Category Archives: Tesla

To fund Y Combinator’s top startups, VCs scoop them before Demo Day

Hundreds gathered this week at San Francisco’s Pier 48 to see the more than 200 companies in Y Combinator’s Winter 2019 cohort present their two-minute pitches. The audience of venture capitalists, who collectively manage hundreds of billions of dollars, noted their favorites. The very best investors, however, had already had their pick of the litter. What many don’t realize about the Demo Day tradition is that pitching isn’t a requirement; in fact, some YC graduates skip out on their stage opportunity altogether. Why? Because they’ve already raised […]

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Meet the 19 startups in AngelPad’s 12th batch

AngelPad just wrapped the 12th run of its three months long New York City startup accelerator. For the second time, the program didn’t culminate in a demo day; rather, the 19 participating startups were given pre-arranged one-on-one meetings with venture capital investors late last week. AngelPad co-founders Thomas Korte and Carine Magescas did away with the demo day tradition last year after nearly a decade operating AngelPad, which is responsible for mentoring startups including Postmates, Twitter-acquired Mopub, Pipedrive, Periscope Data, Zum and DroneDeploy. “Demo days are great ways […]

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DoorDash poaches Uber Eats engineering boss

One way to gain ground on a competitor is to poach their best executives. We’ve seen it time and time again, from high-level Tesla employees fleeing for Lyft or Apple stealing Google’s AI talent. DoorDash, a well-funded food delivery unicorn, is familiar with this method of staffing. The company announced this morning that it has poached its second Uber employee in the last year to join its growing business. Ryan Sokol, credited with leading and scaling Uber Eats, Uber’s food delivery arm, from its inception, has joined DoorDash as […]

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Report: Self-driving car startup Aurora is raising capital at a $2B valuation

Early last year, LinkedIn co-founder and prolific venture capital investor Reid Hoffman called Chris Urmson “the Henry Ford of autonomous vehicles (AV).” The vote of confidence and big check from Hoffman, coupled with a team of deeply knowledgable AV entrepreneurs, has catapulted his company, Aurora Innovation, squarely into “unicorn” territory. Aurora, the developer of a full-stack self-driving software system for automobile manufacturers, is raising at least $500 million in equity funding at more than a $2 billion valuation in a round expected to be led by new investor Sequoia […]

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China’s Nio invests in LiDAR startup Innovusion

Innovusion, a two-year-old startup developing LiDAR sensor technology for autonomous vehicles, has raised $30 million in a Series A funding round co-led by Chinese firms Nio Capital and Eight Roads Ventures along with U.S.-based F-Prime Capital. Other seed round and strategic investors joined the round, the startup said. Nio Capital is the venture arm of Nio, the Chinese electric automaker aiming to compete with Tesla. Nio, which raised $1 billion when it debuted on the New York Stock Exchange in September, has operations in the U.S., U.K. and Germany, although it only sells […]

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Building a great startup requires more than genius and a great invention

Shahin Farshchi Contributor Shahin Farshchi is a partner at Lux Capital. More posts by this contributor Investing in frontier technology is (and isn’t) cleantech all over again The dos and don’ts of crafting frontier-tech companies Many entrepreneurs assume that an invention carries intrinsic value, but that assumption is a fallacy. Here, the examples of the 19th and 20th century inventors Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla are instructive. Even as aspiring entrepreneurs and inventors lionize Edison for his myriad inventions and business acumen, they conveniently fail to recognize […]

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Ne-Yo wants to make Silicon Valley more diverse, one investment at a time

Dressed in a Naruto t-shirt and a hat emblazoned with the phrase “lone wolf,” Ne-Yo slouches over in a chair inside a Holberton School classroom. The Grammy-winning recording artist is struggling to remember the name of “that actor,” the one who’s had a successful career in both the entertainment industry and tech investing. “I learned about all the things he was doing and I thought it was great for him,” Ne-Yo told TechCrunch. “But I didn’t really know what my place in tech would be.” It turns out “that […]

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Is insurance a rich enough game to disrupt?

Martha Notaras Contributor Martha Notaras is a partner at XL Innovate. For the last decade, the largest technology companies have increasingly looked outside of tech to grow their operations. From automotive to retail to groceries, these companies use massive competitive advantages in the form of data, consumer relationships and software engineers to fundamentally change markets. Now, companies like Apple and Google and Amazon are eyeing innovation across the insurance landscape. For example, Amazon is teaming with JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway to create a new way to approach […]

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