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News (TechCrunch)

  • Another crypto exchange goes old school as KuCoin raises $20M from VCs


    I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: one of the biggest trends in crypto this year is companies raising money the old fashioned way through venture capitalists. Hot on the heels of Binance raising money from Singapore’s Vertex Ventures, so KuCoin, a relatively new crypto exchange, has pulled in $20 million. The money […]
  • Self-flying camera drone Hover 2 hits Kickstarter


    Two years after launching the original Hover, Zero Zero Robotics has returned for the sequel. In spite of landing a $25 million Series A back in 2016, the startup is going to the crowdfunding well on this one, launching a $100K Kickstarter campaign to launch the latest version of the self-flying drone. Hover 2, which the […]
  • UK watchdog has eyes on Google-DeepMind’s health app hand-off


    The shock news yesterday that Google is taking over a health app rolled out to UK hospitals over the past few years by its AI division, DeepMind, has caught the eye of the country’s data protection watchdog — which said today that it’s monitoring developments. An ICO spokesperson told us: “An ICO investigation and an […]
  • Baidu leads $300M investment to bring its search smarts to elevator ads


    China’s largest search engine Baidu is getting an offline revenue boost after it led a $300 million strategic round in Xinchao Media, a company that shows people ads when they’re waiting for an elevator – or stuck in one. The tie-up will see the partners collaborate on data integration that knits reams of search data […]
  • Uber launches rider loyalty Rewards like credits & upgrades 9 cities


    Uber’s new loyalty program incentivizes you not to check Lyft or the local competitor. Riders earn points for all the money they spend on Uber and Uber Eats that score them $5 credits, upgrades to nicer cars, access to premium support, and even flexible cancellations that waive the fee if they rebook within 15 minutes. […]
  • Tencent returns to profit growth despite concern around games


    Chinese internet giant Tencent bounced back from a disappointing previous quarter, but for once the company didn’t have its gaming business to thank. Tencent may be best known for conjuring up WeChat, China’s most popular messaging platform, but its revenue is driven by its gaming business, which includes top smartphone titles and a thriving PC […]
  • Google Assistant picks up a few new tricks


    Google Assistant, the voice-driven AI that sits inside Google Home (plus Android phones, newer Nest cameras, and a bunch of other devices) and awaits your “Hey, Google” commands, is already pretty clever. That doesn’t mean it can’t learn a few new tricks. In a quick press briefing this week, Google told us a couple new […]
  • Tinder’s head of product has left


    Brian Norgard will pursue early-stage investing. His first investment is in a crypto startup called Coinmine.
  • Microsoft to acquire Xoxco as focus on AI and bot developers continues


    Microsoft has been all in on AI this year, and in the build versus buy equation, the company has been leaning heavily toward buying. This morning, the company announced its intent to acquire Xoxco, an Austin-based software developer with a focus on bot design, making it the fourth AI-related company Microsoft has purchased this year. […]
  • Amazon’s Fire TV Recast is a decent DVR for antenna users


    Amazon’s Fire TV companion DVR, the Fire TV Recast, is available today to the public, after previously having been only offered for pre-order. The new device offers a way for Fire TV owners to easily access free, over-the-air broadcast television directly from the Fire TV’s software. Starting at $229, this cord cutters’ DVR is something […]
  • Home insurance provider Hippo brings in $70M amid a record year in funding for insurtech startups


    Insurtech startups have raised a total of $1.8 billion in venture capital this year.
  • Wynd announces a new air purifier and desktop monitor


    As far as goals for hardware startups go, you could do worse than ridding the air of allergens, pollutants and the like. Launched in 2016 as a Kickstarter project, Wynd is going back to the crowdfunding well this week for two new hardware products. Wind Halo is a pretty nice-looking (from the press material) desktop […]
  • We tried Amazon’s bizarre Alexa microwave and weren’t convinced


    I’m a fan of Alexa and of voice computing in general. But when Amazon said it was putting Alexa into a microwave, I wasn’t so sure. The value in voice computing is being able to get to news, information, music hands-free, as well as perform simple tasks, including those for the smart home – like […]
  • Locked in a Tesla patent suit, Nikola nabs $210M at $1.1B valuation for hydrogen trucks


    Nikola, the hydrogen trucking startup currently suing Tesla for patent infringement (those are the actual names, sorry spirit of real Nikola Tesla), today announced that it has raised $210 million in its Series C round of funding. The company had previously announced in August that it had raised $100 million of the round; now it has […]
  • Google gobbling DeepMind’s health app might be the trust shock we need


    DeepMind’s health app being gobbled by parent Google is both unsurprising and deeply shocking. First thoughts should not be allowed to gloss over what is really a gut punch. It’s unsurprising because the AI galaxy brains at DeepMind always looked like unlikely candidates for the quotidian, margins-focused business of selling and scaling software as a service. […]
  • ‘Software robot’ startup UiPath expands Series C to $265M at a $3B valuation


    UiPath, a startup that works in the growing area of RPA, or robotic process automation — where AI-based software is used to help businesses run repetitive or mundane back-office tasks, to free up humans to tackle more sophisticated work — has raised money for the third time this year. The company is today announcing that […]
  • The great Amazon swindle


    Amazon has confirmed that it will open two massive new offices in New York City and Crystal City, Va., to complement its already massive headquarters in Seattle. And the verdict on the company’s decision is disgust. Amazon played everyone involved in the process: the governments that pandered to it and the media that covered it […]
  • Netflix is testing a mobile-only subscription to make its service more affordable


    Netflix is testing a cut-price mobile-only subscription as it explores new packages aimed at widening its appeal in Asia and other emerging markets. CEO Reed Hastings told Bloomberg last week that the company would test lower-priced packages and it hasn’t taken long for those experiments to come to light. The first reports are from Malaysia, […]
  • Bain Capital Ventures has a fresh $1B to invest in startups


    Bain Capital Ventures has raised $1 billion across three new funds.
  • SAM nabs $12M for cybersecurity aimed at home routers and devices connected to them


    A wave of security startups have built solutions for enterprises that are meeting the challenges of “consumerization”, where IT organizations are tasked with securing a range of devices and apps — some brought in by employees, not issued by IT — that are on the organization’s networks. Today, a startup based out of Israel that […]