TC

Are scooter startups really worth billions?

It’s been hard to miss the scooter startup wars opening fresh, techno-fueled rifts in Valley society in recent months. Another flavor of ride-sharing steed which sprouted seemingly overnight to clutter up sidewalks — drawing rapid-fire ire from city regulators apparently far more forgiving of traffic congestion if it’s delivered in the traditional, car-shaped capsule. Even in their best, most-groomed PR shots, the dockless carelessness of these slimline electrified scooters hums with an air of insouciance and privilege. As if to say: Why yes, we turned a kids’ toy into a battery-powered kidult transporter — what u gonna do about it? An earlier batch of electric scooter sharing startups — offering full-fat, on-road mopeds that most definitely do need a license to ride (and, unless you’re cr...

Facebook mistakenly leaked developer analytics reports to testers

Set the “days without a Facebook privacy problem” counter to zero. This week, an alarmed developer contacted TechCrunch, informing us that their Facebook App Analytics weekly summary email had been delivered to someone outside their company. It contains sensitive business information, including weekly average users, page views and new users. Forty-three hours after we contacted Facebook about the issue, the social network now confirms to TechCrunch that 3 percent of apps using Facebook Analytics had their weekly summary reports sent to their app’s testers, instead of only the app’s developers, admins and analysts. Testers are often people outside of a developer’s company. If the leaked info got to an app’s competitors, it could provide them an advantage. At least they weren’t allowed to cl...

Your second chance for Startup Battlefield at Disrupt SF

If you missed the deadline last week to apply for the renowned Startup Battlefield at Disrupt SF, have no fear. There is still one more chance at being part of the action! Out of all of the early-stage companies exhibiting at Disrupt, three Startup Alley companies will have the opportunity to be selected as one of the “Wild Card” winners. You might be wondering, “what is Wild Card”? Wild Card is a Startup Alley exhibiting company that is selected by our TechCrunch editorial team to participate in the celebrated Startup Battlefield competition. This year we’re selecting three, and if you are exhibiting in Startup Alley, you could be one of the lucky winners. Last year at Disrupt NY 2017, RecordGram got a table in Startup Alley, where they ended up being selected as one of the Wild Card comp...

Konsus looks to give companies a way to get specially designed documents in under a day

Fredrik Thomassen as a consultant used to have the resources to offload the annoying project tasks — like making PowerPoint presentations — but now that it’s gone, he and his team wanted to make that available for everyone. Now the startup, called Konsus, wants to turn that around even faster. Konsus is a design marketplace where companies can quickly post design projects that they need for various parts of their jobs, like presentations, and designers can pick up those jobs and submit their work back — a task that could take up a lot of unnecessary time for an employee that might be better spent working on other parts of their job. Konsus said it is compressing that even further by now looking to provide a 12-hour turnaround for those companies. The company launched out of Y Combinator in...

Reddit launches a ‘News’ tab into beta testing

Reddit is rolling out its “news” tab into beta, the company announced this week. The expansion follows on Reddit’s initial test of a news-related feature that began this May, when an alpha version shipped to some users of Reddit’s iOS app. At the time, Reddit explained it wanted to give news its own dedicated home on its site in order to make it easier for those with a lot of subreddit subscriptions to find the news without having to hunt around. To determine what’s newsworthy, Reddit says it first figured out which subreddits were engaging with news the most. It did this by looking at the most-clicked posts by domain in the subreddits. The company came up with a list of around 1,000 domains from media publishers focused on news. This list was used to help it surface those communities wher...

Bag Week 2018: Timbuk2’s Launch featherweight daypack is tough and tiny

If you need something small, lightweight and indestructible, Timbuk2’s Lightweight Launch Backpack ($129) might be right up your alley. The pack, constructed from famously tough Tyvek, can fit a 13″ laptop comfortably and plenty else. At only 18L, it sounds small, but due to its drawstring-top design and large main compartment, it holds more than enough to make it a functional all-purpose daypack for work or play. The Launch’s distinct look will be what makes up most people’s minds about this pack. Beyond the drawstring design and this fun lemon-lime interior color, the Launch doesn’t have too many bells and whistles. Still, it checks important boxes with the inclusion of stuff like a water bottle holder, a sternum strap and weather resistant build material. If you’re a fan of tough lightw...

Apple will repair busted keyboards on recent MacBooks and MacBook Pros for free

Back in 2016, Apple redesigned the MacBook Pro’s keyboard. It… hasn’t gone as well as they probably hoped. Complaints of failing keys quickly started popping up. Some keys had a tendency to get stuck in place; others move freely, but simply don’t respond. Two years and a lawsuit later, Apple is officially acknowledging the issue with a free keyboard repair program. And if you already paid Apple to fix your keyboard? Give them a call. According to this support page, they’re planning on refunding previous repair charges. Apple says the following models are eligible: MacBook (Retina, 12-­inch, Early 2015) MacBook (Retina, 12­-inch, Early 2016) MacBook (Retina, 12-­inch, 2017) MacBook Pro (13­-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports) MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports) MacBook Pr...

Bag Week 2018: P.MAI’s women’s leather laptop bag is luxury packed with utility

Welcome to Bag Week 2018. Every year your faithful friends at TechCrunch spend an entire week looking at bags. Why? Because bags — often ignored but full of our important electronics — are the outward representations of our techie styles, and we put far too little thought into where we keep our most prized possessions. I’ve always preferred carrying a backpack to work instead of a purse. Like many women, I’ve accepted that it means sacrificing style for comfort and utility. There are tons of women’s backpacks on the market with all sorts of colors, designs, materials and overall aesthetics. But the minute you look for a quality, women’s leather laptop backpack the options are sparse and divided into two camps. They seem to either be casual in aesthetic and centered around a utilitarian des...

A look back at the best tech ads of the last 35 years

Last week the Association of Independent Commercial Producers announced the winners of its annual awards honoring the best moving image marketing of the year and Apple’s “Welcome Home” ad took home the prize for Advertising Excellence in the single commercial category. Directed by Spike Jonze, the person behind movies like Her and Being John Malkovich, the musical short film follows the journey of a young woman, FKA Twigs, as she returns home from a challenging work day to an empty apartment. After asking Siri to “play something [she’d] like” her world is literally transformed as the music of Anderson .Paak’s “Til It’s Over” spills out of her HomePod. [embedded content] With stunning visuals (most of which were not CGI) and captivating choreography, Jonze breathes life into a product that ...

VC Brian O’Malley jumps from Accel to Forerunner Ventures

Brian O’Malley may be the most-poached venture capitalist in Silicon Valley. While rising through the ranks at the global investment firm Battery Ventures, where O’Malley had led deals in Hotel Tonight among others, he was plucked out of the firm by Accel Partners in 2013, where both O’Malley and Accel thought he could be even more successful. Now, fast forward five years, and O’Malley is announcing today (through Forbes) that he just joined Forerunner Ventures, the top e-commerce investing firm launched in 2010 by founder Kirsten Green. That O’Malley is willing to make moves is hardly a knock. For someone whose job it is to create and manage promising portfolios, he seems to be managing his career with that same, smart mindset. The move also reflects well on Forerunner, a much younger fir...

Tinder takes on Coffee Meets Bagel with test of Tinder Picks

Tinder will begin testing a new feature aimed at helping people find more matches who fit their particular interests across areas like education, job type, hobbies and other details. “Tinder Picks,” as the new feature is being called, will be available only to those on Tinder Gold – the existing subscription offering that includes a number of Tinder Plus features, like Passport, Rewind, Unlimited Likes and more, but also allows users to see who has already liked them. Combined, Tinder Plus and Gold had an average of 3.5 million paid subscribers in Q1, but Tinder doesn’t break down the two offerings individually. Tinder Gold launched globally in August 2017, and is being tested at different price points in various markets. The company says that during its first month, subscribers saw an ove...

Announcing the agenda for The Europas Unconference, July 3, London

There are only 10 more days until The Europas where the winners of this year’s startup awards will be announced at our gala dinner, in association with TechCrunch! The Europas half-day “Unconference” will have a fantastic lineup of panels taking place in the afternoon before the awards. This year, we’ve done away with mainstage lectures, and we’ve created a series of more tightly focused discussion panels that give you a front-row seat to the biggest investors, founders and thought leaders in tech. No more seeing a huge investor or founder on stage and not even getting to talk to them! Our goal at The Europas is to break down the barriers between speakers and audience and to get the discussion going! This year our panels are focused around three themes: Tech + Society; Start Up Central, an...