Top tech startup news stories you need to know this Friday, May 18
Good morning! Here are some of the top tech startup news stories for today, Friday, May 18.
There have been at least 271 initial coin offerings with major red flags, according to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) investigation. Altogether those ICOs raised more than $1 billion in funding. WSJ said it found 271 with red flags that include plagiarized investor documents, promises of guaranteed returns and missing or fake executive teams after review of documents produced for 1,450 digital coin offerings.
Israel’s Public Stock Exchange unveils blockchain securities lending (BSL) platform. The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) has announced the development of a blockchain-powered securities lending platform that the stock market operator believes will enable direct lending among all major financial instruments in the country. Calling it ‘one of the first projects of its kind in the world’, the TASE says the platform is set to bring blockchain technology to the forefront of the financial stage through an innovative platform built by leading technological players.
Augmented reality (AR) startup DigiLens raises $25M, partners with Continental to put augmented reality displays in their cars. The company announced in a press release Thursday that it raised $25 million in Series C funding from Continental. Continental first invested in DigiLens in 2016 and now owns 18 percent of the company. DigiLens creates AR displays for applications that include airplanes and motorcycle helmets.
PayPal acquires Swedish startup iZettle for $2.2 billion ahead of IPO. PayPal is buying Swedish fintech startup iZettle for $2.2 billion ahead of IPO. The company announced Thursday that it has reached a deal to buy payments start-up iZettle for $2.2 billion — the biggest acquisition in its history. The news came just after iZettle announced last week that it would list an IPO on the Nasdaq in Stockholm later this year.
Rackspace acquires RelationEdge, adding SaaS services to portfolio . Cloud computing giant Rackspace has acquired RelationEdge for an undisclosed amount. RelationEdge is a San Diego-based software-as-a-service provider focused on aiding Salesforce users. The company helps other businesses with their Salesforce implementation and ongoing support. The deal expands Rackspace’s focus on helping companies use software and computing services, including those of cloud computing businesses it historically considered competitors. RelationEdge and its 125 employees will remain largely independent, and will stay in California, Rackspace said in a news release.
Tencent adds $22 billion in value as shares surge 5 percent following earnings beat. Shares of Chinese tech giant Tencent surge by 5 percent in Honk Kong after reporting earnings that topped analyst expectations. The Chinese technology giant saw its market capitalization or value rise over $22 billion. Tencent is the parent company of WeChat and it also owns gaming and video streaming services.
Quantum software startup Zapata Computing launches out of Harvard; raises $5.4 million seed round. Zapata Computing announced its launch with a $5.4 million seed round to advance breakthroughs in computational power for applications on quantum computers. The round was co-led by The Engine and Engine and Pillar. Founded in 2017 team of founders including Aspuru-Guzik, recognized as a pioneer in applying quantum computing to chemistry and materials science, and Christopher Savoie, a serial entrepreneur whose past work led to the original DARPA project that developed the technology for Siri.
Healthcare startup Decent nabs $8 million to build affordable care for all. Decent announced today that it has raised $8 million to build affordable care for all. The funding is led by roster of investors across the VC, crypto, and healthcare landscape. Decent aims to offer more affordable healthcare by aligning incentives to improve health, reduce costs, and put members at the center of their care.
Artificial intelligence startup OJO Labs’ learning chatbot raises $20.5 million. OJO Labs announced today it has received $20.5M from investors to accelerate its AI conversational technology, which, according to OJO, is capable of understanding user intent and personal preferences. The company’s smart assistant is currently used to engage with real estate shoppers before the buyer is passed off to a sales representative.