Category Archives: eCommerce

Meet Caper, the AI self-checkout shopping cart

The Amazon boogie-man has every retailer scrambling for ways to fight back. But the cost and effort to install cameras all over the ceiling or into every shelf could block stores from entering the autonomous shopping era. Caper wants to make eliminating checkout lines as easy as replacing their shopping carts while offering a more familiar experience for customers. The startup makes a shopping cart with a built-in barcode scanner and credit card swiper, but it’s finalizing the technology to automatically scan items you drop in thanks to […]

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To automate bigger stores than Amazon, Standard Cognition buys Explorer.ai

Standard Cognition helps retail stores stand up to Jeff Bezos’ juggernaut. The $50 million-funded autonomous checkout startup is racing to equip bigger shops with scanless payment technology that lets customers walk out the door without ever stopping at a cashier. While Amazon Go opens its own 2,000 square foot boutiques, Standard Cognition is working on outfitting 20,000 square foot and larger drug stores and grocers. That led Standard Cognition to make its first acquisition, Explorer.ai. Why would an automated checkout company acquire a self-driving car startup? Because whether […]

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Fitness marketplace ClassPass acquires competitor GuavaPass

ClassPass, the five-year-old fitness marketplace startup with $239 million in financing, is acquiring competitor GuavaPass, which was founded by Rob Pachter and Jeffrey Liu in 2015. ClassPass is in the midst of an expansion sprint, both domestically and internationally. The company is hyper-focused on Asian markets, where GuavaPass had carved out its own place with 75 studio partners across 11 cities, including Abu Dhabi, Bnagkok, Beijing, Dubai, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Mumbai, Shanghai and Singapore. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. This […]

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Grove Collaborative, a subscription startup selling ‘household essentials,’ has been quietly raising a lot of moolah

Grove Collaborative, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based startup that sells household, personal care, baby, children’s and pet products, has been busy raising money in 2018, shows two new SEC filings that lists representatives from the company’s earlier investors, including Mayfield, Norwest Venture Partners and MHS Capital, as well as apparent new investor General Atlantic, represented by partner Catherine Beaudoin. One of the filings shows that Grove Collaborative, which had already raised roughly $62 million as of the start of 2018, subsequently raised $27.4 million more this year. A separate, second […]

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Dolls Kill is raising up to $15 million for its edgy fashion brand made for ‘misfits’

When founder Bobby Farahi met Shaudi “Shoddy” Lynn, it was at a rave in L.A. Farahi has said he was immediately drawn to the fashion sense of Lynn, who was a DJ at the time; she, meanwhile, might have appreciated the business acumen of Farahi, who had already sold a broadcast monitoring service called Multivision to a rival company. As Farahi told Inc. magazine several years ago, the couple, now married, decided to try their hand at business together, calling it Dolls Kill and selling foxtail keychains […]

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How Juul made vaping viral to become worth a dirty $38 billion

A Juul is not a cigarette. It’s much easier than that. Through devilishly slick product design I’ll discuss here, the startup has massively lowered the barrier to getting hooked on nicotine. Juul has dismantled every deterrent to taking a puff. The result is both a new $38 billion valuation thanks to a $12.8 billion investment from Marlboro Cigarettes-maker Altria this week, and an explosion in popularity of vaping amongst teenagers and the rest of the population. Game recognize game, and Altria’s game is nicotine addiction. It knows […]

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A month after $70M, Clearbanc raises $50M fund to front startups ad money

Clearbanc is disrupting startup funding by providing companies cash to buy ads in exchange for a revenue share so they don’t have to sell as much equity to venture capitalists. That idea has proven so appealing that 1000 companies seeking up to $1 billion total hit up Clearbanc since we reported it raised $70 million last month. So to meet the demand of the most eligible startups asking for marketing cash, Clearbanc has just raised a $50 million fund from Seamless co-founder Jason Finger’s new firm Upper90. […]

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Robinhood said to not be properly insured to offer checking & savings

Robinhood’s new high-interest, zero-fee checking and savings feature seems to be too good to be true. Users’ money may not be fully protected. The CEO of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, a nonprofit membership corporation that insures stock brokerages, tells TechCrunch its insurance would not apply to checking and savings accounts the way Robinhood claims. “Robinhood would be buying securities for its account and sharing a portion of the proceeds with their customers, and that’s not what we cover,” says SIPC CEO Stephen Harbeck. “I’ve never seen a single […]

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Procter & Gamble acquires Walker & Company, Tristan Walker will remain as CEO

Walker & Company Brands, a startup making health and beauty products for people of color, has been acquired by consumer giant Procter & Gamble. The company was founded five years ago by Tristan Walker, who previously led business development for Foursquare, and who aimed to create products that would better serve the needs of people of color with coarse or curly hair. Walker & Co. started out with its Bevel shaving products for men, then launched Form, a collection of hair products for women. P&G says the […]

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Online liquor store Drizly just landed $34.5 million in fresh funding

Apparently, a lot of people realize at the last minute that they don’t have either beer, wine or liquor in their home when they need it. It’s certainly the most obvious explanation for a sizable new round of funding into Drizly, a six-year-old, Boston-based on-demand delivery app for alcohol that works with roughly 1,000 brick-and-mortar liquor stores across the U.S. and Canada to deliver spirits to customers in what it says is less than an hour. Indeed, according to a new SEC filing, the company has just […]

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