Author Archives: Ravi

InVision, valued at $1.9 billion, picks up $115 million Series F

“The screen is becoming the most important place in the world,” says InVision CEO and founder Clark Valberg . In fact, it’s hard to get through a conversation with him without hearing it. And, considering that his company has grown to $100 million in annual recurring revenue, he has reason to believe his own affirmation. InVision, the startup looking to be the Salesforce of design, has officially achieved unicorn status with the close of a $115 million Series F round, bringing the company’s total funding to $350 […]

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Vroom nabs $146M from AutoNation, VCs for its used car marketplace

Vroom has raised $146 million in Series G funding, an expansion to a $30 million investment we reported in early September. U.S. automotive retailer AutoNation led the round for the startup, with participation from existing investors T. Rowe Price, L Catterton, General Catalyst and Fraser McCombs Capital. The company declined to disclose the valuation, but says it was an up round. Vroom was valued at $440 million in 2016 with a $50 million financing, according to PitchBook. Led by chief executive officer Paul Hennessy, the former CEO of […]

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Fintech startup Plaid raises $250M at a $2.65B valuation

In the five years since its product was showcased onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt New York’s hackathon, Plaid has emerged as one of the most critical contributors to financial technology’s evolution — and one of the most under the radar. That is, until now. The company is today announcing a $250 million Series C investment led by famed venture capitalist and the author of the Internet Trends report Mary Meeker, who will join its board of directors as part of the deal. The funds were raised at a […]

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HypeHop is a product to fix sponsored videos

I’ve been thinking hard about the concept of sponsored content — you can find some of it on TechCrunch if you look hard enough, and it appears almost everywhere else. It’s an important consideration, because as an online journalist I’ve heard everything from “How much did Apple pay you to post this?” to “How much can I pay you to post something to TechCrunch?” And I’m sick of it. Journalists afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. Marketers comfort the comfortable. The only person who wins in […]

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SoftBank invests in parking startup ParkJockey pushing valuation to $1 billion

SoftBank continues to invest in the future of transportation — this time in ParkJockey, a startup that has built a technology platform aimed at monetizing parking lots. And ParkJockey, which was founded in 2013, is already using that capital to scale up. Along with the SoftBank investment news, ParkJockey also announced that it was acquiring two of the largest parking operators in North America. The startup, with help from Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Capital and debt financing from Owl Rock, said it had reached an agreement to acquire Imperial Parking Corporation, […]

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CTRL-labs’ first dev kit is a gesture-tracking neural controller

The race to replace the mouse and keyboard has yielded a lot of weird tech, but as various hardware startups try to find the missing link between what we have now and some sort of embedded brain chip, we’re seeing some fascinating solutions surface. New York-based CTRL-labs just announced its first developer kit that’s aiming to refresh how people interact with computers — an armband that can track a user’s finger movements by measuring electrical impulses. It’s not quite a brain controller, though in practice this type of […]

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AR startup Blippar in danger of becoming a blip as shareholders fight over future funding

Blippar, the U.K.-based AR startup that raised more than $130 million, may be nearing the end of the road. The company has been burning through cash in a bid to pivot in search of a profitable AR business model, and now shareholders are in dispute over whether to throw Blippar any more money to aid that effort, according to a statement the company provided to TechCrunch. The company has been on the brink for a while now, but things have taken a hard turn in the past […]

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Solo.io raises $11M to help enterprises adopt cloud-native technologies

Solo.io, a Cambridge, Mass-based startup that helps enterprises adopt cloud-native technologies, is coming out of stealth mode today and announcing both its Series A funding round and the launch of its Gloo Enterprise API gateway. Redpoint Ventures led the $11 million Series A round, with participation from seed investor True Ventures . Like most companies at the Series A state, Solo.io plans to use the money to invest in the product development of its enterprise and open-source tools, as well as to grow its sales and marketing teams. […]

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Q&A with Diversity VC’s Check Warner on newly launched Diversity & Inclusion guide for tech companies

If the last few years has seen a growing consensus that the tech industry has a diversity and inclusion problem, then what is clearly needed next are practical solutions. While most people agree that building a diverse and inclusive company culture is easier to achieve the earlier you set out to do so, for startups and even much larger companies it is often difficult to know where to start, let alone what your own eventual D&I strategy might look like. Conversely, there’s a body of evidence that […]

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Let’s meet in Poland next week

I’m heading back to Europe to run a pitch-off in Wroclaw and Warsaw, Poland. Are you ready? The Wroclaw event, called In-Ference, is happening on December 17 and you can submit to pitch here. The team will notify you if you have been chosen. The winner will receive a table at TC Disrupt in San Francisco. The Warsaw event, here, is on the 19th. You can sign up to pitch here. I’ll notify the folks I’ve chosen and the winner gets a table as well. Special thanks to WeWork […]

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