The team behind mileage-tracking app MileIQ, a company Microsoft acquired a few years ago, is out with a new application. This time, the focus isn’t on tracking miles, but rather expenses. The new app, simply called “Spend,” arrived on the App Store on Thursday, offering automatic expense tracking for work reimbursement purposes or for taxes.Spend doesn’t appear to be a part of some grand Microsoft plan to take on expense tracking industry giants, like Expensify or SAP-owned Concur, for example. At least, not at this time. Instead, the app is a Microsoft Garage project, the App Store clarifies. Microsoft Garage is the company’s internal incubator when employees can test out new ideas to see if they resonate with consumers and business users. Through the program, a number of interesting projects have gotten their start over the years, like the Cortana-based dictation tool, Dictate; mobile
PayPal this week announced an expanded relationship with American Express that will allow cardholders to use their Membership Rewards points when shopping from PayPal merchants, as well as more integrated experience within both PayPal and the Amex apps, among other things.The deal is similar to those PayPal earlier struck with Visa and MasterCard., and follows a series of partnerships it has made across the industry, including others with Apple, Google, Samsung, and, most recently, Walmart, designed to increase its PayPal’s visibility and adoption. In addition to using points for purchases at PayPal’s millions of online merchants, the new partnership will also allow Amex mobile app users to send money through PayPal or Venmo directly in the app. And they’ll be able to add their American Express cards to their PayPal wallet directly from the app, too. On PayPal’s side, users will be able to
You might think that Anaplan CEO, Frank Calderoni would have had a few sleepless nights this week. His company picked a bad week to go public as market instability rocked tech stocks. Still he wasn’t worried, and today the company had by any measure a successful debut with the stock soaring up over 42 percent. As of 4 pm ET, it hit $24.18, up from the IPO price of $17. Not a bad way to launch your company.“I feel good because it really shows the quality of the company, the business model that we have and how we’ve been able to build a growing successful business, and I think it provides us with a tremendous amount of opportunity going forward,” Calderoni told TechCrunch. Calderoni joined the company a couple of years ago, and seemed to emerge from Silicon Valley central casting as former CFO
SpankChain, a cryptocurrency aimed at decentralized sex cams, has announced that a hacker stole about $38,000 from their payment channel thanks to a broken smart contract. They wrote:
At 6pm PST Saturday, an unknown attacker drained 165.38 ETH (~$38,000) from our payment channel smart contract which also resulted in $4,000 worth of BOOTY on the contract becoming immobilized. Of the stolen/immobilized ETH/BOOTY, 34.99 ETH (~$8,000) and 1271.88 BOOTY belongs to users (~$9,300 total), and the rest belonged to SpankChain. Our immediate priority has been to provide complete reimbursements to all users who lost funds. We are preparing an ETH airdrop to cover all $9,300 worth of ETH and BOOTY that belonged to users. Funds will be sent directly to users’ SpankPay accounts, and will be available as soon as we reboot Spank.Live.The hacker used a ‘reentrancy’ bug in which the user calls the same
Walmart and PayPal this morning announced a partnership that will see the two collaborating on financial services and products, including new PayPal cash in and cash out services at Walmart stores, as well as the ability for PayPal Cash MasterCard customers to access their cash balance in-store at service desks, ATMs and cash registers.The PayPal cash in and cash out money services will cost customers a $3 service fee, the companies say, as will the ability to pull cash out from MasterCard while in store. The companies declined to say how that fee is being shared. Customers are also able to load cash into their PayPal balance while at Walmart, but this is not a new service as of today, we’re told. The deal marks the first time that PayPal mobile app users will be able to take cash out from their PayPal balance while in a brick-and-mortar environment,
Zuora, the SaaS company helping organizations manage payments for subscription businesses, announced today that it had been selected as a Premier Partner in the Amazon Pay Global Partner Program.
The “Premier Partner” distinction means businesses using Zuora’s billing platform can now easily integrate Amazon’s digital payment system as an option during checkout or recurring payment processes.
The strategic rationale for Zuora is clear, as the partnership expands the company’s product offering to prospective and existing customers. The ability to support a wide array of payment methodologies is a key value proposition for subscription businesses that enables them to service a larger customer base and provide a more seamless customer experience.
It also doesn’t hurt to have a deep-pocketed ally like Amazon in a fairly early-stage industry. With omnipotent tech titans waging war over digital payment dominance, Amazon has reportedly doubled down on efforts to spread Amazon
Now that “utility” tokens have become a popular and international way to fund major blockchain projects, a pair of investors are creating a new way to turn tokens into true equities. The investors, Jonathan Nelson and Laura Nelson, have created Hack Fund, an early stage investment vehicle that allows startups to launch what amounts to “blockchain stock certificates,” according to Jonathan.“Our previous business model exchanged equity from startup companies for services, and wrapped that equity into funds that we then sold to investors. These fund investors have included family offices, institutions, and high net worth individuals,” said Jonathan. “However, Hack Fund represents a new business model. Because Hack Fund leverages the blockchain, investors all over the world at all levels can participate in startup investing by trading blockchain stock certificates. Also, its SEC compliant structure means that it is also available to a limited number of accredited investors
As zero-commission stock trading app Robinhood starts preparing to IPO, an engineering investment two years in the making could accelerate its quest for profitability. Most stock broker services have to pay an external clearing house to reconcile trades between buyers and sellers. Now with 6 million accounts, that added up to a huge cost for Robinhood since it doesn’t demand a trading fee like the $7 to $10 that incumbent competitors E*Trade and Scottrade charge. Relying on outside clearing also introduced bottlenecks around its innovation and user sign ups, limiting onboarding to business hours.
But today Robinhood will start migrating accounts to its new in-house clearing service over the next few months. That will save it from paying clearing fees on stock, option, ETF, and cryptocurrency trades. In turn, Robinhood is eliminating or reducing some of its edge case fees. $10 broker assisted trades, $10 restricted accounts, $50 voluntary
So many new unicorns valued at $1 billion-plus, countless $100 million venture financings, an explosion of giant funds — it’s no surprise 2018 is shaping up to be a banner year for venture capital investment in U.S.-based companies.There are more than 2.5 months remaining in 2018 and already U.S. companies have raised $84.1 billion — more than all of 2017 — across 6,583 VC deals as of Sept. 30, 2018, according to data from PitchBook’s 3Q Venture Monitor. Last year, companies raised $82 billion across more than 9,000 deals in what was similarly an impressive year for the industry. Many questioned whether the trend would — or could — continue this year, and oh, boy has it. VC investment has sprinted past decade-highs and shows no signs of slowing down. Why the uptick? Fewer companies are raising money, but round sizes are swelling. Unicorns,
According to a new study conducted by the Center for American Entrepreneurship and NYU’s Shack Institute of Real Estate, the US may be losing its competitive advantage as the dominant nucleus of the startup and venture capital universe.
The analysis, led by senior Brookings Institute fellow Ian Hathaway and “Rise of the Creative Class” author Richard Florida, examines the flow of venture capital over 100,000 deals from 2005 to 2017 and details how the historically US-centric practice of venture capital has become a global phenomenon.
While the US still appears to produce the largest amount of venture activity in the world, America’s share of the global pie is falling dramatically and doing so quickly.
In the mid-90s, the US accounted for more than 95% of global venture capital investment. By 2012, this number had fallen to 70%. At the end of
If mobile money was the first phase in the development of digital finance in Africa, the next phase of digital financial services on the continent will focus on lending, insurance and wealth management
In “Beyond Payments: The Next Generation of Fintech Startups in Sub-Saharan Africa,” the venture capital firm Village Global, and their reporting partner, PayPal, tip their hat to M-Pesa and mobile money in Africa, but say that there’s a wave of innovation still to come.
The investment firm identified f 12 companies it determined were “building solutions in fintech subsectors outside of payments.”
In partnership with PayPal, Village Capital