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Tech World: Opendoor raises $210m Series D, Amazon makes first drone delivery & more

Georgie Tech World December 2016

Welcome to Tech World, your round up of the top technology news stories from across the globe.

This month, we have Opendoor’s $210m Series D round, a downfall for Uber’s self-driving vehicles and Amazon’s first delivery by drone – in Cambridge!

We also spoke to EY’s Jamie Qiu about how collaboration between startups and large corporates can be mutually beneficial.

Gett’s $100m loan

Tel Aviv-based taxi app Gett secured a $100m, seven-year loan facility from Russia’s Sberbank.

Gett – which operates in 100 cities across the globe – secured $300m from Volkswagen earlier this year.

Opendoor’s $210m Series D

Opendoor, an online platform for the sale and purchase of US real estate, announced a $210m Series D round.

The PropTech firm is now said to be valued at more than $1bn, joining the so-called ‘unicorn club’, which features other top tech firms such as Uber, Airbnb and Deliveroo.

Facebook e-money

This month, it was also revealed Facebook had secured an e-money license from the Central Bank of Ireland.

It’s not clear what Facebook plans to do with its new license, but it could be that it rolls out Facebook Messenger’s peer-to-peer payment features in Europe.

Uber self-driving cars

Uber launched its semi-autonomous vehicles in San Francisco, but was promptly ordered by the California Department of Motor Vehicles to remove them from the road.

This follows numerous reports of the self-driving cars being seen running red lights. The DMV said Uber must secure the relevant permit before being able to put the vehicles back in action.

Amazon drone

Back here in the UK, Amazon made its first commercial delivery using a drone.

A parcel, containing an Amazon Fire TV stick and bag of popcorn, was flown from the firm’s drone testing site near Cambridge to its next door neighbour – a farmhouse just 765 yards away.

Hot Topic: Collaboration

In this episode’s Hot Topic interview, we spoke with Jamie Qiu, founder and lead of EY’s Startup Challenge programme, about the acceleration initiative and how collaboration between startups and large corporates can be mutually beneficial.

That’s all for this month’s roundup. Visit our Tech World channel for more and subscribe now to receive future videos to your inbox.