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Facebook Messenger launches Mac & Windows apps

Facebook Messenger is finally getting desktop apps almost 9 years after its debut. After seeing over a 100% increase in desktop browser audio and video calling, Messenger today releases its Mac and Windows desktop apps. They bring the same features as the browser version, but make it easier to keep your chat threads handy than having Messenger buried in one of many tabs. “We’re all looking for more ways to be together even while we’re physically apart” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg writes. Fa...
Tags: Travel, Social, TC, Facebook, Apps, Mark Zuckerberg, Messenger, Facebook Messenger, Video Chat, Zoom, Group Video Chat, Screensharing


Jim Fruchterman raises $1.7M for Tech Matters, a new effort to help nonprofits do tech better

Social entrepreneurship pioneer Jim Fruchterman has launched a new nonprofit, Tech Matters , with $1.7 million in backing from corporate and foundation sources, including Twilio, Okta, Working Capital, Facebook and Schmidt Futures. Tech Matters is Fruchterman’s new vehicle to address what he sees as a crippling weakness in the social good sector: the failure to use technology the way technologically savvy for-profits do.  “The social change sector has huge problems and is 10-20 years beh...
Tags: Travel, TC, Palo Alto, Twilio, Megan Rose Dickey, Ray, Caltech, U S Department of Education, Zug Switzerland, Benetech, Jim Fruchterman, Benetech Fruchterman, Fruchterman, Tech Matters, Twilio Okta Working Capital Facebook, Schmidt Futures Tech Matters


T-Mobile customers on unlimited wireless family plans get a free year of Quibi

T-Mobile this morning officially announced its exclusive partnership with the new streaming service, Quibi, set to launch on April 6. The service will be made available for free for a year to T-Mobile customers on its unlimited wireless family plans. The streaming service, founded by Hollywood media mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg, has been specifically built for on-the-go viewing on mobile devices. Its “shows” can be watched in 10 minutes or less and take advantage of the mobile device’s ability to be...
Tags: Travel, TC, Mobile, Verizon, Hollywood, Media, Disney, T Mobile, Jennifer Lopez, Streaming, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Streaming Service, Magenta, Google Pixel, Katzenberg, Mike Sievert


Forward launches ‘Forward At Home’ primary care service to address COVID-19 healthcare crunch

The global coronavirus pandemic has already caused a tremendous strain on healthcare resources around the world, and it’s leading to a shift in how healthcare is offered. Startup Forward, which debuted in 2016 and has since expanded its tech-focused primary care medical practice to locations in major cities across the U.S., is launching a new initiative called ‘Forward At Home’ that reflects those changes and adapts its care model accordingly. Forward’s primary differentiator is its focus on ...
Tags: Travel, Health, Google, Startups, TC, Cdc, China, Articles, Tesla, Ceo, United States, Healthcare, Biotech, Telemedicine, Aoun, Telehealth


Venture-backed Celularity receives FDA approval for early trials of a new cell therapy for COVID-19

Celularity, the venture-backed developer of novel cell therapies for cancer treatments, has received an initial clearance from the Food and Drug Administration to begin early-stage clinical trials on a potential treatment for COVID-19. The company, which has raised at least $290 million to date (according to Crunchbase), uses “Natural Killer” (NK) cell therapies to boost the immune system’s disease-fighting response. For Celularity, those NK cells are derived from stem cells cultivated from p...
Tags: Travel, TC, Medicine, China, Cancer, Stem Cells, Food And Drug Administration, Disease, Genomics, Fda, Infection, Section, Celgene, Craig Venter, NK, Bristol Myers


Amazon begins running temperature checks and will provide surgical masks at warehouses

Amazon has detailed someone  measures its taking to prevent any further spread of COVID-19 at its warehouse facilities in the U.S. and Europe, according to Reuters, including taking temperature checks and distributing facemasks to employees at Amazon warehouses and Whole Foods stores. The commerce giant has seen a dramatic increase in demand as countries and regions globally have ordered lock-down and varying degrees of self-isolation and quarantine measures, and has also seen confirmed cases...
Tags: Travel, Amazon, TC, Ecommerce, Europe, Publishing, Whole Foods, Companies, United States, Retailers, Staten Island, Warehouse, Whole Foods Market, Reuters, Meanwhile Amazon, U S Amazon


Encore’s musical messages let you commission a video performance to send to loved ones

Encore, the U.K. marketplace that lets you find and book a musician or band online for your event, is launching a new online product to help musicians find an additional revenue stream during the coronavirus pandemic, and bring a little joy to all of us. Dubbed musical messages, the new offering lets you pay one of Encore’s musicians to create and send a personalised musical message to loved ones, or anyone you cannot be with in-person, whilst also supporting the U.K.’s national health service (...
Tags: Travel, Startups, TC, Europe, NHS, Encore, McAulay, James McAulay


Money transfer service Azimo partners with Siam Commercial Bank for faster payments to Thailand

Azimo, the London-headquartered international money transfer service, has partnered with Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) to deliver instant payments for its customers from Europe to SCB bank accounts in Thailand. According to the World Bank, Thailand is one of the top remittance destinations globally, with $6.7 billion received from abroad each year, and Azimo says it remains one of the most expensive countries to send and receive money. That’s something the U.K. fintech wants to help chan...
Tags: Travel, Startups, TC, Asia, Europe, London, Eu, Thailand, Kent, Rakuten, Azimo, Greycroft, SCB, Siam Commercial Bank, EIB, Michael Kent


Researchers to study if startup’s wrist-worn wearable can detect early COVID-19 respiratory issues

It’s highly unlikely that the current coronavirus crisis will neatly and fully “solved” by any one endeavor or solution, which makes news studies like one involving startup WHOOP’s wrist-worn fitness and health tracking wearable all the more important. The study, conducted by the Central Queensland University Australia (CQUniversity), in partnership with the Cleveland Clinic, will employ data collected WHOOP’s hardware with hundreds of volunteers who have self-identified as having contracted COV...
Tags: Travel, Health, Startups, TC, Gadgets, Hardware, Fitness, Startup, Arizona, University Of Arizona, Biotech, Viruses, Whoop, UCSF, Cleveland Clinic, Coronavirus


What happens to edtech when kids go back to school?

In just a few weeks, homeschooling has gone from a rarity to a baseline in homes across the country. Jonah Liss, a 16-year-old student at International Academy of Bloomfield Hills in Michigan, was sent home out of precaution due to the coronavirus outbreak. While the transition has been okay for Liss, who has used some of the extra time to create a service to help those impacted by COVID-19, he recognized that other students are experiencing some pain points; not everyone has access to the same ...
Tags: Travel, Google, Startups, TC, Education, Michigan, Khan Academy, Edtech, Growth, Zoom, LISS, Newsela, Reach Capital, Matthew Greenfield, Rethink Education, Jennifer Carolan


Startup group works to get flat-packed protective boxes to frontline COVID-19 medical workers

There are a number of initiatives by startup companies and entrepreneurs looking to support the healthcare response to COVID-19, and one that’s addressing a need in the realm of personal protective equipment is the COVID Box project launched by a group of volunteers in Toronto that includes startup founders and employees, as well as doctors and healthcare professionals. The COVID-19 intubation box that this group is working to produce is a polycarbonate box that can be flat-packed for easy shipp...
Tags: Travel, Health, Startups, TC, Medicine, Toronto, Taiwan, Healthcare, Cto, CNC, Polycarbonate, Taplytics, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Hsien Yung Lai, Jonathan Norris


Amid shift to remote work, application performance monitoring is IT’s big moment

In recent weeks, millions have started working from home, putting unheard-of pressure on services like video conferencing, online learning, food delivery and e-commerce platforms. While some verticals have seen a marked reduction in traffic, others are being asked to scale to new heights. Services that were previously nice to have are now necessities, but how do organizations track pressure points that can add up to a critical failure? There is actually a whole class of software to help in this ...
Tags: Travel, Work, TC, Cloud, Enterprise, New Relic, SaaS, Datadog, Lew Cirne, Elastic, Monitoring, Applications Performance Monitoring, Extra Crunch, Shay Banon, Coronavirus, COVID-19


‘It’s part of my job as a VC to remain calm,’ says Anorak’s Greg Castle

As the venture landscape adjusts to the COVID-19 pandemic and seismic shifts in public markets, early-stage VCs are reassessing which bets they’re making, along with questions they’re asking of founders who are exploring bleeding-edge technology. Anorak Ventures is a small seed-investment firm that bets on emerging tech like AR/VR, machine learning and robotics. I recently hopped on a Zoom call with founder Greg Castle to talk about what he’s seen recently in seed investing and how the sector is...
Tags: Travel, Startups, TC, Artificial Intelligence, Fundraising, Venture Capital, Machine Learning, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Robotics, Emerging-technologies, Greg Castle, Anorak Ventures, Anorak, Extra Crunch, Coronavirus


Air Doctor scores $7.6M to connect travellers with local doctors

Air Doctor, the health tech startup that connects travellers with local doctors, has raised $7.8 million in Series A funding. The round is led by Kamet Ventures (the AXA-backed venture builder), and The Phoenix Insurance Company. Founded in 2016, Air Doctor aims to empower travellers who get sick when abroad and need non-emergency advice or treatment. It has created a network of local private physicians that travellers can access, typically via travel insurance or perks. The platform is availabl...
Tags: Travel, Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Europe, Israel, South America, Axa, Phoenix, Kamet Ventures, Air Doctor, The Phoenix Insurance Company Founded, Jenny Cohen Derfler, Derfler


Yaguara nabs $7.2M seed to help e-commerce companies understand customers better

Yaguara, a Denver-based startup that wants to help e-commerce companies understand their customers better to deliver more meaningful experiences, announced a $7.2 million seed investment today. The round was led by Foundation Capital with participation from Gradient Ventures, Rainfall Ventures and Zelkova. It also had help from some e-commerce heavy hitters including Warby Parker, Harry’s and Allbirds. Yaguara CEO Jonathan Smalley was working at an agency building specialized cloud tools for onl...
Tags: Travel, Google, TC, Facebook, Enterprise, Customer Experience, Denver, Foundation Capital, Zelkova, Smalley, Customer Data Platforms, Warby Parker Harry, Yaguara, Gradient Ventures Rainfall Ventures, Jonathan Smalley


Airbnb to provide free or subsidized housing for 100,000 COVID-19 healthcare workers

The hospitality and travel industry may be reeling, but Airbnb is still doing what it can to support the global effort to fight the spread of the coronavirus causing a worldwide pandemic. The company announced today that it will provide “free or subsidized housing” for 100,000 people working as frontline healthcare, relief for first response professionals focused on stemming the COVID-19 crisis. Airbnb’s effort will work by allowing Hosts on its platform to opt-in to making their space availa...
Tags: Travel, Health, TC, California, Cdc, France, United States, Italy, Sharing Economy, Airbnb, Red Cross, Websites, Vacation Rental, Coronavirus, COVID-19


Netflix is currently down for many users around the world

Netflix is currently experiencing outages around the world, but affecting mostly users in the United States and Europe. According to Down Detector, users began reporting issues around 12PM Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday, and many people are still unable to connect to the streaming service on different platforms, including mobile, PCs and smart TVs. Many people around the world are relying on Netflix for entertainment while under lockdown or quarantine measures to stop the spread of COVID-...
Tags: Travel, TC, Europe, European Union, Netflix, United States, United Kingdom, Streaming, Outage, Italy Spain, COVID-19, COVID


SpaceX encounters first launch delay due to coronavirus

SpaceX has thus far managed to avoid much in the way of impact to its upcoming launch schedule, despite the widespread global coronavirus pandemic. The company successfully launched 60 more of its Starlink satellites just last week, and appears to be on track for its current mid-to-late May launch schedule for the first Commercial Crew mission with NASA (pending an investigation into what went wrong with an early engine cut-off during its last launch). On Tuesday, however, the Air Force’s 45t...
Tags: Travel, TC, Space, Spacex, Elon Musk, California, Nasa, Air Force, Falcon 9, Spaceflight, Aerospace, Vandenberg, Hyperloop, Spacecraft, Falcon, Crew


The New York Times Company acquires Audm, an app that turns longform journalism into audio

Audm, a startup that turns longform journalism into audio content, has been acquired by The New York Times Company, it announced this morning. While there are other services that turn news articles into audio, including read-it-later apps like Instapaper and Pocket, Audm differentiates itself by using professional voice actors to narrate the content, not automated voice technology. That makes the content more enjoyable to listen to — more like listening to a podcast, for example. The startup was...
Tags: Travel, TC, New York Times, The New York Times, Wegner, New York Times Company, The New York Times Company, Times Company, Pocket Audm, Ryan Wegner, Christian Brink, Audm, VC Precursor Ventures


Updated FDA COVID-19 testing guidelines specifically disallow at-home sample collection

While a number of companies who currently offer at-home medical and health diagnostics had rushed to produce kits that would allow for self sample collection by people who passed a screening and believed they might have contracted the new coronavirus, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has updated its Emergency Use Authorization guidelines to private labs that specifically bar the use of at-home sample collection. This means startups including Everlywell, Carbon Health and Nurx will ...
Tags: Travel, Health, Startups, TC, Medicine, United States, Food And Drug Administration, Fda, U S Food and Drug Administration FDA, Cepheid, Nurx, EverlyWell, Carbon Health, COVID-19, Curative Inc, FDA COVID


The CDC launches a “coronavirus self-checker” bot called Clara for people in the United States

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention introduced a bot over the weekend to help people make decisions about what to do if they have potential symptoms of COVID-19. Called Clara, the “coronavirus self-checker” was created in partnership with CDC Foundation and Microsoft Azure’s Healthcare Bot service. While COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, Clara is intended for use by people currently in the United States. According to the CDC, as of Mar...
Tags: Travel, TC, Microsoft, Cdc, United States, Clara, Microsoft-azure, Bot, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC Foundation, Coronavirus, COVID-19, COVID, Microsoft Azure 's Healthcare Bot, World Health Organization Clara


Enable raises $13M to help distributors, manufacturers and retailers manage rebates

Enable, a U.K. startup that has developed a cloud-based “rebate management solution” to help distributors, manufacturers and retailers manage rebates, is announcing $13 million in Series A funding. The round is led by Menlo Ventures, with participation from Sierra Ventures. As part of the investment, Menlo Ventures’ Steve Sloane has joined the Enable board. Founded by long term business partners Andrew Butt and Denys Shortt in 2015 but launched fully in 2017, Enable makes it easy for distributor...
Tags: Travel, Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Europe, Canada, Wolseley, Menlo Ventures, Butt, Sierra Ventures, Steve Sloane, Andrew Butt, Denys Shortt, Rexel Travis Perkins


Global Savings Group acquires French cashback company iGraal for €123.5M

Germany’s Global Savings Group (GSG), the e-commerce content company, has acquired French cashback company iGraal for €123.5 million in a mixture of cash and stock. Specifically, the deal was reached with iGraal’s majority owner M6 Group, and consists of €35 million in cash and the remaining made up of an exchange of shares. The acquisition is said to be one of the largest in the cashback and loyalty space in recent years, with iGraal considered the leading digital cashback player in France. “In...
Tags: Travel, Google, Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Europe, France, Germany, Munich, Pouch, GSG, Global Savings Group, M6 Group, Ben Corrigan Jonny Plein, Vikram Simha, Global Savings Group GSG


Lyft to offer medical supply and meal delivery during coronavirus pandemic

Lyft is expanding the types of services it provides through its on-demand transportation network in an effort to boost efforts to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The company announced that it will be offering delivery of critical medical supplies to individuals who need them during this time, including the elderly and those living with chronic diseases, and that it will be delivering meals to students who ordinarily get subsidized lunches through school, as well as seniors. The new e...
Tags: Travel, Health, Food, TC, Transportation, Lyft, Uber, California, Cdc, United States, Transport, Driver, San Francisco Bay Area, COVID-19


For Uber and Lyft, this week has been a wild ride

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between. Uber and Lyft have been on quite a ride this year. After enjoying modest gains earlier this year thanks to an improved profitability forecast from Uber, the two companies saw their share prices gain ground after a difficult 2019. Then COVID-19 began to shutter the world, pushing its share prices so low that we recently felt compelled to write about their declines; losses that...
Tags: Travel, Fundings & Exits, TC, Transportation, Lyft, Uber, Growth, Postmates, Doordash, Didi, Ingrid Lunden, Extra Crunch


Founders who share insights can build industry trust at scale

Adam Guild Contributor Share on Twitter Adam Guild is a growth marketing expert and the founder of Placepull. Everyone knows that press features don’t drive sustainable traffic. But they still matter for one simple reason: sales requires trust. Trust is transitive. And the press is trusted. Press features validate the legitimacy of a company, lend it authority, and ultimately lead others to trust it more. I’ve seen this first ...
Tags: Travel, TC, Column, Marketing, Growth, Search Engine Optimization, Online Advertising, Digital Marketing, Extra Crunch, Adam Guild


Markets are mixed in morning trading as industries adjust to the new normal

After yesterday’s news that the U.S. automakers would temporarily close their doors and the US President Donald Trump invoked the Defense Production Act to shift manufacturing capacity to meet equipment shortages, trading on the major markets was mixed investors adjust to a global slowdown in trade. Warnings regarding the current economic situation are coming fast, and are increasingly dire. Several large domestic banks are now anticipating a double-digit percentage decline in GDP for the US in ...
Tags: Travel, TC, Lyft, Europe, Congress, White House, US, SaaS, Stock Market, Donald Trump, Us Federal Reserve, Stonks, COVID-19


Around is the new floating head video chat multitasking app

You have to actually get work done, not just video call all day, but apps like Zoom want to take over your screen. Remote workers who need to stay in touch while staying productive are forced to juggle tabs. Meanwhile, call participants often look and sound far away, dwarfed by their background and drowned in noise. Today, Around launches its new video chat software that crops participants down to just circles that float on your screen so you have space for other apps. Designed for laptops, A...
Tags: Travel, Google, Social, Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Apps, Video, Enterprise, Funding, Godaddy, Facebook Messenger, Video Chat, Ryan Hoover, Garry Tan, Credo Ventures


Quit Genius raises $11M Series A to expand into opioid, alcohol addiction treatment

QuitGenius, the YC-backed startup that uses cognitive behavioral therapy to help folks quit smoking and vaping tobacco products, has today announced the close of am $11 million Series A round. The new funding was led by Octopus Ventures, with participation from Y Combinator, Startup Health and Triple Point Ventures. Quit Genius was built by doctors — Yusuf Sherwani (co-founder and CEO), Mazof Ahmed (co-founder and COO), and Sarim Siddiqui (co-founder and head of product) — who met on the f...
Tags: Travel, Health, Startups, TC, Apps, Funding, Yc, Octopus Ventures, Sherwani, Quit Genius, Yusuf Sherwani, Sarim Siddiqui, Y Combinator Startup Health, Mazof Ahmed, Sherwani Sherwani


Twitter broadly bans any COVID-19 tweets that could help the virus spread

You don’t have to go far to find someone online downplaying the severity of a global pandemic that’s shut down entire economies and ground everyday life to a halt. Knowing that, Twitter will take extra steps to remove tweets that put people at risk of contracting the novel coronavirus as it rapidly sweeps through communities around the globe. On Wednesday, Twitter updated its safety policy to prohibit tweets that “could place people at a higher risk of transmitting COVID-19.” The new policy b...
Tags: Travel, Social, TC, Twitter, Policy, John Mcafee, Fox Business, Devin Nunes, Microsoft Twitter, Facebook Reddit Google, Coronavirus, COVID-19



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