U.S. House Approves Amended Measure to Prohibit TikTok or Compel Sale

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The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill this afternoon that would require TikTok-owner ByteDance to sell the popular social media app or see it banned in the United States. Efforts to ban TikTok go back to the Trump Administration, but the issue has been revived in recent months. The House already passed a similar bill in March — a bill that the Senate showed little interest in taking up. The Senate could take up the package this coming week, and President Joe Biden has said he supports the bill and will sign it. If that happens, TikTok is expected to challenge the bill in court.

“Nearing a $500M Agreement: Noname Security, the API Startup, to be Acquired by Akamai”

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Noname Security, a cybersecurity startup that protects APIs, is in advanced talks with Akamai Technologies to sell itself for $500 million, according to a person familiar with the deal. Noname was co-founded in 2020 by Oz Galan and Shay Levi and is headquartered in Palo Alto but has Israeli roots. The startup raised $220 million from venture investors and was last valued at $1 billion in December 2021 when it raised $135 million in a Series C led by Georgian and Lightspeed. While the sale price is a significant discount from that valuation, the deal as it currently stands would be for cash, the person said. In February, Israeli news outlet Calcalist reported that Noname was in negotiations with several potential buyers, including Akamai.

VCs set to receive liquidity in 2024 through secondary market instead of IPOs

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The secondary market allows for that now.”Stripe’s recent secondary sale is a clear example of this. Leung said that Sapphire deployed roughly $500 million into the secondary market in 2023, and expects to deploy the same if not more into secondary stakes in 2024. But given the maturation of the secondary market, it doesn’t need to thaw before the market is really ready. The secondary market “is playing a huge role,” Leung said regarding companies waiting to go public. [LPs] are not pressuring the GPs to push out their assets, which reduces the demand for the public market.”

“The TikTok Ban: Gathering Momentum in the Push for a Forced Sale”

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TechCrunch Minute: The TikTok ban, or at least the effort to force its sale, is gaining steamAnd some folks are pretty mad about it! After a House subcommittee passed a bill that would force a sale of TikTok or ban the app from American app stores, debate reignited around the internet regrading whether or not the social service should face such harsh choices. On the pro-TikTok side former President Donald Trump flipped his views, and Elon Musk has spoken against the possibility. On the other hand, there’s a surprisingly united Congress, concerns about data safety, and fears that TikTok could be used to influence the American electorate. This raises the question: Why not just divest the asset so that we can put the issue to bed?

Hurry Now! Last Chance to Save with Disrupt’s 2-for-1 Sale – Ends Today

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The clock is ticking on your chance to seize a scorching deal: TechCrunch Disrupt is returning to San Francisco from October 28–30, and the 2-for-1 ticket offer ends tonight at midnight! What’s in store at TechCrunch Disrupt? Prepare for three electrifying days packed with the latest startup breakthroughs, trends, and products, tailored for every step of your entrepreneurial journey. From startup founders to venture capitalists, Disrupt attracts a diverse crowd eager to explore trends in SaaS, fintech, AI, and space. Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at TechCrunch Disrupt 2024?

Don’t Miss Out: 2-for-1 Tickets on Sale for Disrupt’s Return!

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As winter continues to grip much of the world, here’s some hot news to thaw the chill from every entrepreneur’s heart: TechCrunch Disrupt will be back in San Francisco from October 28–30. Secure your 2-for-1 pass now and unlock savings of over $1,000 on select passes. What awaits you at TechCrunch Disrupt? TechCrunch Disrupt will continue our goal of covering the latest pioneering founders, CEOs, and venture capitalists who will share their invaluable perspectives and wisdom. Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at TechCrunch Disrupt 2024?

“Potential Sale: Segment at Risk as Activist Investors Target Twilio”

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With Twilio under activist pressure, Segment could be put up for sale But recovering the 2020 purchase price could be impossibleTwilio’s foray into the customer data (CDP) business could be heading for an early conclusion. During the last quarters of Lawson’s tenure atop the company, Twilio came under pressure from activist investors Anson Funds and Legion Capital to divest assets to bolster shareholder value. With all that value and an eye toward expanding its market, Twilio went out and spent $3.2 billion to acquire Segment. What is Segment worth? According to Twilio, its Segment unit generated $75 million worth of revenue in Q4 2023, up 4% from a $73 million result in the year-ago quarter.

Resumption of January 18 Sales Ban for Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 Models

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Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 sales will be halted again in the U.S. starting at 5 PM tomorrow, January 18, due to the rejection of a bid by Apple to have the sales ban paused throughout its appeal of an ITC decision that found its blood oxygen feature infringe on patents by medical tech company Masimo. Meanwhile, Apple has another route available to avoid a halt: U.S. Customs said earlier in the week that it would consider a software update that disabled Apple Watch blood oxygen sensing features to put the devices beyond the scope of the ITC ban, which means the company could effectively keep selling them if it pushes a firmware update to turn off all the pulse oximetry stuff. Apple’s appeal will still continue, however, and this doesn’t mean they won’t eventually win that, which would allow for a resumption of sale with the blood oxygen features included. It’ll be interesting to see what happens tomorrow when that 5 PM ET deadline hits. For those keeping track, this means the current Apple Watch models have now been removed from sale, resumed sales, and are pending another sales stoppage, all in under a month.

ZestMoney, former Goldman Sachs-backed fintech unicorn, acquired by DMI at discounted price of $450M in urgent sale

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ZestMoney, the Goldman Sachs-backed Indian fintech startup once valued at $450 million, has sold itself to financial services firm DMI Group, the two said late Wednesday, in a fire sale that caps 12 tumultuous months for the once-hot new age lender. In a statement, DMI Group said the deal grants it with the exclusive right to the use of all Zest brands and make the NBFC arm DMI Finance a preferred lender on the Zest platform. “DMI will also bring its customer base, balance-sheet strength and significant risk-management experience to drive growth across Zest’s online and offline merchant network,” DMI said in a statement. ZestMoney founders quit the startup in May last year after acquisition talks with fintech giant PhonePe didn’t materialize. We firmly believe that this acquisition will be an important step in our journey to provide digital financial inclusion at scale across India.”

“Get Your Hands on the Revolutionary Apple Vision Pro – Available for Purchase on Feb 2 at $3,500!”

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Apple this morning confirmed that the Vision Pro will be available in the U.S. starting February 2. Pre-orders for the $3,500 spatial computing device open Friday January 19 at 5AM PT. “Apple Vision Pro is the most advanced consumer electronics device ever created. How many bespoke Vision Pro apps will be available when the device launches in little under a month, however, remains to be seen. Apple notes, “Players can access games on the App Store, including more than 250 titles on Apple Arcade.