Movable Ink adds augmented reality to email marketing arsenal


This post is by Ron Miller from TechCrunch


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Movable Ink has always helped marketers create highly customizable, visually interesting emails. Today, the company announced a new capability for marketers who want to introduce light-weight augmented reality (AR) to their campaigns.

Moveable Ink co-founder and CTO Michael Nutt says the company was looking for a way to provide customers with AR experiences with less fuss than most current methods. “Marketers were looking for something interesting in AR, but they wanted to do it themselves without expensive consultants. We had this powerful visual channel already. We combined that with web technologies and put together an offering for our clients,” he explained.

This isn’t highly sophisticated AR, but it does provide a starting point for marketers who want to get involved with it. The idea involves creating branded selfies. Say you are using a vacation company to take a cruise. The company could send you an email a couple of days

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Google and IAB ad category lists show “massive leakage of highly intimate data”, GDPR complaint claims


This post is by Natasha Lomas from TechCrunch


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Male impotence, substance abuse, right-wing politics, left-wing politics, sexually transmitted diseases, cancer, mental health.

Those are just a few of the advertising labels that Google’s adtech infrastructure routinely sticks to Internet users as it watches and tracks what they do online in order to target them with behavioral ads.

Intimate and highly sensitive inferences such as these are then systematically broadcast and shared with what can be thousands of third party companies, via the real-time ad auction broadcast process which powers the modern programmatic online advertising system. So essentially you’re looking at the rear-end reality of how creepy ads work.

This practice is already the target of a legal complaint in Europe, filed under the bloc’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The real-time bidding (RTB) complaint, which was lodged last fall by Dr Johnny Ryan of private browser Brave; Jim Killock, previously director of the Open Rights

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Warung Pintar raises $27.5M to digitize Indonesia’s street vendors


This post is by Jon Russell from TechCrunch


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The digital revolution in Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy, continues to attract big money from investors. Hot on the heels of a $50 million round for Bukalapak, a billion-dollar company helping street stall traders to tap the internet, so Warung Pintar, another startup helping digitize the country’s vendors, has pulled in $27.5 million for growth.

Bukalapak is one of Indonesia’s largest e-commerce services and it began catering to local merchants, those who sell product via road-side kiosks, last year, but eighteen-month-old Warung Pintar is focused exclusively on those vendors.

Bukalapak helps them to gain scale through online orders — it claims to have a base of 50 million registered users in Indonesia — but Warung Pintar digitizes kiosk vendors to the very core. At the most basic level, that means aesthetics; so all Warung Pintar vendors get a bright and colorfully-designed kiosk. They also get access to technology that includes a

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Campaign Monitor acquires email enterprise services Sailthru and Liveclicker


This post is by Frederic Lardinois from TechCrunch


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CM Group, the organization behind email-centric services like Campaign Monitor and Emma, today announced that it has acquired marketing automation firm Sailthru and the email personalization service Liveclicker. The group did not disclose the acquisition price but noted that the acquisition would bring in about $60 million in additional revenue and 540 new customers, including Bloomberg and Samsung. Both of these acquisitions quietly closed in 2018.

Compared to Sailthru, which had raised a total of about $250 million in venture funding before the acquisition, Liveclicker is a relatively small company that was bootstrapped and never raised any outside funding. Still, Liveclicker managed to attract customers like AT&T, Quicken Loans and TJX Companies by offering them the ability to personalize their email messages and tailor them to their customers.

Sailthru’s product portfolio is also quite a bit broader and includes similar email marketing tools, but also services to personalize mobile and

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New e-commerce restrictions in India just ruined Christmas for Amazon and Walmart


This post is by Jon Russell from TechCrunch


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The Indian government is playing the role of festive party pooper for Walmart and Amazon after it announced new regulations that look set to impede the U.S. duo’s efforts to grow their businesses in India.

Online commerce in the country is tipped to surpass $100 billion per year by 2022 up from $35 billion today as more Indians come online, according to a report co-authored by PwC. But 2019 could be a very different year after an update to the country’s policy for foreign direct investment (FDI) appeared to end the practice of discounts, exclusive sales and more.

The three main takeaways from the new policy, which will go live on February 1, are a ban on exclusive sales, the outlawing of retailers selling products on platforms they count as investors, and restrictions on discounts and cashback.

Those first two clauses are pretty clear and will have a significant impact on Amazon

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MailChimp teams up with Square to launch shoppable landing pages


This post is by Frederic Lardinois from TechCrunch


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MailChimp, the popular email newsletter service and marketing platform, today announced a partnership with Square that will allow its users to create landing pages with built-in e-commerce features. These shoppable landing pages are meant to give businesses a new sales channel to sell things like limited-edition goods or run-targeted promotions.

MailChimp’s landing pages have been around for a few years now. Until now, though, they were mostly meant to capture additional email addresses or link people to a store. Now, with this new partnership, customers will be able to build a full shopping flow with built-in payments right into these pages.

To make this easier, MailChimp is offering a number of pre-designed templates and a drag-and-drop builder. Square will handle all the payments and MailChimp will offer this service for a flat processing rate.

Right now, this only works for a single product per landing page, though. That means

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FabFitFun surpasses $200 million in revenue as it hits million-customer milestone


This post is by Jonathan Shieber from TechCrunch


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At least one million people will be receiving the next FabFitFun box as the Los Angeles company surpasses $200 million in revenue and continues its run as one of the startups to watch in the Los Angeles tech community. 

As it renews its focus on media — doubling down on new programming in a bid to reach further into repeatable revenue through subscriptions that encompass more than just retail — the company is trying to frame itself as more than just makeup and accessories in a box.

“When we think of the potential behind the business … there are a few businesses in the world for whom membership is a no brainer. Netflix is, Spotify is and we think FabFitFun is a no brainer,” said Daniel Broukhim co-founder and co-chief executive of FabFitFun. 

The company’s

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Peak Theory lines up media partners and funding as Cubcoats becomes a phenomenon


This post is by Jonathan Shieber from TechCrunch


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With a planned cartoon series coming up, partnerships in place with Major League Baseball, NBCUniversal, and other media companies of heroic proportions, the founders creating the kids clothing phenomenon, Cubcoats, are on a roll.

Peak Theory, launched by longtime friends Zac Park (who’s 29) and the 35 year-old Spencer Markel, is the company behind Cubcoats, a hoodie that transforms into a puppet (or a puppet that transforms into a hoodie?). With their first product, the two founders have achieved the kind of viral success in its first year that most companies only dream of.

Markel, a former mergers and acquisitions lawyer with DLA Piper, and Park, a product director at the design agency AKQA, first met in San Francisco through a mutual friend and almost immediately began planning their escape from the corporate world.

Peak Theory founders Zac Park and Spencer Markel

“We thought to ourselves, what

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Shopify opens its first brick-and-mortar space in Los Angeles


This post is by Jonathan Shieber from TechCrunch


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Shopify, the provider of payment and logistics management software and services for retailers, has opened its first physical storefront in Los Angeles.

The first brick and mortar location for the Toronto-based company, is nestled in a warren of downtown Los Angeles boutique shops in a complex known as the Row DTLA.

For Shopify, Los Angeles is the ideal place to debut a physical storefront showing off the company’s new line of hardware products and the array of services it provides to businesses ranging from newly opened startups to $900 million juggernauts like the Kylie Cosmetics brand.

The city is one of the most dense conglomerations of Shopify customers with over 10,000 merchants using the company’s technologies in the greater Los Angeles area. 400 of those retailers have each earned over $1 million in gross merchandise volume.

In the Los Angeles space, which looks similar to an Apple store, patrons

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Salesforce acquires Rebel, maker of ‘interactive’ email services, to expand its Marketing Cloud


This post is by Ingrid Lunden from TechCrunch


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Salesforce’s Marketing and Commerce Cloud is the company’s smallest division today, so to help beef it up, the company is making an acquisition to add in more features. Salesforce has acquired Rebel, a startup that develops interactive email services for businesses to enhance their direct marketing services: recipients of interactive emails can write reviews, shop and take other actions without leaving the messages to do so.

In an announcement on Rebel’s site, the startup said it will be joining Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud operation, which will integrate Rebel’s API-based services into its platform.

“With Rebel’s Mail and API solutions, brands, including Dollar Shave Club, L’Oreal and HelloFresh, turn emails into an extension of their website or app – collecting data, removing friction from the conversion process, and enhancing the customer experience. Rebel will enhance the power of Salesforce Marketing Clod and fundamentally change the way people interact with email,” the founders

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Hear from investors at General Catalyst, FirstMark, Shasta at TC Sessions: AR/VR


This post is by Lucas Matney from TechCrunch


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The worlds of augmented reality and VR theoretically represent a boundless expanse for startups looking to create a new digital future. Realizing that future is the tough part and doing so while Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple all look to plant their flags is even harder.

While plenty of investors have taken a look at AR/VR companies in the years following Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus VR, for many, the prospect of buying in at a stage where the consumer interest is so uncertain has proven a bit too risky. At TechCrunch’s one-day Sessions AR/VR event on October 18 at UCLA, we’ll chat with investors from top venture capital firms about where they’re seeing potential in the market and how they are approaching investments in AR/VR in 2018.

We’ll be joined by Niko Bonatsos from General Catalyst, Catherine Ulrich from FirstMark Capital and Jacob Mullins from Shasta Ventures on a

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Where to watch tonight’s Emmy Awards online


This post is by Jonathan Shieber from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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

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Announcing the agenda for TC Sessions: AR/VR in LA on October 18


This post is by Lucas Matney from TechCrunch


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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:


TechCrunch Sessions: AR/VR
UCLA,

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Instacart links up with Walmart Canada to expand its same-day delivery service


This post is by Kate Clark from TechCrunch


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Instacart 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 and Postmates. 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

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Branch pairs up with TUNE to create a supersized marketing and measurement platform


This post is by Kate Clark from TechCrunch


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Branch announced today that it has acquired TUNE‘s attribution analytics team and business, a part of the SaaS platform that focuses on optimizing and accurately attributing ad spend. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

TUNE, a Seattle-based startup founded in 2009, helps ad platforms tie marketing investments to measurable outcomes. 

Backed by Android co-founder Andy Rubin’s Playground Ventures, Branch creates links between websites and mobile apps, called deep links. The deal will help the company, which supports 40,000 apps with roughly 3 billion monthly users, expand its portfolio of linking and attribution analytics tools to become the ultimate marketing and measurement platform for businesses.

“TUNE has always been a steward of Branch’s core values, especially when it comes to putting user experience and privacy first,” Branch CEO Alex Austin said in a statement. “Combining TUNE’s years of learning with Branch’s innovation, raw product execution, and key

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Uppercase raises $3.5M to help e-tailers open brick-and-mortar stores


This post is by Kate Clark from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




People like to say that brick-and-mortar retail is dead, but direct-to-consumer businesses continue to dabble with physical stores all the same.

Why? Because brick-and-mortar retail provides businesses with benefits an online shopping platform can’t, namely consumer experiences that create and sustain shopper’s relationships with brands. 

To help the next generation of digitally native stores expand into the physical world, Uppercase, formerly known as thisopenspace, is launching out of stealth with $3.5 million in venture capital funding. Lerer Hippeau has led the round, with participation from CRV and SV Angels.

Uppercase works with real estate agents, architects and designers to build stores for online brands in New York City, Los Angeles and Toronto.

Co-founder and CEO Yashar Nejati started the company after noticing that online brands were experimenting with pop-up shops then establishing permanent storefronts.

Men’s retailer Frank & Oak, which picked up a $16 million Series

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How Tech is Changing How Healthcare Must Communicate With Patients


This post is by Jeff Desjardins from Technology – Visual Capitalist


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Tech is Forcing Healthcare to Change How It Communicates to Patients

How Health Companies Must Communicate With Patients

From consumer-focused apps to groundbreaking 3d printing techniques, the healthcare industry is constantly in the process of being revolutionized by new technologies.

These changes are disrupting the status quo of how business has been done for years – and they are even forcing companies to pivot in the areas of business that aren’t as traditionally driven by innovation or R&D.

One such area: how companies communicate with potential and active patients.

The Pivot to Content Strategy

Today’s infographic comes to us from Publicis Health, and it shows that technology is changing the way that life sciences and pharmaceutical companies will need to market and inform consumers.

For an industry in which one-way communication has traditionally been the norm, a multitude of factors are converging to make it essential for healthcare companies to pivot to a new way of doing things. Instead of

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India’s Hansel raises $4M to bring its app development platform to the US


This post is by Jon Russell from TechCrunch


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Hansel, 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,

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MallforAfrica goes global, Kobo360 and Sokowatch raise VC, France explains its $76M fund


This post is by Jonathan Shieber from TechCrunch


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B2B e-commerce company Sokowatch 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,

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Market research firm GlobalWebIndex takes first VC with $40M Series A


This post is by Natasha Lomas from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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.  

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