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Top tech news for today, Thursday, January 16, 2020: Google, Tesla, PepsiCo, AI2 Incubator, Dottid, Epsagon, WorkBoard | Tech News

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Good morning! Below are the top tech startups news for today, Thursday, January 16, 2020.

Tesla plans to open China design and research center. Tesla continues to make waves in China. Tesla’s first factory outside the United States is in the eastern city of Shanghai, and it started delivering China-made Model 3 vehicles this month. Now the electric car maker said it plans to open a design and research center in China to make “Chinese-style” vehicles, the company said in a recruitment notice on its official WeChat account. “In order to achieve a shift of ‘Made in China’ to ‘Designed in China’, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk has proposed a very cool thing – set up a design and research center in China,” the statement reads. The company does not provide any timeline on when the center will  begin operations.

Google buys 2 tech startups, Pointy and AppSheet, within the same 24 hours. Google has been on buying spree lately. With billions of dollars in war chest, Google announced the acquisition of two tech startups: Dublin’s Pointy, which helps brick-and-mortar retailers list their products online, and Seattle-based AppSheet, a tech startup that helps anyone create no-code applications. The company made the announcement within the same 24 hours. The amounts of deals were not disclosed. With the acquisition of AppSheet, Google Cloud will now gets no-code app development features. Founded in 2012 by Brian Sabino and Praveen Seshadri, AppSheet is the intelligent no-code platform for business apps. It enables business users to leverage their business data and build powerful, code-free apps.

WorkBoard raises $30M in Series C funding led by Andreessen Horowitz. WorkBoard, a California–based tech startup and a provider of enterprise results management solutions, has raised $30m in Series C funding to increase its investment in marketing, go-to-market partnerships and in core technology areas like data visualizations and machine learning. The round was led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from previous investors GGV Capital, M12 (formerly Microsoft Ventures) and Workday Ventures. In conjunction with the funding, Andreessen Horowitz General Partner David Ulevitch will join the WorkBoard board of directors. Founded by CEO Deidre Paknad, WorkBoard provides Enterprise Strategy and Results Management solutions to both large enterprises and later stage startups.

PepsiCo Plans to Achieve 100% Use of Renewable Energy In The U.S this year. Beverage giant PepsiCo announced that it plans to achieve 100% renewable energy use for all of its direct operations in the U.S. this year. The U.S. currently accounts for nearly half of PepsiCo’s total global electricity consumption. PepsiCo’s efforts in the U.S. build upon its global progress in switching to renewable electricity around the world. For example, nine countries in PepsiCo’s European direct operations already meet 100% of their electricity demand from renewable sources. Additionally, in 2018, 76% of the electricity needs of the PepsiCo Mexico Foods business were delivered via wind energy.

Dottid Raises $3.85 Million in Seed Funding Round to Disrupt Commercial Real Estate Industry. Dottid, a commercial real estate (CRE) SaaS technology platform which provides a single location for owners, brokers, and tenants to seamlessly transact throughout the leasing process, has raised $3.85 million in a seed round of funding. The emerging technology company brought together a collaboration of investors including, David Ridley, Founder and former CEO of Invesco Real Estate, Laurie Dotter, current investment board member for two public Texas pension funds, and David Farmer, former COO of Invesco Real Estate, marking the first time several leading local real estate industry insiders have made an investment of this kind in a PropTech company.

Epsagon secures $16 million in Series A to provide automate monitoring for cloud microservices. Born in the cloud and made for the cloud, Epsagon, a cloud analytics startups that specializes in automated tracing for cloud microservices, today announced it has raised $16 million Series A funding led by new investor U.S. Venture Partners (USVP), with participation from previous investors Lightspeed Venture Partners and StageOne Ventures. The round, which brings the company’s total amount raised to $20 million, will be used to fuel the next phase in Epsagon’s growth, including accelerating product innovation for the company’s automated, distributed tracing technology, and investing in sales and marketing to meet global demand from new and existing customers.

Paul Allen’s research lab AI2 Incubator raises $10 million pre-seed fund for AI startups. Yesterday, we reported about Apple acquisition of Xnor.ai, an edge AI startup spin-out from Paul Allen’s research lab, for $200 million. Today, the AI2 Incubator, created by the Allen Institute for AI (AI2), announced it has raised $10 million pre-seed fund for AI startups. Backers for AI2 Incubator include some of the nation’s top venture capital institutions, such as Seattle’s Madrona Venture Group, Silicon Valley’s Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins, and New York’s Two Sigma Ventures. The AI2 Incubator helps engineers and entrepreneurs build cutting edge AI-first products with access to over 100 of the world’s best scientific and engineering talent in the field of AI.

NextNav Raises $120 Million in Latest Round of Funding to Launch Phased 3D Geolocation Services Across U.S. NextNav, a provider of 3D geolocation services startup, has closed $120 million in debt and equity financing. Funds managed by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group, LLC (“Fortress”) led the round, with NextNav’s existing investor base, including Columbia Capital, Telcom Ventures, funds managed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P., NEA, Oak Investment Partners and Future Fund, all participating.  Founded in 2008 by Arun Raghupathy, Ganesh Pattabiraman, and Subbu Meiyappan, NextNav offers urban and indoor positioning services for public safety and commercial applications.


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Amazon’s Jeff Bezos invests in UK digital freight forwarder Beacon- Technology News, Firstpost

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 Amazons Jeff Bezos invests in UK digital freight forwarder Beacon

By Maria Ponnezhath

(Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc Chief Executive Jeff Bezos has picked British startup Beacon, a digital freight forwarder, for his latest investment.

Beacon said on Sunday it raised over $15 million in Series A fundraising, from investors including Bezos and venture capital firm 8VC.

The startup, formed by two former Uber Technologies Inc executives two years ago, is already backed by Uber founders Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, along with former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

Beacon is also a supply chain finance firm that provides real-time data of cargo delivery and a marketplace view of global shipping costs and prices.

“With digitalisation accelerating globally as a result of COVID-19, we believe the future of the traditional freight forwarder is more precarious than ever,” CEO Fraser Robinson said in a statement.

Beacon, whose logistic services include global ocean, air and truck freight, said the funds raised will be invested in new hires, technology and market expansion.

Amazon did not immediately respond to request for comment.

(Reporting by Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.



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Summer Camp goes virtual during coronavirus pandemic

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DETROIT – North Star Reach campers and their parents have become sought-after hygiene experts during the coronavirus.

They are using video conferencing technology and social media to help.

Local 4 meteorologist Andrew Humphrey has more on the virtual camp in this segment of Tech Time.

You can watch his full report in the video player above.

Copyright 2020 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit – All rights reserved.

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Remote hiring is surging; here’s how to ace it – Latest News

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While many Covid-hit businesses froze hiring or laid off a large chunk of their staff, developer skills platform HackRank saw several of its large customers accelerating hiring because the pandemic sent the need for their software products through the roof. “We had to quickly assemble our product and engineering teams to pivot all of our energy into building a strong remote hiring solution that customers would love,” said HackerRank co-founder and CEO Vivek Ravishankar in the first edition of Times Techies’ webinar series last week.

The remote hiring tech is built on three principles. One, the interview experience of a developer should be as good as the onsite one. Two, the company can trust the solution completely because an offer is made without even seeing the candidate in person. Three, help developers prepare for jobs by providing them resources.

Developers can not only code, compile and run their application, but also walk the interviewer through the problem. A virtual whiteboard, a regular feature at onsite interviews, is embedded into the solution to draw system designs, diagrams and patterns.

“In remote hiring, companies must be very clear about the kind of skillsets they are looking for. AWS, Ansible, Docker, Kubernetes – just name the skill, instead of giving out job descriptions. Nobody really reads job descriptions these days,” said Ravishankar.

Remote hiring places a lot of focus on strong communication skills over interpersonal skills. Strong communication skills, the ability to express your ideas clearly and concisely, are essential for developers. It is not correct to use it interchangeably with interpersonal skills, which is more about the ability to engage in a friendly conversation, Ravishankar said. “You can have strong communication skills, but you could be an introvert, and be labelled as a person without interpersonal skills. The remote hiring process can eliminate this bias. Also, unlike in onsite where you tend to observe things like gait, body posture etc, in remote, you would focus more on the skills of the candidate, obliterating all other biases,” he said.

Ravishankar believes computer science (CS) is going to be far more significant in the coming years. “Every company in the world is on the path of transformation to become a software company. The two CS areas that are growing particularly fast are cybersecurity and data science. Cybersecurity is in fact going to grow much faster than data science, and is going to be quite lucrative as a profession,” he said.



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