Top startup news for today, Friday, March 1, 2019
Good morning! Here are some of the top technology startup news stories for today, Friday, the first day of March, 2019.
Tesla closing retail stores in shift to online-only sales strategy; stock tanks on the announcement. Tesla stock tanks a day after announcement about a shift in strategy to close all retail stores and move to online-only sales. The company also announced closures and layoffs amid first-quarter loss. The news came as the struggling electric company launches its long-awaited $35,000 Tesla Model 3. Tesla CEO Elon Musk CEO said the flailing company won’t turn a profit during the first quarter as it works to deliver its mid-size Model 3 sedan. The company’s shares fell by 8 percent Friday as the company plans to cut jobs to save money and reduce costs. The news comes as the company launches the long-awaited $35,000 Tesla Model 3 and maintains focus on cost efficiencies, and cost reductions for its entire fleet of all-electric vehicles. “We’re moving all sales online…Worldwide, the only way to buy a Tesla will be online,” CEO Elon Musk said during a press call on yesterday.
Machine learning startup Modulate raises $2 million in seed funding. Modulate, a machine learning startup providing total control over voice, has raised $2 million in seed funding to expand its engineering team. The round was co-led by 2Enable Partners and Hyperplane Venture Capital. Co-founded by by CEO Mike Pappas and CTO Carter Huffman, who recently hired VP of audio Terry Chen, Modulate is a startup using machine learning to make voice completely customizable in video games and other online experiences. Its software allows users to choose their gender, mix custom voices and speak.
Stryker acquires California-based medical device startup Arrinex. Stryker, a Michigan-based medical technology company, has acquired Arrinex Inc, a Menlo Park, California-based medical device startup for an undisclosed amount. Stryker provides innovative products and services in Orthopaedics, Medical and Surgical, and Neurotechnology and Spine that help improve patient and hospital outcomes. The acquisition aims to complement its ENT portfolio, which is part of its Neurotechnology business. Founded over 78 years ago, Stryker is one of the world’s leading medical technology companies. The company provides products in Orthopaedics, Medical and Surgical, and Neurotechnology and Spine that help improve patient and hospital outcomes.
Blockchain startup XYO partners with Microsoft to offer geospatial blockchain apps and services in Azure. XYO has joined forces with software giant Microsoft to make its applications and services available on Microsoft Corp.’s Azure cloud. XYO operates a comprehensive location network that’s enabled by data from devices such as smartphones, tablets, smart appliances and connected cars. The network is meant to provide “high accuracy, real-time location data” that’s validated by those devices, and provides a way to execute so-called “smart contracts” based on that data. Founded in 2012 by Arie Trouw, Markus Levin, and Scott Scheper, XYO is a cryptonetwork of smartphones, computers, smart-home devices and more (aka “Things”). These Things observe and archive data from the physical world using a special cryptographic protocol.
Cross-platform messaging provider startup Threads secures $10.5 million in Series A funding. Threads, a San Francisco, California-based provider of a cross-platform messaging suite that empowers teams to discuss and make decisions at scale, has secured a $10.5m Series A financing to continue to develop its solution and service offerings. Backers included VC heavyweight Sequoia Capital, as well as executives at Glossier, Stripe, and TaskRabbit, among others. Founded Rousseau Kazi (CEO), Threads is a platform designed to make work more inclusive by empowering teams to discuss and make decisions at scale. The startup has just emerged from stealth to launch in beta a platform designed to empower teams to discuss and make decisions at scale by creating peple to create “threads” for any team, project, or topic, and invite who’s relevant. People can start to read and comment on the thread, and when it reaches a resolution , mark the relevant comment as the decision.