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Bunch Raises $20 Million From Ubisoft, Electronic Arts to Expand Video Chat Gaming App

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A startup called Bunch has raised $20 million to continue work on an app that lets people play games over video chat.

Based in New York City, Bunch has raised roughly $28 million since its 2017 launch, according to funding tracker PitchBook Data Inc. The company will use the funding to develop ways for its software to be integrated into new and more popular multiplayer games and expand its marketing in an effort to grow its user base. The funding round was led by Boston-based venture firm General Catalyst, a new investor in Bunch.

Electronic Arts, Riot Games, Ubisoft, Supercell and Krafton (which makes the highly popular battle royale shooter game known as “PubG”) contributed funding to the round, adding to the list of top game developers that have financed Bunch. Bunch is also backed by Tencent Holdings, the technology conglomerate that has a stake in many gaming outfits including Riot Games and Supercell.

Bunch works by facilitating a group video call similar to Apple’s FaceTime or Microsoft’s Skype, then lets players choose a multiplayer game to play while synchronized on their smartphones or tablets.

So far, the technology isn’t available on desktop computers or gaming consoles — and only works with game developers who’ve opted into adding their games to the platform, so you won’t be able to find blockbuster titles like “Fortnite” or “Roblox” on the app just yet. The company says it’s targeting expansion, and right now most of the games available are from indie developers.

Bunch chief executive officer Selcuk Atli said in a statement that the app was inspired by old-school LAN Parties, a tradition common in the early aughts where gamers would haul all their gaming equipment into the same living room and play for hours on the same Local Area Network.

The company was co-founded by Atli, Jordan Howlett and chief technology officer Jason Liang, a former mobile game designer and engineer for Google.

Atli said the app (which is on both iPhone and Android) has grown its monthly active user base more than 50 times the number recorded in March of this year when widespread stay-at-home orders began to roll out across the United States — but wouldn’t disclose the company’s total user count.

The company noted that its audience diversified slightly since March, and said that 60% of its player base (which tends to skew younger toward millenials and Gen Z) identifies as female.

“Multiplayer games are the new social networks, and in these trying times where we are isolated from each other, games are how people are choosing to spend time with friends,” Atli said in a statement. “Each game is a disconnected island, and at Bunch we are creating one way for players to connect with friends inside and outside of their favorite games.”

Atli added that he is “super excited” to receive funding from General Catalyst — “and importantly, makers of many of the most popular games in the world as our investors.”

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What is the relationship between Karine and Paul from ’90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After?’ like now? Are they still a couple? Here is what you need to know.

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Paul Staehle and Karine Martins’ marriage had been on the rocks since the time the pair showed up on the show. In the most recent period of the show, Karine and Paul moved to the US in the desire for beginning another coexistence. The couple had been living in Brazil for quite a while and Paul figured moving to the States would give them the chance of beginning another part in their life.

Paul thought Karine could at last perceive how the US made dreams work out as expected and offered a superior way of life than the one they had in Brazil. He had would have liked to get a new line of work and kick things off. Notwithstanding, things didn’t go the manner in which he had envisioned as his past legitimate inconveniences made it difficult for him to get a new line of work that was appropriate.

Perceiving how Paul didn’t have a vocation close by, Karine wanted to return home with their child in the desire for giving him a day to day existence he might want. Paul figured out how to persuade her, yet not for long. She gave him a final proposal of a quarter of a year and requested to get a new line of work. At the point when he couldn’t, Paul consented to take them to Brazil.

While the show finished with the pair going to Brazil, a great deal has occurred from that point forward. Paul blamed Karine for attempting to remove their child from him. Then, Karine purportedly disappeared for two or three days and censured Paul for their issues. The pair had been having a ton of issues while Paul indicated she may be pregnant.

While the updates on her pregnancy isn’t affirmed, it was anything but a stun that the pair chose to skirt the tell-all scene. Karine and Paul had been having issues in their relationship that was obvious from the beginning. In the wake of seeing the police get included, it was anything but an unexpected that the pair chose to quit the tell-all where they would have been compelled to remark on things they didn’t care for.

Until this point, there has been no affirmation from the pair about where they remain in the relationship. With Paul refreshing his web-based media fans about his visit to Brazil, he neglected to remark on Karine and him. While the most recent period of the show has reached a conclusion, it is difficult to state on the off chance that they will be returning for another season or not.

’90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After?’ airs on Sundays at 8 pm ET on TLC.

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Helen Reddy, The Voice Behind The Empowering ‘I Am Woman’ Anthem, Is Dead At 78

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Helen Reddy, the voice behind the empowering feminist anthem, “I Am Woman,” has died at the age of 78. The news was revealed in a Facebook post from her children Traci and Jordan. “It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, Helen Reddy, on the afternoon of September 29th 2020 in Los Angeles,” they said in the post. “She was a wonderful Mother, Grandmother and a truly formidable woman. Our hearts are broken. But we take comfort in the knowledge that her voice will live on forever.”

Reddy had a fairly successful musical career, one that reached international acclaim in the 1970s. She saw 20 songs enter the Billboard singles chart, with ten landing in the top 10 and three coming in at No. 1. Reddy’s three chart-topping songs were 1972’s “I Am Woman,” a song that earned Reddy a Grammy award, 1973’s “Delta Dawn,” and 1974’s “Angie Baby.” Reddy spoke about “I Am Woman” in a 2013 interview with the Chicago Tribune where she said the song was a result of the women that surrounded her own life. The publication would also name her the “Queen of ’70s Pop” in 2013.

“There were a lot of songs on the radio about being weak and being dainty and all those sort of things,” she said in the Chicago Tribune interview. “All the women in my family, they were strong women. They worked. They lived through the Depression and a world war, and they were just strong women. I certainly didn’t see myself as being dainty.”

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Mac Davis, Country Singer and Elvis Presley Songwriter, Dead at 78

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Mac Davis, the country music artist and songwriter behind some of Elvis Presley’s most indelible recordings, died Tuesday at 78. According to a tweet from his family on Monday, Davis became “critically ill following heart surgery in Nashville.” His manager confirmed the entertainer’s death in a statement.

Born in Lubbock, Texas, in 1942, Davis would evolve into a country and Adult Contemporary crossover star with solo hits like “Baby Don’t Get Hooked on Me,” “Stop and Smell the Roses,” and “One Hell of a Woman.” In 1974, he was named Entertainer of the Year by the Academy of Country Music, beating out nominees like Loretta Lynn and Merle Haggard. That same year, he was nominated for Entertainer of the Year by the Country Music Association but lost to Charlie Rich.

Davis experienced a resurgence in the Eighties, thanks to the novelty hit “It’s Hard to Be Humble” (covered by Willie Nelson on 2019’s Ride Me Back Home), “Texas in My Rearview Mirror,” and the rockabilly “Hooked on Music,” which nodded, both lyrically and musically, to his greatest champion: Elvis Presley. In the late Sixties, he cut a string of Davis compositions, including “A Little Less Conversation” and the tale of inner-city poverty “In the Ghetto,” which Davis also recorded. The former was a posthumous hit for Presley, on the strength of a 2002 remix by Dutch DJ Junkie XL, while the latter’s success endeared Davis’s material to Presley. He’d go on to record other compositions like “Memories” and “Don’t Cry Daddy,” both staples of his Seventies live performances.

A member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the National Songwriters Hall of Fame, Davis also had his songs recorded by Kenny Rogers, Glen Campbell, Bobby Goldsboro, and the soft-rock band Gallery, one of many artists who cut Davis’ “I Believe in Music.” In 1989, he recorded the duet “Wait ‘Til I Get You Home” with Dolly Parton for the country legend’s album White Limozeen.

Davis experienced modest success as an actor and TV personality as well, even hosting his own variety series, The Mac Davis Show, from 1974 to 1976 on NBC. In 2019, he appeared in an episode of the Netflix series Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings.

Kenny Chesney counted Davis as an early influence and remembered him on Tuesday as a “songwriting hero.”

“He welcomed me into his home, and turned that tremendous creative light on me. Even though he’d written ‘In the Ghetto’ for Elvis and had so many incredible hits of his own, he made me feel like what I was doing mattered,” Chesney said. “A small town boy who’d achieved the greatest kinds of fame, he remained a good guy, a family man. That was Mac: a giant heart, quick to laugh and a bigger creative spirit. I was blessed to have it shine on me.”

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