Join the TechCrunch Meetup at the World Economic Forum #TCDavos

 TechCrunch is holding an informal meetup during the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Grab a free ticket here. The event precedes our TechCrunch Meetup the week after in Zug, Switzerland, the so-called Crypto Valley. You can grab a ticket here. The Davos meetup will be co-hosted by Samantha Stein, TechCrunch’s Director of Special Projects & Startup… Read More

French VC firm Ring Capital raises $170 million fund

 Meet Ring Capital, a brand new VC firm based in Paris. The firm just raised a new $170 million fund (€140 million) and might still be raising another $10 million or so for this fund. Many new VC firms tend to focus on seed rounds at first. Ring Capital thinks there’s a Series A and Series B gap in France. That’s why Ring Capital plans to invest around €5 to €10 million ($6 to… Read More

AI researcher Monty Barlow teaches a computer to figure out American accents

 Monty Barlow is a researcher at Cambridge Consultants and his recent work involves teaching a computer to discern between British and American accents. The project, which Barlow sees as part of a suite of machine-learning solutions that will grow to encompass “true” AI, appeared at CES last week. Barlow said that AI revolutions tended to come and go, appearing on the horizon and… Read More

Irish startup SoapBox Labs is building speech recognition tech for kids

 Irish startup SoapBox Labs is on a mission to create what it calls “the world’s most accurate and accessible speech technology for children”, tech it plans to offer to third-party hardware and app developers. These span educational apps that support reading and language development, children’s voice-control for IoT devices in the home, smart toys, and AR/VR experiences. Read More

Sodexo acquires majority stake in French online restaurant FoodChéri

 Sodexo, a French publicly-listed food services and facilities management company, has acquired a majority stake in Paris-based online restaurant and food delivery startup FoodChéri. Terms of the deal remain undisclosed, though François Paulus of Breega Capital, which backed the company’s €6 million Series A, tells me he is “happy with the return”. Read More

Hey Crypto Valley! Come to the TechCrunch Zug Meetup, January 29th

 I guess it had to happen sooner or later. TechCrunch has decided to get to the bottom of the Crypto and Blockchain boom by heading to one of its main geographical centers. Since welcoming the regulation of Initial Coin Offerings with open arms, Zug, the Swiss Canton just outside of Zurich, has come to be known as “Crypto Valley”. So… that’s where you’ll find a team… Read More