Top tech startup news for today, Wednesday, February 19, 2020: Lyft, Citi, Grab, Nokia, Mitsubishi, Self, Limio
Good morning! Below are the top tech startups news for today, Wednesday, February 19, 2020.
Lyft resumes shared electric bike rentals in New York City. Electric Citi Bikes return after being pulled for safety issues. Lyft announced Wednesday it will roll out a fleet of several hundred electric bikes for rent across New York City, ten months after it pulled them following complaints and injury reports. “A few hundred” pedal-powered e-bikes will hit city streets Wednesday morning, after which there will be a “gradual” increase to “thousands” by sometime this summer, said Citi Bike general manager Laura Fox. Lyft, which owns the bike rental program, pulled the entire e-bike fleet last April after oversensitive front brakes sent some riders flying off their bikes.
Mitsubishi is investing over $700 million in ride-hailing startup Grab. Japan’s largest bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. (MUFJ) is reportedly investing over $700 million in Grab, according to Bloomberg. MUFJ intends to market a range of financial services from insurance to loans to Grab’s users, according to Bloomberg, citing a person familiar with the deal who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. The announcement comes just weeks after Grab announced it is set to acquire Bento Invest Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based robot-advisory startup. Grab reported that with the acquisition, Bento will be rebranded to GrabInvest, which will be a new core business vertical under Grab’s financial services arm, Grab Financial Group, led by Chandrima Das, founder, and CEO of Bento. Founded in 2012 by Anthony Tan and Tan Hooi Ling, the Singapore-based Grab is a ride-hailing platform that offers booking service for taxis, private cars, and motorbikes through one mobile. Grab offers a wide range of services through one mobile app and has been driving Southeast Asia forward since 2012.
Austin-based fintech startup Self nabs $20M Series C funding to help people build their credit history while also saving money. Self, an Austin, Texas-based fintech startup offering people a way to build their credit while also saving money, announced it has raised $20 million round of Series C funding to accelerate its company growth by hiring additional members of the team and investing in marketing and product development to improve overall customer success, building even further on rapid growth in 2019. The round was co-led by Altos Ventures and Conductive Ventures. Founded in 2015 by Conor Swanson and James Garvey, Self is a leading fintech startup with a mission to help people build credit and savings. Starting at just $25 per month, Self is helping thousands of people begin their financial journey with a credit builder account.
Malaysian tech startup is offering AI-based profiling of Chinese visitors for virus. MYEG Services Bhd, a Malaysia-based tech startup, announced today it had developed a coronavirus risk-profiling system for visitors from China and was offering the artificial intelligence-based service to the governments of Malaysia and the Philippines. The news system creates a health-risk profile using a person’s historical geolocation information and other parameters. MYEG has partnered with Beijing-based travel agency Phoenix Travel Worldwide for the project. The fully-automated system analyses a “vast number of available data points, including visitors’ previous known whereabouts as well as heart rate and blood pressure readings crossed-referenced against public transportation ridership and exposure to locations with incidences of infections,” MYEG said in a statement.
Nokia is acquiring optical networking tech startup Elenion. Finnish telecom networks maker Nokia announced Wednesday it has agreed to acquire privately-held New York-based tech company Elenion Technologies to boost its optical networking business and broaden its offering to telecoms operators. The value of the acquisition was not disclosed. Founded in 2014, the New York-based Elenion designs and develops highly integrated System-on-Chip optical engines for Telecom, Data Center and Networking applications. The company is focused on driving innovation in silicon photonics technology. Built around world-class multi-disciplinary experts in silicon photonics, lasers, electronics and advanced packaging, Elenion is developing next-generation photonic integrated circuit technologies and solutions for a broad range of datacom and telecom applications.
London-based startup Limio raises about $0.5M in pre-seed funding to offer a no-code subscription commerce platform. Limio, a London-based tech startup that is solving this problem by helping businesses to acquire and retain subscribers, announced today that it has raised $421,000 (£325,000) to continue to develop its no-code Subscription Commerce platform. The funding came from 15 angel investors including co-founder and CEO Amaury de Closse. Other backers include Michael Pennington (Gumtree), Matt Clifford (Entrepreneur First), Scott Sage and Krishna Visvanathan (Crane VC). Founded in 2017 by CEO Amaury de Closset (formerly of GoCardless) and Daniel Morton (Zuora, Three), Limio is a no-code Subscription Commerce Platform, enabling you to operate your subscription business with extra speed and at a lower cost. Our Platform includes Content Management System (CMS), Product Information Management (PIM), Digital Asset Management (DAM) capabilities specifically made for subscriptions, enabling your marketers to get to market new shops, campaigns and promotions faster than ever. No IT, no developments.