Category Archives: Hardware

Digging into key takeaways from our 2019 Robotics+AI Sessions Event

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 Brian Heater and Lucas Matney shared their key takeaways from our Robotics+AI Sessions event at UC Berkeley last week. The event was filled with panels, demos and intimate discussions with key robotics and deep learning founders, executives and technologists. Brian and Lucas discuss which companies excited them most, as well as which verticals have the most exciting growth prospects in the robotics […]

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Talk all things robotics and AI with TechCrunch writers

This Thursday, we’ll be hosting our third annual Robotics + AI TechCrunch Sessions event at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall. The day is packed start-to-finish with intimate discussions on the state of robotics and deep learning with key founders, investors, researchers and technologists. The event will dig into recent developments in robotics and AI, which startups and companies are driving the market’s growth and how the evolution of these technologies may ultimately play out. In preparation for our event, TechCrunch’s Brian Heater spent time over the last several […]

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Fleetsmith lands $30M Series B to grow Apple device management platform

Fleetsmith launched in 2016 with a mission to manage Apple devices in the cloud. It simplified an IT activity that had previously been complex with help from Apple’s Device Enrollment Program. Over the last year, the startup has beefed up its offering considerably, and today it announced a $30 million Series B round led by Menlo Ventures. Tiger Global Management, Upfront Ventures and Harrison Metal also participated. Under the terms of the deal Naomi Pilosof Ionita, a partner at Menlo will join the company board. Her colleague […]

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Ocean drone startup merger spawns Sofar, the DJI of the sea

What lies beneath the murky depths? SolarCity co-founder Peter Rive wants to help you and the scientific community find out. He’s just led a $7 million Series A for Sofar Ocean Technologies, a new startup formed from a merger he orchestrated between underwater drone maker OpenROV and sea sensor developer Spoondrift. Together, they’re teaming up their 1080p Trident drone and solar-powered Spotter sensor to let you collect data above and below the surface. They can help you shoot awesome video footage, track waves and weather, spot fishing […]

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Artiphon raises $2M round led by Warner Music

Artiphon, the startup behind the electronic instrument that it’s dubbed the Instrument 1, has raised $2 million in seed funding. We previously described the Instrument 1 as a symphony, rock band and DJ that you can hold in your hand. It’s a device that allows you to create the sounds of a guitar, violin, bass, piano or drum machine without any real training. Back in 2015, Artiphon raised $1.3 million for the Instrument 1 on Kickstarter, blowing past its goal of $75,000. The new funding is a […]

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Enterprise drone service Kespry raises new funding from Salesforce Ventures

Kespry, a company that offers industrial users a subscription-based drone service, today announced that it has raised funding from Salesforce Ventures, marking that firm’s first hardware investment. With this, Salesforce and Kespry are also partnering around bringing Kespry’s drone services for the insurance industry to Salesforce’s own tools for this vertical. Sadly, the companies did not disclose the actual funding amount, but our understanding is that it’s a substantial amount that’s comparable to other Salesforce Ventures investments. With its focus on industrial use cases, the company, which […]

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Our 9 favorite startups from Y Combinator W19 Demo Day 2

Heathcare kiosks, a home-cooked food marketplace, and a way for startups to earn interest on their funding topped our list of high-potential companies from Y Combinator’s Winter 2019 Demo Day 2. 88 startups launched on stage at the lauded accelerator, though some of the best skipped the stage as they’d already raised tons of money. Be sure to check out our write-ups of all 85 startups from day 1 plus our top picks, as well as the full set from day 2. But now, after asking investors […]

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The top 10 startups from Y Combinator W19 Demo Day 1

Electric-vehicle chargers, heads-up displays for soldiers and the Costco of weed were some of our favorites from prestigious startup accelerator Y Combinator’s Winter 2019 Demo Day 1. If you want to take the pulse of Silicon Valley, YC is the place to be. But with more than 200 startups presenting across two stages and two days, it’s tough to keep track. You can check out our write-ups of all 85 startups that launched on Demo Day 1, and come back later for our full index and picks […]

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Hammerhead raises $4.2M to build a smarter operating system for bikes

Hammerhead founder and CEO Piet Morgan is a bicyclist, and he started the company because he wanted a better navigation system. So Hammerhead crowdfunded its first product, the H1, and subsequently built Karoo, a “cycling computer” that supports navigation and training. But Morgan told me his ambitions are bigger than that. After all, he sees a future where electric bikes need smart range projections, where bikeshare fleets need to be managed, where social training programs like Strava can pull data from the bike itself and where any […]

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Ubiquitilink advance means every phone is now a satellite phone

Last month I wrote about Ubiquitilink, which promised, through undisclosed means, it was on the verge of providing a sort of global satellite-based roaming service. But how, I asked? (Wait, they told me.) Turns out our phones are capable of a lot more than we think: they can reach satellites acting as cell towers in orbit just fine, and the company just proved it. Utilizing a constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit, Ubiquitilink claimed during a briefing at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that pretty much […]

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