Top tech startup news stories you need to know this Tuesday, August 7.
Good morning! Here are some of the top tech startup news stories for today, Tuesday, August 7.
Kodiak Robotics, a startup co-founded by Google veteran and Uber’s ill-fated self-driving truck unit, just raised $40 million to solve the same problem. Don Burnette, one of the four co-founders of driverless trucking company Otto, the ill-fated autonomous trucking startup that Uber acquired in 2016, left Uber in March to launch a new startup in the same space. Don Burnette and ex-venture capitalist Paz Eshel co-founded Kodiak Robotics in April to compete for business in an increasingly attractive target for autonomous vehicle tech: long-haul trucking. Today, the new startup Kodiak Robotics, announced it has raised $40 million in Series A funding to solve the same problem Uber failed to solve. The startup plans to use the funds to staff up on engineers and field a test fleet of AI-enabled big rigs loaded with laser Lidar sensors, radar, cameras, and computers.
Bitcoin’s share of the entire cryptocurrency market is at 47.6 percent; the highest this year. Despite bitcoin’s tumble since its peak point of $20,000 in December of 2017, Bitcoin’s share of the entire cryptocurrency market is at its highest level this year and near where it was when the digital coin hit its highest price level in history. According to data from Coinmarketcap.com, a website that tracks such data, Bitcoin’s share of the entire cryptocurrency market is at 47.6 percent. Bitcoin market cap is at $122.1 billion of the entire cryptocurrency market capitalization of $255.928 billion.
Alibaba, Hollywood Studios invest $1 billion in a mobile-video startup NewTV. Disney, Alibaba and Comcast’s NBCUniversal all six major Hollywood studios are part of a $1 billion financing round for a new video streaming service led by ex-Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman and ex-Walt Disney Studios chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg and designed specifically for mobile viewing. The new service, temporarily called NewTV, will “access the best talent and intellectual property for this next era in entertainment,” Katzenberg, chairman and founder of NewTV, said in a statement.
Digital health startup Zocdoc is battling with a price change that could cripple doctors. Zocdoc, an online medical care appointment booking service, told doctors that it was changing the fee structure of its booking software, focusing more on transaction costs than subscriptions. Doctors have vocalized their opposition on Facebook and through a Change.org petition, claiming that the change would lead to exhorbitant costs and create potential legal problems. The company decided to put its plans on hold, at least temporarily, according to a report from CNBC. Zocdoc provides free of charge medical care search facility for end users by integrating information about medical practices and doctors’ individual schedules in a central locations.
Apple to end app affiliate program in October 1st, 2018. Apple released a statement yesterday on its affiliate page that it’s ending its affiliate program for apps in the iOS and Mac App Store. It currently offers a referral commission of 7% for app and other iTunes content sales driven from websites, but from October 1, apps will no longer be applicable to the program. “Thank you for participating in the affiliate program for apps. With the launch of the new App Store on both iOS and macOS and their increased methods of app discovery, we will be removing apps from the affiliate program. Starting on October 1st, 2018, commissions for iOS and Mac apps and in-app content will be removed from the program. All other content types (music, movies, books, and TV) remain in the affiliate program.”
SoftBank’s monster Vision Fund to invest $5 billion in Ele.me. Japan’s SoftBank Group Vision Fund plans to invest between $3 billion to $5 billion in the food delivery giant owned by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Ele.me. According to a report from Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter. A part of the deal, Alibaba intends to merge Ele.me with its in-house arm Koubei, another subsidiary that focuses on connecting restaurants to the internet, the people added.