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As the term ‘unicorn’ goes broke from overuse, what’s actually rare?

Alex Wilhelm Contributor Alex Wilhelm is the editor-in-chief of Crunchbase News and co-host of Equity, TechCrunch's venture capital-focused podcast. More posts by this contributor Equity transcribed: How to avoid an IPO How to avoid an IPO On Wednesday a few unicorns were born. You’ve already forgotten their names if you learned them at all (Tip: It was Marqeta and Ivalua.) Don’t worry, I’m not cross with you. It’s merely that ther...
Tags: Column, Startups, TC, Unicorns


The savage genius of SoftBank funding competitors

Venture capitalists aren’t supposed to make their portfolio companies battle to the death. There’s a long-standing but unofficial rule that investors shouldn’t fund multiple competitors in the same space. Conflicts of interest could arise, information about one startup’s strategy could be improperly shared with the other, and the companies could become suspicious of advice provided by their investors. That leads to problems down the line for VCs, as founders may avoid them if they fear the firm ...
Tags: Artificial Intelligence, Automotive, Collaborative Consumption, eCommerce, Food, Funding, Fundings & Exits, Logistics, M&A, Opinion, Startups, TC, Venture Capital, Didi Chuxing, Grab, Ola


To realize its VR dreams, Facebook needs to kill what Oculus has built

Mark Zuckerberg has poured billions into his virtual reality dream, a new platform that Facebook owns. Facebook bought Oculus and has spent the last five years killing what it was and reinventing it as a Facebook-scale company. It has dumped most of the co-founders, brought in Zuck loyalists to take over the most important decisions and shifted towards accessibility over appeasing the company’s early supporters. Facebook’s latest release is the realization of all that. The company’s Quest ...
Tags: Startups, TC, Facebook, Oculus, Virtual Reality


Which public US universities graduate the most funded founders?

Joanna Glasner Contributor More posts by this contributor Big revenues, huge valuations and major losses: charting the era of the unicorn IPO Some reassuring data for those worried unicorns are wrecking the Bay Area A lot of students attend public universities to lessen the financial burden of higher education. At last tally, tuition and fees at American public colleges and universities averaged around $6,800 a year, per the federal govern...
Tags: Startups, TC, Column, Education, California, Entrepreneurship, Tech, Economy, United States, Private Equity, Michigan, West Coast, Illinois, East Coast, University Of California, Federal Government


How to see another company’s growth tactics and try them yourself

Julian Shapiro Contributor Share on Twitter Julian Shapiro is the founder of BellCurve.com, a growth marketing agency that trains you to become a marketing professional. He also writes at Julian.com. More posts by this contributor How do you hire a great growth marketer? How do startups actually get their content marketing to work? Every company’s online acquisition strategy is out in the open. I...
Tags: Google, Startups, TC, Facebook, Apps, Column, Media, Advertising Tech, Marketing, Strategy, Seo, Tech, Hack, Adsense, Photo Sharing, Growth


CFIUS Cometh: What this Obscure Agency Does and Why It Matters to Your Fund or Startup

Evan J. Zimmerman Contributor Evan J. Zimmerman is an entrepreneur, investor, and writer. He is the Chairman of Jovono and Chairman of the Clinton Health Access Initiative technology council. He is a partner and director in Mighty Mug/Mighty Products, Inc, and chairman of Brush Up Club, an innovative oral health company. On January 12, 2016, Grindr announced it had sold a 60% controlling stake in the company to Beijing Kunlun Tech, a Chinese gaming firm, valu...
Tags: Startups, TC, Uber, Column, Asia, Congress, Washington, Finance, Government, Senate, China, Softbank, Defense, Tech, Hack, Policy


Why Luckin’s ultimate target may not be Starbucks

Starbucks plans to double its store count in China to 5,000 in 2021 and Luckin, a one-year-old coffee startup, is matching up by aiming to reach 4,500 by the end of this year. Luckin’s upsized $651 million flotation has brought American investors’ attention to this potential Starbucks rival in China, where the Seattle giant controlled over half of the coffee market as late as 2017. But as soon as you make your first purchase with Luckin, you realize its ultimate goal may not be to topple Star...
Tags: Apps, Asia, Finance, Social, Startups, TC, 7-eleven, China, Coffee, Courier Services, Drinks, Food, Food And Drink, Luckin, Luckin Coffee, Seattle


Canopy’s upscale co-working business adds a new location in SF on the heels of strategic funding

Canopy, an upscale, profitable developer of co-working spaces, has expanded its footprint in San Francisco to a third location on the heels of a strategic financing round. Co-founded by the product designer Yves Behar; the second generation design-build developer Amir Mortazavi; and serial entrepreneur and medical office space developer Steve Mohebi, Canopy bills itself as a better-designed WeWork for high-powered adults (or aspiring high-powered adults). Canopy co-founders Amir Mortazavi, Yves...
Tags: TC, Articles, Business, Canopy, Co-founder, Coworking, Erik Blachford, Expedia, Herman Miller, Montage Ventures, Office, Retail Store, San Francisco, Serial Entrepreneur, WeWork, Yves Behar


The U.S. Senate is coming after ‘loot boxes’

Gamers feel passionately about loot boxes, turns out some elected officials do too. A new Senate bill was formally introduced today with bipartisan support and it could categorically shift how today’s top platforms and distribution platforms monetize the titles they sell. The bill’s introduction was first reported by The Verge. The bill asserts that “pay-to-win” transactions that give users a nominal advantage for a fee or loot boxes which allow users to essentially play a slot machine for gaini...
Tags: TC


From launch to launch: Peter Beck on building Rocket Lab’s orbital business

Breaking into the launch industry is no easy task, but New Zealand’s Rocket Lab has done it without missing a step. The company has just completed its third commercial launch of 2019, and is planning to increase the frequency of its launches until there’s one a week. It’s ambitious, but few things in spaceflight aren’t. Although it has risen to prominence over the last two years at a remarkable rate, the appearance of Rocket Lab in the launch market isn’t exactly sudden. One does not engineer...
Tags: Startups, TC, Space, Spacex, Tech, Earth, New Zealand, Peter, Devin, Rocket Lab, Peter Beck


From launch to launch: Peter Beck on building an orbital business from scratch

Breaking into the launch industry is no easy task, but New Zealand’s Rocket Lab has done it without missing a step. The company has just completed its third commercial launch of 2019, and is planning to increase the frequency of its launches until there’s one a week. It’s ambitious, but few things in spaceflight aren’t. Although it has risen to prominence over the last two years at a remarkable rate, the appearance of Rocket Lab in the launch market isn’t exactly sudden. One does not engineer...
Tags: Startups, TC, Space, Spacex, Tech, Earth, New Zealand, Peter, Devin, Rocket Lab, Peter Beck


Takeaways from KubeCon; the latest on Kubernetes and cloud native development

Extra Crunch offers members the opportunity to tune into conference calls led and moderated by the TechCrunch writers you read every day. This week, TechCrunch’s Frederic Lardinois and Ron Miller discuss major announcements that came out of the Linux Foundation’s European KubeCon/CloudNativeCon conference and discuss the future of Kubernetes and cloud-native technologies. Nearly doubling in size year-over-year, this year’s KubeCon conference brought big news and big players, with major anno...
Tags: Startups, TC, Open Source, Cloud, Apps, Europe, Enterprise, Developer, Events, Tech, SaaS, Venture Capital, M&a, Transcript, Conference, Container


Andreessen pours $22M into PlanetScale’s database-as-a-service

PlanetScale’s founders invented the technology called Vitess that scaled YouTube and Dropbox. Now they’re selling it to any enterprise that wants their data both secure and consistently accessible. And thanks to its ability to re-shard databases while they’re operating, it can solve businesses’ troubles with GDPR, which demands they store some data in the same locality as the user it belongs to. The potential to be a computing backbone that both competes with and complements Amazon’s AWS has ...
Tags: Amazon, Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Cloud, Enterprise, Developer, Youtube, Funding, Tech, Andreessen, SaaS, Aws, Andreessen Horowitz, Kubernetes, Matt Cutts


DoorDash, now valued at $12.6B, shoots for the moon

More than five years ago, Sequoia partner Alfred Lin called Tony Xu, the founder of a small on-demand delivery startup called DoorDash, to say he was passing on the company’s seed round. This was, of course, before venture capital funding in food delivery startups had taken off. DoorDash, launched out of Xu’s Stanford graduate school dorm room, wasn’t worth Sequoia’s capital — yet. Today, venture capitalists are valuing the San Francisco-based company at a whopping $12.6 billion with a ...
Tags: Food, TC, Uber, Y Combinator, California, Finance, Stanford, Softbank, Funding, America, San Francisco, Tech, Walmart, Ceo, Companies, Canada


Zenkit redesigns its project management app, adds public API and more

There’s no darth of Trello-style project management services, but while the core of Zenkit is exactly that, it’s also far more flexible than most and offers plenty of ways to adjust the service to your style of work (and beyond Kanban). Today, the company is launching version 3.0 of its service and with that, it’s not just putting a fresh coat of paint on the service but also launching a number of new features for end users and developers. With this new version, Zenkit moved to a unified user in...
Tags: Startups, TC, Microsoft, Developer, Tech, Welker, Zenkit, Martin Welker


Hunters.ai raises $4.5M for its autonomous threat hunting solution

Hunters.ai, a Tel Aviv-based startup that built an AI-based threat hunting solution, today announced that it has raised a $5.4 million seed funding round led by YL Ventures and Blumberg Capital. Threat hunting has traditionally been a rather manual practice, where analysts try to actively identify potential threats to their systems. This has always been a very data-driven activity, though, so it’s no surprise that a number of startups are now looking to automate the process. Not all attacks are ...
Tags: Security, Startups, TC, Nsa, Tel Aviv, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Cyberwarfare, Threat, Blumberg Capital, Computer Security, Partner, Israeli Defense Forces, Schneerson, YL Ventures, Recent Funding


Hunters.ai raises $5.4M for its autonomous threat hunting solution

Hunters.ai, a Tel Aviv-based startup that built an AI-based threat hunting solution, today announced that it has raised a $5.4 million seed funding round led by YL Ventures and Blumberg Capital. Threat hunting has traditionally been a rather manual practice, where analysts try to actively identify potential threats to their systems. This has always been a very data-driven activity, though, so it’s no surprise that a number of startups are now looking to automate the process. Not all attacks are ...
Tags: Travel, Security, Startups, TC, Nsa, Tel Aviv, Artificial Intelligence, Cyberwarfare, Threat, Blumberg Capital, Computer Security, Partner, Israeli Defense Forces, Schneerson, YL Ventures, Recent Funding


Future launches $150/mo exercise app where real coaches nag you

The only way to beat laziness is with guilt, and so that’s what Future sells. It assigns you an actual human trainer who builds personalized workout plans and message you throughout the day to make sure you’re doing them. It even gives you an Apple Watch to track your activity and ensure you’re not lying. Future actually got me to the gym where my coach kicked my ass remotely with a 30 minute lifting routine I’d never have stuck to by myself. The catch? It’s probably the most expensive app you’v...
Tags: Health, Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Mobile, Apps, Instagram, Funding, Future, NFL, Tech, Netflix, Exercise, Kleiner Perkins, University Of Wisconsin, Ndamukong Suh


Beautystack raises £4M seed to help beauty professionals become financially independent

Beautystack, the London startup that’s creating a beauty professional booking app with heavy focus on social, has quietly picked up £4 million in seed funding led by Index Ventures. The company had previously raised pre-seed funding from LocalGlobe (led by Suzanne Ashman) and counts David Rowan (ex-Wired), Julien Codorniou (Facebook Workplace) and Audrey Gelman (The Wing) as angel investors. Founded by former salon owner and brand consultant Sharmadean Reid in April 2017 before being joined by c...
Tags: Travel, Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Europe, London, Index Ventures, Bookings, Reid, Sharmadean Reid, Julien Codorniou, Localglobe, Audrey Gelman, Facebook Workplace, David Rowan, Suzanne Ashman


Boom wants to build a supersonic jet for mainstream passengers; here’s its game plan

While much of the world remains fixated on the competition to build autonomous cars, there’s another race that’s gaining momentum fast. It centers on supersonic jets that can fly faster than the speed of sound, or 767 miles per hour. Indeed, while most commercial airliners today fly at between 400 and 650 miles per hour — largely because it’s more economical to burn fuel more slowly — a spate of startups is borrowing from the age of the legendary Concorde to build planes that they say will fly a...
Tags: Amazon, TC, Transportation, Y Combinator, New York, London, Wikipedia, Boston, Groupon, Tech, Atlanta, Shanghai, Venture Capital, Tokyo, Virgin Group, Boom


Modsy scores $37M to virtually redesign your home

Modsy has raised some new cash as the computer vision startup looks to get physical and build more of the furniture it recommends. The startup announced that they have closed $37 million in Series C funding led by TCV. They’ve now raised north of $70 million to date. The service combines computer vision tech with human designer know how to let users design the trendy home of their dreams. The process begins with a user snapping pics of their room (or multiple rooms) which Modsy then stitches int...
Tags: Travel, Startups, TC, Augmented Reality, Modsy, Shanna Tellerman, Recent Funding, Crate Barrel Pottery Barn West Elm


Gender, race and social change in tech; Moira Weigel on the Internet of Women, Part Two

Tech ethics can mean a lot of different things, but surely one of the most critical, unavoidable, and yet somehow still controversial propositions in the emerging field of ethics in technology is that tech should promote gender equality. But does it? And to the extent it does not, what (and who) needs to change? In this second of a two-part interview “On The Internet of Women,” Harvard fellow and Logic magazine founder and editor Moira Weigel and I discuss the future of capitalism and its relati...
Tags: Google, Social, Startups, TC, Apps, Mark Zuckerberg, Europe, Elon Musk, Wage Gap, Media, Sexism, Government, China, Tech, Diversity, Logic


These startups are locating in SF and Africa to win in global fintech

To become a global fintech player, locate your company in San Francisco and Africa. That’s the approach of payments company Flutterwave, digital lending startup Mines, and mobile-money venture Chipper Cash—Africa-founded ventures that maintain headquarters in San Francisco and operations in Africa to tap the best of both worlds in VC, developers, clients, and the frontier of digital finance. This arrangement wasn’t exactly coordinated across the ventures, but TechCrunch coverage picked up the...
Tags: Startups, TC, Facebook, Uber, Apps, Y Combinator, Asia, Accelerator, Europe, Finance, Nigeria, Africa, San Francisco, Tech, Banking, E-commerce


DuckDuckGo founder Gabriel Weinberg is coming to Disrupt

2019 is the year Facebook announced a ‘pivot to privacy’. At the same time, Google is trying to claim that privacy means letting it exclusively store and data-mine everything you do online. So what better time to sit down at Disrupt for a chat about what privacy really means with DuckDuckGo founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg? We’re delighted to announce that Weinberg is joining us at Disrupt SF (October 2-4). The pro-privacy search engine he founded has been on a mission to shrink the shoulder-...
Tags: Google, Security, Startups, TC, Facebook, Privacy, San Francisco, Tech, Moscone Center, Duckduckgo, Weinberg, Gabriel Weinberg


Zendesk acquires Smooch, doubles down on support via messaging apps like WhatsApp

One of the bigger developments in customer services has been the impact of social media — both as a place to vent frustration or praise (mostly frustration), and — especially over messaging apps — as a place for businesses to connect with their users. Now, customer support specialist Zendesk has made an acquisition so that it can make a bigger move into how it works within social media platforms, and specifically messaging apps: it has acquired Smooch, a startup that describes itself as an “omni...
Tags: Social, Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Apps, Enterprise, Messaging, US, Tech, Canada, M&a, Silicon Valley, Lvmh, Zendesk, Exit, Customer Support


Loot, the UK digital current account for students and millennials, enters administration after a potential sale falls through

Loot, the digital current account aimed at students and millennials, has called in administrators after appearing to have run out of cash. According to sources, the U.K. fintech was unable to raise additional funding in time after a potential sale to banking giant RBS fell through. Intriguingly, Royal Bank of Scotland Group indirectly owned a 25 percent stake in Loot via an investment by Bó, the digital-only retail bank being developed by RBS subsidiary NatWest. RBS announced that Bó had inve...
Tags: Startups, TC, Europe, UK, London, Tech, Fca, Rbs, Mastercard, Gfc, Bo, NatWest RBS, RBS NatWest, U K Fintech, Loot, Ollie Purdue


Agtech startup Agrilyst is now Artemis, raises $8M Series A

Artemis, the ag-tech startup formerly known as Agrilyst, today announced that it has raised an $8 million Series A funding round. The round was co-led by Astanor Ventures and Talis Capital, with participation from iSelect Fund and New York State’s Empire State Development Fund. With this, the company, which won our 2015 Disrupt SF Battlefield competition, has now raised a total of $11.75 million. When Agrilyst launched, the company mostly focused on helping indoor farmers and greenhouse opera...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Obama, Funding, Articles, Tech, Risk Management, Ceo, ERP, Cannabis, Agriculture, Food Safety, New York State, Artemis, Battlefield


TransferWise now valued at $3.5B following a new $292M secondary round

TransferWise, the London-headquartered international money transfer service, is disclosing a new $292 million secondary round that sees investors value the company at $3.5 billion. That’s more than double the valuation TransferWise achieved in late 2017 at the time of its $280 million Series E round. The new secondly funding — with no new cash entering TransferWise’s balance sheet as a number of existing shareholders sell all or a portion of their holding — was led by growth capital investors Le...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Europe, London, Australia, Tech, Eu, Andreessen Horowitz, Blackrock, Baillie Gifford, Transferwise, Taavet Hinrikus, Hinrikus, Consumer Commission, Lead Edge Capital Lone Pine Capital


A young entrepreneur is building the Amazon of Bangladesh

At just 26, Waiz Rahim is supposed to be involved in the family business, having returned home in 2016 with an engineering degree from the University of Southern California. Instead, the young entrepreneur is plotting to build the Amazon of Bangladesh. Deligram, Rahim’s vision of what e-commerce looks like in Bangladesh, a country of nearly 180 million, is making progress, having taken inspiration from a range of established tech giants worldwide, including Amazon, Alibaba and Go-Jek in Indon...
Tags: Google, Amazon, Startups, TC, Ecommerce, Uber, Asia, Microsoft, Electronics, Indonesia, California, China, Singapore, India, America, Tech


SoFar Sounds house concerts raises $25M, but bands get just $100

Tired of noisy music venues where you can hardly see the stage? SoFar Sounds puts on concerts in people’s living rooms where fans pay $15 to $30 to sit silently on the floor and truly listen. Nearly 1 million guests have attended SoFar’s more than 20,000 gigs. Having attended a half dozen of the shows, I can say they’re blissful…unless you’re a musician to pay a living. In some cases, SoFar pays just $100 per band for a 25 minute set, which can work out to just $8 per musician per hour or less. ...
Tags: Startups, TC, Uber, Spotify, Instagram, Entertainment, Funding, Tech, Live Music, Virgin Group, Oakland, Union Square Ventures, Battery Ventures, Octopus Ventures, Concerts, KQED



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