Top tech startup news for today, Thursday, December 5, 2019 – Oculus, Blue Ocean Robotics, Infinitum Electric, Figure.com, Salv.com
Good morning! Below are some of the top tech startup news for today, Thursday, December 5, 2019.
Facebook Oculus quietly acquires Prague-based Beat Games to bolster VR gaming. Oculus, a company Facebook acquired in 2014 for $2 billion, has acquired Prague-based VR game studio startup Beat Games. In a blog post published on November 26, Oculus said Beat Games will be joining Oculus Studios (also owned by Facebook) to develop gaming content for Oculus hardware. However, Beat Games will continue to operate in Prague as an independent studio unit. “Today we’re announcing that Beat Games is joining us in our quest to bring VR to more people around the world. They will join Oculus Studios as an independently operated studio in Prague, continuing to create new ways for people to experience music and VR gaming. Most importantly, what the community has come to love about Beat Saber will remain intact. Beat Games will continue to ship content and updates for Beat Saber across all currently supported platforms, now with even more support from Facebook,” Mike Verdu, Director of Content for Oculus, said.
DNA Testing Startup Veritas Suspends U.S. Operations, Cuts Staff. Veritas Genetics, the DNA startup that can sequence a human genome for less than $600, has ceased US operations and is in talks with potential buyers as the startup struggles to raise new funds. Part of the problem, says a person familiar with the company, is that investors are skittish about investing in start-ups that have raised financing from funds with roots in China. The company is in talks with potential acquirers.
Infinitum Electric Closes $12.5M Series B Round to Bring Disruptive Motors to Market. Infinitum Electric, a tech startup delivering ultra-high-efficiency, durable, lightweight and IoT-enabled electric motors, has closed a $12.5 million Series B round of financing to hire in the areas of research and development, engineering, supply chain and production and to open its new global Headquarters and manufacturing facility in the Austin, Texas area. The round follows a successful Series A round completed in January, bringing total funding to $15.2 million. The Series B round was led by Cottonwood Technology Fund (CTF) and includes participation from Chevron Technology Ventures (CTV), AJAX Strategies and other individual investors.
Tallinn-based secret career app MeetFrank raises $1.66M to open up international borders and help global talent relocate for work. Tallinn, Finland-based secret career app startup MeetFrank, today announced it has closed $1.66 million (€1.5M) funding to launch its new “relocation without location” feature that opens up international borders and helps global talent relocate for work. The round was led by investors Karma.vc, Enern VC, Change Ventures, and Hummingbird.Founded in 2017, MeetFrank has achieved hockey stick growth in local job markets and now aims to become the go-to talent-focused global job marketplace. To date, MeetFrank has raised €2.45M in total funding and currently has over 265,000 users, with its largest markets being Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Germany.
Blue Ocean Robotics, the World’s First Robot Venture Factory, Lands Nearly $12M Investment in Growth Capital. Blue Ocean Robotics, a robotics startup and developer of innovation factory, has raised DKK 80M (nearly $12M) in new capital infusion led by a team of investors from the world-recognized robotics cluster based in and around Odense on the island of Funen. Blue Ocean Robotics is an efficient innovation factory that continues to conquer new robot territory with service robots for the healthcare, hospitality, construction and agriculture industries. Founded in 2013 by Claus Lenz, Claus Risager, John Erland Østergaard, Lennart Karlsson, and Thorsten Röder, Blue Ocean Robotics develops, produces and sells professional service robots primarily in healthcare, hospitality, construction and agriculture. Its portfolio of robots includes such brands as Beam Robots, a mobile telepresence robot for communication, social inclusion and CO2 reductions; UVD Robots, a mobile robot for disinfection; PTR Robots, a mobile robot for safe patient handling and rehabilitation; as well as others.
Figure raises $103M Series C to reinvent lending experience using blockchain technology. Figure Technologies, a FinTech startup transforming the lending experience for consumers through the power of blockchain technology, has closed has closed a $103 million Series C funding to expand its lending products and executive hires. The round, which was led by Morgan Creek Digital, brings Figure’s total funding to more than $225 million and the valuation to $1.2 billion. The funding was also joined by MUFG Innovation Partners Co., Ltd and other new and existing investors. In conjunction with the funding, the company also announced that Anthony Pompliano, co-founder and Partner at Morgan Creek Digital, will join its board.
RaySecur secures $3M seed to revolutionize security imaging with the world’s first, scalable terahertz scanners. RaySecur, a security startup that helps companies, government agencies and celebrities to safely enhance mailroom security with next-generation threat detection technology, has closed a $3M seed round to scale within key market verticals and accelerate its growth strategy. The round was led by One Way Ventures with participation from Junson Capital, Launchpad Venture Group, Dreamit Ventures and other leading investors. Founded in 2015 Eric Girouby, the Cambridge, MA-based RaySecur is a spinoff of INO and a provider of security solutions based on state-of-the-art optics technology designed to detect letter bombs (letters or small packages containing powders or liquids used for threats, intimidation, or terrorist attacks).