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Weekly News of 06th of June

Cybersecurity firm Perimeter 81 hits unicorn status with $100 million fundraising


Perimeter 81 announced its backers now value the Israeli cybersecurity company at $1 billion, giving it unicorn status after the firm raised $100 million to fund product development, reports Reuters.

The round, led by B Capital, marked a jump in valuation from its last raise in August 2020, when the company was valued at $200 million. ION Crossover Ventures and existing investor Insight Partners also participated in the round.

Perimeter 81 offers secure network solutions for the hybrid workforce on its cloud-based platform, including Zero Trust Network Access, Firewall as a Service, and VPN as a Service.

The four-year-old company, which is not yet profitable, said it has more than doubled its annual recurring revenue year-over-year, and is on track to generate tens of millions of dollars in revenue this year.

The fresh capital will be invested in product development to help achieve the company’s goal to build a platform that offers one-stop solutions for corporate network security, said Amit Bareket, co-founder and chief executive officer at Perimeter 81.

The Tel Aviv-headquartered company, which initially targetted medium-sized enterprises with fewer than 5,000 employees, has quickly emerged as the top player in Zero-Trust Network Access offering, an area companies have been investing more to accommodate remote working requirements during the pandemic, as traditional security appliances like on-premises firewalls are becoming less relevant.

Perimeter 81 now has offices in New York and Los Angeles. The company claims to serve about 2,400 global customers across industries, including IT company Ingram Micro and telehealth firm Hims & Hers, with more than half of its revenue coming from the United States.


Singapore-based Envision Digital raises $210 mln led by Sequoia China


Singapore-headquartered Envision Digital, a provider of artificial intelligence and internet technologies software, has raised $210 million, reports Reuters. The round was led by venture capital firm Sequoia China and backed by Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC.

In a statement on Tuesday, Envision Digital, part of Chinese renewable firm Envision Group, said the Series A funding will enable it to expand its operations and fund additional research and development activities.

Envision Digital said its proprietary tech operating system connects and manages more than 200 million smart devices and 400 gigawatts of energy assets globally. It employs more than 900 employees and has 13 offices across Britain, France, China, the United States and others. Envision Digital’s more than 500 customers and partners span the retail, industrial, energy and transportation sectors.


Swedish fintech Juni raises $206 mln in equity, debt funding


Swedish fintech firm Juni has raised $100 million in a funding round led by the asset management arm of Abu Dhabi state investor Mubadala, and another $106 million in venture debt financing from Silicon Valley-based TriplePoint Capital, reports Reuters.

Mubadala’s unit Mubadala Capital manages about $9 billion in third-party capital on behalf of institutional investors and has so far invested in over 40 companies, with 12 exits.

Getting funding at favorable terms is becoming difficult for startups as venture capital firms are getting stricter in loosening their purse strings as weak equity markets and a big drop in valuations of newly listed companies have dented investor confidence.

Founded in 2020, Juni provides financial management platforms to ecommerce companies and had raised $52 million in October.

The company did not disclose its valuation.


Baidu’s electric vehicle firm Jidu unveils first ‘robot’ car


Baidu’s electric vehicle arm Jidu Auto launched a “robot” concept car, the first vehicle to be revealed by a Chinese internet company, reports Reuters.

Jidu, an EV venture controlled by Baidu and co-funded by Chinese automaker Geely, plans to mass produce the model, which would be 90% similar to the concept car, in 2023.

The ‘robot’ EVs will possess autonomous Level 4 capabilities that need no human intervention as well as utilize Qualcomm’s 8295 chips, which will enable users to access voice assistance offline when internet connection is poor.

Baidu’s EV-making plan comes as tech companies around the world race to develop smart cars after Tesla’s success in commercializing electric vehicles.

Besides equipping the vehicle with autonomous driving software technology powered by Baidu, Jidu will also build two lidars and 12 cameras alongside the car. Lidars are detection systems, similar to radars, which use pulsed laser light rather than radio waves.