Category Archives: Startups

Robotics VCs on what’s real, what’s coming, and what to keep in mind

Last week, at TechCrunch’s robotics event at UC Berkeley, we sat down with four VCs who are making a range of bets on robotics companies, from drone technologies to robots whose immediate applications aren’t yet clear. Featuring Peter Barrett of Playground Global, Helen Liang of FoundersX Ventures, Eric Migicovsky of Y Combinator and Andy Wheeler of GV (pictured above), we covered a lot of terrain (no pun intended), including whether last-mile delivery robots make sense and how much robots should be expected to do without human intervention. […]

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How to source hard-to-fill programming positions

Zack Burt Contributor Zack Burt is an American computer programmer. He founded Code For Cash, the tech recruiting firm. The competition is intense for great tech talent, and it’s even harder to find the most qualified people who are also the right fit for your company This article shares some practical processes that you can add to your human resources function in order to accelerate the programmer pipeline, based on the years I have spent as a hiring focused software engineer at growing startups and now running […]

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Pinterest employee #1 launches blockchain art market MakersPlace

Pinterest is a great place to find digital art but a terrible place to sell it. The fact that anything online is infinitely copyable makes it tough for artists to establish a sense of scarcity necessary for their work to be perceived as valuable. Yash Nelapati saw this struggle up close as Pinterest’s first employee. Now he has started MakersPlace, where creators can generate a blockchain fingerprint for each of their artworks that proves who made it and lets it be sold as part of a limited […]

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Are women better gamers than men? This startup’s AI-driven research says yes

Last year the Gosu.ai startup, which has developed an AI assistant to help gamers play smarter and improve their skills, raised $1.9M. Using machine learning, it analyzes their matches and makes personal recommendations, and allows the gamer to be taught by a virtual assistant. Because they have this virtual assistant they can now do some interesting research. For the first time ever, we can actually peer over the shoulder of a gamer, and find out what makes them good of not. The findings are fascinating. Gosu.ai surveyed […]

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The Brave browser launches ads that reward users for viewing

With the latest desktop version of the Brave browser, users can now opt-in to the Brave Ads program. Brave is an ad-blocking web browser startup led by Brendan Eich, creator of JavaScript programming language and former Mozilla CEO. He’s long maintained that the vision is “bigger than an ad blocker,” with a goal of finding new ways to compensate online publishers. Brave Ads are a crucial part of that vision. The company says users who choose to participate in the program will receive 70 percent of the […]

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Managed By Q launches a new task management feature for office managers

Managed By Q, the office management platform recently acquired by WeWork, has today announced the launch of Task Management. The feature comes to Managed By Q by way of Hivy, a startup acquired by MBQ back in 2017, that focuses on connecting a company’s employees to the office manager that handles their requests. Pre-Hivy, collecting requests and tracking projects across a large number of employees was a tedious, fragmented process. Hivy created a dashboard that organizes all those requests in a single place. Since the acquisition, Managed […]

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Embrace raises $4.5M for its mobile application performance management platform

Embrace, an LA-based startup that offers a mobile-first application performance management platform, today announced that it has raised a $4.5 million funding round led by Pritzker Group Venture Capital. This brings the company’s total funding to $7 million. New investors Greycroft, Miramar Ventures and Vy Captial also participated in this round, as did previous investors Eniac Ventures, The Chernin Group, Techstars Ventures, Tikhon Bernstam of Parse and others. Current Embrace customers include the likes of Home Depot, Headspace, OkCupid, Boxed, Thrive Market and TuneIn. These companies use […]

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Ford invests $500M in Rivian and intends to build a vehicle on Rivian’s EV platform

Rivian today announced a major investment from Ford. The 115-year-old automaker is investing $500 million into the Michigan-based EV startup. Along with the cash, Ford announced plans to build a vehicle on Rivian’s electric vehicle platform. “This strategic partnership marks another key milestone in our drive to accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility,” RJ Scaringe, Rivian founder and CEO, said in a released statement. “Ford has a long-standing commitment to sustainability, with Bill Ford being one of the industry’s earliest advocates, and we are excited to use […]

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Postmates has launched in 1,000 new cities since December

Postmates is expanding like crazy ahead of an initial public offering expected later this year. The food delivery business has launched in 1,000 new cities since December, the company announced today. San Francisco-based Postmates now operates its on-demand delivery platform, powered by a network of local gig economy workers, in 3,500 cities across all 50 states. Postmates does not yet operate in any international markets aside from Mexico City. “We want to enable anyone to have anything delivered on demand and this latest expansion allows us to […]

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Singapore’s SalesWhale raises $5.3M to bring AI to sales and marketing teams

SalesWhale, a Singapore-based startup that uses AI to help marketers and salespeople generate leads, has announced a Series A round worth $5.3 million. The investment is led by Monk’s Hill Ventures — the Southeast Asia-focused firm that led SalesWhale’s seed round in 2017 — with participation from existing backers GREE Ventures, Wavemaker Partners and Y Combinator. That’s right, SalesWhale is one a select few Southeast Asian startups to have been through YC, it graduated back in summer 2016. SalesWhale — which calls itself “a conversational email marketing […]

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