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Blockchain startups born out of Chinaccelerator Batch 13

In the fast-paced tech space, it is essential for startups to keep innovating and catching up with the latest trends. While the blockchain frenzy is still in full swing, it is inevitably becoming a new direction where entrepreneurs are turning their focus. In addition to the general tendency to shift towards what’s popular in the […] …read more

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No Picture raises $11M and launches its hosted IoT data platform., the winner of our Disrupt Europe 2014 Startup Battlefield competition, today announced that it has raised an $11 million Series A round. In addition, the company also launched its ‘Crate Machine Learning Platform’ today, a new hosted solution for businesses that want to use the company’s SQL-based database platform for working with IoT data.

The new funding round was led by Zetta Venture Partners and Deutsche Invest Equity, with participation from Chalfen Ventures, Momenta Partners and Charlie Songhurst. Existing investors, including Draper Espirit, Vito Ventures and Docker founder Solomon Hykes also participated.

Crate co-founder and CEO Christian Lutz told me that over the course of the last year or so, the company has seen a large increase in paying customers, which now tally up to about 30. That has also allowed Crate to grow its revenue beyond $1 million in annual run rate. He attributed the current success of the startup to its renewed focus on machine data, something the team wasn’t really focused on when it first launched its product.

It was also this focus that made fundraising easier, Lutz told me. “What made the difference no is that very strong focus on machine data — in combinate with delivering …read more

‘Ok/Normal’ Offers Cloud Friends, Healthy Diets, Disconcerting Events

Ok/Normal has the player taking a friendly journey with their cloud buddy, looking out for healthy meals, water to stay hydrated, and the medication they need to stay healthy. It’s great to take such a journey with friends who are so concerned about your well-being! Except for, well, when things kind of start to go wrong and reality doesn’t seem as sturdy as it once was.

OK/Normal has you guiding your digital companion and their friend through a world shaped by early low-poly titles, using this PSX look to shift mood and perceptions of reality, evoking a sense of being in a dream whose tone continually shifts. It’s a thoughtful journey that can seem almost primally uncomfortable in places, with the visual style evoking a kind of dread that seems to soak into the skin. Still, it’s nothing a good meal can’t fix, right?

OK/Normal takes half an hour to an hour to complete, with lots of to pick up on for those who listen carefully, and even more to take in through 98Demake’s excellent use of PlayStation-era visuals (which stick very close to the system’s actual capabilities).

<iframe width="480" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" …read more

Revamped Xbox Avatar Editor Set to Launch Today for Xbox Insiders

At E3 2017, Xbox announced that they would be reworking and upgrading their Xbox Live Avatar system and focus more on customization and inclusiveness.

Yesterday, Xbox Wire announced the update would officially be going live for Alpha and Alpha – Skip Ahead Xbox Insiders today, June 19th, by 12pm PDT/3pm EDT.

When the update goes live, Insiders will be able to access the beta Xbox Avatar Editor via the Xbox Insider Hub’s Insider content tab.

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Jump Force: Death Note’s Ryuk “Too Strong” to be Playable Character

Death Note’s Ryuk won’t be featured as a playable character in Jump Force because “he’d be too strong.”

Jump Force was announced at E3 2018 and if you watched the reveal trailer, you’ll have spotted Death Note’s Light Yagami and Ryuk at the end, but producer Koji Nakajima has confirmed that the Ryuk will not be a playable character.

“Ryuk from Death Note isn’t a playable character,” Nakajima confirmed in an interview with Bahamut via Silicon Era, “because if he writes names into the Death Note, people die, right? He’d be too strong.”

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Fallout 76’s Stealth Mode Lets You Disappear From the Mini-Map

Bethesda has revealed Fallout 76 will include a stealth mode which allows you to disappear from the mini-map, so other players cannot find you.

In a video posted to the official Fallout Twitter account, Jeff Gardiner, project lead for Fallout 76, was asked: “How do sneak perks and detection work in Fallout 76?”

Gardiner responded:

“As soon as you crouch, which engages our stealth mode, the dot

will very quickly fade away, so other players won’t be able to find you.”

For those of you who like to play on the stealthier side. #Fallout76

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Fortnite Cross-Play Block is Because of “Money”, Claims Former Sony Boss

Former head of Sony Online Entertainment, Joe Smedley, has claimed the Fortnite cross-play block is simply down to “money.”

In response to a video on the cross-play block by Kinda Funny’s Greg Miller, Smedley tweeted, “If we keep up the pressure, the problem goes away.” Smedley then went on to claim that, while he was at Sony, the reason for denying cross-play was stated as being financial.

btw when I was at Sony, the stated reason internally for this was money. They didn’t like someone buying something on an Xbox and it being used on a Playstation. simple as that. dumb reason, but there it is.

— John Smedley (@j_smedley) June 18, 2018

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Peek raises $23M and inks partnership with Google in push to digitize travel activities

Peek, a U.S. startup aiming to digitize the travel activities industry, has pulled a $23 million Series B round of financing and uncorked a partnership with Google that will help increase its visibility.

Founded in 2012 by Ruzwana Bashir (CEO) and Oskar Bruening (CTO), the startup describes itself as “OpenTable for the activities market” in that it aims to make booking activities as seamless and straightforward as a restaurant or even a flight.

Peek raised $10 million two years ago, and this new round is led by Cathay Innovation with participation from existing backers that include ex-Yelp COO Geoff Donaker, Kayak founder Paul English, 2BF and Manta Ray. Peek has plenty of well-known angel backers, including Pete Flint — founder of Trulia and NFX — former Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. This new round takes it to $40 million from investors to date.

In addition to the money, the startup has announced a tie-up with Google that will see its inventory added to Google Search, Google Maps and Google Trips. That’s sure to help visibility and spike bookings, and it adds to other partnerships that Peek has struck with platforms that include Yelp.

Peek is taking aim …read more

Brex picks up $57M to build an easy credit card for startups

While Henrique Dubugras and Pedro Franceschi were giving up on their augmented reality startup inside Y Combinator and figuring out what to do next, they saw their batch mates struggling to get even the most basic corporate credit cards — and in a lot of cases, having to guarantee those cards themselves.

Brex, their new startup, aims to try to fix that by offering startups a way to quickly get what’s effectively a credit card that they can use without having to personally guarantee that card or wade through complex processes to finally get a charge card. It’s geared initially towards smaller companies, but Dubugras expects those startups to grow up with it over time — and that Brex is already picking up larger clients. The company, coming out of stealth, said it has raised a total of $57 million from investors including the Y Combinator Continuity fund, Peter Thiel, Max Levchin, Yuri Milner, financial services VC Ribbit Capital and former Visa CEO Carl Pascarella. Y Combinator Continuity fund partner Anu Hariharan and Ribbit Capital managing partner Meyer Malka are joining the company’s board of directors.

“We want to be the best corporate credit card …read more