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Author: Mike Butcher

Astroscreen raises $1M to detect social media manipulation with machine learning

In an era of social media manipulation and disinformation, we could sure use some help from innovative entrepreneurs. Social networks are now critical to how the public consumes and shares the news. But these networks were never built for an informed debate about the news. They were built to reward virality. That means they are open to manipulation for commercial and political gain. Fake social me...

Marketing platform startup Adverity raises $12.4M in round led by Felix Capital

Marketers get a lot of incoming from the data they have to deal with, bound up in hundreds of spreadsheets and reports, making it time consuming and tricky to get value out of. Tech companies like Datorama and Funnel.io have appeared to try and lighten this load. Adverity is a data intelligence platform also playing in this space by applying AI to produce actionable insights in real-time. Founded ...

NuvoAir raises $3M to help patients monitor respiratory diseases with AI

With air quality not improving any time soon (hello pollution!), respiratory conditions are on the rise. This has created an opportunity for startups to employ smartphones to monitor respiratory diseases with apps and smart devices. ResApp’s smartphone app, called ResAppDx, diagnoses a wide range of respiratory illnesses accurately by using cough sounds. Healthymize listens for signals of CO...

Meet the first judges for The Europas Awards (27 June) and enter your startup now!

I’m excited to announce that The Europas Awards for European Tech Startups is really shaping up! The awards will be held on 27 June 2018, in London, UK on the front lawn of the Geffrye Museum in Hoxton, London — creating a fantastic and fun, garden party atmosphere in the heart of London’s tech startup scene. TechCrunch is once more the exclusive media sponsor of the awards and conference, a...

Leapwork raises $10M for its easy process automation platform, plans US expansion

Most work involving computers is highly repetitive, which is why companies regularly have developers write code to automate repetitive tasks. But that process is not very scalable. Ideally, individuals across an entire business would be able to create automated tasks, not just developers. This problem has created a new category called process automation. Startups in this space are all about making...

Gjirafa raises a $6.7M Series B from Rockaway Capital to digitise the Balkans

There’s nothing like a niche language to create a sort of lock-in for a startup, and that’s exactly what’s happened with Gjirafa. Focusing exclusively on Albanian-speaking countries, co-founder and CEO Mergim Cahani started out developing an Albanian language search engine and then literally digitizing the country’s information, from bus timetables to a database of local businesses and venue...

The Plum Guide raises $18.5M to expand its ‘vacation homes for the elite’ service

Fancy knowing how “the other half” lives? Well, part of it is down to tools that have been built specifically for them. Michelin Guide will tell you about the best restaurants on the planet. Similarly, the The Plum Guide bills itself as the “Michelin Guide for Homes” as it picks from more than 25 different sites the world’s best vacation rentals, holiday homes, short-term lets an...

misterb&b hits the equity crowdfunding trail to expand into hotels

Homosexuality is illegal in a third of the planet, and in eight countries, it is punishable by death. In the febrile atmosphere of today’s politics, hate crime incidents in the US increased by 17% between 2016 to 2017, according to the FBI. Over 20 of those incidents were crimes against an individual’s sexual-orientation — the largest increase since 9/11. Similar hate crime statistics have increas...

Big data AI startup Noble.AI raises a second seed round from a chemical giant

Noble.AI, an SF/French AI company that claims to accelerate decision making in R&D, has raised a new round of funding from Solvay Ventures, the VC arm of a large chemical company, Solvay SA. Although the round was undisclosed, TechCrunch understands it to be a second seed round, and we know the company has closed a total of $8.6 million to date. Solvay was previously an early customer of the p...

Talent Garden raises €44M to expand in cities ignored by the WeWork-style spaces

Finding myself talking at a startup conference in Kosovo three years ago (as one does), I realized how close I was to Albania, a place which held some fascination for me. I managed to grab a lift with a friendly techie to Tirana, where they arranged for me to speak to the local tech community. That meetup was held in a small co-working space called Talent Garden. It gradually transpired that, whil...

UK military veteran launches crowd-funding for Pixie app to revive local stores

What if, instead of sitting on your phone on the sofa ordering stuff from Amazon, you could buy the same things locally from local stores that ultimately enliven and enrich your local neighborhood? What if by doing that, you wouldn’t be walking through deserted main streets, past boarded-up shops, dark alleys and graffiti? What if someone created a marketplace for independent businesses, local eve...

Melonport dissolves in favor of its protocol, setting a new bar for the blockchain world

In the world of blockchain, it is the sector of Fintech where most think Satoshi’s invention will have the greatest impact. And in finance there are few more elite worlds that those of asset management. So it’s of some significance that a two-year long project to disrupt and open up this world using blockchain has now come to fruition. Last Friday in Zug — a small provincial Swiss town which has e...

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