TikTok Under Formal Investigation by EU for Digital Services Act Violations, Citing Child Safety and Other Concerns

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The European Union is formally investigating TikTok’s compliance with the bloc’s Digital Services Act (DSA), the Commission has announced. Although the EU’s concerns over TikTok’s approach to content governance and safety predate the DSA coming into force on larger platforms. Commenting in a statement, Margrethe Vestager, EVP for digital, said:The safety and well-being of online users in Europe is crucial. The EU may also accept commitments offered by a platform under investigation if they are aimed at fixing the issues identified. In TikTok’s case the platform informed the bloc last year that it had 135.9M monthly active users in the EU.

Title: Strategies for Successful General Partner Succession

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Nearly 10 years ago, in April 2015, I published a blog called “Confronting the ‘S’ word: Dealing with general partner succession.” As the founder and managing partner of Vintage, I wanted to ensure that Vintage would survive after I retire. Succession management is more critical now than ever before. [The succession process] requires an open and genuine dialogue between the senior retiring and incoming management teams. Implementing the succession process early: A fund management team needs to start the process and implement the mechanisms at least five to seven years before the current leadership team transitions out. It is common for the founding or the current managing partner to start phasing out in their late 50s or early 60s.

“Revolutionary funding: ModernFi raises $18.7M to empower banks in expanding their deposit resources”

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The company provides community and regional banks with end-to-end deposit management capabilities, including a deposit network so bank customers can grow, retain and manage their deposit base by sourcing deposits, sweeping funds and providing additional security to depositors. In fact, ModernFi, founded in 2022 by Paolo Bertolotti and Adam DeVita, raised $4.5 million in a seed round a month prior to the SVB news. Canapi Ventures led the round and was joined by Andreessen Horowitz, Remarkable Ventures and a group of banks including Huntington National Bank, First Horizon and Regions. “On this whole notion of deposit growth, retention management became first, second and third priority for a lot of institutions. Bertolotti plans to grow in engineering, new product development, compliance and regulatory adherence and in business development.

TravelPerk Secures $105M Funding for Revolutionary Business Travel Management Solution

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TravelPerk, a business travel management platform targeted at SMEs, has raised $105 million in a fresh equity-based round of financing led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2. “In today’s climate, where startup funding is down by half and valuations are down across the board, this is a healthy and sober valuation,” Meir told TechCrunch. Well-traveledFounded in 2015, Barcelona-based TravelPerk sells an all-in-one platform for companies to book, manage, and report all their domestic and international travel. Customers can also extend the platform through integrations with expense management systems like Spendesk and HR software such as HiBob. “[An] IPO has never been an objective per se for TravelPerk,” Meir said.

“Instagram Streamlines Operations: 60 Jobs Cut and Management Layer Eliminated”

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Instagram has cut 60 technical program manager positions, eliminating a layer of management at the company, according to a new report from The Information. The impacted employees have two months to apply for other jobs at the company. After the two-month period, their employment will be terminated if they are unable to secure a different role at the company. The changes mean that Instagram is going to sharpen its focus on supporting creators who are most likely to drive teen engagement on the platform. Despite the continued and ongoing regulatory pressure that Meta is facing, Instagram is still focused on teen engagement and retention.

Treasure Financial Enacts Layoffs Shortly After Touting Rapid Expansion

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Treasure Financial has laid off 14 employees, the fintech startup confirmed to TechCrunch today. Sam Strasser, founder and CEO of Treasure Financial, told TechCrunch that “a need to streamline our operations and align our workforce with our current strategic goals and financial realities” drove the decision. “Market conditions and organizational challenges aside, financial stewardship necessitated this unfortunate but necessary action,” he added. San Francisco-based Treasure Financial offers cash management software for businesses and is a registered investment advisor (RIA). Just last July, the startup raised $7.5 million in a funding round led by Ventura Capital, a previous investor in the firm.

“Experienceing UTI Symptoms? Discover the Solution with Vivoo’s Convenient At-Home Test”

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Vivoo brings the answer to that question closer to homeThe trend we noticed at last year’s CES continues: Startups are really curious about your bodily fluids. The company already offers a broad range of at-home tests, and launched a new test that can detect urinary tract infections (UTIs). Vivoo’s At-Home UTI Test streamlines the diagnostic process for UTIs, which affect an astonishing 150 million people globally each year. For women, who represent 60% of UTI sufferers in the United States, Vivoo’s product may prove to be a game-changer. Vivoo’s journey in transforming personal health management began with the launch of its ‘smart toilet’ at CES last year, which received accolades for its role in early health condition detection.

PerformYard Secures $95M Investment to Expand its Staff Performance Management Technology

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Employee performance reviews take time and effort — and aren’t always conducted very efficiently. Seeking to make the performance review process easier — or at least less of a headache than it has been historically — Ben Hastings and Jon Malpass founded PerformYard, a platform that provides a collection of software-based retention, staff management and upskilling tools. “PerformYard has been cash-flow positive with attractive unit economics for the majority of our existence as a business.”Prior to launching PerformYard, Hastings spent the majority of his career in tech as a go-to-market sales leader. “In early 2013, I decided to go all-in on building a software-as-a-service platform for employee performance management and personally funded the initial team. “Our mission is to simply enable and facilitate any performance process that our customers are looking to automate and improve,” Hastings said.

Conta Simples Secures $41.5M for Revolutionary Expense Management Method in Brazil

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Conta Simples, an expense management and corporate card company in Brazil, raised a Series B round of $41.5 million, or more than R$200 million. The new funding comes as company executives Rodrigo Tognini, CEO, and Taeli Klaumann, CFO, tell TechCrunch that 2023 was the “best year” for Conta Simples. In 2022, the company acquired online ads startup Hackr Ads following a R$121 million Series A ($24.8 million in today’s dollars). This gave Hackr Ads’ customers the ability to use Conta and for Conta to provide its customers with a way to manage advertising campaigns. “Some big companies, not only in Brazil, but all countries, are not well served with expense management, so there is a huge potential there,” Klaumann said.

“Expanding Its Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance Enterprise: Anecdotes Secures $25M Investment”

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Governance, risk management and compliance — GRC for short — remains one of the most active startup areas in terms of VC investments. GRC helps organizations better manage risk while staying in compliance with regulations — and there’s an increasing number of regulations to worry about. “Anecdotes is redefining compliance and risk management by transforming it from a labor-intensive task with skyrocketing associated costs into data-oriented processes.”Anecdotes’ platform automatically collects GRC-related “artifacts” (i.e. Anecdotes’ competitors include VComply, a risk and compliance management startup that’s raised over $10 million in venture capital so far, and Cypago, which aims to automate compliance and governance for companies. Kuznitsov asserts that Anecdotes is well-positioned, though, with around 100 customers including Snowflake, Coinbase SoFi, Grafana and Payscale.