Catalyst brothers find capital success with $2.4M from True

Over the past few years, the old language of “customer support” has been supplanted by the new language of “customer success.” In the old model, companies would essentially disappear following the conclusion of a sale, merely handling customer problems when they arose. Now, companies are actively reaching out to customers, engaging them with education and training and monitoring them with analytics to ensure they have the best time with the product as possible. What’s changing is the nature of product and services today: subscription. Customers no longer just make a…

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Meet the quantum blockchain that works like a time machine

A new — and theoretical — system for blockchain-based data storage could ensure that hackers will not be able to crack cryptocurrencies once the quantum era starts. The idea, proposed by researchers at the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, would secure cryptocurrency futures for decades using a blockchain technology that is like a time machine. You can check out their findings here. To understand what’s going on here we have to define some terms. A blockchain stores every transaction in a system on what amounts to an immutable…

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Delivery robotics company Marble raises $10 million, with plans to move beyond food

San Francisco-based robotics company Marble announced this morning that it’s just closed a $10 million Series A. The round, which involves the likes of Tencent, Lemnos, Crunchfund and Maven, brings the startup’s total funding to $15 million. In press material tied to the announcement, Marble’s careful not to get hung up on the whole food delivery label that’s been hung on the company since its early days. Instead, Marble’s now referring to itself as “the last-mile logistics company,” a catchy title that points to its broader ambitions to help meet…

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Bag Week is coming and we need your recommendations

Every year your faithful friends at TechCrunch spend an entire week looking at bags. Why? Because bags – often ignored but full of our important electronics – are the outward representations of our techie styles and we put far too little thought into where we keep our most prized possessions. To that end we need your help. Do you have a favorite bag we should check out? Do you make a bag we should check out? Is there a bag we should avoid? We’ve created this form to gather bag…

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DoorDash makes a big push into grocery delivery through a pilot program with Walmart

DoorDash is about to make a huge move into grocery delivery, but instead of going all out as a delivery service on its own, it’s instead going to be working behind the scenes to power delivery networks for larger companies — with Walmart as its first big partner. While Instacart looks to control the end-to-end customer experience for grocery delivery, and Amazon is off doing Amazon-y things with its Whole Foods delivery system, DoorDash is hoping it can build a network that any company that needs some delivery network can…

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Belgium’s Cowboy raises $3M led by Index to launch a smarter e-bike

Cowboy, the startup that’s building a new, smarter electronic bicycle, quietly launched in its home country of Belgium this past week, whilst simultaneously disclosing it has raised $3 million in seed funding. Notably, the round is led by Index Ventures. The London and San Francisco-based VC appears to be particularly bullish on electric-powered mobility, recently backing electric scooter startup Bird. France’s Hardware Club, and Kima Ventures also participated in Cowboy’s seed round, along with individual investors Thibaud Elziere (eFounders), Bertrand Jelensperger (LaFourchette), Harold Mechelynck (Ogone), Frederic Potter (Netatmo) and Francis…

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Facebook reveals 25 pages of takedown rules for hate speech and more

Facebook has never before made public the guidelines its moderators use to decide whether to remove violence, spam, harassment, self-harm, terrorism, intellectual property theft, and hate speech from social network until now. The company hoped to avoid making it easy to game these rules, but that worry has been overridden by the public’s constant calls for clarity and protests about its decisions. Today Facebook published 25 pages of detailed criteria and examples for what is and isn’t allowed. Facebook is effectively shifting where it will be criticized to the underlying policy…

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Tableau gets new pricing plans and a data preparation tool

Data analytics platform Tableau today announced the launch of both a new data preparation product and a new subscription pricing plan. Currently, Tableau offers desktop plans for users who want to analyze their data locally, a server plan for businesses that want to deploy the service on-premises or on a cloud platform, and a fully hosted online plan. Prices for these range from $35 to $70 per user and month. The new pricing plans don’t focus so much on where the data is analyzed but on the analyst’s role. The…

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