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  1. Today
  2. Tylor Norwood is directing a new documentary about the final days of iconic comedian Robin Williams. Robin's Wish will tackle Williams' struggle with Lewy Body Dementia and its effect on his suicide in August 2014. Ryan Pierse / Getty Images "Armed with the name of a brain disease I’d never heard of, I set out on a mission to understand it, and that led me down my unchosen path of advocacy," Williams' widow, Schneider Williams, told Entertainment Weekly in a statement. "With invaluable help from leading medical experts, I saw that what Robin and I had gone through, finally made sense — our experience matched up with the science." "And what I discovered along the way was bigger than me and bigger than Robin," she continued. "The full story was revealed during the making of this film, and it holds the truth that Robin and I had been searching for." Last month would have been Williams' 68th birthday. He is survived by Scheinder and three children. "We had been discussing what we wanted our legacies to be in life; when it was our time to go, how we wanted to have made people feel," she recalled. "Without missing a beat, Robin said, 'I want to help people be less afraid.'" Check out the official trailer for Robin's Wish below. The film will be released on September 1. [Via] View the full article
  3. Pacers' T.J. Warren continued his impressive hot streak with 39 points on 15-of-22 shooting in Saturday's 116-111 win against the Los Angeles Lakers. Warren is currently the leading scoring since the NBA season's restart in Orlando. Pool / Getty Images "It's me just putting in the time and work in the offseason," Warren said after the game. "During the time off just staying locked, staying in love with the game and just being myself when I'm out there. I've got a good supporting cast, good family and friends, so that helps a lot. And the organization, the Pacers welcomed me in with open arms and brought me in, so I'm just grateful for everything right now." Warren is averaging 34.8 points per game on 60.5% shooting. "Hey look, T.J. Warren is on a different planet right now," His Pacers teammate Victor Oladipo said. "It don't matter what I say, it don't matter what you say, it don't matter what somebody down the street say -- Johnny, Barley, Ms. Susie -- he locked in right now. I don't need to encourage him to do anything, he's going to put the ball in the rim regardless of who's out there." The Pacers are currently in 5th in the Eastern Conference standings. [Via] View the full article
  4. TL;DR: A lifetime subscription to BoxHosting Online Hosting is on sale for £34.35 as of August 9, saving you 91% on list price. When you’re building a website for your business, band, or wild fan theories, there are a few things to keep in mind. You want the process to go smoothly. You want the site to stay up, and be reliable. And you want to communicate easily with the people who visit your new cyber-home. While those things sound simple, it can be tough to find them all in one place without paying an expert a hefty sum. BoxHosting is in fact one of those places. It's budget-friendly, reliable, easy to use, and — best of all — the last web hosting service you’ll need since you can get a lifetime deal on sale for just £34.35. Read more... More about Websites, Mashable Shopping, Online Courses, Shopping Uk, and Uk DealsView the full article
  5. TL;DR: The Ultimate Facebook Marketing Certification bundle is on sale for £22.13 as of August 9, saving you 97% on list price. With the growth of Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and TikTok, you might've let Facebook slip your mind. But the truth is, Facebook remains one of the best, if not the best platform for digital marketing. So, you might want to get yourself reacquainted. This Ultimate Facebook Marketing Certification bundle can help you dive back in, with seven courses and 30 hours of training in everything Facebook has to offer for marketing your brand. SEE ALSO: Learn how to succeed in digital marketing with these online classes Read more... More about Facebook, Marketing, Mashable Shopping, Shopping Uk, and Uk DealsView the full article
  6. Comedian and podcaster Joe Rogan called out "bizarre filters" by posting an image of himself as a woman. He says this type of photo editing distorts "young women's expectations of beauty." Dylan Buell / Getty Images "If you wanna know how fucked we are and how bizarre filters are and how distorted young women’s expectations of beauty are, I present you this picture. This IS ME," he wrote in the caption. "My 10-year-old daughter is laughing hysterically because she took a picture of my ugly chimp face making kissy lips and ran it through some satanic filter designed to steal women’s self-esteem through pure deception and fuckery, and this is the result. "Protect yourself, my friends. The internet is trying to rob you of your happiness." Rogan then posted the unedited version of the picture without, what he calls the "satanic filter." He's not only himself, but is also making a ridiculous expression. The podcaster also updated fans on his new studio, which is located in Texas. "Texas JRE studio set up has begun!" he wrote. Rogan's podcast has been been in California until this point. Check out both the edited and unedited versions of Rogan's picture below. [Via] View the full article
  7. Billionaire Bill Gates says if a vaccine for COVID-19 is found, he plans to donate $150 million in an effort to make it as accessible as possible. Getty Images / Getty Images “We’re trying to make sure we can end it not just in the rich countries,” Gates told Bloomberg News, Tuesday. Thus far, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged over $350 million toward Covid-19 research. “Innovation in diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines will get us largely out of this by the end of 2021,” Gates continued. “The true end comes when between natural infection and a vaccine we have this herd immunity.” Gates also spoke with WIRED this week, explaining that most COVID-19 testing is "completely garage." He says due to tests not getting back quickly enough, many are wasted: "The majority of all US tests are completely garbage, wasted. If you don’t care how late the date is and you reimburse at the same level, of course they’re going to take every customer. Because they are making ridiculous money, and it’s mostly rich people that are getting access to that. You have to have the reimbursement system pay a little bit extra for 24 hours, pay the normal fee for 48 hours, and pay nothing [if it isn’t done by then]. And they will fix it overnight." [Via] View the full article
  8. Jason Derulo says it would be a "sad day for a lot of people," if President Donald Trump's executive order to ban TikTok passes, but ultimately, doesn't expect that day to come. Steven Ferdman / Getty Images “I don’t believe that will be the case, honestly, but that would be a sad day for a lot of people, including myself,” he told Page Six. “I just have a lot of fun on the app, so it would be pretty sad, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.” Derulo has over 30 million followers on TikTok. He says he isn't concerned about the potential security threats that Trump is worried about. “I think a lot of people tap our phones, so you’re damned if you do, you’re damned if you don’t,” Derulo said, noting that he's aware he will see ad notifications for products he talks about. “I’ll say, ‘Man, I should really shave,’ and it’ll be like, ‘Here’s our new shaver.'” White House spokesman Judd Deere explained the administration's position saying, "The Administration is committed to protecting the American people from all cyber-related threats to critical infrastructure, public health and safety, and our economic and national security." TikTok reportedly plans to sue Trump in response to the ban. [Via] View the full article
  9. Black Country, New Road, the noisy young British band from the same scene that birthed Black Midi, were supposed to perform at the Haldern Pop Festival in Germany this year. Although the actual Haldern Pop Festival, like pretty much every other festival out there, is cancelled, its organizers are instead hosting a series … More »View the full article
  10. Following a chippy end to their matchup Saturday, Damian Lillard, Paul George, and Patrick Beverley have now traded shots on Instagram. The Clippers players initially taunted Lillard as he missed two crucial during the Trail Blazers' loss. Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images "They know what I do. [Patrick Beverley] saw it 1st hand when I was a 2nd-year player and he was in Houston. I’m sure he has a great memory of that. I sent him home before at the end of a game," Lillard said after the game. "Paul George just got sent home by me last year in the playoffs. So, they know. The reason they react like that is because of what they expect from me, which is a sign of respect. It shows what I've done at a high clip more times than not. I'm not offended by it." Afterward, George responded on Instagram saying, “And you getting sent home this year. Respect.” Lillard then replied, “Keep switching teams … running from the grind. You boys is chumps.” “Cancun on 3,” Beverley butted in. “Respect that too in my stint with my first team I had more success ... Dame time running out g," George said. The Trail Blazers are currently one game out of the 8-seed. [Via] View the full article
  11. Yesterday
  12. The Weeknd played a virtual concert on TikTok last night. The singer's avatar performed several songs accompanied by trippy 3D visual effects in "The Weeknd Experience," an interactive augmented reality livestream billed as the platform's "first-ever in-app cross reality experience." During "In Your Eyes," a digital avatar of Doja Cat joined the party … More »View the full article
  13. Senator Bernie Sanders and Telsa CEO Elon Musk exchanged shots on Twitter regarding a new bill proposed by Sanders and other progressives, which would tax a number of billionaires in order to cover the health care costs of those uninsured during the coronavirus pandemic. Brittany Greeson / Getty Images Musk replied to the proposed bill with a meme displaying Sanders, that reads "Official Bernie Sanders drinking game! Every time the Bernster mentions a free government program, chug somebody else's beer!" Sanders quote-tweeted Musk's meme, saying "Every time Elon Musk pokes fun at government assistance for the 99%, remember that he would be worth nothing without $4.9 billion in corporate welfare. Oh, Elon just l-o-v-e-s corporate socialism for himself, rugged capitalism for everyone else." The Make Billionaires Pay Act (co-sponsored by Sens. Ed Markey, D-Mass, and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY) would "cover all necessary healthcare expenses of the uninsured and underinsured, including prescription drugs, for one year." An estimated 5.4 million Americans lost their health insurance from February through May 2020, according to Families USA. The proposed bill would cost Jeff Bezos $42.8 billion, Mark Zuckerberg $22.8 billion, the Walton family $12.9 billion, and Elon Musk $27.5 billion. It targets the richest 0.001% of the United States. Read more about the proposed bill here. [Via] View the full article
  14. Fan outrage over Kylie Jenner's appearance in the music video for Cardi B's new song "WAP" featuring Megan Thee Stallion has reached new heights. A Change.org petition is now active and has been signed by over 55,000 users. Rich Fury / Getty Images "The video was perfect until we saw K and I wanted to throw my phone," the petition summary reads. The video, which was released Friday (Aug. 7), shows Jenner around the midway point for a brief period. "The entire family has been using blacks to stay relevant for decades," one supporter of the petition wrote. "Even if the family is innocent in their intentions, damage is being done. It will continue because of their children and affiliations...and money but this is my 2 cents. We have to start somewhere. And sleeping with black men doesn't mean you support our struggle. We are used to make [sic] things popular then tossed. Let's support more black and brown moments on TV. We don't make up a lot of it. Let's represent while we can." "She is a culture vulture who doesn't remember how her own complexion looks! down with the culture vultures!!!" another said. Check out the petition here and the music video below. [Via] View the full article
  15. Aloe Blacc says he expects that misogyny will always play a role in hip-hop music. He explained his pessimistic outlook in an interview with U.K.'s iNews. Tibrina Hobson / Getty Images “I’d love to see it, but I think it will be here forever," Blacc said when asked about asked whether hip-hop will ever distance itself from its misogynistic tropes. "There are too many market forces interested in this kind of activity. It’s attractive until women say it’s not and stop buying the music, start protesting against the labels promoting it, the radio stations investing in it, and the advertisers paying for this content.” Black says his upcoming album, All Love Everything, will focus more on his personal life and experiences than political topics: “In the past, I’d write a song specifically to combat what I saw in society. At some point, I realized raging against the machine only makes you tired. The machine doesn’t know love, so I thought, ‘Why don’t we throw in something it cannot compute?’ I wanted to humanize our condition so we’re not constantly bombarded by darkness.” Check out the full interview with the "I Need A Dollar" singer here. All Love Everything will be available to stream, October 2, 2020. [Via] View the full article
  16. Jurnee Smollett says that prior to her upcoming HBO series, Lovecraft Country, she has only been on one set where she was not sexually harassed. Smollett shared her story during a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Roger Kisby / Getty Images "I don't know that I can confidently say that I worked on one job prior to Lovecraft — from the time I was 12 on — where I hadn't been sexually harassed, whether it was by an [assistant director], a co-star, director, producer …" she said. At 33, Smollett has had a successful career in Hollywood. She's starred in Eve's Bayou, The Great Debaters (2007), as well as Friday Night Lights and True Blood. "Like, a guy saying before we're about to do this love scene, 'Hey, your tits are going to be hanging in the wind,' is not OK," she said, before revealing she had stepped away from a project because the misconduct was so bad. "And they let me out." "And I don't apologize," she said. "I'll be like, 'Listen, this fake-ass sexual harassment meeting that we're having, I'm going to raise my hand now and let you guys know that the standards that they're setting are bare minimum.'" Lovecraft Country premieres on HBO, August 16. [Via] View the full article
  17. Late entertainment legend Robin Williams could not have known his thoughts on cranial anatomy would resonate as strongly as they do today. "The human brain is an extraordinary three-and-a-half pound gland," the icon says in an old interview clip, included in the first trailer for Robin's Wish. An upcoming documentary examining Williams' 2014 death by suicide following his battle with Lewy Body Dementia, the film promises to bring new meaning to the late comedian's legacy by asking what the world can learn from his death. Yes, the brain is a wonderful and baffling thing — a reality Williams and those close to him knew all too well during his final days. Read more... More about Documentary, Trailer, Robin Williams, Entertainment, and Streaming Services View the full article
  18. The HARD Summer BackHARD BBQ is in full force and tonight we have JOYRYDE, Louis the Child, Tokimonsta, Valentino Khan, Elohim and more on deck. Although Insomniac had to cancel a plethora of festivals in 2020, the company has still been keeping us entertained with its Virtual Rave-A-Thon series. The latest comes as this online installment of HARD summer, featuring plenty of fan-favorite headliners. Hosted by “Grillmaster” Pasquale Rotella, there will never be a dull moment — so report to the nearest back yard pronto and go HARD. For best results, throw something on the grill and enjoy with a few close friends. Stay safe and sanitized. Tune in here and scroll down for the schedule. HARD Summer BackHARD BBQ  Schedule: Photo via Rukes.com This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: HARD Summer BackHARD BBQ Features JOYRYDE, Tokimonsta, Valentino Khan & More Tonight View the full article
  19. Minecraft is hosting another music festival later this month with a huge lineup. Our eyes immediately jump to San Holo and TNGHT, but the talent stretches far beyond with a variety of acts. The Open Pit-curated event will feature Flatbush Zombies, 100 Gecs, Baauer, and many more. To be honest, we’re just as excited to explore the artists we haven’t heard of, because this list runs deep. Plus, takeovers from bitbird and Dog Show Records, among other labels and collectives. It’s all in support of the Okra Project, which describes itself as a 100% grassroots, organizer-led initiative with the goal of combatting food insecurity in the Black Trans community. The Lavapalooza online festival is set to go down later this month, August 14th and 15th. It’s all happening right here, but we’ll remind you to tune in. Photo via Rukes.com This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: Minecraft Festival Lavapalooza Live Stream With San Holo, TNGHT, Baauer, & More View the full article
  20. TikTok isn't going down without a fight. On Saturday, NPR reported the latest development in the White House's grudge match with popular video sharing app TikTok. According to an unnamed source within the company, TikTok will challenge Trump's executive order banning parent company ByteDance from operating within the U.S. via a federal lawsuit to be filed as early as Tuesday. Representatives for TikTok did not immediately respond to Mashable's request for comment. The suit is reportedly set to proceed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, where TikTok's U.S. headquarters are based, and will argue unconstitutionality on two fronts. Per NPR, the suit will argue both that TikTok was not given reasonable opportunity to respond to the White House's concerns regarding national security and that such concerns are baseless. Read more... More about Trump, Ban, Tiktok, Tech, and PoliticsView the full article
  21. It's hiking season! Remember to drink plenty of water, leave the trail how you found it, behave safely in the presence of wildlife, and avoid murder if at all possible. On Wednesday, the National Park Service shared a hilarious PSA with outdoor adventurers regarding proper protocol around bears. In a lengthy post made on the agency's Facebook page, rangers informed hikers of the right steps to take if faced with a bear — don't run, don't climb a tree, etc. — while accounting for one of the more uh...creative solutions that might occur to a panic-stricken park-goer in a moment of crisis. "Please don't run from bears or push your slower friends down in attempts of saving yourself," the PSA begins. "As a follow-up to a previous post, if you come upon a stationary bear, move away slowly and sideways; this allows you to keep an eye on the bear and avoid tripping." That previous post was made on National Friendship Day (Aug. 2) and also suggests not murdering your loved ones. Read more... More about National Park Service, Bear, Science, and Animals View the full article
  22. Editor’s note: Get this free weekly recap of TechCrunch news that any startup can use by email every Saturday morning (7am PT). Subscribe here. They say business needs certainty to succeed, but new tech startups are still getting funded aggressively despite the pandemic, recession, trade wars and various large disasters created by nature or humans. But before we get to the positive data, let’s spend some time reviewing the hard news — there is a lot of it to process. TikTok is on track to get banned if it doesn’t get sold first, and leading internet company Tencent’s WeChat is on the list as well, plus Trump administration has a bigger “Clean Network” plan in the works. The TikTok headlines are the least significant part, even if they are dominating the media cycle. The video-sharing social network is just now emerging as an intriguing marketing channel, for example. And if it goes, few see any real opening in the short-form video space that market leaders aren’t already deep into. Indeed, TikTok wasn’t a startup story since the Musical.ly acquisition. It was actually part of an emerging global market battle between giant internet companies, that is being prematurely ended by political forces. We’ll never know if TikTok could have continued leveraging ByteDance’s vast resources and protected market in China to take on Facebook directly on its home turf. Instead of quasi-monopolies trying to finish taking over the world, those with a monopoly on violence have scrambled the map. WeChat is mainly used by the Chinese diaspora in the US, including many US startups with friends, family and colleagues in China. And the Clean Network plan would potentially split the Chinese mobile ecosystem from iOS and Android globally. Let’s not forget that Europe has also been busy regulating foreign tech companies, including from both the US and China. Now every founder has to wonder how big their TAM is going to be in a world cleaved back the leading nation-states and their various allies. “It’s not about the chilling effect [in Hong Kong],” an American executive in China told Rita Liao this week about the view in China’s startup world. “The problem is there won’t be opportunities in the U.S., Canada, Australia or India any more. The chance of succeeding in Europe is also becoming smaller, and the risks are increasing a lot. From now on, Chinese companies going global can only look to Southeast Asia, Africa and South America.” The silver lining, I hope, is that tech companies from everywhere are still going to be competing in regions of the world that will appreciate the interest. Image Credits: DocSend (opens in a new window) Startup fundraising activity is booming and set to boom more A fresh analysis from our friends over at Docsend reveals that startup investment activity has actually sped up this year, at least by the measure of pitchdeck activity on its document management platform used by thousands of companies in Silicon Valley and globally (which makes it a key indicator of this hard-to-see action). Founders are sending out more links than before and VCs are racing through more decks faster, despite the gyrations of the pandemic and other shocks. Meanwhile, many startups shared that they had cut back hard in March and now have more room to wait or raise on good terms. Docsend CEO Russ Heddleston concludes that the rest of the year could actually see activity increase further as companies finish adjusting to the latest challenges and are ready to go back out to market. All this should shape how you approach your pitchdeck, he writes separately for Extra Crunch. Additional data shows that decks should be on the short side, must include a “why now” slide that addresses the COVID-19 era, and show big growth opportunities in the financials. Image Credits: Cadalpe (opens in a new window) / Getty Images SaaS founders could transcend VC fundraising via securitized debt “In one decade, we went from buying licenses for software to paying monthly for services and in the process, revolutionized the hundreds of billions spent on enterprise IT,” Danny Crichton observes. “There is no reason why in another decade, SaaS founders with the metrics to prove it shouldn’t have access to less dilutive capital through significantly more sophisticated debt underwriting. That’s going to be a boon for their own returns, but a huge challenge for VC firms that have been doubling down on SaaS.” Sure, the market is sort of providing this with various existing venture debt vehicles, and by other routes like private equity (which has acquired a taste for SaaS metrics this past decade). Danny sees a more sophisticated world evolving, as he details on Extra Crunch this week. First, he sees underwriters tying loans to recurring revenues, even to the point that your customers could be your assets that the bank takes if you go bust. The trend could then build from there: Part two is to take all those individual loans and package them together into a security… Imagine being an investor who believes that the world is going to digitize payroll. Maybe you don’t know which of the 30 SaaS providers on the market are going to win. Rather than trying your luck at the VC lottery, you could instead buy “2018 SaaS payroll debt” securities, which would give you exposure to this market that’s safer, if without the sort of exponential upside typical of VC investments. You could imagine grouping debt by market sector, or by customer type, or by geography, or by some other characteristic. Image Credits: Hussein Malla / AP Help the startup scene in Beirut Beirut is home to a vibrant startup scene but like the rest of Lebanon it is reeling from a massive explosion at its main port this week. Mike Butcher, who has helped connect TechCrunch with the city over the years, has put together a guide to local people and organizations that you can help out, along with stories from local founders about what they are overcoming. Here’s Cherif Massoud, a dental surgeon turned founder of invisible-braces startup Basma: We are a team of 25 people and were all in our office in Beirut when it happened. Thankfully we all survived. No words can describe my anger. Five of us were badly injured with glass shattered on their bodies. The fear we lived was traumatizing. The next morning day, we went back to the office to clean all the mess, took measurements of all the broken windows and started rebuilding it. It’s a miracle we are alive. Our markets are mainly KSA and UAE, so customers were still buying our treatments online, but the team needed to recover so we decided to take a break, stop the operations for a few days and rest until next Monday. Image Credits: Madrona (opens in a new window) How to build a great “revenue stack” Every business has been scrambling to figure out online sales and marketing during the pandemic. Fortunately the Cambrian explosion of SaaS products began years ago and now there are many powerful options for revenue teams of all shapes and sizes. The problem is how to put everything together right for your company’s needs. Tim Porter and Erica La Cava of Madrona Venture Group have created a framework for how to build what they call the “revenue stack.” While most companies are already using some form of CRM, communications and agreement management software generally, each one needs to figure out four new “capabilities.” What they define as revenue enablement, sales engagement, conversational intelligence and revenue operations. Here’s a sample from Extra Crunch, about sales engagement: Some think of sales engagement as an intelligent e-mail cannon and analysis engine on steroids. While in reality, it is much more. Consider these examples: How can I communicate with prospects in a way that is both personalized and efficient? How do I make my outbound sales reps more productive and enable them to respond more quickly to leads? What tools can help me with account-based marketing? What happened to that email you sent out to one of your sales prospects? Now, take these questions and multiply them by a hundred, or even a thousand: How do you personalize a multitouch nurture campaign at scale while managing and automating outreach to many different business personas across various industry segments? Uh-oh. Suddenly, it gets very complicated. What sales engagement comes down to is the critical understanding of sending the right information to the right customer, and then (and only then) being able to track which elements of that information worked (e.g., led to clicks, conversations and conversions) … and, finally, helping your reps do more of that. We see Outreach as the clear leader here, based in Seattle, with SalesLoft as the number two. Outreach in particular is investing considerably in adding additional intelligence and ML to their offering to increase automation and improve outcomes. Around TechCrunch Hear how working from home is changing startups and investing at Disrupt 2020 Extra Crunch Live: Join Wealthfront CEO Andy Rachleff August 11 at 1pm EDT/10am PDT about the future of investing and fintech Register for Disrupt to take part in our content series for Digital Startup Alley exhibitors Boston Dynamics CEO Rob Playter is coming to Disrupt 2020 to talk robotics and automation Across the week TechCrunch The tale of 2 challenger bank models Majority of tech workers expect company solidarity with Black Lives Matter ‘Made in America’ is on (government) life support, and the prognosis isn’t good What Microsoft should demand in exchange for its ‘payment’ to the US government for TikTok Equity Monday: Could Satya and TikTok make ByteDance investors happy enough to dance? Extra Crunch 5 VCs on the future of Michigan’s startup ecosystem Eight trends accelerating the age of commercial-ready quantum computing A look inside Gmail’s product development process The story behind Rent the Runway’s first check After Shopify’s huge quarter, BigCommerce raises its IPO price range #EquityPod From Alex Wilhelm: Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast (now on Twitter!), where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. As ever, I was joined by TechCrunch managing editor Danny Crichton and our early-stage venture capital reporter Natasha Mascarenhas. We had Chris on the dials and a pile of news to get through, so we were pretty hyped heading into the show. But before we could truly get started we had to discuss Cincinnati, and TikTok. Pleasantries and extortion out of the way, we got busy: E-commerce and fintech stay hot as Square reported big earnings, Shopify and Etsy do well, and more. We tied this to recent VC results in the fintech space, which saw a record number of $100 million rounds in Q2. There were some signs of weakness elsewhere, but the general state of things in tech is surprisingly hot, given the pandemic and recession. Gumroad founder Sahil Lavingia has a new seed fund that he built in collaboration with AngelList. D2C women’s-health startup Stix raised a $1.3 million seed round. Quantum-computing startup Rigetti raised a $79 million Series C. Rippling raised $145 million at an eye-popping $1.35 billion valuation; the company’s last value, set a year ago, was $270 million. AgentSync put together a $4.4 million seed round to help bring APIs to insurtech. Turning away from funding to some neat product news, India-based Statiq is building a bootstrapped EV-charging network. And as we wrapped, the Byju’s-WhiteHat Jr. deal was neat, JIO is soaking up a huge amount of Indian VC, and Natasha’s latest piece on learning pods had us arguing about what things are worth. It was another fun week! As always we appreciate you sticking with and supporting the show! Equity drops every Monday at 7:00 a.m. PT and Friday at 6:00 a.m. PT, so subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts. View the full article
  23. Nearly eight years ago, Hamet Watt and Stacy Spikes launched MoviePass, the subscription-based movie ticketing service that captured the minds and dollars of investors and brought thousands of cinephiles a too-good-to-be-true deal for all-you-can watch movie passes. Watt, who came to MoviePass as an entrepreneur in residence at True Ventures, previously founded the brand and product placement startup NextMedium and also spent time as a board partner at Upfront Ventures. Now, the serial entrepreneur and startup investor is combining his two career paths under the auspices of Share Ventures. “It’s what I feel like I’ve been put here to do,” says Watt. “I love solving problems with design and entrepreneurship. I wasn’t fully scratching the itch as an investor by itself.” With $10 million in financing from a slew of investors including Upfront Ventures, Alpha Edison, the general partners and founders of True Ventures, and a Korean family office, Share Ventures will look to launch between two and four companies per year. Watt says that the new studio will focus on what he calls “human performance”. The businesses will use a blend of technology and human interaction to create services targeting fitness, nutrition, and mental health, according to Watt. Share Ventures’ initial focus will be on two main areas, the future of living and the future of working. Within those two areas, the company will focus on developing businesses that enable the development of individual purpose, mental and physical enhancement, and personal and professional growth, according to Watt. And Image Credit: Share Ventures For Watt, the studio model represents the next iteration of startup investing. “We think the studio is going to lead the way,” he says. Rather than invest in companies and management teams that are unknown quantities, Watt thinks the studio will be able to create discrete companies much faster in the same way that companies today iterate on new products and services. “We have aggregated tools into a company building stack,” says Watt. “These are tools that are usable that third parties have developed and internal tool stacks.” Image Credit: Share Ventures Watt says Share Ventures will operate as a holding company with pooled equity shared across the employees at the company. “As we work on portfolio companies and build out dedicated teams, there’s a generous pool to incentivize talent.” In some ways, the model isn’t that different from Bill Gross’ idealab, the Pasadena, Calif.-based incubator company that’s a few miles up the road from Share Ventures Los Angeles home base. Another inspiration is @Ventures, the dot-com era company that built a number of different portfolio companies. “Our investors are getting founders takes in all the companies that we build,” Watt says. The company has ten people on staff to help build its first slate of companies. Watt began talking to investors in 2018 about the idea and spent the bulk of 2019 trying to build out its first few companies. “We run a lot of experiments, we generate a lot of ideas,” Watt says. “The number of shots on goal that we’re taking before we launch a company is significant.” View the full article
  24. On one hand working from home is truly awesome. Your commute is however far it is from your bed to your laptop, you don't have to deal face-to-face with annoying colleagues, you can make your own homemade, healthy snacks, and yes, you can work in your pajamas. On the other hand, working from home turns your cozy sanctuary into an extension of your workplace, and it can be hard to switch off the way you normally would when you leave a physical place. While there are some things you can do to mitigate this, like finding a place to work that's not where you play, being strict with cut off times to stop working, and making sure you take regular breaks, there are also some other hacks that we think can help your work-from-home process. These come in the form of Google Chrome extensions. Read more... More about Chrome Extensions, Work From Home, Tech, and Work LifeView the full article
  25. Outside Lands has adjusted to this time of quarantine with a brand new installment, cleverly titled Inside Lands. The free virtual event features two days of music with never-before-seen footage from the festival to celebrate 12 years of history in the Bay Area. Last year, headliners included Childish Gambino, Twenty One Pilots, blink-182, Kacey Musgraves, Lil Wayne, and on the electronic side, Kygo and Flume — so just think of 12 years of this. Outside Lands shares what to expect in the post below: Tune in for iconic archival sets, exclusive live performances, interviews with artists, plus features with the festival curators, small businesses and community that make Outside Lands truly one of a kind. Inside Lands is going down August 28 & 29. It’s the best excuse to stay inside yet. The IRL festival is looking forward to 2021. Details and tickets here. Inside Lands 2020 This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: Outside Lands Announces Inside Lands Virtual Festival This Month View the full article
  26. You'll always remember your first...time listening to Phil Collins? These two will, anyway. On July 27, twin YouTubers Tim and Fred Williams — known for their hilarious reaction videos to classic songs like Dolly Parton's "Jolene," The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army," and Tom Jones' "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" on the channel TwinsthenewTrend — gifted the world documentation of their first outing with "In the Air Tonight." Naturally, it's the drum break that gets them. "OK Phil!" the teens agree, while recovering from the 40-year-old banger. "He killed that, bro." Now, their reaction video is sporting nearly 1.5 million views and Collins' hit has mysteriously resurfaced on the iTunes charts. The video's comments section is filled with a slew of ambiguously aged humans congratulating the pair on this right of passage and reliving one of the greatest surprises in musical history. Who says boomers and bébés can't get along? Read more... More about Reaction, Phil Collins, Culture, Web Culture, and Music View the full article
  27. Sen. Bernie Sanders accepts none of your hypocritical hot takes, Elon Musk. Musk's seeming inability to think before tweeting (or his desire for attention) bit him in the ass Friday night when he attempted a dunk on Sanders. The beefing started when Musk replied on Twitter to an article about a bill proposed by the Vermont senator that would create a one-time tax for the country's billionaires to cover the out-of-pocket medical costs for millions of Americans for one year. The Make Billionaires Pay Act (co-sponsored by Sens. Ed Markey, D-Mass, and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY) would tax the wealth windfall increases accumulated by the 467 richest Americans from March 18 through Jan. 1, 2021. From February through May 2020, an estimated 5.4 million Americans lost their health insurance, according to an analysis done by nonprofit, nonpartisan consumer health advocacy organization Families USA. According to the bill, the money collected would "cover all necessary healthcare expenses of the uninsured and underinsured, including prescription drugs, for one year." Read more... More about Bernie Sanders, Culture, Politics, and Elon MuskView the full article
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