Author: Matthew Lynley

Netflix magic market number larger than big cable company’s magic market number

TECHCRUNCH Netflix’s market cap is now larger than Comcast, which is pretty much just a symbolic thing given that the companies are valued very differently but is like one of those moments where Apple was larger than Exxon and may be some kind of watershed moment for technology. Or not. A couple notes on this largely symbolic and not really important thing: Netflix users are going up. That’s a number that people look at. It’s why Netflix’s magic market number is going up. People are cutting cable TV cords. Netflix has no cable TV cords. It does, however, require...

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Dog-sitting startup Rover just raised $155M

TECHCRUNCH Rover, a dog-walking and dog-boarding service that merged with DogVacay around this time last year, is now the second of such startups this year to raise a massive new round of funding with its announcement of a $155 million financing round. While competitor Wag has become a juggernaut, there seems room for both room for a second player and the potential to outmaneuver Wag even with its massive influx of capital. Both DogVacay and Rover had a very similar model and eventually merged in an all-stock deal, creating a more substantial competitor for Wag. The round consisted of...

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Slack introduces Actions to make it easier to create and finish tasks without leaving

TECHCRUNCH As Slack tries to graduate beyond a Silicon Valley darling to the go-to communications platform within a company, it’s had to find ways to increasingly pitch itself as an intelligent Swiss Army knife for companies — and not just a simple chat app — and it is trying to continue that today once again with a new feature called Actions. Companies can now bake in a user experience of their own directly into the Slack application that isn’t yet another chatbot that’s tied into their services. Developers can essentially create a customized prompt for any kind of action, like submitting a support ticket, within the Slack core chat experience through a drop-down window called an Action. While Slackbots may have been an early incarnation of this, Slack’s platform has grown to include more than 200,000 developers, and there’s still constant need for robust tools internally. This offers partners and developers a little more flexibility when it comes to figuring out what experience makes the most sense for people that sit in Slack all day, but have to keep porting information to and from their own tools. “There’s such a demand for specialized software, and for great tools that are easy to use and interoperable with all applications you use,” Slack chief product officer April Underwood said. “We think this is good, and we think more tools means customers have...

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Parabola raises $2.2 million to simplify programming for employees stuck in Excel all day

TECHCRUNCH While knowledge workers are handling increasingly difficult tasks — ones that may be much easier to handle with just a Python script — Alex Yaseen thinks that in the future not everyone will actually need to learn how to code. Instead, he hopes that tools like the one he’s building, called Parabola, will bridge that gap between the complex technical problems and otherwise nontechnical employees. Instead of running through massive excel spreadsheets, Parabola is designed to make it easier for employees that might not be highly technical to piece together the kinds of processes that will help automate mundane...

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Okera raises $12M to simplify data governance within companies

TECHCRUNCH As companies start to gather more and more data on their users and customers, including a firehose of information from a nigh-endless flow of tests, managing and maintaining that data isn’t the only place companies are hitting a wall — and figuring out who can actually access it is becoming just as big of a problem. That was the experience Amandeep Khurana had throughout his career and as he kept talking to more and more larger companies. So he and his co-founder decided to start Okera, which is looking to make it easier for stewards of various sets of data to ensure the right people have the right access. With data coming in from a myriad of sources — and hopefully ending up in the same database — it can be increasingly complex to track who has access to what, and the hope is that Okera can reduce that problem to flipping a few switches. Okera is coming out of stealth mode and said it has raised a new $12 million financing round led by Bessemer Venture Partners, with existing investors Felicis Ventures and Capital One Growth Ventures participating. Bessemer’s Ethan Kurzweil and Felicis’ Wesley Chan are joining the company’s board of directors, and Okera has raised $14.6 million to date. “I was very underwhelmed by what other vendors were offering, there was pretty much nothing happening,” co-founder Khurana said....

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Fiix raises $12M to smooth out the asset maintenance process

TECHCRUNCH As sensors become cheaper and easier to install, the whole process of maintaining equipment and assets is starting to shift from just scrambling to fix problems to getting a hold of issues before they get out of control. That’s opened the door for startups like Fiix, which are creating workflow software that helps companies manage equipment and assets. That software enables companies to keep a close eye on equipment and resolve issues quickly before they become more complex to the point of costing companies hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix. Every percentage point of efficiency, for some operations, can translate to revenue significant enough to the point that this kind of software is an easy sell. Fiix said today it has raised $12 million in a new financing round led by BuildGroup. “It was one of the last bastions of enterprise software that’s yet to go through the same disruption that every other major software co,” CEO Marc Castel said. “If you look at human resource software, CRM software, accounting software, they’ve all gone through the same transition. This market was one of the last ones to go through that transition.” Fiix takes the process of managing work orders, assets and inventories and throws it all into a set of software that’s designed to be easier to use when compared to existing complex asset management software. That...

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A brief history of the epic battle over the fate of Qualcomm

TECHCRUNCH The massive fight over the fate of Qualcomm, which chipmaker Broadcom seeks to acquire in the largest deal in technology effort, took another dramatic turn this afternoon when the Trump administration said it would block the deal. The move is another chapter in a long story, a culmination of a lot of consolidation activity in the semiconductor space and months over jockeying over whether or not Broadcom would be able to complete a hostile bid for the U.S. chipmaker. Following an investigation by the CFIUS, BroadQual is officially on hold. Let’s review the past few years and see...

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zGlue launches a configurable system-on-a-chip to help developers implement customized chipsets

TECHCRUNCH The complexity and cost of packing an array of sensors and power inside a small amount of space has opened the door to a wider and wider variety of use cases for internet-connected devices beyond just smart thermostats or cameras — and also exposed a hole for getting those ideas into an actual piece of hardware. So there are some startups that are looking to address this hole by providing developers a path to creating the customized chipsets they need to power those devices. zGlue is one of those, led by former Samsung engineering director Ming Zhang and...

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