|Microsoft today surpassed Alphabet‘s market cap for the first time in three years, begging the question: which company will get a trillion-dollar market cap first? |
Famed prophetess Mary Meeker delivered her annual state of the Internet report at the Recode conference in Southern California a little earlier today. Some takeaways: smartphone and Internet adoption are slowing (everyone is already online). People are spending more time gazing into their screens than ever (and more of that time is spent on their phones than ever). China is catching up, fast, as a tech hub. In fact, it’s now home to nine of the world’s 20 most biggest Internet companies by market cap. More here.
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|Consumer Reports Just Reversed Its Stance on the Tesla Model 3|
|It sometimes reads like a punishing love story, the relationship between Consumer Reports and electric car company Tesla. Consumer Reports withholds its affection, Tesla addresses its errant ways, and not long afterward, the two come happily come together until the next car review. |
We saw this happen in late 2015, when Consumer Reports assigned Tesla’s Model S a “worse-than-average” rating in an annual report about the predicted reliability of new vehicles, knocking down the company’s share price by more than 10 percent in one day. Later, the car was re-instated by Consumer Reports as a top-rated ultra-luxury sedan after consumers said its reliability had improved and it updated its software to include automatic emergency braking at highway speeds.
Something similar happened today. As we told you last week, Consumer Reports decided to withhold its recommendation to buy Tesla’s more compact luxury car, the Model 3, after its testers “found flaws—big flaws—such as long stopping distances in our emergency braking test and difficult-to-use controls.”
Specifically, the outlet reported, the car’s stopping distance of 152 feet from 60 miles per hour was “far worse than any contemporary car” it has tested and “about seven feet longer than the stopping distance of a Ford F-150 full-sized pickup,” which weighs about 7,000 pounds. (The Model 3 weighs roughly half that amount.)
Tesla told Consumer Reports that its own testing had found stopping distances from 60 mph to 0 mph were on average 133 feet. Still, Tesla CEO Elon Musk also jumped on the phone with Consumer Reports’s head of auto testing to share information that Tesla had discovered about its braking system and to say the carmaker had an over-the-air software update in the works to address it. More here.
|Alpha, a four-year-old, New York-based on-demand user insights platform, has raised $10 million in Series A funding led by Crosslink Capital and Calibrate Ventures. The company, whose customers include NBCUniversal, Experian, and AARP, has now raised $15.5 million to date. Forbes talked with the company back in January. |
Ant Financial Services Group, the China-based operator of online payment platform Alipay, has raised $10 billion at a $150 billion valuation(!), says Reuters. Investors include Singapore’s sovereign fund GIC Pte Ltd, Temasek, and Warburg Pincus. More here.
Auto, a year-old, Bay Area-based stealthy manufacturing tech startup led by Amar Hanspal, has raised around $200 million in funding, according to Axios, which says Auto already employs roughly 400 people and is producing “tens of millions of dollars in recognized revenue.” The company was reportedly spun out of Flex 10 months ago and Flex is a minority shareholder. Other investors include Eclipse Ventures, says Axios. Hanspal spent his last five months at Autodesk as its co-CEO, leaving last year. He’d spent the previous five years as the company’s chief product officer and SVP of products.
Ava, a four-year-old, Zurich, Switzerland-based maker of a fertility-tracking bracelet, has raised $30 million in fresh funding from earlier investors — including Polytech Ecosystem Ventures, Blue Ocean Ventures, Global Sources, ZKB, and Swisscom, as well as new backers Btov and SVC. The company had previously raised $15 million. TechCrunch has more here.
Bird, the year-old, Santa Monica, Ca.-based electric scooter-sharing startup, is raising $150 million in a funding round led by Sequoia Capital that will value the company at $1 billion (already), people familiar with the matter said. This is the first batch of money in this new round, and the company plans to raise more, according to Bloomberg. More here.
CleanSlate, a nine-year-old, Nashville, Tn.-based medical group that provides treatment for the chronic disease of addiction, primarily to opioids and alcohol, has raised $25 million in new funding led by HealthQuest Capital. More here.
Coffee Meets Bagel, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based app-based dating service, has raised roughly $7 million in Series B funding, per an SEC filing. The round values the startup at $82 million, per PitchBook data. The company had raised just over $10 million in funding previously, including from DCM Ventures, Quest Ventures and Azure Capital. More here.
Curai, a year-old, Bay Area-based machine learning-driven startup that helps patients deliver information to doctors to help them figure out the right diagnosis, has raised $10.7 million in a round that includes General Catalyst, Khosla Ventures and a variety of other angels. TechCrunch has more here.
Cursor, a 10-month-old, San Francisco-based startup whose tech serves as a sort of internal search tool for information, whether it’s inside SQL queries, database metadata, existing platforms like Tableau, or other, has raised $2 million in funding from Toba Capital, with participation from Ride Ventures and several angel investors. TechCrunch has more here.
Emogi, a seven-year-old, New York-based conversational content platform that integrates emoji, stickers, and GIFs into conversations, has raised $12.6 million in Series A funding led by a group of existing investors (that it isn’t naming). The capital adds to $2.7 million in Series A funding that Emogi had closed on previously. TechCrunch has more here.
Nova Credit, a three-year-old, San Francisco-based startup that provides lenders, property managers and other businesses with real-time international credit reports in order for them to acquire immigrant consumers from around the world, has raised $16 million in Series A funding. The round was co-led by General Catalyst and Index Ventures, with participation from First Round Capital, Nyca and Y Combinator. More here.
OnTruck, a two-year-old, Madrid, Spain-based haulage tech platform, has raised roughly $29 million in Series B funding led by Cathay Innovation, with participation from GP Bullhound and earlier investors Atomico, Idinvest Partners, All Iron Ventures, Total Energy Ventures, Point 9 Capital, and Samaipata Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.
Plum, a 3.5-year-old, Dania Beach, Fla.-based startup whose appliance preserves, chills and serves wine by the glass, has raised $10 million in Series B financing. Las Olas Venture Capital led the round. More here.
SnackNation, a four-year-old, L.A.-based company that curates and delivers snacks to companies, has raised $12 million in Series B funding led by 3L Capital. The round brings the company’s total funding to $22.5 million. More here.
SQream, an eight-year-old, New York- and Israel-based GPU database developer, has raised $26.4 million in Series B funding led by Alibaba, with participation from Hanaco VC, Sistema.vc, World Trade Ventures, Paradiso Ventures, Glory Ventures and Silvertech Ventures. TechCrunch has more here.
Surkus, a three-year-old, L.A.-based event tech platform, has raised $10 million in Series B funding led by the venture firm EOS Global. More here.
Taxify, a five-year-old, Estonia-based ride-hailing company that operates in Europe and Africa, has raised $175 million at a $1 billion valuation led by Daimler AG, with participation from Didi Chuxing, Korelya Capital and TransferWise founder Taavet Hinrikus. China Money Network has more here.
Tradeshift, a nine-year-old, San Francisco-based supply chain payments platform, has raised $250 million in Series E funding at a post-money valuation or more than $1.1 billion. Goldman Sachs and PSP Investments co-led the round, with participation from HSBC, H14, GP Bullhound and earlier backers HSBC, American Express Ventures, CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund, Notion Capital and Santander InnoVentures. TechCrunch has more here.
Voodoo, a 5.5-year-old, Paris-based mobile games publisher, has raised around $200 million from Goldman Sachs, says Reuters. More here.
|Amaranthine, a year-old, San Francisco-based venture firm, is targeting $50 million for its debut fund, shows an SEC filing. The firm was cofounded by Patrick Murphy, a former banker with Goldman Sachs who went on to spend three years as a venture investor with Universal Music Group. Its site is here. |
Moderne Ventures, a three-year-old, Chicago-based venture firm that specializes in real-estate, finance, insurance, and home services startups, has officially closed its debut fund with $42.7 million, shows an SEC form. Among its most recent deals is LeaseLock, a three-year-old, L.A.-based company that’s looking to replace security deposits with insurance, and had raised $10 million in Series A funding in late April. More here.
TVC Capital, an 11-year-old, San Diego, Ca.-based growth equity fund, is looking to raise $180 million for a fourth fund, shows an SEC filing. The outfit had closed its third fund with $115 million in early 2015. More here.
|Monster Products, which has been making headphones and speakers for decades, has reportedly been losing money for years. To turn things around, Monster is now planning to run one of the biggest ICOs of all time by selling “monster money tokens.” (Eek.) CoinDesk has more here. |
Uxin, a seven-year-old, China-based car commerce platform that sells used directly to consumers, as well as helps business buyers source vehicles, plans to raise $500 million in a U.S.-based IPO, shows a new SEC filing. China Money Network has more on the company and its backers here.
|Thousands of activists delivered an open letter to Amazon today, urging the company to free its contractors from forced arbitration. |
Snap’s Evan Spiegel took a snarky swipe at Mark Zuckerberg yesterday over Facebook’s data scandal.
Senator Mark Warner say to beware of regulating U.S. tech companies in a way that gives Chinese tech companies an advantage.
|Square is looking to hire a corporate development associate. The job is in San Francisco.|
|Airbnb founders were moments away from merging their China business with local competitor Tujia in January 2017. CEO Brian Chesky had a change of heart and decided to forge ahead in China alone, but the decision has reportedly rankled investors and emboldened Chinese rivals. Bloomberg has the story here. |
Walmart said today it will start paying for its workers to earn college degrees. (If you are wondering, Amazon apparently already offers tuition support.)
A new startup wants to buy seniors’ homes at a steep discount, and let them live there for life. It’s one of a growing spate of companies offering to cash out homeowners for the right price.
|The 22 best U.S. national parks to escape the crowds. |
How to be happy: a cheat sheet.
Why everyone is running off to Bellport, N.Y.
|Super expensive Father’s Day ideas.|