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USA/FTC/TechInnovation – Outdated ethics rules may be stymieing the Federal Trade Commission’s efforts to keep up with big tech (Brookings)

Lindsey BarrettLaura MoyPaul Ohm, and Ashkan Soltani write: How does a hundred-year-old agency shift its resources and focus to grapple effectively with Big Tech and some of the biggest policy puzzles of a generation? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has faced this challenge since the dotcom era. As it still scrambles to adjust, the FTC has received harsh criticism in recent years for its approvals of ballooning tech mergers and its seeming inability to deter or avert privacy scandal after privacy scandal. At the same time, popular interest in reining in Big Tech and protecting privacy has mounted. Perched at the intersection of these two issues is a wonky but fundamental problem for the agency: Do the FTC’s longstanding conflict-of-interest rules unnecessarily impede the agency’s ability to attract, retain, and deploy technical expertise that it badly needs?

go to Brookings: Outdated ethics rules may be stymieing the Federal Trade Commission’s efforts to keep up with big tech (brookings.edu)

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Artificial Intelligence/TechInnovation – Is artificial intelligence ready for the great rehiring? (WEF)

writes: After a year that witnessed unemployment reach levels unseen since the Great Depression, the Great Rehiring is upon us – and AI is likely to play a significant role in it. Employers, especially those who need to hire rapidly and in large numbers, are turning to AI-driven technologies such as resume-screening programsautomated interviews, and mobile hiring apps to rebuild their workforces. To the millions of employees who were displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic, these technologies can mean a fast track back into the workplace. And to the businesses whose doors were shuttered by the pandemic, these technologies are an efficient path back to profitability.

go to WEF: Is artificial intelligence ready for the great rehiring? | World Economic Forum (weforum.org)

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TechInnovation – European Investment Fund puts $30M in Fabric Ventures’ new $120M digital assets fund (TechCrunch)

Mike Butcher writes: Despite their rich engineering talent, Blockchain entrepreneurs in the EU often struggle to find backing due to the dearth of large funds and investment expertise in the space. But a big move takes place at an EU level today, as the European Investment Fund makes a significant investment into a blockchain and digital assets venture fund.

go to TechCrunch: European Investment Fund puts $30M in Fabric Ventures’ new $120M digital assets fund | TechCrunch

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TechInnovation – Coralogix logs $55M for its new take on production analytics, now valued at $300-$400M (TechCrunch)

Ingrid Lunden writes: Data may be the new oil, but it’s only valuable if you make good use of it. Today, a startup that has built a new kind of production analytics platform for developers, security engineers and data scientists to track and better understand how data is moving around their networks is announcing a round of funding that underscores the demand for their technology. Coralogix, which provides stateful streaming services to engineering teams, has picked up $55 million in a Series C round of funding.

go to TechCrunch: Coralogix logs $55M for its new take on production analytics, now valued at $300-$400M | TechCrunch

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TechInnovation – Connected car insurance startup Flock raises $17M Series A led by Chamath Palihapitiya (TechCrunch)

Mike Butcher writes: Cast your mind back to that scene in Minority Report where all those autonomous cars are whizzing through the city. The more practically-minded of you may well have gone: “Yeah, but what about the insurance…?”.

go to TechCrunch: Connected car insurance startup Flock raises $17M Series A led by Chamath Palihapitiya | TechCrunch

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TechInnovation – Japanese sneaker platform SODA raises $56.4M, accquires rival Monokabu (TechCrunch)

Catherine Shu writes: Just half a year after leading SODA’s Series B, SoftBank Ventures Asia is raising its bet on the Tokyo-based sneaker resell platform. The early-stage venture capital arm of SoftBank Group announced today it has returned to lead SODA’s Series C, which currently totals $56.4 million.

go to TechCrunch: Japanese sneaker platform SODA raises $56.4M, accquires rival Monokabu | TechCrunch

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TechInnovation – Zuckerberg is turning trillion-dollar Facebook into a ‘metaverse’ company, he tells investors (TechCrunch)

Lucas MatneyTaylor Hatmaker write: Following the quarterly release of Facebook’s earnings numbers where the company’s CFO takes time to walk analysts through the nitty gritty of the company’s financials, CEO Mark Zuckerberg took a moment to zoom out and wax on the company’s future goals, specifically calling out his ambitions to turn Facebook into “a metaverse company.”

go to TechCrunch: Zuckerberg is turning trillion-dollar Facebook into a ‘metaverse’ company, he tells investors | TechCrunch

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TechInnovation – INKR draws in $3.1M to make more comics accessible to worldwide audiences (TechCrunch)

Catherine Shu writes: INKR is a digital comics platform that crosses cultural and language divides, enabling creators to reach global audiences with its proprietary localization technology. Previously bootstrapped, the company announced today that it has raised $3.1 million in pre-Series A funding led by Monk’s Hill Ventures, with participation from manga distributor TokyoPop founder and chief executive Stu Levy.

go to TechCrunch: INKR draws in $3.1M to make more comics accessible to worldwide audiences | TechCrunch

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TechInnovation – Personalized menopause platform Vira Health raises £1.5M from LocalGlobe, MMC Ventures (TechCrunch)

Mike Butcher writes: A new trend is emerging in the world of startups and, to many, it couldn’t have come too soon. Why are there so few women in senior roles? Women going through menopause are commonly known to drop out of leadership roles, for instance. In the UK, menopause is responsible for about 14 million lost working days and 1 million premature career exits, according to research. Indeed, we only just reported on the new startup Peppy which is addressing this in employee health.

go to TechCrunch: Personalized menopause platform Vira Health raises £1.5M from LocalGlobe, MMC Ventures | TechCrunch

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