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Amify raises its first venture round on a promise: to boost revenue for third party sellers on Amazon

Small businesses have a complicated relationship with Amazon . While they fear the company because they have no control over it, Amazon’s platform is also a great way to reach shoppers, particularly small businesses that rise to the top of its results pages. Amify, a nine-year-old, Alexandria, Va.-based company, says it can get them there, and investors are buying its pitch. As founder and CEO Ethan McAfee tells us, the 60-person company just raised $5.8 million in Series A funding — its first...
Tags: Amazon, TC, China, Tech, Venture Capital, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Brooks, McAfee, Alexandria Va, Nigel Morris, T Rowe Price, Dundee Venture Capital, CincyTech, Amify, Ethan McAfee


Morphin instantly Deepfakes your face into GIFs

Want to star in your favorite memes and movie scenes? Upload a selfie to Morphin, choose your favorite GIF, and your face is grafted in to create a personalized copy you can share anywhere. Become Tony Stark as he suits up like Iron Man. Drop the mic like Obama, dance like Drake, or slap your mug on Fortnite characters. Now after three years in a stealth developing image mapping technology, Morphin is ready to launch its put-you-in-a-GIF maker. While it might look like just a toy, investors see ...
Tags: Travel, Google, Social, Startups, TC, Apps, Elon Musk, Media, Entertainment, Obama, Fifa, Gifs, Drake, BetaWorks, Kanye, Founders Fund


Hands-on with the Oculus Rift S: the ‘S’ stands for Subpar

The Oculus Rift S is a bit of an odd one. Three years after the Rift’s initial launch, Oculus has released a product that feels like a lateral move rather than a leap forward. It’s better in a few ways and worse in a few ways. After spending some time playing with it and spending a lot more time thinking about it, it’s not super clear to me why Oculus made it. The best reason I can think of is that Facebook sees standalone VR as the area where it should be completely ignoring profits to achie...
Tags: TC, Facebook, Microsoft, Tech, Htc, Oculus, Virtual Reality, Lenovo, Brendan Iribe, Google Oculus


Starbucks will anchor the new $400 million food-focused Valor Siren Ventures fund

Starbucks is serving up a steaming hot $100 million cash commitment to anchor a new food-focused fund in partnership with the consumer and tech-focused focused private equity firm Valor Equity Partners. The behemoth of burnt-coffee said that its commitment to the Valor Siren Ventures fund is an attempt to focus on “new ideas and technologies that are relevant to customers, inspiring to partners (employees), and meaningful to Starbucks business.” The Starbucks announcement was short on details...
Tags: Apple, Food, TC, Spacex, Restaurants, Tech, Tesla, Companies, Venture Capital, Retail, Starbucks, Johnson, Kevin Johnson, General Mills, Addepar, Tyson Foods


What latency feels like on Google’s Stadia cloud gaming platform

After peppering Google employees with questions regarding Stadia’s latency, pricing and supported devices to mostly no avail, I got my hands on one of their new controllers and pressed play on the Doom Eternal gameplay they were showing off on a big-screen TV. Things started off pretty ugly. The frame rate dropped to a fast-paced PowerPoint presentation, the resolution dipped between 4K crispness and indecipherable blurriness and latency seemed to be as much as a half-second. As the Google em...
Tags: Google, TC, Gaming, Youtube, San Francisco, Tech, Sony, Mountain View, San Jose, Gpu, Phil Harrison, Stadia, GDC 2019, Google Stadia


How CrunchMatch helped Yoolox increase distribution

German startup Yoolox , makers of a portable wireless charger for smartphones, tablets and laptops, exhibited in Startup Alley at Disrupt with the goal of spreading awareness of their first products, Yoolox 10k and 16k. Given Disrupt’s global brand exposure, Yoolox decided it would be the perfect place to debut what they had been working on: TechCrunch Disrupt gave us the opportunity to exchange with potential distribution partners and investors. It was a great opportunity to get a direct...
Tags: Amazon, TC, Berlin, Tech, Walmart, Gizmodo, Startup Alley, CrunchMatch, Disrupt SF 2019, Yoolox, Pascal Bosten, CWO, David Photien


Daily Crunch: Apple unveils new AirPods

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here. 1. Apple announces new AirPods The new AirPods are fitted with the H1 chip, which is meant to offer performance efficiencies, faster connect times between the pods and your devices and the ability to ask for Siri hands-free with the “Hey Siri” command. “They are powered by the new Apple -designed H1 chip w...
Tags: Apple, Google, TC, Europe, Disney, Siri, Tech, Eu, Fox, Margrethe Vestager, Phil Schiller, Chen, Perry Chen, AirPods, Daily Crunch, Aziz Hasan


The Oculus Rift S is indeed real and arrives in spring for $399

After years of high-profile onstage announcements, Oculus has decided to quietly deliver the successor to its flagship Rift virtual reality headset, confirming most bits of our with the release of the new Oculus Rift S. As we first reported, the biggest improvements to the Oculus Rift S are a move to the company’s inside-out “Insight” camera tracking system and modest updates to the display resolution. The biggest surprise is that this headset is being built in partnership with Lenovo and the ...
Tags: TC, Tech, Oculus, Virtual Reality, Lenovo, Brendan Iribe, Nate Mitchell


Music’s next big startup Splice raises $57.5M to sell samples

Tech has a bad reputation for pulling money out of musicians’ pockets, but Splice is changing that. The audio sample marketplace and music production collaboration tool has now paid out $15 million to artists since 2013, doubling in the last year. Splice lets musicians sell their sounds for royalty-free use, and songs by Eminem, Ariana Grande, and Marshmello that were powered by those samples have topped the charts. Splice charges $7.99 per month for unlimited access to its array of 3 million...
Tags: TC, Music, Tech, Makerbot, Drake, Skype, Union Square Ventures, Native Instruments, Ryan Walsh, Steve Martocci, Splice, Chris Acquaviva, Matt Pincus, Martocci, Eminem Ariana Grande, Martocci Steve Splice


Serena Williams joins Bumble’s investment fund as an investor

Serena Williams, the global sports and fashion icon and investor, is doubling down on her relationship with the dating app Bumble with today’s announcement that she will serve as an investor in its Bumble Fund.   Launched in 2018, the Bumble Fund backs early-stage businesses founded and led by women of color and underrepresented groups. The fund’s commitments range between $5,000 and $250,000 with an average check size of $25,000. “In my life, and today more than ever, I’ve learned how...
Tags: TC, Tech, Ceo, Williams, Super Bowl, Bumble, Whitney Wolfe, Serena Williams, Translator, Alice, Serena, Bumble Bizz, Whitney Wolfe Herd, Wolfe Herd, Bumble Fund, Serena Ventures


The Oculus Rift S is real and arrives in spring for $399

After years of high-profile onstage announcements, Oculus has decided to quietly deliver the successor to its flagship Rift virtual reality headset, confirming most bits of our with the release of the new Oculus Rift S. As we first reported, the biggest improvements to the Oculus Rift S are a move to the company’s inside-out “Insight” camera tracking system and modest updates to the display resolution. The biggest surprise is that this headset is being built in partnership with Lenovo and the ...
Tags: TC, Hardware, Tech, Oculus, Virtual Reality, Lenovo, Brendan Iribe, Nate Mitchell, Virtual Reality Headset, GDC 2019


Abstract, a versioning platform that helps designers work like developers, raises $30M

Design and engineering are two sides of the same coin when it comes to building software and hardware, and yet — unlike engineers, who can use services like GitHub, Bitbucket, GitLab or many others to help manage their development process — it’s traditionally been slim pickings for designers when it comes to tools to manage the iterations and collaborations that are a part of their workflow. Now, we are seeing a rising wave of startups responding to that vacuum in the market. In the latest devel...
Tags: TC, Design, Enterprise, Developer, Funding, Tech, Workflow, Collaboration, Smith, TCUK, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sdk, Invision, Lightspeed, Abstract, Kevin Smith


Apple announces new AirPods

Apple has just announced the second-generation AirPods. The new AirPods are fitted with the H1 chip, which is meant to offer performance efficiencies, faster connect times between the pods and your devices, and the ability to ask for Siri hands-free with the “Hey Siri” command. Because of its performance efficiency, the H1 chip also allows for the AirPods to offer 50 percent more talk time using the headphones. Switching between devices is 2x faster than the previous generation AirPods, accor...
Tags: Apple, TC, Gadgets, Siri, Tech, Apple Store, Phil Schiller, AirPods


The World Health Organization is setting up rules and oversight for human gene editing

Yesterday, the World Health Organization wrapped up its first meeting of a new advisory committee set up to create global governance and oversight standards for human gene editing. The committee was hastily pulled together in December after the revelation last year that a Chinese scientist had genetically modified two embryos using CRISPR technology to remove the CCR5 gene, which plays a critical role in enabling many forms of HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) to infect cells. As soon as the Shen...
Tags: TC, Biology, China, Aids, Hiv, Tech, Who, World Health Organization, Genetic Engineering, Crispr, Biotechnology, Shenzhen, Emerging-technologies, The World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, He Jiankui


Google fined €1.49BN in Europe for antitrust violations in search ad brokering

The European Commission has just announced another antitrust fine for Google . The latest fine — €1.49BN (~$1.7BN) — relates to its search ad brokering business, which involves Google selling advertising space related to searches carried out on third party websites. Speaking at a press conference, EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the search giant — “by far the biggest” search ad broker in the region, with its AdSense platform taking a share in Europe of “well above 70% si...
Tags: Travel, Google, TC, Europe, Advertising Tech, Elizabeth Warren, Eu, Policy, Commission, European Commission, Antitrust, Adsense, Google Shopping, Margrethe Vestager, Qwant, Vestager


Portworx raises $27M Series C for its cloud-native data management platform

As enterprises adopt cloud-native technologies like containers to build their applications, the next question they often have to ask themselves is how they adapt their data storage and management practices to this new reality, too. One of the companies in this business is the four-year-old Portworx, which has managed to attract customers like Lufthansa Systems, GE Digital and HPE with its cloud-native storage and data-management platform for the Kubernetes container orchestration platform. Portw...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Cloud, Storage, Enterprise, Cloud Computing, Tech, Mysql, Abu Dhabi, GE Ventures, Sapphire Ventures, Mayfield Fund, Portworx, Mubadala Investment Company, Recent Funding


Google fined $1.49BN in Europe for antitrust violations in search ad brokering

The European Commission has just announced another antitrust fine for Google . The latest fine — $1.49BN — relates to its search ad brokering business which competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager noted today is “by far” the company’s main source of revenue. “Today’s decision is about how Google abused its domiance to stop website’s using brokers other than the AdSense platform,” she said, noting that the Commission looked at more than 200 agreements and found at least one clause that h...
Tags: Google, TC, Europe, Advertising Tech, Tech, Eu, Policy, Commission, European Commission, Antitrust, Adsense, Google Shopping, Margrethe Vestager, Vestager, Competition Commission, Google Amazon


Seven Africa-focused startups present at Y Combinator’s Demo Day

The seven African-focused companies which presented as part of Y Combinator’s 200 strong cohort of Winter 2019 class of 200 startups may seem like a small percentage for such a large class, but it represents the growing significance of African ventures in YC’s universe. Since 2016, the Silicon Valley accelerator—that provides seed funds and mentorship for early stage startups—has backed 25 companies located in Africa and another 10 with an Africa product focus, according to YC spokesperson Linds...
Tags: Google, TC, Y Combinator, Business, UK, China, Nigeria, Africa, Tech, Spokesperson, Economy, Companies, United Kingdom, Healthcare, Silicon Valley, Tanzania


Tandem Bank launches ‘Autosavings’ account

Tandem Bank, the U.K. challenger bank, is launching a new savings account powered by its “Autosavings” feature designed to make it easier to save. Paying 0.5 percent interest, the Tandem Autosavings account is effectively a flexible savings bank account built on top of Tandem’s existing bank account aggregation app and the various credit cards it offers. Based on a number of rules, it will automatically put money aside based on your spending habits and what its algorithm deems you can afford. Th...
Tags: Startups, TC, Europe, Tech, Ford, Matt Ford, Tandem, Tandem Bank, Tandem Bank the U K, Tandem Autosavings, Meanwhile Tandem


Welcome Pickups lands €3.3M funding to offer ‘in-destination’ travel services

Welcome Pickups, an Athens-based startup offering a range of “in-destination” travel services from the point of pickup onwards, has raised €3.3 million in Series A funding. The backing comes from VentureFriends, MarketOne, Howzat, Jabbar, and Openfund. Also participating is Alejandro Artacho, who founded Spotahome, and John Tsioris, founder of Instashop. Launched in Greece in 2015, Welcome Pickups believes it has spotted an opportunity that moves local travel services beyond a “commoditized tran...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Europe, Greece, Tech, Barcelona, Athens, 3m, MarketOne Howzat Jabbar, Alejandro Artacho, John Tsioris, Instashop Launched, Welcome Pickups, Alex Trimis, Trimis


Former Oath CEO Tim Armstrong is exiting Verizon with a payout worth more than $60 million

Tim Armstrong will leave Verizon Communications with an awards and benefits package worth more than $60 million. The Wall Street Journal calculated the total amount based on a securities filing from last Monday by combining Armstrong’s compensation in 2018, severance and a special incentive package he was given by Verizon when it acquired AOL in 2015. Armstrong was head of Oath (now called Verizon Media), which took a write down of $4.5 billion last year and laid off seven percent of its ...
Tags: TC, Verizon, Yahoo, Tech, Aol, Wall Street Journal, Verizon Communications, Tim Armstrong, Armstrong, OATH, Verizon Media, Gowrappan, Verizon Communications Disclosure, Verizon Media Verizon Communications


These ad execs have a venture fund they’d like to sell you

Mike Duda comes from the world of advertising. In fact, he spent 13 years at the renowned ad agency Deutsch, becoming the youngest partner in the company’s history until another creative, Brent Vartan, came along and stole the title. Little wonder that in 2010, when Duda struck out on his own to create Bullish (formerly known as Consigliere Brand Capital), he stole Vartan, later making him the firm’s second managing partner. It isn’t that the two wanted to outgun their former employer exactly. I...
Tags: Google, Amazon, TC, Facebook, Ecommerce, New York, Boston, San Francisco, Tech, Walmart, Palo Alto, Portland, Venture Capital, San Diego, Patagonia, Silicon Valley


Launching from YC, Eclipse Foods casts a long shadow over the $336 billion dairy industry

Eclipse Foods may be the company that finally takes milk out of the dairy business. Ever since the acquisition of WhiteWave Foods by the French dairy giant Danone for over $10 billion investors have been thirsting for a technology that would give consumers a better tasting, more milky (for lack of a better word), milk substitute than the highly valuable (but not very tasty) almond, soy, and other plant based dairy alternatives. There are at least $37.5 billion worth of other reasons for investor...
Tags: Food, TC, Y Combinator, Europe, Chef, Articles, San Francisco, Tech, Bbc, Paris, Dairy, Milk, Food And Drink, Bp, Michelin, WhiteWave Foods


Salesforce finally embedding Quip into platform, starting with Sales and Service Cloud

When Salesforce bought Quip in 2016 for $750 million, it was fair to wonder what it planned to do with it. While company founder Bret Taylor has moved up the ladder to Chief Product Officer, Quip remained a stand-alone product. Today that changed when the company announced it was embedding Quip directly into its sales and customer service clouds. Quip is a collaboration tool with built-in office suite functionality including word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software. As a stand-a...
Tags: TC, Cloud, Enterprise, Tech, Collaboration, Salesforce, Alan Lepofsky, Quip, Bret Taylor, Lepofsky, Salesforce Quip, TechCrunch Quip, Microsoft Dropbox Google Slack


Media fragmentation is annoying consumers

Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications division published its 13th-annual Digital Media Trends survey, focused on identifying changes in the ways US consumers engage with various types of media. Led by an independent research firm, the survey had roughly 2,000 consumer respondents across demographics – with the report categorizing respondents based on age (Gen-Z: ages 14-21, Millenials: 22-35, Gen-X: 36-52, Boomers: 53-71, and Matures: 72+). While already accompanied by a succinct 1...
Tags: Google, Amazon, TC, Gaming, Music, Television, Media, Podcasts, Video Games, Entertainment, Advertising Tech, Cloud Storage, US, San Francisco, Tech, United States


Netflix is experimenting with different episode orders for ‘Love, Death & Robots’

You probably know that Netflix is big on data and personalization — it tailors the shows and movies recommended to each user, and even tests out different images to promote those titles. Now it’s extending that approach to the episode order of a new show, the animated science fiction series “Love, Death & Robots.” Lukas Thoms, the founder of the LGBTQ nonprofit Out in Tech (and a product manager at Squarespace), pointed this out on Twitter. At first, he suggested that the episode order “chang...
Tags: TC, Media, Tech, Netflix, Squarespace, Thoms, Love Death & Robots, Death & Robots, Lukas Thoms


The top 10 startups from Y Combinator W19 Demo Day 1

Electric vehicle chargers, heads-up displays for soldiers, and the Costco of weed were some of our favorites from presitigious startup accelerator Y Combinator’s Winter 2019 Demo Day 1. If you want to take the pulse of Silicon Valley, YC is the place to be. But with over 200 startups presenting across 2 stages and 2 days, it’s tough to keep track. You can check out our write-ups of all 85 startups that launched on Demo Day 1 here, and come back later for our full index and picks from Day 2. B...
Tags: Google, Startups, TC, Apps, Y Combinator, Accelerator, Hardware, Enterprise, Education, Microsoft, Developer, Navy, US, Tech, Air Force, EVs


Apply to be a TC Top Pick at Disrupt San Francisco 2019

Savvy early-stage startup founders are making plans to attend our flagship event, Disrupt San Francisco 2019, on October 2-4 at Moscone North. It’s three jam-packed days of connection, inspiration and discovery that you don’t want to miss. But here’s a hot tip for founders who want to wring every drop of opportunity out of their time at Disrupt. Apply to be a TC Top Pick. It’s easy to do, and it’s free. Earning our TC Top Picks designation is a highly competitive and curated process. TechCrunch ...
Tags: TC, Australia, San Francisco, Events, Tech, Startup Alley, Forbes, TC Top Picks, TC Top Pick, TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2019, Disrupt San Francisco 2019, Social Impact Education All TC Top Picks, AI Machine Learning Biotech Healthtech, Sonder Designs, Francisco Serra Martins, Serra Martins


The 9 biggest questions about Google’s Stadia game streaming service

is an impressive piece of engineering to be sure: Delivering high definition, high framerate, low latency video to devices like tablets and phones is an accomplishment in itself. But the game streaming services faces serious challenges if it wants to compete with the likes of Xbox and PlayStation, or even plain old PCs and smartphones. Here are our nine biggest questions about what the service will be and how it’ll work. 1. What’s the game selection like? We saw Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey (a ...
Tags: Apple, Google, Amazon, TC, Gadgets, Mobile, Gaming, Hardware, Microsoft, Youtube, Tech, List, Nintendo, Super Mario Bros, Game Streaming, Ubisoft



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