The new Amazon Prime Video app will debut later this year, Apple CEO Tim Cook said at WDDC. With the new app, Amazon Prime users will be able use an app on Apple TV to access thousands of movies, TV shows and podcasts that the e-commerce giant offers to members of its Prime program.
Apple made the announcement on Monday at its annual WWDC developer conference in San Jose, Calif.
For $99 per year, Amazon Prime members can access and stream digital movies, TV shows, and Amazon’s original productions in addition to free two-day shipping and one-hour delivery on certain orders.
It’s good news for fans of Amazon’s original content, which is only available through Amazon Prime Video. Over the past few years, Amazon Studios has had some success with a number of its original TV programs, including Mozart in the Jungle and Transparent. The company also produced this year’s movie hit, Academy Award winning film Manchester by the Sea.
It’s worth noting that Apple TV competes with Amazon Prime Video when it comes to vying for customer eyeballs for movies and TV shows. But Apple has started to integrate the services of media and content competitors like Netflix and Hulu because of customer demand.
New money: Carmera, a New York City-based 3D mapping startup, is emerging from stealth mode with $6.4 million in new funding led by Matrix Partners with participation from Resolute Ventures, Notation Capital, Joe Montana, Bre Pettis, Semil Shah and others.
The company is notable because it’s partnering with delivery vehicle fleets to create up-to-date maps of cities. That kind of data is desirable to anyone creating self-driving technology because it helps solve the dense, urban area problem.
Self-driving cars are great on the open road. Call that problem solved. But dense, urban areas? Not so much. Humans are unpredictable. We jaywalk, we ride our bikes the wrong way down a one-way, we don’t alert mapping companies when we have initiated a construction project that blocks off half the road, or installed a new curb.
The data options for identifying and predicting that sort of thing aren’t great. Google’s 3D mapping data isn’t for sale. Mapping companies like TomTom and Here don’t update their maps very frequently, and they’re only for sale to OEMs. Open source options aren’t reliable enough. Carmera aims to offer data that’s “good, but efficient, affordable, and accessible,” Gupta says.
“While we believe in [autonomous vehicles] and the impact to society, we don’t think the enabling tech to get there should be in the hands of a few big car companies,” Gupta says.
The mapping data that Carmera collects through its delivery fleet partners (and one of its own cars) is valuable to more than just self-driving companies. Gupta adds: “The big tech companies have way too much control over the underlying data and they’re not furthering a lot of use cases that the data could help.” Architecture firms, city planners, and others are already using its data.
Hardi Meybaum, general partner at Matrix Partners, Carmera’s lead investor, notes, “What Ro and his team have built goes way beyond autonomous vehicles to solve very real problems for cities right now.”
Burnt money: Odyssey, a college media startup that raised $30 million in funding and grew to 150 employees, has hit a rough patch. The company recently laid off staff and removed founder Evan Burns from the CEO role. Fortune’s Polina Marinova and Laura Entis (who Term Sheet readers will recognize from their fine work on this newsletter) have a gripping, detailed story of an overly ambitious startup which has fallen very short of its goals (and operated in a less-than-savory manner along the way).
IPO mishegas: While Spotify’s direct listing plans are getting lots of attention, there’s another, less buzzy way to go public without Wall Street, the Wall Street Journal recently explained. Regulation A+, a provision of the JOBS Act, is an intriguing alternative for small companies to go public. They can use Reg A+ to raise up to $50 million from any investors – not just the so-called “sophisticated” ones.
Some of the Reg A+ stocks aren’t listed on exchanges. Some are! Myomo, a medical robotics company, plans to list on NYSE. The company views its Reg A+ IPO has an alternative to raising venture capital. It’s risky, writes WSJ:
Proponents of the new rules, known as Regulation A+, appear to be “willing to risk a little more fraud if the dollar risk is less,” said David Feldman, an attorney who has championed the rule and is providing legal guidance for several offerings.
This morning’s deal roundup includes another one: Knightscope, a security company, announced a $3 million capital investment from Konica Minolta, a Japanese technology company. Of the investment, $1 million is up front and the other $2 million will be invested via Knightscope’s Reg A+ “mini-IPO” offering of Series m preferred stock, if the company hits certain milestones. Knightscope is selling 6.67 million shares at $3 each for total proceeds (after costs) of $18.3 million.
Blind item: Which billion-dollar startup makes more revenue throwing conferences than on its actual core technology?
• Grail passes an early test in its quest to find cancer in blood.
Yao Ming’s private equity fund. Another valuation warning to private equity. The 17-year-old king of Musical.ly. Walmart accused of punishing workers for sick days. Amazon’s cash machine. The bitcoin comedian. Why hasn’t the peer-to-peer car rental business taken off the same way Airbnb did? How Microsoft missed mobile. Dissecting Marissa Mayer’s paycheck. How LeEco borrowed so much money. The blue collar workers at tech companies. Rapper IPO. Bunge vs. Glencore.
• Evolve Vacation Rental Network, a Denver, Colo.-based vacation rental management company, raised $11 million in funding. T. Rowe Price Associates led the round, and was joined by investors including Annox Capital, Allen & Company, and PAR Capital Ventures.
• Yogome, a digital education provider with locations in San Francisco and Mexico, raised $6.6 million in Series A funding. Seaya Ventures led the round, and was joined by Variv Capital and Endeavor Catalyst.