Apples control over the App Store is no longer sustainable

Posted on: January 30, 2020, in Blog

Last week, Apple caved to the Chinese government and pulled an app called that was being used by Hong Kong protestors to crowdsource the location of police forces. While Apple CEO Tim Cook defended Apple’s stance, the move is a reminder that Apple is the only judge and jury regarding what’s acceptable in the […]

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6 tips founders need to know about securing their startup

Posted on: January 27, 2020, in Blog

If you’ve read anything of mine in the past year, you know just how complicated security can be. Every day it seems there’s a new security lapse, a breach, a hack, or an inadvertent exposure, such as leaving a cloud storage server unprotected without a password. These things happen, but they don’t have to; aecurity […]

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a16zs Andrew Chen on the opportunities today for consumer tech startups

Posted on: January 24, 2020, in Blog

What’s happening in consumer tech? At TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco last week, Extra Crunch managing editor Eric Eldon sat down with Andrew Chen, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz. Andrew focuses on consumer tech, with investments in companies like Barkbox, Boba Guys, Tinder, Substack and more. They talked about everything from design trends, to marketing, […]

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Indias ALTBalaji partners with Microsoft to bring online video streaming to offline users

Posted on: January 20, 2020, in Blog

ALTBalaji, a leading video streaming service in India, has partnered with Microsoft and fintech firm Eko as it moves to expand its subscriber base in the country that is already larger than any of its local rivals. ALTBalaji, which has more than 27 million paying subscribers, said it will use Microsoft’s BlendNet technology to help […]

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Customer marketing platform Ometria raises $21M Series B round led by Octopus Ventures

Posted on: January 16, 2020, in Blog

Back in 2017 Ometria, an “AI-powered” customer marketing platform, raised $6 million in Series A funding to add to the $11 million it had already raised. Its platform is all about allowing retailers to send individually personalized marketing messages across several brand touchpoints. Today it announced that it has raised $21 million in a Series […]

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Venmo to launch its first credit card in 2020

Posted on: January 13, 2020, in Blog

Venmo announced today its plans to launch its first-ever credit card. The card is being issued in partnership with Synchrony, already the issuer behind Venmo parent company PayPal’s Extras Mastercard and Cashback Mastercard. The move is meant to help Venmo, a still unprofitable arm of PayPal’s larger business, generate more revenue. PayPal’s plans in this […]

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Google Maps adds more Waze-like features, including driving-incident reports

Posted on: January 10, 2020, in Blog

Google Maps is starting to look a lot more like Waze. Google today announced a series of new features that will allow drivers using the Maps app on iOS to report accidents, speed traps and traffic jams. And on both iOS and Android, users will be able to report other driving hazards and incidents, like […]

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Grammarly gets a tone detector to keep you out of email trouble

Posted on: January 7, 2020, in Blog

In recent months, Grammarly started expanding beyond its core grammar and spellchecking tools by adding features like a more detailed clarity score, for example. Today, it’s expanding on this work by launching the first beta of its new tone detector that makes sure your email or document sounds just like you want it to. You may […]

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Microsoft launches new open-source projects around Kubernetes and microservices

Posted on: January 2, 2020, in Blog

Microsoft today announced two new open-source projects: Dapr, a portable, event-driven runtime that takes some of the complexity out of building microservices, and the Open Application Model (OAM), a specification that allows developers to define the resources their applications need to run on Kubernetes clusters and which Microsoft developed in cooperation with Alibaba Cloud. As […]

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