Category: Technology Trends

The most important technology news, developments and trends.

Bird Ride’s SPAC filing shows scooter-nomics just doesn’t fly

Scooter unicorn Bird Rides is going public, per an agreement to merge with a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. After rumors and reports circulated for months about an imminent deal, it has finally arrived. First, a quick overview of the agreement and the players involved: Bird is merging with Switchback II at an implied valuation of $2.3 billion. Fidelity Management & Research Company will lead the deal’s $106 million in private investment in public equity, or PIPE. Apollo Investment Corp. and MidCap Financial Trust provided an additional $40 million in asset financing. (Disclosure: Apollo is buying TechCrunch’s parent company.)

Asus ZenFone 8 review: an Android iPhone mini

After a couple of generations making phones with flip-out cameras and increasingly large displays, Asus has taken the ZenFone 8 in a totally different direction: small. The flipping camera concept lives on in the also-new ZenFone 8 Flip, but it’s no longer a standard feature across this year’s ZenFone lineup. Instead, priced at €599 (about Read More…

Planck, the insurance data analytics platform, raises $20M growth round

Planck co-founders (from left to right): David Schapiro, CEO Elad Tsur and CTO Amir Cohen Planck, the AI-based data platform for commercial insurance underwriting, announced today it has raised a $20 million growth round. The funding came from 3L Capital and Greenfield Partners, along with returning investors Team8, Viola Fintech, Arbor Ventures and Eight Roads. This brings the New York-based startup’s total raised to $48 million, including a $16 million Series B it announced in June 2020. Planck said it currently works with “dozens of commercial insurance companies in the U.S.,” including more than half of the top-30 insurers. It

Slate is selling audiobooks that you can listen to through your podcast app

Slate is getting into the audiobooks business. The online magazine and podcast subscription seller is launching its own audiobook store today in partnership with multiple publishing companies. The store will list and sell popular titles but with the added benefit of making the audio accessible through listeners’ preferred podcast app instead of a separate audiobook-only Read More…

Don’t hate on low-code and no-code

As far as I can tell, low-code and no-code services are rapidly proving that prior models for products as broad as enterprise app creation and AI-powered data analytics were lackluster. My evidence? A mix of public- and private-market low- and no-code companies are putting up impressive results. The Exchange caught up with Appian CEO Matt Calkins after his enterprise app software company reported its first-quarter performance to discuss the low-code market and what he’s hearing in customer meetings. To round out our general thesis — and shore up our somewhat bratty headline — we’ve compiled a list of recent low-code

Cisco to acquire Indy startup Socio to bring hybrid events to Webex

Cisco announced this morning that it intends to acquire Indianapolis-based startup Socio, which helps plan hybrid in-person and virtual events. The two companies did not share the purchase price. Socio provides a missing hybrid event management component for the company to add to its Webex platform. The goal appears to be to combine this with the recent purchase of Slido and transform Webex from an application mostly for video meetings into a more comprehensive event platform. “As part of Cisco Webex’s vision to deliver inclusive, engaging and intelligent meeting and event experiences, the acquisition of Socio Labs complements Cisco’s recent

The truth about SDK integrations and their impact on developers

Ken Harlan Contributor Ken Harlan is the founder and CEO of MobileFuse, a U.S.-based. in-app advertising and DOOH platform that serves leading organizations across retail, food and beverage, restaurant, tourism, government, and healthcare. The digital media industry often talks about how much influence, dominance and power entities like Google and Facebook have. Generally, the focus is on the vast troves of data and audience reach these companies tout. However, there’s more beneath the surface that strengthens the grip these companies have on both app developers and publishers alike. In reality, software

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