Top tech startup news for today, Thursday, March 5, 2020: Google, Facebook, Hailo, AquaGuidance
Good afternoon! Below are the top tech startups news for today, Thursday, March 5, 2020.
A new “coronavirus robot” designed in China could help save lives on medical frontline. Researchers at one of China’s top universities have designed a robot they say could help save lives on the frontline during the coronavirus outbreak. The machine, which consists of a robotic arm on wheels, can perform ultrasounds, take mouth swabs and listen to sounds made by a patient’s organs, usually done with a stethoscope. The robot can perform tasks that are normally carried out by doctors in person. When the robot is fitted with cameras, medical personnel do not need to be in the same room as the patient, and could even be in a different city. “Doctors are all very brave,” said Tsinghua University Professor Zheng Gangtie, the robot’s chief designer. “But this virus is just too contagious … We can use robots to perform the most dangerous tasks.” The robots cost RMB 500,000 ($72,000) a piece to make.
Tel Aviv-based AI chipmaker Hailo raises $60M Series B funding to empower a new age of Artificial Intelligence-driven edge computing. Hailo, a Tel Aviv, Israel-based tech startup and developer of specialized deep learning processor that delivers the performance of a data center-class computer to edge devices, has raised $60 million in Series B funding to bolster the ongoing global rollout of its breakthrough Hailo-8 Deep Learning chip and to reach new markets and industries worldwide. The round, which brings Hailo’s total funding to $88 million, was led by existing investors, and joined by key strategic investors including ABB Technology Ventures (ATV) – the strategic VC arm of ABB, NEC Corporation, and London-based VC firm Latitude Ventures. Founded in 2017 by Avi Baum and Orr Danon, Hailo aims to drive artificial intelligence to the edge. Imagine intelligent devices that are empowered with the performance of a datacenter class computer, operating in real-time at reduced power consumption, size and cost.
Bump Boxes launches a $1 million Bump Fund for mom-focused companies. Bump Boxes, a Peoria, IL-based subscription startup for mom and baby, today announced it will invest up to $1 million into early stage mom-focused companies in 2020. The news comes after the company has doubled revenue for three consecutive years and grown the team to nearly 50 employees. Founded in 2014 by Christine Deehring and Leland Deehring, Bump Boxes is a monthly Pregnancy subscription box startup company. Bump Boxes provides tailored healthy products directly for expecting moms. To date, Bump Boxes has shipped over 500,000 boxes shipped to happy moms. Christine Deehring, CEO and co-founder, said that investing in other mom-focused companies is the next step in her vision for the company.
Big tech firms ask Seattle employees to work from home over coronavirus fears. As we reported earlier today, big tech giants in Seattle, Washington are urging their employees to work from home amid fear of coronavirus outbreak. Alphabet Inc’s Google on Thursday joined Amazon.com Inc, Facebook Inc and Microsoft Corp in recommending employees in the Seattle area to work from home, after many were infected with the coronavirus in the region. Facebook recommends all of its 5,000 employees in Seattle to work from home the rest of the month, after a worker in the area tested positive for the coronavirus. Facebook is closing its Seattle office until Monday.
AquaGuidance closes $3 million funding remove live viruses from pre-filtered drinking water. AquaGuidance, a Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based tech startup and the developer of in water-purification filtration technology, has secured early-stage financing of $3 million for a breakthrough gravity-fed water filtration media capable of removing live viruses from pre-filtered drinking water. The round was led by Blue Planet Group Ltd (BPG), a multi-national, vertically-integrated, private equity enterprise focused on advanced, proprietary specialty purification technologies for food, beverage, and water industries. AquaGuidance’s filtration media (multiple patents pending) is the first known gravity-fed filter technology to pass the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) P231 test protocol1 for virus removal without the use of chemicals, power, or pressure.
Berlin-based hotel startup SuitePad closes 7-digit round of funding to accelerate global expansion. SuitePad, a Berlin, Germany-based tech startup and a provider of in-room tablets for the hotel industry, announced it has closed a new round of funding will further its expansion into the European, Asian, and US markets. The exact amount amount was not disclosed, but was said to be in seven-digit. The round was led New York-based investment group, Riverside Acceleration Capital (RAC), as well as current investors Target Partners, IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft, and Howzat Partners. Founded in 2012 by Moritz von Petersdorff-Campen and Tilmann Volk, SuitePad started out as an idea to provided a digital communications channel to the guest during the stay.