Brian Heater, TechCrunch

Brian Heater


New York, United States

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Recent articles by Brian:

Fortnite-maker Epic completes $1B funding round –

How much is Epic Games worth? Well, we’ve long ago surpasses the realm of dollar figures regular humans can contextualize. With its latest round, the gamer hits an equity valuation of $28.7 billion. Yes, “b” for “billion.” That’s a lot of micro-transactions. Time to start talking metaverse! Best known for the wildly successful battle royale […] → Read More

Microsoft’s latest Surface Laptop goes on sale this week, starting at $999 –

Microsoft is understandably positioning the latest additions to its Surface line as productivity devices. Laptop sales, in particular, have jumped amid the pandemic, as many have scrambled to shift to a work from home setting. With that in mind, the latest version of the Surface Laptop is far and away the headline item amid a […] → Read More

Microsoft is really pushing Teams with its latest accessories –

The new Surface Laptop was the marquee arrival in today’s Microsoft announcement, but boy howdy, the company also dropped a whole bunch of new accessories. It’s a pretty broad range of new devices, including some small updates to existing products and entirely new entries. But there’s one clear through line across them all: Teams. Microsoft […] → Read More

Hardware is still hard in the Motor City –

“It’s a little bit of a messy story,” Adam Leeb says with a laugh. The story that landed Astrohaus in Detroit on two separate occasions is a bit tangled, certainly. The hardwre startup’s cofounder and CEO isn’t the sort of hometown cheerleader you often encounter when speaking with executives who’ve opted to keep their organizations […] → Read More

Google denies Pixel 5a 5G cancelation, confirming it’s coming this year –

Sometimes you’ve just got to confirm an unannounced product to put the rumors to bed, I guess. That was Google’s strategy this afternoon, following earlier rumors from Android Central that a chip shortage had put the kibosh on the mid-budget phone. In a comment to TechCrunch, a Google spokesperson noted, “Pixel 5a 5G is not […] → Read More

RWDSU head says rerun election ‘very likely’ following Amazon union vote loss –

However the outcome of today’s vote count turned out, there was one thing we knew for certain: it wasn’t going to mark the end of the battle between Amazon and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. With voting having broken overwhelmingly in Amazon’s favor, the union was quick to challenge the results. The RWDSU […] → Read More

Amazon defeats warehouse union push, challenges expected –

Efforts to unionize Amazon’s Bessemer, Alabama warehouse were defeated by a wide margin in the second day of vote counting. More than half of the 3,215 votes cast broke in in factor of the retailer. Challenges are expected to arrive shortly from the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. This initial defeat represents a large […] → Read More

Counting strongly favors Amazon in warehouse union vote –

It’s been a little over a week since union voting concluded for Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama. Things have been fairly quiet in the eye of the storm for most of it. That changed today, however, as vote counting began in earnest. Thus far, things are breaking pretty dramatically in the company’s favor, following […] → Read More

Four strategies for getting attention from investors –

MaC Venture Capital founder Marlon Nichols lays out his strategies for early-stage investing, and how these lessons can translate into a successful launch for entrepreneurs. → Read More

AppHarvest buys ag-robotics firm, Root AI –

Indoor farming company AppHarvest this week announced that it has acquired Root AI. The deal is valued at around $60 million, with $10 million in cash and the reminder coming from AppHarvest stock. Root AI is a Boston-based robotics startup, with a mission fairly in line with that of its future parent company. We’ve covered […] → Read More

Grasping at hidden objects –

Happy Robotics Week, to those who celebrate. I know a lot of us are unable to be with our loved ones this year, which means no robotics tree, robotics baskets full of robot eggs and green robot beer. Still, the National Robotics Week organization is putting on a bunch of virtual events across 50 states […] → Read More

Understanding how fundraising terms can affect early-stage startups –

Fenwick & West partner Dawn Belt breaks down some of the terms that trip up first-time entrepreneurs. → Read More

E-bikes and earbuds among the first third-party hardware to support Apple’s Find My tracking –

Yesterday we noted that Apple launched a new Find My Certification Asst. app, designed to test support for third-party hardware. Find My, of course, has been a long-standing feature for Apple’s own hardware like iPhones, AirPods and Macs, but back at WWDC, the company announced plans to open it up to manufactures. Today the company […] → Read More

Google I/O will return as a virtual event May 18-20 –

When the pandemic arrived in the U.S. early last year, companies scrambled to figure out what to do with their long-standing, in-person developer events. For Apple and Microsoft, that meant going virtual – something companies have done with mixed results. For Google, it meant calling off I/O all together. The company canceled the developer conference […] → Read More

Highlights from Berkeley SkyDeck’s virtual demo day –

With 17 startups participating, Berkeley SkyDeck’s Demo Day isn’t the largest cohort we’ve seen by any stretch. The collection of companies is, however, defined by a wide range of focuses, from pioneering diabetes treatments to retrofitting autonomous trucking, curated by the SkyDeck’s small team and a number of advisors. Founded in 2012, the accelerator is […] → Read More

Rapid raises $12M for its manufacturing robotics –

Bay Area-based Rapid Robotics today announced a $12 million Series A. The new round, led by NEA, brings the company’s total funding up to $17.5 million. It joins a recently closed seed round, announced way back in November of last year. Existing investors Greycroft, Bee Partners and 468 Capital also took part in the round. […] → Read More

Robotic exoskeleton maker Sarcos announces SPAC plans –

While it’s true the VC world has gone SPAC-happy, the reverse merger method hasn’t been a huge driver in robotics thus far, with some notable exceptions like Berkshire-Grey. This morning, however, Utah-based Sarcos Robotics announced plans to board the SPAC train, courtesy of Rotor Acquisition Corp. The deal could potentially value the robotic exoskeleton maker […] → Read More

LG’s exit from the smartphone market comes as no surprise –

It was time for LG to move on. Frankly, the only surprise was that it didn’t do so sooner. → Read More

Labor relations board sides with Amazon employees over firings –

Last year, Amazon fired Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa. The pair of employees had been among the company’s most outspoken critics on staff, openly taking Amazon to task for environmental and labor issues. This week, the National Labor Relations Board determined that the pair’s firing was an illegal form of retaliation. Speaking with The New […] → Read More

Amazon addresses pee bottle denial tweet –

Amazon kicked off the holiday weekend by backtracking slightly on a social media offensive that unfolded in the waning days of a historic unionization vote. The earlier comments reportedly arrived as Jeff Bezos was pushing for a more aggressive strategy. Along with taking on Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, the Amazon News Twitter account […] → Read More