African incubator MEST has a new MD and 11 fresh startup investments

Pan-African incubator MEST announced investments in 11 startups from its 2019 cohort that will each receive $100,000 in financing. The $1.1 million backing for a graduating class is the largest to date for the Accra-based organization — which operates as a training program and seed fund for African innovators to build successful commercial tech companies. By country presence and membership, …

Here are the 82 startups from day 2 of Y Combinator’s S19 Demo Days

Team TechCrunch was back for Day 2 of Y Combinator’s Summer 2019 Demo Days where we heard from another massive chunk of startups that are taking disruption very seriously, even if they’re aiming to upend companies that only launched in Y Combinator a few classes ago. The total class of on-record Demo Days launches came to 166 startups, after 82 …

Waxed canvas bags from Waterfield, Manhattan Portage, Saddleback and more

It’s finally Bag Week again! the most wonderful week of the year at TechCrunch. Just in time for back to school, we’re bringing you reviews of bags of all varieties: from backpacks to rollers to messengers to fanny packs. This year, like last year, I decided to focus on a specific niche in the bag community: waxed canvas. Last year …

The 11 best startups from Y Combinator’s S19 Demo Day 1

Y Combinator, the genesis for many of the companies that have shaped Silicon Valley including Airbnb, PagerDuty and Stripe, has minted another 200 some graduates. Half of those companies made their pitch to investors today during Day 1 of Y Combinator’s Summer 2019 Demo Day event and we’re here to tell you which startups are on the fast-track to the …

IBM is moving OpenPower Foundation to The Linux Foundation

IBM makes the Power Series chips, and as part of that has open sourced some of the underlying technologies to encourage wider use of these chips. The open source pieces have been part of the OpenPower Foundation. Today, the company announced it was moving the foundation under The Linux Foundation, and while it was at it, announced it was open …

‘This is Your Life in Silicon Valley’: The League founder and CEO Amanda Bradford on modern dating, and whether Bumble is a ‘real’ startup

Sunil Rajaraman Contributor More posts by this contributor ‘This is Your Life in Silicon Valley’: Former Pinterest president, Moment CEO Tim Kendall on smartphone addiction ‘This is Your Life in Silicon Valley’: Nomiku Founder CEO Lisa Fetterman on why Silicon Valley doesn’t care about female founders Welcome to this week’s transcribed edition of This is Your Life in Silicon Valley. …

Facebook unveils new tools to control how websites share your data for ad-targeting

Last year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company would be creating a “Clear History” feature that deletes the data that third-party websites and apps share with Facebook. Today, the company is actually launching feature in select geographies. It’s gotten a new name in the meantime: Off-Facebook Activity. David Baser, the director of product management leading Facebook’s privacy and …

H2O.ai announces $72.5M Series D led by Goldman Sachs

H20.ai‘s mission is to democratize AI by providing a set of tools that frees companies from relying on teams of data scientists. Today it got a bushel of money to help. The company announced a $72.5 million Series D round led by Goldman Sachs and Ping An Global Voyager Fund. Previous investors Wells Fargo, NVIDIA and Nexus Venture Partners also …

PressReader aims to add more personalization to its digital news platform by acquiring News360

A pair of digital news companies are teaming up, with PressReader acquiring News360. PressReader was founded back in 1999 as Newspaper Direct. It now operates a platform that converts newspapers and magazines into digital formats, while offering a $29.99 monthly subscription that provides unlimited access to more than 7,000 of those titles. News360, meanwhile, is relatively youthful, having been founded …

IAC acquires nursing marketplace NurseFly for $15M

NurseFly, a startup that’s created a job marketplace for short-term nursing positions, is announcing its acquisition by holding company IAC. While the companies aren’t disclosing the deal terms, a source with knowledge of the acquisition said the price was $15 million. Co-founder and CEO Parth Bhakta told me that hospitals often hire travel nurses (signed for contracts of 13 weeks …

LA-based gaming company, Scopely, expands in Spain and Ireland

The Los Angeles-based gaming company Scopely is expanding its geographical footprint in Spain and Ireland. The company is building out its Barcelona offices, tripling its office space and planning to significantly expand its 100-person-strong team in the city. Meanwhile, Scopely is also planning to invest heavily in expanding its strategy-focused game studio, DIGIT, in Dublin. Scopely didn’t say how many …

Starship Technologies raises $40M, crosses 100K deliveries and plans to expand to 100 new universities

Starship Technologies invented the category of rolling autonomous sidewalk delivery robots, and to date, the company has made over 100,000 commercial deliveries on behalf of customers. The milestone comes as Starship adds $40 million in Series A funding, bringing its total funding to $85 million. When it announced an additional $25 million in June 2018, Starship was also piloting its …

Fitbit Inspire HR vs. Mi Band 4: Best value fitness tracker

It’s a fitness tracker battle between the Fitbit Inspire HR and the Xiaomi Mi Band 4. One costs $100 and the other is $40, so which one is the best value? I compare both these fitness bands on everything from how they count steps and track workouts, to measuring resting heart rate and sleep. These bands also have some smart …

Yubico launches its dual USB-C and Lightning two-factor security key

Almost two months after it was first announced, Yubico has launched the YubiKey 5Ci, a security key with dual support for both iPhones, Macs and other USB-C compatible devices. Yubico’s latest Yubikey is the latest iteration of its security key built to support a newer range of devices, including Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and MacBooks in a single device. Announced in …

Reputation.com nabs $30M more to help enterprises manage their profiles online

In these days where endorsements from influential personalities online can make or break a product, a startup that’s built a business to help companies harness all the long-tail firepower they can muster to get their name out there in a good way has raised some funding to expand deeper into feedback and other experience territory. Reputation.com, which works with big …

SpotQA picks up $3.25M seed funding for its automated software testing

SpotQA, a new automated software testing platform that claims to be significantly faster than either manual testing or existing automated QA solutions, has raised $3.25 million in seed funding. Leading the round is Crane Venture Partners, the newly-outed London venture capital firm focusing on “intelligent” enterprise startups. Also participating is Forward Ventures, Downing Ventures and Acequia Capital. Founded in 2016 …

All 84 startups from Y Combinator’s S19 Demo Day 1

It’s that time of year, Silicon Valley’s investor technocrati and advice-giving Twitter celebrities descended upon Pier 48 in San Francisco to judge the latest summer batch of Y Combinator startups. TechCrunch was there, as well, and we were tapping away feverishly as co-founders pitched to woo investors. There are 197 companies in total in the summer YC batch, we heard …

Who are the major revenue-based investing VCs?

David Teten Contributor More posts by this contributor How To Run Your Company Based On Metrics This guest post was written by David Teten, Venture Partner, HOF Capital. You can follow him at teten.com and @dteten. This is part of an ongoing series on Revenue-Based Investing VC that will hit on: So you’re interested in raising capital from a Revenue-Based …

Revenue-based investing: A new option for founders who care about control

David Teten Contributor More posts by this contributor Revenue-based investing: A new option for founders who care about control How To Run Your Company Based On Metrics Does the traditional VC financing model make sense for all companies? Absolutely not. VC Josh Kopelman makes the analogy of jet fuel vs. motorcycle fuel. VCs sell jet fuel which works well for …

The five technical challenges Cerebras overcame in building the first trillion transistor chip

Superlatives abound at Cerebras, the until-today stealthy next-generation silicon chip company looking to make training a deep learning model as quick as buying toothpaste from Amazon. Launching after almost three years of quiet development, Cerebras introduced its new chip today — and it is a doozy. The “Wafer Scale Engine” is 1.2 trillion transistors (the most ever), 46,225 square millimeters …

Men’s personal care startup Huron raises $1M

Huron founder and CEO Matt Mullenax is hoping to build a big business around body wash. “For us, the broader mission is A+ personal care for guys everywhere — not just guys in New York or guys in the Bay Area or guys in Los Angeles,” he said. The startup has raised $1 million in seed funding from RXBAR founders …

Join The New Stack for Pancake & Podcast with Q&A at TC Sessions: Enterprise

Popular enterprise news and research site The New Stack is coming to TechCrunch Sessions: Enterprise on September 5 for a special Pancake & Podcast session with live Q&A, featuring, you guessed it, delicious pancakes and awesome panelists! Here’s the “short stack” of what’s going to happen: Pancake buffet opens at 7:45 am on Thursday, September 5 at TC Sessions: Enterprise …

WP Standard’s Weekender leather duffel is built for life

Have you heard? It’s Bag Week! It’s the most wonderful week of the year at TechCrunch. Just in time for back to school, we’re bringing you reviews of bags of all varieties: from backpacks, to rollers to messengers to fanny packs. WP Standard makes exceptional leather goods and the company’s new leather duffle is no different. It’s fantastic and my …

Twitter blocks state-controlled media outlets from advertising on its social network

Twitter is now blocking state-run media outlets from advertising on its platform. The new policy was announced just hours after the company identified an information operation involving hundreds of accounts linked to China as part of an effort to “sow political discord” around events in Hong Kong after weeks of protests in the region. Over the weekend more than 1 …

Ally raises $8M Series A for its OKR solution

OKRs, or Objectives and Key Results, are a popular planning method in Silicon Valley. Like most of those methods that make you fill in some form once every quarter, I’m pretty sure employees find them rather annoying and a waste of their time. Ally wants to change that and make the process more useful. The company today announced that it …

‘Breaking Into Startups’: Torch CEO and Well Clinic founder Cameron Yarbrough on mental health & coaching

Chad M. Crabtree Contributor There has long been a stigma associated with therapy and mental health coaching, a stigma that is even more pronounced in the business world, despite considerable evidence of the efficacy of these services. One of the organizations that has set out to change this negative association is Torch, a startup that combines the therapeutic benefits of …