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Tantan, China’s top dating app, raises $70M for monetization and overseas expansion push

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 Chinese startup Tantan, which is probably most comparable to Tinder, has raised $70 million in new capital as it looks to monetize its business for the first time and explore overseas expansion options. Three-year-old Tantan claims 60 million ‘validated’ users — i.e. not fake accounts — of which six million are active on a daily basis. Of those active users, 75 percent… Read More

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Facebook is testing a feature to prevent profile pictures being abused by other users

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 Facebook is introducing a new feature to give users peace of mind around how their profile photo can be used and accessed by others. The social network today announced a pilot program in India that is designed to protect users who are concerned about other people gaining access to their profile image. The new ‘photo guard’ feature has a range of safety measures that… Read More

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Etsy will cut 15 percent of its workforce in a new round of layoffs

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 Etsy has announced its second round of layoffs in as many months. In a statement today, it said it will cut 140 positions, or about 15 percent of its current workforce. When combined with an earlier downsizing announced in early May, this round brings total eliminated positions to about 230, or about 22 percent of what Etsy’s total workforce was at the end of 2016. Read More

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Kalanick is out, but Uber’s VCs royally screwed up, too, say industry watchers

 Travis Kalanick, who last night resigned from his post as CEO of ride-share giant Uber, has taken the blame for the company’s very long list of problems, from allowing a culture of sexual harassment to thrive, to skirting the law with its Greyball program, to mishandling the medical files of a customer raped by one of the company’s drivers (for starters). But many view the VCs… Read More

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Bill Gurley to leave Uber’s board of directors

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 Benchmark’s Bill Gurley is set to leave Uber’s board of directors, one day after the company announced the resignation of CEO Travis Kalanick following months of controversy over its corporate culture. A Benchmark spokesman told Bloomberg, which first reported the news of Gurley’s departure, that his board seat will be filled by Matt Cohler, another Benchmark general partner. Read More

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Mercari hires John Lagerling from Facebook’s management team to guide its U.S. strategy

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 When Mercari became Japan’s first startup unicorn with a $75 million round last year, the funding was earmarked to fuel its goal of becoming the top secondhand marketplace app in the U.S. Now Mercari is doubling down on its efforts to succeed where no other Asian e-commerce company has. Today it launched a refreshed version of its American app and announced the hiring of John Lagerling… Read More

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Trump might kill next month’s new startup visa before it takes effect

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 According to a report by the San Francisco Chronicle, the Trump administration may rescind or indefinitely delay the International Entrepreneur Rule, widely regarded as the U.S. version of a startup visa. Overseen by the Department of Homeland Security the rule is intended to “increase and enhance entrepreneurship, innovation, and job creation in the United States.” Anxiously… Read More

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