Startups

Bench, the TechStars-backed bookkeeping service for SMBs, has today announced the close of an $18 million B-1 funding round led by iNovia Capital. Existing investors, including Bain Capital Ventures, Altos Ventures, and Silicon Valley Bank, also participated in the round. Bench first launched out of TechStars NYC in 2012. Back then, the company was called
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What should we do about token sales? Two days ago a Lithuanian “company” called Prodeum looked like a promising if silly blockchain startup. Their stated goal? To track every piece of food on the internet. While I doubt many of us will care about the exact provenance of the orange we just ate, we could
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American Express announced today that it has acquired Mezi, the AI-based virtual travel assistant, for an undisclosed amount. After the deal closes, Mezi will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Express. Its technology is already powering AskAmex, a personal concierge app for cardholders that launched its pilot program last year. Mezi users send requests for flights,
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In the latest chapter of GAFAM’s continuing bid to conquer online gaming, Microsoft has acquired PlayFab, which helps game developers launch their titles online more quickly with simplified back-end services. The startup will be integrated into Microsoft’s Azure gaming group. The Seattle-based startup had raised around $13 million in funding from investors. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
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Boeing’s HorizonX is the aerospace company’s vehicle for making investments in promising next-generation startups and technology, and it just placed its latest bet: funding in Cuberg, a Berkeley-based battery tech startup that has a founding team including Stanford University researchers. Battery tech is still one of the most frustrating roadblocks any company encounters when trying
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ContentSquare, which offers cloud-based software that helps businesses understand how and why users are interacting with their app, mobile and web sites, has picked up $42 million in Series B funding. The round is led Canaan, the U.S. VC firm that has previously invested in LendingClub, Ebates, and Match.com, with participation from previous backer Highland
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The battery life of wearables, IoT devices, and smartphones remains one of the tech industry’s biggest challenges and often a significant barrier to mainstream adoption. (I, for one, can’t think of anything more tedious than having to charge a watch every night). There are various ways to tackle this problem, from better power management software
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D ental care can be costly and hard to access, especially if you live in a rural community or a third-world country. In fact, the biggest barrier to dental care is cost. This is according to the American Dental Association, which says many rural areas lack access to dental professionals.  Other than the obvious aesthetic benefits of straighter
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Similar to Uber’s “God View” scandal, Lyft staffers have been abusing customer insight software to view the personal contact info and ride history of the startup’s passengers. One source that formerly worked with Lyft tells TechCrunch that widespread access to the company’s backend let staffers “see pretty much everything including feedback, and yes, pick up
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In what amounts to faint praise for the strength of the physical book NPD reported that print book sales rose 1.9 percent in 2017, less than the 3 percent growth posted in 2013-2016. NPD tracks book sales in the US. They write: “Returning from the huge sales of ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ in
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TeacherGaming, a new startup from the team behind MinecraftEdu, a company that helped teachers use Minecraft in the classroom that was subsequently acquired by Microsoft, has picked up $1.6 million in seed funding. Leading the round is Makers Fund (a relatively new U.S. and U.K. VC firm specialising in gaming and deeptech), with participation from
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Facebook has confirmed to TechCrunch that it’s acquired… Confirm.io. The startup offered an API that let other companies quickly verify someone’s government-issued identification card, like a driver’s license, was authentic. The Boston-based startup will shut down as both its team and technology are rolled into Facebook, where it could help users who are locked out
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Rupert Murdoch, the executive chairman of News Corporation, today issued a statement calling for Facebook and Google to subsidize the news traveling through their platforms. In the statement, Murdoch calls on Facebook to pay a carriage fee, as cable companies do with pay TV, to trusted publishers that are posting their content on the social
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