Startups

Be(thesda)together. It makes sense. Bethesda Ahh, E3. The world’s biggest celebration of video games. It’s almost here to regale us with its typically meme-filled conferences from the planet’s leading publishers and developers. Our bodies are, as they say, ready. The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) itself takes place between June 11 and 13 this year and will,
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Hello and welcome back to Startups Weekly, a newsletter published every Saturday that dives into the week’s noteworthy venture capital deals, funds and trends. Before I dive into this week’s topic, let’s catch up a bit. Last week, I wrote about the proliferation of billion-dollar companies. Before that, I noted the uptick in beverage startup
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Financial troubles have forced Maker Media, the company behind crafting publication MAKE: magazine as well as the science and art festival Maker Faire, to lay off its entire staff of 22 and pause all operations. TechCrunch was tipped off to Maker Media’s unfortunate situation which was then confirmed by the company’s founder and CEO Dale
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FoodShot Global, a prize platform devoted to transforming the world’s food and agriculture industries, has awarded the first round of prizes for its Innovating Soil 3.0 competition.  Trace Genomics, a startup developing an analytics service for soil health to optimize the use of farmland, has received an undisclosed investment from FoodShot’s investment partner, S2G Ventures. Additional
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Consumer campaigner Martin Lewis has dropped his legal action against Facebook over a series of ads that ran on its platform, falsely claiming he backed several investment schemes. The MoneySavingExpert website founder had claimed the fake endorsements had caused him reputational damage. He said he had agreed to drop the case after Facebook agreed to
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A company in Israel is using virtual reality to help patients deal with chronic pain, or to assist rehabilitation after a stroke or brain injury. VR Health was founded by an air force pilot with neck injuries, who was sure VR techniques could aid his recovery. This is part of the BBC’s Disruptors series. You
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Dyson has announced that it is moving its headquarters to Singapore, from Malmesbury in Wiltshire. The move by the appliance maker means two executives will relocate – chief financial officer Jorn Jensen and chief legal officer Martin Bowen. Other work at Malmesbury will not be affected and no jobs will be lost. Chief executive Jim
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The chairman of Chinese tech giant Huawei has warned that his company could shift away from Western countries if it continues to face restrictions. Huawei has been under scrutiny by Western governments, which fear its products could be used for spying. Speaking at the World Economic Forum, in Davos, Mr Liang Hua said his firm
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Molly Russell, 14, took her own life in 2017. When her family looked into her Instagram account they found distressing material about depression and suicide. Molly’s father Ian says he believes Instagram is partly responsible for his daughter’s death. In a statement, Instagram said it “does not allow content that promotes or glorifies self-harm or
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The Ministry of Justice is rushing to fix IT issues affecting courts across England. Lawyers say trials have been delayed, jurors are unable to enrol and witness statements are inaccessible. Twitter user @BarristerSecret said the “entire digital infrastructure” of courts had been “broken for days”. The Common Platform, a system shared between the police, the
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Through telemedicine and direct-to-consumer sales platforms, startups are streamlining the historically arduous process of accessing contraception. The latest effort to secure a significant financing round is The Pill Club, an online birth control prescription and delivery service. Consumer-focused investor VMG Partners has led its $51 million Series B, with participation from new investors GV and
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After a limited rollout, Go-Jek said today that it will extend its ride-hailing service to all of Singapore tomorrow while continuing its beta phase. The Indonesian-based company began offering rides in Singapore at the end of November, but only for passengers riding to and from certain areas. It https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/transport/gojek-introduces-dynamic-pricing-move-will-likely-attract-more-drivers-to-joinintroduced dynamic pricing there, which increases prices
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The Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) cryptocurrency project Bakkt celebrated New Year’s Eve with the announcement of a $182.5 million equity round from a slew of notable institutional investors. ICE, the operator of several global exchanges, including the New York Stock Exchange, established Bakkt to build a trading platform that enables consumers and institutions to buy, sell, store
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Ajay Chopra Contributor Ajay Chopra co-founded Pinnacle Systems in his living room and grew it to a multi-billion dollar public company before becoming a venture capitalist with Trinity Ventures. More posts by this contributor Full autonomy is years away, but here’s what’s next on autonomy’s wild ride From the distributed workforce to the partnered economy
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Jake Bright Contributor More posts by this contributor IBM Africa and Hello Tractor pilot AI/blockchain agtech platform Africa Roundup: Terragon’s Asia acquisition, Twiga Foods’ $10M raise, SimbaPay’s China payment service 2018 saw Africa’s tech sector become more dynamic and international. VC firms on the continent multiplied. There were numerous investment rounds. And startups pursued acquisitions
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Martina Lauchengco Contributor Martina spent over 20 years as a marketing and product executive building and crafting strategies for market-defining software like Microsoft Office and Netscape Navigator. As an operating partner at Costanoa Ventures, she sits on multiple boards and advises companies on all things go-to-market. She also teaches at the UC Berkeley graduate school
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The secondary luxury goods market has been growing wildly in recent years, with more shoppers opting to both sell their lightly used luxury goods like clothing and jewelry for cold, hard cash, as well as buying the pre-owned, authenticated luxury goods of others. One of the biggest beneficiaries of the trend is The RealReal, a
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Grove Collaborative, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based startup that sells household, personal care, baby, children’s and pet products, has been busy raising money in 2018, shows two new SEC filings that lists representatives from the company’s earlier investors, including Mayfield, Norwest Venture Partners and MHS Capital, as well as apparent new investor General Atlantic, represented by partner Catherine
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We will be holding a small event during CES in Las Vegas and we want to see you! We’re looking to meet some cool hardware and crypto startups, so the good folks at Work In Progress have opened up their space to us and 200 of you all to hold a meetup and pitch-off. The
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Our staff had a busy 2018. We wrote hundreds of news stories, interviews, reviews, previews, and more. We covered the biggest events in the industry, including the Electronic Entertainment Expo and the Game Developer’s Conference. Honestly, at the end of year, it’s hard to remember just exactly what we wrote in 2018. But some stories
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There are few things in this world more difficult than launching a successful startup. It takes talent, know-how, money and a hell of a lot of good timing and luck. And even with all of those magical components in place, the odds may still be against you. At TechCrunch, we take pride at covering the
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Deus Ex: Mankind Divided was one of the major releases of 2016. The Square Enix and Eidos Montreal science fiction game envisioned a future where people augmented themselves with artificial body parts, such as powerful bionic limbs. The main character, Adam Jensen, helped root out a conspiracy against “augs,” or augmented humans, who received discrimination
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India has 22 official languages, which often presents a challenge for businesses that want to scale across the entire country. Video-sharing app Roposo, however, uses that to its advantage by offering content in several different regional languages. Based in Gurgaon, Roposo announced today that it has raised a $10 million Series C from returning investors
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In a disappointing year for female-founded startups — at least those looking to raise venture capital — The Riveter not only closed its first institutional funding round, but it’s today announcing a $15 million Series A funding, bringing its total backing to $20.5 million. The Seattle-based co-working startup, led by co-founder and chief executive Amy Nelson
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TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa just finished in Lagos, Nigeria, where 15 companies took the stage for the chance of winning the $25,000 equity-free grand prize, a trip for two to TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2019 and the coveted title of “Africa’s Favorite Startup.” The winner of the event was M-SCAN from Uganda, which develops portable
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How do other dating apps compete with Tinder? By further distancing themselves from Tinder’s “hot-or-not” user interface design to focus on differentiating features — like conversation starters, commenting and richer profiles. Today, another anti-Tinder app is doing the same. On the heels of its $12 million Series B announced earlier this year, the oddly named
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As traditional broadcasting channels lose ground to emerging competitors, all signs point to over the top services as the future of streaming television. The $46.5 billion in revenue that OTT channels earned over the course of 2017 is projected to grow to $83.4 billion by 2022, and OTT growth is second only to virtual reality in the media industry. Of
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The emergence of latest technology and use of remote devices in every field of life has changed how  businesses tend to their marketing needs. Instead of printing an advertisement in newspaper, business marketers are more likely to utilize social media marketing. This is as a direct result of people, customer’s and clients that reach out
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Every year, predictions about how consumers will spend their money crop up. Covering the most popular toys and the most wanted tech gadgets, these lists tend to push people toward a herd mentality rather than a thoughtful examination of their values at a crucial time of year. PricewaterhouseCoopers predicts that consumers will spend $1,250 each
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In late September, representatives from the biggest tech companies testified before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. At almost the same time, Facebook announced that a massive data breach had affected almost 50 million users. This odd fluke of timing illustrates the perilous nature of data protection right now. Because of data breaches
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French startup BlaBlaCar just released some interesting metrics. The company has reached profitability if you look at revenue between January 2018 and today. BlaBlaCar forecasts that 50 million people will book a ride on BlaBlaCar in 2018, which represents a 40 percent increase compared to 2017. BlaBlaCar is a marketplace for long-distance rides. People driving
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Enlarge / Bloomberg Best of the Year 2017: Powerpacks which will be used to form the world’s largest lithium-ion battery stand on display during a Tesla Inc. event at the Hornsdale wind farm, operated by Neoen SAS, near Jamestown, South Australia, on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017. Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg via Getty Images In the first half of 2018, energy sales
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Following an acquisition by FTD Companies earlier this year for a reportedly small amount of cash, on-demand flower service BloomThat is pausing its services as it works “to figure out how to best integrate BloomThat as part of the FTD portfolio of brands,” the founders wrote to its customers a few days ago. “Before we
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Renaud Laplanche spent ten years building LendingClub. In the process, he created an industry from scratch. Circumventing conventional banking channels for consumer credit began in 1996 when Chris Larsen started E-LOAN, which ultimately led to Prosper Marketplace. But LendingClub, which Laplanche founded in 2007, was and remains the poster child for the business of marketplace
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In the days leading up to TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2018, The Economist published the cover story, ‘Why Startups Are Leaving Silicon Valley.’ The author outlined reasons why the Valley has “peaked.” Venture capital investors are deploying capital outside the Bay Area more than ever before. High-profile entrepreneurs and investors, Peter Thiel, for example, have left. Rising
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Newegg e-commerce site victimized, a warning about phone mobile bank apps and a digital currency theft from an exchange. Welcome to Cyber Security Today. It’s Friday September 21st. To hear the podcast click on the arrow below: Have you bought anything online from the electronics retailer Newegg in the last couple of weeks? There’s a
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Stablecoins, cryptocurrencies tied to tangible assets such as fiat currency, have been gaining more attention recently after two were recently given regulatory approval. Now the security of one is being questioned after a security “backdoor” opening was discovered in its code. The stablecoin in question is the Paxos Trust Co. LLC’s Paxos Standard token or PAX,
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Technological advancement is happening every day, including in the field of unmanned systems. When someone mentions unmanned systems, most automatically think of drones. However, unmanned systems also encompass vehicles on land and sea.  GENIUS NY is in the forefront of advancing unmanned system technology. They realize the potential and impact that drone technology can have
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Since the industrial revolution, technology has changed society continually. Largely due to innovations in semiconductor electronics, software and computer technology, the pace of technological development has continued to accelerate over the past 50 years. Personal computers now fit into your pocket. You have access to people and information all over the world through the Internet.
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Bird just announced 10 million scooter rides since launching about one year ago. If this story sounds familiar to you, it’s probably because Bird competitor Lime earlier today announced it surpassed 11.5 million rides across its shared bikes and scooters. Bird, which launched last September in Santa Monica, Calif., currently operates in 100 cities and
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Bike and scooter company Lime recently hit 11.5 million rides, a couple of months after it surpassed six million rides. This milestone comes just 14 months after Lime deployed its first bikes. Today, Lime is in more than 100 markets throughout the U.S. and Europe. Last December, Lime brought its bikes to a number of European
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Lime is waging a war against the San Francisco Municipal Transporation Agency (SFMTA), claiming that the organization acted with “unlawful bias” and “sought to punish Lime” when it chose not to award the e-scooter and dockless bike startup a permit to operate in San Francisco last month. Lime has sent an appeal to the SFMTA, requesting an “unbiased
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If you are looking for a new power bank, 2018 is an excellent time to go shopping. Technology is at its peak, and high-end features are getting cheaper by the minute. Having said that, power banks are no different. You don’t have to spend a lot these days just to get the best features on
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In a world where nothing can be trusted and fake news abounds, ICO and crypto teams are further muddying the waters by trying – and often failing – to pay for posts. While bribes for blogs is nothing new, sadly the current crop of ICO creators and crypto projects are particularly interested in scaling fast
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Rent the Runway, the fashion startup that began as a rental service for special occasions and has since evolved into a service for people also looking to spice up their everyday wear, just opened up its fifth physical, standalone location. The new location, in downtown San Francisco, enables Rent the Runway members to try on clothes,
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Ola, the arch-rival of Uber in India, has raised $50 million at a valuation of about $4.3 billion from Sailing Capital, a Hong Kong-based private equity firm, and the China-Eurasian Economic Cooperation Fund (CEECF), a state-backed Chinese fund. The funding was disclosed in regulatory documents sourced by Paper.vc and reviewed by Indian financial publication Mint.
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Late last week, Congress moved one step closer to passing the American Innovation Act of 2018, a bill that would make accounting and tax changes that would likely increase the valuation of startups in an acquisition. The House Ways and Means committee approved a bill containing text that would improve the treatment of Net Operating Losses (NOLs) for startups. While many startup founders would probably rather
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Microsoft today announced that is has acquired Lobe, a startup that lets you build machine learning models with the help of a simple drag-and-drop interface. Microsoft plans to use Lobe, which only launched into beta earlier this year, to build upon its own efforts to make building AI models easier, though, for the time being,
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Shift Technologies, an online marketplace for used cars, has closed a Series D financing round of more than $140 million in equity and debt. The round, which consists of about $70 million in debt and $71 million in equity, was led by automotive retailer Lithia Motors. Bryan DeBoer, CEO and president of Lithia, will join Shift’s
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iHeartMedia has agreed to acquire Stuff Media, the company that owns the HowStuffWorks podcasting business. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, but both the Wall Street Journal and Variety are reporting that the acquisition price was $55 million. According to the announcement, Stuff Media podcasts will retain their branding and
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StockX started as a marketplace for reselling sneakers but has since grown to be much more, bringing its transparent and anonymous marketplace to more verticals. Today the company is announcing a $44 million Series B that will help fuel international and domestic growth while letting the company expand to even more product categories and perhaps
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Food delivery service Deliveroo is making headway in its Asian expansion strategy. The London-based company announced today that it will launch in Taiwan in the coming weeks, starting with Taipei, the country’s capital, before heading to other cities. This marks Deliveroo’s fourth market in the Asia-Pacific region (the others are Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore)
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Branch announced today that it has acquired TUNE‘s attribution analytics team and business, a part of the SaaS platform that focuses on optimizing and accurately attributing ad spend. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.  TUNE, a Seattle-based startup founded in 2009, helps ad platforms tie marketing investments to measurable outcomes.  Backed by Android co-founder
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Branch, the deep-linking startup backed by Andy Rubin’s Playground Ventures, will enter the unicorn club with an upcoming funding round. The four-year-old company, which helps brands create links between websites and mobile apps, has authorized the sale of $129 million in Series D shares, according to sources and confirmed by PitchBook, which tracks venture capital
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Sonatype, a cybersecurity-focused open-source company, has raised $80 million from investment firm TPG. The company said the financing will help extend its Nexus platform, which it touts as an enterprise ready repository manager and library, which among other things tracks code and helps to keep everything in the devops pipeline up-to-date and secure. It’s that
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Don’t call Wingly the “Uber of the Sky” — Wingly co-fonder Emeric de Waziers would like to nip that little misinterpretation in the bud as the French startup looks to expand into the U.S. If anything, the startup’s mission is more akin to carpooling for small aircrafts, helping pilots fill up empty seats in small
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MasterClass, the website that brings celebrity-taught classes to the public, like tennis lessons from Serena Williams and photography instruction from Annie Leibovitz, has raised $80 million to expand internationally. The Series D funding, led by IVP, will also be used to bring more celebrities to MasterClass. The company currently offers 39 classes, with plans to
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Estonian ride-hailing company Taxify will compete with Bird and Lime in Europe with its new brand of e-scooters, called Bolt, launching in Paris on Thursday. The company has rolled the scooter sharing service into its mobile app, which has attracted 10 million users in 25 countries since it launched in August 2013. A spokesperson for
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Drew Angerer / Getty Haven’t we been here before? As Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey fielded what were initially barbed questions from lawmakers about nefarious Russian influence in U.S. elections, there was a sense of deja vu. “If the answer is regulation, let’s have an honest dialogue about what that looks
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Unity CEO John Riccitiello came to TechCrunch Disrupt SF to give everyone an update on the world’s most popular game engine. You might not be aware that most of the games you’re playing, especially mobile games, are built using Unity. For those not familiar with game engines, Riccitiello started by describing game engines very clearly.
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Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and CEO of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee (Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images) Two of social media’s biggest names — Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey — were under the searing klieg lights Wednesday testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Alphabet’s Google was
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David McNew/Getty Images Amazon.com (AMZN) joined the $1 trillion club, but its stay was ever so brief. As shares topped $2,050.268 in trading on Tuesday morning, the retail and cloud giant’s market capitalization swelled to $1 trillion, based on its 487.7 million shares outstanding. Amazon had recently reached another milestone, topping $2,000 per share for the first
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French startup Shine is raising a $9.3 million (€8 million) Series A round. The company is building an alternative to traditional bank accounts for freelancers working in France. XAnge is leading today’s round with existing investor Daphni also participating, as well as business angels Gilles Samoun and Ed Zimmerman. The company previously raised $3.3 million
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As cryptocurrencies emerge from the speculative bloodletting of the past months, believers in the promise of distributed ledger technologies for business and consumer applications are casting about for what comes next. On our stage at Disrupt San Francisco we’ll be welcoming some of the leading thinkers in how distributed ledgers can create an entirely new
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Starry wants to change the way the home internet is delivered. Founded in 2014, the Boston-based startup takes an innovative approach to the space by beaming broadband speed internet through the air, using millimeter waves. The company’s novel technique has drummed up great interest during its four years of existence, offering the potential to circumvent
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Labor Day is a holiday that just doesn’t fit Silicon Valley. It’s purported purpose is to celebrate working men and women and their — our — progress toward better working conditions and fairer workplaces. Yet, few regions in recent times have supposedly done more to “destroy” quality working conditions than the Valley, from the entire
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Ask any 25-year old engineer what Labor Day means to him or her, and you might get an answer like: it’s the surprise three-day weekend after a summer of vacationing. Or it’s the day everyone barbecues at Dolores Park. Or it’s the annual Tahoe trip where everyone gets to relive college. Or simply, it’s the
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Toward the end of 2017, Instacart penned a partnership with one of the country’s biggest grocery retailers, Kroger. At the time, it was a smaller deal with one of Kroger’s chains called Ralphs. But today Instacart is expanding its partnership with Kroger, bringing Instacart delivery to 75 additional Kroger markets, growing Instacart’s Kroger footprint by
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In the past couple decades, Elon Musk’s efforts with SpaceX have partially kicked off a space race in the VC-funded rocket startup scene. At Disrupt SF 2018, we’re thrilled to host a panel of some of Silicon Valley’s top investors whose firms are eying the stars. Rob Coneybeer from Shasta Ventures, Tess Hatch from Bessemer
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Nebula Genomics, the startup that wants to put your whole genome on the blockchain, has announced the raise of $4.3 million in Series A from Khosla Ventures and other leading tech VC’s such as Arch Venture Partners, Fenbushi Capital, Mayfield, F-Prime Capital Partners, Great Point Ventures, Windham Venture Partners, Hemi Ventures, Mirae Asset, Hikma Ventures and
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Spotinst, the startup that helps companies purchase and manage excess cloud infrastructure capacity, announced a hefty $35 million Series B today led by Highland Capital. Existing investors Leaders Fund, Intel Capital and Vertex Ventures also participated. Today’s round brings the total investment to over $52 million. Cloud infrastructure vendors like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure
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It was a surprise low-key announcement by Apple. An upgrade to the MacBook Pro line. I wasn’t expecting it as everyone was telling me not to expect a MacBook Pro capable of supporting 32GB of RAM until 2019. Perhaps when Apple starts using their own processors instead of Intel. I was just as surprised as
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Maria Palma Contributor Maria Palma is vice president of Business Development and head of Platform at RRE Ventures. Build versus buy? Potential partner or potential disruptor? The option set for corporations to collaborate with startups used to be simpler. Today, the options seem almost endless: build, partner, buy, integrate with their APIs, co-develop product together,
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The Sill, a startup that sells potted plants online and in physical stores, announced this weekend that it has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by Raine Ventures. The company was founded in 2012 and has now raised a total of $7.5 million. It was bootstrapped until last year, when it raised seed
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Fintech startup Revolut is launching a new premium card. As the name suggests, subscribing to Revolut Metal gives you a metal card as well as additional perks compared to Revolut Premium. In addition to the new card and existing premium benefits, you can claim cashback on all spending in the currency of your choice. It
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TraceLink, a nine-year-old, software-as-a-service platform for tracking pharmaceuticals and trying to weed out counterfeit prescription drugs in the process, has raised $93 million in Series D funding. Most of the money — $60 million — was used to buy primary shares, with another $33 million used to buy up the shares of previous shareholders. Georgian Partners
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In May, the Supreme Court struck down a federal law that had banned gambling on sporting events in most states. That ruling is set to unlock billions of dollars in new business opportunities for online fantasy sports sites like DraftKings. That’s why we’re absolutely thrilled to have DraftKings CEO Jason Robins join us on stage
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