Anthony Ha

Anthony Ha is a senior writer at TechCrunch, where he covers media and advertising. Previously, he worked as a tech writer at Adweek, a senior editor at the tech blog VentureBeat, and a local government reporter at the Hollister Free Lance, where he won awards from the California Newspaper Publishers Association for breaking news coverage and writing. He attended Stanford University and now lives in Brooklyn.

Disclosure: I own shares in VentureBeat.

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  • Duolingo's chatbot helps you practice texting in a new language

    Duolingo’s new chatbots help you brush up on your foreign language conversation skills

    A lot of startups are talking about the possibilities of chatbots, but Duolingo recently launched one of the most interesting uses so far — practicing a new language. The Duolingo chatbots allow users to hold text message conversations in French, Spanish or German, with the chatbots taking on different personas to discuss different topics. You probably won’t mistake them for… Read More

  • Digital comics startup Madefire launches its first virtual reality app

    Digital comics startup Madefire launches its first virtual reality app

    When digital comics startup Madefire announced its latest funding round a few days ago, co-founder and CEO Ben Wolstenholme said the company was getting ready to move into virtual and augmented reality. He lived up to that promise in very short order, launching a preview app for Samsung’s Oculus-powered Gear VR platform and demonstrating it at New York Comic Con. Wolstenholme has told… Read More

  • Disruptor Beam is developing a multiplayer strategy game based on The Walking Dead

    Disruptor Beam is developing a multiplayer strategy game based on The Walking Dead

    Game developer Disruptor Beam has already adapted Game of Thrones and Star Trek to the world of smartphones and tablets. Now it’s adding The Walking Dead to that list. CEO Jon Radoff said The Walking Dead: March to War will be a multiplayer strategy game for iOS and Android, where players (potentially tens of thousands of them on a single map) compete with each other for resources and… Read More

  • New Lab is a new home for hardware startups in Brooklyn’s Navy Yard

    New Lab, which co-founder David Belt described as “a collaborative workspace” for companies in fields like robotics and artificial intelligence, officially opened last month. The facility is located in Brooklyn’s Navy Yard, in a building that was once used to assemble ships. Belt said he wanted to bring the building back as a manufacturing center, except updated for… Read More

  • Co-founder Antti Pasila becomes CEO at programmatic ad company Kiosked

    Co-founder Antti Pasila becomes CEO at programmatic ad company Kiosked

    Kiosked, a company that dynamically inserts ads into a publisher’s content, has a new CEO — co-founder Antti Pasila. Pasila, who previously served as the company’s chief strategy officer, said his appointment is part of a broader shift: “The key thing is, we’re focusing our resources on the supply side.” In other words, while there are no plans to get rid… Read More

  • Trying on Nike’s limited edition, self-lacing ‘Back to the Future’ shoes

    Nike announced earlier this week that it will be releasing a new edition of the Nike Mags, its self-lacing shoes inspired by Back to the Future — but only 89 pairs, which will be raffled off (tickets cost $10), with proceeds benefiting the Michael J. Fox Foundation‘s research on Parkinson’s disease. I got a chance to (briefly) try on a pair of Mags and discuss the… Read More

  • Animoto gives businesses an easy way to create social videos

    Animoto gives businesses an easy way to create social videos

    Animoto is launching a new product for businesses that want to post their own marketing videos for Facebook and other social networks — but don’t necessarily have the team or the skills needed to create something slick. The company already offers products that automatically assemble your photos and videos into a video slideshow, and it’s been adding more tools for businesses. Read More

  • Madefire, a digital comics startup with an eye on virtual reality, raises $6.5M

    Madefire, a digital comics startup with an eye on virtual reality, raises $6.5M

    Just in time for New York Comic Con, Madefire is announcing that it has raised $6.5 million in Series B funding. Madefire co-founder and CEO Ben Wolstenholme said the funding — which was led by Santa Monica-based Plus Capital — will help his company build more connections with the media and entertainment world. It’s not that Madefire (which previously raised $6.3 million… Read More

  • Twitter study says that responding to tweets pays off for businesses

    Twitter study says that responding to tweets pays off for businesses

    It’s a classic Twitter conversation: Someone complains about a bad experience with a company, then the business responds, promising to make things better. But is that actually an effective use of the company’s time? It is, according to a new study conducted by Twitter in collaboration with Applied Marketing Science. Specifically, Twitter says that when a customer tweets at a… Read More

  • Rover announces $40M round for pet sitting and dog walking

    Rover announces $40M round for pet sitting and dog walking

    Last month, we reported that Rover was closing a $40 million round. Looks like the deal has closed — the pet-sitting startup announced today that it has raised, yep, $40 million in a Series E funding. The round was led by Foundry Group and Menlo Ventures, with participation from Madrona Venture Group — all existing investors. Rover has now raised more than $90 million in total… Read More

  • HBO’s Westworld is the robotic cowboy headtrip that you didn’t know you were waiting for

    HBO’s Westworld is the robotic cowboy headtrip that you didn’t know you were waiting for

    Expectations are ridiculously high as Westworld rides onto HBO tonight. The first season cost a reported $100 million to make, and it’s being pitched in some quarters as the new Game of Thrones. When you’ve got any TV show with that much hype, some disappointment seems inevitable, but judging from the first two episodes, Westworld is even better than anticipated. Based on a 1973… Read More

  • MightyTV’s Tinder-style TV recommendation app comes to Android

    MightyTV’s Tinder-style TV recommendation app comes to Android

    MightyTV, an app that helps you figure out what to watch next, is now available on Android. The startup is led by AdMeld co-founder Brian Adams, and it presents users with a stack of movie and TV recommendations which you swipe through, Tinder-style. If you’ve seen something already, you can say whether or not you liked it, which will influence the recommendations you see next. If… Read More

  • Meal kit service Home Chef raises $40M

    Meal kit service Home Chef raises $40M

    Home Chef just announced that it’s raised a new $40 million round of funding. This Series B comes on top of the $10 million round that Home Chef raised earlier this year. It was led by L Catterton, the private equity firm formed by the recent merger of Catterton with the PE arm of luxury conglomerate LVMH. Founder and CEO Pat Vihtelic has argued that Home Chef differs from other… Read More

  • Meetup redesigns its mobile apps to focus on your personal interests

    Meetup redesigns its mobile apps to focus on your personal interests

    Meetup is giving users a new way to find the meetups that give the company its name. The New York City-based company is launching new smartphone apps and a (partially) redesigned website with new branding, as well as a new way to browse meetup listings. “We killed the calendar,” CEO and co-founder Scott Heiferman said. Instead, Meetup will recommend listings for you based on your… Read More

  • GoGoGuest helps coffee shops manage their Wi-Fi, customer-by-customer

    GoGoGuest helps coffee shops manage their Wi-Fi, customer-by-customer

    Be honest: Have you ever spent an entire day working at a coffee shop, despite only buying a single cup of coffee? I’ve definitely been guilty of this, and I’ve also been to coffee shops that try to fight back by removing outlets, turning off their Wi-Fi or outlawing laptops on certain tables. A startup called GoGoGuest is taking a different approach that could help coffee shops… Read More

  • The New York Times invests in theSkimm

    The New York Times invests in theSkimm

    Big media companies are backing newsletter startup theSkimm. Following an $8 million round led by 21st Century Fox that was announced in June, theSkimm announced today that it has raised an additional $500,000 from The New York Times, Yannick Bolloré (CEO of ad giant Havas Group), strategic advisory firm MediaLink and actress Mariska Hargitay. The company says it now has 4 million… Read More

  • AppLovin is selling a majority stake to Orient Hontai Capital for $1.4B

    AppLovin is selling a majority stake to Orient Hontai Capital for $1.4B

    Mobile ad startup AppLovin announced today it has agreed to sell a majority stake of the company to Chinese private equity firm Orient Hontai Capital for $1.4 billion. We first reported that AppLovin was in talks with a Chinese company for a $1.5 billion acquisition back in August. In his blog post announcing the deal, co-founder and CEO Adam Foroughi wrote: While this deal is a tremendous… Read More

  • Science, tech and geek culture site Inverse raises $6M

    Science, tech and geek culture site Inverse raises $6M

    Inverse, a new-ish digital media startup founded by Bleacher Report’s Dave Nemetz, is announcing that it has raised $6 million in Series A funding. The Inverse site launched in August 2015 and covers a mix of science, technology and entertainment news — as I write this, the front page features stories on astrobiology, future cities and The Simpsons. Nemetz told me the goal is to… Read More

  • WTF is clickbait?

    WTF is clickbait?

    Let’s settle this, once and for all: Clickbaiting is the intentional act of over-promising or otherwise misrepresenting — in a headline, on social media, in an image, or some combination — what you’re going to find when you read a story on the web. Currently, clickbait is often characterized by wording like, “You won’t believe” or “What… Read More

  • The ugly reality of an Oculus founder’s politics

    The ugly reality of an Oculus founder’s politics

    It hasn’t been a great couple of days for Facebook PR. For one thing, the company admitted that, due to an error, it has been significantly inflating its reports on average video view times. For another, The Daily Beast discovered that Oculus founder Palmer Luckey is backing the pro-Donald Trump organization Nimble America, a group dedicated to promoting anti-Hillary Clinton… Read More

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