Lucas Matney

Tenderly raises $15.3M to help Ethereum developers ship decentralized apps faster

Blockchain infrastructure startups are heating up as industry fervor brings more developers and users to a space that still feels extremely young despite a heavy institutional embrace of the crypto space in 2021. The latest crypto startup to court the attention of venture capitalists is Tenderly, which builds a developer platform for Ethereum devs to […]

DraftKings shares plans for launch of NFT collectibles marketplace

DraftKings is charging into the NFT game, announcing a marketplace aimed at curating sports and entertainment-themed digital collectibles for its audience of enthusiasts. The platform is “debuting later this summer,” and showcases another potentially lucrative expansion for the fantasy sports betting company. DraftKings is entering a market that is both crowded and sparse — with […]

Alternative investing hub Vincent closes $6 million raise

While markets grapple with the concept that the pandemic might not be entirely in the rear view mirror, investors are continuing to seek out investment opportunities outside public markets as they seek to diversify. Vincent, an alternative asset aggregation hub, is hoping to capture some of that investor attention, allowing users to scour multiple types […]

NFT market OpenSea hits $1.5 billion valuation

It’s been a wild 2021 for NFT auction marketplace OpenSea. The startup was exceedingly well-positioned in a niche space when NFTs exploded earlier this year seemingly out of nowhere. Since then, the startup has found its user base expanding, the total volume of sales skyrocketing and more investor dollars being thrown at them. The startup […]

Dapper Labs CEO Roham Gharegozlou is coming to Disrupt

If you spent any time this year desperately trying to figure out what the heck NFTs are, you probably have Dapper Labs CEO Roham Gharegozlou to thank for that. His startup’s crypto trading card marketplace NBA Top Shot went viral earlier this year with users dropping hundreds of millions of dollars on digital NBA collectibles. […]

End-to-end moving startup Updater buys on-demand moving startup Dolly

Moving services giant Updater is bringing on the team from Dolly as the New York company looks to expand its scope of offerings with the acquisition of the on-demand startup known for helping consumers execute small-scale moves. Dolly connects users in need of moving a large item like a piece of furniture with a contractor […]

DeFi investor platform Zerion raises $8.2 million Series A

While crypto exchanges have demystified some of the largest cryptocurrencies for retail investors, many of the intricacies of decentralized finance are still lost on even more savvy investors as a result of DeFi’s weave of diverse offerings. Zerion, a startup building a decentralized finance “interface” for crypto investors, has attracted venture capitalist attention on the […]

Osso VR raises $27 million to turn surgery into a video game

Virtual reality did not turn into the ultimate office replacement telepresence machine during the pandemic — and it wasn’t for lack of trying — but some startups focused on employee training in VR have found added validation in the past year as professionals across industries were forced to access institutional knowledge in remote settings. Osso […]

Lego should snap up this rapid-fire brick-finding iOS app

Lego has worked extremely closely with Apple over the years, experimenting with unreleased iOS tech and demoing it onstage at launch events like WWDC; this has included some pretty heavy tinkering on the augmented reality ARKit platform that they’ve integrated several of their play sets with, adding digital experiences to the physical toys. But one […]

Nansen raises $12M from a16z to help investors make sense of crypto markets

While the ambitions of crypto investors have swelled even faster than the market has in recent months, institutional players have had a mountain of blockchain data to try to make sense of without particularly mature analytics products at their disposal. Blockchain analytics startup Nansen is building a product for crypto traders and hedge funds to […]

Digital greeting card startup Givingli wraps $3 million seed round

While the digital revolution has transformed nearly every social interaction and communication type in the past couple decades, the humble birthday card has shown surprising resiliency. Givingli, a small LA-based startup with an app aiming to challenge how Gen Z sends digital greeting cards, is picking up some seed funding from investors betting on their […]

Discord acquires augmented reality startup Ubiquity6

After raising tens of millions from investors and executing a pretty substantial pivot earlier this year, augmented reality startup Ubiquity6 and its team have been acquired by gaming chat app giant Discord. The ambitious AR startup had raised $37.5 million from a series of top investors including Benchmark, First Round, Kleiner Perkins and Google’s Gradient […]

Psychedelic VR meditation startup Tripp raises $11 million Series A

As an increasing number of startups sell investors on mobile apps that help consumers prioritize well-being and mindfulness, other startups are looking for a more immersive take that allow users to fully disconnect from the world around them. Tripp has been building immersive relaxation exercises that seek to blend some of the experiences users may […]

Andreessen Horowitz triples down on blockchain startups with massive $2.2 billion Crypto Fund III

While the cryptocurrency market’s most recent hype wave seems to be dying down after a spectacular rise, Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto arm is reaffirming its commitment to startups building blockchain projects with a hulking new $2.2 billion crypto fund. It’s the firm’s largest vertical-specific fund ever — by quite a bit. Andreessen Horowitz’s 2018 crypto fund […]

NFT marketplace startup Rarible closes $14.2 million Series A

You’ve likely seen the headlines surrounding the pretty major decline in NFT sales from the market’s recent peak, with some reports indicating as much as a 90 percent decline in recent weeks. And while plenty of crypto speculators are on the losing end of that rapid decline, others see a future where digital collectible and […]

Electronic Arts buys mobile game studio Playdemic for $1.4 billion

Video game giant Electronic Arts is continuing to make M&A moves as it looks to bulk up its presence in the mobile gaming world. Fresh off the $2.4 billion acquisition of Glu Mobile this past April, their biggest purchase to date, Electronic Arts announced Wednesday that they are buying Warner Bros. Games’ mobile gaming studio […]

Facebook’s entry into VR advertising isn’t going too well

Facebook’s efforts to bring advertising to the Oculus virtual reality platform it has spent billions of dollars building out doesn’t seem to be off to a great start. The company announced last week that they were planning to roll out their first in-game ads inside the title Blaston from the prolific VR game developer Resolution […]

Sneaker community startup SoleSavy raises $12.5 million Series A to build an end-to-end sneakersphere

Collectibles boomed during the pandemic and while NFT outfits like NBA Top Shot exploded as consumers flirted with newer efforts, the sneaker world grew even more mature with enthusiasts digging deeper into communities dedicated to the hobby/passion/obsession/alternative asset class. Vancouver’s SoleSavy, a sneaker community dedicated to giving fans a curated place to navigate the world […]

Facebook will begin beaming advertisements into virtual reality

Well, it was only a matter of time. Advertising giant Facebook announced Wednesday that they’re going to begin testing advertising inside virtual reality titles on its Oculus platform soon. The first roll-out is limited enough, with Facebook testing ads inside a single gaming shooter title: Blaston from Resolution Games. They are interestingly not rolling this out with […]

Facebook buys game studio BigBox VR

Facebook has bought several virtual reality game studios over the past couple years, and they added one more to their portfolio Friday with the acquisition of Seattle-based BigBox VR. The studio’s major title, Population: One, was one of the big post-launch releases for Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2 headset and is a pretty direct Fortnite clone, […]

Shopify brings on team from augmented reality home design app Primer

In Friday acquisition news, Shopify shared today that they’ve acquired the team from augmented reality startup Primer, which makes an app that lets users visualize what tile, wallpaper or paint will look like on surfaces inside their home. In a blog post, co-founders Adam Debreczeni and Russ Maschmeyer write that Primer’s app and services will […]

Homebuying startup Flyhomes closes $150 million Series C

Amid a recent tear in residential real estate investment, venture capitalists are looking to get a piece of homebuying startup Flyhomes. The five-year-old startup announced today that they’ve closed a $150 million Series C co-led by Norwest Venture Partners and Battery Ventures. Fifth Wall, Camber Creek, Balyasny Asset Management, Zillow’s Spencer Rascoff, and existing investors […]

Todd and Rahul’s Angel Fund closes new $24 million fund

After making investments in 57 startups together, Superhuman CEO Rahul Vohra and Eventjoy founder Todd Goldberg are back at it with a new $24 million fund and big ambitions amid a venture capital renaissance with fast-moving deals a plenty. “Todd and Rahul’s Angel Fund” announced their first $7.3 million fund just weeks before the pandemic […]

Mythical Games raises $75M to build an NFT game engine

Even as NFT sales dip below their most speculative highs, startups aiming to tap into their potential are still scoring big funding rounds from investors who believe there’s much more to crypto collectibles than the past few months of hype. Mythical Games, an NFT games startup based out of Los Angeles, has banked a $75 […]

Almanac is building a faster doc editor for the remote work era

Few things have captured Silicon Valley-based investors’ attention in recent years quite like the quest to back the successor[s] to Google Docs. The estimable and entrenched productivity suite has been unbundled and repackaged into products that a number of multi-billion dollar tech startups have been built around. All the while, entrepreneurs are continuing to poke […]

In search of a new crypto deity

Hello friends, and welcome back to Week in Review! Last week, I wrote about tech taking on Disney. This week, I’m talking about the search for a new crypto messiah. If you’re reading this on the TechCrunch site, you can get this in your inbox from the newsletter page, and follow my tweets @lucasmtny. The […]

Facebook buys studio behind Roblox-like Crayta gaming platform

Facebook has been making plenty of one-off virtual reality studio acquisitions lately, but today the company announced that they’re buying something with wider ambitions — a Roblox-like game creation platform. Facebook shared that they’re buying Unit 2 Games, which builds a platform called Crayta. Like some other platforms out there it builds on top of […]

Twitter starts rolling out Birdwatch fact checks inside tweets

Twitter is looking to crowdsource its way out of misinformation woes with its new product Birdwatch which taps a network of engaged tweeters to add notes to misleading tweets. Today, Twitter announced that they are starting to roll out the Birdwatch notes to pilot participants across iOS, Android and desktop. The company launched a pilot […]

Ditto raises $1.5 million to help teams collaborate on copy

Even as remote software uptake has boomed during the pandemic, certain workflows have gotten prioritized for specialized toolsets while other team members have been left piecemealing their productivity. Employees designing the copy that directs users and encapsulates company messaging have been particularly forgotten at times, say the founders of Ditto, a young startup building software […]

Augmented reality NFT platform Anima gets backing from Coinbase

Augmented reality and non-fungible tokens, need I say more? Yes? Oh, well NFTs have certainly had their moment in 2021 but the question of what they do or what can be done with them has certainly been getting voiced more frequently as the speculative gold rush begins to cool off and people start to think […]

Decentralized Komorebi Collective launches to back female and non-binary crypto founders

As decentralized currencies have taken off in recent months, there’s been renewed attention around DAOs, or Decentralized Autonomous Organizations, as a means of bringing together groups of investors who can deploy capital as a unit while voting collectively on those investments. In the spirit of blockchain, they aim to bring greater transparency to investment decision-making. […]

Snap emphasizes commerce in updates to its camera and AR platforms

At Snap’s Partner Summit, the company announced a number of updates to the company’s developer tools and AR-focused Lens Studio including several focused on bringing shopping deeper into the Snapchat experience. One of the cooler updates involved the company’s computer vision Scan product which analyzes content in a user’s camera feed to quickly bring up […]

Bitcoin crashes as investors fear crypto bull market could be nearing its end

Bitcoin, Ethereum and a host of Altcoins suffered massive drops Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, erasing months of gains and hundreds of billions in market cap. The overall crypto market shrunk more than 20% over the past 24 hours according to crypto tracker CoinMarketCap. What’s behind the drop? Well, some may say the market was […]

Facebook VR exec Hugo Barra is leaving

Four years after joining as Facebook’s first VP of VR, ex-Xiaomi exec Hugo Barra has left the company, he said in a social media post Tuesday. Barra led Facebook’s VR efforts during a particularly tumultuous time for Oculus, coming aboard to helm the division as the once independent arm was folded deeper into its parent […]

Gucci brings digital items and experiences to Roblox in new partnership

As gaming platforms capitalize on pandemic-fueled traffic to their digital worlds, brands that drive culture in the physical world are fighting to ensure they don’t miss any new opportunities. A new partnership between Roblox and Gucci brings digital items from the fashion house into the platform’s metaverse alongside a new limited-run digital experience. Guccis new […]

Elon Musk giveth and taketh away

Hello friends, and welcome back to Week in Review! Last week, I wrote about Facebook’s never-ending Trump problem. This week, I’m looking at Elon Musk’s wild week of whipping crypto markets. If you’re reading this on the TechCrunch site, you can get this in your inbox from the newsletter page, and follow my tweets @lucasmtny. […]

Substack acquires team from community consulting startup People & Company

New media poster child Substack announced today that they’ve added a small community-building consultancy team to its ranks, acquiring the Brooklyn-based startup People & Company. The small firm has been working with clients to build up their community efforts and its team will now be tasked with building up some of the newsletter company’s upstart […]

After another canceled year in the desert, Burning Man plans for a virtual event

Last month, the organization behind Burning Man announced that the festival/experience would not be returning to the desert of Nevada this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and would instead be attempting a virtual event once again aiming to bring attendees access to a handful of web-based experiences. Today, the Burning Man org released tickets […]

CryptoPunks NFT bundle goes for $17 million in Christie’s auction

A lot of 9 CryptoPunks portraits ended up selling for just under $17 million in a Christie’s auction Tuesday evening, marking another substantial moment for NFT art sales. The lot of pixelated portraits were from the collection of the NFT platform’s co-creators Matt Hall and John Watkinson. The CryptoPunks platform is one of the first […]

eBay embraces NFTs

eBay is joining the NFT frenzy, telling Reuters today that going forward it will allow the sales of NFTs on its platform, a mainstream embrace that follows billions of dollars in NFT purchases over the past few months. The e-commerce company seems poised to slowly build up sales of digital collectibles on the platform, starting […]

Bitski raises $19 million from a16z to become the ‘Shopify for NFTs’

For every crypto-skeptic that see NFTs as yet another hype bubble, there’s an acolyte who sees NFTs as the key to unlocking the future of the creative web. Bitski, an SF-based startup that builds custom NFT storefronts for brands and creators, is banking on the latter and they have new investors betting the same. The […]

Multicoin Capital debuts new $100M fund to bet on crypto startups and tokens

Crypto startups couldn’t be hotter as currencies push past all-time-highs and investor appetite reaches mania for new projects. Crypto investment firms that have been investing in blockchain startups for years are not only beginning to see major movement from their portfolio, but are gaining renewed appetite from LPs after a lengthy crypto winter to make […]