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Greetings from Las Vegas, where it’s 105 degrees outside, but it mostly doesn’t matter because you can’t figure out how to get outside. I’m here this week for my first-ever re:Mars. It’s wild being back in Vegas for the first time since January 2020, which hasn’t really changed but is somehow compl…

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Sheryl Sandberg, Substack and the art of still raising money for groceries

Hello and welcome back to Equity, a podcast about the business of startups, where we unpack the numbers and nuance behind the headlines. This was another live week from the Equity crew, meaning that the towering Mary Ann, the inimitable Natasha, and the somewhat fungible Alex were all chatting in r…

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Indonesia’s Astro raises $60M to work on 15-minute grocery delivery

Indonesia’s sprawling archipelago has long been a headache for logistics companies, but there’s no lack of brave challengers. Jarkata-based Astro, which provides 15-minute grocery delivery, has recently closed a $60 million Series B financing round, lifting its total funding to $90 mill…

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Lab, crab and robotic rehab

I was in Berkeley a couple of months back, helping TechCrunch get its proverbial ducks in a row before our first big climate event (coming in a few weeks, folks). Professor Ken Goldberg, who’s helped play a big role in a number of our robotics events, kindly gave me a tour of BAIR, the Berkeley [&h…

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Even Amazon can’t quite figure out what Astro is for

Amazon's cute little Astro robot has been scurrying its way around my apartment for the past few weeks. It has no arms to scratch its own head in confusion.

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More automatons about buildings and food

As I noted last year, we’re ramping up to return to Boston this July for our TC Sessions Robotics event. Our March 2020 event on the Berkeley campus was the last major in-person TechCrunch show before everything shut down. For what should probably be self-evident reasons, we decided that robotics i…

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Why Amazon built a home robot

iRobot’s CEO once told me, with a wink, that he didn’t become a truly successful roboticist until he became a vacuum salesman. It’s a good line, and one that betrays some fundamental truths about the industry. Robots are hard, and in a lot of ways home robots are doubly so. That no one has managed …

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Without a clear ask, your pitch deck is useless

Having a great "ask" slide can reassure investors: It shows a founder wants to raise an amount of money that unlocks the next stage of growth and knows what milestones they need to hit to get there.

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Equity crowdfunding appears immune to market volatility, on track for its best year yet

With the fundraising climate now showing cloudy skies, equity crowdfunding is getting ready for a field day.

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