Tuesday, April 11, 2017

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Popular Pays raises $3.1M in new funding to connect marketers and creators

Apr 10, 11:10PM

Popular Pays How can Popular Pays stand out in the influencer marketing crowd? The key, according to co-founder Corbett Drummey, is to focus on content. The approach seems to have convinced investors, with Popular Pays announcing that it has raised an additional $3.1 million, which it rolled up with the $2 million it raised after participating in Y Combinator into a $5.2 million Series A. Read More

DoorDash will pay $5 million to settle class-action lawsuit over independent contractors

Apr 10, 11:00PM

 On-demand food delivery startup DoorDash has reached an agreement with workers rights lawyer Shannon Liss-Riordan regarding a class-action lawsuit that alleged DoorDash misclassified its delivery workers as independent contractors. As part of the settlement, DoorDash will pay class members of the suit $3.5 million, following the court’s approval. The company has also agreed to pay an… Read More

Of course a venture capitalist was no match for CMU's updated poker-playing AI

Apr 10, 10:06PM

 Libratus, Carnegie Mellon’s poker-playing AI, is damn good. It easily routed four of the world’s best poker players back in January over 120,000 hands of No-Limit Texas Hold-um. So it comes as no surprise that a team of venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and engineers playing against Lengpudashi, Libratus’ bigger, badder brother, would face a similar fate. Read More

Deep-linking startup Branch raised $60 million from Andy Rubin's Playground Ventures

Apr 10, 9:32PM

 Branch, a startup making tools to enable developers to provide links between websites and apps, has raised a $60 million Series C round of funding from Andy Rubin’s Playground Ventures, according to sources. Read More

See you tomorrow at the Pittsburgh Micro-Meetup

Apr 10, 9:13PM

 We’re in town for a few days and we’re excited to meet all of you at the Pittsburgh Micro-Meetup tomorrow. In preparation for Disrupt New York and our upcoming TC Sessions series on robotics, John Biggs and I are in Pittsburgh to talk to some startups. Read More

Sean Parker's cancer institute may have found a blood test to see if patients will respond to treatment

Apr 10, 8:28PM

 Scientists in collaboration with tech billionaire Sean Parker’s Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy may have found a way to predict whether melanoma patients will respond to treatments that target the PD-1 (programmed cell death protein) pathway in tumors through a simple blood test, according to a paper in the scientific journal Nature. Read More

FCC nixes proposal that would've allowed cellphone calls on planes

Apr 10, 6:38PM

 The Federal Communications Commission doesn’t want to hear you gabbing on your smartphone while on commercial flights. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wants some quiet time while hurtling through the air in a metal tube, and he thinks the majority of America likely agrees, so today he sent out an order ending the proceeding begun in 2013 that would see rules around cellphone use in-air relaxed. To… Read More

AMD buys Nitero wireless VR startup

Apr 10, 6:16PM

 AMD has acquired Nitero, a company that builds wireless chips for streaming virtual reality content from desktop computers to headsets, Forbes reports. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Read More

25% of U.S. driving could be done by self-driving cars by 2030, study finds

Apr 10, 6:13PM

 Self-driving still seems to be a ways off from active public use on regular roads, but once it arrives, it could ramp very quickly, according to a new study by the Boston Consulting Group. The study found that by 2030, up to a quarter of driving miles in the U.S. could be handled by self-driving electric vehicles operating in shared service fleets in cities, due mostly to considerable cost… Read More

Char.gy taps into lampposts to charge your electric car

Apr 10, 5:54PM

 If you have a garage with a power socket, an electric car makes an awful lot of sense. If you park on the street, however, the infrastructural challenge of keeping your electron-powered vehicle topped up becomes complicated enough that perhaps sticking to driving on squished dinosaurs makes sense for a while longer. Until Char.gy comes along, that is. Read More

Is Qualtrics about to go public? A chat with founder Ryan Smith on the IPO question

Apr 10, 5:49PM

 Qualtrics, an online survey research platform, is listed as tops among likely candidates to go public this year. But is it really going to file and, if so, how close is it to doing that? I’m betting yes and very soon based on some interesting answers in a recent interview with founder Ryan Smith. Read More

How California is trying to keep autonomous vehicle development on track

Apr 10, 5:30PM

 After California’s Department of Motor Vehicles recently proposed new regulations governing the testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles, many were left to wonder: Will this help retain the state’s status as a testing and deployment ground for the technology, and will it make California safer? The answer is… yes and … maybe? Read More

LeEco will not acquire TV maker Vizio as planned

Apr 10, 5:08PM

 Chinese electronics giant LeEco will not acquire U.S.-based TV maker Vizio as announced, the two companies said today. The deal has been hitting roadblocks according to recent reports, and now it’s officially ended as a result of “regulatory headwinds,” according to LeEco. The companies are quick to note that this isn’t the end of the relationship between the two. Read More

Twitter now lets brands make their own 'custom hearts' for Periscope live videos

Apr 10, 4:54PM

 Those little hearts you tap to signal to a live video’s creator that you’re enjoying the content might look a little different on Twitter in the future. The company announced today a new way for brands to engage fans through live video – it will now let them create their own “custom hearts” for use in Periscope’s live video. The customizations can be… Read More

How BlaBlaCar faced growing pains and had to change its focus

Apr 10, 4:13PM

 And just like other big tech companies, BlaBlaCar recently faced some challenges and had to define a new strategy for the coming years. In a surprisingly candid interview, BlaBlaCar co-founder and CEO Nicolas Brusson looked back at the past few months and shared everything. The markets In 2014 and 2015, BlaBlaCar grew massively. All the news coming out of the company were about new… Read More

Freestyle Capital raised a new $90 million fund and promoted Jenny Lefcourt to general partner

Apr 10, 4:00PM

 Freestyle Capital has raised its fourth fund to invest in early-stage startups. This time around the firm is increasing the fund size to $90 million and promoting Jenny Lefcourt to general partner. Read More

Lucid raises $60M as it plans to dominate market research

Apr 10, 3:41PM

Lucid Lucid is announcing that it has raised a $60 million round led by North Bridge Growth Equity. It’s the company’s first outside funding since raising a relatively tiny $2.8 million back in 2011. Founder and CEO Patrick Comer said that in the years between, he deliberately wanted Lucid to “run really, really lean and pour every dollar into growth of product.” Now,… Read More

Microsoft acquires container platform Deis from Engine Yard

Apr 10, 3:33PM

 Microsoft today announced that it has acquired Deis, the company behind some of the most popular tools for building and managing applications on top of the Google-incubated Kubernetes container orchestration service. The companies did not disclose the price of the acquisition. Read More

Last week for youth groups to apply to come to Disrupt NY

Apr 10, 3:16PM

 Applications are open for student groups to attend Disrupt New York at Pier 36 in Manhattan on Tuesday, May 16th or Wednesday, May 17th. This is your last week to apply as applications close on Monday, April 17th, 2017. Read More

Text, image and video moderation service Arbitrum picks up $500K from Ask.fm founders

Apr 10, 3:09PM

 Arbitrum, a text, image and video moderation service founded by German Gedgauds, who previously headed up Ask.fm’s moderation team and product, has raised $500,000 in funding. Backing the Riga, Latvia-based startup is Balaclava Lab, the investment vehicle of Ask.fm founders Ilja Terebin, Mark Terebin and Oskar Liepins. Read More

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