Amazon purchases PillPack for $1B, Lyft leverages $600M, IBM aids AI with 1M faces: Friday Deal Book for 06/29/2018

OWI’s Friday Deal Book provides you with a weekly roundup of partnerships, funding, and product announcements from across the identity industry. This week, Amazon spends nearly $1 billion on online pharmacy PillPack, Lyft raises $600 million in funding, IBM looks to improve diversity in AI facial analytics, CashShield gets $20 million to fight fraud, and much more.

Amazon steps further into healthcare with PillPack

The purchase was said to be “just under $1 billion,” and see Amazon swoop in to take PillPack before retailer Walmart could close a deal. PillPack was valued at $361 million after a funding round in 2016. PillPack is an online pharmacy that allows users to buy medication by the dose, delivered to their door. The individualized orders come with daily vitamins, medicine and supplements sorted by day and time in individual bags. Following news of the deal, rival pharmacies including Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid saw their shares tumble. [Read more]

Lyft secures $600 million in latest investment round

The round was led by Fidelity Management & Research Company, joined by Senator Investment Group LP. The financing round brings Lyft’s post-money valuation to $15.1 billion. The ride sharing service said it plans to use the money to “double down” on its values, including “the vision that cities should be built around people, not cars.” Earlier this year, the company also made an environmental commitment to make all rides carbon neutral. [Read more]

IBM will release over 1 million images to fight bias in facial recognition

The goal is to improve understanding of biases in technology built by IBM and elsewhere. The current largest facial attribute dataset is just 200,000 images, making IBM’s release by far the largest of its kind. Studies have shown that current facial recognition technology carries gender and ethnic biases, particularly against nonwhites. Because it is predominantly programmed and tested by white men, current facial recognition technologies are best at identifying white males, tests have found. In addition to the release of 1 million images, IBM will also issue an annotation dataset for up to 36,000 images equally distributed across skin tones, genders and ages. [Read more]

CashShield raises $20 million

The funding round was led by Temasek and GGV Capital, with support from previous investors including Tony Fadell, Wavemaker Partners, and Tao Zhang. To date, CashShield has raised $25.5 million total. CashShield’s technology uses artificial intelligence to fight payment fraud and detect when a customer’s account may have been compromised. The company also specializes in customer accounts in large enterprises across a range of industries, constantly monitoring for unusual or suspicious activity. [Read more]

Ipsidy, Skypatrol partner on location & biometric identity payment solution

The partnership will see Skypatrol’s GPS tracking and fleet management software tools be used in conjunction with Ipsidy’s Transact digital assurance platform and mobile biometrics. Together, they will deliver integrated cost-control and expense management to trucking fleet operators and logistics companies throughout Latin America. Using the Ipsidy Mobile Wallet, drivers will be able to make purchases of fuel or other services at participating gas stations and other merchants. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. [Read more]

Kantara Initiative absorbs Identity Ecosystem Steering Group

IDESG was a voluntary public-private partnership dedicated to developing an Identity Ecosystem Framework for a superior digital identity. After receiving a series of NIST grants, funding dried up this year. Now, Kantara will take on the work artifacts, current efforts, committees and memberships of the IDESG. [Read more]

AT&T buys AppNexus, potentially affecting Advertising ID Consortium

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it is believed AT&T paid more than $2 billion, as a 2015 funding round valued the world’s largest independent digital advertising marketplace at $1.8 billion. AppNexus and the Advertising ID Consortium have pushed an open identity framework that would enable people-based marketing, allowing advertisers to compete more directly with the likes of Facebook and Google. The ad tech consortium aims to pool tracking cookie IDs into one shared identity asset, which would be a transparent and neutral unique identifier. AT&T has not yet said whether it plans to continue participation in the consortium. [Read more]