Top tech startup news for today, Wednesday, March 11, 2020: Uber, Google, Purely Capital, Paper
Good morning! Below are the top tech startups news for today, Wednesday, March 11, 2020.
Uber may suspend accounts of riders, drivers who test positive for coronavirus. Ride-hailing giant Uber notified riders and drivers that it may temporarily suspend the accounts of anyone who has tested positive for the coronavirus or have been exposed to it, the ride-hailing company said on Wednesday. The company, which has already taken action in some affected markets, said it had a team working around-the-clock to support public health authorities in their response to the epidemic. “We have a dedicated global team, guided by the advice of a consulting public health expert, working to respond in every market where we operate around the world,” Uber said.
London-based FinTech platform Purely Capital launches with $150M in funding to revolutionize payments for the entertainment industry. Purely Capital, a London, England-based tech startup today announced the launch of its entertainment FinTech receivables platform backed by a $150 million institutional funding line, Finch Capital. The platform meets the growing need of rights owners, producers and distributors to bridge the funding gap that is created by long-dated payments when content is licensed to global streaming platforms, broadcasters and publishers. The startup also purchases contracted license fees from major studio and streaming giants including Disney, Netflix, Amazon, Universal & HBO. Back in 2019, Purely Capital closed a seed equity round backed by Finch Capital, an early-stage FinTech venture capital firm that invests in innovative businesses that transform the financial services sector in Europe and South East Asia. Purely Capital plans to do a Series A round later in 2020.
Google bans all ads for medical face masks amid coronavirus outbreak. Google said it will no longer allow any ads for medical face masks. The company already had a policy prohibiting ad content that capitalizes off the coronavirus. Google is not alone in banning coronavirus related ads. Last Friday, Facebook said it is temporarily banning ads and commerce listings selling medical face masks. “Out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to temporarily ban all medical face mask ads,” a Google spokeswoman said in an email to CNBC. “We’re actively monitoring the situation and will continue to take action as needed to protect users.”
GradeSlam, an edtech startup founded by McGill University graduates, rebrands to Paper; scores $7.5M in funding. GradeSlam, a Montreal and Los Angeles-based edtech startup that provides educational support system to enable remote learning in schools, announced today that it has raised $7.5 million in funding to accelerate growth. Along with the funding, the startup also announced it’s rebranding to Paper to emphasize the importance that the Educational Support System places on supporting students, teachers, and administrators. The funding was led by Reach Capital and supported by Bullpen Capital, with participation from existing investors Birchmere Ventures, BDC Capital, Real Ventures, Google, Red House Education, Edovate Capital, and Anges Quebec. Founded in 2014 by McGill University graduates Philip Cutler and Roberto Cipriani, Paper helps improve student achievement and teacher effectiveness with its Educational Support System.
Solar Capital Partners closes on $525 million fund to invest in U.S. middle market companies. Solar Capital Partners, a private credit manager with expertise across cash flow and specialty finance senior secured financing solutions for U.S. middle market companies, announced that it held the final closings of its SCP Private Corporate Lending Fund LP, SCP Cayman Debt Fund LP, and SCP SF Debt Fund LP. The Funds invest in U.S. middle market companies via directly-originated senior secured cash flow loans and specialty finance loans. The Funds co-invest with SCP’s other funds and managed accounts, including Solar Capital Ltd. and Solar Senior Capital Ltd. Co-founded by Michael Gross and Bruce Spohler in 2006, SCP and its affiliates are supported by a team of about 165 employees including over 80 origination and investment professionals in more than a dozen offices across the U.S.