What’s happened this week in the Tech & Startup world? 🌍 Uber spends $2.65bn, Lemonade hits the stock market hard, Amazon moves into Musk territory & the fight over internet freedom in Hong Kong continues.
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The Grapevine Newsflash 🔥
12 tech & startup stories in 176 seconds.
🎮 Gamers Galore! Discord has raised $100m at a $3.5bn valuation. Although Discord is best known as a collaboration for gamers, the startup is now attempting to pivot to a collaboration tool for all community group, not just gamers. Read more here.
📷 Story Time? Instagram is testing putting all your friends ‘stories’ onto a separate page. See how this would look here. Interested in the history of Instagram? We recommend giving ‘No Filter - The Inside Story of Instagram’ a read. Get it here!
💰 More Fintech Funding? SolarisBank has raised a €60m in series C funding. SolarisBank offers technology that enables fintechs, banks and other start-ups to execute banking services with ease. Interested to read more about the ‘Banking As A Service’ market? take a peak at this great blog from Starling Bank.
Uber finally buys someone 🎁 They’ve agreed to acquire US-based startup, Postmates, for $2.65bn to further expand their on-demand food delivery business. This comes after failed attempts to buy both DoorDash & Grubhub in recent months. Good thing Uber are profitable… oh wait…
🍋 When Life Gives You Lemons: Shares of insurtech startup Lemonade surged 187% this week following its IPO on Thursday. Lemonade is a New York Based Insurtech that enables users to purchase homeowner or rental insurance quickly and easily through a mobile app.
🚗 Autonomous Amazon! Amazon has acquired Zoox, a self-driving car start-up that’s building autonomous zero-emission vehicles. Zoox has a pretty cool website where you can see some videos, graphics and demos on their product.
🤳 India Bans TikTok: India has banned 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok and WeChat, claiming they were sharing user data with the Chinese government. Get the full scoop here. In reaction to this, the population flocked to Indian-made alternatives like Chingari which had 3.5m downloads in less than 48 hours. Now, the US Secretary of State has announced the US is investigating banning TikTok and a number of other Chinese apps.
AIce 🎾 IBM are creating a 2-week event showing highlights from the last 40 years of Wimbledon. They’ve used AI to automatically find the most exciting moments & revitalise old footage. Check it out here.
Email newsletters are a thing? The very platform you’re reading this off, Substack, was in the news this week for creating a ‘growing class of entrepreneurs’. Their platform allows writers to build their own paid subscription businesses and their top writers are making $100k a year (don’t worry, we’ll always be free).
Easy Money 💰 Prominent venture capital firm, Sequoia Capital, has reportedly raised a new $7.2bn fund, showing that the dual threat of covid and a recession isn’t an issue. It’s fair when you know their portfolio includes Apple, Google, PayPal, LinkedIn, Stripe, Youtube & Yahoo just to mention a few.
App-App and Away 🎈 Global app revenue jumped to $50bn in the first half of 2020, up 23.4% year-over-year. Much of this can be attributed to the effects of the coronavirus. The big winners? Tinder made $433m while YouTube & TikTok made up the top three.
The Fight for Internet Continues ⚔️ As Hong Kong comes to terms with the new security law that limits personal freedoms and access to the internet, it now seems that residents could be punished for their previous social media activities. With these mostly on western platforms like Facebook, a new battle has commenced between the Chinese government and tech giants who are reluctant to give over user data.
A Positive Spin
We don’t need to tell you about what’s going on in the world this week; but we do want to highlight companies, startups and technology that’s being used to positive effect people and movements across the globe today.
💰 Women are disproportionately impacted by the ‘return to work’. The Mom Project has raised $25m in funding to supercharge its job site aimed at helping connect women with new job opportunities.
💪Organise, a platform for helping workers come together and campaign for improved rights, has raised £570k in seed funding.
Bonus: The star of ‘Tiger King’, Carole Baskin, has now joined Cameo - the app for paying celebrities to record short personal videos for you. A video with her costs $199 and she apparently made $20,000 on her first day on the platform 🐅
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