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Business and Financial News from TechCrunch

  • PayPal Commerce Matches Stripe With PayPal’s Own Native Shopping Toolkit For Apps

    PayPal’s first acquisition after it separated from eBay in 2015 was of a young startup called Modest, which had built a platform for small businesses to integrate buy buttons across third-party apps. Now, PayPal is taking the wraps off a new product that will integrate Modest’s technology. PayPal Commerce — as the new service …

  • Foursquare Expands On-Demand Food And Alcohol Delivery Options

    Foursquare just announced a partnership with Delivery.com to enable Foursquare users to order food, alcohol and groceries for delivery right from the Foursquare app. The integration is made possible thanks to a mobile commerce platform called Button, which also works with companies like Uber, Airbnb and Ticketmaster.For …

  • Twitch’s Users Watch More Video In A Month, On Average, Than Typical YouTube Users Do

    Twitch, the Amazon-owned video game streaming site, has been growing in popularity as more of today’s younger users look to online video instead of traditional television for entertainment. Today, the company released figures that paint of picture of its user base and how deeply they engage with Twitch’s content. Though …

  • Instagram Reveals Video View Counts To Score Creators And Ad Dollars

    Video is booming on Instagram with watch time up 40% in 6 months, so now it’s trying to lure the best video makers and marketers from competitors like Vine and YouTube. Over the next few weeks, Instagram will begin showing view counts on videos where the Like number used to be, though you can still click through to see …

  • Google Partners With National Park Service To Bring Imagery From 40 Parks To Street View

    The National Park Service is celebrating its one-hundredth birthday later this year and as a part of its celebration, the agency has teamed up with Google to bring more of its parks into Google Street View and digitize many of the artifacts in its vast collections.Google is launching Street View imagery for 40 national …

  • Einstein’s Gravitational Waves Have Been Detected For The First Time

    “We have detected gravitational waves.” David Reitze, LIGO Laboratory Executive DirectorToday, scientists announced that, for the first time in history, gravitational waves have been detected.Gravitational waves are ripples in spacetime throughout the universe. What’s truly remarkable about this discovery is that Albert …

  • Coffee Meets Bagel Will Help You Pick Your Best Dating Photos

    If you’ve ever had trouble determining which photos to upload to your dating profile, Coffee Meets Bagel says it has found a solution. From now on, users can A/B test photos, by uploading two options and letting other users vote on which is best.Coffee Meets Bagel has been polling daters and found that 54% of the time people …

  • Quartz’s Fun News App Is Quite Unlike Any News App You’ve Seen Before

    If you’re tired of news apps that all look the same, you’ll want to take a look at the iPhone app that Quartz just put out.The news site, which is owned by Atlantic Media, is known for taking a different approach to publishing. Quartz executive editor Zach Seward once described it as an API that “can go anywhere our readers …

  • Cinemax Is Now Available To Cord Cutters, But Only On Sling TV

    HBO’s move to offer a version of its service aimed cord cutters has inspired other premium cable TV networks to do the same, including, most recently Showtime which debuted its standalone streaming service last summer, and later brought it to Hulu. Today, Cinemax is testing the waters, too, and is now making its content …

  • Who Will Own The Virtual Reality Interface?

    Virtual reality and augmented reality are having a moment.Last month, both multimedia formats had a large presence at both CES and the Sundance Film Festival.  German games festival director Thorsten Wiedemann recently spent 48 hours in a VR headset—and lived to tell the tale.And the New York Times, after giving out Google …

  • Tunisia Is Becoming The Middle East’s Next Startup Hub

    Since the Arab Spring in 2011, Tunisia’s new democracy has struggled to enact prudent economic policy to provide employment and opportunity for its young, growing population.Unemployment is currently at 15 percent, with one-third of jobless youth being university graduates. Inequality is steep, while inflation continues …

  • Vevo’s New, More Personalized Music App Comes To Android & Apple TV

    In recent months, Vevo has been working to extend its brand from being best-known as the provider of original music videos on YouTube to being a service for music discovery in its own right. The company in November rolled out an upgraded iOS experience as a part of this larger vision, and has today extended that experience …

  • Sky-Futures, The Drone Startup Targeting Oil And Gas Industry, Picks Up Another $5.7M

    Sky-Futures, the drone startup that flies drones around oil rigs and gas pipelines and analyses the captured data to spot problems before they become a problem, has raised an additional $5.7 million. This follows an earlier $3.8 million Series A back in May.Backing comes from Bristow Group, a helicopter service provider …

  • Eyefluence’s Eye-Tracking Interface Lets You Navigate Virtual Reality Hands-Free

    When it comes to virtual reality tech, seeing is always believing. Earlier this month, I joined the team at Eyefluence, an eye-tracking startup, for a demo in San Francisco. Over the course of the meeting I was walked through the process of navigating menu screens, selecting icons and whacking moles in a mini game, all …

  • Online Dating Use Jumps Among Youngest US Adults And The Middle Aged, Finds Pew

    Call it the Tinder effect: in the past two years use of online dating has surged among the youngest U.S. adults, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center. Rates of online dating have also risen significantly for U.S. adults in their late 50s to early 60s. (For the record, Tinder launched in fall 2012… )Taken …

  • Time Inc Acquires Viant, Owner Of Myspace And A Vast Ad Tech Network

    It looks like Myspace is becoming a big-media property once again. Today during its quarterly earnings report, Time Inc announced that it has acquired Viant, a profitable company that has built a large ad tech business, but also owns other properties, including once-hot social networking site Myspace. Terms of the deal …

  • Gorgias Uses Machine Learning To Suggest Customer Support Answers

    Meet Gorgias, an artifial intelligence-powered help desk to make you much more efficient when it comes to answering customer support requests. The company just raised $1.5 million from Charles River Ventures, Amplify Partners and Kima Ventures. Gorgias lets you make educated decisions without having to switch between multiple …

  • BBVA Shuts In-House Venture Arm, Pours $250M Into New Fintech VC Propel Venture Partners

    BBVA — the Spanish banking giant that acquired Simple in the U.S. and last year made a $67 million investment in still-stealth mobile-only bank Atom in the UK — is changing up how it plans to invest in fintech startups in the future.The company is shutting down its in-house venture arm, BBVA Ventures; and it is taking BBVA …

  • Facing An Array Of Challenges, Autodesk Shifts To Subscription Pricing

    Autodesk has been around the block a few times, having debuted way back in 1982 in the earliest days of the desktop PC. These days, the company is in the midst of a major transition from a licensing model to a subscription model, while juggling the assortment of challenges a change like this brings to a mature company.It …

  • Google Finally Expands Europe’s Search Delisting To Google.com Domain

    It’s taken well over a year for Google to shift its position but the search giant is finally buckling to European data protection regulators’ demands to apply granted search delisting requests on the Google.com domain, as well as European subdomains as it currently does.Search delisting refers to the so-called right to …

  • Google Chrome For Android Will Soon Support Interactions With Bluetooth Beacons

    Google announced today that it has begun to support physical beacons in its Chrome browser for Android.The feature, which has been tested in the iOS app since last summer, is heading to Chrome 49 for Android soon. It enables users to opt in to interact with and receive content from nearby Bluetooth-enabled beacons in public …

  • Mobile Payments Startup Payleven Raises Another $10M

    The days of Square clones popping up, everywhere you looked and capitalizing on Square’s conservative approach to global expansion, are long gone. But those startups are not. And today, one of them is announcing a Series D round.Payleven, a mobile payments startup originally incubated in 2012 at Berlin’s Rocket Internet, …

  • Third Committee Report Critical Of UK’s “Sloppy” Draft Surveillance Bill

    A third UK parliamentary committee has now published a report on the government’s draft surveillance legislation.The report of the joint select committee, which is made up of a majority of Conservative MPs and Peers, takes a more supine approach than the ISC committee report earlier this week, with many statements where …

  • IMJ Launches $52M Fund Dedicated To Japanese Startups

    IMJ, a venture capital firm based in Japan, is looking homeward with a new fund especially for Japanese startups. Called the IMJ Investment Partners Japan Fund, it has already raised 2 billion yen (about $52 million), and will continue to seek new capital for a potential total of 6 billion yen.Before launching its Japan …

  • JANDI, An Enterprise Communication Platform For Asian Businesses, Raises $2.5M

    Toss Lab has raised $2.5 million in fresh funding for JANDI, an enterprise communication tool that is tailored for companies in Asia. Along with a previous seed round, this brings Toss Lab’s total pre-Series A funding to $4.5 million.Since launching its pilot version last May, JANDI has been adopted by 30,000 teams, most …

  • Neumob Wants To Increase Mobile App Speeds In Southeast Asia

    Millions of people in Southeast Asia are going online for the first time through their smartphones. The region’s “mobile-first” approach makes it especially attractive for e-commerce, social network, and gaming companies—when their apps work, that is. Unfortunately, users are often frustrated by slow connection speeds. …

  • Meta Hypes The Reveal Of Its ‘Futuristic’ Next-Gen Augmented Reality Glasses

    Meta, an augmented reality glasses company born around the same time as Google Glass, is getting ready to show off the next-gen version of their AR headset. The company published a video to YouTube on Wednesday which features a handful of tech influencers lauding their “futuristic” experiences with demos of the...

  • Rant: Twitter’s Growth Problem Is Permanent @ TechCrunch - Wed, Feb 10, 2016 2:38 PM EST

    Josh Constine tackles the issue of Twitter’s big growth problems as the company makes changes to its algorithm and timeline view in the wake of a disappointing Q4.

  • A Rant About Why Twitter’s Past Failures Make It Nearly Unfixable @ TechCrunch - Wed, Feb 10, 2016 2:37 PM EST
    A Rant About Why Twitter’s Past Failures Make It Nearly Unfixable

    Watch this video for an impassioned look at why Twitter’s growth problem is so tough to solve. But if you can’t or don’t want to, here’s the script:Twitter had a terrible, horrible, no good very bad earnings day, and unfortunately, the only thing that might save it is a time machine. The company announced that it saw zero …

  • Masks And More With MSQRD’s Selfie App @ TechCrunch - Wed, Feb 10, 2016 11:55 AM EST

    MSQRD is a fun video selfie app by Masquerade Technologies. You can snap a selfie and then change the way it looks and share with friends on Facebook or Instagram. Give yourself some bug eyes, grow cat ears or make yourself the president. The app will accurately pinpoint where your eyes, nose and top of your head are to …

  • Twitter’s Q4 earnings show that user growth is flat, Opera is considering a $1.2 billion acquisition offer from Golden Brick, HBONOW has only 800K subscribers, IBM Watson teams up with the Toronto Raptors.

  • Student.com Bags $60M To Grow The Reach Of Its Student Digs Marketplace

    Student.com, an accommodation marketplace founded back in 2011 (as ‘Overseas Student Living’ before rebranding last year) to focus specifically on the needs of international students, is announcing a $60 million combined Series B and C round today, led by global investment firm VY Capital. Horizons Ventures, Expa, Spotify …

  • Who Is A VC? @ TechCrunch - Wed, Feb 10, 2016 11:00 AM EST
    Who Is A VC?

    Last year, I dug into why there are so few black people in venture capital (you can see my previous post here). More recently, the folks over at Social Capital and The Information took a crack at providing the data around diversity among partners within venture capital (that data can be found here).I’ve now decided to take …

  • Twitter Plans Changes To @Replies And Other Confusing Rules @ TechCrunch - Wed, Feb 10, 2016 9:04 AM EST
    Twitter Plans Changes To @Replies And Other Confusing Rules

    Twitter can be an incredibly confusing service for new and existing users, and Twitter says it’s now planning to address some rules that might make it unwieldy.In the company’s letter to shareholders, Twitter said that changes were coming to rules like the @reply and the .@name syntax. We don’t know what that looks like …

  • Bullish: A New Era @ TechCrunch - Wed, Feb 10, 2016 9:00 AM EST

    After a short hiatus, Bullish has returned. The talk show is exactly how you remember it, except with a new host (that’s me, MRD!) and way better music. Sorry I’m not sorry, Alex!Anyway, this week we brought in Matthew Schwab, president of on-demand flower delivery BloomThat, to shed some light on the on-demand economy, …

  • The Mobile Health Paradox: Why Data Isn’t Nearly Enough @ TechCrunch - Wed, Feb 10, 2016 9:00 AM EST
    The Mobile Health Paradox: Why Data Isn’t Nearly Enough

    Across most developed economies, healthcare costs are rising faster than inflation. In the U.K., the National Health Service (NHS) faces an estimated funding gap of £30 billion by 2020. In the U.S., the situation looks more bleak, with total annual healthcare spending surpassing $3.8 trillion, representing an astonishing …

  • Facebook Distances Itself From Marc Andreessen’s Statements On Free Basics

    Marc Andreessen is having quite a contrite Wednesday. Andreessen, who currently sits on Facebook’s board, caused a stir last night with his online response to Indian Internet regulator TRAI nixing Facebook’s plans to implement its ‘Free Basics’ program in India. Updated with statement from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg below.He …

  • Twitter’s Monthly User Count Actually Shrunk If You Exclude SMS @ TechCrunch - Wed, Feb 10, 2016 8:39 AM EST
    Twitter’s Monthly User Count Actually Shrunk If You Exclude SMS

    It was bad enough that Twitter’s total user count is stuck at 320 million with zero growth this quarter. But if you don’t count “SMS Fast Followers”, or people that only use Twitter via text message and don’t see ads, its monthly user count went down from 307 million to 305 million monthly active users in Q4. In the U.S., …

  • Tesla Will Unveil Its $35,000 Model 3 On March 31st @ TechCrunch - Wed, Feb 10, 2016 8:31 AM EST
    Tesla Will Unveil Its $35,000 Model 3 On March 31st

    We’re just about an hour away from Tesla’s quarterly earnings calls, but the news is already starting to trickle out.The biggest detail so far: you know the Model 3? Tesla’s more affordable car, meant to bring their entry-level line down to roughly $35,000?We’re finally going to see what it looks like, and hopefully a bit …

  • Twitter’s User Growth Goes Nowhere As It Meets Revenue Expectations Of $710M

    Twitter today reported its fourth-quarter earnings — one of the most important quarters of the company’s history — and basically fell flat on its face.Twitter’s monthly active user growth, on a quarterly basis, was flat, compared to a slight jump that what analysts were expecting. Last quarter, the company had 320 million …

  • The 9th Annual Crunchies Awards @ TechCrunch - Wed, Feb 10, 2016 7:59 AM EST

    TechCrunch kicks off 2016 with the 9th Annual Crunchies Awards Show hosted by comedian Chelsea Peretti. The Crunchies award ceremony celebrates and recognizes the most compelling startups, internet, and technology innovations of the year.

  • You Should Be Using 1 Second Everyday @ TechCrunch - Wed, Feb 10, 2016 7:56 AM EST
    You Should Be Using 1 Second Everyday

    Video by Tito Hamze; Text below by Greg KumparakAs a writer at a site that covers a lot of startups, I hear the same line a few times a week: “We just wanted to make something that makes peoples lives better.”1 Second Everyday actually has made my life better… and it’s done so without really having to do much of anything …

  • You Have One Day Left To Apply To TC Pitch-Offs In Boston And Atlanta

    You have exactly one day left to apply for the TC Pitch-offs in Boston and Atlanta, which will be held on February 23 and February 25 respectively. Why have you put it off until now? Who knows? Maybe you procrastinate. Maybe you’re plagued by overwhelming self-doubt and would rather not try at all then try and fail. Maybe …

  • One Second Everyday | TC App Review @ TechCrunch - Wed, Feb 10, 2016 6:06 AM EST

    Tito Hamze tests One Second Everyday for a while and gives it his Review…It’s Awesome!

  • Google Forms Gets Templates, Add-On Support And More @ TechCrunch - Wed, Feb 10, 2016 6:00 AM EST
    Google Forms Gets Templates, Add-On Support And More

    Google Forms, the company’s tool for creating and analyzing surveys, is getting a major update today. Google is adding a slew of new features to the service that range from support for templates to new options for analyzing surveys.Google’s last update to Forms brought a design update and added the ability to add logos, …

  • Disrupt NY 2016 Cruises To The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal @ TechCrunch - Wed, Feb 10, 2016 6:00 AM EST
    Disrupt NY 2016 Cruises To The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal

    TechCrunch Disrupt is headed back to the Big Apple, and we’re thrilled to announce that Disrupt NY 2016 will take place at the incredible Brooklyn Cruise Terminal on May 9-11. Opened in April 2006, the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal has all the creature comforts that come along with a modern cruise terminal facility. It has a …

  • HBO NOW, The Network’s Streaming Service For Cord Cutters, Has Just 800,000 Subscribers

    HBO NOW may have scored as one of last year’s top streaming apps in terms of revenue, but its subscriber count is falling short of analyst projections. Industry observers had expected the service, which allows consumers to stream HBO programming over the internet without a cable TV subscription, to reach 1 to 2 million …

  • Acre Designs Wants To Change The Way We Buy And Build Houses @ TechCrunch - Wed, Feb 10, 2016 5:38 AM EST
    Acre Designs Wants To Change The Way We Buy And Build Houses

    Most new homes that are being built in the U.S. today really aren’t all that different from those that were built 30 years ago. Some materials may be different, but most builders haven’t really kept up with the times. Y Combinator-backed Acre Designs wants to change this by building zero-energy homes that are outfitted …

  • Unity Announces Native Support For SteamVR @ TechCrunch - Wed, Feb 10, 2016 5:30 AM EST
    Unity Announces Native Support For SteamVR

    Two major powerhouses in the gaming industry announced that they would be working together to churn out killer VR content.Unity Technologies and Valve announced today that the Unity platform would be gaining native support for SteamVR, allowing developers to significantly expand their capabilities for no extra cost.Uni …

  • Mental Health Startup Lantern Raises $17 Million Series A Round @ TechCrunch - Wed, Feb 10, 2016 5:15 AM EST
    Mental Health Startup Lantern Raises $17 Million Series A Round

    Lantern, a mental health startup that offers tools to deal with stress, anxiety and body image has raised a $17 million Series A round led by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s venture arm with participation from previous investors such as Mayfield and SoftTechVC.UPMC Enterprises, the hospital’s venture arm, …

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