Good morning! Below are the top tech startups news for today, Wednesday, January 15, 2020.
Amazon pledges $1 billion to small businesses in India. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced a $1 billion investment in India, even as the e-Commerce giant faces a fresh antitrust probe and waves of protests in the country. Bezos said the $1 billion investment will be used to digitize small and medium-sized businesses in the country and that Amazon hopes to export $10 billion worth of India-made goods around the world by 2025. “I predict that the 21st century is going to be the Indian century,” Bezos said on stage, while wearing traditional Indian attire. “The dynamism, the energy…this country has something special. The most important alliance is going to be the alliance between India and the United States, the world’s oldest democracy and the world’s largest democracy.”
Host raises $450,000 seed funding to connect corporations with certified and insured bartenders for their events. Host is the first application-based platform connecting corporations with certified and insured bartenders, today announced it has closed $450,000 in funding from a stellar consortium of private domestic investors. The funds will be used to scale, expand market share and focus on product development. Co-founded by Michelle Carazas and Brian Megill, the Host application helps corporate businesses secure trusted bartenders for their events on-demand. Host launched in 2018 with a multi-sided platform application. Through the application, corporations can post details about their event and secure a bartender. Host has become a go-to corporate resource as every bartender has been previously evaluated and selected through a five-step process and covered with liquor and general liability insurance to assure corporate compliance with management buildings’ requirement.
Mobile voice startup Spoke Phone raises $4.5 million in Series A funding. Spoke Phone, an Auckland, New Zealand-based mobile voice company, raised $US4.5m in Series A funding to further enhance the capability of its existing business phone solution, accelerate expansion in Australia and the United States, and commercialize Spoke Phone for enterprise, a new solution that allows large customers to move legacy phone systems to the cloud. The round was led by Australian venture capital firm, Marbruck Investments, with participation from New Zealand-based Icehouse Ventures and Sir Stephen Tindall’s K1W1 fund. Founded by Jason Kerr and Kieron Lawson, Spoke Phone provides a mobile-first business phone system that offers features and integrations usually available to desktop users.
Secfi secures $550M to launch first pre-wealth management platform to help startup employees navigate financial decisions from offer to IPO. Secfi, the first pre-wealth management platform helping startup employees navigate financial decisions from offer to IPO, Secfi announced it has secure a $550 million investment facility from Serengeti Asset Management. The $550 million in capital will be used to power Secfi’s business growth to help executives, employees, and shareholders preserve and diversify their wealth. Founded in 2017 by serial entrepreneur and World Economic Forum Global Shaper Wouter Witvoet, Secfi has raised $7 million in venture capital from lead investors Rucker Park Capital, Social Leverage and Serengeti Asset Management.
Microsoft issues critical Windows security fix after tipoff from NSA. Microsoft Corp on Tuesday rolled out an important security fix after the U.S. National Security Agency tipped off the company to a serious flaw in its Windows 10 operating system, officials said. The agency reported on its website that it discovered a major security flaw that could let hackers intercept seemingly secure communications in Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system. Known for keeping security flaws to its chest, this time the agency tipped off Microsoft so that it can fix the system for everyone. “This vulnerability may not seem flashy, but it is a critical issue. Trust mechanisms are the foundations on which the internet operates – and CVE-2020-0601 permits a sophisticated threat actor to subvert those very foundations,” the agency said.