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Streetbees raises $39M in a Series B round as brands race to interrogate Pandemic-hit consumers - techcrunch

Streetbees raises $39M in a Series B round as brands race to interrogate Pandemic-hit consumers

Streetbees started out as an app for consumers to snap pictures of supermarket shelf layouts and get paid. Consumer brands wanted to know if the supermarkets really had put them at eye level or not. Quickly, the startup realized it could interrogate consumers about how they felt about the brands themselves, turning their app into a […]
techcrunch - 1 hour ago
Harley-Davidson is getting into the electric bicycle business - techcrunch

Harley-Davidson is getting into the electric bicycle business

Harley-Davidson has spun out a new business dedicated to electric bicycles and plans to bring its first line of products to market in spring 2021. The new business called Serial 1 Cycle Company started as a project within the motorcycle manufacturer’s product development center. The name comes from “Serial Number One,” the nickname for Harley-Davidson’s oldest […]
techcrunch - 4 hours ago
Watch Facebook, Google, and Twitter’s CEOs defend the law that created social media to Congress - techcrunch

Watch Facebook, Google, and Twitter’s CEOs defend the law that created social media to Congress

The CEOs of Twitter, Facebook and Google will appear before the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday in big tech’s latest showdown with Congress. The Senate hearing will have a narrower, more policy-centric scope than other recent high profile tech hearings, focusing specifically on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. That short law might sound […]
techcrunch - 5 hours ago
Fab founder Jason Goldberg is back with Moxie, a new live-streaming fitness marketplace - techcrunch

Fab founder Jason Goldberg is back with Moxie, a new live-streaming fitness marketplace

Amid a pandemic that has closed down fitness centers worldwide, a spate of companies has muscled their way into the booming at-home fitness market. In just the last two weeks, three-year Future, which promises at-home customers access to elite training, closed on $24 million in Series B funding; and Playbook, a nearly five-year-old fitness platform […]
techcrunch - 7 hours ago
Trump’s campaign website hacked by cryptocurrency scammers - techcrunch

Trump’s campaign website hacked by cryptocurrency scammers

President Trump’s campaign website was briefly and partially hacked Tuesday afternoon as unknown adversaries took over the “About” page and replaced it with what appeared to be a scam to collect cryptocurrency. There is no indication, despite the hackers’ claims, that “full access to trump and relatives” was achieved or “most internal and secret conversations […]
techcrunch - 9 hours ago
Via and Hyundai-Aptiv joint venture to offer shared robotaxi rides next year - techcrunch

Via and Hyundai-Aptiv joint venture to offer shared robotaxi rides next year

Motional, the Hyundai-Aptiv joint venture, and on-demand shuttle startup Via plan to launch a shared robotaxi service for the public in a U.S. city in the first half of 2021. The companies said the aim is to develop a “blueprint” for on-demand shared robotaxis and learn how these driverless vehicles can be integrated into mass transit. […]
techcrunch - 9 hours ago
Intel Geospatial is a cloud platform for AI-powered imagery analytics - venture beat

Intel Geospatial is a cloud platform for AI-powered imagery analytics

Intel Geospatial is a platform that provides customers access to satellite imagery and more, as well as analytics tools.
venture beat - 10 hours ago
Daily Crunch: Zoom adds end-to-end encryption to free calls - techcrunch

Daily Crunch: Zoom adds end-to-end encryption to free calls

Zoom adds a much-requested feature (but with a catch), TikTok partners with Shopify and Jack Dorsey lays out his argument for tomorrow’s Senate hearing. This is your Daily Crunch for October 27, 2020. The big story: Zoom adds end-to-end encryption to free calls Zoom was criticized earlier this year for saying it would only offer […]
techcrunch - 10 hours ago
Mophie introduces a modular wireless charging module - techcrunch

Mophie introduces a modular wireless charging module

Here’s a clever addition for Mophie, one of the longstanding battery case makers, which is now a part of the same smartphone accessory conglomerate as Zagg, Braven, iFrogz and InvisibleShield. The Juice Pack Connect is a modular take on the category, with a battery pack that slides on and off. For $80, a 5,400mAh battery […]
techcrunch - 11 hours ago
Armenian email campaign asks SpaceX not to aid Turkish regime with satellite launch - techcrunch

Armenian email campaign asks SpaceX not to aid Turkish regime with satellite launch

SpaceX staff and members of the media have been inundated this morning with emails ostensibly from concerned Armenians around the world, asking the company to cancel a launch contract with the Turkish government. The concerns are valid — and the mass-email method surprisingly effective. In the form email, received by TechCrunch staff hundreds of times […]
techcrunch - 12 hours ago
Launch next-level networking with CrunchMatch at our TC Sessions: Space event - techcrunch

Launch next-level networking with CrunchMatch at our TC Sessions: Space event

TC Sessions: Space 2020, our first space technology event, launches December 16-17 and you won’t want to miss our virtual conference focused on this fast-emerging startup category. You’ll hear from the space industry’s top movers, shakers and decision makers including Space Command’s General John W. Raymond, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and Tess Hatch of Bessemer […]
techcrunch - 12 hours ago
T-Mobile launches new TVision streaming bundles, pricing starts at $10 per month - techcrunch

T-Mobile launches new TVision streaming bundles, pricing starts at $10 per month

T-Mobile is launching new skinny bundles of live TV and streaming services to compete with expensive cable subscriptions. The carrier has already been moving into the TV market with the acquisition of Layer3 and the subsequent launch of TVision Home last year. However, that was closer to traditional cable, with a price tag starting at […]
techcrunch - 12 hours ago
Microsoft stock flat despite better-than-expected earnings, strong Azure growth - techcrunch

Microsoft stock flat despite better-than-expected earnings, strong Azure growth

Today after the bell, Microsoft reported its calendar Q3 2020 earnings, the period of that time corresponds to its Q1 fiscal 2021 period. In the three months ending September 30, Microsoft had revenues of $37.2 billion and per-share profit of $1.82. Analysts had anticipated the company to report $1.54 in earnings per share, generated from […]
techcrunch - 12 hours ago
Reddit will allow employees to work from anywhere, going forward - techcrunch

Reddit will allow employees to work from anywhere, going forward

Spurred on by the seemingly endless COVID-19 pandemic — and no doubt inspired by similar moves from companies like Twitter — Reddit today announced plans to offer its staff the opportunity to work remotely, going forward. The company announced the move in a blog post today, noting some practical exceptions to the rule, including those […]
techcrunch - 13 hours ago
How Jack Dorsey will defend Twitter in tomorrow’s Senate hearing on Section 230 - techcrunch

How Jack Dorsey will defend Twitter in tomorrow’s Senate hearing on Section 230

Three of tech’s most prominent CEOs tomorrow will face the Senate Commerce Committee during a virtual hearing tomorrow and their opening statements are beginning to trickle out. The hearing, scheduled for 10 AM ET Wednesday, will see Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai of Alphabet in the hot seat for what’s sure […]
techcrunch - 14 hours ago
Instagram extends time limits on live streams to 4 hours, will soon support archiving - techcrunch

Instagram extends time limits on live streams to 4 hours, will soon support archiving

Instagram is adapting to the way creators have been using its service during the coronavirus pandemic. With individuals and businesses now limited from hosting in-person events — like concerts, classes, meetups, and more — users have turned to Instagram to live stream instead. Today, the company says it’s significantly expanding the time limit for these […]
techcrunch - 14 hours ago
Let’s move beyond 2020 and start thinking about the 2020s - techcrunch

Let’s move beyond 2020 and start thinking about the 2020s

Seasonality is critical for the media. End-of-year wrap-ups, best books for the summer, things to do this weekend — they’re all methods to note not only the passage of time, but also to begin to set the tone for what is about to come. Everyone covered the end of the 2010s with aplomb, a decade […]
techcrunch - 14 hours ago
Stark raises $1.5M for a toolkit that helps developers and others create more inclusive design - techcrunch

Stark raises $1.5M for a toolkit that helps developers and others create more inclusive design

Diversity and inclusion are slowly, slowly moving away from being an afterthought (or worse, a no-thought) in the tech world. And to underscore the new attention the area is getting — in every aspect of the concept — today a startup that’s building tools to help designers and developers make their end products more accessible […]
techcrunch - 15 hours ago
Wyze launches version 3 of its $20 security camera - techcrunch

Wyze launches version 3 of its $20 security camera

Wyze first made a name for itself when it launched its $20 indoor security camera a few years ago. Since then, the company branched out into other smart home products, ranging from doorbells to scales. Today, it’s going back to its origins with the launch of the Wyze Cam V3, the third generation of its […]
techcrunch - 16 hours ago
Ex-Blizzard dev Chris Metzen unveils Warchief Gaming tabletop game company - venture beat

Ex-Blizzard dev Chris Metzen unveils Warchief Gaming tabletop game company

Chris Metzen was the primary visionary at Blizzard Entertainment on games such as Warcraft, Diablo, StarCraft, and Overwatch. But toiling on games took a toll, and after 22 years, he left it all behind in 2016. Now, four years later, Metzen has recharged and is diving into tabletop games with Warchief Gaming. The former Blizzard […]
venture beat - 16 hours ago
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techcrunch
Outschool, newly profitable, raises a $45M Series B for virtual small group classes

Outschool, newly profitable, raises a $45M Series B for virtual small group classes

techcrunch - 1 month ago

Outschool, which started in 2015 as a platform for homeschooled students to bolster their extracurricular activities, has dramatically widened its customer base since the coronavirus pandemic began.The platform saw its total addressable market increase dramatically as students went home or campus to abide by COVID regulations instituted by the CDC.

Suddenly, live, small-group online learning classes became a necessity for students. Outschools services, which range from engineering lessons through Lego challenges to Spanish teaching by Taylor Swift songs, are now high in demand.

When the CDC warned that school closures may be required, they talked about internet-based tele-schooling, co-founder Amir Nathoo said. We realized they meant classes over video chat, which is exactly what we offer.

From August 2019 to August 2020, the online educational class service saw a more than 2,000% increase in bookings. But the surge isnt just a crop of free users piling atop the platform. Outschools sales this year are around $54 million, compared to $6.5 million the year prior. It turned its first profit as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, and is making more than $100 million in annual run rate.

While the profitability and growth could be a signal of the COVID-19 era, today Outschool got a vote of confidence that it isnt just a pandemic-era boom. Today, Jennifer Carolan of Reach Capital announced at TechCrunch Disrupt that Outschool has raised a $45 million Series B round, bringing its total known capital to $55 million.

The round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, with participation from Reach Capital, Union Square Ventures, SV Angel, FundersClub, Y Combinator and others.

The cash gives Outschool the chance to grow its 60-person staff, which started at 25 people this year.

Founder Amir Nathoo was programming computer games from the age of five. So when it came to starting his own company, creating a platform that helped other kids do the same felt right.

In 2015, Nathoo grabbed Mikhail Seregine, who helped build Amazon Mechanical Turk and Google Consumer Surveys, and Nick Grandy, a product manager at Clever, another edtech company and YC alum. The trio drummed up a way to help students access experiences they dont get in school.

To gauge interest, the company tried in-person classes in the SF Bay area, online content and tested across hundreds of families. Finally, they started working with homeschoolers as an early adopter audience, all to see if people would pay for non-traditional educational experiences.

Homeschooling was interesting to us because we believed that if some new approach is going to change our education system radically for the better, it was likely that it would start outside the existing system, Nathoo said.

He added that he observed that the homeschooling community had more flexibility around self-directed extracurricular activities. Plus, those families had a bigger stake in finding live, small-group instruction, to embed in days. The idea landed them a spot in Y Combinator in 2016, and, upon graduation, a $1.4 million seed round led by Collab+Sesame.

Wed all been on group video calls with work, but we hadnt seen this format of learning in K12 before, he said. Outschool began rolling out live, interactive classes in small groups. It took off quickly. Sales grew from $500,000 in 2017 to over $6 million in 2019.

The strategy gave Outschool an opportunity to raise a Series A from Reach Capital, an edtech-focused venture capital fund, in May 2019. They began thinking outwards, past homeschooling families: what if a family with a kid in school wants extra activities, snuck in afterschool, on weekends or on holidays?

Today feels remarkably different for the startup, and edtech more broadly. Nathoo says that 87% of parents who purchase classes on Outschool have kids in school. The growth of Outschools total addressable market comes with a new set of challenges and goals.

When the pandemic started, Outschool had 1,000 teachers on its platform. Now, its marketplace hosts 10,000 teachers, all of whom have to get screened.

That has been a big challenge, he said. We arent an open marketplace, so we had to rapidly scale our supply and quality team within our organization. While that back-end work is time-consuming and challenging, the NPS score from students has remained high, Nathoo noted.

Outschool has a number of competitors in the live learning space. Juni Learning, for example, sells live small-group classes on coding and science. The company raised $7.5 million, led by Forerunner Ventures, and has around $10 million in ARR. Note earlier that Outschool is at $100 million in ARR.

We provide a much broader range of learning options than Juni, which is focused just on coding classes, Nathoo said. Outschool currently lists more than 50,000 classes on its website.

Varsity Tutors is another Outschool competitor, which is more similar to Outschool. Varsity Tutors sells online tutoring and large-group classes in core subjects such as Math and English. Nathoo says that Outschools differentiation remains in its focus of small-group teaching and a variety of topics.

As for whats ahead for Outschool, Nathoo flirts with the idea of contradiction: what if the platform goes in schools?

When I think about our strategy going forward, I think of new types of classes, international embedding and embedding ourselves back into school, he said.

Outschool might use its growing consumer business as an engine to get into school districts, which are notoriously difficult to land deals with due to small budgets. But, to Nathoo, its important to get into schools to increase access to learning.

Our vision is to build a global education community that supplements local school, he said.

sauce: techcrunch
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