SoftBank’s massive Vision Fund raises $93 billion in its first close

 SoftBank’s huge $100 billion investment fund — the largest tech fund in history — announced its first close today… and it’s huge. The Japanese telecom giant revealed that its VisionFund has closed an initial commitment of $93 billion from a bevy of high profile backers. They include Apple, Qualcomm, UAE-based Mubadala Investment Company, Saudi Arabia’s… Read More

Equity podcast: Instagram copies Snap again and Greycroft’s Ellie Wheeler on self-driving cars

 Hello and welcome back to another episode of Equity, TechCrunch’s weekly podcast focusing on all things venture and capital. This week we pulled off our very first live episode, taping the session during the last day of TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2017. For our inaugural public show, Ellie Wheeler of Greycroft joined our merry band of nerds: Katie Roof, Matthew Lynley, and Alex Wilhelm. In… Read More

Hong Kong’s Qupital raises $2M led by Alibaba to finance invoice loans for SMES

 Qupital, a one-year-old Hong Kong-based startup that addresses cash flow issues for SMEs, has closed a $2 million seed funding round. The is certainly a notable size for an early stage investment in Hong Kong’s nascent but growing startup scene. The financing was led by Hong Kong-London firm MindWorks Ventures and the $130 million Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund which launched in 2015.… Read More

Cadre and Point are betting that the best way to innovate in real estate is to disrupt the market

 On the stage of TechCrunch Disrupt, the founders of two of the hottest startups in real estate, Cadre and Point articulated the inefficiencies of today’s real estate markets and expressed optimism in their ability to use innovative markets to benefit investors and homeowners respectively. Cadre is an exclusive startup that connects real estate investors to top deals while Point… Read More

Equity podcast: Where did Snap’s market cap go, and why does Josh Elman like grammar?

 Welcome back to another episode of Equity, TechCrunch’s weekly podcast focused on finding the humor in money. This week, our own Katie Roof, Matthew Lynley and Alex Wilhelm, along with Greylock’s Josh Elman huddled in the SoMa studio right after a certain earnings report. We recorded a day early this week, as a full 66 percent of the core cast had Thursday morning flights.… Read More

Cisco acquires conversational AI startup MindMeld for $125 million

 This morning Cisco announced that it is buying MindMeld for $125 million. Founded in 2011, MindMeld helps businesses to build conversational interfaces with cloud-based services. MindMeld, originally called Expect Labs, was launched on the stage of TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2012. At that time the startup wanted to build an iPad app that could listen in on your conversations and provide… Read More

Kreditech raises €110M from Naspers’ PayU in strategic financing partnership

 Kreditech, the German startup backed by Peter Thiel, Rakuten and the IFC that creates credit ratings and provides finance to people who may not otherwise have credit histories, has raised another round of funding from one of its strategic partners. PayU, the payments company owned by Naspers that is known by some as the “PayPal of emerging markets” — its business is mainly… Read More

N26 launches saving accounts with Raisin

 N26 is launching yet another feature to build a modern retail bank for European customers. This time, the company is partnering with Raisin, a German startup also known as WeltSparen. In just a few taps, you’ll be able to open a savings account for money you don’t need. Raisin doesn’t build savings accounts itself. Instead, the company is partnering with financial… Read More