Education Technology Startups Raised Over Half A Billion Dollars In Q1

Education Technology Startups Raised Over Half A Billion Dollars In Q1

TechCrunch

Education technology-focused startups raised over $500 million already in the first quarter of 2014, marking the single biggest quarter for capital committed to the sector in the past five years.

What began as a trickle in 2009, with 20 companies raising over $64 million at the beginning of the year, is now a flood as funding leapt to $500 million in 99 venture-backed startups, according to CrunchBase data.

“It’s interesting because public education hasn’t changed that much in 150 to 200 years and there had been almost no technology going into it,” said Don Burton, managing director of the Techstars Kaplan Edtech Accelerator program. “It’s not only that there’s this huge behemoth sector of the economy that spends $1.2 trillion on educating kids, but that it’s old, it’s long in the tooth and it’s bound to get disrupted.”

Education investment actually falls into four large buckets in the U.S., investors said:…

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AppGyver Raises $2.5M Funding Round To Expand Its App Development Platform

AppGyver Raises $2.5M Funding Round To Expand Its App Development Platform

TechCrunch

AppGyver , an HTML5-centric development platform for quickly building mobile apps, today announced that it has raised a $2.5 million funding round led by Initial Capital , an early investor in companies like Supercell, with participation by Finnish VC firm Open Ocean Capital , which was established by the founders of MySQL.

As AppGyver CEO Marko Lehtimaki told me earlier this week, the company has been growing very fast since it expanded from the basic prototyping app it launched with to launching its full-blown development tool Steroids.jslast year. Since then, the company went from a few thousand users to about 25,000 active developers on the platform today. Lehtimaki expects that given the company’s growth curve, there will be over 100,000 users by the end of the year. In total, people have built about 10,000 apps on the platform so far, and about 10 percent of them are currently available in…

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Using Analytics, Bloomberg Beta Seeks Out Startup Founders

Using Analytics, Bloomberg Beta Seeks Out Startup Founders

TechCrunch

By now 350 employees at companies across the country might just be rethinking their day jobs, thanks to an email sent this morning by venture investment firm Bloomberg Beta.

The early-stage investor, whose sole backer is Bloomberg LP, tapped those 350 people as the candidates most likely to become founders of startup companies. Bloomberg Beta constructed the list using analytical tools and research performed in conjunction with Mattermark, according to Karin Klein, a partner in the firm’s New York office.

“We’re always trying to look at can we do venture capital in a different way,” Klein said. “This next future founders project is expanding that.”

The firm conducted an analysis of all of the venture-backed founders and analyzed the traits that those people had in common. That created a set of patterns that they applied to a dataset of employees currently working at companies in and around the technology…

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GoDaddy Partners With Dwolla On New E-Invoicing Option For Small Businesses

GoDaddy Partners With Dwolla On New E-Invoicing Option For Small Businesses

TechCrunch

godaddy-dwolla Web host and small business service provider GoDaddy is teaming up with payments network Dwolla , the companies are announcing today, to offer GoDaddy’s business customers an alternative to paper checks and competing online payment services like PayPal when invoicing their customers and vendors. The option will be made available to GoDaddy’s 12 million small business customer starting today.

The service was built on e-check technology Dwolla introduced last year, which allowed for both one-time and multiple payments. With this, guests could access the Dwolla network and initiate a transaction directly from an existing bank account or credit union in order to pay a Dwolla user. However, until now, the businesses would have to code this guest functionality into their own existing invoicing solutions in order to accept these payments, or they would only be able to accept payments from registered Dwolla accounts.

GoDaddy has basically now done the coding for them, by…

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Hands On With The Weirdest Automatic Composting Machine I’ve Ever Used, The Food Cycler

TechCrunch

Sometimes we get the weirdest emails. For example, a few weeks ago someone asked me if I wanted to try the Smart CARA (the Food Cycler in the U.S.), a Korean composting machine that turns food waste into healthy, usable potting soil in about four hours. As a sometimes gardener with a real composter in the back yard, I wondered why anyone would need one of these machines, so I asked to try one.

Now I know why.

So imagine you’re an eco-conscious vegetable eater in a small apartment. You don’t have a yard so you’re stuck throwing away scraps or, barring that, throwing them out your window or something. So you pick up the Smart CARA, dump your food waste (even meat!) into it, and press a button. You can even store the waste in there for a while and all of the stink is drawn away by a…

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Microsoft And Dell Sign Patent Royalty Agreement For Android And Chrome OS Devices

Microsoft And Dell Sign Patent Royalty Agreement For Android And Chrome OS Devices

TechCrunch

Today Dell and Microsoft announced that they have signed an agreement relating to intellectual property, which will see the two companies “license each company’s applicable” patents regarding Android and Chrome OS devices, as well as Xbox consoles.

So Dell will pay Microsoft dollars when it ships devices running Google’s operating systems. The companies mention Xbox consoles because Dell, it turns out, has some IP with surface area to the device. Dell likely got a discount on its royalty payments as a result.

The Android and Chrome OS portion of the agreement are not surprising, other than that they indicate that Microsoft can turn the largest of OEMs into its paying customers, and that it undercuts Google’s mobile platform hegemony and attempt to break into the traditional PC market. How so? Increasing the unit cost of using Android and Chrome OS adds a nip of cost to each unit, making them less profitable for their…

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Twitter Tests More Inviting Profile Designs On Mobile

Twitter Tests More Inviting Profile Designs On Mobile

TechCrunch

Twitter has been testing designs furiously all winter, including a tile-like format for tweets and a Facebook-style profile page on the web.

But TNW has spotted an update in the Twitter app (which is being partially rolled out as a test, considering my version of the app doesn’t show the change) that brings the same profile look to mobile.

Instead of having a centered profile picture, with a user bio hidden behind a left swipe, the new design features the profile picture against a white background on the left-hand side of the screen, with a cover photo scrunched up top, and bio information just below the profile picture.

The redesign also incorporates two new feeds to the profile section of the app, one that shows embedded photo tweets only and another that shows all the user’s favorited tweets.

The idea here is to make Twitter a great place…

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