News

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.

Top Story

Fintech: Indonesian, Agent-Driven Banking Network PAYFAZZ Raises $53 Million

July 6, 2020

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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Artificial Intelligence: Sightbit’s AI System Watches Over Beaches For Drowning Risks

June 29, 2020

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.

FinTech: Zerodha, India’s Largest Discount Broker, Turns Bootstrapped Unicorn

June 29, 2020

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.

Venture Capital: Health Insurer Oscar Raises $225M Amidst COVID-19

June 29, 2020

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

June 29, 2020

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: PE Giants Genstar and TA Behind Orion-Brinker Merger

June 29, 2020

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.

Artificial Intelligence: Now, AI-Powered Ultrasound Solutions for the Heart and Bladder

June 26, 2020

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.

FinTech: FinMason Brings Muni Bond Analytics to Wealth Managers

June 26, 2020

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.

Digital Assets: Tokai Tokyo and Singapore’s iSTOX Buy Stakes in Blockchain Firm

June 26, 2020

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.

Venture Capital: Gene Engineering Platform Poseida Therapeutics Raises $110M in Series D Round

June 26, 2020

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

June 26, 2020

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.

Artificial Intelligence: BMW’s Robots Powered by Nvidia AI

June 25, 2020

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.

Alternative Investments: Cannabis ETFs Because States are COVID-strapped for Cash

June 25, 2020

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.

Venture Capital: In-Home Health Care Company DispatchHealth Raises $136M in a Series C Round

June 25, 2020

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.

FinTech: Facebook’s WhatsApp Payments Service Hits Regulatory Wall in Brazil

June 25, 2020

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.

Liquid Alternatives: IG Launches Four New iProfile Portfolios

June 24, 2020

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

June 24, 2020

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.

FinTech: Mastercard Acquires Finicity for $825M

June 24, 2020

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.

Venture Capital: What COVID-19 Did To VC Investing in the U.S. (Report)

June 24, 2020

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.

Artificial Intelligence: Amidst COVID, Eye Tests Powered by AI at Home

June 24, 2020

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.

Alternative Investments: Investors Back up the Truck On The World’s Largest Gold ETF

June 23, 2020

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.

FinTech: Global, White-Label, SaaS-on-Cloud Banking Platform Mambu Now on Google Cloud

June 23, 2020

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.

Digital Assets: Paypal and Subsidiary Venmo May Allow Users To Transact Cryptos

June 23, 2020

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.

Venture Capital: Andreessen Horowitz Leads $102M Funding in Cedar, a Medical Billing Startup

June 23, 2020

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).

Artificial Intelligence: The NOAA’s S.O.S to AI and Robotics for Coral Restoration

June 23, 2020

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.