Top tech startup news stories you need to know this Monday, April 16
Good morning! Here are some of the top tech startup news stories today Monday, April 16.
Samsung is joining the blockchain party. The world’s biggest maker of smartphones and semiconductors is turning to blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrencies, to track and manage its vast global supply network. In a major endorsement of blockchain technology, Samsung Electronics is considering a broad implementation of a blockchain ledger platform to track its global shipments. Speaking to Bloomberg, Song Kwang-woo, blockchain chief at Samsung SDS – the IT subsidiary of the Samsung – revealed that a blockchain system could slash shipping costs by 20 percent.
A 32-year-old’s startup, inspired by a health scare, sells for $275 million. Surbhi Sarna, 32, founded nVision Medical in a quest to detect ovarian cancer for other women. The San Bruno, California-based startup later raise $17 million in venture capital, and to gain approval from the Food and Drug Administration to develop a specialized device for detecting ovarian cancer. Now Boston Scientific, the Marlborough, Mass.-based medical device giant, says it will buy nVision for $150 million upfront and another $125 million to be paid if certain clinical and commercial milestones are hit over the next four years.
Goldman acquires personal finance and budgeting app startup Clarity Money. As we reported last night, Wall Street giant, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., has acquired startup Clarity Money, the company said in a major press release. The terms for the deal were not disclosed. Goldman’s goal is to expand its online no-fee personal loans platform, Marcus, and expand its revenue stream. The personal finance and budgeting app was founded by Adam Dell, the brother of Michael Dell, the founder of computer manufacturing company Dell Inc. Adam Dell will join Goldman as a partner.
Ola is giving a Tesla a run for its money with a plan to build a million electric cars. Ola, the Uber’s fiercest Indian competitor, has unveiled plans to roll out 10,000 electric three-wheeled rickshaws within a year and deploy 1 million electric vehicles across the country within three years in its latest attempt to gain a competitive edge in a struggle with US rival Uber.
JetBlue’s Venture Arm Invests in a Startup That Predicts Flight Delays. Lumo, a Boston-based travel technology startup, believes it can solve the flight delay problem. The startup is telling airlines it can see into the future and know which flights are likely to be delayed hours — or even days — in advance. The 3-year old startup helps airlines and corporate travel managers preventatively rejigger routes and itineraries. The company said Monday it had received a $2.3 million seed round led by Blue Technology Ventures, the San Carlos, California-based investment arm of the U.S. airline JetBlue Airways.
Facebook spent $20 million on Mark Zuckerberg’s bodyguards, flights since 2015. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has a personal security and private flight budget that likely surpasses that of anyone but fortune 500 CEOs , highest-profile celebrities and government officials, CNN reported on Saturday. Since 2015, Zuckerberg has spent around $20 million on security and travel, with the company dropping $5.8 million in 2016 and nearly $9 million last year, according to public filings.
A Tencent-backed fashion app Meilishuo is planning a $4 billion U.S. IPO launch. The online fashion retailer backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd., Meilishuo, is in talks with several investment banks about a U.S. initial public offering (IPO). If everything goes as planned, the IPO could value the startup at about $4 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. Meilishuo is a women-focused e-commerce company.
SoftBank’s billions spur global race to pour money into startups. SoftBank Group Corp. and Singapore sovereign-wealth fund GIC, both competing to invest heavily in startups, pushed up the size of the fundraising round to $535 million, people familiar with the deal say. The Silicon Valley money machine is once again in high gear, thanks largely to SoftBank.
Octopus Ventures raises $284 million fund for European startups. London-based venture capital firm, Octopus Ventures, has raised $284 million to invest in young European startups. With the new funds, Octopus Ventures now manages a total of 1 billion euros. The company said it has made 16 new investments in the past year, including those in British software firm Origami Energy and market research and intelligence startup Streetbees.
SenseTime, the billion-dollar, Alibaba-backed AI company is quietly watching people in China. Most Chinese people probably have never heard of SenseTime. But depending on where they live, the facial recognition AI startup might be looking at their faces several times a day. Now with $600 war chest, the company now has enough money than ever to help its customers identify anyone, thanks in part to its articial intelligence capabilities. SenseTime, along with a few other Chinese companies, is at the forefront of China’s artificial intelligence (AI) boom.