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Showing posts from June, 2018

Pokémon GO developer Niantic acquires London based AR company Matrix Mill

image credit : Niantic

Major Augmented Reality game and software developer Niantic notable for having spun out of Google in 2011 and being the developer of major game hit Pokémon GO which currently counts as the fastest game to gross over $1 Billion in revenue globally on the app store which currently counts over 5 million daily players and over 100 million downloads on the Google Play store alone has now acquired Computer Vision and 3D Machine Learning company Matrix Mill in a bid to integrate its neural software to its suite of several AR services.

This represents the third acquisition for Niantic which has acquired other AR startups consisting of Escher Reality and animation startup Evertoon.

Matrix Mill based out of London was started just last year by a team of three scientist co-founders from the University College of London to build "deep neural networks that can infer the complete 3D information about the surrounding world from one or more cameras" and with this acqu…

Cybersecurity company Tenable files for $100 million IPO

image credit : Tenable

Maryland based Cybersecurity startup Tenable which was founded 2002 and is notable for providing cybersecurity services to various global organization which currently include more than 50% of the Fortune 500 and 20% of the Forbes Global 2000 and many other top companies and institutions according to the company itself has now filed for a huge $100 million IPO on The Nasdaq stock exchange after having raised over $300 million on the private market since its start in 2002.

In what is so far the best year for IPOs, Tenable now aims to join the list of global IPOs for technology companies occurring this year with other notable companies fellow cybersecurity company Zscaler which went public this year and is currently valued at over $4 Billion on the public market, Cybersecurity software provider Carbon Black which also went public this year and currently counts a market cap of over $1.6 Billion on the stock market along with a long list of other tech companies which…

Chinese E-commerce company Pinduoduo files for huge $1 Billion U.S. IPO

Pinduoduo, A notable Chinese group buying e-commerce startup which was founded just September 2015 and is notable for a recent fund-raise totaling $3 Billion this year which gave the company a very huge $15 Billion valuation has now aimed for an IPO as its holding company Walnut Street Group has filed for a huge $1 Billion IPO with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in a move which would see the company join the long list of huge IPOs which have held successfully throughout this year.

The Beijing based company is notably backed by Chinese internet giant Tencent whose WeChat platform makes up a major part of Pinduoduo's e-commerce base and also counts other backers such as major investor Sequioa Capital China and other major investors as its shareholders.




Pinduoduo which was founded by former Google engineer Colin Huang has grown very rapidly with the company reporting revenues of $278 million last year after less than 3 years of existence which represents a very good rec…

New York based real time discovery startup Dataminr closes $392 million investment at a reported $1.6 Billion Valuation

image credit : Dataminr

Dataminr, A notable software startup with provides newsrooms and other organizations with various real time AI analytics to cover various global live events and alert its users has now closed a huge $392 million of funding at a very huge $1.6 Billion according to a report from Axios which has been confirmed by the company through its press.

Dataminr last raised $130 million in a round led by Fidelity Investments which valued the company at about $700 million with this investment now making the company valued at over 2 times its previous which represents very good growth for the company.

Investors who put funds into this round include Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's Vulcan Capital, Morgan Stanley, Dell-EMC CEO Michael Dell's MSD Capital, Goldman Sachs, Valor Equity Partners and also Fidelity amongst others who invested in both this and the company's previous rounds.

This investment marks a very notable addition to the vastly growing New York start…

E-scooter sharing startup Spin is using Cryptocurrency to raise a huge $125 million for its operations

image credit : Spin

In the wake of several scooter sharing startups raising huge funds which include Bird Rides which just closed a huge $300 million round of funding and also Bike and scooter sharing startup Lime which recently grabbed a huge $250 million in funding, Another major player Spin this time is earmarked to take in a huge $125 million investment but in this case, not going through the traditional method of VC investment but through the use of an STO (Security Token Offering) which is similar to ICOs but not exactly the same as the buyers of the offered tokens this time will be getting equity in the company as opposed to just a liquid virtual asset.

The company would be offering this tokens to accredited investors in a way which provides more security and trust for earmarked investors as they will be entitled to a portion of revenues from the company's operations as they purchase the Security Token Offerings which the company aims to list on several mainstream crypto …

Private equity giant Hellman & Friedman buys into home security startup SimpliSafe at a reported $1 Billion Valuation

image credit : SimpliSafe

Boston based home security startup SimpliSafe which provides self-installed security systems which are used by a huge number of homes in the U.S. has now sold a major interest in the company to Global private equity and investment giant Hellman & Friedman for an undisclosed sum which according to various sources values the company at a huge $1 Billion

The company which last raised $57 million in a Sequioa Capital led round and has been growing very well with the company counting over 300,000 customers as far as 2015 and a vast number of consumers currently making use of its suite of home security products.

This majority acquisition represents another move by Hellman & Friedman making huge acquisitions and bets in the technology space with the investment company's tech portfolio including notable companies like DoubleClick, Getty Images, Customer experience solutions company Genesys amidst other of its notable investments.

SimpliSafe will now conti…

EV charging company Chargemaster acquired for $170 million by oil giant BP

image credit : Chargemaster
Chargemaster. The U.K's largest electric vehicle charging infrastructure company based out of Luton has just been acquired by oil company BP in a move to signal a foray into the EV space with access to Chargemaster's over 6500 electric charging spots around the country.
This move signals part of BP's foray into the renewable energy space which it deemed earlier this year to be the fastest growing energy source.
With this acquisition, Chargemaster is re-branding with its name changing to BP Chargemaster which is now a branch of the oil giant BP representing its moves to get into the ever growing and rapidly expanding renewable energy market.
With estimates given by BP of the future presence of over 12 million electric vehicles on U.K. roads by the year 2040, It's no surprise that the company is making moves to rapidly expand into and grab a slice of the EV market which is growing at a huge pace.



Chargemaster with this acquisition will also ge…

Luggage startup Away raised $50 million at a huge $425 million Valuation to fuel huge growth

image credit : Away

NY based luggage startup Away which provides a direct-to-consumer e-commerce service for its modern travel brand which produces smart luggage products ranging from suitcases, interior organisers and several personal travel bags and also custom made products has now raised a huge $50 million round of investment from Comcast, Forerunner Ventures and Global Founders Capital who also invested in the company's prior Series B round.

Away provides customers smart luggage with removable batteries which has made the startup strenghten its stand even with the recent strict regulations placed on smart luggage concerning its use in U.S. airports.

Away has sold more than half a million suitcases and is currently profitable which counts as a big up for the 3 year old startup which first launched with just one flagship product two years ago and has since expanded heavily from there.






The company which made 5 times more revenues last year than it did in 2016 will make use of th…

Scooter rental startup Bird has just raised another $300 million in new funding

image credit : Bird Rides

E-scooter rideshare service Bird which recently flooded the new headlines after the startup which is headed by a former Uber and Lyft executive recently raised $150 million in a Sequioa led round which valued the 1 year old company at a huge $1 Billion has now raised another $300 million in a huge round still led by Sequioa Capital after previous reports of the company's intention of raising another $200 million for its e-scooter sharing service.

Other investors who also participated in this $300 million funding round include Greycroft, Accel, Tusk Ventures, Index Ventures, Valor Equity Partners, Sound Ventures and a series of other notable investors.

This investment currently values Bird at a huge $2 Billion while giving the company vast capital to expand its operations and strengthen its stand in the e-scooter sharing space which has been deemed a very hot and promising one and has seen other major players getting into the space including bike and also …

Amazon acquires online full service Pharmacy startup PillPack for just under $1 Billion in a bid to disrupt the pharmacy industry

image credit : PillPack

In a new move to strengthen a stand in the pharmaceutical industry, The widely disruptive Amazon has now acquired 5 year old Pharmacy startup PillPack which provides an online system which assists people take timely medication for almost $1 Billion.

This acquisition comes after several recent reports that Amazon's major e-commerce competitor Walmart was looking to acquire the startup for around the same price.

PillPack has raised over $120 million from several investors including Accel, Menlo Ventures, Sherpa Capital, TechStars, CRV and other investors prior to this acquisition with the startup being last valued at $361 million according to PitchBook which makes this acquisition a very big win for the company's investors and other shareholders alike.

This deal now marks Amazon's most notable move currently to signal its entry into the healthcare market as the company has long been earmarked and predicted to make moves and be a major player in the he…

Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine ordered to pay early Beats' partner $25 million after a lawsuit

image credit : Flickr/Zennie Abraham

After a lawsuit by audio entrepreneur and investor Steven Lamar who legally fought for a settlement over an alleged breach of contract concerning royalties over the sales of Beats headphones relating to a design of the original product, An LA jury has now ruled that notable music entrepreneurs Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine will now have to pay the sum of $25.25 million to Steven Lamar for early design work he ran for the company which was snapped up by Apple for $3 Billion 4 years ago.

Steven Lamar originally claimed he came up “with the idea for celebrity-endorsed headphones” and sought over $100 million for his work with the company but has now been awarded over $25 million by the Jury over this lawsuit.

Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine argued that their agreement only involved Lamar getting royalties for one of the company's headphone models in comparison to the 3 Steven Lamar sought compensation for.




After a previous lawsuit by Dre in 2006,  Iovine and Dr…

Enterprise security company Balbix raises $20 million Series B round to boost its operations

image credit : Balbix

Silicon Valley based security startup Balbix which offers cybersecurity software to various enterprises through its suite of products has just raised a $20 million Series B investment round led by Singaporean based Singtel Innov8 and also saw participation from Abu Dhabi owned Mubadala Investment Company, Mayfield Fund and also former Cisco CEO and Chairman John T. Chambers amongst other investors.

With these investment, Balbix which offers software making use of predictions to measure and assess threats will expand its "go-to-market strategy" and put more resources into scaling its platform which provides enterprise scale cybersecurity services for various companies.

Along with this investment, Singtel Innov8''s managing director Jeff Karras will be joining the company's board along with the addition of two other members and also the hiring of a new Chief Revenue Officer and a vice president of business development and alliances for the com…

Major Ride-hailing player Lyft gets larger $15.1 Billion valuation after new $600 million funding

image credit : Lyft

U.S. ride sharing company Lyft notable for being Uber's main competitor in the U.S. market and its huge ride-hailing operations has just raised $600 million in a new Series I round from Fidelity who led the round which also saw participation from NY based Senator Investment Group.

This investment came with a huge valuation of $15.1 Billion for the company which was last valued at $11.7 Billion in its most recent round of funding.

Lyft has now raised a total of $4.9 Billion including this round from the likes of Google parent company Alphabet's Capital G investment arm, Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, Alibaba, General Motors, Tencent, Didi Chuxing, Andressen Horowitz, Founders Fund, Investment firm Baillie Gifford and a host of other notable investors.

The company has notably raised huge amounts from single investors in several rounds which include a $500 million investment from General Motors 2 years ago, $300 million from e-commerce company Rakuten in a…

IT company UST Global raises $250 million from Temasek at a huge $1.25 Billion Valuation

image credit : UST Global

California based information and digital services company UST Global which provides end-to-end IT services for various top notch organizations around the world has now raised a huge $250 million in a private equity round from Singapore based national wealth fund Temasek Holdings which is notable for being a major global tech investor.

UST Global doesn't really count as a traditional startup as the company currently counts over 10,000 global employees with major revenues for the company which was founded way back in 1998.

The startup which counts over 50 clients from the Fortune 500 is also majorly owned by the prominent Kenyan Chandaria Business Family with a notable member, Paras Chandaria being the company's Chairman.

UST Global is currently profitable with a very solid and growing global business for the company which has made 2 acquisitions this year and participated in investment rounds for various technology companies.




The company is making use …

Jama Software nabs huge $200 million funding from IVP and Madrona in new venture round

image credit : Jama

Jama Software, A startup based out of Oregon which offers product development and mission critical software customers to various notable customers has now raised a huge $200 million in a venture round from major tech Insight Venture Partners (IVP) and Madrona which has infused the company with huge capital to accelerate its long term global growth and also the scaling of the company's notable softwares, The Jama Product Development Platform and the Predictive Product Development software category.

This investment for the company which started 2006 and currently counts notable customers including the likes of SpaceX, Cruise Automation, Amazon Robotics, Cisco, Apple, Leica, Nvidia and Samsung amongst many others represents another huge investment in the enterprise software industry which has been garnering much more attention and huge investments in recent times.

This investment is notable for being one of the biggest ever in the Oregon technology space popularly…

German Data Analytics startup Celonis gets $50 million investment at a huge $1 Billion Valuation

image credit : Celonis
Celonis, A startup based out of Munich which offers data mining services which it terms as "Process Mining" which offers data analysis and visualization tools for business processes to various enterprises has now raised a huge $50 million from Accel Ventures and 83North at a huge unicorn ($1 Billion) valuation which represents another addition to the list of huge enterprise startups popping up around the world with its location in Germany being very outstanding.
Accel and 83North who co-led this round are also notable for being the ones who also led the company's 2016 Series A investment where it grabbed $27.5 million to expand its operations.
The process mining company is currently profitable and will make use of this investment to "accelerate hiring and expansion plans throughout the world."



Celonis currently counts notable customers including Vodafone, Honeywell, Siemens, Airbus, GM, Innogy and a host of other companies who make use of Cel…

Faraday Future gets $2 Billion investment to expand its operations

image credit : Faraday Future

Electric Vehicle startup Faraday Future which is notable for its futuristic electric vehicles but recently ran into hassles and several issues over capital and funding even after having raised huge amounts of money has now gotten a new investment of $2 Billion from The Evergrande Health Industry Group which represents a purchase of 45% of the company's shares in this huge round of private funding.

Faraday which is notable for its FF Electric Vehicle brand had previously raised huge rounds of capital in the past which includes a $1.5 Billion investment early this year from an undisclosed Hong Kong investor along with several rounds of huge equity and debt financing in the past.

Faraday is also notable for various unveiled projects which consists of a $1 Billion vehicle manufacturing plant in Nevada which was embarked on after the company cancelled previous plans of constructing an assembly plant in California.







Faraday is also notable for a payment $250 mil…

E-commerce company B-Stock gets $65 million private equity investment

B2B marketplace B-Stock which provides online marketplace solutions for overstock and excess inventory liquidation for various retail companies has now raised a huge round of $65 million from Spectrum Equity to expand its services and enterprise solutions.

This marks a very huge investment for the company which was started 2008 by top former eBay manager Howard Rosenberg and Bill Cornell who also had stints at eBay, PayPal and various notable technology companies.

The Redwood based company has since been profitable from its start and with this investment is earmarked to expand its services to a long list of clients which currently include online furniture company Wayfair, major game retailer GameStop, JCPenney, BestBuy, Groupon, Amazon Home Depot, Walmart and other major retailers which offers online marketplaces for excess inventory on its platform.

Concerning this investment, Spectrum Equity's head Pete Jensen who is joining B-Stock's board along with another Spectrum membe…

Insurance Technology company PolicyBazaar gets huge $200 million funding from Softbank Vision Fund

Indian insurance startup PolicyBaazar which operates a digital insurance market for various Indian consumers has now raised a huge round of $200 million in a Series F investment led by major tech investor Softbank and participated in by other investors.
This investment marks another huge round which Softbank has led in the Indian startup space after previously investing huge amounts in Indian fintech company Paytm and also ride-hailing operator Ola Cabs, Both of which command huge billion dollar valuations.
The investment was made through Softbank's behemoth $100 Billion Vision Fund in PolicyBazaar's parent company ETechAces who also operates online lending marketplace PaisaBazaar.com in addition to its notable insurance service.



PolicyBazaar's digital service provides a curation of several insurance products with different perks with a good aim of making buying insurance way more easier than the much longer and complex traditional method.
PolicyBazaar which was founded in 200…

AT&T set to acquire Digital ad-tech unicorn AppNexus for over $1.6 Billion

image credit : AppNexus

Telecom giant AT&T which provides a vast range of digital services to a huge number of customers around the world has now been confirmed to be acquiring NY based programmatic online advertising company AppNexus for a huge price between the range of $1.6 Billion -$2 Billion.

AT&T is making this huge acquisition of the company which provides a cloud based advertisement marketplace and raised over $300 million from various investors in order to add to AT&T's growing list of digital services with AppNexus being added to the company's advertising and analytics division.

This will also represent a huge addition to AppNexus's ecosystem as AT&T currently counts over 170 million direct to consumer relationships which AppNexus can hugely tap into and leverage for the expansion of its ad technology services.





AppNexus is notable for raising over $300 million from various investors including Khosla Ventures, Tribeca Venture Partners, Yahoo! Japan…

Meituan Dianping files for its long reported Hong Kong IPO

Beijing based Meituan Dianping, The internet company which provides many internet services in the consumer products and retail services market including daily deals, on-demand delivery and a series of other services has now filed to go public in a Hong Kong IPO seeking to raise up to $6 Billion as was long reported although it isn't yet currently clear the exact amount the company is raising.

Meituan which started in 2010 and has been on an expansion spree since then is notable for its backers which include Tencent who led its most previous Series C round of $4 Billion along with other names who have backed the company's previous rounds including IDG Capital, Sequioa, Coatue Management, Google, Temasek, Lightspeed Ventures and a list of others.

The IPO currently targets a valuation of over $60 Billion is earmarked to be underwritten by notable investment banks Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Merill Lynch which will handle the process of this IPO which will be one of the big…

Digital entertainment startup Whistle Sports nabs $28 million Series B investment

New York based digital media startup Whistle Sports which offers cross platform entertainment focused on content tailored to young millenials with a huge focus on sports has now raised a $28 million Series D investment round which was led by investment company Aser Media and also saw participation from other notable investors including entertainment mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg, Media giant Liberty Media and also NBC amongst a number of other notable investors.

This brings the total amount of investment raised by the digital media company to a near $100 million with backings and previous investments from a number of notable investors including entertainment giant Sky, iHeartMedia, VC firm Beringea and a host of other investors.

Whistle plans to make use of this new investment to "expand its catalogue of free and premium original content with brand partners and creators" and also collaborate greatly with Aser to engage the millenial audience through social content creation.






With…

Chinese AI chip company Cambricon gets $100 million Series B round at a $2.5 Billion valuation

image credit : Cambricon

Cambricon Technologies, The Beijing based  AI Chip Manufacturer which produces smart chips for various companies and consumers has now raised a huge $100 million in a Series B investment round from a number of investors led by SDIC Venture Capital with Alibaba, TCL Capital and a host of other investors participating in the investment round which gave the company a very huge $2.5 Billion post-money valuation.

This marks a huge growth record for the company which was founded just 2016 and has boosted up to its level with a total of over $200 million in addition to the company's seed round raised in capital.

The company's most previous Series A round where it raised a huge $100 million August last year a unicorn valuation was also notably led by the same SDIC who led this round through another of its investment arms.




Just last month, The company unveiled two of its products which are neural network processor AI chips designed for use in a range of consume…

Several Amazon employees demand stoppage of facial recognition software sale to law enforcement

image credit : AWS

Amazon, The technology behemoth known for its online e-commerce and also its cloud computing business which provides a vast range of cloud based software to various organisations has now been persuaded by a number of employees to stop the sale of its facial recognition software dubbed "Rekognition" to government organisations over its involvement and use by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to track on immigrants and also several activists.

The letter penned down by a currently unknown number of employees cites the on-going mistreatment of immigrants by the ICE and also the targeting of black activists by law enforcement which the software plays a role in.

The employees demanded that the team at Amazon has a choice in choosing how their software is used and also cited the 1930s sale of software by IBM to the Nazis which they referred to as a worrisome problem with the employees standing to not let such happen again.

The employees also demand the…

Property Intelligence company Cape Analytics raises $17 million Series B funding to grow its AI aerial imagery platform

image credit : Cape Analytics

Mountain View based AI property intelligence and data service company Cape Analytics which provides property analysis for buildings across the U.S. to various companies has now raised a huge Series B investment of $17 million in an investment round led by insurance VC fund XL Innovate and participated in by a host of many other investors.

The 4 year old company provides its real estate intelligent services to various insurance companies which make use of its software to value and get quotes on different homes through the application of aerial imagery.

The company gets geo-spatial imagery from other technology firms and makes use of its AI services to merge this data and gain in-depth real estate insights and in turn offers this much needed service to insurance companies who make use of its property intelligence service.






The company is also notable for some of its top notch VC backers which include Formation8, Khosla Ventures, Promus Ventures, Lux Capital …

Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun gets huge $1.5 Billion stock award ahead of IPO

image credit : Flickr/Fortune Live Media

Xiaomi co-founder and CEO Lei Jun who is leading the smartphone maker as its much reported Hong Kong IPO nears fruition has now been awarded a huge stock package by the Chinese consumer electronics company worth $1.5 Billion according to a recent securities filing analysed by The Wall Street Journal which stated the company awarding the huge amount of stock to an entity controlled by Xiaomi's CEO Lei Jun.

This huge stock award represents one of the biggest paydays in business history and more unique about this one is the presence no attached strings and milestones which makes it very different from most of the huge stock awards in the technology industry which comes in different stages depending on the company's perfomance.

This stock award represents a very large one in a league which have included last year's $638 million bonus to Snap Inc CEO Evan Spiegel and Tesla CEO Elon Musk's $2.6 Billion stock award which is tied to the…

Search Engine company Elastic files for IPO

image credit : Elastic

Data search software provider Elastic which offers software to various companies to make scanning massive amounts of documents for key terms easily done has now filed to go public as a huge $1.5 -$3 Billion after raising a total of $104 million in the private market at a most recent valuation of $700 million.

This IPO is an addition to the huge list of public offerings which have happened and many more also earmarked to take place this year, The Amsterdam based company founded 2012 is notable for its major investors including Index Ventures, Benchmark Capital, SV Angel, New Enterprise Associates and many other notable investors.

The company last took in investment in 2014 where it raised $70 million in a Series C round by New Enterprise Associates and has made 5 acquisitions since then.




Among a long list of customers using its Elasticsearch product currently includes notable names like Telecom giant Sprint, $10 Billion ride-hailing company Grab, eBay, Vimeo, Lyf…

Blockchain company Fantom Foundation raises $40 million to expand its operations

image credit : Fantom Foundation

Blockchain organisation Fantom Foundation which offers a Directed acyclic graph(DAG) platform for smart contracts which in turn a offers a more speedy and scalable blockchain technology has now raised a huge $40 million in a huge funding round from a huge number of crypto investors including Signum Capital, 8 Decimal, Link VC and a host of other investors.

The company intends to make use of this new investment to scale its blockchain platform which will make use of Directed acyclic graph technology to speed up the rates of cryptocurrency transactions to provide the best experience for the consumer.

With mainstream cryptocurrencies currently having a transaction capability of 7-20 transactions per second (TPS) with several blockchain projects stepping up to increase its speed which includes Fantom Foundation which now aims to make use of its blockchain technology to get a huge volume of up to 300,000 Transactions per seconf which will be a huge boost fo…

Music service provider Taihe Music Group raises $154 million in corporate round to expand its operations

Taihe Music Group, A Chinese music company founded 2004 which various music services including live performance, copyright and visual entertainment management and is notable for its merger with Baidu Music in 2015 for the company which now owns nine record labels amidst a very large and valuable music catalogs through various deals has now raised a huge $154 million in a venture investment round from top notch VC firm Legend Capital along with two other investment funds who co-led the round.

The company will make use of this investment to expand its operations and deepen its music services to cater for promotion of the Chinese language music industry while also providing the best music services for various customers.

Taihe Music Group is notable for previously dominating the Chinese music industry service eco-system with its Qianqian Music player which was widely used during the time where PCs made up most of the devices in the country but this dominance has dwindled down as competit…

E-mail Security Company Agari gets $40 million investment from Goldman Sachs and others to scale its cybersecurity platform

San Mateo based startup Agari which was founded 9 years ago to build and develop internet scale security solutions which prevents cyber-attacks on e-mails has now raised a huge $40 million in a huge Series E round led by notable investment firm Goldman Sachs with participation from other top tier security firms including Battery Ventures, Greylock, First Round Capital along with 3 other investment firms.

This investment brings the total raised by the cybersecurity company to a huge $88 million and is a move which will see Goldman Sachs female technology investor joining the board of the company representing the Goldman Sachs growth (GS growth) startup investment vehicle.

This new influx of capital will be used for the rapid international expansion of Agari's services across the continents of Europe and Asia for the Bay Area headquartered company which currently counts a host of notable customers including Air Canada, Electronics retailer Dixons Carphone, Facebook, Microsoft, Goog…

Indian American Surgeon and Medicine Professor Atul Gawande appointed as head of Amazon-JP Morgan-Berkshire health venture

The recently much talked about healthcare venture being embarked on by a trio of e-commerce giant Amazon, Financial behemoth J.P. Morgan and Warren Buffett led major investment company Berkshire Hathaway has now appointed and announced its new CEO, The choice is Public health researcher, Ariadne Labs executive director and health NGO Lifebox's Chairman amidst a very good track record by name of Atul Gawande who is now earmarked to lead the new healthcare venture fixated on developing solutions to tackle fast rising healthcare costs.

The new not-for-profit company will be headquartered in the city of Boston and will begin operations by re-inventing the method and way the three companies' total of 1.2 million employees will get health benefits and handle medical bill payments which represents a very good base to start from before further expansion.

Atul will begin his tenure as the head of the company currently dubbed the "ABC" coalition on the 9th of next month, His …

U.K. based AdoRX Therapeutics gets $10 million investment to develop its Cancer Therapeutics

AdoRX, a biotech startup founded last year to develop and pursue discovery of new treatments for Cancer based on Adenosine modulators has now raised $10 million in its first ever investment round from Maryland based Epidarex Capital and biotech investment vehicle CRT Pioneer Fund.

AdoRX which is a spin-off from Epidarex Capital and is led by the former U.K. site of Novartis Institutes of BioMedical Research Pete Finan will make use of this investment to discover new modulators for the treatment of Cancer.




Concerning the investment, Pete Finan the company's CEO commended the company saying "We have assembled a team that has discovered in excess of 25 clinical candidates to address this drug discovery challenge. We are pursuing fit-for-purpose adenosine receptor antagonists that are specifically designed to overcome a high adenosine environment."

Other members of the company's team includes notable individuals from biotech companies including including Novartis, Exote…

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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…

Facebook Unveils Digital Currency

After several reports of Facebook working on a digital currency, the company has officially unveiled just that. Today, Facebook divulged details of a new cryptocurrency, Libra, that'll let people purchase things or transfer money to people with close to zero fees. Users will be able to buy or cash out their Libra online at local exchange points, and spend it using third-party wallet apps or Facebook's newly announced wallet, Calibra. Calibra will be offered as both a standalone app, and within the WhatsApp and Messenger apps.

 Facebook won't exert full control of Libra, but has instead assembled a team of founding members that'll each get a single vote (including Facebook itself) in the governance of the new digital currency. The partners (a quite reputable list) have each invested at least $10 million into Libra's operations. They include:
StripePayPal CoinbaseVisaMastercard PayU UberLyftSpotifyBooking Holdings Farfetch Andreessen Horowitz Vodafone Thrive Capital …

Amazon Starts Shipping Echo Auto After More Than 1 Million Pre-orders

Amazon has began shipping the Echo Auto, one of the several new Alexa-enabled devices the company announced last year September. Alongside the Echo Auto, Amazon also unveiled several other Alexa-enabled gadgets including a microwave, clock, security camera and a smart plug.

Amazon tells TechCrunch over 1 million pre-orders were placed for the Echo Auto, signalling high interest in the device, which is basically a digital assistant for automobiles. Using the Echo Auto, car owners can link Amazon Alexa to their smartphones, and then perform several auto-related tasks such as playing music via car speakers, opening the garage door, finding the nearest gas station, and listening to the news while on the go, all via voice command.


Before now, the Echo Auto had only been available on an invite-only basis, with a few users having already set their hands on the device just in time for Christmas, according to Amazon VP Steve Rabuchin. Why the Echo Auto remained open only for pre-orders for so…

AT&T set to acquire Digital ad-tech unicorn AppNexus for over $1.6 Billion

image credit : AppNexus

Telecom giant AT&T which provides a vast range of digital services to a huge number of customers around the world has now been confirmed to be acquiring NY based programmatic online advertising company AppNexus for a huge price between the range of $1.6 Billion -$2 Billion.

AT&T is making this huge acquisition of the company which provides a cloud based advertisement marketplace and raised over $300 million from various investors in order to add to AT&T's growing list of digital services with AppNexus being added to the company's advertising and analytics division.

This will also represent a huge addition to AppNexus's ecosystem as AT&T currently counts over 170 million direct to consumer relationships which AppNexus can hugely tap into and leverage for the expansion of its ad technology services.





AppNexus is notable for raising over $300 million from various investors including Khosla Ventures, Tribeca Venture Partners, Yahoo! Japan…

Big VC Wins From Slack's Public Debut

Slack filed to go public late April and has just achieved that with a direct listing that saw its stock jump nearly 50% on its first day of trading. Slack's prior SEC filing showed significant stakes held by VC firms, including Accel (24%), Andreessen Horowitz (roughly 13%), the Softbank Vision Fund (7.3%) and Social Capital (more than 5%).

With Slack's valuation on the public markets hitting $20 billion, investors that backed Slack have reaped major wins, including those that participated in the company's most previous $427 million round that came with a $7.1 billion post-money valuation. To name a few, Accel which poured in $200 million into Slack now commands a stake worth $4.6 billion. Softbank which got in quite late by leading a $250 million round at a $5.1 billion valuation now commands a stake worth roughly $1.5 billion.


Even Andreessen Horowitz whose co-founder Ben Horowitz termed Slack as an "accidental" investment now commands a stake worth roughly $2…

Facebook Reportedly Working On Cryptocurrency For WhatsApp Transfers

According to a Bloomberg report, Facebook is working on a cryptocurrency that will enable users transfer cash on its WhatsApp messaging app with a first focus on the Indian remittances market. The report says the company is developing a stablecoin - crypto pegged to a currency or exchange traded commodities to minimize volatility - for this.

"Like many other companies, Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology," a company spokesman said in a statement. "This new small team is exploring many different applications. We don’t have anything further to share."


Former PayPal president David Marcus currently leads the company's blockchain initiatives so moves like this to take stand in the payments market are likely. Going by employee titles on LinkedIn, Facebook currently has about 40 people on its blockchain group signaling a hiring spree for the unit.

India has over 200 million users and counts as the world's largest remittances…

Microsoft Hires Former U.S. AG To Probe AnyVision

Microsoft has said it has hired Eric Holder, a famed lawyer who served as the Attorney General of the U.S. from 2009 to 2015, to investigate if AnyVision, an Israeli AI company it invested in, violated Microsoft's ethics regarding use of facial recognition technology. Quoting a Microsoft spokesperson, Holder's team of former federal prosecutors "will move quickly, reviewing documents and conducting on the ground interviews with AnyVision employees and others to ensure a full and thorough investigation."


NBC News earlier reported Holder's hire. The news outlet previously reported that facial recognition technology developed by AnyVision had powered a secret military surveillance project for the Israel army that monitored Palestinians in the West Bank. According to NBC News, the project was so successful that AnyVision won Israel's top defense prize in 2018 for preventing "hundreds of terror attacks" using "large amounts of data." AnyVision…

Magic Leap, Microsoft and others said to be bidding on AR army combat contract

Florida based Magic Leap, The AR hardware manufacturer valued at $6.3 billion from a most recent funding round and also known for a release of its first developer focused AR hardware of its first Creator's Edition augmented reality headset just last month has now been reported to be pushing to land a contract with the U.S. Army for development of AR  devices for soldiers to make use of in combat missions.

As per Bloomberg, The contract which could see the military purchasing up to 100,000 headsets as part of an initiative whose total cost could exceed $500 million is also being talked up with tech giant Microsoft.

The program currently known as HUD 3.0 (HUD standing for “heads up device”) is said to have been stirred for years in the armed forces with preparations being made for what entails a construction of a physical headset made to overlay digital images in the physical world in addition to a software platform to be used for both training and live combat.

Details concerning t…

Airbnb Seals Nine-Year Olympics Sponsorship Deal

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced it has sealed an agreement with Airbnb that entails the online accommodation marketplace joining The Olympic Partner Programme (TOP), the highest level of sponsorship offered by the Olympic Committee. Under the program, Airbnb will be a sponsor for the Olympic Games, with a contract that runs for a nine-year period. According to The Financial Times, Airbnb's sponsorship deal is valued at $500 million.


As a global partner, Airbnb will be a sponsor for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, the Olympic Games Paris 2024, the Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026 and the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028. The partnership also covers Paralympic Games from 2020 through 2028.

Such partnership, centered mainly on marketing and brand awareness, is conventionally bound to bring in more business for Airbnb. Airbnb said the partnership will generate "hundreds of thousands of new hosts" on its plat…

DoorDash Said To Be Considering Direct Listing

According to a Bloomberg report, DoorDash, which is fresh off $100 million in funding, is considering a direct stock listing for its planned debut on the public markets instead of taking the traditional IPO route. A direct listing entails a heads-on debut on the public markets rather than taking the conventional route of issuing new shares and raising capital from investors in order to do so. The direct listing route hasn't been around for long, just pioneered by music streaming service Spotify last year. Shortly after, Slack became the second major tech company to take that route, having directly debuted on the public markets just a few months ago.

According to Bloomberg, DoorDash has held talks with investment bank Goldman Sachs about a direct listing. Such idea doesn't seem far-fetched, given DoorDash has already raised billions in funding. The San Francisco-based company may not be looking to raise additional capital, hence the need for a direct listing. However, Bloomber…