Author: Mike Butcher

Polkadot passes the $140M mark for its fund-raise to link private and public blockchains

TECHCRUNCH Polkadot is a project which has emerged from the Blockchain world, and was designed to do something increasingly important. In effect, Polkadot is the interchange and translator between multiple blockchains which creative people developing on the Ethereum blockhain have been looking for in order to build a wealth new projects and infrastructure. As companies develop their own side-chains, they needed, somehow, to link these projects to Ethereum’s public blockchain. The question was, how? This is where Polkadot comes in. Now, for example, a bank could fork Ethereum, customize aspects of it and then use Polkadot to connect it...

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Unpacking the late-stage funding round at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin

TECHCRUNCH TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin this December is a chance for the European tech scene to take stock and assess the biggest trends affecting the industry. One of those trends is that European startups are raising later and later rounds while staying in Europe. Three of the best examples of this is Skimlinks, MOVE Guides and Talent Clue. All three have raised large, late-stage rounds from their European headquarters and we’re excited to unpack what was their strategy for success with this panel at Disrupt Berlin. Brynne KennedyFounder and CEOMOVE GuidesBrynne Kennedy is Founder and CEO of MOVE Guides, which...

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BridgeU raises $5.3m to close the gap between education and industry needs

TECHCRUNCH Students deciding on their next phase in higher education face a daunting choice and a array of options. Most schools have zero capability to deal with sifting 40,000 undergraduate courses in the UK, alone. Why not apply big data to the problem and create an ‘adaptive learning platform’ which actually helps students make these crucial decision, based on real data. That’s effectively what BridgeU does. Its university preparation and careers guidance software uses big data and management tools to allow secondary schools to offer much smarter university and careers guidance service to their students. This London and Hong...

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Games developer Supersolid raises $4M Series A round led by Index Ventures

TECHCRUNCH Supersolid, a London-based mobile games developer with more than 50 million downloads under its belt, is best known for the smash hit games like ‘Super Penguins’, ‘Adventure Town’ and ‘Pororo Penguin Run’. It was created by a team of highly experienced mobile and social games veterans with backgrounds in EA, Playfish, Glu and Macrospace. That turns out to be a powerful combination because the company has now raised a $4 million Series A investment round, led by Index Ventures. Yesterday it also launched Home Street, its new home decoration, and life simulation game. Think Sim City with home...

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Aaron Patzer, founder of Mint, has unfinished business with AI

TECHCRUNCH This year marks the 10th anniversary of Mint’s win at the first ever TechCrunch Startup Battlefield competition (back then – lost in the mists of time – it was known as TechCrunch 40). But what is less known about founder Aaron Patzer is that he’s one of the pioneers of AI. Now based in the Southern Hemisphere, he’s coming to speak at Techcrunch Battlefield Australia. In January this year, he started Vital Software, with Dr. Justin Schrager of Emory University, which makes software for hospital emergency rooms. That’s the short version. When you include the fact that it’s...

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AI-powered customer marketing platform Ometria raises $6M Series A

TECHCRUNCH Ometria, a customer marketing platform which says it’s “AI-powered” has raised $6m in Series A funding. US-based Summit Action led the round, along with an investment syndicate backed by individuals with roles inside some key retailers. Ometria has now raised a total of $11m to accelerate the development of its customer marketing platform, which, it claims, enables retailers to send individually-personalised marketing messages across several brand touchpoints. Ometria says it is used by over 100 of the largest multi-channel retailers and fast-growing VC-backed ecommerce businesses including Moss Bros, Crew Clothing, Charlotte Tilbury, Feelunique, LoveCrafts, Wonderbly (formerly Lost My...

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Social media monitor Brandwatch acquires content marketing platform BuzzSumo

TECHCRUNCH Brandwatch, a social media monitoring company has acquired BuzzSumo, a content marketing and influencer identification platform, for an undisclosed sum. BuzzSumo never raised beyond Seed stage and was in effect bootstrapped by its founders. The acquisition adds an important arrow into Brandwatch’s quiver, which raised a $33M C-round war chest in 2015 for just such a move. Expect more from this company which seems intent on creating a suite of powerful tools for online marketers. To date, BuzzSumo has provided data-driven content discovery and performance analytics to nearly 3,400 customers and over 300,000 users worldwide including Expedia, BuzzFeed...

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SoftTech’s McLoughlin and Pipedrive’s Rein join TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin

TECHCRUNCH TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin, our premier European event is fast approaching this December. And that means some of the top players from Silicon Valley will be coming over. In this context, we are always interested in the experiences of European entrepreneurs who have made it in the SF and the Valley. So we’re delighted to announce two new speakers for the conference. Andy McLoughlinPartnerSoftTech VCAndy is a Partner with SoftTech VC, one of Silicon Valley’s most active seed-stage venture capital firms where he primarily invests in SaaS, vertical industry solutions, and developer tools. Prior to joining SoftTech, Andy was...

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