Top tech startup news stories you need to know this Monday, July 16
Good morning! Here are some of the major highlights and top tech startup news stories for today, Monday, July 16.
Rocket startup Blue Origin will begin selling tickets for spaceflights after first crewed tests. Blue Origin, a rocket startup founded by Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, will soon offer tourists a ride to space but only after completing its own crewed flight tests. According to a report from Reuters, citing two company employees, the tickets are expected to cost between $200,000 and $300,000 each. “We will fly Blue Origin astronauts before we fly commercial passengers and haven’t done any real work on passenger selection or the ticket sale process,” the company’s statement said.
Israeli startup Toka raises $12.5 million to help governments hack IoT. Emerging from stealth Monday, Tel Aviv-based Toka has raised a seed capital of $12.5 million. The company plans to provide spy tools for whatever device its clients require. But whilst it’ll try to hack devices like Apple iPhones, it has a special focus on the so-called Internet of Things (IoT), covering tech like Amazon Echo, Nest connected home products, as well as connected fridges, thermostats and alarms. Its co-founder includes ex-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, alongside an “all-star” leadership team. The company is hoping to exploit the market opportunity IoT brings, even for intelligence agencies and military units. The number of IoT devices on the planet will number an estimated 35 billion by the end of this year.
General Atlantic invests $250 million in UK lending startup Greensill. The New York private-equity firm General Atlantic is investing $250 million, valuing the lending startup Greensill at $1.64 billion. Greensill provides working-capital financing to companies around the world. Founded in 2011 by Lex Greensill, the company is headquartered in London with offices in New York, Chicago, Miami, Frankfurt, Bremen, and Sydney, with more than 170 specialists worldwide. Greensill provides Supply Chain Finance to customers across Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa and Asia and works with a host of banks and institutional investors to provide solid funding streams to underpin the process.
Former eBay employee launches KiwiCo to inspire kids to become tomorrow’s problem solvers. Former eBay employee and a busy working mom Sandra Oh Lin, launched KiwiCo, an e-commerce company that provides unique hands-on science and art projects for ages 0 to 16-plus. The idea started back in 2011 when she wanted to give her young children exposure to hands-on activities to get them away from “screen time.” Her mission is to exercise kids’ creativity, learn how materials interact, understand spatial relations and “see themselves as creative problem solvers.”
Restaurant booking startup Eatigo raises new funding from TripAdvisor. Eatigo, a Bangkok-based startup dining service that describes itself as an ‘anti-Groupon’ for restaurants, has raised about $10 million from an existing investor, TripAdvisor. Eatigo didn’t disclose the amount, though the “pre-series C” capital boost takes its total funding to date to over US$25 million. That’s up from US$15.5 million after its October 2016 series B round.
Banking app for millennials’ Emma raises $600,000 in funding from Netflix backer. Emma, a banking app gear towards millennials, has raised $600,000 in funding. The round was led by Kima Ventures, one of the first investors in Transferwise, and Aglae Ventures, the early-stage fund of the Groupe Arnault, investor in Netflix and Airbnb. The company’s mission to make money management easy and straightforward. Dubbed as “the leading banking app for millennials”, Emma helps users avoid overdrafts, find and cancel subscriptions, track debt and save money.