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Week in Review: Most popular stories on GeekWire for the week of July 18, 2021

Get caught up on the latest technology and startup news from the past week. Here are the most popular stories on GeekWire for the week of July 18, 2021. Sign up to receive these updates every Sunday in your inbox by subscribing to our GeekWire Weekly email newsletter. Most popular stories on GeekWire Amazon plans to investigate discrimination...

How Facebook works: Comparing its engineering process to Google, Microsoft, and Amazon

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at a Facebook developer conference. (Facebook Photo) Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told employees recently that the company’s long-term goal is to “bring the metaverse to life” — helping to create an interconnected world of physical, virtual and augmented reality spaces that will reshape the way we work, interact with each...

Tech Moves: Techstars Seattle adds director; Redfin’s head of industry relations departs; and more

Sarah Studer. (Techstars Photo) — Former Impact Hub Seattle Managing Director Sarah Studer is joining Techstars Seattle as the director of platform. Studer was most recently assistant director at the University of Washington’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship. Studer spent six years leading Impact Hub Seattle, one of the city’s first co-working spaces....

Amazon leads $2.5B funding round in Rivian, maker of the tech giant’s future electric delivery vans

Rivian is building electric delivery vans for Amazon. (Amazon Photo) Amazon is pouring more money into Rivian, as the electric vehicle maker announced Friday that the tech giant was among lead investors in a $2.5 billion financing round. Amazon made the investment through its Climate Pledge Fund, which is aimed at backing companies that accelerate...

Online learning startup OpenSesame raises $50M as shift to remote work drives demand

Don Spear, CEO of OpenSesame (OpenSesame Photo) Portland, Ore.-based OpenSesame raised $50 million in new funding, the company announced Thursday. Founded in 2011, the startup helps businesses with online learning tools for their workforce. OpenSesame’s catalog includes more than 20,000 courses in 19 different languages. The 173-person company also...

Amazon plans to investigate discrimination within AWS after hundreds of employees sign petition

New Amazon CEO Andy Jassy was the longtime leader of Amazon Web Services. (GeekWire File Photo / Todd Bishop) Amazon says it plans to investigate allegations of discrimination and bias within its Amazon Web Services cloud computing unit after an employee petition criticizing the culture and seeking a probe garnered hundreds of signatures. The petition,...

How Sean McClain founded Absci at just 22 — and now leads a newly public biotech worth nearly $2B

Absci CEO and founder Sean McClain rings the closing bell on the NASDAQ on Thursday with his team as the Vancouver, Wash.-based biotech company went public. (Absci Photo) Biotech CEOs tend to have advanced degrees and multiple academic credentials under their belt. But Sean McClain started Absci as a freshly minted grad from the University of Arizona...

‘Co-warehousing’ startup Saltbox opens facility in Seattle, its third nationwide

Inside Saltbox’s new Seattle location. (Saltbox Photo) Saltbox, a warehousing space provider for small and medium-sized digital commerce companies, has expanded to Seattle. Saltbox offers “co-warehousing” space where online retailers that store physical goods can operate their business. In some ways it’s a mix of WeWork and Public Storage, offering...

Absci shares spike 30% in IPO debut, valuing Washington state biotech company at nearly $2B

AbSci CEO and founder Sean McClain. (AbSci Photo) Shares of Absci surged more than 30% on Thursday as the Vancouver, Wash.-based biotech company made its debut as a public company. Absci priced its stock at $16 per share a day earlier, with expected proceeds of $200 million. Shares opened Thursday at $21. The company is now valued at nearly $2 billion....

Amazon, Expedia, Microsoft, Steam, Costco and many others hit by widespread Internet outage

Some of the sites hit by a widespread internet outage Thursday morning, as shown by the spike in reports as indicated by the red lines on Downdetector.com. An internet outage hit some of the largest online sites in the United States, according to reports tracked by outage monitoring site Downdetector.com. Those impacted include Seattle-based companies...

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