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Neat is a challenger bank for early-stage startups and SMEs

With the growth in cross-border payment services and ‘challenger’ bank cards for consumers, you’d be forgiven for wondering where the options are for small business — where cash is particularly precious. They do exist. One of the newer options is Neat, which is nested in Hong Kong but open for business worldwide. The startup started off following the same track as the likes of Monzo, Starling and Revolut in Europe, developing a ‘new’ kind of account free of branch-based banking and tedious paperwork. But quickly the team realized that its service was being adopted in large by startups and SMEs as a way to get more flexible financing and perks like install balance/billing. Neat still offers a consumer service in Hong Kong, but it places a heavy focus on developing its business service. Righ...

Sequoia India and Accel back on-demand scooter startup in $12.2M deal

Two of India’s most prominent VCs are backing a motorbike on-demand service after Sequoia India and Accel led a $12.2 million investment in Metro Bikes. Sequoia India and Accel were joined in the round by Raghunandan G, who founded TaxiForSure which sold to Ola, among other investors. Metro Bikes started out as a luxury bike rental service in 2014 — initially as “Wicked Rides” — and it launched scooters (motorbikes) and other two-wheel rentals in 2016. Now, the company is rebranding to Bounce and refocusing its business to on-demand scooter (that’s motorbike in U.S. parlance) rentals for first and last mile transportation. The idea is to appeal to commuters, who can pick up a bike at their nearest location and later leave it at an endzone. The cost is based on distance and time spent. Boun...

Monetizing computing resources on the blockchain

Ben Dickson Contributor Ben Dickson is a software engineer and the founder of TechTalks. More posts by this contributor Unlocking the potential of eye tracking technology Can you trust crypto-token crowdfunding? A while back, a blockchain startup approached me with their pitch, a decentralized social media application in which users can earn money by simply doing what they already do on other platforms, such posting updates, photos and videos. I would have been intrigued had they sent me the message a couple of years ago. But not so much after observing the space for more several years. Several blockchain applications profess to enable users to monetize various resources, whether it’s their unused storage and CPU power, or the tons of data they generate every day. Regardless of whether the...

Here are all the robots we saw at TC Sessions: Robotics

Robots are coming. Are they overlords or friendly companions designed to help us perform the mundane tasks of our respective days? Perhaps it’s both. Whatever the purpose, they’re no longer part of some vague future we can’t quite fathom. They’re here now, and we got to meet a few of them at TC Sessions: Robotics at UC Berkeley. Boston Dynamics Boston Dynamics CEO Marc Raibert announced onstage that the company’s 66-pound SpotMini robot will be available for purchase by the normals in 2019. Yes, one day you, too, will be able to have a dog robot perform services for you at the office or home. Mayfield Robotics This cute little robot from Mayfield Robotics can blink, play music, turn its head and recharge itself. It can also just stay put to take pictures of you and live-stream your daily l...

Lessons from cybersecurity exits

Dear F0und3r: What a month this has been for cybersecurity! One unicorn IPO and two nice acquisitions – Zscaler’s great debut on wall street,  a $300 million acquisition of Evident.io by Palo Alto Networks and a $350 million acquisition of Phantom Cyber by Splunk has gotten all of us excited. Word on the street is that in each of those exits, the founders took home ~30% to 40% of the proceeds. Which is not bad for ~ 4 /5 years of work. They can finally afford to buy two bedroom homes in Silicon Valley. Evident.IO Investment Rounds and Return estimates Date Select Investors Round Size Pre Post Dilution Estimated Returns / Multiple of Invested Capital Sep 2013 True Ventures $1.5m $5.25m $6.75 m 22% 44X Nov 2014 Bain Capital $9.8 m $18.1m $28.0 m 35% 10.7X Apr 2016 Venrock $15.7 m $35.0 m $50...

Everledger’s Kemp and Omise’s Hasegawa join TC Blockchain

Blockchain technology and the decentralizing effects of distributed ledgers have enormous amounts of potential and may mean the Internet will never be the same again. The fact that one could eventually run vast applications without any servers is equally transformational. But it’s still very much a wild west out there in terms of ascertaining who is working on ‘the real deal’. The blockchain world is currently weighed down with the expectations of dubious crypto-currency speculators and sky-high ICOs and hacks that are interfering with a frank conversation about the future. Which is why TechCrunch has decided to throw its hat into the ring and try to bring together the leading players in the space for a frank discussion and inquiry into this next phase in Zug, Switzerland, this July. At TC...