MyHeritage now lets you animate old family photos using deepfakery

AI-enabled synthetic media is being used as a tool for manipulating real emotions and capturing user data by genealogy service, MyHeritage, which has just launched a new feature — called ‘deep nostalgia‘ — that lets users upload a photo of a person (or several people) to see individual faces animated by algorithm. The Black Mirror-style ...

How to land startup funding from real estate giant Brookfield, which manages $600 billion in assets

There are big investment firms, and then there are big investment firms. Brookfield Asset Management, the Toronto-based,122-year-old outfit whose current market cap is $63 billion and that oversees $600 billion in assets, clearly falls into the latter camp. Think real estate, infrastructure, renewable power, private equity, and credit. If it falls into a defined asset ...

Singapore-based Raena gets $9M Series A for its pivot to skincare and beauty-focused social commerce

Singapore-based Raena gets $9M Series A for its pivot to skincare and beauty-focused social commerce
Raena’s team, from left to right: chief operating officer Guo Xing Lim, chief executive officer Sreejita Deb and chief commercial officer Widelia Liu Raena was founded in 2019 to create personal care brands with top social media influencers. After several launches, however, the Singapore-based startup noticed an interesting trend: customers were ordering batches of products ...

Tim Hortons marks two years in China with Tencent investment

Tim Hortons, the Canadian coffee and doughnut giant, has raised a new round of funding for its Chinese venture. The investment is led by Sequoia China with participation from Tencent, its digital partner in China, and Eastern Bell Capital. The round comes two years after Tim Hortons entered the Chinese market. More to come…  Source: ...

Bessemer Venture Partners closes on $3.3 billion across two funds

Another major VC firm has closed two major rounds, underscoring the long-term confidence investors continue to have for backing privately held companies in the tech sector. Early-stage VC firm Bessemer Venture Partners announced Thursday the close of two new funds totaling $3.3 billion that it will be using to back early-stage startups as well as ...

Newsela, the replacement for textbooks, raises $100M and becomes a unicorn

Newsela, a SaaS platform for K-12 instructional material backed by the likes of TCV, Kleiner Perkins, Reach Capital and Owl Ventures, announced today that it has raised $100 million in a Series D round. The financing was led by new investor Franklin Templeton, and brings Newsela’s valuation to $1 billion. The new round is larger ...

Daily Crunch: Twitter announces ‘Super Follow’ subscriptions

Twitter reveals its move into paid subscriptions, Australia passes its media bargaining law and Coinbase files its S-1. This is your Daily Crunch for February 25, 2021. The big story: Twitter announces ‘Super Follow’ subscriptions Twitter announced its first paid product at an investor event today, showing off screenshots of a feature that will allow ...

AT&T is turning DirecTV into a standalone company

AT&T just announced an agreement with private equity firm TPG that will turn DirecTV into a standalone company, albeit one that’s still majority owned by the telecom giant. Specifically, AT&T says it will own 70% of the new company, while TPG owns 30%. This transaction values DirecTV at $16.25 billion — a dramatic decline from ...

Orca wants to give boating navigation its ‘iPhone moment’

Orca wants to give boating navigation its ‘iPhone moment’
Boating is a hobby steeped in history and tradition — and so is the industry and those that support it. With worldwide connectivity, electric boats, and other technological changes dragging the sector out of old habits, Orca aims to replace the outdated interfaces by which people navigate with a hardware-software combo as slick as any ...

Berlin’s MorphAIs hopes its AI algorithms will put its early-stage VC fund ahead of the pack

MorphAIs is a new VC out of Berlin, aiming to leverage AI algorithms to boost its investment decisions in early-stage startups. But there’s a catch: it hasn’t raised a fund yet. The firm was founded by Eva-Valérie Gfrerer who was previously head of Growth Marketing at FinTech startup OptioPay and her background is in Behavioural ...