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Carvana acquires Car360 for $22M to improve its car buying platform

Carvana is already an innovative way to shop for a car and it could get better thanks to Car360. The two companies share an interest in improving the car buying experience through enhanced imagery. Car360’s approach is different from Carvana’s as it’s focused on photos shot with a mobile device. This approach could allow Carvana to accelerate and scale its operations as it currently leans on expensive DSLR rigs to capture most of its imagery. The deal cost Carvana $6.7M in cash and issued $15.2 million in new stock putting the total acquisition price around $22 million. All 16 of Car360’s employees, including Founder Bruno Francois, CEO John Hanger and Chief Computer Vision Scientist Grant Schindler, Ph.D., will stay with Carvana. Car360 had raised $3.9M through two funding rounds including funding from Mark Cuban after the app appeared on Shark Tank. “Carvana and Car360 both believe in the power of putting amazing technology in the hands of the customer so they can make one of the largest purchase decisions of their life with transparency and confidence,” said Ernie Garcia, founder and CEO of Carvana. “Bringing the Car360 team into the fold, we add even more entrepreneurial strength in computer vision, AR and app based photo capture. This technology unlocks a number of exciting capabilities that will further our mission to change the way people buy cars.” Car360 uses 3D computer vision, machine learning and AR tech to improve images taken of vehicles through a smartphone. Carvana raised $300m through 3 rounds of funding before going public in April of 2017. After an initial bust , company’s stock has doubled since its public debut and is currently trading up on the day following this news.

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Porsche plans 500 fast charging stations across US

Porsche is planning a Supercharger-like network of fast charging stations at dealerships and highway locations across the US. There will be at least 500 by the end of 2019 according to Klaus Zellmer, CEO of Porsche Cars North America, speaking to Automotive News . The timing coincides with the launch of its Mission E electric vehicle that is scheduled for a 2019 launch followed by a crossover EV in 2020 (shown above). “If you want to buy that car, you want to know what happens if I go skiing and go further than 300 miles,” Zellmer told Automotive News. “What do I do? So we need to have answers for that.” According to the report, Porsche is considering charging for the use of the chargers not at dealerships — it’s up to the independent dealership if they charge for use of the chargers. If this plan follows Tesla’s pricing, drivers can expect to pay slightly different rates in different states. Tesla charges a flat rate $0.26 per kWh in California while in Michigan the cost is $0.24 per minute above 60 kW and $0.12 per minute at or below 60 kW. Porsche will not pay to have the chargers installed at its US-based dealerships. It will be up to the dealerships to decide it they want to cover the cost of installing the chargers. Porsche is right and is following Tesla’s proven example. EV owners need places to recharge their vehicles and automakers have stepped up to build the infrastructure in the place of 3rd party companies.

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Lessons from cybersecurity exits

Mahendra Ramsinghani Contributor Mahendra Ramsinghani is the founder of Secure Octane , a Silicon Valley-based cybersecurity seed fund. More posts by this contributor Is Symantec getting ready to buy Splunk? Can the security community grow up? To: ceo@cybersecuritystartup.com Subject: Lessons from cybersecurity exits Dear F0und3r: What a month this has been for cybersecurity! One unicorn IPO and two nice acquisitions – Zscaler’s great debut on wall street,  a $300 million acquisition of Evident.io by Palo Alto Networks and a $350 million acquisition of Phantom Cyber by Splunk has gotten all of us excited. Word on the street is that in each of those exits, the founders took home ~30% to 40% of the proceeds. Which is not bad for ~ 4 /5 years of work. They can finally afford to buy two bedroom homes in Silicon Valley. Evident.IO Investment Rounds and Return estimates Date Select Investors Round Size Pre Post Dilution Estimated Returns / Multiple of Invested Capital Sep 2013 True Ventures $1.5m $5.25m $6.75 m 22% 44X Nov 2014 Bain Capital $9.8 m $18.1m $28.0 m 35% 10.7X Apr 2016 Venrock $15.7 m $35.0 m $50.7 m 30% 6X Feb 2017 GV $22.0 m $73.6 m $95.5 23% 3.1X My math is not that good but looks like even some VCs made a decent return. Back of the envelope scribbles indicate that True Ventures scored an estimated ~44X multiple on its seed investment. Others like Bain snagged a ~10X on the A round investment and Venrock which led the Series B round took home ~6X. We see a similar pattern with Phantom Cyber, which got acquired by Splunk for $350 million. A little bird told me that they had booking in the range of $10 million. But before we all get too self-congratulatory, lets ask – why did these companies sell at $300 million to $350 million when everyone in the valley wants to ride a unicorn? Clearly, funds like GV, Bain and Kleiner could have fueled more rounds to make unicorns out of Evident.io and Phantom Cyber.

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Is America’s national security Facebook and Google’s problem?

Jamie Metzl Contributor Share on Twitter Jamie Metzl is a Senior Fellow for Technology and National Security at the Atlantic Council . More posts by this contributor Homo Sapiens 2.0? We need a species-wide conversation about the future of human genetic enhancement Eleonore Pauwels Contributor Share on Twitter Eleonore Pauwels is Director of the Anticipatory Intelligence Lab at the Wilson Center, an international science policy expert specializing in the governance and democratization of converging technologies, and a former official of the European Commission’s Directorate on Science, Economy and Society. Outrage that Facebook made the private data of over 87 million of its U.S. users available to the Trump campaign has stoked fears of big US-based technology companies are tracking our every move and misusing our personal data to manipulate us without adequate transparency, oversight, or regulation. These legitimate concerns about the privacy threat these companies potentially pose must be balanced by an appreciation of the important role data-optimizing companies like these play in promoting our national security. In his testimony to the combined US Senate Commerce and Judiciary Committees, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg  was not wrong to present his company as a last line of defense in an “ongoing arms race” with Russia and others seeking to spread disinformation and manipulate political and economic systems in the US and around the world. The vast majority of the two billion Facebook users live outside the United States, Zuckerberg argued, and the US should be thinking of Facebook and other American companies competing with foreign rivals in “strategic and competitive” terms. Although the American public and US political leaders are rightly grappling with critical issues of privacy, we will harm ourselves if we don’t recognize the validity of Zuckerberg’s national security argument. Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg testifies during a US House Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing about Facebook on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, April 11, 2018. (Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images) Examples are everywhere of big tech companies increasingly being seen as a threat. US President Trump has been on a rampage against Amazon, and multiple media outlets have called for the company to be broken up as a monopoly. A recent  New York Times  article, “ The Case Against Google ,” argued that Google is stifling competition and innovation and suggested it might be broken up as a monopoly. “ It’s time to break up Facebook ,” Politico argued, calling Facebook “a deeply untransparent, out-of-control company that encroaches on its users’ privacy, resists regulatory oversight and fails to police known bad actors when they abuse its platform.” US Senator Bill Nelson made a similar point when he asserted during the Senate hearings that “if Facebook and other online companies will not or cannot fix the privacy invasions, then we are going to have to

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