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

Funding

WorldCover raises $6M round for emerging markets’ climate insurance

WorldCover, a New York and Africa-based climate insurance provider to smallholder farmers, has raised a $6 million Series A round led by MS&AD Ventures.

WorldCover’s platform uses satellite imagery, on-ground sensors, mobile phones and data analytics to create insurance options for farmers whose crop yields are affected adversely by weather events — primarily lack of rain.

Checkout, a quiet London-based payments startup just raised among the biggest Series A rounds ever in Europe

Checkout raised $230 million in Series A funding at a valuation just shy of $2 billion co-led by Insight Partners and DST Global.

Checkout helps businesses — including Samsung, Adidas, Deliveroo and Virgin, among others — to accept a range of payment types across their online stores around the world. They help businesses scale by using their full stack technology that offers access to a payment gateway, advanced risk and fraud monitoring tools, a cutting-edge processor and the relevant acquirers using their unified payments solution.

Awair raises $10M to help customers like WeWork monitor their office environments

Awair an IoT company, that lets you monitor your environment and air quality using its cutting edge technology. Awair products track invisible fine dust and chemicals in your air and give you personalized recommendations to help you stay safe and healthy.  Awair  has raised a $10 million Series B led by The Westly Group with participation from iRobot, Altos Ventures, Emerson Electric and Nuovo Capital. The company has raised more than $21 million to date.

Acquisitions

One - we have MongoDB to acquire open-source mobile database Realm for $39 million

MongoDB announced today that it is acquiring Realm, an open-source database geared for mobile applications, for $39 million. The startup had raised just over $40 million before being acquired.

Second - Microsoft delves deeper into IoT with Express Logic acquisition

Microsoft has never been shy about being acquisitive, and announced it’s interest in buying Express Logic, a San Diego company that has developed a real-time operating system (RTOS) aimed at controlling the growing number of IoT devices in the world. Express logic has been around for 23 years, building (in its own words) “industrial-grade RTOS and middleware software solutions for embedded and IoT developers.” The company boasts some 6.2 billion devices running its systems.

Trends

Facebook is rolling out what could be called an “aspirational redesign” known as FB5

Functionally, FB5 means placing Groups near the center of a freshly tabbed interface for both Facebook’s website and app, and putting suggestions for new ones to join across the service. “Everywhere there are friends, there should be Groups,” says the head of the Facebook app, Fidji Simo. Groups already has 1 billion monthly users, so Facebook is following the behavior pattern and doubling down.

“The future is private” is what Mark had to say at Facebook’s F8 conference conducted last week. He spoke about how Facebook plans to make its messaging apps encrypted, how it wants to be a living room rather than just a town hall and how it’s following the shift in user behavior away from broadcasting.

The VR market may be dead, but that doesn’t stop the companies making VR headsets. Yes, the new headsets are still all bulky and weird but they are undoubtedly better. Oculus’ introduction of the Quest and Rift S next month might just add a little life to the dead VR dreams, and if that doesn’t work Valve has a $1,000 option it’s now hocking.

Sneaker market and fleet management startups joined the three comma club. Sneakers, in particular, are attracting investor interest as companies like StockX ramp up hiring. (The Detroit News reported that StockX was planning to hire more than 1,000 people over the next year after its last round of funding.)