Daily Crunch: Tech CEOs face Congress

U.S. tech giants face antitrust scrutiny, Spotify has a mixed quarter and at-home fitness startup Tempo raises funding. This is your Daily Crunch for July 29, 2020.

The big story: Tech CEOs face Congress

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Apple’s Tim Cook, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Sundar Pichai all appeared remotely this afternoon before the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee.

Different representatives seemed to focused on very different issues: Republicans repeatedly returned to the question of whether the large tech platforms are suppressing conservative viewpoints, while Democrats seemed more concerned about potentially anticompetitive behavior.

For example, citing newly revealed emails sent by Zuckerberg to other Facebook executives, Rep. Jerry Nadler declared, “Facebook saw Instagram as a powerful threat that could siphon business away from Facebook so rather than compete with it, Facebook bought it.” And Rep. Val Demings (like Nadler, a Democrat) suggested that Google was responsible for “effectively destroying anonymity on the internet.”

The tech giants

Spotify users are streaming again, but ad revenues still suffer due to COVID crisis — In its latest earnings report, Spotify said it grew its active monthly users by 29%, reaching 299 million.

Google One now offers free phone backups up to 15GB on Android and iOSGoogle One is Google’s subscription program for buying additional storage and live support, and it’s getting an update.

Samsung reportedly considering a Google deal that would deprioritize Bixby — That’s according to Reuters.

Startups, funding and venture capital

Mirror competitor Tempo raises a $60M Series B — The news comes almost exactly a month after Mirror, one of the San Francisco-based company’s chief competitors, was acquired by fitness brand Lululemon for $500 million.

Remitly raises $85M at a $1.5B valuation, says money transfer business has surged — CEO Matt Oppenheimer told us that customer growth has increased by 200% compared to a year ago.

LA’s consumer goods rental service, Joymode, sells to the NYC retail investment firm, XRC Labs — Joymode’s founder Joe Fernandez will continue on as an advisor to the startup as it moves to pivot its business to focus on retail partnerships.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

How to time your Series A fundraise — At our Early Stage event last week, Emergence Capital’s Jake Saper said that finding the right time to fundraise requires a micro- and macro-level strategy.

Investment in AI startups slips to three-year low — A new report from CB Insights shows historically strong but declining investing rates for AI startups.

Where is voice tech going? — One of the biggest stories in emerging technology is the growth of different types of voice assistants.

(Reminder: Extra Crunch is our subscription membership program, which aims to democratize information about startups. You can sign up here.)

Everything else

Walmart launches its own voice assistant, ‘Ask Sam,’ initially for employee use — The tool allows Walmart employees to look up prices, access store maps, find products, view sales information, check email and more.

The Hummer EV is shaping up to be GM’s electric answer to the Ford Bronco and Tesla Cybertruck — GM just released its first look at the vehicle, which was announced pre-COVID, at the Super Bowl.

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