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Tag Archives: nba

App of the Day: Facetune 2 – KFDX

KFDX App of the Day : Facetune 2 KFDX (WHAT THE TECH) - When it comes to the selfie camera, we can almost all agree, we're terrible photographers. The nose looks too big, hair's out of place, shadows highlight every imperfection in our skin. The truth is, a smartphone camera is awful for ...

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App of the Day: Tubi TV – KFDX

KFDX App of the Day : Tubi TV KFDX (WHAT THE TECH) - Attention cord cutters, there's an app many have not heard about that offers free movies and TV shows. The app is called “Tubi TV”, a competitor to Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and other OTT subscription services, but with a twist. There's ...

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App of the Day: Hater – KFDX

KFDX App of the Day : Hater KFDX (WHAT THE TECH) - A dating app approaches matchmaking in a different, some would even say'unconventional way'. Rather than finding a match based on a person's interests and likes, "Hater" wants to help you find a match by what you both hate. Hater is ...

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Twitter buys a startup to battle harassment, e-cigs are booming, and a meditation app is worth $250M

Hello and welcome back to  Equity , TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week TechCrunch’s Silicon Valley Editor Connie Loizos and I jammed out on a couple topics as Alex Wilhelm was out managing his fake stock game spreadsheets or something. (The jury is out on whether this was a good or bad thing.) First up is Twitter buying Smyte , a startup targeting fixes for spam and abuse. This is, of course, Twitter’s perennial problem and it’s one that it’s been trying to fix for some time — but definitely not there yet. The deal terms weren’t disclosed, but Twitter to its credit has seen its stock basically double this year (and almost triple in the past few years). Twitter is going into a big year, with the U.S. midterm elections, the 2018 World Cup, and the Sacramento Kings probably finding some way to screw up in the NBA draft. This’ll be a close one to watch over the next few months as we get closer to the finals for the World Cup and the elections. Twitter is trying to bill itself as a home for news, focusing on live video, and a number of other things. Then we have Juul Labs, an e-cigarette company that is somehow worth $10 billion. The Information reports that the PAX Labs spinout from 2015 has gone from a $250 million valuation all the way to $10 billion faster than you can name each scooter company that’s raising a new $200 million round from Sequoia that will have already been completed by the time you finish this sentence. Obviously the original cigarette industry was a complicated one circa the 20th century, so this one will be an interesting one to play out over the next few years.

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Grove just raised $8 million to make traditional financial planning affordable to pretty much everyone

Financial advisors aren’t cheap to use. They aren’t always seen as trustworthy , either, with many advisors receiving — or perceived as receiving — incentives for recommending certain products over others. Grove, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based startup, is taking on both of these issues through software that makes it easier to its own financial advisors – who are paid a straight salary — to help greater numbers of people, and more cost-effectively. Specifically, for $600 a year, a customer can talk with or email his or her financial advisor about all kinds of big and small decisions, from which index funds are worth considering, to whether a particular house is within reach given that person’s retirement goals. So far, the company has just 12 employees, half of whom are financial advisors and the other half of whom are working on the product itself. Cofounder and CEO Chris Hutchins won’t reveal how many people each financial advisor is working with currently out of fear that it might give away too much about the young company’s revenue. But generally speaking, the number of clients who advisors work with can vary widely, from tens to many hundreds. (In a 2016, Barron’s article of the “best” 1,200 financial advisors in the U.S., the advisors worked on average with a stunning 520 families.) Either way, Grove’s investors — many of whom are athletes — think the company is on to something. Just five months after announcing $2.1 million in seed funding (money that Hutchins says was raised a bit earlier, in 2017), Grove has closed on $8 million in fresh funding. Defy Ventures, launched last year by veteran VCs Trae Vassallo and Neil Sequeira, led the financing, with participation from Tusk Ventures, Bullish, and Winklevoss Capital. The round also included, among others, NBA star Kevin Durant; former football player Patrick Kearny; and former football player Ryan Nece, who today runs the venture firm NextPlay Capital. Asked about Grove’s connection to star athletes, Hutchins — who’d earlier spent several years as an investor with GV, Google’s early-stage venture group — says Grove “struck a chord with them. Many know people who had a lot of money and worked with financial advisors but who didn’t always get the best advice or work with people who had their best interests in mind.” They like the idea of unbiased advice, suggests Hutchins.

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Celebrity funds from Jay Z, Will Smith and Robert Downey Jr. are backing a life insurance startup

Ethos , the company that bills itself as making life insurance accessible, affordable and simple, has officially come out of stealth with an $11.5 million investment led by one of the world’s top venture firms, Sequoia Capital, and additional participation from the family offices of Hollywood’s biggest stars and an NBA all-star. Jay Z’s Roc Nation, and the family funds of Kevin Durant, Robert Downey Jr. and Will Smith, all participated in the new round for Ethos, and Sequoia Partner Roelof Botha is taking a seat on the company’s board. Because nothing says star power like a life insurance startup. The life insurance market is one that’s been attracting interest from venture investors for a little over a year now. Companies like England’s Anorak, HealthIQ, Ladder, Mira Financial, and France’s Alan, which is backed by Partech Investments (among others), Fabric and Quilt, are all pitching life insurance products as well. Ethos is licensed in 49 states, which is pretty comparable to the offering from providers like Haven Life, the Mass Mutual-backed life insurance product. What has made the life insurance market interesting for investors is the fact that consumers’ interest in it continues to decline. Whether it’s because no one trusts insurers to actually pay out, or because Americans are putting their faith in the anti-aging technologies from funds like the Longevity Fund , folks just aren’t buying insurance products the way they used to. So when investors see the numbers of users of a formerly ubiquitous product decline from 77 percent in 1989 to below 60 percent in 2018, the assumption is that there’s room for new companies to come in and provide better service. Scads of investors have taken the same bet, which makes Ethos a marketing play as much as anything else. In the company’s press release it touts the fast, easy and inexpensive process for getting a quote.

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Philo’s low-cost TV service expands its lineup with Cheddar, Tastemade, and PeopleTV

Following the new trend among streaming TV services to combine digital-first channels with traditional TV content, Philo today announced it’s expanding its live TV service with the addition of Cheddar Big News, People TV, and Tastemade. The Tastemade channel goes live today, with the other two shortly after. Philo is a relative newcomer to the streaming TV market, having  launched its service in November  following its early endeavors as an on-campus TV provider. Its $16-per-month option is designed for cord cutters who care more about entertainment than they do sports. By ditching sports programming, Philo undercut its competitors to become one of the cheapest ways to watch traditional cable TV channels, like A&E, AMC, BBC America, Comedy Central, Discovery Channel, Food Network, HGTV, Investigation Discovery (ID), Lifetime, MTV, TLC, Travel Channel, VH1, Viceland and others. It also later added an expansion pack for $4 more per month that adds nine more channels, while still providing a 30-day cloud DVR and the ability to stream in HD on up to 3 devices at once. Despite its affordable pricing, Philo is still something of an unknown in a market where even big brands like YouTube TV and Hulu are having to spend large marketing budgets just to create awareness around their live TV offerings. YouTube TV, for example, became a sponsor for the NBA Finals and the World Series  to spread the word. A new angle these services are trying now is to add on digital channels to bring in the internet audience. In April, YouTube TV added its first digital-only networks with the launch of two channels from Cheddar, followed in May by the additions of Tastemade and The Young Turks.

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NBA’s AR app gives you on-court access

The next high-tech push from the NBA uses augmented reality to put you behind the scenes of the post-season. Simply open the NBA AR app (on either Android or iOS), place the AR target and walk through a "door" to experience the 360 Portals feature's...

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NBA’s AR app gives you on-court access

The next high-tech push from the NBA uses augmented reality to put you behind the scenes of the post-season. Simply open the NBA AR app (on either Android or iOS), place the AR target and walk through a "door" to experience the 360 Portals feature's...

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Super wearable WHOOP launches $30 subscription service — wearable totally included

WHOOP , the world’s most informative wearable is launching a new $30 subscription service for the everyday consumer, so everyone can get the benefits of its activity monitoring and analytics tools. It’s the wearable that professional athletes and other performance minded alpha-people use to find out how to optimize their workouts, sleep and rest periods to be the best selves they can be. For $30 per month with a 6-month mandatory commitment, anyone can become a member of what chief executive Will Ahmed is calling the Whoop community. Indeed, along with the hardware and analytics, which will report on and suggest recovery periods, ideal workouts, and the optimal amount of sleep a body needs culled from the 5 variables WHOOP’s wearable collects 100 times per second, WHOOP is creating a social network where users can create teams and participate in challenges to encourage activity and use. “We’ve now taken many learnings from the top performers and applied them to a consumer facing membership,” said Ahmed in a statement. “This is for a wider set of consumers — those that take performance seriously, whether that means securing a personal record on their next marathon, or improving their personal habits as a business executive on the road for work.” The $180 sticker price for a WHOOP and membership to the service represents a deep discount from its previous pricing structure. WHOOP’s devices retail for a not-insignificant $500 for the wearable, with an extra nominal fee to switch out the default band for something with a bit more swag. With the new funding the company will look to accelerate its global expansion so WHOOP can dominate still-more sporting events, and become the new accessory that the high-powered quantified executive (or health-obsessed paranoiac) won’t want to live without. Indeed, one of WHOOP’s selling points to potential new members is the insights that can be gleaned from its high performance athletes. The company has an amazing roster of customers among the elite of American sports. The wearable has been approved for universal in-game use in  Major League Baseball , while also getting a partnership with the  NFLPA , to track recovery times among football players. WHOOP actually is selling data on player performance to other teams so that they can see how they stack up against the competition. It’s also talking to NFL broadcasters about displaying WHOOP data during games. An assortment of NBA players use the app, which could explain the involvement of  Kevin Durant’s   new investment fund and the appearance of David Stern among the individual investors (to date, the NBA is one of the leagues in the US that WHOOP hasn’t been able to crack)

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Intel Capital pumps $72M into AI, IoT, cloud and silicon startups, $115M invested so far in 2018

Intel Capital, the investment arm of the computer processor giant, is today announcing $72 million in funding for the 12 newest startups to enter its portfolio, bringing the total invested so far this year to $115 million. Announced at the company’s global summit currently underway in southern California, investments in this latest tranche cover artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, cloud services, and silicon. A detailed list is below. Other notable news from the event included a new deal between the NBA and Intel Capital to work on more collaborations in delivering sports content, an area where Intel has already been working for years; and the news that Intel has now invested $125 million in startups headed by minorities, women and other under-represented groups as part of its Diversity Initiative . The mark was reached 2.5 years ahead of schedule, it said. The range of categories of the startups that Intel is investing in is a mark of how the company continues to back ideas that it views as central to its future business — and specifically where it hopes its processors will play a central role, such as AI, IoT and cloud. Investing in silicon startups, meanwhile, is a sign of how Intel is also focusing on businesses that are working in an area that’s close to the company’s own DNA. It’s hasn’t been a completely smooth road. Intel became a huge presence in the world of IT and early rise of desktop and laptop computers many years ago with its advances in PC processors, but its fortunes changed with the shift to mobile, which saw the emergence of a new wave of chip companies and designs for smaller and faster devices. Mobile is area that Intel itself acknowledged  it largely missed out. Later years have seen still other issues hit the company. For example, the Spectre security flaw (fixes for which are still being rolled out ). And some of the business lines where Intel was hoping to make a mark have not panned out as it hoped they would

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