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Xilinx Appoints New CFO

Brice Hill. image: Xilinx Semiconductor company Xilinx has announced the appointment of a new chief financial officer (CFO) by the name of Brice Hill, whose appointment is effective immediately. Hill is joining Xilinx from Intel where he most recently served as the CFO and chief operating officer (COO) for one of its divisions. He has spent more than two decades at Intel, holding various senior finance roles during his tenure. Prior to joining Intel, Hill worked at automaker General Motors. Hill's appointment comes on the heels of a sales slowdown experienced by Xilinx. During its fiscal third quarter ended December 2019, the company's sales were down 10% compared to the previous year. Factors including trade tensions between the U.S. and China, restrictions of exports to Chinese telecom giant Huawei, and a slowed rollout of 5G Networks have contributed to Xilinx's sales decline. Earlier this year, Xilinx announced plans to lay off 7% of its workforce, a move t

TikTok Pledges $375 Million COVID-19 Relief

TikTok CEO Alex Zhu. Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for TechCrunch, under Creative Commons license Popular social app TikTok has pledged to donate $375 million for relief efforts set in place to contain the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The pledge consists of $250 million in funds, $100 million in ad credits for businesses, and $25 million worth of ads for vetted health organizations. $15 million from the funds has already been donated to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation, an announcement notes. Out of the committed $250 million funds, TikTok says $150 million will go towards medical staffing, supplies, and relief for health care workers, $40 million for local organizations as well as $10 million to match donations from TikTok users, and lastly $50 million in grants to educators, professional experts, and nonprofits. The $100 million worth of committed ad credits will be provided to assist small and medium businesses to recommenc

Cohesity Nabs $250 Million Series E

Cohesity founder and CEO Mohit Aron. image: Cohesity Data storage company Cohesity has announced $250 million in fresh funding that values the seven-year-old company at $2.5 billion and brings its total funding since inception to more than $650 million. The new funding, precisely a Series E, was co-led by DFJ Growth, Foundation Capital, Greenspring Associates, and Wing Venture Capital. The likes of Sequoia Capital, SoftBank Vision Fund 1, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Cisco Investments, Baillie Gifford, and Sozo Ventures also participated. Cohesity says it'll double down on research and development as well as marketing and sales efforts with the new funding. The San Jose-based company says it recorded a 150% increase in recurring revenue in the first half of its fiscal 2020 (August 2019 - January 2020 in this case) compared to the same period in fiscal 2019. During the same period, Cohesity says it doubled its number of customers. Cohesity offers data management servic

Rocket Lab Completes Successful Mid-Air Recovery Test

Rocket Lab's 'Electron' rocket pictured during a lift-off. image: Rocket Lab Sometime last year, aerospace company Rocket Lab announced its intention to begin re-using the first stage of its 'Electron' rocket as a step towards making the rocket a reusable launch vehicle. Rocket Lab planned to be able to retrieve the first stage of its rocket via a helicopter that'll attempt to catch it mid-air, a unique but apparently difficult approach. The company just happens to have made a significant step towards achieving its goal, having just announced  success in catching the first-stage of its rocket with a helicopter during a test. However, in this case, that part of the rocket was intentionally dropped from a helicopter at a higher altitude and caught by one at a lower altitude, as opposed to the rocket's stage descending from an actual launch. Rocket Lab pulled off the successful recovery in early March at airspace in New Zealand. The first stage of it

Eventbrite To Cut 45% Of Workforce

Eventbrite CEO Julia Hartz. image: Sportsfile (Web Summit), under Creative Commons license Events platform Eventbrite is cutting its headcount by as much as 45%, according to a source familiar with the matter. The job cuts come amid a coronavirus pandemic that has undeniably affected the events industry. Sometime last month, Eventbrite had to withdraw its financial forecast  as a result of the growing impact of the pandemic which has much prevented the holding of live events, events that account for most of Eventbrite's business. “The global pandemic and the impact on the live events industry is unprecedented,” Eventbrite CEO Julia Hartz noted in a press release that announced the withdrawal of the company's financial forecast. She was very right. A 45% workforce reduction isn't something that'll conventionally occur without a severe business slowdown. Recent times have been tough for companies whose businesses depend majorly on day-to-day activities which

Airbnb In Talks To Raise More Debt: Report

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky. Photograph by Kevin Moloney/Fortune, under Creative Commons license Merely days after Airbnb announced it secured $1 billion in new debt and equity funding , a subsequent report from Bloomberg says the company is in discussions to raise up to $1 billion in additional debt. Bloomberg reports Airbnb is also cancelling a previous $1 billion credit facility with several banks for unclear reasons. The company was said to have had as much as $3 billion cash on hand plus the $1 billion debt facility, said to be cancelled, before raising $1 billion in debt and equity funding recently. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal   (paywall), the debt funding came with interest rates of between 11% to 12% and gave investors warrants that could be converted into shares in Airbnb at a valuation of $18 billion, far less than a valuation as high as $31 billion that Airbnb had gotten on the private market. The coronavirus outbreak has severely affected A

SoFi To Acquire Galileo For $1.2 Billion

SoFi CEO Anthony Noto. Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for TechCrunch, under Creative Commons license Fintech company SoFi has announced  it has reached a deal to acquire Galileo, a Utah-based fintech startup, for $1.2 billion comprising of cash and SoFi stock. The deal marks one of the biggest acquisitions ever from the Utah tech industry, one that's been on the rise as of late. Interestingly, Galileo had only ever taken outside funding just once; a $77 million investment led by Accel late last year. Ryan Smith, the CEO of Qualtrics, another notable Utah tech success story, also participated in the funding. As of when Galileo announced the funding, the company said it was "already profitable and growing rapidly." Galileo offers banking APIs used by fintech companies to facilitate online banking processes. Such APIs help in many things ranging from verifying new accounts to direct deposits, transaction notifications, issuing payment cards, point-of-sale autho

Airbnb Nabs $1 Billion In New Funding

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky. Photograph by Kevin Moloney/Fortune Global Forum, under Creative Commons  license. Amid a coronavirus outbreak that has undoubtedly affected its business, Airbnb has announced it's raising $1 billion in a combination of debt and equity financing. Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners, two investment firms with tens of billions in assets, are providing the new funding. Such funding is apparently being raised to help Airbnb ply through a business slowdown that's consequent from travel restrictions enacted worldwide to help contain the coronavirus outbreak. The valuation coming with the new funding isn't stated by Airbnb. Going by known public information, Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners are new investors in Airbnb. Silver Lake is a well-known tech investor that's collectively invested billions in tech companies including Credit Karma, FlixMobility, GoodRx, Fanatics, SoFi, SenseTime, Unity, Alphabet's Waymo, WP Engine, and

Megvii's Sales Weakened By U.S. Blacklist

Megvii CEO Yin Qi. image: Megvii Sales at Megvii, a Chinese company that develops facial and image recognition software, has been weakened after a last year blacklist from the U.S. government. As reported by Bloomberg , Megvii fell short of its 2019 sales projection by almost 28% and grew revenue in 2019's second half by a mere 2.7% after tripling sales in the first half. Megvii was among 28 firms  blacklisted by the U.S. government last year for "acting contrary to the foreign policy interests of the United States". The company's blacklist originates from alleged involvement in human rights violations against Muslim minorities in China by selling facial recognition software used to identify concerned minorities to the Chinese government. Megvii had already filed to go public in Hong Kong but later had to abandon its plan, having allowed its filing to expire, after the blacklist. American investment bank Goldman Sachs was meant to play a significant role i

U.S. Justice Department Warns Against "Zoom-Bombing"

image: Zoom The United States Justice Department has issued an official warning against "Zoom-bombing", a recent phenomenon that entails hackers infiltrating video meetings on popular video-conferencing platform Zoom and disrupting such meetings sometimes with vulgar content including pornographic footage and threatening language. The warning was issued in response to several incidents recorded in the past week, where hackers infiltrated online video conferences and classroom sessions. The warning, issued on the Justice Department's website under the US Attorney's office for Michigan's Eastern District, states that "Zoom-bombing" or in general video hacking is a crime that can bring along state or federal charges. Such charges may include "disrupting a public meeting", "computer intrusion", "using a computer to commit a crime", "hate crimes", "fraud", or "transmitting threatening communicati

Apple Seems To Be Acquiring NextVR

NextVR co-founder and CEO David Cole. As first reported by news site  9to5Mac , Apple seems to be in the process of acquiring NextVR, a California-based virtual reality (VR) company that offers live-action virtual reality broadcast services. NextVR streams content such as WWE wrestling matches, sports games, music concerts, and comedy shows to its users. Using NextVR, people can watch such content live on a virtual reality headset for stipulated fees. NextVR was founded in 2009 and has more than a decade of experience in the virtual reality market. Its VR events platform is currently available on headsets made by Oculus, Microsoft, Playstation, HTC, Lenovo, and Samsung. NextVR has raised funding from investors including Comcast Ventures, Time Warner Investments, RSE Ventures, and The Madison Square Garden Company. Formation 8, a now-shuttered venture capital firm, was also an investor in NextVR. Altogether, NextVR is known to have raised some $116 million in funding. Howeve

Companies That Are Currently Hiring (Feed)

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang. Nvidia is one of many companies still hiring even amidst numerous layoffs across the tech industry. image: Nvidia Corporation | Flickr, under Creative Commons license Amid the numerous layoffs that have swooped the tech industry, some companies still happen to be hiring, most of them being core software companies whose services aren't so much affected by day-to-day physical activities. Below, we've provided briefs on some companies still hiring in the current climate. If you have more to add, you can easily do that in the comment section, thanks! Currently, hiring companies include; Zoom : the popular video-conferencing service has seen an outsized surge in user numbers as of late, meaning much more business for the company. Zoom's job portal can be accessed via this link . GitHub : GitHub, the popular software hosting service, is still hiring. The company's job portal is linked here . Coinbase : Popular crypto trading

SoftBank's Vision Fund Loses A Partner

Carolina Brochado, Partner, SoftBank Vision Fund. Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for TechCrunch, under Creative Commons license The SoftBank Vision Fund has lost a newly promoted partner by the name of Carolina Brochado, who joined the Vision Fund from famed European venture capital firm Atomico. Brochado, who was promoted to partner just last month, has tendered her resignation from the SoftBank Vision Fund. She joined the fund early last year and helped back companies like Gympass, a Brazilian fitness startup, and Behavox, a company that develops compliance and employee-monitoring software. Brochado was promoted to the partner position recently alongside another director at the SoftBank Vision Fund. She became one of the few women to occupy that position at the fund. The motives surrounding her abrupt departure are unknown.

Layoffs Tracker/Feed

ClassPass CEO Fritz Lanman. ClassPass, a fitness subscription startup, has said it would cut its headcount by more than half after a 95% revenue dip. Photo by Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch, under Creative Commons license It's no new finding that many companies have been hit hard by lockdowns and movement limitations enacted to contain the coronavirus pandemic, and the tech industry has been no exception. Enacted lockdowns and movement curtailments mean companies whose business centers on day-to-day activities such as transport, travel, and retail have been seriously affected. To contain business slowdowns, companies have had to resort to sizeable layoffs and furloughs. To give a few examples, corporate travel startup TripActions laid off more than 300 persons not too long ago; Kabbage, a SoftBank-backed small business lender recently furloughed the majority of its employees ; Fitness startup ClassPass has confirmed that it'll cut slightly more than hal

ClassPass Cuts Over Half Of Headcount

ClassPass CEO Fritz Lanman. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Collision via Sportsfile, under Creative Commons license Fitness startup ClassPass will lay off or furlough slightly more than half of its staff amid a business slowdown stemming from the coronavirus outbreak, as confirmed by the company to CNBC . The job cuts will affect 53% of ClassPass's employees, consisting of 22% being outrightly laid off and 31% being furloughed. The job cuts come amid hard times for ClassPass, which confirmed to CNBC that its revenue has plunged by 95% in the middle of lockdowns and movement restrictions stemming from the coronavirus outbreak. ClassPass's business centers on selling subscriptions to gyms and fitness studios and with currently instituted lockdowns across the U.S., gyms and fitness studios have temporarily closed in droves, meaning much lesser revenue for ClassPass. ClassPass has tried to compensate by offering subscriptions for live fitness sessions but still, that can&#

Bridgewater's Eileen Murray Joins Compass Board

Bridgewater co-CEO Eileen Murray. image: Compass Eileen Murray, a co-CEO of Bridgewater, the world's largest hedge fund, has been announced as a new board member at real estate tech company Compass. The appointment comes at a time Murray is preparing to depart Bridgewater after more than a decade at the hedge fund. In December, Murray announced she'll step down from the co-CEO role and leave Bridgewater by the end of March. March happens to have even just passed meaning her departure is around the corner. She has held the co-CEO role at Bridgewater since 2014. Murray joining Compass seems like a good deal for the company. She'll be bringing along experience amounting to nearly four decades in the finance industry. Murray notably began her career in 1984 at investment bank Morgan Stanley. She grew to hold several senior positions at the investment bank including as Global Head of Technology and Operations, Treasurer, and Controller as well as Chief Operating Off

Casper Down More Than 60% From IPO Price

Casper CEO Philip Krim. Photo by Kimberly White/Getty Images for TechCrunch, under Creative Commons license Casper, an online mattress retailer, notably held an initial public offering (IPO) in early February, debuting at around $12 a share although that was down from an initial target of between $17 to $19. Lowered investor interest seems to have affected Casper, which although has recorded hundreds of millions in revenue hasn't turned a profit for years. A great deal of Casper's revenue goes into high sales and marketing spend, which the company likely has to keep running to maintain growth. Casper brought in $439 million in revenue last year, significantly lower than the company's own earlier $556 million projection. Losses for the year amounted to $93 million and the company had $67.4 million in cash and cash equivalents as of 2019 end. Casper's finances don't seem to be encouraging investors and that coupled with a mass-market selloff amid the corona

SoftBank Backs Out Of WeWork Tender Offer

WeWork founder Adam Neumann. Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for TechCrunch, under Creative Commons license Japanese conglomerate SoftBank has apparently pulled out of a proposed deal to purchase up to $3 billion worth of shares in troubled office rental firm WeWork, a deal that was put together as part of a restructuring that saw the ouster of the company's founder and previous CEO, Adam Neumann. SoftBank set up the $3 billion tender offer as part of an overall bailout package for troubled WeWork that amounted to $9.5 billion . That package now seems to be down by $3 billion, nevertheless leaving a remainder of a still high $6.5 billion, which consisted of $5 billion in new financing and the acceleration of an existing $1.5 billion investment commitment. That part of the deal is still being honored by SoftBank. The $3 billion tender offer SoftBank just pulled out of would have benefitted mostly a few WeWork shareholders including founder Adam Neumann, venture capital

Ex-Hulu Chief Jason Kilar To Head WarnerMedia

Ex-Hulu CEO Jason Kilar. image: WarnerMedia | AT&T WarnerMedia, a division of telecoms giant AT&T, has announced the appointment of entertainment and tech veteran Jason Kilar as its new CEO. Kilar, who was notably previously the founding CEO of popular video streaming service Hulu, will occupy his new position effective on the 1st of May. Under his role, he'll report to John Stankey, AT&T’s President and Chief Operating Officer (COO). Although Kilar is not at all new to the media and entertainment industry, leading WarnerMedia happens to be his biggest job yet. WarnerMedia is in a no way a small division, being one with annual revenues in the tens of billions. It became a division of AT&T after the telecoms giant acquired the company in 2018 in a deal that amounted to a whopping $85 billion. Its acquisition wasn't without hassles however, as the deal was met with opposition in the form of an antitrust lawsuit from the U.S. Justice Department. AT&

GM Starts Making Face Masks Amid Shortage

GM CEO Mary Barra. image: General Motors Automaker General Motors (GM) has announced it has set up a manufacturing and supply chain to produce face masks amidst a shortage stemming from high use in the middle of the coronavirus outbreak. GM says it launched a "rapid-response project" to begin producing face masks on the 20th of March and successfully produced its first sample on a new production line seven days after that. The automaker is now gearing for mass-scale production, stating that it'll deliver the first 20,000 masks to frontline workers by next week. GM says it's already produced more than 2,000 masks that will, however, be used as initial test samples and not be shipped to workers. GM says it expects to produce up to 50,000 face masks every day by the time its production line is running at full speed. The company is currently working on setting up safe distribution channels and utilities that'll make sure its masks get into the hands of

Palo Alto Networks Scoops Up CloudGenix

Palo Alto Networks CEO Nikesh Arora. Photo by World Economic Forum / Sikarin Fon Thanachaiary, under Creative Commons license Cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks has taken its acquisition spree one step further, this time, announcing  it has reached a deal to acquire CloudGenix, a San Jose-based provider of software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) services. Palo Alto Networks will pay $420 million in cash to acquire CloudGenix, a price that seems like a good win given CloudGenix raised around $100 million in total funding. CloudGenix's last known funding was a $65 million Series C closed in April last year. The company's investors include well-known venture capital firms like Intel Capital, Bain Capital Ventures, Mayfield Fund, and Charles River Ventures. Palo Alto's new acquisition is expected to close during the company's fiscal fourth quarter. As is usually the case, the acquisition deal is subject to the satisfaction of regulatory conditions. Cloud

Via Valued At $2.3 Billion With New Funding

Via CEO Daniel Ramot. Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for TechCrunch, under Creative Commons license On-demand transportation startup Via has been valued at more than $2 billion after an investment from Exor, a Netherlands holdings company controlled by the Agnelli family, a famed Italian business dynasty. Exor has announced  an agreement to invest $200 million in Via in exchange for an 8.87% stake on a fully-diluted basis. This implies a valuation of around $2.3 billion, a laudable feat for Via, whose last known funding came in 2017. Under the terms of Exor's investment, the holdings company is getting a board seat at Via which will be occupied by one of its executives, Noam Ohana. Ohana leads Exor Seeds, the early-stage investment arm of Exor. The new investment included, Via has now raised around $600 million in total funding. The company's last known funding was a $250 million investment led by automaker Daimler in late 2017. Via has also raised funding from t

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Law: Ex-Quant Analyst Indicted For Front-Running Employer's Trades

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Deal: Hollywood Agency CAA To Buy Rival ICM

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