Startups that are trying to help salespeople to find more sales leads, connect truck drivers with loads of freight, and solve ride-sharing problems are among those raising serious funds around the world this week.
Here’s a round-up of some of the biggest deals going down globally.
Grab set to bank $US2 billion ($2.5 billion)
What it does: Grab is a Singaporean ride-sharing app that offers taxi, motorcycle, and carpool services across seven countries and 65 Southeast Asian cities. The platform completes close to 3 million rides daily from a network of 1.1 million drivers, according to the company.
Led by: Grab’s two largest shareholders — China’s Didi Chuxing and Masayoshi Son-led Softbank
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How much: Up to $US2 billion ($AUD2.5 billion) to lead Grab’s current funding round
What now: Grab will use this cash injection to tighten its grip on the Southeast Asian region and invest in its mobile payments solution, GrabPay.
Convoy secures $US60 million ($75.6 million)
What it does: Convoy is an app connecting truck drivers with loads of freight, in an effort to disrupt the $US700 billion-a-year long-haul trucking industry, which still relies heavily on call centres and fax machines, according to Reuters.
Led by: Silicon Valley tech startup accelerator Y Combinator. This funding is the first company Y Combinator has invested in that hasn’t come out of its accelerator program.
How much: $US60 million ($75.6 million)
What now: Convoy is aiming to unseat traditional trucking companies with new technology by continuing to develop its app, which allows truck drivers to find loads and shipments using an automated process dictated by algorithms, which also determine the price for each load.
Node banks $US10.8 million ($13.3 million)
What it does: Node is a platform that uses artificial intelligence to find sales leads, allowing salespeople to better target prospective clients.
Led by: Avalon Ventures, with participation from Mark Cuban, NEA and Canaan Partners, according to TechCrunch.
How much: $US10.8 million ($13.3 million)
What now: While Node will continue to build out the platform and focus on targeting salespeople, it hopes to eventually build platforms for other categories, such as recommending a company’s next hire, a worker’s next job opportunity or even a user’s next date.