Today’s top tech news, Aug 14: Crypto market takes a tumble; Bitcoin price at US$6K

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Also, Observe.AI raises US$8 million, Viddsee Originals logs over 4 million views, and more

cryptocurrency

Crypto market takes a plunge to below US$200 billion – [Bloomberg, Coinmarketcap]

After reaching feverish heights in 2017,  global crypto market this year is in a downward spiral with little signs of letting up — and today, it has hit a new low of US$189 billion, a far cry from its US$835 billion mark in January, according to a report by Bloomberg.

In August, Bitcoin prices plunged 23 per cent; it briefly fell below US$6,000 today before inching its way back up the six thousand mark. Ethereum, on the hand, took a 17 per cent hit, according to CoinmarketcapAll but two of the world’s top 100 cryptocurrencies also saw their value decline.

Several factors are being mooted for crypto market’s sluggish performance in 2018, including ICO projects cashing out; tighter enforcement on taxes; cryptocurrency exchange fees outpacing mining sales; and tokens that are still illiquid.

Observe.AI raises US$8 million in Series A funding – [press release]

India- and US-based AI startup  Observe.AI has scored US$8 million in Series A funding led by Nexus Venture Partners with participation from MGV, Liquid 2 Ventures, Hack VC and existing investors Emergent Ventures and Y Combinator. 

The company also announced its agent-first voice AI platform to improve caller satisfaction in call centres worldwide.

The platform provides the agent with real-time feedback on customer sentiment and guides them on next best action during the customer call. The AI platform listens to the call stream in real time, uses deep learning and natural language processing (NLP) to understand the context and generates suggestions and guidance for the agent.

Viddsee Originals zips past 4 million views – [press release]

Singapore video content startup Viddsee has announced that Viddsee Originals, its original content initiative launched in partnership with IMDA, Viddsee Originals, has crossed its 4 million views mark.

The platform’s content can also now be viewed Grab app’s content feed feature, GrabDaily. Grab said its hopes this partnership will “better engage and entertain” it customers while they’re on-the-go.

Viddsee Originals was spearheaded by Viddsee Studios, the company’s digital content creation arm launched in November 2017 and is headed by Singapore filmmaker Kenny Tan. The content slate for 2018 comprises five series, starting with ‘Scene City’, an anthology of short films that premiered on February 13, three episodic series titles, and documentary series Viddsee Voices.

Ucommune raises US$43.5 million Series C round – [press release]

China’s WeWork rival Ucommune (previously known as UrWork] has raised RMB 300 million (US$43.5 million), at a valuation of US$1.8 billion, in a new round led by real estate investment firm Prosperity Holdings, and RK Properties.

The co-working unicorn will use the fresh funding to fund further global expansion and service upgrading.

Also Read:  Singapore VC Openspace closes US$135 fund that includes investment from Temasek

Founded in 2015, Ucommune now managed a total of 6.2 million sqft of space. In Singapore, it has launched co-working spaces in JTC Launch Pad, One North and Suntec Tower II.

“Through this partnership with RK Properties and Prosperity Holdings, we seek to further upgrade our integrated coworking experience through tapping into the community synergy and the potential of commercial contexts,” Dr. Mao Daqing, Ucommune’s founder.

Sequoia China to raise US$6 billion for new investment firm – [Reuters]

Sequoia China is partnering with the Chinese government-owned fund “China State-Owned Capital Venture Investment Fund” and e-commerce giant JD.com to raise US$6 billion for its new investment firm called Starquest Capital, or Xingjie Capital, according to a report by Reuters.

RMB 10 billion (US$1.45 billion) has been raised so far and other investors are being sought to put funds into the new fund.

Sequoia China will be a shareholder in the fund but China Reform Holdings will manage the its operations.

Starquest will focus on” private-equity, late-stage investment opportunities in technology”, such as strategically significant tech like artificial intelligence.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

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Source: E27