Author: Arman Tabatabai

On-demand workspace platform Breather taps new CEO

TECHCRUNCH Breather’s new CEO Bryan Murphy / Breather Press Kit Breather, the platform that provides on-demand private workspace, announced today that it has appointed Bryan Murphy as its new CEO. Before joining Breather, Murphy was the founder and President of direct-to-consumer mattress startup, Tomorrow Sleep. Prior to Tomorrow Sleep, Murphy held posts as an advisor to investment firms and as an executive at eBay after the company acquired his previous company, WHI Solutions – an e-commerce platform for aftermarket auto parts – where Murphy was the co-founder and CEO. Breather believes Murphy’s extensive background scaling e-commerce and SaaS platforms, as well as his experience working with incumbents across a number of traditional industries, can help it execute through its next stage of global growth. Murphy is filling the vacancy left by co-founder and former CEO Julien Smith, who stepped down as chief executive this past September, just three months after the company completed its $45 million Series C round, which was led by Menlo Ventures and saw participation from RRE Ventures, Temasek Holdings, Ascendas-Singbridge, and Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec. In a past statement on his transition, Smith said: “As I reflect on my strengths and consider what it will take for the company to reach its full potential, I realize bringing on an executive with experience scaling a company through the next level of growth is the...

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The U.S. continues to hammer Chinese tech

TECHCRUNCH It’s another week, and another bevy of hits on Chinese tech by the U.S. government. Let’s get up to speed, plus a request for startup lawyer recommendations. TechCrunch is experimenting with new content forms. This is a rough draft of something new — provide your feedback directly to the author (Danny at danny@techcrunch.com) if you like or hate something here. Venture capital’s leading advocate NVCA pushes for narrower restrictions on foreign investment Let’s start with the most exciting subject in the world: the federal rulemaking process. Last year, Congress approved sweeping reforms of CFIUS, the Committee on Foreign...

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HQ2 fight continues as New York City and Seattle officials hold anti-Amazon summit

TECHCRUNCH The heated debate around Amazon’s recently announced Long Island City “HQ2” is showing no signs of cooling down. On Monday morning, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) hosted a briefing in which labor officials, economic development analysts, Amazon employees and elected New York State and City representatives further underlined concerns around the HQ2 process, the awarded incentives, and the potential impacts Amazon’s presence would have on city workers and residents. While many of the arguments posed at the Summit weren’t necessarily new, the wide variety of stakeholders that showed up to express concern looked to contextualize...

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With today’s IPO sinking, a year of highs and lows for SoftBank

TECHCRUNCH If there was a word that dominated startup and tech news coverage this year, it was SoftBank. The Japanese telecom conglomerate’s Vision Fund pushed out a prodigious amount of capital this year — quite literally billions of dollars — into companies as diverse as a molecular manufacturer (Zymergen) and a robotic pizza delivery business (Zume Pizza). It was a year of highs as its Flipkart transaction produced billions in returns, as well as a year of incredible lows, what with the crisis over Saudi Arabia’s murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Saudi Arabia is the largest investor in the Vision Fund....

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K Health raises $25m for its AI-powered primary care platform

TECHCRUNCH K Health, the startup providing consumers with an AI-powered primary care platform, has raised $25 million in series B funding. The round was led by 14W, Comcast Ventures and Mangrove Capital Partners, with participation from Lerer Hippeau, Primary Ventures, BoxGroup, Bessemer Venture Partners and Max Ventures – all previous investors from the company’s seed or Series A rounds. Co-founded and led by former Vroom CEO and Wix co-CEO, Allon Bloch, K Health (previously Kang Health) looks to equip consumers with a free and easy-to-use application that can provide accurate, personalized, data-driven information about their symptoms and health. “When your child says...

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The limits of coworking

TECHCRUNCH It feels like there’s a WeWork on every street nowadays. Take a walk through midtown Manhattan (please don’t actually) and it might even seem like there are more WeWorks than office buildings. Consider this an ongoing discussion about Urban Tech, its intersection with regulation, issues of public service, and other complexities that people have full PHDs on. I’m just a bitter, born-and-bred New Yorker trying to figure out why I’ve been stuck in between subway stops for the last 15 minutes, so please reach out with your take on any of these thoughts: @Arman.Tabatabai@techcrunch.com. Co-working has permeated cities around...

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Why you need a supercomputer to build a house

TECHCRUNCH When the hell did building a house become so complicated? Don’t let the folks on HGTV fool you. The process of building a home nowadays is incredibly painful. Just applying for the necessary permits can be a soul-crushing undertaking that’ll have you running around the city, filling out useless forms, and waiting in motionless lines under fluorescent lights at City Hall wondering whether you should have just moved back in with your parents. Consider this an ongoing discussion about Urban Tech, its intersection with regulation, issues of public service, and other complexities that people have full PHDs on....

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Foxconn or Foxgone? Tariffs, Wisconsin, and iPhone fires

TECHCRUNCH First some notes on SoftBank’s rumored expansion into China and its weird fund math, then Foxconn, and then quick notes on tech depression, Huawei, and more. TechCrunch is experimenting with new content forms. This is a rough draft of something new – provide your feedback directly to the author (Danny at danny@techcrunch.com) if you like or hate something here. SoftBank has fund visions (and a Vision Fund) for China? That, and more money Kane Wu at Reuters reported over night that SoftBank is looking to open an office and hire an investment team in China, which Wu says...

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