Tech News

  • Seattle-area IoT software startup Elevāt raises $9.5M for manufacturing machine monitoring tech
    Elevāt co-founders Bill Hill and Adam Livesay. (Elevāt Photos) Mukilteo, Wash.-based startup Elevāt raised $9.5 million to fuel growth of its IoT software used by industrial manufacturers to monitor and maintain machinery. Bill Hill and Adam Livesay launched the company in 2015 after spinning it out of Western Integrated Technologies, a longtime Seattle-area manufacturer and integrator of fluid power systems. Elevāt initially targeted machine
  • Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson joins board of Seattle customer intelligence startup Amperity
    Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson (left) and Amperity CEO Kabir Shahani at Seahawks game in Seattle. (Photo courtesy of Daniel Mogg) Starbucks President and CEO Kevin Johnson, a longtime tech industry leader who previously led Juniper Networks and spent 16 years at Microsoft, is joining the board of Seattle startup Amperity. Founded in 2016, Amperity has attracted brands such as Alaska Airlines, Patagonia, Kroger,
  • India bans 43 new Chinese apps including Ali Express | NextPit
    The Indian government, earlier today, announced its decision to ban as many as 43 Chinese apps that it claims affect the ‘sovereignty and integrity of India’. This is the fourth wave of ban against Chinese apps. Previously, the country banned several apps – including popular apps like TikTok and PUBG: Mobile in three separate waves. Among the most popular apps that finds itself in
  • Seattle startup vets launch platform that lets employers provide emergency savings accounts
    Secure co-founders Devin Miller (left) and Bassam Saliba. (Secure Photos) The pandemic has caused a financial burden for millions of employees across the nation. It also impacts the companies that people work for due to lower productivity, distractions, and other factors. A new Seattle startup called Secure is launching to help employers offer a financial wellness benefit to workers beyond their paycheck in
  • Testing PupPod: This $199 app-based training tool aims to increase mental stimulation for dogs
    Ichi and the PupPod Rocker. (GeekWire Photo / Taylor Soper) Can tech help make dogs smarter? That’s the question behind PupPod, a Seattle-based startup which just debuted its latest app-based interactive toy for dogs. I’ve spent the past few weeks testing out PupPod with my 9-month-old labrador Ichi. It’s been a fun new activity for both of us, especially during rainy Seattle evenings
  • Tech Moves: Microsoft’s M12 creates advisory board; former Integris CEO joins VC firm; and more
    Clockwise from top left: Matthias Troyer, Saurabh Tiwary, Jocelyn Moore, Ann Johnson and Jason Warner. (M12 Photos) — M12, Microsoft’s venture capital arm, announced a formal advisory board drawing from industry experts and past mentors. The inaugural advisory board members, all from within the Microsoft organization, include: • Distinguished Scientist Matthias Troyer • VP and Distinguished Engineer Saurabh Tiwary • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Fresh off $50M round, Bay Area drone startup Volansi opens Bend, Ore. office
    (Volansi Photo) Long distance drone delivery service startup Volansi is expanding its footprint with a new office in Bend, Ore. The 5-year-old company will move some of its development, production, and testing work to Central Oregon. The 80-person company will relocate some of its employees to the new office and plans to have more than 50 people there by the end of 2021.
  • The best free and paid Android/iOS apps of the week | NextPit
    Like every week, I’m going to talk about five free or paid mobile applications and games that are worth a look on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. To my own findings on the app stores, I also add the pearls found by the NextPit community and shared on our forum. From mobile games to productivity applications, here are the five free
  • Former Z2 employees raise $3.3M for new Seattle game development studio Lightfox Games
    (Lightfox Games Image) A group of gaming industry vets just raised $3.2 million for a new Seattle studio called Lightfox Games. Lightfox CEO Ryan Hanft-Murphy. (Lightfox Photo) Founded last year by former Z2 employees, the 5-person company is focused on mobile games. Its first product is Super Battle League, a 3-on-3 real-time party-based game where players battle each other and the environment. Lightfox
  • E-commerce intelligence platform Stackline raises $50M from Goldman Sachs as online retail booms
    Some of the Stackline team, pre-pandemic. (Stackline Photo) Stackline raised $50 million from Goldman Sachs Growth Equity to fuel its online retail intelligence platform as the e-commerce industry grows rapidly amid the pandemic. Stackline CEO Michael Lagoni. (Stackline Photo) The Seattle startup helps clients such as Sony, Levi’s, Starbucks and others with their e-commerce businesses, providing market data, advertising automation, operations management, and
  • Retirement plan compliance startup Advice Analytics wins $235K at Seattle Angel Conference
    San Diego-based startup Advice Analytics won $235,500 at the 18th Seattle Angel Conference event. Founded in 2019, the company aims to help employers and recordkeepers with 401K compliance needs by automating data collection and other analysis. It’s led by CEO Jerry Yen, a former director at HP and executive at GuidedChoice. Seattle Angel Conference organizers for the first time opened up the application
  • With pandemic taking a toll on mental health, Joon Care raises $3.5M to help teens and young adults
    Joon Care co-founders Amy Mezulis and Josh Herst. (Joon Care Photos) The pandemic is taking a toll on everyone, but teens in particular are seeing increased anxiety and depression. Joon Care wants to help. The Seattle startup just landed $3.5 million to grow its remote therapy service for teens and young adults. Route 66 Ventures led the round, which included participation from PSL
  • Google Pay gets relaunch: here’s what changes for you | NextPit
    For many users today Google Pay is a simple payment service. With a major update, the app now becomes much more extensive. As things stand, most users of Google Pay are likely to use the app only as credit card storage, to then, for example when shopping at the supermarket, pay via NFC. With the update now announced by Google, which has been available
  • Seattle biotech firm Umoja Biopharma raises $53M as it tackles unique approach to immunotherapy
    Umoja Biopharma CEO Andy Scharenberg. (Umoja Photo) Umoja Biopharma raised $53 million to expand development of its CAR T-cell immunotherapy treatments for blood-based and organ-based tumors in adult and pediatric patients. Founded last year, the pre-clinical Seattle-based company says it is taking a new three-step approach to immunotherapy by retooling a patient’s immune system in vivo, or within a living organism, to generate
  • ‘Software is eating more of the world, faster’: Pandemic spotlights enterprise tech startups
    Sunset over the Seattle skyline. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota) Enterprise software companies have long dominated the Seattle and Pacific Northwest tech scene. They range from stalwarts such as Microsoft and F5 Networks, to a bevy of smaller startups developing cutting-edge software in cloud computing, cybersecurity, and other industries. As the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates adoption of digital technology, the spotlight is shining brighter
  • This smart camera startup helps companies meet COVID-19 cleaning standards by detecting dirtiness
    Quivr CEO Brian Monnin. (GeekWire File Photo) Cleanliness took on a whole new meaning in 2020. The pandemic is forcing airlines, hotels, universities, and other organizations to adjust standards for keeping high-touch areas free from germs. A new Seattle startup called Quivr aims to ride this trend with an AI-powered smart camera tool that can detect proper application of sprayed disinfectant and generate
  • Google Photos: I gave you everything, and this is the thanks I get? | NextPit
    For more than two years, all it takes for me to look back into the past is the push of a button. I can see pictures of almost forgotten friends, smell the deserted streets in the first coronavirus lockdown and actually see myself ageing. Google Photos has allowed me to wallow in memories and for that, I sold my digital soul to the service. Huge
  • Roblox goes public so that it can build a bigger metaverse
    The company behind the hit kids game Roblox is going public after soaring use during the pandemic. The company now has 31.1 million daily users who have spent an average of 2.6 hours per day in the game this year, according to Roblox’s prospectus. Roblox has been around since 2004, but the game nearly doubled its daily users over the last nine months
  • PayPal launches a GoFundMe competitor with limits
    PayPal announced a new fundraising service called “Generosity Network” that seems poised to take on GoFundMe, part of PayPal’s continued expansion into financial services it’s been missing until now. The service allows you to set up a fundraising page and process donations through PayPal’s payment platform. Transaction fees are waived on donations made with credit and debit cards, but according to TechCrunch, PayPal
  • Vimly Benefit Solutions raises $6.7M to help healthcare companies manage employee benefits
    Vimly CEO Shannon Jurdana. (Vimly Photo) Vimly Benefit Solutions raised $6.7 million to help scale its benefits administration software platform. The Seattle-area company provides enrollment, eligibility, consolidated billing, back office solutions, and more cloud-based tools to various customers including health plans, carriers, and third-party administrators. The idea is to ease the delivery and management of employee benefits. Vimly is led by CEO Shannon
  • Techstars grad WattBuy raises $3.25M to help households shop for electricity providers
    WattBuy founders Naman Trivedi and Ben Hood.(WattBuy Photo) WattBuy raised $3.25 million to expand its database tool that collects and shares energy rates in unregulated states where residents and businesses can shop around for their electricity providers. Founded in 2017, the company lets users upload their electricity usage and compare available plans to save money or buy electricity from a solar or wind
  • How to fix ‘Unfortunately app has stopped’ error on Android | NextPit
    Do you get the following message when an app crashes? Unfortunately, YouTube has stopped, unfortunately, Facebook has stopped, or unfortunately, WhatsApp has stopped? Actually, the particular app doesn’t matter, any app can suffer from this misfortune and give a similar message. But there are ways to solve it. Here’s how to fix Unfortunately, app has stopped errors. Clear out the app’s storage This problem often arises with the
  • Apple will reduce App Store cut to 15 percent for most developers starting January 1st
    Apple on Wednesday announced a reduction to its longstanding App Store commission rate — one of the most substantial changes to how iOS developers earn money in the history of the iPhone maker’s digital app marketplace — as part of a new program for small businesses. The new App Store Small Business Program, as it’s called, will allow any developer who earns less
  • Seattle data management startup Igneous lays off staff, citing ‘difficult economic environment’
    Igneous CEO Dean Darwin. (Igneous Photos) Igneous, a Seattle startup that helps companies manage unstructured data across a variety of systems, has laid off staff. A spokesperson declined to provide specific details about the number of cuts when contacted by GeekWire. “In this difficult economic environment, we have needed to do a reduction in force,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “We continue
  • Wyze continues flood of new products, releasing smart sprinkler controller for yard care
    The Wyze Sprinkler Controller allows users to program and control a garden watering system. (Wyze Photo) A week after launching a smart vacuum to clean up around the house, Seattle-based Wyze Labs is unveiling another new product, to help keep the grass green outside. The Wyze Sprinkler Controller is a smart sprinkler system that allows homeowners to sync their watering system to local
  • Seattle startup vets raise $1M and reveal more details about home valuation platform Plunk
    Brian Lent (left) and David Bluhm, co-founders of Plunk. (Lamda Photos) Will that bathroom remodel increase your home’s value by more than $20,000? What about replacing the floors or adding a garage? How about the bad traffic that’s getting worse around your neighborhood? A stealthy Seattle-area startup wants to help answer these questions and more. Plunk is revealing more details about its app
  • Amazon launches Amazon Pharmacy for prescription medicine delivery
    Amazon is making its biggest push into the healthcare industry yet with the launch today of Amazon Pharmacy: a new service offering home delivery for prescription medication. Customers can sign up to the new store by creating a ”secure pharmacy profile,” with the option of adding information about their health insurance, any outstanding medical issues like allergies, and any regular prescriptions. The store
  • How to download and install the Google Play Store | NextPit
    Unbelievable as it may seem, there are occasions when it is necessary to install Google Play Store manually. Whether you have accidentally uninstalled it, or you want to revert to a previous version, or even if your Google Play Store is not working and you just want a fresh install, there’s a solution! In this article, you will learn how to install the Google Play Store on
  • Huawei is selling off its Honor phone business
    Huawei has announced plans to sell off Honor, its smartphone business focused on mid-range products for younger consumers. Huawei says the decision “has been made by Honor’s industry chain to ensure its own survival,” following “tremendous pressure” and “a persistent unavailability of technical elements needed for our mobile phone business.” Honor products often rely heavily on Huawei’s own technology, so the company has
  • HBO Max is finally coming to Amazon Fire TV devices
    After a long battle between Amazon and HBO owner WarnerMedia, the two companies have come to an agreement that will allow Amazon Fire TV users to finally stream HBO Max. Starting on November 17th, people with Amazon Fire TV streaming devices, Fire TV Edition smart TVs, and Fire tablets can load HBO Max directly on those devices. Until now, Amazon allowed HBO customers
  • Our 5 free and paid Android/iOS apps of the week | NextPit
    As I do every week, I’m going to talk about five free or paid mobile applications and games that are worth a visit on the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store. To my own findings on the app stores, I’m also going to add the pearls found by the NextPit community and shared on our forum. From mobile games to productivity applications, here
  • Led by former DoD digital chief and backed by ex-Google CEO, Rebellion Defense opens Seattle hub
    Matt Shobe. (Rebellion Defense Photos) Seattle is not exactly known as a hotspot for national security software startups. But Matt Shobe hopes to carry forward the region’s history of defense-related work with Rebellion Defense, a year-old Washington D.C.-based startup that recently opened a new office in Seattle. Shobe, a veteran Seattle-area entrepreneur, joined Rebellion Defense last year and is heading up the company’s
  • Graph analytics startup Trovares, led by ex-Cray CEO, raises $1.35M
    Jim Rottsolk, co-founder, CEO, and president, Trovares. (Trovares Photo) Seattle startup Trovares has raised another $1.35 million to help boost its graph analytics business. The 9-person company launched in 2015 and is led by Jim Rottsolk, former CEO at Cray, the Seattle supercomputer company acquired by HPE for $1.3 billion in 2019. Graph analytics consists of analyzing data in a graph format, with
  • Madrona leads $2.6M round for OthersideAI, a startup using GPT-3 tech to write automated emails
    The OthersideAI team, left to right: Matt Shumer, Miles Feldstein, Jason Kuperberg. (OthersideAI Photo) The average U.S. worker spends more than five hours per day checking email. A new startup wants to help people save time with a tool that composes emails automatically using cutting-edge machine learning and artificial intelligence technology. Founded just months ago by a trio of young entrepreneurs, OthersideAI announced
  • Brandlive founder launches new startup that embeds video chat into websites and apps
    (Zipcan Image) Video conferencing has exploded amid the pandemic. Companies like Zoom and Microsoft are seeing huge growth with their tools. Fritz Brumder. (Zipcan Photo) Now a Bend, Ore.-based startup wants to help anybody add video chat capabilities directly within their existing website or app. Fritz Brumder, who previously co-founded Portland video streaming startup Brandlive, is co-founder and CEO of Zipcan, which just
  • After $30M round, Bumped launches app that gives people free stock after spending with brands
    Buy from a brand, get some of their stock. That’s the pitch from Bumped, a Portland, Ore.-based startup that launched its app today after a year of beta testing. Bumped users create a brokerage account, link their debit or credit card, and pick their brands. When they spend money with certain companies, they get a percentage of their purchases back in fractional shares,
  • Wyze releasing a $199 ‘Robot Vacuum’ to clean up on competitors in the evolving smart home
    The Wyze Robot Vacuum. (Wyze Photo) Wyze Labs’ vision of a smarter home, full of its cameras and other products, is also going to be a cleaner place. The Seattle-based company announced a new Wyze Robot Vacuum on Tuesday, available for pre-order now at $199. The price undercuts other autonomous cleaning devices on the market while still offering many of the premium tech
  • NYC-based 2048 Ventures taps Seattle investor Minda Brusse to target Pacific Northwest startups
    Minda Brusse. Another out-of-town firm has its eyes on the Seattle startup scene. New York City-based 2048 Ventures has hired Minda Brusse as a venture partner. Brusse will help the firm find pre-seed investments in Seattle and Portland. Brusse will continue in her role at First Row Partners, the Seattle-based venture capital firm she co-founded last year with Yoko Okano. 2048 Ventures launched
  • WhatsApp Shopping button now available | NextPit
    A new shopping button in WhatsApp is designed to make it easier for users to find out about company products or services. According to Facebook, users of WhatsApp business accounts can now provide their own catalogue of products or services in the messenger app. This is intended to make it easier for users of the service to find out about them and, if
  • Poppy founder creates ‘Milo,’ a new software tool to help manage ‘the most important team’ — family
    (Milo Image) Two years after shutting down her technology-powered child care startup Poppy, Avni Patel Thompson is still on a mission to develop the tools and software to help families. Patel Thompson and her new startup Modern Village have reached a milestone in that mission with the creation of their first product, Milo, a combination between a family operating system and an SMS
  • Apple puts major supplier Pegatron on probation for labor violations
    Apple has cut off major supplier Pegatron from new contracts following the reveal of student labor violations at some of the Taiwanese manufacturer’s China-based facilities. Bloomberg reports that Apple found Pegatron to be falsifying paperwork in order to cover up violations of Apple’s code of conduct for suppliers. Pegatron is one of Apple’s biggest supply chain partners, manufacturing various products including some of
  • Our 5 free and paid Android/iOS apps of the week | NextPit
    Like every week, I’m going to tell you about five free or paid apps and mobile games that are worth your time this week. To my own findings on the app stores, I also add the pearls found by the NextPit community and shared on our forum. From mobile games to productivity apps, here are the five free and paid Android/iOS applications that made their
  • Apps – NextPit
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  • Google Play Store not working? Fixes and solutions | NextPit
    There are quite a few factors that could possibly affect the Play Store, we’ll run through the troubleshooting methods beginning with simple solutions down to the more complicated. Jump to: 1. How to pinpoint the problem 2. Check Google apps 3. Check third party apps 4. Drastic solutions 1. How to pinpoint the problem First of all, you’ll want to make sure the problem is
  • Seattle cybersecurity startup Rubica shuts down after running out of cash
    Frances Dewing. (Rubica Photo) Cybersecurity threats are on the rise amid the pandemic. But that wasn’t enough to convince investors to put more cash behind Rubica, a 4-year-old Seattle startup that aimed to help businesses and consumers stay safe online. Rubica shut down last month after it was unable to reel in more investment and keep its business alive. The company had raised
  • Built to scale: Seattle startup weighs its own success as Amazon releases similar smart shelf
    Seattle-based Bottomless has been selling a smart scale intended to automatically order fresh coffee as bags of beans get depleted. (Bottomless Photo) A small Seattle startup that created a product to help people replenish their fresh coffee supply feels validated by a new Amazon product intended to help people stock up on thousands of items. Bottomless is a 4-year-old company which designed its
  • Biting the hand that feeds: why does Spotify hate artists? | NextPit
    Music streaming platforms have long been criticized for not giving artists their fair share, but with the launch of its new song booster service, Spotify is taking things to the next level. In this article, I am asking the question – why does Spotify hate artists? Let’s unpack this song booster nonsense then. This week, Spotify announced a new tool that will allow
  • The Nintendo Switch still keeps selling well
    Nintendo shipped 6.86 million Switch consoles between July and September, increasing its numbers by more than 40 percent year-on-year and reaching 68.3 million units sold since its launch in 2017. That’s impressive growth for the company, since this quarter last year was a strong one — it saw the launch of the cheaper Switch Lite variant, boosting Nintendo’s shipments by more than 50
  • Navigating Cancer’s founder and former CEO sues its investor Merck, alleging gender bias and interference with acquisition talks
    The founder and former CEO of Seattle health tech startup Navigating Cancer, Gena Cook, is suing one of its investors, pharmaceutical giant Merck’s Global Health Innovation Fund, on claims including gender discrimination, wrongful termination, and blocking a potential acquisition of the startup by one of Merck’s rivals. Cook’s lawsuit, filed Oct. 29 in King County Superior Court in Seattle, alleges that David Rubin,
  • WhatsApp Messages to automatically disappear after 7 days | NextPit
    WhatsApp Messenger users will soon be able to send messages that will be deleted automatically in the contact’s chat after 7 days. This also includes media sent via WhatsApp which can be deleted automatically with the new feature. WhatsApp has named the new feature “Expiring Messages”. In the near future, there will be an option in the WhatsApp Messenger settings that will enable
  • How this virtual event startup rebounded from a near-shutdown to an acquisition amid the pandemic
    Pathable co-founder and CEO Jordan Schwartz. (Pathable Photo) It’s been one heck of a startup roller coaster ride for the team at Pathable this year. Founded in 2008, the Seattle-based company traditionally makes mobile apps for conferences and events. Its business evaporated earlier this year as physical get-togethers went away. But as GeekWire reported in March, the 12-year-old startup quickly built out a
  • Walmart is reportedly giving up on shelf-scanning robots in favor of humans
    Retail robots that can scan shelves and update inventory have been one of the most visible faces of automation in recent years, but the success of such machines is far from guaranteed. According to The Wall Street Journal, Walmart — one of the biggest adopters of this technology — is ending a contract that saw shelf-scanning robots appear in some 500 of its
  • How to move WhatsApp to new phone: transferring backups & restoring | NextPit
    If you get a new phone and simply sign in to your WhatsApp account on it, your old messages don’t automatically transfer across. This tutorial explains how to transfer WhatsApp chats to a new device, so you can pick up your exactly where you left off. WhatsApp transfer backup & restore: Transfer WhatsApp chats the easy way with the cloud Transfer WhatsApp chats manually with a PC Transferring
  • Amazon reportedly planning new service for its rural deliveries
    Amazon may be looking to handle its own deliveries to rural areas rather than relying on the US Postal Service, according to several job postings, The Information reported on Monday. The e-commerce behemoth would rely on shipping hubs in rural areas under a plan called “wagon wheel,” a reference to Amazon’s hub-and-spoke supply chain. In Amazon’s terminology, a wagon wheel station provides support
  • Top 5 apps of the week: Halloween Special | NextPit
    October is about to come to an end and this week, we want to present you with creepy as well as funny apps that have everything to do with Halloween. As always, these recommended apps are available either for free or with a small fee for both Android or iOS platforms. Five Nights at Freddy’s: Special Delivery The game series Five Nights at Freddy’s
  • PlayStation 4 and 5: new Sony app for iOS and Android | NextPit
    To coincide with the imminent launch of the PS5 next-gen console, Sony has introduced a new version of the PlayStation app on both the Android and iOS platforms. This new app will boast of a brand new design, voice chat capability, and party groups, among other things. In the PlayStation blog, Sony also announced the app’s new features for iOS and Android in
  • Sony is reportedly close to buying Crunchyroll for nearly $1 billion
    Sony is close to finalizing a deal to buy US-based anime streaming service Crunchyroll for nearly $1 billion, according to a report from Nikkei Asia. Nikkei says Sony negotiated exclusive rights to bid for the streaming service and its 3 million paying subscribers earlier this year, and the two companies have now “entered into final negotiations.” Although an asking price is unclear, Nikkei
  • Samsung regains top smartphone vendor spot as Xiaomi overtakes Apple
    Samsung is back on top as the world’s biggest smartphone vendor one quarter after losing its spot to Huawei, according to reports from IDC, Counterpoint, and Canalys. The news comes just as Samsung posted its highest quarterly revenue figures ever, which the company said was helped by a boost in demand for smartphones. Huawei became the number one vendor for the first time
  • Techstars Seattle grad Shotcall raises $2.2M for esports fan engagement platform
    From left to right: Shotcall co-founders Gordon Li (CTO), Thomas Gentle (CEO), Riley Auten (CAO). (Shotcall Photo) Shotcall announced a $2.2 million seed round to help grow its platform and marketplace that connects video game streamers with fans. Founded in 2018, Shotcall enables content creators and influencers to host tournaments, coaching sessions, Q&As, charity events, 1-on-1 competitions, and more with their fans. Hosts
  • Textio’s newest augmented writing tool helps guide brands to use inclusive language in more content
    Language in a mock company profile is run through Textio for Employer Brand, a new product from the Seattle augmented writing startup. (Textio Image) Textio, the Seattle-based augmented writing startup, is expanding its product offering beyond helping companies craft better job listings and is releasing “Textio for Employer Brand,” a tool to facilitate more diverse and inclusive language across a variety of writings.
  • After pandemic speed bump, Airbnb cleaning startup Neu bounces back and raises $700K
    Kwame Boler, left, and Claudius Mbemba, co-founders of Neu. (Neu Photos) Neu was in trouble when the COVID-19 pandemic hit earlier this year. The company’s business, which provides cleaning services to Airbnb hosts, dried up seemingly overnight. The Seattle startup furloughed its operations team and had to re-evaluate its entire roadmap. But as vacation rental bookings started to recover, Neu bounced back. It
  • What is an APK file and how to install APKs on Android? | NextPit
    If you own an Android device you will likely have heard of an APK file at some point, and possibly wondered what it even is. Understanding this is essential if you want to start downloading leaked apps or customizing your Android experience further than would be possible using the Play Store alone. In our guide, you’ll learn what APK files are, how to download them, and
  • Used car marketplace Shift expands into Seattle region with end-to-end digital services
    (Shift Image) The online used car marketplace Shift is moving into the Seattle region, expanding the 6-year-old company’s coverage area the length of the West Coast. Shoppers within a 60-mile radius of central Seattle will be able to book a test drive and have the vehicle brought to their location. Those shoppers can also make a purchase on the spot through Shift’s digital
  • Silicon Valley mainstay NEA leads $37.5M investment in Seattle cloud startup Pulumi
    Eric Rudder, Pulumi president, COO and cxecutive chairman, left, and Joe Duffy, Pulumi CEO, in the company’s downtown Seattle offices last year. (GeekWire File Photo) Pulumi has raised a new $37.5 million investment led by NEA, representing a vote of confidence by the longtime venture capital firm in the Seattle startup’s software development tools for programming the underlying infrastructure of the cloud. The
  • Sony boosts PlayStation profits despite looming PS5 launch
    Sony’s gaming division is continuing to drive major profits for the company even as the PlayStation 4 era winds down. The company announced PlayStation-related revenue of 507 billion yen (~$4.9 billion) and an operating profit of 105 billion yen (~$1 billion) for its July-September quarter, respective improvements of 52 and 40 percent on the same period a year ago. With the PlayStation 5
  • PayPal wants fees for inactive accounts | NextPit
    Users of the popular payment service PayPal have to expect new fees in some countries. The guidelines now presented will be effective as of December 16th, 2020. The operators of the online payment service PayPal have announced an adjustment of their guidelines for the middle of December. This includes the announcement that fees will be charged for inactive accounts in the future. The company
  • These apps are free for a short time only | NextPit
    Once again, the Apple App Store and Google Play Store offer free apps that you would normally have to pay for. We have reviewed the new free apps and have put together a list of the best apps for Android and iOS. As always, at the time of this article’s publication, all apps were available for free. But this can change quickly. Free
  • Samsung heir absent from bribery retrial following father’s death
    Samsung Electronics vice-chairman Lee Jae-yong was not in attendance for a scheduled court hearing Monday after the death of his father, Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee, was announced yesterday. Yonhap reports that the conglomorate’s de facto leader and presumed heir had asked the Seoul High Court to permit him to attend the funeral. Samsung has said that the wake will last four days with
  • Our 5 free and paid Android and iPhone apps of the week | NextPit
    This week, I’m going to tell you about five free or paid apps and mobile games that are worth the detour. In addition to my own findings on the app stores, I’m also going to add the pearls found by the NextPit community and shared on our forum. From mobile games to productivity apps, here are the five free and paid Android and iPhone apps that
  • Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee dies at 78
    Samsung Electronics has announced the death of its chairman, Lee Kun-hee. The company says he died on October 25th with family including his son, vice-chairman Lee Jae-yong, at his side. He was 78. A cause of death was not given, but Lee had been incapacitated for many years after suffering a heart attack in 2014, causing him to withdraw from public life. Lee
  • Sana CEO reveals details about stealthy gene therapy startup that has raised more than $700M
    Luke Timmerman interviews Sana Biotechnology CEO Steve Harr at the GeekWire Summit this week. Sana Biotechnology CEO Steve Harr shed more light on one of most secretive, heavily funded startups in Seattle and the global biotech industry — detailing its plans to create tools that replace and repair human body cells, with the potential to treat various diseases and create new medicines. Harr
  • Former Windows chief Terry Myerson is building a health care data startup called Truveta
    Terry Myerson A Seattle-area startup called Truveta made its existence known for the first time on Thursday, describing an ambitious vision to use data to save lives through new innovations in patient care and therapies. The company’s CEO is Terry Myerson, a former Microsoft executive who led the company’s Windows and Devices Group before departing in 2018 after a 21-year career at the
  • Look who’s Arrived: Tech vets launch Seattle real estate startup to crowdfund rental home investing
    The Arrived team, from left, CEO and co-founder Ryan Frazier, CTO and co-founder Kenny Cason, CFO Joel Mezistrano, and COO and co-founder Alejandro Chouza. (Arrived Photo) Another tech-fueled real estate startup has arrived on the scene in Seattle. Arrived Homes is a crowdfunding platform that allows anyone to purchase shares of rental properties and earn a passive income while the company handles everything
  • WhatsApp becomes a marketplace: soon you will be able to shop from Chats | NextPit
    The popular WhatsApp Messenger is becoming a marketplace, according to parent company Facebook. In the future, users will be able to buy products directly via chats. Thus, WhatsApp expands its services for companies with WhatsApp Business. The chat app WhatsApp has long since become more than just a messenger. With the introduction of WhatsApp Business, Facebook presented its chat tool as a marketing instrument for companies.
  • Amazon’s warehouse injury rates are so high that it faces a more costly workers’ comp classification
    Just last month, a stunning report showed how Amazon fulfillment centers across the country saw rising injury rates between 2016 and 2019, sourced from internal company data. And now, proposed legislation in Washington state would mean Amazon could pay a higher workers’ compensation premium than other warehouse-owning companies next year. To make this happen, the state wants to put warehouses that function like
  • FFA announces third cohort for accelerator program designed to help female and non-binary founders
    Female Founders Alliance unveiled its third accelerator cohort as it looks to help more female and non-binary founders grow their companies and raise funding. The Seattle-based organization this year is hosting a virtual version of its eight-week “Ready Set Raise” program, which requires each company to have a female or non-binary CEO. FFA initially started as a private Facebook group of women who
  • PayPal and Venmo will offer and accept cryptocurrency for all online payments
    PayPal on Wednesday announced it would begin supporting cryptocurrencies for the first time, allowing any PayPal account holder to store, buy, and sell popular virtual currencies starting later this year. The announcement makes PayPal arguably the most significant company in the financial tech sector to adopt support for virtual currencies. PayPal competitor Square launched support for bitcoin back in 2018 through its Cash
  • Is Quibi done for?
    Update October 21st, 3:40PM ET: Quibi is, in fact, done for. Shortly after publication, The Wall Streets Journal reports Quibi is shutting down for good. Read more here. Struggling streaming service Quibi’s days appear to be numbered. The mobile-centric platform, which burned through a mind-boggling amount of investor cash trying to spend its way into the streaming wars, may be imminently shut down,
  • Synthetic biology startup AbSci raises $65M to expand ‘Protein Printing’ tech
    AbSci CEO and Founder Sean McClain. (AbSci Photo) Vancouver, Wash.-based biotech company AbSci raised an additional $65 million to help grow its synthetic biology platform. The company’s “Protein Printing” technology is used to discover and manufacture complex biological molecules such as antibodies and insulin. The AbSci platform is composed of two products: SoluPro, a synthetic biology platform based on genetically engineered E. coli,
  • Led by e-commerce vets, stealthy startup Fabric raises $9.5M to help brands compete with Amazon
    Faisal Masud. (Fabric Photo) Faisal Masud knows e-commerce. The tech vet spent more than six years at Amazon in the 2000s, helping build inventory tools and launching the AmazonBasics product line. He then had stints at eBay, Groupon, and finally at Staples, where he was chief digital officer and later chief technology officer. After two decades in the world of online shopping, Masud
  • ViacomCBS announces major streaming reorganization just days after Disney did the same
    ViacomCBS is in the process of pivoting hard to streaming, and a new executive shakeup ahead of the company’s big relaunch of CBS All Access as Paramount Plus shows just how committed the company’s executive leadership is to that transition. The biggest change comes in the form of Tom Ryan — head of Pluto TV, ViacomCBS’s successful free ad-supported streaming service — being
  • This Seattle fintech startup just raised $11M on Zoom and shifted to a fully distributed workforce
    The Possible Finance team, before social distancing. (Possible Finance Photo) Possible Finance was growing fast and ready to raise more venture capital. Then COVID-19 hit. “It immediately made fundraising much more difficult than anticipated,” said Tony Huang, CEO and co-founder of the 3-year-old startup that runs a high-tech small loan service. But the company ended up connecting — over Zoom calls, no less —
  • Our 5 free and paid Android/iOS applications of the week | NextPit
    This week, I’m going to share with you a list of 5 free or paid apps and mobile games that are worth checking out. In addition to my own research on the app stores, I’m also going to add the pearls discovered by the NextPit community and shared on our forum. From mobile games to productivity apps, here are the 5 free and
  • Female Founders Alliance report measures impact of pandemic on women and entrepreneurship
    (Female Founders Alliance Graphic) Seattle-based Female Founders Alliance released a new report on Thursday that measures the effect of the pandemic on women and non-binary individuals and what the prolonged health and economic crisis is doing to their entrepreneurial aspirations. While women-founded companies have been historically left behind when it comes to venture funding— at less than 3% of all venture capital invested,
  • Tesla’s seven-day return policy has been quietly removed
    Tesla has reportedly canceled an audacious return policy in which new buyers of its electric vehicles could return them for a full refund within seven days. The news, reported on Friday by Electrek, marks an end to one of CEO Elon Musk’s flashier marketing strategies. Musk has used the seven-day return policy as a way to boast about Tesla’s high customer satisfaction rates,
  • AWS, Microsoft, Uber engineering vets raise $20M from top VCs for Seattle startup Temporal
    Temporal co-founders Samar Abbas, CTO, and Maxim Fateev, CEO. (Temporal Photo) A Seattle startup led by cloud computing veterans has quietly attracted big-name users and top venture capital firms as it aims to help improve developer productivity. Temporal announced a $20 million Series A round led by Sequoia Capital, with participation from Madrona Venture Group, Addition Ventures, and Amplify Partners. Founded a year
  • Virtual primary care startup 98point6 raises $118M as pandemic sparks demand for digital health tech
    Robbie Cape, CEO of virtual primary care startup 98point6, accepts the award for Health Innovation of the Year at the GeekWire Awards ceremony in 2019. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota) Demand is through the roof for Seattle telemedicine startup 98point6. The company, which helps facilitate virtual primary care appointments, has seen its membership base skyrocket 274% this year as people look for medical
  • The best time tracking apps for 2020 | NextPit
    The Coronavirus pandemic has led to a major shift in the way professionals work. With offices remaining closed around the world, working from home has now become the norm. While it’s great remaining close to family members working from home does come with its own share of pitfalls. Parents with young children at home, for example, will have to take frequent breaks. This
  • Verizon pulls misleading ads claiming its 5G service is ‘necessary’ for firefighters
    Verizon has agreed to pull 5G advertisements claiming its new network was “built for” firefighters and first responders, after the National Advertising Division and the Better Business Bureau began looking into the ads following complaints they were misleading. The decision, first reported by Ars Technica, follows Verizon’s announcement earlier this week that it would be expanding its low-band 5G coverage to tens of
  • GameStop will reportedly get a cut of Xbox games, even if you’re not buying them from GameStop
    GameStop and Microsoft have entered into a multiyear agreement that gives the video game retailer a cut of every digital purchase made on any Xbox consoles it directly sells going forward, Ars Technica reports. The new revenue sharing deal is said to give GameStop a percentage of any digital sales made on those Xbox consoles, including digital downloads of full games and DLC,
  • PNW startups raised more than $1B in Q3 — here’s why investors are still making bets amid pandemic
    Startups in Seattle and across the Pacific Northwest continue raising gobs of money even amid an ongoing economic and health crisis. Venture capital investors sunk $1.1 billion across 65 deals during the third quarter, according to GeekWire’s tally, derived from our running list of Pacific Northwest startup investments. Funding totals from July and August eclipsed last year’s levels. Brianna McDonald. (Keiretsu Photo) The
  • The company formerly known as WeWork will be known as WeWork again
    The We Company, which was once known as WeWork, will change its branding back to WeWork, Reuters reports. It is part of a larger reckoning, as the company recognizes it is in the real estate business, and somehow, nebulously, “tech.” “We want to be strategic. We want to be innovative. We want to be impactful. We want to be WeWork,” wrote the new
  • Seattle startup Genemod raises $1.7M to help researchers with lab management software
    Genemod raised $1.7 million to help life sciences companies and researchers with its cloud-based inventory software. The Seattle startup aims to improve automation and research operations for customers such as Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington School of Medicine. It plans to roll out new product management software with the new funding. Genemod was co-founded by Jacob Lee and Jin Choe, both
  • Cybersecurity vets raise $8.25M for enterprise ecosystem security startup Cyberpion
    Cyberpion came out of stealth mode Tuesday and announced a $8.25 million seed round to fuel growth of its cybersecurity software that helps companies protect their entire enterprise ecosystem footprint. Team8 Capital and Hyperwise Ventures led the round. Founded in 2017, Cyberpion focuses on defending vulnerabilities stemming from direct and indirect resources that may extend beyond a company’s own assets, such as third-party
  • NextPit’s five new Android and iOS apps of the week | NextPit
    This week, I’m going to talk to you about five apps and mobile games that are worth the detour. To my own findings on the app stores, I also add the pearls found by the NextPit community shared on our forum. From mobile games to productivity apps, here are the five iOS and Android apps that made an impression on us this week at NextPit
  • xCloud: how Microsoft wants to bring cloud gaming to the iPhone and iPad | NextPit
    Apple does not make it easy for cloud gaming providers. Now Microsoft has allegedly found an alternative to the App Store to offer xCloud on iOS. After Apple has put various obstacles in the way of Microsoft, the software giant from Redmond is now allegedly working on an alternative to offer the games from its own cloud gaming service xCloud. As The Verge and Business
  • Free for a short time: these apps are now available for free | NextPit
    Free apps for Android and iOS are ten a penny. In this list, you will find apps that usually cost money. As we do every week, we have selected free apps for Android and iOS from the areas of games and productivity. At the time of publishing this article, all apps are available to download for nothing. Free apps for Android Free games
  • IBM will spin off legacy business to focus on cloud and AI services
    IBM is splitting into two public companies, with a spin-off handling the firm’s legacy IT infrastructure work, allowing IBM to focus on new high-margin businesses, particularly cloud services and AI. The 109-year-old company announced the news this week, which follows CEO Arvind Krishna’s longterm plan to streamline the sprawling business. Krishna took the reins of IBM in April 2020 after working on its
  • Real estate brokerage Compass to acquire Seattle-based home closing startup Modus
    Modus CEO Alexander Day; co-founder Jai Sim; and Abbas Guvenilir. (Modus Photo) New York-based real estate brokerage and tech company Compass will acquire Modus, a Seattle startup that automates the title and escrow phase of closing on a home. Compass plans to integrate Modus’ software into its tech-fueled platform used by more than 18,000 real estate agents across 165-plus U.S. cities. The Modus
  • How to disable ads in Xiaomi MIUI 12 | NextPit
    Xiaomi has been a major player in the smartphone market for several years now, rising to prominence within a very short period of time. The Chinese manufacturer is known for the extremely good quality/price ratio of its smartphones in general. But one of the downsides of owning a Xiaomi handset is this: the number of integrated ads integrated in its MIUI interface and