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Adobe acquires Livefyre

Adobe today announced that it plans to acquire Livefyre, the service that’s probably best known for its online commenting system. On top of this service, the company also offers a number of tools for brands to engage with their audiences as well, which is likely what Adobe was most interested …

Adobe

Venerable audio company Bowers & Wilkins bought out by Gideon Yu’s EVA Automation

Bowers & Wilkins, an audio gear brand that has been familiar to millions for decades, has been bought out by EVA Automation, a two-year-old company that has never released a product. Yet the old company’s name and CEO will remain. You’re not going to hear about a weirder deal today.<p>EVA Automation …

Automation

Moovit transit app integrates with Uber

The local transit app Moovit announced today that it will soon be integrated with the ride-sharing app Uber in 131 cities in 22 countries. This is kind of the chocolate and peanut butter of urban travel.<p>Moovit uses official transit data plus crowdsourced data to give riders the best information …

Commuter Rail

Prete splits from Treat to bring unlimited blowouts to SF

Prete is a new blowout startup launching today in San Francisco and Los Angeles that wants to hook you up with unlimited hair styling. No cuts, color or anything else, just as many blowouts as you want for $129 a month.<p>Some of you may recall a story I wrote about a similar blowout service coming to …

Northern California

Google enables HTTPS for all Blogspot sites

Google today made HTTPS connections the default for all of the sites on its Blogspot domain.<p>Google first enabled HTTPS for Blogspot last September, but at the time, it was an opt-in feature. Starting today, encrypted connections are enabled by default.<p>It’s worth noting that this only applies to …

Google

Spotify ditches the controversial ‘hamburger’ menu in iOS app redesign

Spotify is one of the more popular music streaming apps, but it’s not necessarily the most beautifully designed (that was long-lost Rdio, unfortunately). Navigating through the various sections of its app took a lot of tapping, and often wasn’t very intuitive. Today, Spotify is attempting to …

Apps

Meet the Disrupt NY 2016 speakers and judges

Disrupt NY is right around the corner. The event starts on May 9th and we’re delighted to reveal the agenda. The lineup is stellar and for the first time, we will be hosting Disrupt NY in Red Hook, Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. We say this every year, but this is set to be our best …

E-commerce

Uber denies plans to kill surge pricing in the U.S.

Despite the headlines today, Uber says it does not have plans to nix surge pricing in the U.S.<p>It did away with surge in Delhi, India, but has now reinstated the feature there as well.<p>An earlier report from NPR claimed Uber would be doing away with surge, a feature on the Uber app that bumps prices …

Prices

Instagram crams more ads in less space with Video Carousels

What’s more lucrative than a video ad? Multiple videos in a single ad. To help businesses show different sides of their products in vivid motion, today Instagram is launching video ad carousels. It’s a savvy way for the company to give advertisers more flexibility through horizontal space so as not …

Advertising

Designer Fund, which backs startups founded by designers, has raised $20 million

Designer Fund, a San Francisco outfit that looks to invest in seed-stage startups that feature designers on their founding teams, has raised $20 million in funding from unnamed individual investors, most of them successful designers looking to support the next generation.<p>The four-year-old firm was …

Startups

Instacart, PlateJoy partner to deliver recommended groceries to dieters

The makers of a virtual nutritionist app, PlateJoy, have partnered with Instacart to offer same-day delivery of the foods that they recommended to users through the PlateJoy app<p>A subscription to PlateJoy costs $59 for six months. Users get food recommendations for themselves and family, cooking …

Personalization

Ellen Pao, Freada Kapor Klein and others form tech diversity and inclusion war room

A giant war room of diversity advocates in Silicon Valley has formed under the name Project Include. The effort consists of former Reddit interim CEO Ellen Pao, Pinterest engineer Tracy Chou, Kapor Capital Partner Freada Kapor Klein, Slack engineer Erica Baker, ReadySet founder Y-Vonne Hutchinson, …

Diversity

Microsoft acquires Italian IoT platform Solair

Microsoft today announced that it has acquired Solair, an Italy-based IoT service that was founded in 2011 (and not the U.S.-based company that makes retractable awnings).<p>Solair already used Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform to offer its services, so it’s no surprise that Microsoft plans …

Microsoft

Age of Learning, a quiet giant in education apps, raised $150M at a $1B valuation from Iconiq

Some startups raise a lot of money with much fanfare before they’ve ever shipped a product, but some grow under the radar, building something that clicks, and then slowly amassing users and revenues before most even realise they’ve arrived.<p>Now, one of the latter — an education startup called Age of …

Education

Parachute lets organizations receive live-streamed emergency incidents recorded with your iPhone

While there are a number of mobile apps that serve as a panic button of sorts – alerting friends or family when you feel you’re in danger – last year’s TechCrunch Disrupt NY hackathon winner Witness resonated with the event’s audience because it also promised a way to discreetly record incidents of …

iPhone

Announcing the Disrupt NY Hackathon MCs, sponsor prizes and last chance for tickets

This year’s TechCrunch Disrupt NY Hackathon is set to be the best yet. We’re a week away from the main event and are giddy with excitement.<p>Throughout the week, we’ll be releasing information about the event, and we figured where better to start than with details about spectator tickets, our …

Hackathons

Brazilian judge denies WhatsApp’s appeal against 72-hour block

A Brazilian judge has denied an injunction against a countrywide ban filed by messaging app WhatsApp, according to local media reports — rejecting the latter’s arguments to try to overturn the block, and asserting that users’ rights to privacy are in conflict with the right to public safety and …

WhatsApp

Twitter’s new ‘Connect’ tab shows you who to follow

Twitter has announced a new feature designed to make it easier for users to find interesting and relevant accounts to follow on its service: a new “Connect” tab. Available on both iOS and Android, the tab combines the ability to find friends and family from your phone’s Contact list with Twitter’s …

Twitter

TechCrunch is coming to Austin and Seattle in June

It’s that time again.<p>TechCrunch is headed to Austin and Seattle for the 2016 TC Meetup + Pitch-off. If you were looking to pitch your startup to the TechCrunch team, local VCs and your local community, this is the moment you’ve been waiting for.<p>Ten companies will be selected to participate in the …

Seattle

We learned from utilities everything we need to know about cloud infrastructure

Electricity is ambient. It’s all around us. We turn on lights and plug in devices without even thinking about the complex electrical grid that supplies us with juice at will. It’s become a necessary infrastructure that will never go away — but it’s only the bottom of the stack.<p>That’s exactly how we …

Utilities

Adding end-to-end encrypted messaging to your app just got a lot easier

Setting up encrypted communication by yourself is hard. If you’ve ever set up PGP for your email or implemented an off-the-record chat in Pidgin, you know that it can be a clunky, burdensome process. Thankfully, cryptographers are working to make it easier — and a new partnership will make it …

Encryption

Huawei’s opulent jewel-encrusted smartwatches are now available in the US, starting at $500

Perhaps you missed the excitement in amongst the deluge of gadget news that is the International Consumer Electronics Show, but back in January Chinese handset maker Huawei introduced this pair of strange specimens.<p>The incredibly unsubtly named Elegant and Jewel are the company’s shot at appealing …

Huawei

Giphy launches a keyboard for iOS called Giphy Keys

With all of Giphy’s integrations with chat platforms, it was only a matter of time before the betaworks-backed GIF platform launched its own keyboard.<p>World, welcome Giphy Keys into the mix.<p>The Giphy Keys third-party keyboard launches on iOS today, and lets users send GIFs from any app they want. …

iOS

GoPro releases a pair of mobile video editing apps

GoPro is going more mobile. Today the company announced two new mobile apps — one creates GoPro-ish videos automatically and the other gives the user more control. Both are free and both are welcomed additions to the GoPro ecosystem.<p>These apps might sound familiar. Earlier this year, GoPro …

Video Editing

Shopify’s online merchants can now offer same-day delivery via Postmates

Postmates to date has scored deals with a number of high-profile retailers and restaurants, including Apple, Walgreens, Starbucks, Chipotle, and 7-Eleven. Today, it’s expanding its reach again via a partnership that will bring a number of smaller businesses – even down to mom-and-pop shops – to its …

Apps

When innovating stops making sense

If you listened carefully to business news last week you could hear the sound of a giant tree falling in a quiet forest. It happened when Rovi bought TiVo for $1.1 billion. It was a merger of convenience, a way for TiVo to get out of its slump and die a gracefully without much shareholder pain.<p>The …

TiVo

Shenzhen Valley Ventures has a new incubator for hardware startups

Shenzhen Valley Ventures in Palo Alto, Calif. is launching an incubator for hardware startups in partnership with one of its largest limited partners, Zowee, a factory that works with hardware giants like Xiaomi Technology Co. and Samsung Ltd.<p>Zowee’s Shenzhen facility includes unique prototyping …

Shenzhen

Uber Offers get merchants to pay for your ride

Uber wants to be your car, and the billboard. It’s turning its frequently used app into a surface for external commerce promotions in hopes of rewarding users with special deals. If Uber will give you $20 off for shopping with its partners, you might stick with it over competitors.<p>Eventually, …

Uber

With News Deeply, Lara Setrakian has created a new model of impact journalism

In 2013 Lara Setrakian was fed up with the news business.<p>A longtime correspondent for both ABC News and Bloomberg Television, Setrakian had reported in and on the Middle East for years.<p>From the Iran election crisis in 2009 to the Arab Spring uprisings throughout 2011, Setrakian spent her days …

Journalism

India’s MobiKwik raises $50M for its mobile wallet service

The increase of smartphone ownership in India is fueling the rise of mobile wallets in the country. One company leading the charge, MobiKwik, has topped up its own funds with a $50 million Series C round announced today.<p>Primarily a mobile wallet, MobiKwik’s range of services include online recharge …

India