Category Archives: california

A young entrepreneur is building the Amazon of Bangladesh

At just 26, Waiz Rahim is supposed to be involved in the family business, having returned home in 2016 with an engineering degree from the University of Southern California. Instead, the young entrepreneur is plotting to build the Amazon of Bangladesh. Deligram, Rahim’s vision of what e-commerce looks like in Bangladesh, a country of nearly 180 million, is making progress, having taken inspiration from a range of established tech giants worldwide, including Amazon, Alibaba and Go-Jek in Indonesia. It’s a far cry from the family business. That’s […]

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DNA Script picks up $38.5 million to make DNA production faster and simpler

DNA Script has raised $38.5 million in new financing to commercialize a process that it claims is the first big leap forward in manufacturing genetic material. The revolution in synthetic biology that’s reshaping industries from medicine to agriculture rests on three, equally important pillars. They include: analytics — the ability to map the genome and understand the function of different genes; synthesis — the ability to manufacture DNA to achieve certain functions; and gene editing — the CRISPR-based technologies that allow for the addition or subtraction of […]

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Crowned by Burger King, meat replacement company Impossible Foods raises $300 million

After being crowned by Burger King as the first meat replacement patty to roll out nationally with one of the largest fast food chains, Impossible Foods has raised $300 million in capital. The financing brings the company’s total equity raise to $750 million — and provides a sizable pool of funds to draw from as it continues to compete with its newly publicly traded rival, Beyond Meat. Beyond Meat rockets in early trading on Nasdaq, reaching a valuation of over $3 billion Both companies are looking to […]

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Some reassuring data for those worried unicorns are wrecking the Bay Area

Joanna Glasner Contributor More posts by this contributor A record $2.5B went to US insurance startup deals last year, and big insurers are in all the way Space tech rockets higher The San Francisco Bay Area is a global powerhouse at launching startups that go on to dominate their industries. For locals, this has long been a blessing and a curse. On the bright side, the tech startup machine produces well-paid tech jobs and dollars flowing into local economies. On the flip side, it also exacerbates housing […]

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Singapore’s SalesWhale raises $5.3M to bring AI to sales and marketing teams

SalesWhale, a Singapore-based startup that uses AI to help marketers and salespeople generate leads, has announced a Series A round worth $5.3 million. The investment is led by Monk’s Hill Ventures — the Southeast Asia-focused firm that led SalesWhale’s seed round in 2017 — with participation from existing backers GREE Ventures, Wavemaker Partners and Y Combinator. That’s right, SalesWhale is one a select few Southeast Asian startups to have been through YC, it graduated back in summer 2016. SalesWhale — which calls itself “a conversational email marketing […]

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Forge acquires IRA Services to expand offering for private company shares

Forge, the marketplace for trading private company shares formerly known as Equidate, announced that it will be acquiring custodial trust company IRA Services for a purchase price of $55 million. IRA Services is a trust company that provides custodial services for retirement accounts managed by individuals and mid-to-large sized Institutions. Stripped of financial jargon, the primary function of a custodian is to hold on to (or maintain “custody” of) its clients’ securities and keep them safe from potential external complications such as theft or otherwise. Many custodians, […]

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Flying taxi startup Blade is helping Silicon Valley CEOs bypass traffic

One year after a $38 million Series B valued on-demand aviation startup Blade at $140 million, the company has begun taxiing the Bay Area’s elite. As part of a new pilot program, Blade has given 200 people in San Francisco and Silicon Valley exclusive access to its mobile app, allowing them to book helicopters, private jets and even seaplanes at a moments notice for $200 per seat, at least. Blade, backed by Lerer Hippeau, Airbus, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and others, currently flies passengers around the […]

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Taali takes its popped water lily snacks from Y Combinator to the world

Aditya and Aarti Kochhar Kaji didn’t set out to start the snack food business Taali Foods when they were studying for their business degrees at Harvard. The couple both hail from Mumbai and met at the University of Pennsylvania . They were married before starting at Harvard’s Business School and initially were interested in other areas — Aarti was exploring a career in venture capital and Aditya was looking at the food and beverage industry broadly in his classes at Harvard. Addicted to snack foods like chips and […]

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Cannabis startup Caliva raises $75M from former Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz and Joe Montana

San Jose cannabis company Caliva is proving that weed’s still hot, even as some markets cool off. The company is announcing a $75 million round of investment that includes participation from former Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz and football legend Joe Montana . If that pair seems unlikely, it just goes to show that cannabis attracts an eclectic mix. With what the company itself refers to as a “war chest,” Caliva intends to expand its portfolio of products as well as ramping up its efforts courting cannabis users […]

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Sequoia-backed NEXT gets $97M as investment in logistics heats up

Despite its “unsexy” reputation, the logistics industry is attracting massive investment from venture capitalists. With a fresh $97 million in Series C funding, NEXT joins a fleet of heavily funded logistics platforms, including Flexport, Huochebang and Convoy. The company, which connects shippers and carriers through an online marketplace, raised the capital from Brookfield Ventures, with participation from Sequoia Capital and logistics solutions provider GLP. NEXT declined to disclose the valuation or whether its latest financing included debt. In 2018, global logistics startups collected more than $6 billion in […]

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