Tech-Internet M&A and Investment Database

Be kept informed of the latest tech deals. Get up-to-the-minute analysis about the day’s most interesting fundings and exits. Internet DealBook is a database that tracks the latest angel, VC, private-equity investment and M&A activities across Internet- and technology-related private companies all around the world.

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The future of communication is SMS

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Text messaging has long been used as the preferred means of communication between family and friends. In business, however, most companies use email and phone calls to communicate directly with customers. Although a lot of people still call brands every year and vice-versa, this is about to change. Various surveys have indicated texting has now replaced phone calls as the preferred means of mobile conversation among 18-34-year olds, with text messages having a 98% open rate. This is the premise behind new CRM company called Teckst. Teckst is a service that allows human-to-human text messaging between brands and consumers. Unlike chatbot companies, Teckst combines good old-fashioned customer service with artificial intelligence to provide fast, immediate and conversational texts. The company raised a $2.5 million round last week from a consortium of investors.

SPACES receives $3 million initial funding

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Virtual reality and mixed reality are about to transform everyday life. Thanks to technologies being developed by VR startups like Magic Leap, Blippar and Jaunt, new visualisations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact with one another, are now possible. Last week, VR startup SPACES received $3 million in funding led by Comcast Ventures. The company is founded by DreamWorks Animation veterans Shiraz Akmal and Brad Herman, the same executive team who led the development and creation of DreamWorks VR app, Dreamworks Color, and Oculus Rift’s Dragon VR flying experience. SPACES helps companies leverage the power of virtual reality and mixed reality. Currently, it is collaborating with Microsoft, NBCUniversal and Big Blue Bubble, among others, to produce a wide range of projects across all VR and mixed reality platforms.

You can read about the funding here.

Dedrone raises $10 million

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From cheap mini drones to beasts that cost thousands of dollars, drones have become increasingly common around the world. Initially created for military use, drones are now used for deliveries, photography, filming movies, search and rescue. Although using drones has its benefits, the vehicles can easily be used for illegal activities such as spying or smuggling, and this brings a myriad of security and privacy issues. As drones continue to invade the skies, Dedrone, a software startup in San Francisco, aims to battle the threat of unmanned domestic drones. Dedrone has developed DroneTracker, a drone detection platform, which is attached to exterior walls of buildings and rooftops and uses sensors to identify illegal drones in an area. According to the company, the DroneTracker is now being used in airports, sports stadiums, hotels and private homes. Founded in 2014, Dedrone recently raised $10 million in a round led by Menlo Ventures.

You can read about the funding here.

The future of mobility

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The recent partnership between Apple and Didi Chuxing underscores the changing market dynamics in today’s auto industry. Consumers have started to shift from traditional car ownership to ride sharing, while tech companies are investing heavily in autonomous driving technologies in the hopes to make the roads safer and traveling more convenient. It’s a combination of these trends that has created a market conducive for partnerships and investments. In addition to Apple’s investment in Didi, other companies have recently partnered up, either to take on Uber or to explore the possibilities of autonomous cars. General Motors invested in Lyft, who has teamed up with Didi, Ola and Grab. Google has partnered with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The Chinese rivals Alibaba and Tencent have both invested in Didi. In short, this market consists of many alliances and these partnerships will surely unlock new transportation experiences for consumers.