Mapbox acquires Mapdata to help it expand into AR maps

 Two weeks after announcing $164 million in funding, mapping data startup Mapbox has made its first acquisition. The company has acquired MapData, a neural network-based mapping startup based out of Minsk in Belarus. It will be using the deal spearhead the opening of a new office in the city and the hiring of more engineers; and to help build its next big product, an SDK that will let… Read More

Developer community Stack Overflow lays off reportedly 20% of staff as it refocusses business

 Some changes are underway at Stack Overflow, the online community where some 50 million developers and others converge to talk programming and many other things. TechCrunch has learned and confirmed that the startup has conducted a substantial number of layoffs across the company as it looks to steer the business more towards its core Q&A products and away from areas that were seeing… Read More

Google will pull its QPX Express API in April 2018, cutting off its airfare feed

 As Google gradually builds out its footprint in travel search, the company is also making a move to cut off its role as a data provider to would-be competitors. The company has quietly announced that in April of next year, it will shut down its QPX Express API, an airfare search feed, which it had picked up originally as part of its $700 million acquisition of ITA in 2010/2011. (For a blast… Read More

Groupon adds ad exec Steve Krenzer as new COO, sold assets to Grubhub for $20M

 Groupon, the local deals platform, reported Q3 earnings today that provided more details on how it is restructuring its business; and it also took the moment to announce that it has finally appointed a new COO, a role that has been vacant for the last two years. Steve Krenzer, who had been the CEO of direct-ad specialist Core Digital Media, is taking on the role, the first time Groupon has had… Read More

GoFundMe launches native content arm to make videos for campaigns

 GoFundMe has racked up over $4 billion in donations as the world’s biggest platform for people setting up donation campaigns, in part by leveraging the power of social media to get people to share stories around those campaigns, with the biggest of these often going viral.┬áNow, to tap deeper into the estimated $500 million in charitable donations that are made globally each year, the… Read More

Apple Pay now in 20 markets, nabs 90% of all mobile contactless transactions where active

 While we are going to have to wait a little longer for Apple to launch payments in iMessage, this weekend, Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s VP of Apple Pay, announced a series of other milestones for the digital wallet and payments service that competes against the likes of Android Pay from Google, Samsung’s wallet and others efforts from retailers and banks. The advances point to how… Read More

Hiya, a Whitepages spinout, nabs $18M to for its smart caller ID technology

 Hiya came to life a year ago when it was spun out by Whitepages to take on TrueCaller and others in the world of smart caller ID services. Using machine learning analytics on a vast database of calling data (3.5 billion calls to date), Seattle-based Hiya’s mission has been to supercharge the humble phone call — by providing detailed information about who is calling you, whether… Read More

Nokia pulls out of OZO VR hardware, lays off 310, steps up in health and patents

 Nokia, the once-mighty phone maker that eventually retreated to a business based around networking equipment and targeted verticals like health and imaging, is thinking its business strategy once again. Today, the company announced that it would cease building its pricey OZO virtual reality cameras after finding that the VR market was developing “slower-than-expected”. It will… Read More

bpost acquires Radial, formerly eBay enterprise, for $820M

 The global e-commerce race — and how it is underpinned by logistics, delivery and economies of scale — continues to heat up. Today, the Belgian Post Group, also known as bpost, announced its latest move in this area to bulk up its operations in North America. It has acquired Radial, the company formerly known as eBay enterprise, for $820 million. This is important because Radial… Read More

Walmart launches Mobile Express Returns to refund or exchange online items in physical stores

 As Walmart continues to build out its e-commerce business to rival Amazon’s, its latest development will build on some of the retail giant’s most established operations: Walmart is launching a new in-store returns service called Mobile Express Returns. People who purchase items online and then need to return them can do so by logging them on the Walmart app, generating a QR code… Read More