Omni storage & rentals fails, shutters, sells engineers to Coinbase

$35 million-funded Omni is packing up and shutting down after struggling to make the economics of equipment rentals and physical on-demand storage work out. It’s another victim of a venture capital-subsidized business offering a convenient service at an unsustainable price. The startup fought for a second wind after selling off its physical storage operations to […]

Dutch court orders Facebook to ban celebrity crypto scam ads after another lawsuit

A Dutch court has ruled that Facebook can be required to use filter technologies to identify and pre-emptively take down fake ads linked to crypto currency scams that carry the image of a media personality, John de Mol, and other well known celebrities. The Dutch celerity filed a lawsuit against Facebook in April over the […]

Wardrobe picks up $1.5 million for a new fashion rental marketplace

Wardrobe, a new peer-to-peer fashion rental marketplace, has today announced the close of a $1.5 million seed round and its public launch out of beta. The funding was led by angel investor Cyan Banister and Ludlow Ventures, with participation from GroundUp Ventures, Airbnb co-founder Nate Blecharczyk and HQ Trivia founder Rus Yusupov, among others. Wardrobe […]

Fountain, a platform for recruiting gig and hourly workers, raises $23M

Contract, self-employed and temporary jobs are on the rise in developed markets, with some 85% of the global workforce, 2.7 billion people, estimated to be on some form of hourly wage rather than flat salary. Today, a startup that helps companies source these kinds of candidates is announcing a round of funding to help meet […]

Labor leaders and startup founders talk how to build a sustainable gig economy

Over the past few years, gig economy companies and the treatment of their labor force has become a hot button issue for public and private sector debate. At our recent annual Disrupt event in San Francisco, we dug into how founders, companies and the broader community can play a positive role in the gig economy, […]

Clutter acquires The Storage Fox for $152M to add self-storage to its on-demand platform

The world of on-demand storage has seen some ups and downs, with some of the biggest hopefuls pivoting into new areas, some as unrelated as cryptocurrency, in the search for better product-market fit. One that found its groove early on, however, is today announcing an acquisition to expand its existing business into a new market category. […]

How even the best marketplace startups get paralyzed

Josh Breinlinger Contributor Josh is a Managing Director at Jackson Square Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm with $245 million under management, where he focuses his investments in early stage marketplaces. More posts by this contributor Marketplaces Are Eating Firms Amazon Vs. Hachette: Fewer Middlemen Equals A Better World Over the past 15 years, […]

‘The Operators’: Experts from Airbnb and Carta on building and managing your company’s customer support

Tim Hsia & Neil Devani Contributor More posts by this contributor ‘The Operators’: Experts from WeWork and Brex talk marketing – Getting the most bang for your buck ‘The Operators’: Understanding your user – The art and science of UI/UX behind Facebook, Google, Mint, and Edmodo Welcome to this transcribed edition of The Operators. TechCrunch […]

What happened to the sharing economy?

A few years ago, Silicon Valley couldn’t stop using a trendy buzzword — the sharing economy. The good old top-down economic model with a clear separation between service providers and clients was falling apart. And huge tech companies disrupted entire industries, from Airbnb to Taskrabbit, Uber, Etsy and Getaround. When you retrospectively look at the […]

Splyt wants to connect the world’s ride-hailing apps for easy international roaming

The vision of a universal global ride-hailing service is over. Uber’s decision to exit markets like China, Southeast Asia and Russia coupled with the failure of its rivals to develop a proposed roaming system, means that global travelers must install multiple apps if they are to take advantage of on-demand taxis. That’s unless a little-known startup […]