Skip to main content

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…

E-commerce startup Brandless raises $240 million Series C round from Softbank, GV, NEA and 2 others

  image credit : Brandless

Brandless, The e-commerce startup whose site launched just last year and is notable for its store which sells everything for the price of $3 has now raised $240 million in a Series C round led by Softbank with participation from 4 other firms consisting of  Alphabet's GV, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Redpoint Ventures and Sherpa Capital.

The 4 other VC firms participating in this round are notable returning investors having participated in Brandless' 3 previous rounds where the San Francisco based e-commerce company raised $49 million in total.

Brandless is putting this funding towards expanding its logistics and data investments as well as putting more resources into faster product manufacturing and distribution.

Launching just July last year, Brandless now offers over 300 branded products and ships to 48 states across the U.S. having also donated over 1.5 million meals to non-profit food bank network Feeding America as part of its one-for-one social mission business model.






This funding round marks another major investment led by Softbank's Vision Fund, The $100 Billion investment vehicle renowned for its several huge bets on various tech and data driven companies including Uber, Cruise, DoorDash, Roivant, Flipkart, Slack, Light and PolicyBazaar.

Writing on the investment in a recent blog post, Brandless co-founder and CEO Tina Sharkey stated:

  • "SoftBank thinks longer term and bigger. They are investing in founders that are building new industries, not just fixing broken systems. When Ido (co-founder) and I shared our vision for Brandless, our progress, and our dreams, they smiled and began to sketch the possibilities with us." 
 Sharkey previously held positions at digital media companies AOL, BabyCenter and iVillage and left the position of CEO at entrepreneur and startup consultancy service Sherpa Foundry to start Brandless along with  Israeli-born Australian serial entrepreneur Ido Leffler launching on the 11th of July 2017 to several mixed reviews and notable ones with Fortune magazine dubbing it "the next Procter and Gamble for millennials." 

Brandless with this round which values the startup at just over $500 million now has access to solid capital and Softbank's renowned companies and investment network which counts related e-commerce and data driven startups which would be of good advantage to Brandless' ecosystem.

With this investment, Softbank Managing Partner Jeff Housenbold is joining the board of the 90 employee grocery e-commerce startup.


    Comments

    Most Read Posts

    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…

    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.



    Badoo To Splurge $100 Million On Dating Apps

    Badoo -- a popular dating service whose holding company also controls a 79% stake in female focused dating app Bumble -- has said it would overhaul its holding structure and spend $100 million on dating apps under its holdings. The company has set up a new holding company -- named Magic Lab --  that'll serve as parent for its brands, which include dating apps Badoo, Lumen and Chappy.

    This move is likely being made to hold strong against competition from Match Group's Tinder and also Facebook, which rolled out a dating feature to 14 more countries roughly one month ago.

    Badoo is undoubtedly a leader in online dating, with more than 400 million users. The company is said to be weighing an IPO and has also been reported to be shopping Bumble, for a price tag hovering around $1.5 billion.

    Badoo made an official announcement of its planned investment on Friday.



    FDA Picks Four Companies For Blockchain-Based Drug Tracking

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has selected IBM, Walmart, KPMG and pharmaceutical giant Merck to be included in a program focused on leveraging blockchain tech to identify and track prescription drugs and Vaccines distributed within the US. The program is aimed at assisting parties involved in the drug supply chain -- including the FDA -- in developing an electronic system that will help trace certain prescription drugs and Vaccines distributed within the US.

    As part of the program, the four companies will work on a shared blockchain network that allows real-time tracking of products. The network will focus on reducing time needed to track and trace inventory, to make retrieval of distribution information faster.

    A pilot program on this is scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year, with next steps to be taken -- by the four companies -- evaluated at this point.