Category Archives: TC

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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Rothy’s just landed $35 million from Goldman Sachs to sell more of its popular ballet flats

Rothy’s, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based company that makes a variety of colorful flats for women, has some more walking-around money today. According to Bloomberg, the company just closed on $35 million in funding from Goldman Sachs’ asset management unit. The round brings the young company’s total funding to $42 million, including an early $5 million investment from Lightspeed Venture Partners, and $2 million in convertible notes, including from Finn Capital Partners, M13 and Grace Beauty Capital. Goldman’s interest in the company isn’t surprising. Rothy’s doesn’t disclose how many […]

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Atari teams up with some startup to pretend to make blockchain-based games

Animoca Brands will produce and publish blockchain-based versions of RollerCoaster Tycoon and Goon Squad worldwide (excluding China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau); the new titles will feature the integration of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The term of the Agreement extends through to 31 March 2022. In honor of this exciting announcement I’d like to propose the following blockchain-based products available for license to those hunting for a quick buck: Blockchain! The Musical Blockchain Cereal Blockchain Brand Kombucha Blockchain & Me, An Alien Adventure Blockchain Whiskey Blockchain Soda Blockchain […]

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A month after $70M, Clearbanc raises $50M fund to front startups ad money

Clearbanc is disrupting startup funding by providing companies cash to buy ads in exchange for a revenue share so they don’t have to sell as much equity to venture capitalists. That idea has proven so appealing that 1000 companies seeking up to $1 billion total hit up Clearbanc since we reported it raised $70 million last month. So to meet the demand of the most eligible startups asking for marketing cash, Clearbanc has just raised a $50 million fund from Seamless co-founder Jason Finger’s new firm Upper90. […]

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But not a broken man

I’ve been living for the past few years in a limbo between journalist and entrepreneur, trying to build startups the way I saw them being built onstage at Disrupt and discovering that my skill and will to win are no match against the world. That’s fine. These days I’ll take it. But for a few minutes in Chicago last May, I couldn’t. That day was normal for me. I woke up, went and met some folks at a cool startup, visited a great guitar store and had a […]

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B-Social raises £3.2M seed round to begin building a ‘social’ bank

B-Social, a London fintech that currently offers a “social finance” app and beta debit Mastercard, has raised £3.2 million in seed-round funding from undisclosed high-net-worth individuals. However, the fundraise is just the first step in a journey in which B-Social wants to eventually become a fully licensed bank that reimagines banking around everyday social interactions. As it exists today, the B-Social app and accompanying card enables users to have control over everyday spending, track expenditures and create groups between friends to split bills and record settlements. It’s […]

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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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Robinhood said to not be properly insured to offer checking & savings

Robinhood’s new high-interest, zero-fee checking and savings feature seems to be too good to be true. Users’ money may not be fully protected. The CEO of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, a nonprofit membership corporation that insures stock brokerages, tells TechCrunch its insurance would not apply to checking and savings accounts the way Robinhood claims. “Robinhood would be buying securities for its account and sharing a portion of the proceeds with their customers, and that’s not what we cover,” says SIPC CEO Stephen Harbeck. “I’ve never seen a single […]

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Niantic reportedly raising $200M at $3.9B valuation

Pokémon GO creator Niantic is raising a $200 million Series C at a valuation of $3.9 billion, according to a report from Katie Roof at the WSJ. The round is expected to be led by IVP with participation from Samsung and aXiomatic Gaming. The upcoming raise would bring the company’s total funding to $425 million, according to Crunchbase. Niantic’s last round was raised at a $3 billion valuation. TechCrunch has reached out to Niantic for comment. The gaming startup, which has invested significantly in augmented reality technologies, is also […]

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Last call for Polish pitch-offs

I’m heading back to Europe to hang out in Wroclaw and Warsaw so it’s last call for pitch-off applications. I’ll be at a Wroclaw event, called In-Ference, which is happening on December 17; you can submit to pitch here. The team will notify you if you have been chosen. The winner will receive a table at TC Disrupt in San Francisco. The Warsaw event, here, is on the 19th at WeWork in Warsaw. You can sign up to pitch here. I’ll notify the folks I’ve chosen and the winner gets […]

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