Category Archives: Hardware

Lime will open brick-and-mortar scooter ‘lifestyle stores’

How can Lime differentiate its scooters and bikes from the piles of Birds and Spins filling Los Angeles sidewalks? Apparently with a physical storefront where it can convince customers of the wonders of on-demand mobility. According to a job listing from Lime seeking a “Retail Store Manager,” the startup plans to open a “lifestyle brand store in Santa Monica”. [Update: Following the publication of this article, Lime responded to our inquiry, telling TechCrunch “In the coming year, Lime will be opening brick & mortar storefronts in major […]

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TrackR is rebranding to Adero as it looks beyond small devices to track lost items

When TrackR raised $50 million from investors that included Amazon a year ago, the Santa Barbara startup made a big splash in the growing market for small connected dongles that you could attach to “dumb” objects like keys to keep tabs on their location. But times for the company have been challenging since then. It’s weathered layoffs; a succession of natural disasters; and its co-founders stepping away from exec roles as CEO and president. Those events took their toll: we discovered that TrackR quietly closed an additional, small amount of funding […]

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Rylo scores $20 million for its clever camera tech

You may recall Rylo from this time last year, when the imaging startup launched a creative take on the 360 camera. The company’s been fairly quiet in the six months since it launched some new software tricks, but a new round of funding should help the company take some key steps toward spreading the gospel. This week, Rylo announced that it has secured a $20 million Series B, led by Icon Ventures. That brings its total up to $35 million, with help from Accel Partners and Sequoia […]

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Iron Ox opens its first fully autonomous farm

For the last two and a half years, Iron Ox has been working on perfecting its agricultural robots to tend its indoor farms. After first testing its systems on a small scale, the company is opening its first fully autonomous production farm, with plans to start selling its produce soon. The farm is currently growing a number of leafy greens, including romaine, butterhead and kale, in addition to basil, cilantro and chives.  The robots that are tending these plants are Angus, a 1000-pound machine that can lift and […]

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Blok.Party raises $10M, will adapt Settlers of Catan to its blockchain game console

Blok.Party, the company that built the upcoming PlayTable game console, announced today it raised $10 million in new funding. It’s also unveiling a big content partnership, where Blok.Party will create its own version of the popular board game Settlers of Catan. I first wrote about Blok.Party and PlayTable earlier this year, when co-founder and CEO Jimmy Chen first laid out his vision to use blockchain technology to build a console that can recognize real-world objects (like figurines and cards), creating a hybrid between tabletop and video gaming. […]

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uBeam wireless power’s CEO Meredith Perry steps aside amidst B2B pivot

After repeatedly missing self-imposed deadlines for progress on its wireless charging-at-a-distance phone case, uBeam’s CEO Meredith Perry has decided to shift out of the CEO position and into a board member and senior advisor role. She’d founded the company in 2011 from her dorm room and brought in over $40 million in funding by selling a wide range of elite investors on her vision for a cordless future, including Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund, CrunchFund (disclosure: started by TechCrunch’s founder), Marissa Mayer and Mark Cuban. Now rather than […]

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Spire Health Tags are now on Apple’s shelves

Spire’s Health Tags, the dark and tiny devices you stick on your clothes to gather all sorts of health data from your steps, heartbeat and stress levels is now available at your local Apple Store. The company started out with a breath tracking device to detect when you are feeling tense and help calm you down. But four years in and its now all about the wearable “tags” you stick on items of clothing like your pants or sports bra. Yes, yes, there are lots of gadgets out […]

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Kegel trainer startup Elvie is launching a smaller, smarter, hands-free breast pump

Elvie, a Berlin-based startup known best for its connected Kegel trainer, is jumping into the breast pump business with a new $480 hands-free system you can slip into your bra. Even with all the innovation in baby gear, breast pumps have mostly sucked (pun intended) for new moms for the past half a century. My first experience with a pump required me to stay near a wall socket and hunch over for a good 20 to 30 minutes for fear the milk collected might spill all over the […]

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Impossible Aerospace raises $9.4M to sell drones stuffed with battery cells

Much like smartphone manufacturers, drone companies have been adding to devices plenty of features over the past several years while making only modest improvements to battery life. But while your phone may boast “all-day” usage, a lot of the top drones only register flight times between 20-35 minutes. Impossible Aerospace is looking to change up that equation, at least when it comes to commercial drones, with a dense design that is basically all battery. The company shared launch details of its US-1 drone today, and announced that […]

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Starry wants to put high-speed 5G internet in reach of everyone

Starry, a Boston startup, wants deliver high-speed 5G internet in major cities at a reasonable price. Today, it announced it is expanding service from its initial launch in Boston to New York City. The company also announced a deal with Related Companies, a large national affordable housing owner, to host Starry equipment on its buildings and offer Starry service to its tenants. The Starry solution consists of three parts: The beam sits on a high roof. The point sits on a lower roof and the consumer gets […]

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