Top tech startup news stories you need to know this Thursday, May 31
Good morning! Here are some of the top tech startup news stories for today, Thursday, May 31.
Pine Labs raises $125 million from Singapore’s Temasek and PayPal. Pine Labs, a leading provider of retail POS (Point of sale) solutions, announced today it has raised $125 million from Temasek, a global investment company headquartered in Singapore and PayPal, the largest digital payments company of the United States of America.“We’re teaming up with Temasek and PayPal at a time when the Indian payments market is at an inflexion point,” said Lokvir Kapoor, Founder of Pine Labs. “We are a leader in the offline payments space, a position that is critical in enabling the ecosystem of online payment. PineLabs simplifies payment acceptance, while creating business opportunities for Issuers, merchants and brands to connect with consumers. It is used by more than 75,000+ retailers, ranging from large worldwide enterprises with wide network across India to locally-owned small businesses.
SenseTime, the world’s biggest AI startup raises $1.2 billion in just six months.We wrote about SenseTime last month when the AI juggernaut raised raised $620 million from Alibaba at a valuation of more than $4.5 billion. Now SenseTime said Thursday that it raised $620 million in fresh funds from investors like Fidelity International, Hopu Capital, Silver Lake and Tiger Global, bringing the total amount raised in the past six months to more than $1.2 billion and tripling its valuation in under a year. The latest funding will go toward research and talent acquisition, SenseTime said in a statement Thursday.
Nigerian FinTech startup Piggybank.ng just raised $1.1 million. Piggybank.ng, a two-year old Nigerian fintech startup announced this week that it has raised a $1.1 million Seed round to grow its online savings platform. Piggybank.ng is an online savings platform that enables savers to put away funds that they don’t want to withdraw easily. They can save as little as $1 a day and then restrict when they withdraw their savings to specific set dates they choose. Its mission is to give Nigerians the power to manage their finances by making it clearer and more transparent.
FlyHomes, a real-estate startup founded by two former Microsoft employees, raises $17 million. FlyHomes is a Seattle-based real estate startup, which aims to make everyone a cash buyer. The startup announced today that it has raised a $17 million funding round led by Silicon Valley firm Andreessen Horowitz. Mark Vadon, the low-profile but prosperous Seattle entrepreneur who started online jewelry store Blue Nile and digital clothing retailer zulily, also participated in the round. Vadon originally led the company’s $2 million seed funding round last year.
Gaming giant Zynga bought Turkish startup GramGames for $250 million. Zynga Inc has bought Istanbul-based mobile gaming startup Gram Games for $250 million to boost its portfolio of franchise-based titles, it said on May 30. With Gram, the company behind “Words with Friends” and “Farmville” will gain access to easy-to-play and addictive titles such as “1010!” and “Merge Dragons!” The acquisition is Zynga’s latest attempt to bolster its mobile gaming business — which generates revenue through ads and in-game purchases of additional features — as it shifts focus away from once-popular titles such as “Farmville.”
Forex firm CLS invests $5 million in enterprise blockchain startup R3. CLS, a U.S.-based forex settlement provider, has made a $5 million investment in enterprise blockchain startup R3. According to a press release, the newly inked deal will see CLS will join R3’s board of directors. The investment marks the third tranche of R3’s fundraising efforts that kicked off last year and saw the startup raise a record-breaking at the time $107-million investment from notable firms including SBI Group, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and HSBC.
E-scooter startup Bird is joining the startup Unicorn club after raising $150 million. E-scooter startup Bird is reportedly worth $1 billion after raising $150 million in a round led by Sequoia Capital, according to a report from Bloomberg, citing anonymous sources. Bird is one of the earliest entrants to the electric scooter sharing industry, alongside rivals Lime and Spin. Bird is a dockless electric scooter company based in Santa Monica, CA. The company was founded by a former Uber and Lyft executive, Travis VanderZanden.