|Hi, happy Wednesday, all.:)|
|A federal district court judge just ruled that Donald Trump can’t block people from viewing his Twitter feed over their political views. As The Hill notes, the ruling is a win for the Knight Foundation, which brought the lawsuit on behalf of seven people who were blocked from the @realDonaldTrump account because of opinions they expressed in reply tweets, including this one.|
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|Superpedestrian Just Raised $$ to Put Smarter “Brains” in E-scooters and Bikes|
|Superpedestrian, a Cambridge, Ma.-based company, has been known until now for its electric Copenhagen wheel, which a user attaches to his or her bikes and operates through an app. It’s essentially a circular unit that houses a motor, a battery and sensors and is placed in the middle of the rear wheel, measuring how fast and how forcefully someone is riding and adding a little electric oomph when a bike’s pedals are pushed. |
Riders love the wheel, but now, Superpedestrian is shifting gears. It isn’t abandoning its consumer base. Instead, it’s taking the wraps off an entirely new second business that plans to use the one million kilometers of data it has amassed from Copenhagen customers to improve the offerings of urban mobility companies. More specifically, it wants to sell them hardware and software that will keep their fleets up to snuff.
It doesn’t matter if these companies are renting out electric bikes, scooter, mopeds or all three. Superpedestrian is “micro vehicle” agnostic, suggests its founder, Assaf Biderman — who’d earlier spent 10 years working at MIT’s Senseable City Lab. In fact, he says Superpedestrian has been quietly modeling out this business-to-business diagnostics business since nearly the company’s launch five years ago but was waiting for small motorized vehicles to gain momentum.
|A New Eyewear Brand is Taking on Luxottica with a Single Wire|
|A U.K.-based startup has come up with a new design for high-end, direct-to-consumer sunglasses that are original, modular, and virtually indestructible. But to get their eyewear in the hands of consumers, they’ll have to compete with some industry giants, including Luxottica Group of Italy, whose brands include Ray-Ban and Oakley among others. |
Their company, Wires Glasses, isn’t competing on price. At $380 per pair, its sunglasses cost as much as other designer eyewear. If Wires succeeds, it will largely owe instead to its unusual single-wire design, patented invisible hinge, and, perhaps most important, the narrative it tells about design and sustainability. Indeed, in a day and age where new brands are launched every day, storytelling can mean the difference between barely surviving and thriving, something this team seems to understand.
A new, albeit undisclosed, amount of seed funding from the early-stage venture firm True Ventures should also help. True has helped grow a number of consumer companies, including Blue Bottle Coffee, the doorbell startup Ring, and the wearables company FitBit; likely it has lessons to share.
We talked with Wires cofounder Yair Neuman to learn more about how Wires came to be and how the glasses work. More here.
|CareZone, a six-year-old, San Francisco-based smartphone service for managing chronic health conditions, has raised $50 million in Series D funding led by New Enterprise Associates, with participation from Salesforce founder Marc Benioff and Catamount Ventures. The company, which has now raised $150 million altogether, is headed up by former Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz. More here. |
Hugging Face, a nearly two-year-old, New York-based chatbot startup, has raised $4 million in seed funding led by led by A.Capital Ventures. Earlier backers Betaworks, SV Angel and NBA star Kevin Durant are also participating. TechCrunch has more here.
NewsDog, a three-year-old, Delhi, India-based news app that’s among the most popular in India, has raised $50 million in Series C funding led by Chinese internet giant Tencent. TechCrunch has more here.
Novel Effect, a three-year-old, Seattle-based voice interactive app that was once featured on the show “Shark Tank,” has raised $3 million in Series A funding co-led by Alpha Edison, TenOneTen Ventures, and Waverley Capital. More here.
Platform.sh, a four-year-old, Paris-based company wants to helps enterprises manage their cloud infrastructure by handling testing and deployment to their cloud infrastructure, has raised a $34 million in funding. Partech led the round, with participation from Idinvest Partners, Benhamou Global Ventures, SNCF Digital Ventures and earlier investor Hi Inov. TechCrunch has more here.
RenovoRx, a six-year-old, Los Altos, Ca.-based med-tech company at work on an catheter-based approach to treating pancreatic cancer, has raised $10 million in funding led by Boston Scientific. Other participants include btov Partners and earlier backers Astia Angels, the Angels’ Forum, Halo Fund III, Golden Seeds, and Acorn Campus Taiwan. More here.
Sentry, an eight-year-old, San Francisco-based company that provides open source error tracking to give its customers insight into crashes in their stack as they happen, has raised $16 million inSeries B funding led by earlier investors New Enterprise Associates and Accel. The company has now raised $26.5 million altogether. More here.
Tempow, a two-year-old, Paris-based software startup that wants to rewrite the Bluetooth stack from scratch, has raised $4 million in funding led by Balderton Capital, with C4 Ventures also participating. TechCrunch has more here.
Verifly, a two-year-old, New York-based startup that launched as an insurance provider for drone pilots and just expanded its services to include pretty much every type of part-time or contract worker, has raised $7 million in venture funding. Slow Ventures is a backer. So are numerous individual investors, including Sam Shank, the co-founder and chief executive of HotelsTonight. TechCrunch has more here.
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|Magnetic Ventures, a months-old, San Francisco-based venture firm that’s targeting early-stage medtech companies, is looking to raise $100 million for its inaugural fund, shows an SEC filing. Magnetic is led by Christine Aylward, who’d spent roughy a decade in marketing positions with Roche and other pharma giants, and later spent more than five years as a managing director with Foresite Capital Management. According to Aylward’s bio, she also cofounded MakingOf, a digital media company that was launched in 2008. More here.|
|Health insurance provider Anthem has agreed to acquire Aspire Health, a seven-year-old, Nashville, Tn.-based non-hospice palliative care provider. No financial terms were disclosed. Apire had raised roughly $53 million from investors, shows Crunchbase. Its backers include Oak HC/FT, GV, BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners and Sandbox Industries. Forbes has more here. |
The Ireland-based online gaming company Paddy Power Betfair has agreed to buy New York-based fantasy sports site FanDuel. Legal Sports Report has more here.
|New Enterprise Associates just promoted two members of its investing team to general partner: Carmen Chang, who is also the chairman and head of the firm’s Asia practice, and Ali Behbahani, a medical doctor and healthcare investor who focuses on biopharmaceutical and medical devices. |
Libertarians and “crypto bros” are one and the same, notes Quartz, usinga handy Venn diagram to illustrate its point.
|Relay Ventures is looking to hire a principal. The job is in Menlo Park, Ca.|
|According to eMarketer statistics, 23.4 million U.S. customers use Starbucks’ mobile payments — more than the 22 million using Apple Pay(!). Here’s who owns everything in big media at the moment.|
|Apple is launching a new privacy portal where users can download a copy of everything Apple knows about them. |
HTC‘s newest phone is see-through and . . . squeezable.
Lyft says it’s going to spend $100 million on new driver support centers that will feature discounted car washes, basic car maintenance, and clean bathrooms, among other things.
Why China’s payment apps give U.S. bankers nightmares.
After some foot dragging, SoftBank has decided to sell Walmart its stake in Flipkart after all. No word on whether additional strings were attached to the deal.
| The six biggest myths about tech addiction. |
Age your lime juice if you’re going to use it in cocktails (we’re being told).
|The most expensive sneakers of 2018, so far.|