Monthly Archives: January 2019

Step targets teens and parents with a no-fees mobile bank account and Visa card

A new mobile banking startup called Step wants to help bring teenagers and other young adults into the cashless era. Today, cash is used less often, as more consumers shop online and send money to one another through payment apps like Venmo. But teenagers in particular are still heavily burdened with cash — even though they, too, want to spend their money on things that require a payment card, like Amazon.com purchases or mobile gaming, for example. That’s where Step comes in. The company aims to address […]

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Dadi brings in $2M to democratize sperm storage

The founders of Dadi — pronounced daddy — think men are in need of a wake-up call. “Men [have] a biological clock just like women, which is something that people don’t talk about,” Dadi co-founder and chief executive officer Tom Smith told TechCrunch. “Infertility isn’t a women’s issue; It’s both a men’s and women’s issue.” Smith believes Dadi, the provider of a temperature-controlled at-home fertility test and sperm collection kit, will encourage men to contribute to family planning conversations and become more aware of their reproductive health. The startup […]

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Sencrop is a data platform to help farmers manage their lands

Meet Sencrop a French startup that wants to empower farmers using sensors, a data platform and a service marketplace. The company recently raised a $10 million funding round. The Series A round was led by Bpifrance with NCI Waterstart, Nord Capital and The Yield Lab also participating. Existing investors Demeter and Breega Capital also reinvested. If you’re a farmer and are getting started when it comes to leveraging data, Sencrop wants to be a one-stop shop for all your digital needs. The company sells connected stations that […]

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Meet the 20 startups in this year’s GCT Startup-in-Residence program

At the end of last year, Grand Central Tech announced plans to work with the Milstein real estate family to transform a midtown Manhattan high-rise into a tech hub called Company. And startups remain an important part of the mix — in fact, Company is unveiling a list of 20 startups participating in this year’s GCT Startup-in-Residence program. What does Startup-in-Residence mean? Well, Company CEO Matthew Harrigan said the program will continue to offer what it’s always offered — desk space, as well as access to events […]

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Rebooted startup program WeWork Labs celebrates its one-year anniversary

It’s been just about a year since the relaunch of WeWork Labs, an accelerator-type program operating under the WeWork umbrella. Since then, it’s grown to 37 locations in 22 cities. And it’s truly international, operating in 12 countries, including Brazil, China, Germany and India. These Labs offices are often — but not always — housed within a larger WeWork space, and, like an accelerator, they offer mentorship and programming. However, WeWork doesn’t take any equity; instead, it simply makes money by charging rent. (In New York, a […]

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Cosmic JS wants to simplify web development, so you can focus on content

If you are a web developer, you know how complex many of the traditional web content management systems have been. One of the big problems has been managing the underlying infrastructure for the system. Cosmic JS, a member of the Winter 2019 Y Combinator class, wants to simplify that by taking care of the infrastructure part for you, while providing a flexible front end for content creators. “Our customers benefit from using Cosmic because they can avoid the pain of building and maintaining their own CMS infrastructure. […]

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Amex blocks Curve as the fintech startup vows to fight ‘anti-competitive’ decision

Well, that was short-lived: Just 36 hours after Curve, the London fintech that lets you consolidate all of your bank cards into a single Curve card, re-instated support for Amex, the feature has once again been unceremoniously blocked by American Express. This time, however, the context feels very different from 2016, when the startup was barely off the ground, with Curve telling customers in an email this morning that it intends to “fight Amex’s decision with our full might.” Going up against the deep pockets and dominant […]

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Wanna Kicks, a new AR app from Wannaby, lets you virtually ‘try on’ your next pair of kicks

Wannaby, a startup out of Belarus that is building “AR commerce” experiences, has launched a beta of its latest app, which aims to make it easier to find the perfect sneakers. Dubbed “Wanna Kicks,” the iOS app uses augmented reality to let you “try on” various pairs of sneakers. You simply choose a pair of kicks from the list of 3D models, point your camera at your feet and — bingo — you’re now virtually wearing your chosen footwear. The effect is pretty instant and tracks reasonably […]

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Altice to acquire majority stake in OTT startup Molotov

Telecom company Altice is about to close a significant investment in French startup Molotov — the two companies have entered into exclusive negotiations. While terms of the deal are undisclosed, Altice is investing a large sum of money and should end up with a majority stake in Molotov — it’s more like a fundraising round than a traditional acquisition. “We’re doing a 60/40 deal,” Molotov co-founder and CEO Jean-David Blanc told me. “Altice is taking 60 percent of Molotov. Existing investors remain shareholders and are even putting […]

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Pinterest puts an IPO on its pinboard, hiring Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan to lead an offering this year

Pinterest, the 11-year-old, San Francisco-based site known for the photos its users post about everything from wedding to beauty trends, has hired Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase as lead underwriters for an IPO that it’s planning to stage later this year. Reuters first reported the news. TechCrunch sources have since confirmed the development. A Pinterest spokesperson declined to “comment on rumors and speculation” when asked this afternoon for more information. Pinterest has raised roughly $1.5 billion over the years and was valued at $12 billion by its […]

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