Twilio shops, Uber and Lyft IPO scuttlebutt, and Instacart raises $600M

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week we had the Three Excellent Friends (Connie Loizos, Danny Chrichton, and…

Virtual reality makes food taste better

In another example of VR bleeding into real life, Cornell University food scientists found that cheese eaten in pleasant VR surroundings tasted better than the same cheese eaten in a…

Funderbeam CEO to talk about disrupting startup funding at Disrupt Berlin

Startup funding hasn’t changed much in the past decade. Funderbeam is an interesting company trying to turn everything upside down using a marketplace approach, a modern syndication system and a…

Jane.VC, a new fund for female entrepreneurs, wants founders to cold email them

Want to pitch a venture capitalist? You’ll need a “warm introduction” first. At least that’s what most in the business will advise. Find a person, typically a man, who made…

Knotch launches Blueprint to help marketers find the best publishers of sponsored content

When I last wrote about Knotch, the company had just patented its color-based feedback system that helps advertisers measure the effectiveness of their sponsored content. Since then, it’s added a…

Daivergent connects people on the autism spectrum with jobs in data management

Great startups normally come from a personal place. Byran Dai’s new company, Daivergent, is no different. Founded in December 2017, Daivergent looks to connect enterprise clients with folks on the…

Amplifyher Ventures launches to fund startups led by women

Amplifyher Ventures is a new firm looking to invest in female founders. Amplifyher was created by Tricia Black, Facebook’s former vice president of advertising sales. Since her time at Facebook…

Future Family raises $10M to make fertility treatments more affordable

Future Family, a startup that helps families more easily afford fertility services like IVF and egg freezing, has raised $10 million in a Series A round. Just weeks back, Future…

Embracing multimodality, Uber pioneers ride recommendations

For the first time, Uber will make contextual, personalized suggestions about the best way to get from point A to point B. The startup offers more than just cars now,…

Uber is developing an on-demand staffing business

Uber is reportedly developing a short-term staffing business to offer 1099 independent contractors for events and corporate functions, the Financial Times first reported. Dubbed Uber Works, the service would provide…

Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global is teaming up with Zenefits

Many are familiar with Arianna Huffington’s personal journey from media mogul to outspoken sleep advocate. In April 2007 she collapsed, broke her cheekbone and woke up in a pool of…

Sick of managing your Airbnb? Vacasa raises $64M to do it for you

Airbnbing can be a ton of work. Between key pickups, tidying, and maintenance emergencies, renting out your place isn’t such a passive revenue source. But Vacasa equips owners with full-service…