Alibaba pumps $100 million into Vmate to grow its video app in India

Chinese tech giant Alibaba is doubling down on India’s burgeoning video market, looking to fight back local rival ByteDance, Google and Disney to gain its foothold in the nation. The company said today that it is pumping $100 million into Vmate, a three-year-old social video app owned by subsidiary UC Web. Vmate was launched as […]

Hotstar, Disney’s Indian streaming service, sets new global record for live viewership

Indian video streaming giant Hotstar, owned by Disney, today set a new global benchmark for the number of people an OTT service can draw to a live event. Some 18.6 million users simultaneously tuned into Hotstar’s website and app to watch the deciding game of the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket […]

Alexa, does the Echo Dot Kids protect children’s privacy?

A coalition of child protection and privacy groups has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) urging it to investigate a kid-focused edition of Amazon’s Echo smart speaker. The complaint against Amazon Echo Dot Kids, which has been lodged with the FTC by groups including the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, the Center […]

Dear Hollywood, here are 5 female founders to showcase instead of Elizabeth Holmes

Joseph Flaherty Contributor More posts by this contributor Why the ‘end of the startup era’ could be great for entrepreneurs Invisible unicorns: 35 big companies that started with little or no money There’s a seemingly insatiable demand for Theranos content. John Carreyrou’s best-selling book, “Bad Blood,” has already inspired an HBO documentary, The Inventor; an ABC podcast called […]

Report: Disney in talks with AT&T to buy WarnerMedia’s 10% Hulu stake

Disney is in discussions to buy AT&T’s 10 percent stake in Hulu, which it comes into by way of its WarnerMedia acquisition, according to a report from Variety this morning. The news is not surprising – AT&T had already said it was exploring a sale. And Disney has been looking to increase its stake in […]

Consolidation is coming to gaming, and Jam City raises $145 million to capitalize on it

A slew of banks are coming together to back a new roll-up strategy for the Los Angeles-based mobile gaming studio, Jam City and giving the company $145 million in new funding to carry that out. There’s no word on whether the new money is in equity or debt, but what is certain is that JPMorgan Chase […]

Amazon hires Disney SVP Kyle Laughlin as director of Alexa Gadgets

Amazon has hired Disney SVP Kyle Laughlin to head its Alexa Gadgets division, TechCrunch has learned. Laughlin spent eight years at Disney, most recently as the SVP and general manager of Games, Apps and Connected Experience at the entertainment giant’s Consumer Products and Interactive Media division. According to his LinkedIn profile, the role found Laughlin […]

Still a year away from launch, Meg Whitman and Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Quibi keeps adding talent

Video won’t start rolling on Meg Whitman and Jeffrey Katzenberg’s new bite-sized streaming service with the billion-dollar backing until the end of 2019, but talent keeps signing up to come along for their ride into the future of serialization. The latest marquee director to sign on the dotted line with Quibi is Catherine Hardwicke, who […]

Burgerbot startup Creator hires inventor of Boston Dynamics’ Big Dog

Disney Imagineering animatronics wizard Dr. Martin Buehler is a legend in the robotics world. His work leading development of the galloping Big Dog quadruped at Boston Dynamics both inspired and terrified a new generation of makers. But after playing in the worlds of fantasy and science fiction that consumers can’t buy, Buehler has been poached […]

The ultimate guide to gifting STEM toys: tons of ideas for little builders

The holiday season is here again, touting all sorts of kids’ toys that pledge to pack ‘STEM smarts’ in the box, not just the usual battery-based fun. Educational playthings are nothing new, of course. But, in recent years, long time toymakers and a flurry of new market entrants have piggybacked on the popularity of smartphones […]