Daily Crunch: Myanmar blocks Twitter and Instagram

Myanmar’s government extends its internet crackdown, Microsoft’s lobbying arm blacklists presidential election objectors and Dublin’s Frontline Ventures raises a new fund. This is your Daily Crunch for February 5, 2021.

The big story: Myanmar blocks Twitter and Instagram

The military government in Myanmar recently told telecom operators and internet service providers to block access to Facebook. Now it’s doing the same thing to Twitter and Instagram.

This comes after the military staged a coup in Myanmar to take power from the civilian government. The new government claims that Twitter and Instagram were being abused to spread propaganda and misinformation, posing a threat to the country’s stability.

Telenor Group, one of the country’s largest telecom providers, said in a statement that it is “gravely concerned with this development in Myanmar” and that “freedom of expression through access to communication services should be maintained at all times, especially during times of conflict.”

The tech giants

Microsoft PAC blacklists election objectors and shifts lobbying weight towards progressive organizations — After “pausing” political giving to any politician who voted to overturn the 2020 election, Microsoft has clarified changes to the lobbying policy of its employee-funded PAC.

Peloton will pump $100M into delivery logistics to ease supply concerns — Peloton has announced that it will invest more than $100 million in air and ocean freight deliveries due to “longer-than-acceptable wait times for the delivery of our products.”

PayPal is shutting down domestic payments business in India — It’s been less than four years since PayPal kickstarted local operations in the world’s second-largest internet market.

Startups, funding and venture capital

Dublin’s Frontline Ventures raises new $83.8M seed fund for European B2B startups — The firm is aiming to invest in up to 45 companies over the next four years.

BeGreatTV to offer MasterClass-like courses taught by Black and brown innovators — The courses are designed to teach folks how to execute and succeed in a particular industry.

Why these co-founders turned their sustainability podcast into a VC-backed business — These podcast co-hosts are turning validation from listeners into the blueprint for a standalone business called Brightly.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

Lightspeed’s Gaurav Gupta and Grafana’s Raj Dutt discuss pitch decks, pricing and how to nail the narrative — The duo explained how they came together for Grafana’s Series A … and eventually, its Series B.

How the GameStop stonkathon helped Robinhood raise $3.4B last week — Robinhood has shown an impressive ability to raise enormous amounts of capital.

TechCrunch’s favorite companies from 500 Startups’ latest demo day — Startup picks from Alex Wilhelm and Jonathan Shieber.

(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)

Everything else

House punishes Republican lawmaker who promoted violent conspiracy theories — As the House moved to vote on the highly unusual resolution, Marjorie Taylor Greene claimed that her embrace of QAnon was in the past.

‘Orwellian’ AI lie detector project challenged in EU court — This suit highlights questions of ethics and efficacy attached to the bloc’s flagship R&D program.

Learn about the importance of accessible product design at TechCrunch Sessions: Justice — At our event on March 3, we will examine the importance of ensuring accessible product design from the beginning.

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 3pm Pacific, you can subscribe here.

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