Remembering the startups we lost in 2019

All manner of startups fail for all manner of reasons. But there’s one constant: this is an incredibly difficult business. Launching a successful company isn’t just a matter of drive and finding the right people (though both, clearly, are important). Doing well in this business requires the stars to align perfectly on a billion different […]

Startups Weekly: Chinese investors double down on African startups

Hello and welcome back to Startups Weekly, a weekend newsletter that dives into the week’s noteworthy startups and venture capital news. Before I jump into today’s topic, let’s catch up a bit. Last week, I wrote about Airbnb’s issues. Before that, I noted Uber’s new “money” team. Remember, you can send me tips, suggestions and […]

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 […]

$35M-funded Omni rentals in acqui-hire talks with Coinbase

Physical storage-turned-rentals startup Omni is dealing with layoffs today, two sources familiar with the situation tell TechCrunch. Omni just shed seven operations team members. The startup is in talks to sell its engineering team to Coinbase after also receiving interest from Thumbtack. Omni’s rental business was doing poorly without enough users paying a few bucks […]

The top 10 startups from Y Combinator W19 Demo Day 1

Electric-vehicle chargers, heads-up displays for soldiers and the Costco of weed were some of our favorites from prestigious startup accelerator Y Combinator’s Winter 2019 Demo Day 1. If you want to take the pulse of Silicon Valley, YC is the place to be. But with more than 200 startups presenting across two stages and two […]

Ripple turns investor as execs lead $25M round for storage and rental startup Omni

Earlier this month, I wrote that crypto companies are going to become investors in 2018. I didn’t quite imagine that happening as quickly as mid-January, but here we are. Ripple, the fintech startup behind the controversial XRP token, has its first investment after it backed U.S.-based storage startup Omni through a $25 million round. Omni […]

Storage startup Closetbox raises $7.3 million Series A round

Startup Closetbox recently raised a $7.3 million Series A round, bringing its total amount of funding to $19.8 million. Closetbox, of course, has competitors like fellow startups MakeSpace and Omni, as well as larger companies like Pods and Public Storage. Closetbox offers “full-service storage,” which means it has professional movers come to your house to […]