Author Archives: Ravi

Former Facebook engineer picks up $15M for AI platform Spell

In 2016, Serkan Piantino packed up his desk at Facebook with hopes to move on to something new. The former Director of Engineering for Faceboook AI Research had every intention to keep working on AI, but quickly realized a huge issue. Unless you’re under the umbrella of one of these big tech companies like Facebook, it can be very difficult and incredibly expensive to get your hands on the hardware necessary to run machine learning experiments. So he built Spell, which today received $15 million in Series […]

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On-demand workspace platform Breather taps new CEO

Breather’s new CEO Bryan Murphy / Breather Press Kit Breather, the platform that provides on-demand private workspace, announced today that it has appointed Bryan Murphy as its new CEO. Before joining Breather, Murphy was the founder and President of direct-to-consumer mattress startup, Tomorrow Sleep. Prior to Tomorrow Sleep, Murphy held posts as an advisor to investment firms and as an executive at eBay after the company acquired his previous company, WHI Solutions – an e-commerce platform for aftermarket auto parts – where Murphy was the co-founder and CEO. […]

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Email security company Tessian is closing in on a $40M round led by Sequoia Capital

Continuing a trend that VCs here in London tell me is seeing an increasing amount of deal-flow in Europe attract the interest of top-tier Silicon Valley venture capital firms, TechCrunch has learned that email security provider Tessian is the latest to raise from across the pond. According to multiple sources, the London-based company has closed a Series B round led by Sequoia Capital. I understand that the deal could be announced within a matter of weeks, and that the round size is in the region of $40 […]

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Ubiquity6 acquires AR music startup Wavy

Today, Ubiquity6 has announced that it is acquiring Wavy, a small AR music startup founded last year. In a blog post, the Wavy team confirmed they’ll be joining the Ubiquity6 team and won’t be continuing their work on the Wavy app. “When we met the team at Ubiquity6, it became apparent that joining the team there would be a leap forward towards our shared mission of enabling creators to edit reality,” the post reads. Wavy’s app sought to give musicians an outlet to bring concerts into phone-based […]

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Driving down the cost of preserving genetic material, Acorn Biolabs raises $3.3 million

Acorn Biolabs wants consumers to pay them to store genetic material in a bet that the increasing advances in targeted genetic therapies will yield better healthcare results down the line. The company’s pitch is to “Save young cells today, live a longer, better, tomorrow.” It’s a gamble on the frontiers of healthcare technology that has managed to net the company $3.3 million in seed financing from some of Canada’s busiest investors. For the Toronto-based company, the pitch isn’t just around banking genetic material — a practice that’s been […]

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We Company CEO in hot water over being both a tenant and a landlord

The company formerly known as WeWork has come under scrutiny for potential conflict of interest issues regarding CEO Adam Neumann’s partial ownership of three properties where WeWork is (or will be) a tenant. TechCrunch has seen excerpts of the company’s prospectus for investors that details upwards of $100 million in total future rents WeWork will pay to properties owned, in part, by Adam Neumann. In March 2018, The Real Deal reported that Neumann had purchased a 50 percent stake in 88 University Place alongside fashion designer Elie […]

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HyperScience, the machine learning startup tackling data entry, raises $30 million Series B

HyperScience, the machine learning company that turns human readable data into machine readable data, has today announced the close of a $30 million Series B funding round led by Stripes Group, with participation from existing investors FirstMark Capital and Felicis Ventures, as well as new investors Battery Ventures, Global Founders Fund, TD Ameritrade and QBE. HyperScience launched out of stealth in 2016 with a suite of enterprise products focused on the healthcare, insurance, finance and government industries. The original products were HSForms (which handled data-entry by converting […]

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Techstars will build and launch startups with new venture studio

Similar to Y Combinator, early-stage technology startup accelerator Techstars has spent much of the last decade supporting and seeding innovative projects, including Plated, ClassPass, SendGrid and PillPack. Now, it wants to take its service a step further. Today, Techstars is announcing the launch of Techstars Studio, a new venture that will have the accelerator developing and launching venture-scale businesses with the support of several corporate partners. Leveraging its large network of entrepreneurs, Techstars has invited large companies to co-create startups targeting specific challenges within their industry. Techstars says it […]

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Instamojo raises $7M to help SMEs and ‘micro-entrepreneurs’ in India sell online

In India, startups are quietly building the tools and platforms to enable a different kind of gig economy: one that allows “micro-entrepreneurs” to tap growing access to the internet to sell goods and services online. One such firm helping this burgeoning economy is Instamojo, a seven-year-old Bengaluru-based startup, which has pulled in a $7 million Series B as it aims to grow its reach to more than one million SMEs and micro-SMEs in India. Founded in 2012 as a side project, Instamojo offers independent merchants the means to […]

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YC-backed Upsolve is automating bankruptcy for everyone

The popular image of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy might be a large company like Enron failing, or maybe some lazy drifter trying to shirk their financial responsibilities. The reality is anything but those sorts of images. Today in America, the most common reason for bankruptcy is to discharge egregious sums of medical debt [1], which might have been incurred in a short stint in a hospital emergency room. Bankruptcy allows people to get out from under a debilitating and permanent state of financial crisis — assuming one […]

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