Category Archives: TC

Startups Weekly: Flexport, Clutter and SoftBank’s blood money

The Wall Street Journal published a thought-provoking story this week, highlighting limited partners’ concerns with the SoftBank Vision Fund’s investment strategy. The fund’s “decision-making process is chaotic,” it’s over-paying for equity in top tech startups and it’s encouraging inflated valuations, sources told the WSJ. The report emerged during a particularly busy time for the Vision Fund, which this week led two notable VC deals in Clutter and Flexport, as well as participated in DoorDash’s $400 million round; more on all those below. So given all this SoftBank […]

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Fortnite goes big on esports for 2019 with $100 million prize pool

Epic Games, maker of the ultra popular Battle Royale game Fortnite, is putting up another $100 million in prize cash for competitive tournaments in 2019. The company made waves in the esports world last year, announcing a $100 million prize pool for the 2018 competitive year, dwarfing every other competitive title in one fell swoop. This year, a significant portion of the $100 million will be awarded to participants of the first-ever Fortnite World Cup. Each of the 200 players who qualify and compete will walk away […]

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Report: Zoom, the video conferencing company, may be a public company as early as April

The video conferencing company Zoom is aiming to file a public S-1 by the end of March, according to a new report in Business Insider that adds the company could go public as soon as April. Business Insider reported last month that Zoom had filed confidentially with the SEC to go public, just months after Reuters reported that the San Jose, Calif.-based company had chosen investment bank Morgan Stanley to lead its eventual IPO. We’ve reached out to the company for comment. Zoom was valued at $1 […]

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Circle raises $20m Series B to help even more parents limit screen time

Circle makes a fantastic screen time management tool and today the company announced a round of funding to help fuel its growth. The $20 million series B included participation from Netgear and T-Mobile, along with Third Kind Venture Capital and follow-on investments from Relay Ventures and other Series A participants. With this round of funding, Circle has raised over $30 million to date including a Series A from 2017. According to the company, Circle intends to use the funds to expand its product offering and form new […]

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As shared kitchens heat up, a China-based startup, Panda Selected, nabs $50 million led by Tiger Global

A few weeks ago, we told you that former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick looks to be partnering with the former COO of the bike-sharing startup Ofo, Yanqi Zhang, to bring his new L.A.-based company, CloudKitchens, to China. Kalanick didn’t respond to our request for more information, but according to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), his plan is to provide local food businesses with real estate, facilities management, technology and marketing services. He might want to move quickly. Kitchens that invite restaurants to share their space to focus on […]

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Sunsama’s $10/month task management calendar cleans up your online productivity

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard friends lament how difficult it is to find a decent calendar app. The stock calendar apps are certainly serviceable, but there’s so much that they can’t handle in terms of managing and prioritizing tasks. Sunsama, launching out of Y Combinator’s latest batch, is taking a crack at solving the calendar conundrum with a $10-per-month professionals-focused productivity planner. Co-founders Ashutosh Priyadarshy and Travis Meyer began with the idea that the relationship between task managers and calendars were a […]

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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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QuizUp founder launches Teatime, a mobile gaming platform with built-in video chat

At the end of 2016, Plain Vanilla founder Thor Fridriksson left the company he founded with the intent to take at least a year off of work. His product QuizUp, a social trivia game that raised more than $40 million and said it had more than 100 million users, never truly found a way to monetize. After a few missteps, including a proposed TV deal that eventually got cancelled, Plain Vanilla was acquired by Glu Mobile for a deal reportedly valued at $7.5 million. Fridriksson was only […]

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Image recognition startup ViSenze raises $20M Series C

ViSenze, a startup that provides visual search tools for online retailers like Rakuten and ASOS, announced today that it has raised a $20 million Series C. The round was co-led by Gobi Ventures and Sonae IM, with participation from other backers, including returning investors Rakuten and WI Harper. Founded in 2012, ViSenze has now raised a total of $34.5 million (its last round was a Series B announced in September 2016). The Singapore-based company, whose clients also include Urban Outfitters, Zalora and Uniqlo, bills its software portfolio […]

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Resooma launches Resooma Bills to help ‘generation rent’ manage household expenditure

Resooma, the U.K. accommodation booking platform, is entering the fintech and utilities space with the launch of Resooma Bills, a new product to help “gen rent” manage household expenditure. The Cardiff, Wales-based company’s core offering is an accommodation marketplace primarily targeting students and other renters aged 18-30. Previously trading under the brand name of University Cribs, Resooma was founded in 2014 by Jack Jenkins, Dan Jefferys and Christian Samuel as a solution aimed specifically at the student lettings market. The company has since broadened its remit to […]

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