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Daily Crunch: Spotify and Ford make acquisitions

To get a roundup of TechCrunch’s biggest and most important stories delivered to your inbox every day at 3 p.m. PDT, subscribe here. Welcome back to the Daily Crunch for Friday, June 18. Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of the week without Alexander, who will return bright-eyed on Monday. TechCrunch has the day off for Juneteenth, so this...

Extra Crunch roundup: influencer marketing 101, spotting future unicorns, Apple AirTags teardown

With the right message, even a small startup can connect with established and emerging stars on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube who will promote your products and services — as long as your marketing team understands the influencer marketplace. Creators have a wide variety of brands and revenue channels to choose from, but marketers who understand how...

Perspectives on tackling big tech’s market power

The need for markets-focused competition watchdogs and consumer-centric privacy regulators to think outside their respective ‘legal silos’ and find creative ways to work together to tackle the challenge of big tech market power was the impetus for a couple of fascinating panel discussions organized by the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR),...

Mediflash is a freelancer marketplace for health professionals

Meet Mediflash, a new French startup that wants to improve temp staffing in healthcare facilities, such as nursing homes, clinics and mental health facilities. The company positions itself as an alternative to traditional temp staffing agencies. They claim to offer better terms for both caregivers and institutions. “It costs a small fortune to health...

Owning the paycheck is the key to fintech success

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week, Natasha and Danny, otherwise known as your two new favorite Book influencers (inside joke, you’ll get if you listen to the show), hopped on the mics to take everyone through the news, with Grace and Chris in the...

Tiger Global in talks to back BharatPe at $2.5 billion valuation

Indian fintech startup BharatPe is in advanced stages of talks to raise about $250 million in a new financing round led by Tiger Global, two sources familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. The new round, a Series E, is giving the three-year-old New Delhi-headquartered firm a pre-money valuation of $2.5 billion, sources said, requesting anonymity...

UK’s ICO warns over ‘Big Data’ surveillance threat of live facial recognition in public

The UK’s chief data protection regulator has warned over reckless and inappropriate use of live facial recognition (LFR) in public places. Publishing an opinion today on the use of this biometric surveillance in public — to set out what is dubbed as the “rules of engagement” — the information commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, also noted that a number...

KeepTruckin raises $190 million to invest in AI products, double R&D team to 700

KeepTruckin, a hardware and software developer that helps trucking fleets manage vehicle, cargo and driver safety, has just raised $190 million in a Series E funding round, which puts the company’s valuation at over $2 billion, according to CEO Shoaib Makani.  G2 Venture Partners, which just raised a $500 million fund to help modernize existing industries,...

Mobile dialysis startup eyes human trials in 2022 following encouraging animal study

This past year, three sheep in Canada have been wearing their kidneys on their sleeves. Or more aptly, in jackets on their fluffy backs.  These three sheep are part of an ongoing animal study run by the Buffalo, New York-based startup Qidni Labs, a company pursuing waterless and mobile blood purification systems. Qidni Labs was founded in 2014, has...

Ford acquires Electriphi as it prepares to woo EV fleet customers

Ford has two electric vehicles in the pipeline —  the E-Transit cargo van and F-150 Lighting Pro —aimed at commercial customers. Now, the automaker is rounding out its future EV commercial business with the acquisition of battery management and fleet monitoring software startup Electriphi. Terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed. Ford is betting...

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