It plans to use the new funds for R&D, branding, marketing, and sales channel expansion.
Google will continue to allow parental control apps that do the same thing — but apps will have to show a notification when they're being tracked.
The round comes as a new season of the Indian Premier League is set to kick off later this week, following months of pandemic related delays.
A security researcher says he alerted United to the bug in July; the airline says it doesn't believe sensitive information was visible.
Taboola and Outbrain, best known as the rival chumbox providers who fill space on your favorite websites with garbage like “You Won’t Believe What [NAME] Looks Like Today!” and the ever-popular “1 Weird Trick,” will apparently not be merging into the ultimate source of low-quality web filler we’d feared ever since the Department of Justice saw fit to put its stamp of approval on the deal. CNBC, The Wall Street Journal and TechCrunch are all reporting that the merger, first announced in October 2019, is being called off, after an attempt to renegotiate changing conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t result in a new agreement. What a shame! If you’re curious what a chumbox looks like, you won’t have to look far. (Vox Media is not... Continue reading…
Apple is delaying the rollout of a proposed privacy tweak in iOS 14 that allows users to opt out of ad tracking until early next year. In a statement shared with TechCrunch and The Information, the iPhone maker said it’s doing so “to give developers the time they need to make the necessary changes.” The exact date when the policy would be enforced is expected to be announced later. iOS 14, which is due in a couple of weeks, is all set to make device identifiers (called IDFA or “Identifier for Advertisers”) — a distinct, randomly generated code assigned to… This story continues at The Next WebOr just read more coverage about: Apple
In other words, it could be termed as a food rating app, wherein people all over the world could express their opinion about their favorite restaurant food.According to TechCrunch, FoodSpotting has over 15,000 monthly food reviews or spottings.Conduct a thorough market analysis and try to overcome the shortcomings faced by your competitors in your app.So you can utilize your maximum strength and set a high benchmark for your app.Design: The app should offer an exceptional browsing experience to the users.So they can navigate through the food discovery app swiftly without any hassles.For instance, there mustn’t be many features crammed together making it difficult for users to find the required feature.Development: Most effective development methodology is agile development as both app development and testing take place simultaneously.
Amazon is aiming to make furniture shopping a little easier
Video game creation software maker Unity on Monday publicly filed its paperwork for an initial public offering. The company didn't say how many shares it plans to sell or at what price, but said it plans to raise as much as $100 million. Unity was founded 16 years ago in Denmark; despite its long history, it's still losing significant amounts of money — $54 million just in the first six months of this year. The company's filing comes as Epic Games is in a dispute with Apple that could bar Epic from updating its Unreal game engine — which competes with Unity's software — for iPhones and Macs. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Unity, a company that provides software for video game creators, on Monday publicly filed its paperwork for an initial public offering. The San Francisco company did not say how many shares it plans to sell or offer a price range for them, but for the purposes of the filing, in dictated that it plans to raise as much as $100 million in the offering. Unity was valued at around $6 billion in a venture fundraising round in May of last year.  Unity's namesake software — a game engine, in industry parlance — is the foundation behind many popular games, including "Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout" and "Ori and the Will of the Wisps." It allows developers to more easily bring their games to multiple platforms, including PC, Mac, smartphones, and the major video game consoles.  The company has had a long road to going public. It was founded in 2004 in Denmark. It later relocated its headquarters to the San Francisco Bay Area. A decade after its founding, the company brought in longtime video game executive John Riccitiello to serve as its CEO, replacing founder David Helgason. Riccitiello then overhauled Unity's management team. Unity has raised some $700 million in venture funding over some six rounds starting in 2009, according to PitchBook. Unity is still losing money Despite a long history and a typically highly profitable business model — offering software to other enterprises — Unity is losing significant amounts of money and, until recently, its losses were growing. In the first six months of this year, the company lost $54.2 million on revenue of $351.3 million. In the same period last year, it lost $67.1 million on $252.8 million in sales. Last year, it lost $163.2 million on $541.8 million in sales. In 2018, it lost $131.8 million on sales of $380.8 million. According to its IPO paperwork, Unity has never been profitable. The company had 3,379 full-tme employees as of June 30, up from 2,715 on December 31. Riccitiello and Helgason are among those who are poised to profit off the offering. Riccitiello owns 8.3 million Unity shares and stock options, giving him a 3.4% stake in the company. Helgason, now a board member of the company, owns 10.4 million shares, or about 4.4%. Other top shareholders include Roelof Botha, a longtime board member and a partner at Unity investor Sequoia Capital, who controls 14 million shares, or 5.9%; Egon Durban, a director since 2017 and a partner at Silver Lake, who represents Silver Lake's stake in Unity of 43.3 million shares, or 18% of the company; and Barry Schuler, a director since 2016 and a partner at Draper Fisher Jurveston, who represents that firm's 4.2 million shares or 1.8% stake. Riccitiello is Unity top-paid top official. Last year, the company gave him $8.5 million in total compensation, including a $360,000 salary, $255,452 in cash incentive pay, and $7.8 million worth of stock options. Unity's next two highest-paid executives were Kimberly Jabal, its chief financial officer, who received $5.2 million in total compensation; and Ingrid Lestiyo, a senior vice president and general manager of its Operate Solutions area, who received $2.8 million. Its IPO filing comes as Epic Games, one of Unity's chief rivals, is in the midst of a legal and contractual dispute with Apple. As a result of that dispute, Epic has warned that it could soon be unable to offer updates to its Unreal game engine — the basic software that underlies numerous video games — for Apple devices, including iPhones and Macs. Got a tip about Unity or another startup? Contact Troy Wolverton via email at [email protected], message him on Twitter @troywolv, or send him a secure message through Signal at 415.515.5594. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop. Read more about Unity: Unity, the $6.3 billion startup that quietly powers some of the biggest video games in the world, is reportedly ramping up for an IPO as soon as this year Unity Technologies, the gaming startup worth more than $3 billion, is reportedly planning to go public in 2020 The CEO of one of the most important startups in video gaming explains why the next big thing hasn't yet replaced the smartphone One of the leading companies in the video-game business is gunning to take over the enterprise software industry SEE ALSO: One of the most important startups in video games just lost its CFO — right after raising $145 million in new funds Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why electric planes haven't taken off yet
Angry TikTok users review-bombed Trump's official 2020 campaign app to the point where Apple had to reset the app's star rating, TechCrunch reports. The review-bombing — where users post a flood of negative reviews — started in July, but intensified in August around the time Trump signed an executive order banning US companies from doing business with TikTok's parent company, ByteDance. Apple reset the star rating on August 14, a day before Trump signed a second executive order stipulating TikTok sell off its US operations. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. TikTok users left so many one-star reviews on Donald Trump's 2020 campaign app that Apple had to reset the app's rating, TechCrunch reports. According to data from Sensor Tower the TikTok fans, apparently angry with Trump's attacks on the popular video-sharing platform, posted reviews saying the Trump 2020 app was buggy, glitchy, and that it stole personal information. The last complaint appears to be a satirical swipe at the Trump administration's claims TikTok relays US user data to the Chinese government. The review-bombing protest seems to go back to July, when Bloomberg reported TikTok users — galvanized by popular user DeJuan Booker — started leaving negative reviews to protest the Trump administration's increasing hostility to the app. The app's number of one-star ratings jumped from 20,500 to 216,500 between July 7 to July 9. The review-bombing picked up steam again around the time the US officially sanctioned TikTok with two executive orders. On August 7, Trump barred US companies from doing business with TikTok's Chinese parent company ByteDance on the grounds that it poses a national security threat. Trump followed this up with a second executive order on August 15, saying TikTok must sell off its US business. Apple reset the Trump 2020 app's star rating on August 14, and it now stands at 3.8. TikTok activists have been a thorn in the Trump 2020 campaign's side before. In June, TikTok users and K-Pop fans claimed to have tanked attendance at Trump's comeback Oklahoma rally by applying for tickets online then not showing up.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why you don't see brilliantly blue fireworks
Palantir Technologies is reportedly adding a lockup period to its direct listing, limiting investors' ability to sell shares immediately after the company starts trading.  Through the plan, investors could sell about 20% of their shares immediately.  Spotify and Slack, the two companies that paved the way for direct listings, didn't have such a lockup period.  The lockup plan could limit insider trading, address investor expectations, and limit volatility, public offering experts said. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Palantir Technologies is planning to go public via a direct listing, the same method pioneered by Slack and Spotify, but it may do so with a twist that could help shore up confidence in the money-losing tech company.  Palantir plans to adopt a so-called lockup provision in which its current investors will be able to sell up to 20% of their holdings in the direct listing, but would be barred from selling additional shares for 180 days, according to reports in The New York Times, The Information, and Tech Crunch. The lock-up provision left some observers scratching their heads. Lockup periods are common in traditional IPOs. But neither Slack nor Spotify — the only two companies that have thus far used the direct listing method to go public in the US — included one in their offerings. Unlike its two direct listing predecessors though, Palantir will enter the public markets amid great political and economic uncertainty if, as expected, its goes public in September. And because the secretive data analytics company is bleeding hundreds of millions of dollars in red ink and opting for a novel path to the public markets, a lock-up could provide a critical measure of stability.  Right now, experts told Business Insider, the direct listing is still an emerging alternative to the traditional IPO, with no set standards or commonly accepted terms — giving Palantir the freedom to call its own shots. "It's just two" direct listings to date, said Reena Aggarwal, a finance professor and director of the Center for Financial Markets and Policy at Georgetown University. "That doesn't set a trend yet," she continued. Lockups are common in traditional IPOs In a traditional IPO, companies raise money by selling shares to institutional investors who then turn around and create a market for the stock by selling some of those shares on a stock exchange. While employees, executives, or early investors often sell shares in the IPO, such insiders are typically barred from selling after that, generally for a period of 180 days. Some companies have had provisions in their IPOs that allow them to lift the lockup period early if their shares trade above a certain price for a sustained period. By contrast, in a direct listing, companies are currently barred from selling shares. Instead, insiders make a market for their firm's stock by selling some of their holdings directly to the public on a stock exchange. At least in the case of Slack and Spotify, employees, executives, and early investors could continue to sell in the days after the listing without any prohibitions. That allowed those insiders to cash in their stakes much earlier than they would have in a traditional IPO. It's unclear exactly how Palantir's lockup period will work. The reports didn't state whether it could be lifted early or whether it will apply to rank-and-file employees as well as to executives and early investors. It's also not clear why Palantir planned to include a lock up with its offering. The laws and regulations governing public offerings don't mandate lockup periods, but they're typically required by the investment banks that underwrite IPOs.  See more: The IPO market is on fire after a short-lived drought — here are the hottest public debuts to keep an eye on, and which banks are eyeing big fees for pulling them off. Lockups can prevent insider trading The theory behind lockup periods is that they help prevent insiders who are aware of negative confidential information about the company from dumping their shares in the excitement following the IPO — and before that information becomes public, said Jay Ritter, a finance professor at the University of Florida who closely studies the IPO market. The side benefit of that is that they can lead to higher share prices, because investors don't have to apply a discount to the stock for the possibility that insiders are selling based on such negative news, he said. "I'm not at all surprised that Palantir has agreed to a lockup," Ritter said. Indeed, underwriters might add a lockup provision to the direct listing because investors expect them, said Greg Rodgers, a partner at Latham & Watkins who spoke generally about the thought process, not Palantir in particular. Rodgers represented Spotify on its 2018 listing and Slack's financial advisers in the 2019 direct listing. He said companies that use lockups in a direct listing can direct them at large, new, or other notable shareholders, while allowing employees or other smaller or longer-term investors to sell.  "In the direct listings seen to-date, they have not been used, largely I think due to the view that the larger the supply of shares, the truer the price set in the two-sided market place," Rodgers said. "However, if the company is concerned about the short-term impact of over-supply on the trading price of the stock, there is nothing to keep them from imposing the disciplined release that lock-ups might provide." They may also limit volatility — or not Palantir's desire to shore up its share price may well have played role in its decision to include a lockup provision, Aggarwal said. Spotify and Slack's shares traded down for weeks and months, respectively, following their direct listings. If anything, the reception Palantir is likely to see from public investors is even more uncertain, given what's been going on the markets. While the major indices have all bounced back from their coronavirus lows this spring and the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are both at or near record levels, the markets have been highly volatile in recent months, Aggarwal said. By including a lockup period in its offering, Palantir will likely be able to avoid some of that volatility, she said. Its stock would likely be subject to much more extreme swings if insiders were permitted to dump shares whenever they wanted in the days, weeks, and months after the listing, she said. "I kind of think of a lockup as managing that volatility," Aggarwal said. Benchmark partner Bill Gurley isn't so sure about that. Some research he's seen indicates that Slack and Spotify actually had less volatility following their listings than the typical IPO, said Gurley, one of the most prominent advocates of direct listings in Silicon Valley. Lockup periods tend to delay the process of finding an equilibrium price for a stock, he said. Many institutional investors refrain from establishing full positions in companies until after the lockup period has ended and all the insiders who wanted to sell have unloaded their shares, he said. "If anything, I think the lockup could cause more volatility," he said. Bill Gurley's a fan of direct listings, lockups or no Regardless, Gurley doesn't think the lockup provision, even if it's widely adopted, will halt the momentum behind direct listings or make them less preferable to IPOs. Even with such a provision, direct listings still address the two big failings he sees in traditional IPOs — the fact that humans set the initial price of the stock and determine who gets the shares. Those factors can lead to big rises in prices when the stock starts trading and those rises can effectively represent huge transfers of wealth from the companies to the institutional investors that buy shares in the IPO. "A direct listing that has those two problems fixed, I love," Gurley said. "I kind of think of ... the lockup change as was the car mauve or red. I don't care. That's not the variable that matters." Palantir, founded by Peter Thiel, has spent nearly two decades as a private, venture capital-backed company, but one that's been extraordinarily secretive about its operations and financial results. Those secrets are starting to come to light as it prepares to go public. The company announced last month that it had confidentially filed its draft offering paperwork. On Friday, TechCrunch the New York Times reported leaked Palantir financial information, including that the company tallied about $742 million in revenue in 2019 while losing $580 million.   A public filing from early July shows the company is in the process of raising $961 million in private capital. So far it has raised $550 million, mostly from the Japanese holding company Sompo Holdings.  Read more about Palantir and its plans to go public: Secretive data firm Palantir built its business on a cloak-and-dagger image. But as the company braces for an IPO, insiders say it's lost its mystique and is struggling to figure out a steady revenue model. These 11 people should grow from rich to richer if Palantir has a successful IPO Palantir's move to go public could ditch the standard IPO process. Here's why that move could pay off for the secretive $20 billion company. Palantir's latest controversy is on its board: a Wall Street Journal reporter who is friends with Peter Thiel and whose father is the novelist Tom Wolfe SEE ALSO: Schmoozing is making a comeback in the midst of the pandemic: Here's a look at how Wall Street is entertaining clients, from golf games to lavish outdoor dinners. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why electric planes haven't taken off yet
Palantir recorded a loss of $580 million in 2019, TechCrunch and The New York Times both reported Friday. Palantir had total revenues of roughly $742 million last year, a 25% jump from 2018, according to the reports — one of the first glimpses at the secretive data company's financials. The documents reportedly showed that Palantir is increasingly reliant on government contracts, making around half of its revenue from government work, despite recent efforts to grow its business with private companies. Palantir, which has raised more than $3 billion, confidentially filed for a public stock listing last month, and private investors have valued the company at $20 billion. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Documents leaked Friday offered one of the first looks into the financials of secretive data company Palantir. According to recent draft copies of Palantir's S-1 statement obtained by TechCrunch and The New York Times, the company had net losses of nearly $580 million in 2019, roughly the same as the year prior. Palantir brought in $742.5 million in revenue last year, an approximately 25% jump from 2018, and had expenses of slightly more than $1 billion, roughly a 2% increase, The New York Times reported. Palantir did not respond to a request for comment on this story. Palantir was founded in 2003, but has reportedly not yet managed to turn a profit, even as the company prepares to go public following a wave of unprofitable tech companies that had unsuccessful IPOs last year. The company filed its paperwork for a public listing with the SEC last month, but the paperwork is still confidential, and not yet available to the public. The company is expected to go public through a direct listing, in which the company does not raise any capital, rather than through a traditional initial public stock offering. Palantir has raised more than $3 billion total, according to data from PitchBook, and private investors have valued it at around $20 billion. TechCrunch reported that the company has had a slightly better start to 2020, with $481 million in revenue for the first six months of the year, a 49% jump from the same period last year, while operating expenses dropped to 107% of total revenue compared with 157% for the first half of 2019, though the number is still high for a company of Palantir's age. Despite its efforts to land more private sector business, Palantir's share of revenue from government contracts jumped from 45% in 2019 to 53.5% during the first half of 2020, according to TechCrunch, suggesting that the company is becoming increasingly reliant on its work with the government. Even though Palantir spent 61% of revenue on sales and marketing in 2019 in hopes of acquiring new business, according to TechCrunch, The New York Times reported that around one-third of its revenue came from just three customers, which the company listed as a potential liability moving forward. Palantir has also frequently come under fire from civil rights groups and data privacy proponents who have criticized its government work. The company's technology has been used by immigration officials to conduct controversial raids on immigrants and its data collection contracts with health agencies have sparked concerns among lawmakers about whether it's being used for other purposes.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: How waste is dealt with on the world's largest cruise ship
Palantir, the controversial analytics and data mining firm, still relies heavily on its US government contracts for revenue despite its public statements that it was branching out into more corporate clients, according to screenshots of the company’s S-1 filing acquired by TechCrunch. The financials, which the New York Times also has viewed, show Palantir has not once turned a profit since its founding in 2003. Add to that the news it’s moving out of Silicon Valley because of “increasing intolerance and monoculture,” and you end up with a picture of a company that doesn’t have a lot of growth potential. It’s now clear Palantir is dependent on the current administration in Washington to maintain its existing revenue streams. Palantir c... Continue reading…
The online coding bootcamp Lambda School announced a $74 million Series C round of funding, TechCrunch's Ingrid Lunden first reported Friday.  Lambda School has also received approval to operate from the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE), over a year after being fined and ordered to shut down by that agency. While Lambda School has been approved to operate, it cannot offer income share agreements to new California students. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Lambda School, an online coding bootcamp known for a financial model where students don't have to pay until they find a job, just announced a $74 million Series C round of funding on the heels of approval to continue operating in California — with a catch.  Lambda School, headquartered in San Francisco, was built on the promise of income share agreements, or ISAs, where students do not have to pay upfront tuition when they enroll in the coding bootcamp, which boosters say increases opportunity. The California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE), a state agency that regulates coding bootcamps and other types of schools, has approved Lambda to continue to operate in the state, a year after it fined it and ordered it to shut down (Lambda appealed and continue to operate). The caveat, though, is that Lambda School cannot offer ISAs to new California students, according to a blog post by CEO and cofounder Austen Allred on August 20. On Friday, it announced it raised $74 million in equity in a Series C round led by Gigafund, with participation from GV (formerly Google Ventures), GGV, and Stripe, TechCrunch's Ingrid Lunden first reported. Lambda School had faced some business uncetainty during the pandemic: In April, it laid off 19 employees, while members of the executive team, including Allred, took a 15% pay cut. ISAs, which experts say are currently in a legal gray area, are a major selling point for Lambda School. If graduates land a job that pays over $50,000 within five years, they pay the school back 17% of their salary for two years, with a $30,000 cap. Students can also choose to pay an upfront tuition of $30,000, which was raised from $20,000 earlier in 2020.  Now that new California students will not have the ISA option, Lambda School is offering new financing options that work similarly to the current ISA. However, the ISA contract doesn't expire after two years of payment or five years of deferment: Students will need ot pay the $30,000 eventually, no matter what.  "We believe the ISA remains one of the most student-friendly, lowest-risk alternatives to traditional student debt, and we plan to continue to advocate for it in California and the rest of the US," Allred wrote in a blog post. "This kind of student-first model is needed now more than ever amidst COVID-19's sky-high unemployment and a higher education landscape in crisis." Previous trouble with Lambda School It's the ISA that attracted many students to this school, with hopes of learning programming or user experience design and landing a high-paying job. However, former students previously told Business Insider that the school falls short of providing adequate training: They accused the school of having under-qualified instructors and an incomplete curriculum where students had to rely on teaching themselves from free, third-party resources. Many also said the program had a culture of fear, as students feared publicly criticizing the school and getting kicked out. At the time, Lambda School said it could not "respond to specific inquiries out of respect for privacy" but "appreciate the concerns of any and all of our students" and are "continuously aiming to be transparent on where we need improvement and the steps we are taking to address them." Read more: Lambda School is Silicon Valley's big bet on reinventing education and making student debt obsolete. But students say it's a 'cult' and they would have been better off learning on their own. Also, a May 2019 memo obtained by New York Magazine's Vincent Woo, said that Lambda School told investors that it's at a "roughly" 50% placement rate for students that are six months post-graduation, although Lambda School said the numbers were taken out of context. According to Lambda School's data, 22% of students withdraw from the program, and of those who graduated, 71% found jobs. Last year, Lambda School received a $75,000 fine from the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education for not registering properly with authorities, and the BPPE ordered it to cease operations and enrolling new students. Lambda School appealed this and continued to operate as it worked to obtain approval. Business Insider has reached out to the BPPE and Lambda School for comment. Got a tip? Contact this reporter via email at [email protected], Signal at 646.376.6106, Telegram at @rosaliechan, or Twitter DM at @rosaliechan17. (PR pitches by email only, please.) Other types of secure messaging available upon request.SEE ALSO: Python has overtaken Java as one of the hottest programming languages in the world, according to GitHub. Here's how a boom in AI jobs is helping developers use the easy-to-learn language to land six-figure salaries. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Epidemiologists debunk 13 coronavirus myths