Goalsetter gives parents a way to teach their kids how to save money

When the bubble burst in the year 2000, Tanya Van Court lost over $1 million in stock and options over the course of a few minutes. Then and there she vowed to never let something like that happen to her children. Five years later, her daughter Gabrielle was born. At the time, she was a […]

China’s Qutoutiao is burning millions of dollars to take on TikTok parent

Chinese startup ByteDance is finding itself surrounded by challengers as its empire of new media products, including global video app TikTok and Chinese news aggregator Jinri Toutiao, gather steam. Tencent tried to play catch-up with a handful of new short-video services, and a Facebook clone of TikTok was reportedly in the making. Less-famous players also tried […]

Instagram founders say losing autonomy at Facebook meant ‘winning’

Rather than be sore about losing independence within Facebook, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom told me it was an inevitable sign of his app’s triumph. Today at South By South West, Systrom and fellow co-founder Mike Krieger sat down for their first onstage talk together since leaving Facebook in September. They discussed their superhero origin stories, […]

Funerals are tough. Ever Loved helps you pay for them

Alison Johnston didn’t plan to build a startup around death. An early employee at Q&A app Aardvark that was bought by Google, she’d founded tutoring app InstaEDU and sold it to Chegg. She made mass market consumer products. But then, “I had a family member who was diagnosed with terminal cancer and I thought about […]

UK military veteran launches crowd-funding for Pixie app to revive local stores

What if, instead of sitting on your phone on the sofa ordering stuff from Amazon, you could buy the same things locally from local stores that ultimately enliven and enrich your local neighborhood? What if by doing that, you wouldn’t be walking through deserted main streets, past boarded-up shops, dark alleys and graffiti? What if […]

Foursquare’s Hypertrending helps you spy on the coolest local happenings

Ten years after the launch of Foursquare at SXSW, the company is laying its technology bare with a futuristic version of its old app that doesn’t require a check-in at all. The godfather of location apps is returning to the launchpad with Hypertrending, but this time it hopes to learn what developers might do with […]

Digital publisher Serial Box raises $4.5M

Serial Box, a startup bringing back the tradition of serialized fiction, has raised $4.5 million in seed funding. The company actually disclosed the funding last week when announcing a partnership to produce stories about Marvel characters, but it’s sharing more details about the round — namely, the fact that it was led by Boat Rocker […]

Spill picks up £650K seed round for its message-based workplace therapy app

Spill, the London-based startup that offers a message-based therapy app to help improve workplace well-being, has picked up £650,000 in seed investment. The round is backed by Passion Capital, Seedcamp and a number of angel investors, including Made.com founder Julien Callede and Urban co-founder Jack Tang. Founded a little over a year ago by Calvin […]

Zuckerberg wants messages to auto-expire to make Facebook a “living room”

On feed-based “broader social networks, where people can accumulate friends or followers until the services feel more public . . . it feels more like a town square than a more intimate space like a living room” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained in a blog post today. With messaging, groups, and ephemeral stories as the […]

Blueground raises $20 million for flexible apartment rentals

Blueground, the startup providing turnkey flexible rental apartments, has raised $20 million in a round led by Athens-based VentureFriends, with participation from Endeavor Catalyst, Dubai’s Jabbar Internet Group and serial entrepreneur Kevin Ryan. Ryan — who helped found MongoDB, Gilt Groupe, Zola and others — will also join Blueground’s board of directors. It’s no secret […]