6 River Systems unveils warehouse robots that show workers the way
 When Amazon acquired Kiva Systems in 2012, other retailers and third-party fulfillment centers panicked. The e-commerce giants took Kiva’s robots off the market, leaving their competitors without an important productivity tool. Lots of newcomers have cropped up to help warehouses keep up with demand since then. But one of the most hotly anticipated robots in this space was under… Read More ...
Arable raises $4.25 million to demystify farming with sensors and data
 Arable has raised $4.25 million for solar-powered sensors and software to help farmers produce more food with fewer resources, and more accurately predict their yields. Middleland Capital and S2G Ventures led the Series A investment in Arable joined by Chasefield, Spark Labs and Cantos VC. Believe it or not, farmers in the US have faced a labor shortage for years. US citizens aren’t drawn… Read More ...
How Trump will impact venture capital: The future of QSBS
 When we speak of disruption in the startup industry, it would not be uncommon to invoke an innovative technology or a visionary founder. It is a rare occasion when we can celebrate legislators. Yet, some of the most recent strides in the emerging growth ecosystem are owed not to Silicon Valley programmers in their Spartan incubators, but instead to the United States Congress. Read More ...
All 51 startups that debuted at Y Combinator W17 Demo Day 2
 Over 15,000 founders from 7,200 startups applied to this batch of Y Combinator. It chose just over 100 with founders from 22 countries to go through its accelerator program. Today, the second half of those companies launched on stage, and we have breakdowns of all 51 of these businesses. Oh, and the ACLU. The 97-year old legal activism non-profit is far from a startup, but went through YC to… Read More ...
The 52 startups that launched at Y Combinator W17 Demo Day 1
 Today was Y Combinator’s 24th Demo Day, where the accelerator shows off its fresh companies to investors. International, AI, and hardware products were the emergent themes of the 52 companies that launched. “The international tour seemed to work” says YC President Sam Altman, who helped put on ‘Startup School’ events across the globe to boost the… Read More ...
Vinsight gives grape and almond growers a high-tech crystal ball
 Farmers know how hard it is to predict yield accurately. High-value crops like grapes or almonds prove particularly challenging. Farmers expect, and settle for, twenty to forty percent uncertainty with these crops. Vinsight founder and CEO, Megan Nunes, who grew up in the farming business, found that unacceptable. After almost a decade-long career in the satellite industry, she turned her… Read More ...
PlateIQ cooks up $4 million for restaurant management platform
 As any fan of Kitchen Nightmares may know, the restaurant business is not for the faint of heart, nor is it likely to generate fat margins. Now, a startup called PlateIQ has raised $4 million in new funding to help restaurants automate accounts payable, and nail all their other accounting work so they can focus, finally, on the food and front-of-house. Eileses Capital led the round… Read More ...
An eBay for grain-trading, FarmLead, raises $6.5 million Series A
 Farmers work to feed the world. Yet somehow, corn, wheat and rice sales are still happening at a local level through antiquated paperwork and phone negotiations. Now, an Ottawa-based startup called FarmLead has raised $6.5 million in venture funding to connect grain producers and buyers automatically online, and help farmers get fair prices for what they grow. The platform is something like… Read More ...
Y Combinator has a new AI track, and wants startups building ‘robot factory’ tech to apply
 Y Combinator Partner Daniel Gross today announced that the accelerator-turned-venture-fund will offer its first “vertical” track exclusively for AI startups. YC gathers founders from different industries together in each investment cycle. The organization hosts interdisciplinary demo days and “dinners,” which are more like half-day sessions for knowledge sharing… Read More ...
Equity podcast: The return of IPOs and Tesla’s billion-dollar bet
 One down, many more to go! The first episode of TechCrunch’s latest podcast, Equity, our venture capital-focused podcast is out. This week, TechCrunch’s Matthew Lynley, CrunchBase editor-in-chief Alex Wilhelm and I sat down with investor and SaaStr founder Jason Lemkin to talk about Tesla’s $1 billion raise, the return of IPOs and recent acquisitions in the technology… Read More ...
Reduced Energy Microsystems pits startup chip chops against industry giants
 Whether or not you like the so-called Internet of Things, the fact is that we do live in an internet of things, and every one of those things has a chip inside it. These chips are very advanced, of course, but also in many ways very traditional. Reduced Energy Microsystems wants to upend the status quo with a chip tech that the competition is too set in their ways to adopt. Read More ...
Makeblock raises $30 million for robot-building kits for kids
 Remember when kids could simply play with their toys? They still can. But parents are increasingly spending on toys that are chockablock with tech components, and that promise to turn their kids into software developers or robotics engineers. The Toy Industry Association, which held its International Toy Fair in New York last month, has even identified robotics-education as a major trend… Read More ...
LimeBike raises $12 million to roll out bike sharing without kiosks in the US
 A startup called LimeBike has raised $12 million in venture funding to make Chinese-style bike sharing mainstream in the US. Andreessen Horowitz led the round joined by IDG Ventures, DCM Ventures and other investors who declined to be named. In China, companies like MoBike and Ofo have raised massive amounts of venture capital and distributed tens of thousands of their GPS-enabled bikes in… Read More ...
Bill Maris’s next gig after GV is a $100 million health and biotech fund
 It was happening, then it wasn’t — but now it seems Bill Maris’s venture fund might actually be more than vaporware. Maris, founder of Google Ventures, now called GV, is raising money again for a new health-care, biotech, and tech-focused venture capital fund, according to sources familiar with the matter. What was initially thought to be a $230 million fund has… Read More ...
NFL’s Drew Brees backs Waitr to make takeout easy in anytown USA
 Food delivery startups abound in the U.S., but few of them deliver to customers in second cities and smaller towns. From early pioneers like Grubhub to newer services like DoorDash, food delivery businesses have tended to focus on urban areas with a high concentration of restaurants and people who frequently order takeout. Now, New Orleans Saints Quarterback, philanthropist and angel… Read More ...
Chowbotics raises $5 million for salad-making robots named Sally, of course
 Chowbotics Inc. has landed $5 million in a Series A round of venture funding to develop what it’s calling food service robots. These are machines designed to prepare food in restaurants, cafeterias, hotels, or food courts in airports, malls and hospitals. The company’s flagship product, Sally, is a salad-making robot that uses 20 different food canisters to prepare and… Read More ...
AccelFoods fund for food and beverage innovators reaches $35 million
 An accelerator and fund that backs innovative food and beverage companies, AccelFoods, has added $15 million to its second fund, according to founding partners Jordan Gaspar and Lauren Jupiter. AccelFoods has backed brands making products that range from edgy to adorable. Examples are Exo, which makes protein supplements and bars from crickets (yes the insects), Four Sigmatic which uses a… Read More ...
Instacart raises $400 million at a $3.4 billion valuation to deliver groceries on-demand
 Grocery delivery startup Instacart has raised approximately $400 million in a new round of venture funding at a valuation of $3.4 billion according to sources familiar with the deal. Axios broke news that Instacart was in talks to close this mammoth venture deal last week. Instacart executives declined to comment for this story. Over the past year, Instacart has weathered controversies… Read More ...
Hubble raises $16.5 million to deliver affordable daily contact lenses
 A subscription commerce startup that sells its own brand of daily disposable contact lenses, Hubble, has raised $16.5 million in a new round of venture funding just five months after having launched its service publicly. One might say the deal happened in the blink of an eye for the startup, which is incorporated as Vision Path Inc. Co-founded by Ben Cogan and Jesse Horwitz, Hubble sells… Read More ...
Jay Z launches Arrive to fund startups, offer branding support and more
 Jay Z’s new venture capital firm Arrive, has arrived – the rap and business mogul has been planning the launch for awhile, according to reports that surfaced in February, but a press release from parent company Roc Nation made it official on Monday. The investment platform will work with early-stage startups, and offer investment of capital as well as assistance with business… Read More ...