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Gitai successfully demos autonomous robot inside the International Space Station

by Aria Alamalhodaei / 39 minutes

Tokyo space startup Gitai Japan successfully conducted a technology demonstration of its autonomous robotic arm inside the International Space Station last week, a key milestone as the company prepares to provide robotics as a service in space. The S1 robotic arm performed two tasks: operating cables and switches, and assembling structures and panels. These tasks […]

Employees detail rising tensions at Ro as healthcare unicorn struggles to grow beyond first win

by Natasha Mascarenhas / about 1 hour

Ro, one of the most valuable privately owned health tech startups, isn’t subtle about its mission to deliver vertically integrated, affordable healthcare with consumers in mind. And while a patient-centric healthcare system is undoubtedly overdue, Ro is first dealing with a massive challenge: its own inability to monetize meaningfully outside of Roman, its erectile dysfunction […]

Dear Sophie: Any advice for living my dreams in Silicon Valley?

by Annie Saunders / about 2 hours

After trying to find an H-1B job to immigrate to the U.S. for several years, I took a position with a company in Canada. My dream is to immigrate to Silicon Valley to start my own venture. Any advice?

Daring Foods bites into third round in 12 months as plant-based chicken product enters Walmart

by Christine Hall / about 3 hours

The company saw 900% growth over the past 12 months and will be using the new funding to support that growth and new innovation. snags $50M Series C as it expands into computer vision use cases

by Ron Miller / about 3 hours wants to build an AI platform that simplifies machine learning model creation, while still leaving room for power users. Today the company announced a $50 million Series C. At the same time, it announced that the platform was expanding to include computer vision use cases. Tiger Global led the round with participation from Coatue, […]

Rent the Runway’s IPO pricing indicates bullish market for unicorns of all stripes

by Alex Wilhelm / about 4 hours

We can't help but read Rent the Runway's IPO pricing as not only good news for unicorns, but also for tech-enabled unicorns.

Gringo raises $8M to help Brazilians manage auto-related documentation with its app

by Mary Ann Azevedo / about 4 hours

Gringo, a Brazilian startup that has built an app aimed at supporting drivers in a variety of ways, has raised $8 million in a new round of funding. Kaszek led the financing, which also included participation from GFC and OneVC. Kaszek also led the company’s seed round in 2020. The latest investment brings its total […]

The Bowery Farming TC-1

by Brian Heater / about 4 hours

While dozens of vertical farms have sprouted in the past decade, few have attracted the amount of attention that New Jersey-based Bowery Farming enjoys.

Bowery Farming is forcing us all to look up at the future of vertical agriculture

by Brian Heater / about 4 hours

Food is the very nourishment of life, but it’s becoming increasingly challenging to grow at scale. A combination of explosive population growth, climate change and depleting sources of water is…

Hacking lettuce for taste and profit

by Brian Heater / about 4 hours

"The first thing you notice is just the smell," chief science officer of Bowery Farming Henry Sztul says excitedly. "It's got that smell, right?"

Can LEDs ultimately replace the sun?

by Brian Heater / about 4 hours

For Bowery Farming, no technology is too small to optimize, and no data is too insignificant to track. Combined together, the startup hopes to orchestrate the future of farming and build a moat.

The voracious fight for your salad bowl

by Brian Heater / about 4 hours

The size, the scope, the potential impact — the mind reels. Vertical farming may be a nascent space, but it is growing rapidly, and the greenfield is being taken quickly.

Paytm seeks $20 billion valuation in India’s biggest IPO

by Manish Singh / about 5 hours

Paytm, one of India’s most valuable startups, is seeking to raise as much as $2.4 billion in what is shaping up to be the biggest initial public offering in the country at a valuation of $20 billion, according to two people familiar with the matter and internal documents seen by TechCrunch. Paytm filed the paperwork […]

Divining the future of VC, saying goodbye to Danny

by Alex Wilhelm / about 6 hours

Hello and welcome back to Equity. This is a special, if somewhat bittersweet episode. It marks the final official podcast with our own Danny Crichton, who is off to other pastures in short order. Danny stepped in when we lost a host a few years back, and has been both a staple and a pillar […]

Puffco keeps innovating dabbing

by Matt Burns / about 6 hours

Puffco is announcing a new upgrade to its over-the-top Peak Pro vaporizer that increases the smoking experience and improves battery life. This upgrade requires users to swap the cooking chamber of their Peak Pro, but a sleek design makes this easy. The new chamber comes just after Puffco announced a clever battery-powered hot knife that […]

Nubank files to go public

by Mary Ann Azevedo / about 6 hours

This morning Brazilian neobank Nu, better known as Nubank, announced that it has filed to go public. Today its S-1 filing remains private, but the announcement of its existence implies that Nu is on track to go public soon, perhaps inside of 2021. The company filed with both the American Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) […]

Groopit announces $2M pre-seed to help execs access crowd-sourced company data

by Ron Miller / about 6 hours

Groopit, an early stage startup from a 20-year Microsoft veteran, wants to help companies crowdsource data from information supplied by employees working in the field. Today, the company announced a $2 million pre-seed round led by with participation from a group of investors that includes Voyager Capital and Vulcan Capital. The startup has raised […]

Biotech startup Shiru sprouting plant-based ingredients with new capital infusion

by Christine Hall / about 7 hours

The company plans to have ingredients ready by next year, which means we could see the first commercial products containing Shiru’s ingredients on grocery store shelves as early as 2023.

YETiCO raises seed for its tap-a-device to simply divide the bill and tip restaurant staff

by Mike Butcher / about 7 hours

Earlier this year European startup Sunday raised $100 million in a Series A raise led by U.S. investors Coatue and DST Global, just five months after launching. The proposition was relatively simple and pretty much tailor-made for the COVID-19 era: diners scan a QR code to download an app, and then split the bill between […]

Truepill’s latest funding boosts valuation to $1.6B as it works on B2B side of healthcare

by Christine Hall / about 7 hours

The new funding represents a “hyper growth moment” for the company, which is in position to bring in some $300 million in revenue this year.

Skyryse brings in $200M to make flying an aircraft as simple as swiping a touchscreen

by Aria Alamalhodaei / about 7 hours

Five-year-old startup Skyryse has raised a $200 million Series B to develop FlightOS, a flight automation technology stack that the company says will help experienced pilots operate new types of aircraft and allow complete novices to quickly learn the ropes of flying. Most importantly, the company says FlightOS will be able to be retrofitted onto […]

Extend raises $40M for its virtual card offering to help banks better compete with fintechs

by Mary Ann Azevedo / about 7 hours

We’ve written a lot about fintechs that aim to help other fintechs and traditional banks launch products and services.  But it feels like we have written far less about fintechs that exist solely to help the incumbents better compete with fintechs. Extend is one such company. The New York-based startup, which provides digital payment infrastructure […]

Fellow raises $24M; wants you to enjoy going to meetings again

by Christine Hall / about 8 hours

Over the last year, the company saw that list more than triple, as did the number of meetings hosted on the platform.

Goodyear Ventures, Porsche Ventures invest in virtual sensing company Tactile Mobility

by Rebecca Bellan / about 8 hours

Israeli startup Tactile Mobility uses existing vehicle sensor data to enable cars to “feel” the road in a way that generates insights about both the vehicle and the road via its cloud platform. On Wednesday, Tactile announced a $27 million Series C raise which it will use to further develop its virtual sensors, expand its […]

QOA brings in seed round to do for chocolate what Oatly did for milk

by Christine Hall / about 10 hours

Its proprietary fermentation process will enable QOA to scale production by 2035 and be able to price its "chocolate" products the same or below the cost of traditional chocolate.

Tiger Global leads $3M round in Zambia’s Union54 for its card-issuing API

by Tage Kene-Okafor / about 11 hours

Union54, the first Zambian startup backed by Y Combinator, has gotten another major venture capital firm on its term sheet: Tiger Global. The company confirmed to TechCrunch that the VC juggernaut led its just-completed $3 million seed round, coming only two months after graduating from Y Combinator’s summer batch. San Francisco-based venture capital firm Runa […]

Health tech startup mPharma acquires Vine Pharmacy, enters Uganda

by Annie Njanja / about 13 hours

mPharma, a Ghanaian health startup, has taken a controlling stake in Uganda’s Vine Pharmacy for an undisclosed amount, marking the firm’s entry into its latest market in Africa. mPharma disclosed to TechCrunch that it has acquired a 55 percent stake previously held by  the Abraaj Group, a private equity firm that collapsed after investors, including […]

Open banking startup Finverse wants to build the Asia-Pacific region’s Plaid

by Catherine Shu / about 17 hours

Based in Hong Kong, Finverse’s ambitious goal is to enable open banking throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The startup recently came out of stealth mode with $1.8 million in seed funding, and is now live in four markets (Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam) with connections to 30 banks. Founder and chief executive officer Stephane […]

Zolve raises $40 million to help global citizens access financial services

by Manish Singh / about 20 hours

Zolve, a neobanking startup that aims to help immigrants in the U.S. gain access to financial services, said on Wednesday it has raised $40 million in a new financing round as it begins to roll out its offerings. Partners of DST Global led the Bangalore-headquartered startup’s Series A financing round. The round, which values the […]

TechCrunch+ roundup: Midwest VC boom, advice for CISOs, Facebook’s next chapter

by Walter Thompson / about 23 hours

Healthcare spending accounts for almost 18% of U.S. GDP, so it’s no surprise that digital health is attracting record levels of investment. This year, VCs invested $14.7 billion in healthtech startups