AI-driven audio cloning startup gives voice to Einstein chatbot

You’ll need to prick up your ears for this slice of deepfakery emerging from the wacky world of synthesized media: A digital version of Albert Einstein — with a synthesized voice that’s been (re)created using AI voice cloning technology drawing on audio recordings of the famous scientist’s actual voice. [embedded content] The startup behind the […]

Soona raises $10.2M to make remote photo and video shoots easy

Soona, a startup aiming to satisfy the growing content needs of the e-commerce ecosystem, is announcing that it has raised $10.2 million in Series A funding led by Union Square Ventures. When I wrote about Soona in 2019, the model focused on staging shoots that can deliver videos and photos in 24 hours or less. […]

Grover raises $71M to grow its consumer electronics subscription business

A startup tapping into the concept of the circular economy, where people don’t buy items outright but pay an incremental amount to use them temporarily, has raised some funding to scale its business in Europe and beyond. Grover, a Berlin-based startup that runs a subscription model where people can for set fees rent out consumer […]

SnackMagic picks up $15M to expand from build-your-own snack boxes into a wider gifting marketplace

The office shut-down at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year spurred huge investment in digital transformation and a wave of tech companies helping with that, but there were some distinct losers in the shift, too — specifically those whose business models were predicated on serving the very offices that disappeared overnight. Today, one […]

Mexican unicorn Kavak raises a $485M Series D at a $4B valuation.

Kavak, the Mexican startup that’s disrupted the used car market in Mexico and Argentina, today announced its Series D of $485 million, which now values the company at $4 billion. This round more than triples their previous valuation of $1.15 billion, which established them as a unicorn just a couple of months ago in October […]

Indian social commerce Meesho valued at $2.1 billion in new $300 million fundraise

Meesho said on Monday it has raised $300 million in a new financing round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 as the Indian social commerce startup works to become the “single ecosystem that will enable all small businesses to succeed online.” The new round — a Series E — gives the five-year-old startup a valuation […]

Otrium raises $120 million for its end-of-season fashion marketplace

Otrium has raised a $120 million round just a year after raising its $26 million Series B round. BOND and returning investor Index Ventures are leading the round. Existing investor Eight Roads Ventures is also participating. The concept behind Otrium is quite simple. When items reach the end-of-season status, brands can list those items on […]

Amazon acquires Indian retail startup Perpule

Amazon has acquired a startup in India that is helping offline stores go online, the e-commerce group’s latest attempt to make inroads in the world’s second most populous nation where brick and mortar continue to drive more than 95% of sales. The American e-commerce group said on Tuesday evening that it has acquired Perpule, a […]

Stockly lets e-commerce websites sell out-of-stock items from a shared inventory

Meet Stockly, a French startup that keeps the inventory of various e-commerce websites in sync. When you see an out-of-stock item on an e-commerce website, chances are you leave that website and try to find the same item on another site. If you operate an e-commerce website, Stockly lets you sell items even when they’re […]

Slice is launching a point-of-sale system for pizzerias

Slice, the online ordering platform for independent pizzerias, announced two new offerings this morning — a point-of-sale system designed specifically for those businesses, as well as a rewards program for diners. The launch of the new Slice Register builds on last year’s acquisition of point-of-sale company Instore, and the appointment of its CEO Matt Niehaus […]