Odds and Ends 

Startups Weekly: The Peloton IPO (bull vs. bear)

Hello and welcome back to Startups Weekly, a newsletter published every Saturday that dives into the week’s noteworthy venture capital deals, funds and trends. Before I dive into this week’s topic, let’s catch up a bit. Last week, I wrote about the proliferation of billion-dollar companies. Before that, I noted the uptick in beverage startup rounds. Remember, you can send me tips, suggestions and feedback to kate.clark@techcrunch.com or on Twitter @KateClarkTweets. A bullish perspective: Peloton, an early player in the fitness tech space, has garnered a cult following since its founding in…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

About.me acquired by mobile-first small business startup Broadly

Personal homepage startup About.me has been acquired. Again! The company, once bought by AOL for a reported $35 million, decided a couple years after the deal to go it alone, and spun About.me back out to become an independent company. Today, About.me announced it’s being acquired by the Oakland-based startup Broadly. About.me founder and True Ventures partner Tony Conrad called the deal “definitely a meeting of the minds,” as About.me has been more recently focused on helping people and companies showcase their professional talents and skills, while Broadly creates tools…

Read More
Headlines 

Quick Cash for Your House? Yes, There Are Apps for That

If you put your house up for sale, know that it’ll typically be on the market for about a month before you get an offer—an eternity when you’re hosting revolving-door showings, paying two mortgages, or trying to move in a hurry. Now a new category of companies called iBuyers wants to slash that time span to three days or less. Think of them as house-flippers that work for you. Sellers fill out an online questionnaire, and an iBuyer uses proprietary modeling to assess the home’s value. The company then makes…

Read More
Headlines 

Flight-sharing startup Blackbird offers low-cost ‘plane-pooling’

Like Uber Pool, but for private air travel.Image: Blackbird No shoes were removed, no toiletries put into separate clear bags, and there was no need to arrive two hours before the flight.  As part of flight-sharing app Blackbird’s media flight, we walked right onto the tarmac to the door of our plane at the small but busy San Carlos Airport. San Francisco International is just 10 miles away, but this tiny airport would end up being much more efficient for a quick jaunt down the California coast. SEE ALSO: Behind…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

The Pixel Kit is Kanos latest product to get your kids psyched about coding

While the Pixel Kit is arriving several months later than its December 2016 target ship date, its hitting a price point that is even cheaper than its backers paid (that price being $99; the target retail price was $129.99). The company is now shifting efforts to the other kits, though, at this date, Kano had told backers they would be shipping the last of their three products, instead of just the first. The company has not established any updated estimates for their later devices according to recent comments on its…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Robot tutor Musio makes its retail debut in Japan

A cute, robotic language tutor called Musio, has made it from crowdfunding campaign to full-fledged product with a debut in stores this week in Japan. Priced at JPY 98,000 (about US $900), Musio is now sold online through SoftBanks marketplace and Amazon Japan, and through a handful of brick-and-mortars stores. Musios parent company, AI ventureAKA Study, is the latest startup from Raymond Jung, a co-founder of the massively successful test-prep venture, Hackers Education Group, in South Korea. AKA employs about 50 full-time today, with most in Seoul, and a small…

Read More
Headlines 

Techs Wealthy Enclaves Hurt the Countryand Tech Itself

On a dreary Thursday afternoon in March, the halls of the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, DC, swelled with people who spend their lives trying to salvage the economies of America’s forgotten towns. Hailing from across the country, they hurried past Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office in their sharp suits and jewel-toned dresses, each one carrying a different proposal for how to keep their cities and states afloat. Together, they reflected America’s diversity: a mixture of millennials, Gen Xers, and baby boomers, men and women of different races and…

Read More