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1. Spotify’s free music service will now stream on Alexa devices, plus Bose and Sonos smart speakers
Spotify has worked with Amazon Echo since 2016, but only for premium subscribers. Today, that changes.
The Alexa support — which includes playing Spotify’s Top Hits playlist, Discover Weekly and more — will be available for users in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand. Support for Sonos and Bose is more broadly available to users around the world.
2. Facebook’s latest experiment is a meme-creation app, Whale
Currently, the app allows users to decorate photos with text and stickers in order to create memes that can be shared to social media or texted to friends.
3. Vayyar nabs $109M for its “4D” radar tech, which detects and tracks images while preserving privacy
Vayyar is an Israeli startup that builds radar-imaging chips and sensors, as well as the software that reads and interprets the resulting images, for use in automotive and IoT applications.
4. Google Assistant introduces personalized playlists of audio news
When you say “Hey Google, play me the news” to a Google Assistant-enabled phone or smart speaker, you’ll get a tailored playlist of the day’s big headlines and stories. Your News Update draws from a variety of publisher partners, focusing on the stories that seem relevant to your interests and your location.
5. Bunch, the Discord for mobile games, raises $3.85M from Supercell, Tencent, Riot Games
Users who download the game can connect with friends and join an audio or video chat with them. From there, users can choose a game to load and the whole party is instantly taken into a multiplayer game session with their friends.
6. Build trust with remote users to get qualitative feedback
As co-founder of a digital health company, Alex Gold had to build a community of test patients. And because of security and privacy concerns, he had to approach this process unconventionally. (Extra Crunch membership required.)
7. 5 reasons you need to be at Disrupt Berlin
We’re one month out from Disrupt Berlin. And no matter which part of the startup ecosystem you inhabit, the event should be a huge opportunity. (I’ll be there!)