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Tag Archives: berlin

Knotel acquires 42Floors in order to build the blockchain of property

Another day, another blockchain. This time Knotel – a coworking space rental service in Manhattan – has acquired 42Floors, a commercial real estate search engine in order to, according to founder Amol Sarva, get “access to data and technology on over 10 billion square feet of office space, driving further liquidity to Knotel’s marketplace while also accelerating its plans for a blockchain platform.” Knotel is building the Agile HQ platform, a way to rent office space for a few hours or a few months without getting stuck in a least. The company has 1 million square feet of space in New York, San Francisco, London, and Berlin and it raised $100 million in funding. The company has more has more buildings in NY than WeWork. “42Floors built a powerful tool to organize a dark market that hasn’t changed in a hundred years,” said Amol Sarva, CEO of Knotel. “It’s still backroom and bilateral while the rest of the world is becoming digital and standardized. This is what leads to transactions that take months to close with a dozen middlemen – no reliable information. You can buy a house faster than you can rent a floor. Partnering together will help give owners and customers what they both want: truth.” Knotel recently launched an ICO in April . Their Knotel Koin aims to speed up real estate transactions by allowing instant settlement and allow for charge-backs and shorter rental periods.

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Sony Confirms IFA 2018 Press Conference For August 30th – Ubergizmo

Ubergizmo Sony Confirms IFA 2018 Press Conference For August 30th Ubergizmo The IFA 2018 convention is going to take place in a couple of months and many companies will be headed to Berlin in order to unveil their new products. Sony is likely going to be one of them as the Japanese company has confirmed that it's going to have ... and more »

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Xara Cloud is an easy to use design tool to help businesses create better looking content

Xara is on a mission to help businesses create better looking content, and in turn save us all from having to consume visually unappealing marketing and comms material. The German startup has developed Xara Cloud, a design tool that resides in the cloud and attempts to bridge the gap between professional design and business content created by non-design professionals. Specifically, Xara Cloud consists of a drag and drop browser-based editor that lets you create designs using text, shapes, icons, charts and imported images, but with a few extra tricks up its sleeve. These include the ability to use off-the-shelf professionally created colour schemes or have the software create a new colour scheme based on an image, such as your company logo, that you’ve uploaded. As you’d expect, you can also choose from a library of pre-made templates ranging from social media graphics to flyer and brochures to presentations. These can be designed on top of or tweaked ad nauseam, and in addition you can create your own templates to function as reusable assets. The editor adheres to a smart grid system, too, which helps non-designers create more disciplined and visually appealing layouts. There are also collaboration features so you can easily create content as part of a team. “The problem being solved is that there is a massive software gap between basic document editors like Word, PowerPoint, etc. and professional design software like Adobe,” Xara co-founder and CEO Matt Bolton tells me. “Xara Cloud is a robust suite of rich design and editing tools packaged in a drag and drop editing platform that allows anyone to create designer-quality documents… It is 100 percent browser-based with a consistent UI across all desktop and touch devices”. Bolton says the business case for using Xara Cloud is that brand inconsistency impacts business revenue

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The Winners of The Europas Awards 2018 show Europe’s startup power

Yesterday The Europas, the European Tech Startup Awards and Unconference once again held its annual jamboree in London, throwing together an afternoon of deep-dive panel discussions on the hottest topics in tech, a “Pitch Roulette” session of early-stage startup pitches, and a glittering Awards ceremony, honouring the hottest startups, unicorns founders, investors and blockchain projects in the European ecosystem. The awards are based on thousands of votes gleaned from a round of public voting, combined with industry judges drawn from founders and investors. The photos from the night will shortly be up online. To keep the conversations intimate and real, there was no live stream, but you can follow the coverage on Twitter here . An annual celebration of Europe’s brightest and best tech companies, The Europas Unconference and Awards for European Tech Startups has been an established fixture on the European scene since 2009, when it was first held in a London bar. This year a block of free tickets were given away as part of “The Europas Diversity Matters Tech Pass”, to ensure that the event included more Seed or Pre-Seed-stage founders who are also women and people of colour. Over 60 speakers were at the casual series if afternoon panel sessions, ahead of the industry Awards finale in the evening. There was also a pitch competition “Pich Roulette” where AiPod, BFF, Coinweb, PsycApps/Equoo, Frogology?, Tube Chat, Lookhealth.io, Blockchip and Loveshark pitched. PsycApps/Equoo was selected as the winner. Over the last few weeks, startups had been able to either apply for an award or be nominated by a third-party. The winners of that round were combined with the top picks by an expert judging panel and the results combined to determine the hottest European startups across all categories. No fees were paid by entrants or winners to enter or accept the awards, marking this the only truly editorially independent tech startups awards in Europe

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Starling CEO Anne Boden is coming to Disrupt Berlin

The European fintech wave can’t stop and won’t stop. That’s why I’m excited to announce that the founder and CEO of Starling Bank Anne Boden is joining us at Disrupt Berlin . While it feels like everybody is talking about challenger banks, Boden started thinking about building a new bank back in 2014. She ditched a carrer in traditional banks to start her own thing. Starling provides a current account specifically designed for your phone. You can open an account in just a few minutes using the company’s mobile app. Whenever you use your card or send money, you can instantly see the transaction in the app — there’s no delay. You can also receive push notifications instantly. When it comes to your card, you can lock it when you can’t find it, and there’s no exchange fee when you use your card abroad. Starling supports Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay and, yes, even Garmin Pay.

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The hottest investors at The Europas, & your specially discounted ticket

In partnership with TechCrunch, The Europas Unconference & Awards , features smaller breakout sessions on key subjects for startups, followed by a glittering awards  show for the hottest startups in Europe, based on voting by expert judges and the industry itself. Plus loads of networking opportunities with investors, and the super-fun Pitch Rolette pitch competition. See below for your special discount offer! Just some of the investors coming to The Europas this Tuesday, July 3, in London include: Alliott Cole, Octopus Ventures Andrei Brasoveanu, Accel Partners Carlos Eduardo Espinal, Seedcamp Damir Bandolo, Columbus Capital Eileen Burbidge, Passion Capital Eze Vidra, Reimagine Ventures George McDonuagh, KR1 (Blockchain/Crypto) Jamie Burke, Outlier Ventures (Blockchain/Crypto) Jason Ball, Qualcomm Ventures Jeremy Yap, Angel Investor Joe White, Entrepreneur First Maria Wagner, Beringea Michael Jackson, Mangrove Capital Partners Nancy Fechnay, Angel Investor (Blockchain/Crypto) Paul Dowling, Dreamstake Ventures Richard Muirhead, Fabric Ventures (Blockchain/Crypto) Scott Sage, Crane Venture Partners Sitar Teli, Connect Ventures Stephanie Hospital, OneRagtime Suzanne Ashman, LocalGlobe Thomas Graham, TLDR Capital Tugce Ergul, Angel Labs Vishal Gulati, Draper Esprit Wendy Tan White, BGF Instead of thousands and thousands of people, think of a great summer event with a selected 800 of the most interesting and useful people in the industry, including key investors and leading entrepreneurs. Here’s the agenda . And here’s 14 reasons to attend The Europas: • Ultra-high quality Investors, speakers & featured guests • New startup founders brought into the eco-system • New deal-flow for investors • Our “Diversity Matters” Free pass bringing in more women and POC • Expert speeches, discussions, and Q&A • Intimate “breakout” sessions with key players on vertical topics • The opportunity to meet almost everyone in those small groups, super-charging your networking • Convivial, relaxed atmosphere conducive to networking • Key press including WSJ, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, attending • A stunning awards dinner and party which honors both the hottest startups and the leading lights in the European startup scene • Content independently curated by journalists • The only truly independent, industry-backed awards in Europe • Percentage of profits will be donated to charity • All on one day to maximize your time in London Plus, as a special offer for TechCrunch readers, we have discounted tickets of up to 60% off: • Daytime conference plus evening awards tickets (£250, 60% discount) (valid all day, July 3rd) – this ticket includes the daytime conference and the awards dinner with ceremony and after party. It includes refreshments and lunch during the conference, and the awards drinks reception and dinner. • Daytime only, Unconference tickets (£75, 60% discount) – this ticket includes the afternoon Unconference only. • Evening Awards-only tickets (£195, 60% discount) – this ticket is for the awards dinner with ceremony and after party. It includes the awards drinks reception and dinner. If you wish to sponsor the events or to purchase a table for 10 or 12 guest or a half table for 5 guests, please contact petra@theeuropas.com The conference and awards are supported by TechCrunch, the official media partner. Attendees, nominees, and winners will get deep discounts to TechCrunch Disrupt in Berlin, later this year

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Questions about Apple’s new Maps, answered

Earlier today we revealed that Apple was re-building maps from the ground up. These are some questions from readers that came up when we went live. You can ask more questions here and I’ll try to add them. What part of Maps will be new? The actual map. Apple is building them from scratch, with its own data rather than relying on external partners. What does that mean in terms of what I’ll see? New foliage markers, showing you where ground cover like grass and trees exists more accurately. Pools, parking lots, exact building shapes, sports areas like baseball diamonds, tennis and basketball courts and pedestrian pathways that are commonly walked but previously unmapped. There are also some new features like the ability to determine where the entrances are to buildings based on maps data. Will it look visually different? Only with regards to additional detail.

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Snag your super early-bird passes for Disrupt Berlin 2018

Der frühe vogel fängt den wurm! Yikes, if we’re trotting out our tortured German to say “the early bird catches the worm,” it can mean only one thing, folks. It’s time for all you European startup fans to go catch super early-bird tickets to TechCrunch  Disrupt Berlin 2018  on November 29-30. Our pricing tiers start at €595 + VAT. The value is real, and your time is limited, so go buy your conference passes today . Berlin’s the perfect city for a Disrupt event. It’s both affordable and an international hub — factors that have contributed to a vibrant and growing tech startup scene. Our Berlin Disrupt events have drawn participants from more than 50 countries across Europe, Asia and beyond. There’s no better place to introduce your pre-Series A startup to the international startup community. But not everyone who goes to Disrupt events goes to launch a business. Whether you’re a marketer, job seeker, founder or investor, you’ll find opportunity waiting for you in these two program-packed days. Take in Startup Battlefield , our premier startup pitch competition, to see which early-stage startup will reign supreme and take home the $50,000 grand prize.

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Citymapper lets you find Ofo, Mobike and scooters around you

Urban transportation app Citymapper quietly rolled out an app update that lets you find many alternative mobility services in the app. You can now find the nearest dockless bike or electric scooter around you (not the Bird and Lime kind, the motorcycle kind). The integrations are already live in many cities. The company didn’t add new buttons for each service because it was already getting quite crowded with buses, subways and ride-sharing services. If you tap the bike button, you get a map view of the streets around you. In addition to traditional bike-sharing services, you’ll now find colored dots representing both Ofo and Mobike . Below the map, you get a list of the closest bikes. TechCrunch’s Ingrid Lunden previously reported that the Mobike integration was coming soon. But Citymapper also added a new scooter button in multiple cities. As the name suggests, this button helps you locate the closest free-floating scooter that you can unlock with your phone. In Paris, you’ll find Coup and Cityscoot scooters. In Berlin, you’ll find Coup scooters. In Madrid and Barcelona, you’ll find Muving, ioscoot, eCooltra and Yugo scooters… You get the idea. Chances are all your local options will be there

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Blinkist raises $18.8M for its condensed reading platform for non-fiction books

We are living in the information age, but that doesn’t mean that we have all the time in the world to ingest everything that we want. A startup that is aiming to help with that has raised a round of funding to grow its business. Blinkist , a Berlin-based startup that presents condensed versions of non-fiction literature — each title can be read or listened to in about 15 minutes — has raised $18.8 million in funding led by Insight Venture Partners (a firm that is leading no less than three investments on this very day: see here and here ). Holger Seim, the company’s co-founder and CEO, told TechCrunch that the funding will be used to continue to expand the product. That will include localising content into more languages beyond English and German; adding more titles — there are now 2,500 titles with a rate of about 40 being added each month; and perhaps moving into more delivery formats beyond text and audio, which are the two ways you can consume a “Blink” — as its content is called — today. The company has around 6 million users today and notes that they are equally consuming written and audio formats, although audio is growing faster. From what we’ve heard, it has also spoken informally with potential buyers, including a certain Seattle-based e-commerce leviathan that made its name in books, so the interest in its platform ranges beyond that of consumers, which may have also been some of the motivation behind this round of funding, a substantial round by Berlin and European startup standards. While Blinkist has plans for how it will grow and evolve, one area will be holding fast on in its expansion is a commitment to human-powered content. That is, there are no plans to use all of the advances in artificial intelligence to produce Blinks in place of humans doing the condensing, a la Summly or others that have tried this approach. “We believe the human element is always important and it is here to stay,” Seim said. The company uses a network of editors today to summarize and narrate those summaries for its users. Seim added that the company is “digging into AI,” but mainly for the purpose of seeing how it could help with recommendations of titles to readers, and also making recommendations to Blinkist itself: one challenge is to figure out what content it should add to the platform and what might prove most popular. Having popular content is key for Blinkist’s business model: the app is free for 30 days but then costs $79.99/year or $12.99/month to use — meaning, it needs to have something that will lure people back again, and again. Currently, Blinkist doesn’t really make a lot of money from referrals, since on iOS as one example, it cannot link to Amazon purchasing (only iTunes), which cuts out one of the most popular platforms for buying books. That will potentially be something Blinkist might try to figure out how to work around, since as Seim describes it, the purpose is not to replace reading the actual book or other work, but to get enough information about it to see whether you would like to buy it.

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Get your Disrupt Berlin 2-for-1 Innovator passes now before they’re gone

Hey startup aficionados, do you want to experience all the excitement, innovation and opportunity that TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin 2018 has to offer? Of course, you do. The only question is, will you act quickly enough to get there for the best possible price? We just released a very limited number of Innovator passes at an outstanding value: two passes for just €695 + VAT. These passes won’t last long, so buy your 2-4-1 passes before they’re gone. Innovator passes provide access to everything that makes a Disrupt event awesome. World-class speakers — titans and rising stars of tech — will hold forth from three different platforms: the Main Stage, the Next Stage and the Q&A Stage. We’re still finalizing our list of speakers, so if there’s someone you’d love to hear speak, let us know on the speaker nomination page . Innovator pass holders can use the Disrupt Mobile App to connect with attendees, including media outlets (yup, you get access to the full media list). Attend workshops, meet potential partners and collaborators as you network your way through Startup Alley, and then go hang out and relax at the TC After Party. Don’t stress if you miss an event; after the conference, you’ll receive access to our library of exclusive event video content. Take in the thrill of Startup Battlefield or heck, why not take part in the competition

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Sign up today: 2-for-1 Innovator passes to Disrupt Berlin

TechCrunch is headed to Germany yet again to host Disrupt Berlin 2018 on November 29-30. We simply love this city’s startup scene, one of the most innovative and fastest-growing in Europe. If you’re a founder, investor, hacker or tech leader, you can’t afford to miss Disrupt Berlin. You also can’t afford to miss our limited-time offer on Innovator passes: two for €695. Sign up for our newsletter , and we’ll notify you when we release them into the wild. What can you expect at Disrupt Berlin? We pack a lot of amazing programming into our two-day conference. For starters, there’s Startup Alley, the exhibition floor where, last year, more than 400 early-stage startups displayed an incredible array of tech products, services and talent. With more than 2,600 attendees passing through the Alley, you won’t find a better way to get your company in front of investors, potential partners, customers and the media. Who knows, attendees might even choose your startup as a WildCard company, which means you get to compete in the Startup Battlefield. You know Startup Battlefield , right? That’s where you go head-to-head against 15-30 pre-Series A startups and compete for the coveted Disrupt Cup, bragging rights, massive media exposure, investor attention and, oh yeah, a $50,000 equity-free grand prize.

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WARD is an app for placing fantasy bets on esports games

Prediction markets, such as those that exist in the realm of fantasy sports, have taken off amongst consumers in the last few years. But fantasy sports have yet to make much of a play in one of the hottest areas online right now, namely esports. And it’s a big market. Fantasy esports have been thriving across international markets. In 2017, more than 360 million viewers watched League of Legends alone, significantly overtaking the Super Bowl viewership. By 2020, the esports industry is estimated to be worth more than $1.5 billion, with the target audience being 21-35 years old. But quite how to take advantage of this arena has been a conundrum. Now a new startup thinks it has the answer. What if you could create a live predictions market around esports as it happens? That’s the aim of WARD , a startup out of Berlin that has created a “pick and predict” real-time prediction smartphone game, where players can win real prizes. Billed as a fantasy esports game that provides a second-screen real-time experience for tournaments, WARD has now secured a $600,000 seed round. The backers are Impulse VC, SmartHub and a number of European angel investors. The seed investment will be used to build out the product, but also to expand in the lucrative markets of Asia and the U.S. So how does it work? Well, fans who watch a championship or a specific esports game can predict their version of in-game events in real-time.

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Dashdash, a platform to create web apps using only spreadsheet skills, nabs $8M led by Accel

Sometimes I think of spreadsheets as the dirty secret of the IT world today. We’ve seen a huge explosion in the number of productivity tools on the market tailored to help workers with different aspects of doing their job and organising their information, in part to keep them from simply dumping lots of information into Excel or whatever program they happen to use. And yet, spreadsheets are still one of the very, very most common pieces of software in use today: Excel alone now has around 1 billion users, and for those who are devotees, spreadsheets are not going to go away soon. So it’s interesting that there are now startups — and larger companies like Microsoft — emerging that are tapping into that, creating new services that still appear like spreadsheets in the front end, while doing something completely in the back. One of the latest is a startup called dashdash, a startup out of Berlin and Porto that is building a platform for people, who might to be programmers but know their way around a spreadsheet, to use those skills to build, modify and update web apps. The dashdash platform looks and acts like a spreadsheet up front, but in the back, each ‘macro’ links to a web app computing feature, or a design element, to build something that ultimately will look nothing like a spreadsheet, bypassing all the lines of code that traditionally go into building web apps. The startup is still in stealth mode, with plans to launch formally later this year. Today, it’s announcing that it has received $8 million in Series A funding to get there, with the round being led by Accel, with participation from Cherry Ventures, Atlantic Labs, and angel investors including Felix Jahn, founder of Home24. (It’s raised $9 million to date including a $1 seed.) Co-founded by serial entrepreneurs Humberto Ayres Pereira and Torben Schulz — who had also been co-founders of food delivery startup EatFirst — Ayres Pereira said that the idea came out of their own observations in work life and the bottleneck of getting things fixed or modified in a company’s apps (both internal and customer-facing). “People have a lot of frustration with the IT department, and their generally access to it,” he said in an interview. “If you are part of an internet business, it’s very hard to get features prioritised in an app, no matter how small they are. Tech is like a big train on iron tracks, and it can be hard to steer it in a different direction.” On the other hand, even among the less technical staff, there will be proficiency with certain software, including spreadsheets

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