Top tech startup news for today, Monday, July 15, 2019
Good morning! Below are some of the top tech startup news for today, Monday, July 15, 2019.
Bitcoin tumbles, briefly falling below $10,000, as President Trump slams crypto. One thing is always true about Bitcoin, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency is volatility and never a true substitute for the greenback. Bitcoin is losing its mojo again as President Donald Trump last week blasted cryptocurrencies, saying “he’s not a fan”. Bitcoin wasn’t the only casualty. Many of the world’s most popular digital currencies were in the red. “I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air. Unregulated Crypto Assets can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity….,” President Trump tweeted.
London smart-tech startup Hero Labs secures £2.5 million in seed funding to tackle water leaks. Hero Labs, a London-based tech startup that helps prevent water leaks in UK properties, has raised £2.5 million in seed funding to accelerate product development for its flagship product, Sonic and disrupt the smart-tech industry. The round was led by Earthworm Group, an environmental fund manager, with further support from a £300,000 EU innovation grant and private investors. Alongside the funding, Hero Labs also announced that Will Brocklebank, the Head of Projects and Partnerships at Earthworm, will be joining its board.
DefenseStorm secures $15 million in Series A funding to enhance its cybersecurity platform. DefenseStorm, an Alpharetta, Georgia-based cybersecurity startup raised $15M in a Series A financing to further develop the current cybersecurity and cybercompliance capabilities of its GRID platform and TRAC services offerings, and invest in the growth of the teams that sell, implement and support these offerings. The round was led by Georgian Partners. Funded in 2014 by Edgardo Nazario, Harold Brewer, Jeffrey Lunsford, and Sean Cassidy, DefenseStorm is a provider of a cloud cybersecurity and cybercompliance management platform to regional and community banks and credit unions.
Huawei reportedly plans to lay off hundreds of employees in the US. The embattled Chinese multinational technology company, Huawei, is planning to lay off hundreds of employees at its U.S. development subsidiary Futurewei, according to a report from Wall Street Journal. Futurewei employs 850 people in research labs throughout the U.S., including Texas, California and Washington state. Huawei has been faced with a lot problems and challenges ever since President Trump announced that US companies should not buy from the company. The cuts are expected to affect workers at U.S.-based R&D subsidiary Futurewei Technologies.
Riiid, a South Korean Edtech and AI tutoring platform startup, raises $18 million Series C funding to further R&D and further enhance its AI technology. Riiid, a Seoul, South Korea-based AI tutoring startup, has raised $15 million in Series C funding to conduct R&D and further enhance santA.Inside. Backers include previous investors DSC Investments, along with other VCs including Apenroute Asset Management, Premiere Partners, IMM Investment, and Korea Growth Investment Corporation. Riiid is a member company of the Born2Global Centre. Founded in 2014 by Jaewe Heo and Young-Jun Jang, Riiid develop an AI Tutor platform with our exclusive machine learning technology. Riiid replaces all workbooks and teachers with AI tutor. Through its AI technology, Riiid can provide each student with one on one tutor that can outpace human tutors at a fraction of the cost, allowing truly equal access to educational opportunities.
Xolo launches “A Virtual Company” service for modern freelancers with $6.8 million in Series A funding. Xolo (formerly known as LeapIN), the online platform for launching and running one-person businesses anywhere in the world, has raised $6.8m (€6m) in Series A funding for the launch of a new “virtual company” service. The round was led by European venture firms Karma Ventures (Estonia), Vendep Capital (Finland), and Leap Ventures (France). The new service will enable millions of professional freelancers to radically reduce the complexity and cost of engaging with national governments and operate in a borderless world. The service will cut the time needed to launch a freelance business from weeks to minutes. “Xolo is your bank account, your accountant, your company and your best friend in business. Let Xolo do the hard work, so you can focus on your customers,” the startup said on its website.
Microsoft Office 365 declared illegal in German schools due to privacy risks. The future of Microsoft presence in Germany is in question again. According to WinBuzzer, the site that first broke the news, last week, a data privacy authority for the German State of Hesse says Microsoft Office 365 cannot be used in schools because it’s unclear what Microsoft does with the data it gathers. Hesse is one of the sixteen federal states of Germany, with a population of roughly six million (of roughly 83 million Germans). Although the press release specifically targets Office 365, it notes that competing Apple and Google cloud suites also do not satisfy German privacy regulations for use in schools.
Apple is reportedly investigating after an 11-year-old girl says an iPhone 6 exploded in her hands. An 11-year-old girl, Kayla Ramos, claims an iPhone 6 exploded in her hands while she was using it. “I was sitting down, and I had my phone in my hand and then I saw sparks flying everywhere and I just threw it on a blanket,” Ramos told ABC News affiliate in California. Ramos told KERO-TV that she uses her iPhone 6 to watch YouTube videos and occasionally lets her younger siblings play games with it. Apple spokesperson told ABC News that explosions can be caused if customers use unauthorized Apple products with their devices, such as charging cables.
Bulletin raises $7 million in Series A financing to accelerate growth and expansion. Bulletin, a NYC-based retail technology company that allows brands to expand into brick-and-mortar sales, closed $7m Series A funding to expand its custom assortment-as-a-service program, and launch a platform-enabled solution for brands looking for new stockists, and retailers looking to source new inventory. The round was led by Foundation Capital with participation from Kleiner Perkins, Trail Mix Ventures and Afore Capital. Founded in 2015 by Alana Branston, CEO, and Ali Kriegsman, COO, Bulletin is building a go-to wholesale management platform for digitally native brands to access new distribution channels while helping retailers curate data-driven assortments that are built to sell.