Top tech startup news for today, Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Good morning! Below are some of the top tech startup news for today, Tuesday, July 23, 2019.
Netflix competitor startup iFlix raises $50 million in funding to accelerate growth. Southeast Asian Netflix competitor TV streaming startup iflix has raised around $50 million in funding to accelerate growth and bolster its user base. The round was led by Fidelity International, with participation from Indonesia’s MNC, Japan’s Yoshimoto Kogyo, and South Korea’s JTBC and existing investors and founders Catcha Group, Hearst, Sky, and EMC. iFlix currently has 17 million active users. “These investments are a clear affirmation of iflix’s business model and growth prospects, and strengthens our ties to some of the region’s largest providers of local content,” said Patrick Grove, Co-founder and Chairman if iflix.
Porch acquires California based moving services marketplace HireAHelper. Porch, a home repair and improvement marketplace, has acquired HireAHelper.com, a San Diego, CA-based moving services marketplace for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition strengthens Porch’s offering in the moving services industry. HireAHelper adds 75 employees to the company’s headcount of more than 800 people.Founded in 2007 by Mike Glanz, HireAHelper, helps people find, compare, and book independent moving services providers. It assists more than 250,000 people each year with their moving project. The company provides an online moving marketplace where consumers can instantly compare real-time quotes and availability from local movers and book a range of moving services, from full-service movers to hourly moving labor to transport rentals.
Boxed, a bulk household goods marketplace startup, just hired former head of Amazon Business as its first president. Boxed, a tech startup selling household goods in bulk, has hired Prentis Wilson as its first president. Before joining Boxed, Wilson spent almost eight years at Amazon and before that worked at Cisco and Honeywell. He led Amazon Business’s growth to $10 billion in annual sales volume. Wilson is the highest-profile hire for Boxed, an online and mobile membership-free wholesale retailer that offers direct delivery of bulk-sized packages via the Boxed app or the website. The startup was last valued at roughly $600 million, according to SaaS research platform PitchBook.
Facebook design flaw let thousands of kids join chats with strangers; Facebook confirmed the Messenger Kids bug. A new design flaw was discovered in Facebook’s Messenger Kids app allowed users to sidestep that protection through the group chat system, allowing children to enter group chats with unauthorized users and unapproved strangers. Facebook confirmed the bug and has since sent out out alerts to parents informing them of a recent bug in the Messenger Kids app that allowed their children to chat with unapproved users through group chats. The social networking giant has already taken down those conversations. ‘We recently notified some parents… about a technical error,’ a Facebook representative said.
Fetch Robotics secures $46 million in Series C funding. Fetch Robotics, a San Jose, Calif.-based the pioneer of on-demand automation, raised $46M in Series C funding for international expansion and for ongoing research and development. The round was led by Fort Ross Ventures, with participation from CEAS Investments, Redwood Technologies, TransLink Capital and Zebra Ventures and existing investors O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, Shasta Ventures, Softbank Capital and Sway Ventures. To date, Fetch has raised a total of $94 million in funding.
Ford takes on Tesla with a new all-electric F-150 truck that pulls over a million-pound train. Ford Motors has released a YouTube video of an all-electric F-150 pickup prototype truck towing 1.25 million pounds of double-decker rail cars carrying 42 F-150 pickups. The all-electric F-150 pickup prototype truck is seen in video pulling 10 double-decker rail cars over 1,000 feet. This is an obvious swipe at Tesla, which only pulls a fifth in weight. The weight in the video is roughly four times more than the 300,000 pounds Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted his company’s pickup would be capable of towing.