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Author: Josh Constine

300M-user meme site Imgur raises $20M from Coil to pay creators

Meme creators have never gotten their fair share. Remixed and reshared across the web, their jokes props up social networks like Instagram and Twitter that pay back none of their ad revenue to artists and comedians. But 300 million monthly user meme and storytelling app Imgur wants to pioneer a way to pay creators per second that people view their content. Today Imgur announces that it’s rai...

Wedding dress customizer Anomalie raises $13M as bridal stores crumble

David’s Bridal once owned 50% of the $36 billion wedding gown market before it filed for bankruptcy last year. Brides were growing sick of the lack of styles and sizes plus high prices at expensive brick & mortar shops. The industry was destined for disruption by software that would replace overhead costs and inflexibility with direct-to-consumer personalization. That’s why I profi...

The boring genius of how Atrium kills legal busy work

Law firms have little incentive to build or buy software that will save their lawyers time since they often bill clients by the hour. Tasks like tracking down legal documents, extracting key information, and drawing up hiring offers or funding term sheet add up to make lawyers expensive even if they’re constantly repeating mindless busy work. That’s why legal startup Atrium is so excit...

Calendar influencers? Event social network IRL raises $8M

Why is there no app where you can follow party animals, concert snobs, or conference butterflies for their curated suggestions of events? That’s the next phase of social calendar app IRL that’s launching today on iOS to help you make and discuss plans with friends or discover nearby happenings to fill out your schedule. The calendar, a historically dorky utility, seems like a strange way to ...

Helium launches $51M-funded “LongFi” IoT alternative to cellular

With 200X the range of WiFi at 1/1000th of the cost of a cellular modem, Helium’s “LongFi” wireless network debuts today. Its transmitters can help track stolen scooters, find missing dogs via IoT collars, and collect data from infrastructure sensors. The catch is that Helium’s tiny, extremely low-power, low-data transmission chips rely on connecting to P2P Helium Hotspots ...

Maker Faire halts operations and lays off all staff

Financial troubles have forced Maker Media, the company behind crafting publication MAKE: magazine as well as the science and art festival Maker Faire, to lay off its entire staff of 22 and pause all operations. TechCrunch was tipped off to Maker Media’s unfortunate situation which was then confirmed by the company’s founder and CEO Dale Dougherty. For 15 years, MAKE: guided adults and...

The Ticket Fairy is tech’s best hope against Ticketmaster

Ticketmaster’s dominance has led to ridiculous service fees, scalpers galore, and exclusive contracts that exploit venues and artists. The moronic approval of venue operator and artist management giant Live Nation’s merger with Ticketmaster in 2010 produced an anti-competitive juggernaut. It pressures venues to sign ticketing contracts under veiled threat that artists would otherwise b...

Instagram one-ups TikTok with karaoke lyrics

Lip-syncing jumpstarted TikTok’s rise to the center of teen culture, arguably displacing Instagram . Now the Facebook-owned app is striking back with a new feature that lets you displays lyrics on your video Story synced to a soundtrack you’ve added with the Music sticker. Lyrics could help creators and their fans sing along, and the visual flare could make the amateur MTV content more...

AntiToxin sells safetytech to clean up poisoned platforms

The big social networks and video games have failed to prioritize user well-being over their own growth. As a result, society is losing the battle against bullying, predators, hate speech, misinformation and scammers. Typically when a whole class of tech companies have a dire problem they can’t cost-effectively solve themselves, a software-as-a-service emerges to fill the gap in web hosting,...

AntiToxin sells safetytech to clean up poisoned platforms

The big social networks and video games have failed to prioritize user well-being over their own growth. As a result, society is losing the battle against bullying, predators, hate speech, misinformation and scammers. Typically when a whole class of tech companies have a dire problem they can’t cost-effectively solve themselves, a software-as-a-service emerges to fill the gap in web hosting,...

Uber eats Uber Eats, embedding it in the main app

Uber’s best hope to beat all its ride sharing and food delivery competitors is that it does both. Through cross-promotion, it can combine activities people might only do a few times per week or month into a product they open daily. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said cryptically on the company’s first earnings call last month that “Suffice it to say we are starting to experiment in w...

OpenAI’s Sam Altman and Greg Brockman will tell Disrupt about tomorrow’s jobs

OpenAI’s co-founders Greg Brockman and Sam Altman aren’t afraid of Terminator robots. At TechCrunch Disrupt SF in October, they’ll tell our audience why it’s the more subtle repercussions of artificial general intelligence like its impact on employment, cyberwarfare, and concentration of power that shake the duo. But the epic potential for the technology to generate widesca...

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