Category Archives: SaaS

Ex-Googlers meld humans & machines at new cobotics startup Formant

Our distinct skill sets and shortcomings mean people and robots will join forces for the next few decades. Robots are tireless, efficient and reliable, but in a millisecond through intuition and situational awareness, humans can make decisions machine can’t. Until workplace robots are truly autonomous and don’t require any human thinking, we’ll need software to supervise them at scale. Formant comes out of stealth today to “help people speak robot,” says co-founder and CEO Jeff Linnell. “What’s really going to move the needle in the innovation economy is using […]

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The limits of coworking

It feels like there’s a WeWork on every street nowadays. Take a walk through midtown Manhattan (please don’t actually) and it might even seem like there are more WeWorks than office buildings. Consider this an ongoing discussion about Urban Tech, its intersection with regulation, issues of public service, and other complexities that people have full PHDs on. I’m just a bitter, born-and-bred New Yorker trying to figure out why I’ve been stuck in between subway stops for the last 15 minutes, so please reach out with your […]

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They scaled YouTube — now they’ll shard everyone with PlanetScale

When the former CTOs of YouTube, Facebook and Dropbox seed fund a database startup, you know there’s something special going on under the hood. Jiten Vaidya and Sugu Sougoumarane saved YouTube from a scalability nightmare by inventing and open-sourcing Vitess, a brilliant relational data storage system. But in the decade since working there, the pair have been inundated with requests from tech companies desperate for help building the operational scaffolding needed to actually integrate Vitess. So today the pair are revealing their new startup PlanetScale that makes it […]

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Why you need a supercomputer to build a house

When the hell did building a house become so complicated? Don’t let the folks on HGTV fool you. The process of building a home nowadays is incredibly painful. Just applying for the necessary permits can be a soul-crushing undertaking that’ll have you running around the city, filling out useless forms, and waiting in motionless lines under fluorescent lights at City Hall wondering whether you should have just moved back in with your parents. Consider this an ongoing discussion about Urban Tech, its intersection with regulation, issues of […]

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Cove.Tool wants to solve climate change one efficient building at a time

As the fight against climate change heats up, Cove.Tool is looking to help tackle carbon emissions one building at a time. The Atlanta-based startup provides an automated big-data platform that helps architects, engineers and contractors identify the most cost-effective ways to make buildings compliant with energy efficiency requirements. After raising an initial round earlier this year, the company completed the final close of a $750,000 seed round. Since the initial announcement of the round earlier this month, Urban Us, the early-stage fund focused on companies transforming city […]

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Zizoo, a booking.com for boats, sails for new markets with $7.4M on board

Berlin-based Zizoo — a startup which self describes as booking.com for boats — has nabbed a €6.5 million (~$7.4M) Series A to help more millennials find holiday yachts to mess about taking selfies in. Zizoo says its Series A — which was led by Revo Capital, with participation from new investors including Coparion, Check24 Ventures and PUSH Ventures — was “significantly oversubscribed”. Existing investors including MairDumont Ventures, aws Founders Fund, Axel Springer Digital Ventures and Russmedia International also participated in the round. We first came across Zizoo some three years […]

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SAP agrees to buy Qualtrics for $8B in cash, just before the survey software company’s IPO

Ryan Smith of Qualtrics speaks onstage during TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2015 Enterprise software giant SAP announced today that it has agreed to acquire Qualtrics for $8 billion in cash, just before the survey and research software company was set to go public. The deal is expected to be completed in the first half of 2019. Qualtrics last round of venture capital funding in 2016 raised $180 million at a $2.5 billion valuation. This is the second-largest ever acquisition of a SaaS company, after Oracle’s purchase of Netsuite […]

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Sentieo raises $19M to be the AI-powered Bloomberg Terminal

To get an edge on the market, investors must look beyond traditional financial info like revenue and profits. Our every online activity generates data exhaust like web traffic, Twitter mentions, app downloads, and search trends. It’s the ability to overlay the old and new data sets to spot surprising trends that will set the best traders apart. Sentieo wants to be their tool. Sentieo is an investment research software suite that uses AI to scan financial documents, analyze alternative data sets, and create visualizations. The fintech SAAS […]

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Twilio shops, Uber and Lyft IPO scuttlebutt, and Instacart raises $600M

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week we had the Three Excellent Friends (Connie Loizos, Danny Chrichton, and Alex Wilhelm) on hand to kick things about with Scale Venture Partner’s own Rory O’Driscoll. As I’ve written the last few weeks, what a pile of news we’ve had recently. And like the last few episodes, we had to pick and choose what to drill into. This week: Twilio-Sendgrid, Palantir, Uber, Lyft, and Tencent Music IPOs, Instacart, […]

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TravelPerk grabs $44M to take its pain-free SaaS for business travel global

Only six months ago Barcelona-based TravelPerk bagged a $21 million Series B, off the back of strong momentum for a software as a service platform designed to take a Slack-like chunk out of the administrative tedium of arranging and expensing work trips. Today the founders’ smiles are firmly back in place: TravelPerk has announced a $44 million Series C to keep stoking growth that’s seen it grow from around 20 customers two years ago to approaching 1,500 now. The business itself was only founded at the start of 2015. Investors […]

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