Startup News roundup for Week ending 26th Nov
News you can use
LinkedIn Startups: The 50 industry disruptors you need to know now – Daniel Roth, Editor in Chief of LinkedIn recently published a review of some of the most iconic ‘startups’ of our time (link). He introduces the topic stating “Some of the most fascinating businesses today are startups. Sensing a chance to transform (or take over) a market, founders are channeling their seemingly endless flow of venture funds into new ideas — and top talent. We wanted to see which startups were winning the talent game. Who are the 50 most in-demand upstarts in the U.S. today?”
Facebook to launch Digital Training, Startup Training Hubs – Facebook announced a “Community Boost,” (link) program to help US small businesses grow and to equip more people with the digital skills they need to compete in the new economy.
An Ethereum Startup Just Vanished After People Invested $374K – A startup on the Ethereum platform vanished from the internet on Sunday after raising $374,000 USD from investors in an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) fundraiser.Confido is a startup that pitched itself as a blockchain-based app for making payments and tracking shipments. It sold digital tokens to investors over the Ethereum blockchain in an ICO that ran from November 6 to 8. During the token sale, Confido sold people bespoke digital tokens that represent their investment in exchange for ether, Ethereum’s digital currency.
Corporate Startup Ventures and M&A
Apple bought a Canadian AR startup for $30 million – and it could give Apple an edge in the next big thing – Apple has acquired Vrvana, a startup building a headset that can do both virtual reality and augmented reality. The CEO and a dozen former employees have started at Apple. Augmented reality is a major focus for Apple, as the tech industry expects that high-tech headsets like the Totem could put a dent in the smartphone market.
Williams-Sonoma is buying a 3-D imaging and augmented reality startup for $112 million – Five-year-old Outward specializes in replicating physical products in high-quality 3-D imagery that can be used for visual merchandising on retail websites and apps.
Alibaba invests $2.9B in hypermarket operator Sun Art to continue its offline retail push – Alibaba is continuing its expansion into offline retail after the Chinese e-commerce giant bought up more than one-third of one of Chinese most prolific operators of hypermarket stores. The firm announced today it has spent HK$22.4 billion (around US$2.88 billion) to acquire of 36.16 percent in Sun Art Retail Group, a Hong Kong-listed business that operates 446 hypermarkets across 224 cities in mainland China.
Spotify has acquired a sound recording startup for $30 million – Spotify’s slow but sure take over of every sector of the music industry may just be that much closer. The streaming monolith has now recently acquired Swedish startup, Soundtrap, a ‘cloud-based digital audio workstation’.The deal is said to have set back Spotify “at least 30 million” with members of Soundtrap saying that “Soundtrap’s rapidly growing business is highly aligned with Spotify’s vision of democratizing the music ecosystem.”
Startups that failed last week
Tether says nearly $31 million worth of its digital tokens have been stolen after hack – Tether, the startup company that allows users to trade and use digital tokens backed by fiat currencies like the dollar, euro, and yen, says that close to $31 million was stolen from its coffers after a malicious attack. In a post on its website, Tether says $30,950,000 USDT was taken from its treasury wallet on November 19th and sent to a unauthorized digital wallet. USDT is a cryptocurrency token pegged to the US dollar, which is fully backed by assets in the company’s reserve account.