Daily Crunch: Amazon beats back union push

Efforts to unionize an Amazon warehouse in Alabama appear to have failed, Facebook takes down fake review groups and a monkey plays Pong with its brain. This is your Daily Crunch for April 9, 2021.

The big story: Amazon beats back union push

Union organizers lost a much-publicized election at Amazon’s Bessemer, Alabama warehouse, with more than half of the 3,215 ballots cast ultimately voting against joining the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.

“It’s easy to predict the union will say that Amazon won this election because we intimidated employees, but that’s not true,” the company said in a blog post. “Our employees heard far more anti-Amazon messages from the union, policymakers, and media outlets than they heard from us. And Amazon didn’t win—our employees made the choice to vote against joining a union.”

However, RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum suggested that there will “very likely” be a rerun election, and his organization is demanding “a comprehensive investigation over Amazon’s behavior in corrupting this election.”

The tech giants

Facebook takes down 16,000 groups trading fake reviews after another poke by UK’s CMA — The CMA has been leaning on tech giants to prevent their platforms from being used as marketplaces for selling fake reviews.

Startups, funding and venture capital

Watch a monkey equipped with Elon Musk’s Neuralink device play Pong with its brain — A macaque named Pager was eventually able to control the in-game action entirely with its mind via the Link hardware and embedded neural threads.

Mortgage is suddenly sexy as SoftBank pumps $500M in Better.com at a $6B valuation — The COVID-19 pandemic and historically low mortgage rates fueled an acceleration in online lending.

SnackMagic picks up $15M to expand from build-your-own snack boxes into a wider gifting marketplace — The company hit a $20 million revenue run rate in eight months and turned profitable in December.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

So you want to raise a Series A — Kleiner Perkins’ Bucky Moore shares sector-agnostic advice.

How we dodged risks and raised millions for our open-source machine language startup — Jorge Torres and Adam Carrigan of MindDB tell their funding story.

Building the right team for a billion-dollar startup — From building out Facebook’s first office in Austin to putting together most of Quora’s team, Bain Capital Ventures managing director Sarah Smith has done a bit of everything when it comes to hiring.

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

Everything else

The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV lowers the cost of entry for some of GM’s most advanced tech — The optional Super Cruise puts it on course to compete with the Tesla Model Y.

APKPure app contained malicious adware, say researchers — APKPure is a widely popular app for installing older or discontinued Android apps from outside of Google’s app store.

Last call for Detroit startups to apply for TechCrunch’s Detroit City Spotlight pitch-off — The deadline is today, April 9.

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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