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Slack Has A $250 Million Five-Year AWS Contract

Slack just went public via a direct listing that reaped big returns for VCs that backed the company when it traded in private hands. The company's valuation eclipsed $20 billion on its first day of trading, nearly tripling its pre-IPO $7.1 billion valuation. As is always the case, Slack filed with the SEC before going public. We previously touched on several key takes from Slack's SEC filing in regards to financial and business metrics.

But one key take we didn't touch on was Slack's contract with Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud subsidiary of e-commerce giant Amazon that made nearly $26 billion last year. Slack's SEC filing made note of a $250 million five year contract with AWS that runs from the 1st of May 2018 to the 31st of July 2023. The contract -- broken down to $50 million each year -- was a renewal of an already existing agreement with AWS, indicating Slack previously spent huge sums on the cloud hosting service.


This contract is just another indicat…

Autonomous trucking startup Kodiak Robotics gets $40 million in Series A investment

Kodiak co-founders Don Burnette (left) and Paz Eschel (right)
  image credit : Kodiak

Self driving truck startup Kodiak Robotics notably started by Otto co-founder Don Burnette along with Battery Ventures former VC Paz Eschel has now raised $40 million in Series A funding just 3 months after its start with the round led by Battery Ventures with participation from CRV, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Tusk Ventures.

Battery Ventures General Partner Itzik Parnafes will be joining Kodiak's board with this round being notable as quite a huge sum for a new startup in the rapidly growing autonomous industry.

Don Burnette previously co-founded Otto which was snapped up by Uber in 2016 for $680 million in stock although most of this amount wasn't dished out as it came in form of vesting options for its team of which some exited Uber in the wake of the Waymo scandal where the self driving leader's parent company Alphabet accused Uber of stealing trade secrets downloaded by Otto co-founder and CEO Anthony Lewandowski which it said was illegally obtained when Levandowski worked at Google leading its self driving team.





Along with former venture capitalist Paz Eschel, Burnette has teamed up to build a presence in the self driving truck industry aiming to alleviate the strain on the truck freight market estimated which generates over $700 billion in revenue annually according to the American Trucking Associations (ATA) through the application of self-driving technology.

“This financing, coming just three months after founding Kodiak Robotics, is a huge validation for our vision,” Burnette said. “We believe self-driving trucks will likely be the first autonomous vehicles to support a viable business model, and we are proud to have the support of such high-profile investors to help us execute on our plan.”

“Autonomous driving is likely one of the most major technology shifts of the last 100 years,” Battery’s Itzik Parnafes added. “We have been researching this trend for several years and feel confident we are backing an experienced, savvy team that can capitalize on the opportunity in a unique way.”

Kodiak is making use of this financing to boost product development and expand its current team to build more products and make more efforts for the autonomous vehicle industry.




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