Startups

A mysterious “Sponsored Content” opt-out setting recently appeared in Spotify, and now the streaming giant has confirmed to TechCrunch what it’s about. Spotify is now testing a new “Sponsored Song” ad unit that a company spokesperson tells us is “a product test for labels to promote singles on the free tier.” Instead of appearing as
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The Mode Media story refuses to end — following its abrupt shut down last year, the company’s assets have been acquired by wedding-focused advertising company BrideClick. Mode previously operated lifestyle sites including Glam and Foodie, plus a larger ad network that it said reached 144 million unique visitors each month. The financial terms of the
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Ashleigh Axios Contributor Prior to joining Automattic as design exponent, Ashleigh was the Creative Director and a digital strategist for the Obama White House. More posts by this contributor: Automattic, MIT Center for Civic Media, and The Mash-Up Americans have been working together to have honest dialogues, build empathy, and help make the world a
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You would think at least one AI-powered humanoid bot would have a properly nerdy name. Maybe a Poindexter or Hildegarde to add some natural language processing to your customer chat app? No such luck. Instead, it sounds like the cool kids are in charge at most digital assistant and bot startups. Think short, peppy names
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Thirty five years ago having a PhD in computer vision was considered the height of unfashion, as artificial intelligence languished at the bottom of the trough of disillusionment. Back then it could take a day for a computer vision algorithm to process a single image. How times change. “The competition for talent at the moment is
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Ever since I wrote about the Midwest last year I’ve been keeping my eyes on Columbus. I decided to hold a small pitch-off to meet some of the startups I saw last time I had driven through. The pitch-off was a success and a company called Wyzzer took first place and the quirky Hopper Carts
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ClassPass, the subscription service that for fitness classes and gyms, has today announced the close of a $70 million Series C funding round led by Temasek. Existing investors such as Acequia Capital, CRV, General Catalyst, GV, M13 and Thrive also participated in the round. According to the press release, ClassPass has doubled its member base
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The smartphone has changed the gaming industry landscape dramatically. As our pocket computers advance, so too does the possibility of fully satisfying mobilegaming experiences. Companies like Nintendo are blurring the lines between portable and console/PC gaming with the Switch. At the same time, big studios have largely moved away from attempts to integrate mobile content
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We’re looking for a few good startups based in sub-Saharan Africa to participate in our inaugural Startup Battlefield Africa, and all you startup folks out there in the region aren’t going to want to miss this. TechCrunch is excited to be partnering with Facebook to bring our illustrious startup competition, the Startup Battlefield, to Nairobi,
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Heresy, a startup co-founded by Dimitar Stanimiroff, who was previously MD Europe at Stack Overflow, is a new sales tool designed to increase collaboration between sales team members, and help them make better data-driven decisions, collectively and individually, and ultimately close more sales. The Software-as-a-Service isn’t a CRM replacement as such — in fact, it
Freada and Mitch Kapor broke rank with typical investor silence in the face of scandals at their portfolio companies by publicly criticizing Uber in February, saying it was “toxi” and had “a culture plagued by disrespect, exclusionary cliques, lack of diversity, and tolerance for bullying and harassment of every form.” But today, the couple who
OwnLocal has acquired Wanderful Media, bringing together two companies focused on local advertising and deals. OwnLocal works with local newspapers to turn traditional print ads into digital campaigns. Wanderful, meanwhile, operates Find&Save, a website and app that brings the newspaper deals and coupons online. So there are some obvious similarities. The big reason for the
Acast says it’s time for podcasts to embrace programmatic advertising. With its publishing and monetization tools, Acast has already moved beyond the generally low-tech state of podcast advertising — think of how many podcasts still play the same outdated ads when you download old episodes — but launching a marketplace for programmatic (i.e. automated algorithmic)
The augmented reality acquisition space is hot — Facebook, Snap, Apple and others are throwing money at teams and technologies that promise to increase user engagement. Spektral, a Danish startup, is the latest venture-backed visual effects company setting its sights on the massive space. Spektral is announcing a $2.8 million round today from Litecap and
Rebel has been helping marketers do more with their emails — so that those emails become interactive experiences (with capabilities like galleries and quizzes) in and of themselves. Now the startup is adding the ability for consumers to complete their purchase from an email. The company was previously known as Rebelmail, but as part of