Deals in brief
Oxbotica nets $47m to take autonomous vehicle software global
Oxbotica, a startup that provides an autonomous vehicle software platform, has raised $47m in a Series B funding round to accelerate commercial deployment in markets around the world.
The Oxford-headquartered company’s software platform can be integrated into a range of vehicle types, including robotaxis, autonomous mining vehicles and other industrial settings. It says its software has ‘universal autonomy’, which means it can function without GPS, special road markings or third-party maps.
In October 2020 Oxbotica trialled six self-driving cars on the streets of Oxford as part of a government-backed research initiative.
BP Ventures, the investing arm of oil and gas giant BP, led the Series B funding round. Halma, HostPlus, IP Group, Venture Science and Tencent also participated.
Goldman Sachs leads $65m investment in Echelon Fitness
Connected fitness firm Echelon Fitness has raised $65m in a financing round led by Goldman Sachs, demonstrating continued investor appetite for at-home workout equipment.
Existing investor North Castle Partners also participated in the funding round. The deal gives the two investors a controlling stake in the Tennessee-based fitness company.
Wolt closes $350m funding round
Wolt Enterprise, a Finland-based food delivery platform provider, has secured $350m in venture funding.
Wolt intends to use the funds to expand its reach across global markets and its offerings beyond restaurant delivery.
Google completes Fitbit acquisition
Google has officially completed its acquisition of wearables company Fitbit after making “binding commitments” that it won’t use health and wellness data for Google ads.
In November 2019, Google parent company Alphabet signed an agreement to acquire Fitbit in a deal valuing the company at $2.1bn. The EU approved the deal in late December 2020 with conditions.
However, US antitrust agencies are continuing to scrutinise the acquisition. The two companies have insisted the deal is about acquiring Fitbit’s range of hardware products rather than user data.
SoftBank and Hughes pump $400m into satellite firm OneWeb
Satellite communications company OneWeb has received a $400m funding boost from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank and high-speed satellite internet service firm Hughes Network Systems.
The capital injection brings OneWeb’s total funding to $1.4bn and follows a turbulent period for the UK-headquartered company. In 2020 the company filed for bankruptcy and was rescued by the UK government, which took a $500m stake in the company in a bid to find a replacement for the EU’s Galileo sat-nav system.
OneWeb will use the cash to deploy the remainder of its first-generation fleet of satellites by the end of 2022, which will eventually total 648.
Pegasystems acquires Qurious.io
Enterprise software company Pegasystems has acquired speech analytics startup Qurious.io for an undisclosed sum.
Qurious.io’s software combines speech-to-text, natural language processing and emotion detection technology to analyse customer service calls in real time. The two companies did not disclose the terms of the acquisition.
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