The Bulletin
2D
Reddit hires Drew Vollero as first CFO in preparation for IPO
Reddit has named former Snap Inc executive Drew Vollero as its first chief financial officer. The social media platform that took centre stage during the GameStop is planning an initial public offering. Vollero's hiring is a step toward tidying up Reddit's books before going public. Steve Huffman, Reddit’s CEO, said that the company "thinking about it2 and "working towards that moment.”
2D
Microsoft plans new cloud region in China
Microsoft is expanding its cloud services in China with a new Azure region planned for the north of the country. The site will be opened through Microsoft's local operating partner, 21Vianet. According to China Cloud Industry Development white paper, China's cloud industry is on course to be worth $46bn within two years. Microsoft says it wants to help "grow local technology ecosystems".
2D
Qualys falls victim to Accellion data breach
Qualys is the latest company to suffer from the data breach at Accelion. The Clop ransomware group published screenshots belonging to the security vendor, although Qualys has since said that no personal customer information was compromised. The Accelion breach has affected numerous companies, including retail giant Kroger. The attack has only recently become news after occurring in December.
2D
UK watchdog to launch probe into Apple's App Store
The Competition and Markets Authority has launched an investigation under Chapter II of the Competition Act 1998 into suspected breaches of competition law by Apple. The investigation concerns Apple’s conduct in relation to the distribution of apps on iOS and iPadOS devices in the UK, in particular, the terms and conditions governing app developers’ access to Apple’s App Store.
3D
IT aviation company SITA suffers cyberattack
SITA, one of the world's largest aviation IT companies has compromised information belonging to several airline companies. The information of about 580,000 KrisFlyer and Singapore Airlines (SIA) Priority Passenger Service (PPS) members has been compromised by the data breach. SITA said it took "immediate action" to contact affected customers and all related organisations.
3D
Wipro to acquire tech consultancy Capco for $1.45bn
Wipro is to acquire Capco, a global management and technology consultancy, for $1.45bn. Capco provides digital, consulting and technology services to financial institutions in the Americas, Europe and the Asia Pacific. Wipro said the deal will make it one of the largest end-to-end global consulting, technology and transformation service providers to the banking and financial services industry.
3D
Okta to buy identity competitior Auth0 for $6.5bn
Digital identity firm Okta has agreed a $6.5bn deal to buy one of its main competitors, Auth0. Auth0 will operate as an independent business unit inside of Okta. "Okta and Auth0 address a broad set of identity use cases and the acquisition will accelerate the companies’ shared vision of enabling everyone to safely use any technology, shaping the future of identity on the internet," said Okta.
3D
Virtual events platform Hopin raises $400m, valued at $5.65bn
One of Europe's hottest startups, Hopin, has closed a bumper funding round of $400m, taking the value of the virtual events platform to $5.65bn. It comes only a year after the company was founded and four months after closing a $125m round. Andreessen Horowitz and General Catalyst led the round, with participation from IVP, Coatue, DFJ Growth, Northzone and Salesforce Ventures.
3D
Apple faces UK antitrust investigation over App Store terms
The UK's Competition and Markets Authority has launched an antitrust investigation into where its App Store terms are unfair and anti-competitive. The prove follows a series of complaints, including a high-profile one from Epic Games. Apple said its terms were "fair and equal". The tech giant charges a 30% commission from developers any time a consumer buys their app.
3D
Clari raises $150m for "revenue analytics" platform
Clari plans to double its workforce after raising $150m at a valuation of $1.6bn. The company's software helps businesses to more accurately forecast their revenues. Clari calls its capability "revenue analytics". Silver Lake led the Series E investment round, with Sequoia Capital among the other backers. "Over the last year, we've seen record usage and engagement," said Clari's CEO.
4D
Big tech backs Yugabyte
Dell and Wipro are among the companies to have supported Yugabyte's new $48m funding round. The startup behind the cloud-native, open source YugabyteDB database completed the round just nine months after closing its Series C. It has now raised more than $100m since being founded in 2016. Lightspeed Venture Partners led this latest round, with the cash set to help launch the Yugabyte Cloud.
4D
Malaysia Airlines suffered a nine-year-long data breach
Malaysia Airlines has disclosed a data breach that spanned nine years and involved the theft of personal information from its frequent flyer programme, Enrich. The security incident involved a third-party information technology service provider tasked with running Enrich between March 2010 and June 2019. The data exposed included member's names, contact information and dates of birth.
4D
PGA Tour announces AWS as official cloud provider
The PGA Tour has confirmed AWS as its cloud provider. The Tour will use AWS machine learning, storage, compute, analytics, database, and media services to process and distribute video footage from each golf tournament, while also giving fans new ways to engage with Tour content. It will use AWS Media Services deliver video content for televised event coverage and OTT streaming for online viewers.
4D
Nokia and University of Technology Sydney announce 5G Innovation Lab
Nokia has announced a five-year partnership with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) to build and run a 5G innovation facility at the university’s Tech Lab campus in Sydney, Australia. The 5G Innovation Lab will enable Nokia, UTS and partners to push the boundaries of 5G technology by testing new 5G use cases with real world applications, including Industry 4.0, IoT and smart cities.
4D
Autonomous flying taxi startup Volocopter raises $241m
Autonomous flying taxi startup Volocopter has completed a $241m funding round, taking the company's total funding to-date to $388.5m. "The funding will be used to solidify Volocopter’s leading position in the UAM market by bringing the VoloCity, the battery-powered air taxi for cities, to certification and by accelerating the launch of its first commercial routes," said Volocopter.
4D
GlobalFoundries announces $1.4bn expansion
GlobalFoundries has revealed its plans to invest $1.4 billion in 2021 to raise output at three factories in the United States, Singapore and Germany. The news comes in the midst of a global chip shortage that has forced many manufacturers and automakers to reduce output. GlobalFoundries is also rumoured to bring forward its initial public offering in late 2021 or early 2022.
4D
Intel to pay $2.18bn after losing chip patent trail
Chipmaker Intel Corp has been found guilty of infringing clock frequency and voltage patents owned by VLSI LLC. As compensation, Intel has been ordered to pay $2.18 billion dollars to VKSI. "Intel strongly disagrees with today's jury verdict," the company told Bloomberg in a statement. "We intend to appeal and are confident that we will prevail." The patents date back to 2010 and 2012.
4D
Microsoft unveils solution for AI at the edge
Microsoft has boosted its edge AI offering with the launch of Azure Percept. A platform of hardware and services, Azure Percept aims to simplify how customers can get Azure capabilities at the edge. It includes an "intelligent" camera for use cases like object detection. Microsoft also said it is working with manufacturers to build an ecosystem of edge devices tailored for Azure Percept.
5D
Uber spins off robotic delivery unit Serve Robotics
Uber is spinning out Serve Robotics, the new name of the Postmates’ delivery robot operation that it acquired last year for $2.65 billion, into a separate startup. Serve Robotics will deliver food, groceries and other items to Uber customers. Uber will co-lead with Neo what’s likely to be a $50 million investment round in Serve Robotics and it will be a minority shareholder in the company.
5D
Google, Allianz and Munich Re partner to offer cyber insurance services
Google LLC has teamed up with Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty (AGCS), and Munich Re for the "first of its kind" cyber insurance programme for cloud customers. The Risk Protection Program offers coverage against data breaches as well as a risk analysis tool to find weak points in companies' cloud environments’ security. This initiative could make cyber insurance more mainstream.
5D
Former Apple and Waymo executive joins Aeva as Vice President
Self-driving sensor startup Aeva has hired another former Apple executive, Tim Willis, for the role of Vice President, overseeing global supply chain, manufacturing and operations. Aeva, founded by former Apple engineers Soroush Salehian and Mina Rezk develops lidar sensors for autonomous cars. Willis oversaw manufacturing and supply chain operations at Waymo, and worked for Apple and Motorola.
5D
Ecommerce firm Coupang could raise up to $3.6bn from IPO
Coupang, South Korea's ecommerce leader, says it could earn as much as $3.6bn from its upcoming IPO. The company is listing 120 million shares priced at between $27 to $30 per share. The IPO will take place on the New York stock exchange, with SoftBank set to receive a windfall after making hefty investments in Coupang in recent years. Coupang has become known for the speed of its deliveries.
5D
Cisco wraps up $4.5bn acquisition of Acacia Communications
Cisco has completed the acquisition of Acacia Communications, Inc. for $4.5bn. It said the deal reinforces its commitment to optics as a building block that will enhance Cisco’s ‘Internet for the Future’ strategy with coherent optical solutions. Acacia designs and manufactures high-speed, optical interconnect technologies that allow webscale companies, service providers and data centre operators.
5D
IBM announces general availability of Cloud Satellite
IBM has announced that its hybrid cloud services are now generally available in any environment - on any cloud, on-prem or at the edge - via IBM Cloud Satellite. Lumen Technologies and IBM have integrated IBM Cloud Satellite with the Lumen edge platform to enable clients to harness hybrid cloud services in near real-time and build solutions at the edge.
5D
Chiliz to take blockchain sports platform to the U.S.
Chiliz, the company behind a successful blockchain sports venture in Europe, now plans to expand to the U.S.. It uses blockchain to offer sports fans tokens to earn rewards and promotions, giving teams new digital revenues. Chiliz works with football clubs including AC Milan and FC Barcelona. Chief executive Alexandre Dreyfus told Reuters that Chiliz will spend $50m on the U.S expansion.
6D
WiFi networks provider Boingo Wireless to go private in $854m deal
WiFi networks provider Boingo Wireless is to go private in a deal with Digital Colony Management worth $854m. Digital Colony will acquire all the outstanding shares of Boingo common stock for $14 per share including $199m Boingo’s debt. The company provides WiFi and cellular services to airports, stadiums, military bases, multifamily communities and other public places worldwide.
6D
Rocket Lab merges with SPAC, values newco at $4.1bn
Space startup Rocket Lab has become the latest company to merge with a SPAC company to go public. It confirmed today that is to merge with Vector Acquisition Corporation, a SPAC backed by technology investor Vector Capital. The deal values the company, which is to be changed to Rocket Lab USA, at $4.1bn and it will will trade under the Nasdaq ticker symbol RKLB.
6D
Axonius raises $100m to bolster IoT security
Cybersecurity firm Axonius is now a unicorn after completing a $100m investment round. The Series D means Axonius is now valued at more than $1bn. The company has developed a security platform to manage IoT devices end-to-end. It was only founded in 2017 but doubled its headcount last year. "Security teams can no longer afford to spend time compiling data about devices," said its co-founder.
6D
Softbank's Z Holdings to invest $4.7bn in AI
SoftBank’s internet subsidiary Z Holdings plans to invest 500 billion yen ($4.7 billion) in new technologies over five years. The news follows the merger of its internet business Yahoo Japan with chat app operator Line, which created a $30 billion internet heavyweight. “The ZHD Group will incorporate AI into all of our services to promote the creation of new value,” Z Holdings has said.
6D
Drone maker Skydio raises $170m, takes value to $1bn+
Autonomous drone maker Skydio has raised $170m in a fundin round that has pushed its value past the $1bn mark. The Series D funding round was headed up by Andreessen Horowitz’s Growth Fund and takes the company's total funding to-date to $340m. Skydio said it will use the funds the drive geographical expansion and bolster its product development.
6D
Klarna raises $1bn in new funding
Klarna has closed a new funding round at $1bn, valuing the fintech at $31bn. It says the round was 4x oversubscribed, and that it combines new and existing investors. The rise in Klarna's valuation now makes it the most valuable private fintech in Europe. It says the money will fuel its international expansion, although it has also pledged to invest 1% of the capital on sustainability initiatives.
9D
Atlassian snaps up data visualisation startup Chartio
Atlassian has acquired Chartio, a cloud-based visualisation and analytics solution. Chartio will be utilised to help Atlassian provide data visualisation across its various products. “We are thrilled to be joining Atlassian and amplify our missions with such an incredible platform, company, and customer base,” said Dave Fowler, Chartio’s Founder and CEO.
9D
HPE announces CloudPhysics acquisition
HPE has acquired IT intelligence platform CloudPhysics. HPE said the deal will acquisition extends its ability to bring real world insights to customers and partners across most IT environments. CloudPhysics can monitor and analyse IT infrastructures, estimate costs and viability of cloud migrations and model a customers’ IT infrastructure as a virtual environment.
9D
Ex-Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri gets top job at Inmarsat
Rajeev Suri will become CEO of Inmarsat on March 1st. He is to replace Rupert Pearce, who will step down at the end of February. Suri's six-year stint as CEO of Nokia came to an end last August after the telco suffered a series of 5G setbacks. Inmarsat specialises is satellite communications and holds a global spectrum portfolio. "Rajeev’s experience will support future growth," said its Chairman.
9D
UK to support fintech startups with $1.25bn package
The UK Government has announced the roll-out of a $1.25 billion Coronavirus relief package to support the country's startup scene. The plan includes a £500 million investment fund for high-growth companies and £750 million in grants and loans for SMEs. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said the plan will boost growth, employment and economic output in the country's fintech sector.
9D
TikTok to pay $92m in privacy lawsuit settlement
TikTok owner ByteDance has agreed to pay $92 million as part of a settlement of a US class-action privacy lawsuit. The lawsuit accused TikTok of breaking Illinois' biometric privacy law by collecting “highly sensitive personal data” without the users' consent. The social media app said in a statement that it “disagrees with the assertions," but wanted to settle to avoid "lengthy litigation".
9D
Microsoft announces three industry-tailored clouds
Microsoft has revealed its latest industry-specific cloud offerings. The tech corporation will deliver tailored clouds to the manufacturing, non-profit and financial services verticals. The announcement comes after Microsoft launched clouds built for the retail and healthcare sectors last year. The company says it wants to help organisations "empower everyone to deliver value faster".
10D
Lexer raises $25.5m to grow customer data platform
Lexer has completed a funding round for $25.5m. The customer data platform, founded out of Melbourne, wants to expand into the U.S. and Southeast Asia. The investment round was led by Blackbird Ventures and King River Capital, and brings Lexer's total cash raised to $33m. The company works predominantly in the retail space with brands like Quiksilver and DC Shoes.
10D
Infra.Market becomes India's newest tech unicorn
Infra.Market has recently raised $100 million, becoming India's latest tech unicorn. The round was led by Tiger Global, with contribution from Accel Partners, Nexus Venture Partners, Evolvence India Fund, Sistema Asia Fund and Foundamental Gmbh. Infra.Market is a startup that helps construction and real estate companies procure materials and handle logistics for their projects.
10D
Bombardier hit by cyberattack
Aviation organisation Bombardier has been hit by a cyberattack. An initial investigation revealed that an unauthorised party accessed and extracted data by exploiting a vulnerability affecting a third-party file-transfer application, which was running on purpose-built servers isolated from the main Bombardier IT network. The security breach saw some personal data published on the dark web.
10D
Verizon bids over $45bn on 5G spectrum
Verizon and AT&T were the winners of the US Federal Communications Commission's $81 billion auction for the license to use important airwaves that are ideal for 5G. In the action, Verizon spent nearly twice as much as AT&T, with a total spend of $45.4 billion. The airwaves will be able to carry data at 5G speeds, which are significantly faster than the current wireless service.
10D
UK phone owners may be entitled to £482m payout
Around 29m Britons could be entitled to a payout after being overcharged for their smartphones, if a claim by consumer champion Which? is successful. According to Which?, consumers could be owed a collective £482.5m in damages from tech giant Qualcomm. Which? believes Qualcomm has breached UK competition law by taking advantage of its dominance in the patent-licensing and chipset markets.
10D
$37bn needed to address chip shortage - Biden
President Biden has vowed to press for $37bn in funding to address the current semiconductor shortage. Manufacturers globally have had to cut production as chip supplies run low. After strong lobbying from industry, Biden says Congress will look to set aside $37bn. He also signed an executive order to address the global shortage. Ford says it could have to cut production by as much as 20% in Q1.
11D
Security platform Lacework makes raft of C-Suite appointments
Security platform Lacework has made a raft of executive hires, including the appointment of David Hatfield as CEO. Former CEO Dan Hubbard takes the helm as Lacework’s Chief Product Officer; renowned security and machine learning researcher Ulfar Erlingsson, PhD. joins as Chief Architect; and industry veteran Mike Staiger has joined as CFO. Lacework raised $525m in a financing round in January.
11D
India sets aside $1bn to increase IT product exports
India is to spend $1bn on boosting the manufacturing and export of IT products. It is incentivising manufacturers with offers of between 1-4% cashback on additional sales. "The focus of the scheme is to get global champions to India and to make national champions out of local manufacturers," said a government minister. India is already discussing the incentives with Apple and HP.
11D
Fry's Electronics to shut down its stores and go out of business
Fry’s Electronics, the West coast-based electronic store chain is going out of business, local broadcaster KRON4 has confirmed. The company was already struggling before the pandemic and has not been able to meet its challenges. Fry's Electronics website explains it will shut down all its stores "as a result of changes in the retail industry and the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic."
11D
Biden to sign executive order addressing global chip shortage
United States' President Joe Biden will sign an executive order aiming at addressing the global semiconductor chip shortage after meeting with a bipartisan group of lawmakers. Earlier this month, a group of companies had called upon the White House to take measures regarding this issue, which has forced manufacturers to cut the production of goods like automobiles, game consoles and smartphones.
11D
Globe Telecom picks Nokia for 5G roll-out
Nokia has won a contract to supply 5G to Globe Telecom, the largest mobile operator in the Philippines. The network will reach over 1,000 sites in the country, spread across the second and third largest islands of Mindanao and Visayas. Nokia will also upgrade existing 4G networks. The project is expected to complete by 2023. "It’s exciting to be part of this," said a Nokia spokesperson.
12D
AIOps firm ScienceLogic closes big funding round
ScienceLogic, a company whose platform helps customers embrace AIOps, has raised $105m in growth financing. Silver Lake Waterman led the Series E but high-profile investors Goldman Sachs and Intel also took part. ScienceLogic says it will pour the money into product development and expansion. "More than ever, IT operations management has taken root as a front-office priority," said its founder.
12D
Intel and Google Cloud combine to drive 5G network rollouts
Intel and Google Cloud have partnered to help providers accelerate 5G initiatives. The collaboration aims to develop telco cloud reference architectures and integrated solutions for communication providers to accelerate 5G deployment across network and edge locations. It will launch new lab environments to help communications service providers innovate for cloud native-based 5G networks.