Top tech startup news stories you need to know this Thursday, October 4
Good morning! Here are some of the top tech startup news stories for today, Thursday, October 4.
Zunum Aero, the Boeing-backed hybrid-to-electric airplane startup and Safran team up for hybrid electric planes. Safran, a French engine maker has struck a deal to produce engines for Zunum Aero, a hybrid-to-electric airplane startup that is backed by venture arms at Boeing and JetBlue Airways. The two companies are teaming up to create the airplane of the future–fuel efficient, cost efficient, and better for the planet. Safran is planning to modify a helicopter engine for the 12-seat Zunum plane, which it is calling the ZA10. The plane would run on both batteries and a gasoline-powered turbine engine. JetSuite, the private-jet charter company, already jumped on board and ordered “up to 100” of Zunum’s 12-seater hybrid-electric planes with the hopes of having them in their fleet and in the air by around 2022.
China used a tiny chip to infiltrate into hardware used by 30 U.S. companies, including Apple and Amazon. Dubbed as the big hack, the Chinese spies successfully infiltrated into 30 U.S. company by compromising America’s technology supply chain and data center equipment run by Amazon Web Services and Apple. Chinese government surveillance and hack was carried out via a tiny microchip inserted during the equipment manufacturing process, according to a report from Bloomberg on Thursday. However, both Apple and Amazon strongly disputed this report.
Hosting company giant GoDaddy buys blockchain trademark startup Cognate. GoDaddy, one of the world’s largest hosting companies dedicated to small, independent start-ups, has acquired blockchain startup, Cognate, for an undisclosed amount. The company made the announcement in a blog post on its website. Founded in 2014 by Bennett Collen, Cognate is a Common Law Trademark (CM) Registry that protect users’ trademark rights. Cognate uses blockchain technology to make an immutable record of your trademark rights. Cognate registration gives customers the right to use the “CM” certification mark. Cognate uses a machine-learning algorithm to monitor your trademark and alert you to potential infringement.
AI-powered travel app startup Hopper raises $100 million for international expansion. Hopper, the travel booking app startup that uses artificial intelligence to help people book flights and hotels, has closed a $100 million Series D financing round to continue its AI development and expand its market presence globally. The latest round was led by OMERS Ventures with participation from existing backers Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), Accomplice, Brightspark Ventures, Investissement Québec, BDC Capital IT Venture Fund alongside new investor Citi Ventures. The latest round brings the company’s total funding to date to $184 million.
French Bitcoin startup ACINQ raises $1.7 million to double down on Lightning Network technology. ACINQ, one of the leading startups working on the lightning network, a top-level layer aiming to boost the number of transactions bitcoin can support and Bitcoin more scaleable, has closed a $1.7 million funding round led by Serena Capital, with participation from Talend co-founder Bertrand Diard, Sebastien Lucas, Alistair Milne and Snapcar founder Yves Weisselberger. Lightning Network (LN) is a second-layer scaling technology that is capable of running on top of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency networks. Using Bitcoin’s built-in scripting language, users can deposit on-chain funds to off-chain LN payment channels. Those funds can be instantly routed to any LN user, and they do not require on-chain verification until the payment channel is closed, at which point they would be settled on the blockchain.