#1 | And the first unicorn among the mental health apps…. be Calm!
Relaxation and meditation app Calm has raised $88 million in Series B funding. That means: With a $1 billion valuation the app became the first unicorn in the mental health category! It boasts 40 million worldwide downloads and over one million active subscribers, while its sleep stories are especially popular, having been listened more than 100 million times. And with ambitious plans to further expand an already cash-flow positive business, Calm’s executives prove that enabling people to sleep well and feel good is a business model worth pursuing…!Read more here: http://bit.ly/2GufHMN, https://cnb.cx/2UNDISW


#2 | Slack’s secret mission: filing their IPO … soon?
Slack, a provider of workplace communication tools, has confidentially filed to go public. This means that its financial documents will for now only be available to the SEC and that the company is yet to specify the date of its direct listing on the stock market. Slack was valued at $7.1 billion in August last year when it raised $427 million in Series H funding round. Also, the company recently announced that it reached 10 million daily active users and 85,000 paying customers. Slack reportedly had revenue of $221 million in 2018 although precise information on various financial metrics will only become available once the documents filed to the SEC become public.Read more here:  http://bit.ly/2HWVjGs    https://cnb.cx/2GgjvCc   https://tcrn.ch/2UMh0us


#3 | Cisco runs trials to bring 5G to rural areas
Commercial deployment of widely anticipated 5G technology is most likely to be initially focused on major urban centers… but why stop there?? Cisco and its UK partners are looking beyond that! They are testing different ways of providing better coverage in rural areas through the ”5G RuralFirst” initiative. To that end, they have set up 10 radio sites that deliver internet connectivity in remote areas like the Scottish Orkney Isles and around Somerset in England. Also, various use cases are examined including using autonomous drones and tractors for precision agriculture and remote broadcasting opportunities.Read more here:    http://bit.ly/2HWVS32    http://bit.ly/2UH2aoW


#4 | Before it gets too expensive… Spotify to expand podcast business
Spotify is in advanced talks to buy Gimlet Media, the startup behind some of the most popular podcast (e.g. “Startup”, “Reply All”). This move is quite costly at $200 million. It’s be their first step into the content production and podcasting industry. And although podcasting is a small, roughly $315 million worth industry, it is growing quickly. Startups in this sector attracted $109.6 million in venture investments in 2018. Spotify already promotes podcasts to its 200 million users and acquiring Gimlet Media seems like a step towards gaining a considerable foothold in what it hopes will become a thriving market in the future.Read more here:   http://bit.ly/2Gfqmvt    http://bit.ly/2GdheHX


#5 | Love & tech: 1-800-Flowers using AR & co. to cash in for Valentine’s Day
Ordering flowers on Valentine’s Day is now as easy as saying “Hi Alexa, I want to send flowers to my wife”: thanks to the flower delivery service 1-800-Flowers.com. Its verbal command system works with many voice assistants. Customers can even get floral suggestions depending on the recipient and occasion. For those who prefer to type, flowers can be purchased through a chat bot as well. And the 1.800-Flowers.com mobile app for iPhones and iPads even allows users to send valentine-themed AR messages to family and friends. U.S. consumers are expected to spend almost $20 billion for Valentine’s Day this year and giving them as many options as possible to shop seems like a smart business decision.Read more here: http://bit.ly/2WOSNpihttp://bit.ly/2RK8Wbz