FORTUNE | Wag, the nation’s largest on-demand mobile dog walking and care app, is taking some major steps forward with a new chief executive and a fresh infusion of cash from the SoftBank Vision Fund.
TechCrunch | Who needs Amazon when you can make your own online distribution channel? At least, that’s the idea behind Grove Collaborative, a natural home care products company that ships natural cleaning brands like Method and Mrs. Meyer’s.
Enhanced Online News | HomeLight’s agent performance data now available in Yelp’s Home Services category, empowering users to make more informed decisions about the best real estate agents for their needs.
Software Engineering Daily | In 2003, Paul Martino co-founded Tribe.net, one of the earliest social networking sites. Tribe had significant traction, with hundreds of thousands of users. In the early 2000s, hundreds of thousands of users was enough traffic to pose a company with engineering challenges. Paul had studied computer science, and was able to use his knowledge of high-performance computing to write an efficient graph database, and solve the other technical puzzles that the company faced–but the business did not ultimately work out.
The Drum | With the upcoming Dmexco and Ad WeekNew York trade shows on the horizon, the words 'Artificial Intelligence', or 'AI', are likely to be ringing in the ears of attendees. The Drum probes experts on how to tell who actually knows what they're talking about, and who is just using another buzzword.
TechCrunch | We get a lot of weed-related pitches at TechCrunch, but most of them don’t come with the pedigree of Herb‘s investors. Herb is announcing today that it has raised $4.1 million in seed funding led by Lerer Hippeau Ventures, with participation from Slow Ventures, Buddy Media co-founder Michael Lazerow, Bullpen Capital, Shiva Rajarama, Liquid 2 Ventures (the firm led by football legend Joe Montana), Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke, Shopify COO Harley Finkelstein and Adam Zeplain.
Mobile Marketer | The Major League Baseball Players Association, the collective bargaining representative for players in the league, granted a license to sweepstakes app Lucktastic to create free scratch cards that feature star baseball players. MLBPA Fun Packs will be released each week for the remainder of the 2017 season, according to a release made available to Mobile Marketer.
DIGIDAY | Most publishers that share a story about George Clooney on Facebook would know to target the segment of its audience that’s interested in George Clooney. Fewer would consider targeting the post at people who are interested in Conway Twitty or Cristiano Ronaldo, though. The Los Angeles-based startup Ranker does, and that’s been a major reason for its climb on Facebook.
INC. | Uber has been living a public relations nightmare in recent weeks, including accusations of inappropriate handling of user data, widespread sexual harassment, and stealing intellectual property from a Google spin-off. The good news coming out of all this bad news: Several important lessons can be learned from Uber's plight. Take it from Bullpen Capital Partner Paul Martino who says decades of watching CEOs run companies gives him a unique perspective on Uber's publicity problems.
BUILT IN LA | James Conlon doesn't possess anything that could be described as a traditional venture capitalist background. Instead of going to Stanford, getting an MBA and interning at Google, Conlon went to Bucknell and graduated with a degree in philosophy. He's also a former professional poker player and has a law degree from American University. Now an LA-based partner for Bullpen Capital, he's dedicated to growing local tech startups, and it all started with two chairs, an elevator and a few NSFW quips between complete strangers.