Monthly Archives: February 2019

Apple acquires talking Barbie voicetech startup PullString

Apple has just bought up the talent it needs to make talking toys a part of Siri, HomePod, and its voice strategy. Apple has acquired PullString, also known as ToyTalk, according to Axios’ Dan Primack and Ina Fried. TechCrunch has received confirmation of the acquistion from sources with knowledge of the deal. The startup makes voice experience design tools, artificial intelligence to power those experiences, and toys like talking Barbie and Thomas The Tank Engine toys in partnership with Mattel. Founded in 2011 by former Pixar executives, PullString went […]

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GoTrendier raises $3.5 million to take on Spanish-language fashion marketplaces

Thanks to environmentally conscious young buyers, throwaway culture is dying not only in the U.S., but also in Latin America — and startups are poised to jump in with services to help people recycle used clothing. GoTrendier, a peer-to-peer fashion marketplace operative in Mexico and Colombia, has raised $3.5 million USD to do just that. And investors are eyeing the startup as the digital fashion marketplace growth leader in Spanish-speaking countries.  GoTrendier, founded by Belén Cabido, is a platform that lets users buy and sell secondhand clothing. Cabido tells me […]

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3DEN raises $2M to create pay-as-you-go urban spaces

3DEN is building spaces for what it calls the “in-between moments” of your day. The name (pronounced “Eden”) comes from the idea of the “third place” — a space that’s neither home nor work. Founder and CEO Ben Silver told me the goal is to create a space that people can use if, say, they’ve got 45 minutes to fill between meetings, or if they’ve just gotten off a red eye flight and need somewhere to freshen up. Coffee shops, coworking spaces, gyms or hotels might serve […]

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ChargedUp picks up £1.2M seed to grow its mobile charging network across UK

ChargedUp, a U.K. startup that offers a mobile charging network that takes inspiration from bike-sharing, has closed £1.2 million in seed investment. Leading the round is Sir John Hegarty’s fund The Garage, and the ex-Innocent Smoothie founders fund JamJar. The funding will be used to grow the offering across the U.K. and for international expansion. Founded by Hugo Tilmouth, Charlie Baron, Hakeem Buge and Forrest Skerman Stevenson, ChargedUp has set out to solve the dead mobile phone battery problem with a charging network. However, rather than offer […]

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StayTuned Digital helps video creators publish and measure everywhere

If you’re a video creator in 2019, you’re probably thinking about a long list of publishing destinations: YouTube, of course, but also Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and more. StayTuned Digital is a new startup trying to help video creators and publishers push their content to multiple platforms. The company, which bills itself as “content’s best friend,” is officially unveiling its product today and announcing that it’s raised $2.5 million in funding. StayTuned was founded by CEO Serge Kassardjian (previously the global head of media app business development […]

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Why your startup may not be as great as everyone says

Gil Ben-Artzy Contributor Gil Ben-Artzy is a founding partner at UpWest Labs. One of the very first things we ask Israeli entrepreneurs who are hoping to break into the U.S. market is to tell us how their product or service is being received by their target market. What is the feedback? Are potential customers hungry for what the team is selling? Validation, both of the broader vision and the early product itself, has to be a key focus for any aspiring entrepreneur. Testing your product and getting […]

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Peltarion raises $20M for its AI platform

Peltarion, a Swedish startup founded by former execs from companies like Spotify, Skype, King, TrueCaller and Google, today announced that it has raised a $20 million Series A funding round led by Euclidean Capital, the family office for hedge fund billionaire James Simons. Previous investors FAM and EQT Ventures also participated, and this round brings the company’s total funding to $35 million. There is obviously no dearth of AI platforms these days. Peltarion focus on what it calls “operational AI.” The service offers an end-to-end platform that […]

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Figma gets $40 million Series C to put design tools in the cloud

With more industries and organizations recognizing design as a pillar of business, a battle is brewing among makers of design tools. And with a fresh $40 million in Series C funding, Figma is ready to fight. Co-founder and CEO Dylan Field explains that when he and co-founder Evan Wallace started the company, in 2012, IBM employed one designer for every 72 engineers. Today, IBM has eight engineers to every designer, and that ratio goes to 3:1 on mobile. This shift, which is reflected more broadly across various […]

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Biotech AI startup Sight Diagnostics gets $27.8M to speed up blood tests

Sight Diagnostics, an Israeli medical devices startup that’s using AI technology to speed up blood testing, has closed a  $27.8 million Series C funding round. The company has built a desktop machine, called OLO, that analyzes cartridges manually loaded with drops of the patient’s blood — performing blood counts in situ. The new funding is led by VC firm Longliv Ventures, also based in Israel, and a member of the multinational conglomerate CK Hutchison Group. Sight Diagnostics said it was after strategic investment for the Series C — specifically […]

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Grover launches e-scooter subscription service

Grover, the Berlin-based startup that offers “pay-as-you-go” subscriptions to the latest consumer tech as an alternative to owning products outright, is going all-in on e-scooters or so-called micro-mobility. The latest to jump in on the e-scooter craze, the company is launching an e-scooter monthly subscription service in Germany. Dubbed GroverGo, customers can rent the Xiaomi e-Scooter Mijia M365 for €49.90 per month and have access to a rental scooter of their own for a fraction of the cost of buying. The idea — and thinking behind Grover […]

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