Top tech startup news for Wednesday, April 19, 2023: Coinbase, EdgeQ, EquipmentShare, Facebook, and Tesla
Good evening! Below are some of the top tech startup news stories for Tuesday, April 18, 2023.
Facebook users can now file a claim for a $725 million privacy settlement
Facebook users have until August 2023 to claim their share of a $725 million class-action settlement of a lawsuit that alleged privacy violations by the social media giant, a new website reveals. So, if you had a Facebook account between May 2007 and December 2022, you are now eligible to make a claim and receive a portion of the $725 million settlement in a class action lawsuit.
As we reported late last year, Facebook’s Meta agreed to pay $725M to settle the Cambridge Analytica scandal for accessing 87 million users’ data without their consent after four years of a legal battle. According to a court filing disclosed in the Northern District of California, the proposed settlement would resolve a long-running case prompted by revelations in 2018 that Facebook had allowed Cambridge Analytica to access the data of Facebook users.
The lawsuit is related to Facebook’s involvement with Cambridge Analytica, a firm that gathered personal information from 87 million Facebook users. Meta, Facebook’s parent company, has not accepted any wrongdoing as part of the settlement, which concludes a lengthy legal battle.
Meta’s spokesperson stated that the company did not acknowledge any wrongdoing and pursued a settlement in the best interests of its community and shareholders. “We pursued a settlement as it’s in the best interest of our community and shareholders,” the spokesperson said. There was no further comment provided by the spokesperson regarding the matter.
Construction startup EquipmentShare lands $290M in funding to provide contractors access to equipment and tech
The construction business has not undergone significant change throughout the years despite all the technological developments in other fields. In the past 60 to 70 years, the industry hasn’t undergone any significant changes in terms of production or safety. It’s for this reason that one tech startup is on a quest to revolutionize and alleviate the pain points faced by contractors and companies.
Enter EquipmentShare, a Columbia, Missouri-based tech startup that offers a peer-to-peer equipment rental platform for the construction industry. The company was founded in 2014 by two brothers, William and Jabbok Schlacks, who grew up in a family of construction workers and saw an opportunity to improve the way equipment is rented and managed on job sites.
Their goal was to create a more efficient and cost-effective way to rent construction equipment. Over the years, the brothers are able to form construction, technology, and general contracting companies, gaining first-hand experience in the construction industry, the founders said on the company’s website.
EquipmentShare’s platform allows construction companies to rent out their underutilized equipment to other companies in need, reducing the need for large capital expenditures on equipment and helping to optimize the use of existing resources. The company also offers equipment tracking and management software that helps construction companies monitor their equipment usage and maintenance needs.
EquipmentShare is not just another equipment rental company, its platform uses telematics technology to track the location, utilization, and maintenance needs of rental equipment in real-time, allowing customers to manage their fleet more efficiently and reduce downtime. The company also offers a range of other services, including insurance, financing, and equipment sales.
To move construction into the 21st century, EquipmentShare is building solutions that connect data points from all aspects of the job site in one place so contractors can gain control over their operations. Starting by connecting the asset vertical, today the two brothers are building an ecosystem of connectivity through a powerful operating system called T3.
Today, EquipmentShare announced today it has closed $290 million in new funding to grow its platform. The round was led by funds afﬁliated with BDT Capital Partners, with participation from existing investors such as RedBird Capital Partners, Tru Arrow Partners, and Sound Ventures, as well as several new investors including Brown Advisors.
The present-day framework for connectivity and computation relies on outdated networks that are predominantly self-contained and monolithic. As more advanced and new devices such as drones, autonomous vehicles, and robotics are integrated into the network, it becomes increasingly important to ensure dependable connectivity and artificial intelligence (AI) compute at the edge.
Traditional, purpose-built fixed hardware can no longer scale efficiently and economically to support 5G service-oriented applications. Therefore, a new modern approach is required to harness fast connectivity and AI compute at both the device and infrastructure levels. This is the problem that one artificial intelligence startup is on a mission to solve.
EdgeQ is a Silicon Valley startup that aims to deliver a converged 5G and AI silicon platform that is open and software programmable for both devices and edge infrastructure. By introducing open programmability to the baseband, EdgeQ provides a new software-driven development model for OEMs and operators that can support existing cellular protocols, such as 4G, 5G, and beyond. EdgeQ is the first company to deliver the world’s first 5G Base Station-on-a-chip.
We covered EdgeQ back in 2020 when the startup emerged from stealth with $51 million in funding to fuse AI compute and 5G within a single chip. Since then, the EdgeQ team has been working around the clock to commercialize their product.
Fast forward almost three years later, EdgeQ announced today it has raised $75 million in new funding to help ramp up production as the company starts selling its technology to customers, including telecom operators. Alongside the funding, EdgeQ also announced that Lattice Semiconductor Corp CEO Jim Anderson is joining EdgeQ’s board of directors.
Founded by Vinay Ravuri, the Santa Clara, California-based EdgeQ is a 5G systems-on-a-chip company. EdgeQ aims to address the untapped 5G infrastructure market as the first company to converge 5G connectivity and AI compute onto a system-on-a-chip. The company is led by executives from Qualcomm, Intel, and Broadcom, EdgeQ is pioneering converged connectivity and AI that is fully software-customizable and programmable.
Earlier today, Microsoft announced it is dropping Twitter from its advertising platform after the tech giant refused to pay Twitter’s API fees. Microsoft’s decision came a few days just before Twitter moves to its new high-priced API, which starts at $42,000 per month.
As it turned out, Microsoft has been using Twitter data illegally to train its AI, Twitter CEO Elon Musk revealed in a post this evening.
“They trained illegally using Twitter data. Lawsuit time,” Musk tweeted.
They trained illegally using Twitter data. Lawsuit time.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 19, 2023
“Starting on April 25, 2023, Smart Campaigns with Multi-platform will no longer support Twitter,” Microsoft said(opens in a new tab). A similar email has begun to go out to Microsoft Advertising users stating that “Digital Marketing Center (DMC) will no longer support Twitter starting on April 25, 2023.”