Tech Snapshot | Oracle Buys TikTok, NVIDIA Buys Arm | Sept 7 – 11

,,Oracle wins bid for TikTok, beating Microsoft

A few weeks ago, we wrote up on ,,Microsoft possibly winning the bid for the U.S. operations of the widely popular video-sharing app TikTok. Turns out Oracle Corporation, the database solutions giant, beat them to it.

Oracle is being announced as TikTok’s data host / trust tech partner in a deal that may satisfy the White House’s national security concern regarding the latter’s Chinese origin and having access to U.S. user data. It is also noted that Oracle CEO, ,,Larry Ellison, is good friends with U.S. President Donald Trump (R).

Oracle (ORCL)’s stock jumped 8% on Monday following the reports.

,,NVIDIA acquires Arm from SoftBank for $40B

It was announced on Sunday that NVIDIA will purchase British CPU maker Arm from SoftBank for $40B, a deal that could reshape the technology that powers ,,smartphones and data centers. NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang has stated the partnership will “create the world’s premier computing company for the age of AI.” CPUs are now entire data centers, and Huang recognizes that NVIDIA has to scale the data center technology. The technology from data centers can then be pushed to distributed devices, in a model known as “edge computing.” NVIDIA could also leverage Arm’s efficient CPUs to bring down power consumption in its data centers.

The transaction will be split between $21.5B in stock and $12B in cash. Also included is $2B payable at signing and SoftBank receiving up to $5B in cash or stock if Arm meets financial targets. The transaction is expected to close in 18 months.

,,Electric trucking startup Nikola defends its $2B deal with GM

Days after GM announced it would take 11% of Nikola’s stake following a $2B partnership, Nikola has been accused of fraud by Hindenburg Research, a short-selling firm. Nikola asserts that Hindenburg Research’s report was false, defamatory, and intended to manipulate the market to benefit short sellers such as themselves.

Nikola and GM intended to use their partnership to develop and manufacture Nikola’s battery-electric and hydrogen field cell vehicles. Hindenburg claims Nikola has engaged in “lies and deception” regarding their technology, including claims of deceptive ruses involving Nikola’s 3-year-old PR video demonstrating the technological prowess of their electric truck line. Nikola has dismissed Hindenburg’s claims as irrelevant to the present times and insisting they have working hydrogen fuel-cell powered semi-trucks.

Is Nikola’s technology really a ruse, or is Hindenburg’s goal simply to lower their stock price and profit from short-selling?

,,Airtable raises $185M to launch low-code automation features

Airtable raised $185M in a Series D round led by Thrive Capital, putting the company at a $2.6B valuation. Airtable’s product is a flexible spreadsheet meets relational data model. Users can even add attachments and links to entries in a row. The best part if users won’t need to know SQL to manipulate the database. Airtable will use its new funding to implement more features, including Airtable Apps, whereby users can build additional functionalities in JavaScript, and Airtable Automations, where users can build custom, automated workflows to generate reports.

,,Indian fantasy sports app Dream11’s firm raises $225M at over $2.5B valuation

Dream11 (parent company Dream Sports) secured $225M in funding to build an “end-to-end sports tech company” in India, where cricket is the most popular sport. Similar to Fantasy [American] Football in the US, Dream11 has cashed in on the fantasy part of cricket, enabling users to select their fantasy cricket teams to play against other fantasy teams in upcoming matches. Users with winning teams can win cash prizes.

This year, Dream11 won the rights to sponsor the 2020 Indian Premier League cricket competition, the new season of which will kick off next week after months of delay due to the coronavirus outbreak. Dream11 aims to expand further into merchandising and enhancing the sports and fantasy experience for Indian fans.

,,Willo, freemium video interview SaaS, scores $320K during remote work boom

Remote work is still going strong around the world. Glasgow-based video interview startup Willo has raised a £250,000 (~$320k) round of funding since the lockdown in the UK earlier this year. Founded in 2018, Willo has seen usage of its service grow by 80% since April. Customers (typically businesses) are using Willo’s video platform for internal reviews, training, and learning purposes as remote work is still a reality for many. Willo CEO Euan Cameron claims they have over 1000 users in 60 countries. The funding will be used to accelerate Willo’s international growth and subsequent staffing.

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