Signal expands into the Signal Foundation with $50M from WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton

The Best Guide To Selling Your Old Phones With High Profit

 Perhaps the most surprising thing I learned about Signal when I spoke with Moxie Marlinspike, the app’s creator, last year at Disrupt, was that it was essentially running on a shoestring budget. A tool used by millions and feared by governments worldwide, barely getting by! But $ 50M from WhatsApp founder Brian Acton should help secure the app’s future. Read More
Mobile – TechCrunch

Google buys Xively for $50M: Marks LogMeIn’s exit from IoT connectivity market

Google announced yesterday that it will acquire Xively from LogMeIn for $ 50M. This marks Google consolidation in the managed IoT marketplace as the latter expects 20 billion connected things to come online by 2020.

Structure connected product data to make it manageable and actionable.

Xively allows enterprises to activate ‘connected products’ whereby its platform offers several features such as device connectivity, data management, identity management, integrations, security, and analytics. Smart home, smart energy, and connected products are typical use cases of Xively’s platform.

The acquisition will allow Google’s customers to add connectivity to their devices from the beginning as opposed to adding it as an ‘after-thought’. This will make the connection between the cloud-mobile app and ‘connected product’ more efficient and easy.

“This acquisition, subject to closing conditions, will complement Google Cloud’s effort to provide a fully managed IoT service that easily and securely connects, manages and ingests data from globally dispersed devices.”Antony Passemard, product management lead for Google Cloud IoT

LogMeIn sold Xively to focus on ‘unified communications’ market. Two popular products it owns in the space are GoToMeeting and Join.me. Thus, the sale will give LogMeIn the much-needed cash it needs to purchase Jive communications, a cloud-based phone services company for $ 357M. LogMeIn also plans to expand its AI-powered customer engagement portfolio. The deal is even better for LogMeIn considering it bought Xively for $ 12 million in 2014.

As for Google, it gets a well-established ‘connected products’ management platform that it will upsell to its existing and new customers of Google Cloud IoT. And, Xively can itself become a ‘billion’ dollar business unit within Google as the latter’s combined cloud business generates nearly $ 1B in revenues.

Another acquisition that took place last month was that of elnfochips. It was acquired by Arrow Electronics to consolidate its IoT market via elnfochips’ 1,500 IoT solution architects, engineers, and software development resources globally.


Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things

Graphcore raises $50M amid a flurry of AI chip activity

 While some of the largest chip manufacturers are looking to shift their focus onto the GPU for their biggest machine learnings, there’s a blooming ecosystem of new chip startups looking to rethink the way processing for AI works That includes a European-based startup called Graphcore, which said today that it has raised $ 50 million in new financing led by Sequoia Capital. Graphcore,… Read More
Mobile – TechCrunch

Item-finder gadget TrackR banks $50M Series B

TrackR, a startup that helps track lost keys and everyday items through its Bluetooth-enabled device and smartphone app raised a $ 50M Series B round.

Revolution Growth led the round with participation from Foundry Group, Amazon Alexa Fund, DoCoMo Capital, The Glenmede Trust and Bespoke Strategies.

TrackR Bravo with iPhone

Founded in 2009, TrackR has shipped more than five million devices, though it first raised major venture funding of $ 10M in 2015.

Its core products are TrackR sticker, TrackR wallet, TrackR bravo, and TrackR pixel. TrackR Bravo is a coin-sized device that can be attached to everyday items. TrackR app can be used to locate the missing item in seconds. Users can ring their missing item or get a reminder to grab the item before leaving premises.

“With this round of funding, we will redefine personal organization by ensuring nothing is ever lost for millions of consumers while continuing to maintain our leadership position in the intelligent tracking space,” said Chris Herbert, CEO and co-founder TrackR.

TrackR Bravo product

TrackR’s main competitor in the Bluetooth tracker market is Tile. The item-finder gadgets have a limitation in that they rely on Bluetooth connectivity that has a low-range. To offset the limitation, both TrackR and Tile offer a ‘Crowd-locate’ feature. When the lost item is outside the Bluetooth range, users receive a confidential location update when another TrackR (Tile in the case of Tile App) user walks by the tracked item.

However, a key requirement is that enough number of people are using the device so that crowd-locate become a useful feature.


Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things

Samsung acquires Greek text-to-speech startup Innoetics for under $50M

 With the launch of Bixby and reports that Samsung is building its own competitor to Amazon’s Echo, the consumer electronics giant has now made an acquisition that could help power its next generation of voice-powered services. Samsung has acquired Innoetics, a startup out of Greece that has developed text-to-speech and voice-to-speech technology that can, among other things, listen to… Read More
Mobile – TechCrunch

Gamer chat tool Discord secretly raised ~$50M as insiders cashed out

 It’s been a rocky road to glory for Discord, a startup whose iPad battle arena game, “Fates Forever,” earned it a top spot at our 2013 TechCrunch Disrupt show, but wound up flopping with users. What a difference a few years makes. After pivoting to a voice and text chat tool for video game teams and trash talkers in 2015, Discord’s current trajectory makes it one of… Read More
Mobile – TechCrunch