Passbase grabs $3.6M to power privacy-preserving online ID checks

Digital identity startup Passbase has closed a $3.6 million seed round, led by Cowboy Ventures and Eniac Ventures, with participation from Seedcamp and other European investors. The 2018 founded startup bagged a $600k pre-seed round earlier this year for its full-stack identity engine with a privacy twist. The latest tranche of funding will go on growing the team and sales channels in the US and Europe, says co-founder Mathias Klenk. “Our goal is to build an API-first company, so building a strong core organization is key for us to be able to fully focus on securing partnerships with complementary services,” he tells TechCrunch. “By the end of next year, we aim to have our consumer application rolled out so that individuals …

Why AI needs more social workers, with Columbia Universitys Desmond Patton

Sometimes it does seem the entire tech industry could use someone to talk to, like a good therapist or social worker. That might sound like an insult, but I mean it mostly earnestly: I am a chaplain who has spent 15 years talking with students, faculty, and other leaders at Harvard (and more recently MIT as well), mostly nonreligious and skeptical people like me, about their struggles to figure out what it means to build a meaningful career and a satisfying life, in a world full of insecurity, instability, and divisiveness of every kind. In related news, I recently took a year-long paid sabbatical from my work at Harvard and MIT, to spend 2019-20 investigating the ethics of technology and …