Posted on

Amira Learning raises $11M to put its AI-powered literacy tutor in post-COVID classrooms

School closures due to the pandemic have interrupted the learning processes of millions of kids, and without individual attention from teachers, reading skills in particular are taking a hit. Amira Learning aims to address this with an app that reads along with students, intelligently correcting errors in real time. Promising pilots and research mean the company is poised to go big as education changes, and it has raised $11M to scale up with a new app and growing customer base.
In classrooms, a common exercise is to have students read aloud from a storybook or worksheet. The teacher listens carefully, …

Read More

Posted on

Bird, Lime and VeoRide selected for NYC e-scooter pilot

Lime, Bird and VeoRide have scored coveted permits to New York City’s first e-scooter pilot.
The New York City Department of Transportation, which originally released a request for proposals in October for the pilot that was meant to start in early March, made its selections public Wednesday. The three companies are expected to begin operations in the Bronx by early summer with 1,000 electric scooters each.
“After a competitive selection process, Bird, Lime and Veo unveil e-scooter models and pricing plans that will allow most rides for under $5,” said NYC DOT in a statement. “New bicycle lanes planned for pilot …

Read More

Posted on

Check out the tech leaders joining us on Extra Crunch Live in May

Extra Crunch Live, our weekly event series that connects founders with tech leaders, is really picking up speed. Recently, we had a conversation with Accel’s Dan Levine and Scale’s Alexandr Wang about how sometimes, unconventional VC deals are the best deals.
We’ve also taken a walk through early decks from companies like Poshmark, Steady and Justworks.

But we’re only getting started. We have an amazing lineup of speakers hanging out with us in May.
As a reminder, Extra Crunch Live goes down every Wednesday at 3pm ET/noon PT and is open to anyone who wants …

Read More

Posted on

Republican antitrust bill would block all Big Tech acquisitions

There are about to be a lot of antitrust bills taking aim at Big Tech, and here’s one more. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) rolled out a new bill this week that would take some severe measures to rein in Big Tech’s power, blocking mergers and acquisitions outright.
The “Trust-Busting for the Twenty-First Century Act” would ban any acquisitions by companies with a market cap of more than $100 billion, including vertical mergers. The bill also proposes changes that would dramatically heighten the financial pain for companies caught engaging in anti-competitive behavior, forcing any company that loses an antirust suit …

Read More

Posted on

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket to deliver an Astrobotic lander and NASA water-hunting rover to the Moon in 2023

SpaceX is set to send a payload to the Moon in 2023, using its larger (and infrequently used) Falcon Heavy launch vehicle. The mission will fly a lander built by space startup Astrobotic, which itself will be carrying NASA’s VIPER, or Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (this is the agency that loves torturing language to come up with fun acronyms, after all).
The launch is currently set for later in the year, and this would be Falcon Heavy’s first Moon mission if all goes to plan. It would not, however, be SpaceX’s first lunar outing, since the company …

Read More

Posted on

JXL turns Jira into spreadsheets

Atlassian’s Jira is an extremely powerful issue tracking and project management tool, but it’s not the world’s most intuitive piece of software either. Spreadsheets, on the other hand, are pretty much the de facto standard for managing virtually anything in a business. It’s maybe no surprise then that there are already a couple of tools on the market that bring a spreadsheet-like view of your projects to Jira or connect it to services like Google Sheets.
The latest entrant in this field is JXL Spreadsheets for Jira (and specifically Jira Cloud), which was founded by two …

Read More

Posted on

Reminder: Student, non-profit, and government discounts available for Extra Crunch

Students, government employees, and members of non-profit organizations can get access to Extra Crunch at a discounted rate of $50/year (plus tax). That’s 50% off our annual price point. You’ll also be grandfathered in at the discounted price for future years until you cancel. 
How to claim the discount:

Use a government, non-profit, .edu or university email address and send a message to our customer support team at extracrunch@techcrunch.com. Please let them know that you are seeking the student, government, or non-profit discount. 
The team will respond within 24 hours with a unique link to claim your discount.

Read More

Posted on

Vietnamese electric motorbike startup Dat Bike raises $2.6M led by Jungle Ventures

Son Nguyen, founder and chief executive officer of Dat Bike
Dat Bike, a Vietnamese startup with ambitions to become the top electric motorbike company in Southeast Asia, has raised $2.6 million in pre-Series A funding led by Jungle Ventures. Made in Vietnam with mostly domestic parts, Dat Bike’s selling point is its ability to compete with gas motorbikes in terms of pricing and performance. Its new funding is the first time Jungle Ventures has invested in the mobility sector and included participation from Wavemaker Partners, Hustle Fund and iSeed Ventures.
Founder and chief executive officer Son Nguyen began learning how …

Read More

Posted on

Binance Labs leads $1.6M seed round in DeFi startup MOUND, the developer of Pancake Bunny

Decentralized finance startup MOUND, known for its yield farming aggregator Pancake Bunny, has raised $1.6 million in seed funding led by Binance Labs. Other participants included IDEO CoLab, SparkLabs Korea and Handshake co-founder Andrew Lee.
Built on Binance Smart Chain, a blockchain for developing high-performance DeFi apps, MOUND says Pancake Bunny now has more than 30,000 daily average users, and has accumulated more than $2.1 billion in total value locked (TVL) since its launch in December 2020.
The new funding will be used to expand Pancake Bunny and develop new products. MOUND recently launched Smart Vaults and plans to unveil Cross-Chain Collateralization in about …

Read More