German insurance ‘robo-advisor’ Clark scores $29 million Series B

Clark, one of a plethora of so-called ‘insurtech’ startups offering something akin to a digital insurance brokerage all delivered through a convenient mobile app, has closed a hefty $29 million in Series B funding. The round was led by fintech investor Portag3 Ventures, and VC fund White Star Capital, with participation from a number of existing investors including Coparion, Kulczyk Investments, and Yabeo Capital. It brings Clark’s total funding to $45 million. Founded in July 2015 — and originally out of fintech company builder Finleap — Frankfurt and Berlin-based Clark…

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Vacation rental management service Guesty raises $19.75M

As the vacation rental sector heats up — with Airbnb making even more moves to expand its portfolio of services to include multiple tiers of rentals — there’s going to be more and more of a need for people who manage a large number of properties. Guesty is one service that aims to do that, and today a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission notes that it’s raised $19.75 million in a new Series B round of financing. While Airbnb may be the dominant home vacation rental service, there…

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New numbers illustrate how fast fundraising has changed for young startups

Fundraising is never easy, but it’s even harder when the goal posts are being moved around. Such is the challenge facing today’s youngest startups, which are looking at very different fundraising metrics than new startups did just six or seven years ago. We explored the issue yesterday with Peter Wagner, who spent more than 14 years with Accel as a managing partner before co-founding the early-stage firm Wing Venture Capital in 2013 with another veteran investor, Gaurav Garg, formerly of Sequoia Capital. Wagner has an obvious interest in how rounds are changing.…

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Kogan: ‘I don’t think Facebook has a developer policy that is valid’

A Cambridge University academic at the center of a data misuse scandal involving Facebook user data and political ad targeting faced questions from the UK parliament this morning. Although the two-hour evidence session in front of the DCMS committee’s fake news enquiry raised rather more questions than it answered — with professor Aleksandr Kogan citing an NDA he said he had signed with Facebook to decline to answer some of the committee’s questions (including why and when exactly the NDA was signed). TechCrunch understands the NDA relates to standard confidentiality provisions…

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Facebook shuts down custom feed-sharing prompts and 12 other APIs

Facebook is making good on Mark Zuckerberg’s promise to prioritize user safety and data privacy over its developer platform. Today Facebook and Instagram announced a slew of API shutdowns and changes designed to stop developers from being able to pull your data or your friends’ data without express permission, drag in public content or trick you into sharing. Some changes go into effect today, and others roll out on August 1 so developers have more than 90 days to fix their apps. They follow the big changes announced two weeks…

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Bose acquires Andrew Mason’s walking tour startup, Detour

Groupon founder Andrew Mason’s audio tour startup Detour has been sold to Bose. The acquisition, which involves only the software and tour content — not the team — was quietly announced on Detour’s blog a few days ago, followed by an email to customers. Bose, initially, seems like an unlikely acquirer for an app designed to help people discover a city through narrated walking tours. But its interest in the product has to do with its upcoming AR platform, which involves audio experiences delivered through a pair of sensor-laden glasses.…

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Etleap scores $1.5 million seed to transform how we ingest data

Etleap is a play on words for a common set of data practices: extract, transform and load. The startup is trying to place these activities in a modern context, automating what they can and in general speeding up what has been a tedious and highly technical practice. Today, they announced a $1.5 million seed round. Investors include First Round Capital, SV Angel, Liquid2, BoxGroup and other unnamed investors. The startup launched five years ago as a Y Combinator company. It spent a good 2.5 years building out the product, says…

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