TikTok quietly picked up assets from GeoGif, which created animated, location-specific overlays for video
Ingrid Lunden

Video-sharing app TikTok passed 1 billion downloads last month, and its parent company ByteDance is ramping up its efforts to monetize those users with ads, while also continuing to add more features to the app to keep people engaged. In a move that could help both of those efforts, ByteDance has made a small acquisition, […]

Android users’ security and privacy at risk from shadowy ecosystem of pre-installed software, study warns
Natasha Lomas

A large-scale independent study of pre-installed Android apps has cast a critical spotlight on the privacy and security risks that preloaded software poses to users of the Google developed mobile platform. The researchers behind the paper, which has been published in preliminary form ahead of a future presentation at the IEEE Symposium on Security and […]

Tell us who designed your startup’s brand
Yvonne Leow

Before people ever use or buy your product, they’ll interact with your brand. What does your company stand for? How is your product different? Branding is an often overlooked, but essential component of communicating your company’s values, connecting with potential customers and, ultimately, driving conversions.   But finding the right brand designer is hard. Depending […]

McDonald’s is acquiring Dynamic Yield to create a more customized drive-thru
Anthony Ha

McDonald’s is announcing an agreement to acquire personalization company Dynamic Yield. The announcement does not include a price, but a source with knowledge of the deal said that it’s more than $300 million. This is the fast food chain’s largest acquisition in 20 years. Dynamic Yield works with brands across e-commerce, travel, finance and media […]

Vlocity nabs $60M Series C investment on $1B valuation
Ron Miller

As we wrote last week in How Salesforce paved the way for the SaaS platform approach, the ability to build extensions, applications and even whole companies on top of the Salesforce platform set the stage and the bar for every SaaS company since. Vlocity certainly recognized that. Targeting five verticals, it built industry-specific CRM solutions […]

Australian influencer marketing startup Tribe raises $7.5M as it eyes US expansion
Anthony Ha

Tribe, which helps brands acquire content from so-called “micro-influencers,” has raised $7.5 million in Series A funding. The startup was founded in Australia in 2015 by TV and radio host Jules Lund, who told me he was responding to the growing demand for branded content. “Brands are desperate for content,” Lund said. “When you have […]

Lidar and perception startup Innoviz raises $132 million
Kirsten Korosec

Innoviz, the Israel-based startup developing solid-state lidar sensors and perception software for autonomous vehicles, has raised $132 million in a Series C funding round that includes major Chinese financial institutions. The round, which makes Innoviz one of the better capitalized lidar startups, includes China Merchants Capital (SINO-BLR Industrial Investment Fund, L.P.), Shenzhen Capital Group and […]

Unicorns aren’t profitable, and Wall Street doesn’t care
Kate Clark

On Wall Street's leniency toward unprofitable tech companies and outsized exits.

Hong Kong-based fintech startup Qupital raises $15M Series A to expand in mainland China
Catherine Shu

Qupital, a fintech startup that bills itself as Hong Kong’s largest trade financing platform for SMEs, has closed a $15 million Series A led by CreditEase FinTech Investment Fund (CEFIF), with participation from returning investors Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund and MindWorks Ventures, both participants in its seed round. To date, Qupital has raised $17 […]

SparkLabs Group launches its first university accelerator program at Arizona State University
Catherine Shu

SparkLabs Group, the network of accelerators and venture funds that has now worked with more than 200 startups around the world, wants to foster the next generation of entrepreneurs with a new program for universities. Called SparkLabs Frontier, the program’s first accelerator will launch at Arizona State University this summer. SparkLabs Frontier-ASU is open to […]

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