Katie Roof

Katie Roof is a senior writer and video host at TechCrunch. She has an interest in late stage venture capital, and is especially enthusiastic about commerce, social media and apps. Previously, Roof was a tech reporter for FOXBusiness.com and has been a contributor at Reuters, TheStreet and Forbes. She has held television production roles at CNN and Bloomberg TV.

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  • Aspect Ventures raises $181 million fund

    Aspect Ventures raises $181 million fund

    Aspect Ventures has finalized its second fund. The team led by Jennifer Fonstad and Theresia Gouw has closed $181 million, up from $150 million it raised at its inception three years ago.  An SEC filing last year alerted us that the team was fundraising, but now it’s officially official. Aspect is also adding Melinda Gates and Cisco to its roster of LPs. The team is “looking… Read More

  • Hippo raises $25 million for home insurance

    Hippo raises $25 million for home insurance

    So much money has been poured into insurance startups that it’s spawned its own category, “insurtech.” Investors see an opportunity to reduce inefficiencies and make customer-friendly products, and they believe that more young people will buy insurance if the process is more convenient. From life to autos to rentals to theft, just about every insurance category is… Read More

  • Google CEO: ‘I don’t regret’ firing James Damore

    Google CEO: ‘I don’t regret’ firing James Damore

    Google CEO Sundar Pichai says he still believes that it was appropriate to fire James Damore. “I don’t regret it,” said Pichai, in an interview with Recode’s Kara Swisher and MSNBC’s Ari Melber. It’s been almost six months since the company dismissed the engineer, who authored a controversial memo about purported gender differences. Read More

  • Varo Money raises $45 million for mobile banking without fees

    Varo Money raises $45 million for mobile banking without fees

    There are a number of startups looking to disrupt traditional banking. We’ve covered Chime, Zero and Jiko, just to name a few. Another one of those is Varo Money and they’ve raised $45 million led by private equity giant, Warburg Pincus and The Rise Fund, a global impact fund that’s part of another private equity firm, TPG. (That’s the one U2’s Bono is… Read More

  • Apartment List raises $50 million for home rentals

    Apartment List raises $50 million for home rentals

    It’s estimated that over one-third of Americans rent their homes, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council. And half of those people are under 30-years-old. But what’s the best way for this often transient group of people to find a new place to live? Craigslist has been a leader in online rentals, but not everyone is satisfied with the user experience. Apartment… Read More

  • Boxed in talks to be acquired by Kroger for $500 million

    Boxed in talks to be acquired by Kroger for $500 million

    New York-based Boxed, the startup for buying food and household items in bulk, is in talks to be acquired by Kroger for about $500 million. Other retailers are also expected to be making bids. The news was first reported by Forbes and confirmed to TechCrunch by a source with knowledge of the situation. We’re hearing that the company is aiming to make a decision this weekend. Founded… Read More

  • Dropbox files confidentially for IPO

    Dropbox files confidentially for IPO

    Dropbox has filed confidentially for IPO, according to Bloomberg. TechCrunch has been hearing that the cloud company plans to go public in early 2018. The company did not respond to request for comment. Read More

  • Alkami raises $70 million for mobile banking software

    Alkami raises $70 million for mobile banking software

    There’s a startup in Texas that’s been quietly building the technology that powers mobile banking apps. Plano-based Alkami has developed a white label service that credit unions and banks use across digital platforms. And Alkami’s 4.5 million users have generated enough revenue for the company to justify a $70 million Series D round, led by General Atlantic, with… Read More

  • Menlo, Benchmark, First Round sold Uber stakes worth hundreds of millions

    Menlo, Benchmark, First Round sold Uber stakes worth hundreds of millions

    Uber finally got its secondary transaction done with SoftBank buying about $8 billion worth of shares last month. Now we’re learning more about who sold what. It was already known that major shareholder Menlo Ventures was looking to sell shares, but we’re  hearing confirmation that it wagered the majority of its holdings and successfully sold close to half of its stake, which… Read More

  • Wealthfront raises $75 million to help millennials invest

    Wealthfront raises $75 million to help millennials invest

    Millennials take a different approach to investing than previous generations. Only one in three are buying stocks. And some are turning to software, rather than humans, for advice on financial planning. For the past 10 years, Wealthfront has been building out a platform that it hopes will appeal to the next class of wealth creators. Read More

  • Spotify files to go public

    Spotify files to go public

    Spotify has filed confidentially to go public, sources told Dan Primack at Axios. He learned that the music streaming company filed with the SEC at the end of December. The timing is consistent with what we are hearing. Sources told us that they’ve been targeting a debut for the first quarter of this year. Read More

  • These apps will help you keep your New Year’s resolutions

    Almost half of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. Far fewer stick to them. “Losing weight” and “exercising more” are among the most popular goals. A sizeable percentage of Americans also aim to “be a better person.” TechCrunch reviewed apps that are designed to help people stay on track with these plans. Here are a few that will help you… Read More

  • SoftBank’s big investment in Uber comes to a close

    SoftBank’s big investment in Uber comes to a close

    SoftBank’s long-anticipated investment in Uber is almost done. Following the close of the tender offer on Thursday, a SoftBank-led group was able to secure interest for its desired 14% stake in the company.  The news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. The shares purchased from existing shareholders will value the company at approximately $48 billion, a significant discount… Read More

  • Mattermark to shut down after selling to FullContact

    Mattermark to shut down after selling to FullContact

    Mattermark, the site for startup and company data, is shutting down its own business after selling in a disappointing outcome to FullContact. In a document obtained by TechCrunch, co-founder and CEO Danielle Morrill wrote that “common stockholders will not be receiving anything in this deal.” In other words, Mattermark employee shares are worthless. It was just last year that… Read More

  • Sequoia is looking to raise a $5 billion investment fund

    Sequoia is looking to raise a $5 billion investment fund

    Sequoia Capital is looking to raise a $5 billion investment fund. The legendary Silicon Valley venture firm, known for its stellar investment returns, is in the early stages of raising its next global growth fund. The fundraising is expected to get underway in the first quarter of 2018. Read More

  • Aspect Ventures promotes Lauren Kolodny to partner

    Aspect Ventures promotes Lauren Kolodny to partner

    Aspect Ventures has another lady atop its female-led venture investment team. Lauren Kolodny has been promoted to partner after spending 3.5 years at Aspect. She joined shortly after the firm started. In her role as principal, Kolodny led or co-led investments in The Muse, Chime, Gusto, TalkIQ and others. She’s particularly interested in blockchain, fintech and SaaS. Kolodny tells… Read More

  • Broadband business Casa Systems up 11% following downsized IPO

    Broadband business Casa Systems up 11% following downsized IPO

    Casa Systems had a tough time pulling off its IPO this week. The broadband solutions company wanted to debut Thursday, but pushed its launch back to Friday, likely because of weak initial demand. Casa had planned to sell 8.4 million shares, but reduced it to 6 million following the investor roadshow. The IPO priced at $13 per share, but bounced up almost 11 percent, closing the day at $14.40. Read More

  • Uber investor Shervin Pishevar resigns from Sherpa Capital

    Uber investor Shervin Pishevar resigns from Sherpa Capital

    Hyperloop One co-founder and early Uber investor Shervin Pishevar has announced his resignation from Sherpa Capital, the venture capital firm he co-founded, following sexual misconduct allegations. “I have decided on my own accord to end my association with Sherpa Capital, effective immediately,” Pishevar tweeted, as part of a lengthy statement. Read More

  • INSIKT raises $50 million to lend to low-income communities

    INSIKT raises $50 million to lend to low-income communities

    Loans can be the hardest to get for the people who need them the most. An estimated 45 million Americans don’t have a credit score and others have trouble bringing up their scores, even if they are in a better financial position than in years past. While most lenders would consider low-income families with bad credit scores to be too risky, a startup called INSIKT believes that it… Read More

  • ThredUP launches Stitch Fix competitor for try-before-you-buy clothes

    ThredUP launches Stitch Fix competitor for try-before-you-buy clothes

    Consignment startup thredUP is launching Goody Boxes, for people who want to try on clothes at home before making purchases. Customers will be able to order on-demand shipments, with personalized items sent to their home. If it sounds familiar, it’s because Stitch Fix, Le Tote, Trunk Club and others have similar offerings. ThredUP hopes to differentiate itself with lower cost… Read More

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