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Showing posts from September, 2018

Postmates said to interview banks for likely next year IPO

On the heels of hitting a $1.2 billion valuation just this previous month, Postmates has now been reported to have interviewed banks for roles in an IPO likely to take place in the first half of next year.

As per the Wall Street Journal, Postmates hasn't yet selected underwriters but is expected to do so in coming weeks. Although Postmates CEO Bastian Lehmann has hinted at an imminent IPO in previous times, No official timing or details have been given surrounding a public offering.

Founded in 2011, Postmates has grown to be one of the leading delivery services now available to 60% of U.S. households following a just recent expansion into 134 more cities. The San Francisco headquartered company has raised nearly $600 million till date with notable backers including Tiger Global,  Founders Fund, Slow Ventures, G Squared, 137 Ventures and basketball superstar Kevin Durant.


Mercedes drops 'project' from Hypercar name and tags it 'AMG One'

In the run-up to the Paris Motor Show 2018 event, Mercedes unveiled the official name of its Hypercar now dubbed 'AMG One' with a drop of 'project' from the vehicle previously known as the 'project one'.

The One now stands for its highest automotive ambition to usher Formula 1 hybrid tech to the roads with the One being the pinnacle of Mercedes' model portfolio and an absolute top-of-the-line model.





Intensive testing of the hypercar have been on-going for months in England at high-performance test stands and race tracks with the AMG One reflecting the latest development status of an outstanding technical feature, It's active aerodynamics.

The vehicle's active aerodynamics currently in the process of wind tunnel testing is equipped with a multi-part, two-stage extendable rear wing for maximum downforce in race mode which stands as a very high-end and individualistic feature for top-tier vehicles.


Experts across high-performance subsidiaries in the A…

Toyota is supplying its Fuel Cell tech to bus manufacturer CaetanoBus

Auto giant Toyota has reached another deal for its aim on stepping towards a broader hydrogen society through an agreement to implement its Fuel Cell technology for bus manufacturer Caetanobus SA.

Toyota will provide systems which include fuel cell stacks, hydrogen tanks and other key components to the Portuguese bus engineering and production company which will be used for crafting hydrogen fuel cell city buses.


In little over a year, The first zero emission fuel cell city buses will roll off Caetanobus's lines and will be operated as demonstration buses by the company. This marks as another notable step for Toyota as it promotes the application of its hydrogen fuel cell technology beyond passenger cars to other vehicles which include forklifts, buses, heavy duty and small delivery trucks.

"Supplying our fuel cell systems to Caetanobus demonstrates the many practical uses and environmental benefits of hydrogen towards a carbon-free society. We're really excited by the p…

The 2019 BMW i3 and i3s packs more electric range thanks to new high-voltage batteries

BMW has unveiled more features coming for the 2019 models of its i3 and i3s vehicles with a focus on extended range for customers thanks to new high-voltage and more powerful batteries being equipped for the vehicle.

Operating range is now set to increase to as much as 260 kilometres in everyday conditions without any loss of driving pleasure which count as an up for its buyers.


Other additional features for the new version include a sports package for the BMW i3 and new colors for the exterior and interior. The BMW i series is fusing its position as an innovation leader and trendsetter in the EV market with these new models as it sets its sights for more growth in the EV market.

Storage capacity of the high-voltage battery used for the i series vehicles has doubled since initial launch thanks to on-going development and research concerning methods to make the EV experience much more better.





Increased capacity of the battery has led to a longer range for the vehicle with customers no…

Microsoft is experimenting with a Robot Operating System for Windows

Microsoft is tinkering into the field of advanced robots with the announcement an experimental release of Robot Operating System [ROS1] for Windows at the ROSCon 2018 event holding in the spanish capital of Madrid.

This will bring the manageability and security of Windows 10 IoT Enterprise to the innovative ROS ecosystem which offers sets of libraries and tools that help in construction of complex robots used in implementing cutting-edge processes.

At the ROSCon event, Microsoft is demoing a ROBOTIS Turtlebot 3 robot running the ROS software which recognizes and steers towards the person closest to the robot. The demoed robot runs Windows 10 IoT Enterprise on an Intel Coffee Lake NUC while utlizing a new ROS node which leverages hardware-accelerated Windows Machine Learning.


Microsoft is also demonstrating a ROS simulation environment running on its Azure cloud service which exhibits a collection of robots running in a virtual environment linked to an orchestration system controlled …

The BMW Cockpit has been heavily revised and modernised for new auto models

BMW has now unveiled a newly reappraised, rebuilt, revised, modified and modernized version of its Cockpit for new launch models like the BMW X5, BMW 8 Series, BMW Z4 and BMW 3 Series which are all being debuted at the Mondial de l’Automobile 2018 event in Paris.

The new Cockpit packs content which can be customized and personalized and a new fully digital BMW Operating System 7.0 focused increasingly on the driver experience. Improvements have been made on interaction options with the vehicle among other notable features.


These improved interactions are centered around the areas of voice recognition and gesture control with customers for the first time getting access to BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant which makes the vehicle experience way more smarter.

Responding to the prompt “Hey BMW” command, The Intelligent Assistant offers a smooth integration of new functions and services which comes with optimal support at all times for the driver.


The new Remote Software Upgrade function…

Volvo outs Cross Country version of its V60 vehicle

Volvo has outed a new Cross Country version of its V60 vehicle in what marks a latest addition to its line-up of brand new Volvos which reflects its transformation in recent years. The initial V60 was launched earlier this year on the driveway of a Stockholm Villa reflecting its ability to function uniquely and seamlessly.

The Cross Country version of the vehicle takes the V60 from from the suburb to the skogen (Swedish for forest). It adds the capability on and off the beaten track which has defined Volvo's Cross Country vehicles since its initial outing 21 years ago.


The Cross Country modification brings about a ground clearance up to 75mm higher than the regular V60 thanks to its specially developed chassis and suspension for enhancement of its off-road capability.

It packs other standard features such as All-wheel-drive, Electronic Stability Control, Hill  Descent Control, Corner Traction Control and a special Off-Road driving mode. The V60 Cross Country benefits from Volvo&#…

Volkswagen partners with Microsoft to accelerate its connected car efforts

Volkswagen and Microsoft has now inked a strategic partnership which would see both companies work on progressing Volkswagen's Automotive Cloud and connected car services as is aims for transformation into a mobility provider with fully connected vehicle fleets.

Volkswagen will now be leveraging Microsoft's expertise and learnings to assist in defining what will make its ‘Volkswagen Automotive Cloud’ service peculiar and globally accepted. The auto giant will set up a a new automotive cloud development office in North America which will support initial development of efforts pertaining to this partnership.

From 2020 as targeted, Over 5 million new VW vehicles yearly will be fully connected and will be part of the Internet of Things (IoT) in the cloud, This partnership by both companies is aimed at laying the foundation for combination of Microsoft's expertise as a major cloud services provider and Volkswagen's experience as a global high-selling auto manufacturer.






Both…

Daimler's smart forease concept embodies urban driving fun in an individualistic way

Daimler has unveiled a new electric and urban concept to celebrate its 20th anniversary at the Paris Motor Show through an outing of an ingenious concept which offers a simple solution for urban mobility.

The concept is seated under the open sky with the driver being at the centre of the hustle and bustle of the city which they can freely partake in thanks to its electric drive. Its openness and minimalistic style reflect a tribute to the pioneering smart concept vehicles "crossblade" (2001) and "forspeed" (2011).


The concept is uncompromisingly open, pays no heed to convention and is powered by an electric powertrain while standing for the authentic urban mobility which continues to be the underlying concept behind the brand.
It stands for emotionality, lifestyle and attitude as described by Daimler who owes the individualistic awe of the vehicle to the extension of its interior to the open environment. It packs radiant, dramatic metallic-white and colour accents…

Grab said to be in discussions to offload Thai unit stake to retail giant Central Group

Singapore based ridesharing firm Grab has now been reported to be in talks of selling a “a decent-sized stake” in its Thai business to Central Group, The country's largest retailer with over $10 billion in annual revenues.

A deal like this would expand Grab's partnerships with the retail giant beyond food delivery into other sectors such as e-commerce and digital payments. This would also come at a time when Grab's main competitor Go-Jek is planning a foray into the Thai market with a $500 million investment set for its expansion into the country and several other South East Asian regions.

Grab is also reported to be interested in doing business with JD Central, a $560 million joint venture set up with China's JD.com by the Central Group earlier this year.

No official statement have been made yet as of now with still open room for countless speculations, Nevertheless, what's sure is that Grab has been on a rapid growth rate since its start in 2012 with a current p…

Color Genomics takes on collaboration with the Broad Institute and Partners LMM for historic 'All of Us' Research Program

Color Genomics, A Burlingame based genetic testing startup focused on early detection of cancer for users of its kit has now partnered with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the Laboratory for Molecular Medicine (LMM) at Partners HealthCare for establishment of one of three genome centres around the U.S. for the National Institutes of Health's All of Us Research Program.

This research program marks one of the most ambitious biomedical research efforts ever taken in the U.S. and is aimed at sequencing one million or more people across the U.S with a goal of accelerating health research and enabling individualized prevention, treatment, and care for individuals.

Color will be responsible for analysis and reporting of genomic data for this program with further support from Partners LMM for a set of 59 genes which can lead to serious and preventable clinical conditions such as breast and ovarian cancer, familial hypercholesterolemia, Lynch syndrome, and others.

The health-te…

Microsoft’s mobile phone keyboard SwiftKey adds two-way translation for Android

Microsoft Translator, The software giant's technology which makes use of artificial intelligence for provision of translations for more than 60 languages has now been integrated with the Android version of Microsoft's SwiftKey mobile keyboard.

The company made this known in a recent announcement this Thursday. The real-time translation feature will now translate as its Android users text in real-time to offer a unique and much desired experience for cross-border messaging.



Once users tap the Microsoft Translator icon on the SwiftKey keyboard, The app begins its function with translation of messages between users. The app would also remember users' preferences leading to an elimination of the need to scroll through the full list of the more than 60 available languages which users choose from.

“We wanted to make it really easy for users to be able to translate as they type and to be able to translate incoming messages,” Colleen Hall, a senior product manager for SwiftKey sa…

Compass raises $400 million from Softbank and others at $4.4 billion valuation

Real estate startup Compass has now closed a $400 million round led by the Softbank Vision Fund and Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) with further participation from Fidelity, Insight Venture Partners and the Wellington Management Company.

This comes less than a year after Compass nabbed $450 million in a round still led by Softbank with the total amount raised by NY based Compass now coming at $1.2 billion.

This investment round came with a $4.4 billion valuation for the company marking a doubling of its most previous $2.2 billion valuation.

An announcement of this funding comes just on the same day fellow real estate startup Opendoor raised $400 million in new funding of which Softbank provided the lion share. The company which count operations in major markets including San Diego,  Nashville, Atlanta, Houston and Austin among several others is planning to expand into international markets with this investment providing capital for this growth.







It's grown its agent population to …

The Gears Pro Circuit Season 2 esports event is coming to San Diego

The popular Gears Pro Circuit Season 2 esports tournament is heading to the city of San Diego debuting a first appearance on the West Coast for esports enthusiasts who will battle it out for a piece of the $250,000 prize pool.

This event will hold from the 28th-30th of September at the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center as Optic Gaming steps into the event to take the title after a dominating performance in New Orleans and wins of the last seven online 2Ks.



Team Echo Fox is coming in as the second seed to battle it out after a loss in  New Orleans. Team Ghost Gaming and Spacestation Gaming will also come with new members as they look to run the table to the Championship match this Sunday.

The San Diego event is also marking Gears Pro Circuit debut of 2v2 Gnashers Only on Boxes with a $10,000 prize pool being bundled for this side tournament which will have some of the top Gears players looking to prove their CQB dominance.

Anyone with an event pass (spectator or team) is e…

U.K. based AI cyber defense startup Darktrace nabs $50 million Series E funding at $1.65 billion valuation

U.K. based cyber defense firm Darktrace has now raised $50 million in a Series E funding round led by Vitruvian Partners with participation from KKR and 1011 Ventures to fund its expansion as the firm which counts as one of the largest in the enterprise security startup base scale its operations.

This funding round came with a $1.65 billion valuation for the 5 year old company renowned for its machine learning approach to detection of security vulnerabilities in enterprise networks.

With over 650 employees spanning across over 30 global offices and a deployment of its solutions to over 7,000 networks, Darktrace stands as a rapidly growing company having scaled to an impressive height in a quite short amount of time.

Darktrace's products include cyber defense solutions targeted for the cloud, IT environments, physical environments and several other fields of application. It also provides autonomous response solution to cyber attacks marking a real-time much needed solution by glob…

Stripe raises $245 million Tiger Global led round at $20 billion valuation

San Francisco based Stripe, a leading payments company whose service is used by over 100 thousand businesses worldwide spreading across millions of customers has now raised $245 million in a new round at a $20 billion valuation, More than double the previous $9.2 billion valuation it garnered from its most previous funding round which took place in 2016.

This round was led by Tiger Global with further participation from DST Global, Sequioa Capital, Kleiner Perkins and Thrive Capital. Stripe which counts major name customers such as Uber, Facebook, Lyft, Slack, Wish, Postmates, Expedia, Zillow, Deliveroo and Google has now raised $685 million in total across several rounds.


8 year old Stripe has now vaulted into the ranks of the world's most valuable private tech companies with a $20 billion valuation placing it amongst the top ten ranks of most valuable unicorns.

Stripe is planning to make use of this funding to hire more people for what is says is a “distributed global engineeri…

Oculus outs the Fall event lineup for its Venues app

Oculus has now unveiled the first taste of its Fall 2018 lineup for the Oculus Venues app where users get to experience live action like never before on the Oculus Go and Gear VR headsets.

The latest events will be available on the Oculus companion mobile app for users to see upcoming events and select from to attend while taking on what counts as one the best VR experiences.

Oculus in partnership with several other major entertainment names including Lionsgate, NextVR, Showtime, AEG and the NBA and MLB sport bodies to bring immersive and live VR content to its users.



As announced by Oculus, Below is its content schedule for its Oculus Venues events from the months of September to November. More additions are also set to come soon;

September

September 26 // VR League Onward Qualifiers // 12:00 pm PTSeptember 26 // VR League Onward Finals // 6:00 pm PTSeptember 26 // Live Music Now — New Orleans, LA // 8:00 pm PTSeptember 26 // OC5 Day 1 Keynote Encore with Japanese Subtitles // 10:00 p…

Oculus unveils new 'Quest' VR headset set for release next year

Oculus has unveiled a new VR headset set to launch Spring 2019 dubbed 'Quest' which counts as its first all-in-one VR system with six degrees of freedom with lets users look around in any direction and walk through virtual space as would happen in the physical world.

The Oculus Quest comes with Touch controllers to enable interaction with people and objects in a natural way and will pack over 50 games and experiences at launch with more to come in future time.


It makes jumping into action way more easier with no PC, wires or external sensors needed for use. Packed with Oculus Insight unveiled by the company at its OC5 conference, It offers breakthrough inside-out tracking, Guardian, and Touch controller tracking which makes use of four ultra wide-angle sensors and computer vision algorithms to track exact position of players in real-time without the use of external sensors.

The intuitive touch controllers brings real hands into the VR experience for easy and natural interacti…

Popular from The Techie

Nissan outs its most intelligent pickup idea, The Navara Dark Sky Concept

At the on-going vastly attended Hannover Motor Show, Nissan has outed a new concept featuring unconventional and groundbreaking features in form of the Nissan Navara Dark Sky Concept which highlights the company's growing versatility in the Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV) space.

The Navara Dark Sky Concept developed in the U.K in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) is endowed with an advanced version of Nissan’s ProPILOT driver assistance technology while reflecting an aptness to power and tow a mobile astronomy laboratory as illustrated by the pictures.


Functioning as a mobile astronomy lab facilitated with a world-leading, observatory-class telescope on a denoted off-road trailer, The Dark Sky concept stands as a unique offering for customers while spotlighting a latest incorporation of the Nissan Intelligent Mobility feature for for upgraded safety.

“The Nissan Navara Dark Sky Concept is a brilliant example of Nissan serving as an authentic partner, empowering o…

The new BMW GS and RT motorbikes bundles the passion for travel in a new dimension of engine power

The BMW Motorrad GS and RT models has stood for powerful and reliable propulsion for the past 35 years in relation to taking on long-distance journeys with desirable convenience and comfort, BMW has outed to new additions to the lineup dubbed the  R 1250 GS and R 1250 RT respectively packed with many high-end features including an advanced boxer engine with BMW ShiftCam technology making a game-changer for performance, efficiency and culture.

The ShiftCam Technology packed for the 2 new motorbikes enables for variation of the valve timings and valve stroke on the intake side leading to more power across the engine's entire speed range, optimized fuel consumption and emission levels, increased refinement and running smoothness.


Another technical change to the engine is a camshaft drive now taken care of by a toothed chain as compared with a roller chain in previous models for better optimization, It also features twin-jet injection valves and a new exhaust system.

Two riding modes…

The Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign comes to the Nissan Crossing Exhibition event

An ultimate expression of the Nissan GT-R supercar will now be coming to the Nissan Crossing exhibition event holding in Tokyo's Ginza district starting from today. The prototype model combines the GT-R's legendary performance and bespoke Italian craftsmanship stemming from a collaboration with Turin-based Italdesign for creation of the model.


The Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign is based on the latest Nissan GT-R NISMO and commemorates the 50th anniversaries of the GT-R in 2019 and Italdesign in 2018. After appearances in Europe and the U.S., it's now making a debut at the Nissan Crossing exhibition where it'll count as home until the 25th of November.



The custom vehicle is finished in special Liquid Kinetic Gray with distinctive Energetic Sigma Gold accent and is fitted with an enhanced hand-built 3.8-liter V6 VR38DETT engine which delivers an estimated 720 ps and 780 Nm of torque.

Nissan is considering a possibility of a 50-vehicle limited production run thanks to is ve…

Grocery Delivery And Pickup From Whole Foods gets to more cities

Earlier this week, Amazon launched delivery of of natural and organic products from Whole Foods Market through the Prime Now service in the cities of Annapolis, Cleveland, Louisville, North and Central New Jersey and Pittsburgh as well as new areas in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Prime Members in these cities are now able to shop four thousands of items including fresh produce, high quality meat and seafood, everyday staples and other locally sourced items. This service is now available in 53 cities with plans for continued expansion across the U.S.





In addition to this, curbside grocery pickup from Whole Foods Market has also expanded to 3 new cities; Dayton, Louisville and Omaha. This service which launched in August is now available in 8 cities with plans for continued expansion in place also.

Prime members can place orders via the Prime Now app and choose the pickup option at checkout to make use of this service. Customers can choose free pickup in as little as an hour on orders of…

The new Orion Series Desktops will come with new 9th Gen Intel Core Desktop Processors for powerful gaming experiences

The new Predator Orion 9000 and 5000 gaming desktops from Acer are set to come with the new 9th Gen Intel Core processors which deliver up to 8 cores and 16 threads as announced by Acer recently which enables for powerful gaming experiences for the upcoming desktops.

The Predator Orion series gaming desktops stand as performance PCs designed for the serious to hardcore gamer. The Orion 5000 stands a gaming powerhouse for users who desire an outstanding gaming rig while the 9000 stands as a machine aimed for the most demanding users with additional top-of-the-line NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti GPUs bundled for this model.


Featuring up to 9th Gen Intel Core i9-9900K processors and planned support also for the new Intel Core X-series processors, The Orion 9000 is built to be a gaming powerhouse with many high-end features including a black and silver chassis which gives it a spacecraft-like casing, customizable ARGB (Addressable RGB) lighting bars and RGB LED fans and a side window which s…

Lyft said to select JPMorgan, Credit Suisse for next year IPO

On the heels of Uber's potential IPO valuation being reportedly pegged at $120 billion, It's competitor Lyft has now been said to have selected investment firms JPMorgan and Credit Suisse for its IPO scheduled to take place next year which could value the company at over $15 billion.

The Wall Street Journal reports of getting this info from a source which declined to be identified as Lyft IPO plans still remain private.

Earlier reports had stated of JPMorgan being the lead runner for a Lyft IPO after rivals Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs decided not to pursue the role out of loyalty to another big IPO hopeful and Lyft rival Uber.

As per the Wall Street Journal, Lyft's 3rd quarter revenues which are not made public grew to $563 million as compared to $300 million in the previous year although losses also grew to $254 million. Both Uber and Lyft have taken on huge losses even as revenues also grow heavily in relation to expansion and subsidizing costs.

Lyft which was laun…

This Kickstarter project is promising an All-in-One wireless charger dock for all your devices

A Kickstarter project which has surpassed its funding goals by over 1,200% is promising to customers an All-in-One wireless charger dock for all their devices wherever and whenever along a with smart power bank and zip-&-go travel kit for convenient use.

Dubbed the MagDock, It's built for charging up to 3 devices at once with a convenient stand that dispenses with the mess of cables and the limited USB sockets you may have near you.


Devices compatible with the MagDock include the The Apple Watch, the new AirPods, all iPhone lineups beginning from the 8 version, Samsung S7 edge,  S8, Note 8, S9, Note 9 and all other Qi compatible devices.

It features an innovative Twist and Dock feature which offers more flexibility during charging and can also be used during charging with its twisting angles and turns providing for more suitable usage.






It's also built with an Auto-Align Magnetic Design feature which makes it embedded with magnets whilst not interfering with the wireless c…

HP's Premium Chromebook x360 14 is its thinnest Chromebook convertible device yet

HP recently launched the Chromebook x360 14, It's thinnest Chromebook convertible device yet which offers a gorgeous, premium design and elegance with its 3D stamped metal keyboard deck and a diamond-cut trim on the touchpad among other features.

With the new Chromebook x360, Consumers are getting versatility in how a Chrome OS device can be used with a good scenario for both productivity and entertainment. An easy-to-use, speedy, stable and computing experience is offered with the new device which features 8th Gen Intel Core i3 and i5 processors for enhanced performance, up to 64 GB of SSD storage and 8 GB of DDR4 for multitasking with ease.


It outputs up to 14 hours of battery life for long use by the user who will get to take on a vast range of both productive and entertaining tasks. For custom tuning of its dual speakers, HP worked closely with audio partner Bang & Olufsen for crafting of an authentic listening experience.

For an optimal viewing experience, the device fea…

The 2nd Edition of the HP Sprocket portable printer is savvier and more social

The second edition of HP's Sprocker portable, pocket-sized photo printer unveiled recently makes it much more clever and social with new features including new design and colors, enhanced print quality, shared experiences, social printing and even augmented reality.

Multiple friends can make use of the new Sprocket simultaneously with everybody able to print from the device using 3 simple steps; connect, select and print. It features LED light which flashes different color for prints from each phone for identification of whose photo is printing.


Four new colors; Luna Pearl, Noir, Blush and Lilac are now available for the Sprocket with this 2nd Edition which also feature enhanced image quality for printing of sharper photos with more visible detail and deeper colors.

Users can now also create a shared photo album for events through the Sprocket app which enables for a more social experience. It also features a blend of the digital and physical with users able to check out the pict…

Snowflake Computing gets $450 million round at $3.5 billion valuation

Snowflake Computing, The cloud storage startup led by former Microsoft executive Bob Muglia has now raised $450 million in funding led by Sequoia Capital with a more than double for its valuation to $3.5 billion as compared with $1.5 billion when it raised $263 million 9 months ago.

Along with Sequoia, Altimeter Capital, Capital One Growth Ventures, ICONIQ Capital, Madrona Venture Group, Redpoint Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures and Wing Ventures who are existing investors also participated in this round  also with new investor Meritech Capital.

Snowflake has now raised $923 million in total since inception. Snowflake is described as the only data warehouse built for the cloud and has already gained over 1,000 enterprise customers for its service including the likes of DoorDash, Netgear, Netflix, Office Depot, Ebates and Yamaha.

The company will be gearing this funding towards execution of new strategies which include growth of its sales teams, expansion of its engineering team, expans…