Instacart has raised another $200M at a $4.2B valuation

 Despite plenty of uncertainty swirling around Instacart and its complex relationship with Whole Foods — now owned by Amazon — investors still seem to not be too worried, and are pouring a fresh big round of financing into the startup that values it at $ 4.2 billion. Instacart said it raised $ 200 million in a new funding round this morning led by Coatue Management, as well… Read More
Mobile – TechCrunch

English teaching service VIPKID raises $200M and reportedly hits a $1.5B valuation

 VIPKID, an online English teaching tool, announced today that it has raised $ 200 million in financing. That financing round values the company at $ 1.5 billion, according to a report by Bloomberg. That wouldn’t just give VIPKID unicorn status — it also exposes a huge amount of demand there is in China and other countries as a tool to learn English from English speakers. VIPKID… Read More
Mobile – TechCrunch

AT&T launches $200M VC fund with Coral Group

AT&T will invest up to $ 200 million in a VC fund managed by The Coral Group, a classic venture capital group that manages early-stage, late-stage, regional and strategic funds.

The fund will only invest in technologies built on top of Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP), an operating system for software-defined networks. “This investment is part of our push to address the needs of global service providers,” said Andre Fuetsch, CTO and president of AT&T Labs.

ONAP is an open source software platform originally made by AT&T. A major reason for the telecom giant to only accept startups develop on ONAP is that company runs it own cloud network on the software. However, it’s not clear whether pushing new companies to only build on top of ONAP is a good move.

AT&T and field partners will determine the startups to fund. The Coral group invests in telecom, mobile, commerce, security, cloud, real-time data monitoring, and IoT platforms. Its biggest investment was $ 67M in PlayPhone, a social gaming developer providing solutions to wireless carriers.

There’s an increased trend of allocating big VC funds to piggy-back the IoT wave. Trend Micro, a Japanese cybersecurity firms also announced last month the launch of $ 100M VC fund for IoT startups.

Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things

Smart window glass company View raises $200M Series G

View, a company manufacturing dynamic glass that tints automatically in response to weather conditions announced this week it has raised a $ 200M Series G Round at an unknown valuation. TIAA and Blackrock led the latest round and the proceeds include $ 70M investment from BlackRock, which has $ 5.4 trillion in assets under management globally.

Blackrock’s other high-profile investments include $ 350M Series C in Dropbox, $ 175M in Uber, $ 300M in Jawbone, $ 500M in SnapDeal, and €100M as a lead investor in an Italian Telecom company Linkem. Blackrock’s latest funding in View comes as no surprise. View started raising funds in 2008 and has raised more than $ 650M which also includes $ 69M of debt financing in different rounds.

View’s internet-connected intelligent window is an insulating glass unit (IGU) containing an electrochromic coating to switch between clear and tinted on demand. A light sensor on the building provides information about the weather, such as cloud cover. The internal heat sensors communicate the heat load to the system which combines it with multiple web-based weather feeds and predicts how much the tint should be adjusted. The tint can also be controlled via View’s Android and iOS mobile app.

iPhone and iPad app

View’s dynamic glass costs 50% more than regular window glass in a commercial building. However, it eliminates the need for shades, blinds, and cut downs a building’s HVAC system’s peak load.

Some of the major clients of the company are SFO Airport,, CenturyLink Technology Center, America Center II, and The University of Massachusetts Amherst. View claims to provide its customers with benefits such as energy savings, glare reduction, unobstructed views and natural daylighting and contribution to green building ratings (e.g. LEED).

Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things