Daily Crunch: Waymo raises $2.5B

Alphabet’s self-driving car company raises its first outside investment, Robinhood goes down and Pixel phones get new gesture controls. Here’s your Daily Crunch for March 3, 2020.

1. Waymo brings in $2.25B from outside investors, Alphabet

This is the company’s first external investment, led by Silver Lake, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Mubadala Investment Company, with participation from Magna, Andreessen Horowitz and AutoNation and parent company Alphabet.

Waymo has long focused on testing and eventually launching an on-demand ride-hailing service called Waymo One using its autonomous vehicles in the suburbs surrounding Phoenix. In October, Waymo began pulling safety drivers out of some of the vehicles on its Waymo One service.

2. Robinhood will offer ‘case-by-case’ compensation for its outage on the day markets gained $1.1 trillion

The company issued a statement early Tuesday saying that the outage began at around 9:30 AM Eastern on Monday, when the company experienced what it called instability in the part of its infrastructure that allows the company’s systems to communicate with each other. The breakdown resulted in outages that took down the company’s stock-trading app, website and help center.

3. Pixel phones updated with new gesture controls, emoji, AR effects & more

Already, Motion Sense allowed Pixel 4 owners to skip forward or go back to a previous song without touching their screens. With today’s update, they’ll also be able to pause and resume music by making a tapping gesture above the phone.

4. Honeywell says it will soon launch the world’s most powerful quantum computer

In a race where most of the major players are vying for attention, Honeywell has quietly worked on its efforts for the last few years (and under strict NDAs, it seems). But today, the company announced a major breakthrough that it claims will allow it to launch the world’s most powerful quantum computer within the next three months.

5. Connie Chan of Andreessen Horowitz discusses consumer tech’s winners and losers

Chan joined the firm in 2011 after working at HP in China. From her temporary offices located in a modest skyscraper with unobscured views of San Francisco, she and Connie Loizos talked about where she sees the biggest opportunities right now, along with how big of an impact fears over coronavirus could have on the startup industry — and for how long. (Extra Crunch membership required.)

6. Brooklinen raises $50M to open more stores and expand internationally

Recent headlines are spurring bigger questions about the direct-to-consumer retail business, with Blue Apron exploring a potential sale and Casper also disclosing disappointing growth and persistent losses. But co-founder and CEO Rich Fulop said his company is “a little bit different,” and it’s a crucial difference: Brooklinen is profitable.

7. Announcing the agenda for TC Sessions: Mobility 2020

TC Sessions: Mobility is back in San Jose on May 14, and we’re excited to give the first peek of what and who is coming to the main stage. We’re not revealing everything just yet, but already this agenda highlights some of the best and brightest minds in autonomous vehicles, electrification and shared mobility.

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