San Francisco

Aclima sucks in $24M to scale its air quality mapping platform

Aclima, a San Francisco-based company which builds Internet-connected air quality sensors and runs a software platform to analyze the extracted intel, has closed a $24 million Series A to grow the business including by expanding its headcount and securing more fleet partnerships to build out the reach and depth of its pollution maps. The Series A is led by Social Capital which is joining the board. Also participating in the round: The Schmidt Family Foundation, Emerson Collective, Radicle Impact, Rethink Impact, Plum Alley, Kapor Capital and First Philippine Holdings. Three years ago Aclima came out of stealth, detailing a collaboration with Google on mapping air quality in its offices and also outdoors, by putting sensors on StreetView cars. Though it has actually been working on the core...

TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield is coming soon to Beirut, São Paolo and Lagos

Everyone knows there are thriving startup communities outside of obvious hubs, like San Francisco, Berlin, Bangalore and Beijing, but they don’t always get the support they deserve. Last year, TechCrunch took a major page from its playbook, the Startup Battlefield competition, and staged the event in Nairobi, Kenya to find the best early stage startup in Sub-Saharan Africa, and also to Sydney, Australia, to find the same for Australia and New Zealand. Both were successes, thanks to talented founders and the hard traveling TechCrunch team. And now we’re pleased to announce that we’re stepping up our commitment to emerging ecosystems. TechCrunch is once again teaming up with Facebook, our partner for last year’s Nairobi event, to bring the Startup Battlefield to three major cities representi...

Scaling startups are setting up secondary hubs in these cities

Joanna Glasner Contributor More posts by this contributor What does it take to be a startup that raises huge sums quickly? Not a minimalist? Startups will gladly store, manage and deliver your items America’s mayors have spent the past nine months tripping over each other to curry favor with Amazon.com in its high-profile search for a second headquarters. More quietly, however, a similar story has been playing out in startup-land. Many of the most valuable venture-backed companies are venturing outside their high-cost headquarters and setting up secondary hubs in smaller cities. Where are they going? Nashville is pretty popular. So is Phoenix. Portland and Raleigh also are seeing some jobs. A number of companies also have a high number of remote offerings, seeking candidates with coveted s...

SF city attorney subpoenas Uber and Lyft for driver pay, benefits and classification info

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera has sent subpoenas to Uber and Lyft that asks them to provide information pertaining to how each company classifies its drivers (W2 employees versus 1099 contractors), as well as pay and benefits. The subpoenas also request a list of drivers who have either started or ended at least one ride in SF between 2015 to the present day and proof that any driver classified as an independent contractor meets the three criteria set forward by a recent California Supreme Court ruling. According to the April 30 ruling, companies must classify workers as employees unless they can prove the person is not under the control of the company, works outside the company’s general scope of business and has an independent business or job of the same nature of the work t...

What President Trump Doesn’t Know About ZTE

David Kline Contributor David Kline is a journalist, author and intellectual property strategist. More posts by this contributor A new (old) way for product makers to defeat patent roadblocks After meeting with Chinese Vice Premiere Liu He this week, President Trump is still considering easing penalties on Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE over its violation of sanctions against Iran and North Korea. But what Mr. Trump may not realize is that ZTE is also one of the world’s most notorious intellectual property thieves — perhaps even the most notorious of all. Since stopping Chinese theft of U.S intellectual property is one of the President’s most important trade objectives, Mr. Trump should refuse to ease sanctions against ZTE until it stops its high-tech banditry and starts playing by t...

Shared housing startups are taking off

Notice any commonalities? Yes, the startups listed are all based in either New York or the San Francisco Bay Area, two metropolises associated with scarce, pricey housing. But while these two metro areas offer the bulk of startups’ living spaces, they’re also operating in other cities, including Los Angeles, Seattle and Pittsburgh. From white picket fences to high-rise partitions The early developers of the U.S. suburban planned communities of the 1950s and 60s weren’t just selling houses. They were selling a vision of the American Dream, complete with quarter-acre lawns, dishwashers and spacious garages. By the same token, today’s shared housing startups are selling another vision. It’s not just about renting a room; it’s also about being part of a community, making friends and exploring ...

Update: Bird buys more scooters

Note: This story has been updated to indicate that the deal is worth tens of millions not hundreds of millions and includes comment from other manufacturers. It seems like all is fair in love and scooter wars. In the battle royal to become the last dock-less scooter startup standing (and un-besmirched by poop), Bird has inked what it is characterizing as exclusive deals with Ninebot (the parent company of Segway) and Xiaomi (yes, that Xiaomi), for rights to their supply of scooters for ride-sharing in the U.S. Ninebot and Xiaomi are the current champions in the scooter manufacturing market, and locking in their supply may cut off a big source of hardware for competitors Spin and LimeBike, both of which used Ninebot and Xiaomi for scooters. “That’s news to us, we have a contract with both,”...

Russia starts blocking Telegram for failing to turn over encryption keys

The Russian state telecommunication regulator has began blocking Telegram as expected. This comes after the messaging company refused to give Russian security services encryption keys. The service is expected to be blocked within the coming hours. According to several reports Telegram is still operational in the country though several service providers have started blocking the company’s website. Ran by its Russian founder Pavel Durov, Telegram has over 200 million users and is a top-ten messaging service made popular by its strong stance on privacy. Telegram is recognized as an operator of information dissemination in Russia and therefore the company is required by Russian to provide keys to its encryption service to the Federal Security Service. This is so the FSS can reportedly read the...

Uber blocked from testing self-driving cars on Arizona roads

Uber has been barred from testing its self-driving cars on public roads in Arizona following the accident last week involving one of its testing vehicles that killed a pedestrian crossing the street in its path. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey released a letter sent to Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in which he described the accident as captured by onboard cameras as “disturbing and alarming.” The governor, who has been a strong proponent of self-driving testing in the state up until this point, advocating for Uber and other companies to bring their programs to Arizona roads, also directed the Arizona Department of Transportation to “suspend” Uber’s self-driving testing access. Uber had already suspending testing of its autonomous test vehicles not only in Arizona, but in all markets following the...

Here are the top states and cities for startups in the South

The American South may not be the first region that comes to mind when you hear the phrase “hotbed of tech entrepreneurship,” but, slightly misguided perceptions aside, it’s home to a diverse and growing collection of startups. Here, we’re going to take a deep dive into the startup funding data for the region. What is “the South?” Just like it’s a common pastime for many city dwellers to argue about the precise boundaries of neighborhoods, there’s often some disagreement about the exact contours of the U.S.’s various regions. To quash rabble-rousing from the get-go, we’re using the U.S. Census Bureau’s definition of “the South” on its official map of the United States. Below, we display a map of the states we’re going to look at today. Much like barbecue, the South is not a monolithic conc...

SF mayoral candidate London Breed says the city has a ‘complex’ relationship with tech

San Francisco Board of Supervisors President London Breed wants you to remember that she was once, and will be the future of mayor of San Francisco, she said at the Lesbians Who Tech conference on Friday. For those unfamiliar with San Francisco local politics, Breed temporarily served as acting mayor following the untimely passing of SF Mayor Ed Lee in December. As a result of his passing before the completion of his term, San Francisco is holding a special election in June, in which Breed, Supervisor Jane Kim, former Supervisor Mark Leno and others are running for mayor. In addition to describing what it was like growing up in San Francisco and laying out some of the issues the city faces, like the lack of affordable housing, homelessness, and mental health and substance abuse, Breed call...

Uber officially launches Uber Express POOL, a new twist on shared rides

Uber has launched Uber Express POOL officially after a lengthy trial period that kicked off in San Francisco last November, and has until now remained available only in that market. Starting today, it’s coming to DC, LA, Miami, Philadelphia, San Diego and Denver, and more cities will be added over the next few weeks and months across the U.S. The Express POOL launch brings a change to the current Uber POOL model that’s designed to make for more direct routing, with easier pickups for drivers and fewer annoying deviations from the route for riders thanks to two key actions Uber is asking riders to help out with: Walking and waiting. Basically, when riders hail an Uber Express POOL, they’ll be asked to wait a few minutes prior to the trip’s start, and/or walk to a nearby pick up spot, or fro...

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