Wonder Dynamics raises $2.5M seed to equip indie filmmakers with AI-powered VFX

Practically every film production these days needs some kind of visual effects work, but independent creators often lack the cash or expertise to get that top-shelf CG. Wonder Dynamics, founded by VFX engineer Nikola Todorovic and actor Tye Sheridan, aims to use AI to make some of these processes more accessible for filmmakers with budgets […]

Scale CEO Alex Wang and Accel’s Dan Levine explain why sometimes unconventional VC deals are best

Few companies have done better than Scale at spotting a need in the AI gold rush early on and filling that gap. The startup rightly identified that one of the tasks most important to building effective AI at scale — the laborious exercise of tagging data sets to make them usable in properly training new […]

Extra Crunch roundup: StockX EC-1, Early Stage recaps, unpacking Alkami’s IPO, more

Over the last few days, we’ve published several articles recapping panels from last week’s TechCrunch Early Stage virtual conference. Each story is based on an interview with a founder or investor who addressed some of the most common startup dilemmas. Predictably, they’re mostly focused on the how and why: How do I get into an […]

Ocean Solutions Accelerator doubles down on blue economy with new track for later-stage companies

The planet-loving folks at the Sustainable Ocean Alliance started an accelerator a couple years back focusing on very early-stage companies, but this year they’re expanding the program to accept those that have already closed their first round. The mix of experimental and (comparatively) proven approaches may help diversify the accelerator’s growing network. “Last year, amidst […]

Founder and investor Melissa Bradley outlines how to nail your virtual pitch meeting

Melissa Bradley wears many hats. She’s the co-founder of a startup called Ureeka, an investor at 1863 Ventures, and a professor at Georgetown’s business school. So it’s not an understatement to say that she understands the fundraising process from every angle. And moreover, she has both invested and fundraised for her own startup during this […]

How we dodged risks and raised millions for our open-source machine language startup

Jorge Torres Contributor Jorge Torres is CEO and co-founder of MindsDB, an open source AI layer for existing databases. Adam Carrigan Contributor Adam Carrigan is a co-founder and COO of MindsDB, an open source AI layer for existing databases. Open-source software gave birth to a slew of useful software in recent years. Many of the […]

Mortgage is suddenly sexy as SoftBank pumps $500M in Better.com at a $6B valuation

Digital mortgage lender Better.com has raised a $500 million round from Japanese investment conglomerate SoftBank that values the company at $6 billion. The financing is notable for a few reasons. For one, that new $6 billion valuation is up 50% from the $4 billion it was valued at last November when it raised $200 million […]

Last call for Detroit startups to apply for TechCrunch’s Detroit City Spotlight pitch-off

TechCrunch is hosting a small virtual event on April 15 for startups in Detroit and we’re still looking for a few startups to pitch at the event. The deadline is today, Friday, April 9th. Apply below. Want to attend the free event? Register here. TechCrunch just published a feature on Detroit-darling StockX, and this meetup […]

Vybe raises $2.9 million for its challenger bank for teens

French startup Vybe has raised a $2.9 million funding round (€2.4 million) to build a challenger bank for teens. The company is currently testing its product with a soft launch. Users get a Mastercard payment card paired with an e-wallet. Each Vybe account comes with its own IBAN so that users can send and receive […]

SoftBank Vision Fund 2 invests $160M in media localization provider Iyuno-SDI Group

Iyuno-SDI Group, a provider of translated subtitles and other media localization services, announced today it has raised $160 million in funding from SoftBank Vision Fund 2. The company said this makes the fund one of its largest shareholders. Iyuno-SDI Group was formed after Iyuno Media Group completed its acquisition of SDI Media last month. In […]