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Showing posts from May, 2018

Elastic Acquires Endgame For $234 Million

Elastic -- a publicly traded company that builds custom search solutions for enterprises -- has announced it's acquiring cyber-security startup Endgame in an all-stock deal worth $234 million. The acquisition is subject to customary adjustments. Endgame has raised $111 million in total funding according to Crunchbase data. The $234 million acquisition price is a near 50% discount to a previous $465 million valuation (Pitchbook data).

Endgame's backers include Kleiner Perkins, Bessemer Venture Partners, Columbia Capital, Edgemore Capital, Savano Capital Partners and Paladin Capital Group. The Arlington, Virgina-based security startup's customers include the U.S. military and some Fortune 500 companies.


Elastic says the addition of Endgame will further advance its ability to offer a comprehensive security solution that's integrated with its own security information and event management (SIEM) products. "....By joining forces with Elastic, we will be able to take ou…

The Skydio R1 self flying camera now films moving cars

image credit : Skydio

Skydio, The robotics company founded 4 years ago notable for its R1 autonomous drone which shoots 4K footage and could capture moments while following people around has now gotten an awesome feature which breaks ground in so many ways.

The drone can now follow moving cars while shooting footage, A new feature which will see it capturing much more better, daring and actionable moments which is a feature that can be likened to that of high budget Hollywood studios when making scenes involving automobiles.



This new feature dubbed "Car Follow" comes as a cinematic mode which films its users on four wheels and was made possible with the training of the drones' neural networks using a huge number data sets of different car images, The drone will make use of its 13 cameras for the feature of capturing nice footage and also autonomously guiding its locomotion from different positions.







The self-flying camera will gain this feature after a software update whi…

Warren Buffett almost invested $3 Billion in Uber

image credit : Flickr/DonkeyHotey

Several reports have emerged that legendary investor Warren Buffett had plans to invest a huge $3 Billion in Uber earlier this year until the deal fell through for different reasons, This reports have now been confirmed by Warren Buffett himself who said he's a great admirer of current Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi with Dara also stating in a recent CNBC interview that part of his business goals has been to get Warren Buffett to invest in something he's involved in, A goal which has not yet been marked.

Bloomberg reported that Warren Buffett proposed even a price well above $3 Billion for a convertible loan to the company which would have provided huge capital and profit for both sides as they continued to grow in value but the deal was later trimmed to a size of $2 Billion by CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and ultimately fell through when they couldn't agree on unified terms concerning the investment.

This comes as highly recognized investor Warren Bu…

WePlenish's smart container makes you never run out of Pantry supplies

image credit : WePlenish/Kickstarter

A new startup WePlenish has launched its new smart container on Kickstarter which is a product which automatically senses when pantry supplies are low and then re-orders them through online shopping site Amazon for the convenience of its customers.

The WiFi enabled smart container connects to Amazon Prime accounts to guarantee free 2 day shipping and easy returns with the pantry items being selected by the user, After being ordered, They are placed in the box by the owner and automatically re-ordered when taken out which continues the cycle thereby eradicating the stress of manual ordering and replacement of items by people themselves.




image credit : WePlenish/Kickstarter

This smart container which is integrated with Amazon's Dash replenishment service and contains sensors to measure quantity replaces Espresso capsules, K-Cup pods, snacks, candy and many other more pantries currently supported by the device and together with its minimalist desig…

Bird - Poised to be The first Scooter Unicorn

image credit : Bird

Electric Scooter vehicle sharing company Bird which was founded by a former Uber and Lyft executive has now been reported to be raising $150 million in a new round of funding to expand its services and fend off competition, A new round which will value the company at a huge $1 Billion making it the first electric scooter unicorn if it gets to close this funding round before its major competitor Lime who is also raising additional funds after raising a previous $132 million in funding.

It should also be noted that Bird has raised a previous total $115 million in funding and is currently operating in some cities where its electric scooters have been deployed, The company recently ordered a huge number of scooters from several manufacturers although there have been complaints from pedestrians that its scooters have obstructed roads and caused inconveniences for them, Anyway we expect that this is a problem Bird will fix soon using the best form of logistics.

Bird'…

Nio confidentially files for $2 Billion IPO

image credit : Nio

Nio, An electric vehicle manufacturer backed by a slew of Chinese companies previously raising a total of $2.1 Billion at a value of $5 Billion has confidentially filed for IPO with the U.S. SEC.

This will see the company who currently sells its electric Sports Utility Vehicle currently in China raise up to a reported $2 Billion over the Summer in this public offering of its shares.

This comes with previous reports that major tech investor Softbank was interested in acquiring a huge amount of the shares offered in the IPO for a price of $200 million, Nio's ES8 vehicle is a major competitor to the Tesla Model X in China where they both experience very good sales even with Nio's vehicle being more cheaper with The Nio ES8 costing $70,000 before incentives in comparison with Tesla's Model X which retails for over $100,000 in China due to tariffs placed on its importation which makes it more expensive than it is in the U.S.







Image credit : Nio

This major offer…

Taxify raises new huge round at a $1 Billion+ valuation

image credit: Taxify

Taxify, The popular ride-hailing app which gives Uber a ride for its profits in several European and African countries has raised a huge investment round of $175 million led by Automotive giant Daimler AG at a whooping $1 Billion valuation marking a new entry into the unicorn space.

The Estonian startup co-founded by brothers Markus and Martin Willig and currently led by 24 year old Markus Willig also counted investors Taavet Hinrikus who also co-founded Billion dollar fintech company TranferWise and Chinese ride hailing giant Didi Chuxing who re-invested in this round after previously investing an undisclosed 10 figure sum and providing Taxify with access to its network of knowledge and engineers to scale its operations.

Taxify is currently based in Estonia and operates in a network of 40 cities across Europe, Africa, The Middle East and Central America having a huge network of 500,000 riders and over 10 million global customers.






Taxify currently offers its servi…

Voodoo Games raises a huge $200 Million

image credit: Voodoo.io

Voodoo, A Paris based video game publisher notable for many games including Paper.io, Snake vs Block, Dunk Hit, Stack Jump and a slew of others has raised a huge $200 Million in funding to expand its operations, In turn developing a publishing space for mobile game developers.

The company made it known that during the ongoing Casual Connect conference which also featured speakers from other big game companies including Zynga, Netmarble and Naturalmotion that Goldman Sachs is a major investor in the company whilst its founders still retain a majority stake, The company didn't reveal how much it raised at the conference but major sources pegged the value at a huge $200 million.

Vodoo currently holds 9 positions in the top 25 downloaded games chart with the company also stating a huge number of 150 million monthly users and 300 million downloads last year with the company currently using a data-driven process which works very well for its release of casual mob…

Naspers pours $89 million into Frontier Car Group

image credit : FCG

The Frontier Car Group popularly known as FCG which is a German technology company dedicated to incubating innovation and investing in the transformation of several used car marketplace technologies around the globe has taken a huge round of funding from OLX Ventures which is in turn a subsidiary of South African based media giant Naspers.

This investment comes roughly three weeks after The Frontier Car Group announced a $58 million funding from several investors into the company, The technology company will now use these funds to greatly expand its investment into the various used car marketplaces it operates and backs in order to rapidly scale its mission and also improve revenue statistics.

This investment from OLX will also see FCG collaborate with and make use of its huge regional footprints in markets slated for huge growth opportunities to expand its own operations heavily.






FCG uses technology to promote the ease of transportation through the provision of aut…

Moviepass Parent Company slumps low even after huge increase in subscribers

Moviepass, The very popular subscription based ticketing services which charges a $9.95 per month flat fee for one movie a day access has seen its parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics' stock fall to a low $0.40 a share with the entire company being valued at just over $24 million.

Moviepass has not been favored by Wall Street analysts on reports of its heavy spending while losing money to raise revenues which is really growing for the company.

Helios and Matheson Analytics can be deemed as one who wasn't prepared for the public market but the private market which tolerates temporary money loss in a road to a very profitable future with high valuations.

Moviepass has garnered many users for its service, Above 2 million in particular and Moviepass's CEO Mitch Lowe says the company is still going well despite the recent stock slump to this price of $0.40 after once trading at a huge price of over $38.






The company is currently adding 90,000 subscribers per week to its…

The Autonomous technology companies winning right now

image credit : Cruise Automation

Autonomous vehicles have been a thing! - This has made driving much more better, Although not yet fully adapted, Self driving technology has grown so much over the years with so many startups gaining huge revenues, gaining huge investments and selling for huge amounts.

Cruise Automation sold to General Motors for $1 Billion, Zoox is valued at $1.55 Billion, Quanergy raised $90 million at a $1.59 Billion valuation and also on the list is its Mega competitor Velodyne which is valued at $2 Billion after raising $150 million from Ford and Baidu and is the worlds largest LiDar manufacturer as of now.

So many startups have come to this game, The list since endless, So far we have seen so many autonomous technology startups which include:


AlmotiveCruise AutomationDrive.aiNautoEmbarkOttoQuanergyStarsky RoboticsVelodyneWM MotorsZoox

And a slew of many others....

As the race to win the clear future of transportation, Big startups and companies have been pumping r…

Microsoft outs new game : Miami Street!

Well....brace up, Microsoft has unveiled  new game, Microsoft gives us car racing again, This time for the Windows 10 OS, This new game is so unique for its game-play support on all Surface devices.

Miami street is built for a broad audience who love easy to pick-up-and-play experiences according to Electric Square, The Game studio which partnered with Microsoft on the making of this video game which will be gradually rolled out to users for testing and feedback gathering.

This new game can be downloaded from the Microsoft store in the countries which its available in, It features One one One racing, realistic car control physics, Dynamic wide cameras, huge selection of cars and a swath of other amazing features.




In this game, You get to enter an event, choose your car lineup and opponent and then challenge your way to victory, You get to race in beautiful city streets and enjoy the speed and high quality race in very good definition.

The game also gets regular updates which players …

Our dear Tim Draper sings about crypto

image credit : Flickr/ JD Lasica

Notable tech investor and venture capitalist Tim Draper recently attended The  Next Web's crypto conference in the Netherlands capital of Amsterdam and gave a very nice talk on the future and current activities of the crypto world, But the fun really started when he took to the stage to sing about Bitcoin while donning a nice looking suit and a purple tie designed with bitcoin patterns, Bloomberg profiled the dude's amazing freestyle which the audience really seemed to enjoy.

Will @TimDraper break the charts with his singing skills? ‘I’m a Bitcoin hustle’ #TNW2018pic.twitter.com/pGMRZLSSXX — Kevin | 李大仁 (@kevinvdveer) May 25, 2018


The dude really spit some cool rhymes with nice flows like "We want a newwwww world ooorderrr, We wanna pay across the border" He continues "Just wanna be a hodler.....on my bitcoin hustle".

This lines came after Draper had a fireside chat on the topic of blockhain investment with Bloomberg markets a…

Top Hardware unicorns in the world right now

Unicorns (private companies valued at over $1 Billion) have grown globally over the years with over 200 in existence right now in so many tech sectors with the bulk coming from e-commerce and Fintech, Hardware has always been a very competitive space with companies getting to heavily go head-to-head with each other to grab consumer and enterprise attention, Right here, We are bringing the list of the current hardware unicorns that are making huge revenues and currently gaining very good traction, These companies all together are worth more than a whooping $70 Billion and got revenues of over $20 Billion last year alone.

They are:

Xiaomi

image credit : Xiaomi

Founded just 8 years ago by the 8 people pictured above with Lei Jun (middle) as the major player, Xiaomi which is notable for its high end smartphones coming at cheaper prices made a whooping $18 Billion in last year's revenue and currently commands a huge private valuation of $46 Billion after raising a total of $3.4 Billion a…

Your Graduation Gift Guide for this year's class

Currently and at some time soon this year, People are/will be graduating from different levels of the educational environment with this marking a very good moment of happiness for many, You know high-schoolers who hate school and could not wait to leave or PhDs who amazingly love what they do and can't wait to use their profound knowledge to go and impact the huge world out there, The same goes for all levels of education, People just belong to different categories.

If you're the one graduating, Kudos!, If its someone you know, Kudos! also, You are both very happy we deduce and would love to reward each other with amazing gifts to celebrate this milestone.

In your rewarding journey, We reward you with a guide on the gifts to buy to make yourselves happy, Get the consumerist experience and also make huge impact in your lives.

We present to you the:


During these special set of events, You would love to share and get gifts for others and yourself and The Techie has compiled the …

Self-Driving cars can now make speedy decisions in lane changes thanks to new research

image credit: MIT News

MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory Researchers have developed a new algorithm which lets self-driving cars make lane changes swiftly, accurately and easily.

The new algorithms will use less information but faster application to make self-driving cars capable of making emergency and swift lane changes to improve autonomous cars' handling of emergency situations to make them more adaptive to current road driving.

Previous algorithm solutions to this were based on complex information bombarded models that provided less time to the cars to take decisions on lane changes during speedy and unexpected situations or some were just too limited in deductions to make good decisions while on the road.

MIT aimed to change that with the goal of doing as much as possible with the least information required and effective and they have made a huge step in that through the development of this new system.



With this new algorithm, Vehicles will be…

Magento Commerce acquired for $1.68 Billion by Adobe

image credit: Adobe

11 years after its founding, Popular e-commerce platform for open innovation has been acquired in a huge deal worth $1.68 Billion from technology focused private equity firm Permira which notably purchased a slice of Cisco's Video business earlier this month for a huge $1 Billion.

This will see Magento's  platform which provides a wide range of tools, features and add-ons for businesses to host e-commerce solutions just like its major popular competitor Shopify integrate into Adobe's Experience Cloud to provide much more better Business-to-Business and Business-to-Consumer solutions in the e-commerce space adding this major industry to Adobe's list of offerings.

Magento which currently shares customers with $100 Billion+ giant Adobe many of which include huge brands Nestle, Coca-Cola and the Time Warner Music Group will merge their digital experiences and innovations which increases Adobe's content strength, Market share and product efficiency d…

Amazon India is worth what Walmart paid for its Flipkart Stake

image credit : Flickr via CC License

According to a new analysis from the highly recognized financial services firm Citi Research, Amazon's Indian unit has been valued at a huge $16 Billion which comes as the same price Walmart paid for a 77% stake in India's largest e-commerce unit Flipkart at a valuation of over $20 Billion dollars.

This makes Amazon India just $4 Billion shy of Flipkart's huge $20 Billion+ valuation and proves that Amazon is in for huge competition with the company in the Indian e-commerce space which is slated to grow heavily in the upcoming years making a huge win for those who achieve huge market share right now.

Citi’s senior analyst Mark May and Hao Yan stated in the report that Amazon is expected to reach sales of $70 Billion worth of gross merchandise volume and achieve over $10 Billion in revenue in just 9 years time from the country, Amazon is predicted to capture 35% of the e-commerce market in India according to this detailed analysis.

India&…

OneSpace launches China's first Private Space Rocket

OneSpace Technology, a Beijing based space exploration startup just launched its 30ft rocket dubbed The “Chongqing Liangjiang Star” marking it the first occurrence of a non-government body launching a commercial vehicle to space, The rocket took off from a Northwestern Chinese base with a blast on a mission to deliver a small satellite to space which will be used for research the startup is working to further its space exploration missions.

OneSpace built the rocket entirely using Chinese technology and made its launch as cheap as possible through the use of innovative but less expensive systems such as wireless communication through the internet which costs 30% in comparison with the use of wired internet systems which adds more weight to the rocket and greatly increases the cost of launch.

This comes as the company has raised a total of $78 million for its operations, A sum which seems huge for other industries but not in the expensive world of space exploration although all this w…

Drones can now be tested "In Virtual Reality"

Researchers at the previous Massachusetts Institute of Technology have broken grounds on a system which would be ultimately used to test and train drones without the physical constraints attached using a VR system, The exact way we humans step into an immersive world when we put on a VR headset now applies to intelligent drones, These drones will learn how to avoid obstacles and collisions, Move at great speed and also maneuver through different positions all while learning like its actually doing it in the real world.

This way, even when drones unfortunately hit an obstacle using this "Flight Goggles" system, The damages are studied and taken virtually as opposed to physical damage which takes a lot of time, delaying trials and costing much more money. This method simulates the drone's sensors moving it through a virtual world as seen in the video above preventing various obstacles such as high winds and different hanging obstacles such as transmission power lines whic…

Apple sold 600,000 Homepods in the first quarter of this year

image credit : Apple

Apple's Homepod smart speaker didn't really live up to hype although it has recently captured 6% of the Market as of recent selling 600,000 units according to recent analysis by Strategy Analytics.

Even why capturing this slice of the market, Major competitors Amazon, Google, Alibaba and Xiaomi took the largest part of the market coming with a 43.6%, 26.5%, 7.6% and 2.4% for the Chinese companies with the combined companies leaving the remaining 13%+ to other players and startups who will have to innovate and disrupt to extensively win in the market.

This new statistics comes as competition has rapidly increased with each companies market share being diluted amidst increase in no of sales of smart speakers generally and customers going for different brands among a wide selection to choose from. Amazon had a 94% market share last year  and has gotten to 43.6% whilst still being the leader amidst huge competition from a slew of technology companies and star…

Fidelity Labs and Amazon create a VR financial assistant "Cora"

Amazon, The company which just released its Sumerian VR developer tools fully to the public had to showcase to everyone what could be made of its platform or supposedly "what its platform was made of" and it did just that with the debut of a VR digital financial advisor in collaboration with Fidelity Investments which let people interact with their investments and financial tasks in 3D.

The VR financial advisor is named Cora and combines a voice-commanded bot along with exploration of investment aims in a very unique way for its users.

Cora listens to requests from its users for information on the stock performance and financial statistics of different companies and then outputs the resulting information as financial graphs as charts to the user in an immersive form.


This not only gets the user huge loads of information at an easy pace, Its immersive experience and data presentation through the use of visual charts also increases the learning and information gathering exper…

Tanium raises $175 million at a whooping $5 Billion dollar Valuation

Tanium CEO/co-founder Orion Hindawi

Notable enterprise cyber-security company Tanium has just recently raised a big round of $175 million in funding from renowned investment firm TPG Capital at a huge valuation of $5 Billion which prior to this owned quite a huge stake in the cyber company founded 11 years ago thereby increasing its ownership slice with this new investment.

This is more $1.2 Billion more than its previous valuation of $3.75 Billion which came with a investment round of $100 million which was also led by TOG as of last year, An additional sale of $25 million worth of stock from current shareholders is currently in discussion and is slated to occur anytime soon.

Popular and Major Silicon Valley investor Andressen Horowitz along with other investors have been previous backers and shareholders of this huge company founded by Father and Son duo David and Orion Hindawi 11 years ago.






Tanium has performed very well with a 100% revenue increase last year and a $300 million cas…

E-Grocer Good Eggs raises $50 Million to rapidly expand

image credit : Good Eggs

Good Eggs, The online grocery and meal kit delivery service company which operates currently in The Bay Area has raised $50 million in a new round led by Benchmark Capital with other investors including Index Ventures and Obvious ventures to expand rapidly in The Bay Area which they decided to focus on after discontinuing its service in other markets 3 years ago.

The company which backed out from Los Angeles in its move 3 years ago will now return to the city with its services with much more better delivery options. The company now offers the "Same day" delivery option like many of its competitors and now delivers both beer and cocktail kits.

Good Eggs delivers fresh products which it gets from local farmers and then ships through its San Francisco warehouse at a very fast rate which ensures the product freshness and quality, They provide the best quality perishables to customers which gives them a competitive edge on par with other major players lik…

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Angela Ahrendts Joins Airbnb's Board

Airbnb has added former Apple retail chief and ex Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts to its board. She'll serve as the company's third independent non-affiliated board member, the other two being former American Express CEO Ken Chenault and former Pixar Studios CFO Ann Mather (who also serves on the boards of Netflix, Alphabet, Arista Networks, Glu Mobile and Shutterfly).

Ahrendts led global retail at Apple for five years before stepping down this year to be replaced by three decade running Apple Veteran Deirdre O’Brien. Prior to Apple, she spent eight years as CEO of British luxury brand Burberry. She also spent 25 years in New York as an executive at fashion brand Liz Claiborne and as President of Donna Karan International prior to Burberry.


Other notable Airbnb board members include LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Sequoia's Alfred Lin, Andreessen Horowitz's Jeff Jordan, and co-founders Joe Gebbia, Brian Chesky, and Nathan Blecharczyk.



Boosted Boards Nabs $60 Million Series B Funding

Electric skateboard manufacturer Boosted has raised $60 million Series B funding co-led by Khosla Ventures and iNovia Capital with participation from existing investors Stanford-StartX Fund and Bay Meadows. This rounds brings the total raised by Boosted to over $70 million and will see former Google CFO and iNovia partner Patrick Pichette move from an existing independent board position at the company to a preferred board seat.

"Today’s generation is quickly adopting light electric vehicles as a superior way to commute, saving both time and money over existing options while enjoying the ride," Boosted CEO Jeff Russakow says. "However, the majority of lightweight vehicles on the street today are leisure-grade or toy-grade products, when riders need vehicle-grade products that provide exceptional acceleration and braking performance, safety, durability, and superior design."


"Boosted has been perfecting street-quality technologies for the electric skateboard ma…

Meet goPuff, A Low-key Delivery Company Worth $1 Billion

The food-delivery market is one with intense competition. The likes of DoorDash, Uber Eats, Postmates, Deliveroo, Swiggy, Just Eat, Yelp Eat 24, and more are steadily competing for global market share while also raising huge funding. Just recently, Deliveroo raised $575 million in a round led by Amazon. DoorDash has also raised $600 million Series G funding at a $12.6 billion valuation.

Amid the intense battle, it turns out there's one hot startup that has stayed low key to avoid the eye of rivals, but it seems word is getting out. That low-key hot startup is goPuff, on-demand convenience store delivery app that was valued at $1 billion last November after a financing round, according to regulatory filings reviewed by The Information. goPuff ships products to customers from centrally located facilities -- as opposed to direct pickup from stores -- in 81 U.S. cities.


The company -- based in Philadelphia -- stocks more than 3,000 products at its facilities which it then ships to cu…

Private equity giant Hellman & Friedman buys into home security startup SimpliSafe at a reported $1 Billion Valuation

image credit : SimpliSafe

Boston based home security startup SimpliSafe which provides self-installed security systems which are used by a huge number of homes in the U.S. has now sold a major interest in the company to Global private equity and investment giant Hellman & Friedman for an undisclosed sum which according to various sources values the company at a huge $1 Billion

The company which last raised $57 million in a Sequioa Capital led round and has been growing very well with the company counting over 300,000 customers as far as 2015 and a vast number of consumers currently making use of its suite of home security products.

This majority acquisition represents another move by Hellman & Friedman making huge acquisitions and bets in the technology space with the investment company's tech portfolio including notable companies like DoubleClick, Getty Images, Customer experience solutions company Genesys amidst other of its notable investments.

SimpliSafe will now conti…

Affirm Raises $300 Million Thrive Capital Led Round

Affirm - the online lending startup led by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin - has raised $300 million Series F funding led by Joshua Kushner's Thrive Capital, with participation from new investors Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary’s Sound Ventures, Baillie Gifford, Wellington Management and Fidelity, and returning investors GIC, Founders Fund, Spark Capital, Ribbit Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Moore Asset Backed Fund.

Affirm has now raised $800 million in total funding, with this round valuing the company at $2.9 billion according to Axios. Thrive Capital is getting a board seat at Affirm with its investment. The company has also announced new additions to its board and executive team. Former Groupon executive Silvija Martincevic is joining as Chief Commercial Officer, former PayPal executive Greg Fisher is joining as Chief Marketing Officer, ex OpenTable CEO Christa Quarles is joining as an independent board member.


Affirm, which allows its customers get loans of up to $15…

Wall Street Arrange Big Loans For China's Unicorns

Several investment banks -- like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley -- are known to have arranged big loans for U.S. tech unicorns. Companies that have taken on such big loans include the likes of Uber, Opendoor, WeWork, Dropbox, SpaceX, SoFi and Affirm to name a few. But recently, China's Bytedance got a $1.34 billion loan from a group dominated by Wall Street banks, pointing to a new area of interest from Wall Street lenders; Chinese companies.

China's tech unicorns are not conventionally known for taking on big loans, but this may be changing, with a Bloomberg piece stating that Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are arranging an up to $1 billion debt facility for Chinese real estate brokerage Beike Zhaofang, not too long after the brokerage secured $800 million in funding. Bloomberg also says Guazi -- fresh off  $1.5 billion in funding from Softbank earlier this year -- is in talks with banks for a credit facility of up to $400 million.


With historically low borrowing costs, …

Grab Reportedly Eyeing Banking License

According to a Reuters report, Grab -- the Singapore-based ride-hailing company valued at $14 billion -- is considering getting a banking license to offer online-banking services in Singapore as regulators in the city-state consider allowing online-only banks to operate. Reuters says Grab is close to enlisting a consultancy to give advice on its banking potential and is preparing to apply for a digital-only bank license if Singapore regulators open up the sector.

If this happens, it'll mark Grab's first foray into banking, not surprising given its massive funding ($8.8 billion total, according to Crunchbase data). Grab may be looking for ways to expand its reach and market prospects, with digital banking being attractive thanks to Southeast Asia’s growing payments market.


The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said last month that it was looking into the potential for letting “digital-only banks with non-bank parentage” into Singapore's market. According to Reuters, th…

Hyundai Takes Stake In Aurora

Shortly after Aurora partnered with Fiat Chrysler to develop self-driving vehicles, Hyundai has announced it has invested an undisclosed sum in Aurora, cementing a strategic partnership -- to work on self-driving technologies -- formed between both parties in 2018. With this investment, Hyundai and Aurora have agreed to expand research to other vehicle models, with the latter now working to build a custom self-driving platform for Hyundai and -- its subsidiary brand -- Kia's driverless vehicles.

Hyundai says its self-driving vehicles will "enhance their ability to monitor, react, and adapt to different surroundings" with the addition of "Driver", Aurora's self-driving stack. This stack is what Aurora earlier agreed to sell to Fiat Chrysler. Hyundai has made some waves in the driverless vehicle world, having successfully demonstrated self-driving tech in urban environments at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The company also debuted a fleet of driv…

Volvo And Uber Debut New Automated Car

Volvo and Uber have teamed up for a new self-driving car that'll be equipped with self-driving features at the factory level as opposed to fitting already made cars with Uber's own self-driving technology. The new vehicle is a Volvo XC90 SUV that the automaker says is "capable of fully driving itself" when combined with technology developed by Uber ATG.

The new self-driving vehicle is equipped with more safety features, the most prominent being back-up systems for steering and braking functions. The systems are designed to get the vehicle to a halt if any of its primary systems fail. There's also battery back-up power for the vehicles.


Volvo and Uber entered a commercial agreement in 2016 for Volvo to supply tens of thousands of self-driving vehicles in coming years. This new vehicle is based on the partnership.

Volvo plans to put this new vehicle to work by 2020.



Juul Sales Boom

According to a Bloomberg piece, popular e-cigarette maker Juul has told investors that sales have gotten stronger after a short period of lowered sales late last year, due to a pulling off of some flavored vape products in the U.S. stemming from increasing popularity with underage users. According to Bloomberg, Juul said -- in a letter to investors -- that its first quarter sales were $528 million, up 23% from $430 million a year earlier.

Juul was previously reported to be expecting $3.4 billion in sales this year. An earlier conference call from Altria -- which purchased 35% of Juul for $12.8 billion in December -- said Juul sold 175 million refill pods in the U.S. in Q1, up from 64 million a year earlier. In Q4 2018, Juul told investors it had $70.4 million in adjusted losses and more than $700 million cash on hand.


But increased sales come with increased scrutiny. Juul is facing increased probes from regulators in the U.S., India and other places, with critics saying the company h…