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Malaysian technopreneur Nazrin Hassan loses life in smartphone explosion
The CEO of Malaysian government-owned Cradle Fund, Nazrin Hassan, is the latest victim who lost his life in a smartphone explosion. Two months ago, a 12-year-old boy from Chattisgarh had been killed when his smartphone exploded in his hands. Due to the high impact of the explosion, it couldn't be ascertained which of the two smartphones actually exploded owing to overheat. The police, however, claims that the death was caused due to the smoke inhalation from the explosion and not the shrapnel from the smartphone.
Uber drivers made more than $600 million in tips in one year
Since finally launching in-app tipping for drivers last year, Uber has facilitated more than $600 million worth of payments in tips to its drivers. In August, Uber hit $50 million in tips. Since introducing mid-trip ratings and tips in May, there has been a 30 percent increase in tipping, Uber product manager Dhruv Tyagi wrote in a blog post. In April, Lyft announced drivers hit $500 million in tips since its launch, with tip averages increasing by nearly 8 percent in 2017 compared to 2016.
Microsoft and Nintendo release Minecraft trailer focused on cross-play
While most players hope for it, console makers and game publishers haven't always been so willing. Microsoft, Nintendo and PC game makers have started making games more cross-compatible. Today, Microsoft and Nintendo are seemingly putting salt in the wound with a new trailer for Minecraft. Rather than focusing on the game, the trailer's entire thesis is centered around the fact that it offers cross-play between Xbox and the Switch.
Atul Gawande, the doctor and writer, named CEO of Amazon's employee healthcare JV
The trio have announced that Dr Atul Gawande, the noted writer, doctor and researcher, will be the first CEO of the as-yet unnamed company. The business will be based in Boston, where Gawande is already based, and it will operate as an independent entity, free from profit-making incentives and constraints. I'm thrilled to be named CEO of this healthcare initiative, said Gawande in a statement. Atul embodies all three, and we're starting strong as we move forward in this challenging and worthwhile endeavor.
Urban Airship raises another $25M
The goal is to be the platform managing messaging and unifying customer data across all these channels. Altogether, Urban Airship said it's now delivered more than two trillion messages, doubling the number from a year ago. Brett Caine, who joined as CEO in 2014, said Urban Airship is currently breaking even, and he described this as the first time in the eight years of the company where we're raising money when we didn't need it.
India Accelerator Selects Six Startups For Its Second Cohort
India Accelerator a launch pad for early age technology startups in association with Global Accelerator Network (GAN) has shortlisted six startups for its second batch of accelerator programme. Commenting on the second cohort, Mona Singh, Chief Acceleration Officer of India Accelerator said, The first cohort included tremendously talented startups creating innovative new products in areas ranging from algo-trading to AI-based platform that helps deaf people to be heard.
Xiaomi lofty IPO plans take a massive haircut, to raise $6.1 Bn at 53 $Bn valuation
It is now aiming to raise only $6.1 billion and the valuation may now plummet to $53.9 billion, which is roughly half of its initial goal. The smartphone firm is offering 2.18 billion shares at the price of HK$17 to HK$22 per share. Amidst this, it is also reaching out to the US-based Qualcomm and China Mobile Ltd, who might become the cornerstone investors.
Swiggy becomes second unicorn after Zomato in India's food-tech space
The funding values the four-year-old startup at well over $1 billion, according to people familiar with the deal. That makes Swiggy, run by Bundl Technologies Pvt Ltd, the second unicorn to emerge from the segment, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private details, after New Delhi-based Zomato. New investors this time included DST and Coatue Management, joining existing backers Naspers and Meituan Dianping, the Chinese food-delivery juggernaut.
Taste test: Burger robot startup Creator opens first restaurant
Creator's transparent burger robot doesn't grind your brisket and chuck steak into a gourmet patty until you order it. On June 27th, after 8 years in development, Creator opens its first robot restaurant. If you want to be the first to try it, Creator is selling early access tickets at 10am Pacific today. It might not be the best burger I've had in my life, but it's certainly the best at that price.
World Music Day: How technology has changed the rhythm of music
The three year period from 2007 to 2009 were defining years for 'streaming' due to the launch of streaming services from Spotify, . In other words, increasingly, people don't want to risk having a 'wanna cry' on their devices by saving $9 a month. With over 30 million Echo devices, people are consuming music in places they have never consumed before. The just launched Google's Podcasts also comes with BBC Hindi, among other India specific content that is produced in India.
With marginal increment in revenue, Uber India Systems records Rs 30 crore profit in FY17
Uber's marketing and support services entity in India, Uber India Systems, has reported a 10 per cent increase in revenue from Rs 374 crore in FY16 to Rs 410 crore in the fiscal year 2016-2017. Comparing this to its previous growth figure of 442 per cent from Rs 69 crore in FY15, this is a rather slow growth.
Swiggy becomes third Unicorn in 2018, here are other Indian startups valued over $1 Bn
Nothing fuels budding entrepreneurs and start-ups more than acquiring the status of a Unicorn - startups valued at over $1 Billion. Most of the startups reaching the Unicorn status are located in US and China. The latest addition to the list is Swiggy, who at $1.2 Billion valuations has raised $210 million from DST and Naspers, today. Swiggy, founded in August 2014, took 3 years and 10 months to become the coveted Unicorn.
Karnataka Government Partners With CropIn For Data Driven Farming
The Department of Agriculture, Karnataka has entered into a partnership with Bengaluru-based agritech startup Cropln Technology Solutions. The project further looks to bridge across 20 districts of Karnataka, assisting 4.15 lakh farmers and covering 3.4 lakh acres of land. The region of Karnataka has been targeted by drought and harsh weather conditions in the past five years. The programme will include Machine learning and AI to help FPOs get insightful data points for making decisions and guiding farmers.
Cleartrip acquires Saudi Arabia-based Flyin
Online travel agency Cleartrip Pvt Ltd has acquired Saudi Arabian travel start-up Flyin for an undisclosed amount, according to a company statement on Thursday. The company claimed that the combined entity of Cleartrip and Flyin will have a market share of over 60% in West Asia. Saudi-based Flyin, which was founded in 2008, currently offers bus and flight ticketing and several holiday packages on its online portal.
Goibibo partners with PhonePe for hotel bookings
Online travel company Goibibo has partnered with digital payments company PhonePe to provide a unified login and payments experience to over 100 million PhonePe users while making their hotel bookings. As a part of this partnership, Goibibo will be live with their 'Hotels' store (microapp) on the PhonePe application to streamline travel booking experience through Goibibo. PhonePe users will also be able to use their goCash balance (Goibibo's promotional currency) in the PhonePe app, to book domestic and international hotels.
Lydia now supports Samsung Pay
While French banks are just catching up to Apple Pay, French startup Lydia is adding support for Samsung Pay. If you have a recent Samsung phone, you can now add a virtual card to Samsung Pay and pay using your phone in your favorite stores. You can now connect Lydia to your bank accounts, view your balances, get an IBAN, initiate transfers, create Lydia sub-accounts with multiple people and get a physical MasterCard.
IoT Focussed Healthtech Startup Clinivantage Raises $1 Mn From US-Based Investor
Mumbai-based healthtech startup Clinivantage Healthcare Technologies has raised $1 Mn from US-based investor group Metaform Ventures LLC. Clinivantage will use the newly-raised funds for scaling and expanding across the globe, product development, deployment of resources for implementation and for travel and administration. It offers a flagship PaaS across IoA products and DoTTM connected IoT medical devices. Care, PMS & OTIMS-Surgery Safety Solutions to improve patient care; and more than 50 healthcare providers are deploying Clinivantage MyLifeTM to increase patient engagement.
Microsoft is buying AI startup, Bonsai
As a matter of fact, Microsoft is about to acquire Bonsai, a small Berkeley-based startup it hopes to make the centerpiece of its AI efforts. Microsoft says the acquisition will serve to forward the kind of research the company has been pursuing in the field by leveraging its Azure cloud platform. Bonsai has made tremendous progress here and Microsoft remains committed to furthering this work. Microsoft is among a number of high-profile companies that have supported the four-year-old startup.
YCombinator-Backed SME Lending Startup Drip Capital Raises $15 Mn Equity Funding
California and India-based SME lending startup, Drip Capital has raised $15 Mn of an equity funding round from Accel, Sequoia India and Wing VC investors. Existing investors along with Y-Combinator who had earlier invested $5M also participated in the latest funding round. Drip Capital has also raised an undisclosed amount of debt capital from Silicon Valley Bank and other banks. The startup is planning to use the raised funds to scale up operations in India and for modifying models in other geographical areas.
Byju’s crosses Rs 100 crores monthly revenue
Edtech company Byju's has crossed Rs 100 crores of monthly revenue last month and is on the path to hit a revenue target of Rs 1400 crores this year. According to the company's official release, Byju's has been growing at 100% annually for the last three years, since the launch of its learning app in 2015. With a consistent 20% month-on-month growth, we expect to finish this year with Rs 1400 crores in revenue.

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