Hi there, dear reader. This is the first issue of our weekly newspaper project, and we hope won’t be the last. The weekly issues will cover recent insights from VC world on AI, FinTech, EduTech, Media, Travel and Beauty for the past week – corporate news, recent fundings and new technologies. In further issues we intend to experiment with the format of the newspaper, so stay tuned, as we have abitious plans.
– Artem and Alexander
With the release of the face detection in iOS 10, developers can now use this technology and many other computer vision algorithms in their apps. We faced significant challenges in developing the framework so that we could preserve user privacy and run efficiently on-device. Long read could be found here.
Amazon just announced Amazon Sumerian, a new platform for developers to build and host VR, AR and 3D apps quickly and with minimal coding, for smartphones and tablets, head-based displays, digital signage and web browsers.
ALO7 (formerly Saybot) an English language learning product and services provider, has received $37.5 million in a Series D financing round led by Legend Capital, with GuoHe Capital and UG Investment joining as co-investors. Clickherefor more.
BetterLesson, a Cambridge, MA-based professional development platform for teachers announced it raiseda $10 million Series B funding round to expand the use of its professional development software.
SenseTime, a Beijing-based Chinese artificial intelligence company specializing in facial and image recognition technology, has raised $227 million from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. At a post-money valuation of $3 billion. More about it here.
Finnish virtual reality startup Varjo has announced a new investment of $6.7 million from Tekes, Finland’s public agency for funding innovation projects.
Thrive Global, the behavior change media and technology company foundedby Arianna Huffington in November 2016, has raised $30 million in its Series B funding round to dramatically accelerate its technology and product growth and scale its impact around the world.
Omniex Holdings, an institutional operating platform for investment managers and active traders focused on crypto-assets, has closed a $5 million Seed Round of financing with deal led by Wicklow Capital. Additional investors include Sierra Ventures, Digital Currency Group, Clocktower Technology Ventures, ThirdStream Partners and others. More on it here.
MoneyMe, Australia-based personal loan platform has raised $91.1M round led by Fortress Investment Group, participation from Evans & Partners, as the fintech considers an initial public offering in early 2019.
TravelNest, an advertising optimisation platform for holiday rental owners, has secured a €3.4 million seed round from leading early stage venture firms Pentech, Mangrove Capital Partners and Frontline Ventures. Tech Eu has more on it here.
Review of Corporates
Snapchat separates social from media in its biggest redesign by new algorithm-driven feed. The company hopes to conquer Instagram and revive its own growth. TechCrunch reveals some insights into the new algorithm, the company plans and projections here
Digiday reviews the Amazon development into media industry. Ambitious projects usually require publishers’ content and the last are aware, as the goals of two sides usually do not coincide.
Airbnb is putting its Tilt acquisition to good use: The company just added the ability to split the cost of bookings across various Airbnb users. It’s a smart integration and could become a more core component of the platform as Airbnb continues to branch out into other travel booking services beyond accommodations. TechCrunch has more here.
Apple has bought Vrvana, a maker of VR headsets intended to provide transparent and projection-based displays, according to TechCrunch. The $30 million purchase is the latest sign that Apple may be eyeing a larger share of the market for VR/AR products.