YC-backed BuildBuddy raises $3.15M to help developers build software more quickly

BuildBuddy, whose software helps developers compile and test code quickly using a blend of open-source technology and proprietary tools, announced a funding round today worth $3.15 million. 

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The company was part of the Winter 2020 Y Combinator batch, which saw its traditional demo day in March turned into an all-virtual affair. The startups from the cohort then had to raise capitalas the public markets crashed around them and fear overtook the startup investing world.

BuildBuddy’s funding round makes it clear that choppy market conditions and a move away from in-person demos did not fully dampen investor interest in YC’s March batch of startups, though it’s far too soon to tell if the group will perform as well as others, given how long it takes for startup winners to mature into exits.

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BuildBuddy has foundations in how Google builds software. To get under

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SEO industry raises concern after Google quietly published AI web stories

Google began testing a new search feature last week that left providers of SEO services in a bit of a panic. The addition saw extra contextual links included within the featured snippet that appears at the top of search results. Interestingly, the contextual links did not direct users to the original source of the featured snippet but to other sites.

Last week, Australian SEO consultant Brodie Clark spotted that when users hovered over the dotted lines included in Google’s featured snipper, content from a third-party site was displayed – often to provide further information on lesser-known terms. He also noticed that clicking on that link redirected users to the third-party site in question, not the source of the featured snippet.

Although the new feature provides potential benefits for search users, it could also penalize publishers of web content – particularly those that provide the information that Google repurposes in its

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UMD computer scientist’s VisiSonics raises $3.5M to amplify 3D sound technology

When it comes to virtual reality, truly immersing someone in another space requires a lot of things to be just right.

For one, there’s a question of visuals. The objects have to be three-dimensional enough to look like they’re in front of a player, and a character has to be able to move around to see those objects to the right or left.

It’s not just a question of look, but also feeling like you’re somewhere else. That’s where sound plays a role. If a bee is flying to the right, it has to sound like it is buzzing to the right. Getting this “3D sound” right is its own area of technology development growing up around VR, and it has applications that go well beyond the headset.

“We create the correct left ear and right ear sounds so that you’re immersed in that space,” said Ramani Duraiswami, a

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Personal Messaging Software Aampe Raises $1.8 Mn From Sequoia Capital’s Surge

The startup with the fresh capital plans to accelerate its growth momentum and product development to serve global customers

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Personal messaging software startup Aampe on Tuesday announced it has raised $1.8 million in seed round from Sequoia Capital’s Surge, a scale-up program for startups in southeast Asia and India. The startup with the fresh capital plans to accelerate its growth momentum and product development to serve global customers.

The venture capital firm Sequoia Capital has recently announced the names of 17 startups including Aampe that will receive early-stage funding under its fourth cohort Sequoia Surge programme, Surge 4. The programme included startups across a wide range of sectors including edtech, fintech, SME tech, dev tools, consumer, healthtech and B2B marketplaces.

Founded by Paul Meinshausen, Sami Abboud and Schaun Wheeler in

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Hasty raises $3.7M in funding to speed up computer vision AI training

Artificial intelligence startup Hasty GmbH said today it has nabbed $3.7 million in seed funding as it looks to speed up the development of its next-generation annotation tool for computer vision.

Shasta Ventures led the seed funding round, together with participation from coparion and iRobot Ventures.

Hasty has built an annotation tool that’s used to train vision AI models that are used by computers to understand what they’re seeing when presented with an image or video. In order for a computer to know what it’s seeing, the content of the image or video needs to be labeled, so it can “see” different objects or human faces and read text, for example.

But data labeling is a laborious task, and it’s hindered by the fact that most vision AI models don’t train and update themselves during this process. Indeed, Hasty says that around 80% of a data scientist’s time is spent

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Naked Wines raises sales forecasts after shoppers crash website

Naked Wines has increased its sales forecasts after shoppers flocked online to order a case or two, with the clamour over its Christmas deals even crashing its website.



a glass of wine: Photograph: Régis Duvignau/Reuters


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Régis Duvignau/Reuters

The online retailer said that last week it had sold 40,000 of the “deluxe” Christmas boxes, which include foodie treats such as olive olive oil and craft gin as well as wine, in 24 hours. The surge in traffic overwhelmed the site, which was down for about an hour.

James Crawford, the managing director of Naked Wines UK, said shoppers were worried about missing out, given the strain courier firms were under, so were “making sure that they get their order in early”.

Sales at Naked Wine, which sells wine on subscription, increased 80% in the six months to the end of September as more customers signed up for its wine deliveries – and

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Verbit raises $60 million to improve enterprise-focused transcription software

Verbit today announced the close of a $60 million series C round ($10 million of which is debt) that the company says will bolster its product R&D efforts. Verbit CEO Tom Livne, speaking to VentureBeat via email, said the infusion will also lay the groundwork for merger and acquisition opportunities as Verbit pursues new verticals, increases the number of languages its platform supports, and hires employees to expand its international reach.

The voice and speech recognition tech market is anticipated to be worth $31.82 billion by 2025, driven by new applications in the banking, health care, and automotive industries. In fact, it’s estimated that one in five people in the U.S. interact with a smart speaker on a daily basis and that the share of Google searches conducted by voice in the country recently surpassed 30%.

Livne, who cofounded Verbit.ai with Eric Shellef and Kobi Ben Tzvi in 2017, asserts

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Naked Wines raises sales forecasts after shoppers crash website | Business

Naked Wines has increased its sales forecasts after shoppers flocked online to order a case or two, with the clamour over its Christmas deals even crashing its website.

The online retailer said that last week it had sold 40,000 of the “deluxe” Christmas boxes, which include foodie treats such as olive olive oil and craft gin as well as wine, in 24 hours. The surge in traffic overwhelmed the site, which was down for about an hour.

James Crawford, the managing director of Naked Wines UK, said shoppers were worried about missing out, given the strain courier firms were under, so were “making sure that they get their order in early”.

Sales at Naked Wines, which sells wine on subscription, increased 80% in the six months to the end of September as more customers signed up for its wine deliveries – and existing ones, called “angels”, bought more. That surge

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Farmstead, a grocery startup with a focus on software, raises $7.9M

Farmstead, a startup that operates an online grocery business while also selling software to other grocers, is announcing that it has raised $7.9 million in Series A funding.

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While there’s been plenty of demand for grocery delivery this year, the major players like Instacart are making purchases and deliveries from existing supermarkets. Farmstead co-founder and CEO Pradeep Elankumaran said that this model puts a big constraint on the number of possible deliveries, which is why you may be struggling to get a delivery slot.

There have been fewer success stories around the Farmstead approach, where a company sells groceries from its own warehouse (and in Farmstead’s case, employs its own warehouse staff and drivers).

In fact, Elankumaran said that when the company started in 2016, “The warehouse model was incredibly unattractive to everyone else,” because of the operational headaches and expenses.

To address these issues, Elankumaran said Farmstead

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PITCH DECK: Software billing startup Paddle raises $68 million

  • Software billing startup Paddle has raised a $68 million Series C to continue its expansion plans worldwide.
  • Founded in 2012, the company’s latest funding round took place remotely and was led by Silicon Valley fund FTV Capital.
  • “We’ve gone from a land-grab mentality, grow at all costs, to a more sustainable and considered growth plan within the market so we don’t want to just raise for the sake of it,” Paddle CEO Christian Owens told Business Insider.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Software billing startup Paddle has raised a £52 million ($68 million) Series C from investors including FTV Capital, Kindred Capital, Notion Capital, and 83North. 

Founded in 2012 by Christian Owens and Harrison Rose when they were just teenagers, Paddle has raised £72 million ($93 million) to-date. Owens dropped out of school to focus on the startup, and neither cofounder went to university.

The company essentially makes

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