Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts tagged as “ways to make money”

Headout lands $10M Series A to help tourists book last-minute outings

Imagine being in a new city with a few hours to kill, but no idea what to do. Headout is a travel app that enables tourists to book outings at very short notice, in most cases on the same day. The startup announced today that it’s raised a $10 million Series A led by returning investors Nexus Venture Partners and Version One Ventures to support its ambitious growth targets. Over the next 18 months, co-founder and CEO Varun Khona says the startup wants to expand from 20 cities to 100 cities in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific. The app recently added French, German and Spanish in select markets and aims to have all of its inventory available in 12 languages by the end of next year. Its bookings includes sightseeing tours, museum tickets and shows. Headout’s Series A brings its total raised to $12 million. Its seed round was announced in 2015, when TechCrunch first profiled the company. The startup claims it has grown eight times over the past 12 months and is profitable. As it enters new markets, however, Headout will be up against a roster of competitors that also offer experience bookings for tourists. These include Klook, TripAdvisor-owned Viator, Get Your Guide and Airbnb’s Experiences feature. Khona says Headout’s main edge is tailoring its inventory and technology platform for “spontaneous last-minute mobile use cases.” It’s also a managed marketplace, meaning it standardizes pricing and quality, with the hope of creating a consistent experience across all outings. The startup says this focus on combining quality with unit economics means it’s enabled customers to save an average of 18% on last-minute bookings.

Love Thy Computer? Not If it Means Saying Goodbye

The idea of people having emotional attachments to technology is not new. Robots in particular have often been the subject of fictional intimacy, from the original Blade Runner in 1982… Read more » The post Love Thy Computer? Not If it Means Saying Goodbye appeared first on Noobpreneur.com.

Octi raises $7.5M to create augmented reality that understands human movement

The team at Octi says it’s building a crucial piece of the augmented reality puzzle — the ability to understand the human body and its movement. Co-founder and CEO Justin Fuisz told me that most existing AR technologies (including Apple’s ARKit) tend to be “plane-based” — in other words, while they can make something cool appear against a real-world background, it’s usually on a flat surface, like a table or the floor. Octi, on the other hand, recognizes where people are in-camera, and it can use that understanding to apply a variety of different effects. For example, Fuisz and his team showed me how they could dance around their office while bright, squiggly lines overlaid their bodies — and then they erased their bodies entirely. They also showed me how effects could be tied to different gestures, like how a “make it rain” motion could result in dollar bills flying out of their hands. To do this, Octi says it’s built sophisticated machine learning and computer vision technology. For starters, it looks at a human being and detects key points, like eyes, nose, hips and elbows, then uses those points to construct a model of a skeleton. Fuisz suggested that the technology could be applied to a number of different industries, including fashion, fitness, entertainment and gaming. In fact, the company is announcing a partnership and strategic investment from the OneTeam Collective, the accelerator of the NFL Players Association. As a result, Octi plans to create and distribute avatars of more than 2,000 NFL players. In addition, Octi is announcing that it has raised $7.5 million in seed funding from Shasta Ventures, I2BF Ventures, Bold Capital Partners, Day One Ventures, Human Ventures, Live Nation and AB InBev, plus individuals, including former Pandora and Snap executive Tom Conrad, WeWork Chief Product Officer of Technology Shiva Rajaraman, Adobe Chief Product Officer Scott Belsky, A&E Networks Chairman Abbe Raven and Joshua Kushner. If you want to try this out for yourself, the startup has its own iOS app — Fuisz described the app as a technology showcase for potential partners, but he added,…

Robinhood CEO Baiju Bhatt to talk fintech at Disrupt SF

Robinhood has gone from being a little consumer-facing fintech app to an absolutely giant consumer-facing fintech app. The company, which launched in 2013, has ballooned to a $5.6 billion valuation on the heels of a $363 million Series D financing round led by DST Global. The app has also grown to 5 million users, as of today, with more than $150 billion in transaction volume. But the app, which lets people trade stocks and options for free, is also dabbling in the wondrous world of cryptocurrencies, setting the stage for a potential transition from “fun app” to legitimate financial institution. That’s why we’re absolutely thrilled to have Robinhood co-founder and CEO Baiju Bhatt join us on the Disrupt SF 2018 stage. The key to everything here is that Robinhood offered a simple consumer demand: free transactions on financial services. Unlike incumbents E*Trade and Scottrade, there are no trading fees on Robinhood, giving average consumers the chance to dip their toes in the market without any added barriers to entry. At Disrupt, we’ll ask Bhatt about how Robinhood Crypto is progressing and what the company has in store as we head into next year. Bhatt joins a wide array of big name speakers, from Dara Khosrowshahi to Reid Hoffman to Kirsten Green. It’s going to be an absolutely terrific show and we sincerely hope to see you there. Passes are available at the Early Bird rate until July 25 here.

Ransomware technique uses your real passwords to trick you

A few folks have reported a new ransomware technique that preys upon corporate inability to keep passwords safe. The notes – which are usually aimed at instilling fear – are simple: the hacker says “I know that your password is X. Give me a bitcoin and I won’t blackmail you.” Programmer Can Duruk reported getting the email today. Woah. This is cool. A Bitcoin ransom with using what I think is passwords from a big leak. Pretty neat since people would be legit scared when they see their password. The concealed part is actually an old password I used to use. pic.twitter.com/clEYiFqvHY — can (@can) July 11, 2018 The email reads: I’m aware that X is your password. You don’t know me and you’re thinking why you received this e mail, right? Well, I actually placed a malware on the porn website and guess what, you visited this web site to have fun (you know what I mean). While you were watching the video, your web browser acted as a RDP (Remote Desktop) and a keylogger which provided me access to your display screen and webcam. Right after that, my software gathered all your contacts from your Messenger, Facebook account, and email account. What exactly did I do? I made a split-screen video. First part recorded the video you were viewing (you’ve got a fine taste haha), and next part recorded your webcam (Yep! It’s you doing nasty things!). What should you do? Well, I believe, $1400 is a fair price for our little secret. You’ll make the payment via Bitcoin to the below address (if you don’t know this, search “how to buy bitcoin” in Google) . BTC Address: 1Dvd7Wb72JBTbAcfTrxSJCZZuf4tsT8V72 (It is cAsE sensitive, so copy and paste it) Important: You have 24 hours in order to make the payment. (I have an unique pixel within this email message, and right now I know that you have read this email). If I don’t get the payment, I will send your video to all of your contacts including relatives, coworkers, and so forth. Nonetheless, if I do get paid, I…

As product development incorporates more feedback, development toolkit productboard raises $8M

Since its debut on the TechCrunch Disrupt stage in September 2016, demand for a service like productboard, which gives companies a holistic view of product development and encourages input from across an organization, has only gotten more acute, according to company chief executive Hubert Palan. Now, with an $8 million commitment from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, with participation from Index Ventures, Credo Ventures, Reflex Capital and Rockaway Capital, alongside a host of angel investors, the company is looking to expand its sales and marketing and product development efforts to bring the benefits of its toolkit to more companies. In the two years since TechCrunch last saw productboard, the company’s user base has grown significantly, from 100 customers in 2016 to more than 1,200 companies today, spanning a broad range of industries. For Palan, the company’s growing user base (which now includes medical device companies, academic publishers and news organizations in addition to traditional digital product developers) is proof of a new demand in the market for more inputs around product design and development. “Every company is now a digital company,” Palan said. “So every company needs to worry about digital product design.” The company’s toolkit still includes features that allow it to hoover up information from customer support tickets, emails, input from sales teams and user research, to organize and prioritize features that need to be built. But now, the company’s services allow anyone in an organization (with the proper access) to provide feedback and track the process of product development. “Product Excellence is no longer optional,” said Palan in a statement. “These days competitors arise in a matter of months, not years. Customer loyalty is declining and users will happily switch to a competing solution that offers a better product experience. It’s more critical than ever to get the right products to market faster.” As part of the financing, Kleiner Perkins’ new general partner, Ilya Fushman, will join the company’s board of directors. Fushman, who was integral in locking down productboard’s seed financing when he was at Index Ventures, has a long product history from his time at Dropbox, and…

Japanese startup Paidy raises $55M Series C to let people shop online without a credit card

Paidy, a fintech startup that enables Japanese consumers to shop online without using a credit card, announced today that it has raised a $55 million Series C. The round was led by Japanese trade conglomerate Itochu Corporation, with participation from Goldman Sachs. The Tokyo-based startup says this brings its total funding so far to $80 million, including a $15 million Series B announced two years ago. One notable fact about Paidy’s funding is that it’s raised a sizable amount for Japanese startup, especially one with non-Japanese founders (its CEO and co-founder is Canadian and Goldman Sachs alum Russell Cummer, left in the photo above with CTO and co-founder Lee Smith). Paidy was launched because even though Japan’s credit card penetration rate is high, their usage rate is relatively low, even for online purchases. Instead, shoppers pay cash on delivery or at convenience stores, which function as combination logistics/payment centers in many Japanese cities. This is convenient for buyers because they don’t have to enter a credit card online or worry about fraud, but a hassle for businesses that often need to float cash for merchandise that hasn’t been paid for yet or deal with incomplete deliveries. Paidy makes it possible for people to buy online without creating an account or using their credit cards. Instead, if a merchant uses Paidy, its customers are able to check out by entering their mobile phone numbers and email addresses. Then Paidy authenticates them with a four-digit code sent through SMS or voice. Every month, customers settle their bills, which include all transactions they made using Paidy, at a convenience store or through bank transfers or auto-debits (installment and subscription plans are also available). The value proposition for businesses is that Paidy can increase their customer base and guarantee they get paid by using machine learning algorithms to underwrite transactions. The company claims that there are now 1.4 million active Paidy accounts, with the ambitious goal of increasing that number to 11 million by 2020 by expanding to bigger merchants and offline transactions. In a press statement, Cummer said “We are extremely honored that…

Spring Health raises $6M to help employees get access to personalized mental health treatment

In recent months, we’ve seen more and more funding flowing into tools for mental wellness — whether that’s AI-driven tools to help patients find help to meditation apps — and it seems like that trend is starting to pick up even more steam as smaller companies are grabbing the attention of investors. There’s another one picking up funding today in Spring Health, a platform for smaller companies to help their employees get more access to mental health treatment. The startup looks to give employers a simple, effective way to start offering that treatment for their employees in the form of personalized mental wellness plans. The employees get access to confidential plans in addition to access to a network and ways to get in touch with a therapist or psychiatrist as quickly as possible. The company said it has raised an additional $6 million in funding led by Rethink Impact, with Work-Bench, BBG Ventures, and The Partnership Fund for New York City joining the round. RRE Ventures and the William K. Warren Foundation also participated. “…I realized that mental health care is largely a guessing game: you use trial-and-error to find a compatible therapist, and you use trial-and-error to find the right treatment regimen, whether that’s a specific cocktail of medications or a specific type of psychotherapy,” CEO and co-founder April Koh said. “Everything around us is personalized these days – like shopping on Amazon, search results on Google, and restaurant recommendations on Yelp – but you can’t get personalized recommendations for your mental health care. I wanted to build a platform that connects you with the right care for you from the very beginning. So I partnered with leading expert on personalized psychiatry, Dr. Adam Chekroud our Chief Scientist, and my friend Abhishek Chandra, our CTO, to start Spring Health.” The startup bills itself as an online mental health clinic that offers recommendations for employees, such as treatment options or tweaks to their daily routines (like exercise regimens). Like other machine learning-driven platforms, Spring Health puts a questionnaire in front of the end employee that adapts to the responses they…

Broadway Entrepreneur Uses Business Live Steaming to Help Others

  Use business live streaming to share successes and failures and become part of a growing trend. Audiences want to see live streams where businesses reveal major mistakes and solutions. As humorist Sam Levenson said, “You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t possibly live long enough to make them all yourself.” As always, don’t be trendy for the sake of being trendy. Common business wisdom is to tie every decision to a larger goal — or a call-to-action no matter how small. Small Business Trends spoke with a Broadway producer who knows there should be a point to every livestream. Business Live Streaming Shares Successes and Failures Though he’s won multiple Tony Awards, Ken Davenport says structured learning wasn’t exactly available when he was new to the world of  Broadway, at least not in the modern ways he’s packaged it. Today he can provide experienced guidance to his network through exclusive masterminds and even conferences. * * * * * Davenport is an award-winning producer of “Godspell” and “Kinky Boots” fame, most recently heard accepting the 2018 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical for “Once On This Island.” An early adopter of tech tools, he was the first person to crowdfund a Broadway production almost a decade ago. Davenport has supported the Broadway ecosystem through a number of his own subsidiary businesses and is also the Executive Producer for North America of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group. Davenport was named one of Crain’s “40 Under Forty,” and is one of the co-founders of TEDxBroadway. Upcoming projects include his original musical “Gettin’ The Band Back Together.” His unique approaches have led to media coverage in the NY Times, MSNBC, Rock Center, Fox News, BBC, and a mention in Jay Leno’s monologue on “The Tonight Show.” Video Length Depends On The Goal Small Business Trends: Hi Ken, I’m shocked that you have time to do a daily Facebook Live for your audience. Have you been able to stick with it daily? What are the longer town hall videos for? Ken Davenport: My “every day” Facebook Live isn’t…

Intelligent recruiting platform Greenhouse picks up another $50M

Finding the right talent is a make-or-break situation for any company — especially smaller ones, which might not have the robust tools (or pocket books) of larger companies like Google that have a complete system in place. Recruiting platform Greenhouse hopes to make that process a little bit easier, and it has caught the attention of investors. The company said it has raised a new $50 million financing round from Riverwood Capital, bringing its total funding to $110 million. Greenhouse definitely isn’t the only company that’s starting to pick up a significant amount of funding recently by trying to crack open the process of talent acquisition and make it a little more data-driven. But as the cost and difficulty of collecting enormous amounts of data on different kinds of human activity has dropped with the emergence of new machine learning tools, the problems behind recruiting may also be one that can get a lot of help from employing the same data science rigor that powers a smart Google search result. “Hiring tools and software in the market had been built for the previous generation, with an applicant tracking mindset to cover the basics of collecting resumes on your website,” Greenhouse CEO Daniel Chait said. “We saw that winning companies in the talent market were ones who were able to attract the right talent, identify difference makers in a sea of LinkedIn profiles, make really smart decisions in who to hire, deliver winning experiences, use data to optimize. They needed tools to accomplish those goals and much broader than the recruiting software.” The typical consumer’s experience with Greenhouse has probably been a bunch of job listings on a website somewhere, where an employee can submit an application or additional information that the company wants. Under the hood, Greenhouse provides companies with ways to find the right funnels for their applications — whether that’s something like GlassDoor or smaller niches on the Internet with more isolated pockets of talent — and discover the right employees for the roles that are available. Data is collected on all this behavior, which in turn helps Greenhouse…

Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. More Info | Close