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Primer helps governments and corporations monitor and understand the world’s information

When Google was founded in 1998, its goal was to organize the world’s information. And for the most part, mission accomplished — but in 19 years the goal post has moved forward and indexing and usefully presenting information isn’t enough. As machine learning matures, it’s becoming feasible for the first time to actually summarize and contextualize the world’s information. With two and a half years of R&D under its belt, Primer aims to do just that for governments, corporations and financial institutions. Primer has collected a total of $14.7 million…

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Blickfeld scores $4.25M seed round to let autonomous vehicles ‘see’

Blickfeld, a Munich-based startup developing a low-cost light detection and ranging (LiDAR) system to let autonomous vehicles “see,” has raised $4.25 million in seed funding. The round was led by Fluxunit (the corporate venture arm of lighting company Osram), High-Tech Gründerfonds, Tengelmann Ventures, and Unternehmertum Venture Capital Partners, and will be used to speed up development of the company’s technology, including hiring more engineers. It should also see Blickfeld enter the first trials with automotive OEMs in early 2018. In the automotive industry, LiDAR is considered one of the decisive…

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iAdvize raises $37.6 million for its customer engagement platform

French startup iAdvize raised another $37.6 million (€32 million) from Idinvest, Bpifrance and Quadrille Capital. The company wants to convert casual website visitors into clients. Thanks to iAdvize, companies can track what you’re doing and engage with you to convince you that you should open a bank account, buy a coat or upgrade your subscription. With today’s funding round, the company plans to open a new office in Boston before the end of the year and hire more people. iAdvize has already opened offices in London, Düsseldorf, Madrid and Nantes….

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Automated video creation startup Wibbitz raises $20M

Wibbitz, which uses artificial intelligence to create short videos based on text news stories, has raised $20 million in Series C funding. The money comes from some of big names in the media world, with Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (a subsidiary of German media conglomerate Bertelsmann) leading the round and participation from The Weather Channel, The Associated Press and TF1. Previous backers NantMobile, lool Ventures and Horizons Ventures were also part of the new funding. Co-founder and CEO Zohar Dayan described the round as “a huge testament to what we’re…

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Shift Technology raises another $28 million to prevent fraudulent insurance claims

Shift Technology is raising a Series B round of $28 million from Accel and General Catalyst. Accel had already led the company’s previous round. Existing investors Elaia Partners and Iris Capital are also participating in today’s round. And it seems like the startup has grown quite a lot since my last article. Shift Technology has now processed more than 100 million claims and revenue has grown by more than 800 percent. Shift Technology uses artificial intelligence and huge data sets to detect patterns and flag fraudulent insurance claims. It is…

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N26 announces plans to launch in the US by mid-2018

European fintech startup N26 has plans to expand beyond Europe. The company’s co-founder and CEO Valentin Stalf is announcing today at the Money20/20 conference that N26 is going to launch in the U.S. around mid-2018 and has hired a handful of people who are already working in New York. “We’ve looked at the products in the U.S. and we figured out that most of the banking products in the U.S. are even worse than in Europe,” Stalf told me. N26 has been doing quite well in Europe already. The startup…

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11 Top Entrepreneurs Share How They're Hedging for Shit Hitting the Fan

The next economic collapse isn’t a question of “if,” but “when.” Smart entrepreneurs are perpetually reinforcing their war chest and reducing their exposure to any economic downturn with recession-resistant streams of income and uncorrelated investments. Here’s how 11 members of The Oracles are hedging themselves and their families against the next downturn. Tim Draper Image Credit: The Oracles 1. The future is crypto. I aim to keep enough cash on-hand to make capital calls, monthly payments, and a little extra for emergencies and weddings for three years. The rest goes…

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Heartland startups finally strike back

A year ago the Midwest seemed on the cusp of a renaissance. Small towns and cities from Pittsburgh to Omaha had perfected the YC model of accelerator creation and low-cost/high-impact funding. The ecosystems have cropped up everywhere there is a coffee shop or an artisanal sandwich truck and the idea of “doing a startup” vs. going to work for some corporate behemoth is a well-worn path for many students. Even as the startup era dies in the Valley it is exploding in the heartland. That’s right: as SV wanes, the…

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