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storytelling app wattpad raises $51m at a $398m valuation


content, as they say, is king — but these days, that may be true only for as long as you can figure out a good business model to deliver it. and today, a startup based out of toronto, canada is re-upping its coffers to fill out its ambition to do just that.wattpad, a storytelling and reading/viewing app that combines crowdsourced content with professionally produced material, has picked up another $51 million (c$61.25 million) in venture funding — money that it plans to use to invest in its tech (such as the machine learning that helps match its creators with consumers, and which identifies stories that are ‘trending’ and worth revisiting for more creative writing and video shooting around them as themes); and in its expansion into more formats.the company has raised $117.8 million (us) to






wattpad’s storytelling app, now with 60m monthly users, adds a subscription serv


wattpad, the company behind a suite of apps for reading and sharing stories – including a fairly popular “chat fiction” app tap, a rival to hooked – is today adding its first ever subscription plan for its flagship application. the option, called wattpad premium, will remove the ads from wattpad’s otherwise free app – a feature users have been requesting for some time.the service will cost $5.99 per month, or $60 per year, the company says, and will be available to the company’s now over 60 million monthly global users.today, those users spend over 15 billion minutes per month reading the app’s original stories. to date, users have also uploaded more than 400 million stories, notes wattpad.members who upgrade to wattpad premium will have ads removed both when browsing the web and mobile we






wattpad debuts tap, an app for reading chat-style short stories


a new mobile app called tap, launching today, introduces a different way to read stories on your phone: as text message-like chats. the app is the latest from wattpad, a social publishing platform for authors whose community now includes over 45 million readers worldwide, who visit its site or its flagship mobile app to read its nearly 250 million stories.with tap, wattpad is stepping away from the traditional storytelling format to experiment with a unique style of entertainmentthe app lets users discover “chat-style” stories – that is, those that unfold as you tap to reveal the next part. the stories are designed to feel like you’re reading someone else’s chat conversations, the company explains, and they are even visually presented in a text messaging-style format.at launch, there are h






wattpad unveils tap, a new kind of storytelling app leveraging texts


why it matters to you we're all a little bit nosy, and now, we can feed that desire to snoop without feeling guilty - with tap.admit it — you love snooping. it’s ok, we all do. and social publishing platform wattpad knows it. tapping into our nosiest of desires is a new app from the company named tap — it’s a new storytelling format that presents content in the form of text message-esque chat bubbles, so you always feel like you’re peeking in on someone’s conversation. and it’s surprisingly (or perhaps not so surprisingly) engaging.the name “tap” is a product of how you actually interact with the platform. in order to get to the next juicy bit, you tap your phone screen, revealing the next “page.” the app looks to engage readers with its novel format and diverse content. already at launch,






wattpad moves into video with personal storytelling app, raccoon


wattpad, the social publishing platform behind apps for sharing original stories and chat fiction, is today venturing into video with the launch of a new app called raccoon. unlike its predecessors, raccoon will focus on non-fiction video-based storytelling, with the goal of connecting people who want to create and watch stories that either entertain or inspire.while raccoon still fits within wattpad’s broader mission of building modern-day storytelling products for web and mobile, the app feels like a more social experience. instead of reading stories from authors whose real identities are often hidden behind handles, watching a raccoon video is more like tuning into a youtube vlog. the storyteller is right there on the screen, sharing something personal with you.at launch, you can favori






lyft raises $500 million in new funding round


ride-hailing company lyft inc. is completing a new $500 million funding round that sharply increases its valuation, giving it a boost as larger rival uber technologies inc. reels from a series of scandals.lyft’s new round puts its valuation at about $7.5 billion including the funds raised, up from a previous valuation of $5.5 billion from early last year, according to a person familiar with the matter. the company also disclosed the...






lyft raises $500 million in new funding round


ride-hailing company lyft inc. is completing a new $500 million funding round that sharply increases its valuation at a time when larger rival uber technologies inc. is reeling from a series of scandals.lyft’s new round puts its valuation at about $7.5 billion including the funds raised, up from a previous valuation of $5.5 billion early last year, according to a person familiar with the matter. the company disclosed the new funding...






uber rival lyft raises $500 million in funding


ride-hailing company lyft inc. is completing a new $500 million funding round that sharply increases its valuation at a time when larger rival uber technologies inc. is reeling from a series of scandals.lyft’s new round puts its valuation at about $7.5 billion including the funds raised, up from a previous valuation of $5.5 billion early last year, according to a person familiar with the matter. the company disclosed the new funding...






commerce platform izettle raises $47m at a $950m valuation


izettle — the commerce platform based out of stockholm that competes against companies like square, paypal and sumup to provide card transactions using smartphones and tablets as well as related accounting services — has raised another €40 million ($47 million) as it approaches a $1 billion valuation. ceo and co-founder jacob de geer told techcrunch the money will go towards expanding into more markets beyond the 12 where it currently operates in europe and latin america.the company declined to disclose its valuation, which last was at €500 million (about $584 million) in its series d.“it’s absolutely an upround,” de geer said in an interview. “we tend to have an internal saying that the valuation of the company is the sum of all the problems that we solved, and we’ve solved millions of th






cloudera’s ipo will test unicorn valuations


alex wilhelmcontributoralex wilhelm is the editor-in-chief of crunchbase news and co-host of equity, techcrunch's venture capital-focused podcast. more posts by this contributor: cloudera filed to go public mid-day last friday, releasing a set of financial numbers that were the locus of anticipation: how would the company’s recent performance stack up to its $4.1 billion valuation set three years ago?before cloudera published its s-1 document — detailing its recent quarterly results and several years of financial data — reports indicated that the company would pursue a $4.1 billion valuation in its ipo, flat from its last private round when intel poured $740 million into the company.that cloudera might aim for a level valuation with a dozen or so quarters of additional growth under its bel






payments startup izettle raises $47m, reportedly at a $950m valuation


izettle — the payments startup based out of stockholm that competes against companies like square, paypal and sumup to provide card transactions using smartphones and tablets as well as related accounting services — has raised another €40 million ($47 million), money that ceo and co-founder jacob de geer told techcrunch would be used to expand into more markets beyond the 12 where it currently operates in europe and latin america.the company declined to disclose its valuation, which last was at €500 million (about $584 million) in its series d. “it’s absolutely an upround,” de geer said in an interview. “we tend to have an internal saying that the valuation of the company is the sum of all the problems that we solved, and we’ve solved millions of those so the valuation should be in line wi






pinterest raises $150 million at two-year-old share price


pinterest inc., one of the most highly valued startups, has raised another $150 million in funding as the image-search company continues to tap private investors to support its growth.the injection from existing investors values pinterest at $12.3 billion, a company spokeswoman said, up from an $11 billion valuation in 2015. investors paid the same share price from two years ago, the spokeswoman said, but the valuation went up...






pinterest raises $150m at a $12.3b valuation as it makes a full press into visua


pinterest said today that the company has raised $150 million in additional capital at a valuation of $12.3 billion as it makes a further full-court press on its visual recognition and search pitch to investors and advertisers — and perhaps one day wall street.pinterest last raised $367 million in additional financing at an $11 billion valuation in 2015. in recent years, the company has started to tout its image recognition technology and products built on top of that — like lens, its visual search engine built into your camera. all this is a pitch to advertisers that pinterest can get products in front of users in different ways than facebook and google and eventually convert them to buyers. for example, pinterest said its ads would soon be powered by its visual search technology at techc






snapchat parent sets valuation of up to $22.2 billion


snap inc. set a valuation for itself of between $19.5 billion and $22.2 billion, as the disappearing-message app company nears its landmark initial public offering, the company confirmed thursday. the valuation range, which equates to $14 to $16 a share, is near the low end of the $20 billion to $25 billion range the snapchat parent company had...






snapchat parent sets valuation of up to $22.2 billion


snap inc. set a valuation for itself between $19.5 billion and $22.2 billion, as the disappearing-message app company nears its landmark initial public offering, the company confirmed thursday. the valuation range, which equates to $14 to $16 a share, is near the low end of the $20 billion to $25 billion range the snapchat parent company had...






startup affirm gets investment from gic and a valuation nearing $2 billion


financial-technology startup affirm inc. said monday that it raised $200 million in new equity as it battles larger players getting into its core business of lending to consumers for retail purchases.gic, a singaporean sovereign-wealth fund, led the fundraising round, which gave a private-market valuation to affirm of between $1.5 billion and $2 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter. that would roughly double the valuation of about $800 million last year.  ...






snapchat parent sets valuation of up to $22.2 billion


snap inc. confirmed that it has set a valuation for itself of between $19.5 billion and $22.2 billion, as the disappearing-message app company nears its landmark initial public offering.the valuation range, which equates to $14 to $16 a share, is near the low end of the range of $20 billion to $25 billion that snapchat’s parent company had earlier targeted. the company and its underwriters will set a final ipo price based on...






building a series a saas valuation estimator (2017 edition)


alex rosencontributoralex rosen is managing director at ridge ventures. more posts by this contributor: i have financed nearly 50 early-stage companies and the question of proper valuation comes up in every financing. there is the obvious tension: generally speaking, the existing shareholders would like the highest valuation possible, while the new investors would prefer the lowest valuation. for founders, understanding how vcs will look at valuation is critical for a successful fundraising process.for an investor, initial valuation is one of two determinants of eventual return. the other is the size of outcome. as an investor, you’re willing to pay a higher valuation if you think the outcome is going to be great (both in terms of size and probability). there are several factors that influ






snapchat parent snap inc. sets valuation at $19.5 billion to $22.2 billion as ip


snap inc. set a valuation for itself between $19.5 billion and $22.2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter, as the disappearing-message app company nears its landmark initial public offering.the valuation range, which equates to $14 to $16 a share, is near the low end of the $20 billion to $25 billion range the snapchat parent company had earlier targeted. the company and its underwriters will set a final ipo price...






what baby driver teaches us about storytelling


edgar wright is a master storyteller, both in terms of the actual story and the visual storytelling. this video analyzes baby driver to see what we can learn.full story at youtube.more great movies. posted by josh urich






chinese ride-sharing app didi raises $4 billion in new funding


beijing—chinese ride-sharing platform didi chuxing technology co. raised $4 billion in fresh funding, pushing its valuation closer to rival uber technologies inc. and giving it ample money to spend on self-driving vehicles and other artificial-intelligence systems. investors in didi’s new funding include japanese mega-fund-manager softbank group corp. and mubadala development co., an abu dhabi state fund, people familiar with the matter said thursday. the company announced the funding without naming the investors.the injection gives beijing-based didi $12 billion in cash reserves and a valuation of $56 billion, these people said. it also means that added together didi has raised about $19 billion, the most venture capital ever raised by a startup, according to dow jones venturesource. whil






wework raises $760 million in new capital


wework cos. has raised $760 million in new capital, according to a person familiar with the situation. the new york company, which operates shared office and co-living spaces, is now valued at $21.06 billion with the new funding, according to an estimate by pitchbook data inc. that catapults wework to the fifth-highest valuation among private...






china’s ride-sharing app didi raises $4 billion in new funding


beijing—china’s ride-sharing platform didi chuxing technology co. raised $4 billion in fresh funding, pushing its valuation closer to rival uber technologies inc. and giving it ample money to spend on self-driving vehicles and other artificial intelligence systems. investors in didi’s new funding include japanese mega-fund-manager softbank group corp. and mubadala development co., an abu dhabi state fund, people familiar with the matter said thursday. the company announced the funding without naming the investors.the injection gives beijing-based didi $12 billion cash reserves and a valuation of $56 billion, these people said. it also means that added together didi has raised about $19 billion, the most venture capital ever raised by a startup, according to dow jones venturesource. while u






illumio, a specialist in segmented security, raises $125m at $1b+ valuation


another day, another major round of funding for a security startup, underscoring just how active the area of it protection is right now — both in terms of business need and as an investment opportunity. today, illumio — a startup that provides data center and cloud security services, monitoring and protecting individual applications and processes within an enterprise network by segmenting them — is announcing that it has raised $125 million in a new round of funding. it plans to use the money to expand in three areas, business development, r&d and customer support.the series d was led by j.p. morgan asset management. (j.p. morgan also happens to be a customer, although this deal was made independent of that, andrew rubin, the ceo and co-founder of illumio, told me in an interview.) other b






illumio, a specialist in segmented security, raises $125m at $1b+ valuation


another day, another major round of funding for a security startup, underscoring just how active the area of it protection is right now — both in terms of business need and as an investment opportunity. today, illumio — a startup that provides data center and cloud security services, monitoring and protecting individual applications and processes within an enterprise network by segmenting them — is announcing that it has raised $125 million in a new round of funding. it plans to use the money to expand in three areas, business development, r&d and customer support.the series d was led by j.p. morgan asset management. (j.p. morgan also happens to be a customer, although this deal was made independent of that, andrew rubin, the ceo and co-founder of illumio, told me in an interview.) other b






softbank to offer to buy uber shares at roughly 30% discount


softbank group corp. has told stakeholders in uber technologies inc. that it would initially offer to buy shares at a nearly 30% discount to the company’s most recent valuation of $68 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter.the japanese firm is leading a group of firms that plan to buy at least 14% of uber by purchasing billions of dollars of shares from employees and investors at a valuation of $48 billion, and by investing at least $1 billion in the company at the previous valuation. as soon as tuesday,...






qualtrics waits on that ipo, raises $180 million at a $2.5 billion valuation ins


that qualtrics ipo many have been expecting is on hold for now. the online market research platform has just raised its third round for $180 million at a whopping $2.5 billion valuation.the provo, utah-based company came from much humbler beginnings, bootstrapping the operation for a decade before finally taking financing from sequoia and accel in 2012. it has blown up since then, hitting unicorn valuation status two years later, with $150 million in annual revenue. the company now tells me it’s hitting somewhere north of $250 million in revenue this year.one the outside, the company looks pretty healthy. smith tells me qualtrics is profitable — something not many tech companies, even some that have gone public recently, can say. many, including myself, have speculated, based on those fina






qualtrics waits on that ipo, raises $180 million at a $2.5 billion valuation ins


that qualtrics ipo many have been expecting is on hold for now. the online market research platform has just raised its third round for $180 million at a whopping $2.5 billion valuation.the provo, utah-based company came from much humbler beginnings, bootstrapping the operation for a decade before finally taking financing from sequoia and accel in 2012. it has blown up since then, hitting unicorn valuation status two years later, with $150 million in annual revenue. the company now tells me it’s hitting somewhere north of $250 million in revenue this year.one the outside, the company looks pretty healthy. smith tells me qualtrics is profitable — something not many tech companies, even some that have gone public recently, can say. many, including myself, have speculated, based on those fina






china’s ride-sharing app didi raises $4 billion in new funding


beijing—china’s ride-sharing platform didi chuxing technology co. raised $4 billion in fresh funding, pushing its valuation closer to rival uber technologies inc. and giving it ample money to spend on self-driving vehicles and other artificial intelligence systems. investors in didi’s new funding include japanese mega-fund-manager softbank group corp. and mubadala development co., an abu dhabi state fund, people familiar with the matter said thursday. the company announced the funding without naming the investors.the injection gives beijing-based didi $12 billion cash reserves and a valuation of $56 billion, these people said. it also means that added together didi has raised about $19 billion, the most venture capital ever raised by a startup, according to dow jones venturesource. while u






lyft said to have raised over $500m, at a $6.9b valuation


lyft has just raised a big new round, according to a new report from the financial times. the round brings in over $500 million in new funding, and sets the valuation for the ride hailing company at $6.9 billion (pre-money), which is well north of their $5.5 billion valuation from their previous funding round in january of last year.even at $6.9 billion, lyft is still worth ten times less than its rival uber, according to the ft, which has a $70 billion total valuation. the new $500 million round could climb to around $600 million prior to close, the report says, once all investors are in.lyft’s last public round was a $1 billion round featuring a $500 million investment from gm, which is partnering with the ride hailing business on a number of fronts, including on a pilot of a self-drivin






lyft said to have raised over $500m, at a $6.9b valuation


lyft has just raised a big new round, according to a new report from the financial times. the round brings in over $500 million in new funding, and sets the valuation for the ride hailing company at $6.9 billion (pre-money), which is well north of their $4.5 billion (again, pre-money) valuation from their previous funding round in january of last year.even at $6.9 billion, lyft is still worth ten times less than its rival uber, according to the ft, which has a $70 billion total valuation. the new $500 million round could climb to around $600 million prior to close, the report says, once all investors are in.lyft’s last public round was a $1 billion round featuring a $500 million investment from gm, which is partnering with the ride hailing business on a number of fronts, including on a pil






china’s didi chuxing raises $4b more for ai, international expansion and electri


china’s didi chuxing, the country’s top ride-hailing company, said today that it has raised $4 billion in new capital to support a range of new initiatives including international expansion.the company has already raised $13 billion from investors that include alibaba, tencent and apple, and it said that this newest round will go towards developing its artificial intelligence technology, as well as international expansion and green vehicle initiative.the names of the investors in the round were not disclosed. in a very brief statement announcing the funding, didi said that “chinese and international institutions joined the latest fundraising round.” that, for one, implies that a number of existing investors took part but, at this point, that list of investors is pretty extensive so even th






lyft said to have raised over $500m, at a $6.9b valuation


lyft has just raised a big new round, according to a new report from the financial times. the round brings in over $500 million in new funding, and sets the valuation for the ride hailing company at $6.9 billion (pre-money), which is well north of their $4.5 billion (again, pre-money) valuation from their previous funding round in january of last year.even at $6.9 billion, lyft is still worth ten times less than its rival uber, according to the ft, which has a $61.2 billion total pre-money valuation. the new $500 million round could climb to around $600 million prior to close, the report says, once all investors are in.lyft’s last public round was a $1 billion round featuring a $500 million investment from gm, which is partnering with the ride hailing business on a number of fronts, includ






ola raises $1.1b led by tencent to fuel battle with uber in india


it’s been a long while coming but uber’s chief rival in india is finally raising a big round, and joining the billion-dollar round club at the same time.ola today announced that it has closed $1.1 billion in fresh financing. that’s the largest funding round in the company’s six-year history and its first major raise since november 2015 when it closed $500 million from investors.the company has since raised smaller, undisclosed amounts provided by existing investors, but it is fair to say that this new round has been much expected — and needed. it’s look like there’s more to come, too, with ola telling media it is close to finalizing an additional $1 billion that would take the round’s final close to $2.1 billion.ola has had its valuation clipped as low as $3.5 billion this year, but a sour






ola raises $1.1b led by tencent to fuel battle with uber in india


it’s been a long while coming but uber’s chief rival in india is finally raising a big round, and joining the billion-dollar round club at the same time.ola today announced that it has closed $1.1 billion in fresh financing. that’s the largest funding round in the company’s six-year history and its first major raise since november 2015 when it closed $500 million from investors.the company has since raised smaller, undisclosed amounts provided by existing investors, but it is fair to say that this new round has been much expected — and needed. it’s look like there’s more to come, too, with ola telling media it is close to finalizing an additional $1 billion that would take the round’s final close to $2.1 billion.ola has had its valuation clipped as low as $3.5 billion this year, but a sour






lyft raises $1 billion at $11 billion valuation led by alphabet’s capitalg


ride-hailing company lyft has raised a new $1 billion funding round, putting its post-money valuation at $11 billion total. the round was led by alphabet’s capitalg, its growth-focused investment fund, and capitalg partner david lawee will join lyft’s board as part of the transaction.lyft shared the news in an official blog post, and noted that it has run over 500 million rides to date, and expanded its coverage in the u.s. to 95 percent of the population, which is up from just 54 percent at the start of 2017.lyft raised $600 million at a $7.5 billion valuation in april this year, with investment from new partners including canada’s public employee pension fund. the company was reported to be raising a new $1 billion round, with alphabet involved, back in september.alphabet’s gv early inve






alibaba ups its stake in southeast asia’s lazada with $1 billion investment


alibaba is doubling down on southeast asia after it paid close to $1 billion to raise its stake in e-commerce firm lazada from 51 percent to 83 percent.the chinese firm made an initial $1 billion investment in april 2016 at a valuation of $1.5 billion — this second deal raises that valuation to $3.15 billion, lazada disclosed. the deal sees alibaba buy shares from existing backers — singaporean sovereign fund temasek and the lazada management team are the only investors that kept hold of their stock.“that [valuation] is quite a significant uptick and overall that reflects the great performance and traction that lazada has seen. it also reflects that alibaba continues to be extremely positive about this region, doubling down on southeast asia and seeing the potential,” lazada ceo max bittne






with california's 'sanctuary cities,' trump might be starting a fight he can't w


with california's 'sanctuary cities,' trump might be starting a fight he can't wintrump's recent executive orders put cities and counties on notice that they would lose federal funding if they didn’t start cooperating with immigration agentstrump's recent executive orders put cities and counties on notice that they would lose federal funding if they didn’t start cooperating with immigration agentssee more videos