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Freight startup Flexport soars from "unsexy" to $800M valuation
Digitizing the paper work let Flexport speed up shipping so clients keep less inventory on hand while never running out. Initially, Flexport was receiving offers valuing it at over $1 billion, but turned those down in favor of a more manageable valuation. Our sources now confirm that the startup is going with an $800 million pre-money valuation in a raise of $110 million. Meanwhile, it's looking to box out upstart competitors picking away at parts of the freight forwarding equation including Freightos, Haven, and Fleet.
ItzCash parent Ebix acquires Paul Merchants for $41 million in an all cash deal
Ebix India which is the parent company for Mumbai based payments entity ItzCash has acquired the money transfer business of Paul Merchants for $41 million in an all cash deal. All three acquired by Ebix were licenced agents of Western Union and would be consolidated under the YouFirst Money Express brand. Also the chairman of Paul Merchants Sat Paul Bansal will be serving as the chairman of the board of the combined entity, YouFirst Express.
Tesla is reportedly developing its own chip with AMD for self-driving cars
Tesla is reportedly working on a chip to handle all the tasks needed to power the fleet of fully self-driving cars that its CEO Elon Musk promised would be road-ready by 2019. According to CNBC, the electric carmaker is working with AMD to develop the autonomous driving chip. Furthermore, Tesla has already received back samples of the first implementation of its processor and is now running tests on it, a source told CNBC.
Will support startups with passionate founders: Ratan Tata
Tata group chairman emeritus Ratan Tata, a serial start-up investor, said on Wednesday that he will support startups that have founders who have passion to build sustainable company rather than scaling it up just to sell it. Tata has been investing in startups in India and abroad. A founder who has a passion to stay with something and build it into a sustainable company is somebody I tend to support, he said in an interview to CNBC TV18.
Co-founder Brian Fenty becomes CEO at TodayTix
There's a new CEO at TodayTix, though he's definitely not new to the company - Chairman Brian Fenty is becoming chief executive, while his co-founder Merritt Baer is becoming the Head of Europe. TodayTix sells theater tickets in cities across the United States, but its European presence is currently limited to London. Fenty said there's a huge opportunity to go to some of the arts capitals of Europe - Paris, Hamburg, Vienna.
KKR-backed Emerald Media in process of exiting first set of assets
A pan-Asian media platform established by private equity firm KKR to focus on early to mid-level assets - is in the process of exiting its first set of assets, said Rajesh Kamat, the firm's managing director. The PE major has committed up to $300 million from its KKR Asian Fund II toward the platform. On secondary transactions, Kamat opined, Private equity people swap positions depending on the time they have spent in being with a company.
London and Antwerp-based Hummingbird Ventures closes new $95M fund
London and Antwerp-based Hummingbird Ventures, which counts Deliveroo and Showpad in its portfolio, has closed a new $95 million fund to invest in tech startups at the late Seed and Series A stage. He is also keen to point out that no tax-payer money has gone into the fund. The Hummingbird VC also reckons the fundraise could have been even larger, but that a decision was taken to cap it at $95 million.
Yatra raises Rs100 crore venture debt from InnoVen Capital
InnoVen Capital, backed by Singapore's Temasek, has provided Rs100 crore ($15.4 million) to Nasdaq-listed online travel company Yatra in India's largest venture debt transaction yet, a senior executive at the investment company said. This financing round by InnoVen Capital is the largest venture debt funding provided to any Indian business and also the largest venture debt deal funded by any venture debt firm in India, said Chin Chao, interim chief executive, InnoVen Capital India and chief executive of InnoVen Capital South East Asia.
Bosch, Ford Mobility in talks with Get My Parking to enter India
Digital parking facility providers Bosch and Ford Mobility are in talks with Get My Parking for a possible collaboration under the Smart Cities initiative, informed a senior company official. Get My Parking lists parking spaces on its portal and shows real time availability of spaces.
Alphabet's Waymo wants Uber to pay $2.6 billion in damages for a single allegedly stolen trade secret
Alphabet thinks Uber should pay $2.6 billion for allegedly stealing a single trade secret. During the hearing, an Uber attorney said that Alphabet is seeking $2.6 billion in damages for just one of the nine trade secrets the company is claiming a former Uber executive stole. The damages Alphabet is seeking for each of the nine trade secrets vary and have been redacted within the document.
Proterra's big electric bus can go 1,102 miles on one charge
With cities and countries about to put bans on internal combustion engines in the next couple of decades, electric bus technology needs to advance. On Tuesday, the California-based company said its Catalyst E2 Max went 1,102.2 miles on a single charge, a world record for the longest distance traveled by an electric vehicle without recharging. The E2 Max uses a 660kWh battery and hides it in the 40-foot-long bus body.
Chris Gayle takes the crease for augmented reality startup FlippAR
The development comes merely two months after Gayle's debut investment in the Indian startup ecosystem, wherein he backed Bangalore-based virtual gaming firm IONA Entertainment. One can also use FlippAR to tag one's memories to real-world objects, whether it's a t-shirt or a bottle of beer. Jain, who holds a master's in computer applications from Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, launched the startup in January 2016. In April, Singh put an undisclosed amount in Gurgaon-based Startup Buddy Services Pvt Ltd, a one-stop solution provider for early-stage businesses.
Zenefits tries a rebrand and hands off insurance brokerage
By doing that, Zenefits hopes to become an all-in-one HR tool for small businesses while leaving insurance brokerage deals to partners. One of the best ways to do that is to partner with firms that have the infrastructure around the country. By doing so, Zenefits is hoping to remove the sort of barrier for those companies that wanted to grow beyond its brokerage while staying on the service.
Saudi Govt To Lift Ban on Skype and WhatsApp calls, But Will Monitor Them
The Saudi government is lifting a ban on calls made through online apps on Thursday but will monitor and censor them, a government spokesman said. All online voice and video call services - such as Microsoft's Skype, Facebook's WhatsApp and Messenger, and Rakuten's Viber - that satisfy regulatory requirements were set to become accessible overnight. On Thursday morning, Viber appeared to remain blocked inside the kingdom, and WhatsApp worked only when connected to a wireless network.
Price War Is Not The Only Solution To Growth
Price war may show you results, but it's always short lived. On lowering the price band, there might be a sudden boost in your revenues and customer base. When they understand and associate with what they are paying for, they can settle for any price you offer. Before you work on differentiating your product or price scheme, you need to work out on what your competitors lack or expertise in.
India: Fintech startup Power2SME raises $36m more in Series E round
Fintech startup Power2SME has raised an additional $36 million funding in a Series E round from its existing investors Inventus Capital, Accel, Kalaari and IFC along with Nandan Nilekani. Power2SME, an online hub, aggregates raw material demands of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). BEBB, its parent company, was started in January 2012 by R Narayan with a seed funding of Rs 2 crore.
Pymetrics attacks discrimination in hiring with AI and recruiting games
Identify the traits of your top performing employees and hire people like them, but without the discrimanatory bias of traditional recruiting. That's the promise of Pymetrics, an artificial intelligence startup that today announced $8 million in new funding onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt SF. Pymetrics' goal is making the world a fairer place by dismantling hiring discrimination like sexism, racism, ageism and classism.
VC Firm Lightspeed India Partners To Deepen Engagement With Bengaluru Startups
VC firm Lightspeed India Partners has opened a new office in Koramangala, Bengaluru. Lightspeed Venture Partners has been investing in India since 2004 focusing on direct and cross-border businesses. The Silicon-Valley-based VC firm had raised a $115 Mn India-specific fund in 2015 to invest heavily in India's burgeoning landscape. Bengaluru received over 144 deals and $2.572 Bn in total funding, whereas Delhi/NCR witnessed 128 deals and $2.129 Bn funding.
McDonalds Vs Bakshi: NCLAT To Study LCIA Award Before Further Action
The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) today said it will study the award of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) that asked McDonalds estranged partner Vikram Bakshi to sell his stake in the JV firm CPRL to the US-based fast food chain last week. While listing the matter on October 25, the appellate tribunal after hearing both the parties said it will go through the arbitration award by LCIA before proceeding on the matter.
French Engie, Dubai PE Abraaj to set up wind power platform in India
Together, Abraaj and Engie have identified a robust pipeline of wind power projects representing over 1 GW (gigawatt) in several key states, the companies said in a joint statement. The National Democratic Alliance government has set an ambitious clean energy target of 175GW by 2022. Of this, 100GW is to be generated by solar projects and 60GW by wind projects. Wednesday's announcement comes in the backdrop of India's wind sector transitioning from a feed-in tariff regime to tariff-based competitive auctions.

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