The Bulletin
15H
Amazon eyeing 20% stake in self-driving startup Plus
Amazon is reportedly in talks to acquire a proportion of AI self-driving startup Plus. A report from Bloomberg says that the tech conglomerate is considering buying as much as a 20% stake in Plus, citing a source "familiar with the matter". The deal would give Amazon the right to buy preferred shares of Plus via a warrant at a price of about 47 cents per share, said the source.
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17H
Cryptocurrency finance startup Amber Group raises $100m, valued at $1bn
Cryptocurrency finance startup Amber Group has raised $100m in funding, making it part of the unicorn club. Investment bank China Renaissance led the round with participation from other high-profile investors including New York-based Tiger Global Management, according to a report from CNBC. In addition, existing investors, which includes Coinbase’s venture arm, were involved.
18H
DataRails raises $25m for financial reporting tool
DataRails, the startup which supports small businesses with a sophisticated financial reporting tool, has secured $25m from an extension of its Series A funding round. The cash takes DataRails' total funding to $55m at a time when it has quickly doubled its customer base. Its platform plugs into Excel and offers SMEs financial planning and analytics. DataRails wants to expand into other areas.
18H
Google's London campus for startups closes permanently
Google has announced it is closing its dedicated startup space in London known as Campus. The tech giant first opened the space in 2012, and closed it in early 2020 due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Google has now decided not to reopen it once restrictions ease. Its founder, Eze Vidra, called it "the end of an era" but said that Google doesn't need a physical space to continue supporting startups.
22H
Axiata and Telenor merge telco operations in Malaysia in $15.8bn deal
Axiata and Telenor are to merge their mobile operations in Malaysia in a deal worth $15.8bn. They are currently the second and third biggest operators in the country, with the new combined company set to generate annual revenues of close to $3bn. They are also set to invest $60m in an innovation centre in Kuala Lumpur, aimed to keep Malaysia at the forefront of tech innovation in the sector.
22H
Nvidia to invest £100m in its UK supercomputer
Jensen Huang, Nvidia's CEO has revealed the company's plans to invest over $100 million in Britain’s most powerful supercomputer. The company had previously pledged to spend £40 million on the project. Huang said the $100 million will be a "starting point" for the supercomputer which will be located at the Kao Data campus in Essex. Nvidia is in the process of acquiring Arm for $40 billion.
3D
Microsoft to add four data centres in China - report
Microsoft is forging ahead with plans to significantly increase its presence in Asia, including adding four new data centres in China in 2022, according to a Bloomberg report. The growth would add to six Microsoft data centres in the country, which are operated by by local partner 21Vianet. The report notes that the global pandemic has increased demand for cloud services in Asia.
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3D
Graph database platform Neo4j raises $325m, valued at $2bn
Graph-centric database platform Neo4j has completed a bumper funding round, bringing in $325m. The series F round was led by Eurazeo, with additional investment from GV. The capital, which brings the company’s total raised to date to over $500m, will be put used to expand Neo4j’s platform, workforce, and customer base. The latest funding brings the company's value to more than $2bn.
3D
AWS lands Ferrari cloud deal
Ferrari has chosen AWS to deliver the next stage of its technology transformation. It will tap the tech giant for cloud, AI and machine learning capabilities. The partnership will touch Ferrari's road cars department, as well as its Formula 1 team. It will also leverage AWS tools to build a new digital fan engagement platform. "Ferrari and AWS both represent excellence," said Ferrari's Principal.
3D
Wise to go public via direct listing
Online money transfer service Wise will go public on the London Stock Exchange through a direct listing. Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, is not going the initial public offering route, as it doesn’t need to raise any fresh capital. It is estimated that the company could reach a valuation of up to $7 billion. Its stock market debut will be the first direct listing of a tech company in London.
3D
U.S. House panel set to vote on big tech antitrust bills
A U.S. House panel will convene next week to vote on six proposed antitrust bills aimed at reigning in the power of big tech. The purpose is to decide whether whether the full House of Representatives should vote on the measures. Wednesday's vote is mainly around the likes of Amazon and Google creating a platform for other businesses and then competing against those same businesses.
4D
Industrial cybersecurity company Claroty raises $140m
Industrial cybersecurity company Claroty has completed a funding round worth $140m. The new funding will be used to accelerate the company's expansion into new verticals and regions. The round was co-led by Bessemer Venture Partners' Century II fund and 40North with additional involvement from LG, I Squared Capital's ISQ Global InfraTech Fund, Rockwell Automation, Siemens, and Schneider Electric.
4D
Dell Technologies appoints Chuck Whitten as co-COO
Dell Technologies has announced Chuck Whitten as co-COO, effective August 16, 2021. Whitten joins Vice Chairman and co-COO Jeff Clarke and Chairman and CEO Michael Dell to lead the business. Whitten joins from Bain & Company, where he spent the last 22 years with the last decade focused on the technology sector. Whitten worked alongside Dell to help shape its strategy and growth initiatives.
4D
Baidu's Apollo pledges to offer robotaxi service to three million people by 2023
Chinese tech giant Baidu said its smart driving unit Apollo plans to have 3,000 robotaxis by 2023, with the goal of servicing over three million users. Baidu has also partnered with BAIC Group’s electric vehicle brand ARCFOX to develop 1,000 Apollo Moon, EV robotaxis by 2023. These cars will be manufactured under BAIC’s ARCFOX electric vehicle brand, while Baidu will provide the software.
4D
Akur8 raises $30m to automate insurance pricing
Akur8, the company which uses artificial intelligence to automate insurance pricing, has landed $30m in fresh funding. Insurers to have adopted the software include AXA, Generali, and Munich Re. Akur8 commercialised its platform less than two years ago but it already works with more than 30 customers in 10 countries. Executives say the cash will help with its global expansion.
4D
Ericsson to supply 5G core for Vodafone's UK and Germany networks
Ericsson has won a contract to supply 5G core technologies to Vodafone. The tech will form the basis of Vodafone's 5G networks in the UK and Germany. "Our close collaboration with Ericsson has been significant in taking the next step for 5G innovation," said a Vodafone spokesperson. The UK deployment will go across five years, while work has already begun between the two companies in Germany.
5D
Amazon and Vodafone will launch edge computer capabilities in the UK
Vodafone and Amazon Web Services have partnered to launch edge computing services for its business customers in the UK. Edge computing uses augmented reality and machine learning to analyse bulk data where it was gathered before moving it to remote servers in the cloud. When combined with 5G, edge computing allows for latencies as low as 10 milliseconds in optimal circumstances.
5D
Big Tech critic Lina Khan to chair the US Federal Trade Commission
Lina Khan, a 32-year-old professor and outspoken critic of big tech has been appointed by President Biden to chair the US Federal Trade Commission. Khan was been sworn in today. Khan is highly respected by progressive antitrust thinkers. The appointment comes as the federal government and groups of states have issued an array of lawsuits and investigations into the tech giants.
5D
AI-powered marketing platform Iterable raises $200m, valued at $2bn
AI-powered marketing platform Iterable has raised $200m in a funding round that values the business at $2bn. The round includes participation from new investors Silver Lake, Adams Street Partners, Glynn Capital, and DTCP. Iterable’s existing investors CRV, Viking Global Investors, Blue Cloud Ventures, and Capital One Ventures also participated in the round.
5D
Google Cloud expands relationship with Johnson Controls
Google Cloud has expanded its relationship with Johnson Controls which will see the company running SAP's Enterprise Resource Planning Central Component environment on Google Cloud. Johnson Controls says enabling low-latency access to SAP applications around the world has ensured the highest levels of reliability and scalability. Johnson Controls has almost 100,000 employees across six continents.
5D
5G subscriptions to hit 580m by end of 2021 - Ericsson
Ericsson has released its latest mobility report and said it expects 5G subscriptions to reach more than half a billion by the end of the year. China, North America and the Middle East are leading on subscriptions, said the report. It estimates that there will be 580m by the end of 2021. 60% 5G population coverage is forecast by 2026. "Now is the time for advanced use cases," said a spokesperson.
6D
Edge computing outfit Macrometa raises $20m
The company behind edge computing cloud and global data network for developers, Macrometa, has raised $20m in funding. Macrometa plans to use the new funding to accelerate its customer acquisition and feature development, integrate with leading CDN, cloud and telecom providers and scale its customer success efforts. The new round was led by Pelion Venture Partners.
6D
Edge security firm Elisity secures $26m in funding
Elisity has raised $26m in fresh funding. The money will be used to scale the company's edge security platform. Elisity's technology can can analyse the unique identity and context of people, apps and devices. The Series A round was co-led by Two Bear Capital and AllegisCyber Capital. "CISOs are facing ever increasing attack surfaces caused by the shift to remote work," said an investor.
6D
Tim Berners-Lee to auction the Web as an NFT
The original creator of the World Wide Web, British computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee will auction the original code used to create the modern internet as a non-fungible token. NFTs give people ownership of a unique virtual item, such as pictures and videos. The auction will take place this month, with bidding starting at $1,000. All of the proceeds will go to charitable organisations.
6D
Nokia and Ooredo bring 4G and 5G FWA to Oman
Nokia has teamed up Ooredoo Oman to offer 4G and 5G fixed wireless access in the country. The two companies have been working on the project since January, and they have now announced the availability of FWA throughout Oman. “We are excited to have partnered with Ooredoo Oman to enable world-class FWA connectivity for its customers,” said Rima Manna, Head of the Middle East Market Unit, Nokia.
6D
AI fraud protection startup nSure AI raises $6.8m
A company which uses AI to protect merchants from online fraud has raised $6.8m in new funding. Israel-based nSure AI has developed its technology for high-risk sellers, such as sports tickets and hotel vouchers. The seed round involved DisruptiveAI, Phoenix Insurance, Kamet and other private investors. "This enables us to register thousands of new merchants," said nSure AI's CEO.
6D
Cybersecurity skills platform Immersive Labs closes $75m funding round
Cybersecurity skills platform Immersive Labs has closed $75m in Series C funding led by new investors Insight Partners alongside Menlo Ventures, Citi Ventures and existing investor Goldman Sachs Asset Management. The investment will accelerate delivery of a progressive new Cyber Workforce Optimization platform. It takes Immersive Labs total funding to-date to $123m.
7D
Accenture swoops to acquire umlaut
Accenture has agreed to acquire umlaut, an engineering consulting and services firm headquartered in Aachen, Germany. The move will significantly scale Accenture’s deep engineering capabilities to help companies use digital technologies like cloud, AI, and 5G. The acquisition will add more than 4,200 industry-leading engineers and consultants across 17 countries to Accenture’s Industry X services.
7D
Vodafone reveals partners for Europe Open RAN project
Vodafone has revealed the key technology partners who will help it build Europe's first Open RAN network. Dell Technologies, NEC, Samsung, Wind River, Capgemini Engineering and Keysight Technologies will each play a part in the major project. Vodafone says the network will power digital transformation across the continent. Its CTO commented: "Open RAN provides huge advantages for customers."
7D
NVIDIA to acquire autonomous vehicle startup DeepMap
NVIDIA has agreed to acquire DeepMap, a startup dedicated to building high-definition maps for autonomous vehicles to navigate the world safely. DeepMap was founded five years ago by Wu and Mark Wheeler, veterans of Google, Apple and Baidu. NVIDIA will continue working with DeepMap’s ecosystem to meet their needs, investing in new capabilities and services for new and existing partners.
7D
Qualcomm to invest in Arm if $40bn Nvidia deal falls through
Qualcomm has said it would invest in Arm if the company’s sale to Nvidia is blocked by regulators. Arm's chips are used in 95% of the world’s smartphones. “If Arm has an independent future, I think you will find there is a lot of interest from a lot of the companies within the ecosystem, including Qualcomm, to invest in Arm,” Qualcomm's incoming CEO Cristiano Amon told The Telegraph.
7D
Equinix rocket-boosts data centre programme with new GIC joint ventures
Equinix has signed a series of new joint ventures with GIC, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund. The partnership adds an extra $3.9bn to the coffers for expanding Equinix's hyperscale data centre network. The world's largest cloud providers, including AWS and Azure, will tap into the expanded network. The "xScale" portfolio will provide more than 600 megawatts of power capacity.
7D
Samsung signs first major 5G deal in Europe with Vodafone UK
British telecoms group Vodafone has chosen Samsung Electronics to supply its 5G network equipment in Britain. The deal is Samsung's first 5G network kit supply deal with a major European mobile operator and it comes after the UK and other European countries begin to replace Huawei as a supplier. Samsung will supply vRAN solutions and open RAN compliant radios to Vodafone.
10D
McDonald's suffers data breach
The personal information of some McDonald's employees and customers has been exposed via a data breach in Taiwan and South Korea. Cyberattackers gained access to emails, phone numbers and delivery addresses. Consultants have been brought in to investigate how the breach occurred. McDonald's says it will reach out to the individuals whose data was hacked, and has vowed to improve security.
10D
Intel offers $2bn for chip startup SiFive Inc.
Intel has offered around $2bn to acquire semiconductor startup SiFive Inc. according to a Bloomberg report. It references "people familiar with the matter, which says the company has been the subject of a number of other takeover offers, although it is thought to prefer an investment, rather than a takeover deal. Interest in chip companies is being driven by a worldwide chip shortage.
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10D
Huawei to develop driverless car technology by 2025
China's Huawei Technologies has revealed its plans to develop driverless passenger car technology by 2025. The turn to autonomous cars comes as a result of Huawei's need to diversify after the Trump administration said the company was 'a threat' to the US."Our team's goal is to reach true driverless passenger cars in 2025," said Wang Jun, a senior executive at Huawei's smart vehicle unit.
10D
AWS to open cloud region in Israel
AWS has confirmed that it will open an infrastructure region in Israel. The new data centres will be ready in the first half of 2023, and will serve growing demand for AWS services in the Middle East. The cloud giant has recently announced a new region in Dubai. "Cloud technology is at the heart of the Israeli government’s digital transformation programme," said an AWS spokesperson.
11D
Klarna hits $46bn valuation
Klarna has landed fresh funding led by SoftBank, valuing the company at $46bn. A number of other high-profile investors were involved in the round, which also included rapper Snoop Dogg. Klarna is officially Europe's most valuable startup after seeing demand soar during the COVID-19 pandemic. It processes two million transactions every day, and has 90 million users globally.
11D
Google will build the longest subsea internet cable in the world
Google has announced its plans to build Firmina, the longest-ever subsea cable that will connect the US with Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. From 2023, the fibre cable will provide users in South America with improved low-latency access to Google’s portfolio of consumer and cloud services. The name of the cable was chosen to honour Brazilian abolitionist and author Maria Firmina dos Reis.
11D
Deep learning startup Eightfold AI raises $220m, valued at $2.1bn
Deep learning and AI startup Eightfold AI has raised £220m in a Series E funding round. The funding was led by Softbank Vision Fund 2 and values the company at around $2.1bn. The funds will be used to continue the growth and development of Eightfold's AI-powered Talent Intelligence Platform and expand its partner ecosystem. General Catalyst and Capital One Ventures also participated in the round.
11D
Ledger pockets $380m
Ledger has raised $380m from a bumper new funding round. The company, which offers a secure gateway for cryptocurrencies and secures an estimated 15% of all cryptocurrency assets globally, completed a Series C round led by 10T Holdings. "Our products are designed to give users maximum control over their digital assets," said Ledger's CEO. The firm is now valued in excess of $1.5bn.
12D
Amazon's use of data to be investigated by UK watchdog - FT
The UK's competition regulator is planning to investigate Amazon's use of data, according to the Financial Times. The report says the CMS is likely to follow the EU's lead in probing whether the company unfairly promotes its own products. It adds that the regulator has been "analysing Amazon’s business for months, focusing on how the online retailer uses the data it collects on its platform."
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12D
Meat company JBS pays $11m to cyberattackers
Meat processing company JBS has said it paid a hefty ransom of $11m in cryptocurrency after the company was hit by a cyberattack at the beginning of June. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has attributed the attack to REvil. “This was a very difficult decision to make for our company and for me personally,” Andre Nogueira, CEO, JBS USA told Associated Press.
12D
AI adoption in manufacturing rising sharply - Google Cloud study
A new study from Google Cloud has highlighted how manufacturers are increasingly prioritising the adoption of artificial intelligence. The report found that a third of IT spend by manufacturers is now focussed on AI. It polled 1,154 senior manufacturing executives in seven countries. 64% of respondents said they already depend on AI to assist with day-to-day operations.
12D
Solana Labs raises $314m from private token sale
Blockchain firm Solana Labs has raised $314m from a private token sale. The company's blockchain offers support for decentralised apps and marketplaces. Its investment was led by Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain Capital. Since launching in 2018, Solana says it has processed more than 19 billion on-chain transitions. "Tens of thousands" of developers have also flocked to the network.
12D
Dell plans to build a cloud-native telecom ecosystem for 5G
Dell Technologies has presented its plans for a “cloud-native telecom ecosystem” consisting of network infrastructure and software, dozens of reference architectures, a new innovation lab and a host of industry partners. Dell wants to help telcos evolve their network infrastructures while mitigating the risk of doing so. The telco sector could be worth as much as $700bn a year by 2030.
12D
El Salvador becomes first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender
El Salvador is the first country in the world to formally adopt bitcoin as legal tender. Last night, lawmakers in the country’s Congress voted by a “supermajority” in favour of President Nayib Bukele's Bitcoin Law, receiving 62 out of 84 of the legislature’s vote. "It will bring financial inclusion, investment, tourism, innovation and economic development for our country," Bukele said.
12D
Cybersecurity firm Extrahop to be acquired for $900m
Cloud-native network detection and response (NDR) company ExtraHop is to be acquired by Bain Capital and Crosspoint Capital in a $900m deal. According to research from IDC, ExtraHop is among the top three players in NDR, the second fastest growing segment of the cybersecurity market. ExtraHop is the first dedicated investment made from Bain Capital Fund XIII, its $11.8bn private equity fund.
13D
Google hit with $268m fine by French regualator
Google has been hit with a €220m ($268m) fine by French watchdogs for unfairly favouring its own tools for buying and selling adverts. The ruling has led to Google pledging to change its practices by changing how its Ad Manager platform and AdX exchange operate. The decision could present an opportunity for publishers who feel they have been disadvantaged to seek damages from Google.
13D
Sites back online after Fastly outage
Fastly has issued a fix for the configuration which led to a large number of high-profile websites going down on Tuesday. As one of the biggest content delivery network providers, Fastly works with organisations to deliver content faster to users. Amazon, Spotify and The New York Times were among the companies whose sites suffered outages due to the flaw. Most sites were down for around an hour.