Author: Ingrid Lunden

Stripe hires Niels Provos away from Google to be its new head of security

TECHCRUNCH On the heels of raising new funding on a $20 billion valuation, payments and financial services startup Stripe is making a key hire to reinforce its message to the world that it’s taking security of its cloud-based services seriously. Today the company is announcing that it has hired Niels Provos as its new head of security. Provos was most recently a distinguished engineer at Google, where he has led some of the search giant’s biggest efforts to make its service secure, perhaps most famously Safe Browsing, but also more recently Google Cloud Platform and Google’s production infrastructure. He’s also...

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Twitter opens archive of 4,500 accounts related to Russia and Iran’s political propaganda

TECHCRUNCH After getting hauled into Washington to be grilled over how its social media platform was exploited to influence public opinion around elections and politics in the US and elsewhere, Twitter vowed that it would be more open with its data, in an attempt to do better in the future — the idea partly being that others can provide more insight into what nefarious groups did on Twitter, and partly people will not mistrust Twitter in its own intentions to keep this off its platform. Now it’s coming good on some of that. Today, Twitter released a set of...

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WhiteSource nabs $35M to track open source code for security vulnerabilities

TECHCRUNCH Open source software — a $14 billion market — has become a cornerstone for building apps and other IT services, with some 97 percent of developers today using using open source components of one form or another in their work. That popularity, however, belies a critical challenge: some of the most ubiquitous open source packages around are rife with vulnerabilities, so using them increases the risk of a security breach. Rather than (unrealistically) expecting organizations to stop using open source components, there is a new wave of startups that are emerging to help them tackle this problem head on, by tracking open source components in their code, identifying when there are vulnerabilities, and providing routes to fix them. And today, one of the pioneers in the space, Israel-based WhiteSource, is announcing that it has raised $35 million to expand the scope of its work — by hiring more engineers, doubling down on its platform and coming to more geographies — it currently has offices in New York, Boston and Tel Aviv — to expand beyond the 500 large enterprises that use its tools today (including 23 percent of Fortune 100 companies). Led by new investor Susquehanna Growth Equity, others in this round include 83North and M12 (formerly known as Microsoft Ventures), both previous backers. WhiteSource is not disclosing its valuation, but a source close to the company tells me it’s...

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Temasek acquires Sygnia, an Israeli cybersecurity startup, for $250M

TECHCRUNCH Temasek, the Singaporean government-controlled company that is one of the world’s biggest investors, is today announcing an acquisition to beef up its cybersecurity business. It is acquiring Sygnia, a startup out of Israel that keeps a low profile, but has built technology and services to help large organizations respond to cyber threats. The price of the deal is not being officially disclosed, but a source close to it says that Temasek is buying Sygnia for $250 million. After the deal closes, Temasek will continue to let Syngia operate as an independent entity. Sygnia came out of stealth less than...

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No, Apple didn’t acquire music analytics startup Asaii, it hired the founders to work on Apple Music

TECHCRUNCH On the heels of news of not one but two acquisitions from Apple last week, a report surfaced yesterday that Apple had picked up yet another company, the music analytics startup Asaii, for under $100 million; the report led to a “confirmation” from a shareholder in a separate report. But as it turns out, neither appear to be correct. But we asked and Apple has declined to confirm the deal, and it gave no green light to use its usual statement — the one it often issues when smaller startups are acquired. (You can see a sample of...

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Zimmer and Apple launch clinical study covering up to 10K patients who get knee and hip replacements

TECHCRUNCH Apple has made health — and helping people keep tabs on theirs — a cornerstone of how it is presenting the benefits of its newest Apple Watch, and today comes news of another way that this is taking shape. Zimmer Biomet, a world leader in developing the components and systems for joint replacements, says that it is working with Apple on a new clinical study focused on people who get knee and hip replacements. The trial will come in three stages, and within two years, Zimmer projects that there to be up to 10,000 people involved, Ted Spooner,...

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Truphone, an eSIM mobile carrier that works with Apple, raises another $71M, now valued at $507M

TECHCRUNCH Truphone — a UK startup that provides global mobile voice and data services by way of an eSIM model for phones, tablets and IoT devices — said that it has raised another £18 million ($23.7 million) in funding; additionally securing £36 million ($47 million) more “on a conditional basis” to expand its business after signing “a number of high-value deals.” It doesn’t specify which deals these are, but Truphone was an early partner of Apple’s to provide eSIM-based connectivity to the iPad; and it will also be offering a service for new iPhone XS and XR models, taking...

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G2 crowd, a business software marketplace, raises another $55M at just under a $500M valuation

TECHCRUNCH G2 Crowd, a platform that lets businesses search for, compare reviews and pricing for, and then buy software and other IT services — it likes to refer to itself as the “Amazon of business software” — has raised $55 million in growth funding to continue expanding its business. This round was led by IVP, with participation from enterprise VC Emergence Capital and Accel (which led its previous round, which also included LinkedIn as an investor), and brings the company “close to half a billion dollar valuation,” according to a source close to the company. This is a big leap: in May 2017, when it last raised money, G2 Crowd was valued at $130 million post-money, according to PitchBook. The rise of that valuation underscores just how fragmented and competitive the market is for business software today, and how a company that provides a useful way to navigate through that has a very good shot at building a lucrative business. More generally, a vertical search engine filling a gap in the market and that actually works remains a killer app, despite the dominance of Google in so many areas of search, and of Amazon in so many areas of online commerce. G2 Crowd has seen a big leap in its growth in the last 16 months. Software reviews is a core part of what it offers to people who...

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