Earlier today at TechCrunch Disrupt, venture capitalist Peter Fenton joined us to talk about a variety of issues. Among them, we discussed how he’s putting his stamp on Benchmark now that, 15 years after joining the storied firm, he’s its most senior member. Fenton said that he’s mostly focused on ensuring that the firm doesn’t […] …Continue Reading

TechCrunch hosted an unusual Startup Battlefield this week — the founders, judges, audience and moderator (me) were all in different locations, doing our best to interact over WebEx. But the 20 startups still demonstrated their products and explained their visions, then were grilled by expert judges. And those judges helped the TechCrunch team select our […] …Continue Reading

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast (now on Twitter!), where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week Natasha Mascarenhas, Danny Crichton and myself hosted a live taping at Disrupt for a digital reception. It was good fun, though of course we’re looking forward to bringing the live show back to the conference […] …Continue Reading

Impact Creative Systems (formerly Imagine Impact) is bringing a startup accelerator-style approach to finding fresh creative talent, and it announced this morning that, with funding from venture capital firm Benchmark,  it’s spinning out from Imagine Entertainment — the production company founded by director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer. Right after the news broke, the […] …Continue Reading

Like plenty of other modern direct-to-consumer companies, influencer marketing has been an essential part of Fabletics’ journey. Actress Kate Hudson co-founded the company and co-CEO Adam Goldenberg believes that its network of spokespeople has been key to the company’s growth. We were joined on our virtual TechCrunch Disrupt 2020 stage by Goldenberg and comedian Kevin […] …Continue Reading

Growing cannabis on an industrial scale involves managing margins while continually adhering to compliance laws. For many growers, large and small, this consists of constant data entry from seed to sale. Canix’s solution employs a robust enterprise resource planning platform with a steep tilt toward reducing the time it takes to input data. This platform […] …Continue Reading

Diesel engines are the workhorses of freight transportation and agriculture — and by extension keep the economy fed and well supplied. They also have a dirty side. The founders of ClearFlame Engine Technologies, a four-year-old startup based in Geneva, Illinois, say they have found a way to clean them up. The company, which participated in […] …Continue Reading

Crista Galli Ventures, a new early-stage health tech fund in Europe, officially launched last week. The firm offers “patient capital” — with only a single LP (the Danish family office IPQ Capital) — and promises to provide portfolio companies with deep healthcare expertise and the extra runway needed to get over regulatory and efficacy hurdles […] …Continue Reading

Crover’s robotic platform isn’t the sexiest or most exciting — particularly for a startup that began life with space travel in its sights. But the real future of robotics and automation lies in the dull, dirty and dangerous tasks employers have difficult finding human workers to fill. Monitoring grain silos, at very least, qualifies for […] …Continue Reading

Severe droughts have drained rivers and reservoirs across parts of India, and more than half a billion people in the world’s second-most populous nation are estimated to run out of drinking water by 2030. Signs of this are apparent in farms, which consume the vast majority of total water supplies. Farmers have been struggling in […] …Continue Reading

Six years ago, SmartNews took on a major challenge. After launching in Japan in 2012, the news discovery app decided that its first international market would be the United States. During Disrupt, co-founder Kaisei Hamamoto talked about how SmartNews adapts its app for two very different markets (the video is embedded below). Hamamoto, who is […] …Continue Reading

Despite the coronavirus outbreak, which has slowed down deal-making across the world, dozens of startups in India have raised considerable amounts in recent months. Unacademy, which raised $110 million in February, closed a new round of $150 million this month. These large check sizes, and the frequency at which they are being bandied out, were […] …Continue Reading

At TechCrunch Disrupt today, SmartNews announced the release of major new features for the American version of its news discovery app, designed to make it easier for users to get updates about the elections, COVID-19 and the weather. Several features focus on the presidential race, and other candidates up for vote this year. SmartNews, which […] …Continue Reading

Snowflake went public this week, and in a mark of the wider ecosystem that is evolving around data warehousing, a startup that has built a completely new concept for modelling warehoused data is announcing funding. Narrator — which uses an 11-column ordering model rather than standard star schema to organise data for modelling and analysis — […] …Continue Reading

“Scandal” and “Little Fires Everywhere” star Kerry Washington won her first Emmy Award yesterday, but when she joined us at TechCrunch Disrupt today, she was much more focused on her work as an investor. Washington traced much of her interest in technology to the premiere of “Scandal” in 2012. It had, she said, been “almost […] …Continue Reading

Pure Storage, the public enterprise data storage company, today announced that it has acquired Portworx, a well-funded startup that provides a cloud-native storage and data-management platform based on Kubernetes, for $370 million in cash. This marks Pure Storage’s largest acquisition to date and shows how important this market for multi-cloud data services has become. Current […] …Continue Reading