Category Archives: ceo

Pro.com raises $33M for its home improvement platform

Pro.com is basically a general contractor for the age of Uber and Prime Now. While the company started out as a marketplace for hiring home improvement professionals, it has now morphed into a general contractor and serves Denver, Phoenix San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle. Today, Pro.com announced that it has raised a $33 million Series B round led by WestRiver Group, Goldman Sach and Redfin. Previous investors DFJ, Madrona Venture Group, Maveron and Two Sigma Ventures also participated. WestRiver founder Erik Anderson, Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman […]

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On-demand workspace platform Breather taps new CEO

Breather’s new CEO Bryan Murphy / Breather Press Kit Breather, the platform that provides on-demand private workspace, announced today that it has appointed Bryan Murphy as its new CEO. Before joining Breather, Murphy was the founder and President of direct-to-consumer mattress startup, Tomorrow Sleep. Prior to Tomorrow Sleep, Murphy held posts as an advisor to investment firms and as an executive at eBay after the company acquired his previous company, WHI Solutions – an e-commerce platform for aftermarket auto parts – where Murphy was the co-founder and CEO. […]

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Zynga to acquire Small Giant Games, the maker of Empires & Puzzles, for $700M

Social game developer Zynga has entered into an agreement to acquire Small Giant Games, the startup behind the popular mobile game Empires & Puzzles, in a deal expected to total $700 million. Zynga, which has tumbled since its 2011 Nasdaq initial public offering, will initially acquire 80 percent of Small Giant Games for $560 million, composed of $330 million in cash and $230 million of unregistered Zynga common stock. Zynga will fund part of the transaction with a $200 million credit facility. “We’ve been impressed by the quality […]

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More than half of crypto news sites are pay-for-play

In a clever bit of sleuthing by Corin Faife at Breaker, we find that over half of the most popular crypto blogs offer pay-for-play posts including “CEO interviews” that are not labelled as sponsored. Further, many sites offer premium services in which blog writers will repost PR content without a sponsored tag. As I noted a few weeks ago, the crypto industry is awash with money and “journalists” are taking advantage of the naivety and dishonesty of the marketers tasked with pushing another me-too crypto product in […]

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Minds, the blockchain-based social network, grabs a $6M Series A

Minds, a decentralized social network, has raised $6 million in Series A funding from Medici Ventures, Overstock.com’s venture arm. Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne will join the Minds Board of Directors. What is a decentralized social network? The creators, who originally crowdfunded their product, see it as an anti-surveillance, anti-censorship, and anti-“big tech” platform that ensures that no one party controls your online presence. And Minds is already seeing solid movement. “In June 2018, Minds saw an enormous uptick in new Vietnamese of hundreds of thousands users as […]

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Proxxi saves workers from getting electrocuted

There are some gadgets that are nice to have – iPhones, sous vide wands – and some gadgets that you must have. Proxxi fits in the latter camp. Proxxi is an always-on sensor that buzzes when it gets too close to high voltage electricity. It’s worn by mechanics and electricians and alerts them when they’re approaching something dangerous. The Vancouver-based company just sold out of its initial commercial evaluation units and they’re building a huge business supplying these clever little bracelets to GE, Con Edison, Exelon, Baker […]

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Humbition is a new fund led by the Indiegogo’s Slava Rubin

Zocdoc founder Cyrus Massoumi and Indiegogo founder Slava Rubin have created a new $30 million fund called Humbition aimed at early stage, founder-led companies in New York. “The fund is focused on connecting startups with investors and advisors experienced in building and growing successful businesses,” said Rubin. “We are seeking to fill a void in NYC, where the vast majority of early stage investors have no significant experience building and scaling businesses,” he said. “The fund’s main areas of investment include marketplaces, consumer and health tech. But […]

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Recent departures hint at turmoil at Quartet Health, a mental health startup backed by GV

Backed with nearly $87 million in venture capital funding from GV, Oak HC/FT and F-Prime Capital, Quartet Health was founded in 2014 by Arun Gupta, Steve Shulman and David Wennberg to improve access to behavioral healthcare. Its mission: “enable every person in our society to thrive by building a collaborative behavioral and physical health ecosystem.” Recent shakeups within the New York-based company’s c-suite and a perusal of its Glassdoor profile suggest Quartet’s culture is not fully in line with its own philosophy.   In the last few weeks, chief product […]

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KZen raises $4 million to bring sanity to crypto wallets

KZen, a company run by former TC editor Ouriel Ohayon, has raised $4 million in seed to build a “better wallet,” obviously the elusive Holy Grail in the crypto world. Benson Oak Ventures, Samsung Next, Elron Ventures invested. Ohayon, who has worked at Internet Lab and founded TechCrunch France and Appsfire, wanted to create an easy-to-use crypto wallet that wouldn’t confound users. The company name is a play on the Japanese word kaizen or improvement and it also points to the idea of the zero-knowledge proof. Omer […]

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YC grad The Lobby raises $1.2M to help job seekers break into Wall Street

Six months after completing Y Combinator’s 12-week accelerator program, The Lobby is announcing a $1.2 million investment. The startup connects job seekers to Wall Street bankers, venture capitalists and other finance “insiders” for advice and personalized career coaching. Founder and former investment banker Deepak Chhugani wants to help people who don’t come from elite backgrounds or have the network of an Ivy League graduate land high-profile finance roles. “There’s a huge chunk of people that never get noticed,” Chhugani told TechCrunch. “The best opportunities are usually only privy to people […]

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