Category Archives: Apps

Pinstagram? Instagram code reveals Public Collections feature

Instagram is threatening to attack Pinterest just as it files to go public the same way the Facebook-owned app did to Snapchat. Code buried in Instagram for Android shows the company has prototyped an option to create public “Collections” to which multiple users can contribute. Instagram launched private Collections two years ago to let you Save and organize your favorite feed posts. But by allowing users to make Collections public, Instagram would become a direct competitor to Pinterest. Instagram public Collections could spark a new medium of […]

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Loop acquires ScreenPlay to build its streaming library

A new streaming startup called Loop Media is announcing its first acquisition — it’s bought a 30-year-old company called ScreenPlay. While you may not have heard of ScreenPlay, the company has licensed a library of 200,000 music videos and movie/game/TV trailers, which it broadcasts in thousands of venues for partners like Hard Rock Cafe, Norwegian Cruise Line, Yard House, Buffalo Wild Wing and Caesars Entertainment. This announcement comes just a week after Loop officially came out of stealth — and in fact, co-founder and CEO Jon Niermann […]

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QuizUp founder launches Teatime, a mobile gaming platform with built-in video chat

At the end of 2016, Plain Vanilla founder Thor Fridriksson left the company he founded with the intent to take at least a year off of work. His product QuizUp, a social trivia game that raised more than $40 million and said it had more than 100 million users, never truly found a way to monetize. After a few missteps, including a proposed TV deal that eventually got cancelled, Plain Vanilla was acquired by Glu Mobile for a deal reportedly valued at $7.5 million. Fridriksson was only […]

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Orai raises $2.3M to make you a better speaker

Orai, a startup building communication coaching tools, is announcing that it has raised $2.3 million in seed funding. CEO Danish Dhamani said that he co-founded the company with Paritosh Gupta and Aasim Sani to address a need in his own life — the fact that he was “held back personally and professionally” by lackluster “communications skills and public speaking skills.” Dhamani said he attended Toastmasters International meetings hoping to improve those skills, where he came to a surprising conclusion — that he could build an algorithm to […]

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Slack off. Send videos instead with $11M-funded Loom

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many emails can you replace with a video? As offices fragment into remote teams, work becomes more visual, and social media makes us more comfortable on camera, it’s time for collaboration to go beyond text. That’s the idea behind Loom, a fast-rising startup that equips enterprises with instant video messaging tools. In a click, you can film yourself or narrate a screenshare to get an idea across in a more vivid, personal way. Instead of scheduling a video […]

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IFTTT co-founder Linden Tibbets steps down as CEO, replaced by turnaround specialist Chris Kibarian

After raising $24 million in funding led by Salesforce in April 2018, the startup IFTTT — which provides an API platform so that people can create short scripts for apps to work together — has announced that its co-founder Linden Tibbets has stepped down as CEO after 10 years leading the company. Chris Kibarian, who most recently was the CEO of Monster.com owner Randstad Digital Ventures, has taken on the role, and joined the board in the process. Tibbets, meanwhile, is staying on as IFTTT’s chief design […]

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SendBird snags $52M Series B to expand messaging API tool

SendBird, a San Francisco area startup, helps developers add messaging to their apps with a couple of lines of code. It’s an idea similar to Stripe for payments or Twilio for communications. Today, the company announced a $52 million Series B investment. The round was led by Iconiq Capital. Existing investors Shasta Ventures, August Capital, Y Combinator, and Funders Club also participated. Today’s investment brings the total raised to over $70 million, according to Crunchbase. Y Combinator is contributing to this round and SendBird was actually a […]

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Apple acquires talking Barbie voicetech startup PullString

Apple has just bought up the talent it needs to make talking toys a part of Siri, HomePod, and its voice strategy. Apple has acquired PullString, also known as ToyTalk, according to Axios’ Dan Primack and Ina Fried. TechCrunch has received confirmation of the acquistion from sources with knowledge of the deal. The startup makes voice experience design tools, artificial intelligence to power those experiences, and toys like talking Barbie and Thomas The Tank Engine toys in partnership with Mattel. Founded in 2011 by former Pixar executives, PullString went […]

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3DEN raises $2M to create pay-as-you-go urban spaces

3DEN is building spaces for what it calls the “in-between moments” of your day. The name (pronounced “Eden”) comes from the idea of the “third place” — a space that’s neither home nor work. Founder and CEO Ben Silver told me the goal is to create a space that people can use if, say, they’ve got 45 minutes to fill between meetings, or if they’ve just gotten off a red eye flight and need somewhere to freshen up. Coffee shops, coworking spaces, gyms or hotels might serve […]

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Sean Parker’s govtech Brigade breaks up, Pinterest acqhires engineers

Facebook co-founder Sean Parker bankrolled Brigade to get out the vote and stimulate civic debate, but after five years and little progress the startup is splitting up, multiple sources confirm to TechCrunch. We’ve learned that Pinterest has acqhired roughly 20 members of the Brigade engineering team. The rest of Brigade is looking for a potential buyer or partner in the political space to take on the rest of the team plus its tech and product. Pinterest as well as Brigade CEO Matt Mahan confirmed the fate of […]

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