Author: Jordan Crook

ClassPass plans to add nine international cities by the end of 2018

TECHCRUNCH ClassPass, the studio fitness platform that gives users access to thousands of boutique fitness classes, has said it plans to expand internationally into nine new countries by the end of 2018. The company’s top priorities are consolidating its position in the UK and launching in three countries in Asia, according to chief executive Fritz Lanman. Lanman declined to disclose which countries the fitness subscription service was targeting. ClassPass’s further international expansion isn’t exactly a surprise. The company already serves parts of Canada, the UK and Australia alongside its 50 cities within the US. ClassPass also raised a whopping...

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Crowd Cow, offering ranch to table meats, picks up $8 million from Madrona, Ashton Kutcher

TECHCRUNCH Most high-end restaurants don’t get their beef from the local grocery store. Well-regarded chefs and restauranteurs build relationships with small farms and family ranchers to procure what’s known in the industry as craft beef. Just like coffee or chocolate or wine, the smallest differences (type of grass, breed of cow, lifestyle, etc.) can make a big difference in overall taste. But you and I have never had easy access to this beef outside of hitting up a Michelin-star restaurant. And then Crowd Cow came along. Crowd Cow, based in Seattle, works with small family farms to let users...

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InVision design tool Studio gets an app store, asset store

TECHCRUNCH InVision, the startup that wants to be the operating system for designers, today introduced its app store and asset store within InVision Studio. In short, InVision Studio users now have access to some of their most-used apps and services from right within the Studio design tool. Plus, those same users will be able to shop for icons, UX/UI components, typefaces and more from within Studio. While Studio is still in its early days, InVision has compiled a solid list of initial app store partners, including Google, Salesforce, Slack, Getty, Atlassian, and more. InVision first launched as a collaboration tool for designers, letting designers upload prototypes into the cloud so that other members of the organization could leave feedback before engineers set the design in stone. Since that launch in 2011, InVision has grown to 4 million users, capturing 80 percent of the Fortune 100, raising a total of $235 million in funding. While collaboration is the bread and butter of InVision’s business, and the only revenue stream for the company, CEO and founder Clark Valberg feels that it isn’t enough to be complementary to the current design tool ecosystem. Which is why InVision launched Studio in late 2017, hoping to take on Adobe and Sketch head-on with its own design tool. Studio differentiates itself by focusing on the designer’s real-life workflow, which often involves mocking up designs in...

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Ring’s Jamie Siminoff and Clinc’s Jason Mars to join us at Disrupt SF

TECHCRUNCH Disrupt SF is set to be the biggest tech conference that TechCrunch has ever hosted. So it only makes sense that we plan an agenda fit for the occasion. That’s why we’re absolutely thrilled to announce that Ring’s Jamie Siminoff will join us on stage for a fireside chat and Jason Mars from Clinc will be demo-ing first-of-its-kind technology on the Disrupt SF stage. Jamie Siminoff – Ring Earlier this year, Ring became Amazon’s second largest acquisition ever, selling to the behemoth for a reported $1 billion. But the story begins long ago, with Jamie Siminoff building a WiFi-connected video doorbell in his garage in 2011. Back then it was called DoorBot. Now, it’s called Ring, and it’s an essential piece of the overall evolution of e-commerce. As giants like Amazon move to make purchasing and receiving goods as simple as ever, safe and reliable entry into the home becomes critical to the mission. Ring, which has made neighborhood safety and home security its main priority since inception, is a capable partner in that mission. Of course, one doesn’t often build a successful company and sell for $1 billion on their first go. Prior to Ring, Siminoff founded PhoneTag, the world’s first voicemail-to-text company and Unsubscribe.com. Both of those companies were sold. Based on his founding portfolio alone, it’s clear that part of Siminoff’s success can be attributed...

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Instagram now lets you mute accounts

TECHCRUNCH Instagram today introduced a way to mute accounts, giving users a way to continue following accounts without seeing their posts all the time. Muted accounts will not be made aware that they’ve been muted, and users can unmute accounts at any time. Users can still see posts on the muted account’s profile page and get notified about comments or posts they’re tagged in. Users can mute accounts by tapping the “…” in the corner of the post and choosing between muting posts, stories, or posts and stories. First and foremost, this continues Instagram’s effort to block bullying and...

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Quit Genius, helping smokers quit, picks up an extra $1.1 million in seed

TECHCRUNCH Quit Genius, the YC-backed app that helps users quit smoking, has today announced the close of an additional $1.1 million, bringing their seed round to a cool $2 million. Village Global VC, Pioneer Fund, Arab Angel VC, Max Mullen of Instacart, Olivia Teich of Dropbox, Paul Rosania of Slack, Ariel Polar of Strava, Eric Reis, David Langley of Zesty, Juha Paananen of NonStop Games, and Junaid Bajwa of Merck & Co participated in the round, among others. Quit Genius was built by doctors — Yusuf Sherwani (cofounder and CEO), Maroof Ahmed (cofounder and COO), and Sarim Siddiqui (cofounder...

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Teen monitoring app TeenSafe exposes thousands of passwords

TECHCRUNCH UK-based security researcher Robert Wiggins has found two exposed TeenSafe servers, leaking the passwords and information of some users of the monitoring service. TeenSafe is meant to protect teenagers by letting their parents monitor their texts, phone calls, web history, location, and app downloads. The breach was first reported by ZDNet. According to the report, TeenSafe left two of their servers, which were hosted on AWS, exposed and viewable by anyone. Moreover, the database included information such as the parent’s email address, child’s Apple ID email address, device name, device unique identifier, and plaintext passwords for the teenager’s...

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Fortnite Battle Royale’s Solo Showdown lets players compete for up to 50,000 V-Bucks

TECHCRUNCH For the first time ever, Fortnite Battle Royale players have the chance to compete with one another for a huge amount of V-Bucks, the game’s virtual currency. Fortnite Battle Royale often adds new wacky game modes, like 50 vs 50 or the much-memed Thanos game type made in conjunction with Marvel for Avengers: Infinity War. Unlike those other game modes, however, Solo Showdown will not change the underlying game in any way — there is no extra shield, the storm doesn’t move any faster, and there are no extra weapon sizes or different team sizes. Instead, Solo Showdown is a way to compete with other Battle Royale players in solo mode to discover who is the true GOAT. Players must compete in 50 matches to join the leaderboard, and placement in each of those first 50 matches will determine overall ranking. Prize pools are as follows: First Place: 50,000 V-Bucks Second Place to Fourth Place: 25,000 V-Bucks Fifth Place to Fiftieth Place: 13,500 V-Bucks Remaining Players in Top 100: 7,500 V-Bucks Up until this point, V-Bucks could only be earned in increments of 100 after purchasing the Battle Pass, which lets players complete challenges and rank up to earn various cosmetic rewards and V-Bucks. Earning V-Bucks, rather than purchasing them with real money, has never netted much of a return. You can only earn enough V-Bucks to purchase...

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