Sam Lessin and Andrew Kortina on their voice assistant’s workplace pivot

Sam Lessin, a former product management executive at Facebook and old friend to Mark Zuckerberg, incorporated his latest startup under the name “Fin Exploration Company.” Why? Well, because he wanted to explore. The company — co-founded alongside Andrew Kortina, best known for launching the successful payments app Venmo — was conceived as a consumer voice […]

Google finance head joins Postmates board ahead of anticipated IPO

Google’s vice president of finance, has joined Postmates’ board of directors, the latest sign that the on-demand food delivery startup is prepping to take the company public. Postmates announced Friday that Kristin Reinke, vice president of Finance at Google, will join the San Francisco startup as an independent director. Reinke has been with Google since […]

Postmates taps longtime Apple engineer to boost autonomous delivery efforts

Postmates has hired Apple veteran and author Ken Kocienda as a principal software engineer at Postmates X, the team building the food delivery company’s semi-autonomous sidewalk rover, Serve. Kocienda, author of “Creative Selection: Inside Apple’s Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs,” spent 15 years at Apple focused on human interface design, collaborating […]

Listen to us talk about ‘undercorns,’ IPOs and what going public is really about

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. Kate and Alex were here yesterday to dig into the Uber IPO filing; for today’s episode, we put that aside and discussed everything else that happened this week. Lucky for us, for the second half of our Thursday podcast-a-thon, […]

Erectile pharmacy app Ro launches telehealth service for women

Six months ago, Roman, the cloud pharmacy for erectile dysfunction, dropped the “man” to become “Ro.” At the same time, the company raised a monstrous Series A funding round of $88 million and unveiled Zero, a product meant to help people quit smoking, a root cause of ED. Now, Ro is addressing a different demographic. […]

Uber Freight co-founders and top dealmakers join logistics startup Turvo

Last year, Charlie Bergevin and Brian Cristol, co-founders of Uber’s trucking logistics business Uber Freight, heard Reid Hoffman say Turvo had some of the best technology he had ever seen. Frustrated with the direction Uber Freight had taken, they called up Turvo’s founder and chief executive officer Eric Gilmore. It wasn’t long before offers were on […]

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 […]

A look at Birdies, the popular slipper shoe startup that just raised $8 million more from investors

Bianca Gates is a first-generation American, her parents having immigrated to the U.S. from Latin America. As such, she says, after graduating from UC Irvine, she was expected to get a safe job with a 401(k) plan and to live with her parents until she was married. Things haven’t gone exactly that way, but one can […]

Postmates lines up another $100M ahead of IPO

Postmates, one of the earlier entrants to the billion-dollar food delivery wars, has raised an additional $100 million in equity funding at a $1.85 billion valuation, as first reported by Recode and confirmed to TechCrunch by Postmates. The round comes four months after the eight-year-old startup drove home a $300 million investment that finally knocked […]

Porter Road wants to herd the meat industry in a new direction

Down a two-lane road on the outskirts of Princeton, Ky., next to a cemetery and past the Light of Truth Church, is the Porter Road Butcher Meat Co. facility — a staging ground for what the Nashville-based startup Porter Road hopes will be a revolution in the American meatpacking industry. For the company’s co-founders, James […]