In China, short video apps aren’t just for mindless time killing. These services are becoming online bazaars where users can examine products, see how they are grown and made, and ask sellers questions during live sessions. Kuaishou, the main rival of TikTok’s Chinese version (Douyin), announced that it accumulated 500 million e-commerce orders in August, […] …Continue Reading

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

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

Mozilla today announced that it will shutter two products: Firefox Send, the free file transfer service it already put on hiatus in July, and Firefox Notes, its note-taking extension and mobile app. Firefox Send launched in March 2019. At the time, Mozilla described it as a file-sharing tool with a focus on privacy. That privacy […] …Continue Reading

Amazon is making it easier for Alexa devices owners to use Routines. The feature, which has been around for years, allows Alexa users to combine multiple tasks into a single voice command of their choosing. For example, you could make a routine that turns off your lights, plays relaxing music, and locks your doors when […] …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

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

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

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

Melisa Irene‘s path to becoming a partner at one of Southeast Asia’s most esteemed venture capital firms is an unconventional one. “I always consider myself to be quite lucky,” said Irene, who was promoted to be a partner at East Ventures in January 2019. At 25 years old, she was the Jakarta-based investment firm’s first […] …Continue Reading

Pan-African fintech company Interswitch plans to fire up its corporate venture arm again—according to CEO Mitchell Elegbe—who spoke at TechCrunch Disrupt on Wednesday. The Nigerian founder didn’t offer much new on the Lagos-based firm’s expected IPO, but he did reveal Interswitch will revive investments in African startups. Founded by Elegbe in 2002, Interswitch pioneered the […] …Continue Reading

There have been a couple of articles published in the last two days reporting on an impromptu sweep that took place outside of a venue we are using for our TechCrunch Disrupt event in San Francisco this week. We wanted to detail what we know about what happened and the steps that are being taken […] …Continue Reading

In a Wednesday filing in federal court, the United States government said that users who use or download WeChat “to convey personal or business information” will not be subject to penalties under President Donald Trump’s executive order banning transactions with the Tencent-owned messaging app. Trump issued the executive order against WeChat on August 6, the […] …Continue Reading

This may be counterintuitive. I hope so. I remember the day I first started using Twitter. My friend Gabe Rivera suggested it would be a good idea to sign on to the fledgling network. Basically it was a land grab — claim the real estate of my name. I most likely was aware of the […] …Continue Reading