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TechCrunch

TechCrunch is a group-edited blog that profiles the companies, products and events defining and transforming the new web.

ipsy launches its beauty product e-commerce business Shopper as it hits 3M subscribers

 ipsy, a subscription service that delivers a collection of products to its users every month, has spent the last six years building up a community with millions of people obsessed with beauty products. And now that the company has more than 3 million subscribers — with a $10 per month subscription cost — it’s ready to get a little bit more aggressive by getting directly… Read More

Posted on 22 September 2017 | 7:00 am

Freight startup Flexport soars from ‘unsexy’ to $800M valuation

 Flexport handles the boring logistics of a trillion-dollar business: the transport of shipping containers around the world. Because the work of freight forwarding seemed so bland, it was long ignored by the tech world. But digitizing the paperwork let Flexport speed up shipping so clients keep less inventory on hand while never running out. Read More

Posted on 22 September 2017 | 5:37 am

Google Cloud adds support for more powerful Nvidia GPUs

 Google Cloud Platform announced support for some powerful Nvidia GPUs on Google Compute Engine today. For starters, the company is making Nvidia K80 GPUs generally available. At the same time, it’s launching support for Nvidia P100 GPUs in Beta along with a new sustained pricing model. For companies working with machine learning workloads, having access to GPUs in the cloud provides… Read More

Posted on 22 September 2017 | 4:52 am

Bose debuts new Google Assistant-optimized noise cancelling headphones

 Bose’s rumored QC 35 II noise-cancelling headphones are rumored no more: Bose made them official today, revealing the update to the company’s popular QC 35 premium noise-cancelling cans. Google worked with Bose to create the new headphones, the company explained in a new blog post, helping to “optimize” the audio accessory for Assistant, Google’s virtual helper… Read More

Posted on 22 September 2017 | 4:51 am

Instagram adds face filters to live video

 Instagram is making its face filters available for live video streaming through the app, the company announced today. Instagram had introduced face filters, which add visual effects to detected faces, back in May, but until now it was only available on video and images captured first and then posted to your Instagram Story after the fact. All existing face filters are now available for live… Read More

Posted on 22 September 2017 | 4:39 am

Google makes it easier for businesses to set up new phones for their employees

 Google is launching a new way for businesses to give new phones to their employees: zero-touch enrollment. Traditionally, when you want to give a new phone to an enterprise user, chances are some poor admin has to deal with ensuring that the device is configured correctly and that all the right policies are in place. As the name implies, the new zero-touch enrollment feature, however, takes… Read More

Posted on 22 September 2017 | 4:37 am

Tax on Internet ads among Europe’s proposals to plug digital tax gap

 Europe’s executive body has revealed more of its thinking on reforming digital taxation rules, issuing details of proposals it’s considering ahead of another meeting of EU ministers next week. Read More

Posted on 22 September 2017 | 4:07 am

Activehours raises $39 million for its new take on cash advances

 Nine months after raising $22 million for its unique take on the cash-advance business, Activehours has gone back to the venture capital well and pulled out another $39 million in financing. Led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from the company’s early-stage investors Matrix Partners, Ribbit Capital, and March Capital Partners, Activehours has managed to now raise nearly $65… Read More

Posted on 22 September 2017 | 4:00 am

Co-founder Brian Fenty becomes CEO at TodayTix

Brian Fenty, Merritt Baer There’s a new CEO at TodayTix, though he’s definitely not new to the company — Chairman Brian Fenty is becoming chief executive, while his co-founder (and the previous CEO) Merritt Baer is becoming the Head of Europe. TodayTix sells theater tickets in cities across the United States (including New York, Chicago and San Francisco), but its European presence is currently limited… Read More

Posted on 22 September 2017 | 3:16 am

London and Antwerp-based Hummingbird Ventures closes new $95M fund

 London and Antwerp-based Hummingbird Ventures, which counts Deliveroo and Showpad in its portfolio, has closed a new $95 million fund to invest in tech startups at the “late Seed and Series A” stage. Read More

Posted on 22 September 2017 | 2:58 am

Nvidia Shield TV gets a new, lower price ahead of Apple TV 4K launch

 Nvidia’s Shield TV, an Android TV-based device that’s currently the best option available for 4K streaming fans, is getting a price drop with a new package that leaves out the included video game controller. Bundled with just the remote, the 16GB Shield TV is now $179 – $20 cheaper than the Shield TV bundle that also includes the joypad, and in line with the pricing of the… Read More

Posted on 22 September 2017 | 2:53 am

Pinterest opens up more than 5,000 interests for advertiser targeting through its Taste Graph

 Pinterest builds itself around visual discovery — the idea that you can come to the site or app, see something you like, and immediately dive down a rabbit hole. The company has built an extensive suite of tools internally to figure out which rabbit hole to divert users to, and now it’s opening up some of that knowledge to advertisers. Pinterest said today that it’s… Read More

Posted on 22 September 2017 | 2:00 am

CCleaner supply chain malware targeted tech giants

 Malware that piggybacked on CCleaner, a popular free software tool for optimizing system performance on PCs, appears to have specifically targeted high profile technology companies and may have been an attempt to harvest IP — perhaps for commercial or state-level espionage.  Read More

Posted on 22 September 2017 | 12:13 am

Zenefits tries a rebrand and hands off insurance brokerage

 Zenefits co-founder Parker Conrad was shown the door in February last year, paving the way for then-COO David Sacks to take over the company and try to turn it around. After about a year of working on that, Sacks stepped back and brought in Jay Fulcher as its new CEO, the former CEO of Ooyala and Agile Software. Since then, Fulcher has been taking a heat test on the company and the brand,… Read More

Posted on 22 September 2017 | 12:00 am

Apttus is putting artificial intelligence to work on contract management

 It seems AI and machine learning are quickly becoming a must-have for today’s software. Apttus, the quote-to-cash service is putting AI to work in contract processing in an effort to speed up a highly inefficient system and close sales faster. Contracts have traditionally been a bottleneck in the sales process. As Apttus CEO and company founder Kirk Krappe explains it, there are a series… Read More

Posted on 21 September 2017 | 11:50 pm

With new funding, Tuition.io moves from student loan management to student loan repayments

 Back in 2014, Tuition.io was pitching itself as a management platform for student loan repayments. Now, three years later the company has raised $7 million in new financing as it moves from loan management services to actual repayment of student loans. It’s a business model that’s already shown promise, with companies like FutureFuel.io also looking to get in on the action. Both… Read More

Posted on 21 September 2017 | 11:00 pm

Learning effects, network effects, and runaway leaders

 There’s a new economic force at work in the machine learning revolution that is capable of generating increasing returns to scale, much as network effects did in the internet revolution. This force is automated learning, and its business impact comes in the form of learning effects: the more a product learns, the more valuable it becomes. Learning effects have the potential to… Read More

Posted on 21 September 2017 | 10:30 pm

Citymapper ties with Gett to launch shared taxi commuter route in London

 Urban transport navigator app Citymapper has announced a tie-up with Gett’s UK black cab hailing app to run two commuter lines of shared taxis in London, morning and evenings, between Highbury in North London and the Waterloo transport hub in the south.  Read More

Posted on 21 September 2017 | 9:48 pm

DogBuddy, the European dog sitting marketplace, scores €5M Series A

 DogBuddy, a pan-European online marketplace for dog sitting, has closed €5 million in Series A funding, money it plans for further expansion. Backing the London-headquartered startup in this round is existing investor Sweet Capital, the investment fund started by the founders of King.com, and a number of new unnamed private investors. It brings total raised by DogBuddy to €10 million. Read More

Posted on 21 September 2017 | 7:00 pm

HTC says it remains committed to Vive and its own smartphones after $1.1B deal with Google

 The $1.1 billion cooperation deal announced today between HTC and Google ended months of speculation, but prompted new questions. Chief among them is how exactly will the agreement affect HTC, which has dealt with a series of setbacks and lackluster earnings over the past few years. In a press conference today at HTC’s headquarters in Xindian, New Taipei City, the company said it… Read More

Posted on 21 September 2017 | 6:59 pm