The week of 7/12 – 7/18 was a busy one for TechCrunch. Here’s the best of the best from this week. Priya Haji was an inspirational and positive presence in the technology and business worlds, and she will be greatly missed. Chicago-based entrepreneur Cheryl Dahle established a crowdfunding campaign on Fundly to help support Haji’s young children. Read “Tech… Read More
A few months ago, Google acquired the up-and-coming cloud monitoring service Stackdriver with the intent to integrate it into its own cloud tools. It didn’t take the company all that long to make use of Stackdriver’s expertise, because it launched its first product based on the company’s technology at its I/O developer conference today. Read More
Parking space apps driven out of San Francisco, and that’s a good thing | GigaOMWhy just drive away from a great parking spot when you could auction it off? It came as news to me, but people are already doing this in San Francisco thanks to iPhone apps like MonkeyParking and Parkmodo, which let you sell your parking spot to the highest bidder.The fun appears to be at an end, however, as San Francisco’s top lawyer has sent out a cease-and-desist telling MonkeyParking to stop renting out city property without permission.
Website targets unemployed looking to become self employed | News10There are a lot of task rabbits who have turned this service into a full-time job, and there’s really no limit to how much money one can earn.For those looking to find an economical solution to their chores, TaskRabbit can provide a solution as prices are based on bidding, rather than fixed amounts.
Southeast Asia’s Sharing Economy Start-Ups May Produce The Next Airbnb or Uber | ForbesWhile the sharing economy is still young in Southeast Asia, a Nielsen consumer report released end-May suggested that consumers in the region are opening up to the idea. It placed Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand among the top five markets globally that were prepared to participate in the share economy.
The Sharing Economy and the Mystery of the Mystery of Inequality | TruthOutMy cab driver was complaining about all of these expenses because he has to compete against two ride services, Uber and Lyft, that have largely escaped the same set of regulations. These companies and their drivers are not subjected to the same set of rules that are imposed on traditional cab services. This has put my cab driver and others like him at an enormous disadvantage, and made Uber the latest Wall Street wonder with an implicit market capitalization of $17 billion.
Maker Of $99 Lightbulbs, LIFX Gets $12M Series A From Sequoia Following Huge Crowdfund Campaign | ForbesThe success of the crowdfunding campaign brought LIFX to the attention of Silicon Valley’s firms, who saw it as positive proof of a growing market. “It wouldn’t have happened without the Kickstarter,” says CEO Phil Bosua. However, some backers who’d invested early in LIFX were disappointed when they saw the bulbs being sold on Amazon and Best Buy before they’d received theirs. The shipping trouble was down to hold ups at the factory says Bosua, who was under contract to ship to big retailers by a certain date.
PropFunds Launches New Approach to Real Estate Crowdfunding | Crowdfund InsiderA team of seasoned, long-term investment advisors with a combined total of more than 150 years of experience in the real estate industry today announced the creation of PropFund L.P., a firm focused on purchasing, owning and operating commercial and residential real estate investment properties. Headed by CEO and founder James Aldrich, PropFunds is differentiating itself as a sound, reliable alternative for investors in the real estate crowdfunding marketplace.
Crowdfunding firm Patreon turns to VCs for $15m funding round | The GuardianUS crowdfunding startup Patreon has raised $15m (£8.8m) of Series A funding from backers including venture capital firm Index Ventures, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and former PayPal president David Marcus.The company was founded in 2013 as a way to help YouTube stars augment their income from advertising on Google’s video service with direct donations from fans. It has since attracted more than 25,000 musicians, authors, filmmakers, journalists and other creators to use its platform.
Harvard prof opts to crowdsource research | Journal GazetteChristensen and co-author Derek van Bever instead crowdsourced 150 graduates of the school to better explain how companies are timidly investing their money instead of betting on market-creating innovations.“I can’t imagine that the academic method is a better method than what we’re using from here on. It’s a great system,” Christensen said.Read More →
With the introduction of the Firefly and Dynamic Perspective SDKs, mobile app developers who have grown tired of iterating on activities like messaging, photo-sharing, socializing and more now have new ways to differentiate themselves from a growing number of app store competitors. With Amazon’s newly opened up visual recognition technology, developers will not only be able to make… Read More
Amazon is likely announcing its first smartphone tomorrow and all signs point to it being something special with a novel head-tracking technology. While we’ve announced most of the phone’s features over the last few months, a few questions remain including carrier support. But according to the Wall Street Journal, the phone will only be available through AT&T, extending the… Read More
Did you know that the book publishing industry is at war with itself? No, wait, you’re a TechCrunch reader, wrong question. Did you know that the book publishing industry still exists? …This is kind of an awkward time for those of us who love both books and technology. It’s almost like you can’t cheer for both. This week’s example: the ongoing dirty war between… Read More
SwiftKey, the startup that makes the popular eponymous Android word-predicting keyboard software which last year pulled in $17.5 million in funding from Index and Accel – is switching its consumer keyboard app from a $3.99 paid download to free. The full machine learning keyboard technology, which adapts to its users’ use of language so it can better predict their next… Read More
Equity Crowdfunding Remains Stalled; New Legislation Introduced In Congress | MondaqWhile certain of the JOBS Act’s provisions have taken effect, the most anticipated element of the JOBS Act was likely the legalization of “equity crowdfunding,” a means by which small companies could raise capital from investors other than just those who met the “accredited investor” standard. It was hoped by many that equity crowdfunding would spark significant growth and development in small and mid-sized companies by opening more potential investors’ doors, while simultaneously allowing non-accredited investors to consider investments in companies that were not otherwise available to them.
Lighthouse Is A Crowdfunding Platform Built On Top Of Bitcoin | TechCrunchLighthouse provides a wallet and a way to build crowdfunding campaigns without relying on a trusted third party. When it comes to crowdfunding, Kickstarter and Indiegogo are the most popular trusted third parties. Lighthouse effectively replaces these platforms.The bitcoin network detects when enough money has been pledged to reach the initial goal of the campaign, and releases the funds to the project owner when all the conditions have been met.
Crowdsourcing Saves Philly School’s Space Program | NBC 10“It means so much to the students,” said program director Joseph Connelly. “It’s really difficult to find something in the school that promotes STEM understanding and is also super-fun.”The program, nicknamed Project SPARC, has its roots in the U.S.-Soviet space race. NASA donated the capsule and initially maintained an affiliation with the school. But that relationship languished and, as district funding waned, so did upkeep — but not student enthusiasm.
UK: McDonald’s To Crowd-source New Burger Ideas | KamCityMcDonald’s UK is launching an innovative crowd-sourcing initiative, under which it is allowing fans to design their own burgers, which could be listed at its UK outlets. The scheme makes use of a mobile app which allows fans to use up to six ingredients (from a selection of 80) to create their burger. The creations will be voted upon by the public, and the 12 most popular burgers will then be judged by a panel of experts, including Masterchef winner Phil Vickery. The top five burgers will then go on offer at McDonald’s later this year.
Using math and crowdsourcing to camouflage ‘eyesores’ | NetworkWorldResearchers at MIT are leading an effort to use algorithms and crowdsourcing to create customized camouflage that someday will conceal public eyesores such as electrical boxes and air conditioning units.Among the challenges to be overcome is creating camouflage that does the trick when viewed from different vantage points and in different light conditions.
Investing Give and Take In The Sharing Economy | The Wall Street JournalThere’s been a wave of debate about the validity and legality of these companies, which participate in what’s sometimes known as the “collaborative economy”. Many officials, including New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, question whether they are slick, technology-disguised attempts to circumvent regulation. Uber, after all, operates in the highly regulated world of taxi and limousine service; Airbnb in the hotel and lodging industry.
Instacart and the New Sharing Economy | PymntsIt is a challenge that many major players are recently seeking to solve for—Amazon, Groupon and Google are just a few of the big names getting into the grocery delivery space and getting people’s orders to them ASAP. However, to access those services, one has to live in the right market (New York or Los Angeles) and be willing to pay the price (in the case of Amazon, a $99 a year subscription).Read More →
Online shopping giant Amazon wants to get out ahead of the curve with wearable tech – hence the launch of its new Wearable Technology store today. The store is a subsection of its Amazon.com ecommerce portal, with a focus on devices like the Misfit Shine, Jawbone UP24 and Narrative Clip, to name just a few. The curated portal includes a number of categories, including Fitness & Wellness,… Read More