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Enterprise data firm Alteryx set to raise $126 million from NYSE IPO
Enterprise data analytics firm Alteryx, the next tech firm in line to go public, has priced its shares at $14 ahead of its listing on the New York Stock Exchange tomorrow (Friday). That pricing - which comes in at the top of the firm's range - will see Alteryx, which is listing under AYX symbol, raise $126 million from the nine million new shares it is issuing. Alteryx helps enterprise make more efficient use of data and analytics through its services.
Instacart agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit for $4.6 million
There are over 31,000 Instacart shoppers involved in this class-action suit, which means each of them is not actually going to receive that much money. As part of the proposed settlement, Instacart will clarify the difference between a service fee and a tip - something that Instacart has received flack for in the past. As part of the settlement, Instacart will change its deactivation policy from being able to fire shoppers for any or no reason at all.
Twitter remembers it owns Tweetdeck
It's been six years since Twitter acquired Tweetdeck, but the company might finally bring new features to the client. In a survey sent to some power users today, Twitter asked which features they would most like to see added to an advanced version of Tweetdeck. Twitter acquired Tweetdeck for $40 million back in 2011, at a time that was particularly fraught for developers building mobile and desktop clients that competed with Twitter's own.
Apple says recent Wikileaks CIA docs detail old, fixed iPhone and Mac exploits
Apple says that its preliminary assessments of the Wikileaks documents released today indicate that the vulnerabilities it details for iPhone and Mac were fixed years ago. Some of the exploits, like NightSkies, could access personal info like call logs and SMS conversations - but only with physical access. As any security expert will tell you, once you gain physical access to a device, nearly all bets are off.
CREDO and Cloudflare argue against national security letter gag orders
Earlier this week, the FBI finally allowed Cloudflare and CREDO Mobile to identify themselves as recipients of national security letters, which allow the agency to secretly order tech companies to hand over customer data. This means CREDO and Cloudflare can admit for the first time that they are the companies behind one of the longest-running legal challenges against NSL gag orders. The FBI, on the other hand, says that most companies are perfectly happy to keep the NSLs they receive secret.
Tour and activities marketplace Zozi lays off 30% of staff
The company says the restructuring will allow Zozi to focus on its core B2B software platform, Zozi Advance, going forward. The company has 119 employees listed on LinkedIn, as of the time of writing, but Zozi says this number has never been accurate. This saw Zozi competing in the same space as Groupon again - this time with its travel business, Groupon Getaways. As of January 2016, Zozi said 5 million people had used its service to book their activities.
Zero Motorcycles CTO Abe Askenazi on the future of two-wheeled EV's
Brammo put its Empulse EV motorcycles out there to some fanfare, but the small Oregon-based startup sold its bike business to Polaris. They include Zero Motorcycles, Lightning Motorcycle and Alta Motors in the US, Energica Motor in Italy, and China's Evoke Motorcycles. TechCrunch recently caught up with Zero Motorcycles CTO Abe Askenazi, who has been in the motorcycle industry for about two decades, to get his take on what could make electric motorcycles the first choice for riders.
Post Intelligence says it can make your tweets better
Maybe I would've done better if I'd used Post Intelligence. Once you've drafted a post, PI will predict how well your post will do, and it might suggest what time to schedule it for. Post Intelligence co-founder and CEO Bindu Reddy told me the product examines engagement data from Facebook and Twitter. Post Intelligence was created by the same company behind social advertising platform MyLikes.
Theranos is offering investors Elizabeth Holmes' shares if they promise not to sue
One way Theranos is hoping to stay afloat is by offering double the shares - including some of founder Elizabeth Holmes own shares - to investors if they promise not to sue. According to the Wall Street Journal, Theranos' board approved a move in February to shuffle shares, including from founder Elizabeth Holmes, to investors as a way to appease them. The deal would include those investors in Theranos' latest funding round in 2015, which yielded $600 million.
Senators reintroduce a bill to improve cybersecurity in cars
Senators Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut have reintroduced the Security and Privacy in Your Car Act of 2017. They first introduced the bill, along with a similar bill for aircraft, during the last session. The SPY Car Act places the onus for automotive cybersecurity and privacy standards on the shoulders of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Online ticket marketplace Vivid Seats is looking to sell for $1.5 billion
Online secondary ticket marketplace Vivid Seats is looking for a buyer and they're hoping to fetch a price of about $1.5 billion, TechCrunch has learned. Vivid Seats might not have the same name recognitions as Ticketmaster or StubHub, but the Chicago-based firm has been a force in selling seats at concerts, theaters and sports events. According to one source, tech companies like Amazon and Priceline had taken a look at Vivid Seats but decided not to acquire it.
MIT researchers take a cue from color-changing beetles in quest to 3D print robot skin
When Subramanian Sundaram's team hit a roadblock in its quest to build a 3D printed robot, it turned, as roboticists often do, to nature. When threatened, the beetle's shiny gold coloring drains from its shell, transforming into a translucent reddish brown. Through the print process, the team has managed to replicate the natural function of the insect in a single, solid 3D printed circuit board. The team believes the technology could prove an important step toward created a fully 3D printed robot packed with sensors.
The FCC is talking about everything but the imminent repeal of its internet privacy rules
First, the Commission announced that it would be considering a proposed rule and inquiry into using technical means to prevent robocalls. The FCC has already looked into banning this and is taking steps to move forward. Systems are being put in place that block the transmissions of these devices, but they require FCC approval. The privacy rules the Senate voted to repeal would have required ISPs to ask before collecting that data.
How Everette Taylor went from a homeless college dropout to chief marketing officer at Skurt
There are roughly 58,000 homeless students on college campuses in the United States and Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). That number could actually be much higher, given students' reluctance to disclose any issues with their housing. That same dynamic is also in play with Coding Bootcamps where students have been able to get diversity scholarships or other financial resources, but are still homeless due to high housing costs in the cities where bootcamps are based.
Startups downplay tobacco as they talk up cannabis
Shops patronized by pot smokers have a long tradition of labeling their pipes and vaporizers for tobacco use only. Self-described cannabis product companies are raising capital in droves, while funding for startups in the e-cigarette space has all but, well, vaporized. The popularity of cannabis investing could also be motivating startups to downplay tobacco applications. That could lead startups developing vaping gear or other products that could conceivably be used for either pot or tobacco to play up the cannabis angle.
Samsung is aiming to widen access to contactless payments
Potential payment devices could include anything from a payment card to a rubber wristband, a keyfob or a piece of jewelry. Samsung is looking for other wearable manufacturers to get on board and 'payment-enable' their devices to make them more attractive to customers, he said. Chipped devices are managed via a smartphone app, where they can be linked to a bank account and credit cards.
Zenreach raises $30M to help businesses boost their marketing with free WiFi
Zenreach is announcing that it has raised $30 million in Series C funding. Founder and CEO Jack Abraham previously sold his local shopping startup Milo to eBay for $75 million. Specifically, businesses that use Zenreach can offer their customers free WiFi. Zenreach can recognize devices once they've been registered, it can help businesses measure when these efforts actually bring people back into the store.
Alaska Airlines is killing off Virgin America and Richard Branson says it's OK to cry
Alaska Airlines has announced they are killing off the Virgin America brand sometime in 2019. Richard Branson, founder of Virgin America, just penned a love letter saying tears were shed today and memorializing all the great things Virgin America had accomplished before the merger. Specifically the airline said they've made the difficult decision to retire the Virgin America name and logo likely sometime in 2019. Alaska bought the Virgin America brand last year for $2.6B, making the combined entity the fifth-largest airline by traffic.
YouTube's automatic captioning system can now describe sound effects
YouTube has long had an automatic captioning system that, thanks to Google's machine learning advances in recent years, has gotten pretty good at automatically transcribing spoken words in a video. As the company announced today, its technology is now able to take this a step further by also captioning some of the ambient sounds like, and. For now, the automatic effects captioning is actually restricted to those exactly these three sounds.
Senate votes to allow ISPs to collect personal data without permission
The broadband privacy rules created by the FCC last year and vigorously debated last night are in danger after the Senate voted to repeal them this morning. Among other things, the rules required ISPs to obtain consumers' permission in order to use certain sensitive data like browsing history that they obtain through their service. It now heads to the House for approval.

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