실리콘밸리 스타트업 뉴스/이슈 모음 5/14/2021

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실리콘밸리 스타트업 뉴스/이슈 모음 5/14/2021

SVKOREANS 0 994 05.15 19:03

안녕하세요 오늘은 금요일입니다!!! 오마갓 저만 기쁜가요? 캬하하하~~~


오늘의 기사 공유드립니다: 


Samsung Biologics says nothing decided on Moderna vaccine production [Yonhap, Pulse, Pulse]

Samsung Biologics said that it has not been decided yet whether it will manufacture Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines. However, the company ambiguously suggested it could be consigned with production of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine. The statement contrasts with its clean-cut denial on May 12th on another media report about its production of Pfizer vaccine. Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine is currently under review by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, with the final approval expected on May 21st. Earlier, on May 13th, it was reported that South Korean drug maker is expected to sign a contract with Moderna to produce the US vaccine developer’s Covid-19 vaccine in Korea before Seoul-Washington summit on May 21st next week.

 

Competitive Intelligence 

 

Fisker and Foxconn sign deal to build electric vehicles [TechCrunch]

Electric car startup Fisker signed an agreement with Foxconn, to co-develop and manufacture a new electric vehicle. Production on the car, which will be sold under the Fisker brand name in North America, Europe, China and India, will begin in the US by the end of 2023. However, both companies did not disclosed various details including the name of the car and the location of future manufacturing plants. As for form factor, Fisker described the car as a “breakthrough new segment vehicle,” which is neither a sedan nor an SUV and is capable of carrying five people. The company is calling the joint program Project PEAR, which stands for Personal Electric Automotive Revolution and both companies aims to produce 250,000 units annually across multiple sites.

 

Google Analytics prepares for life after cookies [TechCrunch]

As consumer behavior and expectations around privacy have shifted, the age of cookies as a means of tracking user behavior is coming to an end. Google is obviously aware of this, and it is now looking to ML to ready its tools like Google Analytics for this post-cookie future. Last year, the company brought several ML tools to Google Analytics. Google is now also making it easier to work with ‘consented data’ and create better first-party data through improved integrations with tools like the Google Tag Manager. Last year, the company launched Consent Mode, which helps advertisers manage cookie behavior based on local data-protection laws and user preferences. In addition, Google is also making it easier for bring in first-party data to Google Analytics to improve measurements and its models.

 

Google Cloud Run gets committed use discounts and new security features [TechCrunch]

Cloud Run, Google Cloud’s serverless platform for containerized applications, is getting committed use discounts. Users who commit to spending a given amount on using Cloud Run for a year will get a 17% discount on the money they commit. The company also offers a similar pre-commitment discount scheme for VM-based Compute Engine instances, as well as automatic “sustained use” discounts for machines that run for more than 25% of a month. Moreover, Google is adding a number of new security features for Cloud Run, including the ability to mount secrets from the Google Cloud Secret Manager and binary authorization to help define and enforce policies about how containers are deployed on the service. Users can also now use and manage their own encryption keys and a new Recommendation Hub inside of Cloud Run will now offer users recommendations for how to better protect their Cloud Run services.

 

Discord’s new Stage Discovery portal will connect live audio events with communities [TechCrucnh]

In late-March, 2021, Discord launched Stage Channels, its own Clubhouse-like voice event rooms. Now, in June, 2021, the company will start surfacing events through a new portal called Stage Discovery, adding a way for anybody to connect with the cool communities in the process. The new discovery feature will show up in the home tab, offering a directory of live voice events. Discord also has a few other features planned for launch. Threaded conversations will be introduced this summer and the company is about to begin a pilot program to test paid, ticketed audio events. 

 

Roku will launch original programming fueled by Quibi’s content on May 20th [TechCrunch]

Roku launched its own original programming, which will initially be available to viewers in the US, UK and Canada through the company’s free streaming hub, The Roku Channel, from May 20th. The debut lineup will include 30 titles, including both the scripted and reality programming Roku acquired from the short-form streaming service Quibi earlier this year. In addition to the 30 new programs, more Roku Originals will roll out over the course of 2021. In total, Roku acquired more than 75 titles from Quibi, in a deal that reportedly valued the content at “significantly less” than $100 million.

 

Xbox teams up with Tencent’s Honor of Kings maker TiMi Studios [TechCrunch]

Game developer TiMi Studios, said that it has struck a strategic partnership with Xbox. The announcement did not mention whether the tie-up is for content development or Xbox’s console distribution in China, but said more details will be unveiled for the “deep partnership” by the end of this year. Established in 2008 within Tencent, TiMi is behind popular mobile titles such as Honor of Kings and Call of Duty Mobile. The partnership could help TiMi build a name globally by converting its mobile titles into console plays for Microsoft’s Xbox.

 

Google hit with $123 million antitrust fine in Italy over Android Auto [TechCrunch]

Google has been fined just over €100 million (~$123 million) by Italy’s antitrust watchdog AGCM, for abuse of a dominant market position. The case relates to Android Auto, a modified version of Google’s mobile OS intended for in-car use, and specifically to how Google restricted access to the platform to an electric car charging app, called JuicePass, made by energy company Enel X Italia. The AGCM said that Google has violated Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU and has ordered it to make the JuicePass available via the platform. It also directed Google to provide the same interoperability with Android Auto to other third party app developers. Google denied any wrongdoing, but it did not confirm whether or not it intends to appeal.

 

Twitter finally brings DM search to Android [Engadget]

Nearly two years after introducing a search feature to DMs on iOS and the web, Twitter s finally bringing the update to Android. The feature will be an “improved version” of the existing search feature and will allow users to search through their entire DM history, not just recent messages. The company is also working on the ability to search the content of messages, rather than just the sender, scheduled to arrive later this year.

 

Amazon to hire 75,000 workers and pay $100 bonus if they get Covid vaccine [CNBC]

Amazon is hiring 75,000 workers across its warehouse and delivery network in the US and Canada. The company will also offer a $100 bonus to new warehouse and transportation hires who show proof of their Covid-19 vaccination. Amazon said the jobs will offer an average starting pay of $17 per hour, reflecting its recent wage increases. The hiring push comes as businesses are looking for labor in an increasingly tight market. The new hires will ensure Amazon has enough employees across its expanded footprint, Amazon added.

 

Industry Innovations 

 

Facebook’s new technique helps AI systems forget irrelevant information [VentureBeat]

Facebook has developed an AI technique that enables machine learning models to only retain certain information while forgetting the rest. The company claims that the operation, Expire-Span, can predict information most relevant to a task at hand, allowing AI systems to process information at larger scales. AI models memorize information without distinction — unlike human memory. Mimicking the ability to forget (or not) at the software level is challenging. The state-of-the-art model architectures focus on parts of data selectively, leading them to struggle with large quantities of information like books or videos and incurring high computing costs. Expire_span works by first predicting which information is most important for a task at hand, based on context. It then assigns each piece of information with an expiration date such that when the date passes, the information is deleted from the system.

 

Soniox taps unsupervised learning to build speech recognition systems [VentureBeat, BusinessWire]

AI startup, Soniox launched the Soniox AI Speech Recognition Platform, a self-learning AI for automatic speech recognition. The company leverages vast amounts of unlabeled audio and text to teach its algorithms to recognize speech with accents, background noises, and “fairfield” recording. In practice, Soniox said that its system correctly transcribes 24% more words compared with other speech-to-text systems. The company’s self-supervised learning pipeline sources audio and text from the internet. In the first iteration of training, Soniox used the Librispeech dataset, which contains 960 hours of transcribed audiobooks. Soniox also built its own training hardware infrastructure, which it stores across multiple servers located in a collocation datacenter facility.

 

Investment and M&A

 

Snyk bolsters open source software security with FossID acquisition [VentureBeat]

Open source software vulnerability scanning platform Snyk has acquired FossID, a Swedish startup that develops a software composition analysis tool for open source code, for an undisclosed amount. Bringing FossID under its wing will give Snyk greater coverage for open source license compliance issues and more extensive support for software written in C and C++. FossID claims to be adept at identifying vulnerabilities in “all forms” of open source, including small snippets that have been copied from an open source software package. As per the deal, FossID will be integrated into Snyk Open Source, Snyk’s software composition analysis (SCA) product.

 

PayPal acquires returns logistics business, Happy Returns [TechCrunch]

PayPal acquired Happy Returns, a returns solution provider for an undisclosed amount. Founded in 2015, Happy Returns offers online shoppers access to easier ways to send back unwanted merchandise to retailers without having to box it up and ship it themselves. The company  offers a network of more than 2,600 drop-off returns locations in the US. It is worth noting that Happy Returns has been closely working with PayPal throughout its history. Moreover, PayPal made a strategic investment in the business in 2019, as part of an $11 million financing round. Following the deal’s close, Happy Returns will continue to work with retailers and shoppers both on and off PayPal’s platform. 

 

Axtria raises $150 million from Bain Capital at $1 billion value [Yahoo News]

Axtria, which makes software for life-sciences companies, raised $150 million in a funding round from Bain Capital Tech Opportunities. After the latest round, the company is reportedly valued at close to $1 billion. Founded in 2010, Axtria is a cloud software and data analytics provider that helps life sciences businesses bring therapeutics to market faster. The company’s CEO Jassi Chadha said that, Axtria has been profitable, and could be ready to go public in three to five years. Moreover, Bain’s partnership could help the company expand internationally and gain greater access to big pharma companies.

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