Logitech Crayon for iPad arrives next week at Apple stores

The Logitech Crayon for iPad is coming to Apple retail stores next week. The stylus was first introduced for the educational market in May.

The Logitech Crayon for iPad is coming to an Apple Store near you. First introduced for the educational market in May, the stylus is launching for everyone else on Wednesday, Sept. 12. ... Read the rest of this post here


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Logitech Announces POWERED Wireless Charging Stand For iPhone X

Logitech has just announced the POWERED wireless charging stand for the iPhone X. Here are the details on it. [ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]

Logitech has just announced the POWERED wireless charging stand for the iPhone X. Here are the details on it.


[ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]

Logitech’s new wireless charger lets you unlock with Face ID while your iPhone X is charging

Logitech’s new Qi wireless charging dock supports 7.5W charging, works in portrait and landscape orientation and holds your phone in an upright position so you can unlock with Face ID, read news, conduct FaceTime video conversations and more, all while the phone is charging.

We still don’t know when Apple’s multi-device AirPower wireless charging mat is coming, but if you need a Qi charger for your iPhone, Logitech just unveiled a new wireless charger for iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus that lets you use your phone while it’s being charged.... Read the rest of this post here


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Back-to-college tech for minimalists and the over-prepared

Heading back to college with the best gear is the only push that some students need to get things moving in the right direction.

Editor’s note: This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter’s independently chosen editorial picks, Wirecutter and TechCrunch may earn affiliate commissions.

Heading back to college with the best gear is the only push that some students need to get things moving in the right direction. While students are expected to take lecture notes during class, power through study sessions and, if necessary, do assignments on the go, there are tech essentials better suited than others for getting these jobs done.

Whether it’s time for a new laptop and protective gear or a few new accessories, we’ve got the recommendations covered.

Chromebook: Chromebook Flip C302CA

A Chromebook is a great choice for a simple notebook with a cloud-based storage system, and we think the Chromebook Flip C302CA is the best option. You’ll work predominantly in a browser and across apps — and whichever way is most comfortable, as the Chromebook Flip C302CA’s 360-degree hinge allows it to be used as a laptop or tablet.

It only comes with a few ports (a headphone jack, two USB-C ports and a microSD slot) but you can use an adapter to plug in additional peripherals. We like its backlit keyboard, touchscreen, Android app support and that its build feels more like a pricier Ultrabook. If portability is at the top of your list, it’s lightweight and compact, which makes carrying it around campus and doing work on the go more manageable.

Laptop for creative work: Dell XPS 15 & Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (15-inch, 2017)

For film, photography and design students who can’t always use on-campus labs and want a capable machine of their own, we recommend the Dell XPS 15. This Windows laptop has a powerful graphics card and processor that contribute to quick upload and rendering speeds. The Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (15-inch, 2017) is an alternative for students who prefer macOS.

It’s also equipped with a powerful processor, and both machines have excellent displays and responsive trackpads. Either laptop can handle heavy editing projects and demanding creative work that would otherwise slow down a basic laptop.

Anti-malware software: Malwarebytes Premium

In addition to antivirus software, secure passwords, data logins and two-factor authentication, a reliable anti-malware program will help ensure that your computer is protected against vulnerabilities. While antivirus software typically works against worms, viruses and Trojans, anti-malware tackles newer exploits that aren’t spread by email, USB drives or older avenues.

We recommend Malwarebytes Premium for macOS and Windows computers because it runs well with Windows Defender and doesn’t get in the way of other programs. It’s simple to set up and use, plus it performs real-time scanning and doesn’t require you to make special adjustments to settings in order to get the best coverage.

Bluetooth keyboard: Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard

For students who like working across different setups, a Bluetooth keyboard provides the option to take a break from a laptop and work with a desktop computer, smartphone or tablet. The Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard can connect to three devices at once and switch between them with the press of a button.

It’s light, sturdy and small enough to stash in a backpack and use in class, at a library or anywhere else on the go. The combination of its rounded springy keys and the angle of its slope make it comfortable to use over long periods of time. Aside from outperforming other models that we tested, it’s inexpensive and offers two years of battery life with heavy use.

Sanho HyperDrive USB Type-C Hub (left)Type-C Multiport Adapter: Sanho HyperDrive USB Type-C Hub

With every school year that comes around, an updated batch of laptops are released — many of which come with the latest ports. The Sanho HyperDrive USB Type-C Hub pairs best with MacBooks that have a single USB-C port. It adds a single HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports and a USB-C port for passthrough charging.

You’ll be able to connect to HDMI displays that support 4K video while charging your computer at the same time. It’s small, durable and, like other USB-C port laptop adapters that connect devices with “legacy” ports or transfer data, it can be a lifesaver when you’re in a pinch.

These picks may have been updated by Wirecutter

Back-to-college tech for minimalists and the over-prepared

Heading back to college with the best gear is the only push that some students need to get things moving in the right direction.

Editor’s note: This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter’s independently chosen editorial picks, Wirecutter and TechCrunch may earn affiliate commissions.

Heading back to college with the best gear is the only push that some students need to get things moving in the right direction. While students are expected to take lecture notes during class, power through study sessions and, if necessary, do assignments on the go, there are tech essentials better suited than others for getting these jobs done.

Whether it’s time for a new laptop and protective gear or a few new accessories, we’ve got the recommendations covered.

Chromebook: Chromebook Flip C302CA

A Chromebook is a great choice for a simple notebook with a cloud-based storage system, and we think the Chromebook Flip C302CA is the best option. You’ll work predominantly in a browser and across apps — and whichever way is most comfortable, as the Chromebook Flip C302CA’s 360-degree hinge allows it to be used as a laptop or tablet.

It only comes with a few ports (a headphone jack, two USB-C ports and a microSD slot) but you can use an adapter to plug in additional peripherals. We like its backlit keyboard, touchscreen, Android app support and that its build feels more like a pricier Ultrabook. If portability is at the top of your list, it’s lightweight and compact, which makes carrying it around campus and doing work on the go more manageable.

Laptop for creative work: Dell XPS 15 & Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (15-inch, 2017)

For film, photography and design students who can’t always use on-campus labs and want a capable machine of their own, we recommend the Dell XPS 15. This Windows laptop has a powerful graphics card and processor that contribute to quick upload and rendering speeds. The Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (15-inch, 2017) is an alternative for students who prefer macOS.

It’s also equipped with a powerful processor, and both machines have excellent displays and responsive trackpads. Either laptop can handle heavy editing projects and demanding creative work that would otherwise slow down a basic laptop.

Anti-malware software: Malwarebytes Premium

In addition to antivirus software, secure passwords, data logins and two-factor authentication, a reliable anti-malware program will help ensure that your computer is protected against vulnerabilities. While antivirus software typically works against worms, viruses and Trojans, anti-malware tackles newer exploits that aren’t spread by email, USB drives or older avenues.

We recommend Malwarebytes Premium for macOS and Windows computers because it runs well with Windows Defender and doesn’t get in the way of other programs. It’s simple to set up and use, plus it performs real-time scanning and doesn’t require you to make special adjustments to settings in order to get the best coverage.

Bluetooth keyboard: Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard

For students who like working across different setups, a Bluetooth keyboard provides the option to take a break from a laptop and work with a desktop computer, smartphone or tablet. The Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard can connect to three devices at once and switch between them with the press of a button.

It’s light, sturdy and small enough to stash in a backpack and use in class, at a library or anywhere else on the go. The combination of its rounded springy keys and the angle of its slope make it comfortable to use over long periods of time. Aside from outperforming other models that we tested, it’s inexpensive and offers two years of battery life with heavy use.

Sanho HyperDrive USB Type-C Hub (left)Type-C Multiport Adapter: Sanho HyperDrive USB Type-C Hub

With every school year that comes around, an updated batch of laptops are released — many of which come with the latest ports. The Sanho HyperDrive USB Type-C Hub pairs best with MacBooks that have a single USB-C port. It adds a single HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports and a USB-C port for passthrough charging.

You’ll be able to connect to HDMI displays that support 4K video while charging your computer at the same time. It’s small, durable and, like other USB-C port laptop adapters that connect devices with “legacy” ports or transfer data, it can be a lifesaver when you’re in a pinch.

These picks may have been updated by Wirecutter

What every startup founder should know about exits

Benjamin Joffe Contributor Benjamin Joffe is a partner at HAX. More posts by this contributor 70 years of VC innovation 2017 crowdfunding guide The dream of a startup founder can often be summarized by the following, well-intentioned, and mostly delusional quote, “We’ll raise a few rounds and in a few years we’ll IPO on Nasdaq.” […]

The dream of a startup founder can often be summarized by the following, well-intentioned, and mostly delusional quote, “We’ll raise a few rounds and in a few years we’ll IPO on Nasdaq.”

But a more likely scenario looks something like this.:

You invest a few years of hard work to build something of value. One day you receive an acquisition offer out of the blue. You’re elated. And you’re not prepared. You drop everything to focus on this opportunity. Exclusive due diligence starts. Your company is a mess (IP, contracts, burn). Days become weeks; weeks become months. You’ve neglected business and fundraising. You’re running out of money. M&A is now your one and only option. The buyer says they found a bunch of cockroaches in the walls and drops the price. Now what?

Sounds unlikely?

This is still a favorable situation: you had an offer! Think about how much time you invested in your various funding rounds. The hundreds of names and Google spreadsheet or Streak-powered quasi-CRM process.

Have you spent even a fraction of that on understanding exit paths? If you’d rather not live the situation described above, read along.

The E-word: A Strange Taboo

Investors live by exits, but many founders keep dreaming of unicornization and avoid the “E-word” until it’s too late. Yet, in 2016, 97% of exits were M&As. And most happened before series B.

Exits matter because that’s when you, your team and your investors get paid. Oddly enough, and to use a chess metaphor, we hear a lot about the “opening game” (lean startup), the “mid-game” (growth) but very little about this “end game”.

As a result, founders miss opportunities or leave money on the table. This is a shame. Our fund, SOSV, has over 700 companies in portfolio. We want the best possible exit for each of them. And fortune favors the prepared! Now, how to get 700 exits (and counting)?

To explore the topic, organized a series of Masterclasses tapping corporate buyers, bankers, investors, lawyers, and startup CEOs with M&A or IPO experience in San Francisco. It was a group that included the founders of Guitar Hero — bought by Activision; JUMP Bikes — a SOSV portfolio company bought by Uber, Ubiquisys  — bought by Cisco, and Withings — bought by Nokia. Each one for hundreds of millions).

Their observations can be summarized below.

Maximize Optionality

“Founders must be aware of what contributes to an exit. This means understanding partnerships and how they are formed in the business space the entrepreneur is working in,” said one MasterClass participant.  

As founders, you build your product, your company and… optionality. You need to understand the options open to your company, and take steps to enable them.

The most likely one is an acquisition but there are others like IPO (including small cap), RTO, SBO, LBO, Equity Crowdfunding and even ICO.

“Exit is not a goal ​per se, but as a CEO it is something you should think about as early in your cycle as possible, while being business-focused,” said the London-based investor Frederic Rombaut, of Seraphim Capital.

Indeed, most participants said that exits should always be on the chief executive’s agenda, no matter how early in the process. “Exits should be on the CEO agenda. Not front and center, but on the agenda. M&A is a by-product of a great business and targeted BD. IPOs are always an option once you’ve built significant cashflow forecasting.”

It’s important to ask questions like: How many “strategic engagements” with potential buyers have you had this month? Is your message and value clear in their eyes? Have you considered an acquisition track in parallel to a fundraise?

It doesn’t stop there:

  • Equity crowdfunding might help close some gaps at seed stage.
  • Early IPOs on smaller exchanges can be an option to raise over $10M — the robotics startup Balyo went public and raised 40MEUR on Euronext to get rid of a critical ‘right of first refusal’ option held by one of its corporate investors.
  • Reverse mergers can work too: the medical exoskeleton company EKSO Bionics went public this way.

One thing is sure: the time to exit is not when you’re running out of money.

Companies are bought, not sold

Unicorn or not, the most likely exit is an acquisition.

As George Patterson, Managing Director at HSBC in New York said, “Good tech companies are bought, not sold. The question is thus: how to get bought?”

Patterson says it’s important to understand how mergers and acquisitions actually work; how to prepare a startup for an exit; and how to develop a “feel” for the market you’re exiting through and into. ;

How M&A works

Hearing from corp dev veterans from Cisco, Logitech, Dassault and IBM, a few key ideas emerged:

  • Motivations vary

It could be (from least to most expensive, or as a mix), as listed by Mark Suster, Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures:

  1. Talent hire ($1M/dev as a rule of thumb — location matters)
  2. Product gap
  3. Revenue driver
  4. Strategic threat (avoid or delay disruption)
  5. Defensive move (can’t afford a competitor to own it)
  • How corporates find you

Corporates find deals via the development of partnerships, investment (CVC), their business units, corp dev research, media, and investor connections.

Asked about the best approach, Todd Neville, Manager of Corporate Business Development and Strategy at IBM (who gave the most detailed description of the corp dev process), said, “Do something cool to one of the IBM customers. If they rave about even a POC, we’re interested.”

In other words, business development is corporate development. 

Get the house in order

Buyers typically want to know three things:

  1. Is your IP really yours?
  2. Is your team capable?
  3. Will your customers stick around?

For IP, they will check your contracts (staff and contractors), run some automated code analysis for proprietary code and open source use. They will evaluate potential IP infringement. No point buying you if you end up costing more in lawsuits!

For your team skills: sitting down with your engineers will tell them plenty enough without understanding the details of this or that algorithm. Be sure the last thing a corporate wants is to be accused of stealing!

Lawyers engaged early can help. The later the clean-up, the more costly and painful.

Develop a feel for your “market”

Develop relationships and create champions within corporates. It will help promote your deal when the time comes, and will let you keep your finger on the pulse of corporate strategy to time your moves.

Do you read the earning calls of Cisco or IBM (or others relevant to you)? This is where strategies are presented. Are your keywords coming up there or in their press releases?

Chris Gilbert, former CEO of Ubiquisys (sold to Cisco for over $300M) was very deliberate in planning his exit.

Selling start on day one and is a leadership-only function — work out who will be your buyer. Only the CEO can do this. Constantly articulate why a company should buy you,” Gilbert said. Bring clear messages into the acquiring company so it can be presented upwards: give them the presentation you would like them to show their boss! When the time is right, force decisions through competition. If you know they have to buy you, your starting position is strong.”

The Dark Art of Price Discovery

There are dozens of formulas (from DCF to comparables) to evaluate a deal — which also means none is ‘correct’. What matters is: how much would you sell for, and how much is the buyer ready to pay?

Gilbert, at Ubiquisys, described how close interactions with his banker helped drive the price up among the bidders assembled.

Just like buyers, we meet bankers and lawyers too rarely at startup events, but there is much to learn with them. They make deals happen, avoid value erosion and optimize price. They often also make introductions before you engage them, to build goodwill and earn your business.

And if you worry about fees, the right banker handsomely pays for itself by finding more bidders, and playing “bad cop” for you, avoiding direct confrontation with your future employer. Do you want a slice of the watermelon or the whole grape?

Final Twist: Exits Are Not Exits

When asked about what happens after an M&A or IPO, buyers said that they generally hoped the founders would stay with them for many years. Often using re-vesting, earn-outs or shares of the acquiring company to incentivize them. Neville, from IBM, mentioned a security company they acquired whose founder is now the head of one of the largest IBM divisions.

In the case of IPOs, supposedly the ultimate “exit”, any block of shares sold by founders would face extreme scrutiny and might cause a price drop.

So who’s exiting during those deals? Investors (and not always).

Eventually, if the average age of a startup at exit is 8–10 years, the active duty period of founders (if not replaced in the meantime) extends even more. Better love the problem you’re solving, and your customers!

Thanks to speakers, participants and supporters of this Masterclass series:

London: Frederic Rombaut (Seraphim Capital), Joe Tabberer (FirstBank), Chris Gilbert (Ubiquisys), Jonathan Keeling (Crowdcube), Fred Destin, Tony Fish (AMF Ventures, James Clark (London Stock Exchange), Denise Law (SGCIB).

Paris: Frederic Rombaut (Seraphim Capital), Manuel Gruson (Dassault Systemes), Pierre-Henri Chappaz (Rothschild Global Advisory), Christine Lambert-Goue (All Invest), Olivier Younes (EXPEN), Eric Carreel (Withings), Fabien Bardinet (Balyo), Xavier Lazarus (Elaia Partners), Pierre-Eric Leibovici(Daphni). Jean de La Rochebrochard (Kima Ventures), Jeremy Sartre (SmartAngels), Gwen Regina Tan (Entrepreneur First).

San Francisco: Natasha Ligai (Logitech), Matt Cutler (Cisco),Will Hawthorne, (CODE Advisors), Ryan Rzepecki (JUMP Bikes), Charles Huang (Guitar Hero), Jeff Thomas (Nasdaq), Shahin Farshchi (Lux Capital), Ammar Hanafi (Moment Ventures), Adam J. Epstein (Third Creek Advisors), Nathan Harding (EKSO Bionics), Kate Whitcomb, Anthony Marino and Ethan Haigh (SOSV).

New York: Todd Neville (IBM), George Patterson (HSBC), Ryan Rzepecki (JUMP Bikes), Aaron Kellner (SeedInvest), Jeremy Levine (Bessemer Venture Partners), Taylor Greene (Collaborative Fund), Adam Rothenberg (BoxGroup), Eli Curi(Fenwick & West), Ian Engstrand and Salil Gandhi (Goodwin), Warren Spar(Sparring Partners Capital), Duncan Turner, Vivian Law and Sheng Ge (SOSV).

Logitech expand its product portfolio by acquiring Blue Microphones

Logitech and Blue Microphones are joining teams to extend their product portfolios, which will especially benefit Logitech which lacks products like cool mics in it offering.

Logitech announced yesterday it was acquiring Blue Microphones, a leader in studio-quality microphones in the past 20 years, for an undisclosed sum.... Read the rest of this post here


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Logitech is buying Blue Microphones

Logitech today announced its intention to acquire Blue Microphones, the hardware company behind popular podcasting microphones like the Yeti and Snowball. It’s a pretty logical acquisition, as far as these things goog –Logitech already operates in the audio space, with speakers and gaming headsets. The acquisition of Blue would add an important dimension to that […]

Logitech today announced its intention to acquire Blue Microphones, the hardware company behind popular podcasting microphones like the Yeti and Snowball. It’s a pretty logical acquisition, as far as these things goog –Logitech already operates in the audio space, with speakers and gaming headsets.

The acquisition of Blue would add an important dimension to that category and help the company take on a rapidly expanding space. Blue’s best known products aren’t high-end, exactly, but they’ve become the go-to choice for upstart podcasters looking to get in on the ground floor in the medium.

Heck, we’ve been known to use them from time to time for our own podcasts. The company offers higher end products for music producers, as well, and in recent years, Blue has begun dabbling in the gaming space, offering up microphone and gaming bundles.

“Logitech’s acquisition of Blue Microphones will accelerate our entry into a growing market, and offers another way for us to help bring people’s passions to life,” Logitech CEO Bracken Darrell said in a release tied to the news. “Joining with Blue is an adjacent opportunity for us – a new way to grow – with additional synergies related to our existing gaming, PC webcam and audio categories.”

Blue is being acquired for $117 million in cash. We’ve reached out to the companies to determine what the deal will mean for the Blue brand and its existing staff.