Top tech startup news stories you need to know this Monday, May 28
Good morning! Here are some of the top tech startup news stories for today, Monday, May 28.
Tencent-Backed Electric Car Startup NIO Files for IPO. Back in December 2017, we wrote about NIO, the Chinese electric-vehicle startup backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd. NIO is using Apple’s playbook to give Tesla a run for its money. The company has reportedly filed and submitted a planned U.S. initial public offering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, according to Bloomberg, citing people with knowledge of the matter said. The share sale could raise around $2 billion, though preparations are at an early stage and the size of the deal may change, the people said. Late last year, the startup released its long-waited ES8 SUV that it touted to compete against Model X. The SUV comes with a range of 311 miles on a single charge, the company said late Saturday in Beijing.
Amazon leads $12 million investment in insurance tech startup Acko. Global e-commerce giant Amazon has led a $12 million investment round in online-only insurance startup Acko. Ashish Dhawan, the founder of private equity firm ChrysCap, also participated in the round along with Catamaran Ventures, the personal investment arm of Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy. Acko is an upcoming Internet-based insurance company in India.
Monsanto made its first direct investment in Brazil. Monsanto Growth Ventures (MGV) closes first startup deal in Brazil with investment in Grão Direto, a platform digitizing the grain buying and selling chain. Canary and the creators of OpenVC fund also participated in the funding. Monsanto is investing R$ 2.3 million in the development and growth of the Minas Gerais-based venture in what is the first direct investment for MGV since its inception in 2011. Launched about 18 months ago, the platform has more than 1,300 registered grain producers based in the Brazilian states of Minas Gerais and Goiás.
Another smart luggage startup shuttered following tighter industry regulation. Bluesmart shuttered and now Raden, a technology startup that manufactured and sold a line of smart luggage, also shuttered its operations following new industry regulations banning lithium-ion-based smart luggage from air travel. In a message posted on the website’s home page, the company said: “Raden is no longer in operation. All existing shipments have been processed for delivery. The changes in policies concerning batteries in luggage in December by all major airlines severely impacted the usefulness of our products, their value to our customers, our business performance and ultimately the ability to continue operating,” the company said in a statement now solely posted on its website. We sincerely apologize to those who chose to travel with us, “it continued, saying “our intent was to add ease and simplicity to your travel experience and this unforeseen policy change has made this impossible.”
Tencent pulls investment in content startup Chaping after online backlash for plagiarism. Chinese Internet giant, Tencent Holdings, has canceled its investment of up to 30 million yuan ($4.7 million) in a content startup Chaping. The decision came after the startup was criticized online and by state media for its handling of copyright issues. “We have reached consensus with the Chaping team to accept their decision to voluntarily return our investment,” Tencent’s public relations director Marsh Zhang said in a WeChat post.
Egyptian SaaS startup Entlaqa raises $300 K from Saudi investors. Entlaqa, a Cairo, Egypt-based startup, has raised $300 K from two Saudi Investors Salem ben Saleh Ba Wazier and Mohamed ben Saleh Ba Wazier in return for 30% equity in the company. Entlaqa develops SaaS-based products. The startup that was founded five years back, currently hosts four types of products E-Detailing Platform, E-Learning Platform, Events Platform and Voting Application.
US-based Verint in talks to acquire Israeli spyware firm NSO for about $1 billion. Verint Systems is in talks to buy Israeli cyber-surveillance company NSO Group at a value of about $1 billion, according to a report from Wall Street Journal, citing a person familiar with the matter. NSO Group develops mobile device surveillance software. It offers a variety of cyber solutions for government usage, and Pegasus- a software used to record conversations and gain access to photos, text messages, and websites viewed from a smartphone. NSO Group was founded in 2010 and is based in Herziliya Pituah, Israel.
Medtech startup Neurent Medical raises €9.3 million to treat chronic sniffles. Ireland-based medtech startup Neurent Medical has raised €9.3 million in new funding for the treatment for a common nasal problem. Neurent’s new device would allow patients with rhinitis to be treated in a doctor’s office instead of having to go through a surgical procedure, the current option. Neurent Medical Ltd is a privately held, venture backed, Galway (Ireland) based medical device company in the ear, nose and throat market. Neurent Medical was founded by Brian Shields and David Townley and originated from the BioInnovate Ireland programme at the National University of Ireland, Galway.