Posted on

Father and son duo take on global logistics with Optimal Dynamics’ sequential decision AI platform

Like “innovation,” machine learning and artificial intelligence are commonplace terms that provide very little context for what they actually signify. AI/ML spans dozens of different fields of research, covering all kinds of different problems and alternative and often incompatible ways to solve them.
One robust area of research here that has antecedents going back to the mid-20th century is what is known as stochastic optimization — decision-making under uncertainty where an entity wants to optimize for a particular objective. A classic problem is how to optimize an airline’s schedule to maximize profit. Airlines need to commit to schedules …

Read More

Posted on

Bosta raises $6.7M to expand e-commerce delivery business across Africa and MENA

Per a recent report by Bain & Co., e-commerce is expected to grow to $28.5 billion in MENA by 2022 from a 2019 value of $8.3 billion. Egypt, one of the most active e-commerce countries in the region, is anticipated to grow 33% annually to reach $3 billion by 2022.
But for any e-commerce business to thrive, its last-mile delivery arm has to be well figured out. Bosta is one such company in Egypt helping small businesses with logistics and last-mile delivery. Today, the company is announcing it has closed a Series A investment of $6.7 million. U.S. and Middle East VC firm Silicon Badia led the round, …

Read More

Posted on

AI-powered Jerry raises $28M to help you save money on car insurance

When Art Agrawal was growing up in India, a car ride was a rare treat, and car ownership was a dream. When he moved to the U.S. and bought his first car, he was shocked by how much it cost and how difficult it was to maintain a car.
In 2012, he co-founded a company called YourMechanic (and won TechCrunch’s Disrupt that year) that provides on-demand automotive mobile maintenance and repair services. Over the years, the challenge of helping consumers more easily find car insurance was in the back of his mind. So in 2017, he teamed up with Lina …

Read More

Posted on

India’s Moglix valued at $1 billion in $120 million fundraise

Moglix, an industrial business-to-business marketplace in India, said on Monday it has raised $120 million in a new financing round at $1 billion valuation, becoming the 13th firm from the world’s second largest market to attain the unicorn status this year.
The startup’s Series E financing round was led by Falcon Edge Capital and Harvard Management Company (HMC). Existing investors, Tiger Global, Sequoia Capital India and Venture Highway also participated in the round, which brings Moglix‘s to-date raise to about $220 million. TechCrunch reported earlier this year that Tiger Global was in talks to invest in Moglix at $1 billion valuation.
“ …

Read More

Posted on

Merchant commerce platform Pine Labs valued at $3 billion in new fundraise

Pine Labs, a startup that offers merchants payments terminals, invoicing tools and working capital, said on Monday it has completed the first close of a $285 million funding as the nearly two-decade-old firm looks to expand its business.
Baron Capital Group, Duro Capital, Marshall Wace, Moore Strategic Ventures and Ward Ferry Management financed the new funding round, while existing investors Temasek, Lone Pine Capital and Sunley House Capital also participated in it, the Indian startup said.
The new round valued Pine Labs at $3 billion, up from about $2 billion in a December round last year and $1 billion in early 2020. Pine Labs operates …

Read More

Posted on

Huma, which uses AI and biomarkers to monitor patients and for medical research, raises $130M

While much of the world eagerly watches to see if the vaccination rollout helps curb and eventually stamp out Covid-19, one of the companies that has been helping to manage the spread of the virus is announcing a big round of funding on the heels for strong demand for its technology.
Huma, which combines data from biomarkers with predictive algorithms both to help monitor patients, and uses the same technology to help researchers and pharmaceutical companies run clinical trials, has closed an equity round of $130 million, a Series C that the company can extend to $200 million by way of a $70 …

Read More

Posted on

Why TransUnion led blockchain fintech Spring Labs’ $30M Series B

Consumer credit reporting agency TransUnion recently announced it had invested an undisclosed sum in Spring Labs, which is building out a blockchain-based data-sharing platform.
Now, TechCrunch has exclusive details on the size of that round and the nature of the relationship.
First off, the fact that TransUnion, a public company with a $20 billion market cap, chose to back and partner with four-year-old Spring Labs is significant in and of itself. A number of fintechs have popped up as of late aiming to disrupt the traditional model of evaluating an individual’s creditworthiness.
Spring Labs is one of them. The startup …

Read More

Posted on

SightCall raises $42M for its AR-based visual assistance platform

Long before Covid-19 precipitated “digital transformation” across the world of work, customer services and support was built to run online and virtually. Yet it too is undergoing an evolution supercharged by technology.
Today, a startup called SightCall, which has built an augmented reality platform to help field service teams, the companies they work for, and their customers carry out technical and mechanical maintenance or repairs more effectively, is announcing $42 million in funding, money that it plans to use to invest in its tech stack with more artificial intelligence tools and expanding its client base.
The core of its service, explained …

Read More

Posted on

Flipkart in early talks to raise $1 billion ahead of IPO

Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart has hit the market to raise about $1 billion at up to $30 billion valuation in a pre-IPO financing round, two people familiar with the matter told TechCrunch.
The Bangalore-based startup, which sold majority stake to Walmart in 2018, began exploring funding opportunities with some investors earlier this year. In recent months, the company has also internally discussed pushing its public listing to early next year, the people said, requesting anonymity as details are private. (Media reports last year said Flipkart might file for an IPO in 2021.)
Several major investors of Flipkart declined to comment on fundraise talks early …

Read More

Posted on

Fitness ring maker Oura raises $100M

It’s been a wild couple of years for Oura. Last year, in particular, proved to be a major driver for the wearable fitness manufacturer. With the pandemic bringing professional sports to a screeching halt in 2020, a number of major leagues have adopted the ring, including the NBA, WNBA, UFC and NASCAR.
The company has also been making a major push into health research courtesy of UCSF, which has published peer-review studies around the ring’s temperature monitor. That feature in particular has made it a big draw for the aforementioned leagues, as temperature spikes could point to larger issues, …

Read More