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Otter.ai slashes free monthly transcription minutes to 300, but opens recorder bot to all

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There’s good news and bad news for users of the Otter.ai transcription service. The good news is that Otter Assistant — a bot that can be configured to record meetings automatically — will now be available to everyone, regardless of whether they’re a free or paid user. The bad news, however, is that Otter.ai is scaling back on some features, like the number of monthly transcription minutes that’s available for basic and pro accounts. Otter.ai first launched its bot to automatically record Zoom meetings last May, though it later added support for Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and Cisco Webex . The assistant integrates with the user’s calendar, and automatically joins any scheduled meeting, records it, and shares the transcription with everyone in the meeting. So even if someone can’t attend a meeting, they can at least listen back to it and peruse the notes later. The feature was originally only available to subscribers on the business plan, but starting September 27 it will be ava

Nigerian B2B e-commerce platform Omnibiz raises millions to gain and retain retail customers

Africa’s informal retailers supply most of the continent’s population with a broad range of consumer goods and generate over $1 trillion in sales annually. However, troubles with outward inefficiencies and inward challenges have led to the prominence of B2B e-commerce startups across the region, which provide various tech-enabled solutions to address access to products and capital. One of the players TechCrunch has featured in this space within the past year is Omnibiz , a Lagos-based B2B e-commerce and retail platform that connects fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs) manufacturers to retailers by digitizing the supply chain stakeholders. Deepanker Rustagi founded the company in 2019 after years of running the now-defunct VConnect. Omnibiz operates an asset-light retail distribution model. When a retailer makes orders on the Omnibiz platform, the goods are requested from partner distributors (traditionally known to help with warehousing and transportation) who store goods on behalf

Just Eat Takeaway sells stake in Brazil’s iFood for up to $1.8B

European food ordering and delivery giant  Just Eat Takeaway has revealed that it’s selling its stake in Brazil’s iFood for up to €1.8 billion ($1.8 billion) to Prosus . The initial deal will amount to €1.5 billion in cash, plus another €300 million depending on the performance of iFood over the next 12 months. News of the pending deal sent Just Eat Takeaway’s shares soaring 25% to more than €21 in early trading on the Dutch Euronext Amsterdam stock exchange. Equity multiple Founded in 2011, iFood operates mainly in Brazil and Colombia, and had raised nearly $600 million in funding since its inception — with Just Eat Takeaway investing across three separate funding rounds, securing around 33% of the business in the process. Prosus, a Dutch multinational conglomerate owned by Naspers , and its Brazilian affiliate Movile owned the remaining shares, and as a result of this transaction, Prospus and Movile will own iFood in its entirety. While Just Eat Takeaway said that its iFood

India’s higher education startup Sunstone raises $35 million

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Sunstone, a higher education startup that collaborates with academic institutions to help upskill their students for employability, has raised $35 million in a new financing round as it looks to expand to more Indian cities. Sunstone founders said Friday WestBridge Capital led the startup’s Series C financing round. Alteria Capital also participated in the funding, which takes its to-date raise to about $68 million. There are thousands of management colleges and institutions in India, but other than those at the top of the charts, most are unable to attract enough students. Their curriculums are also typically outdated and they struggle in getting their students land jobs. Founded in 2019, Sunstone is addressing these challenges by offering students a wide-range of additional courses and helping them with securing jobs, its co-founder Piyush Nangru told TechCrunch in an interview. “The colleges are operating at 40% occupancy. It’s equivalent to perishable inventory for them, becau

Lincoln’s latest EV concept is a grand tourer land yacht with a sprinkle of 1920s nostalgia

Lincoln revealed Thursday during Monterey Car Week its vision for future EVs — while commemorating its centennial year — with the debut of the Lincoln Model L 100 concept, an autonomous, battery-electric grand tourer that pays homage to the brand’s first luxury vehicle, the 1922 Model L . The futuristic and massive concept has an aerodynamic, low-slung body that features a sweeping glass roof that opens and reverse-hinged doors that lift to bestow a “sense of ceremony” and provides the “Lincoln Embrace,” the company said. Taking that “Lincoln Embrace” theme even further, the Ford luxury brand notes that the wheel covers use lighting and sensors to “communicate motion, battery life and human presence.” The vehicle’s exterior “cool, open-air blue” shade mixes metallic paint and frosted acrylic. This futuristic design sprinkles in some 1920s art deco touches like the hood ornament as well as a Kammback, or K-tail, rear end that slopes down and then abruptly cuts off for improved aerodyn

Bolt founder Ryan Breslow isn’t done yet

Ryan Breslow has had a tumultuous 2022. It’s not slowing him down. Few outside of Breslow’s world even knew his name a year ago. Then Bolt , a “one-click” checkout tech company that evolved from an earlier idea of his, announced $355 million in Series E funding at a reported $11 billion valuation . Suddenly, the startup was on everyone’s radar, as was Breslow. The now 28-year-old Miami resident was riding so high that he couldn’t help but take a kind of victory lap. Having struggled at one point to win over Silicon Valley investors, he began publishing thoughts on Twitter that most might never dare share publicly, including to call rival Stripe and famed accelerator Y Combinator “mob bosses” that will pull “every power move imaginable” to squash competitors. While Breslow found some support for his perspective online, he was also criticized for the comments — including by powerful investors — and one week later, he stepped down as the CEO of Bolt and became its executive chairman.

Kenyan agtech iProcure raises $10.2M to grow its input supply network

The shortage of agricultural inputs like fertilizer, unpredictable prices, and the proliferation of substandard products into markets are some of the biggest challenges for Kenya’s agricultural sector. This impact is especially felt in the country because agriculture accounts for 23% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP), making it the single largest contributor to its economy, and its biggest employer – agriculture employs nearly 40% of the country’s population and 70% of its rural people. It, therefore, is certain that difficulties in accessing the required resources for sustained production, not only threatens food security, but also family earnings and livelihoods. To bridge the input-access gap, iProcure, a B2B agtech, has since 2014 been connecting agricultural manufacturers and distributors to local retailers (agro-dealers), through its unique distribution infrastructure that interlinks agricultural supply chains. Iprocure told TechCrunch it is now on a path to grow its presence

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