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VC Lindy Fishburne on the sudden democratization of science — and deep tech investing - techcrunch

VC Lindy Fishburne on the sudden democratization of science — and deep tech investing

Deep science investor Lindy Fishburne cofounded the seed- and early-stage venture firm Breakout Ventures several years ago, after cofounding Breakout Labs within the Thiel Foundation back in 2011, and she has made a wide array of interesting bets in the process. Among her firm’s portfolio companies is Cortexyme, a now publicly traded company that’s currently […]
techcrunch - 9 hours ago
A first look at Coursera’s S-1 filing - techcrunch

A first look at Coursera’s S-1 filing

After TechCrunch broke the news yesterday that Coursera was planning to file its S-1 today, the edtech company officially dropped the document Friday evening. Coursera was last valued at $2.4 billion by the private markets, when it most recently raised a Series F round in October 2020 that was worth $130 million. Coursera’s S-1 filing […]
techcrunch - 18 hours ago
Snowflake latest enterprise company to feel Wall Street’s wrath after good quarter - techcrunch

Snowflake latest enterprise company to feel Wall Street’s wrath after good quarter

Snowflake reported earnings this week, and the results look strong with revenue more than doubling year-over-year. However while the company’s fourth quarter revenue rose 117% to $190.5 million, it apparently wasn’t good enough for investors who have sent the company’s stock tumbling since it reported Wednesday after the bell. It was similar to the reaction […]
techcrunch - 19 hours ago
The owner of Anki’s assets plans to relaunch Cozmo and Vector this year - techcrunch

The owner of Anki’s assets plans to relaunch Cozmo and Vector this year

Good robots don’t die — they just have their assets sold off to the highest bidder. Digital Dream Labs was there to sweep up IP in the wake of Anki’s premature implosion, back in 2019. The Pittsburgh-based edtech company had initially planned to relaunch Vector and Cozmo at some point in 2020, launching a Kickstarter […]
techcrunch - 19 hours ago
Deep Science: AI adventures in arts and letters - techcrunch

Deep Science: AI adventures in arts and letters

There's more AI news out there than anyone can possibly keep up with, but you can stay tolerably up to date on the most interesting developments with this column.
techcrunch - 20 hours ago
Tesla has closed its forums to launch a social platform and fans are not happy - techcrunch

Tesla has closed its forums to launch a social platform and fans are not happy

Tesla plans to shut down the forums section on its website as it launches a new social platform called the Tesla Engagement Platform, a move that’s raised the ire of a community of its most ardent supporters. Tesla first announced the new engagement platform with a notice at the top of its forums page that […]
techcrunch - 20 hours ago
How and when to hire your first product manager - techcrunch

How and when to hire your first product manager

In the world of early-stage startups, job titles are often a formality. In reality, each employee may handle a dozen responsibilities outside their job description. The choose-your-own-adventure type of work style is part of the magic of startups and often why generalists thrive here. However, as a company progresses and the team grows, there comes […]
techcrunch - 22 hours ago
How Rani Therapeutics’ robotic pill could change subcutaneous injection treament - techcrunch

How Rani Therapeutics’ robotic pill could change subcutaneous injection treament

A new auto-injecting pill might soon become a replacement for subcutaneous injection treatments. The idea for this so-called robotic pill came out of a research project around eight years ago from InCube Labs—a life sciences lab operated by Rani Therapeutics Chairman and CEO Mir Imran, who has degrees in electrical and biomedical engineering from Rutgers […]
techcrunch - 23 hours ago
Address cybersecurity challenges before rolling out robotic process automation - techcrunch

Address cybersecurity challenges before rolling out robotic process automation

The security aspect of RPA isn’t implemented in the early stages of development — leaving organizations vulnerable to cybercriminals.
techcrunch - 23 hours ago
Eco raises $26M in a16z-led round to scale its digital cryptocurrency platform - techcrunch

Eco raises $26M in a16z-led round to scale its digital cryptocurrency platform

‍Eco, which has built out a digital global cryptocurrency platform, announced Friday that it has raised $26 million in a funding round led by a16z Crypto. Founded in 2018, San Francisco’s platform is designed to be used as a payment tool around the world for daily-use transactions. The company emphasizes that it’s “not a bank, […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
Early-stage investor Mayfield shows how to scaleup your biotech startup at TC Early Stage in April - techcrunch

Early-stage investor Mayfield shows how to scaleup your biotech startup at TC Early Stage in April

Founders in the earliest stages of startup life face a hefty learning curve. Just some of the core competencies you need to lock down include how to raise VC funding, recruiting the right people, finding product-market fit, and building a killer go-to-market team. The list goes on and on…and on. You’ll learn about all those […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
Albertsons taps Tortoise for remote-controlled grocery delivery robots - techcrunch

Albertsons taps Tortoise for remote-controlled grocery delivery robots

Albertsons Companies, the grocery giant that owns Safeway and Jewel-Osco, has launched a pilot program that will test grocery delivery using remote-controlled delivery robots developed by Silicon Valley startup Tortoise. The pilot will start at two Safeway locations in Northern California, although Tortoise co-founder and president Dmitry Shevelenko said if successful, he expects the pilot […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
The technology selloff is getting to be somewhat material - techcrunch

The technology selloff is getting to be somewhat material

Tech stocks are getting hammered today, with previously high-flying shares of software companies taking even more damage. For a sector that has enjoyed a year in the sun, recent trading sessions have punctured a period of market adoration. It is too soon to say that the market is repricing tech stocks, but the selloff has […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
3 Ways Businesses Can Tackle Disinformation Campaigns - readwrite

3 Ways Businesses Can Tackle Disinformation Campaigns

In an age that everything goes viral on social media within a few hours, disinformation and black propaganda is the last thing that a business needs. An unhappy customer, competitors, or even foreign government-affiliated attackers can be the director of a wide-scale disinformation campaign. Big brands are usually the common targets of disinformation campaigns due […] The post 3 Ways Businesses Can Tackle Disinformation Campaigns appeared first on ReadWrite.
readwrite - 1 day ago
YC-backed Pangea discusses growth, fundraising ahead of demo day - techcrunch

YC-backed Pangea discusses growth, fundraising ahead of demo day

Pangea, a marketplace startup that wants to connect college freelancers and companies in need of digital help, is seeing its growth rate accelerate as it races toward the impending Y Combinator demo day. It’s traditional around this time that startups in the accelerator reach out to say hello. Provided that they are willing to chat […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
Understanding how investors value growth in 2021 - techcrunch

Understanding how investors value growth in 2021

We’re not digging into another IPO filing today. You can read all about AppLovin’s filing here, or ThredUp’s document here. This morning, instead, we’re talking about an old favorite: software valuations. The folks over at Battery Ventures have compiled a lengthy dive into the 2020 software market that’s worth our time — you can read […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
SoftBank makes mountains of cash off of human laziness - techcrunch

SoftBank makes mountains of cash off of human laziness

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. Natasha and Danny and Alex and Grace were all here to chat through the week’s biggest tech happenings. It was yet another crazy week, but did our best to get through as much of it as we could. Here’s the rundown, in case you […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
Virgin Galactic Chairman Chamath Palihapitiya sells off remaining personal stake in the space company - techcrunch

Virgin Galactic Chairman Chamath Palihapitiya sells off remaining personal stake in the space company

The man who arguably ushered in the current SPAC rush with the merger of Virgin Galactic with his Social Capital Hedosophia holding company has divested the remainder of his personal holdings in the space tourism company. Chamath Palihapitiya, who serves as the Chairman of Virgin Galactic’s board, still holds 6.2% ownership in the company in […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
Scrum Ventures launches new program to connect startups with Japanese corporations - techcrunch

Scrum Ventures launches new program to connect startups with Japanese corporations

Headquartered in San Francisco and Tokyo, Scrum Ventures is known for its accelerator programs focused on sports, food and smart city tech. Today it announced the launch of a new incubator program that will help startups from business partnerships with Japanese corporations. Called Scrum Studio, it will be spun out as an independent entity from […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
What China’s Big Tech CEOs propose at the annual parliament meeting - techcrunch

What China’s Big Tech CEOs propose at the annual parliament meeting

The annual meetings of the Chinese parliament and its advisory body are underway in Beijing this week. Top executives from some of China’s largest tech firms are among the thousands of delegates who attend and put forward their opinions. Here is a look at what the tech bosses are proposing for China’s digital economy. Pony […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
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techcrunch
VC Alexa von Tobel on the most overlooked driver of social-media-driven stock trading

VC Alexa von Tobel on the most overlooked driver of social-media-driven stock trading

techcrunch - 3 weeks ago

Alexa von Tobel has always felt strongly that too many people are shut out of the stock market. She felt this as a 23-year-old who didn’t have $5,000 to open a brokerage account. She felt it while building LearnVest, a financial planning startup she launched in 2009 and sold in 2015 to Northwestern Mutual for what she says was ultimately $375 million. In fact, von Tobel — who two years ago launched her own venture firm with fellow entrepreneur and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker —  cares so much about the yawning gap between investors and non-investors that she has written books about how to take control of one’s money. (Perhaps unsurprisingly, she is also a certified financial planner.)

Little wonder that in late January, for a podcast that von Tobel routinely hosts for Inc., she interviewed Robinhood Vlad Tenev about the company’s quest to make investing accessible to all and how it had shaken up the brokerage landscape in the process. Neither foresaw what would happen days later, when a Reddit community of amateur investors didn’t try to occupy Wall Street so much as turn it upside down by using Robinhood, in part, to drive up the share price of stocks of companies like GameStop and AMC Theatres — then also get out of those shares. As a 21-year-old college student who lost $150,000 over the course of several days, told the outlet Vice, “This whole thing has numbed me to money.”

What went wrong? Education, in the view of von Tobel, who says it never became an integrated part of bigger picture. While the GameStop saga has “brought a lot of new learnings and new things that people have to process and consider,” paramount among these these is the inadequate financial training that Americans receive.

“I want the tools to be democratized, where everyone can get equal access to the financial system,” said von Tobel in a lively chat with us late last week that you can hear here. “But I also want equal education, and that’s where we’re woefully falling behind as a society” she said. “It’s not taught in high schools, colleges, or grad schools. Very few schools even teach the basics.”

The issue only grows more important to address each year, she says. People are living longer, and they’re more responsible than ever for their financial well-being. Meanwhile, because of innovations in fintech, including at Robinhood — which became wildly popular very quickly precisely because it dispensed with many of the barriers to participating in the stock market — there is little to keep someone from making lousy decisions with outsize consequences. “The financial world is very unforgiving,” she notes.

So what’s to be done? For one thing, she suggests that society begin to place as much emphasis on financial health as physical wellness. “If you’re close to having a major health crisis, doctors do a really good job of saying, ‘Here’s all the things that you need to do to protect yourself; here’s what needs to happen.” The same “needs to exist in the financial world.”

It will take a number of stakeholders, she believes. One of these is “platforms – all of them — that provide you with [financial] tools and resources, so you can understand the kind of risks you’re taking on [to the extent] that they can provide it.”

Another, she said, is regulators, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was created in 2010 to safeguard consumers in banking, mortgage, credit card and other financial transactions. The agency’s very constitutionality was called into question by the Trump administration, but von Tobel suggests Americans could use more its help going forward. (“Regulation is always a step behind, and that’s a little bit of what we’re feeling” as a society right now.)

The third is, yes, the U.S. educational system, says von Tobel, adding,  “You need all three, working in unison.”

As for any structural changes that von Tobel thinks should happen — according to CNBC, for example, Robinhood is preparing to lobby against a trading tax that’s been floated as a way to dampen some of the frenzied activity seen in recent weeks — she declines to “pontificate too much.”

Still, she said she thinks that “getting a Citadel and everyday Americans on equal footing is where we want to end up,” and she isn’t without hope that we’ll get there. Absent the changes she’d like to see — or in addition to them, at least —  she’s expecting “self-driving wallets” to become the new normal, and she thinks they could minimize some of the financial distress we might continue to see otherwise.

Considering the chaos of late, it almost sounds too easy. But the “wallet is simply a math equation every day,” she says. “If you have so much [money] available free, where should it go? What’s the most optimal place? It’s a math equation that updates every single hour, and I do think elements of it will be self-driving based on your goals and what you want to accomplish.

“I can’t wait for the day that that actually exists in a way where it automates on its own,” she adds. “I do believe that is the future.”

sauce: techcrunch
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