Friday, June 1st, 2018

A Company that Emerged from Walmart’s Tech Incubator Just Launched a Personal Assistant Service
Company Press Release

Jetblack, a members-only shopping service launched on Thursday. It’s the first business to emerge from Walmart’s tech incubator, called Store No 8.

The service will be available in a limited release to customers in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Jetblack offers its members the ability to text a shopping request for Jetblack to find and deliver on the same or next day for no additional charge

The service uses a combination of artificial intelligence and expertise from professional buyers from various categories including home, health, and parenting.

Hello Alfred, an in-home Assistant Company, Closed a New Round of Funding
Company Press Release
Fast Company

The company announced on Thursday that it closed a $40M Series B funding round. The new funds will accelerate growth and allow further investment in technology, data science, and the Alfred Home Essentials private label line of home goods and products.

Hello Alfred partners with residential developers to provide an in-home hospitality experience for it customers. Residents of Alfred buildings enjoy a dedicated assistant to manage weekly shopping and errands and the convenience of no-fee trusted in-home delivery.

It operates in New York, New Jersey, Stamford, Conn., Boston, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago, and plans launch in nine new markets, including Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, and Miami.

The company plans to be in over 100,000 homes by the end of the year.

Orange and Google Partner to Fund Startups
Company Press Release

Orange announced on Thursday that Orange Digital Ventures, its corporate venture fund, would work with Google to explore opportunities for co-investments in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Investments will explore opportunities in technologies surrounding the Internet of Things, cybersecurity, cloud, AI, and fintech.

Canada Goose Focuses on China
Company Press Release
The Globe and Mail

The company announced on Thursday that it plans to expand into Greater China. Part of the expansion would include establishing a regional head office in Shanghai.

The company also stated that it is launching a direct-to-consumer business including opening two retail stores in Beijing and Hong Kong in order to meet consumer demand.

Canada Goose also plans to roll out e-commerce operations via Alibaba Group’s Tmall in the fall of this year.

Canada Plans to Impose Tariffs on the United States
News Release
Business Insider
The Globe and Mail

Canada announced on Thursday that it would be imposing tariffs on imports of $16.6 billion in steel, aluminum, and other products from the United States.

This is in response to the United States’ decision to impose tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum shipments.

According to a statement in a government news release, Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced that the tariffs will commence on July 1st and will remain in place until the United States eliminates its trade-restrictive measures against Canada.

Softbank Invests in General Motors’s Self Driving Car Division
Company Press Release
The New York Times
The Wall Street Journal

General Motors announced on Thursday that the SoftBank Vision Fund will invest $2.25 billion in GM Cruise.

The new funding will boost the company’s plans to commercialize AV technology at large scale. Upon closing, GM will also invest $1.1 billion in GM Cruise.

The funds will assist the company to reach commercialization at scale beginning in 2019.