Steve O'Hear

Steve O'Hear
Steve O'Hear is best known as a technology journalist, currently at TechCrunch where he focuses on European startups, companies and products. He first joined TechCrunch in November 2009 as Contributing Editor for TechCrunch Europe, where he worked alongside Editor Mike Butcher to help build TechCrunch's coverage in Europe. In June 2011, Steve took a break from journalism to co-found the London and Prague-based startup Beepl. In his role as CEO, he helped the company raise its first VC round, along with seeing the Question & Answer site through development, private alpha and a high profile public launch. In November 2012, Beepl was acquired by Brand Embassy. Along with TechCrunch, Steve has written for numerous publications, including ZDNet (where he wrote the well-respected blog 'The Social Web'), The Guardian, Macworld, TES, Last100 and ReadWriteWeb. He also wrote and directed the critically acclaimed Silicon Valley documentary 'In Search of the Valley', which was released in September 2006. In 2002, Steve was made a fellow of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts. He's also one half of ProtoBake Labs, an 'ideas incubator' he co-founded with Pete Harris. CrunchBase profile →

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  • Tiger Global acquires 50% of Russian online mall Wikimart for $5m

    Private equity firm Tiger Global Management has acquired a 50% stake in Russian online mall Wikimart, reports local newspaper Vedomosti (via blog Quintura). The deal actually took place in May, according to the report but only came to light recently. Wikimart targets countries in the previous Soviet Union, letting individuals and small retailers set up shop online, offering features such as… Read More

  • Nokia gets official Tesco Grocery app. Every little helps, right?

    Although I haven’t signed up to the ‘Nokia is doomed‘ story, I’m the first to recognise that the Finnish handset giant is facing many challenges, having been wrong-footed by the iPhone’s success and the subsequent shift to touch, followed by the the rise of the app store. Or, more specifically, the growing importance of third-party developers and the perception of… Read More

  • Aupeo to 'Stream' to Acer's flagship Android phone, start of partnership

    Aupeo, the music streaming service, has partnered with Acer so that its application will come pre-installed on the latter company’s future line of Android phones. The first of which is Acer’s recently launch flagship, appropriately named ‘Stream,’ a device that features an AMOLED 3.7 inch screen, HDMI port, 1GHz processor, and Dolby Digital sound, amongst its… Read More

  • Holy iCrap! 1 in 10 smartphones in the UK will be iPhone by 2012

    I know we Brits love our iPhones but this could start to get a tad silly. According to the latest data published by mobile research agency mobileSquared, it’s predicted that one in ten smartphones that are active in the UK will be an iPhone by the end of 2012. Further still, as 2015 wraps up – bare with me here – the market will top 9.4 million iPhones or 11% of the total… Read More

  • Last.fm partners with MXP4 to make music ads sticky

    Is it possible to make online ads “sticky” so that users engage with them longer? That’s the aim of a new partnership between CBS-owned Last.fm and MXP4, the interactive music startup. Using MXP4’s technology, Last.fm is to begin offering brands the option to create ads that users of the music streaming and discovery service can interact with, such as remixing a track… Read More

  • Is anybody out there? Tech companies #fail at social media, says study

    Nearly every company has a social media presence these days, right? And, naturally, tech companies execute best. Although perhaps not. A somewhat self-serving study by PR and marketing agency Wildfire, which analysed the social media activity of the 2009 Deloitte Fast Tech 50, found that 90% of the UK tech companies featured had a presence on two or more social networks but the majority fail… Read More

  • Lonely Planet's 25 travel guides get a dose of Augmented Reality

    Lonely Planet, the BBC World-owned travel guide company, has rolled out an Augmented Reality option for Android users. Now targeting 25 popular European, US and Asian cities, its AR-supported ‘Compass Guides’ use a combination of GPS, compass and the phone’s camera to enable users to see their current location and nearby points of interest. The app then overlays information… Read More

  • Shutl begins trial with Argos for same-day 90 minute deliveries

    Shutl, the home delivery startup that offers speedier options for Internet shoppers, is to trial its service with Argos, the shopping catalogue company that now claims to be Britain’s number one online high street retailer. And should the trial resonate with customers – the retailer did £4.3 billion of sales last year – it’s potentially a big win for the UK… Read More

  • Zoopla continues land grab, acquires UK property technology company Byteplay

    The UK land grab continues. Real estate startup Zoopla has acquired property technology company Byteplay Ltd, whose assets include OnOneMap.com, DotHomes.com and Extate.com, all three of which are now pointing to Zoopla.co.uk. The terms of the deal remain undisclosed in what appears to be classic consolidation play. Byteplay is also the operator of the local ‘propertygazette’… Read More

  • It's a WinWin, Grou.ps launches referral program for Ning exiles

    Hoping to cash in further on Ning’s shuttering of its free version, competitor Grou.ps is upping the ante with the launch of “WinWin”, a referral program directly targeting so-called Ning exiles. The service claims to have already migrated more than 50,000 Ning networks, making it the largest “do-it-yourself social networking platform”, and hopes to continue… Read More

  • Runa Capital's $30m fund for Russian startups aims to build bridges with Europe and U.S.

    Runa Capital, a new Russian VC firm, has launched today with a $30m seed fund for early-stage Russian technology startups. It’s founded by Serguei Beloussov, chairman of Parallels and Acronis and will be advised by Alexander Galitsky of Almaz Capital Partners. In particular the new fund will target the “rapid growth tech sectors” of cloud computing, machine learning… Read More

  • Lovefilm, the Netflix-of-Europe, signs deal with Widevine to beef up multi-platform play

    Lovefilm, the Netflix-of-Europe, looks set to beef up its multi-platform play via a newly signed agreement with DRM and adaptive streaming technology provider Widevine. The deal will see the US-based company become Lovefilm’s “preferred provider of digital rights management and video optimisation solutions”, enabling the video subscription service to continue to break out… Read More

  • Barclaycard partners with KashFlow to pilot e-invoicing service

    In what is potentially a big win for Software-as-a-Service accounting startup KashFlow, Barclaycard is inviting its business customers to join an e-invoicing pilot powered by the London-based company’s wares. According to an email that has been circulated by Barclaycard that we’ve seen, the credit card company, which is owned by UK bank Barclays, is inviting merchants to apply on… Read More

  • Private equity firm Permira acquires online travel agency eDreams from TA

    eDreams, the Spanish online travel giant, has changed private equity hands once again. In a deal reportedly worth €250-300 million, the UK’s Permira has acquired a majority share in the site from its previous owner US private equity firm TA Associates. TA paid €153 million for the company in 2006 from its original VC backers, which included Apax Partners, Atlas Venture, BSCH… Read More

  • Report: European VC funding bounces back, IT is the "star performer"

    European VC funding has bounced back. That’s according to Q2 figures produced by Dow Jones VentureSource which reports that investment is up by 50 percent compared to the record low of this time last year. €1.1 billion into 289 deals against 252 deals, which raised just €735 million. But specifically, says Dow Jones, the Information Technology (IT) industry, which apparently… Read More

  • Map My Tracks partners with Team Sky to deliver iPhone app for cyclists and fans

    When we first profiled Map My Tracks, a web service which provides real-time GPS tracking for cyclists, runners and other sporting types, we liked the concept and user experience but were critical of the subscription model employed. That was back in February 2008 and since then the service, developed by UK-based digital agency Tinderhouse, has ditched premium for a combination of free for… Read More

  • Post-credit crunch, Pay4later lets UK online retailers offer customers finance

    Buy now, pay later. We’re all too familiar with the way “cheap” or sometimes 0% finance is offered by bricks ‘n’ mortar stores at the point of purchase, and some of us are no doubt paying for the privilege right now. Online, however, buying on credit isn’t always quite as easy to come by or at least not at smaller e-commerce outlets. Pay4Later, in the UK… Read More

  • Listiki offers a smart way of gathering public opinion through crowdsourced lists

    Listiki (a portmanteau of the words “list” and “wiki”) lets you crowdsource lists of, well, anything. This could be something as trivial as a list of the ‘top ten horror movies’ or something more self-serving like, I don’t know, ‘5 must-read tech bloggers’. Lists can be as short or as long as you like and each item may also include a… Read More

  • ProcessOne's HostedIM offers business-class instant messaging for SMEs

    ProcessOne has launched a new hosted instant messaging (IM) service aimed at SMEs. Dubbed Hosted.IM, it allows businesses to easily create a “business-class” IM capability using their own domain name without the cost of managing the required hardware and software in-house. It’s free for up to 5 users after which ‘packs’ can be purchased for up to 10, 25, 50, 75 or… Read More

  • AudioBox.fm hits iPhone, lets you stream your music collection from the cloud

    AudioBox.fm, the cloud-based music service that lets users upload their music collection and access it anywhere, has added the iPhone/iPod touch to its list of supported devices through a native application. Previously, iPhone users could only access AudioBox via Mobile Safari, a bit of a kludge since the QuickTime Player plugin effectively takes over the phone’s browser. There’s… Read More