Author: Mike Butcher

Meet TechCrunch’s Mike Butcher at #WebSummit at 4PM today

TECHCRUNCH One Minute TechCrunch! Since it’s impossible, as a journalist, to crawl around all the stands at Web Summit in Lisbon, I thought it would be easier to stand in one place and meet people there! Thus, you will get the chance to meet me (Mike Butcher) and pitch me your company for 1 MINUTE at Web Summit TODAY, at 4PM. I will run the pitches and you can pitch the assembled crowd! Meet at the BMW sports car pictured here: PLEASE ENTER YOUR DETAILS HERE TO REGISTER I would kindly ask that you literally pitch for 1 MINUTE...

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The Blockchain wallet plans a £125M air-drop of Stellar crypto to drive mainstream adoption

TECHCRUNCH Blockchain, one of the world’s biggest crypto wallets, plans to give away a vast amout of cryptocurrency in a bold move to scale the adoption of crypto to a more mainstream audience.Blockchain and the Stellar Development Foundation (stellar.org) will distribute $125m worth of Stellar lumens [XLM] to Blockchain’s users. Blockchain is claiming this is the largest airdrop in the history of crypto, and potentially the largest consumer giveaway ever, and to most outside observers, it looks that way.Critics of the move will, however, may lay the charge that’s it’s a cynical move akin to cheap marketing techniques. Whatever...

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Engineer.ai raises $29.5M Series A for its AI+Humans software building platform

TECHCRUNCH SF-based Engineer.ai launched in an invite-only manner two and a half years ago, bootstrapped by its founders. Its platform combines AI with crowdsourced teams of designers and developers to build bespoke digital products at – they say – twice the speed and less than a third of the cost of traditional software development. Today it’s announced at Web Summit that its raised one of Europe’s largest Series A investments at $29.5 million, led by Lakestar and Jungle Ventures with participation from Softbank’s DeepCore. The round is among Europe’s largest A-rounds to date. Engineer.ai’s “Builder” product breaks projects into...

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Aiden.ai raises a $1.6M seed round for its AI marketing analyst

TECHCRUNCH Aiden.ai, a London based AI analytics startup, has raised a $1.6M seed round to develop its “AI-powered marketing analyst” which, they claim, is like having an extra person on the marketing team for mobile apps. The round has been led by Partech. Other investors include Sophia Bendz, who previously led marketing at Spotify and Nicolas Pinto, founder of Perceptio, acquired by Apple. This last round brings Aiden.ai’s total funding to $2.3m, after an initial pre-seed round of $750,000 in March 2017. Aiden.ai is also coming out the gate with its full product. Designed for mobile app marketers, Aiden...

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Venture capital and the blockchain will be the talk at Startup Battlefield Africa

TECHCRUNCH TechCrunch Startup Battlefield returns to Africa next month, and we have an agenda chock-full of interesting panels and our premier startup competition. Joining us in Lagos, Nigeria on December 11 for a couple of those aforementioned panels will be Chris Folayan, the founder and CEO of Mall for Africa; Nichole Yembra, chief financial, risk and investment officer for Venture Garden Group (VGG) and a managing partner at GreenHouse Capital; and Olaoluwa Samuel-Biyi, partner at Hacked Capital. Chris Folayan, who is originally from Nigeria, graduated from California State University, San Jose, and founded and sold several companies globally. He...

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Appyling AI to insurance documents, omni:us raises its first Series A funding

TECHCRUNCH Earlier this year omni:us, an AI-driven service which is able to process digital documents (some of which contain handwriting) by classifying them and extracting the valuable data, revealed it was working with over half of the top 10 insurance providers in the German-speaking DACH region. It’s now closured a Series A round of funding bringing its total funding to date to €19.7M ($22.5 million). By our estimates, it had previously raised around €10M from individual angels and VCs. This latest investment was led by Berlin-headquartered VC firm Target Global, followed by MMC Ventures and Talis Capital. Existing investors,...

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LoopMe closes $17M growth investment led by BGF to expand further into the US

TECHCRUNCH In 2013 LoopMe was a start-up which started out trying to solve the problem of intrusive ads on a mobile screen by consolidating them into an “ad inbox”. In 2014 they dumped that idea to become a mobile video ad business, using AI to retarget ad campaigns instead of ad teams. The pivot worked and in 2015 they raised $7M to expand. They’ve now expanded again to become a business offering AI-driven brand advertising solutions using mobile data to optimize ad campaigns to things like purchase intent, store visits or sales. Today they’ve closed a new $17M investment...

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Here are 25 of the most innovative new projects using tech to help refugees and NGOs

TECHCRUNCH From humble beginnings as a simple Facebook group I posted in September 2015, Techfugees has come a long way. It was conceived as a vehicle to enthuse technologists about the plight of refugees by waking them up to the idea that their innovation, startup mentality and design-led thinking could potentially bring new, scalable new solutions to the plight of displaced people. Today, Techfugees is an international non-profit with its own CEO, Joséphine Goube and a team based between London and Paris. Not bad for a handful of posts on social media… What’s fascinating about the project as it’s...

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