Delane Parnell’s plan to conquer amateur esports

Most of the buzz about esports focuses on high-profile professional teams and audiences watching live streams of those professionals. What gets ignored is the entire base of amateurs wanting to compete in esports below the professional tier. This is like talking about the NBA and the value of its sponsorships and broadcast rights as if […]

Crowned by Burger King, meat replacement company Impossible Foods raises $300 million

After being crowned by Burger King as the first meat replacement patty to roll out nationally with one of the largest fast food chains, Impossible Foods has raised $300 million in capital. The financing brings the company’s total equity raise to $750 million — and provides a sizable pool of funds to draw from as […]

Envoy raises $43 million to digitize your office

The office might not seem like an area in desperate need of disruption, but Envoy — a Silicon Valley company used to sign in over 100,000 visitors at offices across the world each day; and a TechCrunch SF office neighbor! — has raised $43 million to do just that. The company started life five years […]

YC-grad Papa raises $2.4M for its ‘grandkids-on-demand’ service

One of the latest additions to the on-demand economy is Papa, a mobile app that connects college students with adults over 60 in need of support and companionship. The recent graduate of Y Combinator’s accelerator program has raised a $2.4 million round of funding to expand its service throughout Florida and to five additional states […]

RankScience closes $1.8M seed — and now only wants to replace human SEO staff if you don’t have any

A couple of years ago YC-backed RankScience, which offers AI-enhanced SEO split-testing, put a few SEO experts’ noses out of joint when the fledgling startup brashly talked about replacing human expertise with automation. Two years on its pitch has mellowed, with the team saying their self-service platform is “augmenting human SEO ability rather than replacing […]

Ohanian’s Initialized raises $225M 4th fund to turn founders into cyborgs

“Right now we’re in this Empire Strikes Back moment” says Initialized Capital’s Garry Tan, referring to tech giants ruthlessly copying and competing with fresh ideas. “We think the startups represent the Return Of The Jedi.” It’s that willingness to stand up against incumbents and give founders their best shot at disrupting them that’s won Initialized […]