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How FaZe Clan is continuing to lead the esports world - techcrunch

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 Lee Trink, investor Troy Carter, and Nick Kolcheff, better known as NICKMERCS, about the shifting industry landscape. Carter first explained the motivation […]
techcrunch - 38 minutes ago
Original Content podcast: ‘Wireless’ shows off Quibi’s Turnstyle technology - techcrunch

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 mode depending on the orientation of your phone. With other Quibi shows, you’re essentially getting two views of the same footage — but with “Wireless” (which is […]
techcrunch - 40 minutes ago
Trump administration’s WeChat ban is blocked by U.S. district court - techcrunch

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 Trump back in August. TikTok got a last minute reprieve yesterday following its signing of an investment and cloud services deal with […]
techcrunch - 2 hours ago
The TikTok deal solves quite literally nothing - techcrunch

The TikTok deal solves quite literally nothing

Well… that was pointless. After debasing the idea of free commerce in the U.S in the name of a misplaced security concern, stringing along several multi-billion dollar companies that embarrassed themselves in the interest of naked greed, and demanding that the U.S. government get a cut of the profits, the TikTok saga we’ve been watching […]
techcrunch - 19 hours ago
President Trump reportedly has approved the Oracle deal for TikTok’s US operations - techcrunch

President Trump reportedly has approved the Oracle deal for TikTok’s US operations

President Donald Trump said has has given his stamp of approval “in concept” on the Oracle bid for the U.S. operations of the wildly popular social media app, TikTok, according to a report from Bloomberg. According to the Bloomberg report Trump said, “I have given the deal my blessing,” as he left the White House […]
techcrunch - 21 hours ago
Homeland Security issues rare emergency alert over ‘critical’ Windows bug - techcrunch

Homeland Security issues rare emergency alert over ‘critical’ Windows bug

Homeland Security’s cybersecurity advisory unit has issued a rare emergency alert to government departments after the recent disclosure of a “critical”-rated security vulnerability in server versions of Microsoft Windows. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, better known as CISA, issued an alert late on Friday requiring all federal departments and agencies to “immediately” patch any […]
techcrunch - 22 hours ago
On lying AIs - techcrunch

On lying AIs

A yellow-eyed cat tilts its eyes at the camera, gazing up from a grey bedspread. ‘London Trip’, is the AI’s title for this photo-montage ‘Memory’ plucked from the depths of my iPhone camera-roll. It’s selected a sad score of plinking piano and sweeping violin. The algorithm has calculated it must tug at the heart strings.  […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
Unity Software has strong opening, gaining 31% after pricing above its raised range - techcrunch

Unity Software has strong opening, gaining 31% after pricing above its raised range

Whoever said you can’t make money playing video games clearly hasn’t taken a look at Unity Software’s stock price. On its first official day of trading, the company rose more than 31%, opening at $75 per share before closing the day at $68.35. Unity’s share price gains came after last night’s pricing of the company’s […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
Conan O’Brien on how to embrace an ever-changing media landscape - techcrunch

Conan O’Brien on how to embrace an ever-changing media landscape

“Like most of the best things in my life,” Conan O’Brien explains, with a wry smile, “the success of the podcast was a complete surprise.” The answer is a typically self-effacing one from the comedian. Since launching “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend” nearly two years ago, the show has quickly risen up the podcasting charts […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
Chamath launches SPAC, SPAC, and SPAC as he SPACs the World with SPACs - techcrunch

Chamath launches SPAC, SPAC, and SPAC as he SPACs the World with SPACs

SPACs are going to rule the world, or at least, Chamath’s future portfolio. Chamath Palihapitiya, the founder of Social Capital, has already tripled down on SPACs, the so-called “blank check” vehicle that takes private companies and flips them onto the public markets. His first SPAC bought Virgin Galactic last year, and his second SPAC bought […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
Daily Crunch: Partial US TikTok ban is imminent - techcrunch

Daily Crunch: Partial US TikTok ban is imminent

The Trump administration moves forwards with plans to ban TikTok and WeChat (although TikTok gets a partial extension), Unity goes public and we announce the winner of this year’s Startup Battlefield. This is your Daily Crunch for September 18, 2020. The big story: US TikTok ban is imminent The U.S. Commerce Department has released details […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
SaaS Ventures takes the investment road less traveled - techcrunch

SaaS Ventures takes the investment road less traveled

Most venture capital firms are based in hubs like Silicon Valley, New York City and Boston. These firms nurture those ecosystems and they’ve done well, but SaaS Ventures decided to go a different route: it went to cities like Chicago, Green Bay, Wisconsin and Lincoln, Nebraska. The firm looks for enterprise-focused entrepreneurs who are trying […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
Check out this never-before-seen clip from HBO’s The Perfect Weapon - techcrunch

Check out this never-before-seen clip from HBO’s The Perfect Weapon

At Disrupt 2020, we got a chance to see some never-before-seen footage from HBO’s upcoming documentary The Perfect Weapon. The documentary, which was executive produced by John Maggio, is based on the book by the same(ish) name written by David Sanger, Washington correspondent for the New York Times. We got to sit down for an […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
Salesforce announces 12,000 new jobs in the next year just weeks after laying off 1000 - techcrunch

Salesforce announces 12,000 new jobs in the next year just weeks after laying off 1000

In a case of bizarre timing, Salesforce announced it was laying off 1000 employees at the end of last month just a day after announcing a monster quarter with over $5 billion in revenue, putting the company on a $20 billion revenue run rate for the first time. The juxtaposition was hard to miss. Earlier […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
And the winner of Startup Battlefield at Disrupt 2020 is… Canix - techcrunch

And the winner of Startup Battlefield at Disrupt 2020 is… Canix

We started this competition with 20 impressive startups. After five days of fierce pitching in a wholly new virtual Startup Battlefield arena, we have a winner. The startups taking part in the Startup Battlefield have all been hand-picked to participate in our highly competitive startup competition. It was an unprecedented year as we moved all […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
Are high churn rates depressing earnings for app developers? - techcrunch

Are high churn rates depressing earnings for app developers?

It’s great to improve your subscription app’s retention rates, but don’t do it for the 85/15 split.
techcrunch - 2 days ago
MIT engineers develop a totally flat fisheye lens that could make wide-angle cameras easier to produce - techcrunch

MIT engineers develop a totally flat fisheye lens that could make wide-angle cameras easier to produce

Engineers at MIT, in partnership with the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, have devised a way to build a camera lens that avoids the typical spherical curve of ultra-wide-angle glass, while still providing true optical fisheye distortion. The fisheye lens is relatively specialist, producing images that can cover as wide an area as 180 degrees […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
Battery tech superstars JB Straubel of Redwood Materials, Celina Mikolajczak of Panasonic coming to TC Mobility 2020 - techcrunch

Battery tech superstars JB Straubel of Redwood Materials, Celina Mikolajczak of Panasonic coming to TC Mobility 2020

It was a trickle at first that has evolved into a slow and steady stream. Now, a wave of new electric vehicles is building, promising to deliver an unprecedented number of models to North America, Europe and China over the next two to three years. There might not be a better time to dig into […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
Zoox becomes fourth company to land driverless testing permit in California - techcrunch

Zoox becomes fourth company to land driverless testing permit in California

Zoox, the automated vehicle technology startup that was acquired by Amazon this year, has been issued a permit from California regulators that will allow it to test driverless vehicles on public roads. The permit is not for all public roads in the state, but it’s still notable considering the company will be able to test […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
Amid layoffs and allegations of fraud, the FBI has arrested NS8’s CEO following its $100+ million summer financing - techcrunch

Amid layoffs and allegations of fraud, the FBI has arrested NS8’s CEO following its $100+ million summer financing

The tagline from today’s announcement from the United States Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York says it all: “Adam Rogas Allegedly Raised $123 Million from Investors Using Financial Statements that Showed Tens of Millions of Dollars of Revenue and Assets that Did Not Exist”. Rogas, the co-founder and former chief executive and […]
techcrunch - 2 days ago
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techcrunch
Kerry Washington explains why she became a startup investor

Kerry Washington explains why she became a startup investor

techcrunch - 3 days ago

“Scandal” and “Little Fires Everywhere” star Kerry Washington won her first Emmy Award yesterday, but when she joined us at TechCrunch Disrupt today, she was much more focused on her work as an investor.

Washington traced much of her interest in technology to the premiere of “Scandal” in 2012. It had, she said, been “almost 40 years since a Black woman was the lead on a network drama,” which meant that the pressure was high and that “Scandal” was considered a “bubble show,” with the network “taking a big risk by putting a Black woman in the lead.”

So Washington said she drew on her experience as a volunteer with Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012, and particularly her work with social media organizing, to try to rally support.

“From the very beginning of that show, we leveraged the power of technology to support the show in ways that traditional media wasn’t supporting us or was waiting to see what the public response would be,” she said. “Really, I think the Twitter-verse allowed us to have a second season, and then we kind of took off from there.”

As for how that led to investing her own money into startups, Washington suggested that she wanted to be more involved.

“When it comes to my engagement with any sort of any creative relationship that I’m in, I’m not really good at having a seat at the table without a voice,” she said. For example, she noted, “I gravitated very quickly in my career …  toward being a producer.”

Similarly, she said that using tech tools was exciting, “but figuring out how to have more stake, more input, more creative voice, more ability to impact the technology itself was really exciting for me.”

Washington’s first investment was in female co-working space The Wing. which she explained as being part of her commitment to “ideas of inclusivity and community, celebrating identity in a really inclusive way, supporting women’s voices, supporting marginalized voices.”

The Wing has seen its share of success, but also controversy, with a New York Times article reporting that a number of employees (particularly women of color) felt that they had been mistreated. In the wake of these criticisms, CEO Aubrey Gelman departed this summer.

When asked about her response to the controversy, Washington said, “As somebody whos an investor, as a woman of color, its important to me that there is increased transparency and also accountability.” She said that over the past few months, her role as an investor has been “really just supporting leadership in this transition,” while also expressing a “deep desire” for that transparency and accountability.

Other investments include Community, which allows celebrities to manage text message conversations with fans. (Washington promised that if you text her, she will really be the one who responds  though she also asked for patience, since she’s texting with “thousands and thousands of people.”) There’s also direct-to-consumer teeth-straightening startup Byte, which Washington said she uses herself.

As for her dream startup, Washington said she has a not-yet-announced investment in a direct-to-consumer fashion startup, “and it feels really dreamy at the moment.”

Again, these have all been personal investments so far. Would Washington consider raising a fund or joining a venture capital firm?

“I have considered it, but at this point, I really like having the more intimate and really hands-on relationship with the investments that I’ve made,” she said. “I feel like I’m really able to be in the trenches and bring more value as an individual investor.”

sauce: techcrunch
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