The Last Bus Startup Standing: Chariot

rsz_dsc_5569 In the beginning, there were three. There was Leap Transit, the Andreessen Horowitz-backed bus startup stocked with Blue Bottle Coffee and furnished with plush stool seating for morning and evening commuters. Then there was the Nightschool’s nostalgic take with off-duty schoolbuses for late-night transport between the East Bay and San Francisco after the region’s commuter… Read More

TechCrunch Tokyo Startup Battlefield: SmartHR Takes The Top Prize

Every year, our Japanese-language sister site throws a big Disrupt-like event in Tokyo where there is, of course, a Battlefield between about 10 different startups. With north of 100 million Internet users, Japan has a considerable domestic market. While Western companies have had more success in Japan than in mainland China, the national startup scene still has tons of thriving businesses… Read More

Townsquared Raises $5.3M To Expand A Nextdoor-Like Experience For Local Retail, Small Businesses

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 3.43.28 PM Even though Rohit Prakash was a dual MD and PhD researching optogenetics at Stanford University, his entrepreneurial itch kept returning him to his family’s small business roots. He and his co-founder Nipul Patel began researching the travails of small business owners, interviewing countless entrepreneurs, trying to figure out what their risks were or what caused them to fail. (About half… Read More

Regalii, A Startup In NYC’s Washington Heights, Uncovers Where Immigrants’ Remittances Really Go

regalii It’s not a converted industrial warehouse in Brooklyn. Or a stately, century-old building in the Flatiron. But YC-backed Regalii’s atypical office location up in the Dominican-heavy Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan has given it plenty of insights into its working-class immigrant customer base. The startup, co-founded by several Latino founders who personally knew… Read More

To Go After Local Neighborhood News And Marketplaces, Hoodline Raises $1.6M

Hoodline There have been many attempts, most famously and disastrously with AOL’s Patch effort, and there are some very promising platforms like Nextdoor, which raised more than $100 million earlier this year. But hyperlocal marketplaces and media are far from a done deal.
Hoodline, a San Francisco-based startup, is trying to tackle this with a unique focus on news about neighborhood retail… Read More

Airbnb Pledges Transparency, Education To Fight Commercial Hosting, But Provides Little Detail

Airbnb Logo (2014) In response to calls for stronger action on hosts that aren’t casual users, Airbnb said it would start sharing some data with governments and getting hosts to agree to a policy of listing only their permanent homes. Here’s what Brian Chesky said in a post today: Today, we’re taking the next step to turn these principles into concrete actions by releasing the Airbnb… Read More

Cannabis Startup Meadow Unveils A Platform For Dispensaries To Manage Orders, Patient Intake

vaping-meadow With California on a precipice of a ballot initiative next year that could legalize marijuana recreationally, scores of cannabis startups are vying to capture what is the nation’s largest market in advance of such a big regulatory change.
Meadow, a Y Combinator-backed startup, was one of the earlier ones with an ordering and delivery service for medicinal users that started about a year ago. Read More

Robots To Eat All The Jobs? Hackers, Policy Wonks Collaborate On A Basic Income Createathon This Weekend

basic-income-createathon In the face of rising U.S. income inequality and concerns about job loss to automation, some of Silicon Valley’s best-known names including Y Combinator’s Sam Altman have spoken up in favor of a universal basic income that would give people a baseline standard of living in an economy that may not be able to produce enough decently compensated work for everyone. A mix of… Read More

How Many American Cities Are Preparing For The Arrival of Self-Driving Cars? Not Many.

google-self-driving-car Only about 6 percent of the country’s biggest cities are planning for or thinking about autonomous vehicles or self-driving cars in their long-range transportation plans, according to the National League of Cities. What’s even more surprising is that only 3 percent of these cities’ transit plans are even taking into account the impact of ride-hailing companies like Uber… Read More

Oakland Startup, The History Project, Raises $2M To Build Digital Time Capsules of Family, Personal Histories

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 7.27.07 AM After years of working in mobile advertising, founder Niles Lichtenstein discovered a box of records from his late father. That compelled him to start putting together memories and online histories earlier, by documenting his mother’s life history and how he first met his wife. That developed into an interactive timeline where he collected songs from when he started dating his wife… Read More