”What the heck is a smart doorbell?”
That’s what my friends asked me any time I mentioned that I’d be meeting with Nezare Chafni and Shaun Moore, co-founders of 214 Technologies. They’ve developed a product called Chui, which they describe as “the world’s most intelligent doorbell.” Read More
There is a reason it feels like everyone and anyone is raising money at the moment to build a company: They are. According to two studies, capital raised from venture capitalists by growing, private companies is at its highest point since 2001. Read More
Canary has had a big year. After smashing through its Indiegogo campaign goal and picking up an extra $10 million in VC funding, the company is nearly ready to ship its home security product.
Due to a couple of hurdles, Canary units won’t arrive until “this summer,” but to tide us over, the team has given us our first real look at the complementary smartphone application. Read More
Airbnb has closed a large round of funding at an 11-figure valuation, according to multiple reports
The Wall Street Journal reports hearing from sources that Airbnb has sealed a deal to raise $450 million led by TPG, a private equity firm, while TechCrunch reported that the round was for $500 million. Both publications put the valuation at $10 billion.
Reps for Airbnb did not immediately respond to our request for comment
See also: 10 Startups to Watch in 2014
The current valuation for the room rental service is higher than the market cap of some large hotel chains like Hyatt Hotels and puts Airbnb in league with other fast-growing tech companies like Dropbox Read more…
Next week the United States Supreme Court will hear a case pitting Aereo, the startup that streams free-to-air broadcast TV to your home, against the broadcasters that provide this television content.
Mashable will be producing a variety of pieces to help understand the ramifications of a case that will resonate throughout the technology and media industries, regardless of which side wins.
To get started, here is an explainer on the case. If you have any questions after reading this, please put them in the comments.
How does Aereo work? Read more…
TechCrunch has learned that Airbnb, the fast-growing site that lets people become hoteliers by renting out sofas, rooms or entire private homes, has now closed its latest round of funding: $500 million, led by private equity firm TPG, at a $10 billion valuation, according to our sources. This brings the total raised by Airbnb to $826 million. Read More
French startup La Belle Assiette just opened shop in Belgium. La Belle Assiette is a sort of on-demand chef service. You can browse the site, find your chef and book a meal directly from the service — a chef will then come to your home or office. The startup will also roll out its offering in the U.K., Switzerland and Luxembourg in the next six weeks. Here’s how the service works. Next… Read More
Startup Preact is officially launching today with a product that it says can help companies increase customer spending and reduce churn. It’s also announcing that it has raised a $4.6 million Series A led by Trinity Ventures. CEO Michael Geller said the Preact system looks at a variety of signals and uses data science to help subscription software companies identify when their customers are… Read More
Mobile app search engine Quixey, backed by $75 million from Alibaba, Innovation Endeavors, Translink Capital and others, has put some of those dollars to use by acquiring a smaller, competing app search startup, San Francisco-based Kite.io. The deal was more of a talent grab, we hear, bringing Kite.io’s founders to Quixey where they’ll continue to help the company build out its… Read More
UberX rides will now be subject to an additional $1 “Safe Rides Fee” as the company looks to offset rising insurance costs.
UberX is the cheaper arm of Uber, the much-hyped transportation startup that lets users easily call for car pickups. Uber tends to call for luxury vehicles, while the low-end UberX is meant to compete with regular taxis as well as other taxi startups like Lyft and Sidecar.
“This Safe Rides Fee supports our continued efforts to ensure the safest possible platform for Uber riders and drivers, including an industry-leading background check process, regular motor vehicle checks, driver safety education, development of safety features in the app, and insurance,” the company wrote in a new “What Is The Safe Rides Fee” section of its “Fares & Fees” FAQ on its site. Read more…