Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat: UserLeap, which builds AI tools to give product managers user insights in real time, raises $38M Series B from a16z and others  —  Elevate your enterprise data technology and strategy at Transform 2021.  —  UserLeap, a platform for AI-powered, continuous research for product teams …

Geoffrey Fowler / Washington Post: Apple’s obsession with thin design has made the new M1-powered iMac less useful by removing ports and making it virtually impossible to replace components  —  A half-inch desktop computer shows how Apple’s obsession with thin design can work against us  —  Apple’s newly redesigned iMac measures just 0.45 inches thick.

Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch: Formative, a student learning and analytics service with at least one teacher signed up in 92% of all US school districts, raises $70M led by Summit Partners  —  Tests are king in many school systems and other educational environments: they are seen as an efficient way to assess …

Jacquelyn Melinek / Blockworks: Bitwise Asset Management, known for managing crypto index funds, raises $70M Series B co-led by Elad Gil and Electric Capital and says it’s now valued at $500M+  —  – Bitwise has over $1.5 billion in assets under management, up 25% from the previous $1.2 billion AUM at the end of Q1

The Verge: The Senate votes 69-28 to confirm Lina Khan, an antitrust expert who wrote the “Amazon Antitrust Paradox”, to the FTC, giving Democrats a majority  —  Congress is preparing to take drastic action against tech monopolies  —  The Senate confirmed Lina Khan as commissioner …

The Block: dYdX, which develops decentralized financial derivative products on the Ethereum blockchain, raises $65M Series C after a $10M Series B four months ago  —  Quick Take  — A number of crypto liquidity providers have also invested in dYdX, which hopes to become one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges …

Jaewon Kang / Wall Street Journal: Grocery courier Boxed says it will go public via SPAC at a $900M valuation; CEO Chieh Huang says the company isn’t profitable  —  Delivery companies are pursuing new customers as pandemic-fueled sales growth cools  —  Grocery courier Boxed Inc. said it would go public through a merger …

Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch: Stripe announces Stripe Identity, a self-serve tool for companies that can be used to verify identities using AI, launching in 30 countries in beta  —  A number of startups (eg, here, here, here and here) have fashioned themselves as the “Stripe for identity verification” …

Chris Welch / The Verge: Review of the new $150 Beats Studio Buds: comfortable design and good sound quality but poor ANC, and some AirPods features are missing like audio sharing  —  Beats tried to do a lot at once — probably too much — with its new earbuds  —  The new Studio Buds are Beats’ second pair …

Sergiu Gatlan / BleepingComputer: In a week-long operation, Interpol took down ~113K web links to fake pharmacies, and in another recent operation it recovered ~$83M for victims of online crime  —  The Interpol (International Criminal Police Organisation) has taken down thousands of online marketplaces that posed as pharmacies …

Sara Fischer / Axios: YouTube will stop accepting ads for its masthead ad unit from certain verticals, including election and political ads, alcohol, gambling, and prescription drugs  —  The masthead is often the platform’s most expensive and sought-after ad unit.

Yuan Yang / Financial Times: A new generation of young workers at China’s technology giants is demanding an end to forced rankings, harsh working conditions, and the “996” work culture  —  By the time he arrived at Alibaba, Tim had been working to get there for years.  Raised in a small town in Zhejiang province …

Katie Jennings / Forbes: CB Insights: VCs invested $1.5B into mental health startups in 2020, a record high, and 5.5X the funding invested in the space in 2016  —  I am a staff writer covering healthcare.  Email me at [email protected]  —  Investors poured $1.5 billion into the market in 2020 …

Alex González Ormerod / Rest of World: After El Salvador’s president, many Latin American politicians are expressing interest in adopting cryptocurrencies, as a PR exercise to elevate their profiles  —  El Salvador’s president Nayib Bukele set off a movement for political opportunists and crypto-enthusiasts alike.  —  • MEXICO CITY, MEXICO

Manish Singh / TechCrunch: Filing: Byju’s raises $350M from UBS, Zoom founder Eric Yuan, Blackstone, and others at a valuation of $16.5B, making it the most valuable startup in India  —  Edtech giant Byju’s has become the most valuable startup in India after raising about $350 million in a new tranche of investment …

Sean Hollister / The Verge: Epic trial email suggests Apple manually boosted ranking of its Files app in App Store search results for Dropbox in 2017; Apple says it was a simple mistake  —  “We are removing the manual boost and the search results should be more relevant now”  —  In 2019, facing down extensive investigations …

Zack Whittaker / TechCrunch: Volkswagen says a vendor’s security lapse exposed details of 3.3M+ customers spanning 2014 to 2019, including sensitive data of 90K clients in the US and Canada  —  Volkswagen says more than 3.3 million customers had their information exposed after one of its vendors left a cache of customer data unsecured on the internet.

Michael Sheetz / CNBC: Kepler Communications, which is building a network with 200 satellites aiming to offer internet service outside of the Earth by 2023, raises $60M Series B  —  – Kepler Communications, a start-up that is building a satellite internet network for service outside of the Earth, raised $60 million in a new round of funding.

Alyse Stanley / Gizmodo: Some attendees of Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami, which had no mask or proof of vaccine requirements for its 12K guests, say they tested positive for COVID-19  —  The event had no face mask or proof of vaccine requirements for its roughly 12,000 attendees

Chris Metinko / Crunchbase News: Prefect, whose dataflow automation service allows companies to streamline workflows and schedule when apps run, raises $32M Series B led by Tiger Global  —  Washington, D.C.-based Prefect closed a $32 million Series B led by Tiger Global Management to help eliminate data flow problems for companies’ data teams.