Tags:  Startup news, Startup global, funding, mergers, acquisitions

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Startup News

Missing out on updates from the startup scenes around the globe? - We got you covered! This podcast will provide a 5 minute highlight reel of all that happened in the startup ecosystem last week.

Last week in startups - Global

We had a total of 316 funding rounds, $8.4 billion total funding, 93 acquisitions recorded, and a transaction of a total acquisition amount of $63.9 billion.

Let’s dive right into the highlights now.
Standard Cognition lands $35M at $535M valuation to battle Amazon Go

EQT Ventures, Initialized Capital, CRV and Y Combinator have fueled Standard Cognition with another $35 million to help retailers battle Amazon. The deal values the San Francisco-based autonomous checkout startup, founded in 2017, at $535 million.
Standard Cognition implants its AI-powered computer vision platform, which enables the autonomous checkout process, in brick-and-mortar stores. To date, the company has installed its hardware in five stores in the U.S. and Japan, with plans to expand globally using the new investment.

Standard Cognition announces its Series B financing just eight months after closing a $40 million Series A. Suswal, justifying the lightning-fast growth, said 2019 has been Standard’s “year of deployment,” next year will be “the year of repeatability” and 2021 will be “the year of scale.” The company has raised a total of $86 million in venture capital funding.

Muzmatch adds $7M to swipe right on Muslim-majority markets

Muzmatch, a matchmaking app for Muslims, has just swiped a $7 million Series A on the back of continued momentum for its community-sensitive approach to soulmate searching for people of the Islamic faith.

It now has more than 1.5 million users of its apps, across 210 countries, swiping, matching and chatting online as they try to find “the one.”

Unity, now valued at $6B, raising up to $525M
Unity’s private valuation is climbing, but it’s growing unclear whether the company’s leadership is planning to take the 15-year-old gaming powerhouse public anytime soon.

The company announced today that is has received signed agreements from D1 Capital Partners, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Light Street Capital, Sequoia Capital and Silver Lake Partners to fund a $525 million tender offer that will allow Unity’s common shareholders — the majority of which are early or current employees — to sell their shares in the company.

The company also confirmed that it wrapped up a $150 million Series E funding round in May that doubled the company’s valuation to $6 billion. The announcement confirms the valuation we reported in May, though at a higher amount of capital raised.

Fintech decacorn Nubank raises $400M led by TCV

What’s a decocorn? Well I had to google this as well - It is a word used for those companies valued over $10 billion. Hectocorn is for companies valued over $100 billion.
Brazil-based Nubank, which offers a suite of banking and financial services for Brazilian consumers, announced today that it has raised a $400 million Series F round of venture capital led by Woody Marshall of TCV. The growth-stage fund is best known for its investment in Netflix but has also made fintech a high priority, with over $1.5 billion in investments in the space. According to Nubank, the company has now raised $820 million across seven venture rounds.
Leveraging unique technology, David Vélez and his team are continuously pushing the boundaries of delivering best in class financial services, grounded in a culture of tech and innovation. Nubank has all the core tenets of what TCV looks for in preeminent franchise investments.

Airbud raises $4 million to add a voice interface to your website
Amazon’s Alexa ushered in a new dawn of user interfaces, bringing voice into the mix as a viable option. Dozens of companies have sprouted because of this, not least of which being Airbud.io.

Airbud allows any company to add a voice interface to its website. The company just closed a $4 million round led by Hanaco Ventures, with participation from ERA and Spider Capital.

By allowing companies to add voice/chat bot utility to their websites, Airbud hopes to increase retention of end-users on sites and give them easier access to the information they seek. Krush says that Airbud is focusing on websites that you have to be on, rather than the ones you want to be on.

That means Airbud clients are mostly in the healthcare space and travel space, helping end-users find a physician or book a flight using their voice.

Moving on to mergers and acquisitions -

Apple has announced the acquisition of chip-maker Intel's smartphone modem business for $1 billion.

Approximately 2,200 Intel employees will join Apple, along with intellectual property, equipment and leases, the Cupertino-based iPhone maker said in a statement late Thursday.
"This agreement enables us to focus on developing technology for the 5G network while retaining critical intellectual property and modem technology that our team has created," said Intel CEO Bob Swan.
"We're looking forward to putting our full effort into 5G where it most closely aligns with the needs of our global customer base, including network operators, telecommunications equipment manufacturers and cloud service providers," he added.

Apple will hold over 17,000 wireless technology patents, ranging from protocols for cellular standards to modem architecture and modem operation.
What else caught our eyes-
Dark has been keeping its startup in the dark for the last couple of years while it has built a unique kind of platform it calls “deployless” software development. If you build your application in Dark’s language inside of Dark’s editor, the reward is you can deploy it automatically on Dark’s infrastructure on Google Cloud Platform without worrying about all of the typical underlying deployment tasks.
The company emerged from stealth today and announced $3.5 million in seed funding, which it actually received back in 2017. The founders have spent the last couple of years building this rather complex platform.
In Dark, you’re getting the benefit of your editor knowing how the language works. So you get really great autocomplete, and your infrastructure is set up for you as soon as you’ve written any code because we know exactly what is required
Source - Techcrunch, Crunchbase