Startups Weekly: Squad’s screen-shares and Slack’s swastika

We’re three weeks into January. We’ve recovered from our CES hangover and, hopefully, from the CES flu. We’ve started writing the correct year, 2019, not 2018. Venture capitalists have gone full steam ahead with fundraising efforts, several startups have closed multi-hundred million dollar rounds, a virtual influencer raised equity funding and yet, all anyone wants to talk […]

Badi gets $30M for AI-aided room rentals

Should you let AI help you pick your roommates? Barcelona-based urban room rental startup Badi thinks so, and it’s just closed a $30M Series B funding round less than a year after a $10M Series A — suggesting algorithm-aided matchmaking is resonating with its target Millennial(ish) ‘Generation Rent’ demographic, as they hunt for their next flatmate. […]

Apple’s increasingly tricky international trade-offs

Far from Apple’s troubles in emerging markets and China, the company is attracting the ire of what should really be a core supporter demographic naturally aligned with the pro-privacy stance CEO Tim Cook has made into his public soapbox in recent years — but which is instead crying foul over perceived hypocrisy. The problem for this subset […]

‘The problem is Facebook,’ lawmakers from nine countries tell Zuckerberg’s accountability stand-in

A grand committee of international parliamentarians empty-chaired Mark Zuckerberg at a hearing earlier today, after the Facebook founder snubbed repeat invitations to face questions about malicious, abusive and improper uses of his social media platform — including the democracy-denting impacts of so-called “fake news.” The U.K.’s DCMS committee has been leading the charge to hold Facebook […]

One billion 3D views and counting

Last week Sketchfab, the 3D content hub, shared an exciting milestone — the company has just crossed 1 billion cumulative page views. Taken with the community’s growth — they just surpassed 2 million users, as well as the 200 million people that have experienced content via Sketchfab more broadly, this makes it one of the […]

French designers build a 3D-printed metal watch

French watchmaker Unitam and 3D printing company Stainless teamed up to build a unique 3D printed watch, essentially the first of its kind. The team created the watch case using laser sintering to melt stainless steel 316L powder on a Renishaw AM250 printer. The watch, which uses French-made hands and a Miyota movement, isn’t completely […]

MallforAfrica goes global, Kobo360 and Sokowatch raise VC, France explains its $76M fund

Jake Bright Contributor More posts by this contributor Harley-Davidson to expand EV lineup, may include scooters, bicycles Sokowatch closes $2 million seed round to modernize Africa’s B2B retail B2B e-commerce company Sokowatch closed a $2 million seed investment led by 4DX Ventures. Others to join the round were Village Global, Lynett Capital, Golden Palm Investments and Outlierz  Ventures. The […]

Celebrity funds from Jay Z, Will Smith and Robert Downey Jr. are backing a life insurance startup

Ethos, the company that bills itself as making life insurance accessible, affordable and simple, has officially come out of stealth with an $11.5 million investment led by one of the world’s top venture firms, Sequoia Capital, and additional participation from the family offices of Hollywood’s biggest stars and an NBA all-star. Jay Z’s Roc Nation, […]

France to move ministers off Telegram, WhatsApp over security fears

The French government has said it intends to move to using its own encrypted messaging service this summer, over concerns of the risks that foreign entities could spy on officials using popular encrypted apps such as Telegram and WhatsApp . Reuters reports that ministers are concerned about the use of foreign-built encrypted apps which do not […]

France takes legal action against Apple and Google for their app stores

France’s Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire criticized Apple and Google for the way they run the App Store and Play Store. According to him, Google and Apple have too much power against app developers. Le Maire will ask a court to look at it and fine tech giants if necessary. “When developers want to develop […]