Author: Ingrid Lunden

Google and Coursera launch program to train more IT support specialists

TECHCRUNCH After a big fundraise and subsequent reorganization last year at Coursera — which saw a change of CEO, as well as the departure of its COO, CFO, CMO and CPO (along with some 40 others) — the online education startup is today launching a new IT course with Google to underscore its message that the ship is still sailing as it passes 30 million users and 2,500 courses. Today, the pair announced a new program to train IT support professionals — a course written by Googlers for the Coursera platform to teach and then test across six fundamental areas of customer...

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India’s Razorpay nabs $20M led by YC, Tiger Global for its Stripe-like payment gateway

TECHCRUNCH E-commerce remains among the biggest tech opportunities in India, one of the world’s most populated countries whose economy continues to rapidly evolve and now has over 500 million people connecting to the Internet. And today, a startup that is playing in this space — aiming to make it easier to take and make payments online — has announced a significant round of funding. Razorpay, which has built a payments gateway for businesses to quickly integrate payments services into their websites and apps by way of an API, has raised another $20 million at what reliable sources have told us is a valuation of over $100 million, to fuel its next stage of growth. The funding, a Series B round, is jointly led by Tiger Global and Y Combinator via its Continuity Fund, following on from previous investments both have made in Razorpay. (Razorpay went through the YC program, and launched its business there, at the start of 2015.) Matrix Partners, another repeat backer, also participated, bringing the total raised by the startup to $31.5 million. (Other notable previous investors point to how Razorpay has positioned itself in the market, and the credibility it’s building: MasterCard has also invested an undisclosed amount in the startup, as have the founders of large Indian tech companies Snapdeal, InMobi and Freecharge; Visa’s Global Head of Strategy; Flipkart ex-CPO Punit Soni; Justin Kan; and...

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Comcast launched free voice-controlled connected home services for Xfinity users

TECHCRUNCH The connected home has been a big theme at CES, and today Comcast is turning on a new service that underscores its intention to be central player in it. The broadband giant is turning on free, voice-controlled IoT services for connected home products to its Xfinity customers in the US — currently numbering 15 million — which will let users link up hardware from various brands it its platform and will enable them to control them through its X1 voice remote or xFi (the app Comcast launched in May last year to control your home WiFi) or Xfinity Home apps....

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Igloo, a Jive-style enterprise collaboration platform, raises $47M

TECHCRUNCH The market for social media and collaboration services for enterprises — made popular by the recent, rapid growth and emergence of platforms like Slack, Facebook’s Workplace and Microsoft Teams — continues its hot streak. Today, Igloo Software, a Canada-based startup that has built a Jive-like platform that integrates other software for employees to communicate with each other, access common documents and more, announced that it has raised $47 million, on the back of significant growth of its business, and a few acquisition offers to boot. The company is active in 80 countries, has around 1,000 paying customers and some...

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IBM led on patents in 2017, Facebook broke into top 50 for the first time

TECHCRUNCH Patents may sometimes get a bad rap for how they are abused (and misused) by some companies for commercial gain, but they also remain a marker of how a tech company is progressing with its R&D and pushing ahead on innovation. For one measure of that advance, today, IFI Claims, the patent analytics firm, published its 2017 list of companies with the most U.S. patents assigned for the year. At the top of the list, IBM has once again come in at number-one, a position it’s held for the past 25 years. It was assigned 9,043 U.S. patents...

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Razer moves into wireless power with the launch of HyperFlux, a mouse and pad

TECHCRUNCH The wireless charging movement is getting one more boost today, this time from the world of gaming. Razer, the tech giant that has built a brand (and loyal following) as a gaming-first hardware company, is announcing HyperFlux, a new wireless power technology that will be making its first appearance a new mouse, the Razer Mamba HyperFlux, and a corresponding power mat. Priced at $249.99 (€279.99) the mouse and matt will be launched in Q1 of this year. The decision to opt for a mouse is interesting for a couple of reasons. The first is that the mouse is...

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August Access, in-home delivery first tested with Walmart, opens to all retailers

TECHCRUNCH August Home, the smart lock startup that was acquired by lock giant Assa Abloy in October last year, is stepping up its delivery game. At CES today, the company announced a service it’s calling August Access, where retailers can work with August and its partner Deliv to open your front door and bring packages directly into your home when you are not there, if you use a smart lock from August, Emtek or Yale (two other Assa Abloy brands). The service — launching first in the US — is getting a new branding today, and a new platform...

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Intel shows off its new Loihi AI chip and a new 49-qubit quantum chip

TECHCRUNCH As Intel continues to weather some of the worst news in its history over security issues related to its chips, the company today also announced some developments related to what it hopes will be the next generation of super-fast processors. The company announced that Loihi, its first “neuromorphic” chip — designed to mimic the way that a human brain learns and understands — is now “fully functioning” and will be shared with research partners this year. And the company’s 49-qubit Tangle Lake chip — designed for quantum computing processes — is also being shipped with a research partner,...

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