In a press release written with help from ChatGPT, Match Group announced an enterprise agreement with the AI chatbot’s maker, OpenAI. The AI tech will be used to help Match Group employees with work-related tasks, the company says, and come as part of Match’s $20 million-plus bet on AI in 2024. It even offered a quote from ChatGPT itself: “I’m thrilled that Match Group matched with me. To keep its corporate data protected, only trained and licensed Match Group employees will have access to OpenAI’s tools, it noted. Before being able to use these tools, Match Group employees will also have to undergo mandatory training that focuses on responsible use, the technology’s capabilities, as well as its limitations.
An engineer by training, Meyerowitz leans heavily on that concept at Clairity Technology, the direct air capture startup he founded in 2022. The company is currently working on the next size up, which should be able to capture one metric ton per year. Clairity is one of the latest entrants into the direct air capture (DAC) market, where companies compete to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere at the lowest cost. He and his team, now eight strong, have designed a box that’s “good enough” to capture carbon dioxide over 80% purity, he said. By using carbon dioxide as an ingredient, “it improves the quality of the concrete.
Utilizing Sound Technology for Plumbing Problem Detection: The Innovation of Conservation Laboratories
Water authorities and utilities have used acoustic sensors to canvas for leaks and signs of wear and tear for years. One of these startups, Conservation Labs, is creating a water-listening sensor that attaches to the plumbing in residential, multifamily and office properties. But as with many — if not most — AI- and algorithm-driven products on the market, it’s tough to know exactly how well Conservation Labs’ tech performs without extensively testing it first. Like water-listening sensors, acoustic sensors that monitor machines is well-established tech. Beyond Conservation Labs, startups like Noiseless Acoustics and OneWatt use AI-powered sensors to better understand the patterns of industrial equipment.
All smartwatches should offer multiple days of battery life, full stop. According to a blog post, the company took a “three-year hiatus and a reflective pause following the OnePlus Watch 1.”Battery is precisely the sort of thing OnePlus needs to lean into. That said, it doesn’t take hours of direct conversations with users to know that battery life is paramount on smartwatches. Perhaps leaning into battery life in a meaningful way will improve its fortunes for round two. That said, anything that re-centralizes the importance of better battery life is probably a net positive for the category.
Uber has quietly started testing a feature that lets gig workers pick up prepaid items from local stores and deliver them to customers in India. It suggests that Uber sees a business opportunity in delivering items from local stores in India — just like in the U.S. For instance, the item set for pickup at the local store needs to be five kilograms (11 lbs) or less. In addition to Store Pickup, Uber offers its regular Connect feature to let customers deliver packages through its app. However, the Store Pickup feature is specifically for arranging deliveries from local stores.
Food tech investment may have declined along with overall venture capital, but Bluestein Ventures is not letting that slow it down. The Chicago-based early-stage venture capital firm closed on $45 million in capital commitments for its Fund III. Andrew Bluestein, co-managing partner of Bluestein Ventures, founded the firm in 2014 and brought on Ashley Hartman, also co-managing partner, eight years ago. They join other venture capital firms, like Kost Capital, Supply Change Capital and Joyful Ventures, that have recently raised new funds to invest in food tech. “When we started Bluestein Ventures, people would ask us why we were investing in food,” Bluestein told TechCrunch.
1Password, the AgileBits-owned password management software developer, today announced that it has acquired Kolide, an endpoint security platform, for an undisclosed amount. According to 1Password CEO Jeff Shiner, Kolide founder and CEO Jason Meller and all of Kolide’s 30 employees will join 1Password “as an intact team.” Meller has taken on the role of VP of product at 1Password. Kolide’s platform, which Meller co-launched in 2016 with Mike Arpaia and Zach Wasserman, offers security-related endpoint alerts, remediation and more delivered via Slack. Kolide attempts to prevent unknown endpoint devices from accessing corporate apps. Prior to the acquisition, Kolide managed to pull in $26.6 million in venture capital from OpenView, Matrix and other VCs and angels.
In a role reversal, Xalts, a Singapore fintech startup founded 18 months ago, has acquired Contour Network, a digital trade platform set up by eight major banks including HSBC, Standard Chartered and BNP. Backed by Accel and Citi Ventures, Xalts enables financial institutions to build and manage blockchain-based apps. The startup plans to turn Contour into a rail connecting banks, corporations and other institutions, and integrate it with Xalts’ platform. Kaur says this will enable Xalts’ clients to not only build apps, but also connect with each other in a secure and compliant way. It will focus first on enabling banks and logistics companies to offer embedded trade and supply chain apps on a single platform to their customers.
We’ve been hearing about the notion of customer experience forever, the idea that we could improve customer interactions with brands digitally. Whether or not that’s true, the two founders fundamentally see AI agents as a new technology category, providing an entirely new way for customers to interact with brands to improve their overall experience. Regardless, Taylor and Bavor recognize that there are some serious challenges and risks when it comes to humans interacting with these AI agents. I think with AI we finally have technology that isn’t just making us more productive but actually doing the job. Sierra clearly sees a big opportunity to transform customer experience with AI, but many obstacles stand in the way of success.