TechCrunch is an online publisher of technology industry news. It primarily covers businesses ranging from startups to established firms. TechCrunch was founded by Michael Arrington and Keith Teare in 2005. Notable journalists and contributors include venture capitalists Chris Dixon and Semil Shah and entrepreneur Kevin Rose.
On September 28, 2010, at its TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco, AOL announced that it would acquire TechCrunch. The transaction was rumored to be for between $25 million and $40 million.
TechCrunch Disrupt is an annual conference hosted by TechCrunch in San Francisco, New York City, London, and Beijing, which began in 2011 and is where some technology startups launch their products and services competing on stage in front of venture capital potential investors, media and other interested parties for prize money and publicity. Past winners include Qwiki, Getaround, YourMechanic, and Enigma.io.
TechCrunch operates CrunchBase, a database of the startup ecosystem consisting of investors, incubators and start-ups, which comprises around 500,000 data points profiling companies, people, funds, fundings and events. The company claims to have more than 50,000 active contributors. Members of the public, subject to registration, can make submissions to the database; however, all changes are subject to review by a moderator before being accepted. Data is constantly reviewed by editors to ensure it is up to date. CrunchBase says it has 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.
The Crunchies is an award ceremony, run by TechCrunch, 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.
In 2014, TechCrunch Disrupt was featured in an arc of the HBO series Silicon Valley. The characters' startup "Pied Piper" participates on a startup battle at TechCrunch Disrupt. According to TechCrunch editor Sam O'Keefe, the show's representation of the conference was "obscenely accurate".
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.