Startups Weekly: Is Y Combinator’s latest cohort too big?


This post is by Kate Clark from TechCrunch


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Greetings from Chittorgarh, one of my stops on a two-week excursion through Goa and Rajasthan, India. I’ve been a little too busy exploring, photographing cows and monkeys and eating a lot of delicious food to keep up with *all* the tech news, but I’ve still got the highlights.

For starters, if you haven’t heard yet, TechCrunch launched Extra Crunch, a paid premium subscription offering full of amazing content. As part of Extra Crunch, we’ll be doing deep dives on select businesses, beginning with Patreon. Read Patreon’s founding story here and learn how two college roommates built the world’s leading creator platform. Plus, we’ve got insights on Patreon’s product, business strategy, competitors and more.

Sign up for Extra Crunch membership here.

On to other news…

Y Combinator’s latest batch of startups is huge

So huge the Silicon Valley accelerator had to move locations and set up two stages at

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Startups, demo tables are still available for TC Sessions: Robotics+AI


This post is by Emma Comeau from TechCrunch


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TechCrunch is known for helping startups get to the next level by providing a platform for them to showcase their work at a demo table. Startup demo tables for TechCrunch Sessions: Robotics + AI on April 18 are still available for any early-stage robotics or AI startup with $3M or less in funding. This is your chance to get your robotics or AI startup the exposure it needs to make connections and grow.

Startup demo tables get your company in front of over 1,000 people who are specifically interested in robotics and AI – including some heavy-hitter investors and TechCrunch writers. Each demo table not only comes with its own dedicated space but also includes 3 tickets for your entire startup crew to enjoy the show. The event attracts a flock of students from schools like UC Berkeley and Stanford, making it a great opportunity for you to find your next engineer or intern.

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Transportation Weekly: Amazon’s secret acquisition and all the AV feels


This post is by Kirsten Korosec from TechCrunch


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Welcome to Transportation Weekly; I’m your host Kirsten Korosec, senior transportation reporter at TechCrunch. I cover all the ways people and goods move from Point A to Point B — today and in the future — whether it’s by bike, bus, scooter, car, train, truck, robotaxi or rocket. Sure, let’s include hyperloop and eVTOLs, or air taxis, too.

Yup, another transportation newsletter. But I promise this one will be different. Here’s how.

Newsletters can be great mediums for curated news — a place that rounds up all the important articles a reader might have missed in any given week. We want to do a bit more.

We’re doubling down on the analysis and adding a heaping scoop of original reporting and well, scoops. You can expect Q&As with the most interesting people in transportation, insider tips, and data from that white paper you didn’t have time to read. This isn’t

dispatch-amazon-scout
waymo-google-10-years
blinky-cat-bird
tesla-acquisitions-chart1

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Waymo CTO on the company’s past, present and what comes next


This post is by Kirsten Korosec from TechCrunch


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A decade ago, about a dozen or so engineers gathered at Google’s main Mountain View campus on Charleston Road to work on Project Chauffeur, a secret endeavor housed under the tech giant’s moonshot factory X.

Project Chauffeur — popularly know as the “Google self-driving car project” — kicked off in January 2009. It would eventually graduate from its project status to become a standalone company called Waymo in 2016.

The project, originally led by Sebastian Thrun, would help spark an entire ecosystem that is still developing today. Venture capitalists took notice and stampeded in, auto analysts shifted gears, regulators, urban planners and policy wonks started collecting data and considering the impact of AVs on cities.

The project would also become a springboard for a number of engineers who would go on to create their own companies. It’s a list that includes Aurora  co-founder Chris Urmson,  Argo AI co-founder Bryan Salesky as

🎂

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Africa Roundup: Zimbabwe’s net blackout, Partech’s $143M fund, Andela’s $100M raise, Flutterwave’s pivot


This post is by Jonathan Shieber from TechCrunch


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A high court in Zimbabwe ended the government’s restrictions on internet and social media last month.

After days of intermittent blackouts at the order of the country’s Minister of State for National Security, ISPs restored connectivity per a January 21 judicial order.

Similar to net shutdowns around the continent, politics and protests were the catalyst. Shortly after the government announced a dramatic increase in fuel prices on January 12, Zimbabwe’s Congress of Trade Unions called for a national strike.

Web and app blackouts in the southern African country followed demonstrations that broke out in several cities. A government crackdown

Continue reading “Africa Roundup: Zimbabwe’s net blackout, Partech’s $143M fund, Andela’s $100M raise, Flutterwave’s pivot”

Tesla has opened an Amazon store to spread its swag far and wide


This post is by Kirsten Korosec from TechCrunch


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Tesla has had a brisk merch business for years now, thanks to its fervent owner base and fans, who are enthusiastic supporters of the company and its CEO Elon Musk.

But until now, those Tesla-branded items — everything from water bottles and hats to jackets, chargers and once a surfboard — have been sold through the automaker’s own website.

Tesla has now expanded it merch ambitions and opened a store on Amazon. (A reader tipped TechCrunch off to the store; however, the story was first reported by Electrek). Tesla confirmed the store opened earlier this week.

It should be noted that, for now, the store on Amazon isn’t as robust as the one on Tesla’s website. However, there are at least two items that can only be found on the Amazon page: an iPhone 8+ case and a Tesla iPhone  X folio case. No prices are listed for the

Tesla Amazon store

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Startups Weekly: Even Gwyneth Paltrow had a hard time raising VC


This post is by Kate Clark from TechCrunch


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I spent the week in Malibu attending Upfront Ventures’ annual Upfront Summit, which brings together the likes of Hollywood, Silicon Valley and Washington, DC’s elite for a two-day networking session of sorts. Cameron Diaz was there for some reason, and Natalie Portman made an appearance. Stacey Abrams had a powerful Q&A session with Lisa Borders, the president and CEO of Time’s Up. Of course, Gwyneth Paltrow was there to talk up Goop, her venture-funded commerce and content engine.

“I had no idea what I was getting into but I am so fulfilled and on fire from this job,” Paltrow said onstage at the summit… “It’s a very different life than I used to have but I feel very lucky that I made this leap.” Speaking with Frederic Court, the founder of Felix Capital, Paltrow shed light on her fundraising process.

“When I set out to raise my Series A,

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Announcing TC Sessions: Mobility, a one day event on the future of mobility and transportation


This post is by Matt Burns from TechCrunch


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Mobility is changing and the world with it. Technology is upending century-old establishments, creating new lifestyles and routines. Regions across the globe are trying to replicate Silicon Valley, but all the while Silicon Valley has been replicating a different innovative American city: Detroit. Countless companies have sprung up around the Bay Area focused on the challenges around the industry. And the auto industry noticed, opening and expanding facilities on the West Coast. With its abundance of engineers and resources, Silicon Valley is uniquely suited to lead the mobility disruption.

TechCrunch is excited to announce a one-day event on July 10, 2019 in San Jose, CA that’s centered around future of mobility and transportation – TC Sessions: Mobility.

TC Sessions: Mobility will present a day of programming with the best founders, investors, and technologists who are hell-bent on inventing a future Henry Ford could have never imagined. These thinkers know that

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Former Munchery employees sue company, blame CEO for shutdown


This post is by Kate Clark from TechCrunch


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The Munchery saga continues.

In a new class-action lawsuit, former Munchery facilities worker Joshua Philips is claiming the startup owes him and 250 other employees 60 days’ wages, citing The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, a U.S. labor law that requires employers with an excess of 100 employees to give notice 60 days ahead of mass layoffs.

Munchery, a prepared meal delivery company headquartered in San Francisco, announced in an email to customers on January 21 that it would cease operations, effectively immediately. The abrupt shutdown not only came as a surprise to Munchery’s community of customers, but shocked vendors, many whom had been expecting payments from the business for several weeks. Munchery’s own employees were left in the dark, too, according to several former workers who spoke to TechCrunch about their debt and dissatisfaction with chief executive James Beriker.

Munchery ordered mass layoffs on January 21,

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Fresh tickets and New VC partners for the TechCrunch Winter Party


This post is by Emma Comeau from TechCrunch


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We’ve got a double dose of exciting news for you, startup fans. First, we’re thrilled to announce that investment firms August Capital, SV Angel and Uncork Capital have partnered with us for the 2nd Annual TechCrunch Winter Party at Galvanize on February 8. And second, today we released into the wild another fresh, though limited, batch of tickets.

If you haven’t snagged a ticket to this Silicon Valley shindig, take heed. This is the fourth week we’ve released tickets, and they’ve been flying off the proverbial shelf. They’re strictly first-come-first-serve, so do yourself a favor: Buy your ticket today and avoid a severe case of FOMO — fear of missing out.

Our Winter Party is the perfect time to kick back and connect with your people in a relaxed fashion while enjoying delicious hors d’oeuvres and creative cocktails. It’s a celebration of the early-stage startup community, which, we might

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Reserve your demo table today for the TechCrunch Winter Party at Galvanize


This post is by Emma Comeau from TechCrunch


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There are just three short weeks until Silicon Valley’s startup community takes a night off to relax, connect and get down at the 2nd Annual TechCrunch Winter Party at Galvanize. It’s not just an opportunity to have a great time — although you will. It’s also the chance for promising early-stage startups to strut their stuff. We have a handful of demo tables available, but they won’t last long. Why not book a demo table today? You never know who might attend the party and facilitate your big break.

Here’s one legendary example. TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington used to hold these parties in his back yard. And that’s where Box founders Aaron Levie and Dylan Smith met one of their first investors, DFJ. Demo your early-stage startup at our Winter Party, and you just might start your own legend.

What can you expect at our Winter fete? Great food, delicious

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Coinbase acquihires San Francisco startup Blockspring


This post is by Jon Russell from TechCrunch


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Coinbase is continuing its push to suck up talent after the $8 billion-valued crypto business snapped up Blockspring, a San Francisco-based startup that enables developers to collect and process data from APIs.

The undisclosed deal was announced by Blockspring on its blog, and confirmed to TechCrunch by a Coinbase representative. Coinbase declined to comment further.

Blockspring started out as a serverless data business, but it pivoted into a service that lets companies use API data. That includes purposes such as building list and repositories for recruitment, marketing sales, reporting and more. Pricing starts from $29 per month and Blockspring claims to work with “thousands” of companies.

That startup graduated Y Combinator and, according to Crunchbase, it had raised $3.5 million from investors that include SV Angel and A16z, both of which are Coinbase investors. Those common investors are likely a key reason for the deal, which appears

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New tickets available for TechCrunch Winter Party at Galvanize


This post is by Emma Comeau from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




If you haven’t snagged a ticket to the 2nd Annual TechCrunch Winter Party on February 8, listen up and listen good. We just released the third round of our first-come-first-serve tickets, and the first two batches sold like proverbial hotcakes. Buy your ticket while you still can, because you don’t want to miss out on a ton of fun and opportunity.

The festivities take place at Galvanize in San Francisco, a multi-level venue that’s roomy enough for nearly 1,000 of the Valley’s finest founders, investors, developers, marketers and makers to get comfy and celebrate the spirit of this remarkable startup community. Plus, you’ll nosh on plenty of yummy appetizers and enjoy top-notch cocktails.

It’s a convivial environment to talk, network and connect — or reconnect — with like-minded people. You never know who you’ll meet and what opportunities a chance encounter might produce.

It’s also an opportunity to check out

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For $5,800 per year, Chief helps women reach the C-suite


This post is by Kate Clark from TechCrunch


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For decades, women in business have lacked the resources necessary to navigate to or sustain executive roles. Finally, venture-funded projects have emerged to fill this gap.

The latest is Chief, a private network for New York-based women in senior roles in tech, retail, enterprise, finance, media and more. The company launches today with $3 million in venture capital funding to provide its 200 members access to a Tribeca clubhouse, monthly executive coaching and leadership development sessions and a salon series, which includes “intimate dinners with captains of industry” and celebrity fireside conversations.

The catch? Chief membership costs $5,800 per year for members with a vice president-level job title and even more for those in the C-suite at $7,800. Its founders, Carolyn Childers and Lindsay Kaplan, say the ideal is for companies to pay the way for members, similar to how a startup might pay to send one of its employees to

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Growing pains at venture-backed Moogsoft lead to layoffs


This post is by Kate Clark from TechCrunch


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Eight months after bringing in a $40 million Series D, Moogsoft‘s co-founder and chief executive officer Phil Tee confirmed to TechCrunch that the IT incident management startup had shed 18 percent of its workforce, or just over 30 employees.

The layoffs took place at the end of October; shortly after, Moogsoft announced two executive hires. Among the additions was Amer Deeba, who recently resigned from Qualys after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged him with insider trading.

Founded in 2012, San Francisco-based Moogsoft provides artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps) to help teams work more efficiently and avoid outages. The startup has raised $90 million in equity funding to date, garnering a $220 million valuation with its latest round, according to PitchBook. It’s backed by Goldman Sachs, Wing Venture Capital, Redpoint Ventures, Dell’s corporate venture capital arm, Singtel Innov8, Northgate Capital and others. Wing VC founder and

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Calling all hackers! Join us for TechCrunch China’s Shenzhen Hackathon on Nov 17


This post is by Rita Liao from TechCrunch


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Attention coders, designers and all other builders: the TechCrunch China Hackathon is returning to Shenzhen, the city known as the hardware capital of the world, this month and we want you to take part!

So if your inner being is to code, design, build and hack cool things; if you want to have fun with others like you over a weekend; if you love to use your superpower to win cash and prizes; and if you need an excuse to kickstart that side-project project you’ve been thinking about for weeks… then come on over!

Arranged as a pre-cursor to our TechCrunch China Shenzhen event this month, the hackathon takes place on November 17. There’s really is no better place to build your next app, product or hack.

Like the traditional TC Hackathon, participating in the Shenzhen Hackathon is entirely free. All you need to do is register, which you can do right

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TechCrunch returns to Shenzhen for our latest China event from November 19-20


This post is by Jon Russell from TechCrunch


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We’re excited to announce our return to Shenzhen, which will host our next event in China later this month. Once again organized with our longtime local partner TechNode, the two-day event will run from November 19-20 at the Shenzhenwan Science and Technology Ecological Garden.

Our first TechCrunch event in Shenzhen — the city widely acknowledged as the global capital for hardware — took place in June 2017 and it featured the likes of Mobike (which later sold to Meituan for $2.7 billion), Hong Kong-listed Meitu, Klook (which raised $200 million this year), Ofo, Indiegogo, Xiaomi partner Huami (which went on to go public in the U.S.) and Kik, which gave details of its upcoming ICO.

The theme of this year’s show is “reshaping innovation” and it’ll feature industry leaders, movers and shakers that include JD.com, HTC, Walmart, Airbnb, WeWork, Suning, Royole, Huami

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Africa Roundup: Local VC funds surge, Naspers ramps up and fintech diversifies


This post is by Jonathan Shieber from TechCrunch


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Africa’s VC landscape is becoming more African with an increasing number of investment funds headquartered on the continent and run by locals, according to Crunchbase data summarized in this TechCrunch feature.

Drawing on its database and primary source research, Crunchbase identified 51 “viable” Africa-focused VC funds globally—defining viable as formally established entities with 7-10 investments or more in African startups, from seed to series stage.

Of the 51 funds investing in African startups, 22 (or 43 percent) were headquartered in Africa and managed by Africans.

Of the 22 African managed and located funds, 9 (or 41 percent) were formed since

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Tink Labs, which gives free-to-use smartphones to hotel guests, is raising $300M


This post is by Jon Russell from TechCrunch


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Tink Labs, a Hong Kong startup that develops smartphones that hotels provide to their guests for free, is raising a new round of up to $300 million to further its international footprint, TechCrunch has come to understand.

The startup is in the final stages of completing the deal that could give its six-year-old business a post-money valuation of at least $1.5 billion, two sources with knowledge of discussions told TechCrunch .

It isn’t clear at this point which investors are part of the round, but once source said Tink Labs has made an effort to court hotels and travel firms as investors since it believes they could provide strategic value beyond simply capital. But any hoteliers would likely provide smaller checks, with more established investors picking up the bulk of the round.

Tink Labs declined to respond when contacted for comment by TechCrunch.

The company’s existing investors include manufacturing giant

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Naspers announces $300 million initiative to support startups and tech in South Africa


This post is by Jonathan Shieber from TechCrunch


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Naspers announced a $100 million Naspers Foundry fund to support South African tech startups. This is part of a $300 million (1.4 billion rand) commitment by the South African media and investment company to support South Africa’s tech sector overall. Naspers Foundry will launch in 2019.

The initiatives lend more weight to Naspers’ venture activities in Africa as the company has received greater attention for investments off the continent (namely Europe, India and China).

“Naspers Foundry will help talented and ambitious South African technology entrepreneurs to develop and grow their businesses,” said a company release.

“Technology innovation is

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