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Author: Brian Heater

OnePlus CEO Pete Lau will discuss the future of mobile at Disrupt SF

Founded in late 2013, OnePlus did the impossible, coming seemingly out of nowhere to take on some of the biggest players in mobile. The company has made a name by embracing a fawning fanbase and offering premium smartphone features at budget pricing, even as the likes of Samsung and Apple routinely crack the $1,000 barrier on their own flagships. OnePlus’ history is awash with clever promotions an...

Movie subscription service Sinemia is ending US operations

Over the past few months, Sinemia has gone from promising MoviePass competitor to the source of frustration for moviegoers across the country. After rumors surfaced earlier this week that it would be backing away from its troubled subscription based movie ticket offering, it’s posted official word tonight that it will be shutting down operations. “Today, with a heavy heart, we’re announcing that S...

Locus Robotics raises $26 million for warehouse automation

Warehouse automation is all the rage in robotics these days. No surprise then, that another emerging player just got a healthy slice of venture funding. Massachusetts-based Locus Robotics this week announced that it’s secured a $26 million Series C. The round, led by Zebra Ventures and Scale Venture Partners, brings the startup’s total funding up to around $66 million. The five year old company pr...

RightHand Robotics debuts a new pick and place system

Reliable pick and place systems have long been a kind of Holy Grail among industrial robotics. The job of moving products in and out of bins is high among the jobs that many warehouse and fulfillment centers are looking to automate. For a few years now, RightHand Robotics has been one of the more exciting startups in the space. The company has managed to drum up $34 million in funding from investo...

AI photo startup Polarr raises an $11.5 million Series A

Bay Area photography startup Polarr announced this morning that it has raised an $11.5 million Series A. The new round of funding, led by Threshold Ventures with participation from Pear Ventures and Cota Capital, brings the startup’s total funding to around $12.5 million, according to the latest Crunchbase figures. At the moment, the company is probably best known for its photography app for iOS a...

Desktop Metal just raised another $160 million

Desktop Metal announced this morning that it has raised $160 million. That Series E brings the Burlington, Mass.-based metal 3D printing company up to a whopping $438 million. The startup’s tagline says the company “is reinventing the way design and manufacturing teams print with metal” — and now it undoubtedly has the money to do so. Koch Disruptive Technologies (yes, that Koch) led the round, jo...

Remembering the startups we lost in 2018

There are few things in this world more difficult than launching a successful startup. It takes talent, know-how, money and a hell of a lot of good timing and luck. And even with all of those magical components in place, the odds may still be against you. At TechCrunch, we take pride at covering the best and brightest of the startup world. But while covering the startup world is one of the most ex...

Sphero is finished making Star Wars products

Sphero’s on-going deals are about more than just priming the pump for the holidays. The Colorado robotic toy startup is also in the process of cleaning out inventory of what are now be marked “legacy” products on its site. All of the Disney licensed products now carry a “THIS IS A LEGACY PRODUCT AND NO LONGER IN PRODUCTION” tag, and in many cases are no longer available through Sphero’s site. The ...

RightHand Robotics grabs $23 million in funding

RightHand Robotics announced a $23 million Series B this week. That brings the pick and place robotic arm manufacturer’s total funding up to around $34 million, including last year’s $8 million Series A. The robotics startup has impressed investors with the dexterity and speed of its robotic picking system, having recruited some big VC names along the way. This latest round is led by Menlo Venture...

Here’s what you missed at Startup Battlefield Lagos

Yesterday TechCrunch held its first-ever event in Nigeria — our second in Sub-Saharan Africa. The day was packed with Battlefield presentations from 15 different startups from across the region, along with panels featuring some of Africa’s best known tech entrepreneurs and executives. It was an incredible day and offered a fascinating peak into an absolutely vibrant tech community. For...

Insurance app Lemonade prepares for European expansion

Lemonade this morning revealed plans to expand into the European market. The news marks the first international expansion for the AI-powered insurance app, which launched in New York City, back in 2016. The official announcement issued by the company is extremely light on detail, with the promise to reveal more pertinent information — namely which country will be the first on its list — “shortly.”...

Robotic Exoskeleton company Roam raises a $12 million Series A

Bay Area-based robotic exoskeleton company Roam announced this morning that it has secured a $12 million series A. The round, led by Yamaha Motors, with investments from Boost VC, Heuristics Capital Partners, Menlo Ventures, R7 Partners, Spero Ventures, Valor Equity Partners and Venture Investment Associates, brings the company’s total funding up to around $15 million. Investors are understandably...

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