Top startup news for today, Friday, January 18, 2019
Good morning! Here are some of the top technology startup news stories for today, Friday, January 18.
Urban airship acquires mobile CRM and push notifications startup Accengage to bolster its mobile consumer engagement. Urban Airship, the digital engagement platform, has acquired Accengage, a provider of mobile CRM and push notifications, for an undisclosed sum to boost solutions for mobile apps, websites, SMS, email and mobile wallets. Urban Airship’s service is used by Fortune 100 companies including ASOS, BBC, Caesars Entertainment, Jet Airways, Shop Direct, Vodafone and Zeit Online. Its platform offers advanced analytics, predictive machine learning, in-app automation, mobile wallet and intelligent message handling whilst Accengage brings on board expertise in Facebook Messenger support, advanced targeting, and additional marketing cloud integrations.
PetDesk secures $12 million in funding to expand in North America. PetDesk (formerly called Locai), a pet care communication startup based San Diego, California, has raised $12 million in funding to expand from the veterinary industry into the pet grooming industry across North America. The round was led by Silicon Valley-based firm PeakSpan Capital. Founded in 2011 by Aaron Bannister, Drew Davies, Ken Tsui, and Taylor Cavanah, PetDesk is a SaaS appointment and reminder platform helping pet services providers grow their business by supplying their clients with a single app to manage their pet’s lives. Vets, groomers, and boarders pay a monthly subscription fee to receive appointment requests and send automated reminders from their own branded experience on the PetDesk App. PetDesk also provides an online pet health management platform for veterinary practices and a free app for pet parents to communicate information about appointments, reminders, confirmations, health records, and other health concerns. Over 1,500 veterinary practices currently use the company’s dashboard and mobile app to manage reminders and confirmations, online scheduling, targeted messages, online reviews, and loyalty programs.
IBM partners with Vodafone Business to launch a new a startup-like venture that speeds the adoption of cloud technologies and faster innovation for companies. As we reported yesterday, technology giant, IBM and Vodafone Business have join forces to create a new venture designed to help companies across Europe and beyond deliver innovation faster. The new venture which works like a start up and uses the latest garage methodologies to help businesses drive innovation faster with cloud, AI, edge and 5G. By combining their capabilities, customers will benefit from open, flexible technologies they need to integrate multiple clouds and prepare for the next wave of digital transformation enabled by AI, 5G, Edge and Software Defined Networking (SDN). The new venture will be operational in the first half of 2019.
Eyeware raises CHF 1.9 million in Seed round funding. Eyeware, a Martigny, Switzerland-based 3D computer vision and eye tracking startup, closed its first venture funding round of CHF 1.9M to bring the 3D eye tracking development kit ready for integration into consumer applications. The round was led by High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), in partnership with TRUMPF Venture GmbH, Swiss Startup Group, and Zurich Kantonalbank. Eyeware is also looking to expand its corporate partnerships in the US and China. Founded in 2016 by Dr. Kenneth Funes, CEO, Eyeware develops software enabling consumer devices, cars and robots with 3D cameras to sense and analyze the attention of users. The company is a spin-off of Idiap Research Institute and EPFL, and has collaborated with multiple industrial partners to prototype and develop innovative eye tracking applications.
Zipwhip bags $51.5 million in Series D funding to fulfill its North America expansion. Zipwhip, a Seattle, Washington-based startup that provides texting service for business, has closed $51.5 million in Series D funding to continue to expand its reach in North America, support product development to introduce new enterprise-grade software and API capabilities, and grow its engineering and leadership teams. The round was led by Goldman Sachs Private Capital Investing group with participation from current investors OpenView, M12 (formerly Microsoft Ventures) and Voyager Capital. In conjunction with the funding, the company also announced that Matthew Dorr, Vice President in Goldman Sachs’ Private Capital Investing group, will be joining Zipwhip’s board of directors.