Top tech startup news stories you need to know this Friday, March 23
Good morning! Here are some of the top tech startup news stories today Friday, March 23.
Startup Verisart is using blockchain to fight art forgers. Los Angeles-based startup, Verisart, is using blockchain decentralized technology to verify the authenticity of artwork. The startup is helping artists and collectors with new ways to certify, document, verify and enliven their works. It’s a problem as old as art itself, said Norton, and artists have long been unreliable when it comes to documenting their own work.
Coinbase in talks to buy Bitcoin startup Earn.com. Coinbase is about to make its biggest acquisition yet. The San-Francisco-based startup Coinbase is in talks to purchase Earn.com, which rebranded late last year from 21.co with the launch of its eponymous paid messaging platform, sources close to the matter said, the The startup recently raised more than $225 million in venture funding.
Internet-connected wine bottle startup Kuvée is shutting down. According to BusinessInsider, the startup that makes a Wi-Fi-connected wine bottle complete with touchscreen, Kuvée, announced it is shutting down. Kuvee is a direct to consumer wine service featuring a wine bottle that keeps wine fresh for 30 days. The startup was launched in 2014.
Dropbox priced its shares above the IPO range. That means it beat expectations and raised $756 million. The company is now worth $8.2 billion. But it doesn’t mean the last round of investors are in the money.
CryptoKitties raises $12 million from Andreessen, Union Square. Virtual cats are serious business. CryptoKitties is one of the world’s first games to be built on blockchain technology—the same breakthrough that makes things like Bitcoin and Ethereum possible. Bitcoin and ether are cryptocurrencies but CryptoKitties are cryptocollectibles. Anyone can buy, sell, or trade your CryptoKitty like it was a traditional collectible, secure in the knowledge that blockchain will track ownership securely.
Jay-Z invests in a bail reform startup Promise. First Capital and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation invested $3 million in a bail reform startup. Promise is a de-carceration startup that supports and helps low-risk people get out of jail. Promise is currently part of Y-Combinator’s bundle of startups and provides a cost-effective and more humane alternative to incarceration.
Bluzelle is betting on Blockchain for the future of data security. Singapore-based startup, Bluzelle, is enabling companies to build decentralized database systems with the goal of creating more secure ways of storing and managing user information, and has recently raised $19.5 million to help further its mission. The startup is building the foundation of what could be a new standard in data security, thanks to blockchain integration.
Google selects 12 tech startups from Nigeria, others. Google has kickedoff the Launchpad Accelerator Program (LAP) for Africa as part of the announcement ‘Google for Nigeria’ announcement the company made in 2017. The tech giant is unveiling 12 startups picked from Nigeria and across other Africa countries for the program. The 12 startups participating in the first Launchpad Accelerator Africa class are Babymigo from Nigeria; Flexpay from Kenya; Kudi based in Nigeria; OMG Digital from Ghana; Pezesha from Kenya; Piggybank.ng from Nigeria; and Riby from Nigeria.
Wi-Fi controllers startup Rachio raised $10 million dollars in a series B round. Rachio, a startup that builds Wi-Fi controllers for garden sprinklers, has raised $10 million dollars in a series B round. Its system takes the guesswork out of watering your plants and creates a custom schedule that automatically adjusts to the local weather. Rachio also integrates with smart home devices like Alexa, Google Assistant, Nest and SmartThings.