Tech Crunch

The dream of Polish tech entrepreneurship is almost over

 Poland has worked diligently over the past decade to become an entrepreneurial powerhouse. Once home to businesses focused primarily on app design and outsourcing, social, societal, and economic pressures forced the country’s brightest to start building for themselves. And they did. I’ve covered Polish startups for almost a decade, first on TechCrunch and then on a new blog I… Read More

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Mighty Networks founder Gina Bianchini on building a business in silicon valley

 In episode two of Founder’s Corner, Gina Bianchini, the founder and CEO of Mighty Networks, joins host and Omidyar Network partner Shripriya Mahesh to discuss her mission of empowering people to connect around their passions and pulls back the curtain on how she runs the business and manages her days as CEO.
[Embed Soundcloud:]
Gina has a storied history building social networks and… Read More

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Google introduces the feed, a news stream of your evolving interests

 More than four years after the launch of Google Now, the company has fully dissolved its AI assistant into the DNA of many of its core product offerings. Nowhere is this impact more evident than in search, where Google has significantly shaken up its philosophy on what a term like “search” even means when you know so much about users and their interests. Today, Google is delivering… Read More

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Privitar raises $16M to help ensure privacy in big data analytics

Data flying over group of laptops to illustrate data integration/sharing. As data protection — a set of laws and practices created across different markets to ensure that our sensitive information does not get leaked or shared without our permission — continues to gain priority in our rapidly expanding digital world, a UK startup called Privitar that is building tools to help organizations keep that data private has picked up $16 million in funding… Read More

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IBM dangles carrot of full encryption to lure buyers to new z14 mainframe

IBM z14 mainframe computer IBM is doing its damnedest to keep the mainframe relevant in a modern context, and believe it or not, there are plenty of monster corporations throughout the world who still use those relics from the earliest days of computing. Today, the company unveiled the z14, its latest z-Series mainframe, which comes with the considerable draw of full encryption. Is that enough for even corporate giants… Read More

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VCs determined to replace your job keep AI’s funding surge rolling in Q2

 These are good times for AI entrepreneurs. Venture, corporate and seed investors have put an estimated $3.6 billion into AI and machine learning companies this year, according to Crunchbase data. That’s more than they invested in all of 2016, marking the largest recorded sum ever put into the space in a comparable period. Read More

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Warner Music Group buys concert discovery service Songkick

 Warner Music Group announced today it’s acquiring the selected assets of the music platform Songkick, including its app for finding concerts and the company’s trademark. The deal will not include Songkick’s ticketing business, however, nor the pending litigation Songkick has against Live Nation and Ticketmaster. Songkick has been involved in a lawsuit against the major… Read More

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Vertu is dead

 It’s been a long, downward slide for cellphone maker Vertu. The company, founded by Nokia in 1998, was supposed to be a luxury phone provider to the stars and, to a degree, it delivered. They sold the $11,000 phones like expensive watches in boutique stores in tony neighborhoods. Vertu, with its precious metals and fine, hand-cut leather was supposed to maintain its luxury lead for… Read More

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Behind the scenes with Tezos, a new blockchain upstart

 With a whopping $200m raised (at current btc and eth prices) Tezos breaks all Initial Coin Offering records to date. That’s saying something given over $1 billion dollars has gone into ICOs (Kickstarters on steroids) in 2017. Exuberance, of the irrational variety, perhaps–but that doesn’t mean there is no real value underpinning some of the projects raising funds, or in… Read More

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Trainline now gives you real-time train information in France

 Trainline’s European service (formerly known as Captain Train) is becoming your one-stop shop for French trains. The company has partnered with SNCF to get real-time data about trains, delays and your current location. You had to use SNCF’s official app before to get this kind of information. If you’ve used Trainline to book a ticket before, you know that the app can alert you… Read More

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MIT’s Daniela Rus is leading a robotics revolution

 Daniela Rus’s morning is packed. My arrival appears to come as a bit of a surprise. She considers the situation for a moment before inviting me in. Rus has allowed me to sit in for a packed morning of meetings. It’s a generous gesture, but more to the point, it’s the only way to manage some face time with the head of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence… Read More

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Stripe adds support for Alipay and WeChat Pay, China’s top digital payment services

 Payment enabler Stripe just announced two significant tie-ins that could help its pool of merchants make money from consumers in China. U.S. firm Stripe said today that it has agreed to global deals with Alipay and WeChat Pay, two digital services that dominate consumer spending in China. Alipay, which is managed by Alibaba affiliate firm Ant Financial, counts over 500 million users, while… Read More

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Google Maps now lets users add wheelchair accessibility details for locations

 Back in December, Google finally added accessibility details to Maps. It was a long awaited addition, but an extremely welcome one for the more than three million people in the U.S. who require wheelchair accessibility. As we noted at the time, however, the available information still left a lot to be desired. Maps has currently collected accessibility data for almost seven million places,… Read More

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Inside Station F, the startup megacampus that just opened in Paris

 Station F is the world’s biggest startup campus. Thousands of entrepreneurs are currently moving into the new building here in Paris. But if you’re still wondering what it actually looks like, we visited Station F and interviewed the two persons behind it — Roxanne Varza and Xavier Niel. Station F is a massive building that has been completely renovated and now features… Read More

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CMU researchers create a huge dome that can read body language

 The Panoptic Studio is a new body scanner created by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University that will be used to understand body language in real situations. The scanner, which looks like something Doc Brown would stick Marty in to prevent him from committing fratricide, creates hundreds of videos of participants inside the massive dome interacting, talking, and arguing. The team has… Read More

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Tonsser, the social app for youth soccer players, partners with Nike and raises new funding

 Tonsser, the Copenhagen-based startup that offers a vertical social network aimed at youth soccer players who want to build their own online profile and potentially get discovered by a bigger club, continues to grow at a clip, both in terms of signups but also the influence it wants to have on the beautiful game. Read More

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Game studio Mighty Bear rises from the ashes of King’s former Singapore office

 Office closures don’t just mean unemployment and uncertainty, they can lead to new opportunities. That’s the case for Mighty Bear Games, a Singapore-based games studio that grew out of the closure of King.com’s local office. As part of streamlining following its $5.9 billion acquisition by Activision, King.com shut down the Singapore office it picked up when it bought Non… Read More

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Will Blue Apron’s rebound continue?

 Cooking kit delivery company Blue Apron traded up 3.5% on the stock market Monday, erasing some of the losses from its first two days as a public company. Shares closed at $9.67, which was still beneath last week’s $10 IPO price. This is in contrast to a lot of public debuts, where companies are typically in the green for the first day “pop.” It’s the subsequent days… Read More

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Will Blue Apron’s rebound continue?

 Cooking kit delivery company Blue Apron traded up 3.5% on the stock market Monday, erasing some of the losses from its first two days as a public company. Shares closed at $9.67, which was still beneath last week’s $10 IPO price. This is in contrast to a lot of public debuts, where companies are typically in the green for the first day “pop.” It’s the subsequent days… Read More

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Samsung is reportedly getting ready to join the smart speaker craze

 Samsung is reportedly working on its own smart speaker device to compete with Amazon’s Echo and others, the WSJ reports. Appropriately, the timing of the device is far from ironed out. Samsung has had quite a few problems getting the voice-powered element of its Bixby smart assistant ready for Galaxy S8 consumers in the US after launching the device months ago. The report also states… Read More

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Instagram should let users save and share their photo preferences

 While the world waits for Instagram to launch a location-sharing feature à la Snapchat, it’s worth wondering about the potential arrival of something far more simple and obvious: user-preset filters.
Instagram now allows you to prioritize your favorite filters at the beginning of the list and leave the ones that you don’t use often at the end. However, each user has their own… Read More

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Amazon completes its acquisition of Middle Eastern e-commerce firm Souq

 Amazon has completed its acquisition of e-commerce firm Souq.com, which was first announced at the end of March and sees the U.S. retail giant enter the Middle Eastern market. The deal is officially undisclosed, but sources previously told TechCrunch that Amazon is paying around $650 million. Bloomberg previously reported that Amazon was in discussions over an investment at a valuation in… Read More

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500 Startups’ Dave McClure apologizes for ‘multiple’ advances toward women and being a ‘creep’

 Taking an alternative approach to Chris Sacca’s pre-publication statement on the New York Times’ story of his alleged misconduct, Dave McClure waited a day to respond to the allegations made in yesterday’s article.
In a Medium post published Saturday evening, McClure neither denies nor defends the actions that he says have cost him the executive position at the firm he founded. Read More

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Crunch Report | Facebook Helps You Find Wi-Fi

Crunch Report June 30 Today’s Stories

Facebook is rolling out its ‘Find Wi-Fi’ feature worldwide
Delivery Hero’s valuation surpasses $5B following successful IPO
Chat app Kakao raises $437M for its Korean ride-hailing service
Cabin secures $3.3M for its ‘moving hotel’

Credits
Written and Hosted by: Anthony Ha
Filmed by: Matthew Mauro
Edited by: Chris Gates
Notes:
Tito… Read More

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Indian messaging app Hike may launch live-streaming following recent acquisition

 Hike, the billion-dollar messaging app chasing WhatsApp in India, may be preparing to enter the live-streaming space following a recent acquisition. The company, which is backed by Chinese internet giant Tencent, has acquired India-based live-streaming app Pulse and at least two of its founding team, according to a report from Inc42. Hike declined to respond to our request for comment but,… Read More

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After canceling Sense8, Netflix is giving the show a two-hour finale

 Netflix, it had seemed, was the place where shows go to live again, not to die. Even though you can argue about whether those shows should have been brought back, and about whether or not fans’ fixation on complete stories is all that healthy or realistic, today’s announcement that Sense8 will get a two-hour finale feels like a very welcome gesture. Read More

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After canceling Sense8, Netflix is giving the show a two-hour finale

 Netflix, it had seemed, was the place where shows go to live again, not to die. Even though you can argue about whether those shows should have been brought back, and about whether or not fans’ fixation on complete stories is all that healthy or realistic, today’s announcement that Sense8 will get a two-hour finale feels like a very welcome gesture. Read More

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After canceling Sense8, Netflix is giving the show a two-hour finale

 Netflix, it had seemed, was the place where shows go to live again, not to die. Even though you can argue about whether those shows should have been brought back, and about whether or not fans’ fixation on complete stories is all that healthy or realistic, today’s announcement that Sense8 will get a two-hour finale feels like a very welcome gesture. Read More

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After canceling Sense8, Netflix is giving the show a two-hour finale

 Netflix, it had seemed, was the place where shows go to live again, not to die. Even though you can argue about whether those shows should have been brought back, and about whether or not fans’ fixation on complete stories is all that healthy or realistic, today’s announcement that Sense8 will get a two-hour finale feels like a very welcome gesture. Read More

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After canceling Sense8, Netflix is giving the show a two-hour finale

 Netflix, it had seemed, was the place where shows go to live again, not to die. Even though you can argue about whether those shows should have been brought back, and about whether or not fans’ fixation on complete stories is all that healthy or realistic, today’s announcement that Sense8 will get a two-hour finale feels like a very welcome gesture. Read More

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Binary Capital is being sued by a former employee for harassment

 Troubled Silicon Valley venture firm, Binary Capital, whose co-founder resigned earlier this week after allegations surfaced of Justin Caldbeck’s predatory behavior towards women, is being sued by a former employee for harassing and defaming her after she resigned from the firm, Bloomberg reports.  Read More

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Samsung will reportedly revive the Galaxy Note 7 with a Korea-only ‘Fandom Edition’

 Samsung is reportedly gearing to revive the Galaxy Note 7, its disastrous 2016 smartphone that was recalled after battery problems caused units to catch fire, with the limited release of a new model. The company hinted a few months ago that it planned to make such a move, but now we have more details. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Note 7 FE (that stands for ‘Fandom… Read More

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The Amazon Echo now doubles as a home intercom system

 Amazon will officially release the Show in a few days, but in the meantime, the company is introducing a long-awaited intercom feature for existing Echo devices. The addition uses Drop-In, a teleconferencing feature introduced on the Show that lets close friends and family members call into one another’s device with little warning. I really didn’t like the feature when I tested… Read More

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Houzz raises a huge $400M round at a $4B valuation

 If you ask investors in Silicon Valley about Houzz — an app where you browse ridiculously nice homes and check out interesting interior design ideas — they’ll probably quietly mutter that they’re just growing their business. We really don’t hear about Houzz’s business that often. Except now the company says it has raised $400 million led by Iconiq Capital,… Read More

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Crunch Report | Google To Stop Scanning Inboxes

Crunch Report June 23 Today’s Stories  Google now has all the data it needs, will stop scanning Gmail inboxes for ad personalization Samsung’s Galaxy Note8 will reportedly be the company’s most expensive smartphone yet YouTube TV expands to 10 more U.S. markets, adds more YouTube Red series Tesla said to be in talks to create its own streaming music service Credits Written and Hosted by:… Read More

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Crunch Report | Apple Rolls Out Early Version Of Its Safe Driving Feature

Crunch Report June 22 Today’s Stories  Do Not Disturb While Driving feature rolls out in Apple’s newest iOS 11 beta Sean Parker has left Spotify’s board; Padmasree Warrior, Thomas Staggs join in lead up to IPO Trump might kill next month’s new startup visa before it takes effect Facebook is testing a feature to prevent profile pictures being abused by other users Tantan, China’s… Read More

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Construction tech company Aproplan closes €5 million Series A

 Not so long ago the administration needed to run a major construction project relied almost entirely on pen, paper, excel spreadsheets and faxes. That has provided a huge opportunity for startups to take a stab at digitising the construction industry. Brussels-based Aproplan, which bills itself as akin to “Salesforce for construction,” is one such company, and today is disclosing… Read More

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Home robot Kuri can now recognize pets, see and stream in HD

 The domestic robot that looks like an extra cut from Disney’s Wall-E is coming along nicely, after debuting at CES this year with a Holiday 2017 release window. Mayfield Robotics’ Kuri is an expressive bowling pin that will steal your heart and hopes to become a key element of your family’s home life, and its latest updates make it better at capturing cherished memories,… Read More

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Twist is Slack without the annoying distractions

 When Slack implemented threaded conversations, it seemed like the holy grail for internal communications. Slack finally lets you talk about multiple things in separate conversations. But Slack remains a real-time messaging service at heart, so threads don’t feel native. It works well for many teams, but some companies would prefer something a bit more asynchronous and focused. At the… Read More

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Hike beats WhatsApp to launching messenger app payments in India

 India-focused mobile messaging service Hike landed funding from Tencent last year, and today it took a major step to emulating the Chinese firm’s WeChat app with the introduction of mobile payments. The launch of Hike Pay not only shows an ambition to build a messaging platform, it also means Hike has beaten WhatsApp, the chat app that dominates India, to the punch. Facebook-owned… Read More

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BrideClick acquires Mode Media

Mode Media The Mode Media story refuses to end — following its abrupt shut down last year, the company’s assets have been acquired by wedding-focused advertising company BrideClick.
Mode previously operated lifestyle sites including Glam and Foodie, plus a larger ad network that it said reached 144 million unique visitors each month.
The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but… Read More

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In wake of Amazon/Whole Foods deal, Instacart has a challenging opportunity

 Yesterday, Amazon and Whole Foods ruined a perfectly slow news day on a Friday in June with the announcement that Amazon intends to buy Whole Foods for almost $14 billion.
The most obvious victim of the deal was Instacart, in which Whole Foods invested and with whom Whole Foods has a five-year contract.
But after talking to a few Instacart investors and other sources close to the company… Read More

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Crunch Report | Amazon Bids to Buy Whole Foods for $13.7 Billion

Amazon bids to buy Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, Walmart buys Bonobos for $310 million, Mobike, a ride-sharing company in China, raises $600 million. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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Walmart to buy Bonobos for $310M in its bigger push into fashion retail

 Walmart today doubled down on its efforts to continue building out a online retail fashion business. Today it announced that it would acquire Bonobos for $310 million in cash. The deal follows several other acquisitions that the retail giant has made in the area of online fashion. They include Modcloth in March 2017, outdoor retailer Moosejaw for $51 million in February… Read More

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See you in Shenzhen next week for our next TechCrunch China event!

 See you in Shenzhen next week for our inaugural TechCrunch China event in the world’s hardware innovation capital. The show runs June 19-20, and we’ll be interviewing and talking to top level executives from a range of tech companies that include: Vice President of the Didi Chuxing Research Institute Dr. Fengmin Gong — Didi opened its U.S.-based research lab earlier this year… Read More

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Group Nine Media says it got 114M social engagements last month

 With last fall’s formation of Group Nine Media, four digital media organizations (Thrillist, NowThis, The Dodo and Discovery’s Seeker) came together under a single corporate umbrella. Now the company says it’s seeing real success connecting with readers and viewers, with 114 million social media engagements in May — up from 70 million in January. As Group Nine CEO Ben… Read More

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