Author Archives: Ravi

Coord, a Sidewalk Labs spin-out, raises $5 million to help mobility services better integrate into cities

Coord, the mobility data startup that spun out of Alphabet-owned Sidewalk Labs, has raised a $5 million Series A round led by Alliance Ventures, with participation from Trucks, Urban.Us and DB Digital Ventures. The plan with the funding is to continue to enhance Coord’s APIs and geographic coverage, as well as “build a bridge between the private and public sectors,” Coord co-founder and CEO Stephen Smyth wrote on Medium. Coord offers a few products for its customers, which includes companies like Zipcar, Mozio and Google’s Maps product. […]

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Walmart is working with Eko to create interactive content

Walmart and Eko announced a partnership this morning to create a joint venture for interactive content called W*E Interactive Ventures. The best example of the interactivity that Eko enables is probably “That Moment When,” a comedy web series that the startup created last year in partnership with Sony. In a series of short videos, you take on the role of Jill, a young-ish woman struggling to get her life together — the viewer decides what Jill says and also plays mini-games to help her achieve her goals. According […]

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Tandem’s new credit card targets people who have non-existent credit histories

With its regulatory woes behind it — and the acqui-hire of fintech startup Pariti — Tandem‘s product roadmap appears to be picking up pace. The challenger bank founded by Ricky Knox has launched its second credit card today, this time targeting people in the U.K. who have yet to build up a credit history at all. Credit cards are already one of the most effective ways of improving your credit score (presuming you are approved for one and always repay on time, of course) and it seems […]

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ServiceNow to acquire FriendlyData for its natural language search technology

Enterprise cloud service management company ServiceNow announced today that it will acquire FriendlyData and integrate the startup’s natural language search technology into apps on its Now platform. Founded in 2016, FriendlyData’s natural language query (NLQ) technology enables enterprise customers to build search tools that allow users to ask technical questions even if they don’t know the right jargon. FriendlyData’s NLQ tech figures out what they are trying to say and then answers with text responses or easy-to-understand data visualizations. ServiceNow said it will integrate FriendlyData’s tech into […]

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Teeth-straightening startup SmileDirectClub is now worth $3.2 billion

SmileDirectClub, the at-home teeth-straightening startup, has just raised $380 million at a $3.2 billion valuation, the company announced today. Investors from Clayton, Dubilier & Rice led the round, which featured participation from Kleiner Perkins and Spark Capital. This funding comes on top of Align Technology’s $46.7 million investment in SmileDirectClub in 2016, and another $12.8 million investment in 2017 to own a total of 19 percent of the company. “We are very excited with the outcome of our most recent fundraising round,” SmileDirectClub co-founder Alex Fenkell said in a statement. “Our mission has always […]

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Origin launches protocol for building cheaper decentralized Ubers & Airbnbs

The sharing economy ends up sharing a ton of labor’s earnings with middlemen like Uber and Airbnb, and $38 million-funded Origin wants the next great two-sided marketplace to be decentralized on the blockchain so drivers and riders or hosts and guests can connect directly and avoid paying steep fees that can range up to 20 percent or higher. So today Origin launches its decentralized marketplace protocol on the ethereum mainnet that replaces a central business that connects users and vendors with a smart contract. “Marketplaces don’t redistribute the […]

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Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman announce the name of their stealthy mobile video startup

Onstage at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit in Los Angeles, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman unveiled the name of their highly anticipated mobile video company known until now as NewTV. The name is Quibi, short for “quick bites,” per a note on its new website: “Something cool is coming from Hollywood and Silicon Valley — quick bites of captivating entertainment, created for mobile by the best talent, designed to fit perfectly into any moment of your day.” The short-form video service, launching next year, will operate on […]

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Target’s newest incubator is looking for ‘save the world’ kind of stuff

Target is no stranger to running startup accelerators. The company today operates its Target + Techstars program, the beauty-focused Target Takeoff, and the India-based Target Accelerator Program. Now it’s adding a fourth business accelerator to the mix with the launch of Target Incubator. The new program is aimed at Gen Z entrepreneurs and its only real require is that the businesses involved are doing some sort of good. As Target puts it, the businesses simply need to be making things “better for people or the planet.” That broad […]

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The Hack Fund will use crypto to give startups early liquidity

Now that “utility” tokens have become a popular and international way to fund major blockchain projects, a pair of investors are creating a new way to turn tokens into true equities. The investors, Jonathan Nelson and Laura Nelson, have created Hack Fund, an early stage investment vehicle that allows startups to launch what amounts to “blockchain stock certificates,” according to Jonathan. “Our previous business model exchanged equity from startup companies for services, and wrapped that equity into funds that we then sold to investors. These fund investors […]

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Warby Parker taps NY celebs for Pupils Project limited edition collection

Warby Parker is introducing a new collaboration as part of the Pupils Project. In participation with a number of famous New Yorkers, including Rosario Dawson, Lena Dunham, Nikolai Fraiture, Iman, Fran Lebowitz, Humberto Leon, Mary-Louise Parker, Chloë Sevigny, Gloria Steinem, and Michael K. Williams, the company is releasing ten new pairs of frames. All the proceeds from the sale of these frames will go towards the Pupils Project, which is a program that partners with the Department of Education in NYC and in Baltimore to provide free […]

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