Daily Crunch: MWC faces coronavirus concerns


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1. As top exhibitors pull out of MWC, organizers implement stringent safeguards

A couple of weeks before the event, the organizers of Mobile World Congress have issued some fairly sweeping safeguards over growing concerns around the coronavirus. After a number of high-profile back-outs, the organizers announced a ban of visitors originating from the Hubei province, whose capital Wuhan is believed to be the origin of the epidemic.

Following this news on Sunday, Sony and Amazon also pulled out of MWC.

2. NASA and ESA’s Solar Orbiter begins its nearly two-year journey to the Sun

After years of development, an exciting new scientific research spacecraft has launched on its journey to study our solar system’s central player: the Sun.

3. Netflix’s movies only won two Oscars this year

Two Oscars — Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Laura Dern’s performance in “Marriage Story” and Best Documentary Feature for “American Factory” — are a respectable showing for a studio that only started making movies a few years ago. Yet it still feels like a disappointment, given Netflix’s 24 nominations and its aggressive Oscar campaigns.

4. Starling Bank raises another £60M from existing backers

Starling Bank, the U.K.-based challenger bank founded by banking veteran Anne Boden, has raised another £60 million from its existing investors, Merian Global Investors and Harry McPike’s JTC. Starling is also disclosing that customers have opened 1.25 million consumer and business accounts since its banking app launched in May 2017.

5. The team behind Apple’s ‘Mythic Quest’ says video games aren’t the punch line

When video game publisher Ubisoft first approached “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” stars Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day about creating a new show set in the game industry, McElhenney said they weren’t interested — at least not initially. But a visit to Ubisoft’s Montreal office changed his mind.

6. Index Fund’s portfolio is driving long-overdue innovation in femcare

We chatted with Index principal Hannah Seal about the fund’s investment in tampon startup Daye and her broader thoughts on a new generation of female-focused startups. (Extra Crunch membership required.)

7. This week’s TechCrunch podcasts

The Equity team has some thoughts about Casper’s IPO, as well as the strong post-IPO performance of One Medical. And over on Original Content, we review Netflix’s Taylor Swift documentary “Miss Americana” — even if you’re not a Swiftie, I think we had a fun conversation about celebrity culture.

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