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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Political ‘fixer’ Bradley Tusk seeks $70M for Tusk Ventures’ sophomore fund

Longtime political operative Bradley Tusk got his start in Silicon Valley in 2011, when a little-known founder of a transportation startup requested his help surmounting regulatory barriers. That founder, Travis Kalanick, couldn’t afford Tusk’s $25,000 fee, so Tusk agreed to accept half of his payment in equity. As you can imagine, that deal worked out pretty well for Tusk, whose shares in Uber are now said to be worth $100 million.

Tusk (pictured) spent several years advising Uber’s expansion strategy and, in 2015, decided to turn his efforts into a full-fledged business: part venture fund, part political strategy. Today, Tusk and his partner, Jordan Nof, filed paperwork to raise $70 million for their second venture fund, Tusk Venture Partners II.

A spokesperson for Tusk Ventures declined to comment.

The New York-based firm previously brought in $36 million for its debut fund — capital it used to back scooter “unicorn” Bird; medical marijuana delivery company Eaze; the marketplace for household service providers Handy; cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase; and fintech startup Grove.

In addition to deploying capital into startups, Tusk Ventures lends its political expertise to support companies plagued with regulatory barriers and communications issues, as well as help with grassroots organizing, opposition research and partnerships. Bird, of course, is an excellent example of a company that’s struggled with local politics as it has scaled across the U.S. and beyond. The scooter-sharing company was banned from San Francisco after releasing scooters without permits and has upset local leaders in Santa Monica, Los Angeles and more.

“Our diverse team of regulatory and political experts take on entrenched interests and politicians trying to stifle innovation so our companies don’t have to,” the firm writes on its website. “Our unique model provides startups with access to political, investment and operational expertise that is second to none.”

Prior to transitioning into startup advising and investing, Tusk served as campaign manager for Mike Bloomberg, as deputy governor of Illinois and as communications director for Senator Chuck Schumer. He also penned the book, The Fixer: My Adventures Saving Startups from Death by Politics, released last year.

Tusk joined us last week on TechCrunch’s Equity podcast to discuss mobile voting, his thoughts on Uber’s upcoming initial public offering and sky-high valuation and Saudi money in VC. Listen to that episode below.


Source: TechCrunch

2018 Had the Biggest Box Office Ever. Thanks, 'Black Panther'

Moviegoers spent $12 billion going to the multiplex last year and Disney flicks led the pack.
Source: Wired

3D printed gun activist Cody Wilson indicted for sexual assault

The State of Texas has indicted Cody Wilson, a 3D printed gun rights activist who fought to allow makers post and print guns, of sexual assault after he had sex with a 17-year-old girl he met on a site called SugarDaddyMeet.com. The indictment, posted on Ars, notes that he faces “four counts of sexual assault of a child, two charges of indecency with a child by contact, and two charges of indecency with a child by exposure.”

The charges are punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. His company, DefenseDistributed, has dumped him as founder. The affidavit on the crime said Wilson used the name Sanjuro on the site and that he paid the 17-year-old $500 for sex.

Wilson is out on $150,000 bond and not yet in jail. He rose to prominence for supporting 3D printed guns as far back as 2013, causing a panic that reduced interest in the 3D printing industry and led to a court decision in July that found 3D printed gun plans to be legal.


Source: TechCrunch

Dodge teams up with Lego for a more affordable Challenger SRT Demon – Roadshow

A new Lego Speed Champions set includes the 2018 Demon and a 1970 Challenger.
Source: CNET

Fortnite season 7, week 5 challenges and how to complete them – CNET

This week’s challenges look like they’ll be a little easier to get through than last time, but there are some fun ones in there.
Source: CNET

Cruise and DoorDash to test food delivery using self-driving cars in San Francisco

Cruise is partnering with DoorDash to pilot food and grocery delivery in San Francisco using self-driving vehicles.

The companies announced Thursday that the testing program will begin in early 2019 with an initial focus on the San Francisco market.

“Delivery is a significant opportunity for Cruise as we prepare to commercialize our autonomous vehicle technology and transform transportation,” said Dan Ammann, who became CEO of Cruise late last year. “Partnering with DoorDash will provide us with critical learnings as we further our mission to deliver technology that makes people’s lives better and more convenient.” Cruise co-founder Kyle Vogt stepped down as CEO and now holds the CTO position at the company.

The program will be available to select DoorDash customers, who will be able to receive deliveries from restaurants via a Cruise autonomous vehicle. The partnership will also explore grocery fulfillment via Cruise vehicles for select grocers already partnered with DoorDash.

“We see autonomous vehicles playing a major role in the future of delivery as consumer behaviors continue to shift online, and we are confident Cruise’s leading technology will help us scale to meet growing consumer demand,” DoorDash CEO Tony Xu said in a statement.

The pilot program adds an interesting twist to Cruise’s plans to launch a self-driving ride-hailing service in 2019. The partnership with DoorDash could be viewed as a way for Cruise to perfect its tech and how it can be used in different ways, particularly how it interacts with people.


Source: TechCrunch

This Mini PC from Asus packs Intel Core i9-9900K power in a tiny frame

The Asus Mini PC ProArt PA90 packs options for the newest Intel Core i9 Processor and promises all the performance and power that designers and content creators need in a PC, but in a stylish and small form.

The post This Mini PC from Asus packs Intel Core i9-9900K power in a tiny frame appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Klipsch adds smart sound bars to its lineup for CES 2019 – CNET

Klipsch has announced an raft of sound bars for 2019 which will include voice assistants and the company’s first Atmos model.
Source: CNET

The Galaxy S10 is just around the corner, here's what it may look like – CNET

Half the fun is guessing the Galaxy S10’s flagship design.
Source: CNET

FCC's Ajit Pai says Congress was right not to restore net neutrality – CNET

“The FCC’s light-touch approach is working,” Pai says, after a congressional effort to restore Obama-era rules falls short.
Source: CNET

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