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Employers are consumer edtech’s next beta test - techcrunch

Employers are consumer edtech’s next beta test

Entrepreneurs need to convince employers to turn to edtech for a solution more elusive than even education: motivation.
techcrunch - 2 hours ago
NBA Top Shot creator on the NFT craze and why Ethereum still isn’t consumer friendly - techcrunch

NBA Top Shot creator on the NFT craze and why Ethereum still isn’t consumer friendly

We caught up with the Dapper Labs CEO at TechCrunch Disrupt 2021 last week to discuss the challenges facing the crypto space, the future of Ethereum, and how quickly NFTs blew up this year.
techcrunch - 3 hours ago
New study shows Apple Watch can detect heart arrhythmias other than atrial fibrillation - techcrunch

New study shows Apple Watch can detect heart arrhythmias other than atrial fibrillation

Continuing research by Stanford and Apple from the 2017 Apple Heart Study, which managed to enrol over 400,000 participants and became one of the largest studies of its kind ever performed, has shown that the Apple Watch is capable of detecting other types of arrhythmic heart beat irregularities in addition to atrial fibrillation (AFib). Apple […]
techcrunch - 4 hours ago
Which form of venture debt should your startup go for? - techcrunch

Which form of venture debt should your startup go for?

Given the surplus of liquidity, entrepreneurs have access to more funding options than ever. Venture banks, venture debt funds and venture capitalists are jockeying to prove their money is greener.
techcrunch - 5 hours ago
Mark Cuban and Coinbase back Eternal, an NFT marketplace for trading Twitch streamer clips - techcrunch

Mark Cuban and Coinbase back Eternal, an NFT marketplace for trading Twitch streamer clips

The NFT world collectively seems to be trying to turn internet memories into one big game — with a lot of cash involved of course. The original “Doge” image sold for $4 million back in June, the original “Pepe” comic image sold for $1 million in April, in short, people are becoming meme millionaires. Buying […]
techcrunch - 5 hours ago
Microsoft’s Windows store is now open to third-party app stores - techcrunch

Microsoft’s Windows store is now open to third-party app stores

Microsoft wasn't just indulging in wishful thinking when it said it wanted more third-party app stores in Windows 11's portal. Amazon's Appstore and the Epic Games Store are among those coming on.
techcrunch - 6 hours ago
Amazon launches an elder care subscription service, ‘Alexa Together’ - techcrunch

Amazon launches an elder care subscription service, ‘Alexa Together’

Amazon today announced a new subscription service called “Alexa Together,” designed for families with aging family members who are still living independently, but who may need extra support. The $19.99 per month subscription expands on Amazon’s existing product, Alexa Care Hub, an earlier investment in elder care, by taking many of Care Hub’s features and […]
techcrunch - 8 hours ago
Amazon reveals Halo Fitness and Halo Nutrition programs for Halo subscribers - techcrunch

Amazon reveals Halo Fitness and Halo Nutrition programs for Halo subscribers

Amazon is introducing two new services tied to user health and fitness, and its Halo personal health devices. They include Halo Fitness, a new service for interactive home video workouts that looks a lot like Apple Fitness+, and Halo Nutrition, a personalized, guided meal planner. Both of these services will be included as part of […]
techcrunch - 8 hours ago
Ring’s home security drone is now available in the U.S. via invite only - techcrunch

Ring’s home security drone is now available in the U.S. via invite only

Last year, Ring announced at futuristic (slightly dystopian?) take on in-home security with its Always Home Cam, a drone equipped with sensors and a camera that can navigate the interior of your home along custom paths laid out by a user, in response to triggers including Ring Alarm sensors, or a manual command from the […]
techcrunch - 8 hours ago
Hospitals/clinics patient platform Heydoc raises $8.3M Series A led by Smedvig Capital - techcrunch

Hospitals/clinics patient platform Heydoc raises $8.3M Series A led by Smedvig Capital

Heydoc, a system for managing the medical data and admin tasks in medical practitioners, has closed a $8.3m Series A round led by Smedvig Capital with existing investors Hambro Perks, Triple Point Ventures and InHealth Ventures also participating. This brings the total amount raised to date by Heydoc to $12m.    Heydoc mainly operates in the UK but plans to expand internationally. It competes mostly with […]
techcrunch - 8 hours ago
Amazon takes on Fitbit with the $80 Halo View - techcrunch

Amazon takes on Fitbit with the $80 Halo View

A year after launching its original exercise band, Halo, Amazon just dropped the follow up, Halo View. The company’s not quite ready to go full bore into the smartwatch category just yet, but it clearly has the Google-owned Fitbit brand directly in its sights with the newly announced Halo View. The device doesn’t quite challenge […]
techcrunch - 8 hours ago
New Amazon Echo devices will have local voice processing, giving users more privacy - techcrunch

New Amazon Echo devices will have local voice processing, giving users more privacy

When you speak to an Amazon Echo device, so far in its history, Alexa would connect to the internet to process requests and deliver a response. Of course, this has sparked concerns among some consumers, since it might feel worrisome to have a Wi-Fi-connected smart device listening for you to say a wake word at […]
techcrunch - 8 hours ago
Disney and Amazon partner on a custom voice assistant, ‘Hey, Disney!’ and Echo rollout to Walt Disney World Resort hotels - techcrunch

Disney and Amazon partner on a custom voice assistant, ‘Hey, Disney!’ and Echo rollout to Walt Disney World Resort hotels

Amazon, for the first time, is making another voice assistant available on Echo devices. The company at its fall event today announced a new voice assistant, “Hey, Disney,” developed by Disney and built on top of Alexa technology. The assistant will have its own unique voice and over 1,000 custom interactions for fans to explore, […]
techcrunch - 8 hours ago
Alexa’s new features will let users personalize the A.I. to their own needs - techcrunch

Alexa’s new features will let users personalize the A.I. to their own needs

Amazon is preparing to roll out a trio of new features that will allow consumers to further personalize their Alexa experience by helping train the Alexa A.I. using simple tools. In a few months’ time, consumers will be able to teach Alexa to do things like identifying specific sounds in their household, such as a […]
techcrunch - 9 hours ago
Amazon launches a $60 smart thermostat - techcrunch

Amazon launches a $60 smart thermostat

Amazon kicked off its big hardware event today by announce a new smart. The company worked with Honeywell to create the device, but is keeping its own branding on the product (rather than, say, Ring, Blink or any of the other smart home companies it owns). The device runs $60, though the company notes that […]
techcrunch - 9 hours ago
Notion now offers free credits to any startup globally, partners with AWS and Stripe - techcrunch

Notion now offers free credits to any startup globally, partners with AWS and Stripe

Two years ago, Notion partnered with dozens of accelerators and incubators to provide free credits for its work collaboration platform to their portfolio startups. The firm is now aggressively making the program open to all startups. Notion is launching a new startup program Tuesday to offer a credit of at least $500 to any startup […]
techcrunch - 9 hours ago
Four days left to save $100 on passes to TC Sessions: SaaS 2021 - techcrunch

Four days left to save $100 on passes to TC Sessions: SaaS 2021

Tick-tock, folks! Our TC Sessions: SaaS 2021 countdown clock says only four days remain before the early bird flies away with $100 clutched in its tight little beak. If you want to take part in our global SaaS conference on October 27 — and save $100 while you’re at it — purchase your early-bird pass […]
techcrunch - 9 hours ago
Fairmat creates a new material based on recycled carbon fiber composite - techcrunch

Fairmat creates a new material based on recycled carbon fiber composite

Meet Fairmat, a new French startup that wants to improve the recycling process for sophisticated composite materials. The company wants to produce new kinds of materials from material waste and sell them to industrial companies. Fairmat just raised a $10 million funding round (€8.6 million) led by Singular. Various business angels also participated in the […]
techcrunch - 9 hours ago
Guardian owner invests in Unlock, an NFT protocol designed for subscriptions and memberships - techcrunch

Guardian owner invests in Unlock, an NFT protocol designed for subscriptions and memberships

Monetization for the creator economy continues to be a huge issue and opportunity, but creators mostly have to lock themselves into platforms like Patreon to realize their value. A better method would be to have a membership system for creators which sat across several platforms. Now, GMG Ventures (parent company of The Guardian newspaper) has […]
techcrunch - 9 hours ago
Federated Genomic data startup Lifebit raises $60M round led by Tiger Global - techcrunch

Federated Genomic data startup Lifebit raises $60M round led by Tiger Global

Genomic data is considered to be the key to unlocking so-called ‘precision medicine’. Some estimates suggest that by 2025, 500 million human genomes will have been sequenced, but only a fraction of it is being utilized for drug discovery and precision medicine. One of the key startups to emerge in the space is Lifebit, which […]
techcrunch - 10 hours ago
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techcrunch
Snap had its best quarter in four years

Snap had its best quarter in four years

techcrunch - 2 months ago

If you’ve started using Snapchat more regularly this year, you’re not alone. At yesterday’s Q2 earnings call, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel announced that the platform grew both revenue and daily active users at the highest rates it has achieved in the last four years. Snapchat now has 293 million daily active users, growing 23% since last year.

Snap went public in 2017 with a $24 billion valuation, but not long before then, the ephemeral photo sharing app experienced a massive hiccup: Instagram cloned their then-unique Stories feature. After Instagram Stories launched, Snapchat’s growth slowed by 82%. Then, when Snapchat redesigned its app’s interface, Kylie Jenner tweeted that she didn’t use the app anymore, causing the company’s valuation to drop by $1.2 billion.

But Snapchat held on and made a comeback. Its revenue reached an all-time high of $911 million in Q4 of 2020, then went down to $770 million the following quarter. Now, Snapchat’s revenue in Q2 of 2021 surpasses its previous high to reach $982 million.

The app’s Q2 growth could be attributed to the return of advertisers who scaled back their spending during the height of the pandemic, as well as the retention of users that flocked to the app while in lockdown. Like many social media platforms, Snapchat grew its revenue and user base during the pandemic, but this isn’t just a matter of re-engaging users with an app that they grew out of. As TikTok exploded on the scene and the creator economy boomed, Snapchat kept up by creating Spotlight, a TikTok clone, and investing in the applications of augmented reality.

“We made significant progress with our augmented reality platform this quarter,” Spiegel said. “More than 200 million Snapchatters engage with AR every day on average, and over 200,000 creators use Lens Studio to build AR Lenses for our community.”

Last month, Snapchat went viral for its Cartoon 3D Style Lens, which makes you look like a character in a Pixar movie. Spiegel specifically mentioned this lens as a feature that “highlighted the power of Lenses to go viral both inside and outside of Snapchat.” But beyond fun face filters, Snapchat has been using AR to woo ecommerce partners. The app has developed AR experiences for Walt Disney World, Smile Direct Club, Zenni Optical, e.l.f. Cosmetics, Ralph Lauren, and more. This includes try-on capabilities for watches, jewelry, eyewear, handbags, makeup, and even clothing. At its Partner Summit in May, Snapchat revealed an update that lets users scan friends’ outfits to find shopping recommendations for similar styles.

“We have a lot more work ahead to build out our technology and increase AR adoption, but we are thrilled with the results that our partners are seeing as we invest in our long-term camera opportunity,” said Jeremi Gorman, Snap’s Chief Business Officer. “We are confident in our long-term opportunity, and are excited to double down on shopping and commerce via augmented reality.”

In March, Snap acquired Fit Analytics, a Berlin-based startup that helps shoppers find the right-sized apparel and footwear when shopping online. Combined with Snap’s investment in AR, could we eventually use AR to see which size of clothing to order? The application of that sort of technology would need to be handled sensitively, especially as the rates of eating disorders in teens are on the rise.

Beyond ecommerce, Snapchat has sought out strategic partnerships with entertainment companies like HBO Max and Universal Music Group and doubled down on its Spectacles, glasses that create AR experiences. Of course, Facebook is working on AR glasses too. But for both companies, Snap’s recent successes show the rising adoption and value of AR experiences.

sauce: techcrunch
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