India’s Cashfree raises $5.5M from Korea’s Smilegate, Y Combinator and others

Cashfree, an India-based startup that specializes in making corporate banking services more accessible and easier to use, has closed a $5.5 million Series A round. The deal is led by Smilegate Investment — the fund affiliated with Korean games firm Smilegate — with participation from Y Combinator, the U.S. accelerator program from which Cashfree graduated […]

Partnering with Visa, emerging market lender Branch International raises $170 million

The San Francisco-based startup Branch International, which makes small personal loans in emerging markets, has raised $170 million and announced a partnership with Visa to offer virtual, pre-paid debit cards to Branch client networks in Africa, South-Asia and Latin America.  Branch — which has 150 employees in San Francisco, Lagos, Nairobi, Mexico City and Mumbai — […]

Africa Roundup: Jumia files for IPO, OneFi acquires Amplify, FlexClub expands in Mexico

Less than a decade ago IPOs, acquisitions and global expansion by African startups were more possibility than reality. March saw all three from the continent’s tech scene. Pan-African e-commerce company Jumia filed for an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, per SEC documents and confirmation from chief executive Sacha Poignonnec. In an updated filing, […]

Lyft’s IPO, Casper the friendly unicorn and WeWork’s staggering losses

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week we had the full gang around, with Connie Loizos in the studio with Kate Clark and our guest Barrett Cohn from Scenic Advisement. Alex was on the line from Providence. Lucky for us, news of Lyft’s […]

Apple Card will make credit card fraud a lot more difficult

Apple’s new credit card has a curious security feature that will make it much more difficult to carry out credit card fraud. The aptly named Apple Card is a new credit card, built into your iPhone Wallet app, which the company says will help customers live a “healthier” financial lifestyle. The card is designed to […]

Singapore fintech startup Instarem closes $41M Series C for global growth

Singapore’s Instarem, a fintech startup that helps banks and consumers send money overseas at lower cost, has closed a $41 million Series C financing round to go after global expansion opportunities. The four-year-old company announced a first close of $20 million last November, and it has now doubled that tally (and a little extra) thanks […]

How business-to-business startups reduce inequality

Sibjeet Mahapatra Contributor Sib Mahapatra is a writer and co-founder of Bureau, an end-to-end office furniture startup in NYC. More posts by this contributor VR, presence and the case of the missing killer app The bull case for Snapchat When considering the structural impact of technology companies on our economy and society, we tend to […]

Byju’s buys Osmo for $120M to add blended learning to its $4B digital education business

Weeks after it raised a massive $540 million funding round, Indian education unicorn Byju’s is on the M&A path. The company announced today it has snapped up U.S.-based Osmo, a startup that develops apps for kids that use offline input, in a deal worth $120 million. Osmo has raised more than $30 million from investors […]

Scooter startup Bird tried to silence a journalist. It did not go well.

Cory Doctorow doesn’t like censorship. He especially doesn’t like his own work being censored. Anyone who knows Doctorow knows his popular tech and culture blog, Boing Boing, and anyone who reads Boing Boing knows Doctorow and his cohort of bloggers. The part-blogger, part special advisor at the online rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation has written […]

WeWork rebranding won’t work

The company formerly known as WeWork has rebranded as the We Company — although a better name for its network of on-demand office spaces for the newly incorporated and nominally employed, co-living spaces for the same easyJet-set and educational and coding services could be “House of Cards.” News of the rebranding (first reported via Fast Company) comes […]