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Digital road freight forwarder Sennder raises $160M Series, plans European expansion

Sennder, a large digital road freight forwarder based out of Germany, has raised $160m in Series D financing. The round was led by an unnamed party, but round participants included Accel, Lakestar, HV Capital, Project A and Scania. To date, Sennder has raised more than $260m, allowing it to lay claim to a potential $1bn valuation.
Sennder directly connects enterprise shippers with trucking companies, thus disintermediating the traditional freight model. It says it will move over 1 million truckloads this year. So far it’s concentrated on the lucrative European market. In June 2020 it merged with French competitor Everoad and acquired …

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On Factory Floors, a Chime and Flashing Light to Maintain Distance

BERLIN — The 2019-20 National Basketball Association season was suspended for over 140 days after a player tested positive for the coronavirus. But once play resumed in late July, no other players tested positive.The league was able to evade the virus by requiring teams to live and play their games in an isolated area known as the Bubble, at the closed Disney World resort in Florida.But a small piece of technology also played a role: a wristband that players, coaches and trainers could wear off the court, and that was required for reporters covering the teams. A tiny digital chip …

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China-E.U. Talks Hit Another Snag as Biden Camp Objects

China and the European Commission appeared close to announcing a landmark agreement this week that would make it easier for their companies to invest in each other’s economies. Then it hit another snag: A tweet by a top aide to Joseph R. Biden Jr. signaled that the president-elect was not happy about the deal.The pact, nearly seven years in the making, remains a top priority of Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany because it would give companies like Daimler and Volkswagen better control over their operations in China.China, which has long been wary of allowing foreign companies greater …

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Google expands its cloud with new regions in Chile, Germany and Saudi Arabia

It’s been a busy year of expansion for the large cloud providers, with AWS, Azure and Google aggressively expanding their data center presence around the world. To cap off the year, Google Cloud today announced a new set of cloud regions, which will go live in the coming months and years. These new regions, which will all have three availability zones, will be in Chile, Germany and Saudi Arabia. That’s on top of the regions in Indonesia, South Korea, the U.S. (Last Vegas and Salt Lake City) that went live this year — and the upcoming regions in …

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Spryker raises $130M at a $500M+ valuation to provide B2Bs with agile e-commerce tools

Businesses today feel, more than ever before, the imperative to have flexible e-commerce strategies in place, able to connect with would-be customers wherever they might be. That market driver has now led to a significant growth round for a startup that is helping the larger of these businesses, including those targeting the B2B market, build out their digital sales operations with more agile, responsive e-commerce solutions.
Spryker, which provides a full suite of e-commerce tools for businesses — starting with a platform to bring a company’s inventory online, through to tools to analyse and measure how that inventory is …

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In a Year of No Trade Fairs, Germany Takes It Hard

The funeral directors will have to wait for their big get-together. So will the toymakers, the equestrians and the vegans.All those groups and many more had scheduled trade fairs to take place in Germany in recent months. But these rituals of business life, a chance for people to make deals, check out the competition and commune with others in the same walk of life, are in crisis.The mass cancellation of trade fairs has been a disaster for hotels, restaurants and taxi drivers around the world, but especially in Germany. The country has four of the world’s 10 largest …

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