Top tech startup news stories you need to know this Wednesday, April 11
Good morning! Here are some of the top tech startup news stories today Wednesday, April 11.
Lending Club Ex-CEO stage a comeback with new fintech startup. Two years ago, Renaud Laplanche was removed from Lending Club, in a stir of controversy. Last year, he cofounded Upgrade, a rival online lender—and now the startup is gaining some real traction. Upgrade announced that it’s initiating $100 million in personal loans a month, with an average loan size of about $10,000. In just one year, the company has reached $60 million in annualized revenue, Laplanche says, and by the end of 2018, he expects to hit a $100 million revenue run-rate and become profitable.
Mark Zuckerberg testified for five hours on Tuesday about the company’s mishandling of user data. Zuckerberg performed well in yesterday’s congressional testimony. He was calm and unfazed throughout the five hours of apologizing, defending and explaining the nuts and bolts of how Facebook works. Zuckerberg stuck closely to Facebook talking points.
Barcelona, Spain-based SaaS startup TravelPerk raises €17 million to fix business travel. TravelPerk, the next-generation business travel booking and management platform for companies of any size, announced it has raised €17 million in a Series B round. The round is led by Berlin-based Target Global and London’s Felix Capital. Amplo with participation from earlier investors like Spark Capital and Sunstone.
Herndon, Virginia-based cyber startup has raised $20 million-plus in venture capital. Herndon, Virginia-based cyber startup Opaq (pronounced “opaque”) Networks has raised $22.5 million in a Series B venture capital round designed to grow its efforts to quickly grab market share selling security-as-a-service to midsize enterprises.
More than 80% of US teenagers prefer iPhone to Android. Researchers asked over 6,000 US teens, whose average age is 16.4 years old, what they spend money on and which brands they hold dear to their hearts. For the second year in a row, iPhone is their preferred smartphone of teens is the iPhone. When asked about Samsung, their answer was in a more dismissive teen voice: “Ugh, what’s that? A Samsung?!”
Alibaba’s Jack Ma is looking to raise $10 billion for Ant Financial. The payments giant, which he controls, is in talks with Singapore’s state investment firm Temasek. At a valuation of $150 billion, Ant Financial would be worth more than Goldman Sachs.
Payment processing startup QRails raises $1M in fresh capital. Colorado-based payment processing startup QRails has just raised nearly $1 million in new funding. The provider of cloud-based software for banks and other card issuers raised $960,000 and is looking for a total of $3 million, according to a Form D filed through the SEC.
Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten is expanding its reach with the goal of furthering its “ecosystem.” Rakuten said it had received approval from the Japanese government to enter the mobile network operator business. This follows an announcement of the new partnership with Walmart to launch an online grocery delivery service.
Reddit bans nearly 1,000 accounts linked to Russian ‘troll farm’. The CEO Steve Huffman said of the popular website, Reddit, said it found 944 accounts on the platform with ties to Russia’s controversial Internet Research Agency (IRA). Reddit said it banned almost 1,000 accounts linked to a controversial Russian firm accused of using online propaganda to influence the U.S. presidential election.
The biggest Black Lives Matter page on Facebook is fake, with some of the funds it raised funneled to an Australian bank account. The page is reportedly run by Ian Mackay, an official for the Australian National Union of Workers.
Is this it? It’s starting to look like the bitcoin bubble has popped. Bitcoin is now hovering around $7000 from its highs of $20,000. ccording to Bank of America Corp. Bitcoin is unraveling before our eyes as the greatest bubble in history. It seems the Bitcoin bubble has popped.