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BeMyEye acquires Streetbee, a Russian crowdsourcing and image recognition provider

London-headquartered BeMyEye has made another acquisition, its third in a little over three years. This time the retail execution monitoring service is purchasing Russian crowdsourcing and image recognition provider Streetbee. The acquisition will see BeMyEye launch “Perfect Shelf,” which will use image recognition technology to lower the cost for consumer goods companies wanting to get “objective and actionable” in-store insights. These will typically include share of shelf and planogram compli...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Europe, London, Russia, Tech, CIS, BeMyEye, Streetbee, Luca Pagano, Andrey Elisev, Kirill Nepomnyashchiy, Vladimir Lyzo

Why AI can’t solve everything

The hysteria about the future of artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere. There seems to be no shortage of sensationalist news about how AI could cure diseases, accelerate human innovation and improve human creativity. Just looking at the media headlines, you might think that we are already living in a future where AI has infiltrated every aspect of society. While it is undeniable that AI has opened up a wealth of promising opportunities, it has also led to the emergence of a mindset that can...
Tags: Startups, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Syndication

Doctolib details how telemedicine appointments work

French startup Doctolib announced back in September that it would open up telemedicine appointments on its platform in 2019. The company is taking advantage of recent legal changes that finally make telemedicine legal in France. Doctolib is a marketplace matching patients with health practitioners — 70,000 practitioners and 1,400 medical institutions use it in France and Germany. Each health professional pays €109 per month to access the service ($124). By replacing your calendar with Doctoli...
Tags: Startups, Europe, France, Germany, Tech, France Newsletter, Doctolib, France Doctolib

Roku deletes Alex Jones' Infowars after user outrage and canceled orders

Following up on our earlier story about Roku re-platforming Alex Jones and Infowars, it looks like Roku got so much criticism from users, they've reversed course and will remove the Infowars app. ‏ After the InfoWars channel became available, we heard from concerned parties and have determined that the channel should be removed from our platform. Deletion from the channel store and platform has begun and will be completed shortly. — Roku (@Roku) January 16, 2019 That didn't take long, b...
Tags: Post, Business, News, Tech, Cnn, Roku, Sandy Hook, Alex Jones, Infowars, Picks, Alex Jones Infowars, Oliver Darcy

AlwaysAI Adds $4M to Bring Deep Learning to Embedded ‘Edge’ Devices

Many of our devices, from wearables to medical instruments to drones, can capture reams of images. Using algorithms to analyze those images on the devices, in turn, generally takes loads of computing power and energy—sometimes more than is feasible.AlwaysAI says it is getting ready to sell its software for enterprise developers looking to make applications that use deep learning to better process the immense amount of data from embedded devices, such as cameras, drones, wearables, and robots—an...
Tags: Deals, Cloud Computing, Trends, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Software, SaaS, Venture Capital, San Diego, Blackberry, Network, Ai, Financing, Deep Learning, Computer Vision, Edge

Snap CFO Tim Stone is resigning

Snap CFO Tim Stone is leaving the company, according to documents Snap filed with the SEC today. “Tim has made a big impact in his short time on our team and we are very grateful for all of his hard work,” Snap CEO Evan Spiegel wrote in a memo, obtained by TechCrunch, to employees. “I know we have all benefitted from his customer focus and the way he has encouraged all of us to operate as owners.” This marks Snap’s second CFO departure in the last twelve months. “Mr. Stone has confirmed that ...
Tags: Amazon, TC, Finance, Tech, SEC, Evan Spiegel, Cfo, Snap, Tim, EBITDA, Stone, SPIEGEL, Tim Stone, Michael O Sullivan, Snap Tim, Drew Vollero Vollero

Riding the RV revolution, Outdoorsy fuels up with $50 million in fresh funding

Outdoorsy is building for the road ahead. The three-year-old company, which connects customers with underused RVs and other trucks big enough to camp in overnight, just raised $50 million in Series C funding led by Greenspring Associates, with participation from earlier backers Aviva Ventures, Altos Ventures, AutoTech Ventures and Tandem Capital. That puts its total funding, in less than year’s time, at $75 million. (We’d separately reported on its $25 million Series B round last February. It...
Tags: TC, Transportation, Ecommerce, Europe, Yosemite, Australia, Tech, Austin, Automotive, New Zealand, Venture Capital, Aviva, Bay Area, Greenspring Associates, Cavin, Altos Ventures

Opendoor competitor Knock raises $400M

Home trade-in platform Knock has brought in a $400 million investment to accelerate a national expansion and double its 100-person headcount. Foundry Group has led the Series B funding round in New York-based Knock, with participation from Company Ventures and existing investors RRE Ventures, Corazon Capital, WTI and FJ Labs . Knock co-founder and chief executive officer Sean Black declined to disclose the startup’s valuation. Founded in 2015, Knock helps its customers find a new home, t...
Tags: Startups, Real Estate, New York, Softbank, Funding, Tech, Venture Capital, Black, Foundry Group, RRE Ventures, Trulia, PitchBook, Knock, Vision Fund, FJ Labs, Katerra

Campaign Monitor acquires email enterprise services Sailthru and Liveclicker

CM Group, the organization behind email-centric services like Campaign Monitor and Emma, today announced that it has acquired marketing automation firm Sailthru and the email personalization service Liveclicker. The group did not disclose the acquisition price but noted that the acquisition would bring in about $60 million in additional revenue and 540 new customers, including Bloomberg and Samsung. Both of these acquisitions quietly closed in 2018. Compared to Sailthru, which had raised a...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, Enterprise, Email, Marketing, Samsung, Tech, Bloomberg, E-commerce, Personalization, Campaign Monitor, Sailthru, Exit, Marketing Automation, Emma, TJX

Instagram caught selling ads to follower-buying services it banned

Instagram has been earning money from businesses flooding its social network with spam notifications. Instagram hypocritically continues to sell ad space to services that charge clients for fake followers or that automatically follow/unfollow other people to get them to follow the client back. This is despite Instagram reiterating a ban on these businesses in November and threatening the accounts of people who employ them. A TechCrunch investigation initially found 17 services selling fake fo...
Tags: Social, TC, Mobile, Facebook, Ecommerce, Apps, Instagram, Microsoft, Tech, Spam, Policy, Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger, Hudson, Microsoft Bing, Elon

Ahead of IPO, Airbnb achieves profitability for second year in a row

Airbnb, which is expected to go public this year, announced today a number of milestones. For starters, Airbnb says it was profitable on an EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) basis for the second year in a row in 2018. In Q3 2018, Airbnb said it had its strongest quarter ever, where it saw “substantially more” than $1 billion in revenue. The following quarter, Airbnb found a replacement for former CFO Laurence Tosi, who left amid tension between him and Ai...
Tags: Amazon, Startups, Ipo, Collaborative Consumption, Tech, Airbnb, Brian Chesky, EBITDA, Dave Stephenson, IPO Airbnb, Laurence Tosi

Blue Apron is confident it will achieve profitability this quarter

Meal kit company Blue Apron expects to achieve profitability this quarter, the company said ahead of its Q4 2018 and fiscal year 2018 financial results. Blue Apron will release its earnings January 31, but said today that, “based on its current view of the business, Blue Apron plans to reaffirm confidence in achieving profitability” on an adjusted EBITDA basis in Q1 2019, as well as for the entire fiscal year. Blue Apron defines EBITDA as its net earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation ...
Tags: Food, Ecommerce, New York City, Tech, Blue Apron, EBITDA, Meal Kits

Former King Digital CFO Hope Cochran becomes Madrona’s first female managing director

Madrona Venture Group has long been one of the premier early-stage venture firms in the Pacific Northwest and in recent years, it has done a good job of recruiting former industry executives. In recent years, those included the former Microsoft developer tools chief S. Somasegar, now a managing director, and former Windows and Xbox exec Terry Myerson, currently a venture partner. In 2017, the firm also announced that former King Digital and Clearwire CFO Hope Cochran had joined its venture partn...
Tags: TC, Microsoft, Tech, Vc, Venture Capital, Hasbro, Pacific Northwest, Madrona Venture Group, Cochran, Venture, King Digital, Jennifer Chambers, Terry Myerson, Madrona, Clearwire, Matcherino

Facebook is throwing money at local news and it could help win back trust in the industry

Facebook says it's granting $300 million to news programs, partnerships and content over the next 3 years, matching Google's commitment of $300 million towards news initiatives last year. WordPress, the content management tech company owned by web development giant Automattic, is also investing six figures in The News Project, Axios has learned. These efforts are often opportunistic investments, just as much as they are philanthropic efforts. Major tech companies and moguls are pouring lots ...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Trends, Tech, Brad Smith, Redmond Washington, Craig Newmark, Kim Hart, Local Media Association, Newspack, CUNY Journalism School Facebook, Lenfest Institute the Knight Foundation, Jennifer Preston, Knight Foundation Between, Nancy Cawley Lane

Flaws in Amadeus’ airline booking system made it easy for hackers to change passenger records

You might not know Amadeus by name, but hundreds of millions of travelers use it each year. Whether you’re traveling for work or vacation, most consumers book their flights through one of a handful of bespoke reservation systems used across the commercial aviation industry. Amadeus is one of the largest reservation systems, serving customers of Air France, British Airways, Icelandair, and Qantas and more. And each reservation system has to be able to talk to each other through the global distrib...
Tags: Security, Transportation, Business, Technology, Instagram, Tech, Spokesperson, Pgp, Hack, Qantas, Facial Recognition, Signal, Airline, American-airlines, Amadeus, IATA

IBM Vets Launch Sonrai Security, Eyeing Multi-Cloud “Complexity”

Businesses racing faster and faster to put their data and applications into multiple cloud services will soon have to figure out how to keep an eye on it all. Start thinking about the hundreds of users, the dozens of accounts, and the handful of different cloud services that don’t always speak the same language, and the job of monitoring and securing it all quickly gets complicated.This is the problem that Brendan Hannigan and Sandy Bird are attacking with their New York-based company Sonrai Se...
Tags: Google, Amazon, Deals, Startups, Open Source, Cloud, New York, Microsoft, Identity, Azure, Trends, Tech, Cisco, It, Cybersecurity, Vc

Here’s why the DRC cut off their internet in the run-up to the elections

Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) cut off internet access in the run-up to elections during December 2018 — other telecommunications services such as SMS were also suspended in the country. The reason given by authorities in the DRC for the internet shut down is they wanted to curb “rumor mongering” ahead of the much-awaited elections. This is not the first time the people of the DRC have experienced an internet shutdown in relation to the elections. Earlier in January 2018, ...
Tags: Startups, Africa, Tech, Democratic Republic Of Congo, KINSHASA, Drc, Syndication

A VC’s Take: Global Volatility Hurts U.S. Venture Ecosystem

As Xconomy’s editors looked back at the year just passed, we asked technology leaders to comment on the trends they’d observed in 2018, and the developments they expected in 2019. Some leaders responded with their views on the business impact of the Trump era, pointing to specific policy positions such as tax code revisions, curbs on immigration, and the decision by federal regulators to roll back net neutrality requirements on telecom carriers.Alex Niehenke, a partner at Foster City, CA-based ...
Tags: Startups, Mobile, Hardware, Net Neutrality, Internet, Entrepreneurship, China, Russia, Funding, Immigration, San Francisco, Trends, Tech, Investment, Eu, Web

Flaws in Amadeus’ airline booking system made it easy to change passenger records

You might not know Amadeus by name, but hundreds of millions of travelers use it each year. Whether you’re traveling for work or vacation, most consumers book their flights through one of a handful of bespoke reservation systems used across the commercial aviation industry. Amadeus is one of the largest reservation systems, serving customers of Air France, British Airways, Icelandair, and Qantas and more. And each reservation system has to be able to talk to each other through the global distrib...
Tags: Security, Transportation, Business, Technology, Instagram, Tech, Spokesperson, Pgp, Hack, Qantas, Facial Recognition, Signal, Airline, American-airlines, Amadeus, IATA

Smartsheet Buys TernPro, Seattle Developer of Collaboration Tools

Smartsheet, a Bellevue, WA-based company that develops collaborative software allowing users to track projects and manage company processes, said Tuesday it has acquired Seattle-based TernPro, whose flagship product Slope lets customers mark up documents, images, videos, and other media before releasing them to a wider audience.Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.Smartsheet’s (NYSE: SMAR) and TernPro’s products both fit into the category of collaborative work management tools. But th...
Tags: Amazon, Deals, Trends, Tech, Oakland Athletics, Seattle, Major League Baseball, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Ventures, Sendgrid, Forrester, Slope, Exabyte, National blog main, Seattle blog main, Seattle top stories

Maverick Ventures announces $382M evergreen fund

In an era when validation-seeking venture capitalists are lauded as much as high-flying founders, Maverick Ventures’ small team of investors have opted to stay quiet. Now, the years-old firm is ready to publicize its successes and shed some light on its global strategy. Today, Maverick is disclosing for the first time the size of its evergreen venture fund: a $382 million early-stage vehicle. Launched in 2015 as the venture arm of 25-year-old hedge fund Maverick Capital, San Francisco-based M...
Tags: Startups, Softbank, Tech, Oscar, Venture Capital, Tencent, Bessemer Venture Partners, Youku, Maverick, Affymetrix, One Medical, Freshdirect, Maverick Ventures, Ambar Bhattacharyya, David Singer, Devoted Health

Pia d’Iribarne joins Stride.VC as third partner

It turns out Stride.VC isn’t going to focus exclusively on the U.K. after all. Pia d’Iribarne is leaving Accel to join Stride.VC as a partner. Stride.VC was originally co-founded by former Accel partner Fred Destin along with Harry Stebbings, producer of “The Twenty Minute VC” podcast. Back in October, when TechCrunch’s Steve O’Hear covered the official closing of the £50 million fund, the pair said that they would focus on the U.K. at first. Arj Soysa also joined the firm as operating par...
Tags: Startups, Europe, London, France, Tech, Bloomberg, Paris, Venture Capital, Felix Capital, Accel, Fred Destin, DESTIN, Natasha Lomas, Steve O'Hear, Harry Stebbings, Stebbings

Workforce management solution Quinyx raises further $25M

Quinyx, the cloud-based workforce management solution, has raised a further $25 million in funding. The investment was led by the startup’s existing investors Alfvén & Didrikson, Battery Ventures, and Zobito. Founded in 2005 by Erik Fjellborg, Quinyx’s CEO, after he spent the summer working at McDonald’s, the company’s workforce management software helps businesses of all sizes manage employee scheduling, communication, task-management and payroll integration. Quinyx’s core focus is shift-based ...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Europe, Tech, Erik, McDonald, Daniel Wellington, Odeon Cinemas Group, Quinyx, Alfvén Didrikson Battery Ventures, Erik Fjellborg Quinyx, Sweden Finland Germany Norway Denmark, Fjellborg Adds Michael Brown

Contabilizei raises $20 million to ease Brazilians’ tax pain

Online tax filing and accounting service, Contabilizei, has raised $20 million in a new round of financing led by Point72 Ventures, the early stage investment arm associated with hedge fund guru Steven Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management. Smart money in both the venture and private equity space has been long Brazil for a bit, and the new investment provides even more firepower to the thesis that Brazil’s startup ecosystem is on the move. “For the Brazilian ecosystem, the investment represents the t...
Tags: TC, Technology, Money, Finance, Entrepreneur, Tech, Investment, United States, Brazil, World Bank, Hedge Fund, Kaszek Ventures, Head, Founder, Torres, Curitiba

Digital insurance firm Singapore Life raises $33M ahead of Southeast Asia expansion

Digital insurance firm Singapore Life has started 2019 with a bang after it raised $33 million across two investments as it eyes new market expansions in Southeast Asia. The company pulled in $20 million from NYSE-listed Aflac Investment on December 31 and then it added a further $13 million via an investment from Aberdeen Standard Investments, a Scotland-based asset management firm with 50 offices worldwide. These deals take the company to $97 million to date, which included a massive $50 milli...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Asia, Scotland, Finance, China, Southeast Asia, Singapore, Funding, Tech, Asia Pacific, Hsbc, Alibaba, Tencent, Head, Nyse, Asset Management

American Express acquires Japan-based restaurant booking service Pocket Concierge

American Express has made an acquisition in Japan after it picked up restaurant booking service Pocket Concierge in an undisclosed deal. The acquisition was announced in Japanese and in English by James Riney, the head of 500 Startups Japan which invested in Pocket Concierge as one of its first deals in the country. The service was launched in 2013 to help book quality restaurants, including those that are Michelin-starred and others that have months-long waitlists for reservations. It curren...
Tags: Cake, Fundings & Exits, Asia, Chef, Japan, Money, Finance, Funding, Tech, Economy, American Express, Michelin, 500 Startups, Head, James Riney, Opentable

Manual raises £5M to build its ‘wellbeing guide’ for men

Manual, a ‘wellbeing platform’ for men, has closed £5 million in seed funding. Backing the round is the U.K.’s Felix Capital, Germany’s Cherry Ventures, and U.S.-based Cassius Capital. The first iteration of the startup’s offering is being launched today: a new website that aims to arm men with the knowledge and tools they need “to proactively solve their wellbeing and look after their health”. “At Manual we want men to take control of their health and happiness by helping guide them to the choi...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Europe, London, Tech, Athens, Deliveroo, Manual, George Pallis, Pallis, Felix Capital Germany s Cherry Ventures, Cassius Capital, Michalis Gkontas, Michalis, National Pharmacy Association

#BigDaily: Samsung launching Made in India phones; Spotify partners with T-series

A roundup of biggest and most important news (curated from the wild web). We read everything so that you don’t need to. The newsletter is delivered everyday morning. Subscribe. You…The post #BigDaily: Samsung launching Made in India phones; Spotify partners with T-series appeared first on NextBigWhat..
Tags: Business, India, Samsung, Tech

Stop worrying about AI taking over the world — it won’t

Should we be afraid of artificial intelligence? For me, this is a simple question with an even simpler, two letter answer: no. But not everyone agrees – many people, including the late physicist Stephen Hawking, have raised concerns that the rise of powerful AI systems could spell the end for humanity. Clearly, your view on whether AI will take over the world will depend on whether you think it can develop intelligent behavior surpassing that of humans – something referred to as “super intellige...
Tags: Startups, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Stephen Hawking, Syndication

Austin’s Localeur, Millennial-Focused Travel Startup, Hits 100 Cities

Austin—Localeur, a travel recommendation startup, is celebrating its (nearly) fifth anniversary by announcing its 100th city.The Austin startup focuses on recruiting a group of local residents who can provide insider information on each travel destination. The “localeurs”—a portmanteau of local and connoisseur—are millennials catering to the tastes of their own. Localeur made its debut in 2013 at South By Southwest with Austin as its first city and then expanded to San Francisco, New York, and ...
Tags: Travel, Apps, Texas, Instagram, Tinder, Funding, Los Angeles, Trends, Tech, Diversity, Investment, Vc, Austin, Innovation, Millennials, Venture Capital

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