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By Robert Scoble | News about and for startups and their founders kept by Robert Scoble, futurist at Rackspace, Mike McCue, Flipboard's cofounder, and Hillel Fuld, journalist in Israel's tech scene. Updated in 2015.

Guildery Raises $2.1 Million For Customizable, Digitally Printed Fabrics And Home Goods

Guildery, an e-commerce company that’s putting technology to use by offering digitally printed fabrics and other home accessories like pillows, drapes, ottomans, and more, has closed on $2.1 million in seed funding from Forerunner Ventures, Cowboy Ventures, SoftTech and AOL’s BBG Ventures*. The …

Fabrics

This startup raised $8M to replace your publication’s video team with robots

Text-to-video production startup Wibbitz announced an $8 million series B raise today. NantMobile led the round, putting in $6 million to expand Wibbitz’s video platform.

Wibbitz takes text-based articles from publishers and generates video content using the publisher’s pictures, video clips, or …

Startups

Qwilr Gets Seed Funding To Turn Business Documents Into Attractive Websites

Qwilr is a tool for anyone who has sent out a PowerPoint deck they spent hours creating, only to wonder if anyone is even going to bother downloading it. The platform makes it easy to turn business documents into webpages, which in turn gives users access to analytics and other helpful tools.

The …

Seed Funding

WayBlazer, the travel cognitive computing startup, lands $5M

IBM is a lead investor in a $5 million Series A funding round for WayBlazer, a travel search and discovery company that licenses Watson cognitive …

Startups

Big data search startup Maana launches with $14.2M

EXCLUSIVE:

Meet Maana: an enterprise search startup with impressive technical chops that has already gotten business from some big companies. If its founders are right, Maana could wind up becoming a sort of Palantir — selling software that’s easy to set up, for a wide variety of customers.

Today …

Startups

Croatian Startup Oradian Raises Seed Funding For Its Microfinance Platform

Oradian, another European startup offering cloud-based software for micro finance institutions (MFIs) in developing markets, has picked up financing of its own.

The Croatian company, whose current customers are micro finance providers mainly in Nigeria, has raised an undisclosed seed round to …

Startups

Rumor Has It That Pebble Is On The Rocks Even With $18 Million In The Bank

Smartwatch maker Pebble seems to be in some trouble. According to sources close to the company, the company is having trouble maintaining its growth and has turned to a Silicon Valley bank for a $5 million loan and $5 million line of credit. Valley VCs have been turning down the company’s requests …

General Counsel

Quickie Is An Ephemeral Messaging App That I Actually Like

The rise of messaging apps has seemingly done two things to many would-be app developers. First: it’s made an unholy number of them build messaging apps because MESSAGING IS THE NEXT BIG THING. Second: it has spawned all manner of gimmicky takes on WhatsApp, Snapchat, etc. each of which purports to …

Software

Games Community Palringo Acquires Helsinki-Based Chat Games Developer Tribe Studios

Palringo, a platform where users can chat, play games and build communities around mobile games, has acquired Finnish game developer, Tribe Studios. Terms were not disclosed. The moves follow its acquisition last year of Swedish game studio, Free Lunch Design.

Tribe Studios is best known for its …

Chat

A Developer’s Guide To The Wild West Of App Discovery

Editor’s note: Raphael Ouzan is the founder CTO and head of product at BillGuard.

It’s hard to launch a consumer mobile app these days. Manage to build a stellar product that answers a true need? You can pretty much count on the Google/Apple duopoly and poor structure of both app stores to bury your …

Wild West

Algolia Grabs $18.3 Million From Accel For Its Search API On Steroids

Real-time search-as-a-service provider Algolia just raised $18.3 million with Accel Partners leading the round — Philippe Botteri will join the board. This represents some serious funding following Algolia’s $1.2 million second seed round. As a reminder, Algolia makes your website’s search box suck …

Search Engines

FOVE, The Virtual Reality Headset Controlled By Eye Movements, Launches On Kickstarter

FOVE, the virtual reality headset that you can control with just your eyes, is now available for pre-order on Kickstarter. The Tokyo-based startup, which launched at Disrupt SF last year as a Battlefield finalist, has already raised more than two-thirds of its $250,000 goal, with 44 days left to go.

Virtual Reality

What If Crowdfunding Becomes The Leading Source Of Finance For Entrepreneurs Or Growing Companies?

Can crowdfunding offer a viable source of funding to growth orientated businesses around the world? 2015 promises to be a big year for crowdfunding in terms of the role it may play in getting entrepreneurial ventures off the ground. What might that world look like if it became the leading source of …

Entrepreneurship

Facebook acqui-hires and shuts down payment startup Tugboat Yards

Facebook has acqui-hired Tugboat Yards, a startup with a tool that publishers and other groups could use to let fans make contributions in exchange for subscriptions and other services.

The Tugboat Yards service will stop accepting purchases and renewing subscriptions on July 1, although publisher …

Facebook

Mobile Optimization Startup Taplytics Has Raised $2.4M In Seed Funding

Y Combinator-incubated Taplytics is announcing that it has raised $2.4 million in seed funding.

The startup launched last year as an A/B testing service for mobile apps, and since then it’s added features around mobile analytics and push notifications. CEO Aaron Glazer said the additions are turning …

Startups

Automattic Buys WooCommerce, The Popular Plugin For Turning WordPress Into A Store

If you’re looking to turn your WordPress site into an online shop, one option reigns supreme: WooCommerce. With roughly 7.5 million downloads, it’s easily the most popular e-commerce WordPress plugin — hell, it’s one of the top 10 most popular WordPress plugins overall.

And now it’s officially a …

WordPress

Quickie is a lightning fast messaging app for the wearable era

People aren’t really interested in buying fitness trackers or smartwatches yet, but a killer product with must-have apps could turn that around. …

Wearable Tech

Eric Schmidt and other execs back a $25 million Uber-for-helicopters startup Blade to fly wealthy people extremely short distances

Getting a helicopter can be a pain. You call an operator, get the tail number, then have to email or call the operator back and forth until you get ushered on your flight. Often, you'd be better off driving. And chopper services certainly don't work like Uber, picking you up at convenient locations …

Startups

The Importance Of Choosing The Right VC

Editor’s note: Michael Litt is CEO and co-founder of Vidyard, a video marketing and analytics platform.

Like so many young startup founders, I find myself alternating between laughing out loud and cringing as I watch the Pied Piper crew navigate the business world on HBO’s “Silicon Valley.” Having …

Venture Capital

Public Transport App Trafi Closes $6.5M Series A Led By Octopus Investments

Lithuania startup Trafi, which offers a public transport app to help you plan journeys, has closed a $6.5 million Series A funding round led by Octopus Investments. EBRD Venture Capital Investment Programme and BaltCap also participated, along with previous investor Practica Capital.

Like competitor …

Transit

Akosha Gets $16M From Sequoia To Help Companies Handle Customer Questions

Akosha, a messaging platform that connects customers directly to businesses, has raised a $16 million series B round led by returning investor Sequoia Capital.

The New Delhi-based startup, which counts e-commerce giant Snapdeal and telecom Aircel among its 130 companies that use its services, plans …

Sequoia

Automatic Launches Its SDK, Turning The Car Into An App Platform

Automatic, a startup whose sensor-and-software combo has been described as “Fitbit for your car,” is today rolling out a software development kit and new hardware that turn your car into a platform for apps.

The company has partnered with more than 20 third-party app developers for the first wave of …

SDKs

Meteor Raises $20M To Build The One JavaScript Stack To Rule Them All

The competitive landscape for app development tool providers keeps getting tighter, with Meteor Development Group raising $20 million for its stack of frameworks and tools for developing web and mobile applications in JavaScript.

The round, led by Matrix Partners with investments also coming in from …

JavaScript

Switch Raises $35 Million In Strategic Funding To Expand Its Cloud-Based Phone System

Just four months after Switch Communications made its cloud-based communications suite generally available, the company has raised another $35 million in funding to get customers signed up. The funding was led by cross-border VC firm Amasia Associates, with includes investment from Felicis …

Phones

Meetup Targets Businesses And Corporations With Launch Of Meetup Pro

Meetup, the popular online service for organizing and joining in groups based around shared interests, is today expanding beyond the consumer crowd for the first time with the debut of a new product aimed at businesses. Called Meetup Pro, larger organizations and corporations can take advantage of …

Corporations

Booze On-Demand Service Drizly Lands $13 Million to Expand - Venture Capital Dispatch - WSJ

Getting booze delivered from your smartphone has never been easier.

A half-dozen startups have built apps allowing users in certain cities nationwide to order alcohol and get it delivered in as little as 20 minutes. The largest of the lot, Boston-based Drizly Inc., is about to get bigger, having …

Venture Capital

Secretive bitcoin startup 21 finally unveils its plans to mine bitcoin using your smartphone

The super-secretive bitcoin startup 21 finally has a product plan to announce, and it may change your phone forever.

21 announced today that it is working on an embeddable chip for your phone or other consumer devices that would allow you to "mine" bitcoin in the background.

Mining is the process …

Startups

Bd4travel Raises $4.2M To Let Online Travel Industry Use Big Data To Personally Target Visitors

Bd4travel, a German startup that offers a “predictive analytics platform” for the online travel industry to help target site visitors in a more personal way, has raised a $4.2 million Series A round led by London-based Hoxton Ventures. Talis Capital, and Robin Klein of The Accelerator Group also …

Big Data

Our 100M+ Fund II for Enterprise Tech, Industrial and Sustainability Startups in US and Japan

We are excited to announce our second fund, Draper Nexus II, for early and select growth stage startups.

We were fortunate to have a few success …

Startups