The savage genius of SoftBank funding competitors – TechCrunch

Venture capitalists aren’t supposed to make their portfolio companies battle to the death. There’s a long-standing but unofficial rule that investors shouldn’t fund multiple competitors in the same space. Conflicts of interest could arise, information about one startup’s strategy could be improperly shared with the other, and the companies could become suspicious of advice provided by their investors. That leads to problems down the line for VCs, as founders may…

Andreessen pours $22M into PlanetScale’s database-as-a-service – TechCrunch

PlanetScale’s founders invented the technology called Vitess that scaled YouTube. Now they’re selling it to any enterprise that wants their data both secure and consistently accessible. And thanks to its ability to re-shard databases while they’re operating, it can solve businesses’ troubles with GDPR, which demands they store some data in the same locality as the user to whom it belongs. The potential to be a computing backbone that both…

This Week in Cryptocurrency: May 24th, 2019

This week marks another hearty notch in the continued uptick in cryptocurrency markets, and boy, is it more fun to write about cryptocurrency market gains rather than weekly losses for a year. Bitcoin grew another 13% on the week, bringing its price to an ATH for the year of $8,100. Ethereum is up 8.67%, Bitcoin Cash 17%, Litecoin 16.3%, Dash 19%, and Waves 19%. Even the relative newcomers got some…

Lime’s founding CEO steps down as his co-founder takes control – TechCrunch

In an all-hands meeting this afternoon, the scooter and bike-sharing phenom Lime announced co-founder and chief executive officer Toby Sun would transition out of the C-suite to focus on company culture and R&D. Brad Bao, a Lime co-founder and long-time Tencent executive, will assume chief responsibilities, Lime confirmed to TechCrunch. “Lime has experienced unprecedented growth in the global marketplace under the joint leadership of our co-founders Brad Bao and Toby…

Takeaways from KubeCon; the latest on Kubernetes and cloud native development – TechCrunch

Extra Crunch offers members the opportunity to tune into conference calls led and moderated by the TechCrunch writers you read every day. This week, TechCrunch’s Frederic Lardinois and Ron Miller discuss major announcements that came out of the Linux Foundation’s European KubeCon/CloudNativeCon conference and discuss the future of Kubernetes and cloud-native technologies. Nearly doubling in size year-over-year, this year’s KubeCon conference brought big news and big players, with major announcements…

Crypto Virtual Wallet Hacks Push Companies Towards Insurance, Advanced Security Technologies

The growing number of crypto platform hacks is petrifying and virtual wallet companies are investing in advanced security solutions and insurance products to mollify investors. SFOX a digital asset dealer is among the latest agencies to join the trend. According to the announcement, it has partnered with M.Y. Safra Bank to offer traders unique deposit accounts that are insured by The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Depositors enjoy a $250,000…

Meet Projector, collaborative design software for the Instagram age – TechCrunch

Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures bonded with Trevor O’Brien in prison. The pair, Suster was quick to clarify, were on site at a correctional facility in 2016 to teach inmates about entrepreneurship as part of a workshop hosted by Defy Ventures, a nonprofit organization focused on addressing the issue of mass incarceration. They hit it off, sharing perspectives on life and work, Suster recounted to TechCrunch. So when O’Brien, a…

Zendesk acquires Smooch, doubles down on support via messaging apps like WhatsApp – TechCrunch

One of the bigger developments in customer services has been the impact of social media — both as a place to vent frustration or praise (mostly frustration), and — especially over messaging apps — as a place for businesses to connect with their users. Now, customer support specialist Zendesk has made an acquisition so that it can make a bigger move into how it works within social media platforms, and…

Uber’s First Political Advisor Explores Mobile Voting

Bradley Tusk envisions a future where politicians lead for the majority of people, rather than just those who make it to polling places. Tusk, who advised several high-growth startups such as Uber, Lemonade, and Eaze on politics and regulation is a major proponent of mobile voting for local and national elections, and he thinks blockchain can help make it a reality. In the past decade, there have been several initiatives…

Why startups need to be careful about export licenses and the Huawei ban – TechCrunch

America is the land of free trade … precisely until it is not. Through a thicket of laws and regulations, the U.S. government has broad control over what can get exported to whom, particularly in areas with sensitive technology or national security concerns. In general, those restrictions are loose, which is why startups mostly haven’t had to think about export laws. That open world is rapidly closing though, and startups…

Robin picks up $20 million Series B to optimize the office – TechCrunch

Robin Powered, a startup looking to help offices run better, has today announced the close of a $20 million Series B funding. The round was led by Tola Capital, with existing investors Accomplice and FirstMark participating in the round, along with a new strategic Allegion Ventures. Robin started as part of an agency called One Mighty Roar, where Robin Powered cofounder Sam Dunn and his two cofounders built out RFID…

This Week in Cryptocurrency: May 17th, 2019

Outside of a substantial pullback in the past 24 hours, cryptocurrency markets experienced considerable gains over the last week. On the week, Bitcoin is up 13%, Ethereum up 34%, XRP up 24%, Binance Coin up 27%, Stellar up 31%, Monero up 18%, IOTA up 35%, NEM exploded 72%, Verge up 38%, and most other tokens were up double-digit percentages. The cause of growth, however, isn’t certain. Some hypothesize the spike…

There’s an alternative to raising VC and it’s called revenue-based financing – TechCrunch

Revenue-based financing is on the rise, at least according to Lighter Capital, a firm that doles out entrepreneur-friendly debt capital. What exactly is RBF you ask? It’s a relatively new form of funding for tech companies that are posting monthly recurring revenue. Here’s how Lighter Capital, which completed 500 RBF deals in 2018, explains it: “It’s an alternative funding model that mixes some aspects of debt and equity. Most RBF…

Under the hood on Zoom’s IPO, with founder and CEO Eric Yuan – TechCrunch

Extra Crunch offers members the opportunity to tune into conference calls led and moderated by the TechCrunch writers you read every day. This week, TechCrunch’s Kate Clark sat down with Eric Yuan, the founder and CEO of video communications startup Zoom, to go behind the curtain on the company’s recent IPO process and its path to the public markets. Since hitting the trading desks just a few weeks ago, Zoom…

Binance CZ Announces BNB Giveaway After Bitcoin Heist, Money Laundering Nightmares Persist

The recent unprecedented Binance hack that led to over 7,000 bitcoins being stolen sent shockwaves across the cryptosphere and besmirched the crypto exchange’s almost impeccable security record. And now CEO Changpeng Zhao, also known as CZ has announced a $1.2 million giveaway in Binance Coin (BNB) as a “thank you” gift to the company’s customers for being supportive during these trying times. The platform which is considered to be the…

OpenFin raises $17 million for its OS for finance – TechCrunch

OpenFin, the company looking to provide the operating system for the financial services industry, has raised $17 million in funding through a Series C round led by Wells Fargo, with participation from Barclays and existing investors including Bain Capital Ventures, J.P. Morgan and Pivot Investment Partners. Previous investors in OpenFin also include DRW Venture Capital, Euclid Opportunities and NYCA Partners. Likening itself to “the OS of finance”, OpenFin seeks to…

SugarCRM moves into marketing automation with Salesfusion acquisition – TechCrunch

SugarCRM announced today that it has acquired Atlanta-based Salesfusion to help build out the the marketing automation side of its business. The deal closed last Friday. The companies did not share the purchase price. CEO Craig Charlton, who joined the company in February, says he recognized that marketing automation was an area of the platform that badly needed enhancing. Faced with a build or buy decision, he decided it would…

This Week in Cryptocurrency: May 10th, 2019

Bitcoin continued its growth despite a week of generally negative news for the crypto space, adding another 8.71% growth this week to its 10.35% growth of last week. Other winners on the week include Ethereum (up 2%), Chainlink (39%), ABBC Coin (46.75%), and Arcblock (116%). However, this week’s markets were not all clear skies of green. The majority of coins in the top 100 were down around 8% to 15%….

Coinbase expands USDC stablecoin support to 85 countries – TechCrunch

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is ramping up stablecoin support around the world. Customers can now trade USD Coin (or USDC for short) in 85 countries — USDC support was only available in the U.S. excluding NY. You can trade USDC on both Coinbase and Coinbase Pro. The company has been aggressive when it comes to international expansion. Coinbase is currently available in over 100 countries — 85 out of 103 countries…

LinkedIn integrates and updates jobs and hiring platforms, hits 20M job postings – TechCrunch

LinkedIn, the social networking platform for the working world that’s now owned by Microsoft, has leveraged its role as a repository for people’s work profiles into making itself a job hunting and recruitment powerhouse. The company today has amassed more than 20 million job listings — up from a mere 300,000  five years ago — and sees its 600 million users collectively apply to jobs 25 million times per week….