Saturday, December 16, 2017
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Cigna Purchases Brighter for Undisclosed Sum

Cigna, an American worldwide health services organization, acquired healthcare tech startup Brighter.

Brighter, founded in 2011, works with health service and dental organizations to engage patients and providers in personalized, integrated healthcare experiences through its digital health plan platform. The startup previously raised $49 million from investors including General Catalyst, Tenaya Capital, Benchmark, and Mayfield Fund.

“The acquisition of Brighter accelerates our progress toward establishing us as the leader in the digital transformation of our industry,” said David M. Cordani, president and chief executive officer, Cigna. “Cigna will integrate Brighter’s digital health plan platform capabilities as it continuously develops and releases new end-to-end digital experiences that are designed to create deeper and more successful relationships amongst consumers, provider partners, and health service organizations.”


Mobile Startup villiger Closes Seed Funding

Villiger completed a round of seed financing. Three investors participated in the round, including Mangrove Capital Partners.

The Villiger app lets users share recommendations, support, and resources from friends and neighbors. Users can also find, interview, and book recommended babysitters and tutors — as well as pay and rate the help — through their smartphones.

Villiger launched its public beta as a mobile app for iOS and Android. 


T-Mobile Acquires Layer3 TV™ for Undisclosed Sum

According to Bloomberg reports, T-Mobile has agreed to purchase Layer3 TV™, Inc., as the telecommunications company plans to launch its streaming TV service in 2018. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Layer3 TV, founded in 2013, is a cable provider offering 275 channels in HD, with 4K image quality across different devices. According to the company, users can have 24/7 unlimited access to most shows and movies, with free HBO subscription included. They can also record eight shows at once and set up personalized profiles. The startup previously raised $72 million from North Bridge Ventures.

Nonprofit Software Startup MemberSuite Brings In Raises $5.5 Million

According to a recent SEC filing, MemberSuite, a provider of association management software solutions for associations and nonprofits, completed $5.5 million in financing from an undisclosed investor.

As a preferred AMS tool among modern associations, MemberSuite’s association management software combines enterprise functionality with the convenience of SaaS to deliver a modern solution for organizations of all sizes.

collective retreats Closes $10 Million

Collective Retreats, an experiential travel company, raised $10 million in financing from an undisclosed investor.

Collective Retreats’ goal is to offer travelers “unique luxury retreats in unexpected places.” The company was built with an asset-light business model, meaning that each destination was created with minimal materials, removing the permanence of brick and mortar. Whereas many hotels and resorts pride themselves on the grandeur and stateliness of their buildings, Collective Retreats plans to create as little barrier as possible between one’s surroundings and one’s accommodation. Without sacrificing luxury hospitality, the destination retreats manage to refresh their images every year while providing the comfort of five-star hotels to their guests.

The company will use the funding to begin a major expansion that will likely include building-free, modular-style retreats in urban areas.

Enterprise IT Startup instana Brings In $20 Million

Instana, an application performance management solution provider, announced the close of $20 million in Series B financing, led by Accel Partners. Target Partners participated in the round.

Instana’s products are designed to monitor and comprehensively manage modern applications’ quality of service with zero configuration effort. The company created Stan, an AI-powered assistant designed to continuously learn and assist businesses in managing service quality and performance.

The funding will be used to expand both its global markets and the development of its products.

Glo Station Closes $3 Million

Hyper-reality escape room experiences provider Glo Station closed $3 million in financing. Five investors participated in the round, including Alibaba Group, CRCM, Presence Capital, and MindWorks Ventures.

Glo Station can be used for team-building activities for employees, coworkers, schools, clubs, or other groups where everyone must work together to accomplish the escape mission. The company’s proprietary VR technology uses a full-body tracking system built on a physical environment to bring users an immersive experience.

The investment will be used to accelerate content development and global deployment of Glo Station’s proprietary VR system through licensing, franchising, and self-operational units.


Orderly Health has created a personal AI healthcare assistant named Louie to connect users with doctors, find discounts on prescriptions, and source healthcare plans.

Orderly Health has created a personal AI healthcare assistant named Louie to connect users with doctors, find discounts on prescriptions, and source healthcare plans. Companies can also deploy Louie to help answer employee’s healthcare questions by combining multiple sources of data, so these employees can get answers tailored for their plan, location, and demographics.

nWay Secures New Funding

Gaming startup nWay closed a new round of financing. March Capital Partners, Ridge Ventures, Translink Capital, Baseline Ventures, and WI Harper participated in the funding.

nWay was founded in 2011 by gaming and startup veterans Tony Harman, Taehoon Kim, and Dave Jones, with the goal of creating console-quality multiplayer games for both the Web and mobile platforms such as Power Rangers: Legacy Wars, which was developed by the company in collaboration with Power Rangers creator Saban Brands and global content leader Lionsgate.  All of nWay’s games will be free to play, and will feature synchronous multiplayer gameplay.

The funding will be used to support new game development.

Chef'd appoints Jemie Sae Koo as Vice President of Marketing

Meal kit delivery service Chef’d announced this week they have hired Jemie Sae Koo as their new vice president of marketing.

With more than fifteen years of digital and marketing experience, Sae Koo is adept at digitally driven customer engagement, experience creation, driving demand, business development, sales strategies, partnerships, and influencer marketing. To date, she has led initiatives and successfully developed viral campaigns for some of the biggest global brands, including Amazon, Disney, H&M, Intel, Nestle, Coca-Cola, Salesforce, Toyota, Taco Bell, and YouTube.

“We’re thrilled to have Jemie come on board to help us make an impact on what is slated to become a multi-billion dollar industry within the next year,” said CEO Kyle Ransford. “Jemie brings an entrepreneurial, business-first approach to marketing programs. At the heart of our business, we are driven to fully understand the needs of our customers and surpass their expectations.”

Sae Koo currently serves on the Executive Board of the American Heart Association. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, International Studies, and minor in Business Management from the University of California, Irvine.

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Consumer Startup Liily Closes $2 Million

Lily, an online personal stylist service that uses emotional intelligence to help women discover clothes that flatter their bodies and make them feel their best, completed $2 million in seed financing. Seven investors contributed to the round, among them New Enterprise Associates, Global Founders Capital, and TriplePoint Capital.

According to the company, Lily built the first-ever “Perception & Empathy engine’” that decodes a woman’s emotional and perceptive needs to accentuate and de-emphasize certain parts of the body. The platform uses advanced machine learning to match emotions, preferences, and perceptions about users’ bodies to clothes from online and offline stores, all in real time.  

Lily was built by an all-women team of five with working experiences at Facebook, Saatchi & Saatchi, Macy’s, Instagram, Box, LinkedIn, Pocket Gems, Khosla Impact Fund, UNICEF Innovation Fund, and education from Stanford, MIT, ISB, UT Austin, and Yale.

Paddle Brings In $12.5 Million

Paddle, a UK-based developer that offers software companies a single platform for the entire software sales process, closed $12.5 million in Series B financing, led by Notion Capital, with participation from BGF Ventures, MacPaw, and Kindred.

Developers and software companies use Paddle’s checkout and licensing solution to sell their products globally, as well as its analytics and marketing tools to understand and expand their businesses. Paddle was recognized by Deloitte UK Fast 50 as the “fastest growing software company in the UK,” and ranked 6th in tech overall, having grown its revenue by over 3,000 percent in the last three years.

The funding will be used to scale its team, iterate on its existing platform, and invest in new features.