It’s the biggest night for television and streaming media services tonight as the stars are gathering to celebrate themselves at the 70th annual Emmy Awards
Tonight’s event at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles promises to be a big one for streaming media services like Netflix
(with 122 nominations), Hulu
(with 20 — thanks mainly to the amazing The Handmaid’s Tale), and Amazon
(which nabbed 22 nominations, mainly on the strength of the marvelous The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel).
Netflix’s dominance at the awards show marks the ascent of streaming as the biggest thing in new media — but the traditional networks, premium and basic cable, aren’t giving up without a fight.
Emceeing tonight’s festivities are Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update
hosts Michael Che and Colin Jost. The two are coming off an incredibly popular run which saw both comedians continuing the tradition of being one of the consistent
Continue reading "Where to watch tonight’s Emmy Awards online"
TechCrunch is heading to UCLA
on October 18 and we’ve assembled some of the AR/VR industry’s most prescient founders, investors and executives to chat about the startups and trends driving virtual and augmented reality in 2018.
The world’s top tech companies have heavily invested in AR/VR and are persistent in broadcasting the technologies’ potential to blur the lines of how consumers interact with the digital world. Beyond the tech titans, it’s the small startups that are dialing into what’s missing in the ecosystem right now. Our agenda
showcases some of the powerhouses in the space, but also plenty of smaller teams that are building and debunking fundamental technologies for virtual worlds.
We still have a few tricks up our sleeves and will be adding some new names to the agenda over the next month so keep your eyes open. In the meantime, check out these agenda highlights:
has teamed up with Walmart Canada to bring shoppers in Toronto and Winnipeg same-day grocery delivery.
The agreement is part of a pilot program for the two companies that will allow Instacart
users to order groceries from 17 different Walmart locations across the two cities. This is the first time shoppers in Winnipeg will have access to the grocery delivery service and the first time Toronto residents will have the option for same-day delivery.
Interestingly, Instacart doesn’t have a partnership with Walmart in the U.S. Walmart, rather, has relationships with several other grocery delivery companies including DoorDash
. Instacart does have a deal with Sam’s Club, a subsidiary of Walmart. That partnership was announced in February
and gives Sam’s Club members same-day delivery via Instacart.
Instacart initially launched in Canada in September 2017 and will continue expanding
Continue reading "Instacart links up with Walmart Canada to expand its same-day delivery service"
, an India-based startup that enables more agile product development inside companies, has pulled in $4 million as it seeks to expand its business to the U.S..
The startup was founded in 2015 and it operates a real-time mobile app development platform that simplifies the process of product iteration inside companies. That’s to say that once a product is launched there’s a lot of work that is done to develop it, test new ideas and optimize but many companies overlook the process or lump it with the general engineering, which includes initial product development.
Hansel argues that product development and iteration are different, and its wider aim is to enable dedicated ‘product ops’ inside companies that until now never considered the process to be distinct from app development, or perhaps don’t have the budget.
“Product iteration is often neglected as people want to move to the next thing,
Continue reading "India’s Hansel raises $4M to bring its app development platform to the US"
B2B e-commerce company
closed a $2 million seed investment led by 4DX Ventures
. Others to join the round were Village Global, Lynett Capital, Golden Palm Investments, and Outlierz Ventures.
The Kenya based company aims to shake up the supply chain market for Africa’s informal retailers.
Sokowatch’s platform connects Africa’s informal retail stores directly to local and multi-national suppliers—such as Unilever and Proctor and Gamble—by digitizing orders, delivery, and payments with the aim of reducing costs and increasing profit margins.
“With both manufacturers and the small shops, we’re becoming the connective layer between them, where previously you had multiple layers of middle-men from distributors, sub-distributors,
Continue reading "MallforAfrica goes global, Kobo360 and Sokowatch raise VC, France explains its $76M fund"
Market research firm GlobalWebIndex
, which provides consumer insight data for marketing purposes for customers including Google, Spotify, WPP, IPG and Omnicom Group, has closed a $40 million Series A round. The funding is its first VC raise, almost a decade after the business was founded.
The investment comes from New York-based growth fund Stripes Group, along with a number of other unnamed data, software and consumer technology companies. GWI says it will be used to accelerate product development and for international expansion, including in the U.S. and Asia.
The company is based in London but has recently opened offices in New York City and Los Angeles, as well as having technology hubs in locations across Europe.
With the new funding it says it’s planning to open more international offices across the Americas and Asia Pacific to support a client base which spans more than 80 countries.
Continue reading "Market research firm GlobalWebIndex takes first VC with $40M Series A"
are nice if you fly a lot but what if you bike or take Lyfts
or just like to wander around town? A new app called Miles
aims to give you rewards for all of those things, bringing the concept of rewards out of the air and onto the ground.
Miles, co-founded by Jigar Shah,
Paresh Jain and Parin Shah, is a San Jose-based company that looked at the problem of reward miles outside of airlines as well as the problems associated with city planning and traffic data generation. The app, which is now in the iOS App Store
, can see when you walk, ride a bike, take the bus, drive yourself, or even hop in a Lyft or an Uber. It then rewards you on a sliding scale depending on how eco-friendly your trip is. Biking, for example, is worth more than driving or even taking
Continue reading "Miles gives you reward miles for almost everything"
Life without Uber should be simple for Grab
, but a battle with regulators in Singapore could see the company’s acquisition of Uber’s Southeast Asia business unwound
while some consumers have voiced concern around a lack of competition
Grab co-founder Hooi Ling Tan recently claimed competition remains in the market
, but that hasn’t stopped another consumer backlash after the ride-hailing firm altered its loyalty program without warning.
To be fair to Grab, earning loyalty points for taxi rides is something unique — Uber
doesn’t offer any kind of program, for example — and the changes initiated last week seem aimed at spreading the benefit beyond taxis and into Grab’s newer ventures, which include its GrabPay payment service and food deliveries.
However, in doing so, the company made two cardinal sins. The changes included the lowering of benefits for Grab’s highest tier (read: most loyal) customers — with rebates dropping from a
Continue reading "Southeast Asia’s Grab hit by backlash over changes to customer loyal program"
announced a $23.8 million Series E investment led by Salesforce Ventures. A bushel of existing investors including Causeway Media Partners, CRV, General Atlantic, Highland Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers also contributed to the round. The company has now raised over $97 million.
At its core, SessionM aggregates loyalty data for brands to help them understand their customer better, says company co-founder and CEO Lars Albright. “We are a customer data and engagement platform that helps companies build more loyal and profitable relationships with their consumers,” he explained.
Essentially that means, they are pulling data from a variety of sources and helping brands offer customers more targeted incentives, offers and product recommendations “We give [our users] a holistic view of that customer and what motivates them,” he said.
Screenshot: SessionM (cropped)
To achieve this, SessionM takes advantage of machine learning to analyze the data stream and integrates
Continue reading "SessionM customer loyalty data aggregator snags $23.8 M investment"
Alibaba is investing big bucks into offline distribution. The Chinese e-commerce giant has forked out $2.23 billion in exchange for a sizeable piece of Focus Media, a Shanghai-based company that operates outdoor digital advertising screens across China, Singapore and Hong Kong, according to a U.S. filing
The deal itself is broken up into a few pieces. Alibaba itself is paying $1.43 billion for a 6.62 percent share of Focus Media, which is listed in Shanghai, It is also spending $504.7 million to buy 10 percent of an entity (managed by Focus Media founder and chairman Jason Nanchun Jiang) which controls 23.34 percent of Focus Media.
In addition, an Alibaba-aligned fund called ‘New Retail Strategic Opportunities’ is buying 1.37 percent of Focus Media, while Alibaba itself is planning to exercise an option to buy five percent more of the business over the next twelve months. That additional
Continue reading "Alibaba boosts its offline reach with $2B+ investment in outdoor digital marketing firm"
- Update: Here’s how to get around Amazon’s error. Use smile.amazon.com. TechCrunch confirmed this workaround works.
It’s not just you. Amazon
Prime Day started 15 minutes ago, and so far, it’s not going well for Amazon. The landing page for Prime Day does not work. When most links are clicked, readers are sent to an error page or to a landing page that sends readers back to the main landing page.
Direct links to the product pages, either from outside links or the single product placement on the landing page, seem to work fine. I just bought this tent
two weeks ago for $120. Some users are reporting errors when completing a purchase, too.
This is a huge blow to Amazon and its faux holiday Prime Day. The retailer has been pushing this event for weeks and there are some great deals to be had
. It’s not a
Continue reading "Prime Down: Amazon’s sale day turns into fail day"
Adobe reported its Q2 FY’18 earnings
yesterday and the news was quite good. The company announced $2.2 billion in revenue for the quarter up 24 percent year over year. That puts them on an impressive $8.8 billion run rate, within reach of becoming the next $10 billion software company (or at least on a run rate).
Revenue was up across all major business lines, but as has been the norm, the vast majority comes from the company’s bread and butter, Creative Cloud
, which houses the likes of Photoshop, InDesign and Dreamweaver, among others. In fact digital media, which includes Creative Cloud and Document Cloud accounted for $1.55 billion of the $2.2 billion in total revenue. The vast majority of that, $1.30 billion was from the creative side of the house with Document Cloud pulling in $243 million.
Adobe has been mostly known as a
Continue reading "Adobe could be the next $10 billion software company"
, a startup that automates parts of the branding and marketing process for small businesses, announced this morning that it has raised $15.5 million in Series B funding.
CEO Yali Saar has said the company sits at the intersection of design and machine learning
. The idea is to create technology that understands the best practices of logo design, copywriting and social media strategy.
It’s the automated design that’s most immediately eye-catching, and that’s the big feature highlighted on the Tailor Brands website
. You’ll need to pay to get access to high-quality image files, but before that, you can actually try creating a logo for free, just by entering some basic information about your company and identifying the designs you prefer.
Related: What do you guys think of the new TechCrunch logo?
which launched at TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield in 2014
, said the technology has already
Continue reading "Tailor Brands raises $15.5M for AI-driven logo creation and more"
Augmented Reality (AR) is still in its infancy and has a very promising youth and adulthood ahead. It has already become one of the most exciting, dynamic, and pervasive technologies ever developed. Every day someone is creating a novel way to reshape the real world with a new digital innovation.
Over the past couple of decades, the Internet and smartphone revolutions have transformed our lives, and AR has the potential to be that
Continue reading "We love augmented reality, but let’s fix things that could become big problems"
, a service that aims to help brands go about their internet marketing with greater efficiency and success, has landed an $11 million investment led by Sequoia India
The startup is originally from Turkey where it began life in 2012 as a platform that helped optimize online marketing campaigns. Now at 240 staff across 16 markets, it recently moved HQ to Singapore and today it launches its new ‘Growth Management Platform.’
Those three words together don’t really tell much about Insider’s new product, the aim of which is to help brands, marketers and website owners generally serve dynamic content that is tailored to their visitors. The idea according to Insider CEO Hande Cilingir — who is one of six co-founders of the business — is to give a visitor the most optimized version of the site based on who they are. In many ways, it is similar to LiftIgniter,
Continue reading "Insider raises $11M to help internet marketers do better internet marketing"
At the Adobe Summit in Las Vegas this week, privacy was on the minds of many people. It was no wonder with social media data abuse
dominating the headlines, GDPR
just around the corner, and Adobe announcing the concept of a centralized customer experience record
With so many high profile breaches
in recent years, putting your customer data in a central record-keeping system would seem to be a dangerous proposition, yet Adobe sees so many positives for marketers, it likely believes this to be a worthy trade-off.
Which is not to say that the company doesn’t see the risks. Executives speaking at the conference continually insisted that privacy is always part of the conversation at Adobe as they build tools — and they have built in security and privacy safeguards into the customer experience record.
Offering better experiences
The point of the exercise isn’t simply to collect data for data’s
Continue reading "As marketing data proliferates, consumers should have more control"