Daily Crunch: WhatsApp responds to privacy backlash

WhatsApp delays enforcement of a controversial privacy change, Apple may get rid of the Touch Bar in future MacBooks and Bumble files to go public. This is your Daily Crunch for January 15, 2021. The big story: WhatsApp responds to privacy backlash Earlier this month, WhatsApp sent users a notification asking them to consent to sharing some of their personal data — such as phone number and location — with Facebook (which owns WhatsApp). The alert also said users would have to agree to the terms by February 8 if they wanted to continue using the app. This change prompted legal …

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Twitter’s vision of decentralization could also be the far-right’s internet endgame

This week, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey finally responded publicly to the company’s decision to ban President Trump from its platform, writing that Twitter had “faced an extraordinary and untenable circumstance” and that he did not “feel pride” about the decision. In the same thread, he took time to call out a nascent Twitter-sponsored initiative called “bluesky,” which is aiming to build up an “open decentralized standard for social media” that Twitter is just one part of. Researchers involved with bluesky reveal to TechCrunch an initiative still in its earliest stages that could fundamentally shift the power dynamics of the social …

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Marc Lore leaves Walmart a little over four years after selling Jet.com for $3B

Marc Lore, the executive vice president, president and CEO of U.S. e-commerce for Walmart, is stepping down a little over four years after selling his e-commerce company Jet.com to the country’s largest retailer for $3 billion. Lore’s tenure at the company was a mixed bag. Walmart instituted several new technology initiatives under Lore’s tenure, but the Jet.com service was shuttered last May and other initiatives from Lore, like an option to have customers order items via text, was also a money-loser for the Bentonville, AK-based company. Walmart says it will discontinue Jet, which it acquired for $3B in 2016 “After …

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Coinbase commits to a “better customer experience” following complaints

Coinbase has a problem. As interest in bitcoin has soared along with its price, the popular cryptocurrency exchange has found itself the target of a growing spate of angry customers who haven’t been able to access customer service. A quick look at Twitter tells the story. As ranted one upset user of the service just earlier today: “Multiple issues over the last month which cost me $$$ several open cases and 0% response?? When are you going to help me or is it easier to just forget. This wont be so easy when your publicly traded. Will be following up …

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15 steps to fundraising a new VC or private equity fund

David Teten Contributor Share on Twitter David Teten is founder of Versatile VC and writes periodically at teten.com and @dteten. More posts by this contributor Flexible VC: A new model for startups targeting profitability In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 followers Launching is easy; fundraising is harder. I’ve been fortunate to be a partner at two different VC firms over the past nine years, and we’ve grown AUM 10x both times. Based on my experience, taking the 15 steps below will help build the core of a high-performing fundraising and investor relations function. 1. Build the firm …

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Group Nine’s SPAC goes public

Group Nine Media revealed last month that it was forming a SPAC (short for special purpose acquisition corporation) in order to raise money for acquitions. The company has now moved forward with those plans, announcing last night that it had priced the SPAC’s IPO $10 at per unit, to raise a total of $200 million. It’s now trading on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol GNACU; as of 2:53pm Eastern shares were up 6.55%. (Eventually, the Class A common stock will be listed as GNAC and warrants will be listed separately as GNACW.) The offering is expected to close on January …

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Apple is extending Apple TV+ trials again

If you’ve got an Apple TV+ trial that’s set to expire sometime between now and June, good news: you’re getting some free bonus time. Apple TV+ first launched in November of 2019, alongside a one-year free trial for anyone buying a new iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, or Mac. As those initial trials approached their end, Apple voluntarily extended them out to February of 2021. Now they’re extending them once again. As first reported by 9to5Mac, any trial that previously would’ve expired from February to June of 2021 will now expire in July instead. We have confirmed these plans …

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Desktop Metal buys fellow 3D printing company EnvisionTEC for $300M

Desktop Metal this morning announced its intention to purchase fellow 3D printing company EnvisionTEC. Founded in Germany in 2002, EnvisionTEC specializes in photopolymer additive manufacturing, putting its technology in more direct competition with the likes of 3D printing darling Carbon than Desktop Metal’s own existing portfolio. The deal follows Desktop Metal’s push to go public last August as part of a growing trend of SPAC mergers. Prior to this, the company had raised no shortage of its own funds, with a rapid ascent into unicorn status on the wake of $430 million in investments. It’s spending $300 million to acquire …

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WhatsApp delays enforcement of privacy terms by 3 months, following backlash

WhatsApp said on Friday that it won’t enforce its new data-sharing policy to users until May 15, weeks after news about the new terms created confusion among its users, exposed the Facebook-app to a potential lawsuit, launched a nationwide investigation, and led of its loyal fans to explore alternative messaging apps. “We’re now moving back the date on which people will be asked to review and accept the terms. No one will have their account suspended or deleted on February 8. We’re also going to do a lot more to clear up the misinformation around how privacy and security works …

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Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson says wisdom lies with your developers

Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson knows a thing or two about unleashing developers. His company has garnered a market cap of almost $60 billion by creating a set of tools to make it easy for programmers to insert a whole host of communications functionality into an application with a couple of lines of code. Given that background, perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Lawson has written a book called “Ask Your Developer,” which hit the stores this week. Lawson’s basic philosophy is that if you can build it, you should. Lawson’s basic philosophy in the book is that if you …

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