Author: Ingrid Lunden

2nd Address picks up $10M from GV, Foundation to take on Airbnb in business travel

As Airbnb adds more features to court business users, a smaller startup has raised some funding to take it on in the $18 billion business travel market. 2nd Address, an Airbnb-style platform for business travellers looking for home rentals that extend beyond 30 days — as an alternative to staying in hotels — is announcing funding of $10 million from GV (formerly Google Ventures) and Foundation Capital, along with Amicus and Pierre Lamond. The startup says it will be investing the money to improve its technology as well as to expand to more cities. Its current footprint covers the Bay...

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Twilio closes acquisition of email specialist SendGrid in all-stock deal now worth $3B

Twilio’s bid to become the go-to platform for all of a business’s external communication needs took a big step ahead today. The company said that it has closed its acquisition of email specialist SendGrid. First announced four months ago, Twilio today said the all-stock deal is valued at $3 billion — up from a $2 billion price tag when it was initially announced. Specifically, this is because the prices of both company’s stocks have been on a roll. Based on the closing price of Twilio Class A common stock on Jan. 31, 2019 and an exchange ratio of 0.485 shares of...

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Sources: Clutter is raising $200-250M led by SoftBank for on-demand storage and moving

Marie Kondo’s rise as a cultural icon shows there’s big business to be had in sorting out a mess. And startups are also hoping to get in on the action. TechCrunch has learned that Clutter, a storage-on-demand service that packs up, takes away, stores and returns your possessions at the click of an app, is raising between $200 million and $250 million in funding. Sources tell us that term sheets are out but have yet to be finalised while investors go through due diligence, and that currently the plan is for the round to be led by SoftBank. Clutter’s CEO...

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After bans from Apple and Google, Sarahah debuts Enoff, an iOS app for anonymous feedback at work

Sarahah, the anonymous messaging app founded in Saudi Arabia that became an unexpected viral sensation with teens, clocking up over 300 million registered users before getting banned by Apple and Google over bullying, is making a return to the App Store — but not as you might think. The startup has launched a new, free iOS app called Enoff (pronounced “enough”) aimed at organizations, tapping into the wave of employee activism and speaking out about unfair practices to provide a way for people in a team to give anonymous, one-way feedback to bosses and human resources reps. Available also...

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TCV closes $3B fund aimed at consumer internet, IT infrastructure and services

On the back of a strong showing for portfolio company Spotify going public last year and several biggies like Airbnb also slated to list very soon, VC firm TCV has announced its latest fund, the $3 billion TCV X, which has now closed and will start getting invested “soon,” the company tells me. TCV’s previous fund — the $2.5 billion TCV IX — was closed in 2016 and focused on growth rounds. The firm says that it has made 21 investments out of that fund to date. Recent fundings have included travel platform Sojern, Tour Radar, home-exercise startup Peloton, activity booking...

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eBay beats in Q4 on sales of $2.9B and EPS of $0.71, but GMV of $24.6B is up only 1%

As eBay gets increasing pressure from activist shareholder Elliott Management to reform its business and turn it into a high-growth tech stock by overhauling its main Marketplace, refreshing management and rethinking its other businesses like StubHub and classifieds, the e-commerce platform delivered a set of Q4 results that were solid if a little lacklustre. The company today said that for the quarter that ended December 31, it posted revenues of $2.9 billion with non-GAAP net income of $670 million or $0.71 per share. On both counts, it just beat analyst expectations, which were respectively $2.87 billion on EPS of $0.68....

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Home improvement platform Houzz lays off 180, reportedly gears up for public listing

Houzz has built a $4 billion business on the back of a platform and marketplace that lets you plan and execute home improvement projects. But as the startup gears up for its next phase of growth, it is also going through some growing pains. TechCrunch has learned and confirmed the company this month laid off around 110 people in the UK and Germany, along with an additional 70 in its US home market in Q4 of last year. “We restructured our international marketplace workforce, primarily in our UK and Berlin offices, so that we can double down on the...

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As Clegg appears in Brussels, Facebook tightens controls on political ads, opens Dublin control center ahead of European elections

Facebook continues to feel the heat over its role in how people communicate — and more importantly, miscommunicate — globally, so today in Europe it redoubled its efforts to counter critics by rolling out new controls specifically around election misinformation ahead of European Parliament elections this spring. It unveiled its latest efforts to fight “fake news”, with a new system of controls around the placement of political ads, as well as a new set of human-staffed operations centers in Dublin and Singapore to monitor how localised political news is distributed on the social network — both coming in March....

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