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Noise-canceling headphones that pair big sound with sweet silence

I never thought I’d need a pair of serious noise-canceling headphones. I don’t mind hours of droning white noise on international flights and generally don’t like feeling like my head’s been locked in an airless tomb, so I’ve always used open headphones that let ambient sound in. But 2020 broke me. I’ve always preferred the hushed, mild chatter of a coworking space to the distractions of home (no offense to my wife who has to be on Zoom all day, every day!). Stranded without the productivi...
Tags: Reviews, TC, Hardware, Siri, Tech, Headphones, Buying Guide, Sony, Bose, Audiophile, Noise Canceling, Sennheiser, Alexa Google


SpaceX targeting next week for Starship’s first high-altitude test flight

SpaceX looks ready to proceed to the next crucial phase of its Starship spacecraft development program: A 15km (50,000 feet) test flight. This would far exceed the max height that any prior Starship prototype has achieved so far, since the current record-setting hop test maxed out at around 500 feet. Elon Musk says that SpaceX will look to make its first high-altitude attempt sometime next week. This tentative date (these are always subject to change) follows a successful static test fire of ...
Tags: TC, Space, Spacex, Elon Musk, Tech, Spaceflight, Aerospace, Hyperloop, Spacecraft, Outer Space, Starship, SpaceX Starship


New venture firm The-Wolfpack takes a fresh approach to D2C startups

The-Wolfpack’s co-founders, Toh Jin Wei, Tan Kok Chin and Simon Nichols (Image Credit: The-Wolfpack) The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the consumer, leisure and media companies hard, but a new venture firm called The-Wolfpack is still very upbeat on those sectors. Based in Singapore, the firm was founded by former managing directors at GroupM, one of the world’s largest advertising and media companies, and plans to work very closely with each of its portfolio companies. Its name was chosen becaus...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Asia, Media, Indonesia, Southeast Asia, Singapore, Tech, Leisure, Thailand, Venture Capital, Groupm, Nichols, Wolfpack, D2C


Gift Guide: Smart exercise gear to hunker down and get fit with

Welcome to TechCrunch’s 2020 Holiday Gift Guide! Need help with gift ideas? We’re here to help! We’ll be rolling out gift guides from now through the end of December. You can find our other guides right here. Home exercise gear is always a nice holiday gift choice for anyone who has expressed interest in staying healthy and getting more fit, but during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic it’s more relevant than ever. Luckily, smart exercise and health gear is smarter than ever, making it perfect for t...
Tags: Health, TC, Gadgets, Tech, Peloton, Hydrow, Jaxjox, Gift Guide 2020, JAXJOX Tangram Factory, Tangram Factory Rookie, Body Cardio


Gift Guide: Smart cooking gadgets for the smart cookies on your list

Welcome to TechCrunch’s 2020 Holiday Gift Guide! Need help with gift ideas? We’re here to help! We’ll be rolling out gift guides from now through the end of December. You can find our other guides right here. If you’re spending a lot of time at home this holiday season, you might as well spend at least some of that time in the kitchen making delicious meals. There are plenty of smart kitchen gadgets out there, but it feels like the best among them are really delivering standout experiences for s...
Tags: Amazon, TC, Gadgets, Hardware, Tech, Low, Weber, Thermomix, Gift Guide 2020


Working to understand C3.ai’s growth story

The end-of-year IPO wave continues, this time with C3.ai moving closer to its own formal debut by updating its S-1 filing with third-quarter data. The new data provides the market with a much better look into how the unicorn AI company’s business has progressed during the COVID-19 era, and should help public investors price the company’s equity as it looks to float. TechCrunch previously explored C3.ai’s performance through the its July 31 quarter. Today we received information about its subsequ...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Tech, C3.AI, EC AI


Pay-per-mile auto insurer Metromile is heading to public markets via SPAC

Metromile, the pay-per-mile auto insurer that earlier this year laid off a third of its staff due to economic uncertainties caused by COVID-19, is taking the SPAC path to the public markets. The company, which was founded in 2011 and is led by CEO Dan Preston, said it has reached a merger agreement with special purpose acquisition company INSU Acquisition Corp. II, with an equity valuation of $1.3 billion. Metromile said it was able to raise $160 million in private investment in public equity...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, MetroMile, Tech, Mark Cuban, Nasdaq, Chamath Palihapitiya, Buffett, Social + Capital, SPAC, GEICO, Dan Preston, Palihapitiya, Clearbridge, Metromile Inc


Discord is close to closing a round that would value the company at up to $7B

Discord, the communications service that’s become the 21st century’s answer to MUD rooms, is close to closing a new round of financing that would value the company at up to $7 billion, according to sources with knowledge of the round. The new funding comes just months after a $100 million investment that gave the company a $3.5 billion valuation. Discord’s doubling in corporate value comes as the persistent, inept, American response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to accelerate the adoptio...
Tags: Startups, TC, Facebook, Tech, Index Ventures, Forbes, Danny Rimer, Jason Citron, Andrew Anglin, John Koetsier, Discord, Data Society Research Institute, Stanislav Vishnevskiy, Rimer, Joan Donovan, Greylock Index Ventures Spark Capital Tencent


Dija, a new delivery startup from former Deliveroo employees, is closing in on a $20M round led by Blossom

Dija, a new U.K. based startup founded by senior former Deliveroo employees, is closing in on $20 million funding, TechCrunch has learned. According to multiple sources, the round, which has yet to close, is being led by Blossom Capital, the early stage venture capital firm founded by ex-Index and LocalGlobe VC Ophelia Brown. It’s not clear who else is in the running, although I understand it was highly contested and the startup had offers from several top tier funds. Blossom Capital and Dija de...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Europe, Softbank, Tech, Italy, Morgan Stanley, Instacart, Saban, Accel, Deliveroo, Blossom Capital, DIJA, Alberto Menolascina, Yusuf Saban


Splunk acquires network observability service Flowmill

Data platform Splunk continues to make acquisitions as it works to build out its recently launched observability platform. After acquiring Plumbr and Rigor last month, the company today announced that it has acquired Flowmill, a Palo Alto-based network observability startup. Flowmill focuses on helping its users find network performance issues in their cloud infrastructure in real time and measure their traffic by service to help them control cost. Like so many other companies in this space now,...
Tags: TC, Tech, Ceo, Palo Alto, Software, Computing, Linux, Real-time, Splunk, Data Security, Cloud Infrastructure, NPM, Cloud Applications, Chief Technology Officer, Jonathan Perry, System Administration


As edtech grows cash rich, some lessons for early stage

Last week, Udemy, an online learning marketplace, raised $50 million at a $3.32 billion valuation, up from a $2 billion valuation earlier this year. Language learning app Duolingo raised $35 million on a $2.4 billion valuation, up from a $1.65 valuation from earlier this year. The valuation bumps for both Duolingo and Udemy underscore just how much investor confidence there is in edtech’s remote learning boom. Today, let’s examine some lessons early-stage startups can learn from late-stage edtec...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, TC, Education, Tech, Edtech, Duolingo, Udemy, Luis Von Ahn, Corporate Learning, Re-skilling


SEC issues proposed rulemaking to give gig workers equity compensation

The Securities and Exchange Commission has issued rules that would allow public and private companies to offer equity compensation to gig workers. The rule-making comes just weeks after California voters upheld an initiative that overturned legislation that would have classified gig workers as employees. The initiative replaced employment status with requirements that gig economy companies include an earnings guarantee of at least 120% of minimum wage while on the job, 30 cents per engaged mile...
Tags: TC, California, Tech, Commission, SEC, Securities And Exchange Commission, Hester Peirce, Elad Roisman


3 new $100M ARR club members and a call for the next generation of growth-stage startups

Time flies. It was nearly a year ago that The Exchange started keeping tabs on startups that managed to reach $100 million in annual recurring revenue, or ARR. Our goal was to determine which unicorns were more than paper horses so we could keep tabs on upcoming IPO targets. We found that Bill.com, Asana, WalkMe and Druva were impressively large and growing nicely. Since then two of the four companies from that post have gone public. GitLab, Egnyte, Braze and O’Reilly Media joined the club be...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Tech, Bill, Exchange, Udemy, Siteminder, O'Reilly, ARR, Druva, Usertesting, The Exchange, Zeta Global, Diligent, MetroMile Tricentis Kaltura


HMBradley raises $18.25 million planting a flag as LA’s entrant into the challenger bank business

With $90 million in deposits and $18.25 million in new financing, HMBradley is making moves as the Los Angeles-based entrant into the challenger bank competition. LA is home to a growing community of financial services startups and HMBradley is quickly taking its place among the leaders with a novel twist on the banking business. Unlike most banking startups that woo customers with easy credit and savvy online user interfaces, HMBradley is pitching a better savings account. The company offe...
Tags: TC, Money, California, La, Finance, Los Angeles, Tech, Banking, Economy, Venture Capital, Bank, Financial Services, Financial Technology, Chime, ING Group, Ben Coffman


Two-year-old Day One Ventures raises new $52.5M fund to invest in Valley startups

Back in 2018 Day One Ventures launched in Silicon Valley specifically designed to be both a VC and an investor that would also lead marketing and communications for its portfolio. Two years on, Day One has invested in numerous startups to do just that and has today filed with the SEC its new $52.5M fund. The new fund is similar to the first one: investing across industries from pre-seed to seed, with occasional series A investments (from $100K to $5M). The fund was founded and is headed by Russi...
Tags: TC, Europe, Russia, Robin Hood, US, Tech, Andreessen, SEC, Silicon Valley, Jeff Bezos, Lightspeed, Valley, Joshua Browder, POC, Ventures, Coatue


5 top investors in Dutch startups discuss trends, hopes and 2020 opportunities

The Netherlands’ ecosystem has been flourishing; more than $85 million was invested in regional startups in 2019 alone. The nation’s proximity to the U.K., Belgium, France and Germany makes Amsterdam a natural gateway to those markets. Long ago the savvy Dutch realized this, and built up Schiphol to become the world’s twelfth-busiest airport. Indeed, Amsterdam’s logistical and social connectedness is ranked number one in DHL’s Global Connectedness Index. Plenty of good funding rounds, a highly s...
Tags: Startups, TC, Europe, New York, Germany, San Francisco, Tech, European Union, Netherlands, Amsterdam, Kpmg, DHL, Adyen, Tracy Chou, Unicorn, Schiphol


Looking to emulate Venmo, JoomPay preps a Euro launch for easy bill splitting and cash payments

JoomPay, a startup with a similar product to PayPayl-owned Venmo in the US, is set to launch in Europe shortly after being granted a Luxembourg Electronic Money Institution (EMI) license. The app allows people to send and receive money with anyone, instantly and for free. “Venmo me” has become a common phrase in the US, where people use it to split bills in restaurants or similar. Venmo is in common use in the US, but it’s not available in Europe, although dozens of other innovative mobile pe...
Tags: TC, Europe, US, Tech, Banking, Paypal, United States, Mobile Payments, Online Payments, Financial Services, Up, Venmo, Revolut, Peer To Peer, Western Europe, Financial Technology


New TikTok feature allows users to avoid videos with epileptic seizure triggers

TikTok announced today it is rolling out a new feature that will allow people with photosensitive epilepsy to automatically skip videos that can trigger seizures. The “Skip All” option will be introduced to all users over the next few weeks and comes a few months after TikTok began automatically warning creators if a video contains effects, like flashing lights or certain visual patterns, that can be harmful to people with photosensitive epilepsy. If they upload those videos, TikTok automatic...
Tags: TC, Facebook, Apps, Youtube, Tech, Accessibility, Seizures, United Kingdom, Epilepsy Society, Epilepsy Foundation, Bytedance, Tiktok, Photosensitive Epilepsy, Nicola Swanborough


Calling VCs in Israel: Be featured in The Great TechCrunch Survey of European VC

TechCrunch is embarking on a major new project to survey the venture capital investors of Europe, and their cities. Our survey of VCs in Israel will capture how the country is faring, and what changes are being wrought amongst investors by the coronavirus pandemic. (Please note, if you have filled the survey out already, there is no need to do it again). We’d like to know how Israel’s startup scene is evolving, how the tech sector is being impacted by COVID-19, and, generally, how your thinking ...
Tags: TC, Europe, London, Israel, Tech, Mediterranean, COVID


Google-backed Chinese truck-hailing firm Manbang raises $1.7 billion

The Chinese Uber for trucks Manbang announced Tuesday that it has raised $1.7 billion in its latest funding round, two years after it hauled in $1.9 billion from investors including SoftBank Group and Alphabet Inc’s venture capital fund CapitalG. The news came fresh off a Wall Street Journal report two weeks ago that Manbang was seeking $1 billion ahead of an initial public offering next year. The company declined to comment on the matter, though its CEO Zhang Hui said in May 2019 that the firm ...
Tags: Google, TC, Transportation, Asia, China, Softbank, Funding, Tech, Alibaba, Fidelity, Wall Street Journal, Permira, Zhang, Alphabet Inc, Didi, SoftBank Group


Trump didn’t concede, but he will move Biden’s transition forward

With an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots, election results took a bit longer this year than usual. But if Americans were expecting an election week, November stretched on into a month of election drama, with President Trump mounting an unprecedented effort to undermine election results and stall the transition process, even as states certified Biden’s win. President Trump at last appeared to accept the election results Monday, but not in so many words. It certainly wasn’t a concession spe...
Tags: TC, Government, White House, Tech, Joe Biden, Biden, Trump, Murphy, Donald J Trump, GSA, Emily, General Services Administration GSA, Trump Administration, 2020 Election, Emily Murphy


Recycling robotics company AMP Robotics could raise up to $70M

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: TC, Asia, Europe, Florida, New York, Texas, Minnesota, Colorado, California, China, Virginia, Toronto, Articles, Tech, Spain, Materials


AliveCor, which helps its users manage their heart health, scores another FDA approval

Last week, AliveCor, a nine-year-old, 92-person company whose small, personal electrocardiogram devices help users detect atrial fibrillation, bradycardia, and tachycardia from heart rate readings taken from their own kitchen tables, raised $65 million from investors. Today, it’s clearer why investors — who’ve now provided the Mountain View, Ca., company with $169 million altogether —  are excited about its prospects. AliveCor just received its newest FDA approval under the agency’s software ...
Tags: Apple, Amazon, TC, Ge, Germany, Tech, Walgreens, Fda, Cvs, Khosla Ventures, Alexa, Qualcomm Ventures, India South Korea, ECG, AliveCor, Kardia


Gift Guide: 22 STEM toy gift ideas for every little builder

In 2020, parents and guardians are super spoilt for choice in the STEM toys gift department — which is great news in the midst of a pandemic that’s supercharging homeschooling needs. The category has matured to offer an interesting range of options for children across a wide span of ages, shedding some of its earlier reliance on Disney IP in favor of more original ideas. Below, we’ve rounded up 20+ gift ideas to get the (robotic) ball rolling. It’s still true the educational value of ‘learn to c...
Tags: Amazon, TC, Gadgets, Elsa, UK, Education, Microsoft, Disney, Tech, Kickstarter, Pi, Arduino, Minecraft, Kano, Sphero, Robo Wunderkind


Vettery acquires Hired to create a ‘unified’ job search platform

Two large job search and recruiting platforms are coming together, with Vettery acquiring Hired. The news follows a report last week in The Information claiming that Hired had begun to sell off its assets and wind down the company. The report also stated that Hired CEO Mehul Patel “abruptly resigned” via Zoom in early October. Today’s announcement simply says that Patel is moving on “to pursue new opportunities,” with Vettery CEO Josh Brenner becoming chief executive of the combined compan...
Tags: TC, Tech, Hired, Patel, Mehul Patel, Brenner, Adecco Group, Vettery, The Adecco Group, Josh Brenner, Crunchbase Vettery, Adecco Group The financial terms, Vettery Brenner


Gift Guide: 7 great gifts for anyone working from home

Let’s just get this out of the way: for the past several years, I’ve contributed the “Best Gifts for Frequent Travelers” segment to TechCrunch’s annual gift guide. I love it. It was easily my favorite gift guide to write, and it was an audience favorite, as well. But I am no longer a frequent traveler. I’ve left New York City exactly once since March. Odds are that special person in your life isn’t traveling much, either. So, in honor of this new sedentary life to which we’ve all grown accustom ...
Tags: Apple, Google, Amazon, TC, Spotify, New York, California, New York City, Tech, Cnn, Queens, Logitech, Philips, Philips Hue, iMac, Cubii


Netflix commits $1 billion to make New Mexico home to one of the world’s largest studios

  Netflix is committing $1 billion in production spend at its ABQ Studios in Albuquerque, New Mexico along with plans to expand those studios, the company said. In an announcement alongside New Mexico’s Governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, and Albuquerque Mayor, Tim Keller, Netflix’s chief executive Ted Sarandos said the company would add 300 acres to its existing space in ABQ Studios, creating one of the largest film production facilities in North America. That means roughly 1,000 new p...
Tags: TC, Tech, E-commerce, Netflix, New Mexico, North America, Mayor, Ted Sarandos, Black, Albuquerque, Governor, Albuquerque New Mexico, State Land Office, Secretary, Michelle Lujan Grisham, ABQ Studios


Approaching commercialization for its autonomous radar nav system, Lunewave raises $7 million

Lunewave, the Arizona-based startup developing a novel technology for radars for autonomous vehicles, has raised $7 million in financing as it gets ready for the commercial rollout of its systems. The company’s latest financing came from Proeza Ventures, Blue 9 Capital, Tsingyuan Ventures and Intact Ventures, the company said. With the latest funding Lunewave will continue to work with Tier 1 suppliers to establish strategic partnerships and jointly manufacture the company’s radar sensor, acc...
Tags: TC, Technology, Tech, AV, President, Arizona, Wireless, Bmw, Radar, Air Traffic Control, Director, Self-driving Car, Executive, Delphi, Xin, Delphi Automotive


7 things we just learned about Sequoia’s European expansion plans

Sequoia Capital, the renowned Silicon Valley venture capital firm that has backed companies like Apple, Google, Dropbox, Airbnb and Stripe, recently disclosed that it had opened its first office in Europe. To staff up, it hired partner Luciana Lixandru away from rival Accel Partners. Even without an official European presence, Sequoia has quietly operated in the region for more than a decade, first investing in Klarna in 2010. Other Europe-founded companies in its portfolio include Baaima,...
Tags: Startups, TC, Europe, London, California, Entrepreneurship, San Francisco, Tech, Canada, Paris, Venture Capital, Romania, Silicon Valley, Bristol, Sequoia Capital, Stripe


Gift Guide: Which next-gen console is the one your kid wants?

This holiday season the next generation of gamers, bless their hearts, will be hoping to receive the next generation of gaming consoles. But confusing branding by the console makers — not to mention a major shortage of consoles — could lead to disappointment during the unwrapping process. Before making any big promises this year, you’ll want to be completely clear on two things: which console you’re actually trying to get, and how much of a challenge it might be to get one. By the way, it’s tota...
Tags: TC, Gadgets, Gaming, Gift Guide, Hardware, Microsoft, Tech, Playstation, Sony, Xbox, Nintendo, Hdr, Don, Valhalla, Sony Microsoft, Miles Morales



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