Top startup news for today, Friday, November 30
Good morning and happy Friday! Here are some of the top technology startup news stories for today, Friday, November 30.
BitTorrent owner Tron will invest $100 million in blockchain games. The owner of Decentralized internet protocol TRON, TRON Foundation, announced its plans to invest $100 million to launch a new blockchain gaming fund called “TRON Arcade.” TRON Arcade aims to amplify the efforts of the blockchain gaming space to create engaging user experiences that inspire a new generation of players. The main goal of the game is to: ” empower developers to create and execute on their ideas, to introduce new games and content into an autonomous ecosystem, and to build a strong community of content and entertainment.” The capital will be paid out in installments over the next three years. The move is another long-term commitment from TRON, which acquired file sharing giant BitTorrent earlier this year. According to TRON CEO Justin Sun, the Arcade will “play a crucial role” in the firm’s expanding popularity. “TRON strives to tackle existing issues faced by the gaming industry by leveraging the open, transparent, and immutability of blockchain technology,” he commented in the press release.
Insurance tech startup Clyde raises $3 million to transform extended warranty industry and simplify product warranties. Clyde, a venture backed technology startup transforming insurance at the point of sale, has raised $3 million to reinvent the way companies offer product warranties to customers. Clyde’s marketplace of insurance and administrator partnerships, combined with plug-in technology, enables it to offer this passive revenue source to the medium and long-tale of the market at scale. Founded just last year by trio Brandon Gell, Josh Scaglione, and Nick Scaglione, Clyde is transforming a 6-month, costly process into a 3-minute, free process, and uses its network of stores to optimize margins and service quality. Clyde’s vision is to build the stripe for insurance, providing businesses with tools and support and transforming customer’s purchasing experience.
Microsoft Japan partners with LayerX to boost domestic blockchain effort. The Japanese arm of computer giant Microsoft has partnered with nascent blockchain startup LayerX to “accelerate” uptake of the technology, Cointelegraph Japan reported Nov. 30. Founded in August 2018, LayerX is a joint venture from news curation app Gunosy and advisory service AnyPay, oversees blockchain integration for enterprise, including areas such as smart contracts and general consulting. Using Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) solution, the companies will seek to promote the technology further in the domestic economy. “We will support the introduction process in its entirety, even down to technical support of finished implementations,”the company said in a public release.
Insurance startup Bright Health raises $200 million to accelerate expansion. Bright Health, the Minneapolis-based startup is selling Medicare health plans and individual health insurance coverage, has raised another $200 million to support ongoing expansion. The latest round now values the startup at nearly $950 million, according to PitchBook. Bright Health has raised more than $440 million in three rounds of equity financing since inception in 2016. Just this summer, Bright Health announced to expand into portions of New York, Ohio and Tennessee. It already competes in parts of Alabama, Arizona and Colorado. Launched in 2016, Bright Health initially focused on selling individual market health plans that comply with the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) and has since added Medicare Advantage plans for seniors.
India-based UrbanClap raises $50 million in Series D funding led by Steadview Capital and Vy Capital. UrbanClap, India’s largest home services startup, has raised equity funding of $50 million led by Steadview Capital and Vy Capital. Founded in 2o14 by Abhiraj Bhal, Raghav Chandra, and Varun Khaitan,UrbanClap is India’s leading managed marketplace for home services. Consumers order services like beauty at home, appliance repairs, plumbers, carpenters, cleaners, home painting etc through the UrbanClap platform. The company works closely with individual service professionals (ISPs) and transforms them into micro-entrepreneurs. They do this by helping the ISPs with market access, credit, insurance, training, product procurement, payments and a host of other services, and driving either most or all of their business, while standardizing the end user experience, pricing and deliverables, and delivering the service under the UrbanClap brand name.
BidRoom raises $17 million Series A funding for its hotel booking platform. Bidroom, the Amsterdam-based hotel booking platform is aiming to take on the traditional online travel agencies with an Amazon Prime-like subscription model. To achieve this goal, the startup said it has raised $17 million (€15 million) in a Series A funding. To date, BidRoom has raised a total of about $24 million (€21 million). Founded in 2o14 Casper Knieriem and Michael Ros, Bidroom is a membership-based hotel platform with no booking commissions and with 5-25% lower hotel prices for over 120,000 hotels in 128 countries. It is the world’s first commission-free service of this type that saves revenue for hotels with best-deal hotel prices for frequent travelers. Bidroom’s mission is to bring more fairness to the hospitality industry by saving hotels from abusive commissions set by big Online Travel Agencies.