The Bulletin
6H
LogicMonitor unveils Christina Kosmowski as President
IT infrastructure monitoring and observability platform LogicMonitor has announced the appointment Christina Kosmowski as President. She joins LogicMonitor after spearheading global customer success and services at publicly traded Slack, where she was instrumental in scaling the business from $90m in annual revenue to $1bn in annual revenue. Prior to Slack, Kosmowski spent 15 years at Salesforce.
7H
OneWeb secures $350m funding from SotfBank
The satellite communications company OneWeb, jointly owned by the UK Government and Bharti Global, has secured $350m in funding from SoftBank.It brings the company's funding to $1.4bn and positions the company to be fully funded for its first-generation satellite fleet, totaling 648 satellites, by the end of 2022. SoftBank will gain a seat on the OneWeb Board of directors.
8H
GitLab and IBM team up on DevOps
GitLab will be part of IBM's cloud offering after the pair agreed a partnership. A shared platform called "GitLab for IBM Cloud Pak" will use IBM's AI to speed up development. They say this will drive DevOps maturity for customers. "Together our mutual customers get a unique, open and hybrid solution for DevOps," said an IBM spokesperson. Applications can still be deployed to other cloud services.
9H
Huawei appeal dismissed by Swedish court
A Swedish court has dismissed Huawei's against its exclusion from the country’s 5G network rollout. The roll-out will thus start next week as planned. The Chinese telecom giant also reportedly submitted a letter to Sweden, arguing that the government's decision banning the company from participating in the rolling out of Sweden’s 5G network violated the China-Sweden bilateral investment treaty.
9H
IBM acquires Taos Mountain to expand cloud services
IBM will buy the cloud consultancy Taos Mountain. Taos focuses on managed services such as data centre migration, platform engineering and hybrid cloud. The terms of the deal are undisclosed. “All our clients are telling us their applications and data will reside in multiple clouds and hybrid cloud computing environments,” said David Sun, IBM's director of corporate business development.
11H
Siemens among ThoughtWorks backers in $720m round
Software consultant ThoughtWorks has raised $720m from investors. Siemens and GIC are among the companies to have provided backing. ThoughtWorks will use the cash to repurchase equity from other investors and grow internationally. The business started out as a small consultancy in Chicago 25 years ago but now has more than 7,000 employees worldwide.
1D
Harness raises $115m in funding, valued at $1.7bn
Continuous integration and delivery platform Harness has raised $115m in a funding round that values the business at $1.7bn. Alkeon Capital led a $85m Series C round, with new investors Battery Ventures, Citi Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Sorenson Capital, and Thomvest Ventures. It includes a $30m Series B-1 funding round, led by existing investors Menlo Ventures, IVP, and Unusual Ventures.
1D
Google completes $2.1bn acquisition of Fitbit
Google has completed its acquisition of wearable tech company Fitbit, the companies have confirmed. The $2.1bn deal was first announced more than a year ago but drew concerns from watchdogs. After Google made a number of pledges to keep Fitbit device agnostic, the European Union rubber-stamped the deal last month. Rick Osterloh, SVP, Devices & Services, said the deal is about "devices, not data".
1D
Nokia partners with Google for 5G infrastructure
Nokia has agreed a partnership with Google Cloud to build out its 5G core infrastructure. Google will help customers launch applications and build service ecosystems. “We will start to see some of these things get in the live environment by end of this year,” Amol Phadke, Managing Director at Google Cloud told Reuters. The pair have a history of collaboration in the networking space.
1D
Goldman Sachs partners with Marqeta to build checking accounts
Goldman Sachs has partnered with card issuing startup Marqeta to build the U.S. bank’s Marcus checking accounts. The goal is to create more personalised and feature-rich digital banking services for Goldman Sachs' customers. California-based startup Marqeta has seen a business boost this year as a consequence of COVID-19. Its backers include Goldman Sachs, Mastercard Inc and Visa.
1D
New Whatsapp privacy policies prompt a rapid rise in Signal daily installs
Encrypted messaging app Signal has seen a meteoric rise in daily instalments, caused by Whatsapp's change in privacy policies, which will make users share their information with Facebook in order to continue using the app. Signal saw 17.8 million app downloads on Apple and Google during the week of Jan. 5 to Jan. 12. Telegram has also doubled its average weekly downloads during the past week.
1D
US shelves plans to blacklist Chinese tech giants
The US administration has ended plans to block investment in Chinese tech giants Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu. The trio were set to be blacklisted as part of a wider crackdown on China investment from the government. But the US Treasury has stepped in and frozen the plans. Nine other Chinese companies look likely to be subjected to blocks, however, ahead of President Trump vacating the White House.
2D
Dropbox to cut 11% of staff, COO Olivia Nottebohm to depart
Dropbox has confirmed that it is to cut around 11% of its workforce, meaning around 315 are to be let go. In an email to staff, CEO Drew Houston said: "This reduction, while painful, is necessary to implement the new strategies we’ve shared over the last few months." He also revealed that that Olivia Nottebohm is stepping down from her role as Chief Operating Officer from next month.
2D
LogRhythm buys MistNet
Security intelligence company LogRhythm has acquired MistNet, a threat detection startup. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. MistNet has raised $7m in funding for its AI-powered platform which minimises exposure to cyber-risks. "Their solution will facilitate our goal of addressing current and emerging endpoint security needs," said LogRhythm's CEO Mark Logan.
2D
Intel poaches Pat Gelsinger from VMware in CEO reshuffle
Intel has announced the appointment of VMware's Pat Gelsinger as its new CEO. The 40-year technology veteran will replace outgoing CEO Bob Swan from February 15, when he will also join Intel's board of directors. Gelsinger has served as the CEO of VMware since 2012, where he significantly transformed the company into a recognised global leader in the cloud infrastructure space.
2D
Qualcomm to pay $1.4bn for chip startup Nuvia
Qualcomm is buying chip startup Nuvia for $1.4bn. Nuvia has to now focused on data centre CPUs, but Qualcomm plans to use the technology across smart devices and in automotive tech. This is viewed as a move to better compete with Apple and Intel in the mobile chip space, where Qualcomm has lost ground in recent years. Earlier this month Qualcomm announced that Cristiano Amon will be its new CEO.
2D
Fintech startup Rapyd reaches $2.5b valuation
Israeli payments technology start-up Rapyd has raised $300 million in a Series D funding round, doubling its valuation to $2.5 billion. Rapyd offers payment services enabling the transfer of electronic funds across borders through various means of payment, including bank transfers, digital wallets, and cash. The app has seen massive growth in the demand for these services prompted by COVID-19.
2D
Nokia and M1 partner with 5G standalone Core to drive Singapore’s 5G ecosystem
Nokia and M1 have signed a partnership agreement to deploy Nokia’s cloud-native Core software in order to drive Singapore’s 5G standalone network launch in 2021. The network will help M1 to develop strategic partnerships with government agencies, universities and leading enterprises. Nokia 5G standalone Core software Components will be hosted on Keppel Corporation’s data centre infrastructure.
2D
Visa and Plaid terminate $5.3b merger agreement following antitrust lawsuit
Visa has terminated its $5.3 billion acquisition of data-focused fintech API startup Plaid after facing an antitrust lawsuit from the U.S Department of Justice. The deal was announced a year ago but the DOJ blocked it in November, stating that Visa is a "monopolist in online debit" and would eliminate Plaid's potential ability to compete in the online debit market. The DOJ has dropped the lawsuit.
3D
Integration and automation platform Workato raises $110m
Enterprise technology provider Workato has clawed in $110m in new funding to kick off 2021, taking its valuation to $1.7bn, the company offers an integration and automation platform for businesses. It said it will use the finds to "double down on its product innovation and technology development" and will invest significantly in scaling teams in the U.S. and internationally in EMEA and APAC.
3D
Cockroach Labs raises $160m
Database unicorn Cockroach Labs has raised another chunk of cash. The company has pocketed $160m at a valuation of $2bn. It comes just eight months after the firm raised $86 million. This latest round, its Series E, was led by Altimeter Capital. Cockroach Labs has built CockroachDB, the cloud-native SQL database. The company's revenue more than doubled during the course of 2020.
3D
IBM snaps up Salesforce consultancy 7Summits
IBM has acquired 7Summits, a leading Salesforce consultancy with more than a decade of delivering transformative digital experiences across industries. The acquisition extends IBM's portfolio of Salesforce services and experience design capabilities and further advances IBM's hybrid cloud and AI strategy. Financial details were not disclosed. IBM is a Global Strategic Partner of Salesforce.
3D
UK fintech Curve raises $95m in Series C funding round
UK fintech Curve has secured $95m from international investors as part of a Series C round. The company combines multiple cards and accounts into one smart card and app. Curve will deploy the investment to expand internationally, including to the US, and deepen its European reach. Curve will also use the fresh funding to drive ongoing product innovation, including Curve Credit in early 2021.
3D
Walmart to create new fintech startup
Walmart is partnering with investment firm Ribbit Capital to launch a fintech company. The startup will focus on offering "modern, innovative and affordable financial solutions". Ribbit specialises in fintech investments, and has previously backed the likes of Credit Karma and Robinhood. Walmart CEO John Furner says customers have "made it clear" they want more financial services from the company.
3D
Verizon establishes 5G partnerships with the NFL, UPS and the MET museum
Verizon's annual consumer electronics tradeshow CES unveils a series of new 5G partnerships with the NFL, UPS, Live Nation, the Smithsonian Institution and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others. Verizon's 5G service will be available in 28 NFL stadiums by the end of the year. Alongside the Met museum, Verizon will create an interactive virtual gallery project called “The Met Unframed.”
4D
Orange spins out VC arm Orange Ventures, allocates $425m
Orange has spun out its venture capital arm Orange Venture, with an increased investment allocation of $425m. Orange Ventures invests in high-growth sectors, in areas traditional to Orange expertise such as connectivity, cybersecurity, the digital enterprise, and innovative financial services, as well as new territories that the group is exploring, like e-health.
4D
Data stolen from New Zealand's Central Bank in major cyberattack
One of the systems of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, the country’s central bank, has been breached by an unidentified hacker. “The nature and extent of information that has been potentially accessed may include some commercially and personally sensitive information,” said RBNZ Governor Adrian Orr. The attack did not affect the bank’s main functions, which remain “sound and operational.”
4D
Lenovo launches ThinkReality A3 smart glasses for enterprise
Lenovo has launched the ThinkReality A3, which it says are the most versatile smart glasses ever designed for enterprise. The AR smart glasses are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon and presents up to five virtual displays. The Industrial Edition is supported by the ThinkReality software platform, enabling users to build, deploy, and manage mixed reality applications and content at scale.
4D
Pegasystems moves for speech analytics firm Qurious.io
Pegasystems has bought Qurious.io, a company that specialises in speech analytics. It says it will fold the tech into its software portfolio to offer call centre agents real-time insights. Qurious.io has built its own natural language processing and emotion detection tools. "Its approach complements how Pega uses AI across engagement channels," said a Pega spokesperson. Terms were not disclosed.
4D
Dun & Bradstreet completes deal for data and analytics firm Bisnode
Dun & Bradstreet has completed the acquisition of European data and analytics outfit Bisnode. The transaction was closed with a combination of approximately $625m net cash, and 6,237,089 newly issued shares of common stock of the Company in a private placement. Bisnode Belgium NV, a Belgian subsidiary of Bisnode, will remain under Ratos AB ownership, the companies announced.
4D
Musk to enter the UK broadband market after approval of Starlink's terminals
Elon Musk’s company SpaceX has obtained government approval from the U.K. government for its Starlink satellite broadband system's user terminals. Musk, now the world's richest man, will need to compete with BT, Inmarsat and the U.K. government’s OneWeb, recently rebooted. Greece, Germany and Australia have also approved SpaceX's broadband terminals, opening a series of new markets.
4D
Cognizant to acquire tech consultancy Servian
Cognizant is acquiring Servian to boost its offering in Australia and New Zealand. Servian is a digital consultancy of 500 employees which specialises in data analytics, AI and cloud. The deal marks Cognizant's 10th digital-focused acquisition announced since January 2020. "We look forward to welcoming Servian's talented digital-native professionals," says Cognizant's regional CEO.
7D
Google's Chrome cookie plan to be probed by UK regulator
The UK's CMA will investigate Google’s proposals to remove third party cookies and other functionalities from its Chrome browser. It will assess whether the proposals could cause advertising spend to become further concentrated on Google’s ecosystem. It follows complaints of anticompetitive behaviour and requests to ensure that Google develops proposals in a way that does not distort competition.
7D
SolarWinds hires new cyber consultancy founded by Chris Krebs and Alex Stamos
Chris Krebs, former U.S. cybersecurity official, and Alex Stamos, ex-Facebook Chief Security Officer have founded a new cybersecurity consultancy firm: Krebs Stamos Group (KSG). Its first client will be SolarWinds, which recently suffered a huge breach by suspected Russian hackers. The hackers used SolarWinds' software to infiltrate at several U.S. federal agencies and tech giants.
7D
Red Hat snaps up Kubernetes startup StackRox
Red Hat has announced its intent to acquire StackRox, a startup in the container and Kubernetes-native security space. Red Hat said the deal will will further its vision to deliver a single, holistic platform that enables users to build, deploy and securely run nearly any application across the entirety of the hybrid cloud. No financial terms have been disclosed.
7D
Acacia pulls the plug on Cisco merger
Acacia Communications has terminated its $3bn merger agreement with Cisco. The move comes after approval of the Chinese government’s State Administration for Market Regulation was not received within the timeframe given. Cisco says it intends to contest Acacia's right to end the agreement. First announced in July 2019, Cisco viewed the merger as a boost to its growing networking portfolio.
7D
F5 to pay $500m for "edge-as-a-service" platform Volterra
F5 Networks is to acquire Volterra for $500m. Volterra, which only launched in 2019, offers a cloud management platform which gives a single view of security and operations. F5, which secures applications when they're migrated to the cloud, says the deal gives it an edge platform with "unlimited scale". "Current edge solutions are simply inadequate for today’s enterprise customers," said its CEO.
7D
WhatsApp and Facebook to share data from users outside of Europe
WhatsApp has begun forcing users to accept data-sharing with Facebook before February 8th to continue using the app. Facebook will therefore obtain access to WhatsApp users' phone numbers, contacts' phone numbers and locations. However, this will only affect non-EU and UK residents. Critics such as Tesla's Elon Musk have advised users to move to encrypted messaging apps Signal and Telegram.
8D
Martin Schroeter named CEO of IBM's NewCo spinoff
IBM has appointed Martin Schroeter to lead its new managed infrastructure services business. NewCo will operate as a standalone company and Schroeter will be CEO. He held a number of leadership roles at IBM before leaving last June. "Martin is a world-class leader and is uniquely qualified to drive the long-term success of the new, independent company," said IBM CEO Arvind Krishna.
8D
Enterprise SaaS platform Quantum Metric raises $200m, worth $1bn+
Enterprise SaaS platform Quantum Metric has announced $200m in Series B financing led by Insight Partners at a valuation exceeding $1bn. The company said it will use the cash injection to build features and functionality on its platform, while also investing in its product and support teams Quantum Metric’s CPD methodology uses real-time customer data to build and rapidly iterate digital products.
8D
Atos lining up $10bn bid for IT services rival DXC - report
Atos is lining up a deal to acquire IT services giant DXC, according to a report by Reuters. Two sources said an appraoch has been made that valued DXC at around $10bn. Atos confirmed the report to the news agency, stating it has: "approached DXC Technology concerning a potential friendly transaction between the two groups in order to create a Digital Services Leader".
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8D
Lacework gets $525m to scale cloud security tech
Cloud security firm Lacework is now worth over $1bn after a $525m funding round. The company automates cloud security and compliance, and works with the major cloud hyperscalers. After achieving 300%+ revenue growth in 2020, it has now been boosted by this round, which was led by Sutter Hill and Altimeter Capital. "Constant cloud changes require a new approach to security," said Lacework's CEO.
8D
PayPal and Coinbase Ventures invest in crypto startup TaxBit
PayPal Holdings has made an undisclosed investment in technology startup TaxBit. TaxBit also secured funding from Coinbase Ventures, and existing investor, Winklevoss Capital, it revealed. TaxBit helps businesses and individual investors calculate tax owed on cryptocurrency holdings. TaxBit said it is aiming to become the "most innovative and trustworthy provider of cryptocurrency tax technology".
8D
Ex-Intel and Tesla chip designer Jim Keller joins AI startup Tenstorrent
"Rock-star" chip designer Jim Keller, who has previously designed chips for Intel, AMD, Apple and Tesla, has joined AI Toronto startup Tenstorrent as President and Chief Technology Officer. Keller left his role as Senior Vice-President at Intel last summer for "personal reasons". Tenstorrent wants to create an energy-efficient AI chip that mimics the working of the human brain.
8D
New NEC facial recognition system unaffected by masks
The Japanese technological firm NEC Corp has launched a facial recognition system that identifies people even when they are wearing masks. NEC had been working on this system before the pandemic, as mask-wearing is quite common in Japan for allergy prevention. “Needs grew even more due to the coronavirus situation,” Shinya Takashima, NEC's assistant manager told Reuters.
9D
Amazon announces $2bn+ housing fund for workers
Amazon has announced the Housing Equity Fund, a $2bn commitment to preserve and create 20,000+ affordable homes in Washington State’s Puget Sound region. Its first investments include $381.9m in below-market loans and grants to Washington Housing Conservancy to preserve and create up to 1,300 affordable homes on the Crystal House property in Arlington and $185.5m to King County Housing Authority.
9D
Ericsson wins contract to supply Ooredo with 5G kit
Ooredoo and Ericsson have signed a global agreement for the supply of 5G radio, core and transport products and solutions, as well as related implementation and integration services. The agreement covers all 10 of the Ooredos’s operating companies in Asia, Middle East and North Africa. Ericsson said the deal would digitally transform and modernise Ooredoo’s mobile networks across its companies.
9D
Sales engagement platform SalesLoft raises $100m
Sales engagement platform SalesLoft has raised $100m at a $1.1bn valuation, bringing total funding to $245m. Owl Rock Capital led the round with participation from Insight Partners, HarbourVest, and Emergence. Kyle Porter, SalesLoft CEO said the funds would enable the business to invest in product innovation, scale our enterprise business, and expand into new vertical markets and geographies.
9D
UK watchdog to investigate Nvidia's acquisition of Arm
The UK's Competition and Market Authority is to begin its investigation into Nvidia's proposed mega-deal to acquire Arm. The $40bn buyout was announced last year but authorities want to know if Arm will raise prices or reduce the quality of the licensing services it sells to Nvidia's rivals. Arm develops and licenses intellectual property (IP) and software tools for chip designs.
9D
USA bans transactions with Alipay and WeChat Pay
The Trump administration has added eight Chinese companies to its blacklist, banning all commercial transactions with them. The banned apps are: Alipay, CamScanner, QQ Wallet, SHAREit, Tencent QQ, VMate, WeChat Pay, WPS Office and their subsidiaries. The executive order will take effect in 45 days, after the start of the Biden administration.