, the Inbox app, finally closed up shop last year. Today, another company is announcing its plans to build a better inbox. Edison Software is preparing to launch OnMail, a new email service that lets you control who enters your inbox. This is handled through a new blocking feature called Permission Control. The. [more...]

Apr 8, 2020 3:55 PM ET

Cookie consent still a compliance trash fire in latest watchdog peek

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 8, 2020 - The latest confirmation of the online tracking industry’s continued flouting of EU privacy laws which — at least on paper — are supposed to protect citizens from consent-less digital surveillance comes by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC). The watchdog did a sweep survey of around 40 popular websites last year — covering sectors including media and publishing; retail; restaurants and food ordering services; insurance; sport and leisure; and the public sector —. [more...]

Apr 8, 2020 3:50 PM ET

HubSpot unveils new content management system aimed at marketers

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 8, 2020 - HubSpot, the Boston-based inbound marketing firm, announced today it is launching a standalone content management system designed to make it easy for marketing personnel to add and update content. While content management, in a sense, has been core to HubSpot  from the beginning — many companies use their blogging platform, for example — the company built this one from the ground up for marketers, says chief marketing officer Kipp Bodnar. “For me,. [more...]

Apr 8, 2020 3:45 PM ET

Stocks rise following yesterday’s sharp rally

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 8, 2020 - After a sharp Monday rally seemingly built on optimism that the impact of the global pandemic may have reached its zenith in Europe — and indeed that the United States might see a lower infection and mortality peak than some anticipated — shares once again rose this morning. Here’s how the day looks a few minutes into the start of trading today, on this holiday-shortened week: Dow Jones Industrial Average: rose 886.67 at the. [more...]

Apr 8, 2020 3:40 PM ET

Einride demonstrates a single operator controlling multiple of its driverless cargo vehicles

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 8, 2020 - Autonomous electric transportation startup Einride  has taken a key step in its mission to deploy autonomous cargo pods on roads for commercial operations. The Swedish startup demonstrated its technology in use with one person remotely operating two pods at once, which is a fundamental part of their vision of multiple pods ultimately being overseen by one person essentially operating as a traffic controller. The demonstration saw an operator oversee and remotely. [more...]

Apr 8, 2020 3:35 PM ET

WorkClout shifts focus to manufacturing performance support and raises $2.3M seed

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 8, 2020 - WorkClout, a graduate of the Y Combinator Winter 2019 cohort, announced today that it has shifted its focus from manufacturing automation to manufacturing performance support and has raised a $2.3 million seed round. The funding was led by Spider Capital with participation from Y Combinator,  Liquid 2, Soma Capital, Pioneer Fund, Mehta Ventures and several individual investors. When the company launched last year, it was looking at helping customers drive operational efficiency in. [more...]

Apr 8, 2020 3:30 PM ET

Target’s Shipt shoppers are walking off work today

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 8, 2020 - Shipt  shoppers, which began organizing in February, are staging their first action today. Yesterday, a group of Shipt shoppers, who shop and deliver orders from Target and other stores, announced their plans to walk off today. The walk-off is in protest of the way Shipt  has treated its shoppers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Vice first reported. “Unless you get tested for COVID-19 or you’re half dead, Shipt’s not going to care,” Iowa-based Shipt shopper Angie. [more...]

Apr 8, 2020 3:25 PM ET

Pinterest adds new ‘Shop’ tabs connected to in-stock inventory, style guides and more

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 8, 2020 - Given the rise in online shopping attributed to the coronavirus outbreak that has forced consumers to stay home from stores, Pinterest  today is launching a new way to shop on its platform. Now, Pinterest users will be able to browse in-stock inventory from newly added “Shop” tabs on Search and on Pinterest  boards. The company has also improved visual search to make more products shoppable from Pins. The new Shop tab on Search will. [more...]

Apr 8, 2020 3:20 PM ET

Daily Crunch: Airbnb raises another $1B

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 8, 2020 - Airbnb  turns to private equity for new funding, WhatsApp takes new steps to fight disinformation and another potential COVID-19 vaccine enters human trials. Here’s your Daily Crunch for April 7, 2020. 1. Airbnb turns to private equity to raise $1 billion Airbnb  said Monday that it has raised $1 billion in debt and equity from PE firms Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners, even as the online rental marketplace has seen its business. [more...]

Apr 8, 2020 3:15 PM ET

Samsung earnings guidance stays upbeat despite global macro crisis

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 8, 2020 - Samsung overnight released its earnings guidance for the first quarter of 2020, stating that it expected sales of $45.4 billion and an operating profit of roughly $5.3 billion. The company’s fiscal year is aligned to the standard calendar year, and it will announce official earnings results on April 23. Those numbers are slightly up from last year’s first quarter, which had sales of $43.3 billion and an operating profit of roughly $5.1. [more...]

Apr 8, 2020 3:10 PM ET

Tech shares close down on the day despite roaring start

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 8, 2020 - Image Credits: Pixabay (opens in a new window)under a CC0 (opens in a new window)license. American equities closed down today, with the major domestic indices all losing ground after a wild trading cycle. After starting the day up sharply higher after strong Monday gains, those gains were erased as the day closed. It was a day of confusing movement; the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, to pick an example, had a range on the day of more than. [more...]