Startups

Boundless, Navigator CRE and Off the Record take prizes at TechCrunch’s Seattle pitch-off

 It was a lovely day for a meetup in Seattle, and the Showbox SoDo was packed as TechCrunch’s annual pitch-off in my home town took place last week. But as impressive as our 10 contestants were, only three would leave with tickets to Disrupt SF. And here they are. Read More

Dating apps are embracing video

 Dating apps are, in their own way, a form of social networking – especially as they expand into new areas like friend-finding or professional networking. So it only makes sense that they would adopt video as well, given the growing popularity of the format on social apps like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, as well as the industry’s larger embrace of “Stories” as a… Read More

Cybersecurity firm Trend Micro announces $100M startup fund

 Security firm Trend Micro is the latest corporate to jump into the startup investment world after it unveiled a $100 million corporate fund today. It is predominantly looking at opportunities in the internet-of-things (IoT) space, but the exact scope of how it will operate is not clear. The company is headquartered in Japan and listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, where its current value… Read More

Instacart CMO Cheryl Law is no longer at the company

 Instacart CMO Cheryl Law is no longer at the company, TechCrunch has learned. Instacart confirmed the departure. We were tipped off about her departure a bit before the whole Amazon making a $13.7B bid for Whole Foods thing went down. Law joined Instacart at the beginning of the year and was previously the CMO of Prosper. Instacart’s challenges can change on a nearly daily basis… Read More

Stayawhile gets $1.5M to target the sweet spot between Airbnb and long-term rentals

 New York-based startup Stayawhile announced today that it’s scored $1.5 million in seed funding to provide travelers with what founder Janine Yorio refers to as “medium-term housing.” It’s a midway point between your standard hotel/Airbnb stay and a year-plus apartment lease, aimed at vacations and business travelers who’d like to spread out their stay in a new city… Read More

Let’s meet in Warsaw

 Just in time for Disrupt SF I’d like to invite you all to a micro meet-up in Warsaw on July 4. We’ll be holding it at Campus Warsaw, 33C Ząbkowska, 03-736 Warszawa, Poland. The fun starts at 6pm and ends at 8pm with some after-event drinks nearby. The winner of the pitch-off will get a table at Disrupt SF and the second-place winner will get two tickets to Disrupt SF. There are… Read More

Anki’s Cozmo gets a free update aimed at helping kids learn to code

 You can’t throw a rock without hitting a coding toy these days. In just the last couple of weeks both Apple and Sony have announced new initiatives, and now Overdrive-maker Anki is getting in on the action with Code Lab, a simple and free programming language designed to teach kids to code with its Pixar-inspired robot, Cozmo. The move is no-brainer on Anki’s part. The hardware… Read More

Tesco launches one-hour grocery deliveries in London, powered by Quiqup

 The grocery delivery wars look set to get cooking… UK supermarket chain Tesco has announced the launch today of a one-hour delivery service in central London called Tesco Now — echoing Amazon’s Prime Now delivery branding. Read More

Reverso now lets you translate words using your voice

 Dictionary app Reverso is getting a major update with a focus on voice features. In particular, you can now say a phrase to translate it. This might be particularly useful if you can’t spell a word or when you don’t know anything about a language and you can ask the other person to repeat a phrase to get a translation. Conversely, when you press the tiny speaker icon, the… Read More

VC Justin Caldbeck raised funding in email to accuser ahead of scandal breaking

 TechCrunch has reviewed an email allegedly sent by VC Justin Caldbeck, of Binary Capital, to one of the female founders who have accused him of inappropriate behavior — which suggests he tried to use his influence as an investor to encourage the woman to drop the allegations against him. Read More

Houzz raises a huge $400M round at a $4B valuation

 If you ask investors in Silicon Valley about Houzz — an app where you browse ridiculously nice homes and check out interesting interior design ideas — they’ll probably quietly mutter that they’re just growing their business. We really don’t hear about Houzz’s business that often. Except now the company says it has raised $400 million led by Iconiq Capital,… Read More

Binary Capital reportedly delays closing new fund amid controversy

 In the wake of allegations of sexual harassment and the resignation of Binary Capital co-founder Justin Caldbeck, the firm has delayed closing its second fund, Axios reports. Caldbeck issued a statement saying he would take an indefinite leave of absence after multiple women in the tech industry alleged they faced unwanted and inappropriate advances from him. The Information first reported… Read More