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layoffs at bike-share startup zagster following $15 million raise – techcrunch


zagster, the bike-share startup that raised a $15 million round last month, has laid off some employees, techcrunch has learned. zagster has since confirmed the layoffs, but has yet to comment on the number of those affected.“coming off the heels of our recent financing, we’ve re-structured to accelerate expansion of pace, with a heavier focus on building in-market teams to greatly expand bike fleets, drive higher ridership, and partner with local businesses to sponsor pace parking,” zagster ceo tim ericson said in a statement to techcrunch. “we did have to let a number of people go with roles not aligned to our pace strategy. we’re extremely appreciative of their contributions and are helping them through the transition.”the shift from docked to dockless bike-sharing is what prompted the






bike-share startup zagster raises $15 million


zagster, the bike-share company behind the pace brand, has raised a $15 million round led by edison capital partners. the startup has also unveiled its new bike parking system for both shared and personal bikes.“bikes have always locked to things,” zagster ceo tim ericson said in a press release. “cities have been willing to experiment with dockless bikes that don’t lock to anything because they lack sufficient bike parking and, until pace, lacked a partner willing to install this infrastructure at no cost.”zagster’s pace is one of the newer entrants to the bike-share space, which consists of a number of startups and larger companies battling for contracts with cities all over the world.this year has been full of bike-share news, between jump scoring an exclusive contract to operate its st






uber acquires bike-share startup jump – techcrunch


uber has acquired bike-sharing startup jump for an undisclosed amount of money. this comes shortly after techcrunch reported that jump was in talks with uber as well as with investors regarding a potential fundraising round involving sequoia capital’s mike moritz. at the time, jump was contemplating a sale that exceeded $100 million. we’re now hearing that the final price was closer to $200 million, according to one source close to the situation.jump’s decision to sell to uber came down to the ability to realize the bike-share company’s vision at a large scale, and quickly, jump ceo ryan rzepecki told techcrunch over the phone. he also said uber ceo dara khosrowshahi’s leadership impacted his decision.“i had a chance to spend a couple of evenings with him, and really talk through his visio






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 u.s. 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 urban markets. the bikes do not have to be retrieved and returned at docks like they do in major u.s. bike-sharing programs, such as the citibike initiative with motivate co. in new york.according to limebike co-founders, chairman brad bao and ceo toby sun, the startup is working with the bay area bicycle coalitions, and other advocacy groups, to forge strong relationships with different cyclist communi






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 urban markets. the bikes do not have to be retrieved and returned at docks like they do in major us bike sharing programs such as the citibike initiative with motivate co. in new york.according to limebike co-founders, chairman brad bao and ceo toby sun, the startup is working with the bay area bicycle coalitions, and other advocacy groups, to forge strong relationships with different cyclist communities






yellow raises $9 million to launch dockless bike-share in brazil – techcrunch


yellow, a brazil-based mobility startup, just raised a $9 million seed round for its dockless bike-share service.yellow was founded by ariel lambrecht and renato freitas, who sold their ride-share company 99 to didi in a $1 billion deal earlier this year. yellow’s third co-founder is eduardo musa, ceo of bike manufacturer caloi.yellow intends to use the funding to deploy its first 20,000 dockless bikes. this summer. yellow plans to deploy a total of 100,000 bikes. ultimately, yellow envisions deploying more than one million bikes.“as local residents, we’re acutely aware of the pain points caused by brazil’s inefficient public transit, and we built yellow specifically to address them,” musa said in a press release. “our goal is to improve circulation of urban traffic and curb harmful greenh






join the techcrunch meetup in davos #tcdavos


techcrunch is holding an informal meetup during the world economic forum’s annual meeting in davos, switzerland. grab a free ticket here.the event precedes our techcrunch meetup the week after in zug, switzerland, the so-called crypto valley. you can grab a ticket here.the davos meetup will be co-hosted by samantha stein, techcrunch’s director of special projects & startup battlefield editor, and mike butcher, editor-at-large of techcrunch. investors, angels, startup community leaders, and startup founders can join us to hear about techcrunch’s startup battlefield and about our other activities, followed by informal networking.because of the timing, we’re inviting you to join us at 1pm to first watch the donald trump keynote address to the wef congress, on the big screens, followed by the






apply to techcrunch’s startup programs for disrupt and startup battlefield with


at techcrunch’s flagship disrupt events, there are three ways for startups to get in the limelight. one is to win a spot in the prestigious startup battlefield competition. another is to be selected as one of the editor-selected tc top picks to exhibit in one of the featured tracks in startup alley. both of those opportunities are 100 percent free. the last is to apply for a highly affordable single-day exhibitor pass for startup alley itself. easy, right? you might think so, but the truth is until now, the application process was fragmented and founders had to make parallel applications for different programs. but no more! today, we launched our single, reusable application for all of techcrunch’s startup programs. founders can now fill out a single application here and apply to all of ou






techcrunch’s startup battlefield australia joined by leading aussie names


as you’ve probably gathered techcrunch is headed to australia to find the most disruptive early-stage startups, in partnership with elevacao. as we like to say these days, ‘all roads lead to disrupt’ and our focus now is to reach out internationally to find the best startups for our disrupt stages, from all around the world.techcrunch’s startup battlefield australia is our first ever, and it’s particularly sweet for me to be able to leave london and come ‘down under’. it’s a little-known fact that i have dual nationality, being both born in the uk but also holding an australian passport. but more of that in a moment.australia is increasingly known as a tech startup hub in the last few years, witnessing myob’s $833m ipo (australia’s largest-ever tech ipo), atlassian’s us-based ipo at $1.1 b






techcrunch’s startup battlefield australia joined by leading aussie names


as you’ve probably gathered techcrunch is headed to australia to find the most disruptive early-stage startups, in partnership with elevacao. as we like to say these days, ‘all roads lead to disrupt’ and our focus now is to reach out internationally to find the best startups for our disrupt stages, from all around the world.techcrunch’s startup battlefield australia is our first ever, and it’s particularly sweet for me to be able to leave london and come ‘down under’. it’s a little-known fact that i have dual nationality, being both born in the uk but also holding an australian passport. but more of that in a moment.australia is increasingly known as a tech startup hub, witnessing atlassian’s $1.1 billion ipo, a $250 million equity growth round for australia’s campaign monitor and a $150 m






deep science ai monitors security feeds for masks and guns to quicken response t


you’re working late at the 7-eleven when a masked man comes through the door with a gun. you raise your hands, follow his instructions, empty the cash register and throw some burners in the bag. as he runs out the door, you note his height, collect yourself and call 9-1-1. unless you don’t need to because the mask immediately tipped off your store’s ai, and the police are already on their way with a description. that’s what startup battlefield company deep science ai hopes to enable.there are security cameras everywhere, founders sean huver and sam tkach thought, and deep learning models are getting really good at spotting individual objects in footage — for example, masks and guns. so why not put the two together?“people find it surprising how prevalent this problem is in high-crime areas






announcing startup battlefield europe at vivatech this may


techcrunch startup battlefield is headed to vivatech in paris on may 24th to find and feature the best early-stage startup across europe! in partnership with vivatech, startupbattlefield europe will feature startups from across continental europe working on the cutting-edge technologies blooming this spring. vivatech is the perfect spot to host our startup battlefield europe competition as founders, business leaders, investors, academics, students, and media from europe and around the world will descend on paris to preview the future.techcrunch will host startup battlefield europe at vivatech on may 24-25 in front of a live audience and top judges, and we will live stream the show on techcrunch, so the rest of the world can tune in. the overall winner of startup battlefield europe will als






announcing startup battlefield europe at vivatech this may


techcrunch startup battlefield is headed to vivatech in paris on may 24th to find and feature the best early-stage startup across europe! in partnership with vivatech, startupbattlefield europe will feature startups from across continental europe working on the cutting-edge technologies blooming this spring. vivatech is the perfect spot to host our startup battlefield europe competition as founders, business leaders, investors, academics, students, and media from europe and around the world will descend on paris to preview the future.techcrunch will host startup battlefield europe at vivatech on may 24-25 in front of a live audience and top judges, and we will live stream the show on techcrunch, so the rest of the world can tune in. the overall winner of startup battlefield europe will als






techcrunch is back in berlin january 15th


we just could not stay away! in december, techcrunch held disrupt at the berlin arena. we were wowed by the berlin startup scene and just couldn’t get enough. in fact, germany’s own blik became the 2017 runner-up of startup battlefield berlin. well now we are back, and we want to meet more of your startups.techcrunch is holding an informal startup battlefield meet and greet on january 15th with samantha stein, techcrunch’s director of special projects & battlefield editor, and mike butcher, editor-at-large of techcrunch. investors, angels, startup community leaders, and startup founders can join to learn more about techcrunch’s startup battlefield.founders will learn how to apply for battlefield with a killer application, and investors will learn how to refer companies in their portfolio.






instacart raises $400 million at a $3.4 billion valuation to deliver groceries o


grocery delivery startup instacart has raised another $400 million in a new round of financing at a valuation of $3.4 billion, according to sources familiar with the deal. axios broke news that instacart was in talks to close the deal last week. instacart executives declined to comment for this story.over the past year, instacart has weathered a number of controversies after raising prices for consumers and cutting rates for its workers. previously, the startup had raised around $260 million at a reported $2 billion valuation.some of its competitors have faltered significantly since instacart last raised funding. close to home, san francisco-based organic food delivery startup good eggs went through a change in leadership, layoffs and general belt-tightening. in india, ridesharing operator






join the techcrunch meetup at the world economic forum #tcdavos


techcrunch is holding an informal meetup during the world economic forum’s annual meeting in davos, switzerland. grab a free ticket here.the event precedes our techcrunch meetup the week after in zug, switzerland, the so-called crypto valley. you can grab a ticket here.the davos meetup will be co-hosted by samantha stein, techcrunch’s director of special projects & startup battlefield editor, and mike butcher, editor-at-large of techcrunch. investors, angels, startup community leaders, and startup founders can join us to hear about techcrunch’s startup battlefield and about our other activities, followed by informal networking.because of the timing, we’re inviting you to join us at 1pm to first watch the donald trump keynote address to the wef congress, on the big screens, followed by the






instacart raises $400 million at a $3.4 billion valuation to deliver groceries o


grocery delivery startup instacart has raised another $400 million in a new round of financing at a valuation of $3.4 billion, according to sources familiar with the deal. axios broke news that instacart was in talks to close the deal last week. instacart executives declined to comment for this story.over the past year, instacart has weathered a number of controversies after raising prices for consumers and cutting rates for its workers. previously, the startup had raised around $260 million at a reported $2 billion valuation.some of its competitors have faltered significantly since instacart last raised funding. close to home, san francisco-based organic food delivery startup good eggs went through a change in leadership, layoffs and general belt-tightening. in india, ridesharing operator






nexla launches data operations platform with $3.5 million investment


nexla, a competitor in the techcrunch disrupt battlefield this week in new york city, has more on its plate than simply impressing the judges. it also chose to launch their public beta at the event and, while it was at it, announced $3.5 million in funding led by blumberg capital with participation from storm ventures, engineering capital and correlation ventures.that’s what i call making the most of your disrupt experience.the company is attempting to solve a major problem around processing data from multiple sources and putting it into a form to make it useful for a given customer and how they do business. it’s a challenge the founders faced first-hand at their previous jobs working in the advertising business where they had to deal with tens of thousands of such data sources, ingesting






techcrunch is back in africa next week! – techcrunch


techcrunch is headed back to africa to find the next wave of early stage startups tackling big ideas! last october, techcrunch held startup battlefield in nairobi, kenya and featured 15 early stage startups from across the continent. we’re impressed by the sub-saharan africa startup scene and can’t wait to meet the next crop of innovators in the coming weeks.you can meet startup battlefield director, samantha stein, and learn more about techcrunch’s startup battlefield program at one of the upcoming meet and greets. investors, angels, startup community leaders, and startup founders can join to learn more about techcrunch’s startup battlefield. rsvp below as space is filling up fast!founders will learn how to apply for battlefield with a killer application, and investors will learn how to r






techcrunch is back in africa next week! – techcrunch


techcrunch is headed back to africa to find the next wave of early stage startups tackling big ideas! last october, techcrunch held startup battlefield in nairobi, kenya and featured 15 early stage startups from across the continent. we’re impressed by the sub-saharan africa startup scene and can’t wait to meet the next crop of innovators in the coming weeks.you can meet startup battlefield director, samantha stein, and learn more about techcrunch’s startup battlefield program at one of the upcoming meet and greets. investors, angels, startup community leaders, and startup founders can join to learn more about techcrunch’s startup battlefield. rsvp below as space is filling up fast!founders will learn how to apply for battlefield with a killer application, and investors will learn how to r






carrier billing startup boku to raise £45m in london ipo november 20


boku, the startup that partners with apple in its rollout of carrier billing for the app store, expects to raise £45 million ($60 million) on a post-money valuation of £125 million ($164 million) when it goes public on november 20, a week from today.the company — which also works with google, microsoft, facebook, spotify and some 173 carriers to allow users to pay for digital goods like apps and subscriptions via their mobile bills — first announced its intention to float on the london stock exchange’s alternative investment market, on november 3, without detailing the amount it wanted to raise. since then, we have picked up more details from reliable sources, who also say that the ipo has been oversubscribed.of that £45 million, £30 million will be passed back to existing investors, with






limebike raises $70 million as the bike-sharing battle rages on


bike-sharing turned multi-modal transportation company limebike has raised an additional $70 million from its previously announced $50 million series b round. this brings limebike’s total funding to $132 million.the funding comes shortly after limebike announced its entrance into the e-scooter and pedal assist, e-bike games.“we’re interested in bike-sharing because it’s something real estate owners really want,” fifth wall co-founder and managing partner brendan wallace told techcrunch about the firm’s decision to invest in limebike.there are a number of competitors in the bike-share space, including spin, jump, ofo, motivate and, most recently, uber via a partnership with jump. as you can see below, many of limebike’s competitors have a significant amount of capital.before making the inve






meet mobike, a billion-dollar bike-sharing startup from china


bike-sharing is the year’s hottest tech trend in china. the two biggest startups in the space have pulled in more than $1 billion cumulatively from vcs this year alone, and at valuations that exceed $1 billion — yet their businesses, and the bikes themselves, are not well known in the u.s. and other parts of the world outside of china.during our recent techcrunch china event in shenzhen last month, we took time out to get to know mobike, one of the leading bike on-demand companies, and sample the bikes it offers.the company was founded in 2015, and today it claims over 100 million registered users across more than 100 cities, almost all of which are in china.mobike charges 1rmb (around $0.15) per 30 minutes. its bikes are dock-less — meaning they can be dropped off and picked up from anywh






sirin, maker of the solarin $14k smartphone, cuts 30 staff and pivots


so much for super-private, high-end phones for the super-rich? sirin labs, the startup that makes the solarin, an android-based smartphone released last may with a $14,000 price tag and promise of extreme security for its owner, is laying off one-third, or 30, of its staff after seeing just $10 million in sales since launch. the startup is now weighing up a pivot of the business to “new computing devices” according to its ceo.the news of the layoffs was confirmed to us directly by sirin after israeli paper calcalist reported the layoffs (accurately) and that the solarin was getting discontinued (not so accurate, says sirin).“nearly a year after launching solarin, sirin labs is pursuing new directions to a new product line and therefore restructuring its staff,” a spokesperson said. “one th






sirin, maker of the solarin $14k smartphone, cuts 30 staff and weighs pivot


so much for super-private, high-end phones for the super-rich? sirin labs, the startup that makes the solarin, an android-based smartphone released last may with a $14,000 price tag and promise of extreme security for its owner, is laying off one-third, or 30, of its staff after seeing just $10 million in sales since launch. the startup is now weighing up a pivot of the business to “new computing devices” according to its ceo.the news of the layoffs was confirmed to us directly by sirin after israeli paper calcalist reported the layoffs (accurately) and that the solarin was getting discontinued (not so accurate, says sirin).“nearly a year after launching solarin, sirin labs is pursuing new directions to a new product line and therefore restructuring its staff,” a spokesperson said. “one th






jump bikes weighing uber $100m+ acquisition, investment offers – techcrunch


jump bikes, the on-demand biking service that integrates with uber, has been weighing both acquisition and investment offers.a decision has not yet been reached, but right now possible options include a sale to uber at a price that exceeds $100 million, or a venture investment round, multiple sources tell techcrunch. one of the possible investor names that has been floated is mike moritz of sequoia capital, but we are told that jump has several options.we are also told that various parties have been upping their offers over the past week, as they fiercely compete to get ownership of jump.“e-bikes” are expected to become more popular, where users are able to find and rent bikes quickly via apps. they are part regular bike and part electric, which makes it easier to go up hills.jump launched






final days to apply for startup battlefield australia


what could you do in the next three days to change your startup’s trajectory? apply to startup battlefield australia! taking an hour today to apply could result in $25,000 aud to extend your startup’s runway, an all-expense paid trip to techcrunch disrupt san francisco 2018, pitch training that will leave investors asking for more, global media exposure across techcrunch’s channels and a warm welcome into the startup battlefield alumni community. who are the alumni? at the time of application, they were early-stage founders — just like you. the startup battlefield has been bringing world-class founders into the spotlight since 2007, and in the past decade almost 700 contestants have gone on to raise nearly $7 billion in funding and rack up nearly 100 exits and ipos. our community of battle






chinese bike-sharing startup ofo raises $866m in new financing led by alibaba gr


beijing-based bike-sharing startup ofo has raised $866 million in new financing led by alibaba group to fuel its expensive competition with mobike, which is backed by tencent, one of alibaba’s biggest rivals. ofo and mobike are the two largest bike-sharing companies in china.other participants in the round, which consists of equity and debt financing, included ant financial (alibaba group’s financial affiliate), haofeng group, tianhe capital and junli capital. alibaba group also led ofo’s $700 million series e round last year, which was announced one month after mobike disclosed that it had received a $600 million series e led by tencent.both companies have reached valuations of more than a billion dollars and, combined, hold over 90% of china’s bike-sharing market (and are also expanding






chinese bike-sharing startup ofo raises $866m in new financing led by alibaba gr


beijing-based bike-sharing startup ofo has raised $866 million in new financing led by alibaba group to fuel its expensive competition with mobike, which is backed by tencent, one of alibaba’s biggest rivals. ofo and mobike are the two largest bike-sharing companies in china.ofo claims that this is the largest amount raised in a round by a bike-sharing company so far. other participants in the round, which consists of equity and debt financing, included ant financial (alibaba group’s financial affiliate), haofeng group, tianhe capital and junli capital. alibaba group also led ofo’s $700 million series e round last year, which was announced one month after mobike disclosed that it had received a $600 million series e led by tencent.in a press statement, ofo founder and chief executive offic






jump will be the first stationless, e-bike-sharing service to launch in sf


social bicycles, maker of the jump pedal-assist e-bikes that don’t require docking stations, has received a permit from the san francisco municipal transportation agency to launch 250 dockless electric bikes in san francisco sometime between now and the end of march. this is the first permit the city has issued to an electric, stationless bike-share provider.“jump bikes has demonstrated a commitment to san francisco’s priorities of providing a safe, equitable and accountable bike share system and is the only company to have fulfilled the requirements of the sfmta’s stationless bike share permit application,” the sfmta wrote in a blog post.jump’s bikes can be legally locked to bike parking racks or the “furniture zone of the sidewalk,” which is where you see things like light poles, benches






deep science ai monitors security feeds for masks and guns to quicken response t


you’re working late at the 7-eleven when a masked man comes through the door with a gun. you raise your hands, follow his instructions, empty the cash register and throw some burners in the bag. as he runs out the door, you note his height, collect yourself and call 9-1-1. unless you don’t need to because the mask immediately tipped off your store’s ai, and the police are already on their way with a description. that’s what startup battlefield company deep science ai hopes to enable.there are security cameras everywhere, founders sean huver and sam tkach thought, and deep learning models are getting really good at spotting individual objects in footage — for example, masks and guns. so why not put the two together?“people find it surprising how prevalent this problem is in high-crime areas






gobee bike throws in the towel in france


bike-sharing startup gobee bike is giving up and shutting down in all french cities where it operates. gobee bike operates just like chinese giants ofo and mobike. you open the app, you find a bike on the map and you unlock it by scanning a qr code. once you’re done, you lock it again and leave it there — there’s no dock.and yet, the startup is blaming vandalism and says that the service would stop immediately. it’s worth noting that users will get a refund on their remaining balances and €15 deposit. this is a nice gesture.according to the announcement, gobee bike managed to attract 150,000 users in europe who used the service hundreds of thousands of times. but the company’s bikes slowly became unusable. 3,200 bikes became dysfunctional, 1,000 bikes were illegally parked in someone’s hom






grab your exhibit table in startup alley at tc tel aviv – techcrunch


hey startups! techcrunch is returning to tel aviv on 7 june, 2018 for its inaugural day-long conference at the tel aviv convention center. this year’s event will be bigger and better than ever — featuring not only techcrunch’s signature stellar programming focused on mobility, but also a new expo area called startup alley, where hundreds of rock-star startups will demo their products to attendees. techcrunch events are the ideal place to show off your company to prospective customers, gain media attention, meet investors and take your startup to the next level. if you’re a pre-series a early-age startup, we want to see you on our showcase floor. all verticals are welcome!for 1700 ils, you’ll get one full day to exhibit, two tickets to techcrunch tel aviv 2018, a demo table, wi-fi, power, l






online review startup podium has raised a fat new $32 million round from accel a


podium, a utah-based enterprise software company specializing in customer review management has pulled in an over-subscribed $32 million series a round, led by accel partners.several sources close to the matter told us about this round, which we wrote about yesterday in an article about utah-based peak ventures. however, podium has now confirmed the numbers to techcrunch.we were previously told the round is valued at north of $100 million and that the startup originally tried to raise $20 to $25 million but as other vc firms wanted to come into the round podium was able to take in even more. podium did not want to comment on the valuation but was able to confirm it previously sought the smaller amount before taking in $32 million.co-founder eric rea attributes the success of the round to t






snapchat bought the ar location intellectual property of startup drop


snap map is snapchat’s plan to tie together its online content with ways to augment your offline reality, and it’s got the patent to back it up. augmented reality location startup drop tells techcrunch that snap inc. acquired its intellectual property in 2015, including its “location-based messaging” patent.in 2013, drop developed an app that would let you post photos or text to a certain location, like a landmark or business, and your followers would get an alert to check it out when they came nearby. by utilizing drop’s intellectual property, snapchat could launch a similar feature allowing users to discover location-based messages with the snap map or snapchat’s ar lenses. snap declined to comment on this story, as it usually does regarding m&a news.drop let you leave geofenced messages






snapchat bought the ar location intellectual property of startup drop


snap map is snapchat’s plan to tie together its online content with ways to augment your offline reality, and its got the patent to back it up. augmented reality location startup drop tells techcrunch that snap inc acquired its intellectual property in 2015 including its “location-based messaging” patent.in 2013, drop developed an app that would let you post photos or text to a certain location like a landmark or business, and your followers would get an alert to check it out when they came nearby. by utilizing drop’s intellectual property, snapchat could launch a similar feature allowing users to discover location-based messages with the snap map or snapchat’s ar lenses. snap declined to comment on this story, as usually does regarding m&a news.drop let you leave geofenced messages for fr






factgem wants to help businesses get more value out of their data


factgem, which is launching in our disrupt new york battlefield competition today, was born out of megan kvamme‘s frustration with trying to juggle hundreds of excel spreadsheets — and the data in them — while she was working as an investment banker. when she tried to find a software product that would allow her to more easily analyze all of this data, she couldn’t find what she was looking for, so she started working on what would later become factgem back in 2011.“people said ‘no,’ that’s a hard problem. you can’t do that,” kvamme recalled, and later added that what she wanted to build was essentially a bloomberg terminal for data. shortly after she started exploring the space, she met clark richey, now factgem’s cto, who has an extensive background in working with databases at marklogic






startup battlefield application deadline extended for disrupt sf


procrastinators rejoice — the application deadline for startup battlefield, disrupt san francisco 2017 has been extended until monday, july 17 at 12 pm pt. that means you have two extra days to do whatever it takes to give your early-stage startup a shot at presenting on the main stage at disrupt sf.startup battlefield participants compete for a $50,000 prize and the disrupt cup — not to mention the potential to launch their company from obscurity onto a world stage.participants each have six minutes to demonstrate their product and to answer questions from a panel of judges consisting of well-known vcs and techcrunch editors. all of this takes place in front of a live audience of investors, partners and media, and it’s simultaneously streamed to a global audience via techcrunch.com and so






spin raises $8 million as bike-sharing battle heats up in the us


bike sharing has taken a turn in the u.s., following trends in china. the new mode is “dockless,” where companies distribute bikes around a city or campus to be rented per trip instead of dispensing them from one station. the bikes are tracked via gps, and can be located by users, paid for and unlocked using their smartphones. best of all, whenever riders are done with one of these bikes, they can park them anywhere that’s convenient (and legal).as techcrunch has previously reported, venture investors are pouring money into startups trying to make dockless bike sharing a success domestically. these businesses are facing fragmented regulations, and competition from better-funded chinese players coming to north america, as well as incumbents like motivate co. the kiosk-based bike sharing com






spin raises $8 million as bike-sharing battle heats up in the us


bike sharing has taken a turn in the u.s., following trends in china. the new mode is “dockless,” where companies distribute bikes around a city or campus to be rented per trip instead of dispensing them from one station. the bikes are tracked via gps, and can be located by users, paid for and unlocked using their smartphones. best of all, when riders are done with one of these bikes, they can park them anywhere that’s convenient (and legal).as techcrunch has previously reported, venture investors are pouring money into startups trying to make dockless bike sharing a success domestically. these businesses are facing fragmented regulations and competition from better-funded chinese players coming to north america, as well as incumbents like motivate co., the kiosk-based bike-sharing company






co-founder of unicorn inmobi is launching a bike-sharing startup in india


over in india, there are a handful of startups working to get the country’s billion-person population on bikes. one of them is yulu, co-founded by amit gupta, who formerly co-founded profitable, billion-dollar startup inmobi.in the next three to four weeks, yulu will launch its bike-sharing service in bangalore with a few hundred bicycles. yulu is starting with regular, dockless bicycles that people can rent using their ios or android phone. the bikes unlock via qr codes and bill the rider for every 30 minutes of use.in order to achieve scale, yulu is working with local city governments in india to create more dedicated bike lanes as well as working with agencies to carve out places that are safe to park the bikes.bike-sharing has become a hot space for founders and vcs alike. in china, co






uber is piloting a bike-sharing service with jump


uber is launching a bike-sharing service next week in partnership with jump, a startup that recently received the first and only permit to operate dockless bike-sharing in san francisco. jump’s contract with the san francisco municipal transportation agency enables it to launch 250 of its dockless, electric bikes in san francisco. after the first nine months of the program, the sfmta may allow jump to add an additional 250 bikes to its fleet.called uber bike, uber customers will be able to book jump bikes within the uber app. to be clear, the bikes will not be brought to people. instead, riders are responsible for going to the location of the bike.“this partnership is a great way to get a much larger audience on bikes and help them understand their transportation options,” jump ceo ryan rz






nerdwallet just laid off over 40 people, including its vp of growth


personal finance startup nerdwallet recently let go of over 40 employees, techcrunch has learned. as part of the changes, nerdwallet vp of growth henry hsu left the company and nerdwallet coo dan yoo is moving into an advisory role.hsu previously spent two years as a general manager at box and three years at linkedin before that. yoo, who joined nerdwallet in 2014, was formerly the vp of business operations and analytics at linkedin.“despite a record-breaking quarter, nerdwallet has decided to shift resources to align by consumer pain points, rather than by financial product families, and to consolidate multiple execution orgs under our cpo, tapan bhat,” nerdwallet ceo tim chen told techcrunch in an email.“we truly appreciate the contributions that these executives and departing nerds have






co-founder of unicorn inmobi is launching a bike-sharing startup in india


over in india, there are a handful of startups working to get the country’s billion-person population on bikes. one of them is yulu, co-founded by amit gupta, who formerly co-founded profitable, billion-dollar startup inmobi.in the next three to four weeks, yulu will launch its bike-sharing service in bangalore with a few hundred bicycles. yulu is starting with regular, dockless bicycles that people can rent using their ios or android phone. the bikes unlock via qr codes and bill the rider for every 30 minutes of use.in order to achieve scale, yulu is working with local city governments in india to create more dedicated bike lanes as well as working with agencies to carve out places that are safe to park the bikes.bike-sharing has become a hot space for founders and vcs alike. in china, co






vr startup upload shuts down its offices as funding from oculus founder runs out


upload, the vr startup which was rocked by a sexual harassment suit exactly one year ago, is shutting down both its san francisco office and its 20,000 sq. foot los angeles co-working space as it struggles to secure new funding, multiple sources tell techcrunch.all of the company’s la employees were laid off yesterday. the company’s sf office lease has already been taken over. the startup’s vr-focused trade publication, uploadvr, which operates independently of the company’s other ventures, has not been affected yet, sources tell us.the layoffs and office shut downs come as the company has had trouble raising new funding and managing its reputation following a bombastic lawsuit from the company’s former social media manager that landed the startup on the front-page of the new york times an






vr startup upload shuts down its offices as funding from palmer luckey runs out


upload, the vr startup which was rocked by a sexual harassment suit exactly one year ago, is shutting down both its san francisco office and its 20,000 sq. foot los angeles co-working space as it struggles to secure new funding, multiple sources tell techcrunch.all of the company’s la employees were laid off yesterday. the company’s sf office lease has already been taken over. the startup’s vr-focused trade publication, uploadvr, which operates independently of the company’s other ventures, has not been affected yet, sources tell us.the layoffs and office shut downs come as the company has had trouble raising new funding and managing its reputation following a bombastic lawsuit from the company’s former social media manager that landed the startup on the front-page of the new york times an






meet techcrunch in africa next week – techcrunch


last october, techcrunch launched startup battlefield africa in nairobi, kenya, where lori systems, syncommerce & agrocenta, were among the judges top picks. this week, techcrunch is headed back to africa to checkout the amazing startups taking root for our global startup battlefield competitions. startup battlefield at disrupt in san francisco september 5-7th is now open, and founders can apply here.startup battlefield director, samantha stein will be in lagos, nigeria and accra, ghana to meet with founders, investors, angels, and established entrepreneurs across the ecosystem. startups and investors can learn more about techcrunch’s startup battlefield program at one of the upcoming meet and greets listed below.founders will learn how to apply for battlefield with a solid application, an






nerdwallet just laid off over 40 people, including its vp of growth


personal finance startup nerdwallet recently let go of more than 40 employees, techcrunch has learned. as part of the changes, nerdwallet vp of growth henry hsu left the company and nerdwallet coo dan yoo is moving into an advisory role.hsu previously spent two years as a general manager at box and three years at linkedin before that. yoo, who joined nerdwallet in 2014, was formerly the vp of business operations and analytics at linkedin.“despite a record-breaking quarter, nerdwallet has decided to shift resources to align by consumer pain points, rather than by financial product families, and to consolidate multiple execution orgs under our cpo, tapan bhat,” nerdwallet ceo tim chen told techcrunch in an email.“we truly appreciate the contributions that these executives and departing nerds






kik raises nearly $100m in highest profile ico to date


the highest profile icos from a consumer internet company to date has come to a close after messaging app kik raised nearly $100 million from its token sale.the exact amount is 168,732 eth — around $47.5 million based on today’s $282 eth price — came from over 10,000 backers. combined with $50 million raised in a pre-sale for institutional investors the grand total is around $97.5 million.the canada-based startup initially planned to raise as much as $125 million from backers, but it elected for a sale system that imposed a purchase cap on buyers of its ‘kin’ token. although unclaimed tokens were resold, it was never likely to sell out to the full amount. added to that, kik opted to prevent canada-based individuals from taking part after regulators deemed its token to be a security, which






startup battlefield europe applications close this week


tick tock, tech lovers. time is running out to apply for techcrunch startup battlefield europe. we’re taking startup battlefield to paris in conjunction with vivatech on may 24th – 25. the application deadline is march 15, 9 a.m. pst, so if you want your early-stage company to participate in the world’s top start-up competition, it’s time to get serious, drop what you’re doing and apply today.applying to and participating in startup battlefield europe won’t cost you a single euro, and techcrunch does not take an equity cut. if techcrunch editors select your company to compete, you’ll receive free expert pitch coaching to prepare you for the main event. come the big day, you’ll have six minutes to pitch and demo your product to a panel of judges — in front of a live audience. each pitch is