Lexion raises $4.2M to bring AI to contract management


This post is by Frederic Lardinois from TechCrunch


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Contract management isn’t exactly an exciting subject, but it’s a real pain point for many companies. It also lends itself to automation, thanks to recent advances in machine learning and natural language processing. It’s no surprise then, that we see renewed interest in this space and that investors are putting more money into it. Earlier this week, Icertis raised a $115 million Series E round, for example, at a valuation of more than $1 billion. Icertis has been in this business for ten years, though. On the other end of the spectrum, contract management startup Lexion today announced that it has raised a $4.2 million seed round led by Madrona Venture Group and law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, which was also one of the first users of the product.

Lexion was incubated at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2), one of the late Microsoft co-founders’

4 understanding autorenewal clause
5 extraction in action animation

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Azure revenue continues to slow down for Microsoft


This post is by Ron Miller from TechCrunch


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Microsoft reported in its FY19, Q4 earnings report today that Azure, the company’s infrastructure as a service (IaaS) offering, grew at 64 percent. It may feel like a large number, but was part of a downward trend Microsoft has been experiencing throughout the entire fiscal 2019 earnings cycle.

The growth rates for FY19 were, Q1: 76 percent, Q2: 76 percent, Q3: 73 percent and all the way down to 64 percent this quarter. They’re probably not panicking in the hallways in Redmond today over these numbers as that is still a healthy growth rate, and the law of large numbers suggests that the bigger you get, the slower your growth is going to be. Gaudy numbers tend to be for upstarts.

Microsoft is clearly not in that category, sitting strongly in the number 2 position in cloud infrastructure market, and as Synergy Research’s John Dinsdale pointed out, while that growth

CIS Q119

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How US national security agencies hold the internet hostage


This post is by Arman Tabatabai from TechCrunch


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Team Telecom, a shadowy US national security unit tasked with protecting America’s telecommunications systems, is delaying plans by Google, Facebook and other tech companies for the next generation of international fiber optic cables.

Team Telecom is comprised of representatives from the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and Justice (including the FBI), who assess foreign investments in American telecom infrastructure, with a focus on cybersecurity and surveillance vulnerabilities.

Team Telecom works at a notoriously sluggish pace, taking over seven years to decide that letting China Mobile operate in the US would “raise substantial and serious national security and law enforcement risks,” for instance. And while Team Telecom is working, applications are stalled at the FCC.

The on-going delays to submarine cable projects, which can cost nearly half a billion dollars each, come with significant financial impacts. They also cede advantage to connectivity projects that have not attracted Team Telecom’s attention –

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How US national security agencies hold the internet hostage


This post is by Arman Tabatabai from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Team Telecom, a shadowy US national security unit tasked with protecting America’s telecommunications systems, is delaying plans by Google, Facebook and other tech companies for the next generation of international fiber optic cables.

Team Telecom is comprised of representatives from the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and Justice (including the FBI), who assess foreign investments in American telecom infrastructure, with a focus on cybersecurity and surveillance vulnerabilities.

Team Telecom works at a notoriously sluggish pace, taking over seven years to decide that letting China Mobile operate in the US would “raise substantial and serious national security and law enforcement risks,” for instance. And while Team Telecom is working, applications are stalled at the FCC.

The on-going delays to submarine cable projects, which can cost nearly half a billion dollars each, come with significant financial impacts. They also cede advantage to connectivity projects that have not attracted Team Telecom’s attention –

Continue reading “How US national security agencies hold the internet hostage”

AT&T signs $2 billion cloud deal with Microsoft


This post is by Ron Miller from TechCrunch


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While AWS leads the cloud infrastructure market by wide margin, Microsoft isn’t doing too badly, ensconced firmly in second place, the only other company with double-digit share. Today, it announced a big deal with AT&T that encompasses both Azure cloud infrastructure services and Office 365.

A person with knowledge of the contract pegged the combined deal at a tidy $2 billion, a nice feather in Microsoft’s cloud cap. According to a Microsoft blog post announcing the deal, AT&T has a goal to move most of its non-networking workloads to the public cloud by 2024, and Microsoft just got itself a big slice of that pie, surely one that rivals AWS, Google and IBM (which closed the $34 billion Red Hat deal last week) would dearly have loved to get.

As you would expect, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke of the deal in lofty terms around transformation and innovation. “Together, we

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Contract management startup Icertis becomes unicorn with $115M new round


This post is by Manish Singh from TechCrunch


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Icertis, a Washington-headquartered startup that develops cloud-based software to help large companies manage contracts, has raised $115 million at more than a billion dollar valuation to become the latest SaaS unicorn as it looks to further expand its footprints across the globe.

The Series E round for the 10-year-old firm was led by Greycroft and PremjiInvest, and saw participation from existing investors B Capital Group, Cross Creek Advisors, Eight Roads, Ignition Partners, Meritech Capital Partners, and PSP Growth. The startup, which also has offices in Seattle, Pune, Singapore, London, Paris, Sydney, has raised $211 million to date.

Icertis said it would use the fresh capital to expand its technology platform to address wider use cases. It said it would also expand its blockchain framework that integrates with enterprise contract management platforms to solve challenges such as transparency in supply chain and certification compliance. Its revenue are at about $100

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Judge dismisses Oracle lawsuit over $10B Pentagon JEDI cloud contract


This post is by Ron Miller from TechCrunch


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Oracle has been complaining about the procurement process around the Pentagon’s $10 billion, decade-long JEDI cloud contract, even before the DoD opened requests for proposals last year. It went so far as to file a lawsuit in December, claiming a potential conflict of interest on the part of a procurement team member. Today, that case was dismissed in federal court.

In dismissing the case, Federal Claims Court Senior Judge Eric Bruggink ruled that the company had failed to prove a conflict in the procurement process, something the DOD’s own internal audits found in two separate investigations. Judge Bruggink ultimately agreed with the DoD’s findings.

“We conclude as well that the contracting officer’s findings that an organizational conflict of interest does not exist and that individual conflicts of interest did not impact the procurement, were not arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law. Plaintiff’s

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You can now register for the Minecraft Earth closed beta


This post is by Greg Kumparak from TechCrunch


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Take the real-world exploration of Pokémon GO and mash it up with the building elements of Minecraft, and you get Minecraft Earth.

While there’s no launch date for the game, Mojang has been saying for a while now that a closed Beta would go live sometime “this summer”. If you’re looking to get in there early, good news: they just opened up registration.

You can find the Beta registration page here.

Alas, since it’s a closed Beta, registering doesn’t guarantee you access — but in its FAQ about the Beta, the team notes that they’re planning to open it up to “hundreds of thousands of players” eventually, so your odds of getting in probably aren’t too bad. You’ll need to be over the age of 18, have a device running iOS 10/Android 7 or newer, and a Microsoft or Xbox Live account to get registered.

TechCrunch’s Devin Coldewey got

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Microsoft’s $399 Azure Kinect AI camera is now shipping in the U.S. and China


This post is by Frederic Lardinois from TechCrunch


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Earlier this year, at MWC, Microsoft announced the return of its Kinect sensor in the form of an AI developer kit. The $399 Azure Kinect DK camera system includes a 1MP depth camera, 360-degree microphone, 12MP RGB camera and an orientation sensor, all in a relatively small package. The kit has been available for pre-order for a few months now, but as the company announced today, it’s now generally available and shipping to pre-order customers in the U.S. and China.

Unlike the original Kinect, which launched as an Xbox gaming accessory that never quite caught on, the Azure Kinect is all business. It’s meant to give developers a platform to experiment with AI tools and plug into Azure’s ecosystem of machine learning services (though using Azure is not mandatory).

To help developers get started, the company already launched a number of SDKs, including a preview of a body-tracking

kinect developers

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Microsoft says Teams now has 13M daily active users


This post is by Frederic Lardinois from TechCrunch


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Teams, Microsoft’s two-year-old Slack competitor, is the company’s fastest-growing application in its history. That’s something Microsoft has said in the past, but for the first time, Microsoft today also announced actual user numbers for the service ahead of its Inspire partner conference next week. Teams now has 13 million active daily users, Microsoft said, and 19 million weekly active users. Microsoft also today said that Teams is now in use by 91 of the Fortune 100 companies.

The company isn’t afraid of putting those numbers up against Slack, which IPOed only a few weeks ago. Jared Spataro, Microsoft Corporate VP for Microsoft 365, doesn’t mention Slack by name in his blog post, but the company put together a little graphic that clearly shows why it is now willing to share these numbers.

The last official number from Slack is that it had 10 million daily active users in January.

2019 07 11 1047

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Microsoft’s Hypocrisy on DACA


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


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Microsoft’s president Brad Smith regularly tweets in support of the so-called Dreamers—the 800,000 people who were brought to America as children, and who cling to a precarious legal status. Microsoft sued the Trump administration over their cancellation of the DACA program in 2017, and Mr. Smith frequently calls on legislators to enshrine the program in law.

However, over the same period, Microsoft’s political action committee has given over $100,000 to members of Congress trying to dismantle DACA—including $10,000 in March to Mitch McConnell, the central figure preventing DACA legislation from getting a Senate vote.

Actions should always speak louder than words. Microsoft, like most corporations, often talks from both sides of its mouth. Maciej Cegłowski as always is doing a great service by exposing the hypocrisy, much better than those in mainstream media.

How to Get Windows 1.0 From 1985 Without the ‘Stranger Things’ Tie-Ins


This post is by David Murphy from Lifehacker


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Microsoft “re-released” Windows 1.0 this week as part of a partnership with that Stranger Things show I have yet to binge on Netflix. While it’s free for you to download and play with—on Windows, of course—it’s not really Windows 1.0, because it’s full of puzzles and all sorts of other promotional tie-ins that didn’t…

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A91 Partners, a new VC fund from former Sequoia Capital India execs, closes $351M maiden fund


This post is by Manish Singh from TechCrunch


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India’s growing number of startups now have one additional VC fund that will listen to their business ideas. A91 Partners, a new VC fund founded by former partners at Sequoia Capital India, has closed their maiden fund at $351 million.

A91 Partners will focus on high growth startups in consumer, technology, financial services, and healthcare sectors in India, Abhay Pandey, a partner at A91 told TechCrunch in an interview.

A91, whose maiden fund is one of the largest for any VC funds in India, will focus on early as well mid-stage startups that are looking to raise between $10 million and $30 million, Pandey said. Earlier this year, it invested about $14.2 million in Sugar, a cosmetics brand.

“In our experience, some companies get to this stage after having raised capital and some bootstrap their way into that position,” he added. Other than him, V.T. Bharadwaj, Gautam Mago,

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SAP’s CEO Bill McDermott will join us at TC Sessions: Enterprise


This post is by Frederic Lardinois from TechCrunch


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You can’t talk about enterprise software without talking about SAP, class=”crunchbase-tooltip-indicator”> the German software giant that now has a market cap of more than $172 billion, making it Europe’s most valuable tech company. To talk about his company and leadership in a rapidly changing environment for enterprise software, SAP CEO Bill McDermott will join us for a fireside chat at our TC Sessions: Enterprise event on September 5 in San Francisco.

McDermott joined the company as the CEO of SAP America in 2002. He then joined the executive board in 2008 and became co-CEO in 2010. Since becoming the first American to head the company in 2014, McDermott has continued to increase the company’s annual revenue and, maybe more importantly, expanded the company’s product range.

Chances are you know SAP mostly for its Hana in-memory database offering and CRM and enterprise resource management systems. Hana is important enough that all

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India’s Android antitrust case against Google may have some holes


This post is by Manish Singh from TechCrunch


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India ordered an investigation into Google’s alleged abuse of Android’s dominance in the country to hurt local rivals in April. A document made public by the local antitrust watchdog has now further revealed the nature of the allegations and identified the people who filed the complaint.

Umar Javeed, Sukarma Thapar, two associates at Competition Commission of India — and Aaqib Javeed, brother of Umar who interned at the watchdog last year, filed the complaint, the document revealed. The revelation puts an end to months-long interest from industry executives, many of whom wondered if a major corporation was behind it.

The allegations

The case, filed against Google’s global unit and Indian arm on April 16 this year, makes several allegations including the possibility that Google used Android’s dominant position in India to hurt local companies. The accusation is that Google requires handset and tablet vendors to pre-install its own applications or services if

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The startups creating the future of RegTech and financial services


This post is by Danny Crichton from TechCrunch


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Technology has been used to manage regulatory risk since the advent of the ledger book (or the Bloomberg terminal, depending on your reference point). However, the cost-consciousness internalized by banks during the 2008 financial crisis combined with more robust methods of analyzing large datasets has spurred innovation and increased efficiency by automating tasks that previously required manual reviews and other labor-intensive efforts.

So even if RegTech wasn’t born during the financial crisis, it was probably old enough to drive a car by 2008. The intervening 11 years have seen RegTech’s scope and influence grow.

RegTech startups targeting financial services, or FinServ for short, require very different growth strategies — even compared to other enterprise software companies. From a practical perspective, everything from the

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Superhuman removes email location logging, will turn read receipts off by default


This post is by Darrell Etherington from TechCrunch


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Superhuman, the buzzy and currently invite-only email startup that you might have come across even if you yourself don’t have access if you’ve ever encountered a “Sent via Superhuman” email signature, is making some changes based on community feedback. These include removing location logging altogether, getting rid of all existing location data, and turning read receipts off by default, and making them an opt-in feature for users.

The email app’s default email tracking behavior (embedding the commonly used advertising tool of a ‘pixel’ in emails to report back to senders info like whether an email’s been opened or not) raised a number of concerns, centered around this blog post by former Twitter design executive Mike Davidson. Davidson’s post generated a lot of community response, and now Superhuman founder Rahul Vohra has issued a response to that response, including a list of actions that his company is taking to address concerns.

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How to Get Android Notifications on Your Windows PC


This post is by Brendan Hesse from Lifehacker


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Jumping back and forth between your phone and your PC can be annoying. Some messaging apps have web clients, so you don’t have to open your device to carry on a conversation. But there’s an easier way to reply to messages, check notifications, and open your Android device’s screen without having to take your eyes off…

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