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The latest news on Startups from Business Insider

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    Uber employees with Dara Khosrowshahi

    LinkedIn released a list of the 50 most sought-after startups by job seekers on Thursday and it was chock full of surprises.

    The first surprise was that Uber landed as the No. 1 most desired company by job seekers, despite its very public meltdown in 2017 that led to the resignation of its CEO, Travis Kalanick. It has since hired a new CEO and this survey indicates the company's reputation is rebounding, and quickly.

    But that's not all. The whole list includes companies we bet you never heard of, some of them landing in the top 10. And they aren't all located in Silicon Valley either. 

    LinkedIn determined this list by working with researcher CB Insights. They began with 25,000 startups and then analyzed for:

    • headcount growth
    • how many people follow the company's LinkedIn page
    • how often people looked at employees' LinkedIn pages
    • how interested people are in the company's job listings
    • and, last by not least, how much poaching the company is accomplishing from other top companies.

    Here's a rundown of who these startups are, where they are and what they do.

    SEE ALSO: The amazing life of Uber's new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi — from refugee to tech superstar

    No. 50: Elastic

    Elastic offers tools for developers, hosted on Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud and is best known for its search engine Elasticsearch.

    It's also known for hiring a lot of remote workers. Although based in Mountain View, it hires people who work all over the world.

    No. 49: Casper

    Casper is a mattress startup based in New York that lets consumers order a mattress online and ships it in a box directly to them.


    No. 48: Credit Karma

    Credit Karma is San Francisco-based consumer finance company best known for letting consumers monitor their credit reports.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    shark tank giftsAmericans are known for their strong entrepreneurial spirit and this trait is no less evident than in the reality TV show "Shark Tank," where ordinary people like you and me pitch their creative business ideas to a team of well-known business executives and investors.

    While some products have tanked miserably on the show, others have seen huge success.

    For a unique holiday gift idea, consider these cool products that got their start and the green light on "Shark Tank." You'll have a wide range of interesting gifts to choose from, whether the recipient is a parent, child, adventurer, baker, or athlete. 

    Having trouble figuring out what to get people for the holidays? You can check out all of Insider Picks' 2017 gift guides here.

    SEE ALSO: 20 awesome tech stocking stuffers under $50

    Rocketbook smart notebook

    With this notebook and accompanying app, you can send your handwritten notes to your preferred cloud service — Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, etc. — then erase and reuse the notebook by heating it in the microwave. It'll be the coolest notebook you own. 

    Rocketbook Wave Smart Notebook, $25.97, available at Amazon

    Tipsy Elves suit

    Tipsy Elves has become known for its one-of-a-kind ugly Christmas sweaters, fun onesies, and party suits. 

    Tipsy Elves Tangle Wrangler Christmas Party Suit, $95, available at Amazon

    SCOTTeVEST jacket

    At first glance, SCOTTeVEST jackets look like regular apparel. It's only once you open them up that you discover they have 25+ pockets that provide effective storage for and convenient access to all your essentials. You can go bag-free during your travels with the peace of mind that your important devices are close to your body. 

    SCOTTeVEST Men's Jacket, $175, available at SCOTTeVEST

    SCOTTeVEST Women's Jacket, $175, available at SCOTTeVEST

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Tim Cook

    • Apple has been sued by an Israeli startup that claims the iPhone maker copied its patented smartphone camera technology.
    • The startup, Corephotonics, claims Apple turned it down after it approached the smartphone maker about a partnership.
    • Apple told Corephotonics it could infringe on the startup's patents with little consequence, Corephotonics claims. 


    An Israeli startup has sued Apple, accusing the iPhone maker of copying its patented smartphone camera technology.

    Tel Aviv-based Corephotonics filed its patent infringement case against Apple in federal court in San Jose, California, on Monday.

    Corephotonics, which has raised $50 million from several high-profile venture-capital firms and other investors, said its patented dual-camera technology for mobile devices was incorporated by Apple in the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus without its authorization.

    According to the lawsuit, Corephotonics Chief Executive David Mendlovic approached Apple about a partnership. Apple praised the startup’s technology but refused to license it, Corephotonics said, even suggesting it could infringe the latter’s patents with little consequence.

    According to the complaint, "Apple’s lead negotiator expressed contempt for Corephotonics’ patents, telling Dr. Mendlovic and others that even if Apple infringed, it would take years and millions of dollars in litigation before Apple might have to pay something."

    An Apple spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment.

    Many high-end smartphones include dual-camera systems that can zoom in without losing image quality. Apple has its own patents on dual-camera technology.

    Through its latest funding round in January, Corephotonics raised $15 million from investors that included Samsung Ventures, electronics manufacturer Foxconn, and chipmaker MediaTek.

    MediaTek supplies modem chips to Apple, and Foxconn is a contract manufacturer for Apple.

    Corephotonics’ other investors include Magma VC, Amiti Ventures, Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, and Solina Chau’s Horizon Ventures, as well as flash storage maker SanDisk and Chinese telephone services provider CK Telecom.

    Corephotonics is represented by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, the law firm that advised Samsung Electronics on its patent litigation with Apple.

    SEE ALSO: A massive trove of leaked document shows how Apple went shopping for a new tax haven

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here's what that square patch on your backpack is actually used for

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    london unsplash rob bye

    LinkedIn has ranked the 25 top startups in the UK.

    The professional social network used its data to rank the fastest growing technology startups in the UK and identify which companies are attracting talent.

    Growth in employee numbers, job seeker interest via views and applications, and member engagement with companies and their employees were all used to rank the companies.

    In order to be eligible for the ranking, companies had to be less than 10 years old, have at least 100 employees, be independent and privately held, and have at least one round of venture-backed funding.

    Here's the full list:

    25. Business loans provider iwoca

    Headcount: 165

    Valuation: N/A

    24. Snack delivery service Graze

    Headcount: 580

    Valuation: N/A

    23. Recipe kit delivery service HelloFresh

    Headcount: 1,400

    Valuation:£1.6 billion

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    snoop dogg

    • Casa Verde Capital is leading a $1 million seed round into Cannalysis, a cannabis-lab testing company.
    • Cannalysis tests both medical and recreational cannabis for potency, chemical residue, industrial solvents, pesticides, and microbes in the California market, with plans to expand.
    • California is developing lab testing regulations for all cannabis sold within the state.

    A venture capital firm that focuses on early-stage ancillary investments in the cannabis industry is funding a cannabis lab-testing company that is looking to take on the massive California market.

    Casa Verde, which counts the rapper-turned-entertainer Snoop Dogg among its partners, led a $1 million round into Cannalysis, a "tech-forward," cannabis lab that tests medical and recreational cannabis products for potency, chemical residue, industrial solvents, pesticides, and unwanted microbes like E. coli or yeast.

    Cannalysis also offers dispensaries an online portal and directly integrates with WeedMaps, an online dispensary locator.

    "We are at an inflection point for this industry and we are ready to expand," Cannalysis CEO Brian Lannon said in a statement to Business Insider. "Having a marquee investor and strategic partner like Casa Verde, will be instrumental in helping us achieve our growth objectives."

    Karan Wadhera, the managing partner at Casa Verde, called Cannalysis "one of the leading lab platforms," in California.

    "This approach has also positioned Cannalysis to quickly scale and establish JV partners around the country," Wadhera said.

    California's recreational cannabis market will open on January 1, 2018. The state's Bureau of Cannabis Control mandates that all medical cannabis be lab-tested for specific levels of pesticides and other chemicals, and is developing rules for the recreational side of the industry.

    While the federal government still considers cannabis illegal, a new report from the Brightfield Group, a market research firm for the cannabis industry, predicts that the global cannabis market will hit $7.7 billion by 2017, and $31.4 billion by 2021.

    SEE ALSO: Montel Williams is suing 'scam' medical-marijuana companies he says used his face to sell products

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A running coach explains the 2 most important activities runners should do to avoid knee pain

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    evan spiegel crunchies

    • TechCrunch is ending the Crunchies, Silicon Valley's version of the Oscars.
    • The annual award show brought the tech community together to recognize startups.
    • Many of its past winners have come to dominate the tech industry.


    The Crunchies are coming to an end. 

    The trademark annual Silicon Valley award show, which celebrated its 10th edition in February, won't be renewed for an 11th run. TechCrunch, the news outlet that launched and organized the event, announced Wednesday it was "retiring" the Crunchies. Calling the show's demise "sad," Ned Desmond and Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch's chief operating officer and editor-in-chief, respectively, said in a post on their site the Crunchies had essentially outlived its usefulness. 

    "The Crunchies came to life at a time when the San Francisco startup community needed lots of pats on the back and excuses to socialize — it was a fun event that brought the scene together," Desmond and Panzarino wrote. "These days, startups are global news, and to be honest it’s awkward to try to answer unanswerable questions — What is the best startup? Who is the best VC?"

    Panzarino declined to comment further on the decision to end the Crunchies including about whether finances played any role in the decision. TechCrunch sold tickets to the event and also sold sponsorships to companies for it. 

    Techies — including Crunchies founder Michael Arrington — took to Twitter to mourn the end of an era. 




    Arrington launched the Crunchies in 2007 as a kind of Oscars ceremony for the tech industry. Though the event started as a way to recognize startups, many of those on its list of winners have come to comprise a kind of a who's who of the tech industry.

    At the first event, for example, Facebook won the "Best Overall" award and Tesla won for "Best Clean Tech Startup." Amazon Web Services,  the now dominant cloud computing service, won the "Best Enterprise" award in 2008. And in 2013 Snapchat won for "Best Mobile Application." 

    SEE ALSO: THE CRUNCHIES: With Billions At Stake, San Francisco's Tech Elite Take A Night To Celebrate

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A running coach explains the 2 most important activities runners should do to avoid knee pain

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    rapid ramen cooker $7.99

    Nine seasons in and hundreds of products later, the show "Shark Tank" continues to entertain us as well as the panel of celebrity investors with creative pitches. However, that doesn't always mean the products are actually good. Some end up being a little too creative or out-there and border on plain gimmicky or "Who would even use that?"

    We looked through all the "Shark Tank" products available for purchase and came away with a selection of star products for the home that made us curse and ask ourselves, "Why didn't we think of this earlier?"

    Many solve for the wasteful design of many common products you already use, while others address the annoying inconveniences that everyone experiences. 

    Check out the "Shark Tank" home products that are worth buying below.

    SEE ALSO: The 20 best gifts that got their start on ‘Shark Tank’

    A spring-loaded laundry hamper

    This hamper drops down as you add clothes and rises as you remove them, meaning doing laundry will no longer be that uncomfortable chore you never look forward to. It eases the strain on your lower back, so it's especially great for expecting mothers, people with bad backs, and the elderly. 

    Household Essentials Lifter Hamper, $29.99, available at Amazon

    A self-cleaning dog potty

    If you've already tried many indoor potty training systems, your search ends here with the world's first self-cleaning dog potty. You can adjust the timer to automatically change a dirty pad one, two, or three times a day, or manually change it with a push of a button. The machine will wrap and seal the waste, keeping your home clean and odor-free. It's best for dogs under 25 pounds. 

    BrilliantPad Self-Cleaning & Automatic Indoor Dog Potty, $159.99, available at Amazon

    A rapid ramen cooker

    Granted ramen is already a pretty convenient meal to make, this tool makes the process even easier. The water line stops you from overfilling the bowl, the bowl doesn't get overly hot, and you don't need to use a pot and stove. It's perfect for anyone who doesn't have access to a kitchen, including students living in dorms and office workers. 

    Rapid Ramen Cooker, $7.99, available at Amazon

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    San Francisco The Negev tech house

    It's been a wild year for tech in San Francisco.

    Some of the city's tech stalwarts, like Twitter and Uber, have been rocked by controversy and competition, while buzzy startups like Jawbone, Luxe and Juicero shut down their services. 

    Yet even amidst the turmoil, tech continues to reach new heights, with Salesforce tower now dominating the San Francisco skyline. 

    San Francisco remains America's breeding ground for innovative startups, with an ever-growing flock of entrepreneurs busily at work creating the next big thing.

    We've compiled a list of 19 hot San Francisco startups to watch in the coming year by talking to venture capitalists, active members of the San Francisco tech scene, and looking at fundraising data from PitchBook. To narrow the list down, we kept it to companies headquartered in San Francisco, excluding Palo Alto, Mountain View, and San Jose-based ventures. 

    The coming year is sure to be a telling one for the San Francisco tech world, here are the hottest startups to watch out for:

    SEE ALSO: The 15 hottest New York City startups you need to watch

    Motiv wants to be the future of fitness trackers.

    What it is: Motiv makes the Motiv ring, a fitness, heart rate, and sleep tracker in the shape of an attractive metal ring. It's designed for 24/7 use with an inconspicuous design, a battery that lasts for three days, and waterproofing.

    Its on-board memory sets it apart from other fitness wearables, as the ring can be separated from a phone for up to five days, and still store all activity data. The company wants to be the simple answer for people looking to improve their health. 

    Founded: 2013 by Michael Strasser, Eric Strasser, Curt von Badinski, and Peter Twiss.

    Funding: $20.18 million from Granite Ventures, Soda Rock Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and others. 

    Nurx wants to give more women easy access to birth control.

    What it is: Nurx is basically the "Uber for birth control." Its service eliminates a trip to the doctors office, and allows women to get a birth control prescription by simply putting in their information into the Nurx app and having a doctor review it. Delivery doesn't cost extra, and for the uninsured, Nurx helps customers choose and sign up for a provider. It's available in 16 states right now, and has plans to expand nationwide. 

    Founded: 2015 by Hans Gangeskar and Edvard Engesaeth.

    Funding: $8 million from Lowercase Capital, Y Combinator, Union Square Ventures and others. 





    Virta Health is on a mission to reverse Type 2 diabetes.

    What it is: An online medical company focused on creating individualized diabetes treatments.

    The latest venture from Sami Inkinen, who co-founded Trulia, was inspired by his personal life. Virta Health hopes to tackle Type 2 diabetes, which Inkinen himself was diagnosed with in 2004.

    Aided by physicians, coaches and algorithms, each regimen Virta designs for its clients "addresses the underlying biochemistry of diabetes and shifts the paradigm from management to reversal," Virta says. The aim is to do all that without medications or surgery.

    Founded: 2014 by Sami Inkinen, Jeff Volek, Stephen Phinney.

    Funding: $36.7 million from Venrock,  Allen & Company, Obvious Ventures, and others.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • dapulse, a project management startup, is changing its name to because no one could figure out what its name meant.
    • Even a TV anchor couldn't keep her laughter to herself when interviewing a dapulse employee on air. 
    • The rebranding will start Monday, and roll out through the rest of the year.

    The Israeli project management startup dapulse is changing its name after constant questions and jokes about the name.

    Starting on Monday, dapulse will be known as, a name which the company claims is more closely aligned with its "broader commitment to spark a dialogue on how to improve working together as humans."

    While the first day of the work week doesn't always elicit feelings of joy in people, it turns out the name dapulse evoked its own fair share of negative sentiments.

    A YouTube video to promote the rebranding shows employees reading confused tweets from users who make fun of dapulse for sounding like the name of a rapper, rather than a cloud software company.

    The video also shows marketing lead Joel Goldstein on TV redirecting an interview after the host laughs and asks him to explain what dapulse means.

    In the short-term though, a funky name may have been what dapulse needed to get its grounding. Researchers found that unique names can make a real difference to startups in early funding rounds, though the novelty wears off for investors in later stages.

    So far, the company formerly known as dapulse has raised $34.1 million in funding. 

    And in case you're wondering, the original name was chosen because there was a domain name available.

    "When we were first starting out, our priority was on building the best product we could, and less so on the name," said Roy Mann, CEO and founder of the company. "Based off what we felt was the essence of our tool, a platform to help you keep your finger on the pulse of your team, we identified with the concept of a pulse. After searching for domain options, the only website available was dapulse!"


    SEE ALSO: Startups with unique names get more funding— at least in the beginning

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here's what losing weight does to your body and brain

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    sub boxes

    Nowadays, it seems like there's a subscription box out there for everything. From the utilitarian to the whimsical treat-yourself boxes, they all promise convenience, discovery, and quality.

    It's a lot to consider and you're undoubtedly wondering which ones are actually worth it. Having tested many of these subscription box services ourselves, we're confident we can show you the best ones to gift your loved ones this season. 

    Read on to find our top picks for subscription box gifts this year. 

    Having trouble figuring out what to get people for the holidays? You can check out all of Insider Picks' 2017 gift guides here.

    SEE ALSO: 16 cool and innovative gifts you first saw on Kickstarter

    DON'T MISS: 50 under-$50 gifts that work for everyone on your list

    Food and drink


    If Argentine Chimichurri Steak, Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto, or Pork Luau Burgers sound right up your culinary alley, HelloFresh is the meal kit delivery service for you. While HelloFresh is our gift of choice because of its super fresh ingredients and recipes you'll love to recreate later, here are some other meal-subscription services you might want to consider that also have gift options available. 

    Buy a gift box: 3 meals for 2 people/$59.94, 3 meals for 4 people/$119.88


    Daily Harvest

    Daily Harvest sends healthy and delicious pre-portioned superfood eats like smoothies, overnight oats, chia parfaits, soups, and sundaes to your home. It's the stuff you overpay for at a health shop or store, but could easily make at home if you have the right ingredients. It solved our healthy eating obstacles, and it can do the same for you, too. 

    Buy a gift card: Values of $25 through $250 available



    Mouth's selection of indie spirits, snacks, sweets, and sauces are sure to surprise and delight the foodie in your life. Everything on the site is made lovingly by people who view food as their craft and passion. Many gift subscription options are available, including ones specific to whiskey, bourbon, and pickles. If you're not sure what to get, the Best of Mouth Club is a safe bet to go with. 

    Buy a gift subscription: 3 months/$180, 6 months/$342, 12 months/$648; or pay $60 a month as you go 


    Blue Bottle Coffee

    Blue Bottle Coffee is beloved in the Bay Area and, for now, only has additional locations in New York, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Miami, and Tokyo. Thankfully, distance is no issue with the Blue Bottle at Home subscription service, which sends a half bag of a changing selection of whole bean coffee to your door every other week. Drinking coffee is such an everyday ritual, so the automatic, convenient nature of this service can't be cherished enough. 

    Buy a gift subscription: 3 months/$72, 6 months/$144; or create your own and choose the coffee, delivery frequency, and number of shipments starting at $24



    Rather than give you full bottles of wine, Vinebox delivers wine by the glass, making it great for trying a bunch of different wines before you decide to commit. After you take a short wine preferences quiz, Vinebox will curate three kinds for you to try and send them to you in sleek tubes. Every wine comes with tasting notes, recommendations, and pairings.

    Buy a gift subscription: 3 months/$81, 6 months/$156, 12 months/$300



    Similar to Vinebox, you begin your Winc experience by taking a short quiz. The difference between Winc and Vinebox is that you get four full bottles of wine and you'll have some degree of control over what types you receive. Winc calls itself a "wine club" and is a better choice for more seasoned, frequent wine drinkers

    Buy a gift card: Values of $60 through $600 available



    Sometimes nothing quite hits the spot like a big, hearty burger. BurgaBox is a burger meal kit service that comes from Boston Burger Company, which has been featured on "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives." Each month's box takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and contains two eight-oz. burgers and four sides that will leave you happy and full. 

    Buy a gift card: Values of $25 through $100 available


    Book of the Month

    As much as I concede to the conveniences of an e-reader, I think I'll always prefer holding and reading a physical book to an e-book. If you know someone who's the same way, they'll love a Book of the Month membership. For more than 90 years, BOTM has been helping readers discover and dive into new books. Every month, choose one book from five excellent new selections. 

    Buy a gift subscription: 3 months/$44.99, 6 months/$79.99, 12 months/$149.99


    Loot Crate

    Simply put, Loot Crate is a subscription box for geeks. It's for the people who obsess over pop culture, video games, and film and TV shows. You can bet it has merch from Marvel, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Call of Duty, and Halo, plus tons of other popular franchises. Loot Crate has many specialized gift box options, the cheapest being its own signature Loot Crate. 

    Buy a gift subscription: 1 crate/$26.99, 3 months/$67.85, 6 months/$124.70, 12 months/$232.40


    Kiwi Crate

    Kid-tested and approved, Kiwi Crate offers boxes that are both fun and educational for ages two through 16 and beyond. Every month, kids have the opportunity to explore science, art, design, engineering, and more through creative, engaging projects. 

    Buy a gift subscription: 1 month/$24.90, 3 months/$60, 6 months/$110, 12 months/$205


    Awesome Pack

    Awesome Packs are fun for both kids and their parents. Every box contains unique board games, hands-on projects, mini activity sets, and an activity book filled with additional things to do together as a family. There's even a Big Kid Pack for adults who are still kids at heart. 

    Buy a gift subscription: 1 month/$39.99



    As the popular junior versions of "MasterChef" and "Chopped" have shown, kids are cooking and loving the kitchen experience at younger ages than ever before. Kidstir helps spark that love while teaching children to have a healthy connection to food. With its monthly hands-on kits, kids get to build their own cookbooks, try new foods, and learn about where food comes from.

    Buy a gift subscription: 1 month/$15.95, 3 months/$47.85, 6 months/$87, 12 months/$155.40

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff that we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    startup giftsThe holidays are a perfect time to show your loved ones that you care, and one of the best ways to do that is through thoughtful gifting.

    While grabbing something from a big-name store you already know he or she loves is always a solid course of action, this is also a particularly great time to introduce someone else to new companies they might not have ever known about if not for you.

    Not to mention that thanks to an increasingly connected world, more and more of us are actively seeking out purchases that remain unique and individual.

    Opting to buy from a small, up-and-coming company allows you the opportunity to gift something unique, slightly ahead of the curve, and also potentially turn your giftee onto a brand they’ll be able to love and return to even after the holidays end. 

    Below are 30 companies your giftee might not know about yet, but will definitely be glad to:

    Having trouble figuring out what to get someone for the holidays? Browse all of Insider Picks' 2017 holiday gift guides here.

    SEE ALSO: 26 gifts your mom actually wants this holiday season

    DON'T MISS: 18 transparent companies you can feel great shopping at this holiday season


    This is the footwear company making the stylish runners and loungers made from merino wool. They're affectionately being called the "most comfortable shoes in the world" — a statement we agree with after trying them.

    Allbirds Women's Wool Loungers, $95

    Allbirds Men's Wool Loungers, $95


    Brooklinen is one of our favorite companies to cover because, to put it simply, we think they make the best high-end sheets at the best price currently on the market. 

    Brooklinen Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle, starting at $198


    Glossier is the makeup brand that came out of the extremely popular beauty blog "Into the Gloss" — it’s been gaining steam and popularity over social media, especially for making products that focus on putting “Skin first. Makeup second.”

    Glossier Phase 1 Set, $40

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    fred wilson

    • Members of the tech community were concerned about a provision in the Senate's tax bill that would've taxed stock options as soon as they vested.
    • Many thought the tax bill as written would harm the growth of tech startups in the US.
    • In a win for tech startups and VCs, the Senate removed the provision from the latest version of the bill on Tuesday night.

    Senate Republicans have removed a controversial portion of their tax reform bill Tuesday that would've taxed stock options and restricted stock units (RSUs) as soon as they vested, instead of when they are exercised.

    The proposal caused an uproar earlier this week among tech VCs and entrepreneurs, who said it would stifle the creation of startups that often rely on stock options to attract talent. The proposal would've forced employees to pay taxes on the stock even if they never cashed it in. That would mean employers would likely try to attract talent with just salaries, meaning employees wouldn't have the opportunity to enjoy the wealth created by startups. Today, employees only pay taxes on vested stock options after the options have been exercised.

    Fred Wilson, a partner at Union Square Ventures, wrote on his blog Monday that the proposal would have "profound implications for those who work in tech companies and equally profound implications for the competitiveness of the US tech sector."

    Wilson encouraged members of the tech community to pressure Senators to take the provision out.

    It looks like Wilson's wish came true. The latest version of the Senate's tax bill, which was released Tuesday night, now says the "nonqualified deferred compensation" portion of the bill, which caused the uproar, has been stripped out.

    SEE ALSO: The iPhone X review

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 15 things you didn't know your iPhone headphones could do

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    Spire Health Tag

    • A startup called Spire is launching a new wearable device that sticks to clothes and can go through the wash
    • Spire's Health Tag can track users' breathing and sleep, and its app can offer advice on how users can be healthier.
    • The company will sell the tags in packs of three, eight and 15 so users don't have to worry about transferring the gadgets among their different clothes.

    Fitness bands and activity-tracking smart watches are designed to help you lead a healthier, happier life.

    But such devices don't really do much good when you forget to wear them or their batteries run out halfway through a workout.

    San Francisco-based startup Spire thinks it has a solution, a new gadget it calls the Health Tag. The Health Tag is a tiny health monitor and activity tracker that attaches to users' clothes.

    "To bring the (wearable) industry forward we had to make the wearable disappear," Spire CEO Jonathan Palley said.

    The device, which goes on sale Thursday, is about the same size as a pack of Tic-Tacs. Spire designed it so users could forget about it after they affix it to their clothes. It has a year-long battery life and can go through a washer and dryer. Indeed, when Spire was developing the Health Tag, it bought a washer-and-dryer set for its office and spent four months subjecting prototypes of the device to them, Palley said.

    The Health Tag can track users' heart rates, breathing patterns, activity, sleep, stress, and anxiety levels. The device's smartphone app allows users to choose which of those to track — or they can choose to track all of them.

    Spire is selling the tags in packs of three ($99), eight ($199) and 15 ($299), so users can attach them to an assortment of their clothes and not have to worry about transferring the tags from one piece of clothing to another. The company recommends that users affix the tags to the clothes they wear most often, including workout gear, pajamas, and work clothes. The company's app is designed to automatically sense the tag a user is wearing and gather data from that particular one. 

    Offering advice — but only when needed

    The more frequently users wear Health Tags, the more useful information they can provide, including offering advice on how to be healthier. For example, if the device notices a user hasn't gotten a good night's sleep the previous two nights and has observed that the user tends to sleep better after exercising, it might send a notification suggesting the user go for a run that night. 

    Spire has designed the Heath Tags and their accompanying app to help users reduce stress. By tracking users' breathing, it can tell when they are stressed out. The app can then prompt users to take deep, slow breaths or to go for a walk around the block.

    Of course, receiving repeated notifications can also stress people out. But Palley said Spire has that covered too. The app is designed to limit the number of prompts it sends users to an average of three to five a day. 

    "If you're having a healthy day, we shouldn't be bugging you," he said.

    The Health Tag is the second wearable gadget from Spire, following a clip-on device called the Stone. The new Health Tag is the product the team wanted to build when it first started out, Palley said, adding that the Stone was a "stepping stone" to the new gadget.

    SEE ALSO: I wore the stress-tracking Spire device for a week — and it completely changed how I go about my day

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    New York City skyline

    New York City has long been known as a hub for finance, ecommerce, and health care startups. 

    But recent years have seen a rise in another breed of startups tackling issues ranging from crime to housing, sports to beauty.

    In many ways, New York has become a hub for diverse companies — with even more diverse founding teams.

    Each year, Business Insider talks to industry insiders and venture capitalists to find some of the most exciting companies in the region. Their nominations, plus some fundraising data from PitchBook, help shape this list of startups to watch. To limit the list, we only included companies founded in the last five years and narrowed it down to startups headquartered within the greater New York City area.

    The companies featured range from those that are just getting their start, to some that have already inked major deals and gained national exposure. All of the companies featured seem poised to do big things in the coming year.

    Here are the hottest startups in New York to keep your eye on:

    SEE ALSO: These 10 tech jobs pay six-figure salaries — and you don't even need a college degree

    Brooklinen offers luxury bedding at non-luxury prices.

    What it is: Brooklinen is the brainchild of husband-and-wife duo Vicki and Rich Fulop, a couple based in — where else — Brooklyn. The company was founded three years ago and initially sold its wares on Kickstarter.

    The premise of Brooklinen is "luxury bedding at non-luxury prices." As an ecommerce site, the company wants to cut out all possible middlemen and avoid brick-and-mortar retail. In doing that, Brooklinen says it eliminates as much as $200 in costs— its bedding starts at $99, compared to what the company says can be more like $300 at traditional retailers. 

    Brooklinen now offers plenty of items for the bedroom, including sheets, comforters, pillows, and candles. But it has stuck to just two fabrics: classic percale, and "Luxe," which has a higher thread count. 

    Founders: Rich and Vicki Fulop

    Funding: $10 million from FirstMark Capital

    Elysium Health is developing supplements that could prevent aging.

    What it is: Elysium Health wants to help people live longer, healthier lives through supplements. Elysium's first product is a supplement called Basis, which aims to boost levels of a specific protein found in cells. The protein, called "nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide" (NAD), may help prevent aging. 

    The supplements industry can be a tricky one to navigate. Supplements aren't regulated the same way prescription drugs are, which means they don't always contain what they say they do.

    But Elysium is trying to change that. The company boasts an impressive board of scientific advisors and presents results of its clinical trials, which are intended to show that the supplement is safe.

    Founders: Eric Marcotulli, Dan Alminana, and Leonard Guarente

    Funding: Elysium Health has raised a $20 million Series B led General Catalyst and joined by Breyer Capital, Morningside Ventures, and Sound Ventures

    Bowery is moving farming indoors.

    What it is: Bowery isn't the first startup to venture into the world of urban farming, but it hopes to be the most innovative.

    Located about 15 miles outside of New York in Kearny, New Jersey, Bowery grows its plants inside a giant warehouse. Because of that, the company estimates it can grow 100 times more greens per square foot than the average urban farm.

    Bowery grows its plants under LEDs instead of sunlight and inside nutrient-rich water beds instead of soil. The startup even has its own operating system, BoweryOS, to change the weather conditions in the warehouse.

    Bowery now sells its plants at Whole Foods and Foragers locations in the New York City area.

    Founders: Irving Fain, David Golden, and Brian Falther

    Funding: $27.5 million from General Catalyst, GGV Capital, GV, First Round Capital, Box Group, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Tom Colicchio, and others

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    plato HQ

    • Quang Hoang, a French entrepreneur, had to reinvent his startup while trying to attract American investors.
    • He had to change his startup's goals and hire new developers after some setbacks.
    • Birdly was renamed Plato and changed its focus to accommodate both its French background and its American aspirations.

    Many entrepreneurs from all over the world have decided to settle in the San Francisco area near Facebook, Google, and others to be inspired and develop their startups.

    Quang Hoang, 29, has chosen the city for the headquarters of Plato (formerly known as "Birdly"), a startup that connects engineers and developers with mentors working for Amazon, Facebook, Slack, and Lyft via Slack.

    Last July, Plato raised $3.3 million from Slack, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan, Fundersclub, and Jason Lemkin of SaaStr.

    Quang Hoang told Business Insider France how he managed — as a Frenchman in San Francisco — to gain credibility in the eyes of the American entrepreneurial world.

    Finding foreign friendly champions

    In September 2014, Quang Hoang and his cofounders spent a week in Silicon Valley, punctuated by visits from investment funds and companies such as TaskRabbit.

    A meeting with Michael Seibel, partner at Y Combinator, ended up being key. It changed their perspective.

    birdly"I pitched Birdly for 30 seconds or a minute. Michael Seibel asked the questions that hurt — but in a smart and caring way, and gave us advice," Hoang told Business Insider France about the meeting.

    Hoang recalled that Seibel didn't worry about the fact that they were French or that their English wasn't perfect.

    Hoang later learned that Seibel is "foreign friendly." He travels abroad frequently and was one of the first to have spotted the Franco-American startup Algolia, which raised last 53 million dollars last June.

    "After this meeting, we only wanted to go back to Silicon Valley," Hoang said.

    Ten months later, Birdly was selected to join YC for three months.

    "People like Michael Seibel are so well known that in front of other American investors, you're being put on the same level as other American entrepreneurs," Hoang said.

    No wonder Jason Lemkin, one of Algolia's first American investors, spotted the young French team and decided to invest $1 million to accelerate Birdly's transformation into Plato.

    Finding the right balance between confident, ambitious and realistic

    But being supported by big names in Silicon Valley is not the only thing a French entrepreneur needs to get started in the United States.

    According to Hoang, France and the United States can be seen — by caricatured — as two extremes in terms of "confidence" and ambition:

    "Here, an American will say 'everything is great, anything is possible'. And on the other hand, we have the Frenchman who doesn't trust, doesn't have too much ambition, and who takes refuge behind his technology. An investor will not want to invest in either."

    The challenge is to find the right balance between displaying enough confidence so that investors want to help you, but not so much that they feel like you're lying to them, Hoang said.

    And this quality is also essential for recruiting Americans, which can be difficult.

    the plato team"It's very hard to attract Americans, because if they're good, why would they come to you?" Hoang said.

    Barbra Gago, an American who was formerly marketing manager at Greenhouse, recently joined Plato's team as chief revenue officer.

    Coincidentally, Hoang later discovered that Gago's husband is French.

    For Hoang, the first American employee — just like the first American investor — is crucial.

    He hopes to "create an American and French bi-culture," to develop better in the United States, and to attract other American investors.

    "There is a different way of thinking, a specific wording to attract American investors," Hoang said.

    Plato currently employs five people and plans to double its workforce by the end of the year, recruiting two or three sales staff in the United States and engineers in Paris. It hopes to make a series A in 2018.

    SEE ALSO: A 27-year-old who converted a BMW into an electric car and worked for Tesla is convinced we think about electric cars all wrong

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    marijuana cannabis

    • LeafLink, a commerce platform for cannabis dispensaries, raised $10 million in an oversubscribed Series A round. 
    • The company plans to expand into the lucrative California market, and launch in new states as more legal cannabis markets come online. 


    LeafLink, an online commerce platform for cannabis dispensaries, raised $10 million from venture capital firms to expand its business in California as the state prepares to allow sales of recreational marijuana, according to CEO Ryan Smith. 

    The oversubscribed round comes on the heels of a $3 million seed round LeafLink closed in February of this year.

    The round was led by Nosara Capital, a London-based firm, and included Casa Verde, a venture capital firm that focuses on early-stage ancillary investments in the cannabis industry, and Lerer Hippeau Ventures, which has invested in companies such as Venmo, Casper, and Warby Parker.

    The funds will also be used to expand to new markets across the U.S. LeafLink is already live in 6 states — it expanded to Arizona earlier this month as the state's medical marijuana market came online — and it plans to put their product in dispensaries in a total of 10 states. 

    "We're very supportive investors," said Karan Wadhera, the managing partner at Casa Verde. 

    Smith — who is just 26 years old — was the first cannabis entrepreneur to make the Forbes 30 under 30 list in 2016.  

    LeafLink handled $186 million in transactions since 2016, Smith told Business Insider. It works with 400 brands, 1,700 retailers, and handled $16 million in gross merchandise value in November, Smith said.  

    By 2018, the company predicts that its order volume will grow to $500 million as more states legalize cannabis and bigger markets come online, a pitch deck reviewed by Business Insider shows. 

    "This is a unique opportunity to define an industry that is scaling rapidly," Smith said. 

    And, according to the company, LeafLink has 90% market penetration in two of the cannabis industry's most mature markets — Colorado, and Washington — and it's seeking to increase its foothold in the lucrative California market. 

    California is set to begin sales of recreational marijuana on January 1, 2018.

    Cannabis tech companies like LeafLink are well-positioned to capitalize on burgeoning cannabis industry. Traditional venture capital firms are reticent to invest directly into "plant-touching" businesses, as cannabis is considered illegal by the federal government.

    Companies like LeafLink, which serve the industry but do not touch the plant, are much safer and more "scalable," Wadhera previously told Business Insider. 

    SEE ALSO: The 'Salesforce of Pot' just announced the latest takeover in the legal cannabis industry

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    • Now through November 26, save 25% off all orders over $150 at Boll & Branch with the code "BLACKFRIDAY."
    • This is the company's one and only sale of the year, so shop now!

    A comfortable mattress is fundamental to getting a good night's sleep, but as often as sheets are overlooked, they too play a major role. The quality of the sheets on your bed can be the difference between tossing and turning all night and sleeping peacefully.

    Boll & Branch is one of the best bedding brands we've tried, and not because they're expensive. Founded in 2014, in Summit, New Jersey, by the husband-and-wife team of Scott and Missy Tannen, Boll & Branch uses only Fair Trade organic cotton.

    The choice of quality materials and exquisite craftsmanship make for luxurious sheets that you will absolutely love, and right now is the best time to buy them. Now until November 26, you can save 25% off all orders over $150. You'll find everything from sheet sets and duvet covers to blankets and pillowcases.

    In addition to some of the most luxurious bedding you can buy, Boll & Branch offers a plethora of other products that will keep you comfortable and cozy outside of the bed. Hats, scarves, pajamas, and towels are just some of many items they have.

    With the holiday season quickly approaching, many of the items also come with complimentary gift boxes. Whether you're shopping for gifts or treating yourself to luxury, you don't want to miss this truly amazing deal. While many brands have items that regularly go on sale, this is Boll & Branch's one and only sale of the year. 

    Shop the softest organic bedding and more at Boll & Branch now.

    Check out some of the best deals, below:

    SEE ALSO: We found the Black Friday home and kitchen deals that are actually worth it

    A luxurious sheet set

    Boll & Branch Hemmed Sheet Set, $150-$221.25 (Originally $200-295) [You save $50-$73.75]

    A cable knit throw blanket

    Boll & Branch Cable Knit Throw, $93.75 (Originally $125) [You save $31.25]

    A flannel duvet cover set

    Boll & Branch Flannel Duvet Cover Set, $210-$225 (Originally $280-$300) [You save $70-75]

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    50 hot startups 2018

    2018 is almost upon us and so it is once again time to predict which startups will take the tech industry by storm next year.

    Who better to ask than the startup experts, the VCs that watch the industry, guide the startups, hear their pitches, and invest in them?

    We reached out to a number of top VCs and asked them which startups will boom in 2018. We invited participation from investors from a variety of backgrounds and investing philosophies. This includes some of the top VCs in the Valley (Accel, Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, Bessemer, Greylock Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Sequoia).

    We included VCs of note who specialize in seed and early rounds (8VC, Bloomberg Beta, BBG Ventures — which backs startups with at least one female founder.) We also asked some top VCs from the startup nation Israel (JVC, OurCrowd) and VCs that have been known for picking hits (like IVP's Somash Dash).

    We asked them to name a company they've backed that's on track to have a great 2018. After all, they believed in those companies so much they invested. But we also asked them to name another startup they think is cool that they don't have any financial interest in.

    As startup lovers, they gave us this list chock full of amazing up-and-comers creating tech for businesses, gamers, personalized health, robots, high-tech money, new forms of super computers, and even outer space.

    SEE ALSO: 51 enterprise startups to bet your career on in 2018

    Nauto: An artificially intelligent dashcam for vehicles

    Company name: Nauto

    VC: Reid Hoffman at Greylock

    Relationship: Investor

    Funding:$173.9 million

    What it does: Nauto makes a cloud-based, artificially intelligent, networked camera for vehicles. It helps to identify dangers to drivers, provides feedback at the end of trips, and also analyzes the cause of accidents to reduce false liability claims.

    Why it's hot:"Soon, driving will become a networked and highly collaborative activity — cars on the road will benefit from what other cars have learned. Nauto is rethinking transportation safety by using AI, and founder Stefan [Heck] is seeking to completely redefine the transport grid," says Hoffman. 

    Heck is a 20-year transportation veteran who is a research fellow and teacher at Stanford, and a member of the Energy Transformation Collaborative (ETC). 

    Rigetti Computing: A startup taking on quantum computing

    Company name: Rigetti Computing 

    VC: Reid Hoffman at Greylock

    Relationship: No relation. VC just thinks it's cool.

    Funding:$69.5 million

    What it does: Rigetti Computing is developing technology to help usher in a new kind of powerful computer known as quantum computing.

    Why it's hot: “Quantum computing is going to be a very large industry and the promise of a large quantum computer is incredibly powerful. Companies like Microsoft, Google and Intel have experimented with quantum computers, but Rigetti Computing is taking a unique approach. The startup is building a business from scratch to build a quantum computing chip," says Hoffman.

    Rigetti Computing was also named among the "51 enterprise startups to bet your career on in 2018."

    Pindrop: Stopping voice fraudsters

    Company name: Pindrop

    VCs: Martin Casado at Andreessen Horowitz and Somesh Dash at IVP

    Relationship: both VCs are investors

    Funding: $122.8 million

    What it does: Pindrop is used by call centers to analyzes a person's voice and detect fraud. It can even determine if a voice is real or generated by a computer. 

    Why it's hot: "Voice as a way to interact with computer systems is becoming more and more pervasive, whether we’re talking to Alexa at home or interacting with an automated system online," Casado says, adding that voice fraud has been a huge hole in security until now.

    "They are detecting unprecedented amounts of phone fraud and saving leading financial institutions tens of millions of dollars annually," says Dash.

    Pindrop also recently nabbed legendary former Cisco CEO John Chambers as an investor and board member.


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Lucid Air

    • Lucid Motors, an electric-car startup that's developing a 1,000-horsepower luxury sedan it says could rival the Tesla Model S and flagship offerings from Mercedes-Benz and BMW, is moving to a bigger headquarters.
    • The company is setting up its new home in Newark, California, not far from Tesla's factory.
    • The upstart was deep into a Series D round earlier this year.

    The electric-car startup Lucid Motors announced on Monday it is doubling the size of its San Francisco Bay Area headquarters. The company, which is developing the 1,000-horsepower Lucid Air, will move its operations from Menlo Park, California, to Newark — one city over from Tesla's factory in Fremont.

    The new digs will allow for a larger design studio and an expanded space for research and development, the company said in a blog post on its website. Lucid Motors has previously touted itself as a challenger to Tesla, but with larger ambitions to take on the mainstays of the full-size luxury sedan segment.

    In an exclusive interview with Business Insider earlier this year, Lucid Motors' Chief Technology Officer Peter Rawlinson talked about a future production-ready Lucid Air that would compete with the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the BMW 7 Series. The company said in a statement to Business Insider late Monday night that it hopes to start production on the Lucid Air in 2019.

    At the time of that interview, Lucid Motors had about 300 employees and was backed by Venrock Capital, the same company that led Apple's Series A round in 1978. The company said it expects to grow its employee ranks after the move to the new headquarters. The company had a Series D round in the works earlier this year. Months later, Lucid brushed off rumors of a potential sale to Ford, telling Business Insider that the fundraising effort was "going well."

    Lucid Motors has been compared to flashy, boisterous electric-car startups like Faraday Future, a Chinese-backed, Los Angeles-based company that's in poorer financial shape, and steadily losing top talent— including its COO/CFO Stefan Krause last month — but is also trying to build a 1,000-horsepower electric vehicle.

    Rawlinson has not taken kindly to the comparison. He has insisted that Lucid will try to avoid making the same mistakes that have thrown its rivals into turmoil. During his February interview with Business Insider, Rawlinson said of building a new electric car from the ground up: "This team realizes the enormity of the task. We're car guys. This is the team that has done it before. We know how to do this."

    SEE ALSO: We took a 1,000-horsepower electric luxury sedan for a spin on the streets of Silicon Valley

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    dagne dover

    We recently covered 50 startups participating in Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and some of those deals haven’t yet ended.

    You can find the 10 below companies running sales into the middle of the week or all the way into December.

    Since startups often use already-low prices to entice customers away from big retailers, their products are normally already markedly lower than competitors. And because so many startups pride themselves on solving old problems in creative, fresh ways, you can often get the newest and best in innovation for less than you'd pay for an older model.

    So right now, thanks to these Cyber Week deals, you can support small businesses (and the diversity, competition, and innovation they bring to the marketplace) at the same time that you get or gift unique, high-quality products at incredibly low prices.

    Having trouble buying gifts for everyone on your list? Check out all of our 2017 gift guides on Insider Picks.

    SEE ALSO: The 11 best Cyber Monday tech deals you can still get right now

    SEE ALSO: This wildly popular mattress startup is offering up to $250 off a new mattress for Cyber Week


    What they make: Mattresses with three premium foams for cooling, body contouring, and pressure-relieving core support delivered to your door. Sapira is their luxury pocket spring mattress, which combines Leesa's premium foam layers with pocket-spring coils for premium comfort.

    The Deal: From November 27 - November 29:

    • Take $125 off the Leesa Mattress, plus get a free Leesa Pillow ($75 Value) and a $25 Amazon gift card. 
    • Take $250 off the Sapira Mattress, plus get a free Leesa Pillow ($75 Value) and a $25 Amazon gift card.

    What you might want to get:Sapira Mattress

    Shop Leesa >>

    Shop Sapira >>


    What they make: Personalized mattresses thanks to a questionnaire customers take with information such as their height, weight, firmness preference, and sleeping style for optimal performance.

    The Deal: Buy a mattress and any other product and take $100 off your order from November 22 - November 29 with the code "HOLIDAY17" at checkout. 

    What you might want to get:A customized Helix mattress and Mattress Protector

    Shop Helix >>

    Dagne Dover

    What they make: Chic, affordably priced luxury handbags with updated, inventive organization and a pocket for every purpose.

    The Deal: Take 20% off of everything with code "DAGNETHANKS" from November 21 - November 29.

    What you might want to get: Legend Tote

    Shop Dagne Dover >>

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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