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A strong investment economy has backers throwing their money at startups, and we got the 411. The Hustle Wed, Jun 27 Brought to you by Vincero Watches… leave no detail to chance. Startups are raking in cash this week and...
By: Wes Schlagenhauf
June 27, 2018
A strong investment economy has backers throwing their money at startups, and we got the 411.
Startups are raking in cash this week and the future is now
There have been enough startup funding rounds in the past week to make your head spin. So, to save you the headache, we sorted through the heap to bring you the cream of the cash-flush crop.
Here are some of the companies that raised money in the past few days and have big plans to change the game:
AaaS is the new SaaS, says AI startup Noodle.ai
Noodle.ai, which provides AI-as-a-service for enterprise clients, raised $35m to expand. Noodle.ai uses companies’ data to build custom AI solutions and then charges monthly subscription fees for the finished application.
Dreem raises $35m to put you to sleep with a smart headband
Dreem, a French neurotechnology startup, monitors brain waves and uses auditory stimulation to encourage quicker, deeper sleep. So if NyQuil doesn’t cut it -- maybe biofeedback and neuromodulation will do the trick.
Pared thinks it can help restaurant staff work reasonable hours
Pared raised $10m to expand its platform, which helps overworked restaurant workers select on-demand shifts at different restaurants in one app -- essentially, transforming line cooks into freelancers.
Which sounds cooler: Operations consulting or ‘process mining’?
Celonis, a German enterprise operations (AKA, “process mining”) startup that helps companies streamline their IT, just raised a $50m Series B at a cool $1B valuation. The biz grew 5,000% in the past 4 years by focusing on iterative tech improvements -- and sweet buzzwords.
Some cool-AaaS sh*t
Held hostage by hackers, cities choose among ransom, recovery, and insurance
Cyber-criminals are hacking into towns and cities across the country to extort Bitcoin ransoms. This year, 38% of the municipalities interviewed by an information security research company are expected to be targeted by ransomware, compared to only 13% in 2016.
As the problem grows, some municipalities refuse to negotiate with hackers -- while others spend big bucks on expensive cyber-insurance policies.
Ransomware now comes with customer support
Equal opportunity thieves target cities and towns alike by offering “customer service” assistance to help local authorities buy -- and then fork over -- cryptocurrency, reportsThe Wall Street Journal.
One cyber attack that shut down Atlanta’s city government demanded $51k in Bitcoin -- and will end up costing the city more than $11.5m to restore its systems after they failed to cooperate. But, thieves also target small towns like Rockport, Maine, which has fewer than 4k residents.
No matter what the solution looks like, it’s expensive
As crime increases, so do efforts to fight it -- and struggling towns must choose among expensive ransoms, expensive recoveries, and expensive cyberinsurance policies (a growing multibillion dollar global industry, with 86% of the coverage sold to US companies).
In Spring Hill, Tennessee, authorities spent $100k recovering from their hack (while a huge amount of money for the city, it’s still less than the $250k ransom).
Other cities simply buy insurance to eliminate the risk, like Franklin County, Ohio, which paid for a $10m policy last year at a $200k annual premium.
Holy front-facing camera: Instagram is reportedly worth $100B
Selfie-enthusiasts deserve some corporate gift baskets. New data, reported by Bloomberg Intelligence, estimates that Instagram is now worth over $100B.
And of course, to the acquirer go the spoils: People are hailing Facebook’s purchase of the millennial must-have back in 2012 as “genius,” and this new valuation makes it a 100-fold return for Marky Zuck and the Funky ‘Book.
*Scrolls through stories from@cats_of_instagram*
Sorry, where were we… Oh yeah, Facebook bought Instagram for $1B a year before Evan Spiegel publicly rebuffed the company’s offer to buy Snapchat for $3B.
Since then, Instagram has completely delivered on Facebook’s investment, surpassing 1B monthly active users this month, and on track to exceed 2B within the next 5 years, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Jitendra Waral.
And how are Snap’s investors faring? Let’s just say, a face filter’s not gonna fix that mess.
Portrait mode is the hero Facebook needs
As Facebook’s user growth stagnates among younger demographics, Instagram continues to flourish with US teens -- and we all know advertisers love teens… er, wait…
*Buries head in Stories again*
eMarketer recently estimated that Instagram now accounts for nearly 30% of Facebook’s net mobile ad revenue, with potential to grow to 40% by 2020 -- and it could account for close to 16% of Facebook’s total revenue over the next year.
From space to… school? Elon Musk’s experimental school is on another planet
For the past 4 years, Elon Musk has been quietly funding an experimental nonprofit school in the corner of SpaceX HQ in Hawthorne, California.
But, in the way that Elon Musk is not your average billionaire, this school is not your average educator.
The school focuses less on music, sports, and language arts (as in not at all), and more on the talents that make Musk so uniquely him -- like AI, nuclear politics, and of course, flamethrowers.
It’s called Ad Astra
Because of course it is. Which means “to the stars” in Latin, because of course it does.
It started back in 2014, when Musk pulled his 5 sons out of one of LA’s most prestigious private schools for gifted children.
He hired one of his sons’ teachers, Joshua Dahn, who now serves as principal and co-founder of Ad Astra. Now, 40 students later (half of whom belong to SpaceX staff members), the rest is history.
A fever dream curriculum from Musk’s own contrarian psyche
With no grades, an estimated 20 different student-built websites live at any given time, and a digital currency called the “Astra” that kids are often seen trading around campus, Ars Technica notes that Ad Astra is more VC incubator than school.
According to Dahn, students learn everything from how to give TED talks, to fabricating battle-bots, to “blowing sh*t up.”
As for foreign languages? Mr. M feels that translation software will soon make the subject obsolete. So, no need.
The founders of Vincero started a watch company for people like them: the hustlers of today, and the leaders of tomorrow.
Bold visions ahead, wear without caution
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For Vincero, luxury isn’t about the price tag or social media blitz, it’s about the details. Every watch from Vincero is handmade with the utmost craftsmanship. From the marble accents in the casebacks, to the authentic Italian leather straps, it's clear nothing has been overlooked.
It’s the watch you can’t afford, at a price you can.
For those who appreciate (free) alcohol and adventure
We want to give you and a friend a break from reality: starting with a [FREE trip] that looks straight out of Westworld.
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THE FINE PRINT: You have to be 21 or older to enter. Kids, it’s the law...
what the hell is...
Note: A series in which The Hustle explains things in the tech and business world that don’t seem to make a whole lot of sense.
What the hell is... battery life?
This month, we partnered with BlackBerry® KEY2 to get to the bottom of the battery bar. After peaking under the glass, here's what we discovered...
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