Author: Jonathan Shieber

6d.ai opens up its beta

TECHCRUNCH After wrestling with the development of a technology that would create a three dimensional map of the physical world for over a decade, the team at 6D.ai is finally ready to open up its toolkit to developers that the company says has done exactly that. When company chief executive Matt Miesnieks announced the launch of 6D in March, he laid out a vision for its growth that had three goals. The company would build APIs to capture the three-dimensional geometry of the world; it would apply that three dimensional data to build semantic APIs so applications can understand...

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Building a great startup requires more than genius and a great invention

TECHCRUNCH Shahin Farshchi Contributor More posts by this contributor Investing in frontier technology is (and isn’t) cleantech all over again The dos and don’ts of crafting frontier-tech companies Many entrepreneurs assume that an invention carries intrinsic value, but that assumption is a fallacy. Here, the examples of the 19th and 20th century inventors Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla are instructive. Even as aspiring entrepreneurs and inventors lionize Edison for his myriad inventions and business acumen, they conveniently fail to recognize Tesla, despite having far greater contributions to how we generate, move, and harness power. Edison is the exception, with the legendary penniless Tesla as the norm. Universities are the epicenter of pure innovation research. But the reality is that academic research is supported by tax dollars. The zero-sum game of attracting government funding is mastered by selling two concepts: Technical merit, and and broader impact toward benefiting society as a whole. These concepts are usually at odds with building a company, which succeeds only by generating and maintaining competitive advantage through barriers to entry. In rare cases, the transition from intellectual merit to barrier to entry is successful. In most cases, the technology, though cool, doesn’t give the a fledgling company the competitive advantage it needs to exist among incumbents, and inevitable copycats. Academics, having emphasized technical merit and broader impact to attract support for their research, often fail...

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Investors see an opportunity framed in Lensabl’s prescription lens fulfillment business

TECHCRUNCH Lensabl, the company that has built a business putting prescription lenses into any style of glasses frame, has raised $3.7 million in a new round of funding.  Based in Los Angeles, Lensabl already has an agreement inked with the city’s latest tech wunderkind, partnering with the spectacles producing augmented reality luminaries at Snap. “We are the preferred prescription provider of Snapchat Spectacles,” says Lensabl chief executive Andrew Bilinsky. “[And] we are already talking to and partnering with a variety of brands to start and scale their prescription operations [and] really scale our direct to consumer lens business.” Powering that...

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Docker has raised $92 million in new funding

TECHCRUNCH Docker, the company that did more to create today’s modern containerized computing environment than any other independent company, has raised $92 million of a targeted $192 million funding round, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The new funding is a signal that while Docker may have lost its race with Google’s Kubernetes over whose toolkit would be the most widely adopted, the San Francisco-based company has become the champion for businesses that want to move to the modern hybrid application development and information technology operations model of programming. To understand the importance of containers...

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Distributed kitchen service Pilotworks is shutting down

TECHCRUNCH Pilotworks, the distributed kitchen service which raised $13 million in venture funding from investors including Campbell’s Soup Co.’s investment arm, is shutting down. The company issued a brief statement on its website yesterday with the news It is with a heavy heart that after failing to raise the necessary capital to continue operations, Pilotworks will cease operations on October 13th, 2018. We realize the shock of this news and the disruption it causes for the independent food community we were so honored to serve. This is a sad outcome for Pilotworks, the makers in our kitchens, and independent...

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Shopify opens its first brick-and-mortar space in Los Angeles

TECHCRUNCH Shopify, the provider of payment and logistics management software and services for retailers, has opened its first physical storefront in Los Angeles. The first brick and mortar location for the Toronto-based company, is nestled in a warren of downtown Los Angeles boutique shops in a complex known as the Row DTLA. For Shopify, Los Angeles is the ideal place to debut a physical storefront showing off the company’s new line of hardware products and the array of services it provides to businesses ranging from newly opened startups to $900 million juggernauts like the Kylie Cosmetics brand. The city...

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The Internet Bill of Rights is just one piece of our moral obligations

TECHCRUNCH David Gorodyansky Contributor More posts by this contributor Warrantless surveillance law proves it’s time to take privacy into our own hands This is the future if net neutrality is repealed; the creeping, costly death of media freedom Congressman Ro Khanna’s proposed Internet Bill of Rights pushes individual rights on the Internet forward in a positive manner. It provides guidelines for critical elements where the United States’ and the world’s current legislation is lacking, and it packages it in a way that speaks to all parties. The devil, as always, is in the details—and Congressman Khanna’s Internet Bill of...

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Chargify launches a new payment management tool for subscription services

TECHCRUNCH Chargify, the payment management service owned by Scaleworks, has launched a new tool for billing management.  The new product is designed to remove limitations and allow payers to assign or reassign payment responsibility for subscriptions or groups of subscriptions, according to the company. Called WhoPays, the new service is pitched to businesses as a way to consolidate and manage their payments with different subscribers in an organization. According to the company, the launch of the product required the re-engineering of its underlying invoice architecture — centering it around the hierarchies of employees that can be involved in making...

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