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Toys R Us Is Going Out Of Business Because America Wasnt Ready To Accept A Celibate Giraffe Mascot

When I became CEO of Toys ‘R’ Us, I was excited for a chance to lead one of America’s most well-known toy stores into a new era of prosperity. Unfortunately, it pains me to announce that after 70 years of bringing joy to children across the world, Toys ‘R’ Us will soon be shutting its doors forever. Many people will say that our company couldn’t compete with online retailers like Amazon, or that the billions of dollars in debt we were saddled with proved to be an insurmountable obstacle to…

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Security robots are being used to ward off San Franciscos homeless population

Is it worse if a robot instead of a human is used to deter the homeless from setting up camp outside places of business? One such bot cop recently took over the outside of the San Francisco SPCA, an animal advocacy and pet adoption clinic in the city’s Mission district, to deter homeless people from hanging out there — causing some people to get very upset. Silicon Valley game developer and Congressional candidate Brianna Wu tweeted yesterday her dismay at the move, saying, “I’m sorry for being so frank but…

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Canadian grocery chain orders 25 Tesla electric Semi trucks

Tesla’s Semi is off to a promising start, despite there being no official pricing information available yet: In addition to a Walmart pilot, Canadian grocery giant Loblaw is purchasing 25 of the heavy duty all-electric transport trucks (via Canadian Press), with a $5,000 deposit for each upfront even though pricing is TBD for the vehicle, which is supposed to start shipping in 2019. Loblaw has a target of running a fully electric vehicle fleet to support its stores, as part of a goal of reducing its emissions impact by 2030.…

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Heres our first look at Elon Musks Boring Co. LA tunnel

Elon Musk is digging a tunnel under Hawthorne near SpaceX headquarters in California, after receiving approval from city council to do so. Musk’s Boring Co. has already made considerable progress on the dig and tunnel build, apparently, as Musk shared an image of the tunnel from the inside showing a reinforced tube that stretches off into the distance out of sight. The tunnel features paneled walls, cables and a large upper conduit, as well as lighting and what appear to be tracks. The tunnel just outside of LA is the…

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Iflix raises $133M for its Netflix-style service for emerging markets

Iflix, an Asia-based startup providing Netflix-like streaming services in emerging markets, has landed $133 million in fresh funding to accelerate its business. The investment was led by U.S. media conglomerate Hearst, which counts BuzzFeed, Vice and Roku among its investment portfolio. The group was joined by anothernew backerEDBI the corporate investment arm of the Singapore Economic Development Board alongside undisclosed clients of Singapore-based DBS bank. Existing investors joining includedEvolution Media, UK broadcaster Sky, Malaysias Catcha Group, Liberty Global, Jungle Ventures and PLDT. Iflix was started in May 2015, initially in…

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The decentralization of startup building

Sam Cash is a vice president at Betaworks. Building and investing in startups is rapidly proliferating to the many, instead of remaining the preserve of the few. The old paradigm of physical centralization Silicon Valley is the innovation bellwether of our time. The concentration of talent and capitalas well as a culture typified by speed and boldnesshas created trillions of dollars of shareholder value and pushed the envelope of innovation. The venture capitalists on Sand Hill Road have for decades dined on the fruits of funding entrepreneurs who travelled to…

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The Canvas autonomous cart can ferry goods around chaotic factory floors

Most Econ 101 classes start with an explanation of fixed and marginal cost in the context of factories. The factory is the principal fixed cost expensive and permanent. Canvas wants to smash this assumption of expensive, inflexible, factories by replacing infrastructure with autonomous vehicles. The Boulder-based startup is announcing its first product this morning an autonomous cart designed to shuffle goods around chaotic and unpredictable factory floors. Traditionally, factories install conveyor belts when they want to regularly move goods from one place to another. The problem with this is that,…

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Pendo closes $25M Series C from Meritech to scale its customer understanding platform

Just seven months after announcing a $20 million Series B, Pendo, a platform to help businesses better understand their customers, has closed a new $25 million Series C led by Meritech Capital Partners. The North Carolina-based startup has been growing at a rapid clip ballooning to 106 employees across offices in San Francisco, New York and Raleigh. Meritechs Rob Ward will be joining the Pendo board of directors to help guide future acquisitions and an international expansion strategy. Pendo is a tool that companies can use to track key customer…

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Toyota launches venture capital fund targeting artificial intelligence startups

Toyota is the latest Fortune 500 company to launch an AI focused venture capital fund. The initial early-stage fund will deploy $100 million and operate as a subsidiary of theToyota Research Institute.The automaker has strategically positioned itself as an ROI rather than strategic-focused fund meaning that it aims to profit like any other VC firm. Jim Adler will serve as managing director of the fund. He has been serving as vice president of Toyota Research and comes from a product background. Adler and the rest of the team at Toyota…

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With $53 million in new funding, Movile looks to become the Tencent of Latin America

With its Rappido subsidiary looking to become a marketplace for all sorts of online and delivery services, Movile is moving further along in its mission to become the Tencent of Latin America. Given its backing by Naspers (a large shareholder in Tencent one of Chinas e-commerce giants), the move to replicate a business model thats worked so well for the investor already isnt that surprising. Indeed, Naspers just committed an additional $53 million to Movile (along with Innova Capital) so that the Brazilian company could continue to expand its services…

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Tencents online publishing arm files for IPO in Hong Kong

Hong Kong has secured its second high-profile tech IPO inside a week. Following on from gaming firm Razer, which filed its prospectus on Friday, Tencents online publishing service has followed suit with plans for a Hong Kong IPO. China Literature is akin to Amazons Kindle service, with 8.4 million pieces of content from more than five million writers. It counts 175.3 million monthly users across all services, of which more than 90 percent are on mobile. The service is beingspun out of Tencent, Asias highest valued tech firm,which currently owns…

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Here comes PragueCrunch V

Ive been visiting Central Europe almost every year and almost every year my buddy Jack Deneut has been setting up PragueCrunch, our kind-of-semi-annual celebration of Czech startups. And its happening again this year! The event is on July 13, 2017 at Riegrovy Sady Beer Garden. You can RSVP here. Well have free Kozel and Gambrinus beer all night and traditional Czech pub food for purchase at the venue. Startups will have 90 seconds to pitch without about 90 seconds of questions from judges. To pitch please submit your startup here.…

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Emil Michael, Ubers SVP of business, has left the company

Uber has confirmed that Emil Michael, one the companys top executives, has left the company. Earlier today Michael sent an internal email to staff that he would be leaving the ride-hailing company, according to a report from Recode. Michael, who served as the companys senior vice president of business, has long been a controversial figure outside of the company (he was the executive who suggested that Uber could and should perform opposition research on journalists). His departure was reported to be one of the recommendations that was set before Ubers…

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