Posts in category Commerce

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Meet the Oasis: Amazon’s $290 Kindle feels more like a book in your hand, ships April 27

Let’s talk about Amazon’s most expensive Kindle yet. The company’s latest reading device, the Oasis is launching in just over two weeks and will cost you $290. That’s about all the news left to reveal, after a series of leaks spoiled Amazon’s surprise (or built up hype, depending on how you look at it). The shape The Oasis’ high price […]

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VCs raised billions in Q1 even as they made fewest investments in 3 years

ANALYSIS: At first blush, a review of venture capital dealmaking during the first quarter of 2016 suggests an industry gone mad. VC firms raised the highest amount of capital raised in more than decade, even as they made the lowest number of investments in three years. What gives? The Q1 2016 Venture Pulse Report issued today by CB Insights […]

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Max Levchin’s Affirm raises $100 million to expand beyond point-of-sale financing

Affirm has raised $100 million in equity funding that the financial technology company will use to develop what it calls “direct-to-consumer” products. The round was led by Founders Fund and includes participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Spark Capital, Khosla Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Jefferies, and others. The company declined to provide its valuation. It’s worth noting […]

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Gartner: Global PC shipments fell 9.6% in Q1 2016, the first quarter below 65 million units since 2007

No surprise here: The PC market started 2016 off poorly. Gartner estimates worldwide PC shipments fell 9.6 percent to 64.8 million units in Q1 2016. In fact, the firm notes that this is the first quarter to see below 65 million units since 2007. In other words, Q1 2016 PC shipments were almost a decade-low. […]

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3 key ways to improve your subscriber value

VB WEBINAR: Guaranteed residual revenue through subscription models is hugely attractive and highly scalable — but missteps could lead to costly attrition and churn. Join Netflix Head of Payments Luis Vargas to learn how payment models factor into success and how to turn subscribers into the profitable customers you hanker for. Register here for free. Back in the day, a subscription […]

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Twiggle raises $12.5 million to challenge Amazon’s A9 ecommerce search engine

Twiggle isn’t a name you’ll be familiar with, but the Israeli stealth startup has today announced a $12.5 million funding round that should go some way toward putting it on the map. The company was founded in 2013 by a team including Dr. Amir Konigsberg, who previously worked at Google and was formerly managing director at, […]

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Pinterest launches Promoted Pins internationally, starting with the U.K.

Visual bookmarking tool Pinterest is ramping up its ad business this week with the news that it’s finally expanding its Promoted Pins product internationally. First announced back in early 2014, Promoted Pins does exactly what its name suggests by letting businesses pay to have their Pins (products) placed front-and-center in people’s feed — it can […]

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How mobile commerce is changing customer service

GUEST: It’s no secret that mobile is rapidly becoming the end-all-be-all in consumption. In fact, in 2015, nearly half of Google search traffic came from mobile devices. On average, Americans spend about five hours a day on their phones! Forrester calls this the “Mobile Mind Shift” — the expectation that you can get what you want, immediately, […]

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TurboTax is tweaking its mobile app right up until tax day

VB EVENT: Intuit made headlines last month when VentureBeat reported that one million people were using TurboTax on their mobile phones. And now with the U.S. tax filing deadline less than two weeks away, the company is working to simplify the process even further. Speaking today at VentureBeat’s Mobile Summit, Nat Rajesh Natarajan, senior VP for product and engineering at Intuit, the […]

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Machine Zone launches cloud platform to process millions of real-time interactions

EXCLUSIVE: Machine Zone, one of the top-ranked mobile game companies, said it is launching a platform today that lets other companies license its cloud technology to enable many millions of people to communicate and interact in real time. The company, which makes the hugely popular multiplayer Game of War, said it is also renaming itself MZ. MZ consistently […]

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The rise of the blockchain asset class

GUEST: Bitcoin first cracked a $1 billion market cap on March 30, 2013. And by the following month, it had reached $1.504 billion. Meanwhile, the market for additional blockchain assets outside of bitcoin (“non-bitcoin blockchain assets”) was vastly smaller, totaling in at just $92 million on April 28, 2013. Less than three years later —  on […]

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Elon Musk: Tesla Model 3 preorders equalled $7.5 billion worth of sales on day 1

Anticipation for Tesla’s new “affordable” electric car reached fever pitch in the build up to the big unveil yesterday, with 115,000 people having paid $1,000 to get on the list to buy a Model 3 shortly after it was unveiled yesterday. After a full day taking orders, Elon Musk has now revealed that orders totalled […]

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