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The Internet for all

The Internet for all
July 8, 2020

Google's balloon-Internet service is finally online. The Loon fleet of 35 balloons, floating about 12 miles up in the air, is providing service to a wide swath of Kenya that includes the city of Nairobi. It's not super fast — reportedly just shy of 19Mbps down and 5Mbps up.

The project came to market as demand for Internet services has skyrocketed thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdown measures to contain it. The COVID-19 outbreak and the WFH that followed revealed the Internet insecurity and inequality in the world. People are able to see just how underserved many people are by existing Internet infrastructure over the last several months, and also how hard it is to convince ISPs to dig trenches out to rural areas.

Whether it's balloons, satellites, or the drones Facebook gave up on, flying or floating Internet service is going to be a big, important business -- perhaps not so much for those of us in tiny apartments in crowded cities, but definitely for everyone else.

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Alternative Internet Access Companies:

Starlink is the satellite system set to be launched by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, with a goal of providing Internet access the world over via a constellation of satellites. 

Facebook’s Connectivity Lab is actually a range of projects aiming to link up the world, including “high altitude connectivity” (similar to Project Loon), Magma, and OpenCellular. Magma aims to use ”open source technology to connect the unconnected,” while OpenCellular is developing “affordable base station technology” to increase cellular coverage,” from the Facebook Connectivity homepage. 

Another Google initiative, Wing is “an autonomous delivery drone service,” according to its website. The drones would deliver goods, like an Amazon Prime of the sky, to relieve some of the gridlock on the ground. 

Walmart launching Amazon Prime competitor Walmart Plus later this month
$98/year for same-day groceries might make the new service quite attractive in 2020, posing a direct threat to Amazon's business model.
[Read more].
Allstate to Acquire Rival Insurer National General for $4B
U.S. insurance giant Allstate Corp. says it has agreed to acquire peer National General Holdings Corp. for about $4B in cash, expanding its reach in the personal property-liability business. [Read more].
Since last week, PrivCo has added:
808 Profiles Updates | 113 M&A Deals144 Funding Activities

Funding & Deal Highlights:

SoftBank’s Vision Fund reportedly purchases an additional stake worth $130M in the owner of Indian insurance marketplace, PolicyBazaar.

An Indianapolis-based artificial intelligence company has closed on a $1.5M Series Seed round of funding., which has developed an AI and adaptive analytics platform, says the funding will be used to for additional technology investments, as well as hiring sales employees and expanding the business.

Novavax gets $1.6B in US funding for coronavirus vaccine.

Chainalysis, a NYC-based blockchain analysis company, raises an additional $13M to expand its Series B round to $49M.

OwnBackup, which has made a name for itself primarily as a backup and disaster recovery system for the Salesforce ecosystem, announces a $50M investment.

Grow Credit, a minority-led startup financial inclusion platform, announces that Mucker Capital, a Santa Monica-based fund, has joined its seed funding round, bringing its total seed investment total to $2M.

Private equity firm Salt Creek Capital acquires IT Assist, a managed IT services provider (MSP) and TeamLogic IT franchise operator in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Financial details were not disclosed.

Faye Business Systems Group announces its acquisition of the SugarCRM practice of Polar Strategy. The Polar Strategy acquisition enhances FayeBSG’s presence in the Sugar ecosystem and expands its vertical market expertise in the Healthcare and Financial Services vertical markets.

Formpipe acquires EFS Technology Ltd. (EFS), which for many years has been a successful sales partner for Formpipe's Lasernet product. With the deal, Formpipe is increasing its capacity to build a larger network of competent partners in the private sector. EFS revenue for 2019 amounted to GBP 3.4M.

CampusLogic, a Phoenix, AZ-based student financial success company, acquires RaiseMe, a San Francisco, CA-based social enterprise focused on expanding access to higher education, especially among low-income and first-generation students.

Thanks for reading. 
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