Leena Rao

Leena Rao

Leena Rao is currently a Managing Editor for TechCrunch.

She recently finished graduate school at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, where she studied business journalism and videography. From 2004 to 2007, she helped lead Congresswoman Carloyn Maloney's community outreach and relations efforts in New York City. She graduated from Columbia University in 2003, where she was the captain of the women's varsity tennis team. She has also contributed technology content for Oprah.com.

Disclosure: My husband, Suneel Gupta, was previously an employee of Groupon. We hold stock in Facebook. We also have investments in several mutual funds, some of which are technology-focused. And I hold a miniscule amount of shares in AOL, TechCrunch's parent company.

My husband sits on the advisory boards of Adaptly and ToyTalk, and is a shareholder of both companies.

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Latest from Leena Rao

  • DocuSign Raises $5 Million For E-Signature Software

    DocuSign, an e-signature service, closed $5 million in Series D funding from Frazier Technology Ventures, Ignition Partners, Sigma Partners, and West River Capital LLC. The funding follows a Series C investment of $12.4 million in 2007 from the same investors. DocuSign, which was founded in 2003, allows companies to get legally binding signatures quickly over the internet instead of over the… Read More

  • Craigslist Competitor OLX Scores $5 Million For Online Classifieds

    OLX, the Craigslist for the rest of the world, has raised $5 million in funding from from Nexus Capital India. The company raised $13.5 million in Series B funding in April 2008 from General Catalyst Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Founders Fund and DN Capital, bringing the total funding raised to $28.5 million. OLX raised $13.5 million in Series B funding in April 2008 from the same… Read More

  • Avatar Startup FUHU Raises $6.25 Million, Strikes Deal With Acer To Put Widgets In PCs

    FUHU, a startup that produces virtual avatars and identity cards and rich media web widgets, has secured $6.25 million in Series B funding from The Acer Group (which produces Acer, Gateway, eMachines and Packard Bell computers). FUHU also signed a 10 year contract to distribute FUHU products in all Acer computers and smart mobile phones. FUHU raised $1.5 million in Series A funding in… Read More

  • FreshBooks Adds Collaboration Tool To Online Billing Service

    Outsourcing projects is a natural function of the work of freelancer or a small service-oriented business. But juggling multiple time sheets from different contractors and managing projects from a variety of freelancers can be a hassle. Collaboration between freelancers and businesses is key in order to managing efficient projects. FreshBooks, an Toronto-based invoice startup, is adding a… Read More

  • I Love Rewards Raises $5.9 Million For Employee Rewards Program

    I Love Rewards, which operates employee rewards and sales incentive recognition programs for companies, has secured a $5.9 million ($6.9 million in Canadian dollars) in Series B funding led by GrandBanks Capital with prior investors JLA Ventures and Laurence Capital participating. The company raised $4 million in Series A funding in 2008 from JLA Ventures and Laurence Capital. The company… Read More

  • Google And Salesfore Integrate Google Earth in CRM For Non-Profits

    Google and Salesforce.com have teamed up to let non-profits which use Salesforce’s CRM access Google Earth to put partners, volunteers, and donors on an easy to read map. Google says that the application is a mash-up of the new Google Earth browser plug-in and geocoding APIs that will map and display the location of items in a CRM in Google Earth. Salesforce says that more than 4,000… Read More

  • Despite Recession, ExactTarget Raises A Whopping $70 Million For Marketing Software

    Marketing email software provider ExactTarget has secured $70 million in funding led by Battery Ventures, with Scale Venture Partners and Montagu Newhall participating. The company says it will use the money to expand its international presence. The company says that the $70 million is a similar level of funding it sought to raise in its December 2007 application for an initial public offering. Read More

  • Arianna Huffington Says Online Journalists May Have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

    Arianna Huffington testified today before the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet in a hearing on the “Future of Journalism.” The Senate was contemplating the future of news, particularly newspapers, and will consider what (if any) action Congress needs to take to save the industry. Those who testified include Marissa Mayer, Vice President of… Read More

  • Co-Founder of iStockphoto Joins Rival Fotolia As North American President

    Patrick Lor, co-founder of iStockphoto, a Getty owned-online marketplace for microstock photography and video, has joined rival Fotolia as the President of Fotolia North America. iStockphoto and and Fotolia, which were both launched around the same time and serve the same purpose, have a long standing competition in the microstock photography space for the best images, the most talented… Read More

  • NetHaggler Will Barter With Online Retailers For You

    With retail spending at all-time lows thanks to the current recession, stores are looking for ways to provide deals, sales and discounts for consumers. Some stores are even letting consumers haggle for prices. NetHaggler is hoping to woo both consumers and online retailers by providing a service that lets users track and negotiate prices online. Free for consumers, NetHaggler has enlisted… Read More

  • Big Blue Acquires Data Discovery Software Provider Exeros

    IBM has acquired Exeros, a company that creates data discovery software, for an undisclosed amount. IBM says that Exeros’ technology will be used to strengthen IBM’s Business Analytics Optimization Consulting practice. Exeros’ software uncovers hidden relationships between databases, helping users make sense of different data sources quickly and efficiently. For example… Read More

  • Tesla Founder Elon Musk Dreams Of Electric Airplanes

    Last week, Elon Musk had a candid conversation with VC George Zachary at the Charles River Ventures CEO Summit. One of the most interesting things Musk talked about was his desire to see electric airplanes in the future—and perhaps even one day help develop these green, energy efficient planes himself. It makes sense—Musk has an interest in aeronautics (he founded Space… Read More

  • Gist Scores $6.75 Million For Gmail, Twitter and Microsoft Outlook Integration Service

    Seattle-based Gist has secured $6.75 million in Series A funding led by the Foundry Group with participation by its founding investor Vulcan Capital. The investment will be used for product development efforts and to expand operations. Currently in closed beta, Gist integrates with Microsoft Outlook and Gmail to aggregate, organize and prioritize emails, links, attachments, and related… Read More

  • hi5 Adds Chat, With A Social Twist

    Social network hi5 is launching a messaging service, hi5 IM, adding real-time interaction for users. hi5 IM, which is similar to Facebook Chat, Facebook’s instant messaging feature, shows users which friends within their network are online and runs directly in any hi5 user’s browser. Users can send messages, change their status, write updates, post profile comments, and share… Read More

  • DealBase Finds $1 Million For Hotel Deal Database

    DealBase.com, an online database devoted to aggregating hotel deals and packages, has secured $1 million in Series A funding from angel investors including Russ Siegelman, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; Bob Zipp, managing director of Amicus Capital; and Josh Hannah, general partner at Matrix Partners and former CEO of eHow.com. Launched in November 2008, DealBase crawls the… Read More

  • Showing Its Twitter Envy, Facebook Gets Serious About SMS

    It appears that over the past few weeks, Facebook has widely activated a feature that allows you to text Facebook to update your status, message your friends, or send a poke on the go. You can opt to receive texts with status updates, messages, pokes, and wall posts from selective friends right when they happen. This is all part of a larger Mobile strategy that Facebook has begun to… Read More

  • Google Latitude Now Lets You Publish Your Location To Gmail Chat And Your Blog

    Google has released two nifty applications for Google Latitude, a feature launched through Google Mobile Maps that allows you to broadcast your location to select friends, family, and colleagues based on the coordinates of your cell phone (via GPS or otherwise). Google says that since Latitude’s launch, users expressed interest in sharing their location with people who are not their… Read More

  • While 23andMe Raises $11 Million, Mohr Davidow Sells Stake To Invest In Rival

    23andme, a company that helps consumers understand and decipher their genomes, has raised a partial $11 million out of a $24.26 million B round of funding, according to regulatory filings. 23andme, which was co-founded by Google co-founder Sergey Brin’s wife, Anne Wojcicki, raised $9 million in Series A funding from Google, Genentech, New Enterprise Associates, and Mohr Davidow Ventures… Read More

  • SpringSource Solidifies Enterprise Offerings With Acquisition Of Hyperic

    SpringSource, the maker of the open source application framework for Java, has acquired Hyperic, which provides open source software to manage web applications. Hyperic provides monitoring and management software for all types of web applications, whether hosted in the cloud or on premise. The acquisition lets SpringSource deepen its roots in the enterprise space by offering a comprehensive… Read More

  • Kidlandia Personalizes Fantasy Maps For Kids

    As a four-year-old, Brian Backus became captivated by the children stories told by Dr. Seuss, a neighbor of Backus’s aunt. According to Backus, Dr.Seuss’s tales inspired him to join the world of cartoon storytelling years later as a producer at Disney Interactive. Now, Backus is launching Kidlandia, web destination where parents and kids can create personalized cartoon fantasyland… Read More