Facebook taps Peggy Alford for its board, Reed Hastings and Erskine Bowles to depart

Facebook’s board is undergoing its biggest shakeup in memory. On Friday, the company announced that Peggy Alford would be nominated to join the company’s board of directors. “Peggy is one of those rare people who’s an expert across many different areas — from business management to finance operations to product development,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg […]

Tinder becomes the top-grossing, non-game app in Q1 2019, ending Netflix’s reign

For the first time in years, Netflix is no longer the top grossing, non-game mobile app. Instead, that title now goes to dating app Tinder. The change in position is not surprising, given Netflix’s decision in December to stop paying the so-called “Apple tax.” That is, it no longer allows new users to sign up […]

Microsoft gives 500 patents to startups

Microsoft today announced a major expansion of its Azure IP Advantage program, which provides its Azure users with protection against patent trolls. This program now also provides customers who are building IoT solutions that connect to Azure with access to 10,000 patents to defend themselves against intellectual property lawsuits. What’s maybe most interesting here, though, […]

Gjirafa raises a $6.7M Series B from Rockaway Capital to digitise the Balkans

There’s nothing like a niche language to create a sort of lock-in for a startup, and that’s exactly what’s happened with Gjirafa. Focusing exclusively on Albanian-speaking countries, co-founder and CEO Mergim Cahani started out developing an Albanian language search engine and then literally digitizing the country’s information, from bus timetables to a database of local […]

Reed Hastings says Netflix won’t be part of Apple’s upcoming video streaming service

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said during a Los Angeles press event tonight that it will not be part of the streaming video service Apple is expected to unveil next week at its Cupertino headquarters. While it will have original content, Apple’s service will most likely initially focus on third-party content, competing against Amazon Channels with […]

Y Combinator bets on the booming podcast industry

Podcasts are exploding in popularity and Y Combinator, the startup accelerator known for its long list of unicorn graduates, is throwing its support behind a business tackling the podcast monetization problem. Among its latest and largest-ever cohort is Brew, a subscription-based app complete with original content. Though Brew’s founders, Jijo Sunny, Madhavan Ramakrishnan, Aleesha John […]

Startups Weekly: What’s up with YC? Plus, mobility layoffs and Airbnb’s grand plans

Where to begin… Netflix darling Marie Kondo is hitting up Sand Hill Road in search of $40 million to fund an ecommerce platform, Y Combinator is giving $150,000 to a startup building a $380,000 flying motorcycle (because why not) and Jibo, the social robot, is calling it quits, speaking to owners directly of its imminent […]

Podcasting startup WaitWhat raises $4.3M as interest in audio content explodes

WaitWhat, the digital content production engine behind LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman’s Masters of Scale podcast, has secured a $4.3 million Series A investment led by Cue Ball Capital and Burda Principal Investments. Launched in January 2017, WaitWhat will use the cash to create additional media properties across a variety of mediums, including podcasts. Investors are gravitating […]

Foot Locker invests $100 million in GOAT Group

Foot Locker, the mostly mall-bound retailer of mass market sneakers, has invested $100 million in the sneaker marketplace and retailer of primarily rare and exclusive high-end athletic and lifestyle shoes, GOAT Group. The companies said that the investment would eventually lead to Foot Locker and Goat Group combining their efforts across their digital and physical […]

Southeast Asia’s Grab is adding Netflix-like video streaming to its ride-hailing app

Grab is Southeast Asia’s top ride-hailing firm thanks to its acquisition of Uber’s local business last year. Its biggest competitor gone, the company is on a push to go beyond transport and become an everyday “super app” — and that strategy just embraced video streaming today. That’s because Grab is integrating video-on-demand service HOOQ — […]