Microsoft-TikTok acquisition inches closer to reality
This weekend, Microsoft confirmed reports that it’s in talks to acquire TikTok, the popular mobile video app currently owned by Chinese company ByteDance. It sounds like the outcome of those talks may ultimately have less to do with Microsoft and more with President Donald Trump.
“Following a conversation between Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and President Donald J. Trump, Microsoft is prepared to continue discussions to explore a purchase of TikTok in the United States,” the company said in a statement. “Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President’s concerns. It is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury.”
And indeed, Trump said today that he’s not opposed to an acquisition, but that “a very substantial portion of that price is going to have to come into the Treasury of the United States.” Meanwhile, Chinese internet users are calling ByteDance’s CEO a traitor.
The tech giants
Google’s budget Pixel 4a addresses its premium predecessor’s biggest problem — Brian Heater reviews the new $349 handset.
Facebook launches commerce and connectivity-focused accelerator programs — Facebook’s Commerce Accelerator will select 60 startups from the EMEA and LATAM regions, while Connectivity will feature 30 startups from LATAM and North America.
Adobe’s plans for an online content attribution standard could have big implications for misinformation — The project was first announced last November, and now the team has a whitepaper going into the nuts and bolts about how its system would work.
Startups, funding and venture capital
YC-backed Artifact looks to make podcasts more personal — Using professionally contracted interviewers, Artifact conducts short interviews with a person’s closest friends or family and turns them into a personal podcast.
Founded by a lifelong house-flipper, Inspectify is a marketplace for home inspections and repairs — Through the platform, buyers can instantly book inspections and receive repair estimates.
Mobile banking startup Varo is becoming a real bank — The company announced that it has been granted a national bank charter from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and secured regulatory approvals from the FDIC and Federal Reserve to open Varo Bank, N.A.
Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch
The essential revenue software stack — Tim Porter and Elise La Cava of Madrona Ventures outline the set of services used by sales, marketing and growth teams across their portfolio to identify and manage their prospects and revenue.
Is the 2020 SPAC boom an echo of the 2017 ICO craze? — Alex Wilhelm looks at two new pieces of SPAC news.
After Shopify’s huge quarter, BigCommerce raises its IPO price range — BigCommerce now intends to price its IPO between $21 and $23 per share.
(Reminder: Extra Crunch is our subscription membership program, which aims to democratize information about startups. You can sign up here.)
SpaceX and NASA successfully return Crew Dragon spacecraft to Earth with astronauts on board — SpaceX’s Crew Dragon appears to have performed exactly as intended throughout the mission, handling the launch, ISS docking, undocking, de-orbit and splashdown in a fully automated process that kept the astronauts safe and secure throughout.
Original Content podcast: Netflix’s ‘Say I Do’ offers a wedding-focused twist on the ‘Queer Eye’ formula — I’m not someone who cares about weddings, but this show made me cry. Multiple times!
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