Jake Bright Contributor More posts by this contributor Nigerian data analytics company Terragon acquires Asian mobile ad firm Bizense Africa Roundup: Local VC funds surge, Naspers ramps up and fintech diversifies Kenya’s Twiga Foods has raised $10 million from investors led by the International Finance Corporation to add processed food and fast-moving consumer goods to its product line-up. The
Anyone that has experience in the service or retail industry knows swapping shifts can be a logistical nightmare that leaves employees in trouble with management or stuck working during a friend’s birthday party. As a former Old Navy “sellebrity” myself, I can confirm there’s a huge need for an efficient tool to solve this problem.
Manik Gupta got his first taste of solving logistics nightmares when fresh out of college, he was delivering Palm Pilots around Singapore. He’d started a precursor to Groupon called BuyItTogether. “We were a full stack marketplace where we were also delivering the goods. That’s what caused us to not have good profit margins. Actually, zero
The retail industry has and continues to fail the growing number of American women size 14 or larger, says Nadia Boujarwah, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Dia&Co, a personal styling service for plus-sized women. According to Plunkett Research, nearly 70 percent of women in the U.S. are plus-sized; Dia&Co wants to expand the
Salad startup and retailer Sweetgreen recently raised a $200 million Series H round led by Fidelity that valued the company at more than $1 billion. This round brings Sweetgreen’s total amount of funding to $365 million. With this additional $200 million in funding, Sweetgreen is setting its eyes on other food categories and looking to
Allbirds, the shoe startup that entered the unicorn club last month following a $50 million funding round, has unveiled its latest feet holders. Dubbed the Tree Topper, the high-top sneaker marks Allbirds’ fifth shoe style. The Tree Topper, which retails for $115, features merino wool knit, eucalyptus tree fiber fabric and sugarcane-based foam. “The Tree Topper
Tandem, the U.K. challenger bank, is gearing up to launch a new “Auto Savings” feature — a clever way to lower the barriers for Tandem app users who want to save for a rainy day — and to power the feature the company is partnering with Stripe. The latter in itself isn’t necessarily huge news
Heyday, a startup aiming to make facials more affordable and personalized, announced today that it has raised $8 million in Series A funding. I first wrote about the company a year ago, when it raised its $3 million seed round. At the time, co-founder and CEO Adam Ross said his goal was to offer something
Lime, the well-funded startup known for its fleet of brightly colored dockless bicycles and electric scooters, has a new way for its customers to get around: cars. Beginning this week, Lime users in Seattle will be able to reserve a “LimePod,” a Lime-branded 2018 Fiat 500, within the Lime mobile app. There will be 50
Wellness app Calm has today announced a $3 million equity investment in XpresSpa Group, a fast-spa service you may have noticed in your local airport. Calm sees the investment as a way to expand its offline presence, growing awareness of the app as well as its retail products like Sleep Mist and the Calm Book.
Tel Aviv-based Audioburst has been developing a search engine for audio news, which allows users to locate audio content within podcast and other talk radio programs. Today, the company is capitalizing on its technology to launch personalized playlists that deliver custom newsbriefs that get better over time the more you use the product. The feature
London’s transport regulator, TfL has announced a partnership with Bosch for its forthcoming co-working space in Shoreditch. The civic tech project is intended to run for 18 months as a pilot — though Bosch’s ‘Connectory’ co-working facility won’t open until the end of January. A company spokeswoman confirmed the partnership is nonetheless up and running
The second wave of Internet-era travel companies has captured the attention of venture capitalists. In the last five years, travel companies have raised more than $1 billion in venture capital funding. That includes short-term rental startups, travel and tourism apps, marketplaces for “experiences” and other travel or hospitality tech platforms. Airbnb, a $38 billion company
The kids in Madrid’s El Retiro Park are loving their new on-demand joyriding toys. Lime launched its scooters in the Spanish capital this summer. Spending a weekend in the city center last month the craze was impossible to miss. Scooters parked in clusters vying for pay-to-play time. Sometimes lined up tidily. All too often not.
Virtual reality hasn’t proven itself to be the lucrative escape of the every-man, but the medium has done a fairly good job enticing the gaming community and keeping that niche (mostly) happy. While a couple of big titles have gotten some halfway-decent ports to VR, for the most part VR users are confined to whatever
Another day, another exit scam. This time it comes to us from South Korea where an exchange, Pure Bit, has completely shut down after raising $2.8 million in Ethereum from investors. The exchange, which promised to deliver something call Pure Coin, was live yesterday and today is completely shut down after posting “Sorry” and “Thanks”
Disney Imagineering animatronics wizard Dr. Martin Buehler is a legend in the robotics world. His work leading development of the galloping Big Dog quadruped at Boston Dynamics both inspired and terrified a new generation of makers. But after playing in the worlds of fantasy and science fiction that consumers can’t buy, Buehler has been poached
AdRoll Group announced today that it has acquired Growlabs, a two-year-old startup with business-to-business sales tools and data. While AdRoll is best known for its retargeting technology for consumer advertising, it’s been building out a suite of B2B marketing technology under its RollWorks business unit, which launched earlier this year. The company says that by
Fifteen startups spent the day presenting onstage in São Paulo, Brazil. For the finalists, that meant presenting twice — once in the initial rounds, then again for our finalist judges. This was all part of Startup Battlefield Latin America, an event that we put on in partnership with Facebook’s FB Start program. After a full day
First, a couple of quick follow-ups to our coverage of Form Ds yesterday, and then a deeper dive into the challenges SoftBank is facing with regards to its revenue in Japan. Finally, some notes on recent articles we have read. We are experimenting with new content forms at TechCrunch. This is a rough draft of
TripActions, one of the most well-capitalized travel startups in Silicon Valley, has raised yet another round of capital valuing the corporate travel manager at more than $1 billion. Andreessen Horowitz co-founder Ben Horowitz will join TripActions’ board of directors as part of the startup’s $154 million in Series C funding. Lightspeed Venture Partners, Zeev Ventures and
Chris Hays and Mark Jeffrey wanted to create a way for everyone to be able to tell their loved ones if they were in trouble. Their first product, GuardianCircle did just that, netting a mention in a few years ago. Now the same team is truly decentralizing alerts with a new token called, obviously, Guardium.
We are experimenting with new content forms at TechCrunch. This is a rough draft of something new – provide your feedback directly to the authors: Danny at firstname.lastname@example.org or Arman at Arman.Tabatabai@techcrunch.com if you like or hate something here. Ignoring the midterm hysteria, we continue our obsession with SoftBank today by looking at the group’s
IndieBio, the biotech startup accelerator that’s produced heaps of notable companies (including several that have graced the Startup Battlefield), is holding its twice-annual demo day today at 3PM Pacific Time. An even dozen young companies will be pitching their work, from AI-informed research to artificial meat, and you can watch them present live right here.
TranswerWise, the European fintech unicorn that enables low-cost international money transfer, has always had ambitions of being a platform in the truest sense. In addition to its direct to consumer app, the company offers an API for integration with other fintechs and banks, although it is fair to say that third-party integrations of this kind
GPS is too inaccurate to tell if a scooter is being driven or parked in off-limits areas. But as scooter startups compete for permits from city governments, they need a way to prove their riders play by the rules. That’s where Fantasmo’s new scooter positioning camera comes in. The augmented reality mapping startup had been
TechCrunch Startup Battlefield returns to Africa next month, and we have an agenda chock-full of interesting panels and our premier startup competition. Joining us in Lagos, Nigeria on December 11 for a couple of those aforementioned panels will be Chris Folayan, the founder and CEO of Mall for Africa; Nichole Yembra, chief financial, risk and
Transit, a company that built a mobile app designed to help people in cities live without cars, has raised $17.5 million from two automakers in a Series B round. The round was led by RenaultNissan-Mitsubishi’s joint investment arm Alliance Ventures. InMotion Ventures, Jaguar Land Rover’s venture capital fund, also joined the round, as well as two past
As an MBA student at the University of Chicago’s Booth school, Kathleen Wilson was struck with an idea while looking at businesses that provided daily housekeeping in one of her classes. Given the density and physical structure of many apartment buildings, she wondered why a housekeeper couldn’t similarly push a cart down the hall and
Picture it: you have the perfect song for Kelly Clarkson. It’s a mix of genres and styles best described as “Since U Been Gone” meets “911 Is A Joke.” How do you get it in front of Kelly so she can add it to her next album (imagine her singing “My heart is on fire