Fortnite has taken the world by storm. In fact, the game is so popular that Epic has released versions for PC, Xbox, PS4, iOS, Android and the Nintendo Switch, making the game about as accessible as possible.
The popularity of the game stems from the general popularity of the Battle Royale genre and popular streamers like Ninja, who have made the game so much fun to watch. But it also comes from the fun, and often fleeting, skins, dances and pick axes the game offers in its Item Shop.
On October 5th, folks interested in the Switch can pick up some extra Fortnite swag.
Design tools are becoming increasingly important to just about every brand out there. Today, a new entrant joins the race.
Framer X, a revamped version of three-year-old Framer, was founded by Koen Bok and Jorn van Dijk after the duo sold design software Sofa to Facebook in 2011. Framer X is a rich, React-based design tool that lets any designer draw out their interface components and instantly send them over to the engineering team for collaboration.
The key here is reusability and fidelity. With Framer X, engineers can send over existing components that are in production and let designers move forward from there. Conversely, designers aren’t sending developers a facsimile of a button or icon but the actual SVG code behind that component.
Framer X also allows users to collect components and other design items as a package within the Framer X store, so that they’re easily accessible during
Blippar, the AR startup that launched in 2011, has today announced the close of a $37 million financing led by Candy Ventures and Qualcomm Ventures.
The company started out by offering AR experiences for brand marketers through publishers and other real-world products, letting users unlock AR content by scanning a tag called a “Blipp”.
Blippar then transitioned to a number of different AR products, but took a particular focus on computer vision, launching a consumer-facing visual search engine that would let users identify cars, plants, and other real-world objects.
Most recently, Blippar has introduced an indoor positioning system that lets commercial real estate owners implement AR mapping and other content from within their buildings.
The AR industry has been in a state of evolution for the past few years, and Blippar has constantly reshifted and re-positioned to try and take advantage of the blossoming market. Unfortunately, several pivots have
PlayVS, the startup bringing an e-sports infrastructure to the high school level, has today announced that it will partner with Riot’s League of Legends for its beta season.
High school students across five states, including Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, will be able to sign up to play for their school in Season Zero, which begins in October 2018.
Around 200 colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada are offering esports scholarships, but without any infrastructure around high school esports, those recruiters are left at the mercy of the publishers and a grueling tournament schedule.
Meanwhile, young gamers who want to go pro are forced to gain a following via Twitch, or hit up all those tournaments and find a way to shine.
PlayVS offers access to recruiters while giving high school students the chance to play competitive esports at the high school level. The
Another year, another set of brand spankin’ new iPhones. But this year, little has been left to the imagination as leaks have continued to spring up over the course of the past few months.
Today, however, the new iPhone becomes official. Apple has introduced a new models of the premium iPhone, the iPhone XS, which comes in three finishes, gold, silver and space grey.
So let’s take a look at the details.
Developing… Please refresh
The FDA is giving makers of e-cigarettes sixty days to come up with a more effective, forceful plan to combat underage use of the products.
FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb is yet again moving the goal posts for e-cig companies. He now considers underage use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) an epidemic, forcing the government to make a choice that we all knew was coming: save the smokers or save the kids?
“I believe in the power of American ingenuity to solve a lot of problems, including this one,” said Gottlieb in a statement. “I’m deeply disturbed by the trends I’ve seen. I’m disturbed by an epidemic of nicotine use among teenagers. So, we’re at a crossroads today. It’s one where the opportunities from new innovations will be responsibly seized on right now, or perhaps lost forever.”
E-cigarettes, like the Juul (which owns more than 70 percent of
Instacart has brought on Mark Schaaf as Chief Technology Officer.
Schaaf previously held positions at AdMob, which was acquired by Google in 2009 for $750 million. From there, he went on to build and lead a team at Google within the mobile display ad business. In 2015, Schaaf left Google to join Thumbtack as CTO.
Schaaf has been working on marketplace businesses since 2006, and explained that Instacart represents a particularly interesting marketplace to continue scaling.
“Thumbtack is a more consumer-focused marketplace with local service professionals and consumers, but Instacart gets even more complex,” said Schaaf. “It’s a four-sided marketplace, and then you overlay it with logistics. The goal is to make the physical world better with technology, and to build a tech core that solves a problem in the physical world.”
Though the company wouldn’t disclose current numbers around engineers, Schaaf plans to double the size of the
Juul Labs has filed trademark claims against 30 entities in China for selling counterfeit Juul products on eBay. The complaint was filed in late August, and today the company announced that the Federal Court in the Eastern District of Virginia has granted a temporary restraining order and frozen the PayPal accounts of the entities selling counterfeit Juul devices and products.
The Juul e-cig has grown in popularity at a rapid clip since 2015, currently owning more than 70 percent of the market based on revenue. Most obviously, that growth has come along with regulatory hurdles from the FDA, including an investigation launched in April around underage use.
But just like any other growing startup, Juul Labs is also dealing with copycats.
On the one hand, Juul says these counterfeit e-cigs and pods were not quality tested the same way as Juul, posing a safety threat to those that purchased. On
All good things must come to an end, and Disrupt SF is no different.
But, in many ways, we’ve saved the best for last. Today we’ll hear from Silicon Valley creator Mike Judge, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins and Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong.
And that’s just the main stage.
In the afternoon, the real drama begins. Five finalists have been chosen to compete in the Startup Battlefield Finals. The winner will take home the Disrupt Cup, $100,000 and endless glory.
You can check out the full agenda right here.
Yesterday was a blast, but there’s no reason to rest on our laurels. Disrupt SF 2018 Day 2 holds plenty in store for us.
We’ll hear from Priscilla Chan, Dara Khosrowshahi, Reid Hoffman, Doug Leone and many more.
First up, Dieter May from BMW with a global product announcement.
Then, this afternoon, we’ll check out the rest of the Startup Battlefield companies.
The full agenda is right here.
Disrupt SF has descended upon the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco, and we have one helluva show in store for you.
This morning we’ll hear from Cyan Bannister, Drew Houston, Anne Wojcicki, Ashton Kutcher and many more. In the afternoon, we’ll be joined by Sophia Amoruso as well as Lockheed Martin’s CTO Dr. Keoki Jackson. Plus, we’ll kick off this year’s Startup Battlefield, where some of the best and brightest new startups show off their wares to a panel of expert judges.
This is our biggest Disrupt yet, and as per usual, we’ll be bringing you all the action right here.
You can check out the full agenda here.
InVision today announced a newly expanded integration and strategic partnership with Atlassian that will let users of Confluence, Trello and Jira see and share InVision prototypes from within those programs.
Atlassian’s product suite is built around making product teams faster and more efficient. These tools streamline and organize communication so developers and designers can focus on getting the job done. Meanwhile, InVision’s collaboration platform has caught on to the idea that design is now a team sport, letting designers, engineers, executives and other shareholders be involved in the design process right from the get-go.
Specifically, the expanded integration allows designers to share InVision Studio designs and prototypes right within Jira, Trello and Confluence . InVision Studio was unveiled late last year, offering designers an alternative to Sketch and Adobe.
Given the way design and development teams use both product suites, it only makes sense to let these product suites communicate
Toward the end of 2017, Instacart penned a partnership with one of the country’s biggest grocery retailers, Kroger. At the time, it was a smaller deal with one of Kroger’s chains called Ralphs.
But today Instacart is expanding its partnership with Kroger, bringing Instacart delivery to 75 additional Kroger markets, growing Instacart’s Kroger footprint by 50 percent nationwide. The expansion will be completed by late October, bringing Instacart delivery to more than 1,600 Kroger stores.
This builds on Instacart’s momentum, following partnership deals with chains like Albertsons, Aldi, Sam’s Club, and Loblaw.
In all, Instacart is now available to 70 percent of all households across the country. Last year, the company announced its goal to reach 80 percent of U.S. households by the end of 2018, and its most recent funding round seems to be propelling the startup to achieve that goal.
In February, Instacart raised $200 million led
To say Juul Labs has had a meteoric rise would be an understatement.
The company, which spun out of Pax Labs in 2017, now accounts for a staggering 72 percent of the e-cigarette market. And the product only came to market in 2015. Let that sink in.
But the company’s wild success hasn’t come easily. Regulatory hurdles like FDA approval and an ongoing investigation by the FDA to determine why teens and minors are so enthusiastic about the Juul vaporizer are but a few.
Cofounder and Chief Product Officer James Monsees has been there from the very beginning, and we’re absolutely psyched to have Monsees join us on the Disrupt SF stage in September.
Monsees co-founded Juul with Adam Bowen in 2003, when they would pepper in a handful of smoke breaks during brainstorming sessions. The constant distraction of a cigarette spurred them to start working on Juul.
Privacy and security continues to be a top-line issue in our world today. This puts facial recognition in a bit of a grey area, as it could offer incredible benefits to our security and open up vulnerabilities when it comes to our privacy.
Luckily, Kairos CEO and cofounder Brian Brackeen will be joining us at Disrupt to chat about all this and more.
The idea for Kairos came when Brackeen was working on HR time-clocking systems at Apple. People were cheating the system, which spurred Brackeen to implement facial recognition. Long before Apple ever introduced FaceID, Brackeen knew that this type of verification would have big implications on the broader ecosystem.
But those implications can be just as negative as they can positive, a fact that Brackeen is keenly aware of.
“Facial recognition-powered government surveillance is an extraordinary invasion of the privacy of all citizens — and a slippery slope
For startups, especially e-commerce companies, branding is everything.
A slogan, an ad, even the design of the logo can make the difference between success and failure. But understanding how to develop a brand and strategically evolve that brand over time isn’t the easiest task. Luckily, three experts are coming to Disrupt to talk through the ins and outs.
Red Antler’s Emily Heyward, Brandless’ Tina Sharkey, and Casper CEO Philip Krim will join us at TC Disrupt SF in early September, and it’s a conversation you won’t want to miss.
Emily Heyward cofounded Red Antler in 2007 after working in advertising at Saatchi & Saatchi. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard with a degree focused on postmodern theory and consumer culture. At Red Antler, she serves as Chief Strategist and has helped brands like AllBirds, BirchBox and Casper find their unique voice in a cluttered market.
Tina Sharkey hails from
Historically, we haven’t been great about digital security. In 2016 (not long enough ago to feel OK about it), the top passwords were “123456” and “password.”
Awareness has certainly grown, but some folks could still use a nudge in the right direction. Luckily, Fortnite Battle Royale maker Epic Games has a solution.
The company has introduced a new emote to the game — emotes are just one type of cosmetic upgrade that helped Epic rake in $1 billion in revenue. However, this new Boogie Down emote is only available to folks who enable two-factor authentication on their Epic Games account.
As you can expect, hackers and other malicious actors are well aware of both the popularity of Fortnite and users’ willingness to spend money on the game. Obviously, these accounts are attractive targets for “the bad guys.”
Two-factor authentication — which asks for two separate verifications that you
HTC continues to bet big on VR, today announcing the launch of pre-orders for the Vive Wireless Adapter. The adapter allows Vive and Vive Pro owners to cut the cord, so to speak, and allow users to tether wirelessly to their PC.
The Base Adapter works with both the Vive and Vive Pro, though the Vive Pro requires an extra $60 compatibility pack that includes a connection cable for the Vive Pro, foam padding, and an attachment device that works with the Vive Pro.
The Vive Wireless Adapter itself retails for $299.
According to the blog post, installation works like this:
Installation of the Vive Wireless Adapter occurs in minutes by installing a PCI-e card and attaching a sensor from the PC that broadcasts to and from the newly wireless Vive headset. The adapter has a broadcast range of 6 meters with a 150 degree field of view from the
For the past ten to fifteen years, a crop of newer brands have found themselves gobbling up marketshare via direct to consumer channels. Some offer a better value proposition on an existing product category, like Warby Parker and Casper, while others offer a reinvention of the category itself, like Outdoor Voices and Glossier.
TomboyX, which just closed a $4.3 million Series A round, seems to be doing a great job of both.
The company, founded by Fran Dunaway and Naomi Gonzalez, offers gender-neutral underwear for an affordable price to folks who often aren’t represented in mainstream media. The company says that it serves a diverse customer base, including plus-sized, gender non-conforming and specialized tradespeople.
The funding, which was led through funds advised by TAU in conjunction with Redbadge Pacific and SBI Investments Korea, brings total funding to $6.3 million. As part of the deal, LVMH Group former
In May, the Supreme Court struck down a federal law that had banned gambling on sporting events in most states. That ruling is set to unlock billions of dollars in new business opportunities for online fantasy sports sites like DraftKings.
That’s why we’re absolutely thrilled to have DraftKings CEO Jason Robins join us on stage at Disrupt SF.
DraftKings launched back in 2012 and quickly grew into a household name by offering daily and weekly fantasy sports contests across a number of sports.
In fact, as of 2017, DraftKings had roughly 8 million users, and together with its top competitor FanDuel, the two companies owned more than 90 percent of the $2.6 billion daily fantasy sports market.
In 2016, DraftKings and FanDuel announced their intention to merge, but were met with resistance from the FTC who sued to block the merger. If it had been approved, the merger would