Taboola intros Facebook-style ‘news feed’ to target mobile users with more links

 Taboola, the startup that works with hundreds of publishers to provide a set of links at the bottom of pages directing readers to more content on the site and elsewhere, has long positioned Facebook as the big competitor. Consumers scanning articles on Facebook, especially on mobile, are less likely to ever visit a publisher’s own site, even more so now with the introduction of… Read More

Google’s AMP now powers 2B+ mobile pages and 900K domains, loads 2x faster

 As Google looks for ways to keep people using its own mobile search to discover content — in competition with apps and other services like Facebook’s Instant Articles — the company is announcing some updates to AMP, its collaborative project to speed up mobile web pages. Today at the Google I/O developer conference, Google announced that there are now over 2 billion AMP… Read More

Apple acquires AI company Lattice Data, a specialist in unstructured ‘dark data’, for $200M

 As large tech companies gear up to make a stronger push into machine learning and artificial intelligence, Apple has acquired a company to fill out its own capabilities in the area. Specifically, Apple has picked up Lattice Data, a company that applies an AI enabled inference engine to take unstructured, “dark” data and turn it into structured (and more usable) information. Read More

Improbable grabs $502M led by Softbank at a $1B+ valuation for its virtual world Spatial OS

 Improbable, the London startup that has developed a platform for third parties to build vast virtual and simulated worlds, has landed a stratospheric round of funding to double down on its product and expanding its ecosystem of developers. The company, which also has offices in San Francisco, has raised $502 million in funding led by SoftBank, with previous investors Andreessen Horowitz and… Read More

Kreditech raises €110M from Naspers’ PayU in strategic financing partnership

 Kreditech, the German startup backed by Peter Thiel, Rakuten and the IFC that creates credit ratings and provides finance to people who may not otherwise have credit histories, has raised another round of funding from one of its strategic partners. PayU, the payments company owned by Naspers that is known by some as the “PayPal of emerging markets” — its business is mainly… Read More

SoundCloud’s ‘The Upload’ uses machine learning to help you find new tracks

 SoundCloud made a name for itself among the landscape of music streaming services as the one where creators themselves were uploading music and other sound recordings — picking up the moniker “the YouTube of audio” in the process. Now the company is launching a new discovery feature that plays on that idea. The Upload, as it is called, will suggest new music to you that… Read More

Facebook to add 3,000 to team reviewing posts with hate speech, crimes, and other harming posts

 A week after news broke of multiple videos of suicides posted on Facebook remaining on the site for hours, the company has announced a new plan to add 3,000 more people to its operations team to screen for harmful videos and other posts to respond to them more quickly in the future. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook said that this would be in addition to the 4,500 people already working… Read More

Data management startup Rubrik confirms $180M round at a $1.3B valuation

Data flying over group of laptops to illustrate data integration/sharing. Rubrik, a startup that provides data backup and recovery services for enterprises across both cloud and on-premises environments, has closed a $180 million round of funding that values the company at $1.3 billion. The news confirms a report we ran earlier this week noting that the company was raising between $150 million and $200 million. Read More

Korea’s Ticket Monster raises $115M in a $1.2B downround to ramp up in grocery, travel

 After an M&A rollercoaster that involved getting acquired by LivingSocial and then Groupon (before getting spun out again), Korea’s Ticket Monster, a mobile e-commerce marketplace, today is announcing a major cash injection to boost its chances as an independent company in a highly competitive, tech-savvy market. The company has raised $115 million from a new outfit, the Simone… Read More

Data management startup Rubrik is raising up to $200M on a $1B valuation

 Make way for another juggernaut amongst enterprise startups: Rubrik, a data backup company that only emerged from stealth in 2015, is in the process of raising between $150 million and $200 million on a valuation of $1 billion as the company enters a period of strong demand for its storage and data management products, according to sources. TechCrunch first learned of the new fundraise via… Read More