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Former Facebook exec thinks big tech will get broken up “over the next 10 years” – TechCrunch

Investor Chamath Palihapitiya made part of his fortune at Facebook, where he was a vice president for more than four years, leaving roughly one year before the company’s 2012 IPO.

Though he has voiced concerns numerous times since about his former employer, he also believes it has played an active role in enabling users to report and disseminate important information. For example, he suggests it was smart phones and social media that has made so many Americans aware of the George Floyd tragedy and enabled citizens in the U.S. and at least 12 other countries to organize protests against racism. Without these platforms, he suggests, we might even be engaged in a traditional civil war in this country.

That doesn’t mean Facebook or others of its gigantic peers are any more immune to be regulated than they might have been before COVID-19 struck, however — not in his view.  As

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African payment startup Chipper Cash raises $13.8M Series A – TechCrunch

African cross-border fintech startup Chipper Cash has closed a $13.8 million Series A funding round led by Deciens Capital and plans to hire 30 new staff globally.

The raise caps an event filled run for the San Francisco based payments company, founded two years ago by Ugandan Ham Serunjogi and Ghanaian Maijid Moujaled.

The two came to America for academics, met in Iowa while studying at Grinnell College and ventured out to Silicon Valley for stints in big tech: Facebook for Serunjogi and Flickr and Yahoo! for Moujaled.

The startup call beckoned and after launching Chipper Cash in 2018, the duo convinced 500 Startups and and Liquid 2 Ventures — co-founded by American football legend Joe Montana — to back their company with seed funds.

Two years and $22 million in total capital raised later, Chipper Cash offers its mobile-based, no fee, P2P payment services in seven countries: Ghana, Uganda,

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China’s BYD nabs $113M to produce IGBTs, the ‘CPU of electric cars’ – TechCrunch

BYD Co., the Chinese auto giant backed by Warren Buffett, is rushing to make China self-sufficient in the production of electric vehicles. On Monday, the firm said in a filing it has secured 800 million yuan ($113 million) in a Series A+ round for its chipmaking arm, BYD Semiconductor.

At stake is the race to make so-called insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBT), an integral silicon component in EVs’ power management system that’s at the core of BYD Semiconductor. The electronic switch is dubbed by industry experts the “CPU of an EV” for it reduces power loss and improves reliability. It’s the second-most expensive part of an EV after batteries, accounting for around 7-10% of the total cost according to market research.

BYD is fighting a fierce competition against Germany’s semiconductor giant Infineon Technologies AG, which produced 58% of the IGBTs used in China’s electric cars in 2019. BYD

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ByteDance to shut down Vigo apps in India – TechCrunch

Chinese internet giant ByteDance has announced plans to discontinue two of its apps in India, its biggest overseas market, and urged users to move to TikTok.

Vigo Video and Vigo Lite, two apps that allow users to create and share short-form sketches and lip-syncing to Bollywood songs, posted a message early Monday (local time) to announce that they would be discontinued at the end of October this year.

In its post, titled “a farewell letter,” ByteDance said it was saddened to shut down the apps but did not offer an explanation for the decision. Indian news outlet Entrackr first spotted the letter.

Unlike TikTok, ByteDance’s most popular app, Vigo Video and Vigo Lite have struggled to make inroads in the world’s second largest internet market. While TikTok has more than 200 million users in India, Vigo Video had about 4 million monthly active users last month and Vigo Lite

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Tesla’s U.S.-made Model 3 vehicles now come equipped with wireless charging, USB-C ports – TechCrunch

Tesla Model 3 vehicles produced at its Fremont, Calif. factory will reportedly come standard with a wireless charging pad and USB-C ports, upgrades that were first spotted by Drive Tesla Canada.

Electrek also reported on the changes.

The upgrades now put U.S.-made Model 3s on par with the same vehicles made at Tesla’s factory in China.

The wireless phone charger and USB-C ports first appeared in the newer Model Y, which customers began to receive in March. Tesla has since taken steps to bring some of these new Model Y features into the older Model 3. The upgrades initially showed up in vehicles assembled in China. Drive Tesla Canada said the upgrades became standard in Model 3 vehicles assembled after June 4.

Tesla still offers a $125 upgrade (seen below) for those who own pre-June 4 2020 Model 3 vehicles. Aftermarket company Jeda Products also sells a

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Lo Toney has some ideas about how to (really) bring VC into the 21st century – TechCrunch

Last week, we suggested that for a truly diverse venture industry, the limited partners who provide investing capital to VCs — institutions like universities and hospital systems — need to start incorporating diversity mandates into their work. Say a venture firm wanted to secure a commitment from the University of Texas System; it would first need to agree, in writing, to pour a certain percentage of its capital into startups founded by underrepresented groups.

Given how fragmented the world of institutional investing is, the idea might sound impracticable. But Lo Toney, one of a small but growing number of black VCs in Silicon Valley, suggests it might actually be inevitable. He points, for example, to pension funds like the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, which manages the assets of 1.6 million employees, many of whom “look like me,” says Toney. Imagine what might happen if they started asking more

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