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. CrunchBase profile →

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  • IBM And Juniper Networks Hoping To Gain Cloud Computing Market Share

    IBM And Juniper Networks Hoping To Gain Cloud Computing Market Share


    IBM will be unveiling a number of new cloud computing technologies at its CIO Leadership Exchange in Shanghai and its Pulse Conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday with networking giant and Cisco-rival Juniper Networks by its side. We reported last summer that Juniper is doing a good job of making inroads on Cisco’s turf, and this partnership with IBM is a sign of Juniper’s… Read More

  • Smack Shopping Lands Bellyup In The Deadpool

    Smack Shopping Lands Bellyup In The Deadpool

    We’ve received a number of tips indicating that that Jellyfish’s flagship product, online social shopping show Smack Shopping, is going to be shut down. This is surprising move for Jellyfish, a Microsoft-owned online shopping portal, since the premise of the show is based around the audience creating hot (low-cost) deals on online products. In a economy where a good deal is… Read More

  • Is Noca The Next PayPal?

    Is Noca The Next PayPal?

    Noca, an online payments start-up we wrote about last year, is launching its official payment service today. Formed by ex-Visa employees, Noca originally offered a micro-payments system via two Facebook applications, OneClickPay and HelpYourWorld. The company is now offering payment services for unlimited amounts. Currently, Noca has two clients; digital content provider Klatcher.com and… Read More

  • YouDiligence Helps Parents Combat Cyber Predators

    YouDiligence Helps Parents Combat Cyber Predators

    In light of recent reports of sexual predator growth on Facebook and MySpace sites, we wanted to mention start-up YouDiligence.com, a service launched late last year that alerts parents and educators to questionable content on Facebook, MySpace and other social networking websites. The company says that business has been exploding since MySpace recently cooperated with Connecticut… Read More

  • Hopstop Jumps Onto iPhone App Bandwagon That Is Driven By Google Maps

    Hopstop Jumps Onto iPhone App Bandwagon That Is Driven By Google Maps

    Transit planner HopStop launched its free iPhone application last week to rival the mobile version of Google Map’s Transit option. The application, with support from iPhone’s GPS functionality, offers all the same services as the website. This includes trip customization, maps marked with nearby subways and bus stops, a taxi mode that estimates time and cost of travel and… Read More

  • Elevator Pitch Friday: Zumeo Tries To Be Gen-Y's LinkedIn

    Elevator Pitch Friday: Zumeo Tries To Be Gen-Y's LinkedIn

    This week’s elevator pitch comes from Zumeo.com. The pitch gets points for being concise and presenting a clever idea: a social networking and job site for the Generation Y. Zumeo.com is a social networking and online recruiting site for college students, recent college grads and first year hires. Users first take a “self-discovery” test that highlights strengths and weaknesses. Read More

  • Deep Thoughts On What's Going On In Google's Head

    Deep Thoughts On What's Going On In Google's Head

    Many of Google’s products have been going through some major and minor overhauls recently. Gmail went offline, enhanced PDF previews became available on Gmail, Calendars went offline for Enterprise users, Labels had an update and Tasks were added. Google Gears, the open-source browser extension available for Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer on Windows, Mac, and Linux, has enabled… Read More

  • Debunked: Apple Doesn't Ban Facebook In Stores As A Policy

    Debunked: Apple Doesn't Ban Facebook In Stores As A Policy

    UPDATE: An Apple representative just informed me that its retail stores have NOT banned access to Facebook. There’s been a lot of talk about how Facebook has been banned at all Apple stores to prevent customers from loitering. We did a little investigation on our own and found that Facebook was able to be accessed at Apple stores in Washington D.C. and Palo Alto. However, two stores, one… Read More

  • TwtQpon Throws A Free Bone To Struggling Retailers

    TwtQpon Throws A Free Bone To Struggling Retailers

    Dell made a cool $1 million over the holidays by alerting Twitter users to sale items. Now, Felipe Coimbra, the developer who gave us twtpoll, twttrip and twtvite, is launching twtQpon, a Twitter coupon creator for businesses to roll out their Twitter marketing strategy. Not a bad idea, when retailers are trying desperately to find a way to harness the outreach power of Twitter. Others… Read More

  • Offline Google Calendar Is The Ugly Stepsister of Offline Gmail

    After announcing the offline feature for Gmail last week, Google allowed another feature to be viewed offline: Google Calendar. Unfortunately, the masses will have to wait for access. The offline access, which was built using Google Gears, is currently only available to users of business software package, Google Apps. While the offline feature for calendars offers read-only access for… Read More

  • Google's Answer To The Kindle?

    Google's Answer To The Kindle?

    If you ever get a craving for classic literature while on the go, Google’s just given you the ability to check out your favorite literary works via an iPhone or Android phone. Google’s Book Search currently features 1.5 million public domain books, which have all been optimized to fit a mobile screen. Unfortunately, Blackberrys and other non-Android operating system phones are out… Read More

  • Yourmagz.com Marries Ning with Scribd

    Yourmagz.com Marries Ning with Scribd

    Canadian start-up Yourmagz.com launched the closed beta version of its SaaS content distribution platform today. You can sign up to view the site. The platform – which can be described as a hybrid between social network platform Ning and web document sharing service Scribd – specializes in distributing publishers’ content across various websites, social networks, and… Read More

  • Twitter: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

    Twitter: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

    Twitter is the current darling of the social networking community. And we’ve all seen the positive things Twitter has to offer when it comes to micro-blogging. It was only a matter of time before the human race found unfortunate ways monetize the world’s newest toy. Here are a few annoyances and exploitations I discovered: Retailers were bound to try to harness the reaching power… Read More

  • Charlie Rose: The MySpace Interview. Going After Small Business.

    MySpace founders Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe got the Charlie Rose treatment on Tuesday night in a wide-ranging interview that lasted about a half hour. Rose starts with a few general questions, but he does get a few tidbits of new information. For instance, DeWolfe reveals that 18 million people a month get MySpace on their mobile phones. To put that into perspective, that is about the… Read More

  • Calling All Socially-Minded Techies; Kiva Launches API Platform

    Calling All Socially-Minded Techies; Kiva Launches API Platform

    Kiva.org, the non-profit people-to-people microlending organization, is rolling out an open-source API platform for techies interested in building tools and new applications for the microfinance/microlending community. Kiva wants ‘build.kiva.org’ to become a hub for socially-minded developers who want a make a difference in the world (and create cool applications). Here’s a… Read More

  • CVSDude Hopes To Continue Its Success in Silicon Valley

    CVSDude Hopes To Continue Its Success in Silicon Valley

    CVSDude’s 2009 is off to a promising start. The Australian-based provider of hosting software environment development just reported that January was the company’s biggest month of revenue in its six-year history, despite the worldwide economic downturn. And CVSDude recently acquired an Australian competitor, SharpForge, a project management SaaS company. Now, the company is trying… Read More

  • TringMe Finds A Way To Make VoIP Calls from Microsoft Silverlight

    TringMe Finds A Way To Make VoIP Calls from Microsoft Silverlight

    Indian start-up TringMe launched a demo of a widget that now allows a user the ability to make a VoIP call from Microsoft Silverlight applications. Silverlight doesn’t allow access to a microphone, thus restricting VoIP calls, so TringMe used a backdoor Flash widget to access the microphone. This could open up the door for Silverlight developers to integrate VoIP in their applications. Read More

  • iWidgets Raises $4.1 Million For Social Syndication Platform

    iWidgets Raises $4.1 Million For Social Syndication Platform

    In a economic climate that isn’t ripe for funding, iWidgets, a social network syndication service, just raised $4.1 million in Series A funding from Opus Capital and University Venture Fund. The start-up previously received an undisclosed amount in seed funding from Opus Capital, Wilson Sonsini, and a few angel investors in June of 2007. iWidgets, who lists CBS Interactive as one of… Read More

  • Health Care Social Network Enurgi Acquired By Univita Health

    Health Care Social Network Enurgi Acquired By Univita Health

    Enurgi, a social network that connects caregivers to patients, is being acquired by Univita Health, a health care services platform that promotes independent aging through home care and support, for an undisclosed amount. Enurgi brings to the table a valuable database of 1.5 million caregivers and an established social network of care recipients and caregivers. Univita will most probably add… Read More

  • AdventureDrop's Beta Version Not Very Adventurous

    AdventureDrop's Beta Version Not Very Adventurous

    Start up AdventureDrop is launching what seems to be a very, very rough beta version of its wiki-based travel portal focused on providing an easy way to find adventure travel by location and activity. The site’s wiki platform allows others to edit, add and share adventures with the community. AdventureDrop currently only features somewhat dull U.S. travel adventures. For example, if you do… Read More