Count this as another sign that the scrappy market for decentralized finance is growing up.
Boardroom, a company developing a platform for DeFi governance, has completed a $2.2 million raise. The round was led by Standard Crypto, which was joined by a slew of digital asset investors including Slow Ventures, CoinFund, and Framework. The firm says it will use the fresh cash to build a suite of tools for DeFi power-users and protocols delegates to more seamlessly participate in governance decisions across projects.
Despite the breakneck growth of the DeFi market in recent months, governance has been fragmented and clunky. Stakeholders are forced to navigate disparate channels to access information about governance decisions and then vote, says Boardroom founder Kevin Nielson.
For instance, users who want to delegate their voting power to a third-party have to jump through a number of hoops to do so. In some cases token holders even have to self-delegate to vote on a given proposal (such as a change to interest rates offered on a DeFi lending platform).
In DeFi, users can offload their voting power to third-party delegates, but the process isn’t always straight forward and varies from protocol to protocol. In addition to simplifying delegation, Boardroom looks standardize the way in which protocol decisions are communicated to stakeholders. “We provide a standardization on top of the protocol,” said Nielson.
Part of that means moving projects from Discord channels and Twitter to the platform where they can more efficiently target stakeholders. In a sense, the platform resembles a DeFi-twist on Wall Street’s corporate governance platforms such as Nasdaq Boardvantage, which connects public company leadership with its board members.
In the future, the firm will offer a white-label service for DeFi projects as well, Nielson said.
“Think of it as governance as a service,” Nielson
Masayoshi Son, chairman and chief executive officer of SoftBank Group Corp., reacts during a dialog session with Jack Ma, former chairman of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., not pictured, at Tokyo Forum 2019 in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019.
Kiyoshi Ota | Bloomberg via Getty Images
LONDON — SoftBank has invested $215 million in Norwegian education start-up Kahoot, taking a 9.7% stake in the company, as demand for online learning platforms skyrockets during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Oslo-based firm said Tuesday it had agreed to sell 43 million new shares at a price of 46 Norwegian krone — or about $5 — per share to SoftBank. It plans to use funds raised from the deal to fuel growth through new partnerships, joint ventures and acquisitions, CEO Eilert Hanoa told CNBC.
“It’s all about the general switch in mindset from digital tools being a nice-to-have additional set of features in schools and classrooms, to being maybe the most important toolkit they can use to create engagement,” Hanoa said in an interview Tuesday.
Founded in 2012, Kahoot is a game-based learning service that lets players create and take part in multiple-choice quizzes. One side of the business focuses on schools and home learning, while the other centers on corporate clients looking to make training sessions and presentations.
Educational technology, or “edtech,” has flourished this year as the coronavirus pandemic forced schools to close and increased demand for remote learning software. That’s grabbed the attention of investors: Microsoft, for example, invested over $1 million in U.K.-based computing start-up Kano for a minority stake.
And Kahoot is no exception, securing a $28 million round of funding in June. The company, which is listed on Oslo’s Merkur Market, has seen its shares skyrocket over 150% since the start of the year. Hanoa said the
- Backed by Amazon and a fund led by Bill Gates, Pachama runs a marketplace for forest carbon credits.
- Carbon credits are generated when a forest is conserved or restored.
- As more companies pledge to reduce or eliminate their emissions, the market for carbon credits is expected to surge.
- Researchers challenge the efficacy of carbon credits for curbing deforestation and reducing global emissions.
- For more stories like this, sign up here for our weekly energy newsletter.
In late August, a forest fire, set by lightning and emboldened by climate change, whipped across the Santa Cruz Mountains in California, ultimately burning more than 85,000 acres.
Diego Saez Gil’s home was among its victims.
Ironically, it was in that home that Saez Gil dreamt up the idea for his startup, Pachama. Founded in 2018, the company aims to fight climate change — which makes wildfires more common and severe — by protecting forests.
“It is meaningful that now my house is taken by the consequences of climate change, and that those forests will need restoring soon,” Saez Gil, the company’s cofounder, wrote on Medium the day after his home was destroyed. “You can’t make our mission more personal to me now.”
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Saez Gil’s startup is a tech company, but it’s not your typical Silicon Valley startup.
Pachama sells carbon credits, which represent the carbon dioxide that trees remove from the air. Forests that are protected or restored can generate credits, and companies can buy them to offset their own emissions.
The idea is that, in doing so, businesses can help curb deforestation while reducing their overall climate footprint.
Though Pachama is just a few years old, it’s won backing from major investors including Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Amazon, and tennis
6 min read
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In a computer-driven era, adopting or learning new software can be taxing and time consuming. On an individual level, a simple click on YouTube tutorials or calling up a friend who is proficient with the software can do the trick. However, for enterprises with thousands of employees, the situation to deal with a new software or facing an error is expensive and not welcomed. Customer relationship management (CRM) software used by enterprises across sectors to onboard new customers can be onerous to use.
Understanding this pain, Khadim Batti and Vara Kumar in 2013 founded a SaaS-based solution provider startup Whatfix. Based in Bengaluru, the startup in February this year raised $32 million in Series C round from Sequoia Capital.
In an interaction with Entrepreneur India, Batti, chief executive officer and co-founder of Whatfix, talked about the startup built based on a feature from an earlier venture and what the future plans are.
From SearchEnabler to Navigator
Batti and Kumar have known each other for the past ten years before donning the entrepreneurial cap. Both of them worked together for Huawei Telecom where they looked after the DPI and BI solutions. Building the BI product line up from the scratch encouraged both of them to build something on their own. Thus, the two quit the Chinese telecom company in 2010 to start their own venture in 2011, SearchEnabler. The startup then focused on small medium business(SMBs) and helped them to be discoverable and enhance their search and social media visibility on their own
“Our hypothesis of ‘do it yourself’ (DIY) for small businesses and charge them $30-40 per month and get millions of businesses online didn’t go as planned,” added Batti.
Batti said small
Flash Express, a two-year-old logistics startup that works with e-commerce firms in Thailand, said on Monday it has raised $200 million in a new financing round as it looks to double down on a rapidly growing market spurred by demand due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The funding, a Series D, was led by PTT Oil and Retail Business Public Company Limited, the marquee oil and retail businesses of Thai conglomerate PTT. Durbell and Krungsri Finnovate, two other top conglomerates in the Southeast Asian country, also participated in the round, which brings Flash Express’ to-date raise to about $400 million.
Flash Express, which operates door-to-door pickup and delivery service, claims to be the second largest private player to operate in this space. The startup, which also counts Alibaba as an investor, entered the market with delivery fees as low as 60 cents per parcel, a move that allowed it to quickly win a significant market share.
The startup has also expanded aggressively in the past year. Flash Express had about 1,100 delivery points during this time last year. Now it has over 5,000, exceeding those of 138-year-old Thailand Post.
Flash Express currently delivers more than 1 million parcels a day, up from about 50,000 during the same time last year. The startup says it has also invested heavily in technology that has enabled it to handle over 100,000 parcels in a minute by fully automated sorting systems.
Komsan Lee, CEO of Flash Express, said the startup plans to deploy the fresh funds to introduce new services and expand to other Southeast Asian markets (names of which he did not identify). “We are also prepared to create and develop new technologies to achieve even greater delivery and logistics efficiency. More importantly we intend to assist SMEs in lowering their investment costs which