London edtech startup pi-top sees layoffs after major contract loss

London-based edtech startup pi-top has cut a number of staff, TechCrunch has learned. According to our sources, the company has reduced its headcount in recent weeks, with staff being told cuts are a result of restructuring as it seeks to implement a new strategy. One source told us pi-top recently lost out on a large … Continue reading London edtech startup pi-top sees layoffs after major contract loss

DoorDash, now valued at $12.6B, shoots for the moon

More than five years ago, Sequoia partner Alfred Lin called Tony Xu, the founder of a small on-demand delivery startup called DoorDash, to say he was passing on the company’s seed round. This was, of course, before venture capital funding in food delivery startups had taken off. DoorDash, launched out of Xu’s Stanford graduate school … Continue reading DoorDash, now valued at $12.6B, shoots for the moon

The lonely death of Jibo, the social robot

We knew this moment was coming — we just never expected it to arrive so soon. Jibo owners all over are reporting a final death rattle from their beloved home robot. The last message finds Jibo announcing the imminent shutdown of it servers, noting that its interactions will soon be limited — likely meaning anything … Continue reading The lonely death of Jibo, the social robot

LemonBox, which brings US vitamins to Chinese consumers, raises $2M

LemonBox, a Chinese e-commerce startup that imports vitamins and health products from the U.S., has raised $2 million to develop its business. The company graduated from Y Combinator’s most recent program in the U.S. and, fueled by the demo day, has pulled in the new capital from 10 investors, which include Partech, Tekton Ventures, Cathexis … Continue reading LemonBox, which brings US vitamins to Chinese consumers, raises $2M

AR startup Blippar in danger of becoming a blip as shareholders fight over future funding

Blippar, the U.K.-based AR startup that raised more than $130 million, may be nearing the end of the road. The company has been burning through cash in a bid to pivot in search of a profitable AR business model, and now shareholders are in dispute over whether to throw Blippar any more money to aid … Continue reading AR startup Blippar in danger of becoming a blip as shareholders fight over future funding

Crazy Work Hours and Lots of Cameras: Silicon Valley Goes to China

A group of Silicon Valley executives at the investment firm Sinovation Ventures in Beijing in August. It was part of a trip to China their companies organized to explore how the country has rapidly become a tech power to rival the United States. One Chinese technology executive said he worked 14 to 15 hours a … Continue reading Crazy Work Hours and Lots of Cameras: Silicon Valley Goes to China