Author: Fitz Tepper

Whitney Wolfe Herd doesn’t care what she’s supposed to do

It’s 4:55pm Central Time on a Tuesday at Bumble headquarters in Austin, Texas. Whitney Wolfe Herd, the 28-year-old founder and CEO of the woman-led dating app is showing me around the nearly four-year-old startup’s office before we sit down to talk. Our first stop is the standard startup watering hole, with a few twists. The fridges are stocked with Topo Chico instead of La Croix and the built-in taps are purely for decoration. Maybe one day they’ll be filled with Kombucha or iced coffee, a team member tells me. But no mention of beer. We’re not in Silicon Valley anymore....

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Bumble is suing Match Group for $400M for fraudulently obtaining trade secrets

Two weeks ago Match Group (Tinder’s parent company) sued Bumble for patent infringement and misuse of intellectual property. Bumble has now returned the favor by filing a separate lawsuit accusing Match of multiple improprieties in regards to interactions between the two companies over the past few months. To be clear, this lawsuit isn’t a response or countersuit to Match’s initial lawsuit, and instead is a separate action raising new allegations against Tinder’s parent company. Bumble had previously published a letter in response to Match’s initial lawsuit, but will presumably also file a a file a separate response to that initial lawsuit,...

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Morning Brew is a daily business briefing built for millennials

What’s the best way to stay up to date on things happening within your industry? Seasoned finance professionals read the Wall Street Journal. Anyone who wants to work in politics reads The Washington Post. In Silicon Valley we have industry-specific news sites like TechCrunch supplemented by Hacker News and others. But what about young business professionals who either don’t plan on staying in one industry their whole life or just want to stay up to date on the broader business/tech/startups/politics world? Morning Brew is a daily newsletter designed for young business professionals. Each morning email has a stock market...

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Lawyaw uses AI to help lawyers draft documents faster

It’s no secret that much of the legal industry is build on reusable content. Most law firms have their own customized set of standard documents (like NDAs or Wills), but lawyers or associates still have to customize these documents by hand each time a client needs them drafted. Lawyaw, part of YC’s Winter ’18 class, is building software to automate this process by letting lawyers turn previously completed documents into smart templates. Here’s how it works: Lawyers can drag an already customized world document into Lawyaw’s platform and it will automatically use natural language processing to first figure out what sections...

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Ben is a chatbot that lets you learn about and buy Bitcoin

It’s generally a given that whenever a new technology takes off people rush into the space to build everything under the sun, and eventually natural selection kicks in and only the truly useful remain. For example, chatbots became trendy last year and we quickly began seeing chatbots for weather, movie recommendations, personal finance, etc. Some of these are useful, but until natural language processing improves you’re probably better just doing the task yourself. But there are a few exceptions, with one in particular being chatbots designed for the purpose of making a very complex topic or task approachable to the...

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CryptoKitties raises $12M from Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures

CryptoKitties, the virtual collectible kitten game that turned into a viral sensation has raised $12M in funding and will be spun out from Axiom Zen, the Vancouver and San Francisco-based design studio that originally built the game. The round is being led by Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures, both of which have quickly developed a reputation for backing fast-growing cryptocurrency startups like Coinbase. A bunch of notable angels also participated, including Naval Ravikant (CEO and founder of AngelList), Mark Pincus (founder of Zynga) and Fred Ehrsam (founder of Coinbase) among others. So what are CryptoKitties? They’re essentially digital collectibles built on top of the Ethereum blockchain. Each one is unique and has certain attributes that make them rare and desirable, almost like a digital beanie baby. And users are spending tons of real money on them, with some of the rarest kitties fetching over $100,000 when the game first launched. While the startup is being pretty mum on what the future looks like and what they’re planning on using this funding for, it’s almost certain that the long term goal is to expand beyond CryptoKitties and use the same Ethereum ERC-721 collectible standard to create other game experiences, especially ones that can be played by regular people who are unfamiliar with cryptocurrency. To this note, Fred Wilson of USV quickly outlined the firm’s thesis behind investing in CryptoKitties, saying “we think digital collectibles is one...

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Bumble responds to Match’s patent lawsuit

Yesterday we reported that Match, the parent company of Tinder, was suing Bumble for patent infringement and misuse of intellectual property. Specifically, Match alleged that Bumble “copied Tinder’s world-changing, card-swipe-based, mutual opt-in premise” for which a patent was filed in 2013 (before Bumble was founded) but just granted a few months ago. Today Bumble has responded to Match’s lawsuit with a letter published on their own blog and other news outlets. The full letter is linked here and we’ll also include it in full at the bottom of this post. Interestingly, Bumble’s letter focuses less on the actual litigation and instead...

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Drake and Ninja are playing Fortnight live on Twitch

What do Drake, Ninja the professional esports player, Kim Dotcom, Travis Scott and NFL player JuJu Smith-Schuster have in common? They’re all playing Fortnight together right now and live-streaming it on Twitch. Yes, seriously. You can tune in to Ninja’s channel here to check out the action. Right now the amount of live viewers is hovering around 600,000 which smashes Twitch’s previous record of 388,000 live concurrent viewers. Drake and Ninja started playing together a few hours ago on Ninja’s channel, and were soon joined by the other members as word spread of the livestream. Ninja is playing on...

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