Line Launches $42M Fund To Turn Its Messaging App Into A Lifestyle Platform

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line store 5 Messaging app Line, which aspires to be more than just a communication tool, announced today that it will launch a fund to grow its network of services. Called LINE Life Global Gateway, the fund is worth about 5 billion yen (or $42 million). LINE Corp, the messaging app’s owner, will use it to make investments in companies that provide online-to-offline (O2O), e-commerce, payment, media,… Read More

Apple, The Record Label?

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iTunes Record Label You better believe that when Apple’s streaming music service comes out later this year, it’s going to come hard. Apple’s MO is to arrive late but with superior firepower, as it did with the iPhone and will with the upcoming Apple Watch. What does that mean for its quest to steamroll Spotify, Google Play, Deezer, and everyone else in streaming? I’d bet part of it will be… Read More

A New Renaissance For Startup Funding

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renaissance-money Only once before has a market been so excited to fund agile, adventurous new startups. According to CB Insights, a database that keeps track of investments in private companies, private and corporate investors put a massive $47.3 billion into startups in 2014. The only time investment capital came close to such a peak was in 2001, during the dotcom bubble, when investors poured $36.2 billion… Read More

The Year That Tech Needed The Art Industry

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Ifnoyes.com recently sold at auction for $3,500. Rafael Rozendaal - the artist who created it - compares owning a website to owning a public sculpture in a park. Wandering the halls at CES this year, you would have been forgiven for thinking it was still 2014. Bluetooth speakers crowded the shelves, wearables were everywhere, and wherever you looked there was another blistering 4K display. Screens from Samsung, LG and others dominated the eye space with multicolor demos, yet we’re still to see 4K content that really makes us feel a deep longing… Read More

David Cross Is Letting Fans Name Their Price And Download His First Film Creation Hits On Bittorrent

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588bead92ad6505722d9e9ec4de9741c_large Actor David Cross is foregoing the usual indie film distribution model for his darkly satirical film HITS. He’s letting the public pay whatever they want to download it on BitTorrent for the first two weeks, starting this Friday, February 13. But is this really the best way to distribute something that the film’s producers have worked so hard on? Cross and his producers said… Read More

Email Marketing Startup Iterable Raises $1.2M

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iterable Iterable has raised $1.2 million for what it says is a comprehensive platform for email marketing.
CEO Justin Zhu told me that he came from Twitter, while his co-founder Andrew Boni came from Google — at both companies, they saw the impact that can email marketing can make, but they also saw some of the challenges that marketers can face trying to personalize and test campaigns. Read More

Huge Hackathon In West Africa Hopes To Produce The Next Wave Of Startups

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The most talented and ambitious entrepreneurs in West Africa are being encouraged to join a new hackathon program this month in Accra, Ghana, which hopes to spin out a wave of new tech startups geared to African needs.
The Hack for Big Choices is a non-profit which hopes to impact the fast-developing West African economies by helping to create what it calls ‘sustainable start-ups’. Read More

Watch SpaceX’s DSCOVR Mission Launch Live Right Here

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2c5514ca-d53b-481a-8e3a-1b6b9e414b50 SpaceX is aiming to launch the Deep Space Climate Observatory, also known by the acronym DSCOVR, today during a launch window that kicks off at 6:10 PM ET (and you can watch live above). The NASA-contracted mission is designed to launch a satellite that can monitor solar storms and provide full Earth imagery, but the real story for SpaceX watchers will be what happens after the launch –… Read More

First Rule Of VR: Don’t Break The Presence

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vr Virtual reality is poised to fundamentally transform personal entertainment as we know it, potentially delivering a long-term impact that may exceed today’s most “disruptive” new technologies. Strapping on a VR headset will catapult the user into a new realm of lifelike entertainment experiences that will seem believable — and very real, within seconds of putting them on. Read More

What You Need To Know About Zero Knowledge

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zero-manifest Anonymity? Privacy? How quaint. We live in a world bedecked with ever more cameras, ever more sensors, ever more drones, ever more data, ever fewer things that can be hidden. TLS and Tor can hide your activities online, true — but, realistically, everything important you do, online or off, can easily be audited and tracked by governments and/or corporations. Read More

Snoop Dogg Is Raising A Fund For Investing In Weed Startups

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snoop dogg “Invest in what you know.” That’s a common piece of advice given to new investors that Calvin Broadus, Jr. (a.k.a. Snoop Dogg, a.k.a. Snoop Lion) seems to be taking to heart. Sources tell us the prolific rapper, youth football coach and marijuana aficionado is putting together a fund specifically to invest in cannabis startups. According to one source, he hopes to raise… Read More

CrunchWeek: Raspberry PI, Microsoft Buys Sunrise, And Drunk Drones

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crunchweek-4-3 There is nothing that is better to soothe your Crunchies hangover than a breezy video clip with John Biggs, Greg Kumparak, and myself, digging through the biggest, and most interesting story of the week. The new Raspberry PI device, and its ability to run Windows 10 caused a ruckus in recent days, as did Microsoft’s in-motion purchase Sunrise. Finally, drones should not be flown drunk… Read More

This Week On The TechCrunch Bitcoin Podcast: A New Exchange And The World Of Mining

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imgo-11 Today marked a special episode of TCBTC, TechCrunch’s bitcoin podcast, as both John Biggs and myself were in the same city. We crashed the TCTV studio to shoot a video build of our little show. This time around, we dug into Coinbase’s new exchange and what it might mean for the maturation of bitcoin itself, along with a look at a massive bitcoin mining operation that constitutes… Read More

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