Tech startup news of the week (January 21, 2018)
Happy Sunday! Below are the top news stories on TechStartups.com over the past 7 days. If you want this weekly update in your inbox every week, make sure to subscribe to the TechStartups Newsletter using the form at the right corner of this page.
This Nigerian artificial intelligence health startup is saving thousands of babies’ lives with a simple app. Ubenwa is a Nigerian Artificial Intelligence (AI) health startup that is saving newborn lives by enabling quick and cost-effective diagnosis of birth asphyxia from infant cry. Birth Asphyxia, meaning lack of oxygen, is one of the top 3 causes of infant mortality in the world, causing the death of about 1.2 million infants and severe life-long disabilities (such as cerebral palsy, deafness, and paralysis) to an equal number annually.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems built by Alibaba and Microsoft beat humans in Stanford University reading test. The AI systems built by Chinese retail giant Alibaba and Microsoft have outperformed humans in the Stanford Question Answering Dataset (SQuAD), Alibaba’s AI program was the first to beat the human score. Using natural-language processing, Alibaba’s machine-learning network model scored 82.44 on the test on January 11, narrowly beating the 82.304 scored by the human participants. A day later, Microsoft’s AI program also beat the human score, with a result of 82.650.
Messaging app Telegram is looking to raise $1.2 billion in ICO, the largest token sale ever. Cloud-based mobile and private messaging app Telegram is planning to raise $1.2 billion in initial coin offering (ICO). The ICO will be the largest token sale ever. Its proposed blockchain network and platform is aimed at solving the shortcomings of existing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. The company plans to raise a staggering $1.2 billion in total, starting with a $600 million pre-sale that’s strictly for traditional venture capital backers and those inside its executive’s close circles.
Cryptocurrency Market Bloodbath: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and others plunged by about $710 billion. The cryptocurrency market experienced a major correction with the top 20 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization dropped in value by as much as 10 percent today. Based on the latest data from CoinMarketCap.com, major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple fell by at least 13% – and in excess of 25% in the case of XRP – since the start of the day. At one point, within the 24-hour period, the overall market capitalization for all tokens had lost nearly $200 billion, falling from $710 billion to $536 billion at its lowest.
Chinese smartphone company OnePlus was hacked and up to 40,000 customers had credit card info stolen. OnePlus today confirmed thieves stole tens of thousands of people’s credit card numbers from its online store. The Chinese smartphone company admitted after a week of investigation that about 40,000 of its customers had their payment card details were taken while buying stuff from its web shop. In a blog post on its website, OnePlus apologized for the incident. “We are deeply sorry to announce that we have indeed been attacked, and up to 40k users at oneplus.net may be affected by the incident. We have sent out an email to all possibly affected users,” OnePlus said.
German startup AUTO1 raises $558 million from SoftBank to expand internationally and build direct car sale and financing opportunities for dealers. Berlin Germany-based used car startup AUTO1 has raised $558 million in funding from Japan’s Softbank to expand internationally and build direct car sale and financing opportunities for dealers. AUTO1 Group connects buyers and sellers of cars via an online platform. Auto1 was launched in 2012 and operates in over 30 countries, selling more than 40,000 cars a month on its associated sites. With the new investment from Softbank Vision Fund, the startup now joins the unicorn club that puts its new valuation at 2.9 billion euros. Last year, the startup had revenue of 1.5 billion euros last year.