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Azota is solving exam headaches for Vietnam’s teachers

Creating and grading tests is one of the most time-consuming tasks teachers need to deal with. In Vietnam, a startup called Azota wants to help with an online software platform that not only helps educators develop and proctor tests, but also automatically grades them using information from Vietnamese teaching materials. The company announced today it has raised $2.4 million in pre-Series A funding led by GGV Capital, with participation from Nextrans and returning investor Do Ventures.   Founded last year, Azota now counts 700,000 teachers and 10 million students in primary, secondary and high schools among its users. It says that during peak test periods, it serves over six million users each month, or about 30% of the total number of teachers and students in Vietnam. It claims it can cut down the grading process from two hours when done manually to just two minutes.   Azota’s creation came amidst the pandemic in 2021. Before co-founding the startup, Au Nguyen, its CEO, worked for

Frederic Court of London-based Felix Capital on working with, and fending off, American VCs

Last month, at the same time that the London-based venture firm Felix Capital was announcing that it has closed its fourth and newest fund with $600 million in capital commitments, we had a separate chat with Felix’s founder, Frederic Court, about how competition in Europe has changed, given that so many U.S. venture firms have opened offices on the continent, including Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners and General Catalyst. Unsurprisingly, Court said the expanded array of options is great for founders. He also told us that most European investors would prefer to stick with European firms or to start their own shops where they can have more influence. We thought it was an interesting part of a longer discussion ; the excerpts below have been edited for length. TC: A lot of the biggest U.S. firms have set up shop in Europe over the last 18 months or so. How does all this interest impact your work locally? FC: Many of these firms we know well alr

AI chipmaker Rebellions gets $22.8M Series A extension from Korean telco company KT 

South Korean AI chip developer  Rebellions has raised a $22.8 million (30 billion KRW) extension to its Series A financing from a strategic investor KT , one of the largest telecom companies in South Korea.  Last month, TechCrunch reported on Rebellions closing on $50 million in funding that valued the company at an estimated $283 million. At that time, Rebellions CEO and co-founder Sunghyun Park told TechCrunch that the startup wrapped up its initial Series A, which was oversubscribed, in less than three months from financial investors.  The Pavilion Capital-backed AI chipmaker has raised about $72.8 million (92 billion KRW) in total Series A funding, bringing its total funding to about $102.8 million since its inception in 2020.  Temasek’s Pavilion Capital backs South Korean AI chip maker Rebellions with $50M investment Rebellions spokesperson told TechCrunch that the company plans to use the extension round to mass-produce its second AI chip prototype, ATOM, that will be

Sure, Tesla, a solar trailer

Over the weekend, Tesla showed off its latest gadget: a solar trailer, featuring extendable panels, a satellite internet terminal and even a lick of matte-black paint. Tesla may have designed the trailer to add some range to electric vehicles—or, to advertise Starlink’s new $25-per-month “portability” feature, which SpaceX announced in May . Whatever it’s for, you probably won’t see this trailer for sale any time soon.  That’s because Tesla apparently exhibited it as a “ show of concept ,” per   a Tesla fan , who shared photos of the solar trailer on Twitter. The gadget was displayed at IdeenExpo, a tech conference geared towards high school-aged students in Hannover, Germany. Tesla did not respond to a request for comment when asked about the trailer. As such, there are lots of unknowns, including its size, weight and razón de vivir . More images of the trailer. Another employee confirmed the range extender + Starlink purpose. He said the trailer does not have internal stora

Peakflo’s bid to build business payments for Southeast Asia attracts capital, customers

During the most recent Y Combinator startup batch , Peakflo stood out to TechCrunch. The company’s simple pitch — Bill.com for Southeast Asia — fit neatly into the broader narrative of the world increasingly digitizing its workflows and the generally hot market we’d seen for fintech companies . At the time, we noted that “there are huge revenues to be found in helping companies spend and receive money,” adding that Peakflo was likely “ready to raise,” having already reached $13,000 worth of monthly recurring revenue (MRR). So when Peakflo reached out with some fundraising news, we took the call. I spoke with co-founder and CEO Saurabh Chauhan about Peakflo’s fundraising, historical growth, plans for its new capital and its revenue targets. The world versus Excel If I asked you what software product is the most indispensable to the global economy, what would your answer be? My hunch is that it’s Excel, the Microsoft spreadsheet app that has been around longer than the modern inter

Warner Bros. Discovery ceases new HBO Max originals in Europe and shutters Cinemax Go

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HBO Max will cease new original programming in parts of Europe and the company will also shut down Cinemax’s TV Everywhere platform, Cinemax Go, as its parent company Warner Bros. Discovery moves through a restructuring. As reported by Variety on Monday, HBO Max originals like Hungarian drama “The Informant,” Swedish comedy “Lust” and “Kamikaze” from Denmark will be removed from the service in European territories such as Central Europe, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Turkey. On July 31, Warner Bros. Discovery is shuttering the free streaming service Cinemax Go, which simplifies the number of streaming services in its portfolio. The changes will save money for the company, keeping it on track for its previously revealed cost-cutting plan that has a target of $3 billion in savings. The company has a debt load of around $55 billion and its share price has steadily dropped since the merger between Discovery and WarnerMedia, with its current market cap sitting

Raising capital for robotics startups with Bee Partners and Rapid Robotics

Jordan Kretchmer founded Rapid Robotics with the mission of simplifying robotics for manufacturing by providing out-of-the-box automation solutions. Founded in 2019, the company quickly gained the attention of top VCs including Bee Partners who led Rapid Robotics seed round and participated in each of the following rounds. Hear Rapid Robotics pitch and learn why robotic companies are quickly (and easily) gaining VC money.  This TechCrunch Live event opens on July 6 at 11:30 a.m. PDT/2:30 p.m. EDT with networking. The interview begins at 12 p.m. PDT followed by the TCL Pitch Practice at 12:30 p.m. PDT. Register here for free. TechCrunch Live records weekly on Wednesdays at 11:30 a.m. PDT/2:30 p.m. EDT. Join us! Click here to register for free and gain access to all TechCrunch Live  events — including TechCrunch Live, City Spotlight, Startup Pitch Practice, Networking and other TechCrunch  community   events  — with just one registration. source https://techcrunch.com/2022/07/0

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