Top startup news for today, Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Good morning! Here are some of the top technology startup news stories for today, Wednesday, January 23.
Wag founders, Jonathan and Joshua Viner, launch a new electric bike startup with $37 million in funding. Last year, the Viner brothers left dog-walking startup, Wag. Now the two brothers just raised an impressive $37 million in funding to start Wheels, a new electric bike-share startup, according to a report from TechCrunch. The round was led by Tenaya Capital, Bullpen Capital, Naval Ravikant and others. Hilary Schneider, a former Yahoo executive, replaced Josh Viner as the new Wag CEO. Wheels is currently working closely with cities and their leaders to help make transportation easier and more environmentally friendly. Wheels has already surpassed competitors in daily trips in San Diego’s Gaslamp district, according to TechCrunch citing sources from the company
The OneHealth, a dog cancer treatment startup raises $5 million to make it easier for humans to treat canine cancer. The One Health Company (OneHealth), a startup that provides innovative dog cancer diagnostics using genetic sequencing, has raised $5 million to fight dog cancer. The round was led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from Lerer Hippeau and Y Combinator. According to the National Canine Cancer Foundation, one in every three dogs gets cancer. Over 6 million dogs are diagnosed with cancer every year with limited access to advanced therapies. The company created FidoCure to change it. Founded in 2016 by Benjamin Lewis, Christina Kelly Lopes, Franca Angeli Brownstein, Jonathan Lustgarten, and Ravi Tolwani, OneHealth is a social impact company that started by offering dogs with cancer access to cutting edge human clinical trials at no cost. It is the first company to bring precision medicine, used in humans, to dogs with cancer. One Health’s network of 111 of the best Veterinary hospitals in the US reaches over 2 million dogs in need of care.
Adjust acquires Unbotify, Israeli cyber security and AI tech startup. Adjust, the mobile measurement company, has acquired Tel Aviv, Israel-based cyber security and AI startup Unbotify for an undisclosed amount. This is Adjust’s second acquisition since founded in 2012. In December 2018, Adjust acquired the data aggregation platform Acquired.io. The comprehensive SaaS solution automates and simplifies multi-channel campaign management for mobile user acquisition. The acquisition was part of Adjust’s goal to unify advertisers’ marketing efforts and build the best-in-class product. The acquisition of Unbotify will Adjust to bolster its technology and help marketers combat advertising and in-app fraud by leveraging Unbotify’s behavioral biometrics bot detection technology.
Lygos raises $5 million Series B financing round from LG Technology Ventures to extend its global reach. Lygos, a Berkeley, California-based biotechnology startup that produces specialty chemicals that deliver high-value performance without environmental toxicity, has secured a $5 million Series B investment to accelerate its global reach. The investment was funded by LG Technology Ventures, the investment arm of the South Korean conglomerate LG Group. Founded in 2010 by Eric Steen, Jay Keasling, and Jeffrey Dietrich, Lygos is providing biotechnology solutions for today’s renewable chemical challenges. They engineer microbes to convert sugars into high-value, industrial chemicals, targeting compounds where biological production is cost-advantaged over petrochemical production.
Liquid Instruments Raises $8.16M in Series A funding to accelerate product development and support global expansion. Liquid Instruments, the San Diego, CA-based developer of Moku:Lab, a software-configurable hardware platform for precision test and measurement and advanced digital signal processing, raised $8.16 million in Series A funding to accelerate product development as it continues its growth in the education, research and industrial measurement markets in the US, Europe and Asia. The round was led by US-based Anzu Partners, with participation from a follow-on investor ANU Connect Ventures in Australia. Founded in 2014 by a team of experimental physicists and engineers, including former researchers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, with expertise in precision measurement and gravitational wave detector instrumentation, and led by Prof Daniel Shaddock, CEO, Liquid Instruments has developed Moku:Lab, which integrates 12 precision test and measurement instruments into a single, compact hardware device using a field-programmable gate array (FPGA)-based software-reconfigurable platform.
TravelPerk named leading Travel Management Software in G2 Crowd’s 2019 Winter Grid Report. As we reported this morning, TravelPerk, a travel booking and management startup based in Barcelona, and Europe’s fastest growing Software as a Service company, has been named market leader in the ‘Travel Management Software’ category in G2 Crowd’s Winter Grid Report. This report is put together by G2 Crowd, the review community for business solutions, and is based on customer satisfaction comparisons of leaders in the market. TravelPerk’s success with customers has come from a key company strategy of using customer feedback, collected via a number of channels both online and face-to-face, to shape their product by putting customers’ needs first.
Fintech startup Zafin raises $17.2 million in Series B funding to accelerate growth in financial services software sector. Fintech startup Zafin has raised $17.2 million in private growth financing to expand sales and marketing growth along with continued product innovation. The round was led by Vistara Capital Partners, Beedie Capital, and Accenture Ventures. The round strengthens Zafin’s balance sheet and will fuel growth and innovation for the company, which designs market leading customer centric financial services software that is relied upon by many of the world’s largest financial institutions. Founded in 2002, the Toronto-based Zafin is a worldwide leader in financial services software that drives relationship pricing, bundling and rates management strategies for global financial institutions. Its platform empowers financial institutions to increase revenue and efficiency by modernizing legacy infrastructure and enables financial institutions to build more personalized and profitable client relationships.
Amazon launches a new autonomous delivery device called Scout. Ecommerce giant today announced the launch of a new autonomous delivery device called Scout. Just the size of a small cooler, Scout can roll along sidewalks, delivering packages safely to a customer’s doorstep. The device is currently operating in Snohomish County, Washington, the company announced in a blog post Wednesday.
Tesla slashed Model S and X staff in second round of recent layoff. New details are emerging about Tesla’s restructuring emerged after the company announced a 7 percent workforce reduction last Friday. The recent layoff is Tesla’s second round of layoffs in just seven months. According to a report from CNBC, “deep cuts occurred in its sales, delivery and Model S and Model X production teams, according to current and newly laid off workers. These people also said that Tesla has suspended night time production of its Model S sedans and Model X SUVs at its Fremont, California car plant.” Tesla employees whose roles were terminated will receive a minimum of 60 days of pay and benefits, regardless of whether or not they sign the agreement.