Digital Startup news roundup – Week ending 25th March

Roundup of news and ideas from the world of startups – Week ending 25th March 2018

News you can use

High Speed Trading and Artificial Intelligence – We are beginning to see the increased adoption of machine-enabled  investment management techniques including high speed trading, stock picking and portfolio re-balancing. Many of these activities are performed by skilled humans, traders trained in mathematical and analytical techniques who follow the steps highlighted above starting from Data Gathering to the implementation of a course of action.

BlackBerry sues Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram over patent infringement: What’s the big deal?
This week, Blackberry (NYSE: BB), the tech giant that ‘invented’ smartphones, filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Facebook, whatsapp and instagram in the Los Angeles federal court. Blackberry’s move highlights a number of significant issues with patents, including monetizing their ‘value,’ the investment in portfolio of patents, and their role in protecting investments in Research and Development.


Corporate M&A

Google to acquire imaging and virtual reality startup Lytro for $40 million – Lytro, which built the world’s first light field camera, owns several patents in VR-related imaging technology. Google could use it to fend off competition from Facebook-owned Oculus.

IT Service Company Zensar Set To Acquire Insurance Tech Startup Cynosure For $33 Mn – Post This, The Team Of Cynosure Will Be Joining Zensar’s Insurance Vertical. Commenting on the acquisition, Harsh Goenka, Chairman of RPG Enterprises and Zensar, said: “Insurance is one of the focus areas for Zensar. The combined capabilities of Cynosure, with its industry-leading Guidewire capabilities in the P&C insurance sector, and Zensar’s digital expertise will augment the company’s growth.”

Digital payments firm Wibmo acquires start-up Mypoolin – US-based digital payment company Wibmo Inc has bought Bengaluru-based payment solution provider Mypoolin in a cash and stock deal. The Wibmo-Mypoolin deal was valued above $1 million and all existing investors will get a combination of stock and cash

Pandora is buying a startup that’s trying to become the Google of audio advertising – Pandora is buying the audio ad tech firm AdsWizz for $110 million plus a $50 million earn out. The move puts the streaming service in a potentially central role in the nascent but promising market for “programmatic” audio advertising. Pandora sees AdsWizz also helping play a big role in accelerating the growth of podcast ads and voice-assistant ads in the near future.

Startup shut and failed last week

VR startup Upload shuts down – The VR startup, Upload, is shutting down both its San Francisco office and its Los Angeles co-working space as it struggles to secure new funding. Upload was rocked by sexual harassment lawsuit, and reports of ‘toxic work culture’ at the startup, which made it hard for it to raise additional funding.

DSW abandons and liquidates Ebuys – There are different reasons why startups succeed and fail. Many startups get acquired and begin to enhance the value of the acquiring firm.  A couple of years ago, the footwear and accessories retailer DSW announced it was acquiring Ebuys  for $62.5 million to enhance its eCommerce capabilities. On Tuesday, the retailer announced it was shuttering the Ebuys business.

Pet Care Startup Baroo Shuts Down –  This week, Baroo, a Boston-based pet care startup, announced it was shutting down operations. Based in Boston, Baroo had over 100-person staff, including 100 part-time pet handlers who provide building residents with $20 dog walks, $70-a-night pet-sitting, and grooming services that run  as high as $600. Founded in 2015, Baroo had raised $3.5 million in funding.

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