Tech Snapshot: July 20 - 24
Moderna (MRNA) stock soared to $79 upon announcing they have received $472M USD from the U.S. government to develop a coronavirus vaccine. Moderna is now in late-stage Phase 3 clinical development. Since the beginning of this year, Moderna’s stock price has increased by more than 270%.
Last week we reported that Rivian had raised more than $5B to compete with Tesla’s cybertruck. Now, Tesla is suing Rivian claiming they have stolen Tesla’s trade secrets. According to Tesla, 70 former Tesla employees have joined Rivian, and several of those employees have stolen confidential documents from Tesla which they took with them to Rivian. Tesla claims that such stolen information include Tesla’s compensation packages, organization chart, and manufacturing specifications. This could spell big trouble if the former Tesla employees are found guilty of breaching non-disclosure agreements.
Canadian immigration lawyers are reporting they are seeing a 3-fold increase in inquiries from Americans who are seeking to immigrate to Canada since the pandemic. From the time this article was published, the U.S. has reported more than 4.4M coronavirus cases, compared to Canada’s 114K cases (which means the U.S. has 38.5x the number of cases yet the U.S. has roughly 9x the population of Canada). Though it may be difficult for Americans who do not have spouses or family residing in Canada, Canadians may be welcoming more Americans.
Singaporean startup, Partipost, has raised $3.5M from SPH Ventures. Partipost allows anyone with a social media profile to sign up for influencer campaigns. Psrtipost will utilize their funding to ramp up operations in Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, and eventually Vietnam. The influencer market is expected to be worth $9.7B in 2020.
It is evident that video chatting and conferencing platforms have become vital for worldwide communication this year largely due to the pandemic. Kudo, which raised $6M from Felicis, and started working on their video chatting and conference tool in 2016, though given the onset of most of the world working from home, the company has grown by 3500%! Kudo provides a self-serve SaaS video conferencing platform that comes with a translator tool, and allows moderators to bring in their own human translators. Though Kudo launched their product in 2018 prior to COVID-19, companies can now save tremendous amounts of money on international travel and planning.
Many large corporations rely on chauffeured transportation services for transporting employees to work or to social outings and special events. However, the booking process for these chauffeur companies is outdated and fragmented with too many operational steps involved to book clients. Swoop aims to provide a digital platform for those chauffeur companies to make it easier to book corporate clients, in hopes of tapping into the $40B chauffeur industry.
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Research contributed by Stephanie Heinsohn