charlesmonk

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Here’s a startup that wants to be an OpenStack for the internet of things

The co-founders of OpenSensors believe that while connecting billions of devices to the internet will be complicated, being able to do it on …

A $5.5 Million Bet on a Better Way to Learn Coding

The Flatiron School isn't a college. It just received venture backing, but isn't growing super-fast. And it isn't even in the Flatiron neighborhood. It has a ton going for it anyway.<p>Sitting up as straight as is possible in an overstuffed couch in a room overlooking the iconic bronze Charging Bull …

Education

In 18K Schools And Counting, Clever Confirms $10.3M Raise From Sequoia, As It Looks To Build The Next Big Learning Platform

Clever launched out of Y Combinator in 2012 on a mission to help K-12 schools bring the latest education software into their classrooms. By giving districts a central way to manage student and teacher accounts in each learning application, and closely integrating those apps with their existing data …

YC-Backed Orankl Gives Small Vendors The Same Tools As Amazon

Customer reviews are the backbone of sites like Amazon (where they have turned into a platform for some of the most inspired comedic writing on the Internet), but it can be difficult for smaller retailers to convince shoppers to leave feedback. Orankl, a Y Combinator-backed startup, wants to give …

Responsive Website Builder Webflow Raises $1.5 Million From Khosla, Tim Draper & Others

Webflow, the Y Combinator-backed startup aimed at making it easier for creative professionals to visually design and host their own responsive websites, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding. The round, which comes at a time when the company has grown its user base from 10,000 last summer to now …

PayPal adds new accelerators, incubators, and Braintree features to Startup Blueprint program

PayPal is sweetening the pot for its ambitious startup initiative.<p>Today at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, Paypal announced that it’s adding a new round of incubators and accelerators to its Startup Blueprint program, which waives up to $50,000 worth of PayPal processing fees for selected …

Influx Raises $250,000 To Help Growing Startups Handle Customer Support Requests

For startups just beginning to gain traction, the joy (and relief) of watching user numbers grow can vanish as soon as support requests start coming in. If customers don’t get their queries answered quickly, it can negatively impact a fledgling company’s reputation. But responding to questions in a …

With $500K In The Bank, Credible Launches A Kayak-Style Marketplace To Simplify Student Loan Refinancing

With outstanding student debt now over $1 trillion in the U.S., it’s clear that college grads are struggling mightily to make payments and refinance their debt. Meanwhile, thanks to decades of plummeting borrowing costs, millions upon millions of consumers have been able to refinance mortgages and …

42, An Online Platform Bringing Big Data To Brick-And-Mortar Retailers, Makes Its Debut

Y Combinator-backed online retailer platform and former TechCrunch Disrupt participant, 42, is today making its official debut. The company, founded only a year ago, is working to turn raw point-of-sale data into actionable insights for brick-and-mortar businesses that can help them boost their …

YC’s AptDeco Gives Apartment-Hopping New Yorkers A Better Way To Buy & Sell Furniture

Moving sucks. Especially if you have to jettison a load of furniture the next time you swap states or switch apartments. AptDeco, just graduating from YC, is aiming to fix that — via its p2p secondhand furniture marketplace which bolts on a fully insured delivery service so buyers don’t have to …

Gobble Automates Your Dinner With A Subscription Meal Delivery Service

For people with busy lives, coming home and making dinner for the family can be a pain. Equally as painful? Trying to find a place to go out to or order from that the whole family can agree on. Gobble, currently in the Y Combinator Winter 2014 class, is seeking to alleviate that pain by offering up …

Silk Makes it Easier to Explore and Visualize Online Data

Silk is a beautiful website building platform for people who want to create and manage a specialized database online. Now, it’s rolling out a new ‘Explore’ page format so that visitors can easily search and filter the information that they’ve published online.<p>When you hit the Explore tab on the …

Running A Business

I have recently seen two tech businesses run into the ground despite their products having thriving user bases. I was not formally involved with …

PolitiFact launching new site to call out lies of political pundits

You'll soon be able to know just how accurate your favorite (and least-favorite) pundits are thanks to PolitiFact, which is launching a spin-off site next month called PunditFact. Since 2007, PolitiFact has been cataloging politicians' claims and making judgments on how factual they are, giving …

Simplilearn raises $10M so professionals don’t get left in the dust

In a competitive job market, Simplilearn helps people get the training they need to keep up.<p>Today, Simplilearn announced securing $10 million in its second round of financing. The company claims to be the world’s largest certification training provider for working professionals.<p>Simplilearn offers a …

Distill Raises $1.3M To Make Technical Recruiting, Hiring Dead Simple

With recruiters viciously competing for the best talent in the Valley, startups end up with plenty of paperwork and files to contend with.<p>A San Francisco-based startup called Distill is looking to make recruiting dead simple and just picked up $1.3 million in funding in a round with Felicis …

Xobni Was Acquired For More Than $60 Million

So email management startup Xobni was acquired by Yahoo today, the company officially announced on its blog. Initial reports said the company was acquired for “upwards of $30 million” but TechCrunch has learned that total consideration for the deal will be more than twice that amount, at more than …

Ex-Goldman Banker Gets $1 Million to Take on Crafts Giants With DIY Startup Darby Smart

Nicole Shariat Farb has always had a thing for crafting. But all too often her craft projects resulted in disappointment when she couldn’t recreate a …

IT Pros Are Using LinkedIn In A Surprising Way: To Shop For Enterprise Tech

Before writing checks for projects that may cost their companies tens of thousands up to a million dollars, IT pros will naturally do their homework.<p>And they are increasingly doing that homework by crawling social networks to find out what others are saying about the product.<p>So LinkedIn conducted a …

RocketSpace Launches RocketU Developer Bootcamp With In-Person Classes For N00bs And Ninjas

If you can’t program, the future’s looking bleaker and bleaker. And if you can, learning to manage other code monkeys could get you promoted. Office-as-a-service provider RocketSpace’s new RocketU is a tech professional education program aimed to aid engineers no matter where they are in their …

Desire2Learn’s New Learning Suite Aims To Predict Success, Change How Students Navigate Their Academic Career

Desire2Learn is a 10-plus year old Canadian company that makes learning software — a learning management system to be precise — and here’s why, in spite of that description, it shouldn’t bore you to sleep. In a space that’s traditionally been controlled by bigs like Blackboard and Moodle, …

State Launches Opinion Network Where You Don’t Need Followers To Be Heard

Twitter is great if you’re famous. But Jawbone’s founding CEO Alexander Asseily thinks everyone deserves a powerful voice online, so today he’s launching State, a structured opinion-sharing network where people don’t need to follow you see your posts. You can get an early State invite now and start …

At Shapeways facility, order emerges from 3D-printed chaos

NEW YORK -- Looking at the diagram in front of me, which shows a pile of random things jumbled together, I can't help but think that I'm looking at the aftermath of something like a hurricane or a flood.<p>Actually, however, this is optimized organization of the highest order. It's a chart showing the …

Social Sentiment Platform Swipp Launches Consumer Opinion Tracker For Businesses, Backed By Additional $2M Investment

Mountain View-based startup Swipp, which earlier this year launched its social interest platform for consumers to share what they think of “a person, place or thing”, has taken the natural next step by introducing Swipp Plus: a tool for businesses to mine the consumer data that its opinion graph …

Credit Scorer Kreditech Raises ‘Around $3.5M’ From Samwers And Others

Last month Oliver and Marc Samwer — founders of the Rocket Internet startup incubator — launched Global Founders Capital, a new €150 million ($194 million) fund aimed at any and all startups worldwide. This month one of the first startups to benefit from that will be credit scoring startup …

Yahoo! Unveils Brand New iOS App, Including Built-In Summly Summaries

Yahoo! acquired startup Summly for somewhere around $30 million just one month ago, but it’s already bearing fruit. First, there was the Summly summarized version of its Q1 2013 earnings last week, and now there’s a brand new flagship Yahoo! iOS application out today (for U.S. users only for now) …

18 Months to Overnight Success

Just two weeks ago we had no money left in the bank and were thinking of shutting shop. One email changed everything! We got an offer from …

Songza Raised $3.8M According To SEC Filing, Amazon Still In The Frame As An Investor

Songza, a free streaming music service that has expert-made playlists and runs on the web and various touch screen platforms, raised $3.8 million, according to an SEC filing. While Amazon has long been an “unconfirmed” investor listed on AngelList, it parlayed its investment in the earlier Aime St …

Instructure Launches App Center To Let Teachers, Students Install Third-Party Apps Across Learning Platforms

Props are owed to companies like Blackboard and Moodle for being early movers in the educational software space, particularly in helping catalyze innovation in learning management systems (LMS). The problem is, of course, they got their start over a decade ago, and haven’t always elicited raving …