Trouva, an online marketplace for independent boutiques, raises $22M

Amazon helped pioneer and now dominates the online marketplace business model, where a variety of merchants post items for sale on its platform for billions of consumers to discover and buy them. Today, a London startup that’s taken that idea but is applying it to a far more curated set of retailers and goods has […]

Standard Cognition lands $35M at $535M valuation to battle Amazon Go

EQT Ventures, Initialized Capital, CRV and Y Combinator have fueled Standard Cognition with another $35 million to help retailers battle Amazon. The deal values the San Francisco-based autonomous checkout startup, founded in 2017, at $535 million. Standard Cognition implants its AI-powered computer vision platform, which enables the autonomous checkout process, in brick-and-mortar stores. To date, […]

Climate change, AI and ethical leadership in ‘big tech’, with Amazon principal UX design lead Maren Costa

“I just want to be proud of the company that I work for,” Maren Costa told me recently. Costa is a Principal UX Design Lead at Amazon, for which she has worked since 2002. I was referred to her because of her leadership in the Amazon Employees for Climate Justice group I covered earlier this […]

Printify raises $3M to expand its marketplace for custom printing

In Riga, Latvia, an 80-person startup called Printify is reimagining the on-demand printing business. Gone are the days where small merchants have to sell their customized products on platforms like Zazzle, Society6, CafePress or Teespring . Using Printify, e-commerce business owners can create clothes, accessories and more fixed with their designs, logos, art or photos, […]

Wattpad gains strategic investment from Times Bridge to further expand in India

Wattpad is further expanding into Asia with a new partnership and undisclosed strategic investment from Times Bridge, the global investment arm of The Times Group in India. The deal aims to help the storytelling community establish a larger presence in the country where it already counts more than 2.6 million monthly users who have shared […]

Amazon has paused sales of its Echo Wall Clock due to connectivity issues

Amazon launched an Echo Wall Clock before the end of last year but, less than a month later, things aren’t running to schedule. The e-commerce giant has paused the sale of the $30 Alexa-powered smart clock after a number of customers reported connectivity issues, according to The Verge. The clock is still listed on Amazon but, as […]

This 3D printer squirts out wet paper pulp

Like a kid shooting spitballs, designer Beer Holthuis has figured out that sopping wet paper is the best material for making mischief. His 3D printer, a primitive RepRap clone that literally squirts out huge lines of paper pulp, is designed to allow artists and designers to create more sustainable 3D objects. According to 3DPrint.com, Holthuis […]

Alexa is reported down across Europe

Reports are coming in that Amazon’s Alexa service is down in parts of UK, Spain, Germany and Austria. According to Down Detector and Twitter, the problem started surfacing around 8am local time and still continues. Interestingly, some users are reporting the issue is isolated to Echo Dot 2 models and while other Echo devices are […]

Comic sales are down as readers abandon print

Comic book and graphic novel sales fell 6.5% in 2017 from a 2016 high of $1.015 billion. Graphic novels brought in $570 million while comic books brought in about $350 million. A report posted to Comichron notes that comic stores are still the biggest source for revenue while $90 million is attributable to digital downloads. […]

Po.et launches lab for developers to build apps on publishing blockchain

Po.et is an open source, not-for-profit publishing network built on the blockchain with the broad ambition of changing how we distribute, license and monetize content on the internet. Today, it announced it was opening the Po.et Development Labs, a place for developers to experiment with new ideas on the po.et platform. It also announced the […]