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Daily Crunch: Tesla considers Nashville for its Cybertruck factory

Tesla plans its next massive “gigafactory,” Google steps up efforts against COVID-19 and NEA raises a $3.6 billion fund. Here’s your Daily Crunch for March 11, 2020.

1. Tesla is eyeing Nashville for Cybertruck gigafactory

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted Tuesday evening that the company is “scouting” locations to build a new U.S. “gigafactory” that will produce the Cybertruck and Model Y crossover. Musk didn’t provide further information in the tweets, but a source told TechCrunch that Nashville is on a short list of contenders.

Tesla broke ground on its first gigafactory on land near Reno, Nev. in 2014, creating a massive, 1.9 million-square-foot structure.

2. Google expands work from home recommendation to all North American employees, establishes ‘COVID-19 fund’

Last week, Google sent out a memo to staff recommending that Washington State-based employees work remotely, in order to mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19. Yesterday, the suggestion was dramatically expanded, in line with the spread of the virus. A new note from the company recommends similar action for employees across North America.

3. NEA, venture capital’s quiet giant, closes on $3.6 billion

Unlike some firms, the partnership at NEA hasn’t really focused on star-making. For the last several years the fund has been run by Scott Sandell, who has been with the firm since 1996 (his last tweet was in 2010).

4. Now streaming on Hotstar in India: Disney+

Disney+ has arrived in India weeks ahead of its scheduled launch date. The American giant revamped the Hotstar app and populated the on-demand video streaming service with the Disney+ original catalog on Wednesday morning.

5. Why so many robotic startups fail, and what can be done about it

Citing a handful of high-profile examples like Rethink, Anki, Jibo and CyPhy Works, Brian Heater put the question to panelists at last week’s TC Sessions: Robotics + AI event: Even with a lot of funding and plenty of smart people on board, why do so many robotic startups fail? (Extra Crunch membership required.)

6. SpotOn taps $50M to take on Square and more in payments and financial services for SMBs

SpotOn provides point-of-sale payment solutions, alongside a number of related tools such as marketing, appointment booking and loyalty services. In the last 12 months the startup says that it has grown revenues by 150%.

7. Quibi and Eko are in a legal battle over video tech

The Wall Street Journal broke the news that interactive video company Eko is accusing Quibi of infringing on its patented technology. Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter noted that Quibi (which is launching its short-form mobile video service next month) has filed a complaint in California federal court claiming that Eko has engaged in “a campaign of threats and harassment.”

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.


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