Dropbox announces COO Dennis Woodside is leaving as its second quarterly check-in with Wall Street once again outperforms

Back when Dennis Woodside joined Dropbox as its chief operating officer more than four years ago, the company was trying to justify the $10 billion valuation it had hit in its rapid rise as a Web 2.0 darling. Now, Dropbox is a public company with a nearly $14 billion valuation, and it once again showed Wall Street that it’s able to beat expectations with a now more robust enterprise business alongside its consumer roots. Dropbox’s second quarter results came in ahead of Wall Street’s expectations on both the earnings and revenue front. The company also announced that Dennis Woodside, who has been the chief operating officer for more than four years, will be leaving the company. Woodside joined at a time at Dropbox when it was starting to figure out its enterprise business, which it was able to grow and transform into a strong case for Wall Street
Continue reading "Dropbox announces COO Dennis Woodside is leaving as its second quarterly check-in with Wall Street once again outperforms"

Dropbox hires a new VP of product and VP of product marketing

After a largely successful IPO, Dropbox is adding another couple of hires today as it looks to continue its consumer-slash-enterprise growth playbook: bringing on a new VP of product in former CEO and president of Wealthfront Adam Nash; and a new VP of product marketing and global campaigns in Naman Khan. Both have extensive from products that span multiple different verticals, with Nash previously working at LinkedIn and eBay and Khan spending time with Microsoft Office and Autodesk. The company went public earlier this year to a pretty successful IPO, though the stock hasn’t seen any dramatic fireworks, and has accumulated more than 500 million registered users in its decade-plus life. But it’s also gone through a kind of transition as it starts expanding into more enterprise-focused collaboration tools as it looks to woo businesses, which represent a substantial opportunity for growth for the company that started off as a
Continue reading "Dropbox hires a new VP of product and VP of product marketing"

AI Chip startup Cerebras Systems picks up a former Intel top exec

While some of the largest technology companies in the world are racing to figure out the next generation of machine learning-focused chips that will support devices — whether that’s data centers or edge devices — there’s a whole class of startups that are racing to get there first. That includes Cerebras Systems, one of the startups that has raised a significant amount of capital, which is looking to continue targeting next-generation machine learning operations with the hiring of Dhiraj Mallick as its Vice President of Engineering and Business Development. Prior to joining Cerebras, Mallick served as the VP of architecture and CTO of Intel’s data center group. That group generated more than $5.5 billion in the second quarter this year, up from nearly $4.4 billion in the second quarter of 2017, and has generated more than $10 billion in revenue in the first half of this year. Prior
Continue reading "AI Chip startup Cerebras Systems picks up a former Intel top exec"

Twilio came ahead of expectations and the stock is going nuts

Twilio today reported a positive quarter that brought it to profitability — on an adjusted basis — ahead of schedule for Wall Street, sending the stock soaring 16 percent in extended hours after the release came out. While according to traditional accounting principles Twilio still lost money (this usually includes stock-based compensation, a key component of compensation packages), the company is still showing that it has the capability of being profitable. Born as a go-to tool for startups and larger companies to handle their text- and telephone-related operations, Twilio was among a wave of IPOs in 2016 that has more or less continued into this year. The company’s stock has more than doubled in the past year, and is up nearly 170 percent this year alone. Twilio also brought in revenue ahead of Wall Street expectations. Still, as a services business, Twilio has to show that it can continue to
Continue reading "Twilio came ahead of expectations and the stock is going nuts"

Goodly looks to give companies student loan payments as an employee benefit

As employers duke it out over hiring the best possible candidates, especially ones coming out of school, they are starting to get a little bit more creative with their incentive packages — and that includes offering an option for paying down student debt. Goodly is a new startup that’s looking to help those employers offer that as a benefit. Smaller companies without the resources to create complicated incentive packages especially need tools that help shortcut the process of offering those benefits. It’s following a similar playbook of companies looking to make it easier to get the tools they need in place and focus more on the set of products that are going to make it an actually differentiated company. Goodly is launching out of Y Combinator’s summer class this year. “We found it to be a really great tool for recruiting and retaining,” co-founder Gregory Poulin said. “When people hear student
Continue reading "Goodly looks to give companies student loan payments as an employee benefit"

Optic wants to help developers drop boilerplate code into their development flow

Stack Overflow and other various sites and tools have made it easy to Google search for solutions — or code snippets — to the easier parts of putting together an app or program for developers, but Aidan Cunniffe wants to take that one automated step further. That’s the premise behind Optic, which gives developers a way to grab very common coding use cases that they can drop right into their code. It works by finding the sort of routine additions developers might need, like how to create a form that will add a user to a database, as well as all the ancillary parts that come with that like tests. Optic works within a developer’s IDE, so they don’t have to look externally for the code they need, which is compiled together from online sources. Right now it works for JavaScript, with Python next on the docket. Optic is coming
Continue reading "Optic wants to help developers drop boilerplate code into their development flow"

Square’s crazy run this year dodges any major snags with a decent Q2

While we’re talking about companies like Apple getting alarmingly close to a $1 trillion market cap, both of Jack Dorsey’s companies — Twitter (at least before its earnings last week) and Square — have been on considerable runs, and it looks like the latter won’t be coming to a major halt after today’s quarterly report. The company reported its second-quarter results today, which were somewhat mixed compared to what Wall Street was expecting but didn’t appear to raise the kinds of significant red flags Twitter raised last week that sent its stock into a tailspin. The company outpaced what analysts expected for its earnings results, while it brought in slightly less revenue than was expected, as its core gross payment volume continued to rise and its net losses narrowed when compared to its second quarter last year. In a year that’s included some evolution in its hardware products and a
Continue reading "Square’s crazy run this year dodges any major snags with a decent Q2"

Apple nears a $1 trillion market cap as it clears another quarter ahead of expectations

Apple is inching closer and closer to becoming a $1 trillion company today after posting third quarter results that beat out what analysts were expecting and bumping the stock another few percentage points — which, by Apple standards, is tens of billions of dollars. The company’s stock is up around 2.5% this afternoon after the report, which at a prior market close with a market cap of around $935 billion, is adding nearly another $20-plus billion to its market cap. A few quarters ago we were walking about how Apple was in shooting distance of that $1 trillion mark, but now it seems more and more like Apple will actually hit it. Apple is headed into its most important few quarters as we hit the back half of the year, with its usual new lineup of iPhones and other products and its accompanying critical holiday quarter. Here’s a quick
Continue reading "Apple nears a $1 trillion market cap as it clears another quarter ahead of expectations"

Amazon’s AWS continues to lead its performance highlights

Amazon’s web services AWS continue to be the highlight of the company’s balance sheet, once again showing the kind of growth Amazon is looking for in a new business for the second quarter — especially one that has dramatically better margins than its core retail business. Despite now running a grocery chain, the company’s AWS division — which has an operating margin over 25 percent compared to its tiny margins on retail — grew 49 percent year-over-year in the quarter compared to last year’s second quarter. It’s also up 49 percent year-over-year when comparing the most recent six months to the same period last year. AWS is now on a run rate well north of $10 billion annually, generating more than $6 billion in revenue in the second quarter this year. Meanwhile, Amazon’s retail operations generated nearly $47 billion with a net income of just over $1.3 billion (unaudited).
Continue reading "Amazon’s AWS continues to lead its performance highlights"

Qualcomm says it will drop its massive $44B offer to acquire NXP

Qualcomm today said it wouldn’t extend its offer to buy NXP for $44 billion today as part of its release for its quarterly earnings, and instead be returning $30 billion to investors in the form of a share buy-back. So, barring any last-second changes in the approval process in China or “other material developments”, the deal is basically dead after failing to clear China’s SAMR. As the tariff battle between the U.S. and China has heated up, it appears the Qualcomm/NXP deal — one of the largest in the semiconductor industry ever — may be one of its casualties. The White House announced it would impose tariffs on Chinese tech products in May earlier this year, kicking off an extended delay in the deal between Qualcomm and NXP even after Qualcomm tried to close the deal in an expedient fashion. Qualcomm issued the announcement this afternoon, and the
Continue reading "Qualcomm says it will drop its massive $44B offer to acquire NXP"

ColdQuanta raises $6.75M to make it easier to spin up a limited use-case quantum computer

Quantum computing may be a long ways off, but early applications of it aren’t as far off as you might think, according to longtime researcher and ColdQuanta founder Dana Anderson. The startup creates a device that’s designed to make it easier to start operating quantum computing-like operations on near-term problems like signal processing or time measurement, which is the kind of low-hanging fruit that current technology might enable. Researchers using that approach — a set of atoms where there’s practically no motion — require some mechanism of keeping them from moving, for which some cases involve refrigeration. ColdQuanta’s main product is a set of lasers that’s able to stabilize a set of atoms and allow them to operate with those properties. It’s certainly nowhere close to a server — or even a standard computer — but using this kind of a tool, it might be easier to handle tasks like
Continue reading "ColdQuanta raises $6.75M to make it easier to spin up a limited use-case quantum computer"

Google is making a fast specialized TPU chip for edge devices and a suite of services to support it

In a pretty substantial move into trying to own the entire AI stack, Google today announced that it will be rolling out a version of its Tensor Processing Unit — a custom chip optimized for its machine learning framework TensorFlow — optimized for inference in edge devices. That’s a bit of a word-salad to unpack, but here’s the end result: Google is looking to have a complete suite of customized hardware for developers looking to build products around machine learning, such as image or speech recognition, that it owns from the device all the way through to the server. Google will have the cloud TPU (the third version of which will soon roll out) to handle training models for various machine learning-driven tasks, and then run the inference from that model on a specialized chip that runs a lighter version of TensorFlow that doesn’t consume as much power. Google is
Continue reading "Google is making a fast specialized TPU chip for edge devices and a suite of services to support it"

Snark AI looks to help companies get on-demand access to idle GPUs

Riding on a wave of an explosion in the use of machine learning to power, well, just about everything is the emergence of GPUs as one of the go-to methods to handle all the processing for those operations. But getting access to those GPUs — whether using the cards themselves or possibly through something like AWS — might still be too difficult or too expensive for some companies or research teams. So Davit Buniatyan and his co-founders decided to start Snark AI, which helps companies rent GPUs that aren’t in use across a distributed network of companies that just have them sitting there, rather than through a service like Amazon. While the larger cloud providers offer similar access to GPUs, Buniatyan’s hope is that it’ll be attractive enough to companies and developers to tap a different network if they can lower that barrier to entry. The company is launching out of
Continue reading "Snark AI looks to help companies get on-demand access to idle GPUs"

Google’s big redesign for Gmail is now generally available for enterprise G Suite customers

Google is running its playbook again of releasing big new products (or redesigns) to its average users and then moving what works over to its enterprise services, G Suite, today by making the Gmail redesign generally available to G Suite customers. Gmail’s redesign launched for consumers in April earlier this year, including new features like self-destructing messages, email snoozing and other new features in addition to a little bit of a new look for the service that has more than 1 billion users. All those services are useful for consumers, but they might actually have more palatable use cases within larger companies that have to have constant communication with anywhere from a few to thousands of employees. Email hell is a common complaint for, well, basically every single user on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or anywhere else people can speak publicly to any kind of network, and any attempts to
Continue reading "Google’s big redesign for Gmail is now generally available for enterprise G Suite customers"

Google is rolling out a version of Google Voice for enterprise G Suite customers

Google today said it will be rolling out an enterprise version of its Google Voice service for G Suite users, potentially tapping a new demand source for Google that could help attract a whole host of new users. Google voice has been a long-enjoyed service for everyday consumers, and offers a lot of benefits beyond just having a normal phone number. The enterprise version of Google Voice appears to give companies a way to offer those kinds of tools, including AI-powered parts of it like voicemail transcription, that employees may be already using and potentially skirting the guidelines of a company. Administrators can provision and port phone numbers, get detailed reports and set up call routing functionality. They can also deploy phone numbers to departments or employees, giving them a sort of universal number that isn’t tied to a device — and making it easier to get in touch with
Continue reading "Google is rolling out a version of Google Voice for enterprise G Suite customers"

Seattle Food Tech looks to replace the chicken nugget with a plant-based copycat

Christie Lagally spent half of a decade working on planes as an aerospace engineer — but now she’s trying to attack the food industry head-on with a hopeful attempt to change the way we eat chicken. That’s the aim of Seattle Food Tech, which looks to create what effectively looks and feels like a chicken nugget out of plant-based food. That means trying to mimic it all the way down to the puff it gets in an oven, and while some companies like Impossible Foods go after the look and feel of a burger, Lagally wants to focus on the much lower-hanging fruit of more processed food — which makes up a significant chunk of chicken consumption. The company is coming out of Y Combinator’s 2018 summer class this year. “We’ve continued to develop all sorts of systems to support [meat as a staple of the diet], with funding
Continue reading "Seattle Food Tech looks to replace the chicken nugget with a plant-based copycat"

Guild Education raises $40M to offer employees education as a company perk

Recruiting, hiring and retention can be one of the most costly parts of a company’s entire operation, and there’s a class of startups and companies that are increasingly getting funded to try to optimize one or more of those problems all at once — including a new big round for employee education platform Guild Education. Guild Education is just one of an array of companies looking to capitalize on the opportunity to help employers educate their existing workforce and identify employees who might fill the talent gaps with a little bit of training — as well as having a nice retention perk as well. Guild Education helps employers work with nonprofit universities to provide employees with education across a variety of subject matter or credentials, ranging from high school completion and vocational programs to bachelor’s and master’s degrees. All this is designed to offer companies a way to ensure that
Continue reading "Guild Education raises $40M to offer employees education as a company perk"

Google announces a suite of updates to its contact center tools

As Google pushes further and further into enterprise services, it’s looking to leverage what it’s known for — a strong expertise in machine learning — to power some of the most common enterprise functions, including contact centers. Now Google is applying a lot of those learnings in a bunch of new updates for its contact center tools. That’s basically leaning on a key focus Google has, which is using machine learning for natural language recognition and image recognition. Those tools have natural applications in enterprises, especially those looking to spin up the kinds of tools that larger companies have with complex customer service requests and niche tools. Today’s updates, announced at the Google Cloud Next conference, including a suite of AI tools for its Google Cloud Contact Center. Today the company said it is releasing a couple updates to its Dialogflow tools, including a new one called phone gateway, which
Continue reading "Google announces a suite of updates to its contact center tools"

Watch the Google Cloud Next day one keynote live right here

Google is hosting its big cloud conference, Google Cloud Next, this morning over at the Moscone center in San Francisco. Obviously it’s not quite as large as its flagship event I/O earlier this year, but Google’s cloud efforts have become one of its brightest points over the past several quarters. With heavy investments in Google Cloud’s infrastructure, its enterprise services, as well as a suite of machine learning tools layered on top of all that, Google is clearly trying to make Google Cloud a core piece of its business going forward. Traditionally an advertising juggernaut, Google is now figuring out what comes next after that, even as that advertising business continues to grow at a very healthy clip. The keynote starts at 9 a.m. Pacific time, and the TechCrunch team is on the ground here covering all the newsiest and best bits. Be sure to check out our full
Continue reading "Watch the Google Cloud Next day one keynote live right here"

Google joins the race to $1 trillion

Google was already worth more than $800 billion and, while well short of Apple, is now jumping into that batch of companies that are on their way to being a $1 trillion company. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, substantially outperformed market expectations in its second quarter by bringing in $32.66 billion. That’s a 26 percent increase year-over-year, and, perhaps more significantly, it’s a faster rate of increase than it saw in the same quarter last year. The company’s second-quarter revenue in 2017 was a 21 percent jump from that in 2016. It’s a bit of a handful, but either way it shows that Alphabet still continues to — unsurprisingly — print money off its advertising business even as its cost-per-click (one of the metrics that indicates the value of its advertisements) continues to decline. Following the report, Alphabet shares jumped an additional 5 percent, making its valuation about neck-and-neck with
Continue reading "Google joins the race to $1 trillion"