News aggregator SmartNews raises $230 million, valuing its business at $2 billion

Smartnews

SmartNews, a Tokyo-headquartered news aggregation website and app that’s grown in popularity despite hefty competition from built-in aggregators like Apple News, today announced it has closed on $230 million in Series F funding. The round brings SmartNews’ total raise to date to over $400 million and values the business at $2 billion — or as the company touts in its press release, a “double unicorn.” (Ha!)

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Axelera, which is developing an AI accelerator chip, raises $12M

Axelera

Axelera AI, a Dutch AI semiconductor startup, today emerged from stealth with $12 million in seed funding led by Bitfury, a security and infrastructure provider for the Bitcoin blockchain. Innovation Industries Fund participated in the round, which the company says will support developing of AI apps at the edge.

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Tech startup Copado raises $140 mln in Series C Funding

Copado

Copado, a tech startup based in Chicago, has raised $140 million in Series C funding to expand its DevOps platform to power the largest digital transformations

Insight Partners led the round with new investors Declaration Partners, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, and DG Ventures. Existing investors Salesforce Ventures, Perpetual Investors, ISAI Cap Venture, and Lead Edge Capital also joined this round, which valued the startup at $1.2 billion.

The proceeds of the round will be invested in the expansion of Copado’s DevOps and AI-enabled testing solutions across the enterprise SaaS platforms driving today’s digital transformation. The funds will also be used to fuel its international growth, especially in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) market with the support of SoftBank and Digital Garage Group.

Copado has seen rapid growth over the past years, doubling its annual recurring revenue and tripling the number of new seven-figure client engagements. Its workforce has grown to more than 500 employees across the world, which has allowed it to accelerate its expansion.

According to the startup, there are more than 1,100 global brands using Copado’s solutions, including AmerisourceBergen, Cox Automotive, and Linde. The expanding list also added Campbell’s, Standard Bank, and TalkTalk Group over the past 6 months. Philipp Rackwitz, Chief Strategy Officer and co-founder of Copado, referred to this success by stating:

“Today, our customers are asking us to replicate the success they have experienced using Copado with Salesforce on other SaaS platforms. This customer-driven innovation is fueling our growth and multi-cloud expansion strategy. We are excited to find ourselves only at the beginning of this extraordinary journey.”

The digital revolution across different industries has increased the demand for DevOps platforms that improve the efficiency of development and IT operations, which Copado aims to be leading in the following years. To achieve this objective, as well as to bring additional security and AI-enabled automated testing capabilities to its platform, the tech startup acquired New Context and Qentinel.

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AI edge hardware startup Deep Vision nabs $35M

Deepvision

Deep Vision, a company developing an AI accelerator chip and software suite for edge computing workloads, today announced that it closed a $35 million series B financing round led by Tiger Global, with participation from Exfinity Venture Partners, Silicon Motion, and Western Digital. According to CEO Ravi Annavajjhala, the proceeds will be put toward product development as Deep Vision looks to ramp up manufacturing of its hardware for early customers.

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Data operations platform Satori nabs $20M

Satori

Data operations platform Satori today announced that it raised $20 million in a series A round led by B Capital Group and Evolution Equity Partners, with participation from Satori’s seed investor YL Ventures. The company says it’ll use the funds, which bring its total raised to $25 million, to support product R&D and expand its go-to-market operations in the U.S.

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Rezilion raises $30M help security operations teams with tools to automate their busywork

Rezilion

Guggenheim Investments is leading the round with JVP and Kindred Capital also contributing. Rezilion said that unnamed executives from Google, Microsoft, CrowdStrike, IBM, Cisco, PayPal, JP Morgan Chase, Nasdaq, eBay, Symantec, RedHat, RSA and Tenable are also in the round. Previously, the company had raised $8 million.

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Trade promotion management startup Cresicor raises $5.6M to keep tabs on customer spend

Cresicor

Cresicor, a consumer packaged goods trade management platform startup, raised $5.6 million in seed funding to further develop its tools for more accurate data and analytics. The company, based remotely, focuses on small to midsize CPG companies, providing them with an automated way to manage their trade promotion, a process co-founder and CEO Alexander Whatley said is done primarily manually using spreadsheets.

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AI-driven voice assistant PolyAI raises $14M round led by Khosla Ventures

PolyAI

“Conversational AI” startup PolyAI, based out of London, has raised $14 million in a funding round led by Silicon Valley’s Khosla Ventures, with participation from existing investors (Point72 Ventures, Amadeus Capital, Sands Capital Ventures, Passion Capital and Entrepreneur First). This follows their $12m Series A, and will provide resources for further US expansion beyond its existing US team. The startup has now raised $28m to date.

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Virtual meeting platform Vowel raises $13.5M, aims to cure meeting fatigue

Vowel

Meetings are an inevitable part of the work day, but as workplaces became more distributed over the past 18 months, Vowel CEO Andy Berman says we are steadily moving toward “death by meeting.” His virtual meeting platform is the latest to receive venture capital funding — $13.5 million — with the goal of making meetings more useful before, during and after.

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Xerox-backed field service startup CareAR raises $10M

Care AR

Customer expectations and needs are on the rise, exacerbating the challenge for companies facing a higher volume of customer requests during the pandemic. The issue is acute in field service work, where employees have to work on equipment with varying technical specifications — often in confined, bandwidth-constrained, and hard-to-reach spaces. In a recent survey by The Service Council, over 90% of field workers said that more knowledge is required to service modern products while nearly 70% said that products are more complex today.

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Goodcall picks up $4M, Yelp partnership to answer merchant inbound calls

Goodcall

Goodcall announced its launch Wednesday with $4 million in seed funding led by strategic investors Neo, Foothill Ventures, Merus Capital, Xoogler Ventures, Verissimo Ventures and VSC Ventures, as well as angel investors including Harry Hurst, founder and co-CEO of Pipe.com, and Zillow co-founder Spencer Rascoff.

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Omnichannel communications platform Trengo nabs $36M

Trengo

Trengo, a Dutch omnichannel communications platform, today announced that it raised $36 million in series A funding led by Insight Partners and Peak Capital. With the new funds, Trengo aims to attract engineering talent, grow internationally, and develop its platform further, according to CEO Patrick Meutzner.

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Tuna raises $3M to address complexity of e-commerce payments in Latin America

Tuna is on a mission to “fine tune” the payments space in Latin America and has raised two seed rounds totaling $3 million, led by Canary and by Atlantico. Alex Tabor, Paul Ascher and Juan Pascual met each other on the engineering team of Peixe Urbano, a company Tabor co-founded and he referred to as a “Groupon for Brazil.” While there, they came up with a way to use A/B testing to create a way of dealing with payments in different markets.

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Tango dances in with $5.7M, making employee onboarding easier

Tango

Ken Babcock and his co-founders, Dan Giovacchini and Brian Shultz, were in the midst of Harvard Business School in March 2020 when they felt the call to start Tango, a Chrome extension that auto-captures workflow best practices so that teams can learn from their top performers.

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Employee talent predictor retrain.ai raised another $7M, adds Splunk as strategic investor

Retrain AI

Automation will displace 85 million jobs while simultaneously creating 97 million new jobs by 2025, according to the World Economic Forum. Although that sounds like good news, the hard reality is that millions of people will have to retrain in the jobs of the future.

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Pilot on the AI-driven ‘financial back office’

Back office

Many startups fail due to cash flow challenges. Keeping an eye on financials is important, but bookkeeping and back office tasks might not be every startup’s strength. Especially when operating under tight seed money and capital, employing an entire back office might not make sound business sense.

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Pinecone CEO on bringing vector similarity search to dev teams

Networked figure graphic

The traditional way for a database to answer a query is with a list of rows that fit the criteria. If there’s any sorting, it’s done by one field at a time. Vector similarity search looks for matches by comparing the likeness of objects, as captured by machine learning models. Pinecone.io brings “vector similarity” to the average developer by offering turnkey service.

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OpenAI releases Triton, a programming language for AI workload optimization

Open AI

OpenAI today released Triton, an open source, Python-like programming language that enables researchers to write highly efficient GPU code for AI workloads. Triton makes it possible to reach peak hardware performance with relatively little effort, OpenAI claims, producing code on par with what an expert could achieve in as few as 25 lines.

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Blossom Capital lures Alex Lim from Silicon Valley to join the European tech boom

Alex Lim

Alex Lim, a British-born VC based in the Bay Area who invested in Hopin, UiPath, Discord, and many other unicorns has decided to up sticks and leave Sand Hill Road behind for Blossom Capital in London. Blossom is fast making a name for itself both in Europe and internationally, having invested in breakout hits like Tines, Duffel, and Checkout.com.

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