Flybits nabs $35M to build consumer recommendation engines for the financial sector


This post is by Ingrid Lunden from TechCrunch


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Financial service companies like banks have seen some of their business cannibalised over the years with the rise of digital-based alternatives — often in the form of apps — that provide lower fees, faster responsiveness, and more flexibility to consumers. Today, Toronto-based startup called Flybits is announcing $35 million in funding for a platform that it believes can offer these banks a way of continuing to capture their users’ attention, and to help them pivot into the next generation of services, financial or otherwise.

Today, a typical end product for a customer of Flybits’ services will use insights to upsell a customer by offering financial services, for example a bank providing an offer of a specific kind of loan or credit card that you are more likely to take; or to offer a loyalty program or rewards for usage. But the longer-term goal, said CEO and co-founder Hossein Rahnama, is

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No technical reason to exclude Huawei as 5G supplier, says UK committee


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A UK parliamentary committee has concluded there are no technical grounds for excluding Chinese network kit vendor Huawei from the country’s 5G networks.

In a letter from the chair of the Science & Technology Committee to the UK’s digital minister Jeremy Wright, the committee says: “We have found no evidence from our work to suggest that the complete exclusion of Huawei from the UK’s telecommunications networks would, from a technical point of view, constitute a proportionate response to the potential security threat posed by foreign suppliers.”

Though the committee does go on to recommend the government mandate the exclusion of Huawei from the core of 5G networks, noting that UK mobile network operators have “mostly” done so already — but on a voluntary basis.

If it places a formal requirement on operators not to use Huawei for core supply the committee urges the government to provide “clear criteria” for

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India’s NiYO ‘neo-bank’ raises $35 million to digitize payroll and employee benefits


This post is by Manish Singh from TechCrunch


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NiYo Solutions, a Bangalore-based ‘neo-bank’ that helps salaried employees access company benefits and other financial services, has raised $35 million in a new round to expand its business in the nation and explore international markets for some of its products.

The four-year-old startup, which serves small and medium businesses and other salaried employees across India, raised its Series B from Horizons Ventures, Tencent and existing investor JS Capital. It has raised $49.2 million to date, with its $13.2 million Series A closing in January last year.

NiYO Solutions serves as a ‘neo-bank’ that relies on traditional financial institutions (Yes Bank and DCB banks, in its case) and offers additional features such as lending and insurance to customers. Blue collared salaried employees in India continue to struggle to avail many crucial financial services that have been typically reserved for privileged segment by the banks. With Bharat Payroll Solution and

Continue reading “India’s NiYO ‘neo-bank’ raises $35 million to digitize payroll and employee benefits”

India’s NiYO ‘neo-bank’ raises $35 million to digitize payroll and employee benefits


This post is by Manish Singh from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




NiYo Solutions, a Bangalore-based ‘neo-bank’ that helps salaried employees access company benefits and other financial services, has raised $35 million in a new round to expand its business in the nation and explore international markets for some of its products.

The four-year-old startup, which serves small and medium businesses and other salaried employees across India, raised its Series B from Horizons Ventures, Tencent and existing investor JS Capital. It has raised $49.2 million to date, with its $13.2 million Series A closing in January last year.

NiYO Solutions serves as a ‘neo-bank’ that relies on traditional financial institutions (Yes Bank and DCB banks, in its case) and offers additional features such as lending and insurance to customers. Blue collared salaried employees in India continue to struggle to avail many crucial financial services that have been typically reserved for privileged segment by the banks. With Bharat Payroll Solution and

Continue reading “India’s NiYO ‘neo-bank’ raises $35 million to digitize payroll and employee benefits”

Alphabet’s Wing launches OpenSky, a safety app for Australian drone operators


This post is by Sarah Perez from TechCrunch


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Drone delivery service Project Wing (or just Wing as it’s now called) graduated from Google X last year to become an independent Alphabet business, and recently won governmental approval to operate in the suburbs outside Australia capital, Canberra. There, its service delivers food, coffee, pet supplies, and more to area residents. Related to these efforts, Wing this week launched a new app for drone flyers, OpenSky, to help them find safe places and times to fly their drones or drone fleets.

The app quietly launched on the iOS App Store and Google Play on Tuesday, and is targeted at both recreational drone owners as well as commercial drone operators.

As the Wing website explains, OpenSky wants to make it easier to find out when and where you can fly, whether you’re a “hobbyist who loves to fly” or a business that “uses unmanned aircraft to survey land or deliver goods.

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TransferWise’s new debit card for the US fires the starting gun on a new war for travelers


This post is by Mike Butcher from TechCrunch


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International money transfer service TransferWise, has made a significant incursion into the US market today, launching a MasterCard debit card alongside a multicurrency account. Mirroring the card it has already launched in the UK and Europe last year, the card will work in over 40 currencies without balance limits, and conversion fees will be competitive with current exchange rates. A similar card aimed at businesses will follow the consumer launch.

Co-founder Taavet Hinrikus told me that the card effectively makes the average person able to act like a millionaire when they are traveling. “Alternative ‘travel’ cards are four times more expensive for every dollar spent and are only available to the top 10% of people who pass credit checks and also pay hundreds of dollars per year,” he said.

He believes this card will democratize the whole market. That means it’s likely that US tourists in Europe or elsewhere

Continue reading “TransferWise’s new debit card for the US fires the starting gun on a new war for travelers”

TransferWise’s new debit card for the US fires the starting gun on a new war for travelers


This post is by Mike Butcher from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




International money transfer service TransferWise, has made a significant incursion into the US market today, launching a MasterCard debit card alongside a multicurrency account. Mirroring the card it has already launched in the UK and Europe last year, the card will work in over 40 currencies without balance limits, and conversion fees will be competitive with current exchange rates. A similar card aimed at businesses will follow the consumer launch.

Co-founder Taavet Hinrikus told me that the card effectively makes the average person able to act like a millionaire when they are traveling. “Alternative ‘travel’ cards are four times more expensive for every dollar spent and are only available to the top 10% of people who pass credit checks and also pay hundreds of dollars per year,” he said.

He believes this card will democratize the whole market. That means it’s likely that US tourists in Europe or elsewhere

Continue reading “TransferWise’s new debit card for the US fires the starting gun on a new war for travelers”

Atlassian’s co-CEO Scott Farquhar will join us at TC Sessions: Enterprise


This post is by Frederic Lardinois from TechCrunch


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Few companies have changed the way developers work as profoundly as Atlassian. Its tools like Jira and Confluence are ubiquitous and over the course of the last few years, the company has started to adapt many of them for wider enterprise usage outside of developer teams.

To talk about Atlassian’s story from being a small shop in Australia to a successful IPO — and its plans for the future — the company’s co-founder and co-CEO Scott Farquhar will join us at our inaugural TechCrunch Sessions: Enterprise event on September 5 in San Francisco.

Farquhar co-founded Atlassian, together with Mike Cannon-Brookes, in 2001. It wasn’t until 2010, though, that the company raised its first major venture round ($60 million from Accel Partners). Even by that point, though, the company already had thousands of customers and a growing staff in Sydney and San Francisco.

Today, more than 150,000 companies use Atlassian’s tools.

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Revolut launches in Australia as a beta release


This post is by Romain Dillet from TechCrunch


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Fintech startup Revolut is expanding beyond Europe for the first time. The service is going live for some users in Australia starting today.

Revolut isn’t opening its doors to all customers at once. The company calls this a beta release and plans to gradually on-board new users every day. There are currently 20,000 people on the waitlist in Australia.

You also don’t get the full Revolut experience for now. Cryptocurrency exchange, metal cards and business accounts aren’t available just yet. But you can open an account, get a card, send and receive money — all the basic stuff.

A new country also means a new group of users with a different currency. Families living on different continents could switch to Revolut to send money back and forth between Australia and the U.K., or Australia and Europe.

Sending money from one Revolut account to another is instant and free.

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China’s Didi kicks off expansion in Latin America with moves into Chile and Colombia


This post is by Jon Russell from TechCrunch


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The wheels are turning on Didi Chuxing’s first major expansion in Latin America after the Chinese ride-hailing firm announced moves into Chile and Colombia to double its presence in the region.

Didi said it rolled into Valparaiso, Chile’s third largest metropolis, and Colombian capital city Bogota this week. The company plans to expand beyond those cities over time, and, in terms of services, it said that it will add dedicated licensed taxis in Colombia this year.

Anchored in China, where it is the country’s dominant ride-hailing service, Didi began to place focus on international expansion last year and Latin America is a key part of its global ambitions.

In the region, Didi currently operates in Brazil — where it acquired local player 99 for $1 billion — and Mexico, but recent reports have linked it with more countries in Latin America. In February, Reuters reported that the company was

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Tinder adds sexual orientation and gender identity to its profiles


This post is by Jonathan Shieber from TechCrunch


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Tinder is adding information about sexual orientation and gender identity to its profiles.

The company worked with the LGBTQ advocacy organization GLAAD on changes to its dating app to make it more inclusive.

Users who want to edit or add more information about their sexual orientation can now simply edit their profile. When a Tinder user taps on the “orientation” selection they can choose up to three terms that describe their sexual orientation. Those descriptions can either be private or public, but will likely be used to inform matches on the app.

Tinder has also updated the onboarding experience for new users so that they can include their sexual orientation as soon as they sign up for the dating app.

Tinder is also giving users more control over how they order matches. In the “Discovery Preferences” field Tinderers can choose to see people of the same orientation first.

The company

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Google’s Indigo subsea cable is now online


This post is by Frederic Lardinois from TechCrunch


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Google and its partners today announced that the 5,600-miles-long INDIGO subsea cable, which connects Sydney and Perth with Jakarta and Singapore, is now ready for service. To build the cable, which will significantly strengthen the connectivity between Australia and Southeast Asia, Google partnered with AARnet, Indosat, Singtel, SubPartners and Telstra.

The cable, which features about 110 repeaters, will have a total design capacity of 36 terabits per second with the option to expand in the future. Google says that’s more than enough to handle a few million simultaneous Hangout (or Meet) video chats between Singapore and Sydney.

The cable was first announced in 2016, when it was still called APX-West and didn’t include the extension to Sydney, which is now called Indigo Central. Google joined the efforts in early 2017 and construction started in 2018.

Indigo is a good example of Google’s expanding network of submarine cables. Typically, the company

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Flipboard hacks prompt password resets for millions of users


This post is by Zack Whittaker from TechCrunch


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Social sharing site and news aggregator Flipboard has reset millions of user passwords after hackers gained access to its systems several times over a nine-month period

The company confirmed in a notice Tuesday that the hacks took place between June 2, 2018 and March 23, 2019 and a second time on April 21-22, 2019, but the intrusions were only detected a day later on April 23.

Hackers stole usernames, email addresses, passwords and account tokens for third-party services. According to the notice, “not all” Flipboard users’ account data were involved in the breaches but the company declined to say how many users were affected.

Flipboard has about 150 million monthly users.

“We’re still identifying the accounts involved and as a precaution, we reset all users’ passwords and replaced or deleted all digital tokens,” the notice read.

Although the passwords were unreadable, Flipboard said passwords prior to March 14, 2012 were

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Australia’s design unicorn, Canva, picks up two free image-sharing services, and launches new photo product


This post is by Jonathan Shieber from TechCrunch


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Canva, the design and publishing platform taking on Adobe, PowerPoint, and others, has acquired the free stock image providers Pexels and Pixabay and launched a new subscription service for its premium image marketplace, Photos Unlimited.

Taken together, the new strategic moves represent a concerted effort by the company to add more graphic options to its design toolkit.

“With over 1 million images downloaded over 500 million times on their platforms combined, both Pexels and Pixabay have proven that there is a huge demand for free, quality content from small businesses, social media marketers and others — not just from designers and companies with big budgets,” said Canva chief executive Melanie Perkins, in a statement.

Perkins declined to disclose how much Canva spent on the two stock image services.

As a result of the acquisition, Canva users will have access to Pexels and Pixabay’s images through the Canva platform free

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Amazon leads $575M investment in Deliveroo


This post is by Jon Russell from TechCrunch


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Amazon is taking a slice of Europe’s food delivery market after the U.S. e-commerce giant led a $575 million investment in Deliveroo .

First reported by Sky yesterday, the Series G round was confirmed in an early UK morning announcement from Deliveroo, which confirmed that existing backers including T. Rowe Price, Fidelity Management and Research Company, and Greenoaks also took part. The deal takes Deliveroo to just over $1.5 billion raised to date. The company was valued at over $2 billion following its previous raise in late 2017, no updated valuation was provided today.

London-based Deliveroo operates in 14 countries, including the U.K, France, Germany and Spain, and — outside of Europe — Singapore, Taiwan, Australia and the UAE. Across those markets, it claims it works with 80,000 restaurants with a fleet of 60,000 delivery people and 2,500 permanent employees.

It isn’t immediately clear how Amazon

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Uber is facing Australian class action suit alleging ‘unlawful conduct’


This post is by Natasha Lomas from TechCrunch


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As it gears up to go public Uber is facing legacy baggage down under: A class action lawsuit has been filed in Australia on behalf of around 6,000 taxi and hire car drivers and license owners, Reuters reported Friday.

The suit was filed Friday at the Victoria Supreme Court by personal injury and compensation law firm, Maurice Blackburn. It’s seeking compensation on behalf of thousands of taxi and hire car drivers and operators who believe they lost income or saw a fall in the value of their licence as a result of what it dubs “Uber’s unlawful conduct”.

The firm is still registering additional participants online — specifically those who were licensed to operate in four states, Victoria, Western Australian, New South Wales and Queensland, between a selection of dates spanning 2014 to 2017.

The argument behind the case is that Uber started operating illegally in the four states

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Spotify’s leanback instant listening app Stations hits iOS


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Spotify has launched its instant listening app Stations on iOS, but only in Australia for the time being. The release comes nearly a year and a half after the Stations app first arrived on the market, initially for Android users in Australia. Dubbed an “experiment,” the app allows users to jump right into streaming instead of having to curate their own playlists or stations, or save favorite music to their library.

Unlike Spotify’s flagship application, the Stations app presents users with a minimalist interface where available playlists are displayed with an oversized font. You can scroll up and down between the playlists to select one, instead of typing in a search box or searching through voice commands.

When launching Stations, music begins playing automatically — a feature that had some calling it a “Pandora copycat” at the time of launch, given that instant music playback is something that Spotify’s

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FutureLearn takes $65M from Seek Group for 50% stake in UK online degree platform


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Edtech and recruitment continue to converge. London-based online degree platform, FutureLearn, is taking £50 million (~$64.6M) from Australian-based online job matching group, Seek, in exchange for a 50 per cent stake in the business — just days after the same group led a massive Series E in U.S. online learning giant Coursera.

U.K. distance learning veteran, the Open University — which had wholly owned the FutureLearn platform up til now — retains a 50 per cent stake in the business following the Seek Group investment.

In a press release announcing the news, FutureLearn said the investment values it at £100M ($129M) — some six years after the initiative was first announced, with the OU bringing together a consortium of U.K. universities to attack the MOOCs/online learning space which was then being rapidly expanded by U.S. edtech startups. 

“Our partnership with Seek

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The Google Assistant can now tell you a story on your phone


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For the last year or so, you could ask the Google Assistant on your Google Home device to read your kids a story. Today, just in time for National Tell a Story Day, Google is bringing this feature to Android and iOS phones, too. It’ll be available in English in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and India.

When you asked the Assistant on your phone to tell you a story before, you’d get a short inspirational quote or maybe a bad joke. Having two different experiences for the same command never really made much sense, so it’s good to see Google consolidate this.

The available stories range from tales about Blaze and the Monster Machines to more classic bedtime stories like ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and ‘Little Red Riding Hood.’

That’s in addition to other story features like ‘read along,’ which automatically plays sound effects as

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Internet connectivity projects unite as Alphabet spinout Loon grabs $125M from SoftBank’s HAPSMobile


This post is by Jon Russell from TechCrunch


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Two futuristic projects are coming together to help increase global internet access after Loon, the Google spinout that uses a collection of floating balloons to bring connectivity to remote areas, announced it has raised money from a SoftBank initiative.

HAPSMobile, a SoftBank project that is also focused on increasing global connectivity, is investing $125 million into Loon, according to an announcement from SoftBank made this morning. The agreement includes an option for Loon to make a reciprocal $125 million investment in HAPSMobile and it includes co-operation plans, details of which are below.

HAPSMobile is a one-year-old joint venture between SoftBank and U.S. company AeroVironment . The company has developed a solar-powered drone that’s designed to deliver 5G connectivity in the same way Facebook has tried in the past. The social network canceled its Aquila drone last year, although it is reported to have teamed up with Airbus for new trials

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