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Today — August 21st 2019Your RSS feeds

YC is doubling down on these investment theses in its most recent batch

By Kate Clark

Nearly 200 startups have just graduated from the prestigious San Francisco startup accelerator Y Combinator . The flock of companies are now free to proceed company-building with a fresh $150,000 check and three-months full of tips and tricks from industry experts.

As usual, we sent several reporters to YC’s latest demo day to take notes on each company and pick our favorites. But there were many updates to the YC structure this time around and new trends we spotted from the ground that we’ve yet to share.

CTO and HR demo days

Bring your posse to Disrupt SF 2019 with group discounts

By Emma Comeau

Disrupt San Francisco 2019, our flagship event on October 2-4, features three full days of programming, more than 10,000 attendees, over 1,200 exhibiting startups and sponsors — and that’s just for starters. That’s a lot of ground to cover. Here’s a hot tip: take advantage of group discounts, saddle up and bring your whole posse to the show and squeeze out every bit of information, inspiration and opportunity possible.

Spread your crew across Disrupt and get more done. Network til you drop in Startup Alley — using CrunchMatch, our free business match-making platform, to find and schedule meetings with only the best connections for your business. Bear witness to our epic pitch competition, Startup Battlefield — a great place to spot investment-worthy companies.

Attend the many Main Stage panel discussions and interviews with tech titans, up-and-coming founders and startup investors. Check out the conference agenda hereLooking for actionable tips and advice? Head for the Extra Crunch Stage. Yeah, you’ll learn a thing or two.

We offer group discounts for every pass level, to make your posse possible. Here’s what you need to know.

Group Innovator Pass: Buy five or more passes and get a 20% discount. Need 10 or more passes? Email us for a price quote at events@techcrunch.com. An Innovator Pass grants access to the Main Stage, Extra Crunch Stage, Q&As, workshops, CrunchMatch, networking receptions and the TechCrunch Events App, which lets you communicate with other attendees.

Group Founder Pass: Buy two or more passes and you’ll get a 10% discount. Your Founder Pass gets you the same benefits as an Innovator Pass but at an already discounted rate — but you must be a (co)founder of a company (of any size).

Group Investor Pass: Purchase two or more passes to get a 10% discount. An Investor Pass provides the same benefits as an Innovator pass, PLUS access to the Investor Lounge, an invitation to the investor-only reception and two hours of private meeting space.

Group Expo Only Pass: If you want to buy Expo Only passes in bulk (10 or more), email events@techcrunch.com for a price quote. An Expo Only Pass provides access to the Startup Alley expo floor, workshops and a lite version of the TechCrunch Events App.

Group Startup Alley Exhibitor Packages: If you’re interested in purchasing more than one Startup Alley Exhibitor Package, email startupalley@techcrunch.com for more information. This package includes exhibit space for one day, use of the Startup Alley Lounge, access to the media list and two or three Founder Passes, depending on when you book.

Disrupt San Francisco 2019 takes place on October 2-4. Bring your posse and cover more ground, find more opportunity and discover more ways to grow your business. Get your group discounts today. If you’re riding solo, no problemo. Get an early-bird ticket and, depending on the pass level you choose, you can save up to $1,300. Saddle up and ride!

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at Disrupt San Francisco 2019? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.

Yesterday — August 20th 2019Your RSS feeds

Summer flash sale: Score 2-for-1 passes to Disrupt Berlin 2019

By Leslie Hitchcock

The dog days of summer are upon us, and even busy startuppers across Europe are enjoying a well-deserved vacation. Down time’s important and so is saving money, so all this week we’re holding a 2-for-1 summer flash sale on passes to Disrupt Berlin 2019.

Disrupt Berlin takes place on 11-12 December and, depending on the type of pass you buy, our super early-bird pricing can save you up to €600. But now you can double your savings simply by purchasing an Innovator, Founder or Investor pass before our 2-for-1 flash sale ends on August 23 at 11:59 p.m. (CEST). Buy your 2-for-1 passes right here.

Experience all the early-stage startup excitement and opportunity that Disrupt Berlin offers and do it at a huge discount. Join your community — roughly 3,000 attendees from more than 50 countries, including European Union members, Israel, Turkey, Russia, Egypt, India, China and South Korea. Explore hundreds of early-stage startups exhibiting in Startup Alley. Listen to and learn from our roster of speakers — leading founders, technologists, investors and tech icons along with up-and-coming founders.

Be sure to watch — or even better apply to compete in — the Startup Battlefield pitch competition. TechCrunch editors will select some of the best early-stage startups to go head-to-head on the Disrupt Main Stage. Who knows, you might take home the $50,000 top prize or find your next investment opportunity.

More opportunity awaits in the form of TC Top Picks. Apply here to be one of a select few startups to represent these tech categories: AI/Machine Learning, Biotech/Healthtech, Blockchain, Fintech, Mobility, Privacy/Security, Retail/E-commerce, Robotics/IoT/Hardware, CRM/Enterprise and Education. If you’re chosen, you’ll receive a free Startup Alley Exhibitor Package, a VIP experience and a ton of media and investor exposure. What’s more, a TechCrunch editor will interview every TC Top Pick on the Showcase Stage. We’ll record that interview and promote the video across our social media platforms. That video will drive traffic to your site and come in mighty handy as a future talking point with investors.

Disrupt Berlin 2019 takes place on 11-12 December. Don’t let sleepy summer days distract you from serious summer savings. You have the rest of this week to double your savings on Innovator, Founder or Investor passes. Buy your 2-for-1 passes before our flash sale ends on August 23 at 11:59 p.m. (CEST). We’ll see you in December!

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at Disrupt Berlin 2019? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.

Before yesterdayYour RSS feeds

Prices for passes to Disrupt SF 2019 increase next week

By Emma Comeau

Is it just us or is the summer disappearing faster than ever? Disrupt San Francisco 2019 is right around the corner (October 2-4) and the great early-bird migration is upon us. Your opportunity to save big bucks disappears on August 30. Depending on which pass you purchase, you can save up to a whopping $1,300. Feather your nest with early-bird savings — buy your pass today.

Now that you have your pass all squared away, get ready to join more than 10,000 ardent startuppers from across the globe, including startups, exhibitors and media. TechCrunch’s flagship Disrupt features three jam-packed days of programming across four unique stages: the Main Stage, the Extra Crunch Stage, the Q&A Stage and the Showcase Stage (located in Startup Alley).

Speaking of Startup Alley, get ready to explore more than 1,200 early-stage startups and sponsor companies. You’ll also find our hand-picked cohort of TC Top Picks camped out in Startup Alley. It’s an unparalleled networking opportunity — you never know who you might meet and where that connection can lead.

Take advantage of CrunchMatch, the free business-matching platform. It simplifies networking and cuts through the noise to help you find, schedule and meet the right people for your business needs.

Don’t miss the Startup Battlefield on the Main Stage. Watch as 15-20 outstanding early-stage startups vie for glory, investor and media love and a $100,000 equity-free cash infusion.

The Main Stage features interviews and panel discussions with tech titans, leading investors, up-and-coming founders and a host of other world-class speakers. Over on the Extra Crunch Stage you’ll find fireside chats, how-to content and actionable tips. Check out the ever-evolving Disrupt SF agenda. In the meantime, here are three sessions to give you an idea of what you’ll experience.

Creating the Means of Production with Joseph Gordon-Levitt (HitRecord)

For far too long, creators have been users of platforms rather than running those platforms. With HitRecord, Joseph Gordon-Levitt changed that. JGL has been head-down and hands-on with HitRecord, and we’ll hear from him about how to put the power back in creators’ hands.

How to Evaluate Talent and Make Decisions with Ray Dalio (Bridgewater)

Ray Dalio knows a thing or two about building successful startups. As founder of the firm Bridgewater, he helped build it into one of the most successful investment companies ever, managing a whopping $150 billion in assets. He recently wrote a book called Principles, and he’s coming to the TechCrunch Disrupt Extra Crunch stage in October to discuss the book and companion mobile app on how building a strong culture can lead to a flourishing startup.

How to Take a Digital Brand Offline with Rich Fulop (Brooklinen), James Reinhart (ThredUp) and Susan Tynan (Framebridge)

E-commerce has fundamentally changed the way we browse and buy physical goods. But even though online sales have taken a huge bite out of brick-and-mortar, it doesn’t mean that digital brands aren’t interested in the prospect of offline channels. Hear from three founders who have taken their own unique approach to launching a store.

Disrupt San Francisco 2019 takes place on October 2-4, but your chance to get the best price disappears on August 30. Don’t wait, buy your early-bird pass today. Now, go enjoy the rest of your summer.

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at Disrupt San Francisco 2019? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.

Founder how-to content on the Extra Crunch Stage at Disrupt Berlin 2019

By Leslie Hitchcock

Disrupt Berlin 2019, our premier European tech conference, takes place on 11-12 December and draws 3,000 people from more than 50 countries. Every year we work hard to improve our content programming and present it in new and engaging ways to a very savvy startup audience. This year be sure to check out the Extra Crunch Stage for information you can put in place back at the home base.

If you need to buy a super early-bird pass to Disrupt Berlin, why not take care of that essential detail now? Go ahead…we’ll wait.

Okay, back to our regularly scheduled programming. On the Extra Crunch Stage, we’re focusing on the founders, investors and tech leaders who’ve been there, done that, who will provide how-to content, practical tips and actionable advice that founders need to succeed in the European tech landscape.

The new name and mission come from TC’s recently launched subscription product. Designed for our most engaged readers, this extra crunchy layer of gated content goes deep on entrepreneurial and startup topics like inclusion and diversity, hiring practices, legal and product decisions, as well as mental health and wellness in high-performance businesses.

Treat yourself to an Innovator, Founder or Investor pass, because that’s the only way you’ll gain access to this Extra Crunchy wisdom. Those same passes also provide access to all the fine content, speakers, panelists, interactive workshops and events that take place on the Main Stage, the Showcase Stage and in the Q&A sessions.

That’s a whole lot to take in, and you’ll be busy indeed as you explore hundreds of early-stage startups exhibiting their tech and talent in Startup Alley. Marvel at the brilliant Startup Battlefield competitors vying for $50,000 as they launch on a global stage. Learn from our roster of speakers, the top players in the startup world — tech titans, leading investors and boundary-pushing founders — as they examine emerging trends and critical challenges.

Disrupt Berlin 2019 takes place on 11-12 December. Get your super early-bird pass, get Extra Crunchy and get ready to make the most of your time at Disrupt. We’ll see you in Berlin!

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at Disrupt Berlin 2019? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.

Week in Review: Snapchat beats a dead horse

By Lucas Matney

Hey. This is Week-in-Review, where I give a heavy amount of analysis and/or rambling thoughts on one story while scouring the rest of the hundreds of stories that emerged on TechCrunch this week to surface my favorites for your reading pleasure.

Last week, I talked about how Netflix might have some rough times ahead as Disney barrels towards it.


3d video spectacles 3

The big story

There is plenty to be said about the potential of smart glasses. I write about them at length for TechCrunch and I’ve talked to a lot of founders doing cool stuff. That being said, I don’t have any idea what Snap is doing with the introduction of a third-generation of its Spectacles video sunglasses.

The first-gen were a marketing smash hit, their sales proved to be a major failure for the company which bet big and seemingly walked away with a landfill’s worth of the glasses.

Snap’s latest version of Spectacles were announced in Vogue this week, they are much more expensive at $380 and their main feature is that they have two cameras which capture images in light depth which can lead to these cute little 3D boomerangs. One one hand, it’s nice to see the company showing perseverance with a tough market, on the other it’s kind of funny to see them push the same rock up the hill again.

Snap is having an awesome 2019 after a laughably bad 2018, the stock has recovered from record lows and is trading in its IPO price wheelhouse. It seems like they’re ripe for something new and exciting, not beautiful yet iterative.

The $150 Spectacles 2 are still for sale, though they seem quite a bit dated-looking at this point. Spectacles 3 seem to be geared entirely towards women, and I’m sure they made that call after seeing the active users of previous generations, but given the write-down they took on the first-generation, something tells me that Snap’s continued experimentation here is borne out of some stubbornness form Spiegel and the higher-ups who want the Snap brand to live in a high fashion world and want to be at the forefront of an AR industry that seems to have already moved onto different things.

Send me feedback
on Twitter @lucasmtny or email
lucas@techcrunch.com

On to the rest of the week’s news.

tumblr phone sold

Trends of the week

Here are a few big news items from big companies, with green links to all the sweet, sweet added context:

  • WordPress buys Tumblr for chump change
    Tumblr, a game-changing blogging network that shifted online habits and exited for $1.1 billion just changed hands after Verizon (which owns TechCrunch) unloaded the property for a reported $3 million. Read more about this nightmarish deal here.
  • Trump gives American hardware a holiday season pass on tariffs 
    The ongoing trade war with China generally seems to be rough news for American companies deeply intertwined with the manufacturing centers there, but Trump is giving U.S. companies a Christmas reprieve from the tariffs, allowing certain types of hardware to be exempt from the recent rate increases through December. Read more here.
  • Facebook loses one last acquisition co-founder
    This week, the final remnant of Facebook’s major acquisitions left the company. Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell announced he was leaving. Now, Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus are all helmed by Facebook leadership and not a single co-founder from the three companies remains onboard. Read more here.

GAFA Gaffes

How did the top tech companies screw up this week? This clearly needs its own section, in order of badness:

  1. Facebook’s turn in audio transcription debacle:
    [Facebook transcribed users’ audio messages without permission]
  2. Google’s hate speech detection algorithms get critiqued:
    [Racial bias observed in hate speech detection algorithm from Google]
  3. Amazon has a little email mishap:
    [Amazon customers say they received emails for other people’s orders]

Adam Neumann (WeWork) at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2017

Extra Crunch

Our premium subscription service had another week of interesting deep dives. My colleague Danny Crichton wrote about the “tech” conundrum that is WeWork and the questions that are still unanswered after the company filed documents this week to go public.

WeWork’s S-1 misses these three key points

…How is margin changing at its older locations? How is margin changing as it opens up in places like India, with very different costs and revenues? How do those margins change over time as a property matures? WeWork spills serious amounts of ink saying that these numbers do get better … without seemingly being willing to actually offer up the numbers themselves…

Here are some of our other top reads this week for premium subscribers. This week, we published a major deep dive into the world’s next music unicorn and we dug deep into marketplace startups.

Sign up for more newsletters in your inbox (including this one) here.

Showcase your startup in Startup Alley at Disrupt SF 2019

By Emma Comeau

What’s the lifeblood of any early-stage startup? Money and media coverage. Opportunities to acquire both abound at Disrupt San Francisco 2019, our flagship tech conference that takes place on October 2-4. It’s all about networking and making the right connections to make your startup dreams come true, and there’s no better networking mecca than Startup Alley.

Buy a Startup Alley Exhibitor Package and plant your early-stage startup in the path of more than 10,000 attendees, including leading technologists, investors, 400 accredited media outlets and other leading influencers. The package includes one full exhibit day and three Founder passes.

You’ll have access to three days of Disrupt programming across the Main Stage, the Extra Crunch Stage, the Showcase Stage and the Q&A Stage. You can watch Startup Battlefield, our epic pitch competition, to see who takes home the $100,000 prize. You’ll also receive invitations to VIP events, like a reception with top-tier investors and global media outlets.

You’ll have CrunchMatch at your side to make networking as easy as possible. This free, business match-making platform helps you find and connect with the people who can move your business forward. It matches people based on their mutual business interests, suggests meetings and sends out invitations (which recipients can easily accept or decline). CrunchMatch even lets you reserve dedicated meeting spaces where you can network in comfort.

And how’s this for opportunity? Every early-stage startup that exhibits in Startup Alley is eligible for a chance to win a Wild Card entry to the Startup Battlefield pitch competition. TechCrunch editors will select two standout startups as Wild Card teams to compete for $100,000 in Startup Battlefield.

It might sound like a longshot (and it is), but RecordGram earned a Wild Card spot and went on to become the Startup Battlefield champ at Disrupt NY 2017. Because dreams do come true.

Disrupt San Francisco 2019 takes place on October 2-4. Buy a demo table, exhibit in Startup Alley and network your way to greatness. Come on and show the world what you’ve got.

Is your company interested in sponsoring at Disrupt SF 2019? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.

How-to: Exhibit for free in Startup Alley at Disrupt Berlin 2019

By Leslie Hitchcock

We love a good how-to, especially one that saves early-stage startup founders money and positions them for mad success. We’re talking about how to apply to be a TC Top Pick and exhibit at Disrupt Berlin 2019 — for free.

Our TC Top Picks program is what we call a pre-Disrupt competition. If you’re a founder of an early-stage startup this is your chance to win a free Startup Alley Exhibitor Package and a VIP experience in Berlin. How does it all work? Read on!

First, fill out an application if your startup falls into one of these tech categories: AI/Machine Learning, Biotech/Healthtech, Blockchain, Fintech, Mobility, Privacy/Security, Retail/E-commerce, Robotics/IoT/Hardware, CRM/Enterprise and Education.

TechCrunch editors closely vet each application — and these editors have an almost-mystical ability to spot serious success potential. Ultimately, they’ll choose up to five of the best representatives for each category.

A Startup Alley Exhibitor Package includes one exhibit day, three Founder passes, access to the full conference and all programming at the event.

TC Top Picks attract a lot of attention at the show, and it’s a networking wonderland. You’ll meet investors, potential customers and future collaborators who can help you move to the next level. Plus, you’ll be interviewed by a TechCrunch editor live on the Showcase Stage. We’ll record that interview and promote it on our social media platforms. Talk about a great long-term marketing tool.

Take a page from Caleb John’s playbook. Here’s what the CEO of Cedar Robotics said about exhibiting as a TC Top Pick:

“It blew away my expectations. The number of people we met, the connections we made and the amount of media exposure we received is worth its weight in gold.”

And another thing! You — and all the other exhibiting startups — might even win a chance to compete in Startup Battlefield. TechCrunch editors will choose a startup as a Wild Card competitor, and they’ll compete for $50,000. It’s a longshot, but it sure paid off for RecordGram. They won the Wild Card and then won the Battlefield. Can lightning strike twice?

Disrupt Berlin 2019 takes place on 11-12 December. Don’t miss your opportunity to showcase your outstanding startup in Startup Alley and enjoy a VIP experience — for free. Apply to our TC Top Picks program today.

Microsoft Azure CTO Mark Russinovich will join us for TC Sessions: Enterprise on September 5

By Frederic Lardinois

Being the CTO for one of the three major hypercloud providers may seem like enough of a job for most people, but Mark Russinovich, the CTO of Microsoft Azure, has a few other talents in his back pocket. Russinovich, who will join us for a fireside chat at our TechCrunch Sessions: Enterprise event in San Francisco on September 5 (p.s. early-bird sale ends Friday), is also an accomplished novelist who has published four novels, all of which center around tech and cybersecurity.

At our event, though, we won’t focus on his literary accomplishments (except for maybe his books about Windows Server) as much as on the trends he’s seeing in enterprise cloud adoption. Microsoft, maybe more so than its competitors, always made enterprise customers and their needs the focus of its cloud initiatives from the outset. Today, as the majority of enterprises is looking to move at least some of their legacy workloads into the cloud, they are often stumped by the sheer complexity of that undertaking.

In our fireside chat, we’ll talk about what Microsoft is doing to reduce this complexity and how enterprises can maximize their current investments into the cloud, both for running new cloud-native applications and for bringing legacy applications into the future. We’ll also talk about new technologies that can make the move to the cloud more attractive to enterprises, including the current buzz around edge computing, IoT, AI and more.

Before joining Microsoft, Russinovich, who has a Ph.D. in computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon, was the co-founder and chief architect of Winternals Software, which Microsoft acquired in 2006. During his time at Winternals, Russinovich discovered the infamous Sony rootkit. Over his 13 years at Microsoft, he moved from Technical Fellow up to the CTO position for Azure, which continues to grow at a rapid clip as it looks to challenge AWS’s leadership in total cloud revenue.

Tomorrow, Friday, August 16 is your last day to save $100 on tickets before prices go up. Book your early-bird tickets now and keep that Benjamin in your pocket.

If you’re an early-stage startup, we only have three demo table packages left! Each demo package comes with four tickets and a great location for your company to get in front of attendees. Book your demo package today before we sell out!

Meet the TC Top Picks for Disrupt SF 2019

By Priya Gupta

Honestly, the creativity and quality of early-stage startups and their founders never ceases to amaze us. When we issued the call for applications to our TC Top Picks program for Disrupt San Francisco 2019, the response was overwhelming — and the competition was off the hook. Our editors dug in and managed to narrow the field to the startups they felt best represent their specific category. It wasn’t easy, but we’re thrilled with the results and we think you will be, too.

The TC Top Picks program showcases outstanding early-stage startups across these categories: AI/Machine Learning, Biotech/Healthtech, Blockchain, Fintech, Mobility, Privacy/Security, Retail/E-commerce, Robotics/IoT/Hardware, SaaS and Social Impact & Education.

Top Picks founders receive a free Startup Alley exhibitor package, a featured location on the exhibition floor, three free Founder passes and VIP treatment — including invitations to the investor reception. They also receive an interview on the Showcase Stage with a TechCrunch editor — and we’ll promote that video across our social media platforms.

It’s time to announce the early-stage startups we chose as TC Top Picks for Disrupt SF ’19. Can we get a drum roll, please?

AI/Machine Learning

  • Greyparrot: Provides cutting-edge computer vision products and services to enterprises looking for AI partners.
  • Halos: A fully digital consumer insurance platform designed to make insurance useful for every single consumer.
  • Moodbit: People Analytics Technology that analyzes employee emotions and delivers predictive and prescriptive analytics to improve performance.
  • OneClick.ai: Automated Deep Learning AI technology to enable businesses with advanced predictive analysis and decision making.
  • Voxel51: AI for Video: video analytics platform in the cloud and on-premises enabling fast, rich insights from image and video data sets.

Biotech/Healthtech

  • achu health: A predictive health platform that tracks vital patterns to warn you of impending future illnesses.
  • FindAir: An award-winning, smart tool for asthma monitoring. Start using FindAir ONE and take control of your asthma today.
  • MyMilk labs: An m-health device and app for improving breastfeeding via direct breast-milk sensing.
  • Sparkle Innovations: Transforming banana stem agro-waste into all-natural sanitary pads, organic fertilizer and other value added products.
  • Theator: An AI-powered surgical decision support company.

Blockchain

  • Button Wallet: Multi crypto currency wallet with exchange in Telegram.
  • Crypto APIs: SaaS, Blockchain, Crypto.
  • Ember Fund: Mobile app to invest like a cryptocurrency hedge fund.
  • Planet Nine: Building a new digital economy for microtransactions.

Fintech

  • Beam Financial: A best-paying mobile bank account.
  • FineprintF Technologies: Make your purchasing experience transparent with FeeBelly. Instantly catch hidden fees, costly terms and critical details hidden in any document.
  • Mellow: The first-ever personal finance solution made for children and parents.
  • Trio Financial Technologies: World’s simplest way to invest, by letting you earn investment returns on your checking balance.

Mobility

  • AirBie: Smart bike lock for bike-sharing systems.
  • #Fly: An exciting AI startup disrupting the travel market using patent-pending technology.
  • Flugauto: Providing air transportation for industrial applications, and enabling instant access to cargo for everyone, everywhere.
  • SparkCharge: Manufactures and develops charging station for electric vehicles.

Privacy/Security

  • Alcide: Provides a cloud-native security platform from code to production to continuously secure workloads running in Kubernetes.
  • Hacware: Protects employees from getting email hacked.
  • MedStack: Deliver healthcare apps to market 60% faster via cloud hosting with security, HIPAA compliance, pre-written policies + your choice of stack.
  • Moabi: Cybersecurity, firmware, binary analysis, SaaS, IoT, IIoT.
  • Unum ID: Mobile app empowering users to take control over their personal information.

Retail/E-commerce

  • Cloosiv: Order ahead from your favorite local coffee shops, skip the line and earn rewards that save you money at hundreds of locations across the country.
  • Frills: A fun way to add and extend personal content with your friends!
  • Oculogx: Develops AR software on heads-up displays.
  • PadPiper: Find furnished apartments and compatible housemates.

Robotics/IoT/Hardware

  • 4DAGE: Dedicated to the studies and application of artificial intelligence in the field of 3D reconstruction and digitization algorithm.
  • AVA Technologies: Automatically grow year-round herbs, tomatoes and more.
  • ilmatic: Spend your cryptocurrency with a secure hardware wallet.
  • SeeHow: SeeHow is a sports technology company that transforms sports equipment into sensors.
  • Thinker-Tinker: Consumer product, family technology, subscription, edu-tainment.

SaaS

  • Cinchy: The data collaboration platform.
  • Onna Technologies: Dedicated to providing the best enterprise search and archiving experience across all company data sources.
  • Socionado: Matches vetted freelance social media managers to brands.
  • Veamly: Your apps centralized with unified search.
  • Vertoe: An on-demand, short-term luggage storage service.

Social Impact & Education

  • Bidder Construction App: Connects construction workers with construction jobs around them!
  • BlueSmart Technology: Specializing in IoT baby products, their first product, BlueSmart mia, is an award-winning smart baby feeding monitor that fits on any baby bottle.
  • Oya: An evidence-based, interactive platform for parents that allows them to monitor and improve their child’s development.
  • SNAPSHYFT: Mobile platform connecting understaffed food and beverage and hospitality operations with qualified workers, on-demand.

It’s not too late to exhibit your startup at Disrupt. Simply buy a Startup Alley Exhibitor Package and showcase your startup alongside 1,200+ companies and sponsors in Startup Alley. All exhibiting startups have a shot at winning a Wild Card to compete for $100,000 in our famous pitch competition, Startup Battlefield — TechCrunch editors will choose two startups for that thrill ride.

Disrupt San Francisco 2019 takes place on October 2-4 at Moscone Center North. Get your early-bird tickets here. Come join us and discover new opportunities. We can’t wait to see you there!

Apply to the TC Hackathon at Disrupt Berlin 2019

By Leslie Hitchcock

Hey hackathon fans, get ready to pack your bags and book your tickets to Berlin. That’s right, baby, the TC Hackathon returns to Disrupt Berlin 2019 on 11-12 December. We’re looking for creative code warriors of every stripe to compete in a grueling, exhilarating marathon that will test your physical, mental and technical limits.

It won’t cost you a thing to apply or to participate. Heck, we even give you a free Innovator pass to attend. Don’t wait on this opportunity — we’re limiting participation to 500 hackers. Apply to the TC Disrupt Berlin Hackathon 2019, compete against some of the best coders and makers in the world and let your freaky hack flag fly.

TechCrunch vets all applicants and if you make the cut, you’ll join a team (or bring one of your own) and spend the next 36 hours designing, coding and creating something new and amazing.

Curious about these sponsored contests? We’ll roll out specifics on sponsors, challenges and prizes over the next few weeks. In the meantime, check out the sponsored contests, prizes and winners from last year’s Disrupt SF 2018 Hackathon. That’ll give you a sense of the kind of projects to expect.

Once the hack clock runs out and you’ve submitted your creation, a team of experts will judge all completed projects in a science-fair style format and select 10 finalists. On day two, those 10 teams will have two minutes to present and pitch their project on the Extra Crunch Stage. No pressure…just kidding. Lots of pressure.

Sponsors will announce the winners of their individual challenges — which come with cash prizes and other incentives. Then TechCrunch will select the best overall hack — and award that team a $5,000 cash prize.

And don’t worry — we’ll keep you fed, watered and caffeinated throughout the event. You’re gonna need all the energy you can muster.

Competing in the TC Hackathon is fast-paced, exhausting and fun. It’s also a great way to network, impress potential employers or meet your next collaborator. Space is limited and seats will go quickly, so apply to the TC Hackathon at Disrupt Berlin 2019 on 11-12 December. Show us your hack!

Startups seek sperm… and venture capital backing

By Kate Clark

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week we were helmed by Kate Clark and Alex Wilhelm, but those of you who love the show having guests on, don’t despair. As we explain at the top, there’s a lot of folks coming on the show soon, many of whom you know by name.

But that’s to come, and we had a lot to chat through this week. Including, right from the jump, the latest gyrations in the stock market. Earlier this week tech stocks, and especially cloud and SaaS stocks, took a nosedive. Sentiment swung around later in the week when markets caught their breath and Lyft’s earnings went well. But the movement in highly valued SaaS companies caught our eye. Perhaps if the market finally does correct, we’ll see growth stakes take the worst of it.

But it wasn’t all bad news on the show; a new app that raised $5 million caught Kate’s attention. It’s called Squad and it’s now backed by First Round Capital, the seed fund behind the likes of Uber . You can read Kate’s interview with the founder, Esther Crawford, here.

Next, we turned to two startups that are focused on male reproductive health. While we’ve covered startups focused on fertility, this is the first time we’ve delved into male-focused services that are designed to help men take part in conception. The news here is Dadi has raised another $5 million in venture capital funding. Legacy, the other male fertility company we discussed, is taking part in Y Combinator’s summer batch right now.

On the IPO-ish beat, we talked about Postmates, which has a new stadium partnership, and, more importantly, permission to use cute robots to deliver things in San Francisco. After hearing for years about how small, rolling robots will handle last-mile deliveries, we’re excited for them to actually make it to market. In our view, technology of this sort won’t eliminate the need for human workers at on-demand shops, though they may replace some routine runs. Bring on the burrito robots.

We closed on Airbnb’s purchase of Urbandoor, yet another acquisition from the popular home-sharing company that will eventually go public. It has to, right? Perhaps Urbandoor will help unlock new revenues in the corporate travel space before we see an S-1. After all, Airbnb wants to debut with plenty of growth under its belt to help it meet valuation expectations. Adding revenue to its core business could be a good way to ensure that there’s new top-line to report.

More to come, including something special next week!

Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotify, Pocket Casts, Downcast and all the casts.

Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson joins Disrupt SF to talk about US crewed spaceflight

By Darrell Etherington

The space race is back on, but this time it’s closer to home: A number of U.S. companies are vying to become the first to return Americans to crewed launches, after an eight-year hiatus marked by the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011. Lockheed Martin is one of that very small group, through its partnership with Boeing on the United Launch Alliance, and through its development of the Orion crew capsule, which ticked off an important checkbox in July when it was confirmed complete and ready for mission prep.

Lockheed Martin is at the center of it all, no matter which way you slice it, and that’s why it’s great news that CEO Marillyn Hewson will join us at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2019 in San Francisco to talk all about her company’s work with NASA, their progress on bringing back America’s crewed launch capabilities and their designs on the Moon and beyond.

Even after Orion flies with astronauts aboard for the first time, which is currently set to happen sometime next year, Lockheed Martin has yet more ambitious plans — including developing an “early Gateway” to precede the full-scale Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway that NASA aims to install orbiting the Moon to provide a more permanent base of operations for long-term lunar operations.

Lockheed Martin has been in the space business since the 1950s, but private and commercial interest in space has changed a lot in the ensuing years. We’ll talk about what the growing commercial interest in low-Earth orbit and beyond, and the increasing number of launch and service providers, means for Lockheed and its evolution.

Disrupt SF runs October 2 to October 4 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Tickets are available at an early-bird rate here.

Government and nonprofit discounts available for Disrupt SF 2019

By Emma Comeau

Disrupt San Francisco 2019 takes place on October 2-4. More than 10,000 people — tech founders, investors, hackers, leaders, makers and shakers — will gather for three days focused on early-stage startups. And if you work for a government agency or a nonprofit, we have great news in the form of a deep discount on Innovator passes.

We want as many different voices at the Disrupt table as possible, so take advantage of this opportunity and let your voice be heard. Your price of admission: $495, which saves you $800 over the early-bird price. Only your Innovator pass is discounted — not your Disrupt experience.

You’ll have access to the full conference and all the programming across the Main Stage, the Extra Crunch Stage, the Showcase Stage and Q&A sessions. That includes Startup Battlefield, our epic pitch competition, where extraordinary startups compete for $100,000.

Explore more than 1,000 early-stage startups and sponsors camped out in Startup Alley, participate in interactive workshops and network, network, network. Speaking of networking, you can use CrunchMatch, our free attendee networking platform, to seek out and make appointments with the people who can move your business forward.

Your pass also gets you into the always-awesome TechCrunch networking events. When the conference ends, you also have access to our library of event video content, so no worries if you miss anything.

And in a classic “but wait, there’s more” moment, your Innovator pass also gives you access to discounted airline fares and hotel rooms. Ka-ching.

That’s a whole lotta value, amirite? And now here comes the fine print.

All discounted tickets are non-refundable, and you can’t combine them with any other offer. To qualify for the discount, you must be a current, full-time employee of a nonprofit organization, a federal, state or local government agency, an international government agency or be an active military member.

Nonprofit employees must provide their email address from their organization during the online registration process. Government employees must provide their valid .gov email address during the registration process.

At the on-site registration check-in, you must show proof of current employment at your nonprofit (copy of 501c3 documentation) or government organization. Government contractors, including contractors working on government “Cost Reimbursable Contracts,” are not eligible for the government discount.

We accept the following forms of valid government ID:

  • Government-issued Visa, MasterCard or American Express
  • Government picture ID
  • Military picture ID
  • Federally Funded Research Development Corp (FFRDC) ID

If you don’t present valid nonprofit documentation or government ID at registration, you’ll have to pay the full on-site price ($1,995).

Disrupt San Francisco 2019 takes place on October 2-4, and we have a limited number of these tickets. Buy your discounted Innovator pass today and secure your place at the table.

Quantum computing is coming to TC Sessions: Enterprise on Sept. 5

By Frederic Lardinois

Here at TechCrunch, we like to think about what’s next, and there are few technologies quite as exotic and futuristic as quantum computing. After what felt like decades of being “almost there,” we now have working quantum computers that are able to run basic algorithms, even if only for a very short time. As those times increase, we’ll slowly but surely get to the point where we can realize the full potential of quantum computing.

For our TechCrunch Sessions: Enterprise event in San Francisco on September 5, we’re bringing together some of the sharpest minds from some of the leading companies in quantum computing to talk about what this technology will mean for enterprises (p.s. early-bird ticket sales end this Friday). This could, after all, be one of those technologies where early movers will gain a massive advantage over their competitors. But how do you prepare yourself for this future today, while many aspects of quantum computing are still in development?

IBM’s quantum computer demonstrated at Disrupt SF 2018

Joining us onstage will be Microsoft’s Krysta Svore, who leads the company’s Quantum efforts; IBM’s Jay Gambetta, the principal theoretical scientist behind IBM’s quantum computing effort; and Jim Clark, the director of quantum hardware at Intel Labs.

That’s pretty much a Who’s Who of the current state of quantum computing, even though all of these companies are at different stages of their quantum journey. IBM already has working quantum computers, Intel has built a quantum processor and is investing heavily into the technology and Microsoft is trying a very different approach to the technology that may lead to a breakthrough in the long run but that is currently keeping it from having a working machine. In return, though, Microsoft has invested heavily into building the software tools for building quantum applications.

During the panel, we’ll discuss the current state of the industry, where quantum computing can already help enterprises today and what they can do to prepare for the future. The implications of this new technology also go well beyond faster computing (for some use cases); there are also the security issues that will arise once quantum computers become widely available and current encryption methodologies become easily breakable.

The early-bird ticket discount ends this Friday, August 9. Be sure to grab your tickets to get the max $100 savings before prices go up. If you’re a startup in the enterprise space, we still have some startup demo tables available! Each demo table comes with four tickets to the show and a high-visibility exhibit space to showcase your company to attendees — learn more here.

Female founders: Apply to the All Raise AMA to win a free Expo Pass to Disrupt SF

By Emma Comeau

Shouting out to all the fierce female founders. Have you applied to participate in the All Raise “ask me anything” (AMA) sessions at Disrupt SF 2019? No? Women, it’s time to act. Apply for an AMA session by the August 30 deadline and you could win a free Expo Only Pass.

You heard that right. We have 30 free Expo Only passes, and we’ll give them away at random to women founders who get accepted to the All Raise program at Disrupt SF 2019.

All Raise, a startup nonprofit committed to accelerating female founder success, will host a day-long AMA event in a dedicated area in Startup Alley (aka the Disrupt expo floor). They’ll schedule a series of 30-minute sessions throughout the day for roughly 100 women founders.

Each session consists of three founders and one of the All Raise community’s leading VCs. You’ll have the opportunity to ask in-depth questions about the next raise, key hires, the competition or any other business issues that keep you up at night. You can learn plenty from experienced, successful investors like these:

  • Dayna Grayson, NEA
  • Susan Lyne, BBG
  • Shauntel Garvey, Reach Capital
  • Eurie Kim, Forerunner
  • Jess Lee, Sequoia
  • Kara Nortman, Upfront
  • Sara Guo, Greylock,
  • Anarghya Vardhana, Maveron
  • Eva Ho, Fika Ventures
  • Sarah Smith, Bain Capital Ventures
  • Jess Lin, Work-Bench

If you’re a U.S.-based woman founder — and you’ve raised at least $250,000 in a seed, A or B round — you can apply for an AMA session. All Raise gives special consideration to founders from underrepresented groups (e.g. Black, Latinx or LGBTQIA women).

All Raise will review the applications and notify the founders. Acceptance is based on availability for session spots, investor fit with industry sector and company stage, as well as demand for certain categories.

If All Raise selects you to participate — and you don’t happen to win a free Expo Only pass — simply buy any pass to Disrupt SF (including Expo Only). All Raise will send an email to let you know what time they’ve scheduled your session.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to get answers and advice from some of the best investors around. Free admission to Disrupt SF 2019 and free investor advice — that’s a potent combination. Beat the August 30 deadline and apply for an All Raise AMA session today!

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at Disrupt San Francisco 2019? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.

India’s Awfis raises $30M to grow its co-working spaces business

By Manish Singh

Speaking of businesses that operate co-working spaces in India, New Delhi-based startup Awfis announced today that it has raised $30 million in a new financing round to expand its footprint in the country.

The Series D round for the four-year-old startup was led by ChrysCapital. Existing investors Sequoia Capital India and The Three Sisters Institutional Office also participated in the round, the startup said. Awfis has raised $81 million to date.

Awfis operates in nine cities in India and has 63 centers. It currently has the capacity to accommodate 30,000 people across its centers. In an interview with TechCrunch, Amit Ramani, founder and CEO of Awfis, said the startup will use the capital to add about 340 centers to accommodate 170,000 more people in the next one year and a half.

The startup currently operates two models: It works with landowners to use their workspaces and splits profits with them, and second, it serves as a management operator where it takes a cut of the revenue as its fee. Ramani did not disclose the financial performance of Awfis, but said the startup is aiming to go public in 2022.

Most of its customers today are either small businesses or corporate clients. Some of its customers include Vodafone, Reliance, Hitachi, Zomato, and Practo . It also offers a mobility solution for individuals who want to work from Awfis’ workspaces.

Kshitij Sheth, VP of ChrysCapital, told TechCrunch in an interview that India is finally beginning to see a major boom in the co-working spaces culture. He said his team was impressed by Awfis’ quality services, business model, and ratings from customers.

India’s co-working space, still a relatively new business category in the nation, is worth $390 million — a fraction of the $30 billion office and commercial real estate business. Awfis today competes with a number of startups including GoWork, which announced $53 million in a debt financing round earlier today, 91Springboard, GoHive, and the global giant WeWork.

Fast-growing hotel lodging startup Oyo also recently entered the co-working spaces business with the launch of Oyo Workspaces. For the expansion, it acquired local player Innov8 for a sum of about $30 million to immediately establish presence in 10 cities in India with more than 20 centers.

But the competition does not necessarily worry Ramani, who said the market today remains largely untapped. “Competition is great. It helps educate the market. People have more choices.” Ramani is happy to compete with others on quality and service front, he said.

Apply to be a TC Top Pick at Disrupt Berlin 2019

By Lauren Simonds

It’s official — applications are now open for TC Top Picks at Disrupt Berlin 2019, which takes place on 11-12 December. This pre-conference competition is your chance to experience Disrupt Berlin VIP-style and exhibit your early-stage startup to some of the world’s most influential tech leaders, investors and media outlets across Europe, Asia and beyond — for free. Das ist gut, ja?

Apply here to be a TC Top Pick.

Here’s how it all works. TechCrunch editors — a picky bunch with an eye for exceptional startups — will closely review every qualified application. Then they’ll select up to five startups in each of these categories: AI/Machine Learning, Biotech/Healthtech, Blockchain, Fintech, Mobility, Privacy/Security, Retail/E-commerce, Robotics/IoT/Hardware, CRM/Enterprise and Education.

What sort of startups catch our eye? Great question. Take a look at the TC Top Picks Disrupt Berlin 2018.

If you’re one of the chosen few, you’ll win a free Startup Alley Exhibitor Package. In addition to one exhibit day, the package includes three Founder passes, access to the full conference and all programming across four stages, including Startup Battlefield, our epic pitch competition with a $50,000 prize. You’ll also receive invitations to VIP events, like the investor reception. We’re talking top-tier investors and global press.

Top Picks enjoy a prime location in Startup Alley, and you’ll be well-positioned for the thousands of attendees looking for investments, collaborators, providers or the next big thing. Plus, each Top Pick founder will be interviewed by a TechCrunch editor on the Showcase Stage, and we’ll edit and promote that video interview across our social media platforms. That’s a marketing gift that keeps on giving.

Here’s yet another perk. All companies exhibiting in Startup Alley — including Top Picks — become eligible for a Wild Card spot in the Startup Battlefield. Who knows, it might be you.

Disrupt Berlin 2019 takes place on 11-12 December, and it draws participants from more than 50 countries. There’s no better place to introduce your pre-Series A startup to the international startup community. And there’s no easier, or more affordable, way to do it than as a TC Top Pick. Apply today. Das ist gut, ja?

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at Disrupt Berlin 2019? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.

Segment CEO Peter Reinhardt is coming to TechCrunch Sessions: Enterprise to discuss customer experience management

By Ron Miller

There are few topics as hot right now in the enterprise as customer experience management, that ability to collect detailed data about your customers, then deliver customized experiences based on what you have learned about them. To help understand the challenges companies face building this kind of experience, we are bringing Segment CEO Peter Reinhardt to TechCrunch Sessions: Enterprise on September 5 in San Francisco (p.s. early-bird sales end this Friday, August 9).

At the root of customer experience management is data — tons and tons of data. It may come from the customer journey through a website or app, basic information you know about the customer or the customer’s transaction history. It’s hundreds of signals and collecting that data in order to build the experience where Reinhardt’s company comes in.

Segment wants to provide the infrastructure to collect and understand all of that data. Once you have that in place, you can build data models and then develop applications that make use of the data to drive a better experience.

Reinhardt, and a panel that includes Qualtrics’ Julie Larson-Green and Adobe’s Amit Ahuja, will discuss with TechCrunch editors the difficulties companies face collecting all of that data to build a picture of the customer, then using it to deliver more meaningful experiences for them. See the full agenda here.

Segment was born in the proverbial dorm room at MIT when Reinhardt and his co-founders were students there. They have raised more than $280 million since inception. Customers include Atlassian, Bonobos, Instacart, Levis and Intuit .

Early-bird tickets to see Peter and our lineup of enterprise influencers at TC Sessions: Enterprise are on sale for just $249 when you book here; but hurry, prices go up by $100 after this Friday!

Are you an early-stage startup in the enterprise-tech space? Book a demo table for $2,000 and get in front of TechCrunch editors and future customers/investors. Each demo table comes with four tickets to enjoy the show.

Bring your team to Disrupt Berlin 2019 and save big

By Leslie Hitchcock

Early-stage startuppers around the world are getting ready for Disrupt Berlin 2019, which takes place on 11-12 December. Our premier tech conference attracts an international startup community from more than 50 countries. It’s the intersection of current and future tech and an incomparable networking opportunity.

You reap big savings with our super early-bird pricing (up to €600), but you can save even more when you buy in bulk. We want to make Disrupt Berlin a team-friendly event, because nobody wants to play rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock to see who stays home. Take advantage of our group discounts and bring your whole squad to Berlin.

  • Buy five or more Innovator passes at once and enjoy a 20% discount
  • Buy two or more Founder or Investor passes at once and enjoy a 10% savings

Bring the team and multiply your ROI. Split up and experience more of what Disrupt Berlin offers in two short days — world-class speakers, workshops, fireside chats, Q&A Sessions, the Extra Crunch stage and Startup Alley for starters. Let’s look a little closer, shall we?

You’ll hear advice and insight from leading founders and investors, like PicsArt founder and CEO Hovhannes Avoyan, UiPath founder and CEO Daniel Dines and SoftBank Vision Fund partner David Thevenon — to name just a few. We’re still adding speakers, and if you have someone you’d like to nominate, let us know.

Don’t miss out on Startup Battlefield. Our legendary pitch competition features the best early-stage startups launching their companies on a global stage in a bid for glory, the Disrupt Cup, investor love, media coverage and $50,000 cash. Keep your eyes peeled for the chance to enter this epic competition — sign up to get the latest Disrupt Berlin news.

We expect more than 3,000 attendees, and just about all of them will head to Startup Alley to explore our exhibition floor. They’ll find hundreds of creative early-stage startups displaying their latest innovations across the tech spectrum. It’s a networking opportunity like no other. Turn your team loose and let the startup magic begin.

Startup Alley is also home to the TC Top Picks. That’s our curated cadre of startups representing the very best in their tech categories. Check out our TC Top Picks from 2018. Think your startup can make the cut? You’ll have the opportunity to apply soon — another great reason to keep tabs on Disrupt Berlin news.

Join us at Disrupt Berlin 2019 on 11-12 December. So many excellent reasons to go and a limited amount of time to experience it all. Take advantage of our super early-bird group discounts and bring your whole team to amplify your presence and your ROI. We’ll see you in Berlin!

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at Disrupt Berlin 2019? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.

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