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Bowery Raises $90 Million in New Funding led by Alphabet's GV

Indoor farming startup Bowery has raised a $90 million round led by Alphabet's GV with participation from Almanac Ventures, Temasek and existing investors GGV Capital, First Round Capital, and General Catalyst. GV partner Andy Wheeler who is notable for investments including Carbon, Desktop Metal, Farmer’s Business Network and Abundant Robotics is joining Bowery's board as part of this deal.

Bowery plans to focus this funding across three areas: building out its operations, expanding its products and partnerships and and growing its team to do both according to a company post. Its plan is to build a global distributed network of farms connected to each other through BoweryOS, the backbone of its indoor farming system.

The company hopes to open multiple farms next year and has already begun work on its next farm outside the New York metropolitan area. Bowery packages its indoor grown products for customers, offering the opportunity to purchase fresh, local, pesticide-free produ…

NY based online pharmacy startup Capsule gets $50 million in latest funding round

image credit : Capsule

Online pharmacy startup Capsule based out of New York and now preparing for national expansion has now raised $50 million in additional funding from Glade Brook Capital Partners and Thrive Capital as it takes on a mission to expand its online pharmacy business throughout the U.S. to provide more users with easier methods of getting prescribed drugs through the net.

This funding brings the total raised by Capsule which also counts the Virgin Group and Sound Ventures as investors to over $70 million since its start in 2015 as it aims to be a leader in the growing e-healthcare market which counts other notable leaders like PillPack and GoodRx.

Capsule which bills itself as "A better, smarter, kinder pharmacy," is aiming for disruption of the roughly $446 Billion U.S. pharma market with the provision of on-demand and same day medication delivery to its users.

Capsule works directly with doctors who prescribe medications through its platform before handling delivery of the stated medications into the patients hands making a very easy process for both parties with the NY based startup further coordinating medication refills with the doctor in addition to co-paying the patient's insurance company.

As stated by Capsule founder Eric Kinariwala in a recently penned blog post: "Three years ago, we set out with a blank sheet of paper to redesign one of the most archaic experiences and the most frequent interaction in healthcare — the pharmacy. Since then, we have built an extraordinary team of people who work tirelessly to bring to life our core company and brand value: everybody needs some looking after sometimes."

"We’ve designed every aspect of our product to give our customers and partners the peace of mind of being looked after. Our emotionally resonant customer experience builds trust and loyalty. Our proprietary technology supports the first pharmacy system that works for all of the stakeholders in healthcare — enabling customized outcomes for doctors, hospitals, insurers, and manufacturers. "

The online pharmacy startup is a very promising one with ongoing expansion as of current with several major tech names also making moves into this space. Amazon snapped up PillPack less than 2 months ago for nearly $1 Billion and major global tech focused investor Silver Lake just recently completed an investment into online prescription drug pricing startup GoodRx which reportedly values the firm founded by former Facebook and Yahoo executives at $2.8 Billion.

Capsule was notably founded by former investment manager and angel investor Eric Kinariwala and current Rent the Runway Head of Product Marketing Angie Hellman and has grown its service since its inception to a very good position as of current.


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Hertz Partners with Clear to Make Use of Biometrics to Speed Up The Car Rental Process

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To use the service dubbed Hertz Fast Lane powered by tech from Clear, members would enroll just once for easy identification leading to a simple and smooth experience at over 40 car rental locations across the U.S. adopting this technology.

It's already available at the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport and will be rolled out to other planned locations throughout next year. These locations include some of the busiest U.S. airports like the John F. Kennedy International Airport, San Francisco International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

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Uber Reportedly Selects Morgan Stanley to Lead Next Year IPO

Uber has reportedly selected investment bank Morgan Stanley for its long-awaited IPO scheduled for next year putting the bank which has lead IPOs for technology companies including Sonos, NIO, Tenable, Bloom Energy, Domo and Moderna Therapeutics in a position to reap a large gain from a public offering which could value Uber at $120 billion.
Bloomberg reports Goldman Sachs is also likely to play a role in the IPO which would mark one of the largest debuts ever and will likely be the largest listing to take place next year. Morgan Stanley was previously reported to have helped Uber draft its IPO prospectus.

Rival Lyft's IPO is being led by JPMorgan Chase with the help of Credit Suisse and Jefferies Financial Group. It's said to be targeting a valuation between $18 billion - $30 billion for its debut. 
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Slack has Reportedly tapped Goldman Sachs for a Next Year IPO

Enterprise collaboration software company Slack has reportedly hired Goldman Sachs to lead a public offering scheduled for next year as an underwriter.
Reuters reports this citing people familiar with the matter. It says Slack hopes to garner a valuation of well over $10 billion for a stock market debut whose timing will depend on market conditions.

Slack which competes with the likes of Microsoft, Cisco, Atlassian and Alphabet raised $427 million this August at a $7.1 billion valuation. It has raised over $1 billion in total from investors including Softbank, General Atlantic, AME Cloud Ventures, Baillie Glifford, Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures, Kleiner Perkins and Accel.
Other companies also expected to go public next year include Uber, Lyft, Pinterest, Airbnb and Stripe. This year saw a lot of successful debuts including Eventbrite, Farfetch, Aston Martin, Elastic, Funding Circle, Anaplan, NIO and SurveyMonkey.

Uber Reportedly makes Confidential Filing for IPO just after Lyft

Just after Lyft announced a confidential filing for an IPO this Thursday, Its main rival Uber reportedly followed suit with its own confidential filing for an Initial Public Offering. The Wall Street Journal reports that Uber made the filing that same Thursday citing people familiar with the matter.
It says the filing indicates the company could go public as soon as the first quarter of the next year putting it heads on with Lyft on the race to the public markets. Uber valued at $76 billion from its most recent $500 million investment from Toyota could debut at $120 billion on the public market according to various estimates.

The ride-hailing giant has raised about $20 billion till date and counts 20,000 global employees, five times that of Lyft. Uber leads by far in the market with a 69% share compared to Lyft's 28% according to credit card data tracker Second Measure.
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Apple Pay Kicks Off in Germany

Four years after a first launch in the U.S., Apple has launched its mobile payments service in Germany making a total of 33 countries Apple Pay can now be used in. Customers at banks like Commerzbank unit Comdirect, Hanseatic Bank, Deutsche Bank and Wirecard and also of credit card providers Visa, American Express and Mastercard are now able to use Apple's Boon app in the country.
Retailers like supermarket chain Kaufland, Aldi and Lidl, Zara, H&M, MediaMarkt and Esprit will accept payments with Apple Pay which enable customers transact easily by holding their smartphone in front of payment terminal.

"We are delighted to now offer boon via Apple Pay to all owners of an Apple device. Together with Apple Pay, we are further enhancing the user experience for consumers and thus advance the digitization of payment processes globally." Wirecard Executive Vice President (for) Consumer Solutions Georg von Waldenfels said in a press release.
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InVision Picks Up $115 Million Series F Round at $1.9 Billion Valuation

Digital product design platform InVision has picked up a $115 million Series F round led by Spark Capital with participation from Goldman Sachs and existing investors ICONIQ Capital, Battery Ventures, FirstMark, Tiger Global and Geodesic Capital. 
This round which values the company at $1.9 billion also includes a previously reported investment which came along with a partnership from Australian software company Atlassian. Spark Capital Partner and former Google and Square product leader Megan Quinn will be joining InVision's board as part of this deal.

InVision is celebrating hitting five 5 million users on its platform which include team members at companies like Amazon, Netflix, General Electric, Uber, Toyota, Vodafone, Starbucks and IKEA as announced by the company also. It has now raised $350 million in total from an impressive investor list that includes the biggest names in the venture capital scene.
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Huawei Reportedly Planning $2 billion Cybersecurity unit Comeback

Huawei is said to be planning a revamp of its global software systems in response to increasing fears of its wireless equipment being at risk of tampering and hacking. Bloomberg reports this citing people familiar with the matter and states of the company planning to put in at least $2 billion into transforming the way it develops software.

The Chinese telecom giant is facing a crucial moment following the arrest of its CFO Wanzhou Meng in Canada on the 1st of December following allegations that the company violated U.S. trade sanctions with Iran. Meng is notably the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, an ex-People's Liberation Army officer who has led the company since its founding in 1987.

Also marking a crucial point is that Huawei has positioned itself with lots of research & development into 5G technology and is getting ready for huge equipment orders from phone companies as the transition to 5G stands imminent. Western governments are concerned that Huawei's eq…

Shuttered Rideshare Startup Sidecar Sues Uber Alleging Practices 'Hell-bent on Stifling Competition'

Shuttered rideshare startup Sidecar, An early mover in the ridesharing industry alongside Uber and Lyft that went bust after 4 years in operation is suing Uber over what it claims are predatory pricing and anti-competitive practices that put it out of business.
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"Instead of competing on the merits, Uber used a number of tactics that are against the law to drive Sidecar out of business." Sidecar co-founder Sunil Paul said in a blog post detailing why the firm is suing Uber. "Uber took illegal steps to undermine Sidecar and other competitors, while it planned all along to raise prices for consumers once it had secured a dominant market position." Paul said. 
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Tesla May Look Into Purchasing Idle General Motors Plants

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Amid cutting down workers, GM is under pressure to keep some facilities to prevent job losses as its CEO Mary Barra has attended meeting with members of Congress in Washington for the past two days discussing plans to retire five factories which would affect 14,700 workers.

Tesla's sole auto plant in California which produces the Model S, Model 3 and Model X vehicles was notably purchased for $42 million from a joint venture by General Motors and Toyota who ran the factory for 25 years prior to the auction.

While Barra spoke with legislators on Thursday, Fiat Chrysler announced plans to restart one of its idle Detroit engine plans and build a new Jeep, escalating displeasure concerning GM's decision …

Facebook is Buying Back an Additional $9 billion Worth of Stock

Facebook's board has approved a move to increase its share repurchase program by $9 billion adding to the existing $15 billion figure planned by the company. This signals a move to appease investors following a dive in its stock after lots of scandals faced.
Facebook shares have gone down 24% this year and rose about 1.1% in after market trading. The company is being investigated by British lawmakers concerning the Cambridge Analytica saga after the now defunct political consulting firm which worked on Donald Trump's U.S. presidential campaign got hold of personal data of 87 million of its users from a researcher.

It's also facing scrutiny after being revealed to be involved in a controversial work with Republican opposition research firm Definers to compromise activist protesters, in part by linking them to liberal financier George Soros who has criticized the company.
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