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Healthtech firm Accolade pays $460m for 2nd.MD
Accolade, the tech firm that helps workers control their healthcare plans, is to acquire 2nd.MD. The $460m deal was confirmed this week after initial reports on CNBC. 2nd.MD is a telehealth startup which has seen demand for its services soar during COVID-19. It serves more than seven million employees across its 300 business clients. Accolade's CEO praised 2nd.MD's "world class" digital approach.
OneWeb reduces size of broadband satellite constellation
OneWeb is slashing the size of its proposed satellite constellation, from 47,844 to 6,732. The constellation, which aims to deliver broadband globally, which will orbit the Earth at 1,200km. However, the London-based company has announced $1.4bn in funding. The cash injection comes from SoftBank Group and Hughes Network Systems. OneWeb currently has 1110 satellites in orbit.
Startups involved in UK smart city accelerator
Six UK startups are to take part in a smart city accelerator at Salford's MediaCityUK. The accelerator will focus on how the companies' prototype tech solutions could help cities adapt to a post-COVID-19 world. Investment will be available to the startups at the end of the programme. Companies involved in the testbed include air quality data company Atmo and IoT security platform OvertAI.
Microsoft, Oracle and others team up on digital COVID-19 vaccine records
Technology and health companies are collaborating in an attempt to establish a global standard for digital COVID-19 vaccination records. The ‘Vaccination Credential Initiative’ includes companies such as Salesforce, Microsoft, Epic and healthcare non-profit Mayo Clinic. The platform would have to keep data secure, while also being verifiable and traceable.
Lumiata raises $14m to predict healthcare outcomes
Lumiata has been boosted by a $14m funding round. The healthtech company uses data analytics and AI to predict and manage healthcare costs. "Lumiata is breaking new ground in the adoption of AI across healthcare’s core functions," said it's co-founder. The Series B finance round was led by venture capital firms and AllegisNL Capital. The cash will be used to scale its enterprise platform.
Carbyne nabs $25m for emergency response platform
Carbyne, which has built tech to improve emergency responses, has raised $25 million. The firm's cloud-based platform gives responders more information on callers, and offers extra telemedicine services. An Israeli startup, Carbyne grew its revenues by 350% last year. Its Series B1 round has been led by Hanaco Ventures and ELSTED Capital Partners. Carbyne will now look to grow into new markets.
Blue Origin to launch New Shepard rocket
Blue Origin will launch one of its New Shepard rockets today, January 4th at 9:45 AM CST, carrying Mannequin Skywalker, Blue Origin’s test dummy. The new rocket includes improved sound and temperature regulation, display panels, speakers and push-to-talk microphones. Today's mission, NS-14 will test multiple communication and safety alert systems.
Google blocks Indian lending apps accused of abusing customers
Google has removed 10 lending apps from India's Play Store, after a report revealed that they had breached Google's rules on loan repayment lengths aimed at protecting vulnerable borrowers.“We have reviewed hundreds of personal loan apps in India, based on flags submitted by users and government agencies,” Suzanne Frey, Vice President, Product, Android Security and Privacy has said.
Saudi Arabia unveils smart city built in straight line
Saudi Arabia has launches its vision for a zero-carbon city built in a 170km straight line. The Line will “reimagine and revitalise the future of urban living,” according to the Kingdom. The $5bn megacity will be devoid of cars and streets, with autonomous high-speed transit connecting communities. Construction will begin this year, and all urban developments will be powered by clean energy.
French government partners with Doctolib for COVID-19 vaccine rollout
After a slow take-up of the COVID-19 vaccine, the French government has looked to increase the rollout speed by partnering with Doctolib. Digital healthtech firm Doctolib will offer online appointment bookings through medical centres that have paid a fee to sign up to its site. An IPSOS poll found that only 45% of French adults would accept a vaccine, far lower than other European countries.
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