Top tech startup news for today, Tuesday, December 3, 2019 – SoftBank, Intel, Sequoia Capital, Accel Robotics, Konfio, Bokio, and Gong
Good morning! Below are some of the top tech startup news for today, Tuesday, December 3, 2019.
SoftBank leads $100 million funding round in Mexico’s fintech startup Konfio. Today, Mexico’s fintech startup Konfio announced it has raised $100 million funding led by SoftBank. This is Konfio’s fourth financing round, the Mexican company said in a statement on Tuesday. Other backers investing alongside SoftBank include QED Investors, Kaszek Ventures and Vostok Emerging Finance, Konfio said. Founded in 2013 by David Arana and Francisco Padilla, Konfío is a financial services platform for businesses in Mexico that uses data for rapid credit assessment, allowing owners to focus on what’s important – growing their business.
Intel Completes Sales of Majority of Smartphone Modem Business to Apple. Tech giant Intel has completed the sale of the majority of its smartphone modem business to Apple. This transaction, valued at $1 billion, was first announced on July. As part of the agreement, about 2,200 Intel employees will join Apple, along with intellectual property, equipment and leases. Combining the acquired patents for current and future wireless technology with its existing portfolio, Apple will hold over 17,000 wireless technology patents, ranging from protocols for cellular standards to modem architecture and modem operation. The deal enables Intel to focus on developing technology for 5G networks while retaining the option to develop modems for non-smartphone applications, such as PCs, internet of things devices and autonomous vehicles.
Music site Genius sues Google, claiming it caught the company ‘red-handed’ copying lyrics. Music site Genius Media is suing Google claiming it the tech giant “red-handed” after copying lyrics for its own benefit at the expense of Genius’ business, according to a new lawsuit filed in state court in Brooklyn, New York court. Genius claims in the suit that it found a digital watermark it created in Google’s lyric boxes displayed at the top of search results, which are provided through LyricFind. Google and LyricFind have previously disputed wrongdoing. Genius claims Google and Canada-based lyric licensing company LyricFind misappropriated lyrics from its website. Genius also alleges that Google, through LyricFind, displayed lyrics at the top of search results in its “Information Boxes” that were stripped directly from Genius without attribution. The company is seeking at least $50 million in combined damages from both Google and LyricFind, according to lawsuit.
Accel Robotics scores $30M Series A led by SoftBank to enable checkout-free shopping experiences using AI. Accel Robotics, a robotics and AI startup that develops a camera-based AI and computer vision system to enable shoppers to have checkout-free shopping experiences, has raised $30 million Series A funding to accelerate its expansion worldwide by growing operations, increasing manufacturing capacity, and streamlining its expanding deployment pipeline. The round was led by Japanese giant SoftBank Group, with participation from existing investors, including New Ground Ventures, Toyo Kanetsu Corporate Venture Investment Partnership, and RevTech Ventures.
Appled revealed the best apps of 2019. Today, Apple announced the best iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV Apps and Games of 2019. Spectre won the best iPhone app of the year award, while Flow by Moleskine won the best iPad app. The best iPhone game went to Sky: Children of Light, while the best iPad game was awarded to Hyper Light Drifter. The tech giant announced this year’s winners in a small event in New York City where it gathered the developers of the apps, Apple executives and the press, and handed out small notecards with the winners’ names inside.
NOUS Imaging closes $6.6 million for its brain MRI software solution to eliminate patient safety risks and save billions of dollars in wasted MRI scan costs. NOUS Imaging, a St. Louis-based tech startup today announced it has raised $6.6 million in venture capital and government research investments, including funding from the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program at the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health. Co-founded in 2019 by Nico Dosenbach, NOUS Imaging is solving the problem of patient motion in brain MRI exams; to insure neurological research, diagnosis and treatment can be performed with the most accuracy, the most economy, and with minimal sedation for children and compromised adults.
Bokio Raises €4M in Funding to expand its U.K. presence. Bokio, a Gothenburg, Sweden-based fintech startup that simplifies accountancy with artificial intelligence, has raised €4M in funding to further scale its business in the UK and to further develop its AI-based bookkeeping tool with the implementation of more add-on services. The round was led by Creandum with participation from European financial group Svea, and an individual investment from Chris Adelsbach, Managing Director of Techstars. Founded in 2015 by its CEO Viktor Stensson and CTO Mikael Eliasson, Bokio acts as a digital assistant, providing support for a wide range of administrative tasks including invoicing, employee expenses, reporting and VAT returns. Its user-friendly interface is designed so that first-time business owners can make use of the software without requiring any previous experience in accounting.
Israeli AI startup Gong raises $65M led by Sequoia Capital to help businesses understand customer interactions and provide insights using AI. Gong, a U.S.-Israeli startup that develops speech recognition technology that provides sales representatives with real-time insights into their interactions with customers by analyzing recorded phone calls, announced today it has raised $65 million investment to grow its Sales Conversation Analytics platform. The round, which brings total raised to $134 million, was led Sequoia Capital, with participation from existing investors including Battery Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Israeli businessman Shlomo Kramer, Wing Venture Capital, NextWorld Capital and Cisco Investments. Founded in 2015 Amit Bendov and Eilon Reshef, the Tel Aviv, Israel-based Gong develops speech recognition technology that provides sales representatives with real-time insights into their interactions with customers by analyzing recorded phone calls to track keywords and topics within a conversation.