Skip to main content

TuSimple Inks Delivery Contract With USPS

TuSimple -- the driverless truck startup that raised $95 million earlier this year at a $1 billion valuation -- has been awarded a contract from the United States Postal Service (USPS) to transport packages over 1,000 miles between the Postal Service's Phoenix, Arizona and Dallas, Texas distribution centers. TuSimple will deliver these packages with self-driving trucks that'll have a safety engineer and driver on board for the duration of the journey.

TuSimple will run some of its driverless trucks for 22 hours each -- including overnight driving -- along the I-10, I-20 and I-30 corridors on a trip through Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Freight flowing through the I-10 (Interstate 10) corridor notably accounts for 60% of total economic activity in the U.S.

The Postal Service -- which has operated for a long 24 decades -- is exploring the use of driverless trucks to reduce fuel costs and improve safety and its fleet utilization rate through longer hours of operation. TuSimple …

Several Microsoft Employees Protest $480 Million HoloLens Deal With US Army

image : Microsoft

Some Microsoft employees have demanded that the company cancels a $480 million contract with the US Army that involves supply of its HoloLens brand of augmented reality headsets for use in combat training and missions. Up to 94 Microsoft employees signed a petition calling on the company to cease developing “any and all weapons technologies.”

"We are alarmed that Microsoft is working to provide weapons technology to the U.S. Military, helping one country's government "increase lethality" using tools we built. We did not sign up to develop weapons, and we demand a say in how our work is used". The petition said.

Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition
image : Microsoft

The employees are demanding that Microsoft cancels the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) contract with the US Army and "appoint an independent, external ethics review board with the power to enforce and publicly validate compliance with its acceptable use policy". ".......The application of HoloLens within the IVAS system is designed to help people kill. It will be deployed on the battlefield, and works by turning warfare into a simulated "video game," further distancing soldiers from the grim stakes of war and the reality of bloodshed", they said.

Microsoft's contract with the US Army involves the supply of as many as 100,000 HoloLens headsets. According to Bloomberg, the headsets to be supplied will vary from the existing HoloLens design, with additional features like thermal sensing and night vision. A video made for European Patent Office last year indicated Microsoft had sold about 50,000 HoloLens headsets, about half of the number expected to the purchased by the US Army.

Microsoft HoloLens
image : Microsoft

A large consumer market for AR headset doesn't yet exist, even as Microsoft is expected to unveil a second version of the HoloLens at a Sunday event. Magic Leap - the Florida based heavily funded augmented reality startup, valued at $6.3 billion - was also a contender for the contract won by Microsoft.


Most Read Posts

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…

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.

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…

Right Now, You have a free copy of The Techie's first ever print Magazine - Access it here!

The Techie features the Oculus Go, Walks through Xiaomi's IPO and provides in-depth knowledge on a swath of tech products and occurences worldwide, Read the Digital Magazine in full screen below for the best experience;

A mag created with Madmagz.

Lilium Unveils Five-Seater Jet

Lilium, a Munich based startup with $100 million in funding that's developing electric vertical take-off and landing jets has unveiled a new five-seater all-electric aircraft prototype and announced a completion of its first maiden flight in German skies. The new aircraft dubbed Lilium Jet is powered by 36 all-electric jet engines that Lilium says allows it to take-ff and land vertically, "while achieving remarkably efficient horizontal, or cruise, flight."

The new prototype has a quite simple design, with no propellers, no tail, no gearbox, and no rudder. Lilium says this "contributes to the safety and affordability of the aircraft" and also leaves room for customer-oriented features like panoramic windows and gull-wing doors.

The Lilium Jet features a top speed of 300km/h and can go 300km on full charge. It first took to the air at 08.03 local time on 4th May 2019 in Germany, after "extensive ground testing" at Lilium's Munich headquarters. The…

Virgin Hyperloop One Seeks Up To $225 Million

Virgin Hyperloop One -- a company with ambitious transportation goals and like its name suggests, once counted Virgin founder Richard Branson as its chairman -- has raised $172 million in new funding according to new filings and is seeking up to $224.5 million in this round, as first reported by Crunchbase News. Dubai port operator DP World (an existing investor) provided at least $90 million for the round, which has seen contributions from 80 investors.

Virgin Hyperloop One first secured funding for this round on the 29th of April 2019 according to filings. The company has already raised nearly $300 million in funding prior to this round. Virgin Hyperloop One is based in Los Angeles and was founded by Josh Giegel and tech investor Shervin Pishevar (Pishevar who previously served as its executive chairman was ousted in late 2017 over allegations of sexual misconduct).

The company has had quite a share of controversies, including the arrest of former Co-Executive chairman Ziyavudin Ma…

Deliveroo Raises $575 Million Round Led By Amazon

Deliveroo has raised $575 million Series G funding led by Amazon, with participation from existing investors Greenoaks, T. Rowe Price, and Fidelity Management and Research Company. This boosts the company's total funding to $1.53 billion. The new funding will be completed in coming months, subject to regulatory approvals.

Deliveroo says it'll make use of the investment to grow its engineering team based in its London headquarters, expand its reach, develop new products for customers, and bring about new 'innovations' in the food sector. "This is great news for the tech and restaurant sectors, and it will help to create jobs in all of the countries in which we operate." Deliveroo CEO Will Shu said in a statement.

Founded in 2013 by William Shu and Greg Orlowski, Deliveroo has grown to operate in over 500 towns across 14 markets. The company works with 80,000 restaurants and 60,000 riders to deliver food across markets it operates in. It currently employs 2,50…

Clinc Clings $52 Million Series B

Clinc -- an Ann Arbor, Michigan based AI startup -- has secured $52 million Series B funding led by Insight Partners, with participation from DFJ Growth and existing investors Hyde Park Venture Partners and Drive Capital. Clinc has now raised nearly $60 million in total funding according to Crunchbase data.

The company says it achieved a 300% annual revenue growth and expects to more than triple that this year alone. It's planning to reach 140 employees by year end and intends to occupy a new 26,000 square foot office in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

“We’ve had phenomenal growth and built unbelievable momentum in a very short period of time,” Clinc CEO Jason Mars said in a statement. “Now we’re adding more world class investors to support our growing team as we work to accelerate the pace of innovation and to reshape the conversational AI landscape, one industry at a time.”

Clinc expects this round to be its last before it heads for an IPO.

Quibi Reportedly Planning Up To $1 Billion Raise

According to a report from The Information, Quibi -- the mobile video streaming service led by Hollywood veteran Jeffrey Katzenberg and former HP and eBay CEO Meg Whitman -- is planning to raise up to $1 billion, months after a $1 billion raise August last year. Current investors in Quibi include the likes of Alibaba, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Sony Pictures, Viacom, Disney, 21st Century Fox, NBCUniversal, and Warner Media.

Some of Quibi's investors also double as strategic partners. Based out of Los Angeles, Quibi's service -- a mashup of Netflix meets YouTube -- is expected to launch next year, according to CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. Katzenberg had previously told Variety that he was seeking to raise $2 billion for Quibi, entailing the report of an additional $1 billion raise is not quite far-fetched.

Quibi is focused on short-form videos of under 10 minutes or so in length that'll be made available on its app. Katzenberg has a long history and expertise in film-making…

VMware Acquires Bitnami

VMware has announced it's acquiring Bitnami, a Y Combinator alum that provides application packaging solutions. Bitnami had raised just $1.1 million from YC and some angel investors. The acquisition price was not disclosed. Based in San Francisco, California, Bitnami's platform delivers and maintains more than 130 server applications and development environments in partnership with cloud providers like Amazon, Oracle, Microsoft, and Google.

VMware says Bitnami's application packaging solutions will help its customers simplify the deployment of applications in public or hybrid cloud environments. The startup's solutions will also complement VMware's existing efforts to deliver a curated marketplace to its customers that offers applications and development environments in addition to infrastructure software.

Bitnami's customers include the likes of Disney, Electronic Arts, UPS, eBay, Rakuten, Comcast, Verizon, Gap, Accenture, Walmart, PayPal, Atlassian, Evernote…