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LATEST TECH NEWS: Oracle joins bid to acquire TikTok. 4 other things and a trivia you need to know today, August 21, 2020



These 5 latest stories from the tech space will keep you updated with trends today:

1. Oracle joins bid to acquire TikTok

Software giant Oracle has joined race to acquire TikTok, ByteDance’s micro video streaming platform. According to the Chinese tech company, Oracle has held preliminary discussions with Its board to discuss the potential acquisition of its subsidiary TikTok. Recall Ripples Nigeria had earlier reported that Microsoft and Twitter had shown interest in the acquisition of the U.S. arm of TikTok as Trump’s executive order to ban the App gained momentum.

Analysts, who spoke on the new development, noted that as trade tensions between the US and China escalate, the US President Donald Trump might be focusing his attacks on Chinese tech companies with a global reach, such as Huawei and TikTok. Meanwhile, TikTok has removed 380,000 videos from its platform for violating hate speech policy. These videos, according to TikTok, make up a pool from users in the U.S. The video streaming app also added that it had banned more than 1,300 accounts for posting hateful content.

2. iFarm raises $4 million to automate urban farming

Set to introduce artificial intelligence AI and drone to urban farming, iFarm has announced raising $4 million. The funding round, which was led by Gagarin Capital, is expected to see iFarm grow fruits and vegetables in enclosed spaces. According to the deals book, as published by the company, the funding round also saw the investment of Matrix Capital, Impulse VC, IMI.VC, and some other business angels. Speaking on its traction, analysts noted that the Finnish startup has developed a vertical agricultural system called iFarm Growtune, boasting its market shares as an agric player.

On the mandate to grow food closer to consumers and in spaces where conditions can be carefully controlled, iFarm has further promised to produce food that is fresher while reducing environmental impact. “The main advantage of indoor farms is that you can be growing all year round, wherever you are,” iFarm cofounder and CEO Max Chizhov stated. Adding that: “And you don’t need a special technologist or agronomist who knows how to use software or grow stuff.” Reviewers submitted that knowledge adaptation of Automation, AI, and Robotics in farming are increasingly converging.

Tech Trivia:

What is the parent organisation of Google?

A. Apple
B. Alphabet Inc.
C. Microsoft
D. Ford

Answer: See end of post

3. Digital payment startup Paymob raises $3.5-million

Egyptian digital payment company Paymob has raised $3.5-million in investment funding. The startup will use the investment to expand its product offering, product development and more. Speaking on the new raiser, Paymob disclosed that the investment was led by Global Ventures and the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank FMO. However, the investment saw a follow-on investment by A15. Basil Moftah, General Partner at Global Ventures, expressed optimism in the firm, citing how the need for financial inclusion in times of pandemic has risen.


READ ALSO: LATEST TECH NEWS: Apple becomes first $2 trillion company in U.S. 4 other things and a trivia you need to know today, August 20, 2020

He said: “We are incredibly excited to partner with the Paymob team, as the need for financial inclusion is exacerbated by the current global pandemic. Led by a dynamic team, Paymob has a unique market position to offer integrated infrastructure solutions and payment services across a range of payment methods and channels. Paymob and Global Ventures share similar DNA – the ability to see problems in a different light, the creativity to rethink how things are done, and the courage to get it done.” Speaking on the investment, Paymob will use the fund towards the plan of regional expansion of its business and product development.

4. Two Egyptian startups to join 3rd Womentum Accelerator

Being a female-led program, two Egyptian startups have been selected to take part in the third edition of the Womentum Accelerator, with the aim to scale participants. The accelerator provides female-led tech startups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) with support and the chance to secure funding. As an empowerment initiative, the program is run by womena in partnership with Standard Chartered’s Women in Tech initiative.

Press noted that the Womentum Accelerator is a three-month acceleration programme geared toward empowering founders to confront the challenges of uncertain times as they grow their impact-driven businesses. According to reviewers, Womentum has adapted its curriculum to give startups the tools they need to navigate uncertain times, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, while Standard Chartered will award the three top-performing startups a total of US$30,000 in equity-free prize money at the end of the programme.

5. India’s logistics startup FarEye bags $13 million

Noida-based FarEye, today, announced the new raiser of an additional $13 million to close its Series D financing round at $37.5 million. As more people opt for delivery services, more than 150 e-commerce and delivery companies globally use an Indian logistics startup’s service to work out the optimum way to ship items to their customers. FarEye first unveiled its Series D round in April this year when it raised from Microsoft’s venture fund M12, Eight Roads Ventures, Honeywell Ventures, and SAIF Partners.

According to FarEye, the round was led by industry veterans Nandan Nilekani and Sanjeev Aggarwal’s Fundamentum Partnership with participation from KB Global Platform Fund. As a company, FarEye helps companies orchestrate, track, and optimize their logistics operations. By harnessing AI, FarEye is addressing logistics loopholes. Commenting on the effect of the pandemic, noted the virus has accelerated business activities for most of its clients as more people buy online to avoid visits to neighbourhood stores. Hence, the new raiser is expected to help the startup scale as it looks to grow venture ahead of the festive season.

Tech Trivia Answer: Alphabet Inc.

Google LLC is an American multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products, which include online advertising technologies, a search engine, cloud computing, software, and hardware. It is considered one of the Big Four technology companies alongside Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft.

In August 2015, Google announced plans to reorganize its various interests as a conglomerate called Alphabet Inc. Google is Alphabet’s leading subsidiary and will continue to be the umbrella company for Alphabet’s Internet interests. Sundar Pichai was then appointed CEO of Google, replacing Larry Page who thereafter became the CEO of Alphabet.

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