Top tech startup news for today, Tuesday, February 18, 2020: Apple, Atomico, Dell, Tesla, Skype, Semios
Good morning! Below are the top tech startups news for today, Tuesday, February 18, 2020.
Dell to sell its cybersecurity unit RSA for $2.08 billion. Dell Technologies announced Tuesday it would sell its cybersecurity unit RSA for $2.08 billion to a consortium led by Symphony Technology Group, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and AlpInvest Partners. The deal is expected to close in the next six to nine months, the companies said.
Precision farming startup Semios raises $75M in funding to expand the largest IoT network in agriculture. Semios, a Vancouver, Canada-based precision farming startup, has raised $75 million in private equity funding to advance the development of its data-driven crop management solution. The round, which was led by Morningside Group, a Boston-based private equity and venture capital firm, brings the company’s total funding raise to date to $115 million in external capital. Founded in 2010, Semios offers a precision farming platform that provides real-time crop data and pest management tools for growers of tree fruit, nut and vine crops. Leveraging a proprietary, in-orchard IoT wireless network, machine learning, and big data analytics, Semios helps farmers manage insect pests, disease, frost and irrigation.
Tesla in talks to use CATL’s cobalt-free batteries in China-made cars. Tesla is in advanced stages of talks to use CATL’s cobalt-free batteries in cars made at its China plant, according to a report from Reuters citing people familiar with the matter. Cobalt is one of the most expensive metals in electric vehicle (EV) batteries. Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL) is a Chinese battery manufacturer and technology company founded in 2011 and specialized in the manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage systems, as well as battery management systems. Both Tesla and CATL declined to comment on the news. EV manufacturers usually use nickel-cobalt-aluminum (NCA) or nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) batteries on passenger vehicles because of their higher energy density, which is critical in determining how far an EV can drive on single charge.
Atomico, a VC firm founded by Skype co-founder, raises $820M fund to back European tech startups. Atomico, a venture capital firm founded by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom, has raised $820 million for a new fund — the biggest since it was set up by the billionaire in 2006. The oversubscribed fundraise closes above its target of $750 million and attracting investment from a range of institutional investors. Founded in 2006 by Niklas Zennström and Mattias Ljungman, Atomico focuses on helping the disruptive technology companies scale globally. It partners with technology founders at Series A and beyond with a particular focus on Europe, leveraging deep operational experience to supercharge their growth.
UltraSense Systems secures $20 million in Series B funding. UltraSense Systems, a San Jose, California-based startup and creator of touch user interface technology using 3D ultrasound for smartphones, cars, home appliances, IoT and medical devices, has raised $20m in Series B funding to accelerate growth and expand operations. The round, which brought the company’s total fundraising to $24 million, was led by Artiman Ventures and Robert Bosch Venture Capital with participation from Abies Ventures, Asahi Kasei Corporation, Hui Capital and Sony Innovation Fund. Founded by CEO Mo Maghsoudnia, UltraSense Systems builds ultrasonic user experiences with localized interfaces that bring surfaces to life. Its TouchPoint product line enables customers to deliver seamless and natural interactions on any surface, including metal, glass, wood, ceramic and plastic.
Skype co-founder’s venture capital firm just raised $820 million fund to back European startups. Atomico, the venture capital firm founded by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom, has raised $820 million for a new fund — the biggest since it was set up by the billionaire in 2006. The firm plans to cash in on the ongoing “renaissance” in Europe’s tech sector, according to Siraj Khaliq, an investment partner for Atomico. Khaliq noted the rise of so-called unicorns — privately-held tech firms valued at $1 billion or more — in the continent over the past decade. In 2014, Europe was home to just 22 unicorns, according to Atomico’s own data, while today there are over 100 across the region.
Be My Eyes closes $2.8M Series A funding to connect blind people with normal sighted volunteers via live video calls. Be My Eyes is a free mobile app that connects a community of half a million volunteers around the world to the blind and visually impaired, helping them to solve their daily challenges and get on with life. The mobile app that allows anyone to assist visually impaired people through live video calls. Today, Be My Eyes announced it has raised $2.8 million in Series A funding to further develop its unique “purpose and profit” business model while keeping the visual support service free and unlimited for all visually impaired users. The round was led by Cultivation Capital.