Edtech investors are panning for gold

The spotlight on edtech grows brighter and harsher: On one end, remote-learning startups are attracting millions in venture capital. On the other, many educators and parents are unimpressed with the technology that enables virtual learning and gaps remain in and out of the classroom. It’s clear that edtech’s nebulous pain points — screen time, childcare […]

Senate’s encryption backdoor bill is ‘dangerous for Americans,’ says Rep. Lofgren

A Senate bill that would compel tech companies to build backdoors to allow law enforcement access to encrypted devices and data would be “very dangerous” for Americans, said a leading House Democrat. Law enforcement frequently spars with tech companies over their use of strong encryption, which protects user data from hackers and theft, but the […]

Outschool, newly profitable, raises a $45M Series B for virtual small group classes

Outschool, which started in 2015 as a platform for homeschooled students to bolster their extracurricular activities, has dramatically widened its customer base since the coronavirus pandemic began.The platform saw its total addressable market increase dramatically as students left campus to abide by COVID regulations instituted by the CDC. Suddenly, live, small-group online learning classes became […]

The art of pivoting with Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins and Jessica Matthews

Building and growing a startup is hard, but pivoting said startup into something new and then achieving that same growth is even harder. But it’s not impossible. Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, founder and CEO of PromisePay, and Jessica Matthews, founder and CEO of Uncharted Power, both have experiences doing this. At TechCrunch Disrupt, they shed some light […]

TouchWood puts versatile, unobtrusive interfaces inside your desk, table and walls

Everything we do seems to have an associated app these days, and all day they vie for your attention, pinging and lighting up in their needy ways. TouchWood wants to tone down this exhausting non-stop competition with a quiet, simplified interface built right into the natural material of your desk or wall. Co-founders Matthew Dworman […]

Messenger VP details use of forwarding limits and fact-checking to fight misinformation

A few weeks ago, Facebook Messenger introduced new rules around message forwarding to limit the spread of misinformation on its platform. Speaking today at TechCrunch Disrupt 2020, Facebook Messenger VP Stan Chudnovsky offered more detail about how Facebook views its role in fighting the spread of misinformation and other harmful content across its messaging platform, […]

Roelof Botha shares what Sequoia’s Black Swan memo got wrong

In March, famed investment firm Sequoia Capital published the Black Swan Memo, warning founders about the potential business consequences of the coronavirus, which had not yet been labeled a pandemic. “It will take considerable time — perhaps several quarters — before we can be confident that the virus has been contained. It will take even […]

HacWare wants you to hate email security a little less

Let’s face it, email security is something a lot of people would rather think less about. When you’re not deluged with a daily onslaught of phishing attacks trying to steal your passwords, you’re also expected to dodge the simulated phishing emails sent by your own company all for the sake of checking a compliance box. […]

DaVinci Kitchen is building a robotic pasta-making kiosk

The robotics industry is having a major moment amid the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s true that category has been an exciting target for investments for a number of years now, but labor issues and concerns over transmission have led many sectors to take a good, long look at automation. Meal preparation is a […]

Firehawk Aerospace aims to revolutionize rocketry with safe, cost-effective hybrid engines

While SpaceX and its ilk in the commercial rocket launch market have changed the economics of space and ushered in an era of small satellite entrepreneurship, the actual rocket engine technology they use isn’t that different from what was in use 50 years ago when NASA was making its first forays into outer space. Firehawk […]