Startups Weekly: Lessons from a failed founder

I sat down with Menlo Ventures partner Shawn Carolan this week to talk about his early investment in Uber. Menlo, if you remember, led Uber’s Series B and has made a hefty sum over the year selling shares in the ride-hailing company. I’ll have more on that later; for now, I want to share some […]

Uber spent $457 million on self-driving and flying car R&D last year

Uber spent $457 million last year on research and development of autonomous vehicles, flying cars (known as eVTOLs) and other “technology programs” and will continue to invest heavily in the futuristic tech even though it expects to rely on human drivers for years to come, according to the company’s IPO prospectus filed Thursday. R&D costs […]

For true transparency around political advertising, US tech companies must collaborate

Ann M. Ravel Contributor Ann M. Ravel is the Digital Deception Project Director at MapLight and previously served as chair of the Federal Election Commission. In October 2017, online giants Twitter, Facebook and Google announced plans to voluntarily increase transparency for political advertising on their platforms. The three plans to tackle disinformation had roughly the […]

Zoom addresses CFO’s past workplace conduct ahead of IPO

Zoom, the only profitable unicorn in line to go public, priced its initial public offering at between $28 and $32 per share Monday morning. The video conferencing business plans to trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “ZM.” Zoom, valued at $1 billion in 2017, initially filed to go public in March. According to […]

India’s Mswipe raises $30M to grow its smart point-of-sale terminal business

Mswipe, an Indian fintech company that develops point-of-sale terminals for merchants, has pulled $30 million in new funding as it bids to triple its reach to 1.5 million merchants over the next year. The company’s previous funding as a Series D in 2017 that ended up at just over $40 million, thanks to a $10 […]

Jio Health combines online and offline healthcare in Southeast Asia, starting in Vietnam

The internet is often lauded for the potential to increase the impact of a range of primary services in emerging markets, including education, commerce, banking and healthcare. While many of those platforms are now being built, a few are finding that a hybrid approach combining online and offline is advantageous. That’s exactly what Jio Health, […]

Forge acquires IRA Services to expand offering for private company shares

Forge, the marketplace for trading private company shares formerly known as Equidate, announced that it will be acquiring custodial trust company IRA Services for a purchase price of $55 million. IRA Services is a trust company that provides custodial services for retirement accounts managed by individuals and mid-to-large sized Institutions. Stripped of financial jargon, the […]

Social investment platform eToro acquires smart contract startup Firmo

Social investing and trading platform eToro announced that it has acquired Danish smart contract infrastructure provider Firmo for an undisclosed purchase price. Firmo’s platform enables exchanges to execute smart financial contracts across various assets, including crypto derivatives, and across all major blockchains. Firmo founder and CEO Dr. Omri Ross described the company’s mission as “…enabl[ing] our […]

Flying taxi startup Blade is helping Silicon Valley CEOs bypass traffic

One year after a $38 million Series B valued on-demand aviation startup Blade at $140 million, the company has begun taxiing the Bay Area’s elite. As part of a new pilot program, Blade has given 200 people in San Francisco and Silicon Valley exclusive access to its mobile app, allowing them to book helicopters, private […]

Equity Shot: Pinterest and Zoom file to go public

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. What a Friday. This afternoon (mere hours after we released our regularly scheduled episode no less!), both Pinterest and Zoom dropped their public S-1 filings. So we rolled up our proverbial sleeves and ran through the numbers. If […]