Top tech startup news of the week (startup weekend roundup for March 3, 2018)
Happy weekend! Here is a weekend roundup of top startup news for the week ending March 3, 2018. Please subscribe to the TechStartups Newsletter using the form at the right corner of this page, if you want this weekly update in your inbox every week.
E-commerce giant Amazon has acquired outdoor home security startup Ring.com for more than $1 billion, according to a tweet from Reuters. Founded in 2012, Ring is an outdoor home security company that provides homeowner’s a line of preventative outdoor security doorbells and cameras. CNBC also reported that Amazon has previously invested in Ring through the Alexa Fund, its investment arm exclusively investing in Alexa-powered devices. “To say Amazon will not compete with you is lunacy because they compete with everybody,” Siminoff told CNBC. “They’re like nuclear power. They are very, very powerful and you can get amazing, clean energy from them but there’s also the possibility of getting human radiation if you’re not careful.”
Real-time, high-speed augmented reality experience platform pioneer startup, Edgybees, announced today it has completed a $5.5 million seed round to bring its AR technology to new verticals, including defense, smart cities, automotive, and broadcast media. The round is led by Motorola Solutions Venture Capital, and Verizon Ventures. Venture firms OurCrowd, 8VC, NFX with participation from Aspect Ventures. The company has raised $5.5 million in funding to date, according to data from the research firm PitchBook.
Edgybees was co-founded in 2016 by Menashe Haskin, former manager of the Amazon Prime Air Israeli development office, the company’s Chief Technology Officer, together with CEO Adam Kaplan and Vice President for Research and Development Nitay Megides. Edgybees’s technology enables augmented reality (AR) on high speed platforms like drones and cars, and whose First Response app has been used by emergency teams responding to the Northern California wildfires and post-hurricane flooding in Florida
The consumer cloud storage company filed for a $500 million public offering. The company also revealed that its revenue increased 30 percent last year to $1.1 billion. It will be one of the biggest U.S. enterprise technology companies to list domestically in several years. Dropbox is a service that makes all of a user’s files available from any computer or phone. Once a user has installed the Dropbox app and created an account, any files or folders added to Dropbox will automatically save to the Dropbox website, and sync to their connected devices. The company has more than 500 million registered users. Over 300,000 teams are using Dropbox Business.
The popular online photography community and marketplace startup, 500px has been acquired by Visual China Group. The startup was co-founded by Oleg Gutsol and Evgeny Tchebotarev on Halloween 2009. In a company release, Visual China Group announced today that it has acquired 100% of 500PX shares through its wholly-owned subsidiary, VCG Hong Kong LTD. The company did not disclosed the total amount of the deal. The The Toronto-based startup has raised over $9 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Harrison Metal, ff Ventures, and other investors. The company raised $22.3 million in total funding before the acquisition.
Blockchain is on fire and there is no sign of slowing down as organization found the unlimited potential of the technology. Blockchain technology is set to revolutionize the world and permeate to all areas of our daily lives. The global market for blockchain was valued at $708 million. Now a recent blockchain report from Market Reports Center is forecasting the market size to reach $60.7 billion in 2024. The 210-page report was published by Wintergreen Research. The report is based on surveys and interviews with 21 companies including IBM
Microsoft, Accenture, Axoni, BlockCypher, BitFury Group, Deloitte, Ethereum, Ripple, Scorechain, Slock.it and others.
Self-driving startup May Mobility has raised $11.5 million from BMW i Ventures and Toyota AI Ventures to accelerate deployment of self-driving shuttle fleets. The funding will allow May Mobility to launch new deployments across the country. Other investors include Maven Ventures, SV Angel, Tandem Ventures, Trucks Ventures, and YCombinator. Founded by Alisyn Malek, Edwin Olson and Steve Vozar, May Mobility develops autonomous vehicles from the chassis up with a focus on system level safety design. The company plans to lead the industry with their system design approach and best in class user experience. The startup has raised $11.6 million in funding to date.
Content creators face many challenges today. As a content creator, your channel should be your brand. It should be about the message you are trying to share. However, on traditional online video platforms, even the best brands are overshadowed by intrusive and annoying ads. One of the problems faced by content creator today is that they have little to no control over what ads are shown before, during, after, or in some cases, literally on top of their videos. Content creators end up loosing users as viewers move to other channels as they get turned off by the video ads. Viewly is a new blockchain startup that wants to solve this problem. They want their fans to enjoy videos without ads so that creators don’t have to worry about their content being overshadowed by corporate interests. Viewly has been called the “decentralized Youtube.”
Music streaming platform Spotify filed to go public on Wednesday with an initial public offering (IPO) of up to $1 billion, according to a report from CNBC. The music streaming service will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker name “SPOT.”
The company was expected to do a direct listing instead of an IPO. According Spotify, shares have traded as high as $132.50 on private markets, which would give the company a valuation over $23 billion. According to SEC filing, Spotify reported $4.09 billion in revenue — up from $2.95 billion from the year before it and lost $1.5 billion in 2017. To date, the company has raised a total of $2.7 billion in funding.
Chinese multinational, Alibaba acquired Ele.me, in a deal reportedly worth about US$9.5 billon. According to the report from Asian Times, Alibaba will buy the company as a whole, while the final purchase price is still in discussion. The current valuation of the platform is about US$9.5 billion. Ele.me is a platform that offers online food delivery service. It was founded in 2008 by Mark Zhang and Jack Kang in Minhang Campus of Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Ele.me has covered more than 2000 cities in China, with more than 1.3 million joining shops, 15 thousand staff and more than nine million daily order by the end of December in 2016.
Spatial intelligence platform startup, Humantics, today announced the acquisition of 5D Robotics and its subsidiary, Time Domain. Humantics is developing breakthrough microlocation system and analytics software comprise a Spatial Intelligence Platform that will revolutionize how people and machines locate, navigate and collaborate. Founded in 2015 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor David Mindell and technology industry veteran Gary Cohen, Humatics has grown to include a world-class team of radar experts, programmers, roboticists, software engineers, and product development leaders.
According to a report from China Money Network, FaceU augmented reality (AR) app was acquired by China’s largest news app Toutiao for the amount of US$300 million. FaceU is one of the most popular Chinese apps. The current filter camera app was launched in 2016. FaceU has over 250 million registered users as of October 2017. FaceU app provides many incredible dynamic filters, which are like the one on snapchat, but it provides more features and fun for the purpose of people sharing with friends on social media. The app is popular in Asian countries. Over 75% of its users were female and over 70% were aged under 18 years old. Its penetration rate ranks third after its MeituPic and BeautyCam, according to Jiguang Data.