Each day, DailyAlts tracks major developments across the alternative investment world. Our content is procured from primary contacts in the industry and secondary sources across the web. Our goal is to give readers the most up-to-date news and engaging experience to open new doors and areas of knowledge. Our stories cover nine separate verticals of the alternative investment industry.
PAYFAZZ, an Indonesian fintech start-up, scooped up $ 53 million in a Series B funding round led by B Capital Group and Insignia Ventures Partners. Existing investors Tiger Global Management, Y Combinator, ACE & Company, and Quiet Capital also participated in the funding. New investors included BRI Ventures.
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Beaches across the world are hard put to cope with the task of protecting swimmers from drowning and risky, rip currents. Unattended children and elderly people in medical emergencies are other risks that lifeguards need to watch over. This is a difficult task on crowded beaches, even with alert guards scanning the beach with binoculars. Israeli startup Sightbit has innovated AI to help keep beaches safe from accidents and drownings.
Nithin founded Zerodha in 2010 along with brother Nikhil Kamath to overcome the hurdles he faced during his decade long stint as a trader. Zerodha bootstrapped its way to becoming India’s biggest broker in terms of active retail clients and has just turned ten years old. It’s a suitable occasion to break out the champagne – because it also achieved unicorn status.
Direct-to-consumer health insurance provider Oscar announced Friday its raise of $225 million, bringing its total funding to $1.5 billion. Mario Schlosser and Joshua Kushner co-founded the company in 2012. New York-based Oscar focusses on simplifying health care and insurance through the use of technology.
Digital Assets: MineHub Processes The First Iron Ore Transaction on the Blockchain Between BHP and China Baowu
Privately held MineHub Technologies said BHP (ASX: BHP) and China Baowu had completed their first iron ore trade on MineHub’s blockchain-based platform. The transaction is said to be a precursor to many more commodity transactions in a supply chain that will be fully digital from end-to-end.
Private equity player Genstar Capital played a catalytic role in bringing about a merger of platform provider Orion Advisor Solutions with investment manager Brinker Capital to form an entity with an estimated $40 billion in managed assets.
LVivo RV and LVivo Bladder, two new AI-powered ultrasound tools from Israeli Ai specialist company DiA Imaging Analysis Ltd., have received clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and a European CE Mark. The LVivo RV, the first automated analysis of the right ventricle of the heart based on AI, will help to combat COVID-19 mortality linked to right ventricle heart failure. The LVivo Bladder is an AI-powered solution for automated, ultrasound measurement of bladder volume.
FinMason, which is committed to building the largest analytics engines for financial services platforms, announced Thursday its launch of municipal bond analytics. Previously, the firm launched coverage of the entire global government and the corporate bond universe.
Tokai Tokyo Financial Holdings Inc (TYO: 8616), a Japanese financial institution with a market cap of ¥61.1 billion ($571 million), is buying a stake of 33% in blockchain firm Hash Dash Holdings. Hash Dash has developed the blockchain technology for issuance of digital securities and trading them on smartphones. iSTOX, the blockchain-based digital exchange, is also a shareholder in Hash Dash. Tokai and iSTOX plan to tokenize Japanese real estate and list the securities.
Within a few days of filing an S-1 registration statement to raise $115 million via an IPO of its common stock, Poseida Therapeutics has switched tracks and opted to raise $110 million in a Series D round. Fidelity Management and Research Co. led the round with participation from Adage Capital Management and Schonfeld Strategic Advisors, as well as several unnamed existing investors.
Liquid Alternatives: Rhode Island Pension Gains from Liquid Alts; Adds Wilshire Veteran Andrew Junkin
The Rhode Island pension system beat the median U.S. public pension plan by 4.2% during the first quarter of 2020, according to data from Investment Metrics. That ranked the fund 28th among the 546 public pension funds across the country. Even during the coronavirus mayhem in the markets, the Rhode Island pension fell 9.6% compared to the decline of 13.8% of the median pension plan.
BMW (OTCMKTS: BMWYY) is known for allowing a high degree of customization in their cars to customers. For a car, as many as 100 different options are available, and as a result, 99% of car orders are unique to each customer. This level of customization translates into massive challenges in computing, logistics planning, and data analysis for BMW. The company has therefore deployed several robots at its factories.
According to a report from ArcView, a San Francisco-based cannabis investment and research firm, the cannabis market in the USA will grow to $33.9 billion by 2025 at a CAGR of 18.2%. During the pandemic, marijuana was decreed as essential, and business has been booming since then. Further, more states are expected to legalize cannabis as a source for additional revenues.
In the hands of DispatchHealth founders Mark Prather and Kevin Riddleberger, the rather “old-school” service of a doctor’s house call combines with mobile technology to provide high acuity, lower cost, in-home medical care. Venture capitalists continue to like the idea and have backed DispatchHealth with $135.8 million in the latest C round of funding.
Banco Central Do Brasil (BCB), the Brazilian central bank, has ordered Visa (NYSE: V) and MasterCard (NYSE: MA) to suspend payments transactions through the payments service newly introduced by Facebook’s (NASDAQ: FB) WhatsApp message application. Brazil’s anti-trust regulator, Cade, also blocked Cielo S.A, the payments processor partnering the WhatsApp events service, from continuing the arrangement.
Canadian fund manager IG Wealth Management has launched four new managed funds that were available for purchase effective June 22. The funds, dubbed iProfile Portfolios, will suit a wide variety of investor profiles and preferences, enhance their financial confidence, and help them achieve long-term investment goals. The iProfile Portfolios include various investment options such as active allocation, passive ETFs, liquid alternatives and unique private assets.
Digital Assets: KPMG Launches Chain Fusion to Bridge Analytics Across Blockchain and Traditional Assets
KPMG, the big four auditing firm announced the launch of KPMG Chain Fusion. It is a patent-pending suite of advanced analytical tools presented in a structured model that combines data from blockchain infrastructures, and traditional systems for managing business, risk, and compliance requirements.
Global payments processor and cards provider Mastercard (NYSE: MA) will pay $825 million to acquire Finicity, a fintech startup specializing in real-time data aggregation and provider of insights. If certain targets are met, Mastercard will pay an additional amount of $160 million. The purchase gives Mastercard technology that will help banks take faster credit decisions and improve account verification processes using Finicity’s platform. It allows access to financial data for businesses and individuals.
An article by Itay Sagie, co-founder of VCforU.com, which helps over 17,000 startups, uses Crunchbase data for the period March 18-June 17, 2020, to assess how the pandemic changed the venture capital investment landscape in the U.S.
The generations-old eye test that uses a chart full of alphabets of varying sizes or even the new-fangled digital eye tests may soon be disrupted. The virus pandemic has forced shelter-in-place and homebound people to seek an alternative. What if your glasses broke and you didn’t have a spare set? There may soon be an AI-based alternative – an eye test that can be done online, with the patient using a computer at home.
According to the World Gold Council (WGC), it appears that investors really loaded up on gold ETF shares on Friday. Investors bought up 27.3 tonnes (974,000 ounces worth more than $1.7 billion at Monday’s prices) of gold via ETFs, the WGC said. The single biggest beneficiary of investors’ gold fixation was the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEARCA: GLD) ETF, which received inflows of 23.1 tonnes or 742,492 ounces.
Mambu, which calls itself the only true Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) banking platform, and the industry leader in cloud banking, has teamed up with Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Cloud. Mambu’s cloud-agnostic banking platform will now be available end-to-end, and around the world, to customers in 50 countries. Expansion into new locations now becomes very easy for Mambu customers.
According to a report by Coin Telegraph, PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) is looking to recruit digital experts such as a Crypto Engineer and a blockchain research engineer. Significantly, the first posting describes the role to include “designing, developing and maintaining key crypto products/features targeted towards availability, performance, and scalability of PayPal services.” These job ads have popped up simultaneously with rumors in the crypto world that payments giant PayPal and digital wallet subsidiary Venmo are about to make a splash in cryptocurrencies.
Cedar has just raised $77 million in Series C equity funding led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Other participants in the round included Kaiser Permanente and Concord Health Solutions, as well as existing investors, Kinnevik, Thrive Capital, Lakestar, and Founders Fund. Cedar raised an additional USD 25m in venture debt provided by JP Morgan (NYSE: JPM).
Coral reefs, one of the most precious of Earth’s ecosystems are in grave danger. Globally, half have already died. The other half could vanish by the end of this century, according to Tom Moore, coral reef restoration program manager for the National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Efforts by human divers are inadequate to restore coral reefs. We need AI and robotics to reverse coral damage, says the NOAA.