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The top smartphones of MWC 2018

Like CES, this week’s Mobile World Congress feels like a bit of a down year, now that the smoke has cleared. Perhaps its was fact that Samsung’s big news stole the show before it even began. Maybe it’s companies’ continued push to launch handsets on their own terms. It could also be that, as many have predicted, the age of the smartphone is truly drawing to an end. Still, the show wasn’t without its highlights. We did manage to see handful of devices actually worth writing home about. Here are…

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The SEC is reportedly investigating a number of ICOs

The SEC is getting up close and personal with companies that have raised ICOs, according to a new report. Citing sources, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the commission has “issued dozens of subpoenas and information requests” to tech companies that have held token sales and a number of advisors associated with them. More specifically, it appears that the SEC is requesting details of sale structures and the pre-sale elements to them, which often include deep discounts for those investing large sums or committing to an ICO early on.…

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Apply for Startup Battlefield Europe Today

Ah, springtime in Paris — the City of Love. Couples strolling hand-in-hand down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Early-stage tech startups converging on the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles…um, say what? That’s right. Love of technology is in the air, and TechCrunch will host Startup Battlefield Europe at VivaTech on May 24th – 25.  Applications are still open! apply right here. We’re partnering with VivaTech to bring Startup Battlefield Europe to Paris which is a perfect love match considering the sheer numbers of founders, business leaders, investors, academics, students, and media…

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Spotify plays the long game with Family and Student Plans even as revenue per user drops

Spotify’s “Family Plan,” a variation of which launched in 2014, as well as its “Student Plan” appear to be driving a significant portion of the company’s growth and improving retention, as the company points to it multiple times in its filing for a direct listing on public markets today. But that also comes at a cost of decreasing the amount of revenue it actually gets from each premium subscriber. In the filing, Spotify indicates that the fee for a family plan — which costs $14.99 per month — can be…

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Microsoft signs its first renewable energy deal in Asia with Singaporean solar firm Sunseap

As part of its goal to use more renewable energy in its datacenters, Microsoft said it has entered an agreement with Singapore-based clean energy firm Sunseap. The value of Microsoft’s investment was not disclosed, but an announcement today said it will create “the single-largest solar energy portfolio in Singapore to date.” During the 20-year agreement, Microsoft will buy 100{98db0ac6736548f72a141a912d0cb468040bb9552163b9fc9d7ea23af16c4c51} of the renewable energy that the solar project, which has a peak output of 60 megawatts, exports to the grid. Sunseap claims to be the leading solar energy provider in Singapore…

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LittleThings blames its shutdown on Facebook algorithm change

A recent Facebook algorithm change seems to have claimed a high-profile casualty: LittleThings, a digital publisher focused on inspirational and how-to content for women, which shut down yesterday. I wrote about the company at the beginning of 2016, when it raised debt funding from City National Bank. At the time, it seemed to be flying high, becoming one of the largest lifestyle publishers online and, according to one report, publishing the single most popular Facebook post in 2015. But things were a bit rockier in recent months, according to a…

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Tencent Music, Spotify’s strategic partner in China, is valued at over $12B

Spotify has finally filed to go public, and in doing so the Swedish company has shed light on another huge music company that has been tipped for IPO — Tencent Music — which is now valued at over $12 billion. Tencent and Spotify announced a share swap in December that saw each side take an undisclosed slice of the other for strategic purposes going forward. According to Spotify’s filing, it took nine percent of Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) which it valued at €910 million at the time. That translates to a total…

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There’s always a bigger fish

Hall One at Mobile World Congress — a single space more massive than most conference centers in major cities — contained only a few displays. Although a quarter of the room housed small phone and mobile manufacturers, Huawei controlled the rest, creating a walled-off compound patrolled by women in folk costumes from many lands. The Small World After All jollity stopped at the gates. This was Huawei’s war room. Mere mortals were not allowed to tread its hallowed ground as the ladies at the gate kept out all but the…

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See you tonight in New York

 A reminder that I’m going to have Paul Vigna and Michael Casey, authors of The Truth Machine, onstage with me tonight at Knotel, a co-working and event space in Manhattan. I’ll see you there tonight. RSVPs are closed. It starts at 7pm and will feature a 35-minute talk with two of the top writers in crypto. These guys literally wrote the book on bitcoin and their new book is about… Read More Source link

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The mystery of the public marketplace

Steve Sloane is a principal at Menlo Ventures. More posts by this contributor: Note: This is the second article in a three-part series on valuation thoughts for common sectors of venture capital investment. The first article, which attempts to make sense of the SaaS revenue multiple, can be found here. The two most highly valued private tech companies (outside of China) are Uber and Airbnb, checking in with valuations of $69 billion and $31 billion, respectively (according to the Crunchbase Unicorn leaderboard). Like some of the most valuable companies in…

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