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Kahoot drops $50M on Drops to add language learning to its gamified education stable

After raising $215 million from SoftBank to double down on the surge of interest in online learning, Kahoot has made an acquisition to expand the scope of subjects that it covers. The popular startup, which lets people build and share educational games, has picked up Drops, a startup that helps people learn languages by way of short picture- and word-based games. The plan is to integrate more Kahoot features into Drops’ apps, and to bring some of Drops’ content into the main Kahoot platform. ...
Tags: Travel, Google, Apps, Europe, Learning, Education, Russia, Softbank, M&a, Norway, Estonia, Languages, Kahoot, Drops, Eilert Hanoa, Daniel Farkas


Caura, the app for U.K. car owners, begins offering insurance

Caura, the U.K. startup that wants to take the hassle out of car ownership, is launching car insurance — unveiling its insurtech ambitions. Dubbed “Caura Protect,” the new insurance product claims to reduce the cost and time taken to insure a car, building on the app’s existing car management features. Launched earlier this year by Sai Lakshmi, who previously co-founded medication management service Echo, Caura is a mobile app designed to manage all of the vehicle-related admin that car owners e...
Tags: Travel, Startups, TC, Apps, Europe, Fca, Aviva, U K, Lakshmi, Caura app, Sai Lakshmi, Caura, Echo Caura


Recycling robotics company AMP Robotics could raise up to $70 million sources say

AMP Robotics, the recycling robotics technology developer backed by investors including Sequoia Capital and Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners, is close to closing on as much as $70 million in new financing, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the company’s plans. The new financing speaks to AMP Robotics’ continued success in pilot projects and with new partnerships that are exponentially expanding the company’s deployments. Earlier this month the company announced a new deal that repr...
Tags: Travel, TC, Asia, Europe, Florida, New York, Texas, Minnesota, Colorado, California, China, Virginia, Toronto, Articles, Spain, Materials


YC-backed Cashfree raises $35.3 million for its payments platform

Cashfree, an Indian startup that offers a wide-range of payments services to businesses, has raised $35.3 million in a new financing round as the profitable firm looks to broaden its offering. The Bangalore-based startup’s Series B was led by London-headquartered private equity firm Apis Partners (which invested through its Growth Fund II), with participation from existing investors Y Combinator and Smilegate Investments. The new round brings the startup’s to-date raise to $42 million. ...
Tags: Travel, Amazon, Fundings & Exits, Startups, Apps, Y Combinator, Asia, London, Finance, India, Funding, Paypal, Payments, Zomato, Shopify, Bangalore


A bug meant Twitter Fleets could still be seen after they disappeared

Twitter is the latest social media site to allow users to experiment with posting disappearing content. Fleets, as Twitter calls them, allows its mobile users post short stories, like photos or videos with overlaying text, that are set to vanish after 24 hours. But a bug meant that fleets weren’t deleting properly and could still be accessed long after 24 hours had expired. Details of the bug were posted in a series of tweets on Saturday, less than a week after the feature launched. full d...
Tags: Travel, Security, Twitter, Privacy, Spokesperson, Software, Computing, Operating Systems, Real Time Web, Microblogging, Text Messaging


How China’s Realme sold 50 million phones in just over 2 years

Starting a new phone brand in 2018 might seem too late in an already crowded market, but Sky Li was convinced that consumers between 18-25 years old were largely under-served — they needed something that was both affordable and cool. A few months after Li founded Realme in May that year, the smartphone company organized a product launch at a college campus in India, the world’s second-largest smartphone market. It brought its own production crew, built a makeshift stage and invited local rappers...
Tags: Travel, Gadgets, Asia, Hardware, China, India, Smartphone, Xiaomi, Huawei, Qualcomm, Oneplus, Shenzhen, Vivo, Diwali, Oppo, Naoto Fukasawa


Astanor Ventures launches $325M Impact Fund aimed at FoodTech and AgTech startups

We can all, by now, ascribe to the idea that something has changed in the last few months. Like it or not, business is not as it was. If we were true to ourselves, we would admit that our lives will never be the name again. But parallel to this visceral feeling, is the quite clear and objective truth that the planet that sustains our existence is in trouble. So, surely, is it not beholden upon us to step up? Is this both a moral and a commercial opportunity? Today Astanor Ventures is launching a...
Tags: Travel, Food, TC, Europe, UK, Technology, California, Berlin, US, Articles, Sustainability, United States, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, United Nations, Agriculture, Un


Portugal’s Faber reaches $24.3M for its second fund aimed at data-driven startups from Iberia

Portuguese VC Faber has hit the first close of its Faber Tech II fund at €20.5 million ($24.3 million). The fund will focus on early-stage data-driven startups starting from Southern Europe and the Iberian peninsula, with the aim of reaching a final close of €30 million in the coming months. The new fund targets pre-series A and early-stage startups in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Science. The fund is backed by European Investment Fund (EIF) and the local Financial Devel...
Tags: Travel, TC, Europe, Entrepreneurship, Articles, Neuroscience, Spain, Barcelona, Artificial Intelligence, Portugal, Machine Learning, Private Equity, Madrid, Crowdcube, Iberia, Valencia


Unpacking the C3.ai IPO filing

The last thing I recall thinking about C3.ai (C3) was seeing its billboards outside San Francisco and asking myself what the hell the company actually did and how much it was spending on a huge outdoor advertisements. So much for what I know. The company filed to go public on Friday, and instead of being a cash-burning, buzzwordy mess, C3 is actually in pretty good financial shape, generating both growing recurring software revenues and cash in some quarters. The Exchange explores startups, mar...
Tags: Travel, San Francisco, Blackrock, Siebel, Baker Hughes, TPG, InterWest Partners, Makena Capital Management, The Exchange, Thomas Siebel, TPG Breyer Capital


Spotify adds a built-in podcast playlist creation tool, ‘Your Episodes’

Spotify today launched a new feature designed to give podcast listeners a new way to organize and save content they want to listen to at a later time or keep their favorite episodes bookmarked for easy access. The feature, called “Your Episodes,” lets you bookmark individual episodes from any podcast, which are then added a new “Your Episodes” playlist. This playlist is found pinned to the top of Your Library in the Music Playlist and Podcast Episodes tabs, says Spotify. The new option could ...
Tags: Travel, Spotify, Media, Podcasts, Streaming


Google and Walmart face growth hurdles as India caps payments transactions

Google and Walmart have a new challenge ahead of them as they race to expand the reach of their payments apps in India: They won’t be permitted to grow beyond a limit. National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the body that operates the widely popular UPI payments infrastructure, said Thursday evening that it will enforce a cap to ensure that no single payments app processes more than 30% of UPI transactions in a month. The payments body said the move is aimed at addressing the “risks” a...
Tags: Travel, Google, Apps, Asia, India, Walmart, Payments, UPI, Paytm, National Payments Corporation of India NPCI, Phonepe


Facebook and Instagram notifications warn U.S. users there’s no winner yet in Presidential Election

Facebook and Instagram are running notifications in their respective apps informing U.S. users that the winner of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election has not yet been determined. In large pop-ups appearing at the top of the Facebook and Instagram News Feeds, the notification states that “Votes Are Being Counted” and directs users to other in-app election resources. Both apps are using the same language for their respective notifications: “The winner of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election h...
Tags: Travel, Social, TC, Facebook, Apps, Instagram, Social Media, United States, News Feed, President, Vice President, Biden, Caching, Presidential Election, Mobile Software, Facebook Applications


Aveine’s Smart Wine Aerator is a huge upgrade for wine lovers – and could create some new ones, too

You might have very good reason to be on a wine kick right now – along with plenty of the rest of the country – so it’s perhaps timely to take a look at the Aveine Smart Aerator, a gadget from a French startup that offers variable, instant aeration and a connected app platform for determining just the right amount of aeration that any particular wine you happen to be drinking requires. The Aveine Smart Wine Aerator is premium-priced, but you might be surprised at just how much of a difference it...
Tags: Travel, Reviews, Android, TC, Gadgets, Hardware, Bluetooth, France, Software, Computing, Wine, Aeration, Aveine


Got the right stuff? Exhibit and pitch at TC Sessions: Space 2020

Do you find expression “the sky’s the limit” well, limiting? Join a global community of brilliant visionaries, makers and investors on December 16-17 for TC Sessions: Space 2020, an online conference dedicated to moving beyond the confines of this world through innovative tech and to creating stellar startup opportunities. Speaking of a stellar opportunity, this one lets you navigate your startup into the orbit of the space industry’s leading experts and decisions makers. We’re talking folks fro...
Tags: Travel, Startups, Nasa, Air Force, Jay Raymond, Will Roper, U S Space Force, TC Sessions Space 2020, Tess Hatch Bessemer Venture Partners Some, Domain of Space Defense, Acquisition Technology Logistics


Fortnite will be available for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S at launch

As ever, launch title choices are likely to be a concern for gamers plunking down cash on a next-gen console. They can, however, take solace in the fact that the immensely popular battle royale title Fortnite will be available for both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S when those systems arrive a couple of days apart next week. Publisher Epic Games has detailed what the titles will look like for the news systems. It notes in a release that, “the Fortnite builds on Xbox Series X/S and PS5 ...
Tags: Travel, Gaming, Microsoft, Sony, Epic Games, Fortnite, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X


Email creation startup Stensul raises $16M

Stensul, a startup aiming to streamline the process of building marketing emails, has raised $16 million in Series B funding. When the company raised its $7 million Series A two years ago, founder and CEO Noah Dinkin told me about how it spun out of his previous startup, FanBridge. And while there are many products focused on email delivery, he said Stensul is focused on the email creation process. Dinkin made many similar points when we discussed the Series B last week. He said that for many te...
Tags: Travel, Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Enterprise, Okta, Advertising Tech, Funding, Gary Swart, Dinkin, USVP, Noah Dinkin, Stensul, Capital One Ventures Peak State Ventures, Frederic Kerrest Okta CMO Ryan Carlson, Aaron Bird Avid Larizadeh Duggan


MIT develops a battery-free method for navigating underwater that could transform ocean exploration

MIT has developed a new navigation system designed for use underwater that could do for underwater wayfinding what GPS has done for travel on and above the surface. GPS doesn’t really penetrate underwater, because radio waves aren’t really water-friendly. It’s why you commonly see things like sonar employed on submarines, which emit sound waves and measure their reflection off of other underwater objects and surfaces. Typical sonar and other acoustic signalling methods are power-hungry, howev...
Tags: Travel, TC, Science, Smartphones, Mit, Gps, Ships, Sound, Navigation, Sonar, Submarine, Science and Technology, Acoustics, In-car Navigation, Navigation System


Leena AI nabs $8M Series as it expands from chatbots to HR service platform

When we covered Leena AI as a member of the Y Combinator Summer 2018 cohort, the young startup was firmly focused on building HR chatbots, but in the intervening years it has expanded the vision to a broader HR policy platform. Today, the company announced an $8 million Series A led by Greycroft with help from several individual industry investors. Company CEO and co-founder Adit Jain says that in 2018 the company was concentrating on building an intelligent virtual assistant for HR-related ques...
Tags: Travel, Startups, TC, Cloud, Y Combinator, Enterprise, Funding, Artificial Intelligence, SaaS, Greycroft, Jain, Leena, Chatbots, HR software, Recent Funding, Leena AI


Tencent claims record 100M daily users on mobile game Honor of Kings

At its five-year anniversary gala graced by celebrities, esports stars and orchestras, Tencent’s mobile game Honor of Kings said it has crossed 100 million daily active users. The title has not only broken user records but generated other unprecedented accomplishments along the way. For one, it consistently ranks among the top-grossing mobile games worldwide, jostling with PUBG Mobile made by another Tencent studio Lightspeed & Quantum — gaming has long been the cash cow for Tencent, better know...
Tags: Travel, TC, Gaming, MOBA, Asia, China, US, Tencent, League Of Legends, Activision, Riot Games, PUBG, Honor of Kings, TIMI, Arena of Valor, Daniel Ahmad


Startup brands like the shoe company Thousand Fell are bringing circular economics to the fashion industry

Thousand Fell, the environmentally conscious, direct-to-consumer shoe retailer which launched last November, has revealed the details of the recycling program that’s a core component of its pitch to consumers. The company, which has now sold enough shoes to start seeing its early buyers begin recycling them after ten months of ownership, expects to recycle roughly 3,000 pairs per quarter by 2021, with the capacity to scale up to 6,000 pairs of shoes., The recycling feature, through partnerships ...
Tags: Travel, Energy, TC, Supply Chain, Nike, UPS, Walgreens, Circular Economy, Kroger, United Parcel Service, Industries, Co-founder, Walgreens Across, Stuart Ahlum, Thousand Fell, Ahlum


NowThis partners with Calm to offer a soothing Election Day livestream

Mobile news organization NowThis is announcing a bit of counter-programming for next week’s presidential election — it’s partnering with meditation app Calm to create a livestream for anyone who needs relief from stress of Election Day news. Not that NowThis is exactly avoiding that news, but this livestream (combining breathing exercises and other meditative activities with peaceful nature footage from all 50 states) should offer a brief respite from obsessively checking results. It will go liv...
Tags: Travel, Hbo, Media, NowThis News, Calm, Group Nine Media, NowThis Facebook, Tina Exarhos


Walmart’s new test stores will experiment with AR, mobile, revamped checkout and more

Walmart over the years has been working to turn its physical retail stores into online fulfillment centers, and now, with its latest set of test stores announced today, the retailer will try out ideas to make that transition more seamless. Walmart says it will deploy personnel to four test stores across the U.S., where they’ll prototype and iterate on new technology and tools that will serve the needs of Walmart’s in-store shoppers and online shoppers alike, including changes involving augmen...
Tags: Travel, Ecommerce, Shopping, Walmart, E-commerce, Online Shopping, Retail, Retailers, Mobile Devices, Fulfillment, Point-of-sale, Omnichannel, Northwest Arkansas, BENTONVILLE, John Crecelius Walmart


Amazon pegs COVID-19 costs at an estimated $4 billion next quarter

Amazon expects to incur $4 billion in COVID-related costs next quarter, an estimate that provides a bellwether for other businesses, large and small, trying to stay operational and control expenses amid the pandemic. The upshot: Amazon is planning for COVID to remain an unwelcome companion through the end of the year with costs higher than the previous quarter. The company said Thursday in its third-quarter earnings call that it logged $7.5 billion in COVID-related costs since the disease too...
Tags: Travel, Amazon, TC, Olsavsky, Brian Olsavsky, COVID


Supersonic aircraft startup Hermeus raises $16 million Series A

Hermeus, a company seeking to build a Mach 5 aircraft that would be capable of making the trip from New York to London in just 90 minutes has raised a $16 million Series A round, led by Canaan Partners and including contributions from existing investors Khosla Ventures, Bling Capital, and the Rise of the Rest Seed Fund. The new funding will help the startup develop and ground test its first full-scale engine, the core component that will eventually power its debut Mach 5 aircraft. Earlier ...
Tags: Travel, New York, London, Atlanta, Nasa, Lockheed Martin, Mach, Canaan Partners, Hermeus, AJ Piplica, Khosla Ventures Bling Capital, SpaceX Blue Origin NASA Boeing


More chip industry action as Marvell is acquiring Inphi for $10B

It’s been quite a time for chip industry consolidation, and today Marvell joined the acquisition parade when it announced it is acquiring Inphi in a combination of stock and cash valued at approximately $10 billion, according to the company. Marvell CEO Matt Murphy believes that by adding Inphi, a chip maker that helps connect internal servers in cloud data centers, and then between data centers, using fibre cabling, it will complement Marvell’s copper-based chip portfolio and give it an edge in...
Tags: Travel, Fundings & Exits, TC, Hardware, Enterprise, M&a, Nvidia, Mergers and Acquisitions, Amd, Chips, Matt Murphy, Semiconductors, Murphy, Marvell, Xilinx, Inphi


CoreCare raises $3 million for managing billing and payments from public health benefit providers

CoreCare, a provider of revenue management services for healthcare companies dealing with public health benefit providers, has raised $3 million in a seed financing round. The company, which uses machine learning, automates large swaths of billing and revenue cycle management to reduce the burden on hospitals, according to chief executive, Dennis Antonelos. Already, companies like Creative Solutions in Healthcare, a nursing facility operator in Texas, which operates nearly 80 locations has si...
Tags: Travel, Health, TC, Y Combinator, Texas, Articles, Healthcare, Machine Learning, Health Insurance, Medicare, Goat Capital, Dennis Antonelos, Creative Solutions in Healthcare, Antonelos, Primetime Partners Goat Capital Funders Club, Gary Blake


Wise raises another $12 million to double down on embedded business banking

Fintech startup Wise has raised a $12 million Series A round. The company offers business bank accounts with an interesting go-to-market strategy. Wise partners with other companies so that they can offer bank accounts to their own customers. For instance, if you’re running a marketplace or an e-commerce platform that matches companies with individual customers, you can leverage Wise to offer bank accounts to your partner companies. RemoteTeam is using Wise to improve its payroll experience f...
Tags: Travel, Fundings & Exits, Startups, Finance, Canada, TechStars, Fintech, Bbva, FDIC, Wise, KYC, Grishin Robotics, Arjun Thyagarajan, Embedded Finance


Marriott International announces partnership with Grab in six Southeast Asian countries

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the hospitality industry especially hard, and hotels around the world are looking for ways to regain revenue. Today, Marriott International and Grab announced a partnership that will cover the hospitality giant’s dining businesses in six Southeast Asian countries: Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand. Instead of room bookings, Marriott International deal with Grab focuses on about 600 restaurants and bars at its properties in t...
Tags: Travel, TC, Asia, China, Restaurants, Southeast Asia, Thailand, Klook, On-demand Delivery, Arne Sorenson, Marriott International, Grab, Klook Klook, Russell Cohen, Marriott Bonvoy


The DOJ is investigating Visa’s $5.3 billion bid for Plaid on antitrust grounds

It’s not just big tech that’s getting the antitrust treatment from the Department of Justice. Late Monday afternoon, the Department of Justice tipped its hand that it was investigating Visa’s proposed $5.3 billion acquisition of the venture-backed Plaid, which allows applications to connect with a users’ bank account. It’s a tool that powers a good chunk of new fintech offerings, and the Justice Department has apparently spent the past year looking into how the deal would affect the broader mark...
Tags: Travel, Credit Cards, TC, Finance, Massachusetts, Companies, AT&T, The Wall Street Journal, Department Of Justice, Doj, Plaid, Intuit, Justice Department, Mastercard, Bain, Visa


Stripe Climate is a new tool to let Stripe customers purchase credits towards carbon removal efforts

Last year, payments giant Stripe announced that it would donate $1 million of its own funds annually into companies that are building technology to remove carbon from our environment, with the recipients of that investment announced in May of this year. Now, it’s expanding that commitment with a new product aimed at getting its customers to invest, too. Today, the company is launching Stripe Climate, a new tool that companies using Stripe can integrate to set up automatic contributions that a...
Tags: Travel, TC, Ecommerce, Climate Change, Nigeria, Africa, Environment, Climate, US, Stripe, GreenTech, Substack, Paystack, Project Vesta, Chris Best Co, Nan Ransohoff Stripe