Category Archives: London

FutureLearn takes $65M from Seek Group for 50% stake in UK online degree platform

Edtech and recruitment continue to converge. London-based online degree platform, FutureLearn, is taking £50 million (~$64.6M) from Australian-based online job matching group, Seek, in exchange for a 50 per cent stake in the business — just days after the same group led a massive Series E in U.S. online learning giant Coursera. U.K. distance learning veteran, the Open University — which had wholly owned the FutureLearn platform up til now — retains a 50 per cent stake in the business following the Seek Group investment. In a […]

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The startup behind that deep-fake David Beckham video just raised $3M

The recent global campaign showing Malaria survivors speaking through David Beckham to help raise awareness around the Malaria Must Die initiative spooked a lot of people: The campaign has already exceeded 400 million impressions globally. But a behind-the-scenes video explains how the video was made: The campaign was a joint collaboration between RG/A, Ridley Scott Associates and the clever video startup Synthesia, for Malaria No More. And it turns out, there’s a huge commercial imperative over this cool technology. Video production today is highly unscaleable. It’s a […]

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Remote workers and nomads represent the next tech hub

Amid calls for a dozen different global cities to replace Silicon Valley — Austin, Beijing, London, New York — nobody has yet nominated “nowhere.” But it’s now a possibility. There are two trends to unpack here. The first is startups that are fully, or almost fully, remote, with employees distributed around the world. There’s a growing list of significant companies in this category: Automattic, Buffer, GitLab, Invision, Toptal and Zapier all have from 100 to nearly 1,000 remote employees. The second trend is nomadic founders with no […]

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Fabula AI is using social spread to spot ‘fake news’

UK startup Fabula AI reckons it’s devised a way for artificial intelligence to help user generated content platforms get on top of the disinformation crisis that keeps rocking the world of social media with antisocial scandals. Even Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has sounded a cautious note about AI technology’s capability to meet the complex, contextual, messy and inherently human challenge of correctly understanding every missive a social media user might send, well-intentioned or its nasty flip-side. “It will take many years to fully develop these systems,” the Facebook […]

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pi-top’s latest edtech tool doubles down on maker culture

London-based edtech startup, pi-top, has unboxed a new flagship learn-to-code product, demoing the “go anywhere” Pi-powered computer at the Bett Show education fare in London today. Discussing the product with TechCrunch ahead of launch, co-founder and CEO Jesse Lozano talked up the skills the company hopes students in the target 12-to-17 age range will develop and learn to apply by using sensor-based connected tech, powered by its new pi-top 4, to solve real world problems. “When you get a pi-top 4 out of the box you’re going to […]

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London’s transport regulator looks to startups to help fix urban mobility

London’s transport regulator, TfL has announced a partnership with Bosch for its forthcoming co-working space in Shoreditch. The civic tech project is intended to run for 18 months as a pilot — though Bosch’s ‘Connectory’ co-working facility won’t open until the end of January. A company spokeswoman confirmed the partnership is nonetheless up and running now. The aim of the collaborative project is to share data and expertise, including by tapping into London’s startup ecosystem, to land on new ideas for tackling urban mobility issues — from […]

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Jane.VC, a new fund for female entrepreneurs, wants founders to cold email them

Want to pitch a venture capitalist? You’ll need a “warm introduction” first. At least that’s what most in the business will advise. Find a person, typically a man, who made the VC you’re interested in pitching a whole bunch of money at some point and have them introduce you. Why? Because VCs love people who’ve made them money; naturally, they’ll be willing to hear you out if you’ve got at least one money maker on your side. There’s a big problem with that cycle. Not all entrepreneurs […]

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VCs say Silicon Valley isn’t the gold mine it used to be

In the days leading up to TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2018, The Economist published the cover story, ‘Why Startups Are Leaving Silicon Valley.’ The author outlined reasons why the Valley has “peaked.” Venture capital investors are deploying capital outside the Bay Area more than ever before. High-profile entrepreneurs and investors, Peter Thiel, for example, have left. Rising rents are making it impossible for new blood to make a living, let alone build businesses. And according to a recent survey, 46 percent of Bay Area residents want to get the […]

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Peep the future of distributed ledgers with the leaders of Hyperledger, Parity Technologies and Tradeshift

As cryptocurrencies emerge from the speculative bloodletting of the past months, believers in the promise of distributed ledger technologies for business and consumer applications are casting about for what comes next. On our stage at Disrupt San Francisco we’ll be welcoming some of the leading thinkers in how distributed ledgers can create an entirely new architecture for computing and new processes for almost every conceivable transaction framework. For Brian Behlendorf, the executive director of Hyperledger, distributed ledger technologies represent a powerful path for the future of networked […]

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What every startup founder should know about exits

Benjamin Joffe Contributor Benjamin Joffe is a partner at HAX. More posts by this contributor 70 years of VC innovation 2017 crowdfunding guide The dream of a startup founder can often be summarized by the following well-intentioned, and mostly delusional quote: “We’ll raise a few rounds and in a few years we’ll IPO on Nasdaq.” But a more likely scenario looks something like this.: You invest a few years of hard work to build something of value. One day you receive an acquisition offer out of the blue. […]

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