A flurry of digital-first insurers are betting they can surpass industry incumbents with a little help from technology and a lot of help from venture capitalists. The latest to land a massive check is Bright Health, a Minneapolis-headquartered provider of affordable individual, family and Medicare Advantage healthcare plans in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, New York City, Ohio and Tennessee. The company, founded by
Thirteen companies took the stage today at Disrupt Berlin, delivering six-minute pitches and demos, then answering free-for-all questions from expert judges. Now that the judges have given us their feedback, we’ve chosen five finalists. These finalists will all take the stage again tomorrow afternoon to present in front of a new set of judges, who
Lyft has finally given us a glimpse of its forthcoming line of shareable bikes, which the ridesharing company says will be available to rent within its mobile app in select cities “soon.” The news comes as the $15 billion company announces the final close of its acquisition of Motivate, the New York City-based mobility startup
The team behind Rlay believes that blockchain technology can play a crucial role in helping businesses crowdsource their data-gathering tasks. Founder Michael Hirn said this is a problem he encountered while working with Sunstone Capital to develop a more quantitative approach to venture capital, which meant pulling startup data from a wide variety of online
Bay Area-based robotic exoskeleton company Roam announced this morning that it has secured a $12 million series A. The round, led by Yamaha Motors, with investments from Boost VC, Heuristics Capital Partners, Menlo Ventures, R7 Partners, Spero Ventures, Valor Equity Partners and Venture Investment Associates, brings the company’s total funding up to around $15 million.
Fintech startup Revolut has been teasing Asian market expansions for more than a year, but it sounds like it might finally happen. The company has secured licenses to operate in Singapore and Japan. It now expects to launch its service in Q1 2019. In Singapore, the company was granted a Remittance License by the Monetary
Augmented reality is a very buzzy space, but the fundamental technologies underpinning it are pushing boundaries across a lot of other verticals. Machine learning, object recognition and visual mapping tech are the pillars of plenty of new ventures, enabling there to be companies that thrive in the overlap. Phiar (pronounced fire) is building an augmented
Earlier this year, Rebecca Liebman impressed a panel of high-profile investors, including Ashton Kutcher and Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff, at a SXSW pitch competition. She won and Benioff wrote her a check for $200,000 on the spot. Today, she’s announcing that her educational fintech startup LearnLux has closed a $2 million seed round from Kutcher’s
A new app called Playlist aims to make music a more social experience than what’s offered today by the major music platforms like Apple Music, Pandora or Spotify, for example. In Playlist, you can find others who share your musical tastes and join group chats where you listen to playlists together in real time. You
Bird announced today that it will sell its electric scooters to entrepreneurs and small business owners, who can then rent them out as part of a new service called Bird Platform. The company will provide the independent operators with scooters, which they are given free rein to brand as they please, as well as access to
Wildfires are consuming our forests and grasslands faster than we can replace them. It’s a vicious cycle of destruction and inadequate restoration rooted, so to speak, in decades of neglect of the institutions and technologies needed to keep these environments healthy. DroneSeed is a Seattle-based startup that aims to combat this growing problem with a
Corvus Insurance, a two-year-old, Boston-based insurance company that uses data across more than 50 criteria to predict and prevent losses for its corporate customers in the food and pharmaceutical industries, has attracted $8 million in funding, shows a newly processed SEC filing that says the capital came from six investors. The company had previously raised
Airbnb has completed a much-needed hire ahead of its rumored 2019 initial public offering. The hospitality giant has brought on Dave Stephenson, a long-time Amazon vice president and former president of Big Fish Games, as its chief financial officer. Stephenson replaces the company’s head of global financial planning and analysis, Ellie Mertz, who served as interim
I barely slept, the second night in Chunking Mansions. The loud neighbors, the hot Hong Kong air, the landlord banging on the door after midnight. None of these things are particularly conducive to a peaceful rest, and for once in my life I actually looked forward to attempts at shut eye on the 15+ hour
It took all of 14 minutes for the Soundbrenner Core to hit full funding. Not too shabby. Last week, the wearable maker closed out its campaign with more than 10x its $50,000 goal. A few days later, we sat down with the startup at the headquarters of Hong Kong-based accelerator, Brinc. Soundbrenner has already made
French crowd-lending platform October (formerly known as Lendix), wants to educate more people about new ways to borrow money. That’s why the company is launching a project called Grandir Ensemble (grow together). 11 big companies are borrowing €100,000 each on October at a 2.5 percent interest rate. October users will be able to lend as
There’s hardly enough room to turn around in Livin Farms’ office. Pretty standard, really, in Central, Hong Kong, where space is at a perpetual premium. It’s a small operation for the HAX-backed startup — there’s space for a few desks and not much more. The startup’s last product, the Hive, stands next to the door.
Machine learning is everywhere now, including recruiting. Take CVCompiler, a new product by Andrew Stetsenko and Alexandra Dosii. This web app uses machine learning to analyze and repair your technical resume, allowing you too shine to recruiters at Google, Yahoo, and Facebook. The founders are marketing and HR experts who have a combined fifteen years
TechCrunch will soon be returning to Africa to hold its Startup Battlefield competition dedicated to the African continent, in Lagos, Nigeria, on December 11th. The event will showcase the launch of 15 of the hottest startups in Africa on stage for the first time. We’ll also be joined by some of the leading investment firms
Wind Mobility, a Berlin-based mobility startup that offers “dockless” e-scooter (and electric bicycle) rentals, has raised $22 million in seed funding, throwing its hat into the European competitor to Bird and Lime ring. It follows recent raises by Sweden’s VOI ($50 million Series A led by Balderton) and Germany’s Tier (€25 million Series A led
Nearly every online publisher has launched or announced a paywall — but of course, even the ones who are successful won’t convince every reader, or even the majority of readers, to sign up. Now Piano and True[x] say they’ve found more effective way to monetize the rest of the audience, without threatening crucial subscription revenue.
PlayVS, the company bringing esports infrastructure to high schools across the country, has today announced the close of a $30.5 million Series B financing. The round was led by Elysian Park Ventures, the investment arm of the L.A. Dodgers, with participation from five existing investors including New Enterprise Associates, Science Inc., Crosscut Ventures, Coatue Management
Imagine any surface, such as a wooden table, car door or glass wall, could be turned into a user interface without the need for physical buttons or a touch screen. That’s the ambition of HyperSurfaces, the London startup originally behind the Mogees line of music devices and software, which today is unveiling what it claims
Timekettle was eager to show us the progress it’s made on the WT2 since it first showed us its wearable translation device at TechCrunch Shenzhen, this time last year. Unlike their 3D printed state at last year’s event, the crowdfunded earpieces are now ready to ship. They’ve already started going out to early backers and
Radio giant iHeartMedia announced today that it’s reached an agreement to acquire Jelli, a company bringing programmatic ad-buying to radio broadcasters. In fact, iHeartMedia was already working with Jelli to allow businesses to use progrmamatic tools to buy advertising on the company’s 850 broadcast radio stations. iHeartMedia also invested in Jelli’s most recent funding round.
Sometimes, it’s hard to imagine a product or industry that a new e-commerce startup hasn’t tried to remake already, from slippers to mattresses, from luggage to lipstick. Yet two childhood friends in New York have seemingly struck on a fresh idea: taking on the stodgy and often expensive world of cookware, where one’s options out of college are usually limited to
Crypto news got a little boost last week after a dark month of crashes, stablecoins, and birthdays. The SEC ruled that two ICO issuers, CarrierEQ Inc. and Paragon Coin Inc., were in fact selling securities instead of so-called utility tokens. “Both companies have agreed to return funds to harmed investors, register the tokens as securities,
BuzzFeed News is giving readers a new way to support its journalism — by paying a monthly or yearly fee. BuzzFeed might not seem like the most obvious publication to ask readers for financial support, as it doesn’t really have the high-minded appeal of (say) NPR or the New Yorker. However, the company has been
Knack, a peer tutoring platform aimed at college students, is taking a different approach than some online tutoring marketplaces have in the past. As a result, the Florida-based startup has raised a $1.5 million seed round co-led by Charles Hudson’s Precursor Ventures and Tampa Bay Lighting owner and Fenway Sports Group Partner, Jeff Vinik. Other
A recent survey found that around 20 percent of all jobs in the U.S. are held by contractors — people who take on work based on a particular project or fixed-term period, not as full-time, permanent employees. We’ve definitely seen that trend play out in Silicon Valley, both among the knowledge workers building tech products