THE NEWS WRAP: Reports indicate Amazon is ramping up its hardware strategy
Wednesday, September 24, 2014/
Amazon is boosting staff numbers at its secretive Silicon Valley-based hardware lab by at least 27% over the next five years as it tests internet connected smart home gadgets, Reuters reports.
The plans, detailed in a little-known government document and by Reuters sources, signal Amazon chief executive officer Jeff Bezos’s intentions to go all in on the company’s hardware strategy.
That’s despite the lukewarm reception of Amazon’s new Fire smartphone and criticism by some investors of its heavy spending on experimental projects.
Qualtrics raises $150 million
Online survey company Qualtrics has just closed a $150 million fundraising round led by Insight Venture Partners, Accel partners and Sequoia Capital, which values the company at more than $1 billion, Businessweek reports.
The funding round makes Qualtrics at least the second online survey company to be valued at over $1 billion. Last year, SurveyMonkey raised a reported valuation of $1.3 billion.
Startup incubator Science acquires mobile ad network PlayHaven
Los Angeles-based startup incubator and investment company Science has made its biggest deal to date, acquiring Play Haven for more than $20 million, Re/code reports.
Science is buying Play Haven from analytics and marketing company Upsight. The deal gives Science a profitable mobile ad company that specialises in ads that run on mobile games and says it reaches 1.5 billion devices worldwide.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 154.19 to 17,210.06. The Australian dollar is currently trading at US89 cents.