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Yale may have just turned institutional investing on its head with a new diversity edict - techcrunch

Yale may have just turned institutional investing on its head with a new diversity edict

It could be the long-awaited turning point in the world of venture capital and beyond. Yale, whose $32 billion endowment has been led since 1985 by the legendary investor David Swensen, just let its 70 U.S. money managers across a variety of asset classes know that for the school, diversity has now moved front and […]
techcrunch - 6 hours ago
Facebook and Twitter CEOs to testify before Congress in November on how they handled the election - techcrunch

Facebook and Twitter CEOs to testify before Congress in November on how they handled the election

Shortly after voting to move forward with a pair of subpoenas, the Senate Judiciary Committee has reached an agreement that will see the CEOs of two major social platforms testify voluntarily in November. The hearing will be the second major congressional appearance by tech CEOs arranged this month. The Republican-led Senate Judiciary committee is chaired […]
techcrunch - 11 hours ago
The RIAA is coming for the YouTube downloaders - techcrunch

The RIAA is coming for the YouTube downloaders

In ye olden days of piracy, RIAA takedown notices were a common thing — I received a few myself. But that’s mostly fallen off as tracking pirates has gotten more difficult. But the RIAA can still issue nastygrams — to the creators of software that could potentially be used to violate copyright, like YouTube downloaders. […]
techcrunch - 12 hours ago
Daily Crunch: Uber and Lyft defeated again in court - techcrunch

Daily Crunch: Uber and Lyft defeated again in court

A California court weighs in as Prop. 22 looms, Google removes popular apps over data collection practices and the Senate subpoenas Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg. This is your Daily Crunch for October 23, 2020. The big story: Uber and Lyft defeated again in court A California appeals court ruled that yes, a new state […]
techcrunch - 13 hours ago
Boston startups expand region’s venture capital footprint - techcrunch

Boston startups expand region’s venture capital footprint

This year has shaken up venture capital, turning a hot early start to 2020 into a glacial period permeated with fear during the early days of COVID-19. That ice quickly melted as venture capitalists discovered that demand for software and other services that startups provide was accelerating, pushing many young tech companies back into growth […]
techcrunch - 14 hours ago
The short, strange life of Quibi - techcrunch

The short, strange life of Quibi

“All that is left now is to offer a profound apology for disappointing you and, ultimately, for letting you down,” Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman wrote, closing out an open letter posted to Medium. “We cannot thank you enough for being there with us, and for us, every step of the way.” With that, the […]
techcrunch - 16 hours ago
OnePlus’s 8T handset brings faster charging and a 120Hz display for $749  - techcrunch

OnePlus’s 8T handset brings faster charging and a 120Hz display for $749 

OnePlus continues its twice-yearly smartphone cycle with today’s arrival of the 8T. The latest device isn’t a huge upgrade over April’s OnePlus 8, but continues the company’s longstanding tradition of offering some of the most solid Android handsets at a reasonable price point. The cost has edged up a bit in recent years, but $749 […]
techcrunch - 16 hours ago
CA appeals court upholds ruling that Uber and Lyft must classify drivers as employees - techcrunch

CA appeals court upholds ruling that Uber and Lyft must classify drivers as employees

Uber and Lyft must classify their drivers as employees, an appellate court ruled yesterday evening. However, the decision will be stayed for 30 days after the court issues the remittitur, which has not happened yet. That means depending on how ballot measure Proposition 22 goes, this case may not end up being the deciding factor […]
techcrunch - 18 hours ago
Calling Brussels VCs: Be featured in The Great TechCrunch Survey of European VC - techcrunch

Calling Brussels VCs: Be featured in The Great TechCrunch Survey of European VC

TechCrunch is embarking on a major new project to survey the venture capital investors of Europe, and their cities. Our <a href=”https://forms.gle/k4Ji2Ch7zdrn7o2p6”>survey of VCs in Brussels will capture how the city is faring, and what changes are being wrought amongst investors by the coronavirus pandemic. (Please note, if you have filled the survey out already, […]
techcrunch - 20 hours ago
Google removes 3 Android apps for children, with 20M+ downloads between them, over data collection violations - techcrunch

Google removes 3 Android apps for children, with 20M+ downloads between them, over data collection violations

When it comes to apps, Android leads the pack with nearly 3 million apps in its official Google Play store. The sheer volume also means that sometimes iffy apps slip through the cracks. Researchers at the International Digital Accountability Council (IDAC), a non-profit watchdog based out of Boston, found that a trio of popular and […]
techcrunch - 22 hours ago
Huawei reports slowing growth as its operations “face significant challenges” - techcrunch

Huawei reports slowing growth as its operations “face significant challenges”

Huawei announced earnings results today showing that its growth has slowed significantly this year as the Chinese telecom equipment and smartphone giant said its “production and operations face significant challenges.” While Huawei did not specify trade restrictions in its brief announcement, the company has been hit with a series of commercial trade restrictions by the […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
Nordic challenger bank Lunar raises €40M Series C, plans to enter the ‘buy now, pay later’ space - techcrunch

Nordic challenger bank Lunar raises €40M Series C, plans to enter the ‘buy now, pay later’ space

Lunar, the Nordic challenger bank that started out life as a personal finance manager app (PFM) but acquired a full banking license in 2019, has raised €40 million in Series C funding from existing investors. The injection of capital follows a €20 million Series B disclosed in April this year and comes on the back […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
France rebrands contact-tracing app in an effort to boost downloads - techcrunch

France rebrands contact-tracing app in an effort to boost downloads

Don’t call it StopCovid anymore. France’s contact-tracing app has been updated and is now called TousAntiCovid, which means ‘everyone against Covid’. The French government is trying to pivot so that it’s no longer a contact-tracing app — or at least not just a contact-tracing app. Right now, TousAntiCovid appears to be a rebranding more than […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
India’s Flipkart buys over $200 million stake in Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail - techcrunch

India’s Flipkart buys over $200 million stake in Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail

Flipkart is acquiring a 7.8% stake in Aditya Birla Fashion as the Walmart-owned Indian e-commerce firm makes further push into the fashion category in one of the world’s largest retail markets. The e-commerce group will pay $203.8 million for its stake in Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail, a conglomerate that operates over 3,000 stores including […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
Senate subpoenas could force Zuckerberg and Dorsey to testify on New York Post controversy - techcrunch

Senate subpoenas could force Zuckerberg and Dorsey to testify on New York Post controversy

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted in favor of issuing subpoenas for Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey Thursday, meaning that there might be two big tech CEO hearings on the horizon. Republicans in the committee declared their interest in a hearing on “the platforms’ censorship of New York Post articles” after social networks limited […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
Representatives propose bill limiting Presidential internet ‘kill switch’ - techcrunch

Representatives propose bill limiting Presidential internet ‘kill switch’

A pair of U.S. Representatives — one from each party — are proposing a law that would limit the President’s ability to shut down the internet at will. That may not strike you as an imminent threat, but federal police disappearing protestors into unmarked vans probably didn’t either, until a couple months ago. Let’s keep […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
Quibi says it will shutdown in early December - techcrunch

Quibi says it will shutdown in early December

Quibi is shutting down — we know that much for sure. But when? If you’re looking to blast through all 25 episodes of the Reno 911 revival series before Quibi calls its quits, how long do you actually have? While it seems even Quibi isn’t 100% certain yet, they’ve at least now given users a […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
Extra Crunch Partner Perk: Get 6 months free of Zendesk Support and Sales CRM - techcrunch

Extra Crunch Partner Perk: Get 6 months free of Zendesk Support and Sales CRM

We’re excited to announce an update to the Extra Crunch Partner Perk from Zendesk. Starting today, annual and two-year Extra Crunch members that are new to Zendesk, and meet their startup qualifications, can now receive six months of free access to Zendesk’s Sales CRM, in addition to Zendesk Support Suite, Zendesk Explore and Zendesk Sunshine. […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
Daily Crunch: Facebook Dating comes to Europe - techcrunch

Daily Crunch: Facebook Dating comes to Europe

Facebook’s dating feature expands after a regulatory delay, we review the new Amazon Echo and President Donald Trump has an on-the-nose Twitter password. This is your Daily Crunch for October 22, 2020. The big story: Facebook Dating comes to Europe Back in February, Facebook had to call off the European launch date of its dating […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
Here’s why Intel’s stock just dropped 10% after reporting earnings - techcrunch

Here’s why Intel’s stock just dropped 10% after reporting earnings

The third-quarter earnings cycle is just getting underway, but we’ve already seen a few companies post numbers that investors did not like. Netflix missed on several metrics yesterday and was punished, and today Intel is joining the video streaming giant in stock-market purgatory. Intel shares are off around 10% in after-hours trading after the chip […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
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techcrunch
VCs have to train themselves to ‘ask the stupid questions’, says Hoxton Ventures’ Hussein Kanji

VCs have to train themselves to ‘ask the stupid questions’, says Hoxton Ventures’ Hussein Kanji

techcrunch - 1 month ago

If venture capitalists could predict the future, why wouldn’t they just start companies themselves? That’s the question Hussein Kanji, founding partner at Hoxton Ventures, asked rhetorically at Disrupt 2020.

“If anyone says that they have predictive power in this industry and says they know where the future is gonna be, I just question the wisdom of this,” he said during a session exploring how VCs seek out new markets before they even exist. “Because if you could figure it out, you could come up with the idea, you’re capable enough to be able to put all the pieces together, why would you not found the business?”

Instead, the key to betting on the future is to learn to ask the stupid questions. “I think it’s actually perfectly fine in the venture industry to not be the smart person and to kind of train yourself to be stupid and ask the stupid questions,” said Kanji. “I think a lot of people are probably too shy to do that. And a lot of people [are] probably too risk averse to then write the check when they don’t really understand exactly what it is that they’re investing into. But a lot of this stuff is a lightbulb moment”.

One of those lightbulb moments was Hoxton Ventures’ investment in Deliveroo, the takeout food delivery service that competes with UberEats and helped turn almost every restaurant into a food delivery service. However, Kanji reminded us that the European unicorn wasn’t the first company to try takeout delivery, but new technology, in the form of cheap smartphones coupled with GPS and routing algorithms, meant the timing was now right.

“People did try delivery,” he said, “they tried it back in the 90s. Everyone forgets about that. There’s a company in New York City called Cosmo that would go off and like get you a pint of ice cream on demand. You know, it never worked because they used pagers. Like, do you remember pagers? Like, that’s how they ran the fleet. They couldn’t move the fleet around. They couldn’t get the driver to the apartment and the driver to the store in any kind of efficient way… The breakthrough for delivery, and for that whole industry, was you had smartphones, you could give smartphones to the drivers, you could track what the driver was doing, which is good because then you could route logistics, you know, with a smartphone… light bulb moment”.

Kanji said that, although they are very different businesses and markets, Hoxton’s two other unicorns, Babylon and Darktrace, involved similar lightbulb moments. Yet you don’t get that light bulb moment until someone walks in the door and explains it to you. “Then your natural question is… why now… what’s actually changed? Like, what makes this so interesting? Why didn’t someone come up with this a year ago? There’s almost always usually a reason for that kind of stuff. And then then the harder part of the job is … are you really picking number one?”

Entering or helping to create new markets is often not without controversy — which both Babylon and Deliveroo has attracted for different reasons. As real disruption inevitably creates societal consequences, it often raises ethical questions that, the Hoxton co-founder argues, aren’t always possible to anticipate early on. However, as the picture becomes clearer, he says VCs should absolutely care, along with, of course, founders and CEOs.

“One of the constant criticisms in the tech industry is, I think the maturity of our industry… we behave more like teenagers. And it’s great to be libertarian, it’s great to be free markets and say markets are gonna sort it out. But you’re gonna have touch points with a lot of other places in society. You’ve got to figure out, and I think, get ahead in terms of…what the impact is going to be, and be more responsible”.

sauce: techcrunch
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