Tracking TechCrunch anonymous sourcing

5/23/2016: Snapchat is raising more money around $20 billion valuation

Snapchat may have first made its name in the crowded world of mobile apps with an ephemeral messaging service, but the startup and its wildly popular app are not disappearing anywhere soon. TechCrunch has learned from multiple sources that Snapchat is raising yet more financing at around a $20 billion valuation. Sources with knowledge of the deal say the social media giant is in the process of a round of about $200 million.

5/27/2015: Online auto sales startup Carvana is raising $300 million to expand nationwide

With those numbers behind it, the company is seeking a big new round of funding, which could be announced in the coming weeks. Sources with knowledge of the situation say the company hopes to bring in $300 million in growth funding to ramp up operations. According to sources, the funding will likely come from both institutional and strategic investors, as Carvana seeks to leverage both capital and connections to make used cars available in more markets around the country.

Status: Unverified

4/28/2015: Uber is quietly testing a massive merchant delivery program

Uber is planning to launch a merchant delivery program that would allow online shoppers to get same-day delivery of goods through both UberRush couriers and Uber drivers. TechCrunch has obtained training documents for Uber drivers and couriers who are part of the merchant delivery pilot program.

Sources say that Neiman Marcus, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany’s, Cohen’s Fashion Optical and Hugo Boss are all in talks with the Uber Merchant Delivery program, and one source in particular said that there are over 400 different merchants currently in talks (or already testing) with Uber for same-day delivery. (Cohen’s Fashion Optical and Hugo Boss are both used as examples in the training presentation.)

Status: Unverified, though TechCrunch provided the documents in the story.

4/15/2015: Yahoo in talks to buy Foursquare

Yahoo has been busy rebuilding its business around mobile under CEO Marissa Mayer, and soon it could make one of its biggest bets yet on the platform. We have heard perennially that the company has been looking to buy Foursquare, the New York startup behind the eponymous local search app and location-based social “check-in” app Swarm. The latest rumor we are hearing is giving the deal a price tag of around $900 million.

One source says that the “deal is done” but details are still being ironed out. Others have also confirmed a Yahoo/Foursquare deal is in the frame.

Yet other sources at Yahoo tell us they have heard nothing — nada — about the deal. Either this is elaborate, bicoastal speculation, or it is happening with only a select circle privy to what is going on.

Status: Unverified

4/12/2015: Twitter is pushing celebrities and publishers to stop using Meerkat

Twitter is doing whatever it can to help its live video streaming acquisition Periscope beat independent competitor Meerkat. Multiple sources tell TechCrunch that Twitter has been contacting celebrities who use Meerkat, trying to convince them Meerkat is dying and that they should use Periscope instead.

Sources also say Twitter has been in touch with media companies that use Meerkat, going so far as to imply that if they don’t exclusively use Periscope, it could cut off their access to Amplify.

Status: Unverified

4/7/2015: Uber co-founder’s startup ‘Operator’ will get you what you want

Send an instant message asking for something, and they’ll do the grunt work of placing your order and getting it delivered to you. That’s the idea for Uber co-founder Garret Camp‘s new startup Operator that’s still in stealth, according to sources with direct knowledge of the app.

Status: Unverified

Tracking Recode anonymous sourcing

10/3/2017: Twitter and Facebook haven’t stopped Russia-backed RT from advertising on their websites

In a meeting with House and Senate investigators last week, Twitter executives shared more than 1,800 promoted tweets from Russia Today, known as RT, and its three main accounts on the site. Some of the ads, valued in total at about $274,000, sought to promote RT’s own stories, including those that sharply attacked Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Twitter’s decision to share that information with Congress followed a report by the U.S. government’s top intelligence agencies, which slammed RT in January as the “Kremlin’s principal international propaganda outlet.” Despite those concerns, though, the news network’s three Twitter accounts — @RT_com, @RT_America and @ActualidadRT — remain fully operational. And Twitter has not banned RT from advertising, according to a source familiar with the matter.

8/16/2016: Univision is buying Gawker Media for $135 million

Univision has won the auction for Gawker Media.

The TV network and digital publisher has agreed to pay $135 million for the bankrupt blog network, according to a person familiar with the deal.

8/9/2016: Intel is paying more than $400 million to buy deep-learning startup Nervana Systems

Intel is snapping up deep learning startup Nervana Systems in a huge bet that artificial intelligence represents the next big shift inside corporate data centers.

The chip giant isn’t actually saying how much it is paying, but a source with knowledge of the deal said it is valued at around $408 million.

6/22/2016: Twitter wants to sell its NFL ad spots for more than $50 million

These ads packages — which combine the ad inventory Twitter has around NFL highlights that it also sold last year, plus the NFL game footage it bought this year — are selling between $2 million and $8 million per advertiser, according to a person familiar with the deals. That range depends on the number of ads and whether or not they are shown during a game versus alongside other NFL content (more on that below).

6/14/2016: Twitter has invested in music streaming service SoundCloud

Two years ago Twitter thought about buying SoundCloud, but ended up walking away from the music service.

Now Twitter has bought a piece of SoundCloud instead.

Twitter has invested around $70 million in the music service, as part of a round that should end up in the $100 million-range, according to sources familiar with the deal. The round is expected to value SoundCloud at about $700 million — the same value that investors placed on the company in 2014, when it raised $60 million; since then it has also raised a debt round.

4/24/2016: Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’ comes to iTunes tonight

Last night Beyoncé debuted “Lemonade” via an HBO special, then began streaming the album exclusively via Tidal.

But if you can wait a few hours, you’ll be able to get “Lemonade” on iTunes. The album, including the accompanying videos that Beyoncé debuted on Saturday, will be on sale via Apple’s download store at midnight ET, according to a person familiar with the release plans.

4/6/2016: It’s Not Just Celebrities — Facebook Is Paying Media Companies to Make Live Video, Too

Sources say Facebook is paying the New York Times, BuzzFeed and the Huffington Post, among other publishers.

1/24/2016: Big Exec Departures at Twitter: Media Head Stanton and Product Head Weil Leaving

In a major executive upheaval, two of Twitter’s top executives — media head Katie Jacobs Stanton and product head Kevin Weil — are departing the company, according to sources close to the situation.

Also see this: Also Out at Twitter: Engineering Head Roetter (and More to Come)
And this: Another Twitter Goodbye: Vine Head Jason Toff

11/12/2015: Snapchat Signs Another Publisher: The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal is going after a new audience. So, apparently, is Snapchat.

The Journal will soon be joining Snapchat’s group of Discover publishers, according to multiple sources, the first major business publication to join Snapchat since it first launched Discover back in January. It’s unclear exactly when the Journal is set to launch its channel, but the deal is done, these people say. Both Snapchat and the Journal declined to comment.

10/9/2015: Twitter Is Planning Company-Wide Layoffs for Next Week

Jack Dorsey was named permanent CEO of Twitter on Monday, and a big reason he got the job was that as a co-founder, Dorsey isn’t afraid to make the tough, necessary decisions. He isn’t wasting much time.

Twitter is planning company-wide layoffs next week, according to multiple sources. It’s unclear how much of the staff will be culled, but insiders say it will likely affect most, if not all, departments.

9/30/2015: Jack Dorsey to Be Named Permanent Twitter CEO

Jack is back — for good this time.

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, who has been serving as interim CEO for the past three months, is expected be named the company’s new permanent CEO as early as tomorrow, although that timeframe may change, according to sources. Dorsey will apparently continue to run Square, the payments company he founded where he’s also CEO.

9/29/2015: Twitter Plans to Go Beyond Its 140-Character Limit

Twitter is building a new product that will allow users to share tweets that are longer than the company’s 140-character limit, according to multiple people familiar with the company’s plans.

9/21/2015: Axel Springer wants to buy Business Insider for around $560 million

German publishing giant Axel Springer is closing in on a deal to buy Business Insider, in a deal that would value the Web publisher at around $560 million.

Sources familiar with the two companies think a transaction could close within weeks.

6/11/2015: Twitter employees ‘shocked,’ saddened by Dick Costolo’s departure

“Employees were definitely shocked,” one Twitter employee told Re/code. “He’s loved by all so I think there’s sadness all around.”

Status: Unverified

5/25/2015: Twitter has held talks to acquire Flipboard

Twitter has been engaged in an ongoing series of talks to acquire Flipboard, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation, in an all-stock deal that would value the company at over $1 billion.

Those discussions, which have been pushed by Twitter CFO Anthony Noto, have been taking place since the beginning of the year, said sources, as the social communications giant has faced increasing pressure from Wall Street to grow its audience and innovate its products. But despite a flurry of activity more recently, sources said these talks between Twitter and Flipboard — who are partners on a number of different fronts — seem to be currently stalled.

Status: Unverified

5/20/2015: Stripe to land $5 billion valuation in new investment

In Silicon Valley, the rich keeping get richer.

Stripe, the online payments company, is in talks to raise new investment dollars at around a $5 billion valuation, according to multiple sources familiar with the deal. The exact amount of the investment could not be learned. The talks come less than seven months after the San Francisco-based company announced a $70 million investment that valued it at $3.5 billion. Stripe has raised $190 million in total in previous financing rounds.

A Stripe spokeswoman declined to comment.

Status: Unverified

4/20/2015: Nokia plots 2016 return to phone market

As early as next year, the company aims to rejoin the phone market, two sources briefed on Nokia’s plans told Re/code. In addition, the company has a number of other ambitious technology projects, including some in the virtual reality arena, these sources said.

Status: Nokia statement: “Nokia reiterates it currently has no plans to manufacture or sell consumer handsets.”

4/15/2015: Jawbone to launch payments wearable with Amex, as it closes a $300M investment round

And, according to sources, Jawbone has also completed a new round of funding, raising $300 million from investment giant BlackRock. While the company declined to comment on the new money, sources said that it will value the company at about $3 billion.

Status: Unverified

4/15/2015: Sources say Yahoo, Foursquare are not in talks

Yahoo is not in talks to buy local recommendations service Foursquare, according to multiple people familiar with the companies. Earlier today TechCrunch reported a possible deal and floated a $900 million price tag.

Status: Unverified

4/13/2015: Snapchat is no longer selling its original ad unit, Brand Stories

Snapchat is making a few tweaks to its six-month-old ad business.

The company has stopped selling Brand Stories, the first type of ad it released last fall, according to multiple people familiar with the move. Brand Stories are the equivalent of sponsored stories, allowing a marketer to share photos and video content with users that aren’t following them; it debuted in October with Universal Studios, which ran a trailer for its upcoming film “Ouija.”

Status: Unverified

3/31/2015: Andreessen Horowitz invests another $52 million in Tanium at $1.75 billion valuation

Sources familiar with the terms of the deal tell Re/code that the investment values Tanium at $1.75 billion. That’s up from $900 million when Tanium raised $90 million from Andreessen last year.

Status: Unverified

3/24/2015: Google working on project to let you receive and pay bills directly inside Gmail

Google’s mission to organize the world’s information is now targeting your physical mailbox.

The company is currently working on a project that will allow Gmail users to more easily receive bills in their email inbox instead of their mailbox. Called Pony Express, the service also is designed to let people pay their bills within Gmail, rather than having to go to a telecom or utility company’s website to complete a payment.

Those details are outlined in a lengthy document viewed by Re/code. The new service is scheduled to start in the fourth quarter, according to the document. It’s not clear whether Pony Express is a code name or one that’ll be used if it comes to market. A Google spokeswoman declined to comment.

Status: Unverified

2/4/2015: Apple is talking to TV programmers about its own web TV service

Industry executives say Apple is in talks with TV programmers about deals that would allow Apple to offer an “over the top” pay TV, service, like the one Dish has started selling with its Sling TV product, and the one Sony is getting ready to launch.

Status: Still unverified

1/30/2015: Could activist investors take aim at Twitter’s Costolo?

Why all the noisy support? Perhaps, said many sources with knowledge of the situation, growing worries about potential attacks from activist shareholders. Thus, a goal to try to shut down the conversation around Costolo’s efficacy.

Status: Still unverified