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Showing posts from November, 2018

Fastly Files For IPO

Fastly -- a San Francisco based content delivery startup that has raised $219 million in funding according to Crunchbase data and counts the likes of Stripe, Github, Airbnb, Pinterest, Audi, Buzzfeed, Ticketmaster, Vice, Spotify, and Reddit as customers -- has filed for a public offering on The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The company intends to list Class A common stock under the ticker "FSLY".

Fastly's S-1 filing revealed some key stats about its operations. They include:
$530,000 average revenue from each of its enterprise customers227 enterprise customers in 2018, up from 170 in 2017 1,582 total customers in 2018, up from 1,439 in 2017$144.56 million revenue in 2018, up from $104.9 million in 2017$29.1 million loss in 2018, down from $31 million in 2017$37 million cash and cash equivalents held as of December 31, 2018$50.1 million sales and marketing spend in 2018, up from $40.8 million a year earlier$34.6 million R&D spend in 2018, up from $29 million in 2017

Mercedes-Benz envisions Empathy as Anchor for automobile Digital Transformation with its cooperative vehicle concept

"At Mercedes-Benz we are convinced that the digital transformation can only be designed successfully if it is deeply anchored within society. Humans and access to data must be at the heart of a digital transformation," Daimler's Head of Research for Future Technologies Jasmin Eichler says.

"That is why we are also working on solutions in the field of digitalisation which place the freedom, decision-making autonomy and individuality of human beings at their centre. We aim to create a balance between humans and technology. The approach we are following here is "Human first"." This signals the direction of Mercedes Benz concerning digital transformation hitting the automobile industry in full force.





At the FutureInsight event which held recently on 21 and 22 November in Berlin, Mercedes focused on empathy and trust as topics regarding inspiration for future mobility solutions and has showcased that in a cooperative vehicle concept with features such as …

Sweetgreen expands WeWork Delivery Partnership

Salad chain sweetgreen is widening a pilot program with WeWork that provides its members with free delivery through order ahead locations set across several WeWork locations in the U.S. Various locations in seven cities namely its homebase of New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles have been fitted with order ahead sweetgreen units as WeWork works on a plan to cover 50 of its locations with this service.

WeWork members and employees can order via sweetgreen's platform with a select of specific locations for pickup which sweetgreen drivers then deliver to. Sweetgreen recently raised $200 million in a round led by Fidelity at an over $1 billion valuation stating of the investment positioning it "to create a new food platform with expanded menu categories and innovative retail formats".


This counts as part of these efforts aimed for a boost in restaurant expansion, outposts, digital platform, blockchain tech and social impac…

Tesco and Volkswagen partner for development of EV charging network

British retailer Tesco and Volkswagen have teamed up for the development of what would count as the country's largest electric vehicle charging network powered by charging infrastructure provider Pod Point which will offer customers free charging for their vehicles using a normal 7kW charger or the use of a 50 kW charger for a cost in-line with market rates.

Over 2,400 charging bays will be rolled out across 600 Tesco locations within the next 3 years for this effort playing part in support of a transition to a low-carbon, clean air UK. It builds on Tesco's commitment made last year to 100% renewable electricity use by 2030.


As of current, charging infrastructure is available in 19 Tesco locations including stores in the regions of Bromley by Bow, Cefn Mawr, Elmers End, Haddington, Stourbridge, Sunderland Retail Park, Swansea Llansmlet, Watford and Woolwich among others.

Pod Point is already an official charge point supplier for major auto brands including Volkswagen, Jaguar …

Workday Records over 30% Revenue Growth from Previous Year with $743 million quarterly revenue

Cloud software company Workday recorded revenues of $743.2 million for its fiscal 2019 third quarter ended October 31, 2018 marking a 33.8% increase from the same quarter last year thanks to growth across its suite of enterprise products.

Subscription revenues for the quarter came at $624.4 million as per its recently released financial results also marking an increase of 34.7% from the same period last year. Operating cash flows for the quarter were $114.3 million while free cash flows came at $58.9 million.


Also in this period, Workday hit various milestones which includes going live on Adaptive Insights Business Planning Cloud in just 10 weeks building on its $1.55 billion acquisition of the company, unveiling its Workday People Analytics software, ranking number one on the Fortune Future 50 list recognizing global companies with the best prospects for long-term growth and holding of its 12th annual customer conference, Workday Rising, in Las Vegas along with its fifth annual Euro…

Dell Records Revenue Surge prior to Vote on Public Market Return

Dell Technologies reported a 15% surge in quarterly revenue this Thursday in what counts as its last financial disclosure prior to a vote on a VMware tracking stock deal that could see the company return to trading on the public markets.

Dell reported sales of $22.5 billion for the period ahead of voting by shareholders for a buyback of shares bound to to its 81% economic stake in VMware which would return the company to trading on the stock market without the process of a conventional public offering.


Dell recently increased its offer for VMware tracking stock to $23.9 billion or $120 a share which won backing from shareholders including including Icahn Enterprises chair Carl Icahn who had previously pushed against the deal and activist fund Elliott Management.

A jump in revenue for Dell's Client Solutions Group which consists of products like peripherals, PCs and tablets came at 11% and can be attributed to Microsoft's decision to end support for its Windows 7 OS in 2020. B…

GM President Dan Ammann taking up new role as head of Autonomous Vehicle unit

General Motors president Dan Ammann is now taking a new role as CEO of Cruise Automation, The company's autonomous vehicle unit as longtime lead and co-founder Kyle Vogt leads technology development now as president and chief technology officer. These new appointments announced by GM are effective beginning 2019.

Cruise has come into view as a leader in the autonomous vehicle space under Vogt's leadership spanning from its start in 2013 to its acquisition by General Motors 2 years ago. It has grown from 40 employees as of acquisition time to over 1,000 at its San Francisco headquarters and has also announced plans to expand into Seattle with the addition of 100-200 employees.


Ammann spearheaded the 2016 acquisition of Cruise and stands familiar with the company's team, business and technology. Among other global responsibilities, He oversaw GM's relationship with Cruise which has grown from a $581 million acquisition to a $14.6 billion post-money valuation after a rec…

Gear up for launch of "Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden" on the 4th of December

Tactical adventure game Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden will launch on the 4th of December globally for the PC, Xbox One and PS4 bringing what counts as "a game combining the tactical, turn-based combat of XCOM with real-time stealth and exploration of a detailed, post-human world."

Gamers who get their hands on the new title will play as a team of mutants in a world damaged by nuclear war, pandemics, and climate change where they'll explore in real-time and traverse for scraps and resources to assist their settlements.



In the process of exploring, Players will face enemies as the game switches to tactical turn-based mode bringing a fun experience involving battles and various challenges. Based on the the Swedish pen-and-paper RPG Mutant Year Zero, stealth and planning are key to taking on enemies in this new title, attacking the enemy head-on as done in most turn-based tactical games is not suited for the Road to Eden.

A sneak up on the enemy will serve better in a worl…

Asana nabs $50 million Series E round at $1.5 billion valuation

Asana, the collaboration software startup founded by Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and early employee Justin Rosenstein has raised $50 million in Series E funding led by Generation Investment Management with participation from existing investors 8VC, Benchmark Capital and Founders Fund and new investors Lead Edge Capital and World Innovation Lab.

This round which brings the total raised by Asana to $125 million this year came at a valuation of $1.5 billion marking a new entrant into the unicorn club. San Francisco based Asana with more than 50,000 paying enterprise customers and millions of free enterprise users across 195 countries has now raised $213 million in total since founding.



It aims to use its new funding to fuel continued growth focused on key areas of Enterprise Scale, Global Expansion and Product Innovation as per its statement. These areas specifically include expansion of global infrastructure with the opening of a new data center in the German city of Frankfurt…

Microsoft secures $480 million contract to supply U.S. Army with HoloLens units

Microsoft has secured a $480 million deal with the U.S. Army to supply prototypes for augmented reality systems for use in training and in combat missions according to Bloomberg citing official confirmation from a company spokesman.

This deal could eventually lead to the purchase of 100,000 of Microsoft's HoloLens AR headsets according to Bloomberg and is aimed to “increase lethality by enhancing the ability to detect, decide and engage before the enemy,” quoting a government description of the initiative.





"Augmented reality technology will provide troops with more and better information to make decisions. This new work extends our longstanding, trusted relationship with the Department of Defense to this new area,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg.

The HoloLens is one of the leading hardware in the consumer AR space with 50,000 sold according to a video made for the European Patent Office this spring but counts itself in a market not so larg…

Box reports Record Revenue and lesser-than-expected Losses amid Customer Growth

Cloud storage company Box reported lesser-than-expected losses for its fiscal 2019 third quarter as it inked a record $155.9 million in revenue thanks to over 40% growth in deals greater than $100,000 and addition of new customers bringing its total to over 90,000.

Net loss for the same period came at $40.2 million ($0.28 a share) as compared with $42.9 million ($0.32 a share) a year earlier. Its customer base is up from 87,000 the previous quarter to the 90,000 figure thanks to new and expanded deals with the likes of 23andMe, BBVA Compass, Mizuho Bank, National Bank of Canada, Radian Group, Shiseido Company, and Sunbelt Rentals.


During this quarter, Box hosted the eight annual BoxWorks conference that lured a record number of Fortune 1,000 attendees, announced updates to Box Tasks and Automations, launched the general availability of the Box for Gmail add-on and the beta of the Box for G Suite integration, announced support for custom-trained AI models for Box Skills and also added…

Deliveroo reportedly looking to raise $400 million at a $4 billion valuation

Deliveroo is said to be seeking more investment into hundreds of millions at a valuation of between $3 billion - $4 billion on a raise of between $350 million - $500 million as per a recent report from Sky News amid reported acquisition interest from Uber.

As per Sky, This fundraising doesn't stand as urgent with Deliveroo still sitting on hundreds of millions in cash from previous rounds. The company was last valued at $2 billion after a $385 million round Series F round last year September led by Fidelity, It has raised over $800 million in funding till date.


A September report indicated of Uber having an interest in acquiring U.K. based Deliveroo to boost its share in the food delivery market which stands as a main part of the company's business alongside ride-hailing. Sky says persons close to Deliveroo have suggested of no active talks between both companies although anticipation stands concerning renewed interest from Uber.

Deliveroo more than doubled revenue to £277 mi…

Here are 10 things to know about the Pixel Slate and its separately sold Keyboard

The Pixel Slate tablet bundled with Google Assistant became one of the newest members of the Made by Google hardware family earlier this fall as consumers got a uniquely designed device powered by Chrome OS packed with a long-lasting battery for getting work done on the go.

The Pixel Slate is now available for purchase and letting customers know of its key features is an important thing to do. A list of 10 things to know about the Pixel Slate and its separately sold Pixel Slate Keyboard as highlighted by Google is presented below:

It's Comfortably handheld : Weighing in at 1.6 lbs and 7 mm thin, it has a slim profile coupled with a curved glass which makes it easy to hold.It gives a state-of-the-art viewing and gaming experience thanks to the new Molecular Display feature that delivers a sharp picture paired with dual front firing speakers for the best experience.It helps get work done from anywhere with multitasking features like split screen and draggable tabs. An attachment of …

EV charging provider Chargepoint raises $240 million Series H round

EV charging network Chargepoint has secured $240 million in Series H funding from a diverse set of investors ranging from early market to institutional investors across the VC, financial, manufacturing, oil and gas, energy, utility, technology and automotive sectors.

These include lead investor Quantum Energy Partners, American Electric Power, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Chevron Technology Ventures, Clearvision, Daimler, GIC and existing investors BMW i Ventures, Braemar Energy Ventures, Linse Capital, and Siemens.


Campbell, California based Chargepoint has now raised over $500 million in funding with this latest coming just over a year from a Series G round that fueled the company's move into the European market. Chargepoint counts over 57,000 independently owned public and semi-public charging spots and thousands of customers including businesses, agencies, cities and service providers across its network.

It designs, develops and manufactures the hardware and software…

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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…

Apple Reportedly In Talks With Potential Sensor Suppliers For Driverless Cars

According to Reuters, Apple has held talks with at least four companies who count as potential suppliers for lidar sensors for driverless cars while it still works on an its own lidar unit. The companies involved are not named in the report. Such a move could indicate Apple's renewed ambitions to get into the driverless vehicle market even after layoffs that affected more than 200 from its self-driving vehicle project in January.

Citing three persons familiar with the discussions, Reuters says Apple is seeking lidar units that would be cheaper, smaller and more easily produced on a mass scale that current technology. It says Apple is setting a high level with demands for a “revolutionary design”. Such effort may indicate Apple looking to develop the entire chain of hardware that'll power self-driving vehicles using custom tech.


Whether Apple wants to develop its own driverless vehicles or build hardware and software elements for self-driving vehicles is not yet known. Self-dr…

Uber ATG Raises $1 Billion From Toyota, Denso, and Softbank

Uber Advanced Technologies Group, the company's unit responsible for development of driverless vehicles has raised $1 billion in funding from Toyota, Denso, and Softbank Vision Fund. Toyota and Denso will put in $667 million into the round while Softbank Vision Fund funds the remainder $33 million. The investment values Uber ATG at $7.25 billion post money.

This investment comes on the heels of Uber filing for an IPO. It also further deepens an alliance with Toyota which invested $500 million in Uber last year August. Uber and the Japanese automaker have agreed to work on the deployment of modified driverless Toyota Sienna vehicles by 2021. Toyota will also contribute an additional $300 million over the next three years to help cover costs related to the development of these vehicles.


December last year, Uber received approval from the state of Pennsylvania to re-commence driverless vehicle tests on public roads months after a fatal crash that resulted in a pedestrian death. The …

Intel Opts Out Of 5G Modem Market

Intel has announced it's exiting from the 5G smartphone modem business, cancelling 5G modem products scheduled for launch in 2020. The company says it'll still continue to invest in its 5G network infrastructure business and complete an assessment of opportunities for 4G and 5G modems in PCs, IoT devices, and other data-centric devices.

Intel recently said it expects its 5G modem chips to not appear in phones until 2020. A now complete pull-out from the market might affect its biggest customer, Apple, although the iPhone maker recently settled a long legal spat with chipmaker Qualcomm (Intel's exit from the 5G modem market is a likely explanation for the sudden settlement). Both companies have reached a multiyear chipset supply deal and a six-year license agreement, including a two-year option to extend.


Intel will continue to meet current customer commitments for its existing 4G smartphone modem product line. “We are very excited about the opportunity in 5G and the ‘clou…

Apple Reportedly Cuts Production Plans For New iPhones By 10%

According to a report from the Nikkei Asian Review, Apple is cutting current production plans for new iPhones by 10% signalling expectation of a further hit in iPhone sales for the year after it recently lowered revenue guidance for its fiscal 2019 first quarter ending 29th of December 2018 due to lower iPhone sales.

Nikkei says Apple asked suppliers late last month to produce fewer of new iPhones for the January-March quarter of this year. This will be the second time in two months that the company has slashed production rate of the iPhone if this stands true.


Overall planned production volume will be reduced to 40 million to 43 million units for the January-March quarter from an earlier number of 43 million - 47 million units scheduled for production, Nikkei says.

Apple this previous week lowered revenue guidance for its fiscal 2019 first quarter to $84 billion for the period citing emerging market challenges and lower than anticipated iPhone revenue, primarily in Greater China. Th…

Misty II Personal Robot Scheduled To Ship In April For $2,399

Misty II, a personal robot which non-technical owners can program using the Misty Blockly client, a visual block-based programming interface for creation of new skills for the robot to make it talk, roar, move, dance and more will be available for purchase April this year for $2,399, a four months delay from its initial proposed December 4 released date.

From April, customers can get their hands on the robot which would come installed with pre-set skills to get them started on use. Those with programming experience will be able to utilize JavaScript APIs to create more skills and mods such as integration with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Microsoft Cognitive Services and Cloud APIs.



Skills the Misty II can perform out of the box include:
Recognize facesCreate a 3D map of her surroundingsAutonomous movementReceive and respond to commandsLocate its charger to charge itselfDisplay emotive eyes and other emotional characteristics Perform seeing, hearing, and speaking capabilities

It has…

Daimler Leads $170 Million Series E For Sila Nano

Sila Nanotechnologies (“Sila Nano”) -- a battery startup founded in 2011 by Silicon Valley battery engineers and a Georgia Tech professor of materials science -- has raised $170 million in Series E funding led by Daimler, with participation from new investor 8VC alongside returning investors Sutter Hill Ventures, Siemens Next47, Matrix Partners, Chengwei Capital, and Bessemer Venture Partners.

This funding brings the total raised by Sila Nano to $295 million and values the company at more than $1 billion as confirmed by its CEO Gene Berdichevsky to TechCrunch. Former General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt and Daimler executive Alex Nediger are joining Sila Nano's board as part of this investment.


Daimler has formed a strategic R&D partnership with Sila Nano thanks to its investment. The German automaker is focusing on the Mercedes-Benz EQ line of electric vehicles for this effort. Mercedes-Benz has previously announced it's putting in around €10 billion ($11.28 billion) towards…

Ford Slashes Thousands Of Jobs In Europe To Improve Profitability

Automaker Ford has announced it's slashing thousands of jobs in its European operations as part of structural cost improvements to improve near-term financial performance. The company made this known in a statement issued to investors.

“Ford aims to achieve the labor cost reductions, as far as possible, through voluntary employee separations in Europe and will be working closely with social partners and other stakeholders to achieve this objective.” The company said in its statement.





These job cuts will affect both salaried and hourly workers across its operations in Europe. Ford is ending production at its plant in Bordeaux, France that manufactures small automatic transmissions by this year August and has began discussions to end production of the C-MAX and Grand C-MAX vehicles at its German facility.

It's also considering "significant restructuring options" for its Russian joint venture, Ford Sollers and plans to merge its UK headquarters and Ford Credit Europe’s…

Hulu Buys Back AT&T Stake At $15 Billion Valuation

AT&T has sold its 9.5% stake in video streaming service Hulu back to the company for $1.43 billion, valuing the Netflix competitor at $15 billion. This is up more than 50% from a $9.3 billion valuation pegged by Disney (a 67% shareholder in Hulu following its acquisition of 21st Century Fox) last November. Comcast holds the remainder 33% of the company.

This sale makes for a case that Hulu may become a Disney-focused video streaming service in future time. Already, the entertainment powerhouse is preparing to launch its own streaming service -- Disney+ -- in November. It'll cost $6.99 per month with an annual subscription option of $69.99 and feature titles like The Sword in the Stone, Magic Camp, a remake of Lady and the TrampStargirl, Noelle, and Star Wars.


Hulu leads behind Netflix in the U.S. video streaming market, with more than 25 million subscribers. Its catalogue includes originals like Golden Globe Award-winning series The Handmaid’s Tale, Marvel’s Runaways, Castl…