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Author: Josh Constine

Slack off. Send videos instead with $11M-funded Loom

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many emails can you replace with a video? As offices fragment into remote teams, work becomes more visual, and social media makes us more comfortable on camera, it’s time for collaboration to go beyond text. That’s the idea behind Loom, a fast-rising startup that equips enterprises with instant video messaging tools. In a click, you can film ...

Apple acquires talking Barbie voicetech startup PullString

Apple has just bought up the talent it needs to make talking toys a part of Siri, HomePod, and its voice strategy. Apple has acquired PullString, also known as ToyTalk, according to Axios’ Dan Primack and Ina Fried. The company makes voice experience design tools, artificial intelligence to power those experiences, and toys like talking Barbie and Thomas The Tank Engine toys in partnership w...

Medium buys Bay Area mag The Bold Italic to add to its paywall

Medium is seeking to juice up its premium subscription content in its home market with the acquisition of The Bold Italic. The 10-year-old online culture magazine will go behind the $5 per month Medium Membership paywall. The deal will keep The Bold Italic afloat when other San Francisco-local publications have struggled, following the shutdown of the The Oakland Tribune an SFist plus the layoff o...

Reddit confirms $300M Series D led by China’s Tencent at $3B value

Last week TechCrunch reported that Reddit was raising $150 million from Chinese tech giant Tencent and up to $150 million more in a Series D that would value the company at $2.7 billion pre-money or $3 billion post-money. After no-commenting on our scoop, today Reddit confirmed it’s raised $300 million at $3 billion post-money, with $150 million from Tencent. The deal makes for an odd pairin...

Sean Parker’s govtech Brigade breaks up, Pinterest acqhires engineers

Facebook co-founder Sean Parker bankrolled Brigade to get out the vote and stimulate civic debate, but after five years and little progress the startup is splitting up, multiple sources confirm to TechCrunch. We’ve learned that Pinterest has acqhired roughly 20 members of the Brigade engineering team. The rest of Brigade is looking for a potential buyer or partner in the political space to t...

The plot to revive Mt. Gox and repay victims’ Bitcoin

It was the Lehman Brothers of blockchain. 850,000 Bitcoin disappeared when cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox imploded in 2014 after a series of hacks. The incident cemented the industry’s reputation as frighteningly insecure. Now a controversial crypto celebrity named Brock Pierce is trying to get the Mt. Gox flameout’s 24,000 victims their money back and build a new company from the ash...

Reddit is raising a huge round near a $3 billion valuation

Reddit is raising $150 million to $300 million to keep the front page of the Internet running, multiple sources tell TechCrunch. The forthcoming Series D round is said to be led by Chinese tech giant Tencent at a $2.7 billion pre-money valuation. Depending on how much follow-on cash Reddit drums up from Silicon Valley investors and beyond, its post-money valuation could reach an epic $3 billion. A...

Kleiner Perkins gets back to early stage with its $600M 18th fund

“KP used be a small team doing hands-on company building. We’re moving away from being this institution with multiple products and really just focusing on early stage venture capital” Kleiner Perkins partner Ilya Fushman tells me. 47 years after its founding, the storied venture fund is going “back to the future” with today’s announcement of a 18th fund — ...

How Jyve secretly raised $35M & built a $400M retail gig economy

What if instead of just accepting Uber rides, gig workers could pick from higher-paying skilled tasks around town like stocking shelves, checking inventory or driving a forklift at a local grocer? When they work quickly and accurately or learn new trades, they get to choose between more complex jobs. That’s the idea that’s racked up $400 million in staffing contracts for Jyve, an on-de...

Anchorage emerges with $17M from a16z for ‘omnimetric’ crypto security

I’m not allowed to tell you exactly how Anchorage keeps rich institutions from being robbed of their cryptocurrency, but the off-the-record demo was damn impressive. Judging by the $17 million Series A this security startup raised last year led by Andreessen Horowitz and joined by Khosla Ventures, Max Levchin, Elad Gil, Mark McCombe of Blackrock, and AngelList’s Naval Ravikant, I’m not the o...

Roger Dickey ditches $32M-funded Gigster to start Untitled Labs

Most founders don’t walk away from their startup after raising $32 million and reaching 1000 clients. But Roger Dickey’s heart is in consumer tech, and his company Gigster had pivoted to doing outsourced app development for enterprises instead of scrappy entrepreneurs. So today Dickey announced that he’d left his role as Gigster CEO, with former VMware VP Christopher Keane who’d sold it his startu...

Squad is the new screensharing chat app everyone will copy

Squad could be the next teen sensation because it makes it easy to do nothing… together. Spending time with friends in the modern age often means just being on your phones next to each other, occasionally showing off something funny you found. Squad lets you do this even while apart, and that way of punctuating video chat might make it the teen girl “third place” like Fortnite is...

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