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Leading VCs discuss how COVID-19 has impacted the world of digital health

Startup News - 2020, March 31 - 10:07pm

In December 2019, Extra Crunch spoke to a group of investors leading the charge in health tech to discuss where they saw the most opportunity in the space leading into 2020.

At the time, respondents highlighted startups in digital therapeutics, telehealth and mental health that were improving medical practitioner efficiency or streamlining the distribution of care, amongst a variety of other digital health markets that were garnering the most attention.

Where top VCs are investing in digital health

In the months since, the COVID-19 crisis has debilitated national healthcare systems and the global economy. Weaknesses in healthcare systems have become clearer than ever, while startups and capital providers have struggled to operate while wide swaths of the market effectively shut down.

Given significant volatility and the rapid changes seen in the worlds of healthcare, venture and startups broadly, we wanted to understand which inefficiencies might have been brought to light, what new opportunities might exist for founders looking to reduce friction in healthcare systems, how digital health startups have been impacted and how health tech investing as a whole has changed.

We asked several of the VCs who participated in our last digital health survey to update us on how COVID-19 is impacting digital health startups and broader healthcare systems around the world:

Annie Case, Kleiner Perkins

Our current unprecedented global crisis has put a spotlight on digital health. In the last few weeks alone, we have seen what feels like a decade’s worth of societal and regulatory changes that require digital health companies to step up and embrace new challenges and opportunities.

Categories: Business News

Monzo CEO won’t take salary for 12 months after limited number of staff offered voluntary furlough

Startup News - 2020, March 31 - 8:10pm

This article was updated 1.07pm GMT, to clarify Starling and Revolut’s furlough situation.

Monzo, the U.K. challenger bank with over 4 million account holders, is taking a number of precautionary steps to help see it through the current coronavirus downturn, including voluntary furloughs and its CEO forgoing a salary, TechCrunch understands.

In an internal company-wide memo issued by co-founder and CEO Tom Blomfield, he tells the bank’s over 1,500 staff that he won’t be taking a salary for the next twelve months, and that the senior management team and board have volunteered to take a 25% cut in salary, as have other “Monzonaughts” within the company.

In addition, a limited number of Monzo’s U.K. employees are being offered voluntary furloughing for two months, as part of the scheme rolled out by the U.K. government to protect jobs during the coronavirus lockdown, which is already impacting many companies — not just Monzo — including several other fintechs I know of. Furlough ensures that employees still get paid even when work has decreased and that when things hopefully return to normal there is a job to come back to.

Although well capitalised, like other banks and fintechs, Monzo has seen customer card spend reduce at home and (of course) abroad, meaning it is seeing less revenue from interchange fees. New account signups have also slowed, as has customer support requests. It therefore makes sense to utilise the furlough scheme to help protect jobs in the future when demand picks up again. By making it voluntary, it also means staff with kids to home school or loved ones to take care of, can use the option to hopefully make their lives easier for the time being.

Specifically, I understand Monzo is accepting up to 175 furlough applications in customer support, and up to 120 applications from other parts of the business.

Meanwhile, at least one other U.K. challenger bank is using the government’s furlough scheme. Starling has confirmed that it has put 41 staff on furlough (see statement from Starling founder Anne Boden below). In contrast, Revolut tells TechCrunch it has no current plans to do so. As already mentioned, the scheme is available to U.K. companies right across the board and several startups, including fintechs, have already applied furloughing as a pre-cautionary measure.

Lastly, it should be stressed that none of the above should impact customers at Monzo, which, as a digital bank, is pretty well-positioned to operate during lockdown and with all staff already working from home. It is also a fully licensed bank, with customer deposits up to £85,000 protected as part of the U.K. government’s deposit protection scheme.

Comment from Anne Boden, founder of Starling Bank:

Starling has furloughed 41 people and is topping up their salaries to ensure they get 100%. Most of these employees are relatively new to the bank and have not completed their training, so are unable to work from home. The remainder are facilities staff who are not required at the moment.
The rest of Starling’s customer service team remains busy.
Starling is well-funded, our TV ad campaign is doing extremely well and we are still growing fast, adding new business and personal customers every day. It’s business as usual and no-one is taking a pay cut.

Categories: Business News

New Comprehensive Report : Mobile <b>VoIP</b> Market Size, Trends, Analysis, Opportunities, Share ...

Google News - VoIP - 2020, March 31 - 8:08pm
The Global Mobile VoIP Industry 2020 Market Research Report is spread over more than 100 pages and provides exclusive vital statistics, market ...
Categories: VoIP News

<b>VoIP</b> Providers Market Growth 2024: Including Key Nextiva, RingCentral, Verizon, 8×8, Jive, Viber ...

Google News - VoIP - 2020, March 31 - 8:03pm
Find the complete VoIP Providers market analysis segmented by companies, region, type and applications in the report. At the same time, we classify ...
Categories: VoIP News

Know When to Commit to Free <b>VoIP</b> Services

Google News - VoIP - 2020, March 31 - 7:52pm
Know When to Commit to Free VoIP Services. As COVID-19 drives the urge for enterprise-grade communication and collaboration, UCaaS providers are ...
Categories: VoIP News

Coronavirus: Teleworking drives new application usage growth for Comcast

Google News - VoIP - 2020, March 31 - 7:30pm
VoIP and video conferencing are up 212% compared with the beginning of March, while VPN traffic has risen by 40%. Also, the move from cellular to the ...
Categories: VoIP News

<b>VoIP</b> Services Market Capability, Equipment, Challenges, Scenario, Global Supply, Leading ...

Google News - VoIP - 2020, March 31 - 7:07pm
Global VoIP Services Market and Competitive Analysis. Know your current market situation! Not only a vital element for brand new products but also ...
Categories: VoIP News

<b>VoIP</b> Test Equipment Market 2020: Competitive Landscape, Production, Supply &amp; Demand ...

Google News - VoIP - 2020, March 31 - 6:19pm
VoIP Test Equipment Market 2020: Competitive Landscape, Production, Supply & Demand, Industry Structure, Size, Share, Trends, Growth Prospects, ...
Categories: VoIP News

Qarnot raises $6.5 million for its computer servers that heat buildings

Startup News - 2020, March 31 - 4:00pm

French startup Qarnot has raised a $6.5 million (€6 million) funding round. The company manufactures heaters and boilers with a special trick — they pack computers as computers tend to generate a lot of heat. Qarnot then lets companies leverage that computing power by running tasks on those unusual servers.

Banque des Territoires, Caisse des Dépôts, Engie Rassembleur d'Énergies, A/O PropTech and Groupe Casino are participating in today’s funding round.

When you design a data center, you transform electricity into computing resources and heat. Data centers always have to find clever new ways to get rid of heat with powerful cooling mechanisms.

Qarnot is designing alternative data centers by taking advantage of heat instead of fighting heat. The company first started with computing heaters, an electrical heater with a server. The company sells those devices to construction companies looking for heaters for their new buildings.

People living or working in those buildings can then control heating directly on the heaters or through a mobile app. Nearly 1,000 social housing units are heated by Qarnot.

At the other end of the equation, companies such as BNP Paribas, Société Générale and Natixis rent those servers for their own needs. Illumination Mac Guff is also using the platform to generate 3D models for animated movies.

Heating suffers from seasonality. That’s why Qarnot has also designed scalable boiler systems. Those boilers pack CPU servers or a mix of CPU and GPU servers. Qarnot has also set up a joint venture with Groupe Casino to heat warehouses with computer racks.

Categories: Business News

“Global <b>VoIP</b> Market Major Growth By 2020-2026 | NTT ,Comcast ,Orange ,KT ,Charter ,Microsoft ...

Google News - VoIP - 2020, March 31 - 3:22pm
The VoIP market statistical analysis data provided in the research report is not only qualitatively but also quantitatively sufficient in terms of ...
Categories: VoIP News

Uncle Sam turns the screws on <b>VoIP</b> providers allegedly used by coronavirus, tax, bogus tech ...

Google News - VoIP - 2020, March 31 - 9:11am
The US government is cracking down on Voice-over-IP (VoIP) providers accused of giving safe harbor to robocall spammers. Uncle Sam's trade ...
Categories: VoIP News

Local services marketplace Thumbtack lays off 250 employees

Startup News - 2020, March 31 - 6:32am

Thumbtack CEO Marco Zappacosta announced in a blog post today that the company has laid off 250 employees.

Much has been written about the impact that the COVID-19 and the resulting social distancing/shelter in place measures are having on small businesses (and the steps that internet platforms like Facebook and Yelp — which, after all, make money from small businesses advertising — are taking to help)

Similarly, Zappacosta said the local services that Thumbtack showcases in its marketplace are also seeing anything from a “dramatic decline” to an “outright collapse.” Apparently the company’s business has fallen 61 percent in San Francisco, 55 percent in Detroit and 50 percent in New York City.

Thumbtack raised a $150 million round of funding last year, but Zappacosta said, “No business operates with enough of a buffer to sustain prolonged revenue declines of 40%+ without making radical changes.”

Those changes include reduced marketing, a hiring freeze and 25 percent salary reductions for executives. (Zappacosta said he will not take any salary at all, starting today.) And it also includes big layoffs.

Laid off workers will receive a severance package with both “cash and equity components,” Zappacosta said. He also said Thumbtack is doing what it can to help its service providers, such as “building features that support more remote work with customers — like video consults for a sink replacement that would typically be done onsite.”

Categories: Business News

Rebecca Minkoff has some advice for e-commerce companies right now

Startup News - 2020, March 31 - 5:39am

When Rebecca Minkoff first moved to New York City, the then-18-year-old was making $4.75 an hour.

“I just kept working for this designer and someone was telling me what to do every day. I just didn’t like that. And I thought if I’m going to work as hard, it’s going to be for myself and I want to call my own shots,” she said. “I didn’t want to be told what to do, frankly.”

Self-employment for Minkoff turned out just fine; in 2001, she redesigned the iconic “I Love New York” shirt and it appeared on The Tonight Show. After a shout-out from Jay Leno, Minkoff spent the next eight months making T-shirts on the floor of her apartment and quit her job to start designing full time.

We caught up with Minkoff to learn more about how she grew her brand into a global fashion company with the help of her brother, her problem with the unicorn mentality and why she thinks the “invisible barrier” is the future of retail tech.

This interview was edited for brevity and clarity.

TechCrunch: What gave you the energy and drive to become an entrepreneur?

Rebecca Minkoff: Long story. My mom would sell these cast covers, like decorative covers for people with broken arms at the flea market. And I was like, I am going to have a booth here. So I made all these tie-dye shirts and no one bought anything but it was just this idea of like, I can make something I can sell. My mom always taught that. When I wanted a dress, she taught me how to sew a dress instead of buying the dress. And so, I just got this bug for creating things out of nothing.

The constant thread was, “I’m not going to pay for this. You’re going to learn how to do it.”

Categories: Business News

Comcast says voice and video calls have skyrocketed 212 percent during widespread self-isolation

Google News - VoIP - 2020, March 31 - 4:41am
Voice and video calls have more than tripled on Comcast's network over the past month since people across the US started working from home due to ...
Categories: VoIP News

Amid concerns that startups could be left out of COVID-19 bailout, investors step up lobbying

Startup News - 2020, March 31 - 3:24am

The massive bailout package that the U.S. government passed last week to stave off an economic collapse from measures put in place to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic is giving out billions to American small businesses. But startups that received venture capital money could be left out.

So the nation’s investment organizations and lobbying firms are stepping up their efforts to get clarification around the specifics of the loan programs established under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Their efforts could mean the difference between some of those billions in loans for small businesses going to startup companies or a whole swath of companies left falling through the cracks.

There appear to be two issues for startup entrepreneurs with the different types of loans that companies can receive.

The first is the “Affiliation Rules” that the Small Business Administration (SBA) uses to determine who is eligible for loans. Under the rules, companies could be required to count all of the employees at every company their investors have backed as part of their employee count — pushing the individual companies above the employee size threshold.

“Regardless of the purpose of these rules for traditional 7(a) loans, allowing the rules to exclude some of our country’s most innovative startups in this new loan program is manifestly contrary to the intent of the legislation: to help small businesses keep their lights on and their employees working despite the double financial squeeze created by the economic and financial market downturns,” according to a letter sent to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza by the NVCA and other startup investment organizations. “Without clear guidance enabling startups and small businesses supported by equity investment to access the loan facility, many of these startups may be rendered ineligible.”

These issues around affiliation and 7(a) loans aren’t the only ones with which startups may contend. Startups could also be eligible for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). These loans are part of a $10 billion program within the CARES Act that is also overseen by the SBA. However, these loans have to come with a personal guarantee if they’re over $200,000. And that requirement may be too onerous for startups. 

EIDLs less than $200,000 don’t require a personal guarantee, nor do they require real estate as collateral, and will take a general security interest in business property, according to an article in Forbes. Borrowers for EIDLs can take an emergency cash grant of $10,000 that can be forgiven if spent on things like paid leave, maintaining payroll, increased costs due to supply chain disruptions, mortgage or lease payments or repaying obligations that cannot be met due to revenue loss, according to Forbes.

These loans apply to sole proprietors and independent contractors and employee stock ownership plans with fewer than 500 employees, Forbes wrote. The emergency loans are available to companies that don’t qualify for additional funds — and are based on self-certification and a basic credit score, Alex Contreras, director of Preparedness, Communication, & Coordination at the Office of Disaster Assistance for the SBA told Forbes.

While the EIDLs may be interesting, the biggest issue is the lack of clarity around affiliation rules, Justin Field, NVCA’s senior vice president of government affairs, tells me.

“These rules will make it more difficult for small businesses with equity investors to even understand if they can access the program,” he says. “It’s a tough situation… If you have these non-bright-lined rules it’s going to be tough for anybody that has a company that has minority investors.”

There could be significant implications for the U.S. economy if these startups are ineligible for loans, the NVCA wrote. Companies backed by venture investors are involved in the development of technologies of strategic interest to the U.S. in the long term and are currently working on tools to diagnose, track, monitor and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the short term.

“Bottom line: not providing this critical support to startups now will cause both short-term pain and long-term consequences that linger for years,” the organizations wrote. “In 2019 alone, 2.27 million jobs were created in the U.S. by startups across our nation. According to the job site Indeed, 98 percent of firms have fewer than 100 employees and between small and medium sized companies, they jointly employ 55 percent of employees. When implementing the CARES Act, we urge the SBA to issue guidance that makes clear affiliation rules do not arbitrarily exclude our most innovative startups.”

Categories: Business News

Experience Disrupt SF online with the Disrupt Digital Pro Pass

Startup News - 2020, March 31 - 3:23am

Earlier this month we announced the launch of the Disrupt Digital Pass for TechCrunch’s flagship Disrupt SF event (September 14-16) as a way to help ensure that, no matter what, TechCrunch fans everywhere would be able to enjoy the big interviews at the show. We also hinted that we were working on a Pro edition of the Digital Pass for people who really want to engage as fully as possible with Disrupt SF, including all the programming on the four primary stages and lots of real-time interaction with fellow attendees, founders in Startup Alley, engaging Q&A sessions and our all important exhibitors and partners. That was trickier to figure out, but we’re there. 

Today we’re happy to unveil the Disrupt Digital Pro Pass that we’ve been working hard to finalize. Here’s what you get with your Disrupt Digital Pro Pass, starting at $245: 

  • Live stream and VOD (video-on-demand) from the Extra Crunch Stage. Live and on-demand access to TechCrunch editors’ discussions with top experts — growth marketers, lawyers, investors, technologists, recruiters — on topics critical to founders’ success. Pass holders, in-person and virtual, may submit questions in real time to the moderator onstage.
  • Live stream and VOD from the Q&A Stage. Virtual pass holders can submit questions during live Q&A sessions with speakers after they have appeared with TechCrunch editors on the Disrupt and Extra Crunch stages. 
  • VOD from the Showcase Stage. Watch top founders exhibiting in Startup Alley pitch and take questions from TechCrunch editors. 
  • Interact with early-stage startups in Startup Alley virtually. Browse the hundreds of exhibiting startups, organized by category, and watch their product demos on demand. Digital Pro pass holders can arrange 1:1 meetings with founders whether they be virtual or exhibiting on the show floor in-person.
  • Video conference networking with CrunchMatch. TechCrunch’s hugely popular platform to connect like-minded attendees will be accessible to Digital Pro pass holders as well as in-person attendees. Find attendees, request a meeting and connect via a private video conference. 
  • Virtual sponsor engagements. We love our sponsors, and they will be front and center for Digital Pro pass holders, whether that’s opportunities to set up 1:1 meetings virtually with sponsor reps or watch sponsors’ presentations. 

In addition, of course, Pro pass holders also have access to the features of the free Disrupt Digital Pass:

  • Live stream and VOD from the Disrupt Stage. Live and on-demand access to all the great interviews TechCrunch’s editors conduct with the biggest names in tech. 

You can expect to see the TechCrunch team at San Francisco’s Moscone Center during Disrupt, but now attendees can join us in person and/or virtually

Innovator, Founder, Investor and Startup Alley pass holders (except Expo Only passes) will also have access to all the Disrupt Digital Pro Pass features, as well as the opportunity to be present with us in San Francisco. 

Sign up for Disrupt SF today. 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of Disrupt SF, and we hope you will join us to celebrate, online or at Moscone. We would love to have you, either way.

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Categories: Business News

Compete in Startup Battlefield and Launch at Disrupt SF 2020

Startup News - 2020, March 31 - 2:57am

Early-stage founders: Don’t miss your chance to follow in the footsteps of tech giants. We know COVID-19 has created challenges for startup founders, but fear not. Disrupt SF is still proceeding as scheduled, with a Disrupt Digital Pass Virtual option. Launch your startup in the world’s most famous pitch competition, Startup Battlefield. The smackdown goes down live on the Main Stage at Disrupt San Francisco 2020 on September 14-16. Want a shot at $100,000 and the Disrupt Cup? Fill out your application to compete right here.

Companies such as Fitbit, Cloudflare, Mint.com, Dropbox, Vurb, Yammer and Getaround — to name but a few — trace their origins to the Battlefield competition. The Startup Battlefield Alumni Community — 902 companies strong and counting — has collectively raised $9 billion and produced more than 115 successful exits (IPOs or acquisitions). That’s some impressive company to keep. Why not join their ranks?

Here’s how Startup Battlefield works. First, you apply. (Pro tip: Applying and competing in the Battlefield is free and TechCrunch does not take any equity). Next, TechCrunch’s Battlefield-savvy editorial team pours over every application looking for approximately 20 startups to pitch on the Main Stage.

The TechCrunch team will put all participants through rigorous, weeks-long training to hone pitches, business models, presentation skills and any other startup issues that require tightening. You’ll be in fighting trim and ready to step out onto the Main Stage.

Teams have just six minutes to pitch and present a live demo to a panel of expert judges. After each pitch, the judges (we’re talking folks like Cyan Banister, Kirsten Green, Aileen Lee, Alfred Lin and Roelof Botha) will put each team through a Q&A. No flop-sweat here, thanks to all those weeks of pitch coaching.

The judges will select anywhere from four to six teams to advance to the finals. And that means another pitch and Q&A in front of a fresh set of judges. The winning team takes home $100,000, the coveted Disrupt Cup and they bask in a spotlight of media and investor attention. Startup Battlefield can be a life-changing experience for all competitors — not just the ultimate winner.

The action takes place in front of an enthusiastic audience of thousands. Plus, we live-stream the entire event on TechCrunch.com, once you sign up for the digital pass. If all that’s not enough, consider this. Startup Battlefield competitors receive a VIP Disrupt experience.

You’ll have access to private VIP events like the Startup Battlefield Reception, and each team receives four complimentary event tickets. You get to exhibit at the show for all three days, and you’ll have access to CrunchMatch, TC’s investor-founder networking platform. And you also get a complimentary ticket to all future TC events and free subscriptions to Extra Crunch.

Whew. That’s a whole lot of opportunity and exposure. So, what are you waiting for? Disrupt San Francisco 2020 takes place on September 14-16. Apply to compete in Startup Battlefield for a shot at launching your dream to the world.

TechCrunch is mindful of the COVID-19 issue and its impact on live events. You can follow our updates here.

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at Disrupt San Francisco 2020? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.

Categories: Business News

Future Innovative Report on Mobile Service Provider Market 2020-2027 by Top Key Players like ...

Google News - VoIP - 2020, March 31 - 2:35am
Key Strategic Manufacturers are VoIP Office, Modern HighTech, Timesheet Mobile, Hornetsecurity, MailChannels, Trigital Technologies, eForms ...
Categories: VoIP News

We&#39;re Open Indy: Indy IT company seeks to help Indiana&#39;s small businesses move to remote work

Google News - VoIP - 2020, March 31 - 2:26am
"VoIP phone systems, cloud file sharing solutions, and remote access with applications like Splashtop enable us to not only help them remotely but also ...
Categories: VoIP News

<b>VoIP</b> Carriers Investigated Over Fraudulent Robocalls

Google News - VoIP - 2020, March 31 - 1:30am
... bars husband and wife Nicholas and Natasha Palumbo and two entities from operating as intermediate voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) carriers.
Categories: VoIP News


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