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Announcing the last judges for the TC Startup Battlefield Europe at VivaTech

VivaTech  is starting in a couple of days, which means TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield Europe is also starting on Thursday. So let me introduce you to the last batch of judges that will come to Paris for the event. If you haven’t been to TechCrunch Disrupt, the Startup  Battlefield  is arguably the most interesting part of the show. Before everybody started doing a startup competition, there was the Startup Battlefield. Companies like Dropbox, Fitbit, N26 and Yammer all launched on the TechCrunch stage. And we’re bringing talented investors and founders to judge the startups. Here’s the third round of judges (see  part 1 ,  part 2 and part 3 ). Roxanne Varza, Director, Station F Roxanne Varza is the Director of Station F, which is the largest startup campus worldwide, backed by Xavier Niel. She is also involved in the European Commission's European Innovation Council (EIC) and is on the board of Agence France Presse (AFP). Prior to her current role, Roxanne was the lead for Microsoft’s start-up activities in France, running both Bizspark and Microsoft Ventures programs for 3 years. She was also Editor of TechCrunch France from 2010-2011 and has written for several publications including Business Insider and The Telegraph. In April 2013, Business Insider listed her as one of the top 30 women under 30 in tech. She has also been listed in additional rankings by Business Insider, Vanity Fair and Le Figaro, The Evening Standard and more.

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Coinbase buys Earn.com and makes CEO Balaji Srinivasan its first CTO

Coinbase, the prominent cryptocurrency exchange, has announced its most significant piece of M&A to date after it agreed to buy Earn.com , the U.S. startup that uses the blockchain for its paid-email service, in a deal worth more than $120 million. In addition, Coinbase has appointed Earn.com co-founder and CEO Balaji Srinivasan as its first CTO, while the rest of the team will transition over, too. The deal doesn’t come as a complete surprise as  Coindesk reported  last month that Coinbase and Earn.com were in talks over a deal. This is Coinbase’s fifth acquisition to date — its most recent was a deal to buy Cipher Browser last week  — and its largest outlay so far. Neither party is saying exactly how much Coinbase is paying, but Srinivasan told TechCrunch in an interview that the deal represents a positive return on investment for those who backed Earn.com, which was formerly known as 21. The company had raised more than $120 million from investors, according to Crunchbase data , which gives some idea of the total deal package. All of Coinbase’s previous acquisitions have centered around talent; for example, last week’s Cipher deal saw highly rated developer Peter Kim join the Coinbase ranks. That seems to be a major motivator for landing Earn.com, despite a high price and a product that both Srinivasan and Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong intend to “double down” on post-acquisition. A Stanford graduate who holds a BS, MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering and an MS in Chemical Engineering, Srinivasan is highly prized in Silicon Valley. He sits on the board at power investor firm Andreessen Horowitz and is known for being an early evangelist of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. (He once told me that he tipped Uber drivers in bitcoin in its early days, going so far as to set up Coinbase wallets for them while in their back of their car as they took him to his destination.) It’s not a secret that Coinbase has struggled to fill its vacancies with talent, and that has extended to the CTO role. Bringing in a name as big as Srinivasan is a major coup for the company and, with the startup said to be paying some of its talent more than $1 million per year in salary, it doesn’t make you wonder how big a factor landing Srinivasan is in making this deal happen. More importantly for Andreessen Horowitz, Qualcomm Ventures,  Khosla Ventures and other backers of Earn.com, this deal with Coinbase — which includes cash, stock and crypto — represents a turnaround in fortunes for the startup.

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App of the Day: unGlue – KFDX

KFDX App of the Day : unGlue KFDX (WHAT THE TECH) - If you're a parent concerned about how much time your kids are spending on their phone and what they're doing on it, have I got an app for you. UnGlue (perfect name for kids who can't take their eyes off the screen) is a totally free ... and more »

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Netflix wants another ‘Gilmore Girls’ season

Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino already knew what the last four words of the show would be when it started shooting in 2000. Sixteen years later, those lines were finally delivered last year in Netflix's mini-series revival Gilmore Girls:...

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