Wynd gets $2.5 million in seed funding for its portable smart air purifier
Posted: 28 September 2016 | 11:11 am

 Back in June, Raymond Wu stopped by our New York office to show off what he had been working on. It was small and conical, with holes on all sides. It looked like a desktop speaker or maybe some startup Amazon Echo competitor. Turns out Wu’s company was getting ready to leap headfirst into the decidedly less sexy world of air purification. The hardware startup has the fairly… Read More

Large CPGs are under attack by startups… and consumers are winning
Posted: 28 September 2016 | 11:00 am

 Consumer packaged goods are big business — valued at more than $2 trillion — with much of that market share dominated by CPG powerhouses like Unilever, P&G and Nestlé. These CPG leaders know a lot about packaged goods — a lot about how to manufacture and market and sell at scale. But, as is becoming more and more apparent, they don’t really know very much at all… Read More

Uber teams with Sears on new rewards program for drivers and riders
Posted: 28 September 2016 | 10:26 am

 Uber today announced yet another rewards program for its drivers and riders, this time in partnership with retailer Sears and its “Shop Your Way” loyalty platform. The program offers drivers points redeemable for products at Search, Kmart and Lands End, as well as discounts on vehicle maintenance and repairs at Sears Auto Centers. Meanwhile, riders who sign up will earn the chance… Read More

Google’s search app now sports an incognito mode
Posted: 28 September 2016 | 9:40 am

 Looking to surf the mobile web privately, but generally prefer the Google Search app over standalone browsers like Safari or Chrome? Then you’ll appreciate the latest update to the Google Search app for iOS, which now introduces an “incognito mode” that you can further protect using Touch ID, along with a host of other changes. While private browsing has long been an option… Read More

Where Pokémon Go is going, and Tesla’s trajectory: Listen to TCBC Episode 4 with Greg Kumparak
Posted: 28 September 2016 | 9:22 am

 On this week’s episode of TCBC, after a brief Disrupt-induced hiatus, longtime TechCruncher Greg Kumparak dishes on Pokémon Go – what made it so appealing at launch, what’s going on with product development, and where he’d like to see it go in the future. Me and Greg are both big Pokémon fans, so it’s a subject about which we have no shortage of things to say. Read More

Amazon’s Fire TV Stick gets updated with faster hardware and an Alexa-enabled remote
Posted: 28 September 2016 | 9:00 am

 Slowly but surely, Amazon is incorporating Alexa functionality into its numerous existing hardware lines. A few weeks ago, the company announced an update that would bring its friendly voice assistant to its TV streaming hardware solutions, the set top Fire TV and its smaller dongle-based brethren, the Fire TV Stick. A newly announced version of the latter will now ship with that… Read More

Figma now lets interface designers collaborate on projects
Posted: 28 September 2016 | 9:00 am

 Interface design collaboration tool Figma is launching its Multiplayer feature, which allows designers to collaborate in real time on the same projects. Read More

Techstars selects the first class of its New York-based IoT accelerator
Posted: 28 September 2016 | 9:00 am

 Techstars has selected the first class for its New York-based internet of things accelerator. It’s the first program that Techstars has done with a consortium of industry partners instead of just linking up with a single, large corporate partner. For the accelerator, the first class is the culmination of a year of work putting the pieces together for the new initiative. One of the big… Read More

Blackberry bows out of making its own hardware
Posted: 28 September 2016 | 8:15 am

 Former smartphone giant Blackberry has said it will no longer manufacture its own devices. Instead it intends to outsource hardware making to development partners, although the core focus of its business is firmly on software services at this point. Read More

Eyeing an IPO, Druva raises $51M for its data backup, recovery and discovery services
Posted: 28 September 2016 | 8:00 am

 Setting its sights on a public offering within the next year, Druva, which sells software so businesses can manage all of the information they’re forced by law to hold onto, has raised $51 million. In the old days, data management and protection was an analog affair — or existed on big server farms inside a corporate firewall. Now, like everything else, forecasts are more…… Read More

Tink Labs raises $125M to put its free-to-use smartphone in more hotel rooms worldwide
Posted: 28 September 2016 | 7:29 am

 Tink Labs offers a free-to-use smartphone for hotel guests that lets them enjoy free services, and gives hotels a powerful channel to engage their guests. Read More

Only two more days to save £400 on Disrupt London tickets
Posted: 28 September 2016 | 5:00 am

 We’ve given you an extra week, but your time to save £400 on Disrupt London tickets is ending soon. You have until this Friday, September 30 to secure extra early-bird tickets to Disrupt London 2016 for just £800 each, or £700 each when you buy more than one. Read More

Google Play Music is now available in India
Posted: 28 September 2016 | 4:45 am

 Google looks to have launched its Play Music store in India today. Read More

Uber-owned Otto to offer freight hauling services using autonomous trucks in 2017
Posted: 28 September 2016 | 2:42 am

 Uber acquired self-driving lorry startup Otto this summer in a deal worth up to $680 million and it plans to put the company to work next year. Read More

Crunch Report | DJI releases its new drone, the Mavic Pro
Posted: 27 September 2016 | 11:00 pm

DJI releases its new drone, the Mavic Pro, Nissan builds a line-waiting chair that automatically moves you in line, the Department of Labor sues Palantir Technologies, Cogenra and Khosla Ventures are suing SolarCity, and Elon Musk gave a keynote speech about becoming a multi-planetary species. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

Three things venture capitalists need to show their own investors
Posted: 27 September 2016 | 8:30 pm

 “The table stakes for [venture capitalists] has never been higher,” says Judith Elsea,  co-founder of the fund-of-funds Weathergage Capital, in our latest interview. With the rise of stronger and stronger operational models, like Andreessen Horowitz, the value add VCs must provide has increased significantly. So in this world of heightened competition for LP money, what do LPs… Read More

Tyra Banks on startup investing and her new TV show
Posted: 27 September 2016 | 8:06 pm

 Tyra Banks rang the closing bell at the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center in San Francisco this afternoon. The supermodel turned entrepreneur and startup investor was there to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the launch of Tyra Beauty. Tyra Beauty is both “beauty business and badassery,” Banks quipped in a video chat with TechCrunch. It’s a “cosmetics experience, not… Read More

Musk says under 5 percent of SpaceX is working on Mars mission, 2024 launch is ‘optimistic’
Posted: 27 September 2016 | 7:56 pm

 Elon Musk has a plan to colonize Mars, but he’s not rushing it. In a conference call following the SpaceX CEO’s presentation today at the International Astronautical Conference, Musk noted that the project is still essentially a hobby at the company, drawing only a fraction of its efforts. Read More

Samsung waiting to see where VR hype cycle lands before moving on standalone headsets, next-gen 10K displays
Posted: 27 September 2016 | 6:47 pm

 At a company event today in San Francisco, Samsung President & Chief Strategy Officer Young Sohn detailed that the company is actively pursuing both smartphone-focused VR headsets and standalone solutions. The decision to market and ship a dedicated all-in-one device would rely largely on where the VR market goes in the upcoming months and years, he says, and whether the clunky headsets… Read More

GoGoGuest helps coffee shops manage their Wi-Fi, customer-by-customer
Posted: 27 September 2016 | 6:46 pm

 Be honest: Have you ever spent an entire day working at a coffee shop, despite only buying a single cup of coffee? I’ve definitely been guilty of this, and I’ve also been to coffee shops that try to fight back by removing outlets, turning off their Wi-Fi or outlawing laptops on certain tables. A startup called GoGoGuest is taking a different approach that could help coffee shops… Read More

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