TechCrunch is an American online publisher of technology industry news founded in 2005 by Archimedes Ventures whose partners were Michael Arrington and Keith Teare. It reports on the business of tech, tech news, analysis of emerging trends in tech, and profiling of new tech businesses and products.
In 2011, the site came under fire for possible ethics violations. These included claims that Arrington's investments in certain firms which the site had covered created a conflict of interest. The controversy that ensued eventually led to Arrington's departure, and other writers, including Paul Carr and Sarah Lacy, followed suit.
First held in 2011, TechCrunch Disrupt is an annual tech conference hosted by TechCrunch in San Francisco, New York City, and Europe (London or Berlin). It also happened once in Beijing in 2011.
TechCrunch Disrupt hosts an event called Startup Battlefield at its conferences where startups sign up to pitch their business ideas on a stage in front of venture capital investors, media and other interested parties for prize money and publicity. Past participants include Dropbox, Beam, Vurb, Trello, Mint, Yammer, and Crate.io.
From 2007 to 2015, TechCrunch operated Crunchbase, a database of the startup ecosystem, consisting of investors, incubators, start-ups, key people, funds, funding rounds and events. The company claims to have more than 50,000 active contributors on its platform. Subject to registration, members of the public can make submissions to the database; however, all changes are subject to review by a moderator before being accepted.
In 2013, Crunchbase claimed to have 2 million users accessing its database each month.
AOL is in dispute with start-up Pro Populi over that group's use of the entire Crunchbase dataset in apps that Pro Populi has developed, one of which is known as People+. Pro Populi is being represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
In 2015, Crunchbase spun out of AOL/Verizon/TechCrunch to become a private entity, and is no longer a part of TechCrunch.
In 2008, TechCrunch started The Crunchies award ceremony, which celebrates the "most compelling startups, internet and technology innovations of the year". Techcrunch often creates a list of the top startups and the funding they received. Twelve categories have been awarded in 2016, including "Best New Startup", "Best Overall Startup", and "Best Mobile App". 2016 was also the first year awarding the Diversity Award.