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Author: Brian Heater

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...

Silentmode’s PowerMask is a $200 connected relaxation mask

I barely slept, the second night in Chunking Mansions. The loud neighbors, the hot Hong Kong air, the landlord banging on the door after midnight. None of these things are particularly conducive to a peaceful rest, and for once in my life I actually looked forward to attempts at shut eye on the 15+ hour flight home in the morning. For all the dread of returning to the notorious Hong Kong hostiles ...

Soundbrenner’s wearable metronome gets a modular upgrade

It took all of 14 minutes for the Soundbrenner Core to hit full funding. Not too shabby. Last week, the wearable maker closed out its campaign with more than 10x its $50,000 goal. A few days later, we sat down with the startup at the headquarters of Hong Kong-based accelerator, Brinc. Soundbrenner has already made a bit of a name for itself with Pulse. The connected, wrist-worn device brought some...

Teaching STEM through the wonders of larva harvesting

There’s hardly enough room to turn around in Livin Farms’ office. Pretty standard, really, in Central, Hong Kong, where space is at a perpetual premium. It’s a small operation for the HAX-backed startup — there’s space for a few desks and not much more. The startup’s last product, the Hive, stands next to the door. It’s a series of innocuous trays stacked atop one another. But it’s the Hive Explor...

The WT2 in-ear translator arrives in January, with real-time feedback coming soon

Timekettle was eager to show us the progress it’s made on the WT2 since it first showed us its wearable translation device at TechCrunch Shenzhen, this time last year. Unlike their 3D printed state at last year’s event, the crowdfunded earpieces are now ready to ship. They’ve already started going out to early backers and will begin shipping in January to those who pre-order now. The hardware is q...

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