Startup Street: Big Boys Go Shopping
The big boys of Silicon Valley went startup shopping. Apple has bought a startup that will help them streamline their third-party app development. Google has backed a startup which is a direct rival of an Amazon Inc. subsidiary. One of the hottest self-driving system startup ties up with two car manufacturers. And one of the biggest event for startup entrepreneurs is coming to India. Here’s what went on this week on Startup Street.
Apple Goes Shopping In Canada
Apple Inc. has acquired the Canadian startup Buddybuild for an undisclosed sum as the iPhone maker looks to further strengthen its third-party application development.
Buddybuild will join Apple's Xcode engineering group to build developer tools for the entire iOS community, the startup said in a statement on its website. Apple's Xcode is an environment that facilitates software development for iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS through a suite of tools.
Buddybuild helps coders streamline the app development process by helping them run tests and deploy their applications.
This also means that the startup will wind down its Android app development by March 1, 2018, according to the statement. Existing customers will continue to be able to build, test and ship iOS apps through Buddybuild's platform, the statement added
Buddybuild was found back in 2015 by former Amazon employees Dennis Pilarinos and Christopher Stott. They have managed to raise around $8.8 million till date, including a $7.6 million investment from Kleiner Perkins Caufield, according to TechCrunch.
Despite becoming part of the Cupertino-California company, the startup has chosen remain at its headquarters in Vancouver as it is "a hotbed of developer and engineering talent", the statement added.
...And Google In China
Alphabet Inc.'s Google is making its slow calculated incursion back into China, a country where the search giant is blocked, by investing in a video-game streaming startup.
Google is part of a Series D investment round for Chushou, which is a live video game streaming platform with near 90 million registered users, according to a joint media statement. Chushou's existing backers Qiming Venture, Shunwei Capital and Alpha X Capital were also part of the funding round.
Chushou, whose name translates to 'tentacle', is a direct rival to Amazon-owned Twitch, a popular game streaming platform in the west. Google itself tried buying Twitch before losing out to the e-commerce giant back in 2014. It then tried bringing live streaming services for gamers through YouTube.
This is also the second investment Google has made in China after the government blocked most of its services in 2010. It had bought a minority stake in artificial intelligence startup Mobvoi in 2015.
China's game streaming market is expected to generate $462 million in revenue and attract 140 million users in 2018, according to IResearch. The startup competes with Huya, DouYu and Panda TV in the same space.
Self-Driving Startup Partners With Hyundai And Volkswagen
Silicon Valley-based Aurora Innovation has entered into partnerships with Volkswagen AG and Hyundai Motor Co. to develop self-driving electric vehicles.
The startup founded by former executives of the autonomous vehicle projects at Google, Tesla and Uber, will the help the car manufacturers integrate self-driving systems for taxi services, robot deliveries and in-car advertising, according to separate statements.
“This is the partnership of the century,” Johann Jungwirth, Volkswagen’s chief digital officer, told Bloomberg in a phone interview.
The partnership will help Hyundai and Volkswagen, which are latecomers to the self-driving car party, to pit themselves against Alphabet Inc's Waymo, Elon Musk's Tesla and number of other big automakers who've tied up with startups developing driverless systems. In 2016, General Motors had bought a startup called Cruise. In 2017, Ford too invested $1 billion in Argo AI.
Aurora was formed late in 2017 and has been conducting tests on its self driving systems in California and Pittsburgh. It's co-founder Sterling Anderson used to run Tesla's autopilot program and had been the chief product manager for the Model X SUV. He was sued by Tesla for joining Aurora but the lawsuit was dropped back in April last year.
According to Bloomberg, Aurora employs over 70 people across its two offices and the startup is hiring aggressively right now. They will also work with Hyundai and Volkswagen to outfit their traditional cars with self-driving software and systems.
The Best Startup To Work At In India?
Gurugram-based travel booking firm ixigo has been named the best startup to work at by Culturro survey done in partnership with BW Businessworld magazine.
The Workplace Experience Ranking 2017 had been cut across in two categories - small startups with 20-100 employees and large ones with over 100 employees. Among the large companies, ixigo topped the list followed by healthcare startups Koye and Linux Laboratories. Rentickle topped the list for the smaller companies.
The companies in the list have "created the right workplace experience, an extension of organisation cutlure, in its truest sense," the survey website said. Creating such an environment requires a "strong intent from the founders", it added.
The full rankings can be seen here.
Coming Up - India’s First Techstars Weekend
India's first Techstars Startup Weekend - a 54 hour event-based programme meant to be educational for startup entrepreneurs - is a week away.
The three-day event being held in collaboration with significantly active Kerela Startup Mission will begin on Jan. 19 and will be held at Kerela Technology Information Zone, Kinfra Hi-Tech Park, according to the website.
Google for Entrepreneurs is another organising partner for the event centered around innovation, education and building a business model for the startup's products or services. All participants will face the challenge to build functional business strategies, prototypes and look for potential investors over the three days.
The people who come to Startup Weekend will learn how to build and launch startups. Techstars Startup Weekends are perfect opportunities to work on a new platform, learn a new programming language, or marketing it.Organisers To PTI
At the end of the weekend, they will get five minutes to present their products or services to a crowd and a panel of experts for cash prizes of up to Rs 50,000.
Globally, Techstars Startup Weekend is present in more than 150 countries and have held 2,900 events till date, as per the website. It also an alumni of over 1,93,000 members.