Amazon secures movie rights for Alafair Burke’s thriller ‘The Wife’

Amazon Studios is ramping up its efforts in the streaming space lately in a push to focus on bigger movies and television shows. The company hired NBC's Jennifer Salke as its new head executive to take the place of the disgraced Roy Price, and has…
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Losant secures $5.2 million in Series A financing to meet surging IoT solutions demand

Losant, a US-based startup that helps enterprises build IoT solutions, prepares itself to meet the surging demand for next generation connected solutions by securing a sum of $ 5.2 million in a Series A financing round.

Securing the amount, Charlie Key, CEO of Losant, said: “We’re excited to see our platform power intelligent solutions across a gamut of industries and use-cases. Our customers are pushing new boundaries in industrial equipment monitoring, asset tracking, smart buildings, and more. With endless possibilities, Losant is uniquely positioned to help thousands of companies in their IoT journey.”

The round was led by CincyTech. Revolution’s new Rise of the Rest seed fund, TechNexus, and Vine Street Ventures also took part.

Mike Venerable, CEO of CincyTech, said: “Connected experiences are going to transform business and personal experiences for all of us in the next decade. Billions, not millions, of connected devices are being deployed across all domains. Losant's reliable and scalable platform for IoT is being used in an accelerating number of scenarios that represent the connected future.”

JD Vance, Rise of the Rest seed fund managing partner, said: “Losant’s use of next generation IoT solutions has the potential to change every industry and business and the fact that it’s a promising Ohio-grown startup makes it that much more exciting. We are thrilled to invest in Losant alongside CincyTech, who has been helping entrepreneurs build successful technology companies in southwest Ohio for a decade.” Latest from the homepage

Mnubo secures $16.5 million in series B funding round to accelerate expansion of IoT solutions

Mnubo, an IoT data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) provider, has raised $ 16.5 million in a series B financing round to speed up the global expansion of its SmartObjects IoT analytics and data science solution.

Throughout the world, SmartObjects aims to helping service providers and equipment manufacturers in furthering their data monetisation strategy. Johnson-Controls Hitachi is among the prominent manufacturers who are using SmartObjects. 

Greg Barats, president and CEO of HSB Group, a Munich Re arm that led the financing round and also a strategic commercial partner of Mnubo, said: “We’re thrilled about this strategic partnership with Mnubo to bring to market a suite of financial and insurance related products based on artificial intelligence and machine Learning on IoT equipment datasets. HSB can help Mnubo’s customers realize meaningful results from their IoT investments."

Frederic Bastien, president and CEO of Mnubo, said: “We are spearheading the transformation of the IoT landscape by enabling a data-driven versus a connectivity-driven business model. Companies must focus on business outcomes through IoT insights in order to stand-out in a crowded and confusing market. HSB has 150 years of experience in insuring commercial and industrial equipment; this alliance with Mnubo enables the next-generation of IoT manufacturers and enterprises to benefit from a portfolio of IoT-based, data-driven financial products to accelerate RoI by enabling IoT data monetisation.”

In another funding raising story, cybersecurity enterprise VDOO has secured $ 13 million to formulate and commercialise its IoT security platform. According to VDOO, its first-of-its-kind IoT platform can provide security certification for a wide array of connected devices via an automated, end-to-end process that analyses the devices, gives the most accurate security requirements and implements guidance based on that analysis. Latest from the homepage

HomePod release date is likely right around the corner as device secures FCC approval

HomePod Release Date

Apple recently received FCC approval for the HomePod, signaling that the company’s highly anticipated smart speaker — which has been delayed for quite a few weeks now — may finally hit store shelves in the near future. Apple, it’s worth noting, was required to submit the HomePod for FCC approval because the device incorporates wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi.

Though the FCC filing doesn’t reveal any new or juicy tidbits about the HomePod, the fact that the documents released by the FCC are from September strongly suggests that there haven’t been any major hardware changes to the HomePod, if any, over the past few months. Indeed, this jibes with previous reports which attributed the HomePod delay to software kinks Apple was still trying to work through.

Originally unveiled this past June at WWDC, Apple initially said that the HomePod would launch sometime in December of 2017. Come November, Apple announced that the HomePod launch was being pushed back to sometime in early 2018, with the company providing no specific details regarding the delay.

Priced at $ 349, Apple’s HomePod certainly isn’t cheap, especially compared to rival smart speakers from the likes of Amazon and Google. Nonetheless, Apple is positioning the HomePod as a speaker with premium acoustics that competitors won’t be able to match.

Interestingly enough, we’ve since learned that Apple’s work on the HomePod began all the way back in 2014. In fact, a Bloomberg piece on the HomePod’s development reveals that Apple engineers were completely caught off guard when Amazon released its Echo smart speaker in November of that year.

“The Apple engineers jokingly accused one another of leaking details of their project to Amazon, then bought Echos so they could take them apart and see how they were put together,” the report notes. “They quickly deemed the Echo’s sound quality inferior and got back to work building a better speaker.

Now, more than three years later, we’ll soon find out if the wait was worth it.

Apple – BGR

UEFA secures UK court order to block illegal soccer streams

Tearing a leaf out of the English Premier League's playbook, the Union of European Football Associations — better known as UEFA — has been granted the power to block illegal match streams by the UK's highest court. UEFA won't actually be doing any…
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Upstream Security secures $9 million to advance cloud-based connected car security

Upstream Security has secured $ 9 million in series A funding to advance its cloud-based cybersecurity platform for connected cars and self-driving vehicles, after securing $ 2 million in a seed funding round in June.

According to the company, the fresh amount will be utilised for expanding its R&D programme, strengthening research teams in the engineering and security divisions and opening marketing and sales offices in the US and Europe.

The funding was led by CRV (Charles River Ventures) and included expanded investments from Glilot Capital Partners and Maniv Mobility.

Izhar Armony, general partner at CRV, said: “Connected and semi-autonomous cars are already a reality, so it’s a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’ these self-driving technologies will be deployed at scale. Upstream’s engineers were the first to solve how to protect connected cars and autonomous vehicles using the cloud, crucial for near-term and future deployment of automotive cybersecurity at the fleet level.

"We believe in Upstream’s groundbreaking approach to secure connected and autonomous vehicles and in the abilities of cybersecurity veterans, Yoav Levy and Yonatan Appel, to build a rapidly growing business in this hot, emerging space.”

Talking about the increasing security threats in the connected car industry, Upstream CEO and cofounder Levy commented: “Security solutions for the car are undergoing rapid advances at an unprecedented rate. We’re using emerging technologies like AI and machine learning to carry out an evolutionary leap in cybersecurity for passenger and commercial vehicles.”

It’s not the only money going into this space of late. Earlier this month, Canada-based connected vehicle startup Mojio secured $ 30 million in Series B funding, which will be utilised by the company to expedite its connected-vehicle solution and for global expansion. Latest from the homepage

Mojio secures $30m to speed up its connected car solution

Canadian connected vehicle startup Mojio has managed to secure a total of $ 30 million in Series B funding round led by Kensington Capital.

Mojio, whose connected-vehicle solution helps transform any car into a connected one, plans to utilise the funding to speed up the automotive solution and expand globally. The Mojio device supported by seven wireless carriers operates in five nations at present.

According to company CEO Kenny Hawk, thus far Mojio has transformed 500,000 vehicles into connected vehicles globally.

"People don’t want to wait for their next vehicle to access valuable safety and security features, let alone another 10 to 15 years for the promise of self-driving cars," says Hawk.

"But they are willing to spend $ 10 to $ 15 per month to access actionable, real-world data that empowers smarter decision making around family safety, driving behaviour, vehicle maintenance, and that offers a hassle-free Wi-Fi hotspot that doesn’t drain your smartphone.”

Mojio is the only firm to have receive an investment from the $ 100 million BC Tech Fund, launched in 2016 and managed by Kensington Capital. The funding amount, however, remains undisclosed.

You can find out more about Mojio here.

What are your thoughts on Mojio's strategy? Let us know in the comments. Latest from the homepage

Intel secures and upscales IoT devices with new secure device onboard launch

Intel has announced the launch of its Secure Device Onboard (SDO) technology, which aims to automate and bring IoT devices online within seconds as opposed to hours.

Announced at the IoT Solutions World Congress, the Intel SDO is being offered to IoT platform providers as a service they can provide their customers, who are willing to take thousands of connected devices onboard. Its “zero touch” model allows devices to dynamically discover the customer’s IoT platform account at power-on for automatic registration.

The Intel SDO uses the company’s unique privacy-preserving IoT identity solution – the Intel Enhanced Privacy ID (Intel EPID) – to anonymously authenticate the device and establish an encrypted communication channel. This prevents hackers from tracing the device from factory to owner. The service has been made available across the IoT ecosystem, allowing providers such as, Infineon, Microchip and Cypress Semiconductor to embed the EPID identity capability in their hardware. Also, Cloud service platform and device management software providers like Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services (AWS) also intend to provide integration to support the Intel SDO’s zero touch model.

Furthermore, the semiconductor chipmaker is also foraying into autonomous driving segment. The company introduced one of the first highly automated vehicles developed in partnership with BMW, alongside demonstrating with Ericsson over the air data moving across a 5G network between the car and the cloud. It also opened its Advanced Vehicle Lab, which alongside labs in Arizona, Germany, and Oregon will research the requirements and technologies needed to power self-driving vehicles, from AI to supporting cloud services, while the Autonomous Garage Labs will focus more on the tools and testing side. Latest from the homepage

Cloudleaf secures $13 million funding to bring patented Sensor Fabric to market

IoT startups in Silicon Valley are in the news every time when they receive a financial push. This time it is Cloudleaf – a designer and developer of a location-aware sensory platform for automotive, aerospace, pharmaceutical and life sciences, and industrial manufacturing companies.

The company has secured a total of $ 13 million (£9.7m) in a series A funding round from IndusAge Partners, Bold Capital Partners, Tandem Capital, Mahindra Partners and other seasoned angel investors.

Cloudleaf will put the received fund in innovation in IoT and bring its patented Sensor Fabric to market. The company’s mission is to enable its customers to know the location of their assets and its condition in real-time. The Sensor Fabric is an intelligent mesh embedded with IoT sensors, endpoints, gateways and cloud technologies.

Every asset in it generates a unique digital fingerprint with location and contextual metadata, such as temperature, shock and vibration. Moreover, a patented location engine, middleware and cloud applications easily transforms digital metadata into actionable insights. Dashboards provide alerts, notifications, metrics, trends, analytics and KPIs related to inventory, product quality, audit and regulatory compliance.

Another IoT startup, Canada-based Helios Wire, raised an additional $ 4 million to launch first of its two satellite-based IoT systems in December 2017. Scott Larson, CEO and co-founder, Helios Wire, said: “For instance, a small-scale farmer will be able to use Helios Wire’s economical IoT service to optimally manage a handful of fields. As well, multinational shipping corporations and exporter-importers will be able to optimise fleets and shipments. In Ireland, Cubic Telecom received $ 47 million in Series C funding round which will help the firm to pave way for vehicle connectivity. Latest from the homepage

Eligo Bioscience secures funding for precision microbiome engineering

Eligo Bioscience secures funding for precision microbiome engineering

French start-up Eligo Bioscience has won $ 20 million of funding to move its innovative synthetic biology forwards. The Series A round included Khosla Ventures, Seventure Partners and a $ 2 million award from the Worldwide Innovation Challenge.

The autonomous delivery of medical supplies is an exciting prospect. But instead of dropping medicine via parachute, Eligo Bioscience is looking to make a bigger impact on a much smaller scale. The company’s biotherapeutic platform is capable of making precision deliveries to the human microbiome: the complex and vast community of microbes present inside and on the body.

Read more: Las Vegas hospital trials IoT headband to ease patient discomfort

Engineering the microbiome

Research suggests that the microbiome sits “at the interface of health and disease.” The notion of ‘friendly bacteria’ has helped raise awareness of this, but there are many other bacteria types that have been linked with serious conditions and diseases, including colorectal cancer, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

Despite its importance to our health, we don’t yet have a way to selectively intervene at a bacterial level. Current solutions include prebiotics and probiotics, which are designed to have a restorative impact on ‘good’ bacteria but vary in effectiveness. And there are antibiotics, which kill bacteria indiscriminately. More importantly, their use is contributing to the emergence of resistant infections and superbugs. The situation is so serious that the World Health Organization has predicted that antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections will be a leading cause of death by 2050.

Eligo is developing a unique solution: the world’s first programmable biotherapeutics platform. The idea is to treat diseases at their source while improving overall microbiome health. The new technique has been dubbed ‘eligobiotics’.

Eligobiotics are closer to biological nanobots than conventional drugs. They are made from DNA and protein and are able to deliver a customized therapeutic payload to specific types of bacteria. Once the target bacteria have been found, eligobiotics can either kill them or transiently turn them into drug producers.

Eligo CEO, Dr Xavier Duportet, said “Antibiotics are weapons of mass destruction: extremely powerful but imprecise. With eligobiotics, we can precisely intervene on the microbiome – targeting specific bacteria for interventions of our choice. By engineering the microbiome itself with sniper-like precision, we can address the cause, not just the symptoms, of bacteria-associated diseases.”

Read more: Samsung debuts wearable tech for health and safety

Funding the future of medicine

The potential of Eligo’s biotherapeutic platform lies in its versatility. Currently in testing is an application capable of delivering a payload into the gut to selectively kill pathogenic bacteria. In contrast to the all-or-nothing approach of antibiotics, it allows the remaining flora to reestablish a healthy balance.

The team predicts that different payloads could be used in future to modulate immune responses, alter drug metabolism and even create transient drug production from directly within the gut.

“Xavier and the Eligo team have managed to use the tools of synthetic biology to create an elegant solution to an unbelievably complex problem: how to target, with extreme precision, the root causes of microbiome-associated diseases,” said Khosla Ventures partner Samir Kaul.

“We’re proud to lead this investment in Eligo Bioscience, a shining example of an innovative startup using the tools of synthetic biology to tackle the world’s most pressing problems.”

In a statement, Eligo has confirmed that the latest investments will be put towards strengthening the biotherapeutic platform and proving its worth in real-life scenarios. Clinical trials are on the horizon and the company is expecting to grow its international team of scientists, engineers and executives.

On 31 October & 1 November 2017, Internet of Business will be holding its Internet of Health USA event at the Royal Sonesta in Boston, MA. This event is North America’s only conference focused 100 percent on IoT applications for health providers and payers.


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