VCs continue to pump money into startups attempting to inject life into the legacy and lucrative insurance industry. The latest ‘insurtech’ company to pick up funding in the U.K. is Anorak Technologies, which is on a self-described mission to “build the world’s smartest independent insurance adviser,” starting with life insurance. Read More

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 Facebook has announced it’s expanding a free training program that teaches Internet-skills, media literacy and online safety to Europe. It says its “ambition” is to train 300,000 people across six EU countries by 2020 — specifically in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Poland. Read More

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 As people become more aware of how their data is used — and abused — in our digital world; and regulations (like GDPR in Europe) are leading more organizations to implement better data protection policies, a startup that is hoping to protect that data found in images — by making it impossible for algorithms to read it — has raised a seed round to help it bring its… Read More

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 Korea’s Kakao, the internet giant behind the country’s top messaging app, is actively seeking overseas investment opportunities after it raised $1 billion via a placement. Kakao is valued at over $7 billion and its services are used by more than 40 million people. The company, which counts Tencent as an early investor, now appears to be making good on its long-standing plan to… Read More

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 ViViDoctor, a healthtech startup out of Brussels that offers teleconsultations with doctors, has raised €400,000 in seed funding as it continues to sell its service into hospitals. The company enables patients to consult with doctors and other specialists online, including via video conference. Read More

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 It’s been a while since we heard from Snow, the Snapchat clone app in Asia that Facebook once tried to buy, but today the company behind it has scooped up a $50 million investment from SoftBank and Sequoia China. Snow was started by Naver, the Korean firm behind popular messaging app Line, and it had proven popular in Japan, Korea, China and other markets in Asia thanks to a focus on… Read More

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 Grab, Uber’s chief rival across Southeast Asia, appears to be getting into bike-sharing after plans for a joint service with oBike surfaced in Singapore. Last week, an eagle-eyed resident in Singapore shared photos of Grab Cycle bikes — which show an oBike logo, too — being loaded into a van. Grab declined to comment when we asked about an integration, but it wouldn’t be… Read More

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 Apple has teamed up with Malala Fund to support girls’ education, becoming Malala Fund’s first Laureate partner. Founded by Yousafzai and her father, Ziauddin, the Malala Fund aims to empower young girls and help them access the quality education they deserve. With the support of Apple, Malala Fund expects to double the number of grants awarded through its Gulmakai Network and… Read More

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 Sphero was ready to conquer the world last year. The company quintupled its product release schedule, flying high with the help of a Disney licensing deal that gave the world several Star Wars droids and talking Spider-Man and Lightning McQueen robots. But following a holiday season that failed to live up to expectations, the company recently laid off 45 staff members globally, TechCrunch… Read More

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 California is home to two very different innovation worlds. For the readers of TechCrunch, there is the familiar excitement of the startup world, with startups working on longevity and age extension, rockets to Mars, and cars that drive themselves. Hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs, engineers, and product managers are building these futures every day, often on shoestring budgets all in… Read More

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 “The consensus is that because blockchain is so niche and it’s mostly early adopters who come from tech and finance, that it’s actually less diverse than those industries that are already struggling to be representative of the population at large,” Raine Revere, co-founder of blockchain education startup Maiden, told me on an episode of the CTRL+T podcast. In… Read More

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 With WPP’s over 200,000 employees and a $75 billion media book, Sir Martin Sorrell has a uniquely privileged insight into the future of the online advertising industry. And he believes that 2018 might be the year that a third company joins what he calls the Facebook/Google “duopoly” in online advertising and search. Read More

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 By now many have heard of Amazon’s most audacious attempt to shake up the retail world, the cashless, cashierless Go store. Walk in, grab what you want, and walk out. I got a chance to do just that recently, as well as pick the brain of one of its chief architects. My intention going in was to try to shoplift something and catch these complacent Amazon types napping. But it became clear… Read More

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 “Everything’s a battle,” Cindy Gallop sighs, although it’s clear she relishes those battles. What she means is that the entire Internet has long been divided into two separate, walled fiefdoms: one labelled “pornography,” the other marked with those three dread words “no adult content.” The territory between those two worlds, which she is trying… Read More

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 When Google Arts & Culture’s new selfie-matching feature went viral earlier this week, many people of color found that their results were limited or skewed toward subservient and exoticized figures. In other words, it pretty much captured the experience of exploring most American or European art museums as a minority. Read More

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