Top startup news for today, Tuesday, December 4
Good morning! Here are some of the top technology startup news stories for today, Tuesday, December 4.
Blade, a US ride-sharing app for helicopters startup for wealthy Americans, is expanding its operations to India. Blade, a US ride-sharing startup that has been offering services to wealthy Americans since 2014, announced its plans to connect the Indian city of Mumbai with heliports at the city of Pune and religious site of Shirdi. Rob Wiesenthal, Blade CEO, said in a statement that the company will launch BLADE India this coming March. The service will enable fliers to helicopter between BLADE Lounges being constructed at convenient urban heliports, avoiding large commercial airports entirely as they transform unpredictable four to eight hours drives into short 35-minute flights.
Fivetran raises $15 million in Series A funding. Fivetran, a California-based analytics company that helps analysts replicate data into a cloud warehouse, has secured $15m in Series A funding to scale operations and grow the number of available enterprise features and data sources. The round was led by Matrix Partners. In conjunction with the funding, Matrix Partners’ general partner Ilya Sukhar joined Fivetran’s board of directors. Founded in 2012 out of Y Combinator George Fraser, CEO, Fivetran provides cloud-based infrastructure companies with an analytics data stack platform that streamlines and accelerates business intelligence projects with automated connectors that come with ready-to-query schemas.
Tech startup Kano Computing wants building computers and coding to be as easy as playing with Lego. Kano is an EdTech startup that creates computer and coding kits for all ages, all over the world. It was founded by Alex Klein in 2013. Kano is backed by big-name investors, ranging from Salesforce Chief Executive Marc Benioff to the company behind children’s TV show “Sesame Street.” To date, the startup has raised $37 million from investors. Now the London-based Kano wants building computers and coding to be as easy as playing with Lego. In an interview with CNBC, Alex Klein, chief executive of Kano, said: “We want to build something really big, enduring; one of the most remembered and influential brands of the 21st century.” So far, Kano’s first computer, “computer anyone can make,” has shipped to 86 countries around the world to people, ages 6 to 81, who have used it to make PCs, screens, radios, artwork, music, games, Minecraft hacks and more. More than 30 million lines of code have been shared on its online community, Kano World.
Israel’s Playtika acquires German game startup Wooga for over $100 million to expand its casual games portfolio. Playtika, the world’s largest Social Casino games company and the maker of highly immersive social games, has acquired Wooga Gmbh, a world-class casual games company, for more than $100 million. The 180-employee Berlin-based studio develops story-driven casual games in the Puzzle and Hidden Object categories. This acquisition marks a significant step in the execution of Playtika’s diversification strategy into new game genres. Following the acquisition, half of Playtika’s titles will be casual games.
Brazilian dockless bike sharing startup Yellow plans to expand to Latin America. Yellow, the first Brazilian dockless bike-sharing platform that is operated via an online mobile app, is planning to expand to Latin America. Over the next few weeks, the company is preparing to set up operations in other regional markets, starting with Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, Chile and Uruguay, where it is hiring general managers and other senior roles. Founded in 2017 by Ariel Lambrecht, Eduardo Musa, and Renato Freitas, Yellow is an online micro-mobility platform that offers bike and e-scooter sharing services. Yellow has raised a total of $75.3 million to date, according to publicly available funding data.
FortressIQ secures $12 million in Series A funding. FortressIQ, a San Francisco, CA-based creator of a cognitive automation platform that accelerates digital transformation through imitation learning, has raised $12 million in Series A financing from Lightspeed Venture Partners, which contributed to a $4m seed funding round from Boldstart Ventures, Comcast Ventures and Eniac Ventures. To date, the company has raised a total of $16 million in funding. Founded in 2017 by Pankaj Chowdhry, FortressIQ is the creator of a cognitive automation platform that powers and accelerates digital transformation through imitation learning.