Author Archives: Ravi

Substack celebrates its first birthday with 25K paying newsletter subscribers

It’s been a year since the launch of Substack, a platform that allows newsletter writers to build a subscription business. Today, on its first birthday, the startup has a simple message: Yes, people really are willing to pay for newsletters. In fact, the company says there are more than 25,000 paying subscribers for Substack -powered newsletters (up from 11,000 in July). And newsletters published on the platform reach a total of 150,000 paying active readers. Co-founder and CEO Chris Best described the pitch as, “We’ll do everything […]

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Paperspace scores $13M investment for AI-fueled application development platform

Paperspace wants to help developers build artificial intelligence and machine learning applications with a software/hardware development platform powered by GPUs and other powerful chips. Today, the Winter 2015 Y Combinator grads announced a $13 million Series A. Battery Ventures led the round with participation from SineWave Ventures, Intel Capital and Sorenson Ventures. Existing investor Initialized Capital also participated. Today’s investment brings the total amount to $19 million raised. Dharmesh Thakker, a general partner with Battery Ventures sees Paperspace as being in the right place at the time. […]

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Instacart raises another $600M at a $7.6B valuation

Instacart chief executive officer Apoorva Mehta wants every household in the U.S. to use Instacart, a grocery delivery service that allows shoppers to order from more than 300 retailers, including Kroger, Costco, Walmart and Sam’s Club, using its mobile app. Today, the company is taking a big leap toward that goal. San Francisco-based Instacart has raised $600 million at a $7.6 billion valuation, just six months after it brought in a $150 million round and roughly eight months after a $200 million financing that valued the business at $4.2 […]

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Journal raises $1.5 million to bring Google-like search to your personal life

In today’s world of Slack, email and a gazillion other web apps and services, it’s become increasingly hard to search for information. Did your boss Slack you or email you that information about your bonus? Or did they share it via a Google Doc? Who knows? Clearly not you, but Journal knows. Journal, a machine learning and natural language processing-powered platform designed to search across all your web services and tools, today announced a $1.5 million seed round led by Social Capital. Since receiving the funding about […]

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TravelPerk grabs $44M to take its pain-free SaaS for business travel global

Only six months ago Barcelona-based TravelPerk bagged a $21 million Series B, off the back of strong momentum for a software as a service platform designed to take a Slack-like chunk out of the administrative tedium of arranging and expensing work trips. Today the founders’ smiles are firmly back in place: TravelPerk has announced a $44 million Series C to keep stoking growth that’s seen it grow from around 20 customers two years ago to approaching 1,500 now. The business itself was only founded at the start of 2015. Investors […]

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This robot uses lasers to ‘listen’ to its environment

A new technology from researchers at Carnegie Mellon University will add sound and vibration awareness to create truly context-aware computing. The system, called Ubicoustics, adds additional bits of context to smart device interaction, allowing a smart speaker to know it’s in a kitchen or a smart sensor to know you’re in a tunnel versus on the open road. “A smart speaker sitting on a kitchen countertop cannot figure out if it is in a kitchen, let alone know what a person is doing in a kitchen,” said […]

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Y Combinator survey confirms what we already know — female founders are too often victims of sexual harassment

Y Combinator has released the results of a survey, completed in partnership with its portfolio company Callisto, highlighting the pervasive role of sexual harassment in venture capital and technology startups. Callisto, a sexual misconduct reporting software built for victims, is a graduate of YC’s winter 2018 class. The company sent a survey to 125 of YC’s 384 female founders, asking if they had been “assaulted or coerced by an angel or VC investor in their startup career.” Eighty-eight female founders completed the survey; 19 in total claimed to […]

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Electric scooter startup Grin raises ~$45 million

Grin, an electric scooter startup backed by Y Combinator, has raised a $45.7 million Series A to operate shared, electric scooters in Latin America. Grin, which is based in Mexico City, had previously raised funding from Sinai Ventures, Liquid2 Ventures, 500 Startups, Monashees, Base10 Partners and others. Currently, Grin only operates in Mexico City, but it has plans to expand to other cities throughout Latin America. Electric scooters are clearly a hot space. U.S.-based companies like Bird and Lime have raised millions of dollars. Bird is currently […]

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Penta, the German challenger bank account for SMEs, raises €7M Series A

Penta, the German fintech startup that offers a digital bank account targeting SMEs, has raised €7 million in Series A funding. Backing the company once again is Inception Capital, with total funding now at €10 million since Penta was founded in May 2016. Launched in Germany in December, and powered by Banking-as-a-Platform solarisBank (rather than holding a banking license of its own), Penta is designed to meet the banking needs of small to medium-sized businesses, including startups. The premise is that SMEs are currently underserved by incumbent […]

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Entrepreneur First, the company builder backed by Greylock, lands in Bangalore

Entrepreneur First (EF), the London-HQ’d company builder that invests in individuals “pre-team, pre-idea” to enable them to found new startups, is scaling up rapidly, as it promised to so. Already running programs in Paris, Berlin, London, Singapore, and Hong Kong, the so-called talent-first investor is setting up shop in Bangalore, India. Although referred to as the “Silicon Valley of India,” Bangalore fits the EF bill quite well in terms of being a tech hub with latent potential, especially when measured by the small number of truly international […]

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