SendBird snags $52M Series B to expand messaging API tool

SendBird, a San Francisco area startup, helps developers add messaging to their apps with a couple of lines of code. It’s an idea similar to Stripe for payments or Twilio for communications. Today, the company announced a $52 million Series B investment. The round was led by Iconiq Capital. Existing investors Shasta Ventures, August Capital,…

Antescofo’s Metronaut adds an orchestra when you play music

Meet Metronaut, an app for smartphones and tablets that could change the way you play classical music. The startup behind the app, Antescofo, raised a $4.5 million funding round (€4 million) and has attracted 160,000 downloads. Daphni and OneRagTime are leading the round, with Nobuyuki Idei, Yann LeCun, Sophie Gasperment and Thibault Viort also participating….

HiHello raises $2.5 million to finally fix contact management

HiHello, the latest startup to take aim at business cards with its own digital alternative, has now raised a $2.5 million seed round to continue its efforts in building a better contact management solution designed for the mobile era. The new financing was led by August Capital, K9 Ventures and TenOneTen Ventures, and will see Villi…

Instagram’s fundraiser stickers could lure credit card numbers

Mark Zuckerberg recently revealed that commerce is a huge part of the 2019 roadmap for Facebook’s family of apps. But before people can easily buy things from Instagram etc, Facebook needs their credit card info on file. That’s a potentially lucrative side effect of Instagram’s plan to launch a Fundraiser sticker in 2019. Facebook’s own Donate…

Google Assistant Actions up 2.5x in 2018 to reach 4,253 in the US

In addition to competing for smart speaker market share, Google and Amazon are also competing for developer mindshare in the voice app ecosystem. On this front, Amazon has soared ahead — the number of available voice skills for Alexa devices has grown to top 80,000 the company recently announced. According to a new third-party analysis…

Apple partners with Oakland nonprofit Dream Corps on Swift coding initiative

Apple this morning announced a new partnership designed to train more people to code using its own programming language, Swift. The company says it’s now working with the Oakland-based nonprofit organization Dream Corps on the initiative, which will see Apple providing technology along with curriculum guidance, professional support and advocacy to individuals in middle and high…

Stop saying, “We take your privacy and security seriously”

In my years covering cybersecurity, there’s one variation of the same lie that floats above the rest. “We take your privacy and security seriously.” You might have heard the phrase here and there. It’s a common trope used by companies in the wake of a data breach — either in a “mea culpa” email to…

Even years later, Twitter doesn’t delete your direct messages

When does “delete” really mean delete? Not always or even at all if you’re Twitter. Twitter retains direct messages for years, including messages you and others have deleted, but also data sent to and from accounts that have been deactivated and suspended, according to security researcher Karan Saini. Saini found years-old messages found in a…

Twitter considering a tweet ‘clarifying’ function

Clarification hasn’t always been Twitter’s strong suit. Fittingly, there’s a bit of confusion around the long standing succession that the service could add an “edit” button in order to save users from silly typos and, well, much much worse. At a Goldman Sachs event this week, Jack Dorsey clarified that, rather than adding a controversial…

3DEN raises $2M to create pay-as-you-go urban spaces

3DEN is building spaces for what it calls the “in-between moments” of your day. The name (pronounced “Eden”) comes from the idea of the “third place” — a space that’s neither home nor work. Founder and CEO Ben Silver told me the idea is to create a space that people can use if, say, they’ve…