Welcome to Finance Insider, Business Insider’s summary of the top stories of the past 24 hours. Sign up here to get the best of Business Insider delivered direct to your inbox.
Amazon’s playbook for upending healthcare just got a lot clearer
After more than a year of speculation, Amazon just gave a clear indication that it’s interested in getting into the pharmacy business.
On Thursday, it acquired PillPack, a small startup that mails prescriptions to people that take multiple medications. The news sent a whole host of pharmacy and drug wholesaler stocks tumbling.
For Amazon, that clears up a couple of hurdles that had previously hindered its ability to get into the pharmacy market. PillPack’s physical pharmacy is located in Manchester, New Hampshire, and the startup can ship medication anywhere in the US with the exceptions of Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Amazon had applied for some wholesale pharmacy licenses in the past but those ambitions hit a snag in December 2017 when its Maine licence had been canceled.
Venture capitalists are still trying to figure out their crypto strategy
Andreessen Horowitz launched a $US300 million specialist crypto fund this week, five years after first investing in the space through Coinbase. The venture-capital firm’s long interest in crypto and sizable new fund make it a trailblazer – most VCs have largely ignored cryptocurrencies and are now struggling to play catch-up.
“If you look back a year ago at where we were, it really wasn’t” on many venture capitalists’ radars, Michael Jackson, a partner at the venture-capital firm Mangrove, told Business Insider.
Now the industry is reconsidering its position after an explosion of activity toward the end of 2017. Bitcoin rose over 1,000% against the dollar in 2017, with other cryptocurrencies recording similarly eye-catching returns. The market has more than halved since the start of 2018, but there is a sense that the technology is not going away.
Some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley have been checking out a hot VR startup
Sandbox VR, a Hong Kong-based virtual reality startup that licenses its technology to IMAX movie theatres, is raising a significant new round of funding, Business Insider has learned.
Andreessen Horowitz is in talks to invest in the round, according to two sources familiar with the matter. One of the firm’s general partners, Andrew Chen, may be spearheading the investment, according to one person familiar with the talks.
Real-life robot marks BlackRock’s latest foray into automation
Count this as another sign that automation is sweeping BlackRock, the largest money manager in the world.
For six months, a robot was meandering the New York City headquarters of the $US6 trillion dollar asset manager, which notably made a big bet last year to rely more on algorithms over humans to make decisions on what stocks to buy and sell.
The robot bot, dubbed BLK Bot, doesn’t appear to be much interested in finance. It’s made by Knightscope, a company which makes crime-fighting robots that are used to patrol parking lots, sports arenas, and tech company campuses.
In markets news
- Even the world’s most successful investment firms pay Rob Arnott for advice – here’s where he says you should be putting your money
NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.