Top tech startup news for today, Thursday, August 29, 2019
Good morning! Below are some of the top tech startup news for today, Thursday, August 29, 2019.
Apple is planning to open its first retail store in India after struggling to gain market share in the region. Apple said it is “eager” to open its first retail store in India after years of struggling to gain market share in the region, according to a report from CNBC. Apple fans may have to wait for a long time as the tech giant does not have a definite date in mind. Apple said, “It will take us some time to get our plans underway and we’ll have more to announce at a future date.” The Indian smartphone market is dominated by Xiaomi and Samsung with 28.9% and 22.4% of the total market, respectively, according to data from research firm IDC. Apple didn’t even crack the list of the top five players.
Bitcoin drops below $10,000 as the price seesaw continues. One thing that is constant with Bitcoin is volatility. The world’s most popular cryptocurrency dipped below $10,000 as cryptocurrencies fell sharply on Wednesday afternoon. Bitcoin fell about $530, or 5%, in a 40-minute span after being mostly flat for the day, according to data from industry site CoinDesk, continuing a volatile year for the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency. Fellow cryptocurrency Ethereum also took a similar dive on Wednesday, dropping about 9% during the same time window. It is not clear what triggered the sell offs.
Knock Knock raises $4 million in Series A funding. Knock Knock, a San Francisco, CA-based developer of games and technologies for a post-App Store world, raised $4m in Series A financing s to grow instant games portfolio, expand title availability to multiple new platforms including WeChat in China, and hire for development and UA roles in San Francisco and Toronto.
The round, which brought total funding to $6m since June of 2018, was led by March Capital Partners with participation from existing investors Raine Ventures, London Venture Partners, and Ludlow Ventures.
Fintech startup Alto closes $5.4 million seed round to put alternative investments in IRAs and democratize asset investing. Alto announced it has closed $5.4 million seed round to democratize alternative asset investing. The round was led by Jefferson River Capital, the family office of Tony James, Executive Vice Chairman of Blackstone, and Moment Ventures, a Palo Alto-based venture capital firm. Other backers include Foundation Capital, Sequoia’s Scout Fund, and Amplify.LA. Founded in 2016 by Eric Satz, the Nashville-based Alto gives individual investors the ability to access and execute investments in alternative assets, such as private companies – including private equity and VC funds – real estate, and marketplace loans, using their retirement savings.
SmartBear acquires mobile app test automation platform startup Bitbar. SmartBear, a provider of tools for quality software delivery, has acquired Bitbar, a provider of a mobile app test automation platform and device cloud for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition enables SmartBear to expand the breadth of native app mobile testing innovation. Led by Marko Kaasila, CEO, Bitbar provides a cloud-based testing platform to automate continuous software delivery, to optimize CI/CD workflows, and to leverage AI to accelerate software development lifecycle, to DevOps teams of all sizes – including the ones at Mozilla, WeWork, Google, PayPal, Deutsche Telekom, Square, CBS Interactive, and TomTom.
Funding Circle closes $198 million securitization to support US small businesses. Funding Circle, a fintech startup and the leading small business loans platform in the UK, US, Germany and the Netherlands, has closed its first asset-backed securitization (ABS) of US small business loans originated through its platform. The $198 million deal marks the debut of Funding Circle’s US securitization sponsorship capability, and is the fifth securitization of Funding Circle business loans globally.
Mews closes $33 million to accelerate the future of hospitality and launch expansion into the U.S. Mews, a tech startup that is transforming hotel operations and guest experience management throughout the world, has raised $33 million in funding to further accelerate its ability to fundamentally transform how hotels operate and serve guests, as well as enable entirely new technology players to find creative ways of providing hospitality experiences. The Series B round was led by global investment firm Battery Ventures. Mews was founded by ex-hoteliers who were frustrated by the lack of a suitable platform on the market.