Gig workers need health & benefits — Catch is their safety net

One of the hottest Y Combinator startups just raised a big seed round to clean up the mess created by Uber, Postmates and the gig economy. Catch sells health insurance, retirement savings plans and tax withholding directly to freelancers, contractors, or anyone uncovered. By building and curating simplified benefits services, Catch can offer a safety […]

Patreon ups its revenue cut, but grandfathers in old creators

Patreon couldn’t survive charging all creators just a 5 percent rake on the monthly subscriptions they earn from fans while building commerce tools like CRMs and merchandise to try to stay ahead of Twitch, YouTube and Google. But it also didn’t want to screw all its loyal early creators. So today, Patreon is overhauling its […]

Custom framing startup Framebridge is opening two retail stores

For a long while, you couldn’t swing a bag of cats around without hitting a retailer looking to create a digital presence. Now, the inverse is growing in popularity, with many digital-first retail brands looking to set up a brick-and-mortar shop. The latest is Framebridge, a custom framing startup that has raised more than $67 […]

Instagram launches shopping checkout, charging sellers a fee

Instagram is opening a whole new revenue stream. Now the 130 million people who tap Instagram’s product tags on shopping posts will be able to buy those items without leaving the app, thanks to stored payment info. “Checkout with Instagram” launches today in the U.S. with more than 20 top brands, including Adidas, Kylie Cosmetics […]

In big tech’s future expansion plans, public good should be the corporate incentive

Yung Wu Contributor More posts by this contributor To actually change the world, Big Tech needs to grow up The cancellation of Amazon’s planned expansion in New York exposes the truth about its HQ2 promises. In the end, the company seemed mainly interested in tax incentives and being allowed to make a corner of NYC […]

Zeus raises $24M to make you a living-as-a-service landlord

Cookie-cutter corporate housing turns people into worker drones. When an employee needs to move to a new city for a few months, they’re either stuck in bland, giant apartment complexes or Airbnbs meant for shorter stays. But Zeus lets any homeowner get paid to host white-collar transient labor. Through its managed ownership model, Zeus takes […]

African e-commerce startup Jumia files for IPO on NYSE

Pan-African e-commerce company Jumia filed for an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange today, per SEC documents and confirmation from CEO Sacha Poignonnec to TechCrunch. The valuation, share price and timeline for public stock sales will be determined over the coming weeks for the Nigeria-headquartered company. With a smooth filing process, Jumia will become […]

Josh Wood, hair colorist to the stars, gets $6.5M led by Index in its latest D2C bet

In the age of Amazon, where up to 90 percent of all consumers use it to buy goods and Amazon is accounting for a rapidly-growing percentage of a consumer’s total retail spend (along with other giants like Walmart), direct-to-consumer brands — leveraging social media alongside tech-first apps — are emerging as sometimes surprising, but often effective, […]

Funerals are tough. Ever Loved helps you pay for them

Alison Johnston didn’t plan to build a startup around death. An early employee at Q&A app Aardvark that was bought by Google, she’d founded tutoring app InstaEDU and sold it to Chegg. She made mass market consumer products. But then, “I had a family member who was diagnosed with terminal cancer and I thought about […]

Amazon stops selling stick-on Dash buttons

Amazon has confirmed it has retired physical stick-on Dash buttons from sale — in favor of virtual alternatives that let Prime Members tap a digital button to reorder a staple product. It also points to its Dash Replenishment service — which offers an API for device makers wanting to build internet-connected appliances that can automatically […]