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Author: Sarah Perez

A.I.-based travel app Hopper expands price monitoring to hotels worldwide

Hopper, the handy travel app that uses A.I. to predict airfare pricing, is today expanding its service to include hotels. Like airfare, hotel pricing is also dynamic — it can fluctuate with traveler demand. During busy times, prices are higher. And when a hotel has rooms to fill, the prices drop. Now, Hopper is bringing its same prediction technology to over 270,000 hotels in more than 200 c...

Pillar launches with $5.5M from Kleiner Perkins and others to tackle your student loan debt

A new startup aims to help you get your student loans under control. Today, an app called Pillar, backed by $5.5 million in seed funding led by Kleiner Perkins, is launching a simpler way for consumers to better understand their student loan debt — and even pay it off early. To do so, the app connects with your student loan servicer and bank, then makes personalized suggestions based on your...

Indie travel app Lambus makes group trip planning easier

There are plenty of travel apps for researching flights and hotels or generally organizing your trips, but indie German developer Hans Knöchel struggled to find one that could gather all his travel-related information in one place, in addition to allowing a group of friends to collaborate on the trip-planning process. So he built one for himself: Lambus, an app that lets you organize your travel d...

Online bank Simple makes things harder by removing bill pay

With a growing number of challenger banks taking on the U.S. market, one of the original startup banks, Simple — now owned by BBVA — has taken the unusual step of removing a core banking feature: bill pay. The company claimed the feature was under-utilized and usage was trending downwards, which is why it decided to sunset the option to pay bills through its app. That decision, not sur...

Zero raises $20 million from NEA and others for a credit card that works like debit

Just ahead of the launch of the Apple Card, a startup that has its own take on modernizing the credit card industry, Zero, is announcing the close of its $20 million Series A. The new round of funding was led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA), and brings Zero’s total raised to date to $35 million, including both equity and debt funding. Other investors in the round include SignalFire, Eniac...

Voiceflow, which allows anyone to make voice apps without coding, raises $3.5 million

The market for voice apps has opened up — Amazon Alexa’s platform alone has over 80,000 skills as of earlier this year — and there’s little sign of that growth slowing now that smart speakers have hit critical mass in the U.S. To capitalize on this trend, Voiceflow, a startup making it easier for product teams to build voice applications for Alexa and Google Assistant, has ...

Audioburst raises $10M to build AI-powered infotainment systems for cars, ad solutions

Audioburst, a startup that uses AI technology to extract the best bits from podcasts and talk radio to create new listening experiences, has raised an additional $10 million in strategic funding from Dentsu and Hyundai Motor Company. The new round is focused on helping Audioburst further expand into advertising and in vehicles. It also precedes the company’s planned launch into Japan at the ...

Walmart partners with subscription-based children’s clothing startup, Kidbox

Walmart is getting into subscription-based fashion with today’s announcement of a partnership with Kidbox — a sort of “StitchFix for kids” where parents receive a personalized, curated box of children’s clothing on a seasonal basis. The deal will see Kidbox offered to Walmart.com’s online shoppers, where they can fill out a short style quiz, then receive their b...

Password manager Dashlane closes on $30M, adds former Spotify CMO to board

Dashlane, a popular password manager and all-round identity management solution, has raised another $30 million in funding, the company announced today. The funding – this time a round of debt financing from Hercules Capital – follows prior investment from FirstMark Capital, Rho Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, TransUnion and Silicon Valley Bank. The company is also expanding its b...

coParenter helps divorced parents settle disputes using A.I. and human mediation

A former judge and family law educator has teamed up with tech entrepreneurs to launch an app they hope will help divorced parents better manage their co-parenting disputes, communications, shared calendar, and other decisions within a single platform. The app, called coParenter, aims to be more comprehensive than its competitors, while also leveraging a combination of A.I. technology and on-deman...

Firework officially launches a short-form video storytelling app, backed by Lightspeed

Facebook usage declined for the first time in a decade, while video-centric apps like TikTok are being touted as the future of social media. Entering this redefined playing field comes Firework, a fast-growing social video app whose clever trick is something it calls “Reveal videos” – a way for creators to take both horizontal and vertical video in one shot from their mobile devi...

U.S. mobile bank Chime raises $200 million, valuing its business at $1.5 billion

San Francisco-based mobile banking startup Chime announced this morning it has raised an additional $200 million in Series D financing led by DST Global, valuing its business at $1.5 billion. The oversubscribed round also included participation from new investors Coatue, General Atlantic, ICONIQ Capital and Dragoneer Investment Group, along with existing investors Menlo Ventures, Forerunner Ventur...

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