Author: Jonathan Shieber

Companies tracking mutations in cancer cells can provide a key to unlocking better therapies

TECHCRUNCH Investors and entrepreneurs are beginning to bring new diagnostic tools to market that promise better results for cancer patients through the identification of mutations in cancer cells that can create more targeted therapies. Earlier this month, research using technology developed by the startup Mission Bio helped identify cellular mutations in acute myeloid leukemia cancer cells that could be indicators of potential relapse or recurrence of the cancer after therapy. In the study, which was presented at the American Society for Hematology’s recent conference, a team from the MD Anderson cancer research institute in Texas, including Dr. Koishi Takahashi, sequenced more...

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Construction management software developer Procore raises $75 million at a $3 billion valuation

TECHCRUNCH Procore Technologies, a provider of software to manage construction projects, is now worth $3 billion thanks to a new $75 million round of funding led by Tiger Global Management. The new funding shows just how completely software has eaten the world. Once considered an industry that was too analog to ever reap the benefits of technology’s management tools, software and services for the construction industry have seen some big exits and big money come in over the past three years. Unicorns abound among the companies that are trying to serve various aspects of the construction industry. Softbank kicked...

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With deadline looming for healthcare.gov enrollment, Stride offers direct enrollment for gig workers

TECHCRUNCH Stride Health, the consumer healthcare consulting and optimization service, has inked a new partnership with the U.S. government’s healthcare departments to provide “enhanced direct enrollment” to verify tax credit eligibility and process enrollments on its platform. The service is akin to e-filing taxes, according to Stride founder and chief executive, Noah Lang. “Except in this case you’re spending tax credits,” Lang wrote in an email. Using the service freelancers, gig economy workers and basically any other consumer who isn’t covered through an employer provided insurance program can use Stride to spend tax credits to enroll in a health...

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Feds like cryptocurrencies and blockchain tech and so should antitrust agencies

TECHCRUNCH Thibault Schrepel Contributor Thibault Schrepel is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Economic Law at Utrecht University and a reviewer at the Stanford Journal of Blockchain Law & Policy. While statements and position papers from most central banks were generally skeptical of cryptocurrencies, the times may be changing. Earlier this year, the Federal Reserve of Saint Louis published a study that relates the positive effects of cryptocurrencies for privacy protection. Even with the precipitous decline in value of Bitcoin, Ethereum and other currencies, the Federal Reserve author emphasized the new competitive offering these currencies created exactly because of...

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Changing consumer behavior is the key to unlocking billion dollar businesses

TECHCRUNCH In the summer of 2012, I had just learned of a new service where a driver would pick you up in their own car, not a taxi or licensed town car. You’d be able to recognize the car by the pink mustache strapped to the front. I quickly downloaded the new app called Lyft and, intrigued, started to share it with others around the Airbnb offices. Almost everyone gave me a same response: “I would never use it.” I asked why. “Well, I wouldn’t feel comfortable getting into someone else’s car.” I said, “Wait a minute, you are...

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National Geographic is working with YouTube and DayDream on its latest VR series

TECHCRUNCH National Geographic and YouTube are launching a new series of virtual reality experiences starting today with a virtual exploration of the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Dubbed one of the “last wild places on earth” the virtual reality trip through Okavango is the first of three immersive experiences that National Geographic has planned with YouTube. The four-part series follows a National Geographic Society expedition as it transects the largest wetland in Southern Africa. Known as one of the most biodiverse places on earth. “Embracing immersive content continues our tradition of going further, while connecting our audiences directly with our Explorers...

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AppOnboard raises $15 million to let Android users try before they buy apps on Google Play

TECHCRUNCH Pitching app developers with a new way to convert app browsers into actual customers, AppOnboard has raised $15 million in a new round of funding, the company said. Based in Los Angeles, AppOnboard sees itself as one of a new breed of LA startup that’s steeping itself in the local ecosystem and trying to be one of the cornerstone’s for a new technology hub in the southern California region. Company co-founder Jonathan Zweig has already had one hit as a Los Angeles-based entrepreneur. Zweig was one of the architects behind the success of AdColony, a startup which sold...

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Africa Roundup: Terragon’s Asia acquisition, Twiga Foods’ $10M raise, SimbaPay’s China payment service

TECHCRUNCH Jake Bright Contributor More posts by this contributor SimbaPay launches Kenya to China payment service over WeChat Africa’s agtech wave gets $10 million richer as Twiga Foods raises more capital Nigerian consumer data analytics firm Terragon Group  acquired Asian mobile marketing company Bizense in a cash and stock deal. The price of the acquisition was not disclosed. Based in Singapore, with operations in India and Indonesia, Bizense specializes in “mobile ad platform[s] for Telco’s, large publishers, and [e-commerce] ad networks.” Headquartered in Lagos, Terragon’s software services give its clients — primarily telecommunications and financial services companies — data on Africa’s growing consumer markets. “Most of the problems we seek to solve for our clients in Africa also exist in places like South East Asia and Latin America,” Umeh told TechCrunch of the logic for the acquisition. Umeh indicated the company is contemplating further expansion in Asia and the Latin America, where Terragon already has consumer data research and development teams. Tarragon has a team of 100 employees across Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana  and South Africa. Clients include local firms, such as Honeywell, and global names including Unilever,  DHL  and international agribusiness firm Olam. Terragon’s acquisition in Singapore, and moves by several other Nigerian ventures this year, signal greater global possibilities for Sub-Saharan African startups. African financial technology companies like Mines and Paga announced their intent to expand in and outside Africa. They would join e-commerce site MallforAfrica, which went global in July in a partnership with...

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