Author: Romain Dillet

Doctolib details how telemedicine appointments work

TECHCRUNCH French startup Doctolib announced back in September that it would open up telemedicine appointments on its platform in 2019. The company is taking advantage of recent legal changes that finally make telemedicine legal in France. Doctolib is a marketplace matching patients with health practitioners — 70,000 practitioners and 1,400 medical institutions use it in France and Germany. Each health professional pays €109 per month to access the service ($124). By replacing your calendar with Doctolib, you save a ton of time. You no longer have to pick up the phone constantly and say when you’re available and not...

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Pia d’Iribarne joins Stride.VC as third partner

TECHCRUNCH It turns out Stride.VC isn’t going to focus exclusively on the U.K. after all. Pia d’Iribarne is leaving Accel to join Stride.VC as a partner. Stride.VC was originally co-founded by former Accel partner Fred Destin along with Harry Stebbings, producer of “The Twenty Minute VC” podcast. Back in October, when TechCrunch’s Steve O’Hear covered the official closing of the £50 million fund, the pair said that they would focus on the U.K. at first. Arj Soysa also joined the firm as operating partner around the same time. “Currently, the firm is 100 percent focused on the U.K., but...

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Freelancer banking service Shine switches to paid subscriptions

TECHCRUNCH French startup Shine wants to be the only professional bank account you need if you’re a freelancer. So far, 25,000 people signed up to the service and the company recently raised a $9.3 million funding round. Shine wants to help freelancers in France all steps of the way. After signing up, the app helps you fill out all the paperwork to create your freelancer status. You then get a card and banking information. This way, you can generate invoices, accept payments and also pay for stuff. Creating an account and basic transactions have been free so far. But...

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Automattic announces Newspack to help news organizations publish and monetize

TECHCRUNCH Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com is announcing a new project called Newspack. While details are still thin, the company wants to help news organizations with an all-in-one solution to publish and monetize your content. WordPress, the open-source project that lets you create websites on WordPress.com, is already a solid content management system (we use it at TechCrunch). But it becomes more difficult to use once you want to monetize your content using subscriptions, metered paywalls and user accounts. WordPress doesn’t have a native solution for that. That’s why Automattic is working on a platform for news organizations —...

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Banking startup N26 raises $300 million at $2.7 billion valuation

TECHCRUNCH Fintech startup N26 is raising a Series D round of $300 million. Following this new funding round, the company is now valued at $2.7 billion. Insight Venture Partners is leading the round with Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC and a few existing investors also participating. N26 is building a retail bank from scratch. The company lets you open a bank account and get a card in just a few minutes. You can then control everything from your phone or computer. And it’s a much better user experience compared to traditional banks. This round comes as a surprise as...

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Hands-on with Ledger’s Bluetooth crypto hardware wallet

TECHCRUNCH French startup Ledger unveiled a new hardware wallet at CES this week. While the device isn’t going to ship until March, the company let me play with a prototype version of the device. The Ledger Nano X feels just like using the Nano S, but on mobile. When the company’s previous hardware wallet first came out, that was before the cryptocurrency boom, before Ledger raised $75 million. And the user experience wasn’t great. You had to install multiple Chrome apps to manage multiple cryptocurrencies, switch between each app when you wanted to access your balance and manage your crypto assets. But things got much better when the company released Ledger Live on macOS, Windows and Linux. With this new app, you could finally view your portfolio balance and manage multiple crypto assets from the same desktop app. The logical next step was mobile. And you have to get a new hardware wallet for that. The Ledger Nano X looks more or less like the Ledger Nano S, but slightly bigger. It’s shaped like a USB key and it has a tiny screen to confirm transactions on the device. There’s a tiny 100 mAh battery in it and a slightly bigger screen. The microUSB port has been replaced by a USB-C port. The buttons are now on each side of the screen instead of on the side of the...

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The world’s first foldable phone is real

TECHCRUNCH People have been talking about foldable smartphones for years, but it’s finally happening. Chinese company Royole was showing off the FlexPai at CES in Las Vegas, and we got to play with it for a few minutes. It’s hard to say if it’s a phone or a tablet as you can basically use it as a phone and a small tablet. Arguably, the tablet form factor is the most usable one. It’s a 7.8-inch device that runs Android. When you fold the AMOLED display, there’s still a small gap between the two halves of the screen. But it’s also much smaller than the unfolded version. It’s a bulky phone, but it’s still much easier to store in a purse compared to a tablet. You can already buy a developer version of the device if you live in the U.S. for around $1,300. It runs Android with a bunch of custom software features. If you fold the device, all your content moves to one part of the screen. It’s not a fluid experience, but it works. It’s impressive to see that Royole managed to beat Samsung and other manufacturers to the market with this technology. Now, let’s see if Royole will sell its own devices, partner with other manufacturers or both. We have a video of the device coming up later this...

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Samsung releases a Chromebook-like Windows 10 Home laptop

TECHCRUNCH Samsung is announcing two new laptops at CES. The company is launching a pro-level laptop called the Notebook 9 Pro and a laptop for student called the Notebook Flash. The Notebook Flash is an entry-level laptop with a textured design. It looks like fabric but it’s made out of plastic. The screen doesn’t look great to be honest — it has a narrow viewing angle. And specs aren’t that great. 64GB of storage, 4GB of RAM and entry-level Intel CPUs. The good news is that it has a bunch of ports — two USB-C ports, two big USB ports, an HDMI port, etc. But it’s a laptop for schools and students who just want something basic. The Intel Celeron N4000 version is going to ship for $350 on January 15. It’s slightly more expensive than Windows 10 S laptops, but you get a full version of Windows for that price. The 13-inch Notebook 9 Pro features a slimmer bezel and an updated backlit keyboard. There’s a fingerprint reader on the side of the device. You can convert it into a tablet by pushing the screen all the way. And the laptop comes with an Active Pen. The default configuration comes with 256GB of flash storage, an integrated Intel GPU and 8GB of RAM. There are two Thunderbolt 3 ports, one USB-C port and a microSD slot. Samsung is...

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