Category Archives: Canvas Ventures

Startups Weekly: Uber’s headline-grabbing week and sextech at SXSW

I spent the week at SXSW, Austin’s really, really huge technology, music, comedy and film festival. It’s my first year making the trek down here for the event, which I did to interview sextech entrepreneur Lora DiCarlo founder Lora Haddock, whose robotics innovation reward was infamously revoked at this year’s CES. “I brush my teeth and I masturbate. It’s all normal,” she said, addressing the stigma surrounding female-focused pleasure tech. Haddock, during our chat, also announced the first-ever government grant for a sextech startup, a $99,637 funding […]

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Appen acquires Figure Eight for up to $300M, bringing two data annotation companies together

Appen just announced that it’s acquiring Figure Eight in an all-cash deal that sees Appen paying $175 million upfront, with an additional payment of up to $125 million based on Figure Eight’s performance this year. Both companies focus on using crowdsourced labor pools to annotate data, which in turn is used to train artificial intelligence and machine learning — for example, Figure Eight (formerly known as CrowdFlower and Dolores Labs) says its technology has been for everything from mapping to stock photography to scanning receipts for expense reports. Appen, […]

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