TC

Crypto firm Pantera Capital is looking to raise up to $175 million for a new venture fund

Pantera Capital, which has made its mark in recent years by investing early and often in a wide variety of digital assets, is looking to raise up to $175 million for its third venture fund — an enormous jump from the $25 million it deployed for its second venture fund and its $13 million debut venture fund, which it closed in 2013. Firm partner Paul Veradittakit says the target amount is a “function of how fast the space is moving, the talent coming in, the opportunities, and the sizing of rounds. With more interesting later-stage investments [on our radar], too, we want to be flexible and able to move with the market.” Whether the firm closes with $175 million or another number is an open question. A newly processed SEC filing shows it has so far rounded up more than $71 million in capita...

Tweetbot loses several key features ahead of Twitter’s API change

Twitter’s API changes won’t come out until tomorrow, but its ramifications are already being felt. Tapbots released an update today to Tweetbot for iOS that loses many of the Twitter client’s most popular or essential features. It also removed its Apple Watch app. In Tweetbot’s App Store release notes, Tapbots explained “on August 16th Twitter will disable parts of their public interface that we use in Tweetbot. Because Twitter has chosen not to provide alternatives to these interfaces we have been forced to disable or degrade certain features. We are sorry about this, but unfortunately this is totally out of our control.” The changes mean that Tweetbot’s timeline streaming is now disabled, so timelines will refresh every one to two minutes instead–a loss for people who want to see new twe...

Facebook says birthday fundraisers have raised more than $300 million over the past year

Facebook marked the first anniversary of its birthday fundraisers by revealing that more than $300 million in donations have been raised through the feature, which lets users mark their birthdays by creating a donation drive for an organization of their choice. About 750,000 non-profits currently have access to Facebook’s fundraising tools (but not every user, since they haven’t rolled out to all countries). The company also said that it is adding several new features based on feedback. These include allowing Pages to create and donate to fundraisers, as well as the ability to add matching donations and co-organizers to fundraisers. Donors will also be able to choose if they want to set up a recurring monthly contribution. For people who want to create a birthday fundraiser but don’t have ...

Tesla whistleblower tweets photos of allegedly damaged batteries

Martin Tripp, the former Tesla employee who was fired from Tesla and then sued by the company, has tweeted a number of photos that allegedly show damaged batteries and flawed practices at Tesla’s battery factory, CNBC first reported. In an attempt to corroborate some of his claims, Tripp has posted photos of vehicle identification numbers that he says were delivered with faulty, punctured battery cells. “As we’ve said before, these claims are false and Mr. Tripp does not even have personal knowledge about the safety claims that he is making,” a Tesla spokesperson told TechCrunch via email. “No punctured cells have ever been used in any Model 3 vehicles in any way, and all VINs that have been identified have safe batteries. Notably, there have been zero battery safety issues in any Model 3....

Powered by $25 million, Arcadia Power looks to expand its distributed renewable energy services

As renewable energy use surges in the U.S. and the effects of global climate change become more visible, companies like Arcadia Power are pitching a nationwide service to make renewable energy available to residential customers. While states like New York, California and regions across the upper Midwest have access to renewable energy through their utilities and competitive marketplaces, not all states in the country have utilities that are building renewable power generation to offset coal and natural gas energy production. Enter Arcadia Power and its new $25 million in financing, which will be used to redouble its marketing efforts and expand its array of services in the U.S. Right now, renewable energy is the fastest growing component of the U.S. energy mix. It’s grown from 15 percent t...

Meet the Disrupt SF 2018 Virtual Hackathon judges and our semi-finalists

Holy hackathon, people. Here’s an exciting update on the judges and semi-finalists who are set to make the Virtual Hackathon — at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2018 on September 5-7 — an event that redefines “epic.” Since June, more than 1,000 developers, programmers, hackers and tech makers all over the world have been hard at work on their most creative hacks, and we recruited an impressive panel of judges — check out their bona fides below — to help us narrow the field. There were so many incredible hacks, but only 30 semi-finalist slots. We don’t envy the judges, but they rose to the challenge. The semi-finalists (see below) represent the 30 highest-scoring teams, and they’ll go on to demo their projects at Disrupt SF 2018. From that field of 30, the judges will thin the herd down t...

Twitter puts Infowars’ Alex Jones in the ‘read-only’ sin bin for 7 days

Twitter has finally taken action against Infowars creator Alex Jones, but it isn’t what you might think. While Apple, Facebook, Google/YouTube, Spotify and many others have removed Jones and his conspiracy-peddling organization Infowars from their platforms, Twitter has remained unmoved with its claim that Jones hasn’t violated rules on its platform. That was helped in no small way by the mysterious removal of some tweets last week, but now Jones has been found to have violated Twitter’s rules, as CNET first noted. Twitter is punishing Jones for a tweet that violates its community standards but it isn’t locking him out forever. Instead, a spokesperson for the company confirmed that Jones’ account is in “read-only mode” for up to seven days. That means he will still be able to use the servi...

Karma raises $12M to let restaurants and grocery stores offer unsold food at a discount

Karma, the Stockholm-based startup that offers a marketplace to let local restaurants and grocery offer unsold food at a discount, has raised $12 million in Series A funding. Swedish investment firm Kinnevik led the round, with participation from U.S. venture capital firm Bessemer Venture Partners, appliance manufacturer Electrolux, and previous backer VC firm e.ventures. It brings total funding to $18 million. Founded in late 2015 by Hjalmar Ståhlberg Nordegren, Ludvig Berling, Mattis Larsson and Elsa Bernadotte, and launched the following year, Karma is an app-based marketplace that helps restaurants and grocery stores reduce food waste by selling unsold food at a discount direct to consumers. You simply register your location with the iOS or Android app and can browse various food merch...

‘Unhackable’ BitFi crypto wallet has been hacked

The BitFi crypto wallet was supposed to be unhackable and none other than famous weirdo John McAfee claimed that the device – essentially an Android-based mini tablet – would withstand any attack. Spoiler alert: it couldn’t. First, a bit of background. The $120 device launched at the beginning of this month to much fanfare. It consisted of a device that McAfee claimed contained no software or storage and was instead a standalone wallet similar to the Trezor. The website featured a bold claim by McAfee himself, one that would give a normal security researcher pause: Further, the company offered a bug bounty that seems to be slowly being eroded by outside forces. They asked hackers to pull coins off of a specially prepared $10 wallet, a move that is uncommon in the world of bug bounties. The...

DC Entertainment’s new streaming and digital comics service pops up on Google Play

DC Universe’s digital subscription and streaming service has just appeared on Google Play, ahead of its planned fall 2018 release. Announced in late June, the service includes a streaming library of original programming like a live action version of “Teen Titans” and several other shows; plus a selection of DC animated movies, classic TV series like “Wonder Woman,” the four Christopher Reeve-starring Superman films; and a host of other content like a lineup of digital comics, an online forum, and more. So far, interested users can only sign up to pre-order the service, and that, apparently, has not changed. However, the company has said that it would begin a beta test in August, and the app’s launch appears to be the first indication that’s about to kick off. One screen, for example, shows...

Submit your application to TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa 2018

If there’s one thing we learned hosting last year’s Startup Battlefield in Kenya, it’s that the tech startup scene across Africa is both impressive and growing rapidly. More than 300 tech hubs connect and mentor entrepreneurs across the continent — making it an exciting time and place to be a startup. And we can’t wait to see even more of Sub-Saharan Africa’s best innovators, makers and technical entrepreneurs compete in TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa 2018 in Lagos, Nigeria on December 11. If you haven’t applied yet, what the heck are you waiting for? Submit your application right here and launch your early-stage startup to the world. We’re searching for the best of the best, and our expert TechCrunch editors will review every eligible application and select up to 15 companies to co...

Ethereum’s falling price splits the crypto community

Hello And Welcome Back To The Latest Edition Of All The Cryptos Are Getting Rekt Right Now. Crypto bloodbaths have become fairly common in 2018 — mainly because of the insane growth in 2017 — but we’ve not covered them all because they are so numerous and often include so-called ‘flash crashes’ or small drops, but the fall happening today is worth noting for several wider reasons. Primarily that’s because this is a major test for Ether — the token associated with the Ethereum Foundation that is the second largest cryptocurrency by volume — has been on a downward spiral with little sign of change. Ether, which is the preferred platform of choice for most developers building on the blockchain, is down nearly 17 percent over the past day. That’s erased billions of dollars in paper (crypto) va...