Dell’s long game is in hybrid and private clouds

When Dell voted to buy back the VMware tracking stock and go public again this morning, you had to be wondering what exactly the strategy was behind these moves. While it’s clearly about gaining financial flexibility, the $67 billion EMC deal has always been about setting up the company for a hybrid and private cloud […]

Coffee Meets Bagel goes anti-Tinder with a redesign focused on profiles, conversations

How do other dating apps compete with Tinder? By further distancing themselves from Tinder’s “hot-or-not” user interface design to focus on differentiating features — like conversation starters, commenting and richer profiles. Today, another anti-Tinder app is doing the same. On the heels of its $12 million Series B announced earlier this year, the oddly named […]

Facebook relaunches search ads to offset slowing revenue

It’s an ad duopoly battle. Facebook is starting to test search ads in its search results and Marketplace, directly competing with Google’s AdWords. Facebook first tried Sponsored Results back in 2012 but eventually shut down the product in 2013. Now it’s going to let a small set of automotive, retail and e-commerce industry advertisers show […]

Report: Morgan Stanley lands coveted Uber IPO role

Uber has reportedly picked Morgan Stanley to lead its upcoming initial public offering, news of which became public last week when the ride-hailing giant filed confidentially with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an IPO expected in the first quarter of 2019. Uber’s choice, first reported by Bloomberg, comes after a months-long bidding war, of sorts, […]

Kong launches its fully managed API platform

API platform Kong, which you may remember under its previous name of Mashape, is launching its new Kong Cloud service today. Kong Cloud is the company’s fully managed platform for securing, connecting and orchestrating APIs. Enterprises can deploy it to virtually any major cloud platform, including AWS, Azure and Google Cloud, and Kong will handle […]

Voyager 2 joins its twin in interstellar space

Voyager 2, the multi-planetary exploratory probe launched in 1977, has finally entered interstellar space, some six years after its twin, Voyager 1, did the same. It’s now about 11 billion miles from Earth, the second-farthest-out human-made object in space. Interstellar space starts where the sun’s “heliosphere” ends — the big ball of radiation and plasma […]

Trello acquires Butler to add power of automation

Trello, the organizational tool owned by Atlassian, announced an acquisition of its very own this morning when it bought Butler for an undisclosed amount. What Butler brings to Trello is the power of automation, stringing together a bunch of commands to make something complex happen automatically. As Trello’s Michael Pryor pointed out in a blog […]

Instagram launches walkie-talkie voice messaging

You’d think Facebook would be faster at copying itself. Five years after Facebook Messenger took a cue from WhatsApp and Voxer to launch voice messaging, and four months after TechCrunch reported Instagram was testing its own walkie-talkie feature, voice messaging is rolling out globally on Instagram Direct today. Users can hold down the microphone button […]

Waggel launches ‘fully digital’ pet insurance

Waggel, a new “insurtech” startup in the U.K., is officially launching today to offer what it describes as “fully digital” pet insurance. Founded by Andrew Leal and Ross Fretten (a contestant of The Apprentice 2017), the company wants to offer more transparent coverage for your pet, where you’ll know exactly how much you’re paying and […]

HypeHop is a product to fix sponsored videos

I’ve been thinking hard about the concept of sponsored content — you can find some of it on TechCrunch if you look hard enough, and it appears almost everywhere else. It’s an important consideration, because as an online journalist I’ve heard everything from “How much did Apple pay you to post this?” to “How much […]

Why you need a supercomputer to build a house

When the hell did building a house become so complicated? Don’t let the folks on HGTV fool you. The process of building a home nowadays is incredibly painful. Just applying for the necessary permits can be a soul-crushing undertaking that’ll have you running around the city, filling out useless forms, and waiting in motionless lines […]

Pivotal announces new serverless framework

Pivotal has always been about making open-source tools for enterprise developers, but surprisingly, up until now, the arsenal has lacked a serverless component. That changed today with the alpha launch of Pivotal Function Service. “Pivotal Function Service is a Kubernetes-based, multi-cloud function service. It’s part of the broader Pivotal vision of offering you a single […]

Uber files confidentially for IPO

Two days after Lyft submitted paperwork to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an early 2019 initial public offering, Uber has done the same, per The Wall Street Journal. The company filed confidentially for an IPO on Friday, marking the beginning of a race for the two ride-hailing giants to the stock markets. Uber’s most […]

This DIY Enigma machine fits inside a pocket watch

The year is 1940. Through the use of arcane atomic technologies, the Axis have brought back modern technology from the year 2018. Their main prize? This amazing Enigma Pocket Watch. This tiny watch, created by a maker calling himself asciimation, uses an Arduino Pro Micro and a small OLED screen to recreate the Enigma machine […]

Flipdish raises €4.8M Series A to wean restaurants off takeout aggregators like Just Eat

Flipdish, the online ordering and loyalty platform for takeaways and restaurants, has closed a €4.8 million in Series A funding. The round is led by Rocket Internet’s Global Founders Capital, with participation by existing investor Elkstone. Founded in 2015, Flipdish enables restaurants to directly accept online orders and manage their online presence and operations in […]

Contentful raises $33.5M for its headless CMS platform

Contentful, a Berlin- and San Francisco-based startup that provides content management infrastructure for companies like Spotify, Nike, Lyft and others, today announced that it has raised a $33.5 million Series D funding round led by Sapphire Ventures, with participation from OMERS Ventures and Salesforce Ventures, as well as existing investors General Catalyst, Benchmark, Balderton Capital and Hercules. In […]

FB QVC? Facebook tries Live video shopping

Want to run your own home shopping network? Facebook is now testing a Live video feature for merchants that lets them demo and describe their items for viewers. Customers can screenshot something they want to buy and use Messenger to send it to the seller, who can then request payment right through the chat app. […]

Asian streaming startup M17, still recovering from a failed IPO, raises another $25M

M17, the Taiwanese streaming company that controversially priced on the NYSE but didn’t list, has returned to the private markets after it raised a $25 million funding round. The round was led by Terry Tsang — CEO of Hong Kong-based games company Madhead — with participation from Pavilion Capital, Stonebridge Ventures and existing investors. This new investment follows a $35 […]

Lyft files IPO documents with SEC

Lyft has filed a draft registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for its long-awaited initial public offering, Lyft wrote in a press release today. However, the exact timing of the offering is unclear. In a confidential filing with the SEC, Lyft did not state the number of shares it expects to offer, […]

Experian leads $10M investment in Southeast Asia fintech startup Jirnexu

Consumer credit giant Experian is continuing to back Asian fintech startups after it led a $10 million investment in Southeast Asia’s Jirnexu . Jirnexu, which is headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, operates financial comparison services in Malaysia and Indonesia. Those services aggregate offerings and deals from banks and financial services companies, effectively acting as a user acquisition […]

Revcontent names Omar Nicola as its new CEO

Content recommendation company Revcontent has a new chief executive: Omar Nicola, formerly the co-founder of mobile advertising company Kixer. Revcontent’s founder and outgoing CEO John Lemp will remain involved as chairman of the board of directors. “Omar is the perfect choice to take over as CEO of Revcontent, because of his wealth of experience and […]

Workato raises $25M for its integration platform

Workato, a startup that offers an integration and automation platform for businesses that competes with the likes of MuleSoft, SnapLogic and Microsoft’s Logic Apps, today announced that it has raised a $25 million Series B funding round from Battery Ventures, Storm Ventures, ServiceNow and Workday Ventures. Combined with its previous rounds, the company has now received investments […]

Foxconn or Foxgone? Tariffs, Wisconsin and iPhone fires

First some notes on SoftBank’s rumored expansion into China and its weird fund math, then Foxconn and then quick notes on tech depression, Huawei and more. TechCrunch is experimenting with new content forms. This is a rough draft of something new — provide your feedback directly to the author (Danny at danny@techcrunch.com) if you like […]

Facebook ends platform policy banning apps that copy its features

Facebook will now freely allow developers to build competitors to its features upon its own platform. Today Facebook announced it will drop Platform Policy section 4.1, which stipulates “Add something unique to the community. Don’t replicate core functionality that Facebook already provides.” That policy felt pretty disingenuous given how aggressively Facebook has replicated everyone else’s […]

Samsung fakes test photo by using a stock DSLR image

Samsung’s Malaysian arm has some explaining to do. The company, in an effort to show off the Galaxy A8 Star’s amazing photo retouching abilities, used a cleverly shot portrait, modified it and then ostensibly passed it off as one taken by the A8. The trouble began when Serbian photographer Dunja Djudjic noticed someone had bought […]

Cove.Tool wants to solve climate change one efficient building at a time

As the fight against climate change heats up, Cove.Tool is looking to help tackle carbon emissions one building at a time. The Atlanta-based startup provides an automated big-data platform that helps architects, engineers and contractors identify the most cost-effective ways to make buildings compliant with energy efficiency requirements. After raising an initial round earlier this […]

My 15 favorite gadgets and gear of 2018

This year has been tough for gadgets. Laptops seem stagnant, phones are more of the same and toys are giving way to online games and apps. So what can you pick up for your favorite gearheaded friend, family member or Secret Santa? I’ve picked some of my favorite gear from 2018 including toys, kitchen goodies […]

Let’s meet in Poland this month

I’ll be heading back to Europe in December to run a pitch-off in Wroclaw, Poland. It’s a bit out of the way, but well worth a visit if only for the sausages. The event, called In-Ference, is happening on December 17 and you can submit to pitch here. The team will notify you if you have […]

Corporate food catering startup Chewse raises $19 million

Chewse, a food catering and company culture startup, just announced a $19 million fundraising round as it gears up to expand its operations in the Silicon Valley area. This brings Chewse’s total funding to more than $30 million. Chewse’s investors include Foundry Group, 500 Startups and Gingerbread Capital. Instead of plopping down meals in the […]

Tumblr will delete all porn from its platform

Tumblr, a microblogging service that’s impact on internet culture has been massive and unique, is preparing for a massive change that’s sure to upset many of its millions of users. On December 17, Tumblr will be banning porn, errr “adult content,” from its site and encouraging users to flag that content for removal. Existing adult […]

AWS wants to rule the world

AWS, once a nice little side hustle for Amazon’s eCommerce business, has grown over the years into a behemoth that’s on a $27 billion run rate, one that’s still growing at around 45 percent a year. That’s a highly successful business by any measure, but as I listened to AWS executives last week at their […]

The economics and tradeoffs of ad-funded smart city tech

In order to have innovative smart city applications, cities first need to build out the connected infrastructure, which can be a costly, lengthy, and politicized process. Third-parties are helping build infrastructure at no cost to cities by paying for projects entirely through advertising placements on the new equipment. I try to dig into the economics […]

Enterprise AR is an opportunity to ‘do well by doing good,’ says General Catalyst

A founder-investor panel on augmented reality (AR) technology here at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin suggests growth hopes for the space have regrouped around enterprise use-cases, after the VR consumer hype cycle landed with yet another flop in the proverbial ‘trough of disillusionment’. Matt Miesnieks, CEO of mobile AR startup 6d.ai, conceded the space has generally been on another […]

Sheryl Sandberg knew more of Facebook’s work with Definers than she let on

Two weeks after The New York Times revealed Facebook’s controversial work with Republican opposition research firm Definers Public Affairs, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has changed her story in significant ways. The latest revelation: Sandberg herself directed Facebook’s communications team to probe the financial ties of George Soros, left-leaning billionaire and frequent political target of the […]

Facebook quietly hired Republican strategy firm Targeted Victory

Facebook is still reeling from the revelation that it hired an opposition research firm with close ties to the Republican party, but its relationship with Definers Public Affairs isn’t the company’s only recent contract work with deeply GOP-linked strategy firms. While that work alone isn’t cause for controversy, Facebook’s work with Republican groups does call […]

N26 says it now has more than 2M customers

N26 announced today that it now has more than 2 million customers — up from 1.5 million in October. The German fintech startup’s CEO Valentin Stalf was interviewed onstage at Disrupt Berlin with Tandem CEO Ricky Knox, where they discussed the growth of what are sometimes called challenger banks or neobanks — new banks that […]

AWS launches a managed Kafka service

Kafka is an open-source tool for handling incoming streams of data. Like virtually all powerful tools, it’s somewhat hard to set up and manage. Today, Amazon’s AWS is making this all a bit easier for its users with the launch of Amazon Managed Streaming for Kafka. That’s a mouthful, but it’s essentially Kafka as a […]

AWS announces a slew of new Lambda features

AWS launched Lambda in 2015 and with it helped popularize serverless computing. You simply write code (event triggers) and AWS deals with whatever compute, memory and storage you need to make that work. Today at AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas, the company announced several new features to make it more developer friendly, while acknowledging that […]

Insurance startup Bright Health raises $200M at ~$950M valuation

A flurry of digital-first insurers are betting they can surpass industry incumbents with a little help from technology and a lot of help from venture capitalists. The latest to land a massive check is Bright Health, a Minneapolis-headquartered provider of affordable individual, family and Medicare Advantage healthcare plans in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, New York City, Ohio and Tennessee. The company, founded by […]

Easyship, a Stripe for global e-commerce shipping, raises $4M

Easyship, a Hong Kong-based startup that aims to make international shipping for e-commerce as easy as payments, has closed a $4 million Series A round. The company was founded in 2015 by former Lazada duo Tommaso Tamburnotti and Augustin Ceyrac, and ex-banker Paul Lugagne Delpon. From their time with Lazada, the then-Rocket Internet -owned e-commerce site […]