News roundup from the startup world
Google Innovation Hub Comes to the UAE University – The UAE University and Google are planning to work together to develop a high tech hub to inspire young locals to turn their tech obsessions into a successful business. The Google Innovation Hub would start functioning by the end of this year at the premises of the UAE University campus. Students aged 8-24 from across the Emirate could attend it to learn how to build robots, develop Android apps, and more. The interior design of the hub would resemble the actual Google headquarters in the Silicon Valley – all rooms would be colorful with a modern free-spirit theme.
US Companies Most Active Foreign Investors in Indian Startups – US-based investors have been the most active foreign participants in India’s startup deals over the past five years. With over 800 equity deals made by them during the period, investors from the United States have been the second most active grouping since 2012, after their counterparts based in India or Mauritius, according to CB Insights report released earlier this month.
Startup upending funeral industry with artificial intelligence – Technology is so much a part of everyday life that is it only natural it should embrace us after we’re gone, right? And that is exactly what is happening in the funeral industry. A person can plan their funeral in advance or become a digital avatar.
Startups Finance and Fundraising
Social Network Startup Islands Raises $1.9 Million – Islands completed $1.9 million in seed financing. Four investors contributed to the round, including Greylock Partners and Vaizra Investments. Islands is a digital platform for communication. Founded in 2016, the San Francisco-based startup launched out of stealth today. It offers users different channels, or “islands,” through which they can organize volleyball or other sports games, share class notes, or simply create support groups. According to VentureBeat, Islands is currently active on five campuses, including the University of Alabama, University of Florida, and University of Western Ontario.
CashStar Acquired by Blackhawk Network for $175M – The Portland, Maine-based CashStar, a pioneer in the digital gift card space, has been acquired by California-based Blackhawk Network for $175 million. The all-cash deal is not expected to affect CashStar’s local operations, according to a company spokesperson. It currently has two offices in Portland (one in the Old Port and another on Congress Street near the Maine College of Art) and another in Boston. The majority of its 175 employees are based in Portland.
Startups that failed last week
In a case of crowdfunding disaster, Kanoa shuts after startup taking customers’ money” is lockedStartup shutdown: In a case of crowdfunding disaster, Kanoa shuts after startup taking customers’ money.
Failed Startup: Juicero Runs Out Of Juice – Juicero, a Silicon Valley juicer startup that raised $120m from investors and was widely ridiculed after the $400 machines were revealed to be the equivalent of two hands squeezing a juice box, is shutting down.