Top startup news stories you need to know this Friday, November 16
Good morning! Here are some of the top technology startup news stories for today, Friday, November 16.
Blablacar raises $113 million (€101 million) Series D extension, to acquire Ouibus. French popular carpooling platform BlaBlaCar has secured a $113 million (€101 million) Series D extension in BlaBlaCar from a new investor from state-owned rail operator SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français). In connection with the funding, the company also announced it’s buying Ouibus, a bus service that was operated by France’s national railway company SNCF for an undisclosed amount. This is a departure from its traditional carpooling with a foray into bus service business. Founded in 2006 in Paris, France by Frédéric Mazzella, Nicolas Brusson, and Francis Nappez, BlaBlaCar has around 600 employees worldwide and 40 million members.
Tiqets raises $23 million for museum ticketing. Tiqets, an attractions booking startup, has raised $23 million as an extension of the company’s Series B funding round to help solve problems faced by many museums with little technology knowledge to adopt modern sales techniques. The latest round was led HPE Growth Capital. Tiqets has raised a total of $44.5 million to date. Founded in 2014 by Christiaan Solcer, Luuc Elzinga, Maarten Raaijmakers, Marijn Speelman, and Robert Westers, the 120-employee Amsterdam-based Tiqets is an innovative ticketing platform that’s revolutionizing the way visitors find, buy and use tickets for museums and attractions. Tiqets provides a platform for consumers to book admission tickets for museums and attractions, and it distributes tickets via more than 1,500 affiliates and other partners. Tiqets has a real-time connectivity with venues, which lets it provide last-minute and mobile entrance sales as well via demand aggregators, such as Google, WeChat, and Veltra.
IoT startup MapAnything raises $42.5 million Series C to expand its lead in $27 billion location-of-things technologies and services market. IoT startup MapAnything, has closed $42.5 million Series C investment that includes first-time participation from GM Ventures and Andrew Leto, with participation from existing investors Salesforce Ventures, Greycroft, Harbert Growth Partners, and David Stern. In addition to the financing, the startup also announced that Andrew Leto, Executive Chairman of Emerge, has joined the MapAnything Board of Directors. Founded in 2009 by Ben Brantly and John Stewart, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based startup is a location services company for Salesforce data. MapAnything provides a suite of “Where” apps and platform services to drive productivity and planning across multiple use cases. With more than 1,400 customers globally, ranging in all sizes and industries from small businesses to international enterprises, MapAnything is a Gold Salesforce App Innovation Partner.
PayPal completes acquisition of Hyperwallet for around $400 million. PayPal has completed the acquisition of Hyperwallet, a startup company that provides growing organizations with a frictionless, transparent, and reliable way to send payments almost anywhere in the world. The acquisition will bolster PayPal’s payout capabilities and enhance PayPal’s ability to provide an integrated suite of payment solutions to ecommerce platforms and marketplaces around the world. Founded in 201o by Lisa Shields, Hyperwallet’s global payout platform provides growing organizations with a fast, efficient, and transparent way to distribute funds to payees almost anywhere in the world. It unlocks local mass payments capabilities for fast-growth global platforms and ecommerce marketplaces. It enables organization to pay the planet through a single integration.
BlackBerry to buy cybersecurity firm Cylance for $1.4 billion. BlackBerry said on Friday it will acquire Cylance, an artificial intelligence and cybersecurity company, for $1.4 billion in cash. The acquisitions will help expand BlackBerry’s QNX unit, which makes software for next-generation autonomous cars.
Besides the cash component, the deal includes the assumption of Cylance’s unvested employee incentives, BlackBerry said.
Crypto gaming startup Blockade Games raises $833,000 seed equity round at $13 million. Bitcoin puzzle artist’s crypto gaming startup Blockade Games is now valued at $13 million after it raised $833,000 in seed equity round from investors including BlockTower Capital Partners and Horizon Digital, to put towards its flagship game, “Neon District.” Blockade Games was founded this year by puzzle artist Marguerite deCourcelle. Blockade Games is an indie studio with a focus on blockchain based video games. They are currently in production of Neon District, a cyberpunk RPG, with plans to release their MVP by December of 2018.
Kenyan startup Twiga Foods raises $10 million led by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), others. Twiga Foods, a Kenyan mobile-based business-to-business food supply platform, has announced a $10 million investment to increase the number of vendors it serves and creating a formal farmer-market linkage. The round was by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), private equity firm TLcom, and the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program. Founded in 2014 by Grant Brooke in 2014, Twiga Foods connects smallholder farmers in rural Kenya to trusted retail vendors in cities. With Twiga’s mobile platform, vendors can order fresh produce from farmers across Kenya at the most competitive prices.