Category Archives: Entertainment

Sextech company scorned by CES scores $2M and an apology

Lora DiCarlo, a startup coupling robotics and sexual health, has $2 million to shove in the Consumer Electronics Show’s face. The same day the company was set to announce their fundraise, The Consumer Technology Association, the event producer behind CES, decided to re-award the Bend, Oregon-based Lora DiCarlo with the innovation award it had revoked from the company ahead of this year’s big event. “We appreciate this gesture from the CTA, who have taken an important step in the right direction to remove the stigma and embarrassment […]

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Rent the Runway just opened its largest brick-and-mortar store yet

Who would have thought Rent the Runway would emerge as a competitor to The Wing and all traditional brick-and-mortar retail? Its newest store, complete with co-working space, shows it’s more than just a designer gown rental service. Shortly after landing a $125 million investment at a $1 billion valuation, Rent the Runway (RTR) has replanted roots in San Francisco, opening an 8,300 square foot West Coast flagship in the city’s Union Square neighborhood. Located on 228 Grant Avenue, the store is RTR’s fifth and largest location yet. […]

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Where top VCs are investing in media, entertainment & gaming

Most of the strategy discussions and news coverage in the media and entertainment industry is concerned with the unfolding corporate mega-mergers and the political implications of social media platforms. These are important conversations, but they’re largely a story of twentieth-century media (and broader society) finally responding to the dominance Web 2.0 companies have achieved. To entrepreneurs and VCs, the more pressing focus is on what the next generation of companies to transform entertainment will look like. Like other sectors, the underlying force is advances in artificial intelligence […]

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Takeaways from F8 and Facebook’s next phase

Extra Crunch offers members the opportunity to tune into conference calls led and moderated by the TechCrunch writers you read every day. This week, TechCrunch’s Josh Constine and Frederic Lardinois discuss major announcements that came out of Facebook’s F8 conference and dig into how Facebook is trying to redefine itself for the future. Though touted as a developer-focused conference, Facebook spent much of F8 discussing privacy upgrades, how the company is improving its social impact, and a series of new initiatives on the consumer and enterprise side. […]

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Movie subscription service Sinemia is ending US operations

Over the past few months, Sinemia has gone from promising MoviePass competitor to the source of frustration for moviegoers across the country. After rumors surfaced earlier this week that it would be backing away from its troubled subscription-based movie ticket offering, it posted official word tonight that it will be shutting down operations in the U.S. “Today, with a heavy heart, we’re announcing that Sinemia is closing its doors and ending operations in the US effective immediately,” the company writes in a statement posted to its front […]

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Talk media and TED2019 key takeaways with TechCrunch’s Anthony Ha

Anthony just returned from Vancouver, where he was covering the TED2019 conference — a much-parodied gathering where VCs, executives and other bigwigs gather to exchange ideas. This year, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey got the biggest headlines, but the questions raised in his onstage interview kept popping up throughout the week: How has social media warped our democracy? How can the big online platforms fight back against abuse and misinformation? And what is the Internet good for, anyway? Wednesday at 11:00 am PT, Anthony will recap the five-day […]

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An Equity deep dive on Patreon

The popular TechCrunch podcast Equity this week launched a new series called Equity Dive, wherein a host interviews the writer of the latest edition of the Extra Crunch EC-1. If you’ve ever wanted to know everything there is to know about Patreon, the platform that connects creators with fans and their wallets, then this is the show for you. TechCrunch Silicon Valley editor Connie Loizos speaks with Eric Peckham who spent hours upon hours meeting with the Patreon team to learn its origin story and the ins […]

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Boomplay, a Spotify-style music and video streaming service for African music and Africa, raises $20M

While Spotify dukes it out with Apple and other big tech names to target high-end users in mostly developed markets, a startup out of China has raised some money to expand its music streaming business in the massive but still nascent market of Africa. Boomplay, a service founded by Transsnet — a joint venture between Chinese phone maker Transsion and Chinese consumer apps giant NetEase — has raised $20 million in outside funding as it looks to break into more sub-Saharan countries and continue to build up […]

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Talking the future of media with Northzone’s Pär-Jörgen Pärson

We live in the subscription streaming era of media. Across film, TV, music, and audiobooks, subscription streaming platforms now shape the market. Gaming and podcasting could be next. Where are the startup opportunities in this shift, and in the next shift that will occur? I sat down with Pär-Jörgen “PJ” Pärson, a partner at European venture firm Northzone, to discuss this at SLUSH this past winter. Pärson – a Swede who now runs Northzone’s office in NYC – led the top early-stage investor in Spotify and led […]

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Snap CEO’s sister Caroline Spiegel starts a no-visuals porn site

If you took the photos and videos out of pornography, could it appeal to a new audience? Caroline Spiegel’s first startup Quinn aims to bring some imagination to adult entertainment. Her older brother, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel, spent years trying to convince people his app wasn’t just for sexy texting. Now Caroline is building a website dedicated to sexy text and audio. The 22-year-old college senior tells TechCrunch that on April 13th she’ll launch Quinn, which she describes as “a much less gross, more fun Pornhub for women”. […]

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