Top tech startup news for today, Thursday, January 9, 2020 – Facebook, Quibi, P&G, Billie, Docket, Corvus, Outlier.org,
Good morning! Below are the top tech startups news for today, Thursday, January 9, 2020.
Facebook takes steps to remove ‘deepfake’ videos from its social media networks. Yesterday, we wrote an article about Samsung researchers developed an AI system to convert an image into a Deepfake video. Today, Facebook announced that it would remove “deepfake” and other manipulated videos from its website to stop the spread of false information ahead of the 2020 presidential race, but U.S. lawmakers said those and other changes it has recently announced do not go far enough. “Why wouldn’t Facebook simply take down the fake Pelosi video?” Florida Congressman Darren Soto, a Democrat, said. However, Facebook’s vice president of global policy management, Monika Bickert, pointed out that Facebook recognizes the risks of manipulated media and that “its latest policy is designed to prohibit the most sophisticated attempts to mislead people.”
Edtech startup Outlier.org raises $16M to provided an online education platform that offers online courses that earn students transferable college credit. Outlier.org, an edtech startup founded by a team of academia, including professors from Yale, MIT, Columbia, and Cornell, is on a mission to make college affordable with an online education platform that offers online courses that earn students transferable college credit, announced it has raised $16 million in total funding. The announcement includes a recent $11.7 million Series A round led by GSV Ventures with participation by Harrison Metal, Tectonic Capital, and Jackson Square Ventures. Harrison Metal led a previously undisclosed seed round for the company. The funding follows an extension of Outlier.org’s successful 2019 fall pilot program with the University of Pittsburgh, which will continue into the spring and summer terms in 2020. In that pilot, Outlier.org students achieved a C grade or better at the same rate as those in comparable courses within traditional classrooms. The results indicate a breakthrough in providing truly scalable, affordable, for-credit college education.
This California tech startup just unveiled ‘Reverse microwave’ that can chill bottle of wine in just three minutes at CES 2020. An amazing ‘reverse microwave’ that can chill a beer, bottle of wine or soft drink in seconds has been unveiled at CES 2020. The Juno has been developed by California-based Matrix Industries, which specializes in body heat-powered smartwatches. The ‘chiller’ uses a thermoelectric cooling engine that spins water around the beverage at high speed, rapidly decreasing the temperature of the can. As the container itself is held still, the contents will be ready to drink as soon as it comes out of the machine and won’t ‘fizz up’ and, according to Matrix.
P&G buys subscription-based women’s shaving startup Billie. It’s payday for Billie, a New York-based women’s shaving startup founded just two years ago that offers a subscription-based high-quality shaving supplies and body products at affordable price. Today, P&G announced it’s acquiring Billie for an undisclosed amount.The deal complements P&G’s female grooming portfolio, which includes the Venus, Braun and joy brands, through the combination of strong digital and direct-to-consumer marketing capabilities, a growing range of personal care products, and a fresh, digitally-native brand that is especially appealing to Millennial and Gen Z consumers. As part of the acquisition agreement, Billie will continue to be led by its co-founders, Georgina Gooley and Jason Bravman. Founded in 2017 by Georgina Gooley and Jason Bravman, Billie is a wellness company that offers high-quality shaving supplies and body products at a fair price, without the pink tax.
Quibi raises $400M for its mobile-first video streaming service built for Millennials, launches April 6 at $4.99 per month. Quibi just raised $400 million in funding from 49 investors, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The funding will be used for content and marketing, according to the Los Angeles Times. The names of the backers were not disclosed. In conjunction to the funding, Quibi also announced Wednesday, that it’s launching April 6 at $4.99 per month with ads or $7.99 per month without ads. As part of the launch, Quibi will introduce more than 175 original shows and 8,500 short episodes in the 12 months following its launch, CEO Meg Whitman announced Wednesday during a keynote speech at CES in Las Vegas, with three hours of fresh content debuting daily. Unlike other streaming services out there, Quibi is differentiating itself by focusing on short-form videos, about ten minutes or less, across a mix of entertainment and news.
SaaS startup Docket raises $1.5 million in seed funding to grow its team. Docket, a cloud startup and a provide of SaaS platform for managing intelligent meetings, has secured $1.5M in seed funding to grow the team in engineering, marketing and customer success, continue to invest in platform growth, adding new native solutions and expanding its library of integrations. The round was led by Allos Ventures with participation from High Alpha Capital, Elevate Ventures and Simon Equity Partners. Co-foundedby CEO and SaaS veteran Darin Brown, the Indianapolis-based Docket is a meeting intelligence platform that enables and enhances every stage of the meeting by providing tools that create good habits.
Corvus raises $32 million to transform commercial insurance with AI. Corvus, an insurtech startup that offers Smart Commercial Insurance policies and innovative technology that utilizes new forms of data to predict and prevent claims, announced it has raised $32 million Series B to predict and prevent losses for its corporate customers in the food and pharmaceutical industries. The latest round brings the Boston-based firm’s total raised to $46 million, following the $10 million series A round in September 2018. The round was led by Telstra Ventures, with participation from Obvious Ventures and existing Corvus investors .406 Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures, and Hudson Structured Capital Management. Founded in 2017 by by a team of veteran entrepreneurs from the insurance and technology industries, Philip Edmundson, James McElhiney, and Mike Lloyd, and Corvus uses data across more than 50 criteria to predict and prevent losses for its corporate customers in the food and pharmaceutical industries.