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Thursday, July 2, 2015

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Read This Before Meeting VCs For Pre-Pitch "Advice"

Jul 02, 3:00PM

footindoor Startups often ask VCs for pre-pitch meetings. These requests usually are positioned along the lines of, “We aren’t looking for money yet, just advice.” Of course, we all know this is just a nice way of getting your foot in the door for a soft pitch. And that’s ok; these meetings enable both sides to get acquainted before the real ask. However, when startups come… Read More

Twitter Pushes Ads With A New Button Atop Mobile Users' Profiles

Jul 02, 2:19PM

twitter-earnings Twitter’s latest push to monetize its service has led to the rollout of a new “Twitter Ads” button, which is now prominently appearing on user profile pages on both the iOS and Android client applications. The newly added button, which some users may have initially mistaken as a shortcut to Twitter analytics, is found right next to the “Edit profile” button,… Read More

Prince Won't Stream 4 U (Unless You're On Tidal, Or Maybe Google Music)

Jul 02, 2:12PM

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 13.50.47 Call it the Taylor effect: it looks like another high-profile musician is sharpening his arrows to take aim at how streaming music services pay artists. Music from the artist currently known as Prince has been pulled from Spotify and Rdio. And Deezer — where at the time of writing Prince’s music is still streaming — has confirmed to us that it has received a takedown notice… Read More

A Third Classification of Worker? Don't Count On It

Jul 02, 1:31PM

uber-smile1 Of late, there’s been a steady drumbeat of accusations that on-demand startups are unfairly wringing profits out of independent contractors. The concern: No one is withholding their taxable wages for them, they aren’t being given health care, and they have almost none of the same protections as full-time employees. In fact, one of the only protections independent contractors… Read More

Here's How Microsoft Will Release Windows 10

Jul 02, 1:31PM

windows10 After some general market confusion and bad headline writing, Microsoft this morning detailed how it will roll out Windows 10 to testers, consumers, and large-scale customers. First, scale: Microsoft said in its blog post this morning that there are now 5 million Windows Insiders, up from 3.7 million in May. The company also said that it has collected “millions” of… Read More

When The Disrupted Push Back

Jul 02, 12:54PM

Riot police officers stand next to a cab with posters which reads, "Uber go home" and "Uber get out out," during a taxi drivers demonstration in Paris, France, Thursday, June 25, 2015. French taxis are on strike around the country, snarling traffic in major cities and slowing access to Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport after weeks of rising and sometimes violent tensions over Uber. (AP Photo/Michel Euler) We tend to think of disruption as kind of a passive activity. The determined upstart enters the market and the established business doesn’t give it a second thought. Then ever so slowly before it can even react, the industry suddenly realizes it’s lost control. In most cases, the incumbent tries the usual tactics, perhaps making a half-hearted effort to change strategies to be… Read More

Prêt d'Union Grabs $34 Million For Its Online Credit Marketplace

Jul 02, 11:17AM

Euro Dollar Bill French startup Prêt d’Union just raised $34 million (€31 million) from Eurazeo, Pierre Kosciusko-Morizet as well as its existing investors. Prêt d’Union is a European online credit marketplace that matches lenders and borrowers without any financial institution in-between. You can call it a sort of Lending Club for Europe. Read More

Anki Will Ship The Second Generation Of Its Robotic Slot Cars On September 20

Jul 02, 9:00AM

anki-overdrive Think of Anki Overdrive as slot cars for the smartphone age. With upgrades, achievements and characters, it’s a perfect marriage of smartphones with physical toys. The system debuted two years ago and the company has steadily upgraded the system since. But today, the company revealed the ship date and price of its next generation product, Anki Overdrive. Anki debuted the Overdrive… Read More

Gozoomo Gets $5M To Make Buying Used Cars In India Easier

Jul 02, 8:36AM

Gozoomo buyer When Arnav Kumar started looking for his first car, he was determined to buy a used one to save money. The process of sorting through online listings and trying to figure out which ones were legitimate was so tedious that he gave up after a day. To save other buyers from the same headache, Kumar founded Gozoomo, which just landed a $5 million Series A from returning investors SAIF Partners. Read More

Harvard Reveals It Had An IT Breach In June Impacting 8 Colleges And Administrations

Jul 02, 8:00AM

Harvard A seventeenth-century university has become the victim of a twenty-first-century crime. Harvard University on Wednesday announced that on June 19, it discovered a breach in the IT systems of its Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Central Administration, currently impacting eight different schools and administrative organizations at the university. A copy of the memo from Anne Margulies, VP… Read More

HomeToGo, The European Metasearch Engine For Holiday Rentals, Raises €6M

Jul 02, 7:00AM

kGhG3ajGvEK4oSjbJ-86-UYOd8QO4UiVi9eZ0ah54hQ HomeToGo, the European ‘metasearch’ engine for holiday rentals, has raised €6 million in Series A funding. Leading the round is DN capital, and Acton Capital Partners, adding to the €2 million previously raised from various angel investors. Read More

Your.MD Scores $5M For Its AI-Driven Health Assistant

Jul 02, 6:00AM Your.MD is on a mission to improve the way we seek health-related, namely self-diagnosis, information online. If you’ve ever tried to google your symptoms, you know it’s not for the feint hearted. The U.K. health startup wants to change that via its ‘smart health assistant’ app for smartphones. Read More

Xiaomi Sold 34.7M Smartphones In First Half Of 2015, Up 33% Year-On-Year

Jul 02, 3:11AM

xiaomi Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi today confirmed that it sold just shy of 35 million phones in the first half of this year. Read More

One Weird Trick To Help Greece

Jul 02, 2:27AM

greek-cap-control2 It’s hard enough being a startup without the financial collapse of your country to contend with. For those in Silicon Valley who are used to Uber being worth more than 40x the debt payment that Greece just missed, capital controls — which are just what they sound like — are an alien concept. But this is unfortunately not so for startups in Greece, who, because of restrictions… Read More

Rakuten Acquires Tokyo-Based Travel Startup Voyagin

Jul 02, 12:00AM

Voyagin Rakuten not only runs Japan’s largest e-commerce site, but also one of its leading online travel agencies, booking over 3.8 million hotel nights each month. Now the company is expanding its horizons beyond hotels and flights with the acquisition of Voyagin, a Tokyo-based tour planning startup. Read More

Enterprises Don't Have Big Data, They Just Have Bad Data

Jul 01, 11:00PM

baddata PayPal co-founder and venture capitalist Peter Thiel commonly harps on the tech community for overusing buzzwords like “cloud” and “big data.” He’s not the only one who’s been saying this, but the message still doesn’t appear to be sinking in with most enterprises. Read More

SuperDuper Is An App That Aims To Find Less Expensive Matches To High-End Nail Polish

Jul 01, 10:43PM

Copy of IMG_0329 Certain high-end nail polish colors have almost a cult-like following on the Internet. Devotees scour the web and share tips and links via Pinterest, beauty blogs and Reddit discussions in pursuit of the perfect match to that limited edition Olivia Palermo Red Hutch or Christian Louboutin’s Python. Enter SuperDuper, an iOS app that matches those high-end hues with grocery store brands… Read More

PayPal Agrees to Buy Xoom for $890 Million

Jul 01, 10:36PM

shutterstock_74707159 Xoom, a San Francisco-based online money transfer technology and services company that went public in 2013, is being acquired by PayPal for $25 per share in cash or $890 million. The price represents a  32 percent premium over Xoom’s three-month volume-weighted average price. As stated in a PayPal-issued release about the tie-up, “Acquiring Xoom allows PayPal to offer a… Read More

Beet Looks To Record The Feature Film Of Your Life

Jul 01, 10:00PM

Combined Screenshot We seem to have been residing in a second age of social media usage, a technological era of willful impermanence birthed from a post-Snowden culture that fears the concept of content which is immortal by default. It’s in this environment that apps like Snapchat have thrived, but with what we’ve gained in perceived security we seem to have lost in online spontaneity and… Read More

Box Joins The Establishment

Jul 01, 9:08PM

Box co-founders Dylan Smith and Aaron Levie in suits and ties. Box was once the intrepid upstart, but its recent announcements underscore the company’s growing maturity. By our measure, the publicly traded company is now clearly a member of the enterprise establishment. In the last few weeks, Box has formed close partnerships with the sort of companies its CEO Aaron Levie once made fun of — Microsoft and IBM. Yet these partnerships are… Read More

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