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.

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Latest from Steve O'Hear

  • Lovefilm begins streaming to Germany

    Lovefilm, the Netflix-of-Europe, has rolled out its streaming service in Germany, albeit in Beta. Previously, Germans only had access to the DVD and Blu-ray rental via the post element of Lovefilm, but slowly but surely the company is growing its video-on-demand proposition. Subscribers of can now stream films to their PC as part of their subscription package. Content comes from… Read More

  • Hivext secures $500,000 from Runa Capital for its Cloud dev platform

    Hivext, a cloud-based application development platform, has secured $500,000 of funding from Runa Capital, the Russian VC fund that launched in August. It follows Runa’s first investment announced last month: $2 million in OnAir3G, which is described as a “voice-enabled mobile social networking platform”. Read More

  • Fortumo cracks open the (Angry Birds) Piggy Bank to let Android devs offer carrier billing via SMS

    You remember Bad Piggy Bank, the in-game payment model for Rovio‘s Angry Birds on Android which lets users either remove the ad on the free version of the game or buy the pending Mighty Eagle update. Yes, the one that circumvents Android’s own app store payment system in favour of carrier billing. Well, it’s actually powered by European mobile payments provider Fortumo… Read More

  • Nokia's Navteq acquires crowdsourced traffic data app Trapster

    Nokia-owned Navteq (technically the handset maker’s mapping division) has acquired crowdsourced traffic data app Trapster. Details remain undisclosed. The San Diego, USA-based company’s app, which runs on multiple mobile platforms – iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Symbian, WebOS and JAVA-compatible feature phones – as well as network aware dedicated Sat-Nav devices… Read More

  • Online ad company Admeta bags new investors and CEO

    European online ad company Admeta has bagged a bunch of new investors and put in place a new CEO. Chalmers Innovation Seed Fund, Layline Partners and KL Ventures, together with two founders Leif Jägerbrand and Fredrik Strauss plus Ola Tiverman have acquired a majority stake in Admeta from the Sixth Pension. They have also made a capital injection to ensure the “continued software… Read More

  • DN Capital invests in Performance Horizon Group

    DN Capital, which invests in media and technology companies at the growth and early stages, has led a first round of investment in Performance Horizon Group (PHG), a provider of online performance marketing technology. The size of the round remains undisclosed. Headquartered in the North East of England with offices in London and Luton, PHG’s founders include Malcolm Cowley and Paul… Read More

  • Birch returns to help re-invent Bebo, puts his money where his mouth is

    It’s not quite on the level of Steve Jobs returning to Apple, but every time a founder comes home it leaves me feeling all warm and fuzzy. This time it’s the turn of Michael Birch who has re-joined Bebo as a strategic advisor, along with investing in the social network which he co-founded with his wife Xochi in early 2005 before selling the company to AOL in 2008 for $850… Read More

  • Seatwave sees 1 million tickets traded through its site. Impressive?

    Seatwave, the European aftermarket ticket exchange, is trumpeting somewhat of a landmark today, announcing that one million tickets have been traded through the site. However, it’s a number that is brought sharply into focus when you consider how well funded the UK startup is – thought to be a massive $53 million – and that it’s been operating for coming up to four years. Read More

  • Flirtomatic keeps growing – 3.5m users and several key hires

    Mobile social network Flirtomatic (“the world’s number one flirting company”) continues to notch up users: It’s now passed the 3.5 million registered user mark, a trajectory the company has been on for a while, operating its free service across the UK, US, Germany, Australia, with Spain launching next. Flirtomatic has also announced a bunch of new hires. Read More

  • My Major Company mixes traditional record label A&R with crowdfunding

    Described as a fan-funded record label, My Major Company has launched in the UK with a mix of traditional A&R and crowdfunding. It differs slightly from similar sites, such as Sellaband or the UK’s Slicethepie, in that the acts featured on the site are sourced by the startup’s own talent spotting department first. In addition, fans who choose to invest are essentially buying… Read More

  • P2P lending site RateSetter sees £1m lent in two months since launch

    RateSetter, the UK peer-to-peer lending site that competes with Zopa and, less directly, Funding Circle, has announced that it has seen £1 million lent through its platform since the site launched just two months ago. That’s a fairly big number, although perhaps a reflection of the lousy interest rates offered by high street banks at the moment and the hard times people are facing. Read More

  • Musicmetric raises "significant round" to monitor consumer activity

    Semetric, the startup behind the Musicmetric analytics service, has secured a “significant round” of funding led by Pentech Ventures. Although the actual amount isn’t being disclosed, when pressed Semetric says it’s substantial enough to give the company a “well funded two-year runway”. The new investment will enable Musicmetric to expand its data… Read More

  • Bebo rolls out bChat – Chatroulette sans-private parts

    Following on from the recent addition of IM powered by Meebo’s web-based client, Bebo has rolled out a video chat feature called bChat. Think Chatroulette “sans-private parts” was the line given to me (phew!). It’s provided by Vchatter, the social video chat service that is already available on Facebook and as a standalone offering, and is part of a wider strategy by… Read More

  • CitySocialising raises £1m in Series A round led by PROfounders Capital

    CitySocialising, the subscription-based social network that lets members find local and likeminded people to socialise with in the real world, has secured £1m in a Series A round led by PROfounders Capital, the European VC fund backed by the likes of Brent Hoberman and Michael Birch. PROfounders’ previous investments include, TweetDeck and Keynoir, while… Read More

  • Shazam hits 100m user mark, targets the living room for growth

    Music recognition and discovery service Shazam has reached somewhat of a milestone today: growing its user base to 100 million, of which 25 million users were added in the past six months. At first glance that sounds pretty impressive, though not entirely surprising. Back in May we reported that the ten-year old London-based ‘startup’ had grown its user base from 50 million to… Read More

  • WYGU wants to be a Facebook-for-careers-advice

    WYGU (When You Grow Up) has launched as a “Facebook for careers advice” – that’s their words not mine – and offers a mix of “social careers guidance”, development and e-mentoring. It’s founded by Alun Baker and is backed by £350,000 of Angel funding, which Baker says he’s matched. The UK site’s noble aim is to help people avoid… Read More

  • Developers take note – carrier subsidy should help Apple shift a lot more iPads

    The iPad might be one of the most sought after gadgets this Christmas but for many, its high price is a definite deal breaker. That’s before you factor in carrier subsidy, says a new report from global research and technology firm Vision Critical which reveals that subsidised iPad offers, such as those recently announced by three of the four UK mobile operators, are likely to… Read More

  • Almost three-quarters of Brits check Facebook in bed, while one in five text during sex

    Britain’s a nation of Facebook-ers, that much we already know. But now new research from technology experts Travelodge — OK, it’s a chain of cheap and not so-cheerful hotels — has revealed that almost three-quarters of UK adults check Facebook in bed (72%). Specifically, the survey of 6,000 adults reveals that Brits spend an average of 16 minutes each night on the… Read More

  • Russian search giant Yandex partners with local Facebook-clone VKontakte

    Yandex, the Russian juggernaut of a search engine that is thought to be considering an IPO for up to $1.5 billion, has partnered with VKontakte, which is the largest social network in Russia. How big? The so-called Facebook-clone accounts for more than half of web traffic in the CIS region. Under the arrangement, the public-facing elements of VKontakte user profiles will show up in Yandex… Read More

  • Mixlr exits Beta – now targets everybody not just DJs and musicians

    Mixlr, which we previously described as a UStream-for-audio, has exited Beta and with it a wider remit: No longer is the live audio streaming service aimed at just DJs and musicians but now targets the likes of conference organisers, journalists, podcasters and public speakers too. It’s a pivot not dissimilar to that made by SoundCloud recently, a service that Mixlr both competes with… Read More