Top tech startup news for today, Monday, December 23, 2019 – Aylien, Boeing, DraftKings, Mark Cuban, HawkFish, Bloomberg, ProdPerfect
Good morning! Below are some of the top tech startup news for today, Monday, December 23, 2019.
HawkFish is a secretive tech startup helping Mike Bloomberg powering his 2020 presidential bid. A technology startup called Hawkfish, founded by Mike Bloomberg along with former executives from Facebook and Foursquare, is helping Bloomberg in his 2020 presidential bid. According to a report from CNBC, the startup started working on races in Virginia and Kentucky, soon after Hawkfish incorporated in the spring. Hawkfish will be the “primary digital agency and technology services provider for the campaign,” Julie Wood, a Bloomberg campaign spokeswoman, told CNBC. She added that the firm “is now providing digital ad services, including content creation, ad placement and analytics” for their campaign.
Rivian raises $1.3 billion in funding led by Amazon, others, for its electric utility and adventure vehicles. Amazon among investors again as electric vehicle maker Rivian raises another $1.3 billion. Back in February, we wrote about Rivian when Amazon led $700 million investment in electric truck startup Rivian. With millions of gas guzzlers on the roads, Rivian believes it can reduce the Carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, lower the carbon footprint and also make money doing good. Rivian wants to turn adventure vehicles–typically gas guzzlers–into fully electric cars. Late last year, the Plymouth, Michigan-based Rivian emerged from stealth mode with half a billion dollars in funding.
Mark Cuban quietly offered to invest $1 million in Backstage Capital after learning the founder was having trouble raising more funding. Earlier this month, Mark Cuban quietly offered to invest $1 million in Backstage Capital, a venture capital fund that invests in new companies led by underrepresented founders in the U.S., after learning the founder was having trouble raising more funding. Backstage Capital’s founder, Arlan Hamilton, was homeless when she founded Backstage Capital in 2005 for underrepresented and overlooked entrepreneurs and startup founders. Today, less than 10% of all venture capital deals go to women, People of Color, and LGBTQ founders–exclusively funds women, people of color, and LGBT founders. In a tweet earlier today, Arlan Hamilton said this on Twitter: “Thank you Mark Cuban (@mcuban). This year, after learning that I was having trouble raising more funding, he quietly offered me $1 million to invest how I see fit. He also met w/@Backstage_Cap founders, remembered my mom’s name, & did a vid drop for my brother’s Dallas media co.”
Fantasy sports startup DraftKings to go public at $3.3 billion valuation. DraftKings, a Boston, Massachusetts-based fantasy sports startup that provides online daily and weekly fantasy sports contests for cash prizes in major sports, announced today it’ll go public next year in a deal that values the company at $3.3 billion. Founded in 2011 by Jason Robins, Matt Kalish, and Paul Liberman, DraftKings provides online daily and weekly fantasy sports contests for cash prizes in major sports in the United States and Canada. It offers daily leagues for fantasy football, baseball, basketball, hockey, golf, college football, and college basketball.
Irish startup Aylien raises $5.54 million for its AI-powered risk intelligence and financial analytics platform. Aylien, the Dublin, Ireland-based Aylien announced it has closed $5.54 million (€5 million) Series A funding round to accelerate growth and expansion into the risk intelligence market, as well as the development of a new revenue channel and product line via a user-facing application. The round was led by Finch Capital, with participation from existing investors, Atlantic Bridge University Fund, SOSV, and Enterprise Ireland. In conjunction with the funding. Founded in 2010 by Parsa Ghaffari, Aylien is an AI-powered news intelligence platform that combs through millions of daily events and digests the world’s news content while identifying and tracking what matters to business with human-level accuracy. Its solution is currently being used by tech giants including Microsoft and Moody’s.
Jenzy Jenzy, a female-founded e-commerce app closed $1.25 million seed round. Children’s shoe app startup Jenzy has just raised $1.25 seed fund to accelerate growth. The round was led by Morgan Stanley’s Multicultural Innovation Lab (MCIL) and supported by angel investors around the US. The Philadelphia, PA-based Jenzy, which is on a mission to make kid shoe shopping as easy as 1, 2, 3, provides an easy and efficient solution for parents to size and purchase children’s shoes. Users can take a photo of their child’s foot to calculate measurements, then Jenzy will recommend the best brands and styles for the child, as well as provide personalized size recommendations based on brands.
Boeing fires embattled CEO Dennis Muilenburg after series of missteps. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg has been fired, the company announced Monday morning. David Calhoun was named new CEO. The Muilenburg’s ousting announcement comes after series of missteps by the company in wake of 737 Max crisis and over the Boeing Starliner’s failed mission to the International Space Station. CFO Greg Smith will serve as interim CEO until Calhoun takes on the role on January 13, according to the news release. With the “new leadership,” Boeing said in a statement, the company “will operate with a renewed commitment to full transparency, including effective and proactive communication with the FAA, other global regulators and its customers.”
ProdPerfect Raises $13 million in Series A funding to improve its operations. ProdPerfect, a San Francisco, CA-based tech startup that provides autonomous end-to-end application testing, has raised $13 million in Series A funding to further maximize its impact on application quality, deployment speed, and developer productivity for technology leaders. The round was led by Anthos Capital with participation from Fika Ventures, Eniac Ventures, Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, and Acrew Capital. Founded by CEO Dan Widing, ProdPerfect, which has over 50 customers, provides an E2E testing platform based on data-driven, machine-led analysis of anonymous live user traffic.