Daily Crunch: The startups we lost in 2019

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here. 1. Remembering the startups we lost in 2019 This year’s batch doesn’t include any story quite as spectacular as last year’s big Theranos flameout, which gave us …

Latin America Roundup: XP’s chart-topping IPO, Wildlife becomes a unicorn, SoftBank backs Konfio

Sophia Wood Contributor Sophia Wood is a principal at Magma Partners, a Latin America-focused seed-stage VC firm with offices in Latin America, Asia and the U.S. Sophia is also the co-founder of LatAm List, an English-language Latin American tech news source. More posts by this contributor Latin America roundup: Neobanks raise $205M+; Softbank backs VTEX Latin America Roundup: Uber acquires …

The four corners of the new space economy

It’s gotten to the point now where a handful of angel investors can put a space company on the map. But the same changes that have made the industry accessible have made it increasingly complex to track its trends. By default, all space startups are exciting, but companies vary widely in risk, capital intensity and maturity. Here’s what you need …

Remembering the startups we lost in 2019

All manner of startups fail for all manner of reasons. But there’s one constant: this is an incredibly difficult business. Launching a successful company isn’t just a matter of drive and finding the right people (though both, clearly, are important). Doing well in this business requires the stars to align perfectly on a billion different things. A cursory look at …

Rivian adds $1.3 billion in funding for its electric utility and adventure vehicles

American automotive technology startup Rivian has raised $1.3 billion in new funding, the company announced today. The new investment is the fourth round of capital announced by the company in 2019 alone, following prior announcements of $700 million led by Amazon, $500 million from Ford (which includes a collaboration on electric vehicle technology) and $350 million from Cox Automotive. That’s …

India’s HomeLane raises $30M to expand its one-stop shop for interior design

HomeLane, a Bangalore-based startup that helps people manage home renovations and interior design, today announced it has raised $30 million in a new financing round as it looks to expand its proprietary technology. The financing round, dubbed Series D, was led by Evolvence India Fund (EIF), Pidilite Group and FJ Labs. Existing investors Accel Partners, Sequoia Capital and JSW Ventures …

Luminance and Omnius are bringing AI to legacy industries

Artificial intelligence is a powerful tool, but it’s not a magic wand. Applying the technology requires thought and dedication, especially with legacy industries like law and insurance, which are being taken on in this way by Luminance and Omnius respectively. The companies’ founders, Emily Foges and Sofie Quidenus-Wahlforss, spoke with great insight on this on stage at Disrupt Berlin. Luminance …

Should you pay $50K for your pitch deck? Yes, why the hell not?

Every once in a while on VC Twitter, a comment or statement seems so outlandish, so completely outrageous, that it must be — certainly has to be — false. Such as it was for Primary Ventures investor Jason Shuman, who commented on the recent prices for pitch deck advice in the Valley today: Founder friend just told me that SF …

A highly subjective list of some of this year’s notable young startups

I’m not a venture capitalist. I don’t play one on TV, either (though I might if anyone asked!). Still, after many years of covering startups, including as an editor with TechCrunch, in a daily newsletter I publish called StrictlyVC, and at numerous media outlets before that (anyone remember the early years of Red Herring magazine?), there have always been startups …

2019’s 10 defining moments in venture capital

Every year, the tech industry experiences moments that serve as guideposts for future entrepreneurs and investors looking to profit from the wisdom of the past. In 2017, Susan Fowler published her heroic blog post criticizing Uber for its culture of sexual harassment, helping spark the #MeToo movement within the tech industry; 2018 was the year of the scooter, in which …

Ripple raises $200 million to improve global payments

Ripple has raised a $200 million Series C funding round. Tetragon is leading the round, with SBI Holdings and Route 66 Ventures also participating. According to Fortune, the company is now valued at $10 billion. “We are in a strong financial position to execute against our vision. As others in the blockchain space have slowed their growth or even shut …

Burst adds a super high-tech dental floss to its dental care offerings

Burst, the subscription dental care service, with the pretty, pretty toothbrushes, has now added a sleek dental floss product to its monthly kits. The Los Angeles-based dental hygiene company, which has raised at least $20 million in financing from the growth capital investment firm Volition Capital, takes a different approach to reaching consumers than competitors like Quip. Burst works hand-in-hand …

The unbrandening

Josh Gross Contributor Josh Gross is the managing partner at digital product studio Planetary and its child company, Regular, the low-cost, high quality studio for small businesses. Do you remember as a kid going to the grocery store with your parents and being just totally overwhelmed by the bright, loud packaging of products on shelf after shelf, aisle after aisle? …

HaptX grabs $12 million to build a glove crammed with sensors

A company building a very high-tech glove has just gotten its hands on some new money. HaptX is building a sensor-packed glove for VR and robotics applications that simulates haptic and resistance feedback for enterprise users. The Seattle startup has raised $12 million in new funding from Mason Avenue Investments, Taylor Frigon Capital Partners, Upheaval Investments, Votiv Capital, Keiretsu Forum, …

Paige raises $45M more to map the pathology of cancer using AI

One of the more notable startups using artificial intelligence to understand and fight cancer has raised $45 million more in funding to continue building out its operations and inch closer to commercialising its work. Paige — which applies AI-based methods such as machine learning to better map the pathology of cancer, an essential component of understanding the origins and progress …

Philadelphia’s Jenzy has a tool to size kids’ feet and a marketplace to buy them the right shoes

Of all the startup jawns that could possibly come from Philadelphia, perhaps none is as unexpected as Jenzy, the startup that provides an online marketplace and virtual sizing tool for kids’ shoes. The company, which has raised $1.25 million from Morgan Stanley’s Multicultural Innovation Lab, was born of desperation and grew up on two continents. Co-founders Eve Ackerley and Carolyn …

Political ‘fixer’ Bradley Tusk closes second fund on $70M

Tusk Venture Partners, the venture capital firm led by Bradley Tusk and managing partner Jordan Nof, has secured $70 million for its second flagship fund, the firm has confirmed to TechCrunch following a report by Fortune this morning. Fundraising for the effort began in January, when the pair filed paperwork with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission for Tusk Venture Partners …

How startups close their first big sales

Joe Procopio Contributor Joe Procopio is a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. Joe is currently building Spiffy, and previously sold Automated Insights, sold ExitEvent and built Intrepid Media. More posts by this contributor When to ditch that nightmare customer (before they kill your startup) No matter what your startup sells or who you’re selling it to, companies that survive — and grow …

Daring Foods will offer healthy, tasty plant-based chicken

Anyone who wants to eat a meatless burger has plenty of options — but what if you want to be a little healthier? Daring Foods will soon be offering an alternative, in the form of plant-based chicken made from five non-genetically modified ingredients — water, soy, sunflower oil, salt and natural flavoring (a mix of paprika, pepper, ginger, nutmeg, mace, …

Uber doubles down on micromobility

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the grey space in between. Today we’re looking into Uber’s bike bet and what the push could mean for Lime and other micromobility companies working to find a sustainable business model. As profitability comes back into vogue among investors at the expense of growth, both …

Indian B2B food tech startup HungerBox raises $12M from Paytm and others

HungerBox, an Indian food tech startup that has courted 10 of the 11 largest companies in the country to use its services, today announced it has raised $12 million from Paytm and others as it looks to sign clients in Southeast Asia. The three-year-old startup’s new financing round, a Series C, was funded by a consortium of Indian and international …

Brand power vs. product power

David Friend Contributor David Friend is the CEO of cloud storage company Wasabi, and co-founder of cyber security company Carbonite, recently bought for $1.4 billion. Wasabi is his sixth startup. More posts by this contributor The herd sours on unprofitable unicorns again Most tech companies — particularly B2B companies — either don’t understand the power of a brand, or do …

Week in Review: Pet startups will be the death of Silicon Valley

Hey everyone. Thank you for welcoming me into your inboxes yet again. I’m in Berlin. where TechCrunch just pulled off another great Disrupt event — we’ve got a lot of great Europe-focused startup content on the site, so get to scrolling if your interest is piqued. If you’re reading this on the TechCrunch site, you can get this in your …

Startups Weekly: This year in startups

Welcome back to Startups Weekly, a weekend newsletter that dives into the week’s noteworthy startups and venture capital news. Before I jump into today’s topic, let’s catch up a bit. Last week, I wrote about U.S. VC activity in Europe. Before that, I noted Chinese investor activity in Africa. Remember, you can send me tips, suggestions and feedback to kate.clark@techcrunch.com …

Consumer sous vide startup Nomiku is winding down operations

Founded in 2012, Nomiku became a plucky Silicon Valley darling by bringing affordable sous vide cooking to home kitchens. A Kickstarter project that same year generated $750,000, several times its $200,000 goal. The company scored a glowing TechCrunch profile the following year, as well, thanks in part to a great backstory. Today, however, the company noted on its site and …

Equity Dive: Direct Listings

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. We have something special this week and it’s not just because Kate’s in Berlin for TechCrunch Disrupt Europe and Alex’s in the throws of a cross country move! No, we’ve had this episode in the works for a while, and we’re excited to …

The IPO window is open

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the grey space in between. This morning we’re digging into the current IPO market, asking ourselves how much damage WeWork really did to other companies hoping to go public. Is the IPO window closed, and if not, what sort of companies can still get out? There’s …