Tencent, Asia’s highest-valued tech company, has continued to invest in India after it backed online education service BYJU’s. The startup that includes the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Sequoia among its investors. The size of the investment has not been disclosed, but a source close to the deal told TechCrunch that it values BYJU’s around the $800 million mark. Tencent… Read More

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 Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg might not be able to agree about much when it comes to AI these days, but the pair do seem to see the same potential in Vicarious, a startup applying unsupervised learning techniques to robots. Musk and Zuckerberg were two of the early backers of Vicarious. The startup announced that it raised an additional $50 million in financing this morning (via… Read More

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Facebook is apparently working on its own smart speaker and has acquired digital rights management company Source3, SoftBank could bet billions on Uber, Duolingo raises $25 million and more. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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 Beijing-based Momenta announced this morning that it raised a $46 million Series B round led by NIO Capital, Sequoia Capital China and Hillhouse Capital. Momenta produces self-driving car software that applies deep learning to mapping, path planning and object recognition problems. Shunwei Capital, Sinovation Ventures, Unity Ventures and Daimler also participated in the round. Quite a few U.S. Read More

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 As moviemaking becomes as much a science as an art, the moviemakers need to ever-better ways to gauge audience reactions. Did they enjoy it? How much… exactly? At minute 42? A system from Caltech and Disney Research uses a facial expression tracking neural network to learn and predict how members of the audience react, perhaps setting the stage for a new generation of Nielsen ratings. Read More

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 Spin, the bike-sharing service that lets you pick up and drop off a bike anywhere in a city, is coming to South San Francisco. The company’s dockless bike-sharing service made its debut in Seattle last week, and is now spinning its way down south to the Bay Area. Read More

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 Artificial intelligence-focused investment funds are a dime a dozen these days. Everyone knows there’s money to be made from AI, but to capture value, good VCs know they need to back products and not technologies. This has left a bit of a void in the space. AI Grant aims to bankroll science projects for the heck of it to give untraditional candidates a shot at solving big problems. Read More

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 Ever since the first Legendary Pokémon (read: ultra strong, ultra rare Pokémon that require groups of 10-20 players to capture) appeared in Pokémon GO shortly after the upset that was GO Fest, one thing has remained unclear: were the Legendaries here to stay? Read More

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 It’s a years-long trend with no end in sight: venture firms are raising record amounts, owing to growing and sustained fascination from endowments, pension funds, family offices and others who see the sweeping, tech-driven changes all around — from self-driving cars, to new plant-based foods, to far more targeted drugs — and want to be part of that evolution. Read More

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 Human: Oh sweet bot, tell us a story! A nice story! About a very wise human who worked his whole life to save everybody in the world from having to spend time manually tagging their friends in digital photos — and made a magic machine that did it for them instead! Read More

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 It looks like ICOs, shorthand for initial coin offerings, are about to undergo a lot more scrutiny. The SEC has concluded that the digital currency financing events will be regulated as securities, meaning unregistered offerings could be subject to criminal punishment. The decision was announced on Tuesday. To reach its findings, regulators evaluated an offering facilitated by “The… Read More

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 Blue Apron announced several changes at the executive level today, including co-founder Matthew Wadiak stepping down from the COO role to become a senior advisor. Wadiak’s changing role comes after a painful IPO for the meal kit delivery service, which first had to reduce its original IPO price and has since seen a significant drop in its share price. Read More

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 When the ridesharing industry emerged in 2007, few would have believed it would grow into the cash-eating behemoth it is today. Dozens of companies, in hundreds of markets, have garnered just over $47 billion in equity and debt investment. To put that into perspective, we’ve put together a list of 10 things you could have bought instead. Read More

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 DirecTV Now, AT&T’s live TV service aimed at cord cutters, has now reached nearly 500,000 subscribers only 7 months after launch, the company announced today as part of its Q2 2017 earnings release. That uptick comes from the addition of 152,000 subscribers this past quarter, and is up from the 200,000 DTV Now subscribers the company had reported in January, following its first month… Read More

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 ABC News announced today it’s teaming up with digital media company ATTN: to develop original news videos that will be distributed across social media sites, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The partnership aims to produce videos targeting audiences who no longer tune in to traditional news broadcasts aired on television. However, the news footage featured in the program will… Read More

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