Startups Only

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.

Unilever in talks to buy Jessica Alba's Honest company for $1bn

Unilever is on an acquisition spree of companies such as Honest, which has a loyal customer base of younger consumers drawn to its ‘natural’ products<p>Unilever is attempting to buy Hollywood actor Jessica Alba’s household goods company Honest for more than $1bn (£760m), according to reports.<p>The …

Zilingo lands $8M for its marketplace for fashion sellers in Southeast Asia

Zilingo may not be a name known to many prior to today, but the under-the-radar e-commerce company has closed an impressive $8 million Series A round to scale its fashion-focused operations in Southeast Asia.<p>The round was led by Sequoia India, Indonesia-based Venturra Capital and Susquehanna …

VizEat, a startup that lets you dine in a local’s own home, gobbles up €3.8M funding

VizEat, a European startup that operates a “social dining platform” to enable travellers to dine in a local’s home, has raised €3.8 million in new funding. The round was led by various, mostly unnamed, investors and also includes current backer Eurovestech.<p>Founded in July 2014, VizEat has built a …

Venture Communism: How China Is Building a Start-Up Boom

HANGZHOU, China — In Dream Town, a collection of boxy office buildings on the gritty edge of this historic city, one tiny company is developing a portable 3-D printer. Another takes orders for traditional Chinese massages by smartphone. They are just two of the 710 start-ups being nurtured …

China

Palo Alto mayor pushes for ban on large tech companies taking over downtown

Patrick Burt want to use local zoning laws to restrict major technology companies from occupying space in the city, which is home to Palantir and Amazon<p>The mayor of Palo Alto is pushing for a ban on large technology companies downtown, making him the latest local politician to go after the powerful …

As Turkey’s coup creates a new political reality, startups turn east for growth

Turkey has been having an <i>annus horribilis</i>. For the past year the country has incurred bombings, the rise of extremists, growing authoritarianism and censorship and, this past July 15, an attempted coup on its democratically elected government.<p>Still, the country’s entrepreneurs and investors soldier …

Revelator raises $2.5M to build a business platform for digital music

Bruno Guez has spent decades in the music business — he hosted a show on public radio, founded Quango Music Group and even worked as the creative director of music at Cirque de Soleil. Over that time, he said he’s watched as changes in the music industry outpaced the tools available to artists and …

Apollo Global is buying Rackspace for $4.3 billion

Apollo Global, a private-equity firm, has agreed to buy Rackspace in a $4.3 billion deal that would take the cloud-computing company private.<p>Rackspace will be acquired for $32 per share in cash, it said in a statement on Friday. That's a 38% premium to Rackspace's closing price on August 3, and 6% …

Markets

Authentication startup Auth0 raises $15M as it beefs up security features

“Identity-as-a-service” startup Auth0 (pronounced “auth zero”) has raised $15 million in Series B funding.<p>CEO Jon Gelsey said that for many website and mobile app developers, integrating with different login systems can turn into a big headache — and also create security risks. So the company helps …

Sorry, but chatbots are not the new apps

If you even remotely follow tech news, it is very likely that you have read outlandish claims like “chatbots are the new apps.” But the fact is, there are way too many misconceptions around conversational products.<p>Facebook Messenger already has over 11,000 bots. Let’s add Kik, Telegram, Line, and …

Chatbots

Logikcull raises $10M to let lawyers analyze documents at the speed of a thousand interns

As entertaining and interesting as made-for-TV lawsuits (like the O.J trial) are, they always leave out one key element. The hundreds of hours of research that goes on behind the scenes to prepare for an important trial.<p>Before any big trial a lawyer (and their associates and interns) has to find, …

Pinterest acquires Instapaper, which will live on as a separate app

Pinterest said today that it would be acquiring the team behind Instapaper, which will continue operating as a separate app. The Instapaper team will both work on the core Pinterest experience and updating Instapaper.<p>Pinterest’s logic here is that one of the company’s core tenets is bookmarking — …

Microsoft acquires AI scheduling bot Genee for Office 365 smarts

Microsoft announced today that it acquired Genee, an AI-powered scheduling assistant bot that specializes in planning meetings for large groups or when organizers don’t have direct access to the calendars of everyone involved.<p>Genee’s app is a chatbot accessible via an iPhone app, email, SMS, FB, …

Apple Acquires Personal Health Data Startup Gliimpse

In the last three years, Gliimpse has built a secure platform where consumers can manage and share their own medical records and info.<p>Apple's ambitions in the health sector continue to expand, with its digital health team making its first known acquisition—personal health data startup Gliimpse, <i>Fast</i> …

InsiteVR grabs $1.5M in seed funding to bring 3D models to life in VR

Most of the companies raising funding in the VR space right now are focused on entertaining potential consumers. Perhaps getting less attention are the companies jockeying to provide cool solutions for the enterprise.<p>InsiteVR just raised a $1.5 million seed round to tap into the architecture and …

Meesho wants to make selling through WhatsApp more efficient and less painful

WhatsApp may have over one billion active users each month but it continues to frustrate the many small businesses that rely on it for sales but suffer for its lack of advanced features.<p>Messaging services like Line, WeChat and even Facebook Messenger have become platforms that let business users …

Dexter, the betaworks-backed platform for building bots, raises $2.3 million in seed

Dexter, the betaworks-backed company that helps people build integration-based apps, has today announced the close of a $2.3 million seed round. The funding round was led by Rakuten Ventures, with participation from Social Starts and betaworks.<p>Dexter lets developers build integration-based apps …

Twitch is acquiring popular video game community and software maker Curse

Live streaming video platform Twitch (a subsidiary of Amazon) is doubling down on video games with the acquisition of a significant player in the world of video game communities: Curse. The terms of the deal are undisclosed and Twitch declined to comment beyond the official announcement.<p>Curse …

Simbi raises $1.2 million to make bartering services easy online

A startup called Simbi has raised $1.2 million in seed funding to popularize its marketplace where people can barter skills and services online.<p>Greylock Discovery fund, Crunchfund and Ranch Ventures invested in the round along with Y Combinator. The company is part of Y Combinator’s current …

A Chicken In Every Bot — 500ish Words

Bot hype battles bot reality<p>After a (purposefully) vague tweet last week, Re/code reached out to get my take on bots, for an overview post they were …

AOL co-founder Steve Case lays out playbook for new wave of startups

Plenty of industries are ripe for disruption, but new startups need to work with partners and be in it for the long haul, said Internet business pioneer Steve Case.<p>But if they do, opportunities abound in what he calls the third wave of the Internet.<p>The first wave was the foundation laid by AOL and …

The Inherent Problem with Anonymous Apps

Vanity Fair and TechCrunch recently reported that Yik Yak is in trouble, a company that raised over $70 million dollars and valued at around $400 …

League of Legends

The Weird Redemption of SF’s Most Reviled Tech Bro

He blasted the homeless, then tried to make amends, startup-style. But as Greg Gopman learned, no business plan can find your way back home.<p>In <b>the</b> …

Banishing The Bosses Brings Out Zappos' Hidden Entrepreneurs

Encouraging employees to come up with new ideas and ways of thinking can broaden business scope and boost performance. Taking it a stage further and allowing staff to manage themselves can uncover a wealth of latent entrepreneurial talent. Doing away with managers altogether, and letting people run …

Leadership

The robotic personal assistant that just got $23M

<b>New York (CNN) —</b> Investors just poured $23 million into perfecting Amy.<p>That may sound a little less weird once you know that Amy is an artificially intelligent personal assistant and the brainchild of a startup called X.ai.<p>Clients can "cc" Amy -- or her counterpart Andrew -- on emails requesting a …

Personal Assistants

Luxe, a startup that valet parks your car when you can’t find a spot, just raised $50 million from Hertz

It's already a pain to find parking in crowded cities. It's even worse if it's a city you've never been to.<p>That's why rental-car company Hertz just made a $50 million strategic investment in Luxe, a San Francisco-based startup that makes it its job to handle the parking for you.<p>Luxe works as a …

Business Analytics

The Rise of Entrepreneurship in China

Jack Ma, chairman of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Photographer: Christophe Morin/Bloomberg<p>Over the past two decades, entrepreneurship in China has grown at an exponential rate. It is bringing forth disruptive changes not only to China but increasingly also to the rest of the world.<p>In 2000, total …

China

Finding Product Market Fit

There’s a fine line between the “reality distortion field” founders create and just being a bit delusional. During our first year and half as a …

Product Management

What It's Like To Raise $127 Million As Silicon Valley's Bubble Bursts

A DoorDash delivery “dasher” (Photo: DoorDash)<p>When Tony Xu calls 2015 a “blitzkrieg” year, it’s hard to disagree.<p>The 31-year-old cofounder and CEO of DoorDash took his food delivery startup national, expanding from three markets to 22 in just 11 months. He quadrupled his employee base and moved …

Venture Capital