Luka – A Messenger App for Bots and Humans Raised $4.42M

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An year ago, we added Luka, an AI-powered messenger app to list of our portfolio startups. At that time Luka was helping people to find best restaurants and dishes nearby but now Luka has grown and has added many chat bots to it service to help people with anything they desire. To keep this growth pace steady, Luka has successfully raised $4.42M in Series A funding round.

Users can still ask restaurant-based questions, but Luka will also connect users with a bot for weather reports, news reports, bots to help you find images and gifs, bots that play adventure games, and trivia game bots.

What’s more interesting is that users don’t have to ask specifically for the bot they want, but simply explain their needs and desires to Luka, who will understand and make the right connection.

For example, the user could say “I’m bored” and Luka would pass the conversation off to a game-based bot so the user can play a game.

Cofounder and CEO Eugenia Kuyda said the company will eventually open up the platform to third-party developers, but for now the team wants to ensure that all the bots are of the highest quality.

The company is also announcing the close of a $4.42 million Series A led by Sherpa Capital, with participation from Y Combinator, Ludlow Ventures, and Justin Waldron.

Please read full story at TechCrunch.

Zillionize Invests in Boom – Affordable Supersonic Passenger Airplanes

Concorde, the most popular supersonic passenger jet took its last flight in October 24, 2003. No supersonic passenger jets have taken a flight since then. It was also very expensive to travel on supersonic jets. It looks like a dream to again see supersonic passenger flights up in the air. And even if this dream comes true, would it be ever possible to make supersonic flight affordable for most of the air passengers?

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Boom – Affordable Supersonic Passenger Airplanes

Meet Boom, latest portfolio startup of Zillionize, which is building the fastest passenger airplane ever. Yes, it’s even faster (1451 MPH) than Concorde (1431 MPH) and the best part is, with more speed, it’s still 30% more fuel efficient than Concorde. Because of Boom’s fuel efficiency, it would also lower costs bringing its fares to same as business class. With Boom, business class passengers would be able to save lots of time. For instance, travel from San Francisco to Tokyo will be reduced from 11 hours to 4.5. Boom will fly next year in 2017.