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- Pay-per-mile auto insurer Metromile is heading to public markets via SPACMetromile, the pay-per-mile auto insurer that earlier this year laid off a third of its staff due to economic uncertainties caused by COVID-19, is taking the SPAC path to the public markets. The company, which was founded in 2011 and is led by CEO Dan Preston, said it has reached a merger agreement with special purpose acquisition company INSU Acquisition Corp. II, with an equity valuation of $1.3 billion. Metromile said it was able to raise $160 million in private investment in public equity, or PIPE, in an investment round led by Chamath Palihapitiya’s firm Social Capital. Existing investors Hudson Structured Capital Management and Mark Cuban, as well as new backers Miller Value and Clearbridge participated. Metromile will have about $294 million of cash at closing. The company plans to use those proceeds to reduce existing debt and accelerate growth, specifically to hire employees to support its consumer insurance… ..... Read More.5 mins ago
- YouTube suspends and demonetizes One America News Network over COVID-19 videoYouTube today confirmed that it has suspended right-wing cable channel One America News Network (OAN or OANN for short). The penalty comes after a violation of YouTube’s stated COVID-19 misinformation guidelines. As a result, the network will be barred from posting new videos for a week, while its existing videos will also be demonetized for that period. A spokesperson for the Google-owned video service offered the following statement to TechCrunch: Since early in this pandemic, we’ve worked to prevent the spread of harmful misinformation associated with COVID-19 on YouTube. After careful review, we removed a video from OANN and issued a strike on the channel for violating our COVID-19 misinformation policy, which prohibits content claiming there’s a guaranteed cure. Additionally, due to repeated violations of our COVID-19 misinformation policy and other channel monetization policies, we’ve suspended the channel from the YouTube Partner Program and as a result, its monetization… ..... Read More.5 mins ago
- ‘Complete Success’: Rocket Lab’s booster recovery is a big step towards reusabilityRocket Lab has successfully recovered the first stage of an Electron launch vehicle after it made a controlled splashdown in the Atlantic, marking a major milestone in the company’s quest for a reusable rocket. CEO Peter Beck, speaking to press shortly after the operation, called the mission “a complete success” — and it raised $286,092 for charity to boot. This was the first major test of Rocket Lab’s improved Electron, which has a modified interstage (above the first stage booster but below the second stage, which takes the payload into orbit) that allows the booster to make a controlled descent after detaching. The plan for the future is to have a helicopter catch the booster in mid-air, but this first time the team decided to let it splash down first. “Pulling rockets out of the ocean is just not fun,” Beck noted. Before the mission even starts, a general… ..... Read More.23 mins ago
- Discord is close to closing a round that would value the company at up to $7BDiscord, the communications service that’s become the 21st century’s answer to MUD rooms, is close to closing a new round of financing that would value the company at up to $7 billion, according to sources with knowledge of the round. The new funding comes just months after a $100 million investment that gave the company a $3.5 billion valuation. Discord’s doubling in corporate value comes as the persistent, inept, American response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to accelerate the adoption and growth of businesses creating virtual social networking opportunities. Discord built its initial growth on the back of the gaming industry and the rise of multi-player, multi-platform games that supplanted earlier social networks as the online town square for a generation of young gamers (whose numbers globally now spiral north of several billion). But, as the company’s founders noted when they announced their last round of financing, the Discord… ..... Read More.56 mins ago
- Instagram businesses and creators may be getting a Messenger-like ‘FAQ’ featureInstagram is developing a new product, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), that will allow people to start conversations with businesses or creators’ accounts by tapping on a commonly asked question within a chat. Those who already have the feature available report they’re able to create set of up to four questions which can optionally be displayed at the beginning of a conversation with other users. The feature could be useful for businesses that are often responding to customer inquiries about their products or services, or for creators who receive a number of inbound requests from fans or brands interested in collaborations, for example. Image Credits: @thenezvm (opens in a new window) The product’s introduction highlights the extent that Instagram’s messaging platform now overlaps with Facebook Messenger, following the recent launch of the new Instagram messaging experience. In September, Facebook announced Instagram users would have the option to upgrade to a new… ..... Read More.1 hour ago
- Dija, a new delivery startup from former Deliveroo employees, is closing in on a $20M round led by B...Dija, a new U.K. based startup founded by senior former Deliveroo employees, is closing in on $20 million funding, TechCrunch has learned. According to multiple sources, the round, which has yet to close, is being led by Blossom Capital, the early stage venture capital firm founded by ex-Index and LocalGlobe VC Ophelia Brown. It’s not clear who else is in the running, although I understand it was highly contested and and the startup had offers from several top tier funds. Blossom Capital and Dija declined to comment. Playing in the convenience store and delivery space, yet to launch Dija is founded by Alberto Menolascina and Yusuf Saban, who both spent a number of years at Deliveroo in senior positions. Menolascina was previously Director of Corporate Strategy and Development at the takeout delivery behemoth and held several positions before that. He also co-founded Everli (formerly Supermercato24), the Instacart-styled grocery delivery company… ..... Read More.1 hour ago