Top tech startup news stories you need to know this Friday, October 12
Good morning! Here are some of the top tech startup news stories for today, Friday, October 12.
Former White House Economic Adviser Gary Cohn joins blockchain startup Spring Labs. As a sign of mainstream adoption of blockchain technology, former White House Economic Adviser, Gary Cohn, is joining fintech startup Spring Labs as an adviser, the company announced Friday. The venture capital-backed Spring Labs uses blockchain technology to securely share consumer credit data. “I have been very interested in blockchain technology for a number of years, and Spring Labs is developing a network that could have profound implications for the financial services sector, among others,” Cohn says. Gary Cohn was the former Goldman Sachs GS president and economic advisor to President Donald Trump. Spring is building a decentralized network for identity and credit to serve as the foundation for a more transparent, secure, and efficient delivery of financial services.
Silicon Mobility raises $10 million Series B to accelerate market adoption and prepare new technologies for autonomous vehicles. Silicon Mobility announced it has raised $10 million Series B funding to meet customer demand and revolutionize the energy efficiency of hybrid and electric Vehicles. The latest round is led by Capital-E and Cipio Partners including undisclosed private industry investors. The Sophia-Antipolis, France-based startup has invented a new semiconductor architecture designed specifically fo r electric and hybrid vehicles of today and tomorrow, releasing the true potential of computing power and control: OLEA Field Programmable Control Unit (FPCU).
Online video ad spend to jump by 30% in 2018; surges to 25% of US Digital Ad Spending. Online video advertising spend is set to increase nearly 30% to $27.82 billion in 2018, according to eMarketer’s latest ad spending forecast. That means video ad spending will make up 25% of US digital ad spending. The research firm predicts that video ads will make up 25% of US digital ad expenditure. Broken down by individual social media companies, Facebook is predicted to take 24.5% of total video ad spending at $6.81 billion with an estimated share of 87%. Double digit growth for Facebook is forecast through to 2020.
Trendy Sneaker startup Allbirds raises $50 million at $1.4 billion valuation. We covered AllBirds back in January of this year when the trending sneaker maker, AllBirds, raised $120,000 in just 4 days to produce shoes made out of natural materials. Now, AllBirds has just closed a $50 funding from T. Rowe, Fidelity and Tiger Global. The Silicon Valley-based trendy footwear startup Allbirds Inc., whose sneakers are a favorite of striving venture capitalists and celebrities alike, has sold a stake to investors at a valuation of $1.4 billion, according to Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter. AllBirds was founded by Tim Brown, a native of New Zealand. The inspiration for the company came when Tim couldn’t help but notice all the amazing qualities of merino wool.
Crypto exchange startup Bithumb raises $352 million investment from South Korea’s leading plastic surgeon and startup investor. South Korea’s leading plastic surgeon and Startup Investor have bought a $352 million Stake in Korean Crypto Exchange Bithumb’s holding company. The investment was led by one of South Korea’s leading plastic surgeons, according to a report from Bloomberg. The surgeon’s BK Global Consortium has closed a deal to acquire “50 percent plus one share” of BTC Holding Co. – the largest investor in Bithumb’s operator – for around 400 billion won ($352 million), Bloomberg reports, citing a Bithumb spokesperson. According to the report, BK Global Consortium is the “fifth-largest” shareholder of BTC Holding.
Short-term apartment rental startup Stay Alfred raises $47 million in a Series B round. Stay Alfred, a startup that offers hotel-style accommodations in high-end downtown apartment buildings in downtown locations, raises $47 million in Series B round from Nine Four Ventures. Founded in 2010 by Jordan Allen, the Spokane, Washington-based startup has raised $62 million to date. Stay Alfred has almost 2,000 travel apartments in 28 U.S. cities and says it has hosted nearly a half-million guests. The company’s 230 workers tackle the furnishing, cleaning, and customer service for each rental. The units typically reside together across multiple floors or a whole building in downtown, multi-unit structures that are usually owned by real-estate property developers.