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Showing posts from April, 2018

Elastic Acquires Endgame For $234 Million

Elastic -- a publicly traded company that builds custom search solutions for enterprises -- has announced it's acquiring cyber-security startup Endgame in an all-stock deal worth $234 million. The acquisition is subject to customary adjustments. Endgame has raised $111 million in total funding according to Crunchbase data. The $234 million acquisition price is a near 50% discount to a previous $465 million valuation (Pitchbook data).

Endgame's backers include Kleiner Perkins, Bessemer Venture Partners, Columbia Capital, Edgemore Capital, Savano Capital Partners and Paladin Capital Group. The Arlington, Virgina-based security startup's customers include the U.S. military and some Fortune 500 companies.


Elastic says the addition of Endgame will further advance its ability to offer a comprehensive security solution that's integrated with its own security information and event management (SIEM) products. "....By joining forces with Elastic, we will be able to take ou…

Xiaomi prepares for $10 Billion IPO

image credit: Xiaomi

Let's brace up! Another public offering is on the way, Xiaomi, The popular Chinese electronics brand led by Kingsoft co-founder and chairman Lei Jun is going public, Guess what? They're raising a whooping $10 Billion on the Hong Kong IPO market.

Xiaomi as a company has very awesome and innovative perks which include the company's recent promise to distribute cash back to its customer (Yes they said that) if the profit gets too high.

The company said it'll forever limit its profit margins after tax on smartphones, Home devices and other hardware to just 5%.

This upcoming IPO will be the current biggest of this year with marketers saying the company is very expectant of a valuation of well above $100 Billion, Ahead of the public offering two of its eight co-founders recently resigned from the company which comes during the company's re-structuring in preparation for its IPO.

Xiaomi's IPO will be the biggest since Alibaba's $25 Billion IPO…

Walmart may join hands with Alphabet to purchase huge Flipkart stake

As of recent, The news that Walmart is preparing to buy a 51% stake in Flipkart has been everywhere but right now, Information has been released that Walmart may get Alphabet to join in its bid in addition to four board seats in the company if the deal goes through.

This comes as the company wants to compete fiercely with major e-commerce competitor Amazon through every way possible, Targeting India which is a very good market for huge growth is  very unique and good strategy for the company.

Walmart has reportedly offered to buy up a huge (85 - 86)% of Flipkart through a combination of different investments which will involve current shareholders including Tencent, Softbank, Naspers, ebay inc, US based hedge fund Tiger Global Management and other shareholders partly or fully sell its stakes at choice.

Walmart is also reportedly negotiating with Flipkart founders, Binny and Sachin Bansal for the entire purchase of their stakes in the company.

This acquisition will be the biggest in t…

God of War sells high!

According to analysts GFK Chart-Track, Far Cry 5 released just a month ago which is the current best selling game of the year has been pushed to no 2 in the UK by the recently released "God of War" when beaing measured by physical game sales only.

Also coming to the top 5 include Fifa 18, Mario Kart Deluxe and the awesome console 'The Nintendo Labo Variety Kit' which comes in at number 3 best selling entertainment item on the list.

It's very amazing that  God of War retains its first position despite it only being released for the PS4 currently.



The gaming industry is a very competitive one so we can always watch and use the above linked analysis to monitor the battle for sales between video games and its consoles.


The top ten from the list include;


God of WarFar Cry 5Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 01: Variety KitFIFA 18Mario Kart 8 DeluxeFallout 4Call of Duty WW2Super Mario OdysseyPlayerUnknown's BattlegroundsGrand Theft Auto V





Watch Dogs 3 might be on the way!

Well, If you're a Watch Dogs fan, You better be very happy, Your fellow fans have been trailing a series of clues and guess where it headed to? The fact that Watch Dogs 3 might be dropping very soon! Where did the information come from? well blame an April fool's joke, a deleted tweet and an AI bot who talks too much.

Watch Dogs publisher Ubisoft's recent April fool's joke allowed its users to hack into an admin part of its website, yeah you get that....We're always hacking in Watch Dogs....Users were able to access some pieces of information and Easter eggs on its site...then came a tweet by the company saying "This is Everything" in reference to Watch Dogs' popular phrase "Everything is Connected" The tweet was immediately deleted....Then came its AI bot Sam which when asked about the Wath Dogs sequel, responds saying ""Watch Dogs 3 is not finished yet, but from the last early build I tried it's very solid. The Dev team work…

The Zozosuit will now be doled out to consumers!

Start Today Co.

In what we term as wonderful innovation in fashion, Japanese founder/tech billionaire Yusaku  Maezawa has made it known that Start Today Co. The company he runs which operates popular fashion site Zozotown will begin doling out its Zozosuit, A piece of tight clothing which will measure every proprtion of the buyer's body and don out his/her exact size of choice and clothing, Zozosuit is advertised on its official website using the catchphrase 'Welcome to a Size Free World'.




Clothes of the perfect fit will now be delivered to customers which will bring with it a wonderful shopping experience and a swath of consumer recommendations, The Zozosuit contains over 150 integrated sensors which in turn captures 15,000 accurate body measurements to enable delivery of clothing of the perfect size.

Pre-orders for the Zozosuit was launched last year with the company now fulfilling its promise of delivering the body measurement suit to its buyers.





Infinity War makes history!

Courtesy : Marvel

Recently released blockbuster Avengers : Infinity War has broken box office records with the movie grossing a huge $630 million global gross in its debut weekend, This is highest weekend gross recorded of any movie in history.

Statistics also shows that the movie raked in a huge $250 million in North  America alone, It's calculated international weekend take of $380 million beats that of  The Fate of the Furious, Star Wars and other very notable movies.

The movie which carried a production budget of about $300 - $400 million was directed by the notable Russo brothers (Joe and Anthony Russo), The same Russo brothers were also the top directors two years ago by box office gross with their' Captain America : Civil War scoring $1.15 billion in total at the global box office.

Marvel has surely been winning as of recently with its recent Black Panther movie having grossed $1.3 Billion worldwide in addition to its new' Infinity War.

Marvel, which is in turn owne…

The Red Magic sells out within 37 seconds!

Courtesy : Red Magic

ZTE subsidiary Nubia recently held a huge flash sale on Jingdong Mall (JD.com), Part of this sale involved the Red Magic gaming phone, The new phone was part of three devices selected for the flash sale and guess what? The entire inventory consisting of 10,000 phones sold put within 37 seconds!

The smartphone was previously put up on Indiegogo (more of a publicity stunt than actual need for funding) so users couldn't just wait to get their hands on it causing the entire inventory to sell out so fast......we mean so fast the sale ended as soon as it started.

The smartphone starts with a price of about $500 with another flash sale coming 2 days from now, Nubia is likely going to make available a whole lot of the gaming phones! given its extremely swift sale.

We have witnessed a recent comeback of awesome gaming smartphones as of recent starting with the Razer Phone and the Black Shark which comes from a startup backed by tech giant Xiaomi.

You should now get rea…

ServiceNow Founder Fred Luddy Is Now a Billionaire!

Image credit : WBIW

It seems Forbes is so good at predicting their future well.......Billionaires....It did that for ServiceNow founder Fred Luddy way back in 2012 and guess what? He is now a billionaire! This is according to a recent report from Bloomberg, Fred currently has a stake of $240 millio in the firm and has in total sold shares worth $900 million plus which brings his net worth to a whooping $1.1 Billion.

Since ServiceNow went public, Iit's market capitalization has grown to 8 times its debut value with the company now being valued at $29 Billion.

The company which had revenues north of $200 million in 2012 has grown to $1.93 Billion in revenue for 2017.

It looks very nice with extreme innovation and wealth popping up so fast from the technology sector, We should now sit up and achieve more of awesome things like this.




Report: Apple is working on an Insane VR headset

Apple

A recent report has suggested that Apple is not just working on the development of its own AR glasses, The company currently has set its sights on the release of a very powerful VR headset in two years time.

This new move will push the company further into competition with its peers of  Facebook, Google and Microsoft.

The project code-named T288 involves the production of a super VR headset with 8K display for each eye with a wireless connection for its stand-alone box which will be powered by a processor coming from Apple which would be the main brain behind the VR sysem.

Apple didn't comment on this report but let's hope the company will deliver the best headset for its customers.




The Essential is now available in much more countries!

Essential 

Essential, The Smartphone company lead by Android creator Andy Rubin has opened up its online store to more countries which include Canada, France, Japan, The UK and Germany, The Essential could actually be purchased in other countries through services like Amazon but as of now, Tthe company now officially sells it through its own online store.

Essential announced this move via Twitter yesterday;

Starting today, we’re opening the https://t.co/5XqZeQu9cW store to orders from more countries, including Canada, France, Japan and UK. Special terms and conditions apply to these orders, so please read the information carefully: https://t.co/uZK8sLvUA5pic.twitter.com/QXEWf8OEnE — Essential (@essential) April 27, 2018
The phones will sell at its price of $499 with customers paying in their local exchange rates.

This latest step makes the Essential PH-1 which currently is distributed in the US through Amazon, Best Buy and Sprint much more available to consumers with Essential obviously…

Nintendo is giving us a new game

Image credit: Nintendo/RPG site

It has been recently announced that Nintendo will now collaborate with Cygames on a mobile Role-Playing Game called 'Dragalia Lost'.

This new release is coming this summer to Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau after which follows various regions in North America and Europe.

Nintendo is purchasing a 5% stake in Cygames as part of the collaboration, Cygames is well known for its extremely popular game 'Granblue Fantasy' which has grossed over 10 million downloads in Japan.



This new game comes as Nintendo announced over 500% year-on-year increase in profit.

Nintendo will surely impress players with this new mobile RPG whilst we wait for the release.








Snapchat outs a new version of its Spectacles

Snapchat has released a new version of its Spectacles, This is the second attempt at its smart glasses after its first attempt didn't really come off as a spectacular success even after selling 220,000 units.

The new version of its Spectacles will be more comfortable to wear and comes with more features.

The new smart glasses will be available through Snapchat's own Spectacles.com instead of its previous vending machines and other online retailers, This comes in as a method of solving inventory problems the company encountered in the process of getting its first version into the hands of consumers.

This new model takes both photos and videos in comparison with the first version which only made room for video capturing.



The new Spectacles are also water resistant which is why as shown in the video above, Snapchat encourages its buyers to make use of the smart glasses in shallow water.

Different companies have dabbled into the same of connected glasses but the market hasn;t pro…

The OnePlus 6 is coming May 16th

OnePlus

Well, it was worth the wait....The OnePlus 6 released date has been announced - May 16 ; Location : London, The launch event is termed 'The Speed you need' this reportedly shows what we expect from the phone - Huge Speed.

The launch event ticket costs $22 for a while, By 8pm on Friday the price shoots up to $42.

Over one thousand tickets for the London launch event are available with the Chinese and Indian event coming up a day after on the 17th of May.



The tickets to the London event can be purchased at OnePlus' website while the tickets for the Indian event will be available at oneplus.in.

OnePlus promises that its new smartphone will be bigger and better therefore the customers should expect an awesome! product.








Udacity comes in with a cyber-security program

Sebastian Thrun, Udacity co-founder
Udacity, the educational start-up co-founded by self -driving vehicle pioneer Sebastian Thrun has launched a new nanodegree - guess where? This time, they're dabbling in cyber-security.

According to Udacity's post, this new course involves Training the Next Generation of Cybersecurity Professionals, Addressing the Talent Gap, World-class AI and Data training and also an Invitation to the industry.


Udacity


Given that Udacity was involved in the training about 10,000 of just 300,000 AI engineers currently in the world today who innovate excessively and rake in huge salaries, Udacity will be very good to go on their new cyber-security program.

The new nanodegree was officially launched at the RSA conference which ended 3 days ago which came with a call for partners with its new cyber-security program.

This is a good time for a cyber-security program given that Udacity is one of the best (if not the best) learning platforms available and with all…

Discord is now a Unicorn!

Discord Inc, the creator of the extremely popular chat app for gamers has grabbed an extra $50 million in funding, this time at a $1.65 Billion valuation.

This new round of funding is reportedly led by Benchmark Capital, Greylock Partners, Tencent Holdings, IVP and Spark Capital.

Discord had previously raised $129.3 million in total at a most recent valuation of $775 million.


Discord

Discord's online communication software had 90 million users at the beginning of this year, With this huge statistics Discord just joined the line of messaging tools gaining very huge valuations, Recent huge gainers include Whatsapp, Telegram and Slack.

The huge rise of online multiplayer games have heavily contributed to Discord gaining its huge number of users, Notably the rapper Drake created a Discord account while live-streaming with Fortnite's awesome player Ninja to make room for better and clearer communication.

The fact that Discord just launched roughly three years ago and has gained thi…

Boosted outs new boards

Boosted

Boosted first showed up with an electric board about six years ago then a while after that which translates to now, The company has come up with a new shorter and cheaper board for its customers.

The new electric boards are named the 'Boosted Mini', 'Boosted Mini S', 'Boosted Mini X' and the 'Mini X' .

The Boosted Mini S comes at a price of $749 which makes it Boosted's cheapest electric board ever, the Mini X also comes at a price of $999.

In addition to that, Boosted also announced new third generation versions of its boards which is the 'Boosted Plus' and 'Boosted Stealth', The new boards are available for purchase through Boosted's website except for the Plus and the Stealth which will start shipping late next month/early June.

The new boards can be paid for in 12 month installments in order to ease the cost for Boosted's buyers.






Amazon increased R&D Budget by 41% year on year to nearly $23 Billion

Amazon C.E.O Jeff Bezos credit: Wademy

The top five spots in the US for R&D expenditure last year was grabbed by tech companies with Amazon claiming the top spot with a huge $23 Billion R&D budget coming from the company.

The top five companies spent a cool $76 Billion with Alphabet, Intel, Microsoft and Apple grabbing the remaining five spots respectively.

IBM also spent $5.8 Billion on R&D last year.

Facebook came ninth place with the company spending $7.8 Billion on its R&D for the year.

Amazon comes first with its long term strategy of putting back nearly all of its profits into its new businesses and technologies, a strategy which was paid off very much with its cloud computing arm becoming a major profit generator along with Amazon Prime and its main online marketplace business.

Microsoft also filed 2,558 patents last year with Amazon coming second place with 1,972 patent applications and 2,704 patent awards.


Apple has released a new RED iPhone 8 and 8 Plus

Today, Apple has announced a new special edition RED iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, This new edition gives customers a very beautiful form of the new generation iPhone with an awesome red and black color combo.

The Product is now available to order online and will pop up in retail stores 3 days from now.

Also adding to this, Apple has released a new iPhone X Leather Folio which is crafted from unique European Leather for an amazing luxurious look for the consumers.



The new edition iPhone will be available in 64GB and 256GB versions coming at a retail price of $699 from Apple's website, The new iPhone X Leather Folio will also be available at the same web location.

Every customer who buys the new Edition from Apple will be offered free Personal Setup online or in-store, The new phone can also be gotten through Apple's iPhone upgrade program.


Brief - World's most valuable AI startup Sensetime raises $600 Million

Sensetime C.E.O Li Xu


World's most valuable Artificial Intelligence company Sensetime has grabbed a Series C round of $600 Million at a valuation of over $4.5 billion which is a $3 Billion dollar jump from its most recent $1.5 Billion dollar valuation.

Tech giant Alibaba which is now Sensetime's largest investor led the massive round of investment into the company.

Qualcomm, Electronics company Suning and Singapore's Temasek Holdings also participated in this round.

The worlds most valuable company plans to use this capital to expand its overseas presence and widen its industrial scope according to its C.E.O Li Xu.


Robotics company 6 River Systems grabs $25 million

credit : CNBC

The e-commerce industry is booming! booming so well with so much innovation, investment and effort being put into it, 6 River Systems is a company which makes robots to speed up production in different warehouses and collaborates with humans to out more efficiency, This company right now has benefitted from this boom.

6 River Systems has announced it's grabbed a $25 million Series B round with this investment coming with the aim of helping the company expand and break into more markets, The Start-up which was founded by former Kiva (acquired by amazon) executives has now raised a total of $46.6 million with the current round being led by Menlo ventures.

As of current, 6 River Systems has delivered 600 of its robots to 30 sites which have aided in the packaging of various products, medical supplies and other general warehouse jobs.



Also as of recent, two other warehouse robotics companies have grabbed (maybe co-incidentally) the same amount ($25 million) in their most…

Ed-tech company Pluralsight files to go public

photo credit : CNN Money


Pluralsight, the ed-tech company which has been a unicorn for a few years now has announced it's confidentially filed for a public offering.

Pluralsight, a company created 14 years ago by its current C.E.O Aaron Skonnard along with Keith Brown, Fritz Onion, and Bill Williams deals with online education offering a variety of online education courses for software developers, creative professionals and IT administrators through its website bootstrapped for 9 years before raising different rounds of investment totaling $200 million starting from 2013.

Companies and small businesses pay for their employees to be trained by the company which has given it a very good source of revenue with individuals also subscribing to its services, As of its most recent report, the company had revenues of over $100 million.

Pluralsight now joins its peer of tech companies going public this year, Dropbox went public about two weeks ago, DocuSign publicly filed for IPO last wee…

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Angela Ahrendts Joins Airbnb's Board

Airbnb has added former Apple retail chief and ex Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts to its board. She'll serve as the company's third independent non-affiliated board member, the other two being former American Express CEO Ken Chenault and former Pixar Studios CFO Ann Mather (who also serves on the boards of Netflix, Alphabet, Arista Networks, Glu Mobile and Shutterfly).

Ahrendts led global retail at Apple for five years before stepping down this year to be replaced by three decade running Apple Veteran Deirdre O’Brien. Prior to Apple, she spent eight years as CEO of British luxury brand Burberry. She also spent 25 years in New York as an executive at fashion brand Liz Claiborne and as President of Donna Karan International prior to Burberry.


Other notable Airbnb board members include LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Sequoia's Alfred Lin, Andreessen Horowitz's Jeff Jordan, and co-founders Joe Gebbia, Brian Chesky, and Nathan Blecharczyk.



Boosted Boards Nabs $60 Million Series B Funding

Electric skateboard manufacturer Boosted has raised $60 million Series B funding co-led by Khosla Ventures and iNovia Capital with participation from existing investors Stanford-StartX Fund and Bay Meadows. This rounds brings the total raised by Boosted to over $70 million and will see former Google CFO and iNovia partner Patrick Pichette move from an existing independent board position at the company to a preferred board seat.

"Today’s generation is quickly adopting light electric vehicles as a superior way to commute, saving both time and money over existing options while enjoying the ride," Boosted CEO Jeff Russakow says. "However, the majority of lightweight vehicles on the street today are leisure-grade or toy-grade products, when riders need vehicle-grade products that provide exceptional acceleration and braking performance, safety, durability, and superior design."


"Boosted has been perfecting street-quality technologies for the electric skateboard ma…

Meet goPuff, A Low-key Delivery Company Worth $1 Billion

The food-delivery market is one with intense competition. The likes of DoorDash, Uber Eats, Postmates, Deliveroo, Swiggy, Just Eat, Yelp Eat 24, and more are steadily competing for global market share while also raising huge funding. Just recently, Deliveroo raised $575 million in a round led by Amazon. DoorDash has also raised $600 million Series G funding at a $12.6 billion valuation.

Amid the intense battle, it turns out there's one hot startup that has stayed low key to avoid the eye of rivals, but it seems word is getting out. That low-key hot startup is goPuff, on-demand convenience store delivery app that was valued at $1 billion last November after a financing round, according to regulatory filings reviewed by The Information. goPuff ships products to customers from centrally located facilities -- as opposed to direct pickup from stores -- in 81 U.S. cities.


The company -- based in Philadelphia -- stocks more than 3,000 products at its facilities which it then ships to cu…

Private equity giant Hellman & Friedman buys into home security startup SimpliSafe at a reported $1 Billion Valuation

image credit : SimpliSafe

Boston based home security startup SimpliSafe which provides self-installed security systems which are used by a huge number of homes in the U.S. has now sold a major interest in the company to Global private equity and investment giant Hellman & Friedman for an undisclosed sum which according to various sources values the company at a huge $1 Billion

The company which last raised $57 million in a Sequioa Capital led round and has been growing very well with the company counting over 300,000 customers as far as 2015 and a vast number of consumers currently making use of its suite of home security products.

This majority acquisition represents another move by Hellman & Friedman making huge acquisitions and bets in the technology space with the investment company's tech portfolio including notable companies like DoubleClick, Getty Images, Customer experience solutions company Genesys amidst other of its notable investments.

SimpliSafe will now conti…

Affirm Raises $300 Million Thrive Capital Led Round

Affirm - the online lending startup led by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin - has raised $300 million Series F funding led by Joshua Kushner's Thrive Capital, with participation from new investors Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary’s Sound Ventures, Baillie Gifford, Wellington Management and Fidelity, and returning investors GIC, Founders Fund, Spark Capital, Ribbit Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Moore Asset Backed Fund.

Affirm has now raised $800 million in total funding, with this round valuing the company at $2.9 billion according to Axios. Thrive Capital is getting a board seat at Affirm with its investment. The company has also announced new additions to its board and executive team. Former Groupon executive Silvija Martincevic is joining as Chief Commercial Officer, former PayPal executive Greg Fisher is joining as Chief Marketing Officer, ex OpenTable CEO Christa Quarles is joining as an independent board member.


Affirm, which allows its customers get loans of up to $15…

Wall Street Arrange Big Loans For China's Unicorns

Several investment banks -- like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley -- are known to have arranged big loans for U.S. tech unicorns. Companies that have taken on such big loans include the likes of Uber, Opendoor, WeWork, Dropbox, SpaceX, SoFi and Affirm to name a few. But recently, China's Bytedance got a $1.34 billion loan from a group dominated by Wall Street banks, pointing to a new area of interest from Wall Street lenders; Chinese companies.

China's tech unicorns are not conventionally known for taking on big loans, but this may be changing, with a Bloomberg piece stating that Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are arranging an up to $1 billion debt facility for Chinese real estate brokerage Beike Zhaofang, not too long after the brokerage secured $800 million in funding. Bloomberg also says Guazi -- fresh off  $1.5 billion in funding from Softbank earlier this year -- is in talks with banks for a credit facility of up to $400 million.


With historically low borrowing costs, …

Grab Reportedly Eyeing Banking License

According to a Reuters report, Grab -- the Singapore-based ride-hailing company valued at $14 billion -- is considering getting a banking license to offer online-banking services in Singapore as regulators in the city-state consider allowing online-only banks to operate. Reuters says Grab is close to enlisting a consultancy to give advice on its banking potential and is preparing to apply for a digital-only bank license if Singapore regulators open up the sector.

If this happens, it'll mark Grab's first foray into banking, not surprising given its massive funding ($8.8 billion total, according to Crunchbase data). Grab may be looking for ways to expand its reach and market prospects, with digital banking being attractive thanks to Southeast Asia’s growing payments market.


The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said last month that it was looking into the potential for letting “digital-only banks with non-bank parentage” into Singapore's market. According to Reuters, th…

Hyundai Takes Stake In Aurora

Shortly after Aurora partnered with Fiat Chrysler to develop self-driving vehicles, Hyundai has announced it has invested an undisclosed sum in Aurora, cementing a strategic partnership -- to work on self-driving technologies -- formed between both parties in 2018. With this investment, Hyundai and Aurora have agreed to expand research to other vehicle models, with the latter now working to build a custom self-driving platform for Hyundai and -- its subsidiary brand -- Kia's driverless vehicles.

Hyundai says its self-driving vehicles will "enhance their ability to monitor, react, and adapt to different surroundings" with the addition of "Driver", Aurora's self-driving stack. This stack is what Aurora earlier agreed to sell to Fiat Chrysler. Hyundai has made some waves in the driverless vehicle world, having successfully demonstrated self-driving tech in urban environments at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The company also debuted a fleet of driv…

Volvo And Uber Debut New Automated Car

Volvo and Uber have teamed up for a new self-driving car that'll be equipped with self-driving features at the factory level as opposed to fitting already made cars with Uber's own self-driving technology. The new vehicle is a Volvo XC90 SUV that the automaker says is "capable of fully driving itself" when combined with technology developed by Uber ATG.

The new self-driving vehicle is equipped with more safety features, the most prominent being back-up systems for steering and braking functions. The systems are designed to get the vehicle to a halt if any of its primary systems fail. There's also battery back-up power for the vehicles.


Volvo and Uber entered a commercial agreement in 2016 for Volvo to supply tens of thousands of self-driving vehicles in coming years. This new vehicle is based on the partnership.

Volvo plans to put this new vehicle to work by 2020.



Juul Sales Boom

According to a Bloomberg piece, popular e-cigarette maker Juul has told investors that sales have gotten stronger after a short period of lowered sales late last year, due to a pulling off of some flavored vape products in the U.S. stemming from increasing popularity with underage users. According to Bloomberg, Juul said -- in a letter to investors -- that its first quarter sales were $528 million, up 23% from $430 million a year earlier.

Juul was previously reported to be expecting $3.4 billion in sales this year. An earlier conference call from Altria -- which purchased 35% of Juul for $12.8 billion in December -- said Juul sold 175 million refill pods in the U.S. in Q1, up from 64 million a year earlier. In Q4 2018, Juul told investors it had $70.4 million in adjusted losses and more than $700 million cash on hand.


But increased sales come with increased scrutiny. Juul is facing increased probes from regulators in the U.S., India and other places, with critics saying the company h…