Fundings and Exits

While the mid 2010s were filled with massive financing rounds for companies looking to shift business models like Instacart, Uber, and others along those lines, today’s hottest sector is a more technical one: artificial intelligence. That’s required a different approach to building companies. As tools become more and more powerful, and frameworks like TensorFlow become
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Zinc, the London-based company builder tackling various societal problems, has picked up £3 million in seed investment as it readies its second cohort and mission. Backing the round is LocalGlobe, Niklas Zennström’s Atomico, U.K. university LSE, and a number of angel investors. Launched late last year, Zinc helps build startups almost from scratch. Somewhat similar
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Beauty-in-a-box brand Birchbox has changed up its ownership structure. The New York-based startup, which has raised almost $90 million in funding from noted venture firms like Accel Partners and First Round Capital, has a new majority owner in hedge fund Viking Global, sources confirm to TechCrunch. First reported by Recode, Birchbox made some changes to its cap table
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Daily deals and local commerce site Groupon has announced an acquisition to ramp up its operations in discount offers and specifically those tied to loyalty programs. The company has acquired Bristol, UK-based Cloud Savings Company, the owner of Vouchercloud and Giftcloud, in a deal that Groupon said has an enterprise value of $65 million. The
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Paragraf, a Cambridge University graphene spin-out, has closed a £2.9M (~$3.9M) seed round. The funding is led by the university’s commercialization arm, Cambridge Enterprise, with Parkwalk Advisors, Amadeus Capital Partners, IQ Capital Partners and angel investors also participating. Graphene refers to the one atom-thick latticed carbon material that’s been exciting scientists with its potential for more than
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Cleo, the London-based fintech that offers an AI-powered chatbot as a replacement for your banking apps, continues to put together an impressive list of backers. The startup’s early investors already include Entrepreneur First, Moonfruit founder Wendy Tan White, Skype founder Niklas Zennström, Wonga founder Errol Damelin, and LocalGlobe, the seed VC firm founded by father
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Baidu has turned to the financial industry to bolster its consumer finance business. The Chinese search giant confirmed that it has sold a majority share in its Financial Services Group (FSG) business to a consortium of private equity firms in a deal worth $1.9 billion. The business is in the consumer finance space and its services include credit and wealth
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EcoFlow, a Chinese hardware firm developed by former JDI engineers that sells portable power stations, has pulled in a Series A round of over $4 million ahead of the imminent launch of new products and an international sales expansion. The Shenzhen-based company has taken an interesting route. Founded in 2016, the startup burst on to the
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$4.5 billion-valued ride-sharing startup Go-Jek may be busy in Southeast Asia, where it is aiming to step into the gap following Uber’s exit, but that isn’t stopping it from looking at opportunities elsewhere in the world. Over in Bangladesh, motorbike-taxi hailing service Pathao has announced that it raised a “pre-Series A” investment led by Go-Jek.
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GetLinks, a Thailand-based startup that offers a job finder app in six countries Southeast Asia and neighboring regions, has closed new funding led by Australia’s Seek group and Alibaba’s Hong Kong Entrepreneur fund. The size of the investment was not disclosed. GetLinks previously raised $500,000 in 2016, and it later added $150,000 more to that
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NSI Ventures, the Singapore-based VC firm affiliated with PE firm Northstar Group that invested early in ride-sharing unicorn Go-Jek, is going independent after it announced it has rebranded to Openspace Ventures. NSI Ventures was started by Hian Goh, an entrepreneur who sold his startup Asia Food Channel in 2013, and finance exec Shane Chesson in 2014. The firm
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Kubernetes has gained in popularity quickly over the last 18 months, but like many highly technical solutions it requires a level of expertise many companies are lacking. A Bangalore/San Francisco startup called Hasura hopes to simplify all of that with a managed Kubernetes solution built with developers in mind. Today, the company announced a $1.6
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Riding high on the growing consumer demand for podcasts, a startup called Castbox this morning announced the close of $13.5 million in Series B funding for its technology-fueled podcast app. The round was led by SIG China, and includes participation from existing investors IDG Capital, Qiming Venture Partners and GSR Ventures. To date, Castbox has raised $29.5
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Hardware startup Glowforge, which makes a desktop laser cutter and engraver for home or office use, has finally opened up sales to the general public. The maker-targeted device, which can ‘print’ (read: engrave/laser cut) a variety of materials including leather, wood, acrylic, glass, and even the metal surface of a Macbook, starts at $2,495 for the entry
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Stock market investors showed lukewarm enthusiasm for Pivotal Software’s debut on Friday. After pricing the IPO at $15, the company closed the day at $15.73. Although it didn’t “pop” for new investors, pricing at the midpoint of its proposed range allowed Pivotal to raise $555 million. Its public company market cap exceeded $3 billion. The enterprise
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