Top tech startup news for Wednesday, February 22, 2023: 0N1 Force, Amazon, Blocto, HireLogic, and Meta
Good evening! Below are some of the top tech startup news stories for today Wednesday, February 22, 2023.
Amazon closes the $3.9 billion deal to acquire primary care provider One Medical
Eight months after acquiring primary healthcare provider One Medical, Amazon on Wednesday announced it had closed the $3.9 billion all-cash deal to deepen its presence in healthcare and reinvent the “healthcare experience.” In a news release, Amazon said the acquisition of One Medical “will help more people get better care, when and how they need it.”
The multi-billion deal also gives Amazon access to One Medical’s more than 200 brick-and-mortar medical offices in 26 markets, and roughly 815,000 members.
The e-commerce giant has long had ambitions to foray into health care. In 2018, Amazon bought the online pharmacy PillPack for $750 million and then launched its own virtual clinic for chronic conditions, and prescription perks for Prime members.
“Customers want and deserve better, and that’s what One Medical has been working and innovating on for more than a decade,” Jassy said in a statement. “Together, we believe we can make the health care experience easier, faster, more personal, and more convenient for everyone.”
For a limited time, Amazon said it would offer a 28% One Medical membership discount to new U.S. customers for $144 for the first year—the equivalent of only $12 per month. Amazon acquired One Medical in July 2022 to tap into the $3 trillion healthcare industry and lower the cost of healthcare for consumers.
“We’re on a mission to make it dramatically easier for people to find, choose, afford, and engage with the services, products, and professionals they need to get and stay healthy, and coming together with One Medical is a big step on that journey,” said Neil Lindsay, senior vice president of Amazon Health Services. “One Medical has set the bar for what a quality, convenient, and affordable primary care experience should be like. We’re inspired by their human-centered, technology-forward approach and excited to help them continue to grow and serve more patients,” Amazon said.
HireLogic raises $6 million in Series A funding to modernize the antiquated interview processes using AI
The hiring landscape is constantly evolving as employers find it increasingly difficult to find top talent. During the summer of 2021, a record 4.3 million Americans voluntarily quit their jobs in what some are calling the beginning of the “Great Resignation.”
The number is a reminder of the problem faced by employers as they compete to attract top candidates who are unmotivated to return to the workforce. Now, one AI tech startup is aiming to help companies identify the best candidates through better interview data and AI-assisted insights through its AI-powered interview intelligence platform.
We covered HireLogic back in May after the startup raised $4 million in seed funding from prominent investors to continue the expansion of its platform’s capabilities, including applied machine learning, integration to video conferencing platforms, and applicant tracking systems (ATS). Since then, HireLogic has grown exponentially as more companies use its platform to streamline their legacy hiring process.
To meet the increasing demand for its AI-powered interview intelligence platform, HireLogic announced today it has raised $6 million in a Series A funding round led by Joseph P. Landy, former Partner and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Warburg Pincus, with participation from existing investors.
The latest round, which brings the company’s total funding to over $10 million, will be used to advance the capabilities of its conversational analytics platform, expand go-to-market activities, and meet the demands of the firm’s growing customer base.
In conjunction with the funding, HireLogic also announced that Mr. Joseph P. Landy will join its board of directors, alongside Noam Eisenberg and Anirban Chakrabarti. During his 35-year tenure at Warburg Pincus, Mr. Landy grew the firm’s private equity assets under management to $56 billion and led the investment in areas including information technology, Internet applications, and infrastructure. Mr. Landy has previously served as a board member of CrowdStrike, Neustar Inc., Covad Communications, and Bausch & Lomb Inc.
Blocto Wallet is making waves again just three months after the Mark Cuban-backed startup launched a $3 million Aptos Ecosystem Fund to help projects onboard new users to Aptos. Blocto, the multichain Web3 ecosystem and cross-chain wallet, saw its valuation up 700% following Series A funding from its backer Mark Cuban, and others.
In an announcement today, Blocto announced it has closed its Series A funding round at an $80 million valuation. Joining Blocto on its mission to simplify blockchain technology for a broader user base are advisor and investor Mark Cuban and returning investor venture capital firm 500 Global. The funds raised will support Blocto as it develops the infrastructure to onboard millions of users to crypto.
Joining Cuban and 500 Global is the global character brand IPX (formerly Line Friends). Other previous Blocto investors and advisors include Kevin Chou of Gen. G Esport; Roham Garegozlou, CEO of Dapper Labs; blockchain gaming giant Animoca Brands; among other notable names.
Despite the lull in the crypto markets, portto remains profitable and user metrics continue to surge. As of November 2022, Blocto has amassed 1.6 million users, and BloctoBay is the most popular non-custodial NFT marketplace on the Flow blockchain. After its recent expansion into the Aptos ecosystem — as part of its chain-agnostic efforts to drive mass adoption across multiple networks — Blocto has quickly established itself as the second-largest Aptos wallet with more than 400,000 users.
Facebook parent company Meta Platforms is planning a fresh round of layoffs that could affect thousands of workers just a few weeks after CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised no more layoffs, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday.
According to the report, the new job cuts are part of the company’s reorganization and downsizing effort. Last year, the social media giant said it will let go of 13% of its workforce, or more than 11,000 employees, as it grappled with soaring costs and a weak advertising market.
On November 9, Facebook’s Meta laid off 13% of its total workforce, or more than 11,000 employees, as it struggled with soaring costs and a weak advertising market. The company also lost $700 billion of its value over a risky metaverse bet.
Meta said the affected employees will receive 16 weeks of pay plus two additional weeks for every year of service, Zuckerberg said. Meta will cover health insurance for six months. Zuckerberg also said the company spent around $3.7 billion in 2022 in paying out severance as well as terminating office leases.
“We closed last year with some difficult layoffs and when we did this, I said clearly that this was the beginning of our focus on efficiency and not the end,” Zuckerberg said. adding that further layers of middle management could still be trimmed.
NFT project 0N1 Force, a comic-focused, blue-chip NFT collection, has been acquired by a collective of crypto industry veterans led by blockchain investment firm Old Fashion Research (OFR). The total amount of the transaction was not disclosed.
According to the acquisition agreement, current project leader Henry Finn (Starlordy) will become CEO of the group and existing community moderators will also be retained. The founders of 0N1 Force have left the venture. Old Fashion Research is a multi-strategy blockchain investment firm founded by executives from the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange.
In a statement, Ling Zhang, Managing Partner of Old Fashion Research, said: “We appreciate 0N1 Force’s creative narratives and its vision in building the comic-focused 0N1 Vers. 0N1 Force has a vibrant and supportive community under Starlordy’s leadership, and we are excited to join the force to the core community to build a promising 0N1 Verse.”
Henry Finn added, “It is my great pleasure and honor to continue serving the 0N1 Force community under new ownership that has my complete faith and a very special thank you to the board members who were all instrumental in supporting this transition.
“The new ownership group is filled with passionate supporters of art and storytelling, and their sincere energy has already given new life to this storied brand. Their vision and resources will give us the strong foundation needed to help 0N1 Force reach its fullest potential alongside any blue chip in the market.”
As part of the buyout, a brand-new 0N1 Force community board will be formed featuring Finn, Zhang, OFR Strategic Advisor and ex-Binance CFO Wei Zhou, as well as new Chief Strategy Officer William Tong and Yield Guild COO Colin Goltra, who will be joining the project as a Senior Advisor and Investor.
“I love 0n1 Force because of its unique community-driven storytelling narrative. We will build on this early success to grow the Enclave into the mothership of world-class IPs. “ Wei Zhou, OFR’s Strategic Advisor, Coins.ph CEO, and ex-Binance CFO said.
System-3 lands $2.6M Seed funding to help companies remove bias and objectively identify emerging leadership talent
System-3 is a Toronto, Canada-based tech startup that uses algorithms and models to reduce bias and support objective decision-making so companies can effectively evaluate if candidates have the core competencies required for executive leadership. System-3 empowers companies to objectively identify and evaluate current and emerging leadership talent. The startup recently received a new cash infusion to take its predictive Leadership Simulation solution to the next level
Today, System-3 announced it has raised CAD$3.6 million ($2.6 million) in seed funding led by Round13 Capital, with participation from several undisclosed angel investors. System-3 will use the funding proceeds to enhance its predictive simulation software that mitigates inherent bias and predicts executive performance for the evaluation and selection of candidates for executive leadership roles.
The company will also the fund to support its continued growth and expansion into global markets; enable it to build out its partner channel; and grow its sales and marketing team.
Founded in 2021 by founder and CEO Elan Pratzer, System-3 is radically changing how organizations manage their leadership talent. Its predictive Leadership Simulation solution uses algorithms and models that reduce bias and support objective decision-making so companies can effectively evaluate if candidates have the core competencies required for executive leadership while under pressure.
Using its SaaS-based Leadership Simulation solution, System-3 enables companies to determine whether leaders deploy the core competencies required today for successful executive leadership while under pressure. It does this with immersive simulations of real-life executive business challenges that require complex decision-making, empowering companies to objectively look beyond “have you done it before” evaluations and instead measure actual performance to determine if an individual can and will lead effectively.
The benefit of this approach, according to Elan Pratzer, CEO and founder of System-3, “is the mitigation of the enormous economic cost of poor talent selection and retention.”
Since launching its solution in May 2022, System-3 has built an impressive client roster of enterprise companies and consulting firms that are using its predictive technology to evaluate team effectiveness and inform decisions for succession planning, talent selection, and talent development.