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8 investors tell us the story behind the Romanian startup boom

With record funding levels and three unicorns to show, local investors are buoyant about Romania’s prospects heading into 2021. We caught up with eight of them recently, and heard how the country’s technical talent pool, broadband access and low cost of living have positioned it for the era of remote-first global companies across industries. The momentum...

Instacart to eliminate about 2,000 jobs and GitHub head of HR resigns

Hey y’all. You’ve just landed on Human Capital, the weekly newsletter that details the latest in labor, and diversity and inclusion in tech. The week kicked off with GitHub making a public apology to the person the company terminated for cautioning his employees about Nazis in D.C. on the day of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Later in the week,...

How VCs and founders see 2021 differently

Welcome back to The TechCrunch Exchange, a weekly startups-and-markets newsletter. It’s broadly based on the daily column that appears on Extra Crunch, but free, and made for your weekend reading. Click here if you want it in your inbox every Saturday morning. Ready? Let’s talk money, startups and spicy IPO rumors. We’re shaking things up this weekend...

Augmented reality’s awkward phase will be long and painful

Howdy friends, this is the web version of my Week in Review newsletter, it’s here to entice you to sign up and get it in your inbox every week. Last week, I showcased how Twitter was looking at the future of the web with a decentralized approach so that they wouldn’t be stuck unilaterally de-platforming the next world leader. This week, I scribbled...

Work trips are making a $5 billion comeback

Would you bet millions of dollars on a corporate travel comeback? Doesn’t matter. Andreessen Horowitz, Addition and Elad Gil are anyways. This week, the trio led a nine-figure financing round in TripActions, a software company that helps other companies book and manage corporate travel. But the news is (always) more than the number. I see TripActions’...

Original Content podcast: ‘Bridgerton’ is an addictive reimagining of Jane Austen-style romance

“Bridgerton,” the Shondaland drama that launched last month on Netflix, offers a few key updates to the standard formula of Regency-era  romance. For one thing, there’s a racially diverse cast, with Black actors taking on the role of early 19th-century English nobility and royalty. (At one point, one of the characters offers an unconvincing explanation...

This Week in Apps: TikTok viral hit breaks Spotify records, inauguration boosts news app installs, judge rules against Parler

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the weekly TechCrunch series that recaps the latest in mobile OS news, mobile applications and the overall app economy. The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 218 billion downloads and $143 billion in global consumer spend in 2020. Consumers last year also spent 3.5 trillion minutes using apps on Android...

Watch SpaceX launch its first dedicated rideshare mission live, carrying a record-breaking number of satellites

[UPDATE: Today’s attempt was scrubbed due to weather conditions. Another launch window is available tomorrow at 10 AM ET] SpaceX is set to launch the very first of its dedicated rideshare missions – an offering it introduced in 2019 that allows small satellite operators to book a portion of a payload on a Falcon 9 launch. SpaceX’s rocket has a relatively...

How fintech and serial founders drove African pre-seed investing to new heights in 2020

When Stripe-subsidiary Paystack raised its seed round of $1.3 million in 2016, it was one of the largest disclosed rounds at that stage in Nigeria.  At the time, seven-figure seed investments in African startups were a rarity. But over the years, those same seed-stage rounds have become more common, with some very early-stage startups even raising...

Is any company too big to be SPAC’d?

While many deemed 2020 the year of SPAC, short for special purpose acquisition company, 2021 may well make last year look quaint in comparison. It’s probably not premature to be asking: is there any company too big to be SPAC’d? Just today, we saw the trading debut of the most valuable company to date go public through a merger with one of these SPACs:...

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