China’s growing digital influence in Africa

There’s been a heap of China in Africa coverage over the last decade, but very little of it is focused on tech. In part, because the country’s engagement with African startups is light compared to its deal-making on infrastructure and commodities. Now, that all looks to be shifting. TechCrunch has tracked moves by a number […]

Apple tweaks its App Store algorithm as antitrust investigations loom

That Apple has used its App Store to offer itself a competitive advantage is nothing new. TechCrunch and others have been reporting on this problem for years, including those times when Apple chose to display its apps in the No. 1 position on the Top Charts, for example, or when it stole some of the […]

Downloads needed to rank No. 1 on App Store is down 30+% since 2016 for apps, up 47% for games

With the App Store’s big makeover in fall 2017, Apple attempted to shift consumers’ attention away from the Top Charts and more toward editorial content. But app developers still want to make it to the No. 1 position. According to new research from app store intelligence firm Sensor Tower, it’s become easier for non-game apps […]

Facebook sues two app developers for click injection ad fraud

Facebook has filed lawsuits against two app developers accused of generating fraudulent revenue using the social media giant’s advertising platform. The company announced the legal action in a blog post Tuesday. “The developers made apps available on the Google Play store to infect their users’ phones with malware,” said Jessica Romero, director of platform enforcement […]

Flutterwave and Alipay partner on payments between Africa and China

San Francisco and Lagos-based fintech startup Flutterwave has partnered with Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba to offer digital payments between Alipay and African merchants. Flutterwave is a Nigerian-founded B2B payments service (primarily) for companies in Africa to pay other companies on the continent and abroad. Alipay is Alibaba’s digital wallet and payments platform. In 2013, Alipay […]

App revenue tops $39 billion in first half of 2019, up 15% from first half of last year

App store spending is continuing to grow, although not as quickly as in years past. According to a new report from Sensor Tower, the iOS App Store and Google Play combined brought in $39.7 billion in worldwide app revenue in the first half of 2019 — that’s up 15.4% over the $34.4 billion seen during […]

Apple reveals App Store takedown demands by governments

For the first time, Apple has published the number of requests it’s received from governments to take down apps from its app store. In its latest transparency report published Tuesday, the tech giant said it received 80 requests from 11 countries to remove 634 apps from its localized app stores during July 1 and December […]

Vertical market networks, effective startup names, Libra, Carbon, and Sidewalk Labs

The next service marketplace wave: Vertical market networks B2B service marketplaces (think translation as a service) are an extraordinarily lucrative startup category. But despite the incredible potential of these platforms to generate outsized returns, many fail. Why? Ivan Smolnikov, the CEO and founder of translation service startup Smartcat, investigates why certain marketplaces seem to grow […]

Why identity startup Auth0’s founder still codes: It makes him a better boss

If you ask Eugenio Pace to describe himself, “engineer” would be fairly high on the list. “Being a CEO is pretty busy,” he told TechCrunch in a call last week. “But I’m an engineer in my heart — I am a problem solver,” he said. Pace, an Argentinan immigrant to the U.S., founded identity management […]

With antitrust investigations looming, Apple reverses course on bans of parental control apps

With congressional probes and greater scrutiny from federal regulators on the horizon, Apple has abruptly reversed course on its bans of parental control apps available in its app store. As reported by The New York Times, Apple quietly updated its App Store guidelines to reverse its decision to ban certain parental control apps. The battle […]