Wednesday, March 15, 2017

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Announcing TechCrunch Sessions, a new series of events focused on a single topic

Mar 15, 9:46PM

 Big news, folks! Today, TechCrunch is announcing a new series of events: Sessions. These events will dive deep on a single topic, bringing together experts in the field and those interested in the theme to discuss what matters. Obviously, this is going to be huge! These events will be single-day affairs with limited seating. Some will have intimate discussions with audience participation.… Read More

Serial founder and former Slack PM Simon Vallee is starting a personal productivity company

Mar 15, 8:19PM

 Simon Vallee is exactly the kind of person who venture capitalists like to keep on their radar. He’s Canadian, for one thing. (Everyone knows how nice Canadians are.) He has also co-founded a number of small companies over the last decade — and sold them. First, there was SiteMasher, a site-creation platform that was sold a couple of years later, in 2009, to Saleforce for… Read More

Credy looks to digitize personal lending in India

Mar 15, 8:00PM

 Lending platform Credy is looking to change the way people gain access to personal loans in India. The company, which is currently a part of Y Combinator’s Winter 2017 batch, is digitizing the process and improving access to capital for residents by opening up peer-to-peer loans to a wider group of borrowers and lenders. Read More

Yahoo hackers manipulated search results for 'erectile dysfunction medications'

Mar 15, 7:36PM

 One of the hackers alleged to be responsible for a 2014 hack of Yahoo that affected half a billion users also manipulated search results in his favor to make some money on the side, according to the indictment filed today by the Justice Department. Read More

Bullish: The future of food on demand

Mar 15, 7:00PM

 This week on Bullish, I sat down with DoorDash CEO Tony Xu to talk about the future of on-demand food delivery. In January, DoorDash teamed up with Starship Technologies to test food delivery via robots. On this episode of Bullish, Xu and I discussed the evolution of the on-demand space, challenges to profitability, predictions for the future and autonomous delivery. Read More

>From your dorm room to your car: ethernet is back

Mar 15, 6:19PM

Ethernet cable Wi-Fi, DSRC, Bluetooth, NFC — there are so many ways to connect without cables that ethernet seems retro, like a flip phone. But ethernet is staging a comeback in our cars. Manufacturers are using this old-school technology to connect the sensors that allow for advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) and baby steps toward self-driving cars. Read More

X-ray technique creates nanometer-scale 3D reconstructions of computer chips

Mar 15, 6:01PM

 The chips in our devices are powered by transistors and circuits so small they can barely be detected by our most advanced imaging techniques. How chip makers manage to do quality control when they can’t even see what they’re working on is a really good question. Read More

LimeBike raises $12 million to roll out bike sharing without kiosks in the US

Mar 15, 5:18PM

 A startup called LimeBike has raised $12 million in venture funding to make Chinese-style bike sharing mainstream in the U.S. Andreessen Horowitz led the round, joined by IDG Ventures, DCM Ventures and other investors who declined to be named. Read More

WhatsApp brings back text Status it replaced with Stories

Mar 15, 4:52PM

 The Snapchatification of everything has resulted in backlash for WhatsApp, prompting it to revive its text Status option while keeping its image-based replacement. The move shows how social apps must quickly react to feedback if they make a false step in modernizing to adapt to visual communication. In mid-February, WhatsApp removed the feature that let you set an away message, and then gave… Read More

DoJ accuses two Russian spies and two criminals of 2014 Yahoo hack

Mar 15, 4:34PM

 The U.S. Department of Justice has confirmed earlier reports and accused two Russian FSB officers and two criminal hackers of being behind the hacking of at least 500 million Yahoo accounts. Read More

500 Startups will keep investing in Latin America with new $10M fund

Mar 15, 4:29PM

 500 Startups is increasing its commitment to global investing with a new Latin America fund, targeting $10 million, going by the name of Luchadores II, the Spanish word for wrestlers. The fund is 500’s second aimed at the region and one of a growing number of its seed investment vehicles targeted at underserved markets across Europe, Asia and the Americas. Read More

Teen quiz app Wishbone hacked, users' emails and phone numbers exposed

Mar 15, 4:17PM

 Check your kid’s phone for this app, ASAP: Wishbone. This popular quiz app for kids, tweens and teens has been hacked, according to a report from Motherboard out this morning. The hack involved 2.2 million email addresses, as well as 287,000 phone numbers, many of which are from kids under the age of 18. Read More

Bill Gates's former chief science advisor has formed a $200M fund with another longtime colleague

Mar 15, 4:16PM

 Biomatics Capital Partners, a new healthcare and life sciences venture firm, has closed its debut fund with $200 million, it’s announcing this morning. This new effort is particularly interesting given its two founders and managing directors: Boris Nikolic and Julie Sunderland. Read More

Airbnb, Lyft, Twilio and 55 other companies file opposition to Trump's revised travel ban

Mar 15, 4:10PM

 Airbnb, Lyft and 56 other tech companies filed an amicus (friend of the court) brief this morning seeking to block President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban from going into effect tomorrow. Read More

McDonald's begins testing Mobile Order & Pay ahead of nationwide launch

Mar 15, 3:10PM

 McDonald’s began testing mobile ordering and payments on Wednesday in select U.S. markets — the first to receive the technology as part of a pilot test aimed at working out the kinks ahead of a full rollout across the U.S. and to other international markets by year’s end. Read More

Sirin, maker of the Solarin $14K smartphone, cuts 30 staff and pivots

Mar 15, 2:51PM

 So much for super-private, high-end phones for the super-rich? Sirin Labs, the startup that makes the Solarin, an Android-based smartphone released last May with a $14,000 price tag and promise of extreme security for its owner, is laying off one-third, or 30, of its staff after seeing just $10 million in sales since launch. The startup is now weighing up a pivot of the business to… Read More

Uber's new in-app navigation is designed specifically for Uber drivers

Mar 15, 2:00PM

 Uber’s driver-facing app is getting big changes to its navigation experience, something Uber is doing to try to help make it easier for drivers to do their job without having to worry too much about switching apps or trusting navigation software designed primarily for consumer use. Read More

Facebook Stories, yet another Snapchat clone, is rolling out to more countries [Correction]

Mar 15, 1:57PM

 Facebook is introducing yet another feature that clones Snapchat Stories to more users in Chile, Greece and Vietnam. [Correction: An earlier version of this post stated that Facebook Stories was rolling out worldwide. That’s not the case. It’s only expanding to a few more countries.] Read More

Twitter adds lacrosse to its live-streamed sports lineup

Mar 15, 1:57PM

 Twitter today announced another content partnership to bring more live-streamed sports to its social network — this time, with the National Lacrosse League, of all things. Lacrosse represents an opportunity for Twitter to build out a network of sports programming that TV channels don’t want and don’t air because of their smaller numbers. Read More

Campaign Monitor acquires Tagga to boost email marketing with customer data

Mar 15, 1:19PM

 Email marketing company Campaign Monitor is announcing that it has acquired Tagga. Founded in 2008, Tagga is a customer data platform, which means businesses can use it to combine user data from different sources and create different segments to target with marketing campaigns. Read More

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