Top tech startup news for today, January 18, 2022: Microsoft, Shopify, Virgin, JD.com, Clockwise , Walnut, and Wayve
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Hello and welcome to top tech startup news for today, January 18, 2022! Time does fly. It’s been about a year since we last covered the Top Tech Startup News of The Day. With the pandemic and other unforeseen issues, our team has been impacted by Covid.
This year, we plan to resume the daily series and bring you the latest tech news tips, trends, and funding from tech startups around the world. With that, below is a list of the top tech startup news for today.
The TechStartups Top 3
Smart calendar tool Clockwise raises $45 million to help remote teams avoid burnout using AI. Clockwise, an intelligent calendar system that uses artificial intelligence to help people get a dedicated block of time to be productive, has raised $45M in funding to advance our AI technology and bring this new way of working to more people worldwide. Coatue led our series C investment, with participation from Atlassian Ventures and our existing investors Accel, Greylock Partners, and Bain Capital Ventures.
Founded in 2016 by Gary Lerhaupt, Matt Martin, and Mike Grinolds, Clockwise helps shift modern work culture to genuinely respect people’s time. Its intelligent calendar assistant understands work and life commitments and automatically organizes a calendar to help workers focus on priorities. Since its inception six years ago, Clockwise has rescheduled 4,000,000 flexible meetings and created over 2,000,000 hours of Focus Time.
Shopify teams up with Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com to capture cross-border sellers. Canadian multinational e-commerce company Shopify announced today it has partnered with China’s JD.com to help U.S. merchants sell their goods in the world’s second-largest economy. As part of the deal, JD said it will open an “accelerated channel” for brands on Shopify to begin selling via its cross-border e-commerce site in China. Merchants can set up shop in three to four weeks rather than the typical 12 months that it takes foreign brands to begin selling in China, JD said.
As part of the deal, JD said it will open an “accelerated channel” for brands on Shopify to begin selling via its cross-border e-commerce site in China. The announcement comes amid tight competition in the e-commerce space in China with players like Pinduoduo, Alibaba Group Holding, and Douyin. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Walnut raises $35M in Series B funding led by Felicis after growing 700% in four months. Walnut, a New York-based tech startup and the provider of the world’s first sales experience platform, announced today it has closed a $35 million Series B funding round led by Felicis Ventures. The raise comes just four months after announcing an oversubscribed Series A, bringing Walnut’s total funding to date to $56 million. The company has grown 700% in ARR since commencing the previous round.
Walnut will also use this fresh round of financing to meet the increasing customer demand, grow the team across its different offices in the U.S, Europe, and Israel, as well as continue developing its unique technology and platform. Founded in January 2020 by serial entrepreneurs Yoav VIlner and Danni Friedland, Walnut’s drag-and-drop solution also eliminates the need for back-end teams and streamlines the demoing process by placing full control back in the hands of the sales team.
Entree Capital raises $300 million for two new funds to invest in early-stage Israeli tech startups. Entrée Capital, a global venture capital fund that invests in multi-stage startups and companies all over the world, said on Tuesday it raised $300 million for two new Israel-focused funds that aim to invest in early-stage Israeli startups. The latest investment brings total funds under the firm’s management to $1 billion. Entree said the new financing will enable the firm to invest largely in the areas of DeepTech, FinTech, Software as a Service (SaaS), DevOps and Web 3.0 – Crypto/Blockchain – Data/Cloud Infrastructure, as well as consumer and food tech.
Microsoft, Virgin back $200 million Series B investment in London-based autonomous mobility startup Wayve. Wayve, a London-based tech startup reimagining autonomous mobility through embodied intelligence, has raised $200 million in Series B funding backed by a prominent group of global financial and strategic investors. The round was led by Eclipse Ventures, with support from new global financial investors including Microsoft and Virgin founder Richard Branson.
Wayve was founded by a team of researchers from the Cambridge University engineering department. The team has developed an AI smart enough to learn how to drive a car by using just a computer and one camera, in about 20 minutes. Unlike other autonomous cars from bigger companies who rely on custom-built hardware for their autonomous vehicles, Wayve managed to make its own with only reinforcement learning as the foundation.
Big Tech Inc.
Microsoft buys video game giant Activision Blizzard in a $68.7 billion all-cash deal. Microsoft announced Tuesday it will buy video game giant Activision Blizzard in a $68.7 billion all-cash deal. The acquisition also bolsters Microsoft’s Game Pass portfolio with plans to launch Activision Blizzard games into Game Pass, which has reached a new milestone of over 25 million subscribers. As part of the deal, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, will continue to serve as CEO of Activision Blizzard. Once the deal closes, the Activision Blizzard business will report to Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming. Kotick has recently faced calls to resign over the cultural problems within his company.
OlympusDAO Establishes $OHM as Liquid Asset on Balancer. Decentralized reserve currency OlympusDAO OlympusDAO today announced the launch of $OHM as Liquid Asset on leading DeFi protocol Balancer. By migrating liquidity to Balancer Protocol, OlympusDAO establishes $OHM as a liquid asset within the Balancer ecosystem. This migration provides a path for Olympus Pro partners to leverage Balancer’s Liquidity Bootstrapping Pools (LBPs) to conduct initial fundraising denominated in OlympusDAO’s native token $OHM with the front end facilitated by CopperLaunch and PrimeDAO.
Crypto miners are the most common web threats with over 170K unique malicious URLs, new internet security threat report shows. For many years most common web threats come from a few malware families that share common characteristics including viruses, social engineering, malicious code, exploits, and cybercrimes. But that’s changing according to a new cybersecurity threat report.
According to the data presented by the Atlas VPN team, 177,753 unique URLs with crypto miners posed web threats from October 2020 to September 2021. Furthermore, nearly 70% of all detected web threat domains appear to be located in the United States. The data is based on Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 research, The Year in Web Threats: Web Skimmers Take Advantage of Cloud Hosting and More. The report observed and analyzed web threats trends between October 2020 and September 2021.