Top tech startup news for today, Thursday, October 17, 2019
Good morning! Below are some of the top tech startup news for today, Thursday, October 17, 2019.
Airbnb’s quarterly loss reportedly doubled in Q1, a bad sign as investors grow wary of money-losers. Unicorn startups are beginning to face the stark reality that it’s not just about raising money. WeWork, Uber and now AirBnB all have something common–lack of profitability and mounting losses. According to a report from The Information, Airbnb’s losses doubled year-over-year in the first quarter to $306 million, as the home-sharing start-up ramps up marketing spend ahead of a possible IPO in 2020. The company’s sales and marketing investments rose 58% year-over-year to $367 million in the first quarter and marketing spend is expected to come in above the $1.1 billion spent in 2018, according to The Information said, citing undisclosed financial data.
Accenture acquires London, England-based Happen. Accenture has acquired Happen, a London, UK-based innovation firm which enables clients to generate new ideas, products and services. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Founded in 2007 by Mark Cowan, Happen provides companies primarily across the consumer goods, food & beverage, retail and life science industries with proprietary methods, frameworks and digital tools to allow clients to create new ideas, products and services that drive business growth. The acquisition expands Accenture’s front-end innovation and analytics capabilities to allow clients introduce transformational products and services.
Sofinnova Partners raises $370.3 million for its early-stage healthcare fund to invest in healthtech and life sciences startups. Sofinnova Partners, a leading European venture capital firm based in Paris, London and Milan and specialized in Life Sciences, has closed $370.3 million ( €333 million) for its latest early-stage healthcare venture capital fund Sofinnova Capital IX. The firm now has more than €2B under management with more than €1B raised in the last four years across its platform of life sciences funds. Founded about half of a decade ago, Sofinnova Partners is a leading European venture capital firm specialized in Life Sciences. They invest in start-ups, early-stage companies, corporate spin-offs and occasionally turnaround situations. They invest in Life Sciences (Biopharmaceuticals / Biotech, Medical Devices, Industrial Biotechnology). To date, Sofinnovahas backed nearly 500 companies over more than 45 years, creating market leaders around the globe. Today, Sofinnova Partners has over €2 billion under management.
Cloud startup Pendo closes $100 million in Series E funding, at $1 billion valuation. Pendo.io, a Raleigh, NC-based product cloud company, raised $100m in Series E funding to accelerate global expansion and drive product development. The round, which now values the startup $1 billion, was led by Sapphire Ventures, with participation from new investors General Atlantic and Tiger Global, along with existing investors Battery Ventures, Meritech Capital, FirstMark, Geodesic Capital, and Cross Creek. Founded by CEO Todd Olson, Pendo is a SaaS platform for digital product teams and application owners to deliver software experiences. Its software is used by over 1,200 customers, including Verizon, ADP, Cardinal Health, RE/MAX, LabCorp, Bright Horizons, Okta, OpenTable, Salesforce, Zendesk and the Michigan Supreme Court.
Enterprise software startup Ekos raises $8 million Series A funding round. Ekos, an enterprise software startup that provides business management software for independent craft beverage companies, has closed $8 million Series A funding round to enhance product features and build integrations with best-in-class solutions for the craft food and beverage industry. Founded in 2014 by Greg Forehand, the Charlotte, NC-based Ekos is a business management system designed for craft producers to easily manage their inventory, production, sales, and accounting in one place. Currently offering solutions for brewers, cider makers, winemakers, food makers, and beverage producers.
Microsoft’s venture fund M12 announces $6 million global competition for women-led enterprise startups. Microsoft’s M12, in partnership with Mayfield and Pivotal Ventures on Thursday announced the second global Female Founders Competition to accelerate funding for women entrepreneurs developing business-to-business software-as-a-service and deeptech solutions. Eligible women-led startups developing enterprise tech solutions in the United States, Europe, Israel and India are encouraged to submit applications beginning Oct. 17, 2019. Four winning companies will receive a total of $6 million in venture funding, along with access to technology, resources, mentoring and other benefits.
Invoca secures $56M in funding to help marketers get campaign attribution. Invoca, an AI-powered call tracking and analytics platform that helps marketers get campaign attribution, has raised $56m in funding to accelerate the development of its products and broaden its ecosystem of partners in digital advertising, marketing technology, CRM, and affiliate marketing. The round was led by existing investor Upfront Ventures and new investor H.I.G. Growth Partners, with participation from Accel and Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners. Founded in 2008 by Colin Kelley, Jason Spievak, and Robert Duva, the Santa Barbara, California-based Invoca delivers real-time call analytics to help marketers take informed actions based on data generated before and during a phone conversation. As a result, marketers can dramatically improve ROI by driving more revenue-generating calls, increasing conversion rates, personalizing the customer journey, and running more efficient campaigns.