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An Equity podcast shot: Unpacking the Amazon-Whole Foods deal

Jun 17, 12:15AM

 We’ve got an Equity Shot for you, an irregular extra hit from the Equity podcast crew. Today the big news is the potential Amazon-Whole Foods deal, which has led to rampant media speculation, depressed grocery stocks around the nation and allegations of intelligent corporate strategy. It’s the sort of day that forces you to sit back and re-cast your views of the technology world.… Read More

Columbus could be the next startup city

Jun 16, 11:45PM

 Ever since I wrote about the Midwest last year I’ve been keeping my eyes on Columbus. I decided to hold a small pitch-off to meet some of the startups I saw last time I had driven through. The pitch-off was a success and a company called Wyzzer took first place and the quirky Hopper Carts came in second. But what I really came away with was a new respect for Columbus as a startup hub.… Read More

Winners and losers in Amazon's $13.7B purchase of Whole Foods

Jun 16, 11:08PM

 Amazon is taking a huge bite out of the fresh food business with its bid for Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion. But even though this is a deal between two companies, it’s not just the two of them being touched by it. The intersection between the food and tech industries has been playing out for years now, sprouting dozens of food startups; efforts from large tech companies to move… Read More

ClassPass secures $70 million Series C led by Temasek

Jun 16, 9:15PM

 ClassPass, the subscription service that for fitness classes and gyms, has today announced the close of a $70 million Series C funding round led by Temasek. Existing investors such as Acequia Capital, CRV, General Catalyst, GV, M13 and Thrive also participated in the round. According to the press release, ClassPass has doubled its member base in the past year and has now grown to 35 million… Read More

What do E3 attendees think of mobile gaming?

Jun 16, 8:22PM

 The smartphone has changed the gaming industry landscape dramatically. As our pocket computers advance, so too does the possibility of fully satisfying mobilegaming experiences. Companies like Nintendo are blurring the lines between portable and console/PC gaming with the Switch. At the same time, big studios have largely moved away from attempts to integrate mobile content into the home… Read More

Amazon Channels now works like a TV login for HBO & Showtime's apps

Jun 16, 7:21PM

 Amazon Channels is starting act like a TV provider. The service, which allows Prime members to subscribe to over-the-top premium networks like HBO, Showtime, Starz, Cinemax and others, now allows you to log into some of the networks’ standalone streaming apps, as well, starting with HBO and Showtime. That is, instead of entering in your cable or satellite TV credentials to gain access to… Read More

Google releases new TensorFlow Object Detection API

Jun 16, 6:52PM

 Google is releasing a new TensorFlow object detection API to make it easier for developers and researchers to identify objects within images. Google is trying to offer the best of simplicity and performance — the models being released today have performed well in benchmarking and have become regularly used in research. The handful of models included in the detection API include heavy… Read More

Here are all of Amazon's acquisitions before Whole Foods

Jun 16, 6:43PM

 Amazon today said it would make a bid to acquire Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, making it the largest acquisition for the company by far. The next-closest acquisition in price is $1.2 billion for Zappos, which happened all the way back in 2009. Since then it’s made a few big-ticket purchases like Twitch (around $1 billion) and Kiva Systems (a bunch of robots for around $775 million),… Read More

Samsung's Bixby voice assistant is finally coming to the U.S. — but only as a preview

Jun 16, 6:07PM

 Samsung’s much-touted, but mostly absent, smart assistant continues to amble its way to the U.S. After a big false start during the Galaxy S8’s launch, Bixby Voice is finally making its stateside debut. At least kind of, sort of. The company is positioning this is a “sneak peak” for the feature that was initially planned to debut on its new flagship phones. Starting… Read More

Amazon, now a physical retailer too, is granted an anti-showrooming patent

Jun 16, 5:49PM

 Amazon was recently granted a patent that could be used to prevent brick-and-mortar retailers from leveraging technology in their stores that could stop shoppers from comparing prices of in-store products to those online. Yes, it appears that a new patent that could prevent the practice of “showrooming,” is now, hilariously, in the hands of Amazon – the very company that… Read More

Amazon makes a bid to buy Whole Foods

Jun 16, 5:39PM

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How to make $300M in two months betting on groceries

Jun 16, 5:30PM

 Today, Amazon made a bid to buy Whole Foods — a grocery chain — for $13.7 billion. That promptly sent the stock up around 30%. And it also looks pretty good considering its history in the past year, in which its continuing major bump came as an activist investor went after the company in April. That investor, Jana Partners, has around an 8% stake in Whole Foods, which will turn out… Read More

1500+ startups graduate Y Combinator's first online Startup School

Jun 16, 5:29PM

 That’s out of 2,820 startups accepted from the 13,321 companies that applied to Y Combinator’s 10-week program of one-on-one mentorship from past YC startup founders, virtual office hours with a group of fellow students, and an online lecture series. The leading accelerator typically teaches two batches of about 100 startups per year through an in-person program where YC partners… Read More

YouTube shows off VR-centric video analytics

Jun 16, 5:14PM

 Google may have a few VR projects lined up across hardware, but for now one of its biggest selling points for mobile VR is YouTube. Today, YouTube announced that it’s bringing heat map analytics to the service so that 360-degree video producers can see where their viewers are paying attention at any given time. 360-degree video may not be as hyped as it once was, but YouTube has the… Read More

Emmanuel Macron proves that he still cares about startups

Jun 16, 4:09PM

 There’s a weird annual tradition in French politics. French presidents, ministers and hopeful candidates all go to the Agricultural Show in the Porte de Versailles convention center. Somehow, old ideas die hard, and it’s important to show that you still care about people in the food industry. Yesterday, Macron spent three to four hours walking down the hallways of the very same… Read More

14 wildly hot takes we need on this Whole Foods + Amazon thing

Jun 16, 3:57PM

 Amazon just bought Whole Foods for $13.7 billion — which is a huge deal! This is one of the biggest deals of the year and is a big move for Amazon into grocery, a spot where it’s traditionally been extremely bad. It also means that Amazon is going to be a huge competitor with other retailers, starting the foodpocalpyse and sending other grocery stocks crashing. It’s probably… Read More

Amazon wants to become Walmart before Walmart can become Amazon

Jun 16, 3:21PM

 The future of retail will be a combination of both online e-commerce and a brick-and-mortar retail presence – as recent moves from both Walmart and Amazon have shown, including today’s back-to-back announcements from the two rivals, which sees Amazon buying a chain of popular grocery stores with a Whole Foods deal for $13.7 billion, and Walmart picking up yet another online… Read More

Workwell wants to make your corporate intranet suck less

Jun 16, 2:32PM

 If you’ve been working for a large company, chances are that your intranet sucks. It takes too much time to find the right information, it’s not tailored for mobile and it doesn’t integrate well with the services you actually use. French startup Workwell is a mobile intranet that you’ll actually like. It seems like a tough task, but so far Workwell is ticking all the… Read More

Other grocery stocks plummet as Amazon buys Whole Foods for $13.7B

Jun 16, 2:27PM

 Amazon scared investors away from competing grocery stores today when it acquired Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. Wal-Mart, Target, Costco, Kroger, and more all saw their share prices sink dramatically. Amazon’s ecommerce empire, sophisticated trucking distribution network, advanced technology, and deep pockets could all help Whole Foods run circles around its old-fashioned rivals. As… Read More

Walmart to buy Bonobos for $310M as it doubles down on fashion

Jun 16, 1:34PM

 Walmart today doubled down on its efforts to continue building out a online retail fashion business in its bid to outpace Amazon in the wider world of commerce and specifically e-commerce. Today it announced that it would acquire menswear site Bonobos for $310 million in cash. The deal is part of a bigger strategy at Walmart, the world’s largest physical retailer, to grow its… Read More

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