TechCrunch (254)

The OOOI Analog is the best of both horological worlds

Butler Watch is run by pilot Corey Butler. It is a labor of love for Butler and his watches are aimed directly at pilots and pilots-to-be. Take the OOOI Analog, for example. This new crowdfunded watch features a digital readout with quartz analog movement. The piece costs $459 for early birds. ...

9GAG CEO Ray Chan: Building a healthy community is a never-ending battle'

If you enjoy getting lost in memes and social media, you've undoubtedly stumbled across 9GAG at some point. 9GAG is a Hong Kong-based site that hosts and distributes funny pictures, videos and memes.

Google launches its own AI Studio to foster machine intelligence startups

Another week, another new Google initiative targeting AI startups. We started the month with the announcement of Gradient Ventures, Google's on-balance sheet AI investment vehicle. Two days later we watched the finalists of Google Cloud's machine learning competition pitch to a panel of top AI ...

Apple or Foxconn could be building factories in the US ‚ÄĒ or maybe not

President Donald Trump surprised everyone yesterday when he told the Wall Street Journal that Apple CEO Tim Cook told him Apple would build three factories in the U.S. It's worth quoting Trump on this one: “I spoke to , he's promised me three big plants , big, big, big,” he told the WSJ. ...

Google.org commits $50 million to help prepare people for the 'future of work'

Google.org is on a mission to help people find jobs, so it has pledged $50 million to fund nonprofit organizations that are focused on using technology to improve job searching, job matching, skill-building and all things job-related. “We also recognize that the way we work is changing, ...

Smallest spacecraft ever launched make it to low-earth orbit

Working prototype versions of the smallest spacecraft ever conceived made it to orbit last month, hitching a ride aboard the Max Valier and Venta satellites operated by OHB System and launched into orbit by the Indian Space Research Organization . The tiny 'Sprite' spacecraft, created by the ...

Packet expands its global infrastructure with 11 new edge locations

Packet is quickly making a name for itself thanks to its unopinionated bare metal cloud. Today, the company is expanding its product portfolio with the launch of its new Edge Compute service in 15 data center locations around the world. Eleven of these locations are new and complement Packet's ...

Stripe acquires Payable to help on-demand businesses manage 1099 tax reporting

With its Stripe Connect product, Stripe wants to make it easier for on-demand and marketplace businesses to not only process payments from their customers, but also make payments to contractors and vendors. In an effort to bolster the tax reporting tools available to them, the company has acquired ...

Airbnb has a new revenue-sharing deal with the NAACP

Airbnb has partnered with the NAACP to bring economic opportunities to people of color. Through the partnership, which includes a revenue-sharing agreement, Airbnb and the NAACP will reach out to communities of color about the benefits of sharing their homes on Airbnb.

eMarketer's 2017 forecast puts Roku ahead of Chromecast and others in the U.S.

Roku may be the most-used connected TV device this year, edging out Chromecast, Fire TV and Apple TV, according to a new 2017 forecast from eMarketer released this morning. The firm estimates that 38.9 million U.S. users will use a Roku device at least once per month in 2017, up 19.3 percent from ...

Off The Record sessions will tackle the big topics at Disrupt SF

At TechCrunch Disrupt, thousands of rapt attendees watch great interviews onstage only to feel a bit disappointed. Why? They can't get follow-up on the discussion afterwards to address their specific questions. So at Disrupt SF we are introducing a new twist for attendees who want to keep the ...

Off The Record sessions will tackle the big topics at Disrupt SF

At TechCrunch Disrupt, thousands of rapt attendees watch great interviews on stage only to feel a bit disappointed. Why? They can't get follow up on the discussion afterwards to address their specific questions. So at Disrupt SF we are introducing a new twist for attendees who want to keep the ...

Blue is a dating app for verified Twitter users

A new app is looking to romantically match folks who are verified Twitter users. Blue, by Loveflutter, has launched a new version of their existing dating app that only allows Twitter users with that little blue tick to search for love, and only amongst their fellow blue-tick holders. Loveflutter ...

Microsoft's new Azure Container Instances make using containers fast and easy

Barely a day passes without some news about containers and that speaks to how quickly this technology is being adopted by developers and the platforms and startups that serve them. Today it's Microsoft's turn to launch a new container service for its Azure cloud computing platform: Azure Container ...

CPG investing platform CircleUp will now issue loans to help consumer brands grow

It's hard raising money as a consumer packaged goods company, but one startup wants to make it easier. CircleUp, which already helps consumer brands raise millions in equity financing, is now going to issue loans to help smaller CPG companies raise working capital and avoid cash crunches.

Line's Q2: Fewer active users but profits leap off rising ad revenues

Not every social messaging player can hope to grow into a mega platform. And Japan's Line Corporation looks to have reached a peak in user growth , even as it shows it can grow revenue and generate rising profits off of a shrinking user-base.

Apple's signature earbuds were inspired by Star Wars' iconic Stormtrooper

The best iconic designs tend to share inspiration with other inspired creations, and it turns out Apple's instantly recognizable white plastic earbuds, and by extension the current EarPods and AirPods) were in part influenced by Star Wars: specifically, by the Empire's ubiquitous enforcer, the ...

OpenText acquires forensic security vendor Guidance Software for $240 million

OpenText, the content management company based in Waterloo, Ontario announced today that it was buying Guidance Software, a forensic security and eDiscovery vendor for $240 million. OpenText agreed to pay Guidance shareholders $7.10 a share. The price will be less Guidance's cash on hand of ...

For startups, VC funding is always in season

We've entered the dog days of summer. For many, that means time on the beach, backyard barbecues and, if you're like us, seeking out the blissful respite afforded by a solid air conditioning system. In the land of startups and venture capital, however, summer can mean something a bit different.

WalkMe raises $75M more for its AI-based on-screen guidance tech

More funding is rolling in for Israeli startups. Today, WalkMe , company that has built a cloud-based platform for businesses to make their web and mobile interfaces easier to navigate with on-screen guidance and prompts , has raised $75 million. It plans to use the funding to expand into newer ...

Ebay to launch visual search tools for finding products using photos from your phone or web

Ebay this morning announced its plans to introduce new image search capabilities that will allow the company to better compete with the likes of Pinterest, Google and Amazon, all of which already support the use of photos in order to connect online shoppers with products of interest. There are two ...

HERE's Real-Time Traffic pools live data from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz cars

Mapping expert HERE is launching a Real-Time Traffic service that pulls aggregated data from sensors in Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz vehicles that are actually out driving the road, making it the first commercial traffic service of its kind that collects real-time information from vehicles from ...

Apple and Cochlear team up to roll out the first implant made for the iPhone

Apple has teamed up with Australian-based Cochlear to bring iPhone users the first made for iPhone Cochlear implant. Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in June, Cochlear's Nucleus 7 Sound Processor can now stream sound directly from a compatible iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to a ...

Waze finally arrives on Android Auto

After a beta that kicked off earlier in 2017, crowdsourced navigation app Waze is coming to Android Auto. The Google-owned Waze seemed like a shoe-in for gaining app support for Android's native in-car mode, but it's taken a while to bring it to Android Auto - but the months-long beta and the time ...

August Home raises another $25 million as it expands service partnerships for its smart locks

When August Home raised its last big round nearly two and half years ago, the smart lock maker was targeting retail expansion. That's still part of the plan for the company's new $25 million Series C, but the real story of this latest round is increasing focus on its partnership program, August ...

After raising $70M, Betterment expands financial advice to all users

On the heels of announcing a fresh $70 million in funding led by Swedish investment firm Kinnevik AB, Betterment is launching a new messaging feature that will allow users to ask questions and get answers from its team of financial advisors.

CEO controversy mars Arduino's open future

Things in the normally placid world of open source hardware are heating up as major figures in the Maker movement have begun speaking out against the current managing director of Arduino AG, Frederico Musto. The Italian engineer became a part owner in the company after buying out one of the original ...

Nintendo's earnings buoyed by strong Switch console and game sales

Nintendo is selling its new Switch console as fast as it can make them, with 1.97 million sold during the quarter ended in June, which the company just reported. The total Switch sales to date now stand at 4.7 million, which is very strong for under two quarters of market availability, and on track ...

On-demand delivery startup Jinn pulls out of all other markets outside London'

Jinn, the U.K. same-hour 'shop on your behalf' delivery app, has pulled out of all markets outside London, TechCrunch has learned. According to sources, the startup shut down operations in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds as of yesterday, whilst I understand the Spanish team may ...

Visa makes strategic investment in card processing startup Marqeta

Since 2010, Marqeta has quietly established itself as the underlying tech provider for businesses that are looking to issue virtual and physical debit and credit cards to employees, partners and customers alike. As it looks to expand internationally and sign up customers around the globe, the ...

New LinkedIn tool tells businesses about who's visiting their websites

LinkedIn is giving businesses a new way to see what kinds of audiences they're attracting with their marketing efforts. The Website Demographics tool allows businesses to break down their website visitors across eight categories including job title, industry, company and location. After all, that's ...

Report: Xiaomi sales climb but Huawei remains China's top smartphone brand

China's Xiaomi, once the world's highest valued tech startup, is getting over a disappointing past two years with a notable spike in sales in its homeland during the second quarter of 2017. That's according a new report from analyst firm Canalys, which estimates that Xiaomi, which was valued at ...

Xiaomi's take on the Amazon Echo smart speaker costs less than $50

Hot on the heels of reports that Facebook is developing its own take on Amazon Echo, China's Xiaomi has joined the tech company masses by jumping into the increasingly-crowded smart speaker space. The Mi AI Speaker is Xiaomi's first take at rivaling the Echo, which has already inspired a product ...

Cleo, a chatbot that wants to replace your banking apps, raises £2M led by LocalGlobe

Cleo, the London-based fintech startup that offers an AI-powered chatbot to help you manage your finances, has closed £2 million in further funding, adding to an impressive list of backers that already includes Skype founder Niklas Zennström. The new round is led by LocalGlobe, the seed VC firm ...

Elon Musk shares footage of The Boring Company's first working car elevator

Elon Musk's Boring Company is getting closer to becoming a reality. The businessman conceived the idea in December in response to the pain of clogged up roads and traffic jams, and it has begun to take shape thanks to work carried out this summer. The basic idea is that underground tunnels can ...

Yelp adds C-section rates and other stats for all baby delivery hospitals in California

Having a baby and want to know if your hospital is particularly C-section happy? Yelp aims to make that process a bit easier with the addition of a new maternity care rate feature. Expectant mothers have been able to get similar information about the maternity care of a particular hospital from ...

iRobot to acquire its biggest European distributor for $141M

Consumer robot maker iRobot is to acquire its largest European distributor, Robopolis, in a cash deal worth $141 million. The company said it's signed a definitive agreement to acquire the privately-held, French company, with the acquisition expected to close in October 2017.

Tencent backs Indian education startup BYJU's at a valuation of $800 million

Tencent, Asia's highest-valued tech company, has continued to invest in India after it backed online education service BYJU's. The startup that includes the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Sequoia among its investors. The size of the investment has not been disclosed, but a source close to the deal ...

Vicarious gets another $50 million to expand its research team and build smarter robots

Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg might not be able to agree about much when it comes to AI these days, but the pair do seem to see the same potential in Vicarious, a startup applying unsupervised learning techniques to robots. Musk and Zuckerberg were two of the early backers of Vicarious. The ...

Crunch Report | Facebook Smart Speaker on the Way

Facebook is apparently working on its own smart speaker and has acquired digital rights management company Source3, SoftBank could bet billions on Uber, Duolingo raises $25 million and more. All this on Crunch Report.

Momenta raises $46M Series B for its self-driving car software

Beijing-based Momenta announced this morning that it raised a $46 million Series B round led by NIO Capital, Sequoia Capital China and Hillhouse Capital. Momenta produces self-driving car software that applies deep learning to mapping, path planning and object recognition problems. Shunwei ...

This facial recognition system tracks how you're enjoying a movie

As moviemaking becomes as much a science as an art, the moviemakers need to ever-better ways to gauge audience reactions. Did they enjoy it? How much… exactly? At minute 42? A system from Caltech and Disney Research uses a facial expression tracking neural network to learn and predict how ...

Spin brings its pick-up-anywhere bike sharing to South San Francisco

Spin, the bike-sharing service that lets you pick up and drop off a bike anywhere in a city, is coming to South San Francisco. The company's dockless bike-sharing service made its debut in Seattle last week, and is now spinning its way down south to the Bay Area.

AI Grant aims to fund the unfundable to advance AI and solve hard problems

Artificial intelligence-focused investment funds are a dime a dozen these days. Everyone knows there's money to be made from AI, but to capture value, good VCs know they need to back products and not technologies. This has left a bit of a void in the space. AI Grant aims to bankroll science projects ...

Here's the schedule for when Legendary Pokémon will come and go in Pokémon GO

Ever since the first Legendary Pokémon appeared in Pokémon GO shortly after the upset that was GO Fest, one thing has remained unclear: were the Legendaries here to stay?

Canaan Partners just closed on $800 million ‚ÄĒ its biggest fund

It's a years-long trend with no end in sight: venture firms are raising record amounts, owing to growing and sustained fascination from endowments, pension funds, family offices and others who see the sweeping, tech-driven changes all around , from self-driving cars, to new plant-based foods, to far ...

Facebook is hiring a AI Editor

Human: Oh sweet bot, tell us a story! A nice story! About a very wise human who worked his whole life to save everybody in the world from having to spend time manually tagging their friends in digital photos , and made a magic machine that did it for them instead!

SEC regulators are coming after ICOs

It looks like ICOs, shorthand for initial coin offerings, are about to undergo a lot more scrutiny. The SEC has concluded that the digital currency financing events will be regulated as securities, meaning unregistered offerings could be subject to criminal punishment. The decision was announced on ...

Blue Apron COO Matthew Wadiak steps down in post-IPO shakeup

Blue Apron announced several changes at the executive level today, including co-founder Matthew Wadiak stepping down from the COO role to become a senior advisor. Wadiak's changing role comes after a painful IPO for the meal kit delivery service, which first had to reduce its original IPO price and ...

$47 billion has been invested into ridesharing startups ‚ÄĒ here are 10 other things that money could buy

When the ridesharing industry emerged in 2007, few would have believed it would grow into the cash-eating behemoth it is today. Dozens of companies, in hundreds of markets, have garnered just over $47 billion in equity and debt investment. To put that into perspective, we've put together a list ...