Skip to main content

Posts

Classified Ads startup Carousell raises $85 million in Series C

  From Left to right - Carousell co-founders Marcus Tan, Lucas Ngoo and co-founder/CEO Quek Siu Rui.                                                                                                                                                                  Image Credit: Carousell Carousell, one of the largest online consumer to consumer marketplace classifieds marketplace operating in South East Asia has raised a whooping $85 million in Series C funding from various investors including Rakuten Ventures and already existing investors Sequoia India and 500 Startups to rapidly expand its product with Artificial Intelligence at the forefront. Carousell which was founded 2012 by its current CEO Quek Siu Rui, Marcus Tan and Lucas Ngoo and operates mainly in more than 6 countries with this round included has now raised a total of  $126. 8 million from a slew of investors to develop its very innovative product. The company has decided it will make use of artificial intelligence

Get Innovaté's profile on Boston Dynamics' SpotMini robot right here

image credit : Boston Dynamics Our brand affiliate/partner and media publisher Innovaté is here with a new feature, This time it features a short but interesting story/walk-through in detail on Boston Dynamics' SpotMini Robot which we recently talked on here and which is also scheduled to get into commercial use from next year. Before we get our hands on them, It's very important that we study them and know a lot of their features in order to flow with them in the best possible way, We're offering that through the Embed publication below: The SpotMini by Innovaté

The "Block 5" Falcon 9 Rocket - A Huge Milestone in Space Exploration

image credit : Inquisitr SpaceX just recently launched a "Block 5" version of its Falcon 9 rocket from the state of Florida carrying a telecom satellite for the nation of Bangladesh into orbit, getting it to a height of about 35,000 km above the earth. But what is the term "Block 5"? Block 5 is the description given by SpaceX for this new version of its Falcon 9 rocket which is designed to take off and land about 10 times without servicing in comparison with the previous versions of the Falcon 9 which had to be serviced and overhauled after one or two trips. CEO Elon Musk has also made a high goal of launching the same rocket to orbit twice on the same day using this powerful model and more improvements which will be made on it. The Block 5 rocket model will now be the main instrument of operation in SpaceX after it has been fully developed to handle so many simultaneous flights making it easier, cheaper and more efficient when delivering items into space

Boston's Atlas Robot has the best of Abilities

                            Image credit : Boston Dynamics Boston Dynamics recently released new awesome footage on one of its robots - The Atlas, The footage below shows the robot having mastered the act of running and jumping displaying its agility and intelligence. The Atlas is described as the World's Most Dynamic Humanoid which makes use of balance and whole-body skills to achieve two-handed mobile manipulation. This robot made by Boston Dynamics, The Softbank owned Robotics company which spun off in 1992 and was formerly owned by Google's X Research arm is capable of performing tasks in large volume with the use of its streamlined 3D printed legs which makes it a very unique robot with a huge strength ratio and making it to complete its tasks with less time and stress. The Atlas will do various tasks every human does like lifting, carrying and manipulating the positions of different objects in both normal and rough conditions with the Robots capable of working

The Model 3 starts delivering to Canada

Image credit: Tesla Tesla's notable mass market but premium looking Sedan, The Tesla Model 3 has started delivering internationally to Canada after sending a massive batch of invites 2 months ago to Canadian residents who made reservations for the electric vehicle. The vehicle will sell for $46,500 CAD in the country with the current Model 3s being equipped with a Long Range battery pack, premium interior package and rear-wheel drive. Tesla has also started taking orders internationally for another version which is The dual motor all-wheel drive and performance version of the vehicle but will start producing these versions in 2 months time. In Ontario, Canada, The Tesla Model 3 carries $14,000 CAD in incentives before purchase which brings down the price to $31,600 for buyers which will greatly increase sales and decrease cost for the consumers. The Model 3 will also come with an $8,000 CAD incentive in the province of Quebec, Canada after being added to the list of vehi

The Uber of scooters just got a whole lot of it!

Bird  Bird, The Electric Scooter ride-sharing service which was founded by a former Uber and Lyft Executive has made huge deals with current Electric Scooter leading company Ninebot and notable chinese electronics maker Xiaomi to make use of its scooters in its ride-hailing services which are currently expanding rapidly. Bird works closely with cities to help make transportation better & more environmentally friendly using its electric scooters which are charged and repaired by independent contractors working in the gig economy space. Bird surprisingly came to Charlotte and Nashville just few days ago but has been required to pause its operations in Nashville currently after its 100 scooters was deemed as obstructing the sidewalks for pedestrians whereas the scooters are meant to use street and bike lanes where cyclists use. The company currently operates in 8 other cities including Los Angeles and San Francisco. Bird which is currently valued at $400 million and

Amazon stops buying Google's Shopping ads

I'm leaving Bro......... photo credit : Insider Monkey Amazon in an effort to grow in the digital advertising space has stopped buying shopping ads from major Internet player Google, This information was revealed to Bloomberg and was also observed by various sources. Amazon's ads which topped Google Shopping are no longer being served leaving the ad space to other major competitors like Walmart and a host of other retailers, These ad space amounts for a huge slice of Google's revenue with Amazon also making a good percent of that. Amazon's new move will affect hugely targeted spots on Google's ads since it leaves a lot of space for other players to grab market share of the ad spots being offered. This also now deepens competition between Amazon and Google, The latter which makes most of its revenue from Digital Ads and is currently the biggest player in the game, Amazon will now try to disrupt digital advertising like it has to many other sectors wh

Didi Chuxing temporarily hurts its carpooling service after passenger incident

Image credit : Time Chinese major ride-hailing player and second largest ride hailing company after Uber has temporarily suspended its car-pooling service due to an incident involving one of its drivers and a passenger who unfortunately was murdered by the driver involved. Didi Chuxing promptly apologized to the family of the passenger involved who was a 21 year old flight attendant and only daughter in her family who was murdered on a journey from Zhengzhou's airport hub to the downtown area of the city. The passenger identified as Ms. Li. used Didi's app Hitch which lets people going to the same destination share rides for a fee but ended up being sadly murdered by the driver using a weapon.  Didi has always used facial recognition technology to identify its drivers for verification but in this case, The facial recognition feature was defective at the time which the driver identified as Liu Zhenhua used an account belonging to his father as he was not registered on D

The Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy comes to other platforms June 29

Get Ready and Excited! because Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy which was scheduled to launch on other platforms on the 11th of July has been moved 12 days foward to the 29th of next month. Get ready to make history, the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy comes to new platforms on June 29! pic.twitter.com/LFZTDoP5fd — Crash Bandicoot (@CrashBandicoot) May 10, 2018 Crash Bandicoot which has always been associated with the Playstation brand only is now coming to the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Steam. The game was launched on the PS4 last year and has sold 2.5 Million Copies On the platform so its slated to greatly increase sales and reach other consumers through this new launch on other gaming platforms. This new launch date is exactly one year after its last year's PS4 release on the 30th of June last year and will bring one of the best games in the world along Crush, Dingodile, Aku Aku and many more of them awesome players!

Peloton rides to U.K. and Canada

Peloton Peloton, The innovative exercise equipment company which produces sleek exercise bikes which streams live exercises and features connected programming which has become a favorite amongst a whole lot of fitness enthusiasts has announced its coming to two more countries - The U.K.  and Canada after awesome reception and huge sales in the U.S. Hey UK! We’re coming to London this autumn—get ready for the #onepeloton experience. Details here: https://t.co/cZJ28OMMjU pic.twitter.com/Ve9bUJRPgl — Peloton (@onepeloton) May 10, 2018 The company will start selling its Peloton bike which brings an immersive cycling experience for $1,995 and comes with a monthly charge of $39 per month for access of its digital classes and unlocking of the best experience of the bike. Peloton The company will other push into more European countries next year offering its bikes and also its treadmill which will start shipping this fall in the United States and is also expected to ship to

Xiaomi finally comes to the U.S. but with only its Smart Home devices

Xiaomi Xiaomi, The Huge electronics device maker which had over a whooping $15 Billion + revenue last year is heading to the U.S. bringing its smart home devices which will be Google Assistant enabled, This was publicly made known by the company's Head of International Wan Xiang in a recent tweet; Xiaomi just announced during #io8 that our smart home products will work with the Google Assistant. The initial selection of compatible products includes Mi Bedside Lamp, Mi LED Smart Bulb and Mi Smart Plug, which will be coming to the U.S soon! https://t.co/f65lj2jNej pic.twitter.com/nEXMiIyyZ8 — Wang Xiang (@XiangW_) May 10, 2018 It was announced at Google's most recent conference and annual festival for developers from all around the world which currently holds at the Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, California. Based on the tweet, The devices which will be released in the U.S. are the Mi Bedside Lamp, Mi LED Smart Bulb and the Mi smart plug. The Mi bedside lamp

Dropbox nailed its first quarter as a public company

Dropbox co-founder/CEO Drew Houston image credit : Flickr via CC License File storage company Dropbox beat analyst expectations with the company having Q1 revenues of $316.3 million as opposed to a figure of $309.2 million expected from various analysts. The company now has 11.5 million paying subscribers which is 2.2 million more than what was recorded the previous year. The company also expects over a whooping $1.3 Billion in revenue for this year and over $328 million in revenue for the second quarter. This revenue was 28% more than that recorded the previous year. Dropbox has a huge number of enterprise customers and good features which enable the company to store files in the best way thereby delivering the best type of service to customers and individual users alike. Despite this revenue beat, The company' stock didn't jump as expected but fell 5% probably due to its GAAP gross margin of 61.9% as opposed to the previous year's 62.3% but Dropbox CEO D

Internet beat TV advertising last year

Online advertising grew to a record rate yet last year, A whooping $88 Billion was spent on online advertising which was a record $17 Billion more than what was spent on the huge TV advertising industry last year, This was 21% more than what was recorded in 2017. Out of this figure, $49.9 Billion was spent on mobile advertising which represents how huge and important the sector has become in the consumer space with mobile video hitting a huge $6.2 Billion spend in 2017 out of a total of $11.9 Billion spent in the whole Digital Video industry. This data was brought by The Internet Advertising Bureau in a report they recently published. Search advertising revenue took a huge share of $40.6 Billion, Digital audio grabbing a huge $1.6 Billion from the spend, Digital video taking $11.9 Billion and Social Media grabbing a huge $22.2 Billion from the total spend. This huge growth in online advertising represents a huge influx of new players into the space majorly made up of small bu

Which Tech guys made the "Most Powerful" List

Forbes just recently released its list of the world's most powerful people and we had to study the list to fish out what we love - Technology! We had to check for the Tech dudes on the list and guess what? There are many of them, The C.E.O's of the world's largest tech companies made the list, Other influential tech tycoons who don't even head their companies anymore made the list, Let's take a walk-through through the list starting from the top - Starting at No 5 is Amazon C.E.O and founder Jeff Bezos:                                     Image credit : Insider Monkey He takes the highest position in Technology only being surpassed by the Heads of nations of China, Russia, U.S. and Germany respectively, Jeff Bezos has spearheaded the huge growth of what Forbes describes as an e-commerce Colossus - Amazon which he founded in a garage 24 years ago, Amazon now has a market valuation of over $780 Billion and with Jeff Bezos as C.E.O is poised for hug growth i

All the winners from The Walmart-Flipkart Deal

Image credit: Flipkart We recently profiled Walmart's majority acqusition of Flipkart right here on The Techie but just some moments after we want to go into detail about which company/who made a killing from this Walmart sale. Prior to this major acquisition, Flipkart had raised $7.3 Billion total from Investors and had made 10 acquisitions, include its previous big round of a $1 Billion financing from Softbank and its raising of huge amounts of cash in loans from various Indian banks, It had a number of 21 major investors including Tencent, eBay,  Microsoft, Softbank, Tiger Global, South African based Naspers and a host of other investors. Starting with co-founder Sachin Bansal who sold his entire stake for approximately $1 Billion but will have to pay 20% personal gains tax in his home country India will end up walking away with about $800 million, He apparently sold his entire stake because Walmart only wanted one founder on Flipkart's Board, He also stated via a Fac

Buy at Amazon, Install at Sears

Sears, The American chain of department stores which had been taking a dive recently due to store closes and tumbling stocks has announced a partnership with e-commerce giant Amazon which will now see customers across the U.S order tires via Amazon and get them installed at the nearest Sears Auto Center. This partnership encompasses all tire brands including Sears' own brand DieHard, On this news, Sears stock increased in value by a whooping 20%. This shows the huge value of e-commerce businesses in the consumer space today, This huge increase in value is based on investor expectations that this partnership will hugely increase revenue for Sears which has suffered year-on-year revenue decrease up until now. This program will first launch in 47 of its Auto centers with expansion later coming to the entire 400 Auto centers across the U.S. Customers will pay a standard fee for the installation of their tires, Sears already has about 2,100 technicians currently for the perf

Walmart finalizes $16 Billion Flipkart Deal representing e-commerce' largest

After loads of predictions, expectations and speculation, Walmart has confirmed its acquisition of 77% of Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart for a huge $16 Billion giving the company a valuation of over $20 Billion. This huge deal eclipses the previous record set in the e-commerce industry by a multiple of almost 5 which was PetSmart's acquisition of Chewy.com for $3.35 Billion April last year and also marking Walmart's largest acquisition in both the e-commerce and Brick-and-Mortar space even after the company previously acquired Jet.com for a huge $3.3 Billion. The U.S based Walmart purchased all of the company's shares held by its co-founder Sachin Bansal with him selling his entire 5.5% stake pocketing $800 million from the deal after paying 20% tax on the approximately $1 Billion he's pocketing from the deal, Co-founder Binny Bansal will retain a stake in the company along with Softbank, US based hedge fund Tiger Global, South African Internet giant Naspers an

Job Site Glassdoor sold for $1.2 Billion to Japan's Recruit

 Image credit : Chicago Tribune In what has come across as one of the largest tech deals in the year 2018, Glassdoor, The webite noted for its feature of company management reviews by its employees or ex-employees is now joining Japan's Recruit Holdings after its acquisition by the company for $1.2 Billion closes soon. The company which started 11 years ago and is currently one of the largest job sites in the world announced recently that its being acquired by Japan's Recruit; The Japanese $39 Billion conglomerate which has acquired so many other start-ups in the human resources space including Indeed.com, Quipper and Workopolis. This acquisition is intended to greatly expand Recruit's move into the US Market and also to put in more resources to make Glassdoor grow bigger. The company was co-founded by Robert Hohman, Rich Barton and Tim Besse, Rich Barton who is also notable for co-founding $7B+ real estate company Zillow and Internet travel giant Expedia. He pos

Uber and NASA partner to make its flying cars very safe

Uber and NASA just yersteday announced their partnership/collaboration for the goal of bringing flying taxis to urban areas. NASA which has been unveiled previously as Uber's partner in its development of electric flying cars and air traffic management software for its fleet has now picked up plans of organizing a ride-sharing network with Uber, all these was revealed at Uber Elevate which holds from the 8th to the 9th of May in Los Angeles. The Flying cars will be produced by a number of Aerospace companies which include aviation startup Aurora Flight Sciences, Karem, Bell Helicopter, Pipistrel Vertical Solutions and major industry player Embraer. The companies have all unveiled concepts of the flying cars to be produced for Uber's program. The concepts feature four propellers around the flying vehicle which allows it to take off and land like a helicopter making use of VTOL technology. The aircraft will shuttle a maximum of four passengers sitting at the middle a

The Linksys router which prioritizes Xbox one gaming is out!

image credit : Linksys After unveiling its new product at this year's 'Consumer Electronics Show' Linksys has finally released its anticipated gaming router - The WRT32XB, It's now the first device to specifically offer its routing ability to detect the Xbox One and place it above other devices connected to any Wifi network in order to heavily speed up gaming. Linksys has also made it known that while this device was mainly intended for use on the Xbox, A software update will be rolled out soon which will make the device start to place all gaming devices and not just the Xbox above all other gadgets on its network. It comes with a Custom-Built firmware and user interface, Promotes simultaneous high-speed data processing and Ensures maximum signal strength with its 4 high perfomance antennas. The WRT32XB also gives you high power Next-Generation AC WiFi speeds of up to a whooping 3.2 Gbps that keeps the users at the front-line of their game. It's also

Drive.ai Rides To Texas

    Drive.ai Drive.ai, The Silicon Valley startup which makes use of deep learning to develop software for autonomous cars is preparing to launch its self driving car program in Frisco, Texas, A program that will transport Texans to different locations for free. Drive.ai is launching this program after just beginning 3 years ago when the company was put together by researchers coming out of Stanford University's AI lab, This new program is the first autonomous ride hailing program to fully launch in Texas after the State has witnessed so many test programs but not a fully public one. The company will offer its rides to over 10,000 people in Level 4 autonomous cars moving between Shops, Offices and restaurants over the program's 6 months period.     Drive.ai Drive.ai will also kick off its program on dishing out information to the public about the technology enabling its self-driving vans to perform its function and also gain feedback from customers to find out wha

DJI and Microsoft vastly improves Drone's abilities

    image credit : Pixabay Via CC License Microsoft Event Build 2018   kicked off today! at  The Washington State Convention Center On just the first day, The company has made a huge swath of announcements, statistics, new products and partnerships and one of these announcements which very well stands out is new partnership with the world's leading drone maker DJI to develop smarter drones for the enterprise market. The two companies will work on a new Software Development Kit (SDK) which will enable developers to build both full flight control and live data transfer capabilities into machines running Windows 10. This new software kit will enable easy integration for third party hardware with DJI's drones which will greatly expand its abilities. This partnership will also see DJI get to use Microsoft Azure and its AI products as its commercial cloud provider and for the analysis and interpretation of aerial footage respectively. Roger Luo, DJI's Presid

Today in Tech Deals

Well we all love good stuff, good deals and good products, Mothers Day celebration comes up in 6 days time and we are all participating in showing love to all amazing mothers out there. There are plenty of stuff to buy, Plenty of stuff different mothers we love, We know the mothers who love Smartphones, Smartwatches, VR headsets and all other devices are out there, Right here we pick out the best recent deals where you purchase stuff at a huge discount for both our mothers and also every amazing person out there. Here they are in different categories; Audio In the Audio category, everyone out there surely loves discounted and amazing Headsets, Speakers and all other Audio-based devices, Here are the best audio products to buy right now: The Tribit XSound Go Portable Bluetooth Speaker is $64 OFF right now and selling for $35.99 The  HOPDAY U8 In-Ear Bluetooth Earbuds has been discounted by $77 and is selling for $22.99 The  iJoy Matte Finish Premium Headphones is

Lyft rolls into Las Vegas with its self driving cars

image credit: Lyft Mega Ride hailing behemoth and also super Uber competitor Lyft has recently rolled into Las Vegas with 30 of its self driving cars after starting to do that in the city of Boston since last year. This was done in partnerhsip with Aptiv, The global automotive technology company which has increased in presence in automotive innovation through the recent acquisition of MIT spin-off Autonomous software company nuTonomy, Aptiv will work with the autonomous cars while operating them under the Lyft ride-hailing network, Customers will gain access to these cars thorugh the Lyft app like they do for other rides easily. The vehicle being used in this case is the BMW 5 Series which will now transport users from the Las Vegas Convention Center to various places in the city. The companies plan to fully kick-off this new program somewhere between July and August, Aptiv will also partner with the city of Las Vegas to work on automotive programming and mobility to greatly

Jeff Bezos and the puppy

Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon Inc surely has a lot of medals in his collection and recently has gotten another one - He did this by saving a puppy which was stolen by a driver working for an independent courier service which Amazon uses to deliver its goods. Recently in England, A businessman by name Richard Guttfield who runs a printing business ordered for dog food via the online shopping company for his puppy, The package arrived as soon as possible but what next? After the dog food was delivered, The puppy was gone, His lovely pet was stolen. In response, He sounded an Alarm to popular UK newspaper 'The Sun' and also contacted Amazon itself but the issue was not followed up, Then he took a step in contacting Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos whose e-mail address is famously known as [email protected], After this the issue was picked up immediately due to efforts by Jeff Bezos to continuously satisfy every customer. The Amazon van carrying the puppy was immediately track

The Techie interacts with diversity!

Diversity Diversity has always been a continuous issue, specifically in tech, Women have not found it easy to integrate with the system, Some give up on it entirely because they feel it's the boys club, But everyday it's changing, Things are drastically improving by the days and The Techie's production team is here to celebrate this improvement by producing interactive content on this, Walkthrough our interactive piece below, You will surely find it amazing! Diversity by The Techie

Waymo's self driving vehicle involved in Arizona car crash

image credit: abc15 Arizona Early yesterday, One of Waymo's self driving vehicle was involved in a car crash in the state of Arizona, The US state very open to self driving car testing and also the same where ride hailing company Uber's self driving vehicle was recently involved in a collision too. But there might be a catch to this, The vehicle although having full autonomous capabilities at the current time of accident had a driver operating the car even though the car was moving in autonomous mode. The Waymo vehicle was was struck by Honda Sedan which was in the process of suddenly changing direction in order to avoid another on-coming vehicle and then strayed into the opposite lane colliding with the Waymo vehicle in the process. The accident was pretty serious with the Honda Sedan's glass broken and the front part of the vehicle seriously wrecked, The Waymo vehicle was also badly damaged although it was not as damaged as the Honda Sedan, The people involved i

UBTECH Robotics has raised $820 million in funding at a $5 Billion valuation (News/Review)

UBTECH'S Cruzr Humanoid Robot image credit : UBTECH AI/Robotics company UBTECH which was founded 6 years ago with the aim of integrating 'intelligent robots into the daily lives of everyone in order to create a smarter way of life has raised a whooping $820 million; Capital to grow its leadership in the intelligent service robot industry and to put more funds into Research and Development to heavily improve on its already very intelligent and hugely innovative products. On this round of funding, It should be noted that UBTECH has now surpassed AI startup Sensetime as the worlds most valuable AI startup by a gap of over $400 million. Let's take a walk-through on UBTECH's products which we term as "Hugely effective, innovative and awesomely efficient" ; The company has released a swath of products which include The Lynx, The Alpha, The Jimu and The Cruzr, The company has also partnered with Disney with the release of The Stormtrooper, The company i

Most Read Posts

Warren Buffett Makes A Rare Startup Bet, In Brazil

Warren Buffett is a legendary investor, one known for making a huge fortune from buying and selling stakes in many companies. Via his firm, Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett has led investments in many companies across many industries. Though, in his long investing career, Buffett has largely shied away from one area - tech startups and companies. Paraphrasing his own words, it's because he "didn't understand it".  As time has progressed, Buffett has somewhat become friendly with tech investments, starting with bigger names like Apple and IBM, and then Paytm , India's premier fintech startup. Now, in his latest tech bet, Buffett's Berkshire has ventured into Brazil to the country's premier fintech startup, just like it did in India.  Berkshire has bought a $500mn stake  in Nubank , a premier neobank and the largest fintech startup in Brazil and Latin America at large. The investment is part of a $750mn round for the company at a reported valuation of $30bn.  At

SPAC: Self-Driving Startup Plus To Go Public In $3.3B Deal

An autonomous driving startup with its major operations in the US and China is the latest tech company that's set to hit the public markets through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC). That startup is Plus (formerly Plus.ai), one focused on automated trucking. Plus has agreed to a deal to merge with Hennessy Capital Investment Corp. V (NASDAQ: HCIC) and become a public company. The terms of the merger value the self-driving startup at $3.3bn. From its merger, Plus will get $345mn of cash held in trust by HCIC and then a $150mn PIPE round from investors including BlackRock and the D. E. Shaw Group. That sums up to a cool $495mn for the company to fund its operations. The cash from its SPAC merger is crucial for Plus, as a company that plans to kick off mass production of its product this year.  Plus sells a stack of hardware and complementary software to enable automated driving for trucks. Its main customer base is truck manufacturers, such as China's F

SPAC: EV Startup Lordstown Motors Is In Trouble

You may have heard of this story before - an electric car startup launches, then makes very big promises to investors as it sought to go public through a SPAC merger. But, it later turned out that those promises were a sham. In the above short story, that was Nikola , the troubled electric car startup that was the first company to test the waters of the current SPAC boom. Now, that story is likely repeating itself with another company - Lordstown Motors (NASDAQ: RIDE) . In a recent filing to the SEC , Lordstown warned that it doesn't have sufficient capital to fund commercial-scale production of its electric truck. This is despite raising $675mn from its SPAC merger last year. With its admission of lacking capital, Lordstown is definitely in financial trouble if further investment isn't secured. The question is will investors will be willing to give it loads of cash once again? Lordstown's recent admission is just much in contrast with its sentiment at the time of its SPAC

Space: Rocket Trip With Jeff Bezos Sells For $28M

A seat on a planned short space trip by Blue Origin, the aerospace company owned by Amazon's Jeff Bezos, has been auctioned off for a large amount - $28mn . That emerged as the winning bid from a group of 7,600 people across 159 countries. The $28mn bid was won by a yet-to-be-identified person, who will take a short trip to space aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket. He/she will tag along with Jeff Bezos and his brother Mark Bezos on the trip to the edge of space. It'll be a short 11-minute trip to suborbital space and back as the first crewed mission undertaken by Blue Origin. It's a critical first space trip with humans aboard since Blue Origin was founded in 2000. The ride aboard Blue Origin's rocket is scheduled for July 20, barely two weeks after Bezos will step down as Amazon's CEO and become Chairman. It seems he has been waiting all this while to relinquish his CEO duties and take a trip to space. Blue Origin's first crewed mission is a thing of p

Covid-19: Novavax Says Vaccine 90% Effective

An American biotech firm working on a vaccine for Covid-19 has announced very positive results from its trials. That firm is Novavax , a reputed vaccine maker that began working on a Covid vaccine late last year. Novavax said its vaccine demonstrated 90.4% efficacy against Covid-19 from a sample of nearly 30k participants in the US and Mexico. At that, it plans to file for authorization with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) later this year. Novavax seems late to the game after successful Covid vaccines for the US have already been developed by Pfizer and Moderna. It's yet to receive authorization at a time when hundreds of millions of Pfizer and Moderna doses have already been sold in the US and abroad. Unlike Moderna and Pfizer, Novavax's Covid vaccine is protein-based rather than the mRNA technology the two companies decided to work with. The use of proteins is a long-established way of making vaccines compared to the mRNA which is new to mass production. There ap

Alert: FDA Approves New Alzheimer's Drug From Biogen

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted a landmark approval for a new drug to treat Alzheimer's , a neurologic disorder that affects millions worldwide. It's the first medication cleared by US regulators to treat the ailment in two decades. The drug granted clearance is  Aduhelm made by Cambridge-based Biogen. It's a branded name for  Aducanumab , a medication that works by removing sticky deposits of a protein called amyloid beta found in the brains of early Alzheimer's patients, with the hopes of reducing the ailment's buildup. As a note, Aduhelm is not a cure for Alzheimer's, but a way to attack what is believed to be an underlying cause in the disease in its early stages. It can't be used to tackle Alzheimer's that has already progressed to later stages. Aduhelm will cost $56k per year to patients.  The FDA clearance for Aduhelm came despite objections from many in the scientific and medical community, where there has been a fierce

Alert: Roblox Faces Major Lawsuit Over Music Rights

Shortly after a very successful public listing, gaming platform Roblox now has a formidable obstacle to face. It's getting sued by a group of music publishers alleging exploitation by their music being used on the Roblox platform without permission or payment. The music group suing Roblox includes Universal Music Publishing, Big Machine Records, and popular DJ Deadmau5. They're represented by the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) and seeking at least $200mn in damages. The major allegation against Roblox is that it sells its users the option to insert virtual music players into games they create and that play copyrighted music by artists without compensating writers and copyright holders.  As such, the NMPA asserts that Roblox is enabling piracy with its user base, which skews towards young kids. “Roblox actively preys on its impressionable user base and their desire for popular music, teaching children that pirating music is perfectly acceptable,” the complaint s

Fintech: Sweden's Klarna Raises $640M, Valued At $46B

  Klarna, Europe's premier "buy now, pay later" financing startup has closed a big new round of funding. It's confirmed a $639mn financing round valuing it a whopping $45.6bn. The financing round was led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2, a new investor in the company. Other existing investors including Adit Ventures and WestCap Group also chipped into the round. With a $46bn valuation, Klarna has taken the top spot as the most valuable privately-held tech startup in Europe, according to CB Insights data . Globally, it's the second-most valuable, only beaten by American payments processor  Stripe . A company based out of Sweden, Klarna has built itself into the leading "buy now, pay later" provider globally, beating out Afterpay in Australia and Affirm in America. The company reported $1.1bn in net revenue on a gross merchandise volume of $53bn in 2020. After conquering many markets in Europe, Klarna's major focus is now in the US, where it launched i

Markets: Zoom, Salesforce Invest In Monday.com's IPO

The stock market devotees of the tech world should be aware of Monday.com, an Israeli software company that filed for a US IPO last month May. After filing, Monday.com recently had a successful market debut, with two big names chipping in cash to invest. The two big names are Zoom , the popular video-conferencing software company, and CRM software giant Salesforce . They each bought Monday.com shares worth $75mn at its IPO price and got a modest paper profit as the company soared 15% on its first trading day. Soaring 15%, the $75mn of shares each bought by Salesforce and Zoom produced a one-day gain of $11.6mn. It's a benefit of being a strategic investor whereas it got to purchase shares at the floor IPO price like the bankers underwriting the listing. Though, the shares purchased by Zoom and Salesforce are subject to lock-up restrictions and can't be sold for a period of 180 days. It means the profit is only on paper for now and could get reversed at the whims of the market.

Crypto: MicroStrategy Offers More Junk Bonds To Buy BTC

There's been one company at the forefront of promoting bitcoin use in the corporate world - MicroStrategy . It's bought a few billion dollars worth of bitcoin, financed by its own cash flow as well as borrowings on the bond market. Now, MicroStrategy is back again on the bond market to raise cash to buy bitcoin. This is despite its own indication of expecting to report an impairment loss of $285mn  in its next earnings report due to fluctuation in the price of bitcoin that it holds. MicroStrategy is selling $500mn worth of high-yield bonds, fondly called junk bonds, to buy bitcoin. The bonds are senior notes due by 2028, with an annual interest of 6.125%. MicroStrategy apparently is dazzled with bitcoin, such that after selling $1.6bn worth of bonds last year to buy it, it's back on the block to sell $500mn more. In fact, it originally planned to sell $400mn but topped $100mn more at the last minute. Buying bitcoin is how MicroStrategy has drawn the attention of many inves