Indian food delivery startup Swiggy raises $210M at a $1.3B valuation

India’s food delivery race is hotting up after Swiggy, one of the startups vying for pole position, landed $ 210 million in new capital for expansion and joined the billion-dollar startup unicorn club.

The investment is led by existing backer Naspers, the media conglomerate famous for an early bet on Tencent in China, and new investor DST Global. Others taking part in the round include returning investor China’s Meituan Dianping and (another new investor) Coatue Management.

The deal . . .  Read More

4 takeaways from Neiman Marcus’ awesome mobile app

I was in a department store over the weekend and left empty-handed. I couldn’t find anything and eventually opted to go online instead. Writing about “the new luxury landscape” a few days earlier, I learned a lot about Neiman Marcus’ dedication to omnichannel. And I couldn’t stop thinking about that app and how much better my shopping experience would be with one just like it.

Neiman Marcus app

In the age of ecommerce, the mall is increasingly becoming an endangered species. Analysts . . .  Read More

Dub Wallace Ranch Wants to Kill Endangered Animals: PETA Says No Way

PETA has submitted formal comments to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in opposition to an application from Sonora-based canned-hunting ranch Dub Wallace Ranch in Sonora, which is seeking permits to breed and kill endangered antelope.

The Endangered Species Act prohibits killing protected animals and makes exceptions only in extremely rare circumstances that will directly help the species in the wild—but under its much-criticized “pay-to-play” scheme, the FWS has issued permits . . .  Read More

Getting personal through automation: The B2B marketer’s guide to lead nurturing with marketing automation

It’s an uncomfortable truth in the marketing world that most of those coveted leads go nowhere. According to Marketing Sherpa, nearly 80% of new leads never become sales and Marketo even claims that up to 50% of lead generation budgets are wasted on leads that are never even contacted.

It’s a Sisyphean task to personally reach out to each and every new lead, but a giant, impersonal email blast is pretty much destined to be ignored. The secret to solving the mysteries of the untouched email, . . .  Read More

Original Content podcast: ‘Queer Eye’ season two is even more of a tearjerker

It’s only been a couple months since we reviewed the first season of Netflix’s revival of Queer Eye, but the show’s Fab Five are already back with another eight episodes where they remake the homes, wardrobes and lives.

For season two, however, they mix things up a little — not only does the format feel more varied, but the folks being helped now include a woman and a transgendered man.

On the latest episode of the . . .  Read More

How to close the sales and marketing gap to maximize eCommerce opportunities

With rapid advances in digital marketing, data and technology, the journey from awareness to sale can now be very short thanks to eCommerce solutions.

You can learn about a product, consider a brand and buy all in one go from a shoppable Instagram post.

eCommerce is driving the majority of retail growth and presents a significant opportunity for brands. However, as customer behavior changes, brands need to ensure they don’t get left behind with legacy sales and marketing models.

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YC alum Modern Health, a startup focused on emotional wellbeing, gets $2.26M seed funding

About one year ago, a note from a CEO thanking his employee for using sick days to take care of her mental health went viral. It was a reminder to Alyson Friedensohn of what she wants to accomplish with Modern Health, the emotional health benefits startup she founded last year with neuroscientist Erica Johnson.

“We want that to be normal. We want the email she sent to be normal, to be able to be that open,” Friedensohn tells TechCrunch.

Modern Health, a Y Combinator alum, announced today that . . .  Read More

Marketing startup Influential raises $12M from WME and others

Influential announced today that it has raised $ 12 million in Series B funding.

The funding came from existing investors Capital Zed, ECA Ventures, Paradigm Talent Agency, ROAR and Tech Coast Angels, as well as from Hollywood agency WME .

Just a couple weeks ago, Influential said it was working with (and had raised money from) WME. The agency is the first to try out a new Influential product called Talent Pro, which gives agents access to social data around a broader pool of talent.

Influential . . .  Read More

Safety app Watch Out acquires paywall startup BitWall

BitWall, a Bitcoin-focused startup promising to help online publishers make money, has been acquired.

Its new owner is Watch Out, the company behind an app that sends alerts about things like product and food recalls and weather-realted emergencies. It’s not the most obvious acquirer, but the companies say BitWall can help Watch Out improve its data, payments and loyalty systems.

“We are excited to bring  . . .  Read More

The enemy of progress and the brand studio dilemma: How Hasbro evolves alongside its customers

When I was a little kid, the object of Candyland was pretty simple: Be the first player to get to the castle at the end. But for my niece, winning wasn’t everything. When she played Candyland, the objective was to get to Princess Lolly. If someone else drew the card with the lollipop princess, she’d be inconsolable so we’d rig the deck before playing. She just turned 19 and my family still jokes about this.

To  . . .  Read More