Category Archives: Seattle

Why Luckin’s ultimate target may not be Starbucks

Starbucks plans to double its store count in China to 5,000 in 2021 and Luckin, a one-year-old coffee startup, is matching up by aiming to reach 4,500 by the end of this year. Luckin’s upsized $651 million flotation has brought American investors’ attention to this potential Starbucks rival in China, where the Seattle giant controlled over half of the coffee market as late as 2017. But as soon as you make your first purchase with Luckin, you realize its ultimate goal may not be to topple Starbucks. […]

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Market map: the 200+ innovative startups transforming affordable housing

Daniel Wu Contributor Dan Wu is a privacy counsel and legal engineer at Immuta. He holds a JD from Harvard University, and is a PhD candidate for Social Policy and Sociology at The Harvard Kennedy School. More posts by this contributor Innovations in inclusive housing How to save the third wave of technology from itself In this section of my exploration into innovation in inclusive housing, I am digging into the 200+ companies impacting the key phases of developing and managing housing. Innovations have reduced costs in the […]

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Startups Weekly: Will the Seattle tech scene ever reach its full potential?

Greetings from Seattle, the land of Amazon, Microsoft, two of the world’s richest men and some startups. I’m always surprised the Seattle startup ecosystem hasn’t grown to compete with the likes of Silicon Valley — or at least Boston and New York City — since the dot-com boom. Today, it’s the strongest it’s has been due to the successes of companies like the newly minted unicorn Outreach, trucking business Convoy and, of course, the dog walking startup Rover. But the city still lags behind, failing to adopt […]

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Microbiome testing service uBiome puts its co-founders on administrative leave after FBI raid

The microbiome testing service uBiome has placed its founders and co-chief executives, Jessica Richman and Zac Apte, on administrative leave following an FBI raid on the company’s offices last week. The company’s board of directors have named John Rakow, currently the company’s general counsel, as its interim chairman and chief executive, the company said in a statement. Directors of the company are also conducting an independent investigation into the company’s billing practices, which is being overseen by a special committee of the board. It was only last […]

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Bottomless has a solution for lazy coffee addicts

If you’re like me, you let out a heavy sigh every month or so when you reach out and unexpectedly find an empty bag of coffee. Bottomless, one of the 200-plus startups in Y Combinator’s latest batch, has a solution for us caffeine addicts. For a $36 annual membership fee, a cost which co-founder Michael Mayer says isn’t set in stone, plus $11.29 per order depending on the blend, Bottomless will automatically restock your coffee supply before you run out. How? The startup sends its members an […]

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Pioneer Square Labs is invigorating Seattle’s startup ecosystem

Three miles from Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood — better known as Amazonia to locals — sits Pioneer Square. The original heart of the city, the area has managed to hold on to its decades-old charm as other parts of town are besieged by Amazon-contracted architects. On a mission to champion Seattle’s unique entrepreneurial DNA, startup studio Pioneer Square Labs has not only adopted the neighborhood’s moniker but established its fast-growing HQ at its center. Pioneer Square Labs, or PSL, cropped up in 2015 to create, launch […]

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Search marketing company Botify raises $20M

Botify, a search engine optimization company that works with customers like Expedia and Nike, announced today that it has raised $20 million in Series B funding. Co-founder and CEO Adrien Menard said that the opportunity in SEO is “even bigger now than in the past,” and that the problem is a much broader problem than many realize. “Most people think about SEO in terms of keyword optimization, but more than 50 percent of the pages in large websites are not being indexed,” he said. So Botify can […]

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Clutter confirms SoftBank-led $200M investment for its on-demand storage service

There’s plenty of speculation right now around apparently disgruntled investors in SoftBank’s Vision Fund, but the drum continues to beat and the checks continue to be written. The latest deal for the $100 billion mega-fund is Clutter, an on-demand storage company that pulled in $200 million in new financing for growth. Eagle-eyed viewers will recall that TechCrunch broke news of an impending SoftBank-led round of that size back in January, and now it is official. The startup is one of a number of companies that provide storage options […]

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Dreaming of Mars, the startup Relativity Space gets its first launch site on Earth

3D-printing the first rocket on Mars. That’s the goal Tim Ellis and Jordan Noone set for themselves when they founded Los Angeles-based Relativity Space in 2015. At the time they were working from a WeWork in Seattle, during the darkest winter in Seattle history, where Ellis was wrapping up a stint at Blue Origin . The two had met in college at USC in their jet propulsion lab. Noone had gone on to take a job at SpaceX and Ellis at Blue Origin, but the two remained in […]

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Pro.com raises $33M for its home improvement platform

Pro.com is basically a general contractor for the age of Uber and Prime Now. While the company started out as a marketplace for hiring home improvement professionals, it has now morphed into a general contractor and serves Denver, Phoenix San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle. Today, Pro.com announced that it has raised a $33 million Series B round led by WestRiver Group, Goldman Sach and Redfin. Previous investors DFJ, Madrona Venture Group, Maveron and Two Sigma Ventures also participated. WestRiver founder Erik Anderson, Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman […]

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