Africa Roundup: Zimbabwe’s net blackout, Partech’s $143M fund, Andela’s $100M raise, Flutterwave’s pivot

Jake Bright Contributor More posts by this contributor Partech is doubling the size of its African venture fund to $143 million Zimbabwe’s government faces off against its tech community over internet restrictions A high court in Zimbabwe ended the government’s restrictions on internet and social media last month. After days of intermittent blackouts at the […]

Facebook removes hundreds of accounts linked to fake news group in Indonesia

Facebook said today it has removed hundreds of Facebook and Instagram counts with links to an organization that peddled fake news. The world’s fourth largest country with a population of over 260 million, Indonesia is in election year alongside Southeast Asia neighbors Thailand and the Philippines. Facebook said this week it has set up an ‘election […]

Amazon has paused sales of its Echo Wall Clock due to connectivity issues

Amazon launched an Echo Wall Clock before the end of last year but, less than a month later, things aren’t running to schedule. The e-commerce giant has paused the sale of the $30 Alexa-powered smart clock after a number of customers reported connectivity issues, according to The Verge. The clock is still listed on Amazon but, as […]

Coinbase acquihires San Francisco startup Blockspring

Coinbase is continuing its push to suck up talent after the $8 billion-valued crypto business snapped up Blockspring, a San Francisco-based startup that enables developers to collect and process data from APIs. The undisclosed deal was announced by Blockspring on its blog, and confirmed to TechCrunch by a Coinbase representative. Coinbase declined to comment further. […]

Byju’s buys Osmo for $120M to add blended learning to its $4B digital education business

Weeks after it raised a massive $540 million funding round, Indian education unicorn Byju’s is on the M&A path. The company announced today it has snapped up U.S.-based Osmo, a startup that develops apps for kids that use offline input, in a deal worth $120 million. Osmo has raised more than $30 million from investors […]

BasisAI, a Singapore startup from Bay Area returnees, comes out of stealth with impressive creds

An intriguing new startup is out from under the radar in Southeast Asia after BasisAI, a Singapore-based company, revealed itself this week. The startup disclosed a seed investment from two prestigious investors in the region and some impressive credentials to back it up. Started by twin brothers Linus and Silvanus Lee and Liu Feng-Yuan — all Singapore […]

Facebook and PayPal pull pages of far-right British activist filmed intimidating public figures

Facebook has confirmed it has removed the pages and profiles of a far-right political activist in the U.K. after concerns were raised in parliament about aggressive intimidation of politicians and journalists trying to go about their business in and around Westminster. PayPal has also closed an account that was being used to solicit donations for […]

FCC greenlights Soli, Google’s radar-based gesture tech

Google has won U.S. regulatory approval to go ahead with a radar-based motion sensor that could make touchscreens look obsolete in the coming years. Known as the Soli Project, the initiative began in 2015 inside Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects unit, a group responsible for turning the giant’s cutting-edge ideas into products. We’ve seen a […]

Indonesia unblocks Tumblr following its ban on adult content

Indonesia, the world’s fourth largest country by population, has unblocked Tumblr nine months after it blocked the social networking site over pornographic content. Tumblr — which, disclaimer, is owned by Oath Verizon Media Group just like TechCrunch — announced earlier this month that it would remove all “adult content” from its platform. That decision, which angered […]

Facebook is not equipped to stop the spread of authoritarianism

Yael Grauer Contributor Yael Grauer is an independent tech journalist and investigative reporter based in Phoenix. She’s written for The Intercept, Ars Technica, Breaker, Motherboard, WIRED, Slate and more. After the driver of a speeding bus ran over and killed two college students in Dhaka in July, student protesters took to the streets. They forced […]