Robinhood lets you invest as little as 1 cent in any stock

12 Dec

One share of Amazon stock costs over $1700, locking out less wealthy investors. So to continue its quest to democratize stock trading, Robinhood is launching fractional share trading this week. This lets you buy 0.000001 shares, rounded to the nearest penny, or just $1 of any stock with zero fee. The ability to buy by […]

Atom Finance’s free Bloomberg Terminal rival raises $12M

12 Dec

If you want to win on Wall Street, Yahoo Finance is insufficient but Bloomberg Terminal costs a whopping $24,000 per year. That’s why Atom Finance built a free tool designed to democratize access to professional investor research. If Robinhood made it cost $0 to trade stocks, Atom Finance makes it cost $0 to know which […]

Airbnb invests as Zeus corporate housing raises $55M at $205M

9 Dec

As Airbnb absorbs more and more of the demand for housing, it’s exploring how to monetize opportunities beyond vacation rentals. A marketplace for longer term corporate housing could be a huge business, but rather than build that itself, Airbnb is making a strategic investment in one of the market leaders called Zeus Living and will […]

Snapchat Cameo edits your face into videos

8 Dec

Snapchat is preparing to launch a big new feature that uses your selfies to replace the faces of people in videos you can then share. It’s essentially a simplified way to Deepfake you into GIFs. Cameos are an alternative to Bitmoji for quickly conveying an emotion, reaction, or silly situation in Snapchat messages. Some French […]

300M-user Imgur launches Melee, a gaming meme app

5 Dec

10 years after debut, 300 million monthly user Imgur is one of the last massively popular yet unpersonalized home pages on the internet. Since everyone sees the same upvoted posts when they open Imgur, it creates a shared experience full of inside jokes and running gags. But while you can switch to a feed of […]

Apple Music dives deeper into concert streaming with Billie Eilish

5 Dec

As music streaming apps struggle to differentiate, Apple is making concert video a more central part of its strategy with tonight’s big Billie Eilish show at its HQ’s Steve Jobs Theater. The Apple Music Awards concert will be streaming live and then on-demand to Apple Music’s 60 million subscribers. Apple would like to do more […]

Instagram finally launches 13+ age checkups

4 Dec

Instagram is done playing dumb about users’ ages. After 9 years, Instagram is finally embracing more responsibility to protect underage kids from the problems with social media. It will now ask new users to input their birthdate and bar users under 13 from joining. However, it won’t be asking existing users their age, so Instagram […]

Instagram still doesn’t age-check kids. That must change.

4 Dec

Instagram dodges child safety laws. By not asking users their age upon signup, it can feign ignorance about how old they are. That way, it can’t be held liable for $40,000 per violation of the Child Online Privacy Protection Act. The law bans online services from collecting personally identifiable information about kids under 13 without […]

Disney’s cringe-worthy Baby Yoda merch goes on sale

26 Nov

Who could have guessed an adorable, big-eyed baby Star Wars alien would have generated a ton of demand for toys? Apparently not Disney, which today started to sell merchandise based on The Child from new Disney+ show The Mandalorian, commonly known as “Baby Yoda”. The shirts, bags, mugs, and phone cases all feel…forced, like Disney […]

Instagram founders join $30M raise for Loom work video messenger

26 Nov

Why are we all trapped in enterprise chat apps if we talk 6X faster than we type, and our brain processes visual info 60,000X faster than text? Thanks to Instagram, we’re not as camera-shy anymore. And everyone’s trying to remain in flow instead of being distracted by multi-tasking. That’s why now is the time for […]

Omni storage & rentals fails, shutters, sells engineers to Coinbase

25 Nov

$35 million-funded Omni is packing up and shutting down after struggling to make the economics of equipment rentals and physical on-demand storage work out. The startup fought for a second wind after selling off its physical storage operations to competitor Clutter in May. Then sources tell me it tried to build a whitelabel software platform […]

Facebook Viewpoints pays users for well-being surveys & tasks

25 Nov

Facebook is launching a new market research, task, and product testing program that lets users earn money. Starting today, people in the US who are over 18 can download Viewpoints and participate in a well-being survey so Facebook can learn to “limit the negative impacts of social media and enhance the benefits.” Other opportunities include completing […]

Facebook prototypes Favorites for close friends microsharing

22 Nov

Facebook is building its own version of Instagram Close Friends, the company confirms to TechCrunch. There’s a lot people that don’t share on Facebook because it can feel risky or awkward since its definition of “friends” has swelled to include family, work colleagues, and distant acquaintances. No one wants their boss or grandma seeing their […]

Camp Grounded Digital Detox returns after founder’s death

21 Nov

Summer camp for adults and beloved tech-free weekend getaway Camp Grounded ground to a halt in 2017. Its big-hearted founder Levi Felix who’d espoused the joys of trading screens for nature walks was tragically killed by brain cancer at just age 32. Left in his wake was mourning community who’d lost their digital detox rally […]

Splice teaches AI to sell Similar Sounds as users double

21 Nov

Splice is blowing up like a hit song. The audio sample marketplace has doubled revenue and user count in a year, and now reaches 3 million musicians. 70% of those visit weekly to hunt down the freshest and trendiest sounds that give their tracks that special something, and many pay $7.99 for unlimited access. But […]

Placement is the much-needed talent agent for jobseekers

21 Nov

“We’re giving away money to strangers on the internet” is a pretty cavalier pitch for a new startup. But the more I learned about Placement, the smarter it sounded. In exchange for 10% of your income for 18 to 36 months, Placement will find you a much higher paying job, prep you for the interview […]

Route’s app auto-tracks all your packages, raises $12M

21 Nov

Between Amazon, FedEx, UPS, and indie merchants, it’s easy to lose track of when your online purchases will be delivered. And if you’re buying something pricey or important, a lack of shipping insurance can leave you anxious and constantly checking your porch. But a fresh startup has found unprecedented growth by letting you monitor all […]

SocialRank sells biz to Trufan, pivots to a mobile LinkedIn

19 Nov

What do you do when your startup idea doesn’t prove big enough? Run it as a scrawny but profitable lifestyle business? Or sell it to a competitor and take another swing at the fences. Social audience analytics and ad targeting startup SocialRank chose the latter is going for glory. Today, SocialRank announced it’s sold its […]

Steve Jang & Kanyi Maqubela form or fund as Kindred Ventures

18 Nov

Venture capitalists often mutter, “I haven’t seen anything I like lately”. Founders frequently complain that “investors are back-seat drivers who won’t get their hands dirty.” A $55 million fund with a fresh approach is aiming to address both those issues. Steve Jang and Kanye Maquebla are two exceedingly smart and sweet guys who couldn’t help […]

Facebook’s Libra code chugs along ignoring regulatory deadlock

15 Nov

“5 months and growing strong” the Libra Association announced today in an post about its technical infrastructure that completely omits the fierce regulatory backlash to its cryptocurrency. 40 wallets, tools, and block explorers plus 1,700 Github commits have how now been built on its blockchain testnet that’s seen 51,000 mock transactions in the past two […]

Facebook quietly built “Popular Photos”, an in-app Instagram

14 Nov

Facebook is copying Instagram while simultaneously invading its acquisition with branding and links back to the mothership. TechCrunch has spotted Facebook testing a feature called Popular Photos, which affixes an endless scroll of algorithmically selected pics from friends beneath the full-screen view of a photo opened from the News Feed. The result is an experience […]

Instagram tests hiding Like counts globally

14 Nov

Instagram is making Like counts private for some users everywhere. The test is expanding globally after Instagram began hiding Likes in April in Canada and then in Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand in July. Facebook started a similar experiment in Australia in September. An Instagram spokesperson tells TechCrunch: “Starting today, we’re expanding our test […]

Lawyers hate timekeeping. Ping raises $13M to fix it with AI

12 Nov

Counting billable time in six minute increments is the most annoying part of being a lawyer. It’s a distracting waste. It leads law firms to conservatively under-bill. And it leaves lawyers stuck manually filling out timesheets after a long day when they want to go home to their families. Life is already short, as Ping […]

Instagram Stories launches TikTok clone Reels in Brazil

12 Nov

Instagram is launching a video-music remix feature to finally fight back against Chinese social rival TikTok. Instagram Reels lets you make 15-second video clips set to music and share them as Stories, with the potential to go viral on a new Top Reels section of Explore. Just like TikTok, users can soundtrack their Reels with […]

Snapchat Spectacles 3 review: Pretty, pricey

12 Nov

No one’s going to pay $380 for decent point-of-view video glasses and some trippy filters. But that’s kind of the point of Snapchat Spectacles 3. They’re merely a stepping stone towards true augmented reality eyewear — a public hardware beta for the Snap Lab R&D team that Apple and Facebook aren’t getting as they tinker […]

Facebook finally lets you banish nav bar tabs & red dots

11 Nov

Are those red notification dots on your Facebook home screen driving you crazy? Sick of Facebook Marketplace wasting your screen space? Now you can control what appears in the Facebook app’s navigation bar thanks to a new option called Shortcuts Bar Settings. Over the weekend TechCrunch spotted the option to remove certain tabs like Marketplace, […]

Instagram to test hiding Like counts in the US next week

9 Nov

“We will make decisions that hurt the business if they help people’s well-being and health” says Instagram’s CEO Adam Mosseri. To that end, next week Instagram will expand its test of hiding Like counts from everyone but a post’s creator to the United States. Mosseri revealed the plan at the Wired25 conference today, saying Instagram […]

Ex-Facebook CPO Chris Cox now advises on climate & campaign tech

8 Nov

Chris Cox’s motivational speeches were at the heart of Facebook’s new employee orientation. But after 14 years at the social network, the Chief Product Officer left in March amidst an executive shake-up and Facebook’s new plan to prioritize privacy by moving to encrypt its messaging apps. No details on his next projects were revealed. Now […]

Alpaca nabs $6M for stocks API so anyone can build a Robinhood

8 Nov

Stock trading app Robinhood is valued at $7.6 billion, but it only operates in the US. Freshly-funded fintech startup Alpaca does the dirty work so developers worldwide can launch their own competitors to that investing unicorn. Like the Stripe of stocks, Alpaca’s API handles the banking, security, and regulatory complexity, allowing other startups to quickly […]