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Family money: An emerging funding source for startups

In Business, Legal, Security, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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Startups are increasingly looking to an alternate source of equity funding and growth capital to close a significant round of private investment: the family office. There are currently more than 3,000 family offices globally managing money for the world’s wealthiest families. Together, these offices manage a total asset base of approximately $4 trillion, and they’re starting to put more of this money to work directly into private investments. According to PitchBook, the number of direct investments by family offices in startups has almost doubled in the last five years compared to the previous period. While many of these family offices are becoming an important source of capital for private companies, they can be incredibly secretive to protect the confidentially of the …

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Salesforce looks for a future beyond its walls with rising VC investments and acquisitions

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When it comes to investments and acquisitions, Salesforce has made headlines lately for deals that didn’t happen. The company’s rebuffed $26 billion bid for LinkedIn last year and a run at Twitter that never got off the ground would have ranked by far as Salesforce’s largest deals. But those non-deals overshadowed the things Salesforce has been doing, namely ramping up its venture capital investments to grow an ecosystem of partners as well as making the most acquisitions ever in its history last year. Even as Salesforce itself continues to grow organically, these aggressive moves are a sign of how the company continues to look beyond its own walls for how and where it might grow. In a recent conversation, Alex Kayyal, European …

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YouTube’s Ad Problems Finally Blow Up in Google’s Face

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Late last year, Israel-based entrepreneur Matan Uziel saw a notification he’d never seen before pop up on YouTube’s backend—the part of the site where creators upload their videos. “I saw a yellow dollar sign. At first I didn’t understand what it was,” Uziel says. “Then I moved my cursor over it. I saw it meant my video was not advertiser-friendly.” By then, Uziel had made and posted close to a dozen videos to a YouTube channel called Real Women Real Stories—women speaking frankly into a camera about their experiences of sexual abuse. The view counts on some of the videos had climbed into the thousands, qualifying them for pre-roll ads placed through YouTube’s advertising program. They were bringing Uziel and …

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Japanese finance app Moneytree raises $9 million to grow enterprise business

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(The Bridge) – Tokyo-based Moneytree, the Japanese startup offering an asset managing app and cloud-based accounting soutions, announced on Tuesday that it has raised a total of 1 billion yen (nearly $9 million US) in their latest funding round. The round was led by SBI Investment with participation from Mizuho Capital, SMBC Venture Capital, Salesforce Ventures, Fukuoka Technology Partners, Hiroshima Venture Capital, Senshu Ikeda Capital, and the UK’s leading asset management company Baillie Gifford. This round follows that of the company’s series A round from October 2015. With the latest funds, Moneytree plans to roll out new features to three products: their self-titled personal asset management app, the “Moneytree Work Keihi Seisan (Expense Reimbursement)” service that allows users to easily determine their expenses, as well as their …

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China’s Baidu expands in Silicon Valley

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Chinese search giant Baidu is expanding its Silicon Valley footprint with a new office in Sunnyvale specifically for autonomous driving and AI research, the company announced today. With this expansion, company president and ex-Microsoft executive Ya-qin Zhang is taking on an additional title: chairman of Baidu USA. The company’s U.S. presence in part functions as a recruiting tool for computer scientists from top schools and startups. Baidu is so eager to bring AI talent to China that they’re reportedly offering scientists 15 percent raises to relocate there. However Baidu’s research team was recently dealt a noteworthy blow; Andrew Ng, the company’s chief scientist who joined from Google in 2014, is leaving the company.

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Google’s Calico partners with new biotech firm to develop anti-aging and cancer drugs

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The Google-funded startup Calico, as with many of the tech-originating firms foraying into the life sciences, has a lofty goal: to tackle the spectrum of “aging-related” diseases, which encompasses everything from Parkinson’s to Alzheimer’s to cancer. While the outfit is notoriously cagey about its work, it’s certainly not shy about striking up partnerships. The latest one came on Thursday afternoon, when the biotech C4 Therapeutics announced a five-year research collaboration with Calico to develop drugs for “diseases of aging,” including cancer. There’s not a whole lot in the way of details. The firms will “leverage C4T’s expertise and capabilities in targeted protein degradation to jointly discover and advance small molecule protein degraders as therapeutic agents to remove certain disease-causing proteins,” …

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No. 201: Saving Shea, eschewing beef and offshore wind makes waves

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TG it’s Friday: Happy March 24 everybody, on which Elvis became Pvt. 53310761, Pink Floyd released “Dark Side of the Moon” and the Exxon Valdez ran aground. “Dark Side” remained on the Billboard 200 album chart for 927 weeks. That’s almost eight years. Second longest Billboard 200 album: Johnny Mathis’ greatest hits, at 490 weeks. Number of times Pink Floyd and Johnny Mathis have been mentioned in the same newsletter: This would be it. But first this: America’s changing diet has led to a 10 percent per-capita decrease in food-related carbon gases, or the equivalent of the annual tailpipe pollution of 57 million automobiles. (There are currently 253 million cars on U.S. roads.) Most prominent among the dietary changes was a 19 …

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Self-driving car expert and Project Cars exec to speak at GamesBeat Summit

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Our newest speakers for our upcoming GamesBeat Summit event are Ted Chong, chief commercial officer at Project Cars maker Slightly Mad Studios, and Laszlo Kishonti, CEO of self-driving car software maker AImotive. You could call them the odd couple at our GamesBeat Summit 2017: How games, sci-fi, and tech create real-world magic. GamesBeat Summit 2017 will take place on May 1 and May 2, 2017, at the historic Claremont resort hotel in Berkeley, Calif., just a short distance from San Francisco. You can secure your seat here. Register today and receive 20 percent off current ticket prices. Use the code Deantak. Above: Laszlo Kishonti, CEO of AImotive, shows off the company’s test car in Mountain View, Calif. Image Credit: Dean Takahashi Chong has been at …

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Tech Bigwigs Know How Addictive Their Products Are. Why Don’t the Rest of Us?

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In late 2010, Steve Jobs told New York Times journalist Nick Bilton that his children had never used the iPad. “We limit how much technology our kids use in the home.” Bilton discovered that other tech giants imposed similar restrictions. Chris Anderson, the former editor of WIRED, enforced strict time limits on every device in his home, “because we have seen the dangers of technology firsthand.” His five children were never allowed to use screens in their bedrooms. Evan Williams, a founder of Blogger, Twitter, and Medium, bought hundreds of books for his two young sons, but refused to give them an iPad. And Lesley Gold, the founder of an analytics company, imposed a strict no-screen-time-during-the-week rule on her kids. …

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Can Arianna Huffington Save Uber?

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Enlarge this image Ariana Huffington speaks on stage during a conference in 2016 in New York City. She’s taking a bigger role at Uber. Neilson Barnard/Getty Images hide caption toggle caption Neilson Barnard/Getty Images Uber is in crisis. This week the president resigned, after just six months on the job. Morale has been shaken, following a damning account of sexual harassment. The board of directors is so concerned about the CEO’s ability to lead, they’re looking for a No. 2 to help steer the company. And now — in a curious plot twist — media mogul Arianna Huffington is emerging as chief of Uber’s campaign for culture change. The company decided to hold a conference call on Tuesday with reporters. …

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Silicon Valley Would Rather Cure Death Than Make Life Worth Living

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Silicon Valley is coming for death. But it’s looking in the wrong place. After disrupting the way we love, communicate, travel, work, and even eat, technologists believe they can solve the ultimate problem. Perennially youthful Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan announced last year a $3 billion initiative to obliterate human disease. Among his many crusades, Paypal co-founder and Trump advisor Peter Thiel aims to end mortality. (“Basically, I’m against it,” he has said.) Alphabet has a whole company devoted to curing this most intractable of inconveniences. And they aren’t necessarily crazy to try. Since the 19th century, average life expectancies have risen for everyone (though not at equal rates) thanks to advances in science and technology. …

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At AERTC, expansion (maybe) and the winds of war

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By GREGORY ZELLER // There’s an overload at the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center. With demand edging supply and its incubators overflowing, Stony Brook University’s hub of academia, research and commercial energy production is looking to expand. The AERTC’s incubator programs now host eight tenants with next-level energy-efficiency aspirations – and they’d like to welcome more, according to AERTC Chairman Robert Catell, who this week teased the possibility of future constructon. “The good news is, we’re out of space,” Catell told Innovate LI. “The bad news is, we’re out of space.” While those eight tenants are at various points on the commercialization spectrum, most are not extremely close to commercial independence – and certainly, none are especially eager to …

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How Two Armenian Immigrants Made Turkish Delights An American Hit

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Enlarge this image Liberty Orchards in Cashmere, Wash., which was founded by two Armenian immigrants, still makes Aplets & Cotlets, a variation of Turkish delight that includes apples, apricots and walnuts. Courtesy of Liberty Orchards Co., Inc. hide caption toggle caption Courtesy of Liberty Orchards Co., Inc. In 1921, an ad in The Seattle Times touted a brand new candy called “Aplets,” a new confection made “from the finest Washington apples and honey and walnuts.” A few years later, Aplets were joined by “Cotlets,” a similar candy made from an apricot base. In most of the world, “Aplets & Cotlets” were based on a treat called lokum, a word derived from Arabic, but the British and Americans know it as …

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The Battle for Top AI Talent Only Gets Tougher From Here

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Andrew Ng helped create two of Silicon Valley’s leading artificial intelligence labs. First, he built Google Brain, now the hub of AI research inside the internet giant. Then he built a lab in the Valley for Baidu, the company known as the Google of China. Ng was one of the primary figures behind the enormous and rapid rise of AI over the last five years as everyone from Facebook to Microsoft rebuilt themselves around deep learning. And on Tuesday night, he announced his departure from Baidu. He didn’t say where he was going. And he didn’t immediately respond to our request for comment. But odds are, he will show up at some other big name sometime soon. AI researchers are …

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Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak joins $9.5 million investment into ‘robotic digitization’ startup Ripcord

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A new so-called “robotic digitization” company launches to the public today with funding from some notable backers. Tapping robotics, machine vision, and artificial intelligence, Ripcord is striving to create what it calls the “truly paperless workplace,” and today it announced its formal launch alongside $9.5 million in funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), with participation from Apple cofounder Steve Woniak, Lux Capital, and Legend Star. Based in Hayward, California, Ripcord’s machines scan, index, and categorize paper records to make them searchable through companies’ existing systems via the cloud. To initiate the process, companies pack their records into boxes and affix with barcoded labels that contain metadata that’s permanently associated with the records through their transportation into digital form. Upon receipt, Ripcord unboxes the files and passes …

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Mashape raises $18 million for its API marketplace

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Mashape, which provides an open-source application programming interface (API) marketplace for developers and engineers, announced today that it has closed an $18 million round led by Andreessen Horowitz. Mashape Kong, the startup’s core product, allows dev teams to distribute, monetize, manage, analyze, and consume APIs. “Mashape Kong is the air traffic control of the modern enterprise,” wrote Augusto Marietti, cofounder and CEO of Mashape, in an email to VentureBeat. “It manages and orchestrates the disparate array of APIs that make up modern microservices architectures.” Marietti claims Kong has been downloaded more than 2 million times by thousands of companies. Customers use Kong for security, analytics, onboarding, monitoring, and access control, and pay a six-figure annual subscription for the service. Mashape …

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Spreadshirt Spotlight: Illustrative Art is Alive & Well

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The secret success from one of Spreadshirt’s designers, Mudge Studios BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–March 23, 2017– Spreadshirt, the e-commerce platform for spreading ideas on something tangible, proudly highlights designer Mudge Studios in their ongoing recognition series that showcases the best and brightest from their global creators. As a talented and successful designer with exceptional illustration skills, Mudge Studios will inspire other creative designers to share their ideas with a global audience via a Spreadshirt hosted shop or through Spreadshirt marketplaces. The artistic genius behind “Mudge Studios” is U.S. based illustrator, Allen Mudgett. Just like the other 70,000 plus creators on the Spreadshirt platform, he enjoys the ease of selling in both his own shop and in the marketplace channel. The publishing process is …

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Mapstr now reminds you when you’re near your favorite places

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French mapping startup Mapstr is continuing its mission to help people organize all their favorite places with an update that alerts users whenever they pass one of their previously bookmarked locations. Founded in 2014 by Sébastien Caron, Mapstr has raised around $1.4 million in investment since its inception, and today’s update comes two months after the company was selected to join Facebook’s inaugural cohort of startups at its new Startup Garage incubator in Paris. Available on the web, iOS, and Android, Mapstr has built a small following of 60,000 monthly active users (MAUs) for an app that lets you bookmark any place around the world, including parks, streets, museums, and any point-of-interest. You can add places manually, through allowing the app to detect your current location, or even through …

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SAP to invest $35 million in early-stage enterprise startups

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Enterprise software giant SAP launched the SAP.iO Fund today to invest tens of millions of dollars in startups that make products that call upon SAP platforms, data, or APIs made by SAP. Starting with an initial investment of $35 million, the fund will invest in dozens of enterprise startups in the coming years. SAP also plans to fund startup accelerators in tech capitals around the world like San Francisco and Berlin. Both the investment fund and accelerator programs will focus on machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and big data, according to SAP chief strategy officer Deepak Krishnamurthy. SAP.iO Fund will invest in 10-15 companies in its first year, 25-30 the following year and up to 50 in its third …

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WayUp raises $18.5 million to help millennials find their dream jobs

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Millennials will typically change jobs multiple times as they seek the perfect fit. WayUp wants to help them pursue their workplace dreams with a job marketplace, and announced today that it has secured an additional $18.5 million in funding. “On average, millennials are expected to jump jobs four times in their first decade out of college,” wrote WayUp’s cofounder and CEO Liz Wessel, in an email to VentureBeat. “However, we believe WayUp’s technology will change that.” The startup uses machine learning to refine searches and execute better matches between students in U.S. colleges and hiring companies. The service is free for students and recent grads — WayUp generates revenue from the employers who pay a monthly fee based on the …

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DataRobot raises $54 million to bring machine learning to predictive analytics

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DataRobot, a machine learning platform that helps enterprises build predictive models at speed, has raised $54 million in a Series C funding round led by existing investor New Enterprise Associates (NEA). Founded out of Boston in 2012, the DataRobot platform features hundreds of open-source machine learning algorithms and harnesses best practices and knowledge from “the world’s leading scientists,” enabling users of all skill levels to build predictive models for their companies. Users upload their data, select their target variables, and DataRobot “automates, trains, and evaluates” multiple predictive models. Though it can be used to help data scientists work more quickly and at scale, DataRobot is targeted at anyone within the enterprise who’s looking to tinker with artificial intelligence to see whether it can improve their …

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The Gig Economy Celebrates Working Yourself to Death

In Business, Government, Healthcare, Legal, Start Up by New YorkerLeave a Comment

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Fiverr, an online freelance marketplace that promotes itself as being for “the lean entrepreneur,” recently attracted ire for an ad campaign called “In Doers We Trust.”CreditCOURTESY FIVERR Last September, a very twenty-first-century type of story appeared on the company blog of the ride-sharing app Lyft. “Long-time Lyft driver and mentor, Mary, was nine months pregnant when she picked up a passenger the night of July 21st,” the post began. “About a week away from her due date, Mary decided to drive for a few hours after a day of mentoring.” You can guess what happened next. Mary, who was driving in Chicago, picked up a few riders, and then started having contractions. “Since she was still a week away from …

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Apple confirms acquisition of DeskConnect, the team behind automation app Workflow

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Apple today confirmed that it has acquired DeskConnect, the startup behind Workflow, an iOS app that makes it possible for people to build custom actions involving multiple apps. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Apple has now made the app free instead of charging $2.99 for it, and the app will remain available, an Apple spokesperson told VentureBeat in an email. Currently the app supports more than 200 actions, with integrations into Apple apps as well as third-party services like Dropbox, Evernote, and Facebook. In that sense Workflow resembles Automator, an Apple utility app that ships with macOS Sierra but has no standard-issue equivalent for iOS. The news was originally reported by TechCrunch. DeskConnect killed its eponymous cross-platform file-transfer app …

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Floyd is a startup betting the world needs Heroku for deep learning

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A startup called Floyd has developed a cloud service for deep learning, a trendy type of artificial intelligence that entails training artificial neural networks on data and then getting them to make inferences about new data. Yesterday Floyd’s founders talked about their product onstage at Silicon Valley accelerator Y Combinator’s demo day. Floyd is seeking to build out a marketplace rich with data sets and algorithms. But at its core, it’s a managed service for training neural networks and then running machine-learned models on an ongoing basis. In that sense, it competes with existing machine learning services from public clouds like Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and of course the market-leading Amazon Web Services (AWS), on which Floyd is itself …

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It’s time to ditch your innovation lab

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A half decade into Corporate America’s love affair with innovation, it’s time to admit it’s not working. Innovation labs have become vehicles for marketing, not innovation. Dubbed “hipster money pits,” labs can torpedo morale (only the cool kids get to take part) and sap resources. No wonder Nordstrom downsized its innovation lab two years ago. Ad agency Ogilvy closed Ogilvy Labs last summer. Many others have abandoned theirs, too: Microsoft’s Silicon Valley Research Lab (shut down in 2014), Disney’s research lab (shut down in 2016), Turner’s Media Camp (shut down in 2014), Coca-Cola’s Founders Initiative (shut down in 2016), The New York Times’ R&D Ventures (shut down in 2013), and Adecco’s Ignite Lab (shut down in 2016). Why? Let’s start with the name. A lab is a …

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Malaysia’s Jirnexu raises $1.5 million for fintech software

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Malaysian fintech startup Jirnexu has raised $1.5 million in funding from DMP, Gobi Partners, and OSK Ventures International Berhad (OSKVI). That brings the Kuala Lumpur-based company’s total funding to date to $6 million. Jirnexu’s full stack technology provides banks and insurance companies with a solution that manages every stage of the customer journey, including marketing, acquisition, fulfillment, and retention. The company counts among its customers global and regional financial institutions such as Citibank, HSBC, Standard Chartered, AIA, Zurich, Manulife, and U4Life, as well as local banks BSN and RHB. Sales commissions for consumer banking and insurance products in Southeast Asia alone are worth $25 billion per year, according to market researcher Sigma Research. Jirnexu is also targeting the $35 billion worth …

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Lingerie maker excited to show a little more

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By GREGORY ZELLER // When it comes to exposure, they’re not shy at Impish Lee. Cofounders Noelle and Kali Ventresca have plenty of skin in the game already. Since pulling their startup lingerie-manufacturing business off peer-to-peer e-commerce site Etsy in 2015 and reforming it around a proprietary online customizer – users choose the garment, size, color and more – they’ve eschewed outside funding, “at least until we’re profitable,” according to CEO Noelle. Exposure, therefore, is key – and for a startup marketing on a shoestring, a perpetual challenge. Social media marketing, word of mouth, a $15,000 Kickstarter campaign and some $30,000-plus in family and friend investments have kept the industrial-strength sewing machines whirring in Impish Lee’s 600-square-foot Sea Cliff headquarters, …

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Universe is a website-building app that lets you make quick custom sites from your phone

In Business, Government, Mobile Technology, Start Up by The VergeLeave a Comment

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Universe is a website-building app that lets you make quick custom sites from your phone – The Vergeclockmenumore-arrow (function(d) { try { if (localStorage.getItem(‘chorus-fonts-0b50f0674bed2b66b24a77410eb3f99c’) === ‘yes’) { d.documentElement.className += ‘ fonts-loaded’; } } catch (e) {} var fontUrls = [“https://fonts.voxmedia.com/unison/stylesheets/verge.1d37918fdeeb1febc4d68217382a1e72.css”]; var ss = d.styleSheets; for (var i=0; i -1) { ss[i].ownerNode.media = ‘all’; fontUrls.splice(idx, 1); } } if (fontUrls.length > 0) { setTimeout(onload, 0); } } onload(); })(document); var chorusInitQueue=[],volume_embed_host=”https://volume.vox-cdn.com”;var Chorus=Chorus||{};Chorus.windowLoaded=!1,Chorus.AddScript=function(o,n){var t=document.createElement(“script”);t.async=!0,t.type=”text/javascript”,t.src=o,”function”==typeof n&&(t.onload=n);var e=document.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0];return e.parentNode.insertBefore(t,e),t},Chorus.ready=function(o){“loading”!=document.readyState?o():document.addEventListener?document.addEventListener(“DOMContentLoaded”,o):document.attachEvent(“onreadystatechange”,function(){“loading”!=document.readyState&&o()})},Chorus.OnLoad=function(o){if(Chorus.windowLoaded=!0)return void o();var n=window.onload;”function”!=typeof window.onload?window.onload=o:window.onload=function(){n(),o()}},Chorus.OnLoad(function(){Chorus.windowLoaded=!0}); dataLayer = [{“Network”:”theverge”,”Community”:”theverge”,”GA Primary ID”:”UA-26533115-1″,”GA CrossDomains”:”theverge.com”,”Content ID”:”14791017″,”Entry Groups”:”front-page:apps:tech:circuitbreaker”,”Author”:”Chaim Gartenberg”,”Last Time Updated”:”2017-03-22 16:04″,”Hour of Update”:”16″,”Publish Date”:”2017-03-22 16:04″,”Hour of Publish”:”16″,”Demand Post”:”no”,”All Chorus Categories”:”theverge:theverge:front-page:apps:tech:circuitbreaker”,”Content Type”:”article”,”chartbeat_domain”:”theverge.com”,”chartbeat_zone”:”172968584/verge/circuitbreaker”,”chartbeat_authors”:”Chaim Gartenberg”,”Logged in Status”:”Logged Out”,”Day of Week”:”wednesday”,”Hour of Day”:”16″}]; window._umbel = window._umbel || []; (function() { var d = new …

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The Mobileye acquisition is proof that AI needs guidelines

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The sale of Mobileye to Intel is not surprising when you consider that last year MIT Technology Review ranked the Jerusalem-based company as one of the 10 smartest companies in the world. Also not surprising is the joy, bordering on hysteria, being displayed by the Israeli government, which has declared its intent to cut taxes as a result of the deal (though it has not been clear exactly how). In addition, the government has used the occasion of Mobileye’s purchase by Intel as an opportunity to tout its success in the area of innovation. However, the story here is bigger than Mobileye. The real story is the relationship between government, society, and technology. The challenge presented by artificial intelligence (AI) …

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Alibaba announces digital free-trade initiative in Malaysia

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Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has announced plans to establish a regional distribution hub in Malaysia – the company’s first logistics centre outside of China. The new cross-border agreement with the Malaysian government hopes to facilitate international e-commerce transactions and support South-east Asian growth in the sector. According to Alizila, the official news hub for Alibaba Group, the initiative will involve the Chinese firm working alongside the digital agency Malaysia Digital Economy, to set up ‘digital free-trade zones where small and medium-sized enterprises can easily plug into global trade via e-commerce.’ Referring to the project as part of its electronic world trade platform (eWTP), Alibaba plans to establish an e-fulfilment hub near to Kuala Lumpur International Airport, as well as a …

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Here’s to the winners

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By GREGORY ZELLER // Hundreds of Long Island’s top business and science minds gathered Tuesday for the 2017 Innovator of the Year Awards. Man of the hour Robert Catell (above); Mazars USA Partner — and Food & Beverage award presenter — Lou Biscotti (below). Including Master of Innovation Robert Catell, the former KeySpan and National Grid USA chairman, some 36 top innovators were honored by Innovate Long Island at Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury. “Our honorees include first-time entrepreneurs, inveterate tinkerers and some who have made invention and innovation their careers,” said master of ceremonies John Kominicki, Innovate LI’s founder and publisher. “Their ideas may not all end up changing the world, but they are all making it a …

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6 ways to invest in augmented reality

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Augmented reality is generating a lot of excitement, particularly with rumors that Apple will enter the market sometime soon, alongside others such as Microsoft and Google. Digi-Capital, a tech advisor, believes that the combined market for AR and virtual reality could be $108 billion by 2021. 2016 was a critical year for AR, with new device announcements, major acquisitions and massive adoption by consumers and enterprises alike. Super Ventures has sorted out the landscape of AR startups, and it has come up with six areas of opportunity for both AR hardware and software, where investment dollars could make a big impact. You can download a high-resolution version of the AR landscape here. The AR ecosystem is complex with multiple device categories, inputs …

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Lynkos raises $2.5 million to connect businesses using AI

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In sales, it’s all about getting leads, and Lynkos, which today announced funding of $2.5 million, has a novel approach to finding them. The startup uses artificial intelligence to join CRM software with data on companies around the world. Using Lynkos, sales people can import their own leads or set criteria to find them using the online service. The leads can be prospected using the product’s email marketing tools and tracked throughout the sales process. “We have a lot of automated bots crawling the web for business data, classifying them to improve business profiles, industries, and opportunities,” wrote Federico Cella, founder and CEO of Lynkos, in an email to VentureBeat. “We have about 40 crawlers on autopilot 24/7. All of …

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Forget Bitcoin. The Blockchain Could Reveal What’s True Today and Tomorrow

In Business, Education, Finance, Government, Science & Nature, Security, Start Up by Wired NewsLeave a Comment

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As far back as the 1880s, people stood on the curb outside the New York Stock Exchange taking bets on political elections, and newspapers would report the odds as a way of predicting the results at the polls. In the years since, economists refined the concept, and more recently, prediction markets have tapped into the wisdom of the crowds via the internet, forecasting everything from presidential races to sporting events to stock prices. The concept took a hit in 2012 when a major site shutdown amid financial irregularities and pressure from US regulators. But Silicon Valley hasn’t given up on the idea. It now sees a new way of building markets that predict the future: the blockchain. The blockchain is …

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AptoZen and VETCON Announce a Strategic Partnership to Deliver Next Generation Talent Acquisition to Veteran Entrepreneur Businesses

In Business, Government, Science & Nature, Security, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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AptoZen sponsors annual Veteran Conference to help veteran-led startups find elite talent. SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–March 22, 2017– AptoZen, a global leader in cloud-based Predictive Talent Acquisition technology, announced today a strategic partnership with VETCON. The alliance will help veterans’ tech businesses build teams better, faster and cheaper than any other recruiting solution in the marketplace. AptoZen’s power comes from a comprehensive data model derived from hundreds of thousands of talent-matching situations to help startup businesses out-task and solve any hiring problem. This Smart News Release features multimedia. View the full release here: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170322005452/en/ VETCON is an annual conference with a strategic focus on veteran entrepreneurs and provides a nurturing place to gather, promote, learn and network their startup among mentors, …

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Is the dark really making me sad?

In Business, Education, Events, Government, Healthcare, Legal, Science & Nature, Start Up by Ars TechnicaLeave a Comment

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Enlarge / If it’s dark outside seemingly all the time, you must find ways to cope. Sara Andreasson reader comments 0 Share this story How do Scandinavians deal with long, dark winters? For Mosaic, Linda Geddes explores what this might teach us about the relationship between our moods and sunlight. The story is republished here under a Creative Commons license. The inhabitants of Rjukan in southern Norway have a complex relationship with the Sun. “More than other places I’ve lived, they like to talk about the Sun: when it’s coming back, if it’s a long time since they’ve seen the Sun,” says artist Martin Andersen. “They’re a little obsessed with it.” Possibly, he speculates, it’s because for approximately half the …

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Femtech startup Elvie raises $6 million for its kegel tracker

In Business, Government, Healthcare, Mobile Technology, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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Pelvic floor muscles aren’t the “sexiest” part of a woman’s intimacy, but they are crucial to her sexual health and well-being. Kegel exercises, which help maintain these muscles, aren’t new, but Elvie found a way to make them slightly more amusing by developing a kegel tracker connected wirelessly to an app. The London-based startup announced today that is has raised an additional $6 million in funding. Pelvic floor problems, such as urinary incontinence, can occur when the pelvic floor muscles are stretched, weakened, or too tight. Although women can experience this at an early age, it’s usually more common after certain life stages such as pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause. “When healthy and toned, the pelvic floor is vital as it …

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Mythic raises $8.8 million to put AI on a chip

In Business, Emerging Technology, Government, Healthcare, Science & Nature, Security, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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While there’s no shortage of hype surrounding artificial intelligence, there’s also no shortage of companies seeking to harness its potential. Mythic is one of them, and it claims to be taking a different approach than the others. The Austin, Texas-based startup wants to move away from the cloud and a dependence on network connections by putting AI-on-a-chip inside smart devices like security cameras and health wearables. DFJ believes in the potential of this approach to AI and led an $8.8 million round that was announced today. The startup has developed both software and microchips to make its AI smarter and faster. Today, artificial neural networks need big server racks powered by graphics processing units (GPUs) to handle complex algorithms. Mythic …

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Baidu chief scientist Andrew Ng is stepping down, Haifeng Wang will lead expanded AI group

In Business, Education, Government, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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Andrew Ng, who joined Chinese search company Baidu as its chief scientist after contributing to the creation of Google’s Google Brain artificial intelligence (AI) research group, today announced that he will be leaving Baidu. The company will consolidate existing research groups under a new leader, Haifeng Wang. “Baidu’s AI is incredibly strong, and the team is stacked up and down with talent; I am confident AI at Baidu will continue to flourish,” Ng wrote in a Medium post. “After Baidu, I am excited to continue working toward the AI transformation of our society and the use of AI to make life better for everyone.” Very grateful to Baidu, Robin Li, Lu Qi, Lin Yuanqing, Adam Coates, many others, including everyone …

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Drone-hunting machines aim to counter aerial threats

In Business, Emerging Technology, Government, Legal, Science & Nature, Security, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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(Reuters) – The enemy drone whined in the distance. The Interceptor, a drone-hunting machine from Silicon Valley startup Airspace Systems, slinked off its launch pad and dashed away in hot pursuit. The hunter twisted through the air to avoid trees, homed in on its target, fired a Kevlar net to capture it, and then carried the rogue drone back to its base like a bald eagle with a kill. Airspace is among some 70 companies working on counter-drone systems as small consumer and commercial drones proliferate. But unlike others, it aims to catch drones instead of disabling them or shooting them down. A demonstration at Airspace headquarters in San Leandro, California, showed a compact aircraft just a few feet wide, …

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How AI startups and tech giants collaborate to do good deeds

In Business, Gaming, Government, Healthcare, Mobile Technology, Science & Nature, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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AI startups have discovered there’s value to partnering with tech giants like Intel, Google, and IBM. Entrepreneurs bring the domain expertise, ingenuity, and passion, while large enterprises provide the unparalleled compute and storage capabilities critical to building modern AI systems. “Ninety percent of the world’s supercomputers run on Intel technology,” Diane Bryant, who leads Intel’s Data Center Group, told me at SXSW. “And 95 percent of artificial intelligence solutions run on Intel Xeon and Xeon Phi processors.” Graphics processing units (GPUs), once popular mainly with gamers chasing visual performance, inside computers represent images as matrices. Turns out the deep neural nets that power our current AI craze also depend heavily on matrix operations, making GPUs suddenly very useful for AI research. Nvidia’s stock …

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No. 200: A med-tech summit, floating turbines and the microwave turns 50 (but careful, it’s listening)

In Business, Emerging Technology, Government, Healthcare, Legal, Science & Nature, Start Up by Innovate LILeave a Comment

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It’s Tuesday out there: Hope your week is off to a great start. It’s March 21, the first day after the equinox, meaning today’s day will be longer than yesterday’s night. Which is nice. Welcome new readers Paul, two Lauras, Linda, Jonathan, Clifford and Gil. If you’re up early enough, we’re gathering at Crest Hollow for the Innovator of the Year awards breakfast. Record crowd, plus science jokes and sticky buns. Come if you can. (But we’re done by 10.) Irrepressible ad man, “Tonight Show” scribe and wannabe music man Howard Blankman has passed, at 91. (Jimmy Breslin and Chuck Berry round out the threesome.) Pro bono pros: Farrell Fritz has been named a top three law firm for access to justice by the …

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Miami-Based Rokk3r Labs Launches Rokk3r Fuel Venture Capital Group

In Business, Events, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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MIAMI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–March 21, 2017– Rokk3r Labs, the Miami-based venture builder, today announced the launch of Rokk3r Fuel, a dedicated investment fund designed to give investors access to Rokk3r Labs’ proprietary approach of identifying and co-building innovative, new companies. Rokk3r Fuel is led by founding partners Jeff Ransdell and Jonas Tempel in partnership with Rokk3r Labs managing founders Nabyl Charania and Germán Montoya. “We see Miami as a growing international destination and hub for entrepreneurs throughout the U.S., Latin America, Western Europe and Northern Africa,” said Germán Montoya, co-founder of Rokk3r Labs. “Jeff and Jonas bring a unique combination of experience and expertise in entrepreneurship and investing at the most established levels. We are thrilled to have them connecting investors to …

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Wal-Mart launches incubator lab to house startups

In Business, Emerging Technology, Start Up by Newsday Technology NewsLeave a Comment

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(AP) — Wal-Mart is launching an incubator lab focused on projects in robotics, virtual and augmented reality, and artificial intelligence as it aims to compete more aggressively with Amazon. The so-called Store No. 8 will be located in Silicon Valley and marks the latest attempt by the company’s new head of e-commerce operations, Marc Lore, to speed up innovation at the company. Wal-Mart… Content Preview This content is exclusive for Optimum, Time Warner® and Comcast® customers with access to News 12. Already registered or an Optimum customer?Log in

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Olga Kay, chatbot fatigue, and the power of finding your niche — VB Engage

In Business, Emerging Technology, Government, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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In this week’s episode, Stewart and Travis discover that AI and chatbots are a roller coaster. On the ride to the top, a new bot marketing company promises to close the loop and help chatbots pay their way, while on the rapid drop Facebook is pulling back from chatbots after news of massive failure rates. Our interview this week is with the irrepressible Olga Kay, one of the original YouTube stars and founder of MooshWalks, who teaches us a thing or two about how to find your niche and leverage it for incredible success. It’s an interview you won’t want to miss. By listening to this episode of VB Engage, you will hear: Welcome to VB Engage episode 44! [0:10] …

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Reason Launches World’s First Experiential Platform for Emerging Technologies

In Business, Emerging Technology, Government, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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Reason, a startup that promotes adoption of exciting technological advances, is launching a new platform to gamify discovery in a team-based sci-fi adventure SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–March 21, 2017– Reason, the startup that builds physical sci-fi adventure for teams to experience difficult-to-access technologies – drones, holograms, Virtual Reality, robotics, 3D printing and more – is announcing its official launch. The company gives people access to experimental gear they would do not normally experience, providing inspiration and broadening horizons. Reason works like a game, one which sees players enjoy all the offerings of its Future Technology Escape Room. Aimed at everyone from HR leaders conducting team building days to the simply curious, throughout the experience, Reason puts various gadgets in the hands …

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At Trump's D.C. Hotel, A U.S.-Turkey Relations Conference Stirs Up Ethics Questions

In Business, Education, Government, Legal, Security, Start Up by National Public RadioLeave a Comment

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Enlarge this image The annual conference has taken place in recent years at Washington’s Ritz-Carlton hotel, but is scheduled this May for the Trump International Hotel. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP hide caption toggle caption Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP This spring, the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., will host a three-day event co-hosted by a business group. That’s not unusual. But here’s what is: The group’s chair founded the company that paid President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, for lobbying work that may have benefited the Turkish government. This mashup of money involving Turks, Flynn and Trump has concerned ethics experts who worry about a “pay-to-play” atmosphere in Washington. Here are the basics: What: The 36th Annual Conference on U.S.-Turkey …

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COMPTROLLER MARAGOS ANNOUNCES 5TH ANNUAL HIGH SCHOOL BUSINESS CHALLENGE

In Business, Education, Finance, Government, Healthcare, Mobile Technology, Security, Start Up by Nassau County GovernmentLeave a Comment

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Mineola, NY: Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos is proud to announce that the Office of the Nassau County Comptroller will be hosting its 5th Annual “Nassau County High School Comptroller’s Business Challenge” on April 4th. The Competition will feature many of the area High Schools and over 200 students are expected to participate and present their ideas for multi-billion future businesses. This year, students have been challenged to conceptualize or develop and bring to market an APP with mass appeal in the field of healthcare, public safety or homeland security.  “We want to motivate and excite our young entrepreneurs to dream up the next SnapChat,” said Comptroller George Maragos. “The ideas of young adults are usually the best source for …

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Rocket Lab raises $75 million to conduct weekly satellite launches

In Business, Government, Science & Nature, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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Today, businesses seeking to send small satellites into space must rely heavily on larger space deliveries, which only happen about a dozen times a year. Rocket Lab wants to fix that by providing weekly launches for small, private satellites, and it has amassed $75 million in additional investment to do so. “Over the past few years, America has gone to space between 18 to 20 times a year on average,” wrote Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck, in an email to VentureBeat. “That includes all launch service providers combined.” The startup claims it would be capable of carrying out 60 percent of those payloads. Beck’s solution is Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle, which runs on a 3D printed, battery-powered …

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Hyperloop startup releases cryptic images meant to prove that hyperloop is definitely real

In Business, Mobile Technology, Start Up by The VergeLeave a Comment

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Hyperloop startup releases cryptic images meant to prove that hyperloop is definitely real – The Vergeclockmenumore-arrow (function(d) { try { if (localStorage.getItem(‘chorus-fonts-0b50f0674bed2b66b24a77410eb3f99c’) === ‘yes’) { d.documentElement.className += ‘ fonts-loaded’; } } catch (e) {} var fontUrls = [“https://fonts.voxmedia.com/unison/stylesheets/verge.1d37918fdeeb1febc4d68217382a1e72.css”]; var ss = d.styleSheets; for (var i=0; i -1) { ss[i].ownerNode.media = ‘all’; fontUrls.splice(idx, 1); } } if (fontUrls.length > 0) { setTimeout(onload, 0); } } onload(); })(document); var chorusInitQueue=[],volume_embed_host=”https://volume.vox-cdn.com”;var Chorus=Chorus||{};Chorus.windowLoaded=!1,Chorus.AddScript=function(o,n){var t=document.createElement(“script”);t.async=!0,t.type=”text/javascript”,t.src=o,”function”==typeof n&&(t.onload=n);var e=document.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0];return e.parentNode.insertBefore(t,e),t},Chorus.ready=function(o){“loading”!=document.readyState?o():document.addEventListener?document.addEventListener(“DOMContentLoaded”,o):document.attachEvent(“onreadystatechange”,function(){“loading”!=document.readyState&&o()})},Chorus.OnLoad=function(o){if(Chorus.windowLoaded=!0)return void o();var n=window.onload;”function”!=typeof window.onload?window.onload=o:window.onload=function(){n(),o()}},Chorus.OnLoad(function(){Chorus.windowLoaded=!0}); dataLayer = [{“Network”:”theverge”,”Community”:”theverge”,”GA Primary ID”:”UA-26533115-1″,”GA CrossDomains”:”theverge.com”,”Content ID”:”14748123″,”Entry Groups”:”front-page:transportation:hyperloop”,”Story Streams”:”4380833″,”Author”:”Andrew J. Hawkins”,”Last Time Updated”:”2017-03-21 09:00″,”Hour of Update”:”09″,”Publish Date”:”2017-03-21 09:00″,”Hour of Publish”:”09″,”Demand Post”:”no”,”All Chorus Categories”:”theverge:theverge:front-page:transportation:hyperloop:4380833″,”Content Type”:”article”,”chartbeat_domain”:”theverge.com”,”chartbeat_zone”:”172968584/verge”,”chartbeat_authors”:”Andrew J. Hawkins”,”Logged in Status”:”Logged Out”,”Day of Week”:”tuesday”,”Hour of Day”:”09″}]; window._umbel = window._umbel || []; (function() { var d = …

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SoftBank invests $300 million in shared-office space startup WeWork

In Business, Government, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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(Reuters) — SoftBank Group Corp has invested $300 million in shared-office space company WeWork, the first installment of a multi-billion-dollar bet, according to a source familiar with the matter. SoftBank, the Japanese telecommunications and internet company, has made bold and wide-ranging bets in the technology industry, including India ride-service company Ola, San Francisco-based financial services startup SoFi and Virginia-based satellite communications startup OneWeb. The WeWork investment is just the first tranche of a much larger funding round that is expected to total about $3 billion, according to the person familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity. While this first round of funding comes from SoftBank itself, the remainder of the cash is expected to come from SoftBank’s …

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Walmart is bringing a tech incubator to Silicon Valley

In Business, Emerging Technology, Government, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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Walmart wants to drastically speed up its development of retail tech. To do that, the discount retailer announced on Monday it was launching Store No 8, an innovation cluster whose entrepreneurs will be free from the diktats of its Bentonville, Arkansas headquarters and Wall Street’s short attention span, to develop the retail tech Walmart needs in order to modernize over the next five to ten years. And, more crucially, the tech is aimed at helping it fight back against rivals like Amazon.com. Store No 8 will be located in Silicon Valley and will house startups wholly owned by Walmart but run independently. It’s the latest manifestation of the new, dynamic culture Walmart is looking to instill into its e-commerce strategy …

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Fabric raises $2.5 million to simplify life insurance

In Business, Government, Healthcare, Mobile Technology, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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Parents’ worry for their children often leads them to what should be a simple decision: life insurance. But the process can be complex and expensive. Fabric wants to change that by providing a straightforward, mobile solution, that bypasses commission-driven insurance agents. The Brooklyn-based startup launched today and announced a seed round of $2.5 million led by Bessemer Venture Partners. Fabric, which is fully-licensed as an insurance agency, built an entirely digital process where customers can purchase policies issued directly from Vantis Life, an insurance company. “If customers ever have a question, we offer support from licensed insurance agents,” wrote Adam Erlebacher, cofounder and CEO of Fabric, in an email to VentureBeat. “Most other insurance websites funnel inquiries to insurance agents …

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French adtech startup Teads acquired by Altice in deal valued at $308 million

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French telecom giant Altice announced today it will acquire Teads, a video adtech startup, in a deal worth $308 million. “We are excited to start this new phase of Teads and become part of the internationally renowned Altice team,” said Pierre Chappaz, founder and executive chairman of Teads, in a statement. “Since our inception we have strived to offer our clients with superior advertising solutions based on measurable performance and technological innovation. More to come.

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Ida Tin’s Battle to Build Clue, a Period-Tracking App

In Business, Government, Healthcare, Start Up by New YorkerLeave a Comment

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Tin says that, when it comes to menstruation-related products, and technologies catering to women’s health more broadly, “there’s still a social taboo.”CreditILLUSTRATION BY SIMONE NORONHA Ida Tin wanted to build an app to help women track their periods. For months, she went door to door, pitching the concept to early-stage investors in Berlin, London, New York, and Silicon Valley. Often, Tin, a soft-spoken thirty-seven-year-old from Copenhagen with cerulean-framed glasses, was the only woman in the room. Many potential investors balked at the notion of software with inputs for levels of menstrual bleeding, breast tenderness, and sex drive, or the capacity to digitally share windows of ovulation with a partner. Time and again, Tin told me, the men sitting across from …

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Forget stickers: iMessage’s top 15 apps and games

In Business, Education, Mobile Technology, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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About six months ago, Apple launched the iMessage App Store, which allowed developers to create iMessage apps and allowed existing apps to create iMessage extensions. iMessage apps can help people do things like share Airbnb listings, plan a night out, and shop together with a group, all inside iMessage. Since the launch of iOS 10 and the iMessage App Store in September 2016, nearly 5,000 apps have been listed. While that’s a rate of growth on par with the iOS app ecosystem, new app growth is slowing, according to Sensor Tower analysis. Games and entertainment make up more than 40 percent of the iMessage App Store. Other popular app categories include social networking (6.4 percent), photo and video (5.4 percent), and utilities (9.2 percent). The best apps in the …

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The emerging business strategies for monetizing virtual reality

In Business, Government, Healthcare, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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A lot of people love the experience of virtual reality, but not many have figured out the business side of it. The fledgling medium for games, entertainment, and many other applications has sprouted a lot of startups, but not much revenues yet. But where there’s investment, there’s likely to be profits. Or so the VR believers say. We explored how to make money in VR in a panel at the recent Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Nelson Rodriguez, director of games industry marketing at Akamai, moderated the panel. The panelists included Dean Takahashi, lead writer for GamesBeat at VentureBeat (yes, me); Mihir Shah, CEO of Immersv, a mobile VR advertising network; and Arnaud Dazin, cofounder of ADVR. Here’s an …

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Madrona Venture Group Announces Two New Investment Professionals

In Business, Education, Finance, Government, Security, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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Maria Karaivanova Joins as Principal and Alice Ryder as Director of Investor Relations and Business Development SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–March 20, 2017– Madrona Venture Group, an early-stage venture capital firm, announced today two new additions to the team. Maria Karaivanova is joining Madrona as a Principal focused on sourcing and evaluating new investment opportunities, working with portfolio companies to explore and evaluate business strategies and developing investment themes for the firm. Alice Ryder is joining as Director of Investor Relations and Business Development and will work with Madrona’s investors, as well as continue to develop Madrona’s program for connecting C-level executives with portfolio companies for partnerships, customer relationships and advisory roles. Each brings a deep background of business, technology and finance experience …

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Some business advocates oppose GOP health plan

In Business, Emerging Technology, Government, Healthcare, Legal, Start Up by Long Island Business NewsLeave a Comment

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Some small business advocates warn that a Republican plan to revamp health care could stifle entrepreneurship. A Congressional Budget Office report has increased opposition to the bill that would replace the Affordable Care Act enacted under the Obama administration. The CBO said last week that the bill, which GOP leaders hope to bring to a House vote this week, would result in 14 million people losing coverage next year, and 24 million by 2026. Citing a January Treasury Department report, the Small Business Majority says the GOP plan, which is supported by President Donald Trump, could deter would-be small business owners from starting companies. The Treasury said one in five people who bought insurance on exchanges created under the ACA …

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Akeneo raises $13 million to improve ecommerce product management

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Akeneo has raised $13 million to expand its product information management software for ecommerce companies. The round comes from Partech Ventures and Alven Capital. Founded in France in 2013 and now based in Boston, Akeneo provides open-source software for managing products akin to customer relationship management software. It brings together detailed, high-quality data about products across sales channels, helping manufacturers and ecommerce companies better manage and market products, improve conversion rates, enhance search engine optimization, and increase productivity. The Akeneo PIM solution also makes it possible to scale and customize ecommerce initiatives far more rapidly. “We work with many brands and distributors that are in the process of moving their operations definitively into the ecommerce world,” said Akeneo CEO and cofounder Frédéric de Gombert, in a statement. ”Our …

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Techstars brings its startup accelerator to Paris in partnership with Partech Ventures

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Renowned startup accelerator Techstars is launching in Paris with a new 13-week program kicking off later this year. Founded out of Boulder, Colorado in 2006, Techstars has expanded its global footprint over the past decade to include 27 accelerators spread across the U.S., Europe, and Africa, with existing E.U. hubs in London and Berlin. That it’s adding Paris to its international roster is notable, as it comes as the French capital strives to capitalize on Brexit and woo fledgling fintech startups based in London. The Techstars program will be based in the Partech Shaker, a startup campus established in 2014 by Partech Ventures, a VC firm set up in 1982 with hubs in Paris, San Francisco, and Berlin. Partech Ventures recently closed a new $108 …

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Bacteria Are Brewing Up the Next Generation of Antivenoms

In Education, Events, Finance, Healthcare, Science & Nature, Start Up by Wired NewsLeave a Comment

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Daniel Dempsey was a grad student stationed in the jungles of Monteverde, Costa Rica when he first encountered the danger of a snakebite. The biologist was walking through the forest one day, catching bats to study them for malaria, when he almost stepped on the black, arrow-shaped head of an enormous pit viper—a fer-de-lance. That night as he described his encounter to the local family he was staying with, they began to tear up. They told him that earlier that year a “terciopelo,” what Costa Ricans call their country’s deadliest snake, had bitten the family’s five year-old niece. The hospital, a few hours drive away, didn’t have any antivenom in their stocks. She didn’t make it. It was Dempsey’s memory of …

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Jeff Bezos looks a little too happy piloting a giant mechanical robot

In Business, Emerging Technology, Mobile Technology, Science & Nature, Start Up by The VergeLeave a Comment

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Jeff Bezos looks a little too happy piloting a giant mechanical robot – The Vergeclockmenumore-arrow (function(d) { try { if (localStorage.getItem(‘chorus-fonts-0b50f0674bed2b66b24a77410eb3f99c’) === ‘yes’) { d.documentElement.className += ‘ fonts-loaded’; } } catch (e) {} var fontUrls = [“https://fonts.voxmedia.com/unison/stylesheets/verge.1d37918fdeeb1febc4d68217382a1e72.css”]; var ss = d.styleSheets; for (var i=0; i -1) { ss[i].ownerNode.media = ‘all’; fontUrls.splice(idx, 1); } } if (fontUrls.length > 0) { setTimeout(onload, 0); } } onload(); })(document); var chorusInitQueue=[],volume_embed_host=”https://volume.vox-cdn.com”;var Chorus=Chorus||{};Chorus.windowLoaded=!1,Chorus.AddScript=function(o,n){var t=document.createElement(“script”);t.async=!0,t.type=”text/javascript”,t.src=o,”function”==typeof n&&(t.onload=n);var e=document.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0];return e.parentNode.insertBefore(t,e),t},Chorus.ready=function(o){“loading”!=document.readyState?o():document.addEventListener?document.addEventListener(“DOMContentLoaded”,o):document.attachEvent(“onreadystatechange”,function(){“loading”!=document.readyState&&o()})},Chorus.OnLoad=function(o){if(Chorus.windowLoaded=!0)return void o();var n=window.onload;”function”!=typeof window.onload?window.onload=o:window.onload=function(){n(),o()}},Chorus.OnLoad(function(){Chorus.windowLoaded=!0}); dataLayer = [{“Network”:”theverge”,”Community”:”theverge”,”GA Primary ID”:”UA-26533115-1″,”GA CrossDomains”:”theverge.com”,”Content ID”:”14743661″,”Entry Groups”:”front-page:tldr:tech:robot”,”Author”:”James Vincent”,”Last Time Updated”:”2017-03-20 05:32″,”Hour of Update”:”05″,”Publish Date”:”2017-03-20 05:28″,”Hour of Publish”:”05″,”Demand Post”:”no”,”All Chorus Categories”:”theverge:theverge:front-page:tldr:tech:robot”,”Content Type”:”article”,”chartbeat_domain”:”theverge.com”,”chartbeat_zone”:”172968584/verge/tldr”,”chartbeat_authors”:”James Vincent”,”Logged in Status”:”Logged Out”,”Day of Week”:”monday”,”Hour of Day”:”05″}]; window._umbel = window._umbel || []; (function() { var d = new Date(); d.setDate(d.getDate() + …

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Uber president Jeff Jones quits, deepening turmoil

In Business, Government, Legal, Security, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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(Reuters) – Ride services company Uber Technologies has been thrust deeper into turmoil with the departure of company president Jeff Jones, a marketing expert hired to help soften its often abrasive image. Jones quit less than seven months after joining the San Francisco company, an Uber spokesman said on Sunday. In a statement to Reuters, Jones said he could not continue as president of a business with which he was incompatible. “I joined Uber because of its mission, and the challenge to build global capabilities that would help the company mature and thrive long term,” Jones said. “It is now clear, however, that the beliefs and approach to leadership that have guided my career are inconsistent with what I saw …

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Why the startup accelerator is failing robotics

In Business, Emerging Technology, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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Just like humans, companies have life cycles and undergo distinct developmental phases. While every company is unique, almost all go through certain stages with specific challenges and needs. As a result, organizations such as incubators, accelerators, and co-working spaces have been established to help entrepreneurs nurture and scale their companies. For less capital-intensive organizations, such as software and app startups like AirBnB, Dropbox, and Uber, this incubator-to-accelerator-to co-working space model has proven to be extremely effective. But for “tough tech” startups like robotics or biomedical there are many barriers to entry and stumbling blocks that traditional startup support organizations are not equipped to handle. Over the last few years, we have begun to see a growing need for a similar …

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Uber President Quits Amid Company Turmoil

In Business, Events, Government, Security, Start Up by National Public RadioLeave a Comment

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Enlarge this image Former Target CMO Jeff Jones was hired by Uber to help support the embattled company’s reputation. Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Target hide caption toggle caption Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Target After six months as president of Uber, Jeff Jones is leaving the embattled ride-hailing company, Uber confirms. “We want to thank Jeff for his six months at the company and wish him all the best,” an Uber spokesperson says in a statement. Jones, previously Target’s chief marketing officer, was brought on by Kalanick last fall to boost Uber’s reputation. Though Uber has long held its reputation as an aggressive startup, the company has been battling current controversies, ranging from sexual harassment allegations to CEO Travis Kalanick’s abrasive …

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A physician’s open letter to health tech startups

In Education, Government, Healthcare, Science & Nature, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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Physicians across America feel that we were either left off the guest list or have been invited late to the party, too late to change things. We’d like to receive an invitation from you — the developers of digital healthcare tools — early in the development process. We want to help you help us help people. With the rise of chronic disease and the need for continuous connected care, time is of the essence. We’d like to be a part of the innovation process that will transform how we practice medicine. While many new technologies work well after the period of adaptation, leaving end-users (physicians) out of the product development process leads to unanticipated problems such as unintuitive and frustrating …

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Why U.S. hardware startups will start moving to China

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Hardware startups seem to be “in” one minute and “out” the next in Silicon Valley. For years, venture capitalists wouldn’t go near hardware startups. They were, as Wired put it, “the ugly stepchild of venture capital.” This started to shift a couple years ago thanks to cheaper parts, rapid prototyping, and crowdfunding. However, the tide is turning once again. VC investments in hardware now seem to be slowing. We’re seeing a drop in funding to IoT, for example, and fewer deals in smart home hardware. We’ve also seen some big failures in consumer hardware. Take Lily, a drone startup that raised $34 million in preorders in 2015 and announced in January that it will not be going into production. Or …

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How Parkopedia became a parking data powerhouse

In Business, Education, Emerging Technology, Finance, Government, Mobile Technology, Science & Nature, Security, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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“It didn’t take a genius to realize that if I couldn’t find any useful online information for finding parking in San Francisco, then drivers in Paris, Shanghai, and thousands of other cities around the globe were probably also struggling with the exact same problem,” explained Eugene Tsyrklevich, founder and CEO of London-based parking platform Parkopedia, in an interview with VentureBeat. It was way back in 2007, during the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco, that Tsyrklevich tried to find a place to park his rental car before his arrival at the event. But after Googling for reliable parking information for the Moscone Center, he came up blank. So he left home earlier than should otherwise have been necessary and circled the block several times …

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Magic Leap, the virtual reality backlash and the arc of technology

In Business, Gaming, Government, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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Magic Leap has drawn more than $1.4 billion in investment. There’s also some troubling reports regarding demos and delays that are getting a lot of press. I know a game designer who works there, and I still believe they could pull it off. But when a Google search for “magic leap fail” turns up about 670,000 results, one has to admit that the prospect of failure exists. It’s not just Magic Leap who faces failure. The total shipments in 2016 for VR gear has disappointed a number of people in and outside the sector. Why all the press?  Think about NASCAR automobile racing.  The most popular answer to the Quora question “Why do people watch NASCAR?” is: “Crashes, mostly. I know that …

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MacroSolve: Donald Trump Jr.’s favorite patent enforcer

In Business, Education, Finance, Gaming, Government, Legal, Mobile Technology, Security, Start Up by Ars TechnicaLeave a Comment

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Enlarge / Donald Trump’s sons, Donald Trump Jr. (L) and Eric Trump, walk in Trump Tower on November 14, 2016 in New York City. They will be in charge of the Trump Organization’s myriad businesses while Donald Trump is president. Getty Images reader comments 77 Share this story Before President Donald Trump took the oath of office in January, he handed off management of the Trump Organization’s business interests to his two eldest sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump. The family-owned company has been in various lines of business over the years—most famously, there are hotels, casinos, and golf resorts, some owned and others licensed. Ties, steaks, and a controversial seminar business have also borne the Trump name. But Donald Trump Jr. has …

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Our new (mixed) reality: Early adopters have become HoloLens believers at work

In Business, Education, Events, Government, Mobile Technology, Science & Nature, Start Up by Ars TechnicaLeave a Comment

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Enlarge / Increasingly, businesses are adding this ol’ thing to their workflow. Luka Kojima St-Laurent / Finger Food reader comments 78 Share this story It’s been roughly two years since Microsoft unveiled its augmented/mixed reality (AR/MR) HoloLens headset and about one year since the first publicly available dev kits went on sale. But ever since launching this impressive piece of tech, Microsoft has instead seemed content with letting Virtual Reality (VR) take the limelight. Take its recent Creators Update presentation in October as an example. Microsoft revealed tons of upcoming 3D functionality to benefit both VR and AR, but the headlines came when the company announced hardware OEMs like HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, and Acer would be making VR headsets of …

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WebVR isn’t sexy, but it will change the game for VR this year

In Business, Events, Mobile Technology, Science & Nature, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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Events have taken a dramatic turn since I published an article last September on how WebVR, the JavaScript API that allows immersive VR experiences to be played straight from your web browser, will make virtual reality massively available. Back then the only big player that was generating some appreciable degree of buzz was the pioneer itself, Mozilla, with their WebVR open source library, A-Frame. But in the past several months news began to roll out from the likes of Google, Samsung, Microsoft, and Oculus, each giant announcing advances in powering up their browsers with WebVR. “We are now capable of creating VR content that is available on the most widespread medium in existence by simply sharing a URL,” Diego Gonzalez, …

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Can AI stamp out fake news?

In Business, Government, Science & Nature, Security, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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During the recent U.S. Presidential election, it became clear that both the left and right were using the Internet and social media to disseminate false information using a new form of insidious propaganda: “fake news.” Nearly in real-time and at little cost to the campaigns, organizations and individuals were able to post fake news stories on news sites, social media, and blogs that looked and felt legitimate. Millions of people saw these stories and may have been influenced by what they read. As President Barack Obama stated in a joint press conference with German Chancellor Merkel: “If we are not serious about facts and what’s true and what’s not — and particularly in an age of social media where so many people are …

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What kind of experience should virtual reality deliver?

In Business, Events, Government, Healthcare, Science & Nature, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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Virtual reality is in its infancy, and we’re still trying to figure out what kind of experience it can deliver for the masses, at an affordable price. So we assembled some people who are thinking about this every day, as they try to figure out the next few decades of this new medium. I moderated a panel on “Virtual Reality Entertainment Experiences” at the close of the Experiential Technology Conference this week in San Francisco. The event, organized by Zack Lynch, was all about how digital technology and neuroscience are coming together to improve human life. Our panel included Margaret Wallace, CEO of Playmatics; Theresa Duringer, cofounder of Temple Gates Games; Noah Falstein, chief game designer at Google; and Shiraz …

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Why Samsung wants to build a ‘corporate-wide AI voice system’

In Business, Gaming, Government, Mobile Technology, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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Samsung’s reach stretches across nearly every part of the home, from appliances to televisions, computers, tablets, light bulbs, and smartphones. And the company isn’t stopping there — it’s also extending itself into third-party connected devices through its SmartThings offering. And as it builds out an ecosystem for the home, the next step is to offer a way for consumers to communicate with the devices in a way that feels normal. “At a greater level, you have to think about how to make the voice technology easy to use and user-friendly so everyone embraces the technology,” remarked Won-Jin Lee, Samsung’s executive vice president for its video display business. In an interview with VentureBeat, he explained the way to accomplish this is with …

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The Scrolls from the Dead Sea

In Business, Education, Events, Finance, Gaming, Government, Legal, Science & Nature, Security, Start Up by New YorkerLeave a Comment

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Gerald Lankester Harding sorts fragments of manuscript in the Palestine Archaeological Museum at Jerusalem, 1953.CreditPhotograph by Ronald Startup / Stringer / Getty At some point rather early in the spring of 1947, a Bedouin boy called Muhammed the Wolf was minding some goats near a cliff on the western shore of the Dead Sea. Climbing up after one that had strayed, he noticed a cave that he had not seen before, and he idly threw a stone into it. There was an unfamiliar sound of breakage. The boy was frightened and ran away. But he later came back with another boy, and together they explored the cave. Inside were several tall clay jars, among fragments of other jars. They took …

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Alexa is not coming to an office near you

In Business, Emerging Technology, Government, Mobile Technology, Science & Nature, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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If you’ve recently had your first interaction with a voice-based personal assistant like Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri, you might get the sense that artificial intelligence is just a few years away from being able to talk and act like a human. It will soon be capable of managing our schedules, troubleshooting technical issues, or even holding conversation. According to a recent Wall Street Journal piece titled “Alexa and Cortana May Be Heading to the Office,” many businesses share that hope. One startup profiled in the piece uses “an Amazon Echo attached to the office ceiling for such tasks as adding events to their calendars,” while another is building a virtual assistant to set meetings on behalf of human users. …

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Warner Bros. names game veteran Russell Arons as Machinima boss

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Warner Bros. said it has named Russell Arons as general manager of Machinima, the digital video entertainment company that Warner acquired in November. Arons was previously senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. She will run Machinima, a multi-platform programming service with a global community of gamer, comic, and hero fans. She will work with Chad Gutstein, Machinima’s current CEO, on a multi-week transition plan, after which he’ll leave the company to pursue entrepreneurial projects. In her new role, Arons will lead all of Machinima’s creative, marketing services, data analytics, business development and operations, as well as the Machinima network. “Russell is a terrific creative executive with exceptional audience experience and brand building capabilities,” said Craig Hunegs, president of business and strategy …

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The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind the Trump Presidency

In Business, Education, Events, Finance, Government, Healthcare, Legal, Science & Nature, Security, Start Up by New YorkerLeave a Comment

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Last month, when President Donald Trump toured a Boeing aircraft plant in North Charleston, South Carolina, he saw a familiar face in the crowd that greeted him: Patrick Caddell, a former Democratic political operative and pollster who, for forty-five years, has been prodding insurgent Presidential candidates to attack the Washington establishment. Caddell, who lives in Charleston, is perhaps best known for helping Jimmy Carter win the 1976 Presidential race. He is also remembered for having collaborated with his friend Warren Beatty on the 1998 satire “Bulworth.” In that film, a kamikaze candidate abandons the usual talking points and excoriates both the major political parties and the media; voters love his unconventionality, and he becomes improbably popular. If the plot sounds …

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Y Combinator-backed Xix.ai wants to predict what you’ll do next on your phone

In Business, Government, Legal, Mobile Technology, Science & Nature, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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The other night I checked my phone and I had a Facebook Messenger notification from Emil Mikhailov, cofounder and chief executive of 1-year-old startup Xix.ai. Attached was a screenshot of his Android homescreen. In the middle was a card showing his meeting the next morning with a prominent Silicon Valley investor. Beneath it were buttons for directions to the meeting and the email thread associated with the calendar event. And still below that were eight apps that the launcher thought would be most relevant to him at that moment. “I absolutely love it!” wrote Mikhailov. “It shows me my upcoming event and associated action items.” By “it” he was referring to Xix One, the Android launcher he and his team …

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Why Spotify could be about to limit some music to its Premium service

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Less than two weeks after Spotify passed the 50 million paid subscriber mark, reports are now surfacing that the music-streaming giant is considering putting more limits in place for the free service. So far, the $9.99 monthly Spotify subscription has offered a number of additional features compared to the free incarnation, including no ads, offline access, and on-demand access to any Spotify song on mobile and desktop — free users can only access shuffle mode on their mobile phones. But now Spotify is reportedly renegotiating its deals with the record labels as it readies its IPO, which is looking increasingly likely will be next year. Part of these discussions, according to the Financial Times, has involved cutting the fees Spotify pays artists / labels …

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The DeanBeat: Experiential Technology event shows how far VR has to go

In Business, Education, Events, Government, Healthcare, Legal, Science & Nature, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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I attended the Experiential Technology Conference (XTech) in San Francisco this week to hear talks about creating virtual experiences that truly immerse you in another world. It showed me that virtual reality has only scratched the surface. I liked the event, curated by Zack Lynch of Jazz Venture Partners, because it reminded me of the long view of VR and how much of a role that research and development still has to play in it. VR has made our eyes feel like we’ve gone to someplace else, but that’s only one of our senses. We have 3D sound as well, but we need more than that to achieve real immersion, said Tal Blevins, head of media at UploadVR, in a …

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No. 199: Top chefs, wicked fast Internet and Allan Cohen is staying put

In Business, Education, Emerging Technology, Energy, Government, Healthcare, Legal, Mobile Technology, Science & Nature, Security, Start Up by Innovate LILeave a Comment

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TG it’s F: Happy Friday, everybody and enjoy the weekend. After celebrating Pi, the Ides and St. Patrick in the same week, you deserve a break. Pop quiz: Which U.S. city has the highest percentage of residents with Irish ancestry? (Answer below. No skipping ahead.) Last chance: The Innovator of the Year awards, Tuesday, March 21, Crest Hollow Country Club, 250 smart people, 40 or so cool companies, awesome sponsors and Mike Faltischek leads a tribute to Bob Catell. Oh, and sticky buns. Mmm. Alternate face: Allan Cohen, who heads Nixon Peabody’s Long Island office, finally made the cover of the New York Law Journal. His picture, anyway. The story, unfortunately, was about NYC Nixon Peabody partner Alan Cohen leaving for Holland & Knight. …

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Here’s why Irish entrepreneurs’ eyes are smiling on St. Patrick’s Day

In Business, Government, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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There are a lot of mature and emerging tech hubs around Europe now. But there remains an unusually tight link between Ireland’s tech economy and Silicon Valley. Of course, this has been controversial at times, with companies like Apple accused of using Ireland as a tax haven. But whatever the original motivations on either side, the relationship seems to have expanded considerably. In fact, 220 U.S. West Coast companies now have operations in Ireland, according to stats released today by IDA Ireland, the country’s investment agency. Among the more notable U.S. tech companies with Irish campuses: IBM, Google, Airbnb, Dropbox, Fitbit, and DocuSign. Just in the past year: Fitbit and Slack opened European HQs in Dublin. Amazon, Oracle and LinkedIn all …

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Smart, self-driving car unveiled at South by Southwest

In Business, Emerging Technology, Government, Healthcare, Mobile Technology, Science & Nature, Start Up by Long Island Business NewsLeave a Comment

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South by Southwest, the digital, music and film conference in Austin, Texas, this year showcased smart cars and attire as well as technology in the age of Donald Trump and the need for social conscience as well as social media. The conference, known as SXSW for short, has turned into a far-reaching tech festival attracting visitors and companies from around the nation, including Long Island. And it has turned into a window on the future. The digital and interactive festival portion, which opened last Saturday and continues through this Sunday, is followed by the musical festival. Twitter, which has turned into President Donald Trump’s podium and preferred means of communication, launched at this conference. While many start-ups and launches presented their …

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Checking in with Stagelink one year after the German music startup won Midemlab in Cannes

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Midemlab, the startup competition at the Midem music festival in Cannes, is getting ready to celebrate its 10th birthday this coming June. With deadlines to apply for the latest edition due March 24th, I got to thinking about last year when I served as host for the marketing-data-analytics category of the competition. The other three categories: music creation and education; music hardware; and music discovery. It was my second year at the event, which counts among its winners Soundcloud and Kickstarter back when both were just getting started. Last year, the winner in the marketing category was also one of the overall winners: Berlin-based Stagelink. Basically, Stagelink is a platform that allows performers and fans to work together to propose, plan, …

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Israeli tech firms revving up engines for self-driving cars

In Business, Start Up by Newsday Technology NewsLeave a Comment

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In this Tuesday, 14 March 2017 photo, from left: co-founder and CTO of Mobileye Prof. Amnon Shashua, Israeli Economy Minister Eli Cohen, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and the co-founder and CTO of Mobileye, Ziv Aviram, attend a press conference at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem.As the world moves toward an era of self-driving cars, Israel is positioning itself to be the Detroit of the future. The country has emerged as a global leader in the fast-growing field of driverless cars, as illustrated by Intel’s $15 billion acquisition of Israeli firm Mobileye this week. (AP Photo/Olivier Fitoussi) ***ISRAEL OUT*** (Credit: AP) (AP) — As the world moves toward an era of self-driving cars, Israel is …

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How natural language interfaces can solve workflow problems

In Business, Events, Finance, Government, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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If you’ve ever worked in a big company, you carry the scars of processes and workflows. Even in the most advanced companies, most processes are not what I would consider delightful. When presenting about UX, I ask the audience “Who here likes to do their expense reports?” — I get laughter, but no one raises their hands. Processes like expense reporting should be delightful — you paid for something and now the company pays you back! Magic! And it’s the same for many other processes — from vacation requests to promotion approvals, they should all be delightful … and yet most of them suck. In this article we will discuss why these processes are a pain, and the great opportunity that …

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Trump budget would cut Small Business Administration funding

In Business, Emerging Technology, Government, Start Up by Long Island Business NewsLeave a Comment

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The Trump administration’s budget proposal for the next fiscal year would cut Small Business Administration funding by 5 percent, eliminating some Obama administration programs aimed at creating jobs. The proposed SBA budget would total $826.5 million, the smallest of any Cabinet-level agency and $43.2 million less than it was allocated for the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. Budget cuts were aimed at programs that are redundant and whose services would be better provided by the private sector, according to the budget message issued by the Office of Management and Budget. Among the programs being eliminated are Regional Innovation Clusters, 14 networks of companies aimed at supporting small businesses in specific industries; the Program for Investment in Micro-Entrepreneur grants …

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Panel will buck the status quo at GamesBeat Summit

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Our next speakers for our upcoming GamesBeat Summit event will talk about “Bucking the status quo: Redesigning leadership for diverse talent, perspectives, and products.” They will speak at our event entitled GamesBeat Summit 2017: How games, sci-fi, and tech create real-world magic. GamesBeat Summit 2017 will take place on May 1-2 at the historic Claremont resort hotel in Berkeley, Calif., just a short distance from San Francisco. You can secure your seat here. Use “VB6” at checkout for 10 percent off. The speakers on the panel include Megan Gaiser, the CEO of Spiral Media; Rami Ismail, the cofounder of Vlambeer; Guy Bendov, the CEO of Side-kick Games; and Asra Rasheed, the producer at Disney. The moderator will be Asi Burak of Power Play. Here’s what …

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Koho’s mobile banking service for millennials launches in Canada

In Business, Finance, Mobile Technology, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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While many peer-to-peer payment and personal finance services are geared toward the U.S., a new one has emerged to buck that trend. Koho is launching to the general public — starting in every province in Canada except for Quebec — as a mobile hub to help manage people’s finances. The startup has secured a partnership with Visa to give it a boost out of the starting gate. A blend of Mint.com, Venmo, and Digit, Koho seeks to provide free banking services to millennials, while also giving consumers easily digestible and transparent access to their financial data so they know exactly were their money is going. Koho appears to be consolidating things so you no longer need several apps to accomplish these various …

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Livongo raises $52.5 million to expand its digital health platform for people with chronic conditions

In Business, Government, Healthcare, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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Consumer digital health company Livongo has raised $52.5 million in a growth round of funding led by General Catalyst and Kinnevik, with participation from Microsoft Ventures, EDBI, and American Investment Holdings. Founded in 2014, Livongo combines technology and coaching to help people manage diabetes, providing its members with real-time personalized data and support to make diabetes management easier. For example, the company makes a little connected meter that automatically uploads blood glucose readings to the cloud, with Livongo able to offer insights and coaching through the meter and associated mobile app to help users make improvements. Above: Livongo Livongo doesn’t just target individuals, it also targets big companies and health plans looking to optimize their healthcare spending. The California-based startup has now raised a whopping $142 million since its inception, …

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Makeblock raises $30 million for education robots

In Business, Education, Emerging Technology, Government, Science & Nature, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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Chinese robotics startup Makeblock has raises $30 million in a second round of funding to invest in robotics with an educational twist. Evolution Media China and Shenzhen Capital Group led the financing for Shenzhen, China-based Makeblock, which has created a variety of robots from aerial drones to manufacturing robots to toy robots. To date, Makeblock’s total funding is $36 million. The funding supports Makeblock’s expansion into new markets, as well as further product development and diversification of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education hardware, software and curriculum resources for educators, children and hobbyists. With the infusion of capital, Makeblock will expand its global offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, North America, Japan, and the Netherlands. Currently, Makeblock is available in more than 140 countries with …

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At SXSW, Tech Reckons With the Problems It Helped Create

In Business, Government, Healthcare, Legal, Mobile Technology, Security, Start Up by Wired NewsLeave a Comment

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Hangovers are a fixture of South by Southwest. Free branded booze abounds, turning late nights into too-early mornings filled with product demos and repetitive panels. But determined marketers and wide-eyed founders pitch on through the pain, in the unbridled belief they might just be SXSW’s next breakout star. Or at the very least, its next Meerkat. But this year, the conference itself feels a lot like a hangover. It’s as if the coastal elites who attend each year finally woke up with a serious case of the Sunday scaries, realizing that the many apps, platforms, and doodads SXSW has launched and glorified over the years haven’t really made the world a better place. In fact, they’ve often come with wildly …

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Backed by Rakuten, ShopChat launches mobile keyboard app with built-in shopping features

In Business, Government, Mobile Technology, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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What do you get if you cross a mobile keyboard app with an online shopping mall? This ain’t a joke — you get ShopChat, a new “message commerce” startup that’s this week announcing its launch out of stealth and a small round of funding. Founded in 2016, San Francisco-based ShopChat offers two core products. One is a downloadable iOS app (Android coming later) that serves to replace your default keyboard app and works across all major messaging apps, including  iMessage, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp, giving users a direct pipeline into shopping inventory from major retailers. It makes it easy to search for and share products with friends. The second is a white-label product that third-party apps can integrate directly into their own services via ShopChat’s …

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The Initial Coin Offering, the Bitcoin-y Stock That’s Not Stock—But Definitely a Big Deal

In Business, Finance, Government, Legal, Security, Start Up by Wired NewsLeave a Comment

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Next month, a venture capital firm called Blockchain Capital plans to do something that could change the way companies get funded—and perhaps even the way they operate. Instead of an Initial Public Offering, in which a company sells stock via a regulated exchange like Nasdaq, the San Francisco-based VC firm is making an Initial Coin Offering, selling its own digital token as a way of raising money for its latest venture fund. Anyone who buys a token will be buying into the fund. Yes, they call it an ICO, and over the last 14 months, more than 60 startups, open source projects, and ragtag online communities used this method to raise over $250 million for their own business efforts. “The …

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Rocket Internet’s Helpling raises $11 million to move beyond on-demand cleaning services

In Business, Start Up by Venture BeatLeave a Comment

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Helpling announced today a new round of investment as the on-demand cleaning service that was hatched by Rocket Internet tries to diversify its business. The Berlin-based company was launched out of Rocket back in 2014 and expanded rapidly into nine countries during its first year. The company said it has raised another $11 million in venture capital, which brings its total to $70 million. Investors in the latest round include APACIG, which led the round. The company currently operates in nine countries and said it would use the money to “expand its marketplace to include additional household services.” “Our core business model is on a clear path to profitability within the next year,” said Benedikt Franke, co-founder of Helpling, in a …

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Clean Energy Could Spark a Trade War Between the US and China

In Business, Emerging Technology, Government, Security, Start Up by Wired NewsLeave a Comment

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If you believe the geopolitical soothsayers, the US and China are headed for an economic confrontation. President Donald Trump has marked his first 100 days in office with efforts to roll back many of his predecessor’s climate-conscious programs, making business easier for fossil fuel companies, car manufacturers, and chemical companies. China is taking the opposite tack. In the past few years, China has surpassed the US in electric vehicle sales, renewable energy capacity, and recently announced it was investing $365 billion to keep the momentum going. That investment puts China in a prime position to lead the world in clean energy, selling its innovations to other countries looking to cut their energy bills. So if a trade war breaks out …

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Private companies confident, but reportedly unprepared for cyberattacks

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(Reuters) – The chief executives of some of the worlds’ leading private companies are confident about their firms’ prospects and plan to recruit more staff, but are ill-prepared for cyberattacks, according to a report by PwC on Thursday. The “Undaunted, but underprepared?” report found 86 percent of CEOs were confident about their companies revenue prospects in 2017, an increase of 5 percent from last year. That made it the first time in five years that private company bosses were more confident than public company CEOs. The report, based on responses from 781 private company CEOs in 79 countries, also found that 41 percent of private company CEOs were not concerned about cyber threats and only 68 percent were concerned about …