Coinbase announced the launch of Coinbase Ventures- an early stage fund that will invest in the digital currency ecosystem. According to Emilie Choi, Head of Corporate and Business Development at Coinbase, the fund won’t make it a strategic requirement to formalize partnerships with it’s future portfolio companies, and will focus instead on spurring development of the ecosystem. Read more here.
Instacart has just raised a further $350M in it’s latest Series E funding, following a $200M round two months ago. Instacart is backed by Whole Foods (Amazon) and American Express, and this latest round was led by Coatue Management. Read more here.
Pharma-giant Bayer Crop Science has just partnered with UC Davis to launch CoLaborator- an agtech focused accelerator.This follows in the footsteps of the pharma company’s Bayer Trendlines Ag Innovation Fund established in late 2016. Read more here.
Salesforce is the latest enterprise tech company to be hedging on blockchain. Co-founder Benioff didn’t disclose any details, but announced Salesfroce would have a blockchain-ready product by Dreamforce in September this year. Read more here.
Bloomberg Beta, the CVC arm of media and data group Bloomberg has led the $13M Series A of Cobalt Robotics. Cobalt Robotics provides autonomous security robots, and other investors include Sequoia Capital, Founders Fund and Sequoia Capital. According to Mike Collett from Promus Ventures, Cobalt will use this capital to expand to other cities and invest in engineering and operations. This is not the first deep tech robotics investment for Bloomberg- last year they led the Series A of Israeli-based Intuition Robotics alongside Samsung Next- and shows the importance of AI and autonomous data to the group. Read more here.
Tamasek Holdings, the Singaporean SWF closed $6.16M debt-financing to Indian-based SME platform Power2SME. This comes seven months after Power2SME raised a $26M Series E from existing investors- albeit this last round may signal cash-flow and working capital issues in the startup. Read more here.
Uber has just closed a rumoured $100M acquisition of Jump, a NY-based bike-sharing startup. Prior to this, Jump had just concluded a 2-month pilot which saw Uber integrate bike-sharing options into it’s app. The deal gives Uber access to 12,000 dockless GPS enables bike across 6 cities , but this acquisition will without a doubt spur the growth of Jump. This acquisition is an important part of Uber’s transformation into a full-fledged mobility company, beyond ride-hailing. Read more here.