Meet your new chief of staff: An AI chatbot

Years ago, a mobile app for email launched to immediate fanfare. Simply called Mailbox, its life was woefully cut short — we’ll get to that. Today, its founders are back with their second act: An AI-enabled assistant called Navigator meant to help teams work and communicate more efficiently. With the support of $12 million in […]

Climate justice and environmental ethics in tech, with Amazon engineer Rajit Iftikhar

Nearly 8,000 Amazon employees, many in prestigious engineering and design roles, have recently signed a petition calling on Jeff Bezos and the Amazon Board of Directors to dramatically shift the giant company’s approach to climate change. By deploying a kind of corporate social disobedience such as speaking out dramatically at shareholders meetings, and by engaging […]

Go-Jek doubles down on India with yet another talent acquisition

Go-Jek may be based in Southeast Asia, but the multi-billion-dollar ride-hailing firm continues to tap India for engineering talent. The Indonesia-headquartered firm announced today that it has acquired AirCTO, a recruitment platform based in Gurgaon. The acquisition, the price of which has not been disclosed, is a talent grab. AirCTO’s platform uses a mix of […]

Why Luckin’s ultimate target may not be Starbucks

Starbucks plans to double its store count in China to 5,000 in 2021 and Luckin, a one-year-old coffee startup, is matching up by aiming to reach 4,500 by the end of this year. Luckin’s upsized $651 million flotation has brought American investors’ attention to this potential Starbucks rival in China, where the Seattle giant controlled […]

Madrona Venture Labs raises $11M to build companies from the ground up

In regions where would-be entrepreneurs need a little more support and encouragement before they’ll quit their day job, the startup studio model is taking off. In Seattle, Madrona Venture Labs (MVL), a studio founded within one the city’s oldest and most-celebrated venture capital firms, Madrona Venture Group, has raised $11.3 million. The investment brings the […]

Market map: the 200+ innovative startups transforming affordable housing

Daniel Wu Contributor Dan Wu is a privacy counsel and legal engineer at Immuta. He holds a JD from Harvard University, and is a PhD candidate for Social Policy and Sociology at The Harvard Kennedy School. More posts by this contributor In this section of my exploration into innovation in inclusive housing, I am digging into […]

After criticism over moderator treatment, Facebook raises wages and boosts support for contractors

Facebook has been repeatedly (and rightly) hammered for its treatment of the content moderators who ensure the site doesn’t end up becoming a river of images, videos and articles embodying the worst of humanity. Those workers, and the hundreds (if not thousands) of other contractors Facebook employs to cook food, provide security and provide transportation […]

Kargo is disrupting logistics in Myanmar, one of the world’s most challenging countries

Founders in Seattle recently bemoaned a lack of capital and support when compared to Silicon Valley — what about those building startups in more remote markets? Kargo, a company that takes the spirit of Uber and brings it to the disorganized world of trucking, has raised a SG$800,000 (US$580,000) round of funding, giving TechCrunch an […]

Startups Weekly: Will the Seattle tech scene ever reach its full potential?

Greetings from Seattle, the land of Amazon, Microsoft, two of the world’s richest men and some startups. I’m always surprised the Seattle startup ecosystem hasn’t grown to compete with the likes of Silicon Valley — or at least Boston and New York City — since the dot-com boom. Today, it’s the strongest it’s been due […]

Microbiome testing service uBiome puts its co-founders on administrative leave after FBI raid

The microbiome testing service uBiome has placed its founders and co-chief executives, Jessica Richman and Zac Apte, on administrative leave following an FBI raid on the company’s offices last week. The company’s board of directors have named John Rakow, currently the company’s general counsel, as its interim chairman and chief executive, the company said in […]