Beijing-based Momenta announced this morning that it raised a $46 million Series B round led by NIO Capital, Sequoia Capital China and Hillhouse Capital. Momenta produces self-driving car software that applies deep learning to mapping, path planning and object recognition problems. Shunwei Capital, Sinovation Ventures, Unity Ventures and Daimler also participated in the round. Quite a few
Synthesio is announcing its second acquisition of the year — it’s buying Social Karma, a company that uses social data to help marketers understand consumers. Back in January, Synthesio announced that it had acquired presentation software-maker Bunkr. Co-founder and CEO Loic Moisand told me that this is all part of a two-year strategy to buy
Urbanbase, a Seoul-based startup that makes virtual reality tools for interior planning and design, plans to expand in Asia after raising $1.8 million in Series A funding. Its investors are CKD Venture Capital, Magellan Technology and Capstone Partners. The company, which was founded in 2013 by CEO Jinu Ha, a former architect, has now raised
Chatbots – automated bots that let you interact with a service or brand via messaging apps or SMS – haven’t yet become breakout hits, as a group. But that hasn’t stopped investors from pouring in $8 million into a hotel booking startup called SnapTravel, which lets users find and book rooms via SMS texts and
Poland has worked diligently over the past decade to become an entrepreneurial powerhouse. Once home to businesses focused primarily on app design and outsourcing, social, societal, and economic pressures forced the country’s brightest to start building for themselves. And they did. I’ve covered Polish startups for almost a decade, first on TechCrunch and then on
A student walked up to me at an event following Monday’s TC Sessions: Robotics event in Cambridge. “I have a question for you,” he said, adding that he was a few months away from becoming a college senior. “How do I launch a successful startup?” I explained that I might not be the person at
Cabin, the sleep pod-equipped charter bus, wants to be like the Ritz Carlton, but on wheels. Last weekend, I traveled from San Francisco to Los Angeles roundtrip on Cabin. When I arrived to the bus pickup location in San Francisco, a smiley attendant greeted me. She then proceeded to check me in and stow away
Playbuzz helps online publishers make their content more interactive by adding elements like polls and galleries. Until recently, those elements have taken the form of widgets that publishers can embed into their stories, but that’s changing with the launch of Playbuzz’s new Storytelling platform, where writers are creating entire articles, not just one-off widgets. While it
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera is seeking a court order to force both Uber and Lyft to share records on driver safety, disability access and other operations, in compliance with the city attorney’s subpoenas from last month. The subpoenas, which Herrera issued on June 4, are an attempt for the city to ensure drivers for
Playkey, a game streaming service we saw earlier this year at Disrupt NY, has just closed an additional $2.8 million round of funding from Russia’s Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF). Created at the suggestion of Vladimir Putin in 2013, the IIDF has invested in 293 companies to-date with the objective to strengthen infrastructure for Russian
Want to chat with Alexa via Slack? A new bot called Silent Echo now makes that possible. The idea is that there are times when you want to interact with Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa, but you don’t want to do it by voice. For example, if things are too noisy in the room for Alexa
“Mr. Nivi has no role at the company” AngelList COO Graham Jenkin told TechCrunch in reponse to questions regarding the curious absence of the investment platform’s co-founder. It’s atypical for the creator of such a high-profile company to seemingly disappear without any form of announcement. Nivi still lists himself on LinkedIn as presently working at
Brian Rich is managing partner and co-founder of Catalyst Investors and serves on the Executive Committee for the NVCA Board of Directors. Fundraising is a stressful process. You do all you can to impress prospective investors by honing the story, optimizing key metrics and making your company look as attractive as possible. But before you
How many times have you been in an Uber or Lyft and wanted a few Advil, or a 5-hour Energy? While some enterprising ridesharing drivers occasionally try to sell essentials (or non-essentials like tablets and digital cameras), there really isn’t a structured way to facilitate this… until now. Enter Cargo, a startup that wants to
The TechCrunch Summer Party is a thing of tradition and we hope you can make it out this year. As in years past we’ll gather on the spacious grounds of August Capital in Menlo Park and enjoy an evening of cocktails and the spirit of entrepreneurship. The deck around August Capital’s office is large but
NerdWallet, a personal finance company, laid off six people from its marketing team this week, TechCrunch learned and has since confirmed with NerdWallet. This latest round of layoffs means NerdWallet has cut nine percent of its workforce this year. Back in April, NerdWallet laid off more than 40 people, which represented eight percent of their staff.
The following is a chapter from Ryan Holiday’s new book, The Perennial Seller, a fascinating look at what it takes to help books, tech projects, and art that last. In this chapter he discusses the questions that no startup founders ask before they begin work. For more background on the book I encourage you to
Desktop Metal has already earned a number of fans with its 3D printed metal technology — Lowe’s, Caterpillar and BMW were all among its earliest clients. As first noted by CNBC, the Massachusetts-based startup is also getting some healthy monetary support, adding $115 million of venture funds to its coffers this week. The Series D
It’s a big day for Workato as the startup announced a $10 million Series A, and the latest release of its workflow automation platform dubbed ‘Turing.’ The round was led by Storm Ventures with participation from strategic investors Salesforce Ventures and Workday Ventures. The four year old company has now raised a total of $16 million.
WeWork is gearing up to launch its co-working spaces in Japan, thanks to a joint-venture with SoftBank, SoftBank said today. As part of the arrangement, SoftBank and WeWork will each own 50 percent of the joint-venture, which will go by WeWork Japan. WeWork Japan’s first location will launch early next year in Tokyo. In addition
In April, automated savings startup Digit announced that in 100 days it would begin charging $2.99 a month to people using its service to set aside money for a rainy day or help pay their bills. Well, 100 days have almost passed, and it’s almost time for those changes to go into effect. For Digit,
Judy Wert is the co-founder of Wert & Company, a leading international executive search firm specializing in design – for top-tier startups and Fortune 500 corps. In this episode, she shares how she’s been recruiting the best designers for more than two decades, what she sees in the top 1 percent of designers she’s worked
Nicotine vaporizer companies have a bit of a conundrum. While, legally, they can’t market themselves as smoking cessation devices, most vapers are current or former cigarette smokers. In fact, the CDC says that fewer than 4 percent people who had never tried traditional cigarettes have ever tried using a vaporizer. I’m a smoker. It’s disgusting.
Sketchfab wants to become a sort of YouTube for 3D models and scenes. While the service started as a way to show off static 3D objects, the company has added a ton of interactive tools over time, making it a solid platform to preview virtual reality content. This week, Sketchfab added sound support. So if
As the U.S. seems to be hell-bent on making itself less attractive to immigrants and visitors, its neighbors to the north are sensing an opening and going the other way in an effort to attract the smartest tech entrepreneurs. The country launched its startup visa program a few years ago and even though growth was
Perhaps you’d like to visit an out of the way restaurant or smoke a unique cigar. Perhaps you’d like to take part in native dances or infiltrate a foreign government at a classy cocktail party. ViaHero, a new app that lets locals help plan your trips abroad, can help. The founders, Greg Buzulencia and Ben
E-books are a lot of things. Convenient. Good for the environment. Usually cheaper than printed books. One thing they’re rarely accused of is being good-looking. Ugly books is what 180g is declaring war on with a completely revamped, 2.0 version of Vellum. Oh, and in the process, they’re adding support for making wood-pulp books, too.
The old song tells us that the leg bone is connected to the hip bone, but how are we to know if the articulated cam can connect to the brushless motor? There are, sadly, no songs designed to tell us how to build robots. Luckily CMU’s Ruta Desai has us covered. His project, “Computational Abstractions
TechCrunch is coming back to Israel with a Meetup + Pitch-off in Tel Aviv because everybody had a great time last year. The event will be on June 28 at Trask, between 6-10 p.m. If you want to introduce your startup to the world, compete in the Pitch-Off. It’s a great challenge and applications are open now!
For the past few years, the Los Angeles Auto Show has hosted the Top Ten Automotive Startups competition. The event is now open for submissions through July 15, so if you’ve got an automotive app, service or cool bit of tech, now’s your chance. The 10 winners will be featured at the LAAS Automobility Technology