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October 15 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Startups: the investments keep coming

The investments keep coming

BSkyB is just one of the big investors injecting cash into promising startups as the outlook for tech entrepreneurship grows in optimism.

Considering the pace of growth among some of the world’s most promising startups, it’s hardly surprising that investors are looking for the next big tech phenomenon. In the past week alone, some major rounds of financing have been announced that show venture capital is still flowing into these promising firms.

 

Pluto.TV

The online TV platform brings together video content from around the web. It then aggregates it into channels arranged by theme. It sorts the content using a combination of specialist editors and data analytics. So far it’s proving popular in the US and is available through the Google Chromecast, as well as mobile platforms iOS and Android and Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

BSkyB has just injected $250,000 to the company, which is the latest in a series of investments in up and coming tech firms. The company says that by developing a strategic relationship with the firm, it will get a better understanding of how new types of content are changing the way we find TV and watch our favourite shows.

 

Magic Leap

VentureBeat says that it isn’t quite sure what Magic Leap does, but the virtual reality company has already landed $50 million funding this year. Now, reports suggest that the firm could draw as much as $500 million in its next round of investment – and interestingly, Google is believed to be among the leaders of the pack.

It makes sense that the company would want to latch onto what Magic Leap describes as “cinematic reality”. Not only could it work nicely into potential developments for Google Glass, but it will also help to keep the search giant at the front of the technology pack. After all, it looks a lot like the firm is trying to match Facebook’s recent acquisition of Oculus.

 

Peel

Peel’s app allows smartphone and tablet users to transform their devices into remote controls. That sounds simple enough, but it also provides recommendations, helps users discover new content and also includes some social functions. The company is clearly performing strongly, too, with deals with networks including HBO, National Geographic and Showtime among others.

It’s just been announced that in the funding round that closed in June, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibabapumped $50 million into Peel. That lays the foundations for further potential growth outside the online retail sphere. It also ties in nicely with Peel’s plans to spend the funds developing controls for tasks like controlling air conditioning and lighting to make watching TV more enjoyable.

 

Blockchain

One of the most significant and disruptive technological developments of the past few years is Bitcoin. The digital currency has the potential to revolutionise finance, and UK chancellor George Osborne has recently launched reviews into how Bitcoin could impact the nation’s economy and whether it should be regulated.

With that in mind, it isn’t surprising that investors are still looking favourably on Bitcoin. Blockchain, a wallet provider and software developer for the cryptocurrency, recently announced that Wicklow Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners took the lead on a financing round worth around $30.5 million. That’s the biggest investment in the digital currency industry so far.

Sarah Parkin

Sarah Parkin used to work as News Writer for LSBF.  Sarah is specialised in finance, technology and business news.

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