Author: Ingrid Lunden

Zwift, which turns indoor cycling workouts into multiplayer games, raises $120M

TECHCRUNCH Fitness and gaming have been two of the most popular categories of apps for years, and now a startup founded out of London that has combined the two in a unique way has picked up a big round of funding to capitalise on that. Zwift, an interactive platform for people to turn indoor cycling workouts into massive, multi-participant races, social rides, and immersive explorations of new domains, has raised $120 million — money that its co-founder and CEO, Eric Min, said will be used to expand to more training categories (it’s first steps outside of cycling have been...

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As NAACP kicks off boycott, Facebook says content moderation, infrastructure changes are coming in 2019

TECHCRUNCH Facebook’s ongoing efforts to repair its image as a greedy, neglectful accessory to the spread of misinformation and other nefarious practices has taken a turn to civil rights and specifically how it serves non-white users, which proportionately account for the social network’s most active members. Today — the first day of #LogOutFacebook, a week-long boycott of the service led by the NAACP — Facebook published an update to its ongoing civil rights audit, where it laid out some goals for the year ahead. In 2019, it said it plans to address censorship and discrimination in its content moderation; and it’s...

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The Mom Project, a job site for moms returning to work, nabs $8M from Initialized and more

TECHCRUNCH If you are a mother who has taken a break from full-time employment to raise kids, you may have also experienced the challenge that is jumping back into the working world after your break. You may find you need more time flexibility; you have been out of the job market for years and so your confidence is knocked; your skills are no longer as relevant as they were before; or you just want to rethink your career; plus many employers — whether they say it or not — seem less interested in you because of all of the...

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Disney’s invested in educational gaming app Kahoot, now at a $376M valuation

TECHCRUNCH When Kahoot, the startup that operates a popular platform for user-generated educational gaming, raised $15 million in October of this year, we mentioned that Disney had a stake in the company by way of the Disney Accelerator, and it had an option to become a larger shareholder if it exercised its warrants. Now with some 60 million games on its platform, today Kahoot announced that this has come to pass: Disney is taking that option, working out to a four percent stake in the startup at a $376 million valuation, based on the current share price of 28 Norwegian kroner (shares of Kahoot are traded on the Norway OTC as an unlisted stock). It makes Disney’s stake in the app worth about $15 million, although the actual value of the warrants Disney is exercising is smaller than this. Kahoot declined to comment for this story beyond the investment announcement posted on the exchange, but for some context, this is a nice bump up in Kahoot’s valuation from October, when it was at $300 million. Other sizeable and notable investors in the company include Microsoft and Nordic investor Northzone (which has backed Spotify and other significant startups out of the region). On the part of Disney, it’s not clear yet whether its Kahoot stake will lead to more Disney content on the platform, or if this is more of an...

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Disney invests $15M in educational gaming app Kahoot at a $360M valuation

TECHCRUNCH When Kahoot, the startup that operates a popular platform for user-generated educational gaming, raised $15 million in October of this year, we mentioned that Disney might take a larger stake in the company, beyond the small investment it took after Kahoot passed through the Disney Accelerator. Now with some 60 million games on its platform, today Kahoot announced that this has come to pass: Disney has backed Kahoot to the tune of $15 million — working out to a four percent stake in the startup at a $360 million valuation, based on the current share price of 28 Norwegian...

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Chorus.ai rings up $33M for its platform that analyses sales calls to close more deals

TECHCRUNCH Chorus.ai, a service that listens to sales calls in real time, and then transcribes and analyses them to give helpful tips to the salesperson, has raised $33 million to double down on the current demand for more AI-based tools in the enterprise. The Series B is being led by Georgian Partners, with participation also from Redpoint Ventures and Emergence Capital, previous investors that backed Israeli-founded, SF-based Chorus.ai in its $16 million Series A two years ago. In the gap between then and now, the startup has seen strong growth, listening in to some 5 million calls, and performing hundreds of...

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Wandelbots raises $6.8M to make programming a robot as easy as putting on a jacket

TECHCRUNCH Industrial robotics is on track to be worth around $20 billion by 2020, but while it may something in common with other categories of cutting-edge tech — innovative use of artificial intelligence, pushing the boundaries of autonomous machines that are disrupting pre-existing technology — there is one key area where it differs: each robotics firm uses its own proprietary software and operating systems to run its machines, making programming the robots complicated, time-consuming and expensive. A startup out of Germany called Wandelbots (a portmanteau of “change” and “robots” in German) has come up with an innovative way to...

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Software marketplace G2 Crowd acquires Siftery to fold software usage into its dataset

TECHCRUNCH After raising $55 million in October at a $500 million valuation, business software marketplace G2 Crowd is making its first-ever acquisition to bring more features to its platform. It is acquiring Siftery, a startup that has built its own database of business software not on user reviews, but by providing a service to businesses where it identifies what is actually getting used and when across their networks. Terms of the deal are not being disclosed, G2 Crowd’s CEO and founder Godard Abel said in an interview. Siftery had been around for a couple of years and had raised a...

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