The Crunchbase News Briefing: Weds., Oct. 7

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Big Tech disputes findings following lawmaker report on their monopoly power

A congressional investigation into Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook concluded that the tech giants hold monopoly power in key business segments and have abused their dominance in the market.

The report from the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel follows a 16-month investigation into the companies’ practices. The findings could lead to future regulation aimed at curtailing the dominance of Big Tech. Potential steps could include breaking up the companies, beefing up agencies that enforce antitrust regulations, or strengthening existing antitrust statutes.

Potential remedies could also include throwing up hurdles for the companies to acquire startups.

The Big Four tech companies responded to the report independently, each disputing the notion that they are stifling competition. Google said it aims to “compete fairly in a fast-moving and highly competitive industry.” Facebook said it operates in a “strongly competitive landscape.” Amazon said its marketplace benefits independent retailers. And Apple argued that the company “does not have a dominant market share in any category where we do business.”

The report comes as other U.S. government agencies are focusing on Big Tech. The Justice Department has been working to file an antitrust complaint against Google, as well as state attorneys general. Antitrust investigations of Amazon, Apple and Facebook are also underway at the federal and state levels.

Funding rounds

  • Aledia closes first tranche of Series D: Aledia, a French startup developing technology for microLED displays, closed on 80 million euros of a 120 million-euro Series D funding round. A fund managed by Bpifrance is lead investor in the round, joined by many existing strategic investors, including Intel Capital. The company will use the proceeds to complete its product development and build a manufacturing facility.
  • Cerebral secures $35M for mental health: Cerebral, an online mental health platform, raised $35 million in a Series A to continue developing its program for anxiety and depression. The round was led by Oak HC/FT with participation from a group including Westcap.
  • Quantum Metric secures $25M to grow: SaaS platform Quantum Metric, announced up to $25 million in debt capital from Silicon Valley Bank. The company enables organizations to build better digital products faster. The funding will go toward product and customer support teams, increasing its footprint overseas, and R&D initiatives.
  • Illusive raises $24M for cybersecurity: Tel Aviv-based cybersecurity provider Illusive Networks has reportedly raised $24 million in fresh funding as it aims to step up sales and enhance its product for securing cloud workloads.
  • Nordsense inks $8.4M for smart waste management: Denmark-based Nordsense, a provider of smart waste management solutions, announced $8.4 million in additional funding. The investment was co-led by ACME Capital and The Danish Growth Fund. Capital from the round will be used to go-to-market with its smart waste management system aimed at eliminating CO2 vehicle emissions.
  • Happy Cabbage raises $1.5M for cannabis analytics: Happy Cabbage Analytics, a San Francisco-based integrated cannabis data analytics and marketing platform, announced a $1.5 million seed funding round. Delta Emerald Ventures led the round and was joined by Silverleaf Venture Partners, Yaax Capital and West Creek Investments. The new round will be used to expand the team, invest in partnerships and additional product development.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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