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Qualtrics raises IPO pricing ahead of debut - techcrunch

Qualtrics raises IPO pricing ahead of debut

This morning, Qualtrics, a software company that tracks customer and employee sentiment, filed a new S-1 document. The new filing raises Qualtrics’ expected IPO price range, providing the Utah-based unicorn with a higher potential valuation in its impending debut. Qualtrics previously sold to SAP for $8 billion while on the path to going public; after […]
techcrunch - 23 minutes ago
Chamath Palihapitiya’s SPAC for Sunlight Financial is another sign of a renewables boom - techcrunch

Chamath Palihapitiya’s SPAC for Sunlight Financial is another sign of a renewables boom

Former Facebook employee and current enfant terrible of high finance Chamath Palihapitiya is making news again with a $1.3 billion twofer SPAC and PIPE deal into the solar energy financing company, Sunlight Financial. Sunlight Financial is essentially a lending company that gives solar installers a way to provide loans to homeowners to finance solar power […]
techcrunch - 40 minutes ago
Twitter’s Birdwatch fights misinformation with community notes - techcrunch

Twitter’s Birdwatch fights misinformation with community notes

Twitter is launching what it calls “a community-based approach to misinformation.” The Birdwatch project first came to light last fall thanks to product sleuth Jane Manchun Wong. Now Twitter has launched a pilot version via the Birdwatch website. The goal, as explained in a blog post by Twitter’s Vice President of Product Keith Coleman, is […]
techcrunch - 51 minutes ago
Hear leading voices discuss workplace organizing in tech at TC Sessions: Justice on March 3 - techcrunch

Hear leading voices discuss workplace organizing in tech at TC Sessions: Justice on March 3

In a year defined by economic and civil unrest, it should come as little surprise that workplace organizing has been on the upswing. The COVID-19 pandemic in particular (coupled with the ever-present effects of late capitalism) has brought longstanding questions of employment stability and safety to the forefront of many. Of course, much of this […]
techcrunch - 1 hour ago
Calling Swedish VCs: Be featured in The Great TechCrunch Survey of European VC - techcrunch

Calling Swedish VCs: Be featured in The Great TechCrunch Survey of European VC

TechCrunch is embarking on a major project to survey the venture capital investors of Europe, and their cities. Our <a href=”https://forms.gle/k4Ji2Ch7zdrn7o2p6”>survey of VCs in Stockholm, and Sweden generally, will capture how the country is faring, and what changes are being wrought amongst investors by the coronavirus pandemic. The deadline is the end of this week. […]
techcrunch - 2 hours ago
Unpacking Chamath Palihapitiya’s SPAC deals for Latch and Sunlight Financial - techcrunch

Unpacking Chamath Palihapitiya’s SPAC deals for Latch and Sunlight Financial

Latch is an enterprise SaaS company that makes keyless entry systems for buildings; Sunlight Financial offers point of sale financing for residential solar systems.
techcrunch - 2 hours ago
Goalsetter raises $3.9 million to teach financial literacy to kids - techcrunch

Goalsetter raises $3.9 million to teach financial literacy to kids

Goalsetter, a platform that helps parents teach their kids financial literacy, announced the raise of a $3.9 million seed round this morning, led by Astia. PNC Bank, Mastercard, US. Bank, Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures, Elevate Capital, Portfolia’s First Step and Rising America Fund and Pipeline Angels also participated in the round. The round also saw […]
techcrunch - 2 hours ago
As it hits $100 million run rate, The Pill Club adds former Uber exec Liz Meyerdirk as CEO - techcrunch

As it hits $100 million run rate, The Pill Club adds former Uber exec Liz Meyerdirk as CEO

Liz Meyerdirk made a name for herself at Uber as the Senior Director & Global Head of Business Development for the company’s Uber Eats business and she’s now turning her attention to women’s health as the new chief executive of The Pill Club. The move comes at a perilous time for the remote delivery of […]
techcrunch - 3 hours ago
Virgin Orbit will launch first Dutch defense satellite in mission that will demo rapid response capabilities - techcrunch

Virgin Orbit will launch first Dutch defense satellite in mission that will demo rapid response capabilities

Virgin Orbit isn’t slowing down after joining the exclusive club of small launch companies that have made it to orbit – the company just announced that it’s flying a payload on behalf of customer the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNAF). This is the first ever satellite being put up by the Dutch Ministry of Defense, […]
techcrunch - 3 hours ago
Equity Monday: Clubhouse, Taboola, and why the SPAC wave will get worse - techcrunch

Equity Monday: Clubhouse, Taboola, and why the SPAC wave will get worse

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This is Equity Monday,  our weekly kickoff that tracks the latest private market news, talks about the coming week, digs into some recent funding rounds and mulls over a larger theme or narrative from the private markets. You […]
techcrunch - 4 hours ago
Moderna says it’s making variant-specific COVID-19 vaccines, but its existing vaccine should still work - techcrunch

Moderna says it’s making variant-specific COVID-19 vaccines, but its existing vaccine should still work

Moderna has detailed some of the steps it’s taking to ensure that its vaccine remains effective in the face of emerging strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that leads to COVID-19. These include testing how adding a second booster, for a total of three shots, works with its existing COVID-19 vaccine, and also developing a strain-specific […]
techcrunch - 5 hours ago
Apple hit with another European class action over throttled iPhones - techcrunch

Apple hit with another European class action over throttled iPhones

A third class action lawsuit has been filed in Europe against Apple seeking compensation — for what Italy’s Altroconsumo consumer protection agency dubs “planned obsolescence” of a number of iPhone 6 models. The action relates to performance throttling Apple applied several years ago to affected iPhones when the health of the device’s battery had deteriorated […]
techcrunch - 5 hours ago
Proving voicemail doesn’t have to be wack, the Slack-backed startup Yac raises $7.5 million - techcrunch

Proving voicemail doesn’t have to be wack, the Slack-backed startup Yac raises $7.5 million

Yac, the Orlando, Fla.-based startup that’s digitizing voice messages for remote offices, has raised $7.5 million in a new round of funding. The company’s service has garnered enough attention to pick up a pretty sizable new round from investors led by GGV Capital and a return investment from the Slack Fund. Apparently, reinventing voicemail is a […]
techcrunch - 5 hours ago
Wolt closes $530M round to continue expanding beyond restaurant delivery - techcrunch

Wolt closes $530M round to continue expanding beyond restaurant delivery

Wolt, the Helsinki-based online ordering and delivery company that initially focused on restaurants but has since expanded to other verticals, has raised $530 million in new funding. The round was led by Iconiq Growth, with participation from Tiger Global, DST, KKR, Prosus, EQT Growth and Coatue. Previous backers 83North, Highland Europe, Goldman Sachs Growth Equity, […]
techcrunch - 7 hours ago
Taboola is going public via SPAC - techcrunch

Taboola is going public via SPAC

Taboola is the latest company seeking to go public via special purpose acquisition corporation — more commonly known as a SPAC. To achieve this, it will merge with ION Acquisition Corp, which went public in 2020 with the aim of funding an Israeli tech acquisition (Haaretz reported last month that Taboola was in talks with […]
techcrunch - 7 hours ago
Google pledges grants and facilities for COVID-19 vaccine programs - techcrunch

Google pledges grants and facilities for COVID-19 vaccine programs

Google said today it is taking several steps to help with COVID-19 vaccine distribution in the United States, including grants and opening its facilities to vaccination programs. The tech giant is among several other large corporations, including Amazon, Walmart, Starbucks and Microsoft, that have pledged support to local government agencies and medical providers to help […]
techcrunch - 8 hours ago
Virtual social network IMVU raises $35M from China’s NetEase and others - techcrunch

Virtual social network IMVU raises $35M from China’s NetEase and others

The line between social networking and gaming is increasingly blurring, and internet incumbents are taking notice. NetEase, the second-largest gaming company in China behind Tencent, is among a group of investors who just backed IMVU, an avatar-focused social network operating out of California. Menlo Park-based Structural Capital among other institutions also joined in the strategic […]
techcrunch - 9 hours ago
Sano Genetics, a startup helping with Long Covid research, raises £2.5M in seed funding - techcrunch

Sano Genetics, a startup helping with Long Covid research, raises £2.5M in seed funding

Sano Genetics, a startup with a broad mission to support personalised medicine research by increasing participation in clinical trials, has raised £2.5 million in seed funding. The round is led by Episode1 Ventures, alongside Seedcamp, Cambridge Enterprise, January Ventures, and several Europe and U S.-based angel investors. It adds to £500,000 in pre-seed funding in […]
techcrunch - 9 hours ago
Alma raises $59.4 million for its Klarna-like payment option - techcrunch

Alma raises $59.4 million for its Klarna-like payment option

French startup Alma is raising a $59.4 million Series B funding round (€49 million). The company has been building a new payment option for expensive good. You can choose to pay over three or four installments. This product sounds familiar if you’ve used Klarna in the past. But Klarna isn’t available in France. Cathay Innovation, […]
techcrunch - 11 hours ago
Cybersecurity startup SpiderSilk raises $2.25M to help prevent data breaches - techcrunch

Cybersecurity startup SpiderSilk raises $2.25M to help prevent data breaches

Dubai-based cybersecurity startup SpiderSilk has raised $2.25 million in a pre-Series A round, led by venture firms Global Ventures and STV. In the past two years, SpiderSilk has discovered some of the biggest data breaches: Blind, the allegedly anonymous social network that exposed private complaints by Silicon Valley employees; a lab leaked highly sensitive Samsung […]
techcrunch - 14 hours ago
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techcrunch
Scale AI hits $3.5B valuation as its turns the AI boom into a venture bonanza

Scale AI hits $3.5B valuation as its turns the AI boom into a venture bonanza

techcrunch - 1 month ago

Scale AI, the four-year-old data labeling startup, has discovered that selling the picks and shovels needed to develop and apply artificial intelligence is big business.

The company, which created a visual data labeling platform that uses software and people to label image, text, voice and video data for companies building machine learning algorithms, has raised another $155 million. The funding round, led by Tiger Global, pushes Scale’s post-money valuation to more than $3.5 billion. 

Importantly, Scale is now a “break even” business and is set up to continue to add employees and expand into new markets in a sustainable way, Scale’s CEO and co-founder Alexandr Wang told TechCrunch. Scale will use the funds to grow its workforce from 200 people to about 350 by the end of next year. (Those employee numbers don’t include the tens of thousands contractors it uses to label data) It’s also focused on new markets and adding products and platform capabilities.

Scale got its start by supplying autonomous vehicle companies with the labeled data needed to train machine learning models to develop and deploy robotaxis, self-driving trucks and automated bots used in warehouses and on-demand delivery. Legacy automakers such as General Motors and Toyota, chipmaker Nvidia and a slew of AV startups, including Nuro and Zoox have used its platform.

More recently, Scale’s customers have spilled over into government, e-commerce, enterprise automation and robotics. Airbnb, OpenAI, DoorDash and Pinterest are some of its customers. That pace of expansion has accelerated in 2020, according to Wang. 

“One thing that we saw, especially in the course of the past year, was that AI is going to be used for so many different things,” Wang said. “It’s like we’re just sort of really at the beginning of this and we want to be prepared for that as it happens.”

Part of that preparation means evolving beyond being just a data labeler. Earlier this year, the company quietly launched Nucleus, an AI development platform that Wang describes as the “Google Photos for machine learning datasets.” Nucleus provides customers a way to organize, curate and manage massive datasets, giving companies a means to test their models and measure performance among other tasks.

“Nucleus is the first product of our future, I would say,” Wang said. “We definitely we see that the next biggest bottleneck for a lot of our customers is, ‘how are they going to have the suite of tools and suite of infrastructure that exists today for building out software? None of that exists for machine learning.”

The plan is to continue to build out Nucleus into a fully integrated platform that helps more companies be able to do AI, Wang said.

Scale made its first acquisition to support Nucleus with the purchase of a four-person startup called Helia. The team, which has expertise in real-time video and neural network training, will support Nucleus.

“The one thing that we were noticing across our whole customer base was that more and more customers, even beyond just the self drive folks were wanting to do AI on real-time video. And so it was becoming this expertise that we knew just wasn’t going to go away.”

sauce: techcrunch
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