VC firm Otium Venture becomes Frst and raises new fund

It’s a breakup of some sort, but with no hard feelings. The team behind Paris-based VC firm Otium Venture is creating a new management company called Frst and raising a new fund. But first, let’s talk about Otium Venture. Smartbox founder Pierre-Edouard Stérin’s family office created Otium Venture and Otium …

Alibaba pumps $100 million into Vmate to grow its video app in India

Chinese tech giant Alibaba is doubling down on India’s burgeoning video market, looking to fight back local rival ByteDance, Google, and Disney to gain its foothold in the nation. The company said today that it is pumping $100 million into Vmate, a three-year-old social video app owned by subsidiary UC …

Online community theAsianparent raises Series C to add e-commerce and expand into new markets

TheAsianparent, Southeast Asia’s largest online community and content platform for mothers with 23.5 million monthly active users, announced today that it has raised a Series C led by Fosun Group, the Chinese conglomerate. The amount was undisclosed, but a person familiar with the deal says it was between $10 million …

High skill women dominate surge in freelance work

A 334,000 (63 percent) rise in highly-skilled female freelancers has driven the UK’s freelance revolution over the last 10 years according to new research from IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed. The increase takes the number of senior-level women freelancing in the UK to 863,000. The professions …

Solo.io wants to bring order to service meshes with centralized management hub

As containers and microservices have proliferated, a new kind of tool called the service mesh has developed to help manage and understand interactions between services. While Kubernetes has emerged as the clear container orchestration tool of choice, there is much less certainty in the service mesh market. Solo.io announced a …

Blockchain gaming gets a boost with Mythical Games’ $16M Series A

Fortnite, the free multi-player survival game, has earned an astonishing $1 billion from in-game virtual purchases alone. Now, others in the gaming industry are experimenting with how they too can capitalize on new trends in gaming. Mythical Games, a startup out of stealth today with $16 million in Series A funding, …

Government treading carefully with proposed plans for gig workers

Leaked government plans to protect the working rights of people operating in the gig economy will help to stop unscrupulous employers from exploiting low-paid workers by stamping out false self-employment. But it is questionable whether this goes far enough. Plans revealed earlier this month suggest the government intends to adopt a …

Lime claims it didn’t know controversial PR firm Definers would sling mud at rivals

Scooter startup Lime has confirmed it hired Definers but claimed it didn’t know the controversial PR firm would try to smear its rivals. The company was speaking during an on stage interview here at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin. Definers was recently revealed to have carried out so-called ‘opposition research’ on entities …

Bankrupt Maker Faire revives, reduced to Make Community

Maker Faire and Maker Media are getting a second chance after suddenly going bankrupt, but they’ll return in a weakened capacity. Sadly, their flagship crafting festivals remain in jeopardy, and it’s unclear how long the reformed company can survive. Maker Media suddenly laid off all 22 employees and shut down …

Devices built with Intel’s Ice Lake and Project Athena specifications will be available in time for the holidays

Even before Computex officially launched today, AMD and Qualcomm threw down the gauntlet at Intel with a new chip and a 5G PC, respectively. Today Intel responded in kind during its keynote presentation in Taipei, introducing new processors and laptops, in addition to unveiling Ice Lake, its 10th generation Intel …

Professional Line Sitters Make Up to $35 an Hour — And This Is Their Busiest Time of the Year

This Black Friday, turn off your 4 a.m. alarm and leave your folding chair at home. You don’t need to spend hours waiting in line in order to score great deals — you can pay someone to do it for you. One of the nation’s newest side hustles is line …

Serverless monitoring startup Espagon expands to cover broader microservices

When Espagon launched last Fall, the Israeli startup had an idea to monitor serverless, architectures, specifically AWS Lambda. But the company didn’t want to confine itself to monitoring a narrow class of applications, and today it announced it is now able to monitor a broader set of microservice development approaches. …

May Mobility reveals prototype of a wheelchair-accessible autonomous vehicle

Autonomous transportation startup May Mobility is doing more than just talking about accessibility when it comes to self-driving transportation tech development. The company recently began developing a wheelchair-accessible prototype version of its autonomous shuttle vehicle, and just concluded an initial round of gathering feedback from the community of people in …

Insight Partners bags threat intel company Recorded Future for $780M

If you haven’t noticed, security companies are a pretty hot commodity these days. Just yesterday, Palo Alto Networks bought two security startups. Earlier this week, FireEye bought Verodin for $250 million, and today, private equity firm Insight Partners announced it was buying threat intelligence vendor Recorded Future for $780 million. …