Author Archives: Ravi

Taiwan startup FunNow gets $5M Series A to help locals in Asian cities find last-minute things to do

“Instant booking” apps that let tourists sign up for activities on very short notice have been in the news a lot lately, partly because of Klook’s new unicorn status, but also because of the proliferation of startups in the space, especially in Asia. With so many instant booking apps, are there any niches left to fill? FunNow thinks so. Instead of targeting tourists, FunNow serves locals who want to find new things to do in their cities. The Taipei, Taiwan-based startup announced today that it has raised […]

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Openbook is the latest dream of a digital life beyond Facebook

As tech’s social giants wrestle with antisocial demons that appear to be both an emergent property of their platform power, and a consequence of specific leadership and values failures (evident as they publicly fail to enforce even the standards they claim to have), there are still people dreaming of a better way. Of social networking beyond outrage-fuelled adtech giants like Facebook and Twitter. There have been many such attempts to build a ‘better’ social network of course. Most have ended in the deadpool. A few are still around with […]

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Founder Zain Jaffer may be looking to take back control of Vungle

Zain Jaffer may be gearing up for a fight to take back control of Vungle, the mobile ad company he founded. Jaffer was removed from his role as CEO last fall following his arrest on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and performing a lewd act on a child. However, a San Mateo County judge subsequently dismissed the charges. The district attorney’s office released a statement offering more context for the dismissal, saying that they did not believe there was any sexual conduct on the evening in […]

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Federacy wants to put bug bounty programs in reach of every startup

Federacy, a member of the Y Combinator Summer 2018 class, has a mission to make bug bounty programs available to even the smallest startup. Traditionally, bug bounty programs from players like Bugcrowd and HackerOne have been geared toward larger organizations. While these certainly have their place, founders William and James Sulinski, who happen to be twins, felt there was a gap in the marketplace, where smaller organizations were being left out of what they considered to be a crucial service. They wanted to make bug bounty programs […]

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Apeel Sciences is combating food waste with plant-derived second peels

In a world bursting with abundances like self-driving cars and robotic personal assistants, you would think that basic needs like sustainable food sourcing and distribution would be a problem of the past. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), every year roughly a third — 1.3 billion tons — of food grown for consumption is lost or wasted. In industrialized countries like the U.S., this results in a loss of $680 billion per year, […]

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Workona helps web workers finally close all those tabs

A new startup, Workona, this week launched software designed for those who primarily do their work in a browser. The company’s goal is to become the OS for web work – and to also save web workers from the hell that is a million open tabs. To accomplish this, Workona offers smart browser windows you set up as workspaces, allowing you a place to save your open tabs, as well as collaborate with team members, search across your tabs, and even sync your workspace to different devices. […]

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Google isn’t sure how to spell ‘Fortnite Battle Royale’

The launch of Fortnite Battle Royale has left Google in a slight predicament. While Google is in no way hard up for cash, Fortnite Battle Royale for Android certainly represented the potential for a relatively big revenue stream for an app. That is, until Epic Games decided it would launch Fortnite for Android from its own website, circumventing the Play Store. But revenue aside, there’s also the matter of Google probably not liking the idea of huge titles circumventing the Play Store as a precedent. Plus, the […]

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Wonderschool raises $20M to help people start in-home preschools

Educators already don’t get paid enough, and those that work in preschools or daycares often make 48% less. Meanwhile, parents struggle to find great early education programs where kids receive enough attention and there’s space, but they don’t need special connections or to pass grueling admissions interviews to get in. Any time there’s a lousy experience people have an emotional connection to and spend a lot of money on, there’s an opportunity for a startup. Enter ‘Wonderschool‘, a company that lets licensed educators and caretakers launch in-home […]

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SenSat, a UK startup that uses visual and spatial data to ‘simulate reality’, picks up $4.5M seed

SenSat, a U.K. startup aiming to use visual and spatial data to “simulate reality” and help computers better understand the physical world, has raised $4.5 million in seed funding — cash it will use to further develop the technology, and invest in its San Francisco office. The round was backed by Force Over Mass, Round Hill Venture Partners, and Zag (the venture arm of global creative agency BBH). Launched in 2017 by founders James Dean (CEO) and Harry Atkinson (Head of Product), SenSat turns complex visual and […]

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Lowe’s Ventures backs Moved, a startup that makes moving less stressful

Adam Pittenger knows that moving is tough — after all, he said he’s moved eight times in the past seven years. Pittenger said that there are several reasons why the process can be stressful, like the fact that most people aren’t experts on moving, since they don’t do it as often as him (seriously, eight times is crazy). Plus, there’s just an enormous amount of planning and coordination required, whether it’s hiring movers, buying packing materials or putting your things into storage. So Pittenger decided to make […]

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