Roundup of news and ideas from the world of startups – Week ending 6th October 2019
News you can use
Diary of a hi-tech Gig-Worker in India – A small number of highly skilled professionals have taken to online gig platforms to look for international opportunities without relocating or moving. All they need is their skills and ability to market themselves along with basic equipment – laptops with software and high-speed internet access. Here is a story of one such entrepreneur.
Startup Merger and Acquisitions
Tesla Acquires AI Startup DeepScale – AI NEWSTesla Acquires AI Startup DeepScalemmPublished 19 hours ago on October 5, 2019By Alex McFarland Tesla Acquires AI Startup DeepScale First reported by CNBC and later picked up by various outlets, Tesla has acquired DeepScale, a four-year-old artificial intelligence startup that will help push Tesla forward in developing autonomous vehicles. As of right now, their vehicles are not considered fully autonomous. They have been awarded a Level 2 designation by the Society of Automobile Engineers. A Level 4 ranking indicates full autonomy, and it’s defined as a vehicle being capable of operating in certain conditions without human intervention.
Apple Acquires Real-Time Motion Capture Startup IKinema – Apple has acquired a U.K.-based started called IKinema that is using motion capture for real-time video production. Financial details of the deals haven’t been disclosed. The acquisition of IKinema was first reported by MacRumors this week, which got hold of regulatory filings showing that an Apple lawyer became director of the company last month. The iPhone maker subsequently confirmed the acquisition, sending the Financial Times its standard disclosure: “Apple buys smaller companies from time to time, and we generally don’t discuss our purpose or plans.”
Alteryx acquires machine learning startup Feature Labs – Alteryx, a publicly traded analytics company, announced this morning that it has acquired Feature Labs, a machine learning startup that launched out of MIT in 2018. The company did not reveal the terms of the deal. Co-founder and CEO Max Kanter told TechCrunch at the time of the launch the company had been based on research at MIT that looked at how to automate the creation of machine learning algorithms. “Feature Labs is unique because we automate feature engineering, which is the process of using domain knowledge to extract new variables from raw data that make machine learning algorithms work,” Kanter told TechCrunch in 2018.
Health Testing Startup UBiome Files For Chapter 7 With Plans To Shut Down – In October 2018, microbiome testing startup uBiome was riding pretty high. Less than a month before, the company had announced a shift to more therapeutic products, raised $83 million in a venture capital round, and added a former Novartis CEO to its board. Fast forward a year later: the company’s cofounders have resigned, it faces law enforcement scrutiny over its billing practices, it’s currently in bankruptcy proceedings, and it filed a motion Tuesday to move from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which would mean liquidating its assets and shutting down.
Lime is shutting down car rental service, LimePod – Transportation startup Lime is shutting down LimePod, its car-sharing service that it launched last November in Seattle. Lime plans to start removing its vehicles from the streets of Seattle next month and will completely shut down the service by the end of the year. The news was first reported by GeekWire. Lime has operated a pilot program in Seattle since last year and is set to conclude at the end of the year. Throughout the program, more than 18,000 people took more than 200,000 trips in LimePods, according to a Lime spokesperson. At launch, the plan was to explore carsharing for short distances and eventually replace its vehicles with an all-electric fleet. Lime, however, is not looking to make LimePods a permanent fixture of the city at this point.