Facebook has acquired Servicefriend, which builds ‘hybrid’ chatbots, for Calibra customer service

As Facebook prepares to launch its new cryptocurrency Libra in 2020, it’s putting the pieces in place to help it run. In one of the latest developments, it has acquired Servicefriend, a startup that built bots — chat clients for messaging apps based on artificial intelligence — to help customer service teams, TechCrunch has confirmed. […]

Meet Facebook’s latest fake

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, a 35-year-old billionaire who keeps refusing to sit in front of international parliamentarians to answer questions about his ad business’ impact on democracy and human rights around the world, has a new piece of accountability theatre to sell you: An “Oversight Board“. Not of Facebook’s business itself. Though you’d be forgiven […]

Fujifilm’s upcoming X-Pro3 camera has a unique design sure to appeal to film photographers

Fujifilm is teasing its forthcoming X-Pro3, the successor to its popular digital rangefinder mirrorless camera, ahead of its official full introduction on October 23. During its X Summit event going on today, the company showed off the X-Pro3 in detailed images (via Fujirumors), revealing for the first time its innovative new rear display design. The […]

At TechCrunch Disrupt, insights into key trends in venture capital

At TechCrunch Disrupt, the original tech startup conference, venture capitalists remain amongst the premier guests. VCs are responsible for helping startups — the focus of the three-day event — get off the ground and as such, they are often the most familiar with trends in the startup ecosystem, ready to deliver insights, anecdotes and advice […]

Lookiero closes $19M led by MMC Ventures to be the Stitch Fix for Europe

Lookiero, the online personal shopping service for clothes and accessories, has closed a $19 million funding round led by London-based VC MMC Ventures with support from existing investor All Iron Ventures, and new investors Bonsai Partners, 10x and Santander Smart. The company will use the backing to expand in its main markets of Spain, France […]

Alchemist Accelerator is launching a European program

Enterprise-focused startup accelerator Alchemist is expanding its footprint this morning with the launch of an initiative focused on European startups. While Alchemist was happy to accept European companies into their U.S. program before — they tell me they’ve had about 25 European startups go through Alchemist already — it hasn’t been a focus. With the […]

The cult of the founder and Silicon Valley’s lack of moral authority

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week Kate and Alex were back at TechCrunch’s San Francisco headquarters to chat the news with Kleiner Perkin’s Mamoon Hamid. Hamid is best known as a former member of the Social Capital team, and for driving generational […]

Facebook employee dies after apparent suicide at company’s Menlo Park headquarters

An employee of Facebook died by apparent suicide Thursday morning, Menlo Park police reported and the company confirmed. “We were saddened to learn that one of our employees passed away at our Menlo Park headquarters earlier today,” a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch in an email. The male employee was pronounced dead at the scene, which […]

Ricoh’s Theta Z1 is the first truly premium consumer 360 camera

Ricoh has a well-earned good reputation when it comes to building smart, technically excellent photographic equipment — including the almost legendary Ricoh GR series of pocketable APS-C cameras, which are a favorite among street photographers everywhere. Earlier this year, the company released the Ricoh Theta Z1, which builds on its success with its pioneering Theta […]

Google announces 18 new renewable energy deals

Google today announced its largest package of renewable energy deals yet. Worth a total of 1,600-megawatts, the package includes 18 deals in the U.S., Chile and Europe. This brings Google’s current set of wind and solar agreements to about 5,500 megawatts (MW) and the company’s number of total renewables projects it’s involved in to 52. […]