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Amazon said to be gearing to acquire Landmark Theatres

Retail giant Amazon is now said to be contending for an acquisition of 56 cinema strong movie chain Landmark Theatres in a bid to make more moves and disruption in the brick-and-mortar scene.

Landmark Theatres is owned by Wagner/Cuban Cos. with the name notably referencing to its two tech entrepreneur owners Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner who reaped a good fortune selling now defunct internet broadcasting service to Yahoo for $5.7 Billion in 1999.

An acquisition would indicate the tech behemoth looking to tap into another market consisting of a good customer base for its current streaming and movie production services as Amazon which as of current hasn't made any official comments concerning acquisition reports looks to expand into larger market segments in a bid to grow its vast consumer reach.

Landmark currently counts presence in high-profile locations including LA, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Santa Cruz and Seattle with a total count of 2…

Enterprise data management startup Actifio gets $100 million funding at $1.3 Billion valuation

image credit : Actifio

Massachusetts based enterprise software startup has now raised another $100 million in funding from Crestline, Andreessen Horowitz, 83North and other investors with this Series F round valuing the company at $1.3 Billion up from its most previous $1 Billion valuation when it raised $100 million in a 2014 Series E funding round.

The “data as a service” technology company is moving closer to an IPO and is now seeking profitability and growth for its business having raised $307 million in total since its start in 2009.

Actifio's technology provides quick access to customer data for enterprises with additional data management and protection capabilities including analytics, business continuity, governance and security working on cloud based, virtual machines and physical platforms.

Defense, healthcare, IT, financial and several other categories of firms currently make use of Actifio's technology to speed up processes and gain data management solutions.

Counting the likes of Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV), Tiger Global, Andressen Horowitz, Greylock and other notable names among its investor roster in addition to current partnerships with the likes of Oracle, Microsoft, Intel, IBM, Google, SAP, Amazon Web Services(AWS), Nutanix, Dell EMC, Red Hat, SUSE and other major software vendors for its service.

Actifio is currently focused on the reach of profitability as stated by its CEO and co-founder Ash Ashutosh with the company currently working towards the goal.


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Uber adds former NSA General Counsel to lead its security team

Uber Technologies has named former Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Matthew Olsen as its Chief Trust and Security Officer in a new move which marks efforts by the company to boost security for its data crucial global ride-hailing network.

As announced by its CEO Dara Khosrowshahi on Tuesday, Olsen will be replacing former cybersecurity chief Joe Sullivan who left the company after revelations of a massive data breach concerning tens of millions of users was outed and now heads security at web-performance and security startup CloudFlare.

Thrilled to have Matt Olsen on board as #Uber Chief Trust and Security Officer. He has more than earned the respect of our team at all levels while working with us over the last few months - — dara khosrowshahi (@dkhos) August 14, 2018Olsen has served as chief legal adviser to the NSA in addition to holding various leadership positions at government agencies and joined Uber last year as an adviser with him now …

Chinese co-working startup MyDreamplus nabs $120 million in round led by Hillhouse and General Atlantic

Chinese co-working startup and WeWork China competitor MyDreamplus has now raised $120 million in a new funding round co-led by Chinese investment giant Hillhouse Capital and General Atlantic with participation from other investors including Joy Capital, Ocean Link, K2VC and M31 Capital.

This funding which brings the total raised by the 3 year old Chinese startup to nearly $190 million comes on the heels of MyDreamPlus's expansion as it aims to double its floor space within the next 12 months.

As competition in the Chinese co-working space heats up, MyDreamPlus would have to expand its presence across the region to keep up with demands from customers and would make use of this funding to boost its growth.

It's grown to 37 locations tailored for local demands across China since its inception with 25 of them located in Beijing with others across Hangzhou, Chengdu, Shanghai and Xi'an.

With 300,000 square meters of office space as of current, MyDreamPlus is growing at the rat…

Uber reportedly told by investors to sell its self-driving unit

Ride-hailing giant Uber has been reportedly told by investors to sell its self-driving vehicle unit over mounting losses as per a new piece from The Information which cites an unnamed person familiar with the issue.

Uber's Advanced Technologies Group which comprises of its autonomous vehicle efforts has racked up losses between $125 million to $200 million each quarter for the past 18 months equivalent to between 15% and 30% of its quarterly losses as reported by Uber indicating the unit taken huge investments amid a not yet clear commercialization path.

Over the past 3 years, Uber has invested at least $2 Billion into the unit making efforts to boost its autonomous vehicle base amid competition with the likes of Waymo and several other major self driving startups.

Uber still needs to develop its autonomous vehicle efforts in order to gain a good stand in the long term and would have to figure out ways to court other self driving vehicle developers to its own network and find way…

Elon Musk outs more info on considered Tesla takeover

In a new blog post today penned by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, The EV maker leader dished more information about the considered Tesla take over at $420 per share with Musk outing key info which includes that the proposed deal would not outcome as an outright acquisition of all Tesla stock as shareholders who desire to keep shares in a newly formed private entity would be allowed to do so along with the Tesla CEO stating that the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund has made discussions about taking Tesla private multiple times "in an important bid to diversify from oil".

Musk defended his tweet of stating "funding secured" already for the deal stating that by the time He concluded a July 31st meeting with the Saudi sovereign fund which had built up a 5% stake in the EV maker,A deal was already sure of being closed with the country's investment fund.

Quoting Musk:

"I left the July 31st meeting with no question that a deal with the Saudi sovereign fund could be clo…

SoFi said to be seeking credit line of up to $1 Billion

Fintech unicorn SoFi has been reported to be in discussions with local banks aiming for a credit line of up to $1 Billion with the deal said to be precursor to an IPO expected to take place sometime next year.

As per Bloomberg, The SF based company which focuses on online lending even as it makes moves to become a full fledged digital finance firm has approached several financial institutions for a potential loan citing people familiar to the matter.

In the past, SoFi has raised about $150 million in credit facilities in addition to around $1.8 Billion in equity financing which would make it not the first time the company would be taking on a credit line.

Last month, The Wall Street Journal reported of SoFi seeking for a $500 million unsecured credit line geared towards acquisitions but with more expansion as it seeks to offer a vast array of online financial services, It might be tapping into more cash reserves for its operations.

Since taken the position of CEO as the company, form…

Netflix CFO David Wells is stepping down

Online Streaming and media giant Netflix has now announced its 8 year long CFO David Wells will be stepping down from his role after he gets to choose a successor from a search involving both internal and external candidates as he gets to leave his current position in his 14th year at the company.

Wells joined Netflix 2 years after it went public before ascending to the CFO position 6 years later being among the team which has seen Netflix scale from just a movie rental service to a global digital streaming and production giant counting blockbuster movies and major Hollywood names amongst its portfolio.

"It's been 14 wonderful years at Netflix, and I'm very proud of everything we've accomplished," Wells said. "After discussing my desire to make a change with Reed (Netflix CEO), we agreed that with Netflix's strong financial position and exciting growth plans, this is the right time for us to help identify the next financial leader for the company. Perso…

Alphabet takes stake in Oscar Health with $375 million investment

NY based healthcare startup Oscar has now gotten a $375 million investment from tech giant Alphabet boosting the total raised by Oscar notable for its health insurance product offerings to about $1.3 Billion across several rounds.

Notably founded by a team consisting of its current CEO Mario Schlosser, Kevin Nazemi and Joshua Kusher (brother of Jared), Oscar has grown to a very good position since its founding 5 years ago garnering backing from the likes of Khosla Ventures, 8VC, Fidelity, General Catalyst, Breyer Capital, Thrive Capital, Goldman Sachs, Stanley Druckenmiller and several notable names, Oscar has grown from just from offering its service to individuals to several business offerings for the healthcare industry.

The New York based startup last raised $165 million prior to this round March this year at a valuation around $3 Billion which remains similar to this one while giving Alphabet a roughly 10% stake in Oscar.

Longtime Google executive and former YouTube CEO Salar Ka…

Kroger and Nuro ride into Arizona with autonomous delivery

Well over a month after announcing a partnership with robo-delivery startup Nuro, Grocery giant Kroger is now bringing self-driving grocery delivery to the state of Arizona with deleveries through Nuro's self driving Toyota Priuses starting this Thursday.

This is the first project for the 2 year old startup launched by two Google autonomous vehicle project veterans which came out of stealth mode with a $92 million funding round announced early this year.

Customers will now be able to order from a single Fry's food location paying a flat robo-delivery fee of $5.95 with no minimum order.

"We're excited to launch our autonomous vehicle delivery pilot with Fry's in Scottsdale," said Kroger Chief Digital Officer Yael Cosset. "Kroger wants to bring more customers the convenience of affordable grocery delivery, and our pilot with Nuro will help us test and learn to understand customer acceptance of autonomous vehicles in our seamless offering"

Nuro's …

Ucommune said to be aiming for $200 million funding round and IPO as early as next year

On the heels of a $43.5 million funding round which valued Ucommune, The 3 year old Chinese co-working startup at $1.8 Billion, A new piece from Bloomberg states of the WeWork China rival aiming to raise $200 million in total in a Series D funding round with the company also aiming for an IPO which could take place as early as next year likely on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Ucommune has stood as a major co-working startup in the Chinese region heavily funded with well over $400 million so far in funding from several notable Chinese investors having grown to a stated 160 locations in over 35 cities servicing over 150,000 individual members and 8,000 enterprises in total as per the company.

Commenting on the just recently concluded funding round, Mao Daqing, The company's founder and CEO said "The concept of coworking has evolved tremendously over the last two years to one that compasses traditional rental, bespoke design, community networking and new retail. Ucommune has ev…

Tesla reportedly nabs key Volvo designer Ian Kettle to style its EVs

EV manufacturer Tesla has now made a key hire for its vehicle design, This time nabbing notable Volvo designer Ian Kettle as per reports from Auto Express and Electrek which noted of the designer who led the exterior work for its compact XC40 SUV now having a role at Tesla's Los Angeles Design Studio.

Kettle has been at Volvo for 6 years with the Royal College of Art and Coventry University student handling multiple works as a Senior Exterior Designer for the Swedish automaker.

As per reports, Kettle will now report to Tesla design director and former Mazda designer Franz von Holzhausen while he takes on currently unspecified work at the California based EV manufacturer.

He would now count as a plus to Tesla's other exterior car designers WooTak Kim who notably led interior design for Porsche's all electric Mission E vehicles and former Mazda designer Julien Bilodeau who like Kim came to Tesla a few years ago.

The XC40 for which Kettle led the design has been praised by v…