Top tech startup news stories you need to know this Monday, October 15
Good morning! Here are some of the top tech startup news stories for today, Monday, October 15.
Crypto portfolio-tracking startup Blockfolio raises $11.5 million. Cryptocurrency portfolio management startup Blockfolio, the dominant market leader in mobile portfolio tracking and management for the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry, announced it has raised $11.5 million Series A funding round to leverage its unparalleled reach to continue innovating as a global leader in the space. The latest rounded was led by Pantera Capital and includes a group of premier investors such as Bitmex and Huobi, two of the world’s largest exchanges. Blockfolio was founded in 2014 by Charlie Mason, Edward Moncada, and Peter Lau. The startup currently has 4.5 million users. Its app allows investors to track the performance of 6,000 cryptocurrencies across 240 different cryptocurrency exchanges. Other Blockfolio investors: Danhua VC, DCM Ventures, Pathfinder, Abstract Ventures, Refactor Capital, Mayfield Fund, Chapter One Ventures, NKB Group, Global Blockchain Innovative Capital, Block72 and Nirvana Capital, also participated.
Mi9 Retail is acquiring MyWebGrocer to enhance product offering and expand to grocery vertical. Mi9 Retail, a leading provider of end-to-end software solutions for retailers, wholesalers, and brands, announced today it’s acquiring MyWebGrocer for an undisclosed sum. MyWebGrocer was founded in 1999 by Rich Tarrant. It offers an online ecommerce, marketing and data platform service for grocery chains and packaged consumer goods companies. Earlier this year, Mi9 announced the acquisition of JustEnough, a leader in demand management solutions for retail, wholesale and direct-to-consumer businesses worldwide. Mi9 Retail Solutions are used by over 450 retailers worldwide.
Blockchain privacy startup Adhara secured $15 million funding. Adhara, a startup that brings blockchain privacy to central banks, has secured $15 million in new funding to continue its work on international payments, which includes introducing central banks to the type of cryptography normally confined to math labs and academic circles. The rounded was led by Consensys, the ethereum design studio. Adhara grew out of Consensys South Africa, with Peter Munnings, former head of blockchain at FirstRand Bank in South Africa, as one of the co-founders. The other two co-founders are also heavy hitters: Julio Faura, Santander’s former blockchain lead, and Edward Budd, former chief digital officer at Deutsche Bank.
Si2Chip, an Indian VLSI chip design startup acquired by ALTEN Calsoft Labs. Santa Clara, California-based ALTEN Calsoft Labs, an engineering and IT services founded in 1992, has acquired Si2Chip, a Bangalore, India-based VLSI chip design startup. The terms of the acquisition remain undisclosed. Si2Chip is a pure play chip design company committed to delivering intelligent design experiences to customers worldwide. Founded in 2013, Si2chip today has world class engineering team of about 200 people and counts all major semiconductor players as its customers.
Patrick Ip, an ex-Googler who was involved in a Nobel Peace Prize nominated project, has launched a photography market startup called Catalog. An ex-Googler who was part of a Noble Peace Prize-nominated project wants to reinvent the photography market. Catalog, a new startup he co-founded with Jacobo Lumberas, aims to create steady work and full-time jobs for independent photographers around the country. The startup also announced last week it has raised $1.5 million funding led by Moonshot Capital. Catalog connects brands with independent photographers around the country.
Apple acquires music-analytics startup Asaii. Apple has acquired San Francisco-based automated A&R and music analytics platform startup Asaii, according to a report from Axios citing unnamed sources. The deal, which has not been confirmed by Apple, was reportedly worth less than $100 million. Asaii saw the inefficiency of the music industry first hand. As, talented artists were being buried and radio stations spun the same few songs, Asaii built tools that allowed music labels to discover, track, and manage artists using machine learning. The platform pulled data from social networks and streaming music services, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, and SoundCloud, to find hidden talent. Asaii allows users to “discover, track, and manage talent using machine learning,” and was a finalist in the Midemlab startups competition earlier this year.
Fidelity Investments launches a new spin-off called Fidelity Digital Asset Services dedicated exclusively to bringing cryptocurrencies to institutional investors. Fidelity Investments, which administers more than $7.2 trillion in client assets, announced the launch of a new and separate company called Fidelity Digital Asset Services Monday. The new spin-off will handle custody for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, and will make it easier for hedge funds and other pros to invest in cryptocurrencies.