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Tony Fadell Backs New Orleans Battery Startup

Tony Fadell, the co-founder of smart thermostat maker Nest and acclaimed co-inventor of the iPod, was among the investors in an $18.5 million Series A funding just announced by Advano, a silicon battery startup based out of New Orleans. He invested alongside the likes of Peter Thiel's Thiel Capital, Y Combinator, DCVC, and Japanese battery materials giant Mitsui Kinzoku. As part of his investment, Fadell has been appointed as a board observer at Advano.

Mitsui Kinzoku, which co-led the Series A, has also formed a strategic partnership with Advano that involves it providing its knowledge of manufacturing and access to its distribution channels to the silicon battery startup. Advano, a 2017 graduate of famed accelerator Y Combinator, is building battery components to enable more powerful, smaller, and longer-lasting lithium-ion batteries.

It's already known that adding silicon to lithium-ion batteries can improve their run-time by significant margins. However, doing so creates …
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Brief: More Uber Layoffs Coming

Uber is having a new round of layoffs that'll be announced tomorrow, according to sources familiar with the matter. This would be just a few months after a round of layoffs that affected more than 1,000 employees at the company.

In a bid to curtail a series of hefty losses, Uber has resorted to cost-cutting moves including selling some divisions and cutting down headcount. The company's layoffs began last year with 400 employees from its global marketing teams before spreading into its product and engineering teams. Altogether, more than 1,000 jobs representing 2% of its global headcount were cut last year.

The new year has witnessed layoffs from several tech companies, to name a few, Zume, Getaround, 23andMe, Quora, TripAdvisor, and eBay. Uber joining this cohort surely doesn't look good for the entire tech industry.





Brief: GM To Invest $2.2 Billion To Create First Dedicated EV Plant

General Motors (GM) has announced it's investing $2.2 billion in its Detroit- Hamtramck assembly plant to utilize it as a facility that'll produce all-electric vehicles alongside its recently unveiled Origin self-driving vehicle. The Detroit, Michigan-based automaker will also invest an additional $800 million in supplier tooling and other projects related to the launch of new electric vehicles.

GM says its investment will create more than 2,200 U.S. manufacturing jobs. The Detroit- Hamtramck plant will serve as the automaker's first fully-dedicated electric vehicle assembly plant. GM plans to begin rolling out its first all-electric truck by late 2021, with the 'Origin' self-driving vehicle to follow suit. The company is betting big on the  Detroit- Hamtramck facility to help facilitate that.

“Through this investment, GM is taking a big step forward in making our vision of an all-electric future a reality,” GM President Mark Reuss said in a statement. “Our electr…

Brief: Monzo In Funding Talks With SoftBank

British fintech Monzo is in funding talks with SoftBank according to a report from British newspaper The Telegraph. The Telegraph says Monzo CEO Tom Blomfield has twice met with senior executives from the SoftBank Vision Fund, citing unidentified sources. The report comes shortly after Monzo, which has already raised more than $400 million in funding, was reported to be readying additional funding.

Monzo's last raise was a £113 million (roughly $148 million) investment led by Y Combinator Continuity in June last year. That investment valued the five-year-old British fintech at £2 billion ($2.5 billion) post-money.

Monzo's last raise coincided with a limited launch in the U.S., where it's looking to as the next frontier for its digital banking service after amassing more than 3.7 million users in the U.K. Its U.S. launch was limited, with only a few thousand slots available in limited areas. This is being done in preparation for a wider rollout.

Monzo has raised funding fr…

Bird Said To Be In Talks To Acquire Rival Circ

According to a report from the Financial Times, Santa Monica-based e-scooter sharing startup Bird is in talks to acquire Circ, a European rival founded by Lukasz Gadowski, an entrepreneur who also co-founded food delivery giant Delivery Hero. However, such a deal may not be on flashy terms, as the Financial Times reports Circ has been seeking a buyer after struggling to court investments required to further its expansion. Circ (formerly called Flash), which raised €55 million in Series A funding a year ago, had a round of layoffs just two months ago. The layoffs, which the startup attributed to a focus on “efficiency and ops excellence”, is said to have affected around 50 persons.

Purchasing a struggling Circ could be a way for Bird to zoom in on its main rival, Lime, which is widely seen as leading in the European e-scooter sharing market. Bird wouldn't be new to such an acquisition, having scooped up a smaller U.S. rival, Scoot, for a price said to be less than the amount of fu…

Soft Robotics Nabs $23 Million "Oversubscribed" Series B

Soft Robotics, a Bedford, Massachusetts-based robotics startup, has announced $23 million in Series B funding. The funding round, which Soft Robotics termed as "oversubscribed", a description entailing a great deal of interest from investors, was co-led by Calibrate Ventures and Material Impact, with participation from Yamaha, Tekfen Ventures, Honeywell, Scale, Hyperplane and FANUC, a well-known maker of industrial robots.

Soft's new funding follows a similarly-sized $20 million round closed in May 2018, a round it also termed as oversubscribed. Not coincidentally, all the participants in Soft's Series B round except FANUC also participated in that previous round. FANUC, a leading manufacturer of industrial robots, happens to be a strategic investor, having partnered with Soft Robotics to create a product that was unveiled in Japan in December 2019.

Soft Robotics builds robotic automation systems for labor-intensive companies, of which good examples are e-commerce, …

Joby Aviation Secures $590 Million Series C

Joby Aviation, a Santa Cruz, California-based startup that develops electric air taxis, has announced $590 million in Series C funding led by Japanese auto manufacturer Toyota, with participation from new investors Baillie Gifford and Global Oryx alongside existing investors Intel Capital, AME Cloud Ventures, JetBlue Technology Ventures, Capricorn Investment Group, and SPARX Group. The new funding brings the total amount raised by Joby to $720 million.

According to a Bloomberg report, Toyota is providing $394 million of the $590 million total. The automaker isn't just bringing money to the table but says it'll also share its expertise in manufacturing, quality, and cost controls to support the development and production of Joby's electric aircraft. Over the past ten years, Joby has assembled a team of engineers and physicists that have developed a quiet all-electric VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft. The aircraft is developed in anticipation of an on-demand urb…

Casper Files To Go Public

Not long after a previous report of online mattress retailer Casper working with banks on an initial public offering (IPO), the company has filed an S-1 registration document with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to do exactly that. Its S-1 document was made public just a few hours before this writeup.

Casper's S-1 indicates $312 million in revenue for the first nine months of 2019, up from $260 million in the same period of the previous year. However, the company is not profitable, with losses of $67 million and $64 million in those periods respectively. For the full year 2018, Casper recorded $358 million in revenue but with a $92 million loss.

A substantial portion of Casper's loss stems from high sales and marketing spend after gross profit is accounted for. Sales and marketing make up its highest expense, even surpassing general and administrative expenses in the years 2019, 2018 and 2017. For example, Casper spent $114 million on sales and marketing in …

Uber And Hyundai Debut Flying Taxi Concept

At this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Korean auto manufacturer Hyundai and Uber unveiled a flying car concept that's aimed for use in the "Uber Elevate" initiative, an initiative that's targeted at aerial ridesharing with custom air taxis made by partners to enable that. Hyundai is the first automaker to join Uber Elevate, whose previous partners were all electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft manufacturers. Uber aims to launch an aerial ridesharing network by 2023, and has already partnered with seven aircraft makers to enable that.

Hyundai's new concept air taxi vehicle is dubbed "S-A1" and has specifications similar to that of previous electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft unveiled by other Uber Elevate partners. It'll be 100% electric, be piloted initially but with plans to later make them autonomous, and is designed with four passenger seats to allow riders board and disembark easily. It's des…

Coupang Said To Be Eyeing 2021 IPO

Coupang, a SoftBank-backed South Korean e-commerce startup, is eyeing a 2021 initial public offering (IPO) according to a Bloomberg reportBloomberg says the company, founded in 2010 and said to be valued at $9 billion, has embarked on tax structuring among other changes as it aims for a public listing next year. Another sign Coupang may be eyeing a soon IPO is its appointment of a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in December last year. The CFO in case was Alberto Fornaro, a seasoned executive who has held senior financial roles for more than two decades at Korean firms.

Coupang's IPO could be a test of the waters for the SoftBank Vision Fund, which has seen some of its portfolio companies struggle and collectively lay off thousands. Coupang appears to be doing good, with 2018 revenues said to have approached $5 billion. Bloomberg also reports the company had more than $10 billion in gross merchandise value as of December 31 and that sales increased more than 60% year-over-year in …

Two SoftBank-Backed Startups Said To Lay Off Hundreds

According to reports from Business Insider and The Information respectively, Zume Pizza and Getaround, two SoftBank-backed startups, are collectively laying off more than 500 staff, the majority coming from Zume Pizza. Zume is said to be planning to lay off up to 400 employees representing 80% of its staff while Getaround is said to be laying off about 150 employees representing about 25% of its staff.

The reported layoffs come on the heels of another SoftBank backed startup, Fair, cutting 40% of its headcount with its CFO and CEO resigning in the process. With respect to the layoffs, Zume Pizza's case seems grimmer being just a year and two months after it snagged $375 million in funding from SoftBank. Originally a pizza-making automation startup, it later pivoted to food-supply-chain management. According to Business Insider, the layoffs are effectively a cost-cutting measure as Zume readies additional funding.

Getaround's layoffs are also reported as a cost-cutting move. I…

Velodyne Appoints New CEO

Velodyne, the world's biggest manufacturer of lidars for self-driving vehicles, has announced the appointment of a new CEO by name of Anand Gopalan. Gopalan, who served as Velodyne's CTO up until this appointment, is taking over the CEO role from Velodyne's founder David Hall, who is, in turn, transitioning to a full-time role as Chairman of the Board. Under that role, Hall will "remain actively involved in directing the company’s technology, product vision and business strategy", a press statement from Velodyne said.

Gopalan joined Velodyne in 2016 to form an advanced R&D team for the company. Since then, he has led technology and product development efforts at Velodyne. His appointment comes amid reports of the company making preparations for an IPO.

As of late, Gopalan has been an active spokesperson for Velodyne, often promoting its lidar products to audiences around the world. Under his leadership alongside Hall, Velodyne has brought to market a series …

One Medical Files To Go Public

San Francisco-based primary care startup One Medical has officially filed for an initial public offering (IPO). Its S-1 registration document with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was filed less than 24 hours ago, indicating a placeholder amount of $100 million (that is the amount intended to be raised from the IPO albeit one that's subject to change). One Medical intends to trade under the ticker ''ONEM'' on the Nasdaq Global Select Market. Investment banks J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley are lead underwriters for its IPO.

For context, One Medical operates several health clinics in the U.S., its specialty lying in its clinics being more tech-inclined than conventional, and with concierge services available. The company operates on a membership model, charging $200 annually both by direct-to-consumer and enterprise sales. As of September 30, 2019, One Medical had 397,000 members across nine markets in the U.S. It also had about 6,000 enterprise cli…

Snap Acquires AI Factory

As first reported by Ukranian publication AIN and later confirmed, Snap has acquired AI Factory, a Ukranian computer vision startup whose technology helped power Snapchat's recently debuted "Cameos" feature, a feature that lets Snapchat users create animated selfie-based videos.

According to AIN, Snap paid around $166 million for AI Factory, which was founded by an entrepreneur who sold his previous company, Looksery, also to Snap. Snap is said to have paid $150 million for Looksery, also a computer vision startup whose technology powers Snapchat's widely used "Lenses" feature. After Looksery's acquisition, co-founder Victor Shaburov took up the role of director of engineering at Snap, a role he held for three years before leaving in 2018 to launch AI Factory.

AI Factory is known to have offices in both Ukraine and San Francisco. According to TechCrunch, the firm has a team of around 70, the majority based out of Ukraine. TechCrunch also reports part o…

Monzo Said To Be Raising New Funding

According to Reuters, U.K. digital bank Monzo is close to raising between £50 million to £100 million ($66 million to $132 million) in new funding "within weeks" to help fund its growth. Reuters, citing an unnamed source close to the company, said funding talks have involved both existing and new investors, and could precede a potentially bigger 'Series G' round next year.

In June last year, Monzo closed £113 million in funding led by Y Combinator Continuity, an investment offshoot of famed startup accelerator Y Combinator. That funding came on the heels of Monzo's launch in the U.S. and valued the company at $2.5 billion post-money. Monzo looking to raise more funding hints of rapid growth and substantial investments to support that.

Since its founding in 2015, Monzo has amassed more than 3.5 million users by offering a user-friendly and mobile-first app that facilitates online spending and money management. The company currently has more than 300 employees wor…

NIO Reports Q3 Results

Chinese electric car maker NIO just reported its financial results for the third quarter of this year, indicating $257 million in revenue but with a $357 million loss in the period. The company delivered 4,799 vehicles in the third quarter, compared to 3,553 deliveries in the preceding quarter. In reaction to the earnings reports, NIO's shares are up more than 50%, trading for $4.17 apiece as of writing.

According to Yahoo Finance, NIO's quarterly results surpassed analyst expectations, with revenue projections for the third quarter having hovered at around $231 million. NIO's $257 million in revenue happens to have beat that by a significant margin, but still amid steep losses. NIO has been losing lots of money as it spends to gain ground as a newer entrant to the electric car market.

The company was founded just five years ago and has delivered approximately 30,000 vehicles since inception, a significant number but a much smaller amount compared to that of other EV maker…

ClassPass Reportedly Raising $285 Million In Funding

According to a Reuters report, fitness subscription startup ClassPass is seeking to raise $285 million in new funding that could push its valuation above $1 billion. Citing a securities filing obtained from analytics firm Lagniappe Labs, Reuters reports ClassPass will issue 22.7 million 'Series E' shares as part of the funding.

A valuation above $1 billion would be a significant boost for ClassPass, which last raised funding at a valuation hovering around $536 million, according to Prime Unicorn Index. The company's last funding was an $85 million Series D led by Temasek last year, an investment that brought its total funding to north of $200 million.

New York-based ClassPass offers monthly subscription plans that provide access to more than 30,000 fitness studios and gyms globally. It's also partnered with large employers like Google, Southwest Airlines, Facebook, and Under Armour to offer corporate wellness plans.

ClassPass is available in 2500 cities across 27 coun…

Uber Co-Founder Kalanick Departs Board

Uber has announced the departure of co-founder Travis Kalanick from its board, effective on the 31st of December. The company's announcement says Kalanick is leaving to "focus on his new business and philanthropic endeavors", the business part likely being CloudKitchens, a shared kitchen space provider he took over after his previous resignation as Uber's CEO.

Kalanick's departure happens to come after he unloaded more than 90% of his shares in Uber, which went public just this year. His sell-off began early November up until the past few days. Currently, Kalanick holds about 5.8 million shares, substantially down from the 22.6 million shares he held before the sell-off.

Kalanick, who co-founded Uber alongside Garrett Camp, held the position of CEO for a long-time, a position that saw him become the poster-child for the company. However, mounting controversies from everything ranging from workplace culture to questionable business practices at Uber led to his ou…

Rivian Raises $1.3 Billion In Additional Funding

Not long after raising $500 million from Ford and an additional $350 million from Cox Automotive, electric car startup Rivian has announced $1.3 billion in new funding led by T. Rowe Price, with participation from BlackRock and existing investors Ford and Amazon. The additional investment is the fourth Rivian has raised this year, and comes a few months after Amazon announced it'll purchase 100,000 vehicles from the company as part of plans to make its delivery fleet run on renewable energy.

The additional investment brings the total raised by Rivian this year to a whooping $2.85 billion. In a statement, Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe praised the investment as demonstrating "confidence in our team, products, technology and strategy". With the investment, Rivian now stands as one of the top-most financed electric car upstarts in what seems like a crowded market.

Rivian plans to begin selling vehicles next year, which may explain the additional funding at the tail-end…

Uber Ordered To Cease Colombian Ride-Hailing Operations

Uber has been ordered to cease its ride-hailing operations in Colombia by the country's Superintendency of Industry and Commerce, a regulatory agency in charge of regulating business practices. The Superintendency of Industry and Commerce (SIC) cites violated competition rules as the reason for the order.

Notably, this is Uber's third regulatory ban in the span of a month, the other two being in London and Germany. The city of London suspended Uber's operating license for the second time just few weeks ago, while a Germany court ban came just this week. In a statement, Colombia's SIC said Uber amassed “a significant advantage in the market” by offering transport services for individuals via its app, and ordered the company's ride-hailing services “through the use of the Uber application to cease immediately.”

Uber on the other hand said in a statement that it doesn't accept the ruling and immediately filed an appeal. “This decision reflects an act of censorshi…

F5 To Acquire Shape Security For $1 Billion In Cash

F5 Networks has announced it's acquiring Shape Security, a Santa Clara-based fraud detection startup, for around $1 billion in cash. The announcement happens to come just three months after Shape Security raised funding at a $1 billion pre-money valuation. F5's acquisition is expected to be close in the first quarter of next year.

Shape Security as a company has raised $183 million in total funding. Its backers include top tier VCs such as Kleiner Perkins, Norwest Ventures Partners, HPE Growth, and Focus Ventures. Shape Security develops fraud detection software adopted by large enterprises to protect their online applications. Banks make up a substantial portion of its customer base, as fraud detection and prevention stands crucial to the online banking process. Altogether, Shape Security claims its fraud detection software detects and blocks up to 2 billion fraudulent or unwanted transactions daily.

Shape Security's fraud detection software offers cross-channel protecti…

Glovo Nabs $167 Million Series E

Glovo, a popular on-demand delivery service that currently operates in 26 countries, has raised 150 million euros ($167 million) in Series E funding led by Mubadala, the sovereign wealth fund of Abu Dhabi, with participation from existing investors Delivery Hero, Lakestar and Drake Enterprises. The funding values Glovo at more than $1 billion, marking it as the second Spanish startup, the other being Cabify, known to have crossed the valuation milestone.

As per Glovo CEO Oscar Pierre, the new funding will be put towards growing the company's headcount, with plans to hire 300 new engineers and developers by mid-next year. Barcelona-based Glovo also wants to make use of the new capital to expand into new markets, as it has consistently done since its founding in 2015.

The new funding happens to come less than a year after Glovo's last known funding, which was a $169 million Series D raised in April. Such situation speaks of Glovo's rapid expansion, with the company having e…

Lime Launches Weekly Subscription Service

Lime has announced the launch of a weekly subscription service for frequent riders of its e-scooters and bikes, first in cities across the U.S., Australia and New Zealand, followed by a roll-out in additional global markets by early January. The new service, dubbed LimePass, offers weekly unlimited scooter unlocks for a flat fee of $5. The idea behind such is to let frequent riders cut down on costs by out-rightly purchasing seven-day unlocks to Lime's shared scooters and bikes for a flat fee, as opposed to paying separately for several rides that would be taken over a week. For context, unlocks for Lime scooters and bikes costs $1 to its customers, who still have to pay per-minute rates to keep riding.

One might wonder, and reasonably so, that paying Lime separately for unlocks taken over a week would amount to more revenue for the company than paying a flat free of $5 for unlimited unlocks for a weekly period. However there's quite a catch, being that several persons who pa…

Intel Scoops Up Habana Labs For $2 Billion

Intel has announced it has acquired Habana Labs, an Israel-based startup that makes AI chips. The semiconductor giant is paying roughly $2 billion for Habana, one year after leading a $75 million Series B investment in the company. The acquisition represents another score for Habana co-founder and chairman Avigdor Willenz, a serial entrepreneur who previously founded and led Galileo Technology (acquired for $2.7 billion by Marvell Technologies) and Annapurna Labs (acquired for $350 million by Amazon). Unsurprisingly, both companies were chip makers, crowning Willenz as a whizz in the chip-making sector with sequential successful exits.

Prior to this acquisition, Habana had raised $120 million in funding from investors including Intel Capital, Battery Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners and WRV Capital. As of November last year (when it last raised funding), Tel Aviv-based Habana had just over 120 employees. The company was founded in 2016, and maintains only two offices globally, one…

Zomato Reportedly In Advanced Talks To Acquire Uber Eats India

According to a report from TechCrunch, Uber has entered advanced stages of negotiations to sell its Indian food delivery arm, UberEats India, to competitor Zomato as it looks to reduce global spending. TechCrunch reports the negotiations currently values UberEats India at around $400 million, and could involve Uber investing between $150 million to $200 million in Zomato to be finalized. Rumors of Uber looking to offload its Indian food delivery arm are not new, with the company having been reported to have discussed selling UberEats India to another Indian food delivery competitor, Swiggy, early this year.

Indian news outlet Times of India first reported about Uber and Zomato's negotiations last month. The negotiations happen to come at a time Zomato is looking to raise up to $600 million in new funding, as made known by its CEO Deepinder Goyal.

Uber looking to sell its Indian food delivery arm doesn't sound startling, as the company faces significant competition from Swiggy…

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Nikola Raises $250 Million At A $3 Billion Valuation

Nikola, a formerly Utah but now Phoenix-based manufacturer of hydrogen-electric vehicles, has courted a $250 million Series D investment out of a targeted $1 billion raise. CNH Industrial, one of the world's largest capital goods companies, made the investment at a $3 billion pre-money valuation. The $250 million figure actually comprises of $100 million in cash and $150 million in services like product development, manufacturing engineering, and other forms of technical assistance that CNH will provide to Nikola.

CNH Industrial owns FPT Industrial, a leading manufacturer of powertrains for large vehicles, and Iveco, a leading manufacturer of heavy trucks. These two firms will provide strategic expertise for Nikola, which is known mainly for its hydrogen-electric (fuel cell) trucks. Iveco and FPT will provide engineering and manufacturing services to industrialize Nikola’s fuel-cell powered electric trucks, under the terms of CNH's investment. For example, Nikola has made pla…

Rivian Raises $1.3 Billion In Additional Funding

Not long after raising $500 million from Ford and an additional $350 million from Cox Automotive, electric car startup Rivian has announced $1.3 billion in new funding led by T. Rowe Price, with participation from BlackRock and existing investors Ford and Amazon. The additional investment is the fourth Rivian has raised this year, and comes a few months after Amazon announced it'll purchase 100,000 vehicles from the company as part of plans to make its delivery fleet run on renewable energy.

The additional investment brings the total raised by Rivian this year to a whooping $2.85 billion. In a statement, Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe praised the investment as demonstrating "confidence in our team, products, technology and strategy". With the investment, Rivian now stands as one of the top-most financed electric car upstarts in what seems like a crowded market.

Rivian plans to begin selling vehicles next year, which may explain the additional funding at the tail-end…

Apple Lowers Guidance For Fiscal 2019 First Quarter

Going by a recently released letter to investors by Apple CEO Tim Cook, The company has lowered revenue guidance for its fiscal 2019 first quarter which ended on the 29th of December, citing lower than expected iPhone sales in China and "emerging market challenges".

It now expects revenue of approximately $84 billion, a gross margin of approximately 38%, operating expenses of approximately $8.7 billion, other income/(expense) of approximately $550 million and a tax rate of approximately 16.5 percent before discrete items for this period.


In the letter, Apple CEO Tim Cook blames this on two key factors - "emerging market challenges" and lower than anticipated iPhone revenue, primarily in Greater China, the latter which it says accounts for all of revenue shortfall to guidance and more than its entire year-over-year revenue decline. Cook noted that sales outside of the iPhone (Services, Mac, iPad, Wearables/Home/Accessories) combined grew almost 19% from last year.

Darktrace Could Be Heading For An IPO

Darktrace, a U.K. cybersecurity startup that was valued at $1.65 billion after raising funding last year, could be looking towards a public offering, indicated by a closeness to naming a chief financial officer, Bloomberg reports. Companies looking to go public typically appoint a CFO, usually of high-profile, to take on the role of spearheading the company's finances in preparation for a voyage on the public markets. Also, with $231 million in funding and a high valuation to go along, Darktrace seems like a company that's ready to hit the public markets, especially if it's found stability in its business model.

In an interview, Darktrace co-founder and co-CEO Poppy Gustafsson said the company added about 400 employees in the past year, and expects to keep growing at a similar rate. However, she also noted that Darktrace hasn't made a firm decision regarding debuting on the public markets, and said the company doesn't require additional investment for its expansio…

Brief: Monzo In Funding Talks With SoftBank

British fintech Monzo is in funding talks with SoftBank according to a report from British newspaper The Telegraph. The Telegraph says Monzo CEO Tom Blomfield has twice met with senior executives from the SoftBank Vision Fund, citing unidentified sources. The report comes shortly after Monzo, which has already raised more than $400 million in funding, was reported to be readying additional funding.

Monzo's last raise was a £113 million (roughly $148 million) investment led by Y Combinator Continuity in June last year. That investment valued the five-year-old British fintech at £2 billion ($2.5 billion) post-money.

Monzo's last raise coincided with a limited launch in the U.S., where it's looking to as the next frontier for its digital banking service after amassing more than 3.7 million users in the U.K. Its U.S. launch was limited, with only a few thousand slots available in limited areas. This is being done in preparation for a wider rollout.

Monzo has raised funding fr…

Meet goPuff, A Low-key Delivery Company Worth $1 Billion

The food-delivery market is one with intense competition. The likes of DoorDash, Uber Eats, Postmates, Deliveroo, Swiggy, Just Eat, Yelp Eat 24, and more are steadily competing for global market share while also raising huge funding. Just recently, Deliveroo raised $575 million in a round led by Amazon. DoorDash has also raised $600 million Series G funding at a $12.6 billion valuation.

Amid the intense battle, it turns out there's one hot startup that has stayed low key to avoid the eye of rivals, but it seems word is getting out. That low-key hot startup is goPuff, an on-demand delivery service that was valued at $1 billion last November (after an investment), according to regulatory filings reviewed by The Information. goPuff ships products to customers from centrally located facilities -- as opposed to direct pickup from stores -- in 81 U.S. cities.


The company -- based in Philadelphia -- stocks more than 3,000 products at its facilities which it then ships to customers who o…

Miami Based ParkJockey Gets Softbank Investment at $1 Billion Valuation

Miami based parking revenue and access control startup ParkJockey known for its platform that lets real estate owners or operators streamline parking operations using smart software, hardware and data APIs has raised funding from Softbank reported to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars at a $1 billion valuation.
Also, ParkJockey and Abu Dhabi venture arm Mubadala Capital have entered into an agreement to acquire competitor Imperial Parking Corporation (“Impark”) amid an already closed acquisition of Citizens Parking Inc. (“Citizens”), a leading parking management operator in the U.S.



ParkJockey was founded in 2013 by former management consultants Umut Tekin and Ari Ojalvo who currently leads as CEO, Its the official parking partner of organizations including Ticketmaster, Hertz and the Miami Heat and also the parking software provider at large venues like the American Airlines Arena, the Rose Bowl and the US Bank Stadium.

Its app-based technology includes custom account managem…

Bird Said To Be In Talks To Acquire Rival Circ

According to a report from the Financial Times, Santa Monica-based e-scooter sharing startup Bird is in talks to acquire Circ, a European rival founded by Lukasz Gadowski, an entrepreneur who also co-founded food delivery giant Delivery Hero. However, such a deal may not be on flashy terms, as the Financial Times reports Circ has been seeking a buyer after struggling to court investments required to further its expansion. Circ (formerly called Flash), which raised €55 million in Series A funding a year ago, had a round of layoffs just two months ago. The layoffs, which the startup attributed to a focus on “efficiency and ops excellence”, is said to have affected around 50 persons.

Purchasing a struggling Circ could be a way for Bird to zoom in on its main rival, Lime, which is widely seen as leading in the European e-scooter sharing market. Bird wouldn't be new to such an acquisition, having scooped up a smaller U.S. rival, Scoot, for a price said to be less than the amount of fu…

JFrog Said To Haved Hired Banks For An IPO

According to a Bloomberg report, JFrog, a San Francisco-based company that makes software for software developers, has hired JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley to lead an initial public offering that's aimed for next year. Bloomberg reports JFrog could seek a valuation of $2 billion or more for its listing, compared to a $1 billion+ valuation when it raised funding last year.

Founded in 2008, JFrog makes software used by software developers to deploy and manage software. The company's flagship product is known as "Artifactory", being a repository manager that supports several software package formats. JFrog also offers security, distribution, and pipelining software for developers. The company has attracted more than 4,500 customers so far, including top tech companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Netflix.

According to Crunchbase data, JFrog has raised $227 million in total funding, its most recent being a $165 million Series D raised last year October. Having …

Coupang Said To Be Eyeing 2021 IPO

Coupang, a SoftBank-backed South Korean e-commerce startup, is eyeing a 2021 initial public offering (IPO) according to a Bloomberg reportBloomberg says the company, founded in 2010 and said to be valued at $9 billion, has embarked on tax structuring among other changes as it aims for a public listing next year. Another sign Coupang may be eyeing a soon IPO is its appointment of a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in December last year. The CFO in case was Alberto Fornaro, a seasoned executive who has held senior financial roles for more than two decades at Korean firms.

Coupang's IPO could be a test of the waters for the SoftBank Vision Fund, which has seen some of its portfolio companies struggle and collectively lay off thousands. Coupang appears to be doing good, with 2018 revenues said to have approached $5 billion. Bloomberg also reports the company had more than $10 billion in gross merchandise value as of December 31 and that sales increased more than 60% year-over-year in …