Claimer raises seed backing to make it easier for UK startups to claim R&D tax credits – TechCrunch

Claimer raises seed backing to make it easier for UK startups to claim R&D tax credits – TechCrunch

Claimer raises seed backing to make it easier for UK startups to claim R&D tax credits – TechCrunch

Claimer, a London-based startup that makes it easy for companies to claim R&D tax credits in the U.K., has raised £300,000 in seed funding.

Backing the already revenue-generating company is Ben Holmes (who was previously at Index Ventures), Nick Telson and Andrew Webster (the founders of DesignMyNight, which recently exited), Rupert Loman (founder of Gamer Network), and TrueSight Ventures.

Founded by Adam McCann in January 2018 and then launched in April 2019, Claimer streamlines the process of claiming R&D tax credits, which is a U.K. government subsidy popular with tech startups that is designed to encourage innovation. The startup claims its product is approximately 10x faster and up to 6x cheaper than using a tax consultant.

“Claimer is fixing the R&D tax relief space with tech,” McCann tells me. “If you’re not familiar with the scheme, it’s run by HMRC and allows U.K. businesses to claim back up to 33% of their research & development costs as a cash payment in any industry, such as software and hardware development, manufacturing, textiles, biotechnology, foodtech, and many others.

“Most accountants don’t have the in-house expertise to process claims, so they refer clients to R&D tax specialists. For many companies, the process is slow, expensive, and frustrating, because these specialists charge very high fees, often taking weeks to process claims”.

In contrast, McCann says Claimer’s platform makes it easy for businesses to reliably complete their R&D relief claims without any prior tax knowledge. After you upload a claim to the platform — which includes the ability to pull numbers from your accounting software — Claimer’s in-house tax specialists check and optimise it before it is submitted to HMRC.

“We’ve processed claims ranging from £1,000 to over £2 million with a 100% success rate (i.e. no rejections or reductions). Our customers have also awarded us 5 stars on TrustPilot,” he adds.

To that end, Claimer’s success is aligned with that of its customers. The startup charges a fee of 5% or less of the saving/credit received in R&D tax credits, capped to £10,000. McCann says this is much less than the typical uncapped 20-30% usually charged by specialists, “often with undesirable terms such as multi-year lock-in contracts, hidden costs, and large minimum fees”.

Meanwhile, Claimer plans to use the seed funding to grow its engineering team and build version two of the product, which McCann says will utilise open data and machine learning, making it possible for claims to be created automatically.

“And yes, we’ll be claiming R&D tax credits for developing our R&D tax credits platform,” quips the Claimer founder.

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Live with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the USu2019s top infectious disease expert, to learn about what we can all do to fight the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

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Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, March 19, 2020

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The conversation is part of Facebook’s recent thrust to put COVID-19 information from established health authorities front and center on the platform in an effort to get good information into the hands of users while mitigating potentially dangerous misinformation that could worsen outcomes as the novel coronavirus spreads worldwide.

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If there’s one face of scientific authority in the U.S. in the throes of COVID-19 chaos, it’s Dr. Anthony Fauci. One of the world’s top HIV/AIDS researchers, Dr. Fauci has served in his post as director for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, helping steer the federal response to viral diseases […]

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Instagram is finally preparing to copy Snapchat’s most popular feature, and one of the few it hasn’t already cloned. Instagram has prototyped an unreleased ephemeral text messaging feature that clears the chat thread whenever you leave it, a Facebook spokesperson confirms to TechCrunch. That could make users more comfortable with having rapid-fire, silly, vulnerable, or risque chats, thereby driving up the reply notifications that keep people opening Instagram all day long.

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Instagram already has disappearing photo and video messaging which it launched in February 2018 to let users choose if chat partners can “view once”, “allow replay” multiple times for a limited period, or “keep in chat” permanently. Technically you could use the Create mode for overlaying words on a colored background to send an ephemeral text, but otherwise you have to use the “Unsend” feature which notifies other people in the thread.

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But today, reverse engineering specialist and TechCrunch’s favorite tipster Jane Manchun Wong unearthed something new. Buried in the code of the Android app is the a new “ud83dude4a” mode, labeled in the code with the ‘speak-no-evil’ monkey emoji.

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How Instagram Disappearing Messages Work

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When users enter this mode by swiping up from Instagram Direct message thread, they’re brought to a dark mode messaging window that starts as an empty message thread. When users close this window, any messages from them or their chat partners disappear.u00a0The feature works similarly to Snapchat, which clears a chat after all members of a thread have viewed it and closed the chat window.

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Here’s how Instagram disappearing messages work

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The ephemeral messaging feature is not currently not publicly available but a Facebook spokesperson confirms to me that they are working on it internally. “We’re always exploring new features to improve your messaging experience. This feature is still in early development and not testing externally.” The company later tweeted the confirmation. They gave no indication of a timeline for if or when this might officially launch. Some features never make it out of the prototype phase, but others including many spotted by Wong end up being rolled out several months later.

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Instagram has seen great success using Snapchat as a product R&D lab. Instagram’s version of Stories rocketed to 500 million daily users compared to just 218 million users on Snapchat as a whole.

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But ephemeral messaging has kept Snapchat relevant. Back in late 2017, just 51 million of Snapchat’s 178 million users were posting Stories per day, and that was when Instagram Stories was still in its first year on the market. According to Statista, Snapchat’s top use case is staying in touch with friends and family, not entertainment.

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Instagram Stories caused Snapchat to start shrinking at one point, but now it’s growing healthily again. That may signaled that Instagram still had more work to do to steal Snap’s thunder. But Instagram’s existing version of ephemeral messaging that is clunkier, Facebook scrapped a trial of a similar feature, and WhatsApp’s take that started testing in October hasn’t rolled out yet.

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That’s left teens to stick with Snapchat for fast-paced communication they don’t have to worry about coming back to haunt them. If Instagram successfully copies this feature too, it could reduce the need for people to stay on Snapchat while making Instagram Direct more appealing to a critical audience. Every reply and subsequent alert draws users deeper into Facebook’s web.

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Instagram is finally preparing to copy Snapchat’s most popular feature, and one of the few it hasn’t already cloned. Instagram has prototyped an unreleased ephemeral text messaging feature that clears the chat thread whenever you leave it, a Facebook spokesperson confirms to TechCrunch. That could make users more comfortable with having rapid-fire, silly, vulnerable, or […]

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Josh Constine is a technology journalist who specializes in deep analysis of social products. He is currently an Editor-At-Large for TechCrunch and is available for speaking engagements.

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Previously, Constine was the Lead Writer of Inside Facebook through its acquisition by WebMediaBrands, covering everything about the social network.

nn

Constine graduated from Stanford University in 2009 with a Master's degree in Cybersociology, examining the influence of technology on social interaction. He researched the impact of privacy controls on the socialization of children, meme popularity cycles, and what influences the click through rate of links posted to Twitter.

nn

Constine also received a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from Stanford University in 2007, with a concentration in Social Psychology & Interpersonal Processes.

nn

Josh Constine is an experienced public speaker, and has moderated over 120 on-stage interviews in 15 countries with leaders including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whistleblower Edward Snowden (via on-stage video conference), and U.S. Senator Cory Booker. He is available to moderate panels and fireside chats, deliver keynotes, and judge hackathon and pitch competitions.

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Constine has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, The Atlantic, BBC World Magazine, Slate, and more, plus has been featured on television on Good Morning, America, The Today Show, China Central Television, and Fox News. Constine is ranked as the #1 most cited tech journalist on prestigious news aggregator Techmeme.

nn

[Disclosures: Josh Constine temporarily advised a college friend's social location-sharing startup codenamed 'Signal' that was based in San Francisco before dissolving in 2015. This advising role was cleared with AOL and TechCrunch's editors and has concluded. Constine's fiancu00e9e Andee Gardiner co-founded startup accelerator Founders Embassy. Constine's cousin Darren Lachtman is the founder of influencer advertising startup Niche that was acquired by Twitter, and he's since left and founded teen content studio Brat. Constine does not write about Founders Embassy or Brat. Constine has personal acquaintances stemming from college housing circa 2007 with founders at Skybox Imaging (now Terra Bella), Hustle, Snapchat, and Robinhood, but does not maintain close social ties with them nor does that influence his writing. Constine occasionally does paid speaking engagements at conferences, but only those funded by companies he does not cover. Constine owns a small position in Ethereum and Bitcoin cryptocurrencies, does not day-trade, and discloses his positions directly in articles where appropriate. Constine does not do consulting, angel investing, or public stock trading beyond public stock invesments by his parents' estate that he has no role in managing or advising.]

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Josh Constine is a technology journalist who specializes in deep analysis of social products. He is currently an Editor-At-Large for TechCrunch and is available for speaking engagements.

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Previously, Constine was the Lead Writer of Inside Facebook through its acquisition by WebMediaBrands, covering everything about the social network.

nn

Constine graduated from Stanford University in 2009 with a Master's degree in Cybersociology, examining the influence of technology on social interaction. He researched the impact of privacy controls on the socialization of children, meme popularity cycles, and what influences the click through rate of links posted to Twitter.

nn

Constine also received a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from Stanford University in 2007, with a concentration in Social Psychology & Interpersonal Processes.

nn

Josh Constine is an experienced public speaker, and has moderated over 120 on-stage interviews in 15 countries with leaders including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whistleblower Edward Snowden (via on-stage video conference), and U.S. Senator Cory Booker. He is available to moderate panels and fireside chats, deliver keynotes, and judge hackathon and pitch competitions.

nn

Constine has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, The Atlantic, BBC World Magazine, Slate, and more, plus has been featured on television on Good Morning, America, The Today Show, China Central Television, and Fox News. Constine is ranked as the #1 most cited tech journalist on prestigious news aggregator Techmeme.

nn

[Disclosures: Josh Constine temporarily advised a college friend's social location-sharing startup codenamed 'Signal' that was based in San Francisco before dissolving in 2015. This advising role was cleared with AOL and TechCrunch's editors and has concluded. Constine's fiancu00e9e Andee Gardiner co-founded startup accelerator Founders Embassy. Constine's cousin Darren Lachtman is the founder of influencer advertising startup Niche that was acquired by Twitter, and he's since left and founded teen content studio Brat. Constine does not write about Founders Embassy or Brat. Constine has personal acquaintances stemming from college housing circa 2007 with founders at Skybox Imaging (now Terra Bella), Hustle, Snapchat, and Robinhood, but does not maintain close social ties with them nor does that influence his writing. Constine occasionally does paid speaking engagements at conferences, but only those funded by companies he does not cover. Constine owns a small position in Ethereum and Bitcoin cryptocurrencies, does not day-trade, and discloses his positions directly in articles where appropriate. Constine does not do consulting, angel investing, or public stock trading beyond public stock invesments by his parents' estate that he has no role in managing or advising.]

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The European Commission is putting pressure on Netflix and other streaming platforms to switch to standard definition during periods of peak demand as the coronavirus crisis puts unprecedented load on Internet infrastructure.

n

Across the European Union — a region with around 445M citizens —u00a0 it’s likely many millions of office workers will switch to teleworking, as countries impose quarantine measures and instruct people to work from home wherever possible. The European Commission itself, which employs around 32,000 people,u00a0moved all non-critical staff to remote work at the start of this week.

n

Yesterday Thierry Breton, the commissioner for the EU’s internal market who is also a former CEO of France Telecom, tweeted that he’d spoke to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings to make the case for standard definition streaming by default during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

n

n

n

n

A spokesman for Breton told us the Commission is inviting streaming platforms to follow the lead of telecom providers and consider adapting the throughput of video streaming, such as by temporarily moving to SD rather than HD streaming — at least for the most critical working hours.

n

In Breton’s call with Netflix a number of potential measures were discussed — per the spokesman — including an automatic switch to standard definition during peaks of Internet activities on impacted geographies, which the Commission says represents a “responsible option”, that will help secure telecommunications infrastructures while “keeping offering the best service to users and consumers, with no disruption”.

n

Many content and application providers are already applying this sort of flexibility measure, it added.

n

The Commission is also asking telecoms operators that provide Internet services to take steps to prevent and mitigate the impacts of impending network congestion, by inviting them to make use of “possibilities” offered by EU net neutrality rules.

n

Earlier this week Vodafone reported a 50% surge in Internet traffic in some European countries as scores of people logged on from home. u201cCovid-19 is already having a significant impact on our services and placing a greater demand on our network,u201d the company said in a statement, adding that: u201cWe should expect this trend of data growth to continue.”

n

At the same time the Commission is calling for Internet users in the region to make responsible use of online recreational activities — such as by opting for settings that reduce data consumption, including using Wi-Fi (rather than mobile data) and choosing lower resolution for content whenever possible.

n

It wants joint action from all stakeholders to ease the pressure on infrastructure and facilitate remote working and online education at a time of region-wide public health crisis.

n

In a statement Breton added: u201cEurope and the whole world are facing an unprecedented situation. Governments have taken measures to reduce social interactions to contain the spread of Covid-19, and to encourage remote working and online education. Streaming platforms, telecom operators and users, we all have a joint responsibility to take steps to ensure the smooth functioning of the Internet during the battle against the virus propagation.”

n

It’s not clear exactly what wiggle room the Commission envisages in EU net neutrality rules for prioritizing certain types of traffic over others during the coronavirus crisis.

n

We asked Breton’s spokesman for clarification on this point but he responded by emphasizing that the Commission is hoping to steer off such a scenario, telling us: “By calling for all stakeholdersu2019 responsibility (platforms/telcos/users) we are proactively ensuring smooth functioning of the Internet so that the question of prioritization does not need to be asked.”

n

We also reached out to Netflix to ask what steps it’s taking to help manage bandwidth demand in the region. At the time of writing the company had not responded.

n

Breton’s spokesman said the commissioner is due to hold a follow-up call with Hastings in the coming days.

n

More broadly, the Commission is working on setting up a reporting mechanism to ensure regular monitoring of the Internet traffic situation in each Member State in order to be able to respond swiftly to capacity issues, liaising on this with the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications and with the support of national regulatory authorities.

n

We’ve also contacted YouTube for comment on the Commission’s call for proactive action from streaming platforms to help manage increased demand on Internet infrastructure.

n

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The European Commission is putting pressure on Netflix and other streaming platforms to switch to standard definition during periods of peak demand as the coronavirus crisis puts unprecedented load on Internet infrastructure. Across the European Union — a region with around 445M citizens —u00a0 it’s likely many millions of office workers will switch to teleworking, […]

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Wag!, the petcare company known for connecting pet owners with local dog walkers, has recently undergone a series of sweeping changes.

n

In late November, after I was named the new CEO, my management team and I began plotting a radically different path to profitability. We began by assessing our relationship with users. First and foremost, we recognized that Wag! needed to improve the way we supported the community, including pet parents, pet caregivers and their pets.

n

Next, we examined the company’s financial health and analyzed the competitive climate, investment community and direction in which the tech industry appeared headed. The time has come to share how this influenced our decisions.

n

Late in 2019, a lot of smart people began to note a philosophical shift taking place in the capital markets. Investors had begun to lose patience with startups that spent massive sums on acquiring market share, but had demonstrated little to no ability at creating lasting businesses.

n

We concluded that funding in some sectors would quickly dry up. Based on our analysis, we expect a growing number of startups will be forced to hew out self-sustaining business niches to survive. This assessment is partly what led us to conclude that accepting another funding round wouldn’t necessarily benefit the company in the area that matters most: providing value to customers.

n

A consensus formed after we took control, and found a constant drumbeat of bills coming in and payments going out, notably to Amazon (Web Services), Google (to help extend our brand), Facebook (to reach customers) and for our office space. These costs were growing faster than revenue.

","protected":false},"excerpt":{"rendered":"

Instead of accepting more investment, we chose to cut costs. This included a consolidation of some of our offices and a painful 76% reduction of our workforce.

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As organizers cancel events with massive attendance, like SXSW (400,000 attendees), E3 (66,000), GDC (65,000) and Mobile World Congress (100,000), mobile game developers have felt the crunch. At a show like SXSW, larger developers can spend more than $135,000 just to secure some real estate.

n

Despite the steep cost, if you’re a developer, these events can prove worthwhile for building awareness, buzz and customer downloads. Real-time feedback from attendees, the ability to sign up users for beta campaigns, opportunities for bolstering subsequent email marketing and the prestige of having your app live side-by-side with games produced by larger studios are unique qualities.

n

It remains unclear if and how developers that made investments will recover costs such as those for onsite promotion, print advertising, staff for booths and restaurant reservations. Equally, if not more important though, is the added layer of opportunity cost for developers, especially those who sought to use these events to launch something new.

n

How important are launch moments for game developers? During the Game Developers Conference 2019, a new port of Cuphead for Nintendo Switch was announced. Per Google Trends, web searches for the game reached their second-highest point of the year during the event (March 20th), only behind search volume of the gameu2019s release a month later, in April 2019.

n

Large developers can come out unscathed from a trade show cancellation and simply kick the launch moment to their next big tentpole event. But for smaller app or game developers that canu2019t wait another six months for their launch moment, they need to do something.

n

Here are five ways to salvage a launch lost to a trade show cancellation.

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Large developers can come out unscathed, but smaller apps and developers who canu2019t wait six months for their launch moment need to do something.

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This week, Extra Crunch hosted a call with General Catalyst managing director Niko Bonatsos to discuss a number of startup topics, including what the novel coronavirus is doing to investing in the Valley, as well as his thoughts on robotics, homeschooling, edtech, SMBs, international investing and what heu2019s looking to see today in startups. Joining me on the live call was my fellow Equity host Alex Wilhelm and a couple of dozen EC members.

n

If you missed this conference call for EC members, donu2019t fret: Weu2019ll have more of these to come in this era of work-from-home. In the meantime, here is a lightly edited transcript, along with a recording of the call if you’d like to listen in.

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This week, Extra Crunch hosted a call with General Catalyst managing director Niko Bonatsos to discuss a number of startup topics, including what the novel coronavirus is doing to investing in the Valley, as well as his thoughts on robotics, homeschooling, edtech, SMBs, international investing and what heu2019s looking to see today in startups. Joining […]

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His ethics statement is located at https://www.dannycrichton.com/ethics/

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His ethics statement is located at https://www.dannycrichton.com/ethics/

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Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between.

n

Today we’re taking a look at the world of esports venture capital investment, largely through the lens of preliminary data that we’ll caveat given how reported VC data lags reality. That phenomenon is likely doubly true in the current moment, as COVID-19 absorbs all news cycles and some venture rounds’ announcements are delayed even more than usual.

n

All the same, the data we do have paints a picture of a change in esports venture investment, one sufficient in size to indicate that an esports VC slowdown could be afoot. As with all early looks, we’re extending ourselves to reach a conclusion. But… no risk, no reward.

n

We’ll start by looking at Q1 2020 esports venture totals to date, compare them to year-ago results, and then peek at Q4 2019’s results and its year-ago comparison to get a handle on what else has happened lately in the niche. The picture that the quarters draw will help us understand how esports investing is starting a year that isn’t going as anyone expected.

n

Venture results

n

Today we’re using Crunchbase data, looking at both global and U.S.-specific venture totals in both round and dollar volume. To get a picture of the competitive gaming world, we’re examining investments into companies that are tagged as “esports” related in the Crunchbase database. Given that this is a somewhat wide cut, the data below is more directional than precise and should be treated as such.

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Even with an expected decline in Q1 2020 venture round and venture dollar results due to lag, the most recent venture data looks grim.

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Alex Wilhelm is Senior Editor at TechCrunch. He previously worked for Crunchbase News as Editor in Chief as well as The Next Web, TechCrunch, and Mattermark.

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Alex Wilhelm is Senior Editor at TechCrunch. He previously worked for Crunchbase News as Editor in Chief as well as The Next Web, TechCrunch, and Mattermark.

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who share insights can build industry trust at scale"},"content":{"rendered":"

Everyone knows that press features donu2019t drive sustainable traffic. But they still matter for one simple reason: sales requires trust. Trust is transitive. And the press is trusted.

n

Press features validate the legitimacy of a company, lend it authority, and ultimately lead others to trust it more.

n

Iu2019ve seen this first hand, having gone from being an unknown outsider to becoming the most popular expert in the world in my space u2014 contributing articles to 14 publications and driving more than 37,000 prospective customers per month to my blog.

n

In this article, youu2019ll learn the steps I took over the last year to go from being unknown to expert, and how this strategy has helped me open doors and close deals. All from this simple strategy that I used to build my own authority in the industry and leverage the press that people trusted to build authority and build SEO.

n

I initially discovered this strategy out of frustration. The businesses that I was selling to didnu2019t trust me because I was an outsider. I didnu2019t have credibility in my industry. I didnu2019t have status symbols people associate with trustworthiness.

n

In fact, I had the opposite. I dropped out of high school in 10th grade. I never went to college. I had never worked for a big company. And our customers in the early days were a few small independents. So people didnu2019t trust me enough to trust that my technology would work for them. Iu2019d often be denied sales opportunities as a result.

n

The question was, how could I turn that around and become trusted before the sales process begins? Because that, I suspected, was how I could start closing more deals. This strategy was my solution to those repeated frustrations and it has since lead to deals with billion-dollar brands and small brands alike. It even impressed people who ended up backing my company.

","protected":false},"excerpt":{"rendered":"

It requires patience, but it may just make you (and your company) be seen as leaders in your space while improving your insight and building an unfair advantage of trust.

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Human hand building brick wall, Mexico.

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With world events overtaking the tech world’s preferences to meet for coffees and convene at events, Y Combinator skipped its famous two-day live Demo event and went for a radical experiment: no demos at all, but instead a long list of the nearly 200 startups in its Winter 2020 batch, with links to their sites and one-page slides. We’ve done the legwork for you in giving you a full rundown of who does what, and we have also come togetheru00a0on a group video chat on Zoom to talk through our takeaways of the format this year (missed it? here’s the recording). Now, in no particular order, here is our shortlist of some of our overall favorites.

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With world events overtaking the tech world’s preferences to meet for coffees and convene at events, Y Combinator skipped its famous two-day live Demo event and went for a radical experiment: no demos at all, but instead a long list of the nearly 200 startups in its Winter 2020 batch, with links to their sites […]

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Josh Constine is a technology journalist who specializes in deep analysis of social products. He is currently an Editor-At-Large for TechCrunch and is available for speaking engagements.

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Previously, Constine was the Lead Writer of Inside Facebook through its acquisition by WebMediaBrands, covering everything about the social network.

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Constine graduated from Stanford University in 2009 with a Master's degree in Cybersociology, examining the influence of technology on social interaction. He researched the impact of privacy controls on the socialization of children, meme popularity cycles, and what influences the click through rate of links posted to Twitter.

nn

Constine also received a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from Stanford University in 2007, with a concentration in Social Psychology & Interpersonal Processes.

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Josh Constine is an experienced public speaker, and has moderated over 120 on-stage interviews in 15 countries with leaders including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whistleblower Edward Snowden (via on-stage video conference), and U.S. Senator Cory Booker. He is available to moderate panels and fireside chats, deliver keynotes, and judge hackathon and pitch competitions.

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Constine has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, The Atlantic, BBC World Magazine, Slate, and more, plus has been featured on television on Good Morning, America, The Today Show, China Central Television, and Fox News. Constine is ranked as the #1 most cited tech journalist on prestigious news aggregator Techmeme.

nn

[Disclosures: Josh Constine temporarily advised a college friend's social location-sharing startup codenamed 'Signal' that was based in San Francisco before dissolving in 2015. This advising role was cleared with AOL and TechCrunch's editors and has concluded. Constine's fiancu00e9e Andee Gardiner co-founded startup accelerator Founders Embassy. Constine's cousin Darren Lachtman is the founder of influencer advertising startup Niche that was acquired by Twitter, and he's since left and founded teen content studio Brat. Constine does not write about Founders Embassy or Brat. Constine has personal acquaintances stemming from college housing circa 2007 with founders at Skybox Imaging (now Terra Bella), Hustle, Snapchat, and Robinhood, but does not maintain close social ties with them nor does that influence his writing. Constine occasionally does paid speaking engagements at conferences, but only those funded by companies he does not cover. Constine owns a small position in Ethereum and Bitcoin cryptocurrencies, does not day-trade, and discloses his positions directly in articles where appropriate. Constine does not do consulting, angel investing, or public stock trading beyond public stock invesments by his parents' estate that he has no role in managing or advising.]

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Brian Heater is the Hardware Editor at TechCrunch. He worked for a number of leading tech publications, including Engadget, PCMag, Laptop, and Tech Times, where he served as the Managing Editor. His writing has appeared in Spin, Wired, Playboy, Entertainment Weekly, The Onion, Boing Boing, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Beast and various other publications. He hosts the weekly Boing Boing interview podcast RiYL, has appeared as a regular NPR contributor and shares his Queens apartment with a rabbit named Lucy.

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Greg Kumparak is an editor at TechCrunch.

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Greg started at TechCrunch in May of 2008. He led TechCrunch's sister site MobileCrunch as editor until AOL acquired the company in 2010, at which point the editors of TechCrunch's four main sites (TechCrunch, CrunchGear, MobileCrunch, TechCrunch UK) merged the sites under one domain.

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Best known for his gadget coverage, Kumparak has broken hundreds of stories within the space u2014 unearthing details on everything from abandoned Samsung smartphone prototypes to new Apple devices. He's also one of the Internet's most prolific "live bloggers", having reported from the scene at dozens of international events for live audiences in the hundreds of thousands.

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He was one of the earliest writers to highlight and report on a number of companies that have since become "unicorns" (reaching a valuation of $1B or more), including Zenefits and Twilio.

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Kumparak is a frequent guest on TechCrunch's Gadget, Apple, and Android podcasts, and often appears on stage as an interviewer or judge at TechCrunch's meetups and Disrupt conferences.

nn

In 2012, Greg was featured on the BBC, Wired, Mashable, Engadget and many other outlets for a side project he called the "tARdis", or the Augmented Reality TARDIS. By combining augmented reality with a handmade physical model, Greg was able to replicate the otherwise physically impossible "bigger on the inside" visual effect that commonly appears on television's Doctor Who series.

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Before TechCrunch, Ingrid worked at paidContent.org, where she was a staff writer, and has in the past also written freelance regularly for other publications such as the Financial Times. Ingrid covers mobile, digital media, advertising and the spaces where these intersect.

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When it comes to work, she feels most comfortable speaking in English but can also speak Russian, Spanish and French (in descending order of competence).

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Reach Natasha via e-mail at natasha.m@techcrunch.com or through DM on Twitter @nmasc_.

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Lucas Matney is a reporter at TechCrunch and has been covering emerging technologies and startups since 2015. He lives in San Francisco and can be reached via email at lucas@techcrunch.com

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Alex Wilhelm is Senior Editor at TechCrunch. He previously worked for Crunchbase News as Editor in Chief as well as The Next Web, TechCrunch, and Mattermark.

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Anna Escher manages Audience Development at TechCrunch.

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Claimer, a London-based startup that makes it easy for companies to claim R&D tax credits in the U.K., has raised u00a3300,000 in seed funding.

n

Backing the already revenue-generating company is Ben Holmes (who was previously at Index Ventures), Nick Telson and Andrew Webster (the founders of DesignMyNight, which recently exited), Rupert Loman (founder of Gamer Network), and TrueSight Ventures.

n

Founded by Adam McCann in January 2018 and then launched in April 2019, Claimer streamlines the process of claiming R&D tax credits, which is a U.K. government subsidy popular with tech startups that is designed to encourage innovation. The startup claims its product is approximately 10x faster and up to 6x cheaper than using a tax consultant.

n

“Claimer is fixing the R&D tax relief space with tech,” McCann tells me. “If you’re not familiar with the scheme, itu2019s run by HMRC and allows U.K. businesses to claim back up to 33% of their research & development costs as a cash payment in any industry, such as software and hardware development, manufacturing, textiles, biotechnology, foodtech, and many others.

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“Most accountants don’t have the in-house expertise to process claims, so they refer clients to R&D tax specialists. For many companies, the process is slow, expensive, and frustrating, because these specialists charge very high fees, often taking weeks to process claims”.

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In contrast, McCann says Claimeru2019s platform makes it easy for businesses to reliably complete their R&D relief claims without any prior tax knowledge. After you upload a claim to the platform — which includes the ability to pull numbers from your accounting software — Claimer’s in-house tax specialists check and optimise it before it is submitted to HMRC.

n

“We’ve processed claims ranging from u00a31,000 to over u00a32 million with a 100% success rate (i.e. no rejections or reductions). Our customers have also awarded us 5 stars on TrustPilot,” he adds.

n

To that end, Claimer’s success is aligned with that of its customers. The startup charges a fee of 5% or less of the saving/credit received in R&D tax credits, capped to u00a310,000. McCann says this is much less than the typical uncapped 20-30% usually charged by specialists, “often with undesirable terms such as multi-year lock-in contracts, hidden costs, and large minimum fees”.

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Meanwhile, Claimer plans to use the seed funding to grow its engineering team and build version two of the product, which McCann says will utilise open data and machine learning, making it possible for claims to be created automatically.

n

“And yes, we’ll be claiming R&D tax credits for developing our R&D tax credits platform,” quips the Claimer founder.

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Claimer, a London-based startup that makes it easy for companies to claim R&D tax credits in the U.K., has raised u00a3300,000 in seed funding. Backing the already revenue-generating company is Ben Holmes (who was previously at Index Ventures), Nick Telson and Andrew Webster (the founders of DesignMyNight, which recently exited), Rupert Loman (founder of Gamer […]

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Steve O'Hear is best known as a technology journalist, currently at TechCrunch where he focuses on European startups, companies and products.

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He first joined TechCrunch in November 2009 as Contributing Editor for TechCrunch Europe, where he worked alongside Editor Mike Butcher to help build TechCrunch's coverage in Europe.

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In June 2011, Steve took a break from journalism to co-found the London and Prague-based startup Beepl. In his role as CEO, he helped the company raise its first VC round, along with seeing the Question & Answer site through development, private alpha and a high profile public launch. In November 2012, Beepl was acquired by Brand Embassy.

nn

Along with TechCrunch, Steve has written for numerous publications, including ZDNet (where he wrote the well-respected blog 'The Social Web'), The Guardian, Macworld, TES, Last100 and ReadWriteWeb. He also wrote and directed the critically acclaimed Silicon Valley documentary 'In Search of the Valley', which was released in September 2006.

nn

In 2002, Steve was made a fellow of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts. He's also one half of ProtoBake Labs, an 'ideas incubator' he co-founded with Pete Harris.

nn

Disclaimer: Steve owns a small amount of cryptocurrency, and doesn't generally write about crypto currencies. If and when he does, he will always disclose any potential conflict of interest.

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Steve O'Hear is best known as a technology journalist, currently at TechCrunch where he focuses on European startups, companies and products.

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He first joined TechCrunch in November 2009 as Contributing Editor for TechCrunch Europe, where he worked alongside Editor Mike Butcher to help build TechCrunch's coverage in Europe.

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In June 2011, Steve took a break from journalism to co-found the London and Prague-based startup Beepl. In his role as CEO, he helped the company raise its first VC round, along with seeing the Question & Answer site through development, private alpha and a high profile public launch. In November 2012, Beepl was acquired by Brand Embassy.

nn

Along with TechCrunch, Steve has written for numerous publications, including ZDNet (where he wrote the well-respected blog 'The Social Web'), The Guardian, Macworld, TES, Last100 and ReadWriteWeb. He also wrote and directed the critically acclaimed Silicon Valley documentary 'In Search of the Valley', which was released in September 2006.

nn

In 2002, Steve was made a fellow of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts. He's also one half of ProtoBake Labs, an 'ideas incubator' he co-founded with Pete Harris.

nn

Disclaimer: Steve owns a small amount of cryptocurrency, and doesn't generally write about crypto currencies. If and when he does, he will always disclose any potential conflict of interest.

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