Top tech startup news for today, Tuesday, March 3, 2020: Amazon, Twitter, Akouos, Robinhood
Good morning! Below are the top tech startups news for today, Tuesday, March 3, 2020.
Amazon launches same-day delivery in four states. Amazon is now offering same-day delivery to customers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Phoenix, Arizona; Orlando, Florida and Dallas, Texas now have access to receive up to 3 million items more quickly. According to the e-commerce giant, some customers will now be able to get orders delivered in five hours or less. Amazon invested nearly $1.5 billion in its fourth quarter to expand its next-day shipping service, and said it will spend $1 billion more in the first quarter of this year. In a blog post, Amazon’s director of delivery experience Jon Alexander wrote: “We’re able to do so by storing need-it-today items in brand new facilities we built even closer to customers. These are first-of-their-kind buildings and serve as mini-fulfillment centers optimized for faster click-to-delivery speeds.”
Talespin scores $15M Series B funding to transform the workforce with extended reality (XR)-based training. Talespin, a Los Angeles, CA-based spatial computing startup leveraging its proprietary XR technology platform Runway to deliver XR-based learning and training applications, announced it has raised $15 million in Series B funding to redefine the future of work through extended reality (XR). The funding round was led by Cornerstone OnDemand, a provider of cloud-based learning, talent management and talent experience software. In conjunction with the funding, Cornerstone also announced an ongoing partnership with Talespin, to deliver Talespin’s extended reality (XR) training solutions to customers. HTC also joined the round as a new investor, with participation from existing investors, including Farmers Insurance Exchange.
Coronavirus Impact: Twitter tells employees to work from home amid coronavirus fears. With coronavirus claiming the lives of at least six people here in the United States, Twitter told its employees that they should work from home, if at all possible. Twitter told its employees in a blog post that should avoid coming into its San Francisco headquarters, and other offices around the world, to avoid the risk of exposure to the coronavirus that has infected more than hundred people in the United States. “Our goal is to lower the probability of the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus for us — and the world around us,” the San Francisco-based company said in a blog post Monday. “We are operating out of an abundance of caution and the utmost dedication to keeping our Tweeps healthy.”
Precision genetic medicine startup Akouos secures $105M Series B funding to develop gene therapies for hearing disorders. Akouos, a Boston, MA-based precision genetic medicine startup developing potential gene therapies to restore, improve or preserve hearing, has raised $105 million $105M Series B funding. The oversubscribed funding was led by Pivotal bioVenture Partners, with participation from new investors Cormorant Asset Management, Cowen Healthcare Investments, EcoR1 Capital, Fidelity Management & Research Company, Polaris Founders Fund. Existing investors, 5AM Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Novartis Venture Fund, Partners Innovation Fund, RA Capital Management and Sofinnova Investments also joined the round.
Google is rolling out free access to its advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing to help businesses and educators in response to Coronavirus. Amid sudden outbreak of coronavirus in the United States, tech giant Google said it’s rolling out free access to its advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities to help businesses and educators in response to Coronavirus. “We want to help businesses and schools impacted by COVID-19 stay connected: starting this week, we’ll roll out free access to our advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities through July 1, 2020 to all G Suite customers globally,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote on Twitter.
Elon Musk defends Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey as activist investor seeks to oust him. Over the weekend, we wrote about Paul Singer when his hedge fund Elliott Management bought a $1 billion stake in Twitter in a bid to push for changes — including the removal of Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey. Elon Musk jumped to the defense of Dorsey. Musk wrote on Twitter: “Just want (to) say that I support @Jack as Twitter CEO.” Paul Singer is a major Republican donor planning to push for changes at the social media company.