Sarah Perez

Sarah Perez
Sarah currently works as a writer for TechCrunch, after having previously spent over three years at ReadWriteWeb. Prior to becoming a professional blogger, Sarah worked in I.T. across a number of industries, including banking, retail and software. CrunchBase profile →

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  • DipJar Raises Funding For A Tip Jar Where You Pay With Plastic, Not Spare Change

    DipJar Raises Funding For A Tip Jar Where You Pay With Plastic, Not Spare Change

    The move to a more “cashless” society has not been without its victims – namely, those whose incomes relied on the spare change and small donations that once came from customers emptying their pockets, but are now locked up in digital bits and credit card swipes. The lowly tip jar today often sits empty, as few carry around the quarters and dollars with which to fill it. Read More

  • JibJab Acquires Make Believe Studios, Makers Of Video Calling App Hello Santa

    JibJab Acquires Make Believe Studios, Makers Of Video Calling App Hello Santa

    JibJab Bros. Studios, which is the parent company to JibJab.com and the StoryBots apps, has made its first major purchase in its 15-year history, with the announcement that it’s acquiring a startup called Make Believe Labs, whose product “Hello Santa” we reviewed last year. The company’s three founders will now join JibJab and continue to run their service from… Read More

  • Ridesharing Service Sidecar Raises Another $15 Million, Adds Sir Richard Branson As Investor

    Ridesharing Service Sidecar Raises Another $15 Million, Adds Sir Richard Branson As Investor

    San Francisco-headquartered ridesharing startup Sidecar, which competes with on-demand car services like Uber and Lyft, announced this morning it has raised an additional $15 million in funding. The new round comes from existing investors Avalon Ventures and Union Square Ventures, and includes participation from new investor and Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson. Previously, Sidecar had… Read More

  • How Many Times A Day Do You Check Your Phone? Checky Will Tell You.

    How Many Times A Day Do You Check Your Phone? Checky Will Tell You.

    In today’s hyper-connected world, meditation and relaxation-focused resource Calm gives you a much-needed mental break during the day, and can help you quiet the spinning wheels in your head when it’s time to sleep at night. Now the company is rolling out a second application called Checky, designed more to make you aware of how often you’re using your smartphone. Read More

  • Forget Siri, Fetch Is A Real Personal Assistant, Contained In An App

    Forget Siri, Fetch Is A Real Personal Assistant, Contained In An App

    Fetch, a mobile app that serves as a personal buying assistant by allowing you to submit text or photos then have results returned to you by a professional shopper, is expanding beyond product search with a new release out now. In the updated version, which also works over SMS, you can use your buying assistant to book flights, hotels, and rental cars as well as buy movie tickets, event… Read More

  • Sesame Lets You Order Themed Gift Sets From Your iPad

    Sesame Lets You Order Themed Gift Sets From Your iPad

    Web and mobile gifting service Sesame, which lets you browse and order themed gift sets online or from your iPhone, has now rolled out to iPad. The updated application lets you get a better feel for the gifts you’re ordering, by including “unboxing” videos that show how the gifts were packaged and what they look like in real life. In addition, “hot spots” now… Read More

  • CStorePro Is Google Analytics For Convenience Stores

    CStorePro Is Google Analytics For Convenience Stores

    One of the more interesting startups spotted in this year’s Startup Alley at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2014 was CStorePro. The company, which likens its product to a “Google Analytics” for convenience stores, was a runner-up for the Audience’s Choice award – that is, the startup picked from the crowded tables filling the Alley, voted up as a favorite by the public. Read More

  • And The Winner Of TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2014 Is…Alfred!

    And The Winner Of TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2014 Is…Alfred!

    After three days and incredible pitches from our 26 Battlefield companies (plus two Audience Choice winners), it’s now time to name the TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2014 Battlefield champion. This year’s finalists included Alfred, Partpic, PatternEQ, Shipstr, Stack And Vinli – all amazing startups. But there can only be one winner who walks away with the Disrupt Cup – and… Read More

  • DataFox Offers Predictive Intelligence-As-A-Service, Enabling Better Investment Decisions

    DataFox Offers Predictive Intelligence-As-A-Service, Enabling Better Investment Decisions

    Launching today at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2014, is a company called DataFox, which offers a deal intelligence platform that makes access to “big data” available to any corporate analyst or individual in real-time, allowing them to make better investment decisions. The company has been testing its subscription-based platform for over a year with over 2,000 trial users, and… Read More

  • Apple Announces Mobile Payment Solution Called Apple Pay

    Apple Announces Mobile Payment Solution Called Apple Pay

    Confirming rumors and leaks, Apple announced this morning that the new iPhone 6 devices will support mobile payments. The feature, which also uses Apple’s Touch ID, will take advantage of NFC technology. That means users will be able to pay for goods and others services in the real world using the payment information already associated with their iTunes accounts. That, in fact, is… Read More

  • iTunes App Store Reaches 1.3 Million Mobile Applications

    iTunes App Store Reaches 1.3 Million Mobile Applications

    At Apple’s iPhone 6 event in Cupertino this morning, the company announced that the iTunes App Store has now reached 1.3 million applications – an update from the 1.2 million mobile applications announced in June. For comparison’s sake, in June 2013, Apple announced there were then 900,000 apps available on its platform, which had then been downloaded 50 billion times. By… Read More

  • Amazon Brings Prime Instant Video To All Android Phones In US, UK And Germany

    Amazon Brings Prime Instant Video To All Android Phones In US, UK And Germany

    Amazon announced this morning that it’s bringing its Prime Instant Video streaming service to all Android phones in the U.S., U.K. and Germany through an update to the Amazon app for Android. After installing the new version of the mobile application, users will be able to not only shop from their phones as before, but will also have access to the “tens of thousands” of TV… Read More

  • Rakuten Buys Ebates For $1 Billion

    Rakuten Buys Ebates For $1 Billion

    Rumors have been swirling around Japan’s Rakuten, which has been in discussions with rebate website operator Ebates.com, regarding a potential acquisition deal. That deal has now gone through, as the company announced today it has agreed to acquire Ebates for $1 billion. That’s roughly what Rakuten paid to acquire mobile messaging app Viber back in February. Read More

  • Valor Water Analytics Helps Water Utilities Stay Afloat As Customers Conserve

    Valor Water Analytics Helps Water Utilities Stay Afloat As Customers Conserve

    As more Americans become aware of the need to conserve water for environmental reasons, or due to drought-related water use restrictions, the water utilities have found themselves struggling to stay financially sound as they begin to sell less water to their customers. Valor Water Analytics is a company moving into this largely ignored sector in order to provide utilities with software… Read More

  • StudyRoom Helps Students Help Themselves (And Each Other)

    StudyRoom Lets College Students Join Online Study Groups, Book Tutors

    Launching publicly on the TechCrunch Disrupt stage this afternoon is a company called StudyRoom, which aims to take student study groups and tutoring online, and make them more social. The company has already been running trials of its program in six universities, starting this spring, and now claims to reach 40,000 students across the U.S. who use it as a platform for social, peer-to-peer… Read More

  • Shower With Friends Wins The Disrupt SF 2014 Hackathon Grand Prize, Blitz And Interactive Markdown Are Runners Up

    Shower With Friends Wins The Disrupt SF 2014 Hackathon Grand Prize, Blitz And Interactive Markdown Are Runners Up

    Over the weekend, 132 teams worked tirelessly at the TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2014 hackathon to come up with their ingenious hacks and creations. At the end of a long night filled with Nerf guns, pizza and very little sleep, the teams presented their hacks to the world on the Disrupt stage for final judging. At the end of the afternoon, the judges convened and decided to award the grand prize… Read More

  • Blitz Lets You Create Shortcuts To Your Favorite iOS Apps

    Blitz Lets You Create Shortcuts To Your Favorite iOS Apps

    Presenting on stage at the TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco hackathon this afternoon was the team from an iOS app called Blitz, which aims to offer Notification Screen shortcuts to specific pages and functions within your iOS apps. For example, you could save a shortcut that, when tapped, would launch Google Maps with directions to your home already routed for you. Or you could tap a shortcut… Read More

  • Shutterfly Brings Its Online Boutique Tiny Prints To The iPad

    Shutterfly Brings Its Online Boutique Tiny Prints To The iPad

    Shutterfly is expanding its lineup of native iOS applications today with the launch of Tiny Prints for iPad, a mobile version of the online stationary boutique the company acquired in 2011 for $333 million. Like its web-based counterpart, the app allows customers to create and customize stationary, cards and other gifts via a variety of personalization options, including by occasion, paper… Read More

  • Millennials Are The Largest Group Of Smartphone Owners, And Adoption Is Still Growing

    Millennials Are The Largest Group Of Smartphone Owners, And Adoption Is Still Growing

    Millennials, one of the largest generational groups in the U.S., on par with the Baby Boomers, are also the largest group of smartphone owners, says Nielsen in a report out today. And their adoption of the devices is still growing: by the second quarter of this year, 85% of those aged 18 to 24 owned a smartphone, and 86% of those aged 25 to 34 did. That’s up from 77% and 80%… Read More

  • Pinterest’s Latest Chrome Extension Lets You Decorate Your New Tab Page With Beautiful Photos

    Pinterest’s Latest Chrome Extension Lets You Decorate Your New Tab Page With Beautiful Photos

    Pinterest wants to insert itself further into its users’ everyday workflows, so the company has rolled out today a new way to jazz up your Google Chrome web browser with a little bit of “inspirational” imagery. With its second Chrome extension, Pinterest can now insert a full-color Pin onto your New Tab page, which you can click on to be redirected to Pinterest’s website… Read More

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