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Twitter held early talks for a potential combination with ByteDance's TikTok, the WSJ reported, while other reports also said Twitter was interested in acquiring TikTok's US operations. Twitter has a $29-billion market capitalisation, smaller than Microsoft's and reportedly as much as the valuation of TikTok's assets to be divested. It'll reportedly need to raise additional capital for the deal.
short by Dharna / 09:15 am on 09 Aug
Microsoft's Co-founder and Technology Advisor Bill Gates has described the company's potential acquisition of TikTok's US operations as a "poison chalice." "Who knows what's going to happen with that deal...Being big in social media business is no simple game," Gates told WIRED. He called President Donald Trump's demand that the US should get a portion from the sale price "strange".
short by Dharna / 10:27 am on 09 Aug
SpaceX is planning to turn its Boca Chica, Texas launch site, where it's currently building and testing its Mars rocket Starship, into a "21st-century Spaceport". A job posting recently surfaced online, seeking a "Resort Development Manager" to oversee the development of SpaceX's "first resort from inception to completion". The resort would accommodate its future Starship passengers and cargo.
short by Dharna / 09:42 am on 11 Aug
Karan Bajaj, the Founder of coding edtech startup WhiteHat Jr acquired by BYJU'S, said that the deal took place in only six weeks. Bajaj received a WhatsApp message from BYJU'S Co-founder Byju Raveendran six weeks ago, saying that he really admires how he's built the startup. The duo chatted and over the next day, decided on the $300-million all-cash deal.
short by Pragya Swastik / 03:36 pm on 09 Aug
US-based Tiger Global is looking to invest up to $100 million in Gurugram-based food delivery unicorn Zomato, Moneycontrol reported. The negotiations reportedly involve the option for Tiger Global to inject another $100 million ahead of a proposed initial public offering (IPO) by Zomato next year. The proposed deal reportedly values Zomato at around $3 billion.
short by Dharna / 05:20 pm on 10 Aug
Bengaluru-headquartered edtech startup Unacademy has extended work from home facility for all its employees till January 1, 2021. The move comes after reports claimed that 20 employees at Unacademy tested positive for coronavirus. "Yes, a few have tested positive...While our offices remain shut, some senior leaders voluntarily opt to come in for meetings," Co-founder and CEO Gaurav Munjal tweeted.
short by Pragya Swastik / 02:24 pm on 11 Aug
A California Superior Court judge has granted a preliminary injunction forcing Uber and Lyft to reclassify drivers as employees. In May, California sued the ride-hailing firms, saying their decision to classify drivers as independent contractors deprived them of rights like paid sick leave. "Drivers don't want to be employees, full stop," said a Lyft spokesperson, adding it'll appeal the ruling.
short by Dharna / 10:51 am on 11 Aug
Bengaluru-based fintech startup ZestMoney has raised over ₹80 crore from Singapore-based venture capital firm Primrose Hill Ventures, as per the filings accessed by Inc42. The digital lending startup had raised ₹34.97 crore of this amount in March, ₹22.99 crore in May and ₹26.9 crore in June. ZestMoney was founded in 2015 by Ashish Anantharaman, Lizzie Chapman and Priya Sharma.
short by Dharna / 09:55 am on 09 Aug
A ₹10,000 crore Fund of Funds to support micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) is expected to get operationalised soon, said SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar. The fund was announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in May as part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiative to mobilise equity of about ₹50,000 crore. It's expected to benefit over 25 lakh MSMEs under stress.
short by Dharna / 11:49 am on 11 Aug
Alibaba-backed Chinese electric vehicle startup Xpeng Motors has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) in the US, right behind Chinese carmaker Li Auto which raised $1.1 billion last month. In a filing, the Tesla rival listed the size of the offering as $100 million, but this can be increased later. In its latest funding round, Xpeng raised $900 million.
short by Dharna / 09:49 am on 10 Aug
Baseball teams explore using cameras to detect maskless fans
short by Aishwarya / on 11 Aug 2020,Tuesday
Some of the Major League Baseball teams are exploring ways to detect maskless fans at games. They are in talks with a California startup Airspace Systems for the purpose. Their discussions focus on implementing the systems into cameras to identify people without face coverings, with masks hanging from their chins or wearing masks improperly.
short by Aishwarya / 08:15 pm on 11 Aug
Elon Musk sued by Tesla Twitter critic for defamation
short by Aishwarya / on 08 Aug 2020,Saturday
A Tesla Twitter critic Randeep Hothi has sued Tesla CEO Elon Musk, accusing him of triggering an online hate campaign against him. Hothi said Musk's accusation of him "almost killing" Tesla employees prompted hateful Twitter responses, accusing Hothi of being a murderer and a terrorist. In April 2019, Tesla had filed for a civil restraining order against Hothi.
short by Aishwarya / 05:02 pm on 08 Aug
US Senator Bernie Sanders responded to a meme posted by Tesla CEO Elon Musk on him, saying, "Elon...l-o-v-e-s corporate socialism for himself, rugged capitalism for everyone else." He added that Musk would be worth "nothing without $4.9 billion in corporate welfare". Musk had responded to Sanders' bill to impose a one-time 60% tax on billionaires' wealth gains during COVID-19.
short by Aishwarya / 08:01 pm on 08 Aug
TikTok faces probe from French privacy watchdog after complaint
short by Aishwarya / on 11 Aug 2020,Tuesday
France's data privacy watchdog (CNIL) has launched an investigation into TikTok after it received a complaint. The CNIL is "particularly vigilant" with regard to TikTok, "particularly with regard to this complaint and questions and other complaints that the commission is likely to receive", a spokesperson said. However, details regarding the grounds of the complaint weren't disclosed.
short by Aishwarya / 06:03 pm on 11 Aug
Flipkart launches startup accelerator programme, offers $25,000 grant
short by Rishabh Bhatnagar / on 11 Aug 2020,Tuesday
E-commerce platform Flipkart launched its accelerator program called Flipkart Leap to back early-stage startups. The program has identified five themes – design & make for India, innovation in e-commerce, tech to empower offline retail, supply chain management & logistics, and enabling deep-tech software. Startups will undergo a 16-week mentorship and will be awarded a $25,000 equity-free grant.
short by Rishabh Bhatnagar / 01:32 pm on 11 Aug
Airbnb plans to confidentially file for IPO this month: Reports
short by Aishwarya / on 11 Aug 2020,Tuesday
US-based home-renting marketplace Airbnb is planning on going public through confidential filing later this month, media reports said. Earlier, it had planned an IPO in March but put the plan on hold due to COVID-19. In April, the startup had raised $1 billion in equity and debt funding from private equity firms Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners.
short by Aishwarya / 11:22 pm on 11 Aug
SoftBank has reported a profit of $11.8 billion in the June quarter. This comes after the group suffered a loss of nearly $13 billion in the financial year 2019-20, the worst-ever loss reported in its 39-year history. The SoftBank Vision Fund, which reported about $18 billion loss last year, recorded an investment gain of $2.8 billion for the June quarter.
short by Aishwarya / 08:00 pm on 11 Aug
US Treasury Secretary says TikTok cannot continue in present form
short by Rishabh Bhatnagar / on 11 Aug 2020,Tuesday
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday said that Chinese video-sharing app TikTok cannot continue in its present form. He accused the platform of "collecting data on Americans on a large scale" and said that the "Treasury has the tools it needs to remedy the situation." Speaking to CNBC, he said President Donald Trump has made the stance "perfectly clear."
short by Rishabh Bhatnagar / 04:34 pm on 11 Aug
Mumbai-based workflow automation startup Docsumo raises $220,000
short by Pragya Swastik / on 10 Aug 2020,Monday
Mumbai-based document AI startup Docsumo has raised $220,000 in seed funding from Better Capital, TechStars and Barclays. Started in 2019 by Rushabh Sheth and Bikram Dahl, the startup's platform automates and analyses financial data and helps companies convert unstructured documents into structured data. Docsumo claims it can help financial services companies save up to 70% of office costs.
short by Pragya Swastik / 04:53 pm on 10 Aug
Agritech startup BigHaat raises $2 mn led by Beyond Next Ventures
short by Aishwarya / on 11 Aug 2020,Tuesday
Agritech startup BigHaat raised over $2 million in pre-Series A funding led by Beyond Next Ventures. The round saw participation from Rockstud Capital, BigHaat's existing investor Ankur Capital and angel investors. BigHaat was founded in 2015 by Sateesh Nukala and Sachin Nandwana. It's an agri-inputs e-commerce platform which aims to engage over 10 million farmers over the next 24 months.
short by Aishwarya / 06:00 pm on 11 Aug
RBI returns NBFC applications of BharatPe, Jupiter, CarDekho: Reports
short by Rishabh Bhatnagar / on 08 Aug 2020,Saturday
The Reserve Bank of India has reportedly returned the NBFC applications of fintech startups BharatPe and Jupiter and car sales platform CarDekho as they received investments from funds domiciled in Mauritius. The island nation is in the 'grey list' of Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The RBI reportedly indicated that the applicants have to wait longer for a review.
short by Rishabh Bhatnagar / 10:00 pm on 08 Aug
Create benefits fund for gig workers: Uber to US govt, gig economy firms
short by Rishabh Bhatnagar / on 11 Aug 2020,Tuesday
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi wrote in a New York Times column on Monday proposing a law mandating US gig economy companies to create a benefits fund for gig workers. "Workers can use the money for healthcare, paid leaves," he said. He added that all gig companies should participate, so "workers can build up benefits even if they switch between apps."
short by Rishabh Bhatnagar / 11:18 am on 11 Aug
Online climate school Terra.do raises $1.4 mn from Rainmatter, others
short by Rishabh Bhatnagar / on 11 Aug 2020,Tuesday
Online climate school Terra.do closed a $1.4 million seed round led by Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs (India), BEENEXT Emerging Asia, Zerodha's Rainmatter Capital, and angel investors. Founders include climate change expert Kamal Kapadia, ex-MakeMyTrip CPO Anshuman Bapna, and Mayank Jain. The startup takes students through a 12-week bootcamp taught by top experts to teach all aspects of climate.
short by Rishabh Bhatnagar / 01:32 pm on 11 Aug
SpaceX launches 1st batch of Starlink satellites with sun visors
short by Aishwarya / on 08 Aug 2020,Saturday
SpaceX launched its 10th Starlink mission, the first with sun visors, which included 57 Starlink satellites and 2 satellites from BlackSky, a Spaceflight customer. This was the 13th mission by SpaceX in 2020. The launch suffered multiple delays earlier. The visors have been added to the satellites to block sunlight from hitting the brightest spots of the spacecraft.
short by Aishwarya / 09:29 pm on 08 Aug
World Bank arm to invest $10 mn in Hyd-based VC firm's fund
short by Rishabh Bhatnagar / on 11 Aug 2020,Tuesday
World Bank's investment arm, International Finance Corporation has committed to invest $10 million (nearly ₹75 crore) in Hyderabad-based venture capital (VC) firm Endiya Partners' Fund II. An additional $10 million for direct co-investments alongside Endiya Fund II have also been slotted. Endiya's investments include health and fitness startup Cure.fit and cloud kitchen Innerchef, among others.
short by Rishabh Bhatnagar / 03:56 pm on 11 Aug
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