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Microsoft's AI beats Ms. Pac-Man

Jun 15, 11:08PM

 As with so many things in the world, the key to cracking Ms. Pac-Man is team work and a bit of positive reinforcement. That… and access to funding from Microsoft and 150-plus artificial intelligence agents — as Maluuba can now attest. Last month, the Canadian deep learning company (a subsidiary of Microsoft as of January) became the first team of AI programmers to beat the… Read More

VR's killer app: business services

Jun 15, 9:00PM

 Enterprise adoption is trumping entertainment uses and will spring VR and AR into the mainstream. Read More

Talking with Alda Leu Dennis, the newest partner at Initialized Capital

Jun 15, 7:25PM

 It’s only been a few days since she started her new job, but Alda Leu Dennis, the newest partner (and COO) of Initialized Capital, seems like she’s ready to hit the ground running. Given her background, that’s not surprising.  Dennis just joined the 15-person, San Francisco-based firm from the secondary investment firm 137 Ventures, where she led investments in Planet Labs,… Read More

Entelo steps up its AI game with $20M Series C

Jun 15, 7:08PM

 The race to crown a winner in the AI-powered recruiting software space is on. With both Workey and Mya nabbing rounds in the last few weeks, the timing is prime for a few players to seek advantage in the form of growth capital. This seems to be exactly what Entelo, a six-year-old player in the space, is doing. The company is announcing a $20 million Series C round of financing today led by U.S. Read More

Justin Kan confirms $10.5 million in funding for his legal tech startup Atrium LTS

Jun 15, 7:00PM

 In April we reported that founder and Y Combinator alum Justin Kan had assembled a team to “disrupt the legal industry” and was raising $10 million to do so. This week Kan confirmed that the company has completed its fundraising process, raising $10.5 million in what ended up being one of the biggest “party rounds” I’ve ever seen. Read More

The Juiced Board is a valiant attempt at securing the budget electric skateboard market

Jun 15, 6:56PM

 When it looks, feels and is packaged like a competitor’s, is it really competition or just a knockoff? The Juiced Board comes dangerously close to echoing that sort of sentiment. Juiced and Boosted are words that loosely share the same meaning, but it’s the appearances where both electric skateboards really seem to converge. Until now, I never would have recommended a sub-$1,000… Read More

The first ad network for Alexa Skills shuts down following Amazon's policy changes

Jun 15, 6:53PM

 A series of policy changes at Amazon that detail how advertising will be supported within Alexa’s voice-enabled apps, called “Skills,” have now had their first casualty: VoiceLabs. The startup was the leading way for third-party developers to make money from their Alexa applications, through the use of VoiceLab’s “Sponsored Messages.” Unlike traditional… Read More

CamSoda jumps into the world of paid life-streaming

Jun 15, 6:45PM

 Have you always wanted to show your messy room to hundreds of people? Want to get paid for the pleasure of streaming your breakfasts, lunches, and dinners? Feel a real need to share how long you can stare idly at your phone? CamSoda has a deal for you. CamSoda is a streaming cam service featuring men and women in various states of undress and it is now offering a unique life-streaming program… Read More

Headspace's revamped app helps busy people turn meditation into a habit

Jun 15, 6:12PM

 After years of struggling to make it part of my daily routine, I’ve started to suspect that if I were mindful enough to remember to meditate, then I probably wouldn’t need to meditate in the first place. To get the attention of people who, like me, spend more time thinking about meditating then they do actually meditating, Headspace has launched a new version of its app with… Read More

Slack is reportedly raising another huge $500M round of funding

Jun 15, 5:44PM

 Slack is in the midst of raising another $500 million in financing at what could be a $5 billion valuation — money it will likely critically need as it goes after major corporate clients and construct a functional business — according to a report by Recode. Slack also got some interest with a $9 billion price tag from Amazon, according to a report from Bloomberg last night. All… Read More

Woman raped by an Uber driver in India is now suing the company for privacy violations

Jun 15, 5:36PM

 A woman raped by her Uber driver in India is suing both the company and three current and former top executives after it was revealed Eric Alexander, the company’s president of business in Asia Pacific, had accessed and was carrying around her medical records. The woman, a Texas resident identified as Jane Doe in the case, is suing for intrusion into private affairs, public disclosure… Read More

Mobile gaming company Scopely raises $60M

Jun 15, 5:30PM

The Walking Dead Road to Survival - PVPCombat Scopely just announced that it has raised $60 million in Series C funding. The round was led by Revolution Growth, a firm led by former AOL executives Steve Case and Ted Leonsis (AOL owns TechCrunch), which targets startups outside Silicon Valley and New York. (Scopely is headquartered in Los Angeles.) Revolution’s Donn Davis is joining Scopely’s board of directors, while… Read More

Qualcomm demonstrates driving while charging

Jun 15, 5:29PM

FABRIC Track in Versaeilles Qualcomm Technologies has been working on a wireless charging system for electric vehicles called Halo. Now it’s taken the idea a step further — a Halo on the go, if you will. The dynamic electric vehicle charging (DEVC) system can charge electric vehicles as they drive over the charger. Halo DEVC, as its called, is in very early stages. Qualcomm set up a 100-meter test track at… Read More

Snap taps its IPO price as it continues to crash

Jun 15, 5:00PM

 Update: It happened! Snap fell down to its IPO price (for a few seconds) of $17 per share after its continued steady march south over the past several weeks. The company is now barely holding just above its IPO price. Snap’s last earnings report resulted in a disaster, and while the company still managed to stay above $20 for an extended period of time, a string of bad days for the… Read More

Lyft sets goal of 1 billion autonomous electric rides per year by 2025

Jun 15, 4:45PM

 Lyft has set itself some concrete goals for its renewed commitment to the Paris climate agreement, in spite of Trump’s announcement that the U.S. as a nation would be pulling out of the accord. Those goals focus primarily on Lyft’s autonomous ambitions, and so are contingent on the ride hailing company accomplishing its self-driving vision at scale, but they’re laudable… Read More

Spotify grows its events profile with tickets from Eventbrite

Jun 15, 4:40PM

 Less than a week after acquiring Ticketfly from Pandora for $200 million, today Eventbrite has announced another deal to mark its deeper move into music events: the company will now show information about concerts and music festivals Spotify. Specifically, it will recommend Eventbrite-powered events relevant to the music people are listening to on the streaming music service and their… Read More

Codota raises $2M from Khosla as autocomplete for developers

Jun 15, 4:39PM

 In recent years, GitHub has fundamentally changed developer workflows. By centralizing code on an easily accessible platform, the company was able to rapidly change the way people code. Following in these footsteps, Israeli startup Codota wants to further optimize workflows for the often neglected developer community — this time with machine intelligence. The company is announcing a… Read More

Hardware Club raises $28 million for its hardware seed fund

Jun 15, 4:31PM

 Hardware Club is not just a club — it’s now also a venture firm focused on hardware companies. The team has raised $28 million for the first closing of its inaugural fund from Bpifrance, Crédit Mutuel Arkéa, Foxconn, Mistletoe and others. At its core, the vision of the club hasn’t changed much. I’ve already covered the original idea, and everything is still true… Read More

Should WhatsApp let you disable URL previews?

Jun 15, 4:27PM

 Another reminder that if you want perfect security or privacy online you shouldn’t expect every single bell & whistle of tech-enabled convenience to be handily on tap…  Read More

Fairy wants to make daily housecleaning a thing

Jun 15, 4:00PM

 A startup called Fairy wants to change the way consumers get their homes cleaned. Perhaps counterintuitively, the company is betting that by providing frequent, hotel-like housecleaning, it can actually lower the cost and provide a higher quality of service. Now operating in the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City, Fairy has raised $4.1 million in funding from investors that include… Read More

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