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Facebook adds a battery-powered smart screen to the Portal line

The Portal line has always been a kind of odd duck in the world of smart screens. Facebook’s most significant contribution to the category is almost certainly Smart Camera, which uses AI to track a subject and pan and zoom accordingly to keep them in frame. It was the first big line to bring the clever feature to market, though Google, Amazon and even Apple have since offered their own takes on the category. Portal’s other primary appeal (versus a Nest or Echo) is its integration with Facebook’s...
Tags: Apple, Google, Amazon, TC, Facebook, Hardware, Tech, Faceboook, Google Amazon, Facebook Today, Smart Display, Facebook Portal, Facebook Work Accounts


Rippling launches computer inventory management as more workers remain remote

Rippling, a startup building a platform to manage all aspects of employee data, from payroll and benefits through to device management, launched Rippling Inventory Management, what founder and CEO Parker Conrad is touting as the “world’s first cloud IT closet.” The dashboard enables businesses to automatically store, ship and retrieve employee computers in a way that is remote and hands-free. Rippling stores and monitors company devices so they no longer need an “IT closet” on-site or utilize an...
Tags: Startups, TC, Enterprise, Funding, Social Media, Tech, It, SaaS, Logistics, Parker Conrad, Hiring, Mobile Device Management, Conrad, Telecommuting, Personnel, Rippling


Audi launches its newest EV, the 2022 Q4 e-tron SUV

Audi has launched the Q4 e-tron, the fifth electric vehicle in its growing portfolio, as part of the German automaker’s plan to bring more than 30 EVs and plug-in hybrids to market by 2025. T he Q4 e-tron is Audi’s entry electric SUV model and the price reflects that. The vehicle, which was  first revealed as a concept at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show, has a starting price of $44,995, including the $1,095 destination charge. It’s worth noting that the Q4 electric vehicle is about ...
Tags: TC, Transportation, Tech, Automotive, Vw, Electric Vehicles, Venture Capital, Epa, Audi, Geneva International Motor Show


For BioNTech, the COVID-19 vaccine was simply the opening act

BioNTech’s founding story dates back to the late 1990s, when CEO and co-founder Uğur Şahin, his wife and co-founder Özlem Türeci, and the rest of the seven-person founding team began their research. Focused specifically on an area dubbed “New Technologies,” mRNA stood out as one area with tremendous potential to deliver the team’s ultimate goal: Developing treatments personalized to an individual and their specific ailments, rather than the traditional approach of finding a solution that happens...
Tags: Health, Startups, TC, Tech, Biotech, Techcrunch Disrupt, Sahin, Mayfield, BioNtech, Ursheet Parikh, Ugur Sahin, Özlem Türeci, TechCrunch Disrupt 2021, EC Digital Biotech, TechCrunch Disrupt 2021 Health


NEX raises $25M, launches Active Arcade to get people moving

There is a physical activity deficit in our world. Three fourths of adults say staying in shape is very important for health benefits. Yet, one in four adults and 81% of adolescents are insufficiently physically active, according to the World Health Organization. Even before COVID-19, less than 24% of children 6 to 17 years of age did 60 minutes of physical activity daily, as per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Working from home and staying at home during the pandemic exacerbat...
Tags: Startups, TC, Gaming, Facebook, Asia, Hong Kong, California, Funding, Sports, Tech, Nba, World Health Organization, San Jose, Will Smith, Brooklyn Nets, Mvp


The iPhone 13 Pro goes to Disneyland

This year’s iPhone review goes back to Disneyland for the first time in a couple of years for, uh, obvious reasons. I’m happy to report that the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 performed extremely well and the limited testing I was able to do on the iPhone mini and iPhone 13 Pro Max showed that for the first time you’re able to make a pretty easy choice based on size once you’ve decided you’re ok without telephoto. One of the major reasons I keep bringing these iPhones back to Disneyland is that ...
Tags: Iphone, Apple, Ios, Google, Ipad, Food, TC, Samsung, Kodak, Tech, Smartphone, Mobile Phones, Ram, Computing, Disneyland, Sam


Marvel shows are now available through Apple Podcast subscriptions

Kris Holt Contributor Share on Twitter Kris Holt is a contributing writer at Engadget. More posts by this contributor Google Meet will automatically adjust webcam brightness in your browser Disney+ ‘Hawkeye’ trailer shows Clint Barton’s past catching up with him Marvel and SiriusXM have opened a new Apple Podcasts channel, which includes a paid tier. The free Marvel channel includes Marvel’s Wo...
Tags: Apple, TC, Column, Podcasts, Marvel, Tech, Hawkeye, Apple Podcast, Engadget, Chris Elliott, Timothy Busfield, Peter Quill, Stephen Lang, SiriusXM, Pandora Stitcher, Clint Barton


What’s happening today at TechCrunch Disrupt 2021

And we’re off to the races! Welcome to the official start of TechCrunch Disrupt 2021. Over the next three days, we play giddy host to icons, trendsetters and emerging technologies — plus a veritable panoply of innovative startups and the brilliant people behind them. Settle in and get ready to mine Disrupt for knowledge, trends, inspiration and opportunities to learn, build, scale and achieve your business goals. The issue is, of course, where to begin? Day one alone offers more than 36 sessions...
Tags: TC, Tech, Seth Rogen, Bbg Ventures, Nisha Dua, Richard Kerby, Katelin Holloway, Michael Mohr, TechCrunch Disrupt 2021, Lolita Taub Commsor, Alex Angel, Haneen Davies, Houseplant Rogen


Niio announces $15M Series A following strategic partnership with Samsung Displays

Niio, a  Tel Aviv-based  digital art platform featuring work ranging from contemporary artists and galleries through to NFTs, announced today it has closed $15 million Series A funding in the wake of a strategic partnership with Samsung Displays, announced last week. The round was co-led by L Catterton, a joint venture between LVMH and Catterton, Entrée Capital and Pico Venture Partners. Additional investors also joined, including Saga VC, as well as leading artists, art collectors, museums, gal...
Tags: Startups, TC, Funding, Samsung, Tel Aviv, Tech, Virtual Reality, Lvmh, Guggenheim, Moma, NFT, Anders, Catterton, Digital Art, NFTS, L Catterton


Battery Resourcers raises $70M to grow closed-loop battery supply chain

Battery Resourcers, a startup that’s developing a closed-loop approach to lithium-ion battery materials, has closed $70 million in mid-round funding to scale its commercial operations across two continents. The company, which is based in Worcester, Massachusetts, doesn’t just recycle batteries. It’s also engineered a process to turn that recycled material back into critical battery materials – specifically, nickel-manganese-cobalt cathodes and purified graphite, a material used in anodes. It int...
Tags: Startups, TC, Transportation, Asia, Europe, US, Automotive, North America, Worcester Massachusetts, Electric Vehicle Batteries, Battery Recycling, HItachi Ventures, Battery Resourcers, O'Kronley, Orbia Ventures Jaguar Land Rover, Trumpf Ventures Battery Resources


Ben Rubin, who founded Houseparty, Meerkat and Slashtalk, will peer into the future of social at Disrupt

Ben Rubin understands where social is going. In fact, he understands it so well, he’s always there early. Rubin is the current CEO and co-founder of Slashtalk and an angel investor who scouts for Sequoia Capital. He previously founded Houseparty and Meerkat — apps that pioneered group video chat and mobile livestreaming, respectively — shaping massive social trends in their earliest stages. In 2015, Meerkat took SXSW by storm. The app seemed to have captured lightning in a bottle, and entrenched...
Tags: Social, TC, Facebook, Social Networking, Social Networks, Events, Tech, Epic, Sequoia Capital, Periscope, iOS App Store, Meerkat, Ben Rubin, Irl, Epic Games, Sxsw


Business Canvas, a Korea-based document management SaaS company, closes $2.5M seed round

Business Canvas, a South Korean document management SaaS company behind Typed, announced today it has raised a $2.5 million seed round led by Mirae Asset Venture Investment, with participation from Kakao Ventures and Nextrans Inc. The seed round will be used for accelerating product development and global launch of open beta for its AI-powered document management platform. The company opened an office in Santa Clara, California this year to spur its global expansion. People are bombarded with in...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Asia, South Korea, Funding, Artificial Intelligence, Mozilla, SaaS, Korea, Machine Learning, Kim, Social Software, Santa Clara California, Kakao Ventures, Mirae Asset Venture Investment


Bilt Rewards banks $60M growth on a $350M valuation to advance credit card benefits for renters

Bilt Rewards, a loyalty program for property renters to earn points on rent with no fees and build a path toward homeownership, announced Tuesday a round of $60 million in growth funding that values the company at $350 million. The investment comes from Wells Fargo and Mastercard and a group of the nation’s largest real estate owners, including The Blackstone Group, AvalonBay Communities, Douglas Elliman, Equity Residential, GID-Windsor Communities, LENx, The Moinian Group, Morgan Properties, St...
Tags: Credit Cards, Startups, TC, Real Estate, Landlord, Money, Enterprise, Funding, Payments, Mastercard, Ankur Jain, Wells Fargo, Jain, Ownership, Loyalty Program, Bates


Slack releases Clips video tool, announces 16 Salesforce integrations

Slack has been talking about expanding beyond text-based messaging for some time. Today at Dreamforce, the Salesforce customer conference taking place this week, it announced Clips, a way to leave short video messages that people can watch at their leisure. Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield sees Clips as a way to communicate with colleagues when a full 30 minutes meeting isn’t really required. Instead, you can let people know what’s going on through a brief video. “Clips are a way to record yourself...
Tags: TC, Cloud, Enterprise, Messaging, Tech, SaaS, Collaboration, M&a, Clips, Salesforce, Stewart Butterfield, Slack, Clubhouse, Butterfield, Josh Constine, Bret Taylor


PayPal launches its ‘super app’ combining payments, savings, bill pay, crypto, shopping and more

PayPal has been talking about its “super app” plans for some time, having recently told investors its upcoming digital wallet and payments app had been given a go for launch. Today, the first version of that app is officially being introduced, offering a combination of financial tools including direct deposit, bill pay, a digital wallet, peer-to-peer payments, shopping tools, crypto capabilities and more. The company is also announcing its partnership with Synchrony Bank for its new high-yield s...
Tags: TC, Mobile, Apps, Finance, Germany, Tech, Customers, Paypal, United States, Payments, Venmo, Chime, Synchrony Bank, Varo, Facebook Fundraisers, Generosity Network


Alan acquires Jour and launches mental health service Alan Mind

French startup Alan is better known for its health insurance products — they now insure 200,000 people. But it has been slowly building a superapp for your health and expanding with new services. Today, the company announced its first acquisition ever with the acquisition of Jour for $20 million. This is going to be the foundation for a new service called Alan Mind. “More than 13 million people in France are facing a mental health issue. If you look at people under 35, it’s 3 out of 4 people — s...
Tags: Startups, TC, Apps, Europe, France, Tech, Mental Health, Paris, France Newsletter, Alan, Rhone Alpes, Alan Alan, Jour, COVID, Jean Charles Samuelian Werve, Samuelian Werve


EarthOptics helps farmers look deep into the soil for big data insights

Farming sustainably and efficiently has gone from a big tractor problem to a big data problem over the last few decades, and startup EarthOptics believes the next frontier of precision agriculture lies deep in the soil. Using high-tech imaging techniques, the company claims to map the physical and chemical composition of fields faster, better, and more cheaply than traditional techniques, and has raised $10M to scale its solution. “Most of the ways we monitor soil haven’t changed in 50 years,” E...
Tags: Food, Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Funding, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, GreenTech, Bayer, Recent Funding, Lars Dyrud, Dyrud, S2G Ventures FHB Ventures Middleland Capital, VTC Ventures


Post-pandemic shifts means Patch will take co-working to UK small towns and suburbs

It would be fair to say the pandemic has had enormous effects on the world of work, but it has come at a time when other factors were already ongoing. The decline of main-street shopping due to e-commerce has only been hastened. The shift to remote working has sky-rocketed. And people no longer want to commute 8am-6pm anymore. But we’ve also found that working from home isn’t all its cracked up to be. Plus, they don’t see the point of commuting into a big city, only to have to co-work in someth...
Tags: TC, Europe, UK, London, US, San Francisco, Entrepreneur, Tech, E-commerce, Ceo, United States, United Kingdom, Commuting, WeWork, Kingston, Founder


Google’s updated iOS 15 apps support Focus Mode and iPad widgets

Igor Bonifacic Contributor Igor Bonifacic is a contributing writer at Engadget. More posts by this contributor Rivian announces membership plan with complementary charging and LTE connectivity Microsoft Office 2021 will be available on October 5th With iOS 15 now available to download, developers both big and small have started updating their apps to take advantage of the operating system’s marquee features. One of those is Google...
Tags: Apple, Google, TC, Column, Microsoft, Tech, Google Photos, Focus Mode, Rivian, iOS 15, Tceng, Igor Bonifacic Contributor Igor Bonifacic, Engadget More


Blue Bear Capital raises $150M to fund climate, energy and infrastructure tech

Blue Bear Capital has raised a new $150 million fund that will be used to find and invest in startups developing technology aimed at speeding up the adoption and industrialization of renewable energy. This is the venture firm’s second fund, which it says is oversubscribed. Blue Bear has already backed nine new companies since 2020. The firm said the fresh cash will be used to fund digital technologies “making an outsized impact” in markets including wind, solar, the electric grid, EV infrastruc...
Tags: TC, Transportation, Tech, Nasa, Artificial Intelligence, Venture Capital, Bp, GreenTech, Tim Kopra, Blake, Advisory Board, First Reserve, Alex Krueger, Blue Bear Capital, Blue Bear, FreeWire Technologies


Alternative financing startup Pipe snaps up Stripe and HubSpot execs, expands to UK

Pipe, a two-year-old startup that aims to be the “Nasdaq for revenue,” announced today it has snagged former Stripe EIC Sid Orlando and HubSpot’s ex-Chief Strategy Officer Brad Coffey to serve on its executive team. The Miami-based fintech also revealed today its first expansion outside of the United States with its entry into the U.K. market. It’s been a good year for Pipe. The buzzy startup has raised $300 million in equity financing this year from a slew of investors, such as Shopify, Sl...
Tags: Startups, TC, UK, London, Finance, Tech, United States, United Kingdom, SaaS, Miami, Alexis Ohanian, Pipe, Fintech, Orlando, Marc Benioff, U K


Paralympians bring home gold medals, but we’re failing them on web accessibility

Joseph Wengier Contributor Share on Twitter Joseph Wengier competed in five Paralympics and won nine gold medals. He promotes the advancement of a more inclusive internet as an ambassador for accessibility technology company UserWay. After winning my first gold medal in the 1972 Paralympics, I went out with the swim team for a celebratory dinner. I’ll never forget the paradoxical sight of my teammates — all world-class athlete...
Tags: TC, Column, Opinion, Social Media, Tech, Accessibility, Disability, Tokyo, Paralympics, Joseph Wengier


MIT study finds Tesla drivers become inattentive when Autopilot is activated

By the end of this week, potentially thousands of Tesla owners will be testing out the automaker’s newest version of its “Full Self-Driving” beta software, version 10.0.1, on public roads, even as regulators and federal officials investigate the safety of the system after a few high-profile crashes. A new study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology lends credence to the idea that the FSD system, which despite its name is not actually an autonomous system but rather an advanced driver as...
Tags: TC, Transportation, Boston, US, Tech, Tesla, Mit, Automotive, Ford, Tesla Autopilot, Massachusetts Institute Of Technology, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, FSD, Intelligent Driving Environment Recording, General Motors Mercedes Benz


Daily Crunch: European regulators share more privacy concerns over Facebook “smart” glasses

To get a roundup of TechCrunch’s biggest and most important stories delivered to your inbox every day at 3 p.m. PDT, subscribe here. Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for September 20, 2021. It is Disrupt week, everyone, and TechCrunch is buzzing. Kicking off tomorrow morning, Disrupt is set to be a pretty butt-kicking affair. Check the agenda here, speakers here, Battlefield companies here, and if you want to see your humble servant doing his first run (last run?) at hosting, well, stick to the...
Tags: Apple, TC, Facebook, Europe, Australia, India, Flippa, Tech, Earth, Netflix, SEC, Pacific, Coinbase, Salesforce Ventures, Lightricks, Facetune


Evil Geniuses CEO Nicole LaPointe Jameson is coming to Disrupt

As the opportunities in the gaming world continue to expand aggressively as part of post-COVID shifts to the entertainment sector, esports has found its own opportunities in reaching new audiences. While competitive gaming is still in its early stages, the stakeholders of the industry are some of gaming’s most prominent publishers and organizations, and disrupting how business gets done can be a major challenge for rising leagues and platforms. We’re excited to have Evil Geniuses CEO Nicole LaPo...
Tags: Amazon, TC, Gaming, Events, Tech, Chicago, Ryan Reynolds, Esports, Techcrunch Disrupt, Peak6 Investments, Melanie Perkins, Evil Geniuses, Nicole LaPointe Jameson, LaPointe Jameson, TC Disrupt 2021


iOS 15 adds all the little features that were missing

The release of iOS 15 should be a major event for mobile operating systems. And yet, this year, there’s no breakthrough feature or overarching theme that makes this release stand out. Apple has focused on quality-of-life updates as well as new features for its own apps. The result is a solid update that is not going to be controversial. Some people are going to take advantage of the new Focus feature. They’ll spend a lot of time customizing their phone to make it as personal as possible. Other p...
Tags: Apple, Ios, Google, TC, Gadgets, Mobile, Apps, London, San Francisco, Siri, Tech, Safari, Focus, Facetime, Siri You, San Francisco Los Angeles New York


Carmichael Roberts, Sean O’Sullivan will share insights into climate tech and investing at Disrupt

The effects of a warming planet, from frequent and extreme flooding to hurricanes and drought, has prompted activists and governments to take action. It’s also spurred a growing number of entrepreneurs to launch technology startups focused on the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions. At the center of this activity are the venture capitalists deciding which startup — and tech — has the best chance to decarbonize the planet while providing returns. Unlike other categories, climate tech is partic...
Tags: TC, Climate Change, Events, Tech, Roberts, Dow Chemical, Sullivan, SOSV, Genzyme, TC Disrupt, MapInfo, Carmichael Roberts, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Sean O'Sullivan, Climate Tech, TC Disrupt 2021


Disrupt 2021 kicks off tomorrow

Time to carbo-load, startup fans. Tomorrow we kick off the opportunity marathon that is TechCrunch Disrupt 2021, and we can’t wait to see it all unfold! Considering the amount of programming available over the next three days, you might appreciate some expert guidance. No worries — we’ve got you covered. Make the Disrupt Desk your first destination. That’s where you’ll find TechCrunch editors highlighting just some of the must-not-miss moments on Day One. Here’s a fine example. Get your first lo...
Tags: Google, TC, Tech, Pfizer, Sahin, Startup Battlefield, Startup Battlefield Companies, Michele Romanow, Ugur Sahin, TechCrunch Disrupt 2021, Clearco, Ursheet Parikh of Mayfield Fund, Harry Hurst Accel


Freshworks’ valuation could crest $10B in upcoming IPO

Earlier today, TechCrunch examined the new IPO price range for Toast. The U.S. software-and-fintech company moved its valuation materially higher in anticipation of pricing tomorrow after the bell and trading on Wednesday. It was not alone in doing so. Freshworks is also targeting a higher IPO price range, it disclosed today in a fresh SEC filing. The customer service-focused software firm now expects to charge between $32 and $34 per share in its debut, up from the $28 to $32 per-share range th...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Ipo, Tech, SEC, Tiger Global, Initial Public Offering, Toast, Renaissance Capital, FreshWorks, Freshworks IPO


Toast raises IPO price range, providing a Monday bump to fintech valuations

U.S. technology unicorn Toast filed a new S-1 document this morning detailing a higher IPO price range for its shares. The more expensive range indicates that Toast may be worth more in its debut than it initially expected, a bullish sign for technology companies more broadly. Toast’s rising valuation may provide a boon to two different sub-sectors of technology: software and fintech. The restaurant-focused Toast sells software on a recurring basis (SaaS) to restaurants while also providing fina...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Ipo, Boston, Tech, SaaS, Fintech, Toast