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Wiki & Web 2.0 Blog Aggregator
Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method BDPRSS2::tag() should not be called statically in /homepages/25/d139429755/htdocs/wiki-web20/blog/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 123

Wiki & Web 2.0 Blog Aggregator

    Aggregated Posts



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    TechCrunch » UK report warns DeepMind Health could gain ‘excessive monopoly power’


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    Posted 8 months ago

    DeepMind’s foray into digital health services continues to raise concerns. The latest worries are voiced by a panel of external reviewers appointed by the Google-owned AI company to report on its operations after its initial data-sharing arrangements with the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) ran into a major public controversy in 2016. The DeepMind Health Independent Reviewers’ 2018 report flags ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Crown, a new app from Tinder’s parent company, turns dating into a game


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    Posted 8 months ago

    If you’re already resentful of online dating culture and how it turned finding companionship into a game, you may not be quite ready for this: Crown, a new dating app that actually turns getting matches into a game. Crown is the latest project to launch from Match Group, the operator of a number of dating sites and apps including Match, ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Teaching computers to plan for the future


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    Posted 8 months ago

    As humans, we’ve gotten pretty good at shaping the world around us. We can choose the molecular design of our fruits and vegetables, travel faster and farther and stave off life-threatening diseases with personalized medical care. However, what continues to elude our molding grasp is the airy notion of “time” — how to see further than our present moment, and ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Elizabeth Holmes reportedly steps down at Theranos after criminal indictment


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    Posted 8 months ago

    Elizabeth Holmes has left her role as CEO of Theranos and has been charged with wire fraud, CNBC and others report. The company’s former president, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, was also indicted today by a grand jury. These criminal charges are separate from the civil ones filed in March by the SEC and already settled. There are 11 charges; two are ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Judge says ‘literal but nonsensical’ Google translation isn’t consent for police search


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    Posted 8 months ago

    Machine translation of foreign languages is undoubtedly a very useful thing, but if you’re going for anything more than directions or recommendations for lunch, its shallowness is a real barrier. And when it comes to the law and constitutional rights, a “good enough” translation doesn’t cut it, a judge has ruled. The ruling (PDF) is not hugely consequential, but it ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Machines learn language better by using a deep understanding of words


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    Posted 8 months ago

    Computer systems are getting quite good at understanding what people say, but they also have some major weak spots. Among them is the fact that they have trouble with words that have multiple or complex meanings. A new system called ELMo adds this critical context to words, producing better understanding across the board. To illustrate the problem, think of the ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Apple and Oprah sign a multi-year partnership on original content


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    Posted 8 months ago

    Apple announced today a multi-year content partnership with Oprah Winfrey to produce programs for the tech company’s upcoming video-streaming service. Apple didn’t provide any specific details as to what sort of projects Winfrey would be involved in, but there will be more than one it seems. Apple shared the news of its deal with Winfrey in a brief statement on ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Kustomer gets $26M to take on Zendesk with an omnichannel approach to customer support


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    Posted 8 months ago

    The CRM industry is now estimated to be worth some $4 billion annually, and today a startup has announced a round of funding that it hopes will help it take on one aspect of that lucrative pie, customer support. Kustomer, a startup out of New York that integrates a number of sources to give support staff a complete picture of ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » With its new in-car operating system, BMW slowly breaks with tradition


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    Posted 8 months ago

    When you spend time with a lot of BMW folks, as I did during a trip to Germany earlier this month, you’ll regularly hear the word “heritage.” Maybe that’s no surprise, given that the company is now well over 100 years old. But in a time of rapid transformation that’s hitting every car manufacturer, engineers and designers have to strike ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Showcase your country or state’s startups at Startup Alley


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    Posted 8 months ago

    Disrupt SF is just a few months away (September 5-7 at Moscone Center West) and we’re looking for delegations of international startup groups, government innovation centers, incubators and accelerators to organize a country, state or regional pavilion in Startup Alley. Are you ready to step on a world stage, show off your emerging companies and be recognized as a leader ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Lemonade files lawsuit against wefox for IP infringement


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    Posted 8 months ago

    Lemonade, the insurance platform based out of NYC, has filed a lawsuit against German company ONE Insurance, its parent company wefox, and founder Julian Teicke. The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court Southern District of NY, alleges that wefox reverse engineered Lemonade to create ONE, infringing Lemonade’s intellectual property, violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and breaching its ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Uber’s unrelenting desire to be everything


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    Posted 8 months ago

    Welcome back to CTRL+T, the TechCrunch podcast where Megan Rose Dickey and I talk about stories from the week that we either found interesting or hated and had more to say about. This week we talked about Uber . Uber, Uber, Uber. This company wants everything. The rideshare market! Autonomous vehicles! Flying vehicles! And now? Scooters. And to be able ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Apple Maps outage disrupts search and navigation for all users [Update: resolved]


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    Posted 8 months ago

    Apple Maps is experiencing a widespread outage, according to the company’s System Status page. Maps routing, navigation and search are impacted by the outage, which is affecting all users, the page informs. [Update: the problems were resolved at 1:05 PM ET.] The issues were first noticed by the Apple news site MacRumors, before Apple’s own website confirmed the outage starting ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » European and Indian regulators team up to defend net neutrality


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    Posted 8 months ago

    Representatives of Europe’s BEREC (Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications) and India’s TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) met up yesterday to sign a joint statement to promote an open internet. This short document describes a set of rules to guarantee net neutrality. Those are some basic rules, such as equal treatment of internet traffic, a case-by-case assessment of ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Venmo is discontinuing web support for payments and more


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    Posted 8 months ago

    PayPal-owned, peer-to-peer payments app Venmo is ending web support for its service, the company announced in an email to users. The changes, which are beginning to roll out now, will see the Venmo .com website phasing out support for making payments and charging users. In time, users will see even less functionality on the website, the company says. The message ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Fitbit employees charged with stealing Jawbone trade secrets


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    Posted 8 months ago

    Six current and former Fitbit employees have been hit with a federal indictment over the theft of trade secrets from one-time rival, Jawbone. All had worked for Jawbone for at least a year between 2011 and 2015, before jumping ship and getting hired by the company’s chief competitor. The allegations have been floating around for a while. Look, we even ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Gmail proves that some people hate smart suggestions


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    Posted 8 months ago

    Gmail has recently introduced a brand new redesign. While you can disable or ignore most of the new features, Gmail has started resurfacing old unanswered emails with a suggestion that you should reply. And this is what it looks like: The orange text immediately grabs your attention. By bumping the email thread to the top of your inbox, Gmails also ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Adobe could be the next $10 billion software company


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    Posted 8 months ago

    Adobe reported its Q2 FY’18 earnings yesterday and the news was quite good. The company announced $2.2 billion in revenue for the quarter up 24 percent year over year. That puts them on an impressive $8.8 billion run rate, within reach of becoming the next $10 billion software company (or at least on a run rate). Revenue was up across ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Apple’s new Mac ads show that even Grimes uses dongles


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    Posted 8 months ago

    Apple has launched a new advertising campaign for the Mac called “behind the Mac”. In this campaign, the company is sharing user stories of people using Mac for work, creative projects and accessibility reasons. The Mac is a versatile platform. People use it for boring tasks, such as checking emails and browsing the web. But you can also use it ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » YC alum Modern Health, a startup focused on emotional wellbeing, gets $2.26M seed funding


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    Posted 8 months ago

    About one year ago, a note from a CEO thanking his employee for using sick days to take care of her mental health went viral. It was a reminder to Alyson Friedensohn of what she wants to accomplish with Modern Health, the emotional health benefits startup she founded last year with neuroscientist Erica Johnson. “We want that to be normal. ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Tainted, crypto-mining containers pulled from Docker Hub


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    Posted 8 months ago

    Security companies Fortinet and Kromtech found seventeen tainted Docker containers that were essentially downloadable images containing programs that had been designed to mine cryptocurrencies. Further investigation found that they had been downloaded 5 million times, suggesting that hackers were able to inject commands into insecure containers to download this code into otherwise healthy web applications. The researchers found the containers ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » AT&T completes its acquisition of Time Warner


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    Posted 8 months ago

    AT&T has sealed the deal to buy Time Warner in a major piece of media and technology consolidation. The deal — which is $85.4 billion and a total of $108 billion with debt — was first announced in October 2016 and, having passed a court approval earlier this week, it was completed on Thursday. That’s a long cycle to complete ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » China’s Didi Chuxing continues its international expansion with Australia launch


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    Posted 8 months ago

    Didi Chuxing, China’s dominant ride-hailing company, is continuing its international expansion after it announced plans to launch in Australia this month. The company — which bought Uber’s China business in 2016 — said it will begin serving customers in Melbourne from June 25 following a month-long trial period in Geelong, a neighboring city that’s 75km away. The business will be ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » NXP-Qualcomm $44B deal to clear China as Trump authorizes $50B tariffs


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    Posted 8 months ago

    The U.S.-China trade battle enters an important new phase. The South China Morning Post is reporting that China’s Ministry of Commerce will clear Qualcomm’s pending $44 billion acquisition of NXP Semiconductors. One independent source also conveyed the same news to TechCrunch, although there has been no official word from Qualcomm, NXP or China at time of publication. That acquisition was ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Purdue’s PHADE technology lets cameras ‘talk’ to you


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    Posted 8 months ago

    It’s become almost second nature to accept that cameras everywhere — from streets, to museums and shops — are watching you, but now they may be able to communicate with you, as well. New technology from Purdue University computer science researchers has made this dystopian prospect a reality in a new paper published today. But, they argue, it’s safer than ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » AI edges closer to understanding 3D space the way we do


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    Posted 8 months ago

    If I show you a single picture of a room, you can tell me right away that there’s a table with a chair in front of it, they’re probably about the same size, about this far from each other, with the walls this far away — enough to draw a rough map of the room. Computer vision systems don’t have ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Facebook’s longtime head of policy and comms steps down


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    Posted 8 months ago

    A prominent figure that helped shape Facebook public perception over the course of the last decade is on the way out. In a Facebook post today, Elliot Schrage, vice president of communications and public policy, announced his departure. Schrage joined the company in 2008 after leaving his position in the same role at Google. He had come under fire over ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Developers, hack your way to free passes to Disrupt SF 2018


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    Posted 8 months ago

    You’ve heard how TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2018 is going to be the biggest, most ambitious Disrupt ever — and we’re serious. So serious, in fact, that we’re super-sizing the Hackathon, taking it online and making it global. Thousands of the world’s most talented developers, programmers, hackers and tech makers can participate and submit their hacks from anywhere in the ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » The problem with ‘explainable AI’


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    Posted 8 months ago

    The first consideration when discussing transparency in AI should be data, the fuel that powers the algorithms. Companies should disclose where and how they got the data they used to fuel their AI systems’ decisions. Consumers should own their data and should be privy to the myriad ways that businesses use and sell such information, which is often done without ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Google releases first diversity report since the infamous anti-diversity memo


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    Posted 8 months ago

    Google has released its first diversity report since the infamous James Damore memo and the fallout that resulted from it. Those are both long stories but the TL;DR is that Damore said some sexist things in a memo that went viral. He got fired and then sued Google for firing him. That lawsuit, however, was shot down by the National ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » 3,000 journalists covering Kim-Trump this week is WTF is wrong with media


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    Posted 8 months ago

    Media businesses are in the dumper. Every week, we hear of new layoffs, budget cuts, diminished editorial quality and more, way more. And yet, somehow, miraculously, more than 3,000 journalists managed to find the funds to travel to Singapore to cover the Kim-Trump Summit Extraordinaire this week. How many journalists got to see the summit activity? From Politico: “Most notably, ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Reflections on E3 2018


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    Posted 8 months ago

    After taking a year off, I returned to E3 this week. It’s always a fun show, in spite of the fact that the show floor has come to rival Comic-Con in terms of the mass of people the show’s organizers are able to cram into the aisles of the convention center floor. We’ve been filing stories all week, but here ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Samsung announces a push for renewable energy


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    Posted 8 months ago

    Samsung has announced that it will use 100 percent renewable energy for all its factories and offices in the U.S., Europe and China. This is the first time Samsung has announced a public commitment for renewable energy. Greenpeace and environmental activists have been calling out Samsung for months as many tech companies have already started switching to renewable energy. Samsung ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Get your ticket to the TechCrunch Summer Party at August Capital


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    Posted 8 months ago

    We’re sentimental softies when it comes to tradition, and one of our favorites is the TechCrunch Summer Party at August Capital. This marks the thirteenth year of this Silicon Valley soiree, and we’d love to see you there. Tickets are released in batches, and the first round is available now on a first-come, first-served basis. They always sell out quickly, ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » SEC says Ether isn’t a security, but tokens based on Ether can be


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    Posted 8 months ago

    “In cases where there is no… central enterprise being invested in or where the digital asset is sold only to be used to purchase a good or service available through the network on which it was created,” that digital asset is “out of the purview of U.S. securities laws”, according to William Hinman, the director of the division of corporation ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Feast your eyes on these uniquely beautiful indie games from E3


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    Posted 8 months ago

    The AAA games on display at E3 this year have, as usual, an amazing array of beautiful, nearly photorealistic graphics — and while they’re amazing in their own way, I always find it fun to highlight a few games that take a totally different approach to their art. Here are a few that caught my eye this time around. Sable ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » ZTE has few cards left to play to avoid ‘death penalty’


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    Posted 8 months ago

    It’s not every day you see a company that employs 75,000 and once had a market cap of $20 billion facing instant doom on an hour-by-hour basis. But that’s the situation that Chinese telecom firm ZTE finds itself in right now. Following revelations that the company sold equipment with U.S. technology to Iran and North Korea in violation of U.S. ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Seattle reverses controversial tax Amazon opposed, just a month after approving it


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    Posted 8 months ago

    In an embarrassing and mystifying about-face, the Seattle City Council has repealed a tax it passed unanimously just a month ago that would require large companies to pay a fixed amount per employee; the money would have been used to combat homelessness. Amazon was the most high-profile opponent of the tax, but not the only one by far, and apparently ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Netflix’s latest hit ‘The Kissing Booth’ is a Wattpad success story


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    Posted 8 months ago

    One of the most popular movies in the U.S. is a terrible teen rom-com called “The Kissing Booth,” and it’s not in theaters. Instead, this Netflix Original with its paltry 17 percent critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes, shot up to become the No. 4 movie on IMDb, before more recently dropping down to No. 9. Its leads, Jacob Elordi and ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Telemundo, Universal and TreasureHunt are launching a shootout game in time for the World Cup


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    Posted 8 months ago

    Just in time for the World Cup, Telemundo Deportes, Universal Brand Development and the startup TreasureHunt have launched a shootout game for the Instant Games platform on Facebook and Messenger. Telemundo Deportes is putting out the game in conjunction with its Spanish-language coverage of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. GOAL! SHOOTOUT (WHICH IS CLEARLY VERY EXCITING) lets players vie for ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » By automating code compliance, UpCodes AI is “the spellcheck for buildings”


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    Posted 8 months ago

    For many architects, the hardest part of their job starts after they finish designing a building, when the onerous process of code compliance begins. Written to ensure the safety and accessibility of buildings, codes dictate everything from the height and depth of stairs and where railings end, to the amount of floor space in front of toilets and the height ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Ford buys historic Detroit train depot to house advanced technology groups


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    Posted 8 months ago

    Michigan Central Station long stood as a symbol of Detroit’s decline. Now, thanks to Ford, it could represent Detroit’s return. Today at an press conference in front of the Detroit icon, it was announced that Ford’s bid to purchase the train depot was accepted and the deal was done. The large building will be at the center of Ford move ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Prime savings to reach around half of Whole Foods Market stores this week


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    Posted 8 months ago

    Amazon and its grocery store chain Whole Foods announced this morning that savings for Prime members will make their way to ten more stores across the U.S. this week, including Arizona, Georgia, Oregon, North Carolina and Washington, among others. The tie-up gives Amazon shoppers another reason to join the Prime membership program – 10 percent off on-sale grocery items at ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Canvs brings its emotion analysis tool to surveys


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    Posted 8 months ago

    Jared Feldman, CEO of Canvs, said he has a big goal: “I think there needs to be a Google for emotions … where you can see how people feel about everything.” Feldman argued that creating such a product, Canvs can not only help businesses make better decisions, but also contribute to “a more empathetic world.” (When I pointed out that ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Ford tests autonomous on-demand delivery with Postmates


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    Posted 8 months ago

    Ford is teaming up with startup Postmates to pilot test autonomous on-demand delivery in Miami and Miami Beach, Fla. The pilot program includes 70 businesses like Coyo Taco Ford is also testing vehicle designs with multiple lockers in order to be able to serve more than one customer per delivery route. Since Postmates handles anything from food to hardware, the ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Splunk nabs on-call management startup VictorOps for $120M


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    Posted 8 months ago

    In a DevOps world, the operations part of the equation needs to be on call to deal with issues as they come up 24/7. We used to use pagers. Today’s solutions like PagerDuty and VictorOps have been created to place this kind of requirement in a modern digital context. Today, Splunk bought VictorOps for $120 million in cash and Splunk ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Uber applies for patent that would detect drunk passengers


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    Posted 8 months ago

    While Uber has changed the way that many think about transportation, it’s also changed the way that many drunk people find their way home at night. Rather than haphazardly hailing a cab or driving home under the influence, Uber provides a relatively safer way to get from point A to B on an indulgent evening. The company has been curious ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Workday acquires financial modelling startup Adaptive Insights for $1.55B


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    Posted 8 months ago

    Workday, the cloud-based platform that offers HR and other back-office apps for businesses, is making an acquisition to expand its portfolio of services: It’s buying Adaptive Insights, a provider of cloud-based business planning and financial modelling tools, for $1.55 billion. The acquisition is notable because Adaptive Insights had filed for an IPO as recently as May 17. Workday says that ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Pan-European seed fund firstminute hits a final fund close of $100M


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    Posted 8 months ago

    New UK early stage VC firstminute Capital launched in June last year to the tune of $60m, with European VC Atomico as its first cornerstone investor. They were joined by 30 unicorns founders from Europe and the US. Last September they brought in the huge China-based company, Tencent reaching a fund size of $85m. Today firstminute capital, the London-based pan-European ... [Link]



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    TechCrunch » Xiaomi posts $1.1B quarterly loss ahead of much-anticipated IPO


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    Posted 8 months ago

    A month after it filed for a much-anticipated Hong Kong IPO, Xiaomi has revealed a little more financial information after a monster 621-page document disclosed a $1.1 billion (seven billion RMB) loss for the first quarter of the year. The IPO, which could raise up to $10 billion value Xiaomi at high as $100 billion, is set to be the ... [Link]



  • About the RSS Aggregator

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INSERT INTO wp_bdprss_items_v3 (item_feed_id, item_url, item_name, text_body, item_update_time, item_time, item_date) VALUES ('3', 'http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/EjFAf3_v0ws/', 'Briq, the next building block in tech’s reconstruction of the construction business, raises $3 million', '<p>Bassem Hamdy has been in the construction business for a long time.</p> <p>He spent the last few years at the construction software business <a href='https://www.procore.com/' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'>Procore</a>, now <a href='https://techcrunch.com/2018/12/13/construction-management-software-developer-procore-raises-75-million-at-a-3-billion-valuation/' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'>a $3 billion company</a> developing technology for the construction industry, and now Hamdy is ready to unveil his next act as chief executive and co-founder of<a href='https://www.br.iq/' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'> Briq</a>, a new software service for the industry.</p> <div class="embed breakout"> <blockquote class="wp-embedded-content" data-secret="OxHcrFDwXa"><p><a href='https://techcrunch.com/2018/12/13/construction-management-software-developer-procore-raises-75-million-at-a-3-billion-valuation/' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'>Construction management software developer Procore raises $75 million at a $3 billion valuation</a></p></blockquote> <p><iframe class="wp-embedded-content" sandbox="allow-scripts" security="restricted" src="https://techcrunch.com/2018/12/13/construction-management-software-developer-procore-raises-75-million-at-a-3-billion-valuation/embed/#?secret=OxHcrFDwXa" data-secret="OxHcrFDwXa" width="800" height="450" title="“Construction management software developer Procore raises $75 million at a $3 billion valuation” — TechCrunch" frameborder="0" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></div> <p>Hamdy started <a href='https://crunchbase.com/organization/briq' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'>Briq <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a> with his own cash, amassed through secondary sales as Procore climbed the ranks of startups to reach its status as a construction industry unicorn. And the company has just raised $3 million in financing to fund its expansion.</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“With enough secondaries you can afford to make your own decisions,” Hamdy says. </span></p> <p>His experience in construction dates back to his earliest days. Hailing from a family of construction engineers, Hamdy describes himself as a black sheep who went into the financial services industry — but construction kept pulling him back.</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Beginning in the late nineties with CMIC, which was construction enterprise resource planning, and continuing through to Procore, Hamdy has had success after success in the business, but Briq is the culmination of all of that experience, he says. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“As much as data entry helps people it’s data intelligence software that changes things,” says Hamdy. </span></p> <p><div id="attachment_1787689" style="width: 641px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img src='https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/bassem.png' width='631' height='550' /><p>Briq chief executive Bassem Hamdy</p></div></p> <p>The Santa Barbara, Calif.-based company is part of a growing number of Southern California technology startups building businesses to service large swaths of specific industries — specifically real estate and construction.</p> <p>Already, <a href='https://crunchbase.com/organization/procore-technologies' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'>Procore <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a> is a $3 billion behemoth, and<a href='https://techcrunch.com/2018/04/12/servicetitan-is-las-least-likely-contender-to-be-the-next-billion-dollar-startup/' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'> ServiceTitan has become a billion-dollar company</a> as well, with its software and services for air conditioning and appliance repairmen.</p> <div class="embed breakout"> <blockquote class="wp-embedded-content" data-secret="oY8NkgApxC"><p><a href='https://techcrunch.com/2018/04/12/servicetitan-is-las-least-likely-contender-to-be-the-next-billion-dollar-startup/' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'>ServiceTitan is LA’s least likely contender to be the next billion-dollar startup</a></p></blockquote> <p><iframe class="wp-embedded-content" sandbox="allow-scripts" security="restricted" src="https://techcrunch.com/2018/04/12/servicetitan-is-las-least-likely-contender-to-be-the-next-billion-dollar-startup/embed/#?secret=oY8NkgApxC" data-secret="oY8NkgApxC" width="800" height="450" title="“ServiceTitan is LA’s least likely contender to be the next billion-dollar startup” — TechCrunch" frameborder="0" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></div> <p>Now Hamdy’s <a href='https://crunchbase.com/organization/briq' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'>Briq, <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a> with backing from<a href='http://www.eniac.vc/' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'> Eniac Ventures</a> and <a href='https://www.metaprop.org/' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'>MetaProp NYC,</a> is hoping to join their ranks.</p> <p>“Bassem built and helped run the most successful construction software businesses in the world. It is rare and humbling to have an opportunity to help build a company from the ground up with an industry legend,” says <a href='https://crunchbase.com/person/tim-young' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'>Tim Young, <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a> founding general partner at <a href='https://crunchbase.com/organization/eniac-ventures' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'>Eniac Ventures <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a>. “The technology Bassem and his team are building will do something the industry has never seen before: break down data silos to leverage information in real time. Bassem has built and run the most successful construction software businesses in the world, and his knowledge of the construction space and the data space is second to none.”</p> <p>The company, formerly called Brickschain, uses a combination of a blockchain-based immutable ledger and machine learning tools to provide strategic insights into buildings and project developments.</p> <p>Briq’s software can predict things like the success of individual projects, where demand for new projects is likely to occur and how to connect data around construction processes.</p> <p>Briq has two main offerings, according to Hamdy. ProjectIQ, which monitors and manages individual projects and workflows — providing data around different vendors involved in a construction project; and MarketIQ, which provides market intelligence around where potential projects are likely to occur and which projects will be met with the most demand and success.</p> <p>Joining Hamdy in the creation of Briq is Ron Goldschmidt, an experienced developer of quantitative-based trading strategies for several businesses. Hamdy, a former Wall Streeter himself, has long realized the power of data in the construction business. And with the new tools at his disposal — including the blockchain-based ledger system that forms the backbone of Briq’s project management software, Hamdy thinks he has developed the next big evolution in technology for the industry.</p> <p>Briq already counts Webcore, a major contractor and developer, as one of its clients, along with Kobayashi, Probuild, Hunter Roberts OEG and Gartner Builders. In all, the company has contracts with nearly 12 developers and contractors.</p> <p>All of the insights that Briq can provide through its immutable ledger can add up to big savings for developers. Hamdy estimates that there’s roughly $1 trillion in waste in the construction industry.</p> <p>Briq relies on <a href='https://crunchbase.com/organization/ibm' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'>IBM’s <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a> <a href='https://crunchbase.com/organization/hyperledger-2' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'>Hyperledger <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a> for its blockchain backbone and through that, the company has a window into all of the decisions made on a project. That ledger forms the scaffolding on which Briq can build out its projections and models of how much a building will cost, and how could conceivably be made on a project.</p> <p>“Construction and infrastructure are integral to society, but the decision-making process behind how, when, where, and why we build is no longer working,” said Hamdy, in a statement. “We aren’t just solving a construction problem, we are solving a societal problem. If we are to meet the infrastructure needs of both the developed and developing world, we must improve our decision-making and analysis around the data we have. We are thrilled to have the support of <a href='https://crunchbase.com/organization/eniac-ventures' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'>Eniac Ventures <span class="crunchbase-tooltip-indicator"></span></a> as we enter the next phase of our journey.”</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href='http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=EjFAf3_v0ws:I0Lt238Pe_E:2mJPEYqXBVI' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=2mJPEYqXBVI" border="0"></img></a> <a href='http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=EjFAf3_v0ws:I0Lt238Pe_E:7Q72WNTAKBA' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=7Q72WNTAKBA" border="0"></img></a> <a href='http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=EjFAf3_v0ws:I0Lt238Pe_E:yIl2AUoC8zA' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> <a href='http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=EjFAf3_v0ws:I0Lt238Pe_E:-BTjWOF_DHI' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?i=EjFAf3_v0ws:I0Lt238Pe_E:-BTjWOF_DHI" border="0"></img></a> <a href='http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=EjFAf3_v0ws:I0Lt238Pe_E:D7DqB2pKExk' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?i=EjFAf3_v0ws:I0Lt238Pe_E:D7DqB2pKExk" border="0"></img></a> <a href='http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=EjFAf3_v0ws:I0Lt238Pe_E:qj6IDK7rITs' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Techcrunch/~4/EjFAf3_v0ws" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>', '1550884014', '1550884013', '2019-02-23')


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INSERT INTO wp_bdprss_items_v3 (item_feed_id, item_url, item_name, text_body, item_update_time, item_time, item_date) VALUES ('3', 'http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/HFmQX98Jh_4/', 'Twitter co-founder Ev Williams to step down from the company’s board', '&lt;p&gt;&lt;a href=&#39;https://crunchbase.com/person/evan-williams&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Ev Williams, &lt;span class=&quot;crunchbase-tooltip-indicator&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt; a co-founder of &lt;a href=&#39;https://crunchbase.com/organization/twitter&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Twitter &lt;span class=&quot;crunchbase-tooltip-indicator&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt; and the social media business&#8217;s former chief executive officer, is stepping down from its board of directors effective at the end of the month, according to &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1418091/000119312519048369/d689678d8k.htm&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;documents&lt;/a&gt; submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, first &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/22/twitter-co-founder-ev-williams-leaving-board.html&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;reported&lt;/a&gt; by CNBC.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;In a series of &lt;a href=&#39;https://twitter.com/ev/status/1099062064838930432&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;tweets&lt;/a&gt;, Williams addressed the news.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;div class=&quot;js-tweet-text-container&quot;&gt; &lt;p&gt;&#8220;I&#8217;m very lucky to have served on the &lt;a href=&#39;https://twitter.com/Twitter&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;s&gt;@&lt;/s&gt;&lt;b&gt;Twitter &lt;/b&gt;&lt;/a&gt;board for 12 years (ever since there was a board),&#8221; he wrote. &#8220;It&#8217;s been overwhelmingly interesting, educational—and, at times, challenging&#8230; Thank you, &lt;a href=&#39;https://twitter.com/jack&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;s&gt;@&lt;/s&gt;&lt;b&gt;jack&lt;/b&gt;&lt;/a&gt; and &lt;a href=&#39;https://twitter.com/biz&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;s&gt;@&lt;/s&gt;&lt;b&gt;biz&lt;/b&gt;&lt;/a&gt; for starting this crazy company with me—and continuing to make it better and better. And to my fellow board members, new and old—some of the most thoughtful people I&#8217;ve ever known.&#8221;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Williams, the founder and CEO of online publishing platform Medium and co-founder and partner at &lt;a href=&#39;https://crunchbase.com/organization/obvious-ventures&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Obvious Ventures, &lt;span class=&quot;crunchbase-tooltip-indicator&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt; served as Twitter&#8217;s chief executive from 2008 to 2010 following &lt;a href=&#39;https://crunchbase.com/person/jack-dorsey&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Jack Dorsey&#8217;s, &lt;span class=&quot;crunchbase-tooltip-indicator&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt; Twitter&#8217;s current CEO, original stint as CEO. Williams was succeeded by &lt;a href=&#39;https://crunchbase.com/person/dick-costolo&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Dick Costolo, &lt;span class=&quot;crunchbase-tooltip-indicator&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt; who after a five-year stint at the helm, &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2015/06/11/twitter-announces-ceo-dick-costolo-stepping-down-jack-dorsey-named-interim-ceo/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;relinquished the throne back to Dorsey&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Twitter&#8217;s board of directors includes &lt;a href=&#39;https://crunchbase.com/person/bret-taylor&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Bret Taylor, &lt;span class=&quot;crunchbase-tooltip-indicator&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt; president and chief product officer at Salesforce; &lt;a href=&#39;https://crunchbase.com/person/debra-lee&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Debra Lee, &lt;span class=&quot;crunchbase-tooltip-indicator&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt; president and CEO of BET Networks; and executive chairman Omid Kordestani.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Twitter&#8217;s stock closed up 3 percent Friday, trading at nearly $32 a piece for a market cap of north of $24 billion.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;/div&gt; &lt;div class=&quot;feedflare&quot;&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=HFmQX98Jh_4:tzrEwGbplUY:2mJPEYqXBVI&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=2mJPEYqXBVI&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=HFmQX98Jh_4:tzrEwGbplUY:7Q72WNTAKBA&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=7Q72WNTAKBA&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=HFmQX98Jh_4:tzrEwGbplUY:yIl2AUoC8zA&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=yIl2AUoC8zA&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=HFmQX98Jh_4:tzrEwGbplUY:-BTjWOF_DHI&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?i=HFmQX98Jh_4:tzrEwGbplUY:-BTjWOF_DHI&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=HFmQX98Jh_4:tzrEwGbplUY:D7DqB2pKExk&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?i=HFmQX98Jh_4:tzrEwGbplUY:D7DqB2pKExk&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=HFmQX98Jh_4:tzrEwGbplUY:qj6IDK7rITs&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=qj6IDK7rITs&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;/div&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Techcrunch/~4/HFmQX98Jh_4&quot; height=&quot;1&quot; width=&quot;1&quot; alt=&quot;&quot;/&gt;', '1550884014', '1550884012', '2019-02-23')


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With &lt;a href=&#39;https://crunchbase.com/organization/y-combinator&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Y Combinator &lt;span class=&quot;crunchbase-tooltip-indicator&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;-backed &lt;a href=&#39;https://latchel.com/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Latchel,&lt;/a&gt; landlords and property managers can access a 24/7 maintenance service that takes requests from tenants and deploys the right professional to fix the things that need fixing.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&#8220;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;At first we thought of doing a high-tech property management system,&#8221; Latchel founder Ethan Lieber told TechCrunch. &#8220;As we looked more into it and talked to other property management companies, maintenance kept coming up as a problem. So we decided to focus on maintenance.&#8221;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Latchel has a bunch of handypeople &#8212; all vetted and with at least two years of experience &#8212; in its network that it relies on for work inside buildings. In some cases, however, larger property management groups already have people they like to work with. At that point, Latchel simply takes over the relationship and coordinates between the handypeople and residents. In the event Latchel&#8217;s on-demand team of vetted handypeople cannot troubleshoot the issue, Latchel deploys one of the 3,000+ contractors on its platform.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&#8220;It&#8217;s such a hard industry to get positive reviews from tenants in,&#8221; Lieber said. &#8220;You&#8217;re basically talking about someone in an emergency situation &#8212; not getting heat, the toilet is overflowing, etcetera. If you&#8217;re not handling it well, it exacerbates. If you can communicate the right things to the right people at the right time, it absolves that exacerbation.&#8221;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Still, the real estate space is unique and hard to acquire customers, Lieber said. Right now, while Latchel does support larger property managers, it&#8217;s focused on the DIY landlords &#8212; the ones who may be managing buildings in their &#8220;spare&#8221; time or as a second job. In order to support the growth of DIY landlord customers, Latchel is looking to build its contractor network. Part of its sell to contractors is the constant stream of work that results from Latchel&#8217;s relationships with property managers and landlords.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;In March 2018, Latchel was running its service on 2,000 units. Today, Latchel supports 27,500 units across 50 cities in the U.S. and has been adding about 4,000 to 5,000 new units a month. That averages out to about 250 units per customer, Lieber said. Looking into next month, Latchel wants to add an additional 6,000 units. The month after, it wants to add an additional 9,000.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The cost of Latchel &lt;a href=&#39;https://latchel.com/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;depends on the service level and &lt;/a&gt;the number&lt;a href=&#39;https://latchel.com/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt; of units&lt;/a&gt;. If a landlord or property manager just wants basic services (tenant calls, coordination of emergency work) for after-hours coverage, Latchel charges a $25 account fee and then 80 cents per unit per month.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Currently, Latchel is conducting a beta test with properties that have fewer than 10 units to guarantee a maximum price of services per unit, Lieber said. If Latchel is unable to negotiate a good enough price for the contractor, Latchel will reimburse customers for any costs over the guaranteed max price.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Since launching its full-service solution last March, Latchel says its average tenant review is 4.7 out of 5 stars. In all, Latchel says it has reduced the amount of time spent on maintenance to 15 minutes per day for property management companies with 100 units or fewer.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;div class=&quot;feedflare&quot;&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=5lXfokm9ZYY:aavB_B967_g:2mJPEYqXBVI&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=2mJPEYqXBVI&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=5lXfokm9ZYY:aavB_B967_g:7Q72WNTAKBA&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=7Q72WNTAKBA&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=5lXfokm9ZYY:aavB_B967_g:yIl2AUoC8zA&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=yIl2AUoC8zA&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=5lXfokm9ZYY:aavB_B967_g:-BTjWOF_DHI&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?i=5lXfokm9ZYY:aavB_B967_g:-BTjWOF_DHI&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=5lXfokm9ZYY:aavB_B967_g:D7DqB2pKExk&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?i=5lXfokm9ZYY:aavB_B967_g:D7DqB2pKExk&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=5lXfokm9ZYY:aavB_B967_g:qj6IDK7rITs&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=qj6IDK7rITs&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;/div&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Techcrunch/~4/5lXfokm9ZYY&quot; height=&quot;1&quot; width=&quot;1&quot; alt=&quot;&quot;/&gt;', '1550884014', '1550884011', '2019-02-23')


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Strict Standards: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'Europe/Berlin' for 'CET/1.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/25/d139429755/htdocs/wiki-web20/blog/wp-content/plugins/bdprss/bdp-rss-update.php on line 127

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'Europe/Berlin' for 'CET/1.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/25/d139429755/htdocs/wiki-web20/blog/wp-content/plugins/bdprss/bdp-rssaggregator-db.php on line 338

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INSERT INTO wp_bdprss_items_v3 (item_feed_id, item_url, item_name, text_body, item_update_time, item_time, item_date) VALUES ('3', 'http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/G_X1g0q5i7A/', 'Elon Musk finally hosted meme review with the co-creator of Rick and Morty', '&lt;p&gt;&lt;a href=&#39;https://crunchbase.com/organization/tesla-motors&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Tesla &lt;span class=&quot;crunchbase-tooltip-indicator&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt; and &lt;a href=&#39;https://crunchbase.com/organization/space-exploration-technologies&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;SpaceX &lt;span class=&quot;crunchbase-tooltip-indicator&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt; CEO Elon Musk has been teasing — and his fan base has been making pleas — to host a meme review. And after tweeted hints, meme review has arrived via &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-lHJZR3Gqxm24_Vd_AJ5Yw&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;YouTube star PewDiePie&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Musk tweeted last month a photo and a question &#8220;Host meme review?&#8221;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;div class=&quot;embed breakout&quot;&gt; &lt;blockquote class=&quot;twitter-tweet&quot; data-width=&quot;550&quot; data-dnt=&quot;true&quot;&gt; &lt;p&gt;Host meme review? &lt;a href=&#39;https://t.co/k2SFtIUh1k&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;pic.twitter.com/k2SFtIUh1k&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&mdash; &lt;a href=&#39;https://crunchbase.com/person/elon-musk&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Elon Musk &lt;span class=&quot;crunchbase-tooltip-indicator&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt; (@elonmusk) &lt;a href=&#39;https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1089657821652602880?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;January 27, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;script async src=&quot;https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js&quot; charset=&quot;utf-8&quot;&gt;&lt;/script&gt;&lt;/div&gt; &lt;p&gt;On Friday, Musk and Justin Roiland, one of the creators of Adult Swim&#8217;s Rick and Morty, appeared on YouTuber PewDiePie&#8217;s show for a meme review.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;During the segment, Musk and Roiland rate various memes, like the one pictured below. The pair provide commentary and funny quips.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;It looks like Musk and Roiland&#8217;s appearance has helped push PewDiePie above T-Series, an Indian music company on YouTube that has had the most subscribers. PewDiePie now has about a 20,000 subscriber lead.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Screen-Shot-2019-02-22-at-1.32.11-PM.png&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Screen-Shot-2019-02-22-at-1.32.11-PM.png&#39; width=&#39;1546&#39; height=&#39;870&#39; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The final meme, which pictures what appears to be a dead deer at the bottom of a pool, is what pushes Musk over the edge when he asks, &#8220;Jeez is that true? What, that actually happened? Oh my god,&#8221; as he bursts into fits of uncomfortable laughter.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Screen-Shot-2019-02-22-at-1.37.16-PM.png&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Screen-Shot-2019-02-22-at-1.37.16-PM.png&#39; width=&#39;1536&#39; height=&#39;862&#39; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;You can watch the whole episode that PewDiePie uploaded on February 22 or skip to about minute 13 for Musk and Roiland.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;iframe class=&#39;youtube-player&#39; type=&#39;text/html&#39; width=&#39;640&#39; height=&#39;360&#39; src=&#39;https://www.youtube.com/embed/zpWYQ1YtgnI?version=3&#038;rel=1&#038;fs=1&#038;autohide=2&#038;showsearch=0&#038;showinfo=1&#038;iv_load_policy=1&#038;wmode=transparent&#39; allowfullscreen=&#39;true&#39; style=&#39;border:0;&#39;&gt;&lt;/iframe&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt; &lt;/p&gt; &lt;div class=&quot;feedflare&quot;&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=G_X1g0q5i7A:hjsxEcp9AqI:2mJPEYqXBVI&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=2mJPEYqXBVI&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=G_X1g0q5i7A:hjsxEcp9AqI:7Q72WNTAKBA&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=7Q72WNTAKBA&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=G_X1g0q5i7A:hjsxEcp9AqI:yIl2AUoC8zA&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=yIl2AUoC8zA&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=G_X1g0q5i7A:hjsxEcp9AqI:-BTjWOF_DHI&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?i=G_X1g0q5i7A:hjsxEcp9AqI:-BTjWOF_DHI&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=G_X1g0q5i7A:hjsxEcp9AqI:D7DqB2pKExk&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?i=G_X1g0q5i7A:hjsxEcp9AqI:D7DqB2pKExk&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=G_X1g0q5i7A:hjsxEcp9AqI:qj6IDK7rITs&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=qj6IDK7rITs&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;/div&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Techcrunch/~4/G_X1g0q5i7A&quot; height=&quot;1&quot; width=&quot;1&quot; alt=&quot;&quot;/&gt;', '1550884014', '1550884010', '2019-02-23')


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INSERT INTO wp_bdprss_items_v3 (item_feed_id, item_url, item_name, text_body, item_update_time, item_time, item_date) VALUES ('3', 'http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/9FHPPZhRXVI/', 'Apple confirms its plans to close retail stores in the patent troll-favored Eastern District of Texas', '&lt;p&gt;&lt;a href=&#39;https://crunchbase.com/organization/apple&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Apple &lt;span class=&quot;crunchbase-tooltip-indicator&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt; has confirmed its plans to close retail stores in the Eastern District of Texas &#8212; a move that will allow the company to better protect itself from patent infringement lawsuits, according to Apple news sites &lt;a href=&#39;https://9to5mac.com/2019/02/22/apple-store-galleria-dallas-plano-frisco-patent-rumors/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;9to5Mac&lt;/a&gt; and&lt;a href=&#39;https://www.macrumors.com/2019/02/22/apple-closing-stores-in-eastern-district-texas/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt; MacRumors,&lt;/a&gt; which broke the news of the stores&#8217; closures. Apple says that the impacted retail employees will be offered new jobs with the company as a result of these changes.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The company will shut down its Apple Willow Bend store in Plano, Texas as well as its Apple Stonebriar store in Frisco, Texas, &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.macrumors.com/2019/02/22/apple-closing-stores-in-eastern-district-texas/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;MacRumors&lt;/a&gt; reported, and Apple confirmed. These stores will permanently close up shop on Friday, April 12. Customers in the region will instead be served by &lt;a href=&#39;https://9to5mac.com/2019/02/22/apple-store-galleria-dallas-plano-frisco-patent-rumors/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;a new Apple store&lt;/a&gt; located at the Galleria Dallas Shopping Mall, which is expected to open April 13.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Apple did not comment on the stores&#8217; dates of closure or the new store&#8217;s opening.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;However, it&#8217;s common for Apple to leave little downtown during retail stores transitions &#8212; though most closures are related to renovations or other reasons that aren&#8217;t about trying to escape patent lawsuits.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The Eastern District of Texas had become a popular place for patent trolls to file their lawsuits, though a more recent &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2017-05-25/the-texas-town-that-patent-trolls-built-j34rlmjc&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Supreme Court ruling&lt;/a&gt; has attempted to crack down on the practice. The court ruled that patent holders could no longer choose where to file.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Apple has had to make big payouts to patent trolls in recent years:&lt;a href=&#39;https://www.theverge.com/2016/2/4/10912250/apple-pay-patent-virnetx-facetime-imessage&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt; $625.6 million&lt;/a&gt; to patent holding firm VirnetX in 2016 over protocol patents; VirnetX &lt;a href=&#39;https://beta.techcrunch.com/2012/11/07/u-s-court-orders-apple-to-pay-368-million-damages-for-facetime-patent-infringement/?_ga=2.10895028.1012786141.1550504225-65650910.1541640065&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;won $368 million&lt;/a&gt; from Apple in 2013; and more recently &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-10/apple-owes-502-6-million-to-virnetx-says-federal-jury-in-texas&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;$502.6 million&lt;/a&gt; over four communication patents.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;VirnetX tends to be referred to as a &#8220;patent troll&#8221; because it makes most of its revenue by suing tech companies. In addition to Apple, it sued Microsoft over patents in Skype and has been in litigation with Cisco. Its cases and subsequent wins are often held up as another example of how patent law in the U.S. is in need of reform.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The Apple store closures could have had a notable impact on area jobs, had Apple not offered new positions to its retail staff.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Apple today employs 1,000 people in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which has been an increase of 33 percent in the past five years.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The company also recently invested almost $30 million in its Dallas area stores.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Outside the Dallas metro area, Apple is also investing in Texas with its $1 billion for the new campus in Austin, which will accommodate an additional 5,000 employees on top of the 6,200 already in the area.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;A rep for Apple confirmed the stores&#8217; closures in a statement, but wouldn&#8217;t comment on the company&#8217;s reasoning:&lt;/p&gt; &lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;p&gt;We’re making a major investment in our stores in Texas, including significant upgrades to NorthPark Center, Southlake and Knox Street. With a new Dallas store coming to the Dallas Galleria this April, we’ve made the decision to consolidate stores and close Apple Stonebriar and Apple Willow Bend. 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INSERT INTO wp_bdprss_items_v3 (item_feed_id, item_url, item_name, text_body, item_update_time, item_time, item_date) VALUES ('3', 'http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/uB2itrEv4Ng/', 'Report: Zoom, the video conferencing company, may be a public company as early as April', '&lt;p&gt;The video conferencing company &lt;a href=&#39;https://zoom.us/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Zoom&lt;/a&gt; is aiming to file a public S-1 by the end of March, according to a new report in Business Insider that adds the company could go public &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.businessinsider.com/1-billion-video-conferencing-company-zoom-is-aiming-for-an-april-ipo-2019-2&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;as soon as April&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Business Insider reported last month that &lt;a href=&#39;https://crunchbase.com/organization/zoom-video-communications&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Zoom &lt;span class=&quot;crunchbase-tooltip-indicator&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt; had filed confidentially with the SEC to go public, just months after &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.reuters.com/article/us-zoom-ipo/video-conferencing-company-zoom-readies-ipo-sources-idUSKCN1N02RE&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Reuters reported&lt;/a&gt; that the San Jose, Calif.-based company had chosen investment bank Morgan Stanley to lead its eventual IPO.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;We&#8217;ve reached out to the company for comment.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Zoom was valued at $1 billion when it raised its last funding in 2017 in the form of a &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/17/sequoia-invests-100-million-in-zoom-video-conferencing-service/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;$100 million check&lt;/a&gt; from Sequoia Capital. Reuters sources have said they expect the company to be valued at several billion dollars at the IPO.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The company, founded in 2011, has raised $145 million altogether, including from Emergence Capital and Horizons Ventures. Its earliest backers include Qualcomm Ventures, Yahoo founder Jerry Yang, WebEx founder Subrah Iyar and former Cisco SVP Dan Scheinman, who has been an active angel investor for years.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;We had a chance to sit down with CEO &lt;a href=&#39;https://crunchbase.com/person/eric-yuan&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Eric Yuan &lt;span class=&quot;crunchbase-tooltip-indicator&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt; last year at a small industry event hosted by the venture firm &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.nextworldcap.com/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;NextWorld Capital&lt;/a&gt;. He talked about coming to the United States as a student from China and applying for a U.S. visa nine times over the course of two years before finally receiving it and arriving in Silicon Valley in 1997. We also talked about his experience as the 10th employee of WebEx, and his frustration that the company&#8217;s code remained stubbornly unchanged after it was sold for $3.2 billion to Cisco in 2007.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;He wasn&#8217;t alone, clearly. When Yuan struck out on his own to found Zoom, fully 45 employees from WebEx joined him, a decision for which they&#8217;re likely thankful now. Financial rewards aside, Yuan was ranked at the top of Glassdoor&#8217;s annual list of &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/top-ceos-2018/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;best-rated CEOs last year&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;We&#8217;ll be able to take a deeper dive into the health of Zoom once its reported S-1 is made public. 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Strict Standards: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'Europe/Berlin' for 'CET/1.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/25/d139429755/htdocs/wiki-web20/blog/wp-content/plugins/bdprss/bdp-rss-update.php on line 127

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INSERT INTO wp_bdprss_items_v3 (item_feed_id, item_url, item_name, text_body, item_update_time, item_time, item_date) VALUES ('3', 'http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/ZBG7h4dCoTU/', 'Pinstagram? Instagram code reveals Public Collections feature', '&lt;p&gt;&lt;a href=&#39;https://crunchbase.com/organization/instagram&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Instagram &lt;span class=&quot;crunchbase-tooltip-indicator&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt; is threatening to attack Pinterest just as it files to go public the same way the Facebook-owned app did to Snapchat. Code buried in Instagram for Android shows the company has prototyped an option to create public &#8220;Collections&#8221; to which multiple users can contribute. &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/17/instagram-now-lets-you-organize-bookmarks-into-private-collections/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Instagram launched private Collections&lt;/a&gt; two years ago to let you Save and organize your favorite feed posts. But by allowing users to make Collections public, Instagram would become a direct competitor to Pinterest.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Instagram public Collections could spark a new medium of content curation. People could use the feature to bundle together their favorite memes, travel destinations, fashion items or art. That could cut down on unconsented content stealing that&#8217;s caused backlash against meme &#8220;curators&#8221; like F*ckJerry by giving an alternative to screenshotting and reposting other people&#8217;s stuff. Instead of just representing yourself with your own content, you could express your identity through the things you love &#8212; even if you didn&#8217;t photograph them yourself. And if that sounds familiar, you&#8217;ll understand why this could be problematic for &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.wsj.com/articles/pinterest-files-confidentially-for-ipo-11550782552&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Pinterest&#8217;s upcoming $12 billion IPO&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;img src=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Instagram-Make-Collection-Public.jpg?w=435&#39; width=&#39;600&#39; height=&#39;939&#39; /&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The &#8220;Make Collection Public&#8221; option was discovered by frequent TechCrunch tipster and reverse engineering specialist &lt;a href=&#39;https://twitter.com/wongmjane&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Jane Manchun Wong&lt;/a&gt;. It&#8217;s not available to the public, but from the Instagram for Android code, she was able to generate a screenshot of the prototype. It shows the ability to toggle on public visibility for a Collection, and tag contributors who can also add to the Collection. Previously, Collections was always a private, solo feature for organizing your bookmarks gathered through the &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/14/instagram-now-lets-you-bookmark-posts-for-later-viewing/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Instagram Save feature&lt;/a&gt; Instagram launched in late 2016.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Instagram told TechCrunch &#8220;we&#8217;re not testing this,&#8221; which is its standard response to press inquiries about products that aren&#8217;t available to public users, but that are in internal development. It could be a while until Instagram does start experimenting publicly with the feature and longer before a launch, and the company could always scrap the option. But it&#8217;s a sensible way to give users more to do and share on Instagram, and the prototype gives insight into the app&#8217;s strategy. Facebook launched its own &lt;a href=&#39;https://crunchbase.com/organization/pinterest&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Pinterest &lt;span class=&quot;crunchbase-tooltip-indicator&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;-style&lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/19/facebook-attacks-pinterest-with-sets-of-posts/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt; shareable Sets&lt;/a&gt; in 2017 and launched &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2018/12/04/facebook-collections-3/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;sharable Collections&lt;/a&gt; in December.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Currently there&#8217;s nothing in the Instagram code about users being able to follow each other&#8217;s Collections, but that would seem like a logical and powerful next step. Instagrammers can already follow hashtags to see new posts with them routed to their feed. Offering a similar way to follow Collections could turn people into star curators rather than star creators without the need to rip off anyone&#8217;s content. Speaking of infuencers, Wong also spotted &lt;a href=&#39;https://twitter.com/wongmjane/status/1099033283172622337&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Instagram prototyping IGTV picture-in-picture&lt;/a&gt;, so you could keep watching a long-form video after closing the app and navigating the rest of your phone.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;div id=&quot;attachment_1787604&quot; style=&quot;width: 690px&quot; class=&quot;wp-caption aligncenter&quot;&gt;&lt;img src=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Instagram-Saved.png?w=680&#39; width=&#39;680&#39; height=&#39;621&#39; /&gt;&lt;p&gt;Instagram lets users Save posts, which can then be organized into Collections&lt;/p&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Public Collections could fuel Instagram&#8217;s commerce strategy that &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/30/instagram-stories-500-million/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Mark Zuckerberg recently said would be a big part of the road map&lt;/a&gt;. Instagram already has a personalized &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2018/09/17/instagram-shopping/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Shopping feed in Explore&lt;/a&gt;, and &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.theverge.com/2018/9/4/17819766/instagram-shopping-app-e-commerce&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;The Verge&#8217;s Casey Newton&lt;/a&gt; reported last year that Instagram was working on a dedicated shopping app. It&#8217;s easy to imagine fashionistas, magazines and brands sharing Collections of their favorite buyable items.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;It&#8217;s worth remembering that Instagram launched its copycat of Snapchat Stories just six months before Snap went public. As we predicted, that &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2017/02/02/slowchat/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;reduced Snapchat&#8217;s growth rate by 88 percent&lt;/a&gt;. Two years later, &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2019/02/05/snapchat-earnings-q4-2018/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Snapchat isn&#8217;t growing at all&lt;/a&gt;, and its share price is at just a third of its peak. With more than 1 billion monthly and 500 million daily users, Instagram is &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2018/09/10/pinterest-reports-25-increase-in-monthly-active-users/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;four times the size of Pinterest&lt;/a&gt;. Instagram loyalists might find it&#8217;s easier to use the &#8220;good enough&#8221; public Collections feature where they already have a social graph than try to build a following from scratch on Pinterest.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;div class=&quot;feedflare&quot;&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=ZBG7h4dCoTU:kbfN2VcmZ-k:2mJPEYqXBVI&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=2mJPEYqXBVI&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=ZBG7h4dCoTU:kbfN2VcmZ-k:7Q72WNTAKBA&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=7Q72WNTAKBA&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=ZBG7h4dCoTU:kbfN2VcmZ-k:yIl2AUoC8zA&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=yIl2AUoC8zA&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=ZBG7h4dCoTU:kbfN2VcmZ-k:-BTjWOF_DHI&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?i=ZBG7h4dCoTU:kbfN2VcmZ-k:-BTjWOF_DHI&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=ZBG7h4dCoTU:kbfN2VcmZ-k:D7DqB2pKExk&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?i=ZBG7h4dCoTU:kbfN2VcmZ-k:D7DqB2pKExk&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=ZBG7h4dCoTU:kbfN2VcmZ-k:qj6IDK7rITs&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=qj6IDK7rITs&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;/div&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Techcrunch/~4/ZBG7h4dCoTU&quot; height=&quot;1&quot; width=&quot;1&quot; alt=&quot;&quot;/&gt;', '1550884014', '1550884006', '2019-02-23')


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His tone is buoyant and hopeful. He&#8217;s encouraged, he says over an occasionally crackly phone call, about the progress the company has made in such a short time. There&#8217;s even a new interim COO, former HP and GE executive Lalit Singh, who joined just days ago to help Thrun execute this newly formed strategy.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;That wasn&#8217;t the case four weeks ago.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;In a lengthy email, obtained by TechCrunch, Thrun lobbed an impassioned missive to the entire company, which specializes in “nanodegrees” on a range of technical subjects that include AI, deep learning, digital marketing, VR and computer vision.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;It was, at times, raw, personal and heartfelt, with Thrun accepting blame for missteps or admitting he was sleeping less than four hours a night; in other spots the email felt like a pep talk delivered by a coach, encouraging his team by noting their spirit and tenacity. There were moments when he exhibited frustration for the company&#8217;s timidness, declaring &#8220;our plans are ridden of fear, of trepidation, we truly suck!&#8221; And moments just as conciliatory, where he noted that &#8220;I know every one of you wants to double down on student success. I love this about us.&#8221;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Thrun has sent spirited emails before. Insiders say it&#8217;s not uncommon and that as a mission-driven guy he often calls on employees to take risks and be creative. But this one stood out for its underlying message.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;If there was a theme in the email, it was an existential one: We must act, and act now or face annihilation.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&#8220;It was a rallying cry, to be honest,&#8221; Thrun told TechCrunch. &#8220;&lt;span class=&quot;s1&quot;&gt;When I wrote this email, I really wanted to wake up people to the fact that our trajectory was not long-term tenable.&#8221;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;s1&quot;&gt;“I can tell you that I woke up the troops, that is absolutely sure,&#8221; he said later. &#8220;Whether my strategy is sound, only time can tell.&#8221;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;div id=&quot;attachment_1787554&quot; style=&quot;width: 3570px&quot; class=&quot;wp-caption alignnone&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/sebastian-thrun-getty.jpg&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/sebastian-thrun-getty.jpg&#39; width=&#39;3560&#39; height=&#39;2676&#39; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;p&gt;Udacity founder Sebastian Thrun speaks onstage during TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2017 at Pier 48 on September 19, 2017 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch)&lt;/p&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;s1&quot;&gt;Thrun said the past month has been transformative for the company. &#8220;It was a tough moment when I had to look at the business, look at the financials, look at the people in the company,&#8221; Thrun said, adding, &#8220;And the people in the company are amazing. I really believe in them, and I believe that they’re all behind the mission.&#8221;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;h2&gt;A tough year&lt;/h2&gt; &lt;p&gt;Part of Udacity&#8217;s struggles were borne out of its last funding round in 2015, when it raised $105 million and &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2015/11/11/udacity-raises-105-million-series-d-bringing-valuation-to-1-billion/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;became a unicorn&lt;/a&gt;. That round and the valuation set high expectations for growth and revenue.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;But the company started hitting those targets and 2017 became a breakout year.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;After a booming 2017 — with revenue growing 100 percent year-over-year thanks to some popular programs like its self-driving car and deep learning nanodegrees and the culmination of a &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/08/shernaz-daver-the-cmo-who-helped-to-turn-around-udacity-is-leaving-the-company/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;previous turnaround plan&lt;/a&gt; architected by former CMO Shernaz Daver — the following year fizzled. Its consumer business began to shrink, and while the production quality of its educational videos increased, the volume slowed.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;s1&quot;&gt;&#8220;In 2018, we didn&#8217;t have a single a blockbuster,&#8221; Thrun said. &#8220;There&#8217;s nothing you can point to and say, &#8216;Wow, Udacity had a blockbuster.&#8217; &#8220;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;By comparison, the self-driving car engineering nanodegree not only was a hit, it produced a successful new company. Udacity vice president Oliver Cameron &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/05/udacity-spin-out-voyage-aims-to-build-a-full-self-driving-taxi-business/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;spun out an autonomous vehicle company&lt;/a&gt; called &lt;a href=&#39;http://voyage.auto/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Voyage&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Udacity CEO &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2018/10/25/vishal-makhijani-steps-down-as-chief-executive-of-udacity/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Vishal Makhijani&lt;/a&gt; left in October and Thrun stepped in. He took over as chief executive and the head of content on an interim basis. Thrun, who founded X, Google&#8217;s moonshot factory, is also CEO of Kitty Hawk Corp., a flying-car startup.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;His first impression upon his return was a company that had grown too quickly and was burdened by its own self-inflicted red tape. Staff &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2018/09/28/online-education-unicorn-udacity-has-quietly-laid-off-5-of-staff-at-least-25-people-since-august/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;reductions&lt;/a&gt; soon followed. About &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2018/11/29/edtech-unicorn-udacity-lays-off-125-people-in-global-strategy-shift/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;130 people were laid off&lt;/a&gt; and other open positions were left vacant, Thrun said.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Udacity now has 350 full-time employees and another 200 full-time contractors. The company also has about 1,000 people contracted as graders or reviewers.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&#8220;&lt;span class=&quot;s1&quot;&gt;An emphasis, when I rejoined, was to cut complexity and focus the company on the things that are working,&#8221; he said. &lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;One area where Udacity seemed to excel had also created an impediment. The quality of Udacity&#8217;s video production resulted in Hollywood-quality programming, Thrun said. But that created a bottleneck in the amount of educational content Udacity could produce.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Udacity&#8217;s content makers — a staff of about 140 people — released nearly 10 nanodegrees in 2018. Today, as a result of cuts, only 40 content creators remain. That smaller team completed about five nanodegrees in the first quarter of 2019, Thrun said.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Last year, it took between 10 to 12 people, and more than $1 million, to build one nanodegree, Thrun said. &#8220;N&lt;span class=&quot;s1&quot;&gt;ow it’s less than 10 percent of that.&#8221;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The company was able to accomplish this, he said, by changing its whole approach to video with taping, edits and student assessments happening in real time.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Udacity, under Thrun&#8217;s direction, has also doubled down on a technical mentorship program that will now match every new student with a mentor. Udacity has hired about 278 mentors who will work between 15 and 20 hours a week on a contract basis. The company is targeting about 349 mentors in all.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Students are also assigned a cohort that is required to meet (virtually) once a week.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Thrun described the new mentor program as the &lt;span class=&quot;s1&quot;&gt;biggest change in service in the entire history of Udacity. &#8220;And we literally did this in two weeks,&#8221; he said. &lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The strategy has met with some resistance. Some employees wanted to test the mentorship program on one cohort, or group of students, and expand from there. Even since these recent changes, some employees have expressed doubts that it will be enough, according to unnamed sources connected to or within the company.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Even Thrun admits that the &#8220;fruit remains to be seen,&#8221; although he&#8217;s confident that they&#8217;ve landed on the right approach, and one that will boost student graduation rates and eventually make the company profitable.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;s1&quot;&gt;&#8220;If you give any student a personalized mentor that fights for them, and that&#8217;s the language I usually use, then we can bring our graduation rate, which is at about 34 percent to 60 percent or so,&#8221; he said. &#8220;And for online institutions 34 percent is high. But we have programs in that graduate more than 90 percent of our students.&#8221;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Udacity doesn&#8217;t share exact numbers on post-graduation hiring rates. But the company did say thousands of Udacity alumni have been hired by companies like &lt;a href=&#39;https://crunchbase.com/organization/google&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Google, &lt;span class=&quot;crunchbase-tooltip-indicator&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt; AT&amp;T, Nvidia and others in the U.S., Europe, India and China.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;In the U.S. and Canada, graduates with new jobs reported an annual salary increase of 38 percent, a Udacity spokesperson shared.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Indeed, Udacity has had some successes despite its many challenges.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;h2&gt;Bright spots&lt;/h2&gt; &lt;p&gt;Udacity has continued to increase revenue, although at a slower rate than the previous year-over-year time period. Udacity said it generated $90 million in revenue in 2018, a 25 percent year-over-year increase from 2017.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Udacity had informally offered enterprise programs to clients like AT&amp;T. But in September, the company made enterprise a dedicated product and hired a VP of sales to bring in new customers.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Udacity has added 20 new enterprise clients from the banking, insurance, telecom and retail sectors, according to the company. There are now 70 enterprise customers globally that send employees through Udacity programs to gain new skills.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;It continues to expand its career services and launched 12 free courses, built in collaboration with Google, with nearly 100,000 enrollments. It has also funded more than 1.1 million new partial and full scholarships to its programs for students across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. About 21% of all Udacity Nanodegree students in the Grow with Google program in Europ&lt;i&gt;e&lt;/i&gt; have received job offers, according &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.blog.google/outreach-initiatives/grow-with-google/udacity-nanodegree/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;to Google&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The company also has a new &lt;span class=&quot;s1&quot;&gt;initiative in the Middle East, where it teaches almost a million young Arab people how to code, Thrun said, an accomplishment he says is core to his mission.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Udacity isn&#8217;t profitable yet on an EBITDA basis, Thrun shared, but the &#8220;unit economics per students, and on a gross margin basis, are good.&#8221;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Now, it comes down to whether Thrun&#8217;s push to become faster, more efficient and nimble, all while investing in student services and its enterprise product, will be enough to right the ship.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;s1&quot;&gt;&#8220;I really believe if you can get to the point that students come to us and we bend over backwards to ensure their success, we will be a company that has a really good chance of lasting for a lifetime,&#8221; he said. &lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&#8220;&lt;span class=&quot;s1&quot;&gt;And if it doesn’t work, then we’ll adjust, like any other company. 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Strict Standards: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'Europe/Berlin' for 'CET/1.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/25/d139429755/htdocs/wiki-web20/blog/wp-content/plugins/bdprss/bdp-rss-update.php on line 127

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INSERT INTO wp_bdprss_items_v3 (item_feed_id, item_url, item_name, text_body, item_update_time, item_time, item_date) VALUES ('3', 'http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/kiFoTJKV55Y/', 'Verified Expert Lawyer: José Ancer', '&lt;p&gt;José Ancer is first of all a startup lawyer, with a client portfolio of startups of various stages based around Texas and other similar ecosystems outside of Silicon Valley. He’s also the CTO of &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.egannelson.com/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Egan Nelson LLP&lt;/a&gt;, a boutique firm, where he actively is also building automation software to help the firm compete against larger firms. He also writes on his blog “&lt;a href=&#39;http://siliconhillslawyer.com/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Silicon Hills Lawyer&lt;/a&gt;” publicly and pointedly about his profession — and often takes shots at certain practices common among startup law firms, including Silicon Valley firms. You can get a sense of what&#8217;s in the full interview via these excerpts.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;hr /&gt; &lt;h2 style=&quot;text-align: center;&quot;&gt;On not being “owned” by VCs and repeat players&lt;/h2&gt; &lt;p&gt; &lt;div class=&quot;article-block block--pullout block--right&quot;&gt; &lt;blockquote&gt; “José has a depth of expertise in startup/company formation/funding issues and is very founder-friendly. He was able to guide us through our seed stage while staying efficient and keeping the billing reasonable.” &lt;cite&gt;Mary Haskett, Austin, Texas, CEO, Blink Identity&lt;/cite&gt; &lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;/div&gt; “I believe, and our clients would confirm, that independence from the VC/repeat player community, combined with deep knowledge of startup financing and high-stakes corporate governance (board issues), allows us to say things, do things, and even write things (on my blog) that the startup community absolutely needs to see and hear, but that “captive” lawyers have been unwilling to offer because of the very real risk of retaliation from influential money players who refer them business. I’ve become a bit of a bête noire of lawyers who’ve built their practices by flouting conflicts of interest and working as company counsel despite being “owned” by VCs across the table.”&lt;/p&gt; &lt;h2 style=&quot;text-align: center;&quot;&gt;On early-stage and being “right-sized”&lt;/h2&gt; &lt;p&gt;“I wrote a blog post called ‘&lt;a href=&#39;http://siliconhillslawyer.com/2017/09/14/problem-chasing-whales/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;The Problem With Chasing Whales&lt;/a&gt;.’ It talks about this problem of entrepreneurs hiring law firms that are overkill for what they&#8217;re building. We&#8217;ve had a lot of clients switch to us from the marquee law firm names, and while the largest complaint is cost — our rates are hundreds of dollars an hour lower because we keep our overhead very lean, while still having top-tier lawyers and lean infrastructure for scalability — another common complaint is responsiveness. You&#8217;ve got a million dollar convertible note deal that you need to get done, and to you and your employees, that deal is the world, but the BigLaw lawyer you’re working with has IPOs and unicorn deals pushing your deal to the back of the line. It’s a real problem. Our target profile client exits under $300M in a private deal; which is a type of startup that we think has been very underserved by the traditional hyper-growth oriented law firms in the market.”&lt;/p&gt; &lt;h2 style=&quot;text-align: center;&quot;&gt;On legal technology and automation&lt;/h2&gt; &lt;p&gt;“I spend a lot of time talking to legal tech entrepreneurs, because efficiency via legal tech has always been a core value proposition of our firm. As I’ve reviewed and contemplated various tools, one thing I’ve always come back to is this unavoidable tension between flexibility and automation. Software, even cutting edge machine learning, can only handle a minimal level of variation before it breaks down and becomes more hassle (and cost) than it’s worth… Some firms have opted to lean very heavily on the fast automation and standardization side, and accept the rigidity that it inevitably introduces into their workflows… We’ve consciously gone a different direction… Our clients tend to think that constraining the advice startups get by boxing it into inflexible software (and pricing) is not only a penny-wise, pound-foolish confusion of priorities; it’s also exactly the kind of approach that benefits investors at the expense of one-shot common stockholders.”&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;img src=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/overview-jose-ancer.png&#39; width=&#39;729&#39; height=&#39;864&#39; /&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;em&gt;Below, you’ll find the rest of the founder reviews, the full interview, and more details like their pricing and fee structures.&lt;/em&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;em&gt;This article is part of our ongoing series covering the early-stage startup lawyers who founders love to work with, based on &lt;a href=&#39;https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1MFOFG4aHK-i5XIoiAjibi1T2S0iMRIYS-Dp4V_rR2HM/viewform?edit_requested=true#responses&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;this survey we have open&lt;/a&gt; and our own research. If you&#8217;re a founder trying to navigate the early-stage legal landmines, be sure to check out our &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/verified-experts/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;ongoing series lawyer interviews&lt;/a&gt;, plus in-depth articles like this checklist of what &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2019/02/19/startup-law-a-to-z-corporate-matters/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;you need to get done&lt;/a&gt; on the corporate side in your first years as a company.&lt;/em&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;hr /&gt; &lt;h2 style=&quot;text-align: center;&quot;&gt;The Interview&lt;/h2&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;s1&quot;&gt;&lt;img src=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/HiRes-Jose_Ancer-8613-Edit.jpg?w=300&#39; width=&#39;300&#39; height=&#39;279&#39; /&gt;Eric Eldon: &lt;/span&gt;&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;s1&quot;&gt;&lt;strong&gt;You’re pretty outspoken about the state of startup law these days. Break it down for me: what is Egan Nelson doing differently from the other law firms out there?&lt;/strong&gt; &lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;s1&quot;&gt;José Ancer: &lt;/span&gt;&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;s1&quot;&gt;If you look at the startup legal market, everyone knows the marquee, high priced firms.&lt;span class=&quot;Apple-converted-space&quot;&gt; &lt;/span&gt;They represent Facebook, Uber, Palantir, Apple, etc. But when you pay those firms $700 an hour, as an example, 25% ballpark is going to compensation for the lawyers doing the main work. 75% is paying for other stuff. So then the question obviously becomes, how much of that other stuff is really necessary? &lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;s1&quot;&gt;Our view is that there&#8217;s this segment of the startup market, and I call them non-unicorns, that is far more serious and scaled than what a tiny firm or solo lawyer can handle, but for whom BigLaw is completely overkill. We see these companies a lot more in places like Austin, Denver, Seattle, New York, etc., and it’s why our focus is on those markets. &lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;s1&quot;&gt;If you look at our lawyers’ credentials, you&#8217;ll see a whole lot of Stanford, Yale, Harvard, etc., as well as marquee firm alumni. What you won’t find at our firm is ludicrously expensive office space, cute events that have nothing to do with legal counsel, or armies of staff that don’t deliver real value to the end-service for clients. &lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;s1&quot;&gt;Our legal talent is paid very well, but our overhead infrastructure is designed for companies that sell as a private company for under $300 million, or perhaps operate indefinitely as profitable companies. These are “startups” that might be derisively labeled as “doubles” or “singles” in parts of Silicon Valley, but we think have been substantially underserved by the market.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;div class=&quot;extra-crunch-offer-container&quot;&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div class=&quot;feedflare&quot;&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=kiFoTJKV55Y:hGKoYjmT32U:2mJPEYqXBVI&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=2mJPEYqXBVI&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=kiFoTJKV55Y:hGKoYjmT32U:7Q72WNTAKBA&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=7Q72WNTAKBA&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=kiFoTJKV55Y:hGKoYjmT32U:yIl2AUoC8zA&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=yIl2AUoC8zA&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=kiFoTJKV55Y:hGKoYjmT32U:-BTjWOF_DHI&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?i=kiFoTJKV55Y:hGKoYjmT32U:-BTjWOF_DHI&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=kiFoTJKV55Y:hGKoYjmT32U:D7DqB2pKExk&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?i=kiFoTJKV55Y:hGKoYjmT32U:D7DqB2pKExk&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=kiFoTJKV55Y:hGKoYjmT32U:qj6IDK7rITs&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=qj6IDK7rITs&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;/div&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Techcrunch/~4/kiFoTJKV55Y&quot; height=&quot;1&quot; width=&quot;1&quot; alt=&quot;&quot;/&gt;', '1550884014', '1550884004', '2019-02-23')


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Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'Europe/Berlin' for 'CET/1.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/25/d139429755/htdocs/wiki-web20/blog/wp-content/plugins/bdprss/bdp-rssaggregator-db.php on line 338

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INSERT INTO wp_bdprss_items_v3 (item_feed_id, item_url, item_name, text_body, item_update_time, item_time, item_date) VALUES ('3', 'http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/AXD9Qs2WOPY/', 'Opera Touch brings website cookie blocking to iOS', '&lt;p&gt;Last fall, &lt;a href=&#39;https://crunchbase.com/organization/opera&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Opera &lt;span class=&quot;crunchbase-tooltip-indicator&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt; introduced Opera Touch for iOS &#8212; a &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2018/10/02/opera-touch-ios/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;solid alternative to Safari on iPhone&lt;/a&gt;, optimized for one-handed use. Today, the company is rolling out a notable new feature to this app: cookie blocking. Yes, it can now block those annoying dialogs that ask you to accept the website&#8217;s cookies. These are particularly problematic on mobile, where they often entirely interrupt your ability to view the content, as opposed to on many desktop websites where you can (kind of) ignore the pop-up banner that appears at the bottom or the top of the page.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Cookie dialogs have become prevalent across the web as a result of Europe&#8217;s GDPR, but many people find them overly intrusive. Today, it takes an extra click to dismiss these prompts, which slows down web browsing &#8212; especially for those times you&#8217;re on the hunt for a particular piece of information and are visiting several websites in rapid succession.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The cookie blocking feature was first&lt;a href=&#39;https://www.engadget.com/2018/11/06/opera-for-android-to-block-cookie-dialogs/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt; launched in November&lt;/a&gt; on Opera&#8217;s flagship app for Android, but hadn&#8217;t yet made its way to iOS &#8212; through any browser app, that is, not just one from Opera. The company says it uses a mix of CSS and JavaScript heuristics in order to block the prompts.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;At the time of the launch, Opera noted it had tested the feature with some 15,000 sites.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;img src=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/ios_cookie_11_25fps_70dith_256_sel_los0-opt.gif?w=680&#39; width=&#39;680&#39; height=&#39;510&#39; /&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;It&#8217;s important to note that the default setting for the cookie blocker on Opera Touch&lt;em&gt; will allow&lt;/em&gt; the websites to set cookies.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Here&#8217;s how it works. When you enable the feature, it will hide the dialog boxes from appearing, allowing you to read a website without having to first close the prompt. However, when you turn on the Cookie Blocker option, another setting is also switched on: one that says &#8220;automatically accept cookie dialogs.&#8221;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;That means, in practice, when you&#8217;re enabling the Cookie Blocker, you&#8217;re also enabling cookie acceptance if you don&#8217;t take further action.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;But Opera says you can disable this checkbox, if you don&#8217;t want your browser to give websites your acceptance.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;In addition to the new cookie blocking, the browser has &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/03/opera-now-protects-you-from-cryptojacking-attacks/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;a number of other options&lt;/a&gt; that make it an interesting alternative to Safari on iOS or Google Chrome.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;For example, if offers built-in ad blocking, cryptocurrency mining protection (which prevents malicious sites from using your device&#8217;s resources to mine for cryptocurrencies), a way to send web content to your PC through Opera&#8217;s &#8220;Flow&#8221; technology and &#8212; most importantly &#8212; a design focused on using the app with just one hand.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Since the app&#8217;s launch in April, the company has rolled out 23 new features in total. 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Strict Standards: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'Europe/Berlin' for 'CET/1.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/25/d139429755/htdocs/wiki-web20/blog/wp-content/plugins/bdprss/bdp-rss-update.php on line 127

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Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'Europe/Berlin' for 'CET/1.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/25/d139429755/htdocs/wiki-web20/blog/wp-content/plugins/bdprss/bdp-rssaggregator-db.php on line 338

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INSERT INTO wp_bdprss_items_v3 (item_feed_id, item_url, item_name, text_body, item_update_time, item_time, item_date) VALUES ('3', 'http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/PzUHTZHTbI4/', 'Daily Crunch: Pinterest files to go public', '&lt;p&gt;The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch&#8217;s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you&#8217;d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can &lt;a href=&#39;http://link.techcrunch.com/join/134/signup-all-newsletters&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;subscribe here&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;1. &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2019/02/21/pinterest-files-confidentially-to-go-public/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Pinterest files confidentially to go public&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The business has confidentially submitted paperwork to the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering slated for later this year, according to a &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.wsj.com/articles/pinterest-files-confidentially-for-ipo-11550782552&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;report&lt;/a&gt; from The Wall Street Journal.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Earlier reports indicated the company was planning to debut on the stock market in April. In late January, &lt;a href=&#39;https://crunchbase.com/organization/pinterest&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Pinterest &lt;span class=&quot;crunchbase-tooltip-indicator&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt; took its first official step toward a 2019 IPO, hiring Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase as lead underwriters for its offering.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;2. &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2019/02/21/google-ends-forced-arbitration-for-employees/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Google ends forced arbitration for employees&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;This is a direct response to a group of outspoken Google employees protesting the company’s arbitration practices. Forced arbitration ensures that workplace disputes are settled behind closed doors and without any right to an appeal, effectively preventing employees from suing companies.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;3. &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2019/02/21/facebook-removes-onavo/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Facebook will shut down its spyware VPN app Onavo&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Facebook will end its unpaid market research programs and proactively take its Onavo VPN app off the Google Play store in the wake of backlash following TechCrunch’s investigation about Onavo code being used in a Facebook Research app that sucked up data about teens.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;div id=&quot;attachment_1787297&quot; style=&quot;width: 690px&quot; class=&quot;wp-caption aligncenter&quot;&gt;&lt;img src=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/uber-eats-india-swiggy.jpg?w=680&#39; width=&#39;680&#39; height=&#39;363&#39; /&gt;&lt;p&gt;In this photo taken on February 6, 2019, Indian delivery men working with the food delivery apps Uber Eats and Swiggy wait to pick up an order outside a restaurant in Mumbai.&lt;/p&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;4. &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2019/02/21/uber-eats-swiggy/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Uber is reportedly close to making a tactical exit from India’s food delivery industry&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;India’s Economic Times is &lt;a href=&#39;https://tech.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/internet/uber-eats-india-likely-to-end-up-on-swiggys-plate/68104047&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;reporting&lt;/a&gt; that Uber is in the final stages of a deal that would see Swiggy eat up Uber Eats in India in exchange for giving the U.S. ride-hailing firm a 10 percent share of its business.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;5. &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2019/02/21/googles-digital-wellbeing-features-hit-more-devices-including-samsung-galaxy-s10/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Google’s ‘Digital Wellbeing’ features hit more devices, including Samsung Galaxy S10&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Initially available exclusively to Pixel and Android One device owners, Digital Wellbeing’s feature set is now rolling out to Nokia 6 and Nokia 8 devices with Android Pie, as well as on the new Samsung Galaxy S10.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;6. &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2019/02/21/doordash-series-f/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;DoorDash raises $400M round, now valued at $7.1B&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Recent data from Second Measure shows that DoorDash has overtaken Uber Eats in U.S. market share — for online food delivery, it now comes in second to Grubhub.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;strong&gt;7. &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2019/02/22/venmo-launches-a-limited-edition-rainbow-debit-card-for-its-payment-app-users/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Venmo launches a ‘limited edition’ rainbow debit card for its payment app users&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The new rainbow card will be offered until supplies last, Venmo says. And existing card holders can request this card as a replacement for their current card, if they choose.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;a href=&#39;http://link.techcrunch.com/join/134/signup-all-newsletters&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Dk-_nQ.png?w=680&#39; width=&#39;680&#39; height=&#39;191&#39; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;div class=&quot;feedflare&quot;&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=PzUHTZHTbI4:9VmnoIjaKlI:2mJPEYqXBVI&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=2mJPEYqXBVI&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=PzUHTZHTbI4:9VmnoIjaKlI:7Q72WNTAKBA&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=7Q72WNTAKBA&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=PzUHTZHTbI4:9VmnoIjaKlI:yIl2AUoC8zA&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=yIl2AUoC8zA&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=PzUHTZHTbI4:9VmnoIjaKlI:-BTjWOF_DHI&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?i=PzUHTZHTbI4:9VmnoIjaKlI:-BTjWOF_DHI&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=PzUHTZHTbI4:9VmnoIjaKlI:D7DqB2pKExk&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?i=PzUHTZHTbI4:9VmnoIjaKlI:D7DqB2pKExk&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=PzUHTZHTbI4:9VmnoIjaKlI:qj6IDK7rITs&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=qj6IDK7rITs&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;/div&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Techcrunch/~4/PzUHTZHTbI4&quot; height=&quot;1&quot; width=&quot;1&quot; alt=&quot;&quot;/&gt;', '1550884014', '1550884001', '2019-02-23')


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Strict Standards: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'Europe/Berlin' for 'CET/1.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/25/d139429755/htdocs/wiki-web20/blog/wp-content/plugins/bdprss/bdp-rss-update.php on line 127

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'Europe/Berlin' for 'CET/1.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/25/d139429755/htdocs/wiki-web20/blog/wp-content/plugins/bdprss/bdp-rssaggregator-db.php on line 338

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INSERT INTO wp_bdprss_items_v3 (item_feed_id, item_url, item_name, text_body, item_update_time, item_time, item_date) VALUES ('3', 'http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/abO88DoJiSI/', 'Daimler and BMW invest $1.1 billion in urban mobility services', '&lt;p&gt;&lt;a href=&#39;https://crunchbase.com/organization/daimler&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Daimler &lt;span class=&quot;crunchbase-tooltip-indicator&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt; AG and BMW Group officially agreed to merge their urban mobility services into a single holding company back in &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2018/03/28/bmw-and-daimler-agree-to-merge-mobility-service-businesses/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;March 2018&lt;/a&gt; with a 50 percent stake each. And now, they want to &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.bmwgroup.com/en/brands-and-services/Mobilitaets-Joint-Venture-BMW-Group-Daimler-AG.html&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;unify&lt;/a&gt; their services under five categories by creating five joint ventures — Reach Now, Charge Now, Park Now, Free Now and Share Now.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Both automakers plan to invest $1.1 billion (€1 billion) to foster these urban mobility services over the coming years. There are already 60 million people using one of the 14 services currently available.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Let’s go through the details. Free Now is the name of the ride-hailing company, which includes mytaxi, Kapten, Clever Taxi and Beat. Those services combined operate in 130 cities in 17 countries. &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.ridehive.com&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Hive&lt;/a&gt;, a new e-scooter company, is also part of Free Now.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;img src=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/EN_181129_Daimler_BMW_Infographics_Quadratisch_S5.png&#39; width=&#39;1024&#39; height=&#39;576&#39; /&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;mytaxi, a popular app that lets you hail a taxi from your phone, already sent an email to its customers saying that the company will rebrand its service to Free Now later this year. It’s unclear what’s going to happen to the other brands. Chauffeur-Privé &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2019/02/06/uber-competitor-chauffeur-prive-rebrands-to-kapten/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;recently rebranded to Kapten&lt;/a&gt;, so it sounds like apps and services won’t merge overnight.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;a href=&#39;https://chargenow.com/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Charge Now&lt;/a&gt; already exists and is a network of public charge points for electric cars. It provides a white label service for car manufacturers as well. So nothing is changing there.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Park Now combines an existing service called ParkNow (I know, it’s confusing), ParkMobile, RingGo and Park-line. As the names suggest, they all operate parking services.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Share Now is all about free-floating services. Daimler and BMW each had its own service, DriveNow and Car2Go; they’re now under the same roof.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The new &lt;a href=&#39;https://reachnow.com/en/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Reach Now&lt;/a&gt; combines moovel with an existing service called ReachNow. This one is a bit weird as moovel lets you access various transportation methods from a single app. You can find your itinerary, and book and pay for various services through the app. The old ReachNow is different as it’s a ride-hailing service in Seattle and Portland.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;That wasn’t easy to unpack. It’s clear that things are still moving and plans aren’t set in stone when it comes to integrations and brand simplification. Eventually, BMW CEO Harald Krüger hopes that all of those services will converge and form an end-to-end service.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;“We have a clear vision: these five services will merge ever more closely to form a single mobility service portfolio with an all-electric, self-driving fleet of vehicles that charge and park autonomously and interconnect with the other modes of transport,” he said in the &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.press.bmwgroup.com/global/article/detail/T0292204EN/bmw-group-and-daimler-ag-invest-more-than-%E2%82%AC1-billion-in-joint-mobility-services-provider&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;release&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;While it sounds like a wild dream, it’s interesting to see that Daimler and BMW are both very serious about mobility services. They know that they can’t just be car manufacturers, and must expand beyond their traditional role.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;It’s a competitive industry with well-funded giants, such as Uber and Didi. And if Daimler and BMW want to remain relevant, they need to invest and develop these services.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;div class=&quot;feedflare&quot;&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=abO88DoJiSI:_fNEX0bcqSE:2mJPEYqXBVI&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=2mJPEYqXBVI&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=abO88DoJiSI:_fNEX0bcqSE:7Q72WNTAKBA&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=7Q72WNTAKBA&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=abO88DoJiSI:_fNEX0bcqSE:yIl2AUoC8zA&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=yIl2AUoC8zA&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=abO88DoJiSI:_fNEX0bcqSE:-BTjWOF_DHI&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?i=abO88DoJiSI:_fNEX0bcqSE:-BTjWOF_DHI&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=abO88DoJiSI:_fNEX0bcqSE:D7DqB2pKExk&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?i=abO88DoJiSI:_fNEX0bcqSE:D7DqB2pKExk&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=abO88DoJiSI:_fNEX0bcqSE:qj6IDK7rITs&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=qj6IDK7rITs&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;/div&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Techcrunch/~4/abO88DoJiSI&quot; height=&quot;1&quot; width=&quot;1&quot; alt=&quot;&quot;/&gt;', '1550884014', '1550884000', '2019-02-23')


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INSERT INTO wp_bdprss_items_v3 (item_feed_id, item_url, item_name, text_body, item_update_time, item_time, item_date) VALUES ('3', 'http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/_KCTebPHFWA/', 'Can we ever evaluate technical debt?', '&lt;p&gt;Every couple of months, I talk to an entrepreneur who is interested in building a marketplace for buying and selling app businesses (i.e. the actual IP and ownership of an app or other piece of software). These markets always seem to suffer from a lack of liquidity, and one reason why is that it’s really hard to know how much technical debt is latent in a codebase.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;First, the developer behind the codebase may not even be aware of the technical debt they have piled on. Second, until a software engineer really understands a codebase, they are almost certainly not in a position to answer a question on technical debt authoritatively. That makes it hard to get third-party opinions on anything but the most simple codebases.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;This opaqueness isn’t unique to software though. We lack tools for understanding the maintenance quality of assets — physical or digital — across our economy. Even when we do perform maintenance or hire someone to do it for us, it can be hard to verify that the work was performed well. How long does it take for an auto mechanic to truly evaluate the maintenance of a used car?&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;I was thinking about this challenge of evaluating maintenance when I read &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.theamericanconservative.com/urbs/what-it-actually-costs-to-maintain-an-older-house/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;this deep dive into the economics of old housing&lt;/a&gt; by Akron’s head of planning, Jason Segedy:&lt;/p&gt; &lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;p&gt;It has been suggested to me, on more than one occasion, that indebted, college-educated Millennials could be lured back to the city by selling them these old, poorly-maintained houses for $1.00, and having them “fix up the house.”&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;People who say this do not have a realistic idea of what “fixing up” an old house entails—neither in terms of the scope of the rehabilitation work that would be required, nor in terms of the level of skill, time, and/or money needed to do the work.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Even in a low cost-of-living market like ours, $40,000 houses are generally not a “good deal.” They are almost always a liability. They are a ticking time bomb of deferred maintenance. They are an albatross.&lt;/p&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;p&gt;In his own case:&lt;/p&gt; &lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;p&gt;All told, I have spent $93,400 on improvements to this house over the past 15 years. This works out to an additional $502 per month, above what I was paying in mortgage, taxes, and insurance. When you add all of that together, the total monthly cost works out to $1,439.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;[…]&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The total monthly cost for the brand-new house? $1,444. Which comes out to exactly $5.00 per month more than my 72-year-old house.&lt;/p&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;p&gt;Maintenance is the secret challenge of any asset, physical or digital. &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2019/02/19/why-cant-we-build-anything/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;We have been talking about the Tappan Zee bridge here a bit this week&lt;/a&gt;, and maintenance played an outsized role in forcing New York to spend even more money on a new bridge. From Phil Plotch’s book &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.rutgersuniversitypress.org/politics-across-the-hudson/9780813572512/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Politics Across the Hudson&lt;/a&gt;:&lt;/p&gt; &lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;p&gt;However, he also recognized that the Authority probably put less money into the bridge after it decided to replace it. “When maintenance folks know that a capital project is under design and will soon deal with the problems they have been battling for years,” he said. “They often back down a bit and turn their attention and resources to other areas.”&lt;/p&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;p&gt;That didn’t work out so well:&lt;/p&gt; &lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;p&gt;One of the reasons the Thruway Authority wanted to build a new bridge in the late 1990s was to avoid replacing the bridge’s deck. However, the environmental review process took so long that the authority had to spend $300 million dollars to do exactly that anyway — after five-foot-wide holes started opening up along the length of the bridge.&lt;/p&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;p&gt;Back in the software world, we have gotten much better about quantifying test coverage over the years, but we still seem to lack any means by which to evaluate technical debt. And yet, technical debt from my limited experience is hugely determinative on how fast product features can be launched.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;It would be hugely helpful to have some sort of reasonably accurate grading system that said “this codebase is really up-to-date and clean” versus “this codebase is radioactive and run away from it.” Right now, so much of product engineering seems to be making decisions in the dark and discovering software quagmires. There has to be a better way.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;h2&gt;Why we can’t build anything? (Part 5?)&lt;/h2&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;div id=&quot;attachment_1787492&quot; style=&quot;width: 690px&quot; class=&quot;wp-caption aligncenter&quot;&gt;&lt;img src=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/20160502-hart-train-car-unveiling.jpg?w=680&#39; width=&#39;680&#39; height=&#39;325&#39; /&gt;&lt;p&gt;Image from Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit&lt;/p&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;i&gt;Written by Arman Tabatabai&lt;/i&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;We’ve been obsessed with the infrastructure crisis in the U.S. lately and the question of “&lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2019/02/19/why-cant-we-build-anything/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Why can’t we build anything?”&lt;/a&gt; In case you thought the California HSR shitshow was an isolated incident, think again.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;a href=&#39;https://www.constructiondive.com/news/justice-department-subpoenas-honolulu-high-speed-rail-records/548649/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Construction Dive provided&lt;/a&gt; some more details around the DOJ’s &lt;a href=&#39;http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/Portals/0/Article%20Attachments/HART%20Subpoena%20Feb%2015%202019.pdf&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;subpoena&lt;/a&gt; of the Honolulu High-Speed Rail Project (Honolulu Rail Transit) last week, which ordered the project leads to open up their books. Just like in California, after &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/21/us/hawaii-struggles-to-keep-rail-project-from-becoming-a-boondoggle.html&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;decades&lt;/a&gt; of &lt;a href=&#39;http://www.honolulumagazine.com/Honolulu-Magazine/April-2016/Ben-Cayetano-Runs-a-Full-Page-Ad-Asking-Donald-Trump-to-Yank-Funding-for-Rail/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;debate&lt;/a&gt;, Hawaii’s project has been plagued by delays and cost overruns. Today, the project holds an &lt;a href=&#39;https://skift.com/2017/08/28/hawaiis-9-5-billion-commuter-rail-project-may-never-be-finished/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;estimated cost&lt;/a&gt; of around $9-10 billion, compared to &lt;a href=&#39;http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2006/Jun/23/ln/FP606230364.html&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;initial estimates&lt;/a&gt; of $3-4 billion, and some &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.constructiondive.com/news/uncertainty-surrounds-8b-honolulu-rail-project/521598/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;academics&lt;/a&gt; and &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2017/07/honolulus-rapid-transit-crisis/534150/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;industry specialists&lt;/a&gt; are even saying that number is more like $13 billion-plus. The court order came just after a state-led audit found that much of the cost overruns could be tied to poor contracting, planning and management practices — just as in California.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Given the similarities here, it’s possible we could see the federal government &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2019/02/20/timing-and-why-were-all-vcs/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;try and pull back&lt;/a&gt; the $1.6 billion it had earmarked for the project if it doesn’t like what it sees. Despite calls for infrastructure improvement, the feds seem to be taking a tougher stance on the use of fed funds for these projects.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Construction Dive &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.constructiondive.com/news/concrete-issues-delay-denver-airport-project-indefinitely/548758/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;also highlighted&lt;/a&gt; that the $650 million renovation of Denver International Airport’s Jeppesen Terminal was delayed indefinitely after operators found structural deficiencies in the concrete. Sound familiar? Maybe it’s because in just the last year we’ve seen “structural deficiencies” mar &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/Cracked-steel-beam-found-at-Transbay-Transit-13257805.php&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;SF’s Transbay Terminal project&lt;/a&gt; and &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.nbcwashington.com/traffic/transit/Major-Concrete-Issues-Found-in-Silver-Line-Metro-Extension-480829661.html&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;DC’s Metrorail extension&lt;/a&gt;. Denver’s reclamation project is expected to cost $1.8 billion in its entirety and is a year behind schedule after &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.denverpost.com/2018/05/29/denver-international-airport-gate-expansion-breaks-ground/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;breaking ground&lt;/a&gt; less than nine months ago.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;h2&gt;India’s general election might also determine Facebook’s future in the region&lt;/h2&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;div id=&quot;attachment_1787493&quot; style=&quot;width: 690px&quot; class=&quot;wp-caption aligncenter&quot;&gt;&lt;img src=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/GettyImages-1092326108.jpg?w=680&#39; width=&#39;680&#39; height=&#39;453&#39; /&gt;&lt;p&gt;Westend61 via Getty Images&lt;/p&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;i&gt;Written by Arman Tabatabai&lt;/i&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;India’s Parliamentary Committee on Information Technology &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-parliament-facebook/indian-lawmakers-summon-facebook-officials-over-citizens-rights-protection-idUSKCN1QB0Q4&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;announced it would be meeting&lt;/a&gt; with Facebook in early March to discuss “safeguarding citizens’ rights on social or online news media platforms.” The government has &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-internet/india-will-not-be-cowed-in-internet-consultations-tech-minister-idUSKCN1Q928U&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;approached social media with a cautious eye&lt;/a&gt; ahead of the country’s &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/15/asia/india-election-what-to-know-intl/index.html&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;huge upcoming elections&lt;/a&gt;, as concern over the use and misuse of social and messaging platforms in global elections becomes a hot-button issue.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The topic came up in our recent conversation with &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/554196/the-billionaire-raj-by-james-crabtree/9781524760069/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;The Billionaire Raj&lt;/a&gt; author &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.jamescrabtree.com/bio/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;James Crabtree&lt;/a&gt;. He believes the election will be a hugely important period for social platforms in India. Having experienced a &lt;a href=&#39;https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/seven-big-corruption-scandals-that-rocked-india/slideshow/7003781.cms&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;number of major historical scandals&lt;/a&gt;, India’s citizenry has a fairly harsh — albeit somewhat selective — view on corruption, and Crabtree believes that if Facebook or others were to face blame for any alleged misconduct, the potential fallout from a political, regulatory and public opinion standpoint could be devastating.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The prospect of such an outcome becomes even more alarming for foreign social companies as India has ticked up &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/30/foxconn-pulls-back-on-its-10-billion-dollar-factory-commitment/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;focus on data localization and movements towards a “national champion” policy&lt;/a&gt; that will increasingly favor domestic firms over external players.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;h2&gt;I love triangulation negotiation&lt;/h2&gt; &lt;p&gt;The trade kerfuffle between China and the U.S. is sort of just continuing at a glacial pace. Literally glaciers, because Greenland got involved over the past few months. Greenland power politics is very far afield of TC, but I wanted to point out one little nuance that offers a worthwhile lesson.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Greenland has wanted to upgrade its airports for some time (there are no roads between major cities in the sparsely populated but huge country). But Denmark, which Greenland is a constituent country, has rebuffed those requests; that is, until the Chinese got involved. &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-the-pentagon-countered-chinas-designs-on-greenland-11549812296&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;From a WSJ article&lt;/a&gt;:&lt;/p&gt; &lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;p&gt;After Kalaallit Airports short-listed a Chinese construction firm to build the new airports, Denmark conveyed its alarm to the Pentagon. After Mr. Mattis got involved, Denmark’s government asked a consortium led by &lt;a href=&#39;https://quotes.wsj.com/DNKEY&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Danske Bank&lt;/a&gt; to help assemble an alternative financing package.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Officials in Greenland were pleasantly surprised by the terms. “Even Chinese funding is not as cheap as this,” Mr. Hansen said.&lt;/p&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;p&gt;Plus this quote:&lt;/p&gt; &lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;p&gt;“He was not into it at all—until the Chinese showed interest,” said Aleqa Hammon, Greenland’s former prime minister, speaking of [Danish Prime Minister] Rasmussen.&lt;/p&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;p&gt;This is how you negotiate! Get two larger adversaries lined up on either side of the line, and just start going back and forth between them. This works with Google and Facebook, Sequoia and Benchmark, or any other competitors. At some point, the game isn’t just a deal, it’s also the face-saving that comes from not losing to the competition.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;h2&gt;Japan joining the trend of looser fundraising rules for growing companies&lt;/h2&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;i&gt;Written by Arman Tabatabai&lt;/i&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2019/02/20/timing-and-why-were-all-vcs/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Earlier this week&lt;/a&gt;, we talked about how security exchanges around the world were looking to loosen fundraising rules for young companies. The softening of these rules might be indicative of a wider trend, with &lt;a href=&#39;https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Markets/Japan-seeks-more-unicorns-by-easing-rules-on-unlisted-shares&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Japan now proposing&lt;/a&gt; revised rules to make it easier for startups to fundraise through traditional brokerages and trade shares of listed companies. While the motivation here may not be to attract IPO deals like it seems to be in the U.S. and China, with the creation of more funding alternatives and with companies opting to stay out of the public markets for longer, national securities industries seem to be trying to brand themselves as the best venue for young companies to grow.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;h2&gt;Obsessions&lt;/h2&gt; &lt;ul&gt; &lt;li&gt;More discussion of megaprojects, infrastructure and “why can’t we build things?”&lt;/li&gt; &lt;li&gt;We are going to be talking India here, focused around the book “&lt;a href=&#39;https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/554196/the-billionaire-raj-by-james-crabtree/9781524760069/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Billionaire Raj&lt;/a&gt;” by James Crabtree, who we just interviewed and will share more soon.&lt;/li&gt; &lt;li&gt;We have a lot to catch up on in the China world when the EC launch craziness dies down. Plus, we are covering &lt;a href=&#39;https://hbr.org/product/the-next-factory-of-the-world-how-chinese-investment-is-reshaping-africa/10120-HBK-ENG&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;The Next Factory of the World&lt;/a&gt; by Irene Yuan Sun.&lt;/li&gt; &lt;li&gt;Societal resilience and geoengineering are still top-of-mind.&lt;/li&gt; &lt;li&gt;Some more on metrics design and quantification.&lt;/li&gt; &lt;/ul&gt; &lt;h2&gt;Thanks&lt;/h2&gt; &lt;p&gt;To every member of Extra Crunch: thank you. You allow us to get off the ad-laden media churn conveyor belt and spend quality time on amazing ideas, people, and companies. If I can ever be of assistance, hit reply, or send an email to &lt;a href=&#39;mailto:danny@techcrunch.com&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;danny@techcrunch.com&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;i&gt;This newsletter is written with the assistance of Arman Tabatabai from New York&lt;/i&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;div class=&quot;feedflare&quot;&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=_KCTebPHFWA:-4Aj3aeiG_Q:2mJPEYqXBVI&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=2mJPEYqXBVI&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=_KCTebPHFWA:-4Aj3aeiG_Q:7Q72WNTAKBA&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=7Q72WNTAKBA&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=_KCTebPHFWA:-4Aj3aeiG_Q:yIl2AUoC8zA&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=yIl2AUoC8zA&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=_KCTebPHFWA:-4Aj3aeiG_Q:-BTjWOF_DHI&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?i=_KCTebPHFWA:-4Aj3aeiG_Q:-BTjWOF_DHI&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=_KCTebPHFWA:-4Aj3aeiG_Q:D7DqB2pKExk&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?i=_KCTebPHFWA:-4Aj3aeiG_Q:D7DqB2pKExk&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=_KCTebPHFWA:-4Aj3aeiG_Q:qj6IDK7rITs&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=qj6IDK7rITs&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;/div&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Techcrunch/~4/_KCTebPHFWA&quot; height=&quot;1&quot; width=&quot;1&quot; alt=&quot;&quot;/&gt;', '1550884014', '1550883999', '2019-02-23')


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INSERT INTO wp_bdprss_items_v3 (item_feed_id, item_url, item_name, text_body, item_update_time, item_time, item_date) VALUES ('3', 'http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/WIl6jPRzVKQ/', 'Roku on track for $1 billion in revenue in 2019', '&lt;p&gt;&lt;a href=&#39;https://crunchbase.com/organization/roku&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Roku &lt;span class=&quot;crunchbase-tooltip-indicator&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt; plans to be a billion-dollar company in 2019, the company said on Thursday as part of its announcement of strong earnings. The company beat analyst estimates and reported strong growth in active users and streaming hours with earnings of $0.05 per share, compared with the $0.03 analysts had estimated, and revenues of $276 million, compared with the expected $262 million.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Roku also reported 40 percent year-over-year active user growth, with 27.1 million active users by year-end, and a 69 percent year-over-year increase in streaming hours, which reached 7.3 billion.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The company said it plans this year to invest in international expansion, its ad-supported service The Roku Channel, advertising and its Roku TV platform.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;While cord cutting is driving some of Roku&#8217;s growth, only around half of Roku&#8217;s customers fit this description, CEO Anthony Wood pointed out. The other half are more like &#8220;cord shavers&#8221; &#8212; those who are still pay TV subscribers, but are shifting more of their TV viewing to streaming services.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Roku&#8217;s ability to also attract pay TV customers combined with the fact that one in four smart TVs sold in the U.S. now runs its software is helping the company&#8217;s market share grow.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Roku estimates that one in five U.S. TV households now uses the Roku platform for at least a portion of their TV viewing. In the year ahead, Roku aims to better capitalize on its traction by increasing the monetization per user and scaling the number of households using Roku.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;In addition, the company sees a big opportunity in international.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&#8220;International is one of the top four areas we&#8217;re investing in,&#8221; Wood noted.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&#8220;Roku has more than 27 million active accounts globally today. Most of those are in the United States. But we believe many of the assets we built for the U.S. market will help us expand into other markets. And clearly streaming is a global opportunity with one billion households worldwide,&#8221; he said.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The company began investing more substantially in international in 2018, and has now reached 20 countries. It has added more local content and is expanding its relationships with international resellers, said Wood. &#8220;We think you&#8217;ll start to see the results of this increased investment bearing fruit in 2020,&#8221; he added.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Roku also has high hopes for The Roku Channel.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The channel is now one of the top five most popular on the platform and grew from around 1,000 free movies and TV episodes in 2017 to now around 10,000. Last year, it added more streaming partners like ABC, Cheddar and People TV and even expanded into subscriptions, with add-ons like Showtime, Starz and Epix.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;img src=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/The-roku-chanel_Mobile_Lifestyle.jpg?w=680&#39; width=&#39;680&#39; height=&#39;383&#39; /&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The company believes the channel will continue to become a main destination on its platform, which helps Roku monetize through advertising and its cut of subscription revenue, when customers opt to add extra packages. But today the channel is still lacking many of the major subscription services, compared with the more robust lineup offered by Amazon Channels. For example, HBO is not offered through The Roku Channel today, nor is CBS All Access.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;However, the company believes its financial performance will improve this year &#8212; reaching the billion in revenue mark, with platform revenues accounting for two-thirds of that. This, in part, will be due to growing its installed base and extracting more revenue from each customer, including through The Roku Channel.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;It&#8217;s worth noting that Roku recently made it possible to stream from The Roku Channel directly on mobile devices, which will likely play a role here.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Roku has been growing at a rapid pace alongside the larger cord cutting and streaming TV trend.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;In the past three years, it increased active accounts by one million, six million and then nearly eight million, respectively, it said. And it quadrupled the size of its platform revenue from just over $100 million in 2016 to over $400 million in 2018. In the U.S., its active account base of 27+ million would make it equivalent to the No. 2 traditional pay TV provider.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;In addition to international expansions in 2019 and investments in The Roku Channel, Roku aims to increase its Roku TV market share, and roll out new ad products in areas like marketplace, programmatic, and self-serve.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Roku&#8217;s investments in its platform led to 77 percent year-over-year growth to reach 151.4 million in revenue in Q4. 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Strict Standards: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'Europe/Berlin' for 'CET/1.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/25/d139429755/htdocs/wiki-web20/blog/wp-content/plugins/bdprss/bdp-rss-update.php on line 127

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'Europe/Berlin' for 'CET/1.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/25/d139429755/htdocs/wiki-web20/blog/wp-content/plugins/bdprss/bdp-rssaggregator-db.php on line 338

WordPress database error: [INSERT command denied to user 'dbo208993089'@'82.165.81.35' for table 'wp_bdprss_items_v3']
INSERT INTO wp_bdprss_items_v3 (item_feed_id, item_url, item_name, text_body, item_update_time, item_time, item_date) VALUES ('3', 'http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/L3DnQImvquY/', 'Inside Tesla’s solar energy astroturfing', '&lt;p&gt;&lt;a href=&#39;https://crunchbase.com/organization/tesla-motors&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Tesla &lt;span class=&quot;crunchbase-tooltip-indicator&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt; has been masking its lobbying efforts on solar panels and battery storage through the Energy Freedom Coalition of America, a trade association that is little more than a front for the automaker and alternative energy company, public documents suggest.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;a href=&#39;https://crunchbase.com/organization/solarcity&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;SolarCity, &lt;span class=&quot;crunchbase-tooltip-indicator&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt; which Tesla bought in 2016, began the practice of using the EFCA to promote its products and services without acknowledging it was the only significant member of the organization. EFCA was initially portrayed as a solar advocacy group with grassroots support.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;When rule changes threatened payments to Arizonans with domestic solar panels in 2016, EFCA knew just what to do. It launched the Arizona Solar Pledge for citizens “to demonstrate their support for energy choice and add their names to the growing coalition determined to protect Arizona rooftop solar customers.”&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Anyone signing the petition would “demonstrate to &#8230; the broader political community that the people of Arizona stand with rooftop solar and energy choice,” &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/energy-freedom-coalition-launches-arizona-shines-to-protect-arizona-rooftop-solar-300244375.html&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;wrote an EFCA spokesperson&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt; at the time. &lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;EFCA noted that its list of members included &lt;a href=&#39;https://crunchbase.com/organization/silevo&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Silevo, &lt;span class=&quot;crunchbase-tooltip-indicator&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt; SolarCity Corporation, ZEP Solar, Go Solar, 1 Sun Solar Electric and Ecological Energy Systems.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;However, far from being a grassroots environmental advocacy organization or a broad trade body, the EFCA seems to represent little more than the lobbying arm of Tesla’s energy division.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Three of its named “member” businesses &#8212; Silevo, SolarCity and &lt;a href=&#39;https://crunchbase.com/organization/zep-solar&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Zep Solar &lt;span class=&quot;crunchbase-tooltip-indicator&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &#8212; are actually subsidiaries of Tesla. Two of the remaining companies are small regional solar installers. TechCrunch could not immediately identify Go Solar LLC.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Tesla would not answer questions about EFCA’s membership, funding or control. However, a spokesperson wrote, “Since the [SolarCity] acquisition, Tesla has been winding down its involvement with the coalition, and to the extent we have worked with them, it’s largely been limited to legacy dockets that have already been in progress for multiple years.”&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The EFCA is a nonprofit corporation formed in Delaware that describes itself blandly as a “national advocacy organization that seeks to promote public awareness of the benefits of solar and alternative energy.”&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;It was slightly more forthcoming in a &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.edockets.state.mn.us/EFiling/edockets/searchDocuments.do?method=showPoup&amp;documentId=%7b1CD98833-205E-4BD2-AF11-9B7522D32EBA%7d&amp;documentTitle=20171-128122-01&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;filing&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt; with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission early in 2017, discussing proposed community solar gardens. EFCA wrote that it “represents a broad range of businesses that are fully integrated providers of distributed energy resources (DERs) products and services.” These, it wrote, could include rooftop solar, distributed generation, thermal and battery energy storage and smart energy services, for residential, commercial, industrial and government customers.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Although EFCA’s legal representative for filings in New Hampshire has an EFCA email address, &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.linkedin.com/in/juliajazynka/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;her LinkedIn profile&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt; shows that her job title is Campaign Projects Coordinator at Tesla. Recent filings on behalf of EFCA have been made by a &lt;/span&gt;&lt;a href=&#39;https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrew-schwartz-934b7022/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;senior policy advisor at Tesla&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;. In fact, EFCA itself is listed as a Tesla subsidiary in &lt;/span&gt;&lt;a href=&#39;http://www.secinfo.com/d1fnT1.j2S3.9.htm#1stPage&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;filings with the SEC&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;h2&gt;EFCA&#8217;s roots&lt;/h2&gt; &lt;p&gt;Tesla lobbies under its own name in many parts of the country, so how did it come to be working under the guise of the EFCA, and why is it continuing to do so?&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The story goes back to 2006, and the formation of SolarCity by two of Musk’s cousins, &lt;a href=&#39;https://crunchbase.com/person/lyndon-rive&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Lyndon Rive &lt;span class=&quot;crunchbase-tooltip-indicator&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt; and Peter Rive. SolarCity took the novel approach of installing photovoltaic systems for no money down, instead leasing them to homeowners in exchange for decades of payments for cheaper, greener electricity. Musk invested in SolarCity and took the role of chairman.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;SolarCity grew quickly, becoming the largest solar installer in the United States by 2013, despite a business model that required taking on mountains of debt. The company regularly sparred with traditional utility companies, often as part of a rooftop solar trade association called &lt;a href=&#39;http://allianceforsolarchoice.com/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;The Alliance for Solar Choice&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;, or TASC. &lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;In late 2015, rooftop solar was facing a tough situation in Nevada. NV Energy, the state’s monopoly electricity provider, wanted to slash domestic solar incentives, and the solar industry was fighting for its life. While SolarCity &lt;a href=&#39;https://lasvegassun.com/news/2015/sep/10/solar-industry-pressures-sandoval-while-thanking-/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;took a collaborative approach&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;, its main rival, SunRun, suggested suspicious ties between the utility and Nevada’s governor.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;SolarCity ultimately withdrew from TASC, saying that its focus was moving beyond residential solar. The new EFCA would “capture more of our interests,” a &lt;/span&gt;&lt;a href=&#39;https://www.utilitydive.com/news/solarcity-leaves-tasc-denies-split-with-advocacy-partner-sunrun/409811/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;spokesperson told Utility Dive&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt; at the time. SolarCity persuaded a small Las Vegas company called &lt;/span&gt;&lt;a href=&#39;http://1sunsolarelectric.com/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;1 Sun Solar Electric&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;, among others, to join EFCA. 1 Sun, which installs five to 10 residential solar systems in the city each month, was keen to protect its local business.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;“There’s no way that a small company like ours would be able to go toe-to-toe with NV Energy,” Louise Helton, the company’s vice president, told TechCrunch. “EFCA gave us standing with the public utility commission, and their attorneys are just stellar.”&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;Despite the resources EFCA could bring to bear, Nevada did reduce solar incentives at the end of 2015. Many national solar companies, including SolarCity and SunRun, subsequently left the state. &lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;Toward the end of 2016, Tesla bought SolarCity for $2.6 billion, and EFCA along with it. State records and filings indicate that EFCA has now been active in more than 30 proceedings in 16 states, and has retained lobbyists in at least Arizona, Utah, Montana, Florida, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Washington. It does not appear to have initiated any filings that would not benefit Tesla or its subsidiaries. &lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;EFCA had no fewer than &lt;/span&gt;&lt;a href=&#39;https://www.followthemoney.org/entity-details?eid=43654867&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;23 lobbyists working for it&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt; in Arizona in 2016, while the organization spent &lt;/span&gt;&lt;a href=&#39;https://www.followthemoney.org/entity-details?eid=45033664&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;$110,000 on lobbyists&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt; in Florida&lt;/span&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt; the next year, both according to &lt;/span&gt;&lt;a href=&#39;https://www.followthemoney.org/entity-details?eid=43654867&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;Follow the Money&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;. It has also hired multiple law firms to help it draft and submit filings across the nation. &lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;None of the money for these activities came from 1 Sun, Helton told TechCrunch, nor has EFCA asked 1 Sun to work on the coalition’s behalf. “I would be available to do whatever, but they have not needed anything else from us,” Helton said. “It’s good to be part of something that is fighting the good fight, and giving that entity a flavor of not just being one giant organization, even though Tesla is definitely doing the heavy lifting. We’re very happy to help make it a little bit more diverse.”&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;h2&gt;EFCA&#8217;s recent activity&lt;/h2&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;EFCA’s website is no longer active, and the coalition has not &lt;/span&gt;&lt;a href=&#39;https://twitter.com/EnergyFreedomCo&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;tweeted &lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;since early 2017. However, one exception to the organization’s low profile is in Hawaii, where EFCA initiated new filings in 2018 because, Tesla says, the coalition is a known entity there. Even those recent filings, however, are vague about who is actually lobbying in the state. &lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;An EFCA filing in August 2018 stated, “EFCA Members provide solar and storage facilities and services in the State of Hawaii and/or are interested in expanding their provision of those services in the State.” &lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;The only identifiable non-Tesla companies, 1 Sun Solar Electric and Ecological Energy Systems, are based in Nevada and Tennessee, and show no signs of expanding to the Pacific. Tesla, by contrast, has a &lt;/span&gt;&lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/10/teslas-kauai-solar-storage-facility-offers-a-glimpse-of-the-companys-future/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;massive solar plus storage facility on the island of Kauai&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;. &lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;Some of EFCA’s newer filings do reference Tesla, generally to note that the company owns SolarCity.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;Tim LaPira, associate professor of Political Science at James Madison University, notes that it is virtually unknown for a trade association to be owned and controlled by a single company. &lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;“It’s probably not illegal, but from a transparency perspective, it’s far, far from being ethical,” LaPira said. “When corporations lobby directly, there’s an understanding that they’re asking the government to do something to increase their profits. It’s a very different story when a credible trade association asks the government to do something because they’re not going to benefit directly — they’re asking for some common good. Tesla is trying to get the best of both worlds.”&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;EFCA continues to lobby state utility commissions, for example &lt;/span&gt;&lt;a href=&#39;http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Efile/G000/M261/K783/261783085.PDF&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt;proposing changes to net metering and energy storage rules&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-weight: 400;&quot;&gt; in California last month. That document did not mention Tesla at all. &lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;div class=&quot;feedflare&quot;&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=L3DnQImvquY:zJKk5FpJHo4:2mJPEYqXBVI&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=2mJPEYqXBVI&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=L3DnQImvquY:zJKk5FpJHo4:7Q72WNTAKBA&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=7Q72WNTAKBA&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=L3DnQImvquY:zJKk5FpJHo4:yIl2AUoC8zA&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=yIl2AUoC8zA&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=L3DnQImvquY:zJKk5FpJHo4:-BTjWOF_DHI&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?i=L3DnQImvquY:zJKk5FpJHo4:-BTjWOF_DHI&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=L3DnQImvquY:zJKk5FpJHo4:D7DqB2pKExk&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?i=L3DnQImvquY:zJKk5FpJHo4:D7DqB2pKExk&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=L3DnQImvquY:zJKk5FpJHo4:qj6IDK7rITs&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=qj6IDK7rITs&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;/div&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Techcrunch/~4/L3DnQImvquY&quot; height=&quot;1&quot; width=&quot;1&quot; alt=&quot;&quot;/&gt;', '1550884014', '1550883996', '2019-02-23')


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Strict Standards: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'Europe/Berlin' for 'CET/1.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/25/d139429755/htdocs/wiki-web20/blog/wp-content/plugins/bdprss/bdp-rss-update.php on line 127

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'Europe/Berlin' for 'CET/1.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/25/d139429755/htdocs/wiki-web20/blog/wp-content/plugins/bdprss/bdp-rssaggregator-db.php on line 338

WordPress database error: [INSERT command denied to user 'dbo208993089'@'82.165.81.35' for table 'wp_bdprss_items_v3']
INSERT INTO wp_bdprss_items_v3 (item_feed_id, item_url, item_name, text_body, item_update_time, item_time, item_date) VALUES ('3', 'http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/RMArGrtbxEk/', 'Venmo launches a ‘limited edition’ rainbow debit card for its payment app users', '&lt;p&gt;Hoping to entice more users to attach the Venmo Mastercard to their account, Venmo this morning announced it&#8217;s launching a &#8220;special edition&#8221; rainbow-colored version of its debit card that will only be available in limited quantities. Clearly, the idea here is to generate a sense of urgency around ordering the Venmo Mastercard, as well as a desire to cater to Venmo users&#8217; interest in more card varieties.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The new rainbow card will be offered until supplies last, says Venmo. And existing card holders can request the rainbow card as a replacement for their current card, if they choose.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The card will be first offered to top cardholders on Friday, and will then be available to all Venmo users starting on March 4th, the company says.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&#8220;We launched the Limited Edition rainbow card based on the positive response we received from our customers when we launched the initial set of six colorful cards,&#8221; a spokesperson for Venmo explained to TechCrunch. &#8220;We know our users love to pick a card color that best suits their own personality and style, so the card design is inspired by many of our existing card colors and gives our users an even more vibrant option for their wallets and at checkout,&#8221; they added.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;img src=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/venmo-rainbow-card.png?w=336&#39; width=&#39;336&#39; height=&#39;526&#39; /&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Venmo had first beta &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/11/venmo-is-offering-users-an-ugly-physical-debit-card/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;tested its debit card in 2017&lt;/a&gt;, with an ugly card that featured a photo of a lump of dough on it. (Get it? &lt;em&gt;Dough&lt;/em&gt;.)&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;But the company soon realized that young people care about how a card looks &#8212; and a photo of dough wasn&#8217;t cutting it. When Venmo &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/25/venmo-officially-launches-its-own-mastercard-branded-debit-card/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;launched the public version of the card last July,&lt;/a&gt; it instead opted for an array of colorful choices. Users could choose a solid white, black, yellow, pink, blue or green shade for their Venmo debit card.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The rainbow version takes all those same colors and splashes them all over the card face.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;It&#8217;s&#8230;well&#8230;unique. But it&#8217;s not really all that pretty &#8212; especially since the card still has to feature the clashing red-and-orange Mastercard logo.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The new card works the same as the old ones &#8212; allowing you to pay for things in the real world using your Venmo balance, as well as to easily split costs of purchases and tips, like you can do in the Venmo app.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;img src=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/TipFeature.png?w=680&#39; width=&#39;680&#39; height=&#39;619&#39; /&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;It&#8217;s not surprising that Venmo is trying out different card designs.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Unique card styles have been proven to attract millennial customers. For example, part of &lt;a href=&#39;https://apnews.com/053f4eac5eb74c50a56179f389645205&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;the demand for Chase Sapphire Reserve Card&lt;/a&gt; is due to the fact that the card is made using a metallic alloy, instead of plastic. The company even ran out of the alloy for a time because of the high demand. Today, there are &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.creditcardinsider.com/blog/metal-credit-cards/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;a number of metal cards&lt;/a&gt; on the market, including the &lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2018/08/21/revolut-introduces-a-metal-card/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;one from fintech startup Revolut&lt;/a&gt;, hoping to gain similar attention.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;In addition, newcomers are testing out colorful styles &#8212; SoFi, for instance, launched an &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.sofi.com/money/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;aqua and green card&lt;/a&gt; last year. And&lt;a href=&#39;http://fortune.com/2018/07/01/debit-cards/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt; savings app Acorns hired Ammunition&lt;/a&gt;, a design firm co-led by longtime industrial designer for Apple, Robert Brunner, to design its card.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;But millennials often seem to prefer &#8220;fancy&#8221; to splashy, which is why Venmo rival Square went with a more formal design where it allows you to &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/11/15611408/square-cash-prepaid-card-how-to-get-venmo-paypal&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;have your signature laser-printed&lt;/a&gt; on the card&#8217;s front.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Venmo declined to say how many cards it has shipped to date, or how many limited edition cards are now available.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The company claims demand is growing, however.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&#8220;The Venmo card has seen strong interest from our customers,&#8221; a spokesperson noted. &#8220;We saw 300 percent month-over-month growth in monthly active card users from August to September 2018, and the top two purchase categories are supermarkets and restaurants as Venmo becomes a part of our user’s everyday spend,&#8221; they said.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;div class=&quot;feedflare&quot;&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=RMArGrtbxEk:Taz8PWgyD30:2mJPEYqXBVI&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=2mJPEYqXBVI&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=RMArGrtbxEk:Taz8PWgyD30:7Q72WNTAKBA&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=7Q72WNTAKBA&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=RMArGrtbxEk:Taz8PWgyD30:yIl2AUoC8zA&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=yIl2AUoC8zA&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=RMArGrtbxEk:Taz8PWgyD30:-BTjWOF_DHI&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?i=RMArGrtbxEk:Taz8PWgyD30:-BTjWOF_DHI&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=RMArGrtbxEk:Taz8PWgyD30:D7DqB2pKExk&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?i=RMArGrtbxEk:Taz8PWgyD30:D7DqB2pKExk&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=RMArGrtbxEk:Taz8PWgyD30:qj6IDK7rITs&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=qj6IDK7rITs&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;/div&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Techcrunch/~4/RMArGrtbxEk&quot; height=&quot;1&quot; width=&quot;1&quot; alt=&quot;&quot;/&gt;', '1550884014', '1550883995', '2019-02-23')


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But one of the things that&#8217;s impressive about Showfields is the sheer size of its flagship space — Nathanel said the company has signed a lease for 14,000 square feet in New York City&#8217;s NoHo neighborhood.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;When I visited the Showfields store last week, only the first floor was open, but it&#8217;s already home to a number of brands, ranging from mattress company &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.bollandbranch.com&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Boll &amp; Branch&lt;/a&gt;, to fitness company &lt;a href=&#39;https://www.cityrow.com&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Cityrow&lt;/a&gt;, to toothbrush company &lt;a href=&#39;http://quip.com&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;Quip&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Each brand gets their own separate, dedicated space. For example, in the Cityrow space, I got to sit down and try out the rowing machine, while the Quip area had a mock-up bathroom sink to display the toothbrushes.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&#8220;This space is about [the brand], not about Showfields,&#8221; Nathanel said. &#8220;We really look at ourselves as a stage.&#8221;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;img src=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/SHOWFIELDS_NF_119_301.jpg?w=506&#39; width=&#39;506&#39; height=&#39;680&#39; /&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;He added that brands can sign-up online to create a pop-up store, providing input while Showfields designs and builds the space. The brand also decides which goods to sell in the store, and which ones to highlight via a touchscreen display. And they can choose whether to have a dedicated staff member, or to share staff with neighboring brands.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Nathanel said the spaces can be designed around different goals — one brand might focus on driving sales, while another might simply want to grow consumer awareness. In each case, Showfields will also provide data so they can see how the space is performing.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The brands pay Showfields a monthly fee, with a minimum four-month commitment. Nathanel emphasized that Showfields doesn&#8217;t make any money on the product sales, which he said allows the company to offer a more &#8220;curated&#8221; and &#8220;customer-centric experience.&#8221;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Ultimately, Nathanel said the Showfields approach can also result in a more varied and dynamic retail environment (after all, Showfields bills itself as &#8220;the most interesting store in the world&#8221;). And naturally, he&#8217;s hoping to bring this to additional cities, though he declined to offer specifics, beyond saying, &#8220;Before the end of the year, we&#8217;re hoping to have more Showfields.&#8221;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;img src=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/SHOWFIELDS_NF_119_216.jpg?w=680&#39; width=&#39;680&#39; height=&#39;431&#39; /&gt;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The seed funding was led by Hanaco Ventures, with participation from SWaN &amp; Legend Venture Partners, Rainfall Ventures, Communitas Capital and IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;In a statement, Hanaco general partner Lior Prosor predicted the rise of &#8220;experiential retail,&#8221; which will be &#8220;focused on doing everything that e-commerce cannot do well &#8211; enabling discovery, trial, and the use of all five senses to come to a purchasing decision.&#8221;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;&#8220;We truly believe that by being consumer-centric at their core, [Showfields&#8217;] founding team and product will make them a category leader in this space,&#8221; Prosor said.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;div class=&quot;embed breakout&quot;&gt; &lt;blockquote class=&quot;wp-embedded-content&quot; data-secret=&quot;s6BEr3Bee7&quot;&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;a href=&#39;https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/21/the-death-of-retail-is-greatly-exaggerated/&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;The death of retail is greatly exaggerated&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;iframe class=&quot;wp-embedded-content&quot; sandbox=&quot;allow-scripts&quot; security=&quot;restricted&quot; src=&quot;https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/21/the-death-of-retail-is-greatly-exaggerated/embed/#?secret=s6BEr3Bee7&quot; data-secret=&quot;s6BEr3Bee7&quot; width=&quot;800&quot; height=&quot;450&quot; title=&quot;&#8220;The death of retail is greatly exaggerated&#8221; &#8212; TechCrunch&quot; frameborder=&quot;0&quot; marginwidth=&quot;0&quot; marginheight=&quot;0&quot; scrolling=&quot;no&quot;&gt;&lt;/iframe&gt;&lt;/div&gt; &lt;div class=&quot;feedflare&quot;&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=enZavDNC6gI:6IcZwWKsCr4:2mJPEYqXBVI&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=2mJPEYqXBVI&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=enZavDNC6gI:6IcZwWKsCr4:7Q72WNTAKBA&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=7Q72WNTAKBA&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=enZavDNC6gI:6IcZwWKsCr4:yIl2AUoC8zA&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=yIl2AUoC8zA&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=enZavDNC6gI:6IcZwWKsCr4:-BTjWOF_DHI&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?i=enZavDNC6gI:6IcZwWKsCr4:-BTjWOF_DHI&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=enZavDNC6gI:6IcZwWKsCr4:D7DqB2pKExk&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?i=enZavDNC6gI:6IcZwWKsCr4:D7DqB2pKExk&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=&#39;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?a=enZavDNC6gI:6IcZwWKsCr4:qj6IDK7rITs&#39; target=&#39;_blank&#39; rel=&#39;nofollow&#39;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/Techcrunch?d=qj6IDK7rITs&quot; border=&quot;0&quot;&gt;&lt;/img&gt;&lt;/a&gt; &lt;/div&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/Techcrunch/~4/enZavDNC6gI&quot; height=&quot;1&quot; width=&quot;1&quot; alt=&quot;&quot;/&gt;', '1550884014', '1550883994', '2019-02-23')


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