Space Startup Earns $1B In U.S. Military Contracts Amid Launch Drone Unveiling

Space startup Aevum received several government contracts worth nearly $1 billion, including opportunities with the United States Space Force and United States Air Force (USAF).

Aevum is constructing autonomous drones called Ravn X, which take off and land horizontally like airplanes; today (Thursday, Dec. 3) also marks the rollout of the Ravn X vehicle. Aevum is also building a global logistics network to take on as many launch duties as possible themselves.

This work recently garnered them the upcoming ASLON-45 mission with the United States Space Force, which is the first formal small launch mission contracted by the U.S. Department of Defense.

Aevum also received a USAF AFWERX Small Business Innovation Research Phase I contract for rapid launch and space logistics, along with a separate indefinite delivery and quantity contract with the USAF Space and Missile Systems Center’s Launch Enterprise Small

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Seattle startup Flexe raises $70M as e-commerce rise fuels demand for flexible warehousing platform

The Flexe team, pre-pandemic. (Flexe Photo)

Flexe is raising more capital ahead of schedule as the pandemic-driven e-commerce boom spurs faster-than-expected growth for its warehousing technology platform.

The Seattle startup announced a $70 million Series C round led by new investor T. Rowe Price, with participation from existing backers Activate Capital, Tiger Global, Madrona Venture Group, Redpoint Ventures, Prologis Ventures, and others. Total funding to date in the 6-year-old company is $134 million.

Flexe originally planned to raise another round sometime next year. But investors were ready to put more fuel into the business given its recent metrics.

“Flexe is poised to become an impactful company in the logistics industry for the long term,” Andrew Davis, director of private investments at T. Rowe Price, said in a statement. T. Rowe Price recently led a $2.5 billion round in electric car maker Rivian and was an early backer of Facebook, Twitter,

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Facebook Buys Online Customer Service Startup Kustomer

Facebook on Monday announced it is buying a startup specializing in helping businesses interact with customers online.

The acquisition of five-year-old Kustomer comes as the leading social network continues to weave e-commerce into offerings, particularly its WhatsApp and Messenger messaging services.

More than 175 million people contact businesses via WhatsApp daily, and the number is growing, according to WhatsApp chief operating officer Matt Idema and Facebook vice president of business products Dan Levy.

“With our complementary capabilities, we will be able to help more people benefit from customer service that is faster, richer and available whenever and however they need it — via phone, email, text, web chat or messaging,” Kustomer chief executive Brad Birnbaum said of uniting with Facebook.

“In particular, we look forward to enhancing the messaging experience which is one of the fastest growing ways for people and businesses to engage.”

The acquisition of five-year-old Kustomer comes as Facebook continues to weave e-commerce into offerings, particularly its WhatsApp and Messenger messaging services The acquisition of five-year-old Kustomer comes

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Facebook to buy customer service startup Kustomer

FILE PHOTO: The Facebook logo is displayed on a mobile phone in this picture illustration taken December 2, 2019. REUTERS/Johanna Geron/Illustration

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc said on Monday it would buy customer service startup Kustomer, as the world’s largest social network adds tools to attract more sellers to its platforms.

Kustomer allows businesses to aggregate customer conversations from multiple channels into a single-screen, and also to automate some of the responses to prospective buyers. The New York-based firm already has its services integrated on Facebook Messenger and Instagram.

The deal will also enable Facebook to scale up its WhatsApp Business service, as more companies flock to the instant messaging app to answer customer queries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

The Wall Street Journal, which first reported about a likely acquisition, said the transaction valued Kustomer at $1 billion.

Facebook has doubled down on

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Walmart-owned Flipkart Acquires AR Start-up Scapic

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Flipkart Group on Friday said to have acquired cloud platform Scapic, a company that creates immersive augmented reality (AR) and three dimensional (3D) experiences for e-commerce space.

“The vision of the founders, Sai Krishna and Ajay P.V., of a platform for AR and 3D content creation and distribution is what excited Speciale Invest to back the team very early in their journey. The intersection of visual technology, AI, computer vision and the NoCode approach to building immersive experiences was a unique combination that is hard to find,” said Vishesh Rajaram, managing partner, Speciale Invest while speaking on the development.

This acquisition marks the second exit by deep-tech seed stage venture capital Speciale

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[Funding Alert] Radio Technology Startup Inntot Technologies Raises Bridge Round From Unicorn India Ventures

Funds raised will be used for procuring vastly refined and precision digital radio test equipment

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Kerala-based technology-driven startup Inntot Technologies has announced to have raised an undisclosed bridge round from Unicorn India Ventures. The venture company first seeded the company in 2018.

The platform focuses on providing high quality and cost-effective IP solutions for next-generation digital media broadcast receivers, namely, Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) for amplitude modulation (AM) and frequency modulation (FM) bands receivers, digital audio broadcasting (DAB)/DAB+ receivers, call detail record (CDR) receivers and integrated services digital broadcasting (ISDB-T) receivers and HD-radio (HDR) receiver in collaboration with Xperi.

The company plans to use

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Payments Startup Stripe in Talks for Funding at $70 Billion Valuation or More

(Bloomberg) — Private financial technology business Stripe Inc. is in talks to raise a new funding round valuing it higher than its last private valuation of $36 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.



Patrick Collison sitting in front of a window: John Collison, president and co-founder of Stripe Inc., left, and Patrick Collison, chief executive officer and co-founder of Stripe Inc., sit for a photograph after a Bloomberg Studio 1.0 television interview in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Friday, March 23, 2018. Stripe Inc. provides payment software services and solutions by designing and producing software to process online credit and debit card payments.


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John Collison, president and co-founder of Stripe Inc., left, and Patrick Collison, chief executive officer and co-founder of Stripe Inc., sit for a photograph after a Bloomberg Studio 1.0 television interview in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Friday, March 23, 2018. Stripe Inc. provides payment software services and solutions by designing and producing software to process online credit and debit card payments.

The valuation being discussed could be more than $70 billion or significantly higher, at as much as $100 billion, said one of the people, who asked not be identified because the matter is private. That would make it currently the most valuable venture-backed startup in the U.S., according to CB Insights.

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Ransomware Has Catapulted This Insurtech Startup To $100 Million In Revenue

Ransomware attacks, where hackers steal computer files and demand money in return, have exploded during the pandemic. The average ransom payment went from $41,000 in the third quarter of 2019 to $234,000 in 2020, according to Coveware, a ransomware mitigation company. 

Now Coalition, a three-year-old cyber insurance startup, is seeing soaring demand for its services. This fall, it reached $100 million in annualized revenue, up from $50 million a year ago.

The trend of escalating ransomware is deeply troubling. “I saw a $100 million ransom demand just this past week,” says Coalition CEO Joshua Motta. Last month, a hacker reportedly stole medical records from a psychotherapy center in Finland, then contacted its mental-health patients and demanded money from each one. In September, a ransomware attack on a German hospital led to a patient’s death.

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Cofounders of a luxury accessory startup reveal how they scaled

  • Omar and Zane Sabré are the cofounders of MAISON de SABRÉ, a luxury accessories brand best known for monogrammed phone cases and small leather goods. 
  • Since founding the brand in 2017, the Sabré brothers have utilized a social media marketing strategy that’s skyrocketed their growth. 
  • With marketing efforts that span gifting team outreach to organic celebrity engagement, the Sabré brothers shared the strategy behind their success with Business Insider. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Omar and Zane Sabré are the cofounders of luxury accessory brand Maison de Sabré, and have seemed to find a way to make their products stand out among the competition. 

Specializing in monogrammed phone cases and small leather goods, the entrepreneurial brothers say their brand pulled in $1.9 million in revenue over their first 12 months of business, which by the end of year two, was a number they say jumped to $10 million.

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Co-Founders Of The Newly Launched Plus Venture Capital (+VC), Sharif El-Badawi And Hasan Haider, On How They Expect Their US$60 Million Fund To Boost And Bolster The Region’s Startup Ecosystem


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Plus Venture Capital (+VC) is a newly launched early-stage tech startup fund for the MENA and its diaspora, and it’s being led by two familiar names in the region’s startup ecosystem. Sharif El-Badawi and Hasan Haider, the former Managing Partners of 500 Startups’ MENA fund (500 Falcons) are behind the new US$60 million fund that aims to target 120 investments over the next three years.

At this point, it’s fair to wonder whether now is the right time to start up a new investment venture given the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on the region’s economies, but the co-founders’ confidence in their enterprise stems from their thorough knowledge of the ecosystem in which they plan to operate. For instance, according to Haider, the sustainability

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