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Tech investors are a dim message for startups: Coronaviruses can make it harder to get funding.
"The fear of coronavirus is affecting fundraising Startup company, " Tweet Josh Elman, who has invested in companies such as TikTok and Medium. "The advice I've seen tells all companies that may run out of cash in 2020 that they are now starting to raise capital, and things could get even worse. RIPGoodTimes?"
Concerns about the spread of the virus have limited daily deals in the tech industry. Many high-profile meetings where entrepreneurs often meet with potential investors — Such as Mobile World Congress And big tech companies Developer events — Canceled or just virtual streaming.
Bilal Zuberi, a partner at venture capital firm Lux Capital, told me in an interview that some startups have been forced to radically change their plans for new product launches at these shows.
"In these events, any relationship that will be established or anything that will be performed will be delayed for at least a few quarters," Zuberg said.
of start up In recent years, the ecosystem has enjoyed a boom in funding, but the economic uncertainty released by the coronavirus is a shocking reality check that suggests the party may be coming to an end. Some venture capitalists are pausing while waiting to see how far the virus has spread and whether Washington can limit it.
Zuberi and some venture capitalists said transactions could be restricted as the new company needs to continue to support companies that are already established and operating. Investors need to ensure that they have the funds on hand in case their existing portfolios encounter virus-related challenges.
They also expect that initial public offerings may be delayed amid widespread uneasiness on Wall Street. Some of the most anticipated IPOs this year, such as Airbnb, may be postponed to 2021.
"2020 no longer looks like a very good year," Zuberi said.
The continued trouble on Wall Street could also translate into lower valuations start up transaction. dBusiness travel may also limit the ability of venture capitalists to meet with the global companies they are considering supporting. Zubelli said he has now cancelled all unnecessary travel. He is still attending a board meeting in Boston next week, but he said other board members will no longer attend.
Covid-19 has hit the technology industry particularly hard. Facebook Said yesterday A Seattle-based contractor tested positive for the disease and closed the office. Amazon Called Worried about the coronavirus, all employees in Seattle and Bellevue, Washington can work from home. Twitter Also indicates Employees work from home.
Santa Clara County, home to many major technology companies in the Bay Area, has reported 14 cases of coronavirus, According to local media reports.
This has led some to restrict meetings even in town. Hunter Walk, a partner at venture capital firm Homebrew, said on Twitter that his company is sending the following inquiries to anyone who is scheduled to meet:
Here's what we sent this week to anyone who met us in person. If you are a manager / CEO or someone with the ability to create an empathy authority structure, then this may be a good time. pic.twitter.com/hxHTdVNAZO
— ???☕️ (@hunterwalk) March 2, 2020
Bits, bars and bytes
Bit: Investors, customers, and friends use the controversial facial recognition app Clearview AI for free to identify people they do n’t know at parties, dating, and business parties, Mount Kashmir reports The New York Times. The company has previously stated that its technology is used only by law enforcement agencies and "some security professionals."
"As part of the regular process of due diligence, we have provided trial accounts to potential and existing investors and other strategic partners so they can test the technology," Hoan Ton-That, the company's co-founder, told The New York Times ".
In one example, a billionaire John Catsimatidis uses the Clearview app to identify the man who found his daughter when dating a restaurant. After the waiter took a picture of the man, Catsimatidis could browse his photos online and identify him as a venture capitalist in San Francisco.
"I want to make sure he's not a liar," Katsimitis told Kashmir. He then sent the date's resume to his daughter.
One investor said his daughter loved playing the app in elementary and junior high school.
Until the New York Times reported this in January, Clearview AI was largely unknown to the public. The company has faced widespread opposition for its practice of capturing user photos from the Internet. Facebook, Google and Twitter issued suspension letters, and in some states have filed lawsuits due to widespread privacy concerns.
Knicks: Senator Josh Holly (R.Mo.) announced at a hearing yesterday that he will enact legislation to ban all government devices from using the popular video app TikTok. The State Department and the Department of Homeland Security and several military departments have banned the use of social networks on government equipment.
Holley said the ban is necessary because the Chinese-owned app "tracks your search history, your keystrokes, your location" and sends that information to the Chinese government:
.@tiktok_us Track your search history, keystrokes, your location-and share with w / #China. That's why the Pentagon, State Department, Homeland Security, and TSA bar employees from using it. I will legislate @tiktok_us For all federal employees on all government equipment
-Josh Holly (@HawleyMO) March 4, 2020
Top cybersecurity officials responded to his concerns at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
Bryan Ware, assistant director of the Department of Homeland Security's Cyber Security and Infrastructure Security Bureau, testified: "On government equipment and government networks, applications like TikTok are definitely nowhere." "China is now collecting There are amazing programs in terms of data … and when this data becomes our voice, our faces, our location and things that are very closely tied to our identity (such as our phone), this should cause We pay great attention. "
TikTok and Apple Refusal to send executives At the hearing, Holley called for the second time on the relationship between Big Technology and China. To date, there has been no public evidence that TikTok has shared any data on Americans with the Chinese government, and TikTok has repeatedly denied the allegations.
"Although we believe these concerns are unfounded, we understand them and continue to strengthen our safeguards while further strengthening dialogue with lawmakers to help explain our policies," TikTok said in a statement.
BYTES: Despite policies banning such ads, Google showed ads this week due to the fear caused by the corona virusCNBC's Megan Graham finds. Large tech companies are struggling to crack down on political parties trying to capitalize on the global health crisis.
CNBC found ads on Google that masked fake sales masks and claimed it was a government-approved mask. Other ads claim to have "limited stock." Google told CNBC that these ads violate Google's policy of prohibiting content from using "sensitive events" such as natural disasters, conflicts, and deaths. Google said it has “actively implemented” the policy and will investigate examples of CNBC reports.
Amazon and Facebook are also working to suppress sellers' fake prices, such as hand sanitizers in third-party markets, My colleagues Jeanne Whalen, Abha Bhattarai and Jay Greene report. Facebook last week banned ads that claimed to cure or cause urgency around the virus. However, my colleague found that overpriced items appeared on both platforms this week.
This issue has attracted the attention of lawmakers. Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) Slammed Amazon in a letter yesterday Profitees who fail to control the coronavirus.
(Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)
—News from the public sector:
MPs slammed some of the country's top e-commerce platforms on Wednesday as they worked to combat the spread of online counterfeit products as the Trump administration and Congress urged to curb hundreds of millions spread across dominant and powerful platforms Counterfeit products.
– Former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski filed for bankruptcy yesterday, the same day he lost his case for a bid to defect from tech giant to Uber, and was fined by the court for $ 179 million. My colleague Reed Albergotti reports.
Levandowski's move to Uber shook the tech community, sparking a lengthy legal battle, including continuing criminal charges, in which he stole trade secrets about Google's driverless technology .
– More news from the private sector:
-Sci-tech news caused a sensation on the Internet:
- The Senate Antitrust Judiciary Subcommittee will hold a hearing on "Digital Technology Market Competition: Checking Self-Priority Through Digital Platforms" at 10 am on Tuesday.
- Nava charity Will host A conversation hosted by Cat Zakrzewski of Technology 202 took place on Tuesday at 6 pm on "The Impact of Scale: From Large Technologies to Citizen Technologies".
- The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 am on "Money-making IT bills: hold the tech industry accountable for combating child sexual exploitation online."
- American Code Summit will happen March 11-13 in Arlington, Virginia.
- SXSW will be held in Austin from March 13th to 22nd.
- FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks and FTC Joint Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter will jointly host a live hearing on 5G technology and big data in Detroit, Michigan on March 16.
- The Game Developers Conference will be held in San Francisco from March 16th to 20th.