Daily Crunch: Facebook drops the Oculus Go

Anthony Ha

Facebook shifts its VR strategy, WhatsApp's payment service hits a snag in Brazil and we look at how Trump's visa ban will affect Silicon Valley.

Here's your Daily Crunch for June 24, 2020.

1. Facebook kills off its cheapest VR headset

Just two years after launching the Oculus Go, Facebook announced that it’s discontinuing the headset — the least powerful and least expensive VR hardware the company sold.

The entry-level product was meant to hook consumers on the idea of VR and convince them to upgrade. Last year, however, Facebook released the $399 Oculus Quest, and it quickly became clear that the Quest was likely the best path forward for Oculus’ consumer ambitions.

2. Brazil suspends WhatsApp’s payments service

Speaking of Facebook, the new payment feature in its popular messaging app has been blocked in its second largest market. Brazil’s central bank said it was making the decision to “preserve an adequate competitive environment” in the mobile payments space and to ensure “functioning of a payment system that’s interchangeable, fast, secure, transparent, open and cheap.”

3. Trump’s worker visa ban will hit Silicon Valley hard

We've been regularly featuring immigration lawyer Sophie Alcorn's column. But for this piece, editor Walter Thompson interviews Alcorn about President Trump's executive order extending an existing ban on immigrant work visas. (Extra Crunch membership required.)

4. Stacy Brown-Philpot is stepping down as CEO of TaskRabbit

Brown-Philpot joined TaskRabbit seven years ago as the company’s chief operating officer and was promoted to CEO in the spring of 2016. In the fall of 2017, the company was acquired by Ikea for undisclosed terms in a stock deal and has continued to operate independently as a subsidiary of the company.

5. Olympus plans to sell its struggling camera division

After three straight years of operating losses, one of the world’s foremost camera makers is giving up the ghost. Olympus announced its intentions to sell off its imaging unit by the end of September 2020.

6. 11 top VCs discuss the future of New York startups

New York City was an initial U.S. hotspot for the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s also one of the most expensive cities in the world — so you might think startups would be anxious to leave. However, when we surveyed a number of New York-based venture capitalists, they seemed bullish about the city’s future as a startup and technology hub. (Extra Crunch membership required.)

7. Google updates its analytics tools for newsrooms

Google is introducing version 2.0 of both News Consumer Insights and Realtime Content Insights, while also adding a new feature called the News Tagging Guide. These efforts fall under the umbrella of the broader Google News Initiative, introduced in 2018 as a way for the search giant to fund quality journalism and find other ways to support the industry.

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch's roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you'd like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here.

More From

  • How to watch Rocket Lab launch satellites for Canon, Planet and more live

    Rocket Lab is launching a rideshare mission today which includes seven small satellites from a number of different companies, including primary payload provider Canon, which is flying a satellite equipped with the camera-maker's Earth imaging technology, including high-res photo capture equipment. The Electron rocket that Rocket Lab is flying today will also carry five Planet SuperDove Earth-Observation satellites, as well as a CubeSat from In-Space missions. The launch, which is named 'Pics or It Didn't Happen' is set to take place during a window which opens at 5:19 PM EDT (2:19 PM PDT) and extends until 6:03 PM EDT (3:03 PM EDT), lifting off from Rocket Lab's Launch Complex 1 on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand.

  • How Have I Been Pwned became the keeper of the internet's biggest data breaches

    When Troy Hunt launched Have I Been Pwned in late 2013, he wanted it to answer a simple question: Have you fallen victim to a data breach? Seven years later, the data-breach notification service processes thousands of requests each day from users who check to see if their data was compromised — or pwned with a hard 'p' — by the hundreds of data breaches in its database, including some of the largest breaches in history. As it's grown, now sitting just below the 10 billion breached-records mark, the answer to Hunt's original question is more clear.

  • The UK government to acquire satellite company OneWeb in deal funded in part by India's Bharti Global

    Distressed satellite constellation operator OneWeb, which had entered bankruptcy protection proceedings at the end of March, has completed a sale process, with a consortium led by the UK Government as the winner. The group, which includes funding from India's Bharti Global – part of business magnate Sunil Mittal's Bharti Enterprises – plan to pursue OneWeb's plans of building out a broadband internets satellite network, while the UK would also like to potentially use the constellation for Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) services in order to replace the EU's sat-nav resource, which the UK lost access to in January as a result of Brexit.

  • Lime puts Jump bikes back on London streets

    Jump bikes are returning to London — this time through its new owner Lime . London is the first city in Europe to see Jump bikes return since Uber offloaded the company to Lime in a complex deal that unfolded in May. Lime raised $170 million in a funding round led by Uber, along with other existing investors Alphabet, Bain Capital Ventures and GV. As part of the deal, Lime acquired Jump, the electric bike and scooter division that Uber acquired in 2018 for around $200 million.