Camera maker Insta360 raises $30M as it eyes 2020 IPO

Insta360, one of the pioneers in making 360-degree cameras, just raised $30 million in a Series C+ funding round from Chinese investors, including Everest Venture Capital, MG Holdings and Huajin Capital. The Shenzhen-based camera maker declined to disclose its latest valuation. It plans to use the fresh proceeds in research and development, marketing and after-sales services […]

Snap is under NDA with UK Home Office discussing how to centralize age checks online

Snap is under NDA with the UK’s Home Office as part of a working group tasked with coming up with more robust age verification technology that’s able to robustly identify children online. The detail emerged during a parliamentary committee hearing as MPs in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) questioned Stephen Collins, […]

No, Tencent isn’t about to burn Reddit down

Ahoy, it’s doom and gloom for Reddit after the company welcomed investment from Chinese censorship overlord Tencent. Well, not quite. The reality is, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. In recruiting the company behind one of the internet’s largest and vibrant social networks — chat app WeChat — and countless blockbuster games, Reddit has pulled off […]

Still a year away from launch, Meg Whitman and Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Quibi keeps adding talent

Video won’t start rolling on Meg Whitman and Jeffrey Katzenberg’s new bite-sized streaming service with the billion-dollar backing until the end of 2019, but talent keeps signing up to come along for their ride into the future of serialization. The latest marquee director to sign on the dotted line with Quibi is Catherine Hardwicke, who […]

Snap is being probed over its IPO because some investors are salty about losing money

Here’s something I didn’t expect to read today. The U.S. Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission has subpoenaed Snap for details on its IPO apparently in connection with a lawsuit from disgruntled shareholders who claim the company played down its rivalry with Instagram. Reuters first reported on the subpoenas which Snap has confirmed. Precise details […]

Snapchat’s PR firm sues influencer for not promoting Spectacles on Instagram

Influencer marketing could get a lot more accountable if Snapchat’s PR firm wins this lawsuit. Snapchat hoped that social media stars promoting v2 of its Spectacles camera sunglasses on its biggest competitor could boost interest after it only sold 220,000 of v1 and had to take a $40 million write-off. Instead, Snap comes off looking […]

Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman announce the name of their stealthy mobile video startup

Onstage at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit in Los Angeles, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman unveiled the name of their highly anticipated mobile video company known until now as NewTV. The name is Quibi, short for “quick bites,” per a note on its new website: “Something cool is coming from Hollywood and Silicon Valley — […]

We’re talking AR with Snap’s camera platform head at TC Sessions: AR/VR

For a lot of consumers, Pokémon GO wasn’t their first exposure to augmented reality — it was the dog-selfie lens inside Snapchat. In the past few years, consumer use hasn’t evolved too heavily when it comes to what people are actually using AR for, even though technical capabilities have taken some giant leaps. Snap was an […]

Benchmark is staying focused, targeting $425M for ninth fund

VC powerhouse Benchmark has filed to raise $425 million for its ninth flagship fund. While other firms close billion-dollar venture funds despite a history of smaller fundraises, Benchmark is sticking to its guns. The firm, known for its early bets on Twitter, Uber, Snap and WeWork, hasn’t fallen victim to the SoftBank effect. Longtime Benchmark general […]

Sequoia backs Maven, a virtual health clinic for women

Despite the increase in women in the U.S. workforce and public pledges from several high-profile CEOs to close the gender pay gap, women, especially working mothers, often find themselves without the resources necessary to succeed at work. Maven, a digital health startup and benefits platform focused on improving access to healthcare for women, has emerged […]