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Real estate platform Nestio raises $4.5 million

Real estate platform Nestio is getting new funding as it continues to expand its footprint beyond New York City into other large U.S. markets. The startup’s software gives real estate owners and managers a hub to handle things like leasing and marketing. The round, which they announced today, was led by Camber Creek and Trinity Ventures, with participation from other real estate firms, including Rudin Ventures, Currency M, The Durst Organization, LeFrak Ventures and Torch Venture Capital. The startup has raised around $16 million to date. Nestio is building up its unit count in new markets, including Boston, Chicago, Houston and Dallas, and is seeking to expand operations with existing customers in NYC. The startup says that it’s grown the amount of units on its platform by 250...

Alan introduces Alan Blue, a high-end health insurance product

French startup Alan has been mostly focused on its main health insurance product — a standard package for companies of all sizes and shapes. The company is launching a second offering on this market with Alan Blue. Companies can now choose between two levels of insurance — Alan Green and Alan Blue. Alan Green is the existing health insurance product with a new name. It still costs the same and offers the same level of coverage. Alan Blue is a higher-end product with better coverage for companies who want to retain talent using better benefits. French employees automatically get basic coverage from the national healthcare system. But companies also need to provide a health insurance from a private company to pay for part of the health expenses. It’s a hybrid system with a strong legal ...

Facial recognition startup Kairos acquires Emotion Reader

Kairos, the face recognition technology used for brand marketing, has announced the acquisition of EmotionReader. EmotionReader is an Limerick, Ireland-based startup that uses algorithms to analyze facial expressions around video content. The startup allows brands and marketers to measure viewers emotional response to video, analyze viewer response via an analytics dashboard, and make different decisions around media spend based on viewer response. The acquisition makes sense considering that Kairos core business is focused on facial identification for enterprise clients. Knowing who someone is, paired with how they feel about your content, is a powerful tool for brands and marketers. The idea for Kairos started when founder Brian Brackeen was making HR time-clocking systems for Apple. Peo...

Timehop admits that additional personal data was compromised in breach

Timehop is admitting that additional personal information was compromised in a data breach on July 4. The company first acknowledged the breach on Sunday, saying that users’ names, email addresses and phone numbers had been compromised. Today it said it that additional information, including date of birth and gender, was also taken. To understand what happened, and what Timehop is doing to fix things, I spoke to CEO Matt Raoul, COO Rick Webb and the security consultant that the company hired to manage its response. (The security consultant agreed to be interviewed on-the-record on the condition that they not be named.) To be clear, Timehop isn’t saying that there was a separate breach of its data. Instead, the team has discovered that more data was taken in the already-announce...

Pinterest is adding a way for users to collaborate on boards

Pinterest is trying to further tap its popularity as a place to plan events, this time adding ways for users to collaborate across boards that are baked directly into the app. Group boards will have their own designated feed, where users will be able to communicate with others collaborating on that board and also get updates on new member additions or added pins. There are also the other typical social structures you’d expect on an app these days, including @-mentions or liking comments. It’s another step to get people onto Pinterest and sticking around as they look to plan events, and create more ways to make the platform more and more sticky. It’s also another quality-of-life improvement that Pinterest seems to have needed for quite some time. It’s those kinds of ...

Next Insurance, an insurtech targeting small businesses, scores $83M Series B led by Redpoint

Next Insurance, the Israeli digital insurance startup that helps small businesses get cover, has raised a significant new funding round, adding another $83 million to its balance sheet. The Series B round is led by Silicon Valley’s Redpoint Ventures, and will be used by the company to continue expanding across the U.S., where it now operates as a full service insurance carrier. It will also increase headcount in both its Israel and U.S. offices. Founded in 2016 with the aim of becoming a one-stop insurance shop for micro and small business insurance needs, Next Insurance designs insurance plans for business sectors that are often overlooked by more general insurers. Small business owners often rely on price comparison websites to figure out what kind of coverage they need and where t...

Xara Cloud is an easy to use design tool to help businesses create better looking content

Xara is on a mission to help businesses create better looking content, and in turn save us all from having to consume visually unappealing marketing and comms material. The German startup has developed Xara Cloud, a design tool that resides in the cloud and attempts to bridge the gap between professional design and business content created by non-design professionals. Specifically, Xara Cloud consists of a drag and drop browser-based editor that lets you create designs using text, shapes, icons, charts and imported images, but with a few extra tricks up its sleeve. These include the ability to use off-the-shelf professionally created colour schemes or have the software create a new colour scheme based on an image, such as your company logo, that you’ve uploaded. As you’d expect...

Aurora Labs raises $8.4 million to bring its self-healing software to cars

Aurora Labs, a company that has created predictive tools that will automatically fix problems with software in cars, has raised $8.4 million in a Series A round of financing led by Fraser McCombs Capital. Previous investor MizMaa Ventures also joined the round. The Tel Aviv-based company just came out of stealth a few months ago. Aurora Labs plans to use the additional funds to expand its presence beyond its new offices in Munich, Germany and Tel Aviv headquarters. The company has 17 employees and plans to add a handful more by the end of the year, as well as open sales offices in Detroit and San Francisco, CEO and co-founder of Aurora Labs Zohar Fox told TechCrunch. Vehicles today have millions of lines of code. As the automotive industry becomes increasingly reliant on software, the risk...

Late payments: Here’s how you can say goodbye to chasing customers

As a small business owner, you don’t have time to waste chasing up customers on unpaid invoices. This guide offers a solution to overcome late payment and cashflow issues…… Source: Startups

Olio, the app that lets you share unwanted food items with your neighbours, picks up £6M Series A

Olio, the hyperlocal food sharing app that wants to help tackle the world’s food waste epidemic, has picked up $6 million in Series A funding. The U.K. startup offers a location-based app and website that lets you list and post a photo of unwanted food items to be shared with other people in the same neighbourhood. That is, food that you might otherwise throw away. The company, Olio co-founder and CEO Tessa Clarke told me in a call earlier this week, was born out of the idea that a bottom-up, community approach — driven by individual behaviour — is the most scalable way to cut down on the amount of food households typically waste. She says about a third of food production is thrown away and/or allowed to perish, which mostly ends up in landfill, and that food in the home ...

GrubMarket gobbles up $32M led by GGV for its healthy grocery ordering and delivery service

As consumers become more discerning about the food they are eating, a wave of startups has emerged that are catering to that demand with convenient alternatives to the more ubiquitous options that are available today. One of these, GrubMarket — which sources organic and healthy food directly from producers and then delivers it to other businesses (Whole Foods is a customer) as well as consumers at a discount of 20-60 percent over other channels — is today announcing a $32 million round to grow its already profitable business, including making acquisitions and expanding on its own steam as it eyes a public listing. “We are looking to buy companies to make more revenues ahead of an upcoming IPO,” said Mike Xu, the founder and CEO. He said GrubMarket is “in proac...

The Nudge is a planner app packaged as an SMS subscription service

How do you fix digital information overload and the resulting life-attention deficit that’s apparently afflicting smartphone owners everywhere — and even leading some very large tech giants to unbox “digital wellness” tools lately? San Francisco-based startup The Nudge reckons the answer to getting millennials to spend less time sucked into screens, and more time out and about actually doing things, is — you guessed it — another technology service! Albeit one that delivers inspirational plan ideas for stuff to do in your free time, delivered via the traditional text message conduit of SMS. The sibling duo behind the startup, John and Sarah Peterson, have bagged $540,000 in pre-seed funding for their text planner idea, after running a year-long public bet...

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