This Week in Apps: Spotify debuts a Clubhouse rival, Facebook tests Audio Rooms in US, Amazon cuts Appstore commissions

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 continues to grow, with a record 218 billion downloads and $143 billion in global consumer spend in 2020. Consumers last year a…

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Pitch Deck Teardown: Wilco’s $7 million seed deck

Israeli startup Wilco, which describes itself as “an immersive upskilling platform for software developers," raised $7 million using this slide deck.

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Niantic’s Campfire social AR app rolls out for Pokémon Go players

With Pokémon Go, Niantic became the poster child for the power of mobile AR apps. Since then, the company has struggled to recapture that glory, including a round of layoffs and cancellations.

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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 …

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US lawmakers want to restrict police use of ‘Stingray’ cell tower simulators

Igor Bonifacic Contributor Igor Bonifacic is a contributing writer at Engadget. More posts by this contributor You can now buy the $299 Oculus Quest 2 with 128GB of storage Peloton’s Android app hints at long-rumored rowing machine According to BuzzFeed News, Democratic Senator Ron Wyden and …

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Dollars, deals and the importance of nondilutive capital

Today, on Juneteenth, we recognize the efforts this nation still needs to put toward addressing structural racism and disparities, including in the world of tech. This week, HBCUvc, a nonprofit that aims to diversify the world of venture capital, launched a million-dollar fund. Founder Hadiyah Mujh…

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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”…

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Vietnamese financial services app MFast gets $1.5M pre-Series A led by Do Ventures

MFast, a mobile app that lets Vietnamese users in remote areas access financial services, announced today it has raised a $1.5 million pre-Series A. The round was led by Do Ventures, with participation from JAFCO Asia.  Launched in 2019 by fintech company DigiPay, MFast says it has been used by 600…

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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 purifi…

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Electric utility bike startup Ubco raises $10 million to fund its global expansion

Ubco, the New Zealand-based electric utility bike startup, has raised $10 million to fund a global expansion focused on the U.S. market and scale up its commercial subscription service business.  Ubco’s hero product, the Ubco 2X2, is an all-wheel drive electric motorbike that looks like a dirt bike…

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Deep Science: Keeping AI honest in medicine, climate science and vision

This week, we'll explore a number of projects aimed at identifying or confirming bias or cheating behaviors in machine learning systems, or failures in the data that support them.

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