Ubiquity Ventures, a new seed-stage institutional venture capital firm founded by Sunil Nagaraj in Menlo Park, Calif., has made its first six investments in start-ups that exemplify his vision of software leaping off the screen and into the real world. Ubiquity’s portfolio includes start-ups focused a wide range of industries including agriculture, robotics, security, and artificial intelligence. Each of these companies play to Nagaraj’s passion – software that can have a more direct and tangible impact on our real world lives away from the computer screen. “I believe the companies in Ubiquity’s portfolio will be life-changing for many people,” said the Indian American founder and managing partner. “Some of these companies provide solutions to problems that we didn’t know could be solved and the others have created breakthrough software for brand new industries. From apps for dairy farmers seeking less labor-intensive practices for herding and food safety to digital training environments for safer self-driving cars – the technologies provided by these six companies are ahead of the innovation curve and I am thrilled to be helping them grow,” added Nagaraj. The first six companies in Ubiquity’s portfolio are Eclypsium, Elementary Robotics, Halter, Levl Technologies, Parallel Domain and Shoonya. Nagaraj has an active board seat on almost all portfolio companies; his Ubiquity Extended Team also provides continued technical and marketing expertise to Ubiquity start-ups.
Zinier Closes Oversubscribed Series B Funding Round
Zinier, a provider of intelligent field service automation, has raised $22 million in Series B funding to accelerate global growth and expand its platform to meet the growing needs of field service organizations. Returning investor Accel led the round, along with Founders Fund, Nokia-backed NGP Capital, Qualcomm Ventures LLC and returning France-based investor Newfund. Built on Zinier’s pure-play, AI-driven platform, Field Service Elements delivers this missing intelligence. The solution combines artificial intelligence and proactive insights to automate critical back office functions while providing an intuitive, all-in-one mobile experience for field technicians. Imagine smart devices that can monitor equipment health and historical data to automatically trigger a preventative service request and assign it to the nearest qualified technician. All of this is possible with intelligent automation. “Considering the massive amount of infrastructure under the purview of field service teams, automated field service has the potential to truly transform a wide range of industries,” said Arka Dhar, co-founder and CEO of Zinier. “The market opportunity for platform-based, automated field service is reflected in the huge demand we’ve seen from customers in infrastructure-heavy sectors, such as telecom and energy. With this additional investment, we’re able to continue expanding the capabilities of our platform and extend the reach of intelligent field service automation to new strategic markets and geographies.”
Kendall and Kylie Jenner to Launch Apparel Collection in India
Kendall Jenner and Kylie Jenner are expanding their business empire to new markets. The sisters recently appeared on a video to announce how “excited” they are to launch their apparel collection in India, which is one of the world’s fastest growing economies. The Jenner sisters have tied up with the Indian subsidiary of Los Angeles-based fast fashion retailer Forever 21 to launch their apparel collection. The official Instagram page of the store released a video recently that showed the two sisters sharing their excitement about launching their products in a new market. This is the first ever international collaboration for the Indian retailer. The Kendall + Kylie X Forever 21 India collection is already available on the website of the company, and it will soon be available in the retail stores.
LinkSquares Raises $4.8M in Financing
LinkSquares, the company disrupting legal ops with artificial intelligence-powered contract analytics software, completed a $4.8 million heavily oversubscribed financing round. The round was led by Hyperplane Venture Capital and MassMutual Ventures. The most recent financing brings LinkSquares’ total venture funding to $6.9 million. “We are very excited about working with all our new investors for this round. Both of the co-leads share the vision and excitement around using technology to replace historically manual processes. LinkSquares is extremely passionate about helping in-house counsel, and this round of funding enables us to continue to build an incredible product experience and ultimately enable these teams to operate more efficiently in support of business operations,” said Vishal Sunak, LinkSquares CEO. Founded in 2015, LinkSquares has quickly grown as a leading provider of AI-powered contract management and analytics software.
Penn State Prof. Receives Centenary Award from IIT
Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Evan Pugh University Professor and Charles Godfrey Binder Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Penn State, was one of eight recipients who recently received the Alumnus of the Century in Making Award from IIT Varanasi. The one-time award honors IIT distinguished alumni who have made exceptional contributions to society. Lakhtakia, who holds a B.Tech. (1979) and D.Sc. (2006) in electronics engineering from Banaras Hindu University, was presented with his award by Manoj Sinha, minister of communications and minister of state, railways in the Government of India. An internationally recognized scholar who researches nanotechnology and the behavior of electromagnetic fields and waves in complex materials, Lakhtakia has developed novel coating techniques for industrially scalable bioreplication, which holds promise for applications ranging from retrieving fingerprints to harvesting solar energy.
Varian and Tata Trusts Sign Framework Agreement
With an estimated 1.8 million new cancer cases a year in India expected by 2025, Tata Trusts and Varian announced the signing of a framework agreement intended to increase patient access to advanced radiation therapy treatments in the country. The three-year agreement is focused on world-class cancer care delivery through the installation of radiation therapy treatment systems across India where Varian has been selected as the preferred supplier by Tata Trusts. The agreement is part of a program undertaken by Tata Trusts with the goal of creating patient-centric cancer institutions to deliver standardized and affordable care closer to patients' homes in different regions in India, including rural areas where many patients do not have the financial means to access existing care options. In addition to the installation of the radiation therapy treatment systems, the Varian ARIA oncology information system and Eclipse treatment planning system will be implemented in a secure network hosted on a private cloud, to assist in elevating the level of care across India.