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1. Facebook acquires Madrid-based cloud gaming startup PlayGiga
Facebook is building out its gaming business — earlier this year, the company added its Gaming hub to the main navigation menu. And last month, it agreed to buy Beat Games, developer of popular virtual reality title Beat Saber.
PlayGiga, meanwhile has been working with telcos to create streaming game technology for 5G. It also developed a gaming-as-a-service platform, using Intel’s Visual Cloud platform, that will enable telcos and communication service providers to offer streaming games to their customers.
Earlier this year, TiVo said it was preparing to split itself into two — a product and IP business — in order to make itself more attractive to buyers. Today, the company announced those plans have been put on hold as it has instead merged with technology licensor Xperi Corporation, in a $3 billion deal.
3. Spotify prototypes Tastebuds to revive social music discovery
Tastebuds (discovered by reverse engineering master Jane Manchun Wong) is designed to let users explore the music taste profiles of their friends. It will live as a navigation option alongside your Library and Home/Browse sections.
4. Uber’s ride-hailing business hit with ban in Germany
In Germany, Uber’s ride-hailing business works exclusively with professional and licensed private-hire vehicle companies — so the court ban essentially outlaws Uber’s current model in the country.
5. Snackpass snags $21M to let you earn friends free takeout
Sending people Snackpass rewards became a new way to flirt or show gratitude at Yale. And through the Venmo-esque Snackpass social feed, users could keep up with a fresh form of gossip while discovering restaurants.
6. PayPal completes GoPay acquisition, allowing the payments platform to enter China
Though China’s payment market today is led by local players, including eWallet providers like AliPay and WeChat Pay, there’s room for PayPal to grow in a market where digital payments per year are counted in the trillions, not billions, of dollars.
7. Tesla’s record stock price shows its investment in energy storage is finally paying off
A little over a year after sparking a legal firestorm for musing that he would take Tesla private for $420, Elon Musk is probably glad he didn’t. (Extra Crunch membership required.)