Varo Money raises $45 million for mobile banking without fees

 There are a number of startups looking to disrupt traditional banking. We’ve covered Chime, Zero and Jiko, just to name a few.
Another one of those is Varo Money and they’ve raised $45 million led by private equity giant, Warburg Pincus and The Rise Fund, a global impact fund that’s part of another private equity firm, TPG. (That’s the one U2’s Bono is involved… Read More

Tile lays off dozens after a disappointing holiday

 Tile, one of the best known item-tracking gadgets out there, has laid off some 30 people and reportedly froze the potential hires of another 10, TechCrunch has learned. This comes less than a year after the company raised a $25 million B round last May. The layoffs are reportedly due to disappointing sales over the holidays. Read More

AI voice assistant developer Rokid raises $100M Series B extension to build its US presence

 Rokid, a Chinese startup that makes an AI voice assistant and smart devices, just raised a Series B extension round led by Temasek Holdings, with participation from Credit Suisse, IDG Capital and CDIB Capital. The size of the round was not released, but a source familiar with the deal told TechCrunch that it is $100 million. Read More

Apple revamps web design for App Store

 Apple has updated the look of its web-based App Store, 9to5Mac first reported. It definitely has the feel of the iOS 11 App Store, which Apple completely redesigned and launched last September. But, unlike iOS 11, there’s no focus on app discovery.
The functionality is about the same as before, but what it comes down to is the clean design that feels simpler — perhaps due to the… Read More

Diverse teams are still *really* good for business, McKinsey says

 Diversity is good for business — not just from the ethical standpoint, but from the perspective of a company’s bottom line, according to McKinsey & Company. As a follow-up to its “Why Diversity Matters” study in 2015, McKinsey analyzed more than 1,000 companies across 12 countries, looking at their respective profits and value creation. Read More