Author: J.D. Smith

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Language learning startup Toucan raises $4.5M

Toucan, a startup that helps users learn a new language while they browse the web, is announcing that it has raised an additional $4.5 million in seed funding. As I wrote last fall, the Santa Monica, Calif.-based startup has built a Chrome extension that scans the text of whatever website you’re reading and translates select...

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Social networking app for women Peanut adds live audio rooms

Mobile social networking app for women, Peanut, is today becoming the latest tech company to integrate audio into its product following the success of Clubhouse. Peanut, which began with a focus on motherhood, has expanded over the years to support women through all life stages, including pregnancy, marriage and even menopause. It sees its voice...

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Mailchimp moves into e-commerce

Over the course of the last few years, Mailchimp morphed from a basic newsletter platform to a fully-fledged marketing company. And while the service already offered integrations with a number of e-commerce sites, it is now launching its own online stores for small and medium businesses, as well as a new appointment booking service. These...

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SaaS subscriptions may be short-serving your customers

Adam Riggs Contributor Adam Riggs is an experienced executive and investor in e-commerce, finance, and media companies. Adam was the first President and CFO of Shutterstock from 2005 to 2010. Prior to Frameable, Adam was a Presidential Innovation Fellow at the U.S. Treasury Department and a subject matter expert at the U.S. State Department on...

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Ushopal looks to charm China’s beauty lovers with niche Western brands

What will China’s answer to Estée Lauder look like in the digital age? According to Ushopal, it will provide a seamless online and offline shopping experience, where China’s savvy beauty shoppers get to discover niche, tasteful brands and learn their stories. Ushopal was founded in 2017 by J&J veteran Lu Guo as an “omni-channel” partner...

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Kids-focused fintech Greenlight raises $260M in a16z-led Series D, nearly doubles valuation to $2.3B

Greenlight, the fintech company that pitches parents on kid-friendly bank accounts, has raised $260 million in a Series D funding round that nearly doubles its valuation to $2.3 billion. The funding comes just months after the Atlanta-based startup landed $215 million in funding at a $1.2 billion valuation. With the latest round, Greenlight has now...

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Vista Equity takes minority stake in Canada’s Vena with $242M investment

Vena, a Canadian company focused on the Corporate Performance Management (CPM) software space, has raised $242 million in Series C funding from Vista Equity Partners. As part of the financing, Vista Equity is taking a minority stake in the company. The round follows $25 million in financing from CIBC Innovation Banking last September, and brings...

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Instreamatic, which inserts interactive voice ads into audio streams, raises $6.1M Series A round

Interactive voice advertising startup Instreamatic, which can insert interactive voice ads into an audio stream, has raised $6.1 million in a Series A funding led by Progress Ventures led the round, joined by Accomplice, and Google Assistant Investments. SF-HQ’d Instreamatic lets brands that advertise through streaming music apps and podcasts (for instance) have interactive voice-based...

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Adobe launches a new, simplified digital asset manager

Adobe today announced the launch of a new asset management tool, Adobe Experience Manager Assets Essentials. That’s a mouthful, but while the company didn’t necessarily simplify the name, the idea here is to give teams that work with lots of digital assets an easier-to-use management experience in the Adobe Experience Cloud than Adobe’s current enterprise-centric...