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Showing posts from November, 2018

LG Will Reveal Next Phase In Development Of 'Smart Kitchen' at CES

At CES 2019, LG in addition to presenting new gram laptops and a capsule-based beer making machine would be unveiling the next development phase of the "smart kitchen" based on a collection of smart kitchen products paired with the Drop KitchenOS platform. This collection include ovens, dishwashers, refrigerators and now a smart display all working in harmony to help simplify the task of food preparation and meal cleanup.

The display being added is the XBOOM AI ThinQ WK9 Smart Display which includes a powerful stereo speaker with AI built-in, access to the Google Assistant and thousands of smart personalized recipes from culinary startup Innit.


The capsule-based beer making machine, the HomeBrew also makes for an addition to the smart kitchen ecosystem along with an InstaView ThinQ refrigerator and QuadWash dishwasher. For example, smart kitchen customers could enjoy a cold brew while looking up recipes on the smart display which is then sent to the oven ensuring a pre-heat…

Mercedes-Benz envisions Empathy as Anchor for automobile Digital Transformation with its cooperative vehicle concept

"At Mercedes-Benz we are convinced that the digital transformation can only be designed successfully if it is deeply anchored within society. Humans and access to data must be at the heart of a digital transformation," Daimler's Head of Research for Future Technologies Jasmin Eichler says.

"That is why we are also working on solutions in the field of digitalisation which place the freedom, decision-making autonomy and individuality of human beings at their centre. We aim to create a balance between humans and technology. The approach we are following here is "Human first"." This signals the direction of Mercedes Benz concerning digital transformation hitting the automobile industry in full force.





At the FutureInsight event which held recently on 21 and 22 November in Berlin, Mercedes focused on empathy and trust as topics regarding inspiration for future mobility solutions and has showcased that in a cooperative vehicle concept with features such as …

Sweetgreen expands WeWork Delivery Partnership

Salad chain sweetgreen is widening a pilot program with WeWork that provides its members with free delivery through order ahead locations set across several WeWork locations in the U.S. Various locations in seven cities namely its homebase of New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles have been fitted with order ahead sweetgreen units as WeWork works on a plan to cover 50 of its locations with this service.

WeWork members and employees can order via sweetgreen's platform with a select of specific locations for pickup which sweetgreen drivers then deliver to. Sweetgreen recently raised $200 million in a round led by Fidelity at an over $1 billion valuation stating of the investment positioning it "to create a new food platform with expanded menu categories and innovative retail formats".


This counts as part of these efforts aimed for a boost in restaurant expansion, outposts, digital platform, blockchain tech and social impac…

Tesco and Volkswagen partner for development of EV charging network

British retailer Tesco and Volkswagen have teamed up for the development of what would count as the country's largest electric vehicle charging network powered by charging infrastructure provider Pod Point which will offer customers free charging for their vehicles using a normal 7kW charger or the use of a 50 kW charger for a cost in-line with market rates.

Over 2,400 charging bays will be rolled out across 600 Tesco locations within the next 3 years for this effort playing part in support of a transition to a low-carbon, clean air UK. It builds on Tesco's commitment made last year to 100% renewable electricity use by 2030.


As of current, charging infrastructure is available in 19 Tesco locations including stores in the regions of Bromley by Bow, Cefn Mawr, Elmers End, Haddington, Stourbridge, Sunderland Retail Park, Swansea Llansmlet, Watford and Woolwich among others.

Pod Point is already an official charge point supplier for major auto brands including Volkswagen, Jaguar …

Workday Records over 30% Revenue Growth from Previous Year with $743 million quarterly revenue

Cloud software company Workday recorded revenues of $743.2 million for its fiscal 2019 third quarter ended October 31, 2018 marking a 33.8% increase from the same quarter last year thanks to growth across its suite of enterprise products.

Subscription revenues for the quarter came at $624.4 million as per its recently released financial results also marking an increase of 34.7% from the same period last year. Operating cash flows for the quarter were $114.3 million while free cash flows came at $58.9 million.


Also in this period, Workday hit various milestones which includes going live on Adaptive Insights Business Planning Cloud in just 10 weeks building on its $1.55 billion acquisition of the company, unveiling its Workday People Analytics software, ranking number one on the Fortune Future 50 list recognizing global companies with the best prospects for long-term growth and holding of its 12th annual customer conference, Workday Rising, in Las Vegas along with its fifth annual Euro…

Dell Records Revenue Surge prior to Vote on Public Market Return

Dell Technologies reported a 15% surge in quarterly revenue this Thursday in what counts as its last financial disclosure prior to a vote on a VMware tracking stock deal that could see the company return to trading on the public markets.

Dell reported sales of $22.5 billion for the period ahead of voting by shareholders for a buyback of shares bound to to its 81% economic stake in VMware which would return the company to trading on the stock market without the process of a conventional public offering.


Dell recently increased its offer for VMware tracking stock to $23.9 billion or $120 a share which won backing from shareholders including including Icahn Enterprises chair Carl Icahn who had previously pushed against the deal and activist fund Elliott Management.

A jump in revenue for Dell's Client Solutions Group which consists of products like peripherals, PCs and tablets came at 11% and can be attributed to Microsoft's decision to end support for its Windows 7 OS in 2020. B…

GM President Dan Ammann taking up new role as head of Autonomous Vehicle unit

General Motors president Dan Ammann is now taking a new role as CEO of Cruise Automation, The company's autonomous vehicle unit as longtime lead and co-founder Kyle Vogt leads technology development now as president and chief technology officer. These new appointments announced by GM are effective beginning 2019.

Cruise has come into view as a leader in the autonomous vehicle space under Vogt's leadership spanning from its start in 2013 to its acquisition by General Motors 2 years ago. It has grown from 40 employees as of acquisition time to over 1,000 at its San Francisco headquarters and has also announced plans to expand into Seattle with the addition of 100-200 employees.


Ammann spearheaded the 2016 acquisition of Cruise and stands familiar with the company's team, business and technology. Among other global responsibilities, He oversaw GM's relationship with Cruise which has grown from a $581 million acquisition to a $14.6 billion post-money valuation after a rec…

Gear up for launch of "Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden" on the 4th of December

Tactical adventure game Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden will launch on the 4th of December globally for the PC, Xbox One and PS4 bringing what counts as "a game combining the tactical, turn-based combat of XCOM with real-time stealth and exploration of a detailed, post-human world."

Gamers who get their hands on the new title will play as a team of mutants in a world damaged by nuclear war, pandemics, and climate change where they'll explore in real-time and traverse for scraps and resources to assist their settlements.



In the process of exploring, Players will face enemies as the game switches to tactical turn-based mode bringing a fun experience involving battles and various challenges. Based on the the Swedish pen-and-paper RPG Mutant Year Zero, stealth and planning are key to taking on enemies in this new title, attacking the enemy head-on as done in most turn-based tactical games is not suited for the Road to Eden.

A sneak up on the enemy will serve better in a worl…

Asana nabs $50 million Series E round at $1.5 billion valuation

Asana, the collaboration software startup founded by Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and early employee Justin Rosenstein has raised $50 million in Series E funding led by Generation Investment Management with participation from existing investors 8VC, Benchmark Capital and Founders Fund and new investors Lead Edge Capital and World Innovation Lab.

This round which brings the total raised by Asana to $125 million this year came at a valuation of $1.5 billion marking a new entrant into the unicorn club. San Francisco based Asana with more than 50,000 paying enterprise customers and millions of free enterprise users across 195 countries has now raised $213 million in total since founding.



It aims to use its new funding to fuel continued growth focused on key areas of Enterprise Scale, Global Expansion and Product Innovation as per its statement. These areas specifically include expansion of global infrastructure with the opening of a new data center in the German city of Frankfurt…

Microsoft secures $480 million contract to supply U.S. Army with HoloLens units

Microsoft has secured a $480 million deal with the U.S. Army to supply prototypes for augmented reality systems for use in training and in combat missions according to Bloomberg citing official confirmation from a company spokesman.

This deal could eventually lead to the purchase of 100,000 of Microsoft's HoloLens AR headsets according to Bloomberg and is aimed to “increase lethality by enhancing the ability to detect, decide and engage before the enemy,” quoting a government description of the initiative.





"Augmented reality technology will provide troops with more and better information to make decisions. This new work extends our longstanding, trusted relationship with the Department of Defense to this new area,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg.

The HoloLens is one of the leading hardware in the consumer AR space with 50,000 sold according to a video made for the European Patent Office this spring but counts itself in a market not so larg…

Box reports Record Revenue and lesser-than-expected Losses amid Customer Growth

Cloud storage company Box reported lesser-than-expected losses for its fiscal 2019 third quarter as it inked a record $155.9 million in revenue thanks to over 40% growth in deals greater than $100,000 and addition of new customers bringing its total to over 90,000.

Net loss for the same period came at $40.2 million ($0.28 a share) as compared with $42.9 million ($0.32 a share) a year earlier. Its customer base is up from 87,000 the previous quarter to the 90,000 figure thanks to new and expanded deals with the likes of 23andMe, BBVA Compass, Mizuho Bank, National Bank of Canada, Radian Group, Shiseido Company, and Sunbelt Rentals.


During this quarter, Box hosted the eight annual BoxWorks conference that lured a record number of Fortune 1,000 attendees, announced updates to Box Tasks and Automations, launched the general availability of the Box for Gmail add-on and the beta of the Box for G Suite integration, announced support for custom-trained AI models for Box Skills and also added…

Deliveroo reportedly looking to raise $400 million at a $4 billion valuation

Deliveroo is said to be seeking more investment into hundreds of millions at a valuation of between $3 billion - $4 billion on a raise of between $350 million - $500 million as per a recent report from Sky News amid reported acquisition interest from Uber.

As per Sky, This fundraising doesn't stand as urgent with Deliveroo still sitting on hundreds of millions in cash from previous rounds. The company was last valued at $2 billion after a $385 million round Series F round last year September led by Fidelity, It has raised over $800 million in funding till date.


A September report indicated of Uber having an interest in acquiring U.K. based Deliveroo to boost its share in the food delivery market which stands as a main part of the company's business alongside ride-hailing. Sky says persons close to Deliveroo have suggested of no active talks between both companies although anticipation stands concerning renewed interest from Uber.

Deliveroo more than doubled revenue to £277 mi…

Here are 10 things to know about the Pixel Slate and its separately sold Keyboard

The Pixel Slate tablet bundled with Google Assistant became one of the newest members of the Made by Google hardware family earlier this fall as consumers got a uniquely designed device powered by Chrome OS packed with a long-lasting battery for getting work done on the go.

The Pixel Slate is now available for purchase and letting customers know of its key features is an important thing to do. A list of 10 things to know about the Pixel Slate and its separately sold Pixel Slate Keyboard as highlighted by Google is presented below:

It's Comfortably handheld : Weighing in at 1.6 lbs and 7 mm thin, it has a slim profile coupled with a curved glass which makes it easy to hold.It gives a state-of-the-art viewing and gaming experience thanks to the new Molecular Display feature that delivers a sharp picture paired with dual front firing speakers for the best experience.It helps get work done from anywhere with multitasking features like split screen and draggable tabs. An attachment of …

EV charging provider Chargepoint raises $240 million Series H round

EV charging network Chargepoint has secured $240 million in Series H funding from a diverse set of investors ranging from early market to institutional investors across the VC, financial, manufacturing, oil and gas, energy, utility, technology and automotive sectors.

These include lead investor Quantum Energy Partners, American Electric Power, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Chevron Technology Ventures, Clearvision, Daimler, GIC and existing investors BMW i Ventures, Braemar Energy Ventures, Linse Capital, and Siemens.


Campbell, California based Chargepoint has now raised over $500 million in funding with this latest coming just over a year from a Series G round that fueled the company's move into the European market. Chargepoint counts over 57,000 independently owned public and semi-public charging spots and thousands of customers including businesses, agencies, cities and service providers across its network.

It designs, develops and manufactures the hardware and software…

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Revolut Obtains European Banking License via Bank of Lithuania

London based Revolut has obtained a banking license via the Bank of Lithuania, the European country's central bank which has granted regulatory approval for it to operate throughout the European union. This marks Revolut as the first London-based fintech to receive a banking license and puts it on par with the likes of Adyen, Klarna and N26 who have obtained banking licenses in other European nations.
Revolut plans to launch checking and savings accounts and also go into business and retail lending, expanding from just a no-fee pre-paid debit card provider to an all-round financial technology provider offering broader services including budgeting, currency exchanges and crypto wallets for its users.

A banking license is required for expansion into broader services for Revolut, a $1.7 billion valued leading fintech startup with more than 3 million customers and 250 million transactions totaling more than 25 billion pounds made on its platform. 
"Our vision is that retail and bu…

Hertz Partners with Clear to Make Use of Biometrics to Speed Up The Car Rental Process

Car rental giant Hertz has partnered with biometrics firm Clear for a new service that makes use of biometrics to speed up the car rental process and make sure travelers get through the exit gate and on the road in 30 seconds or less, a time savings of at least 75% for customers.

To use the service dubbed Hertz Fast Lane powered by tech from Clear, members would enroll just once for easy identification leading to a simple and smooth experience at over 40 car rental locations across the U.S. adopting this technology.


It's already available at the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport and will be rolled out to other planned locations throughout next year. These locations include some of the busiest U.S. airports like the John F. Kennedy International Airport, San Francisco International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Now, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards loyalty members who sign up and link their accounts to Clear will be able to verify their identity and renta…

The Rise of Sebastian Thrun, From Google To Udacity to Kitty Hawk

At the (2005) DARPA Grand Challenge, the renowned racing event for American autonomous vehicles, Stanford professor Sebastian Thrun led the development of its self-driving vehicle Stanley which took home the prize and has been placed on exhibit in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

Thrun also led the development of Junior which emerged second at the 2007 DARPA Grand Challenge, Think that's enough? He also led the development of the Google self-driving car. It's obvious, Thrun is an expert in this field. He was elected into the National Academy of Engineering and also into the Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in 2007. Fast Company selected him as the fifth most creative person in the business world. Thrun has many achievements to his name.







He kicked off his career at the Carnegie Mellon University computer science department where he joined as a research computer scientist in 1995. Three years later, he became assistant professor and co-direct…

Daimler Is Bringing These 3 Vehicles To CES 2019

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) holding from 8 to 11 January 2019, Daimler says it'll focus fully on the "outlook of the future of mobility". For this, It'll be unveiling the new Mercedes-Benz CLA for the first time at the event, the electric Mercedes-Benz EQC SUV for the first time in the U.S. and the Vision URBANETIC concept also for the first time in the U.S.

According to Daimler, The new Mercedes-Benz CLA will feature an evolved MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system, a product that premiered at this year's CES event with new features added just 12 months later. Daimler dubs it as the "most emotional vehicle of its class" and a "a highly intelligent automotive specimen".



Features offered in the CLA include the MBUX Interior Assistant which identifies operation requests on the basis of interior movements, augmented reality for navigation and the ability to grasp indirect voice commands.

At the same time frame, The …

General Electric Sells Majority Stake in ServiceMax to Silver Lake

General Electric has announced it's offloading a majority stake in ServiceMax, the cloud-based software provider it scooped up for $915 million to private equity firm Silver Lake. GE will retain a 10% stake in ServiceMax after the deal closes.
General Electric's software arm, GE Digital has also entered into a reseller agreement with ServiceMax that'll ensure ongoing collaboration between both after this sale to serve joint customers including General Electric’s industrial business unit.

According to GE, ServiceMax in its two years after acquisition has delivered growth that has outpaced the market and will as a separate company possess the strategic focus required to dig deep into the $34 billion global Field Service Management software market opportunity.
It's estimated that majority of the 39 million field technicians globally responsible for installation, maintenance  and repair of machines do not have access to Field Service Management software like ServiceMax wh…

LG Will Unveil a Capsule-Based Beer Making Machine at CES 2019

The 52nd Consumer Electronics Show (CES) event will be holding from 8 to 11 of January next year, featuring over 1,000 speakers, more than 4,400 exhibiting companies and 182,000 persons booked for attendance. One of this exhibitors is LG who will be unveiling the HomeBrew, a machine that makes the brewing process easy thanks to single-use capsules just like in Coffee makers, optimized fermentation algorithm and self-cleaning ability.
The single-use capsules which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavoring will let users relax as the HomeBrew automates the entire brewing procedure from fermentation, carbonation and aging to serving and cleaning at the press of a button. A free companion app is also provided to let users check the status of their beer maker at any time.


According to LG, the HomeBrew's optimized fermentation algorithm smartly controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control for guaranteed brewing success and enhances the quality of beer in …

The SIPC Sees Red Flags In Robinhood's Plan to Offer Checking & Savings Accounts

Just after the unveiling of a checking & savings accounts service stock-trading app Robinhood plans for its users, The Securities Investor Protection Corporation has voiced concerns that deposited funds may not be eligible for insurance even as Robinhood says they will be insured by the SIPC.

“I disagree with the statement that these funds are protected by SIPC,” SIPC president and chief executive Stephen Harbeck said in an interview. “Had they called us, I would have told them what I just told you in that I have serious concerns about this. This has gigantic ramifications for the banking industry.”


“I spoke to my colleagues at the trading and markets division at the SEC, and I’m sure they’ll be consulting with the firm today,” Harbeck said. “I believe that, as stated by the firm, there’s some significant legal problems that they have.”

Robinhood's website says that deposits up to $250,000 in cash for each account are protected by the SIPC should anything go wrong. But Harbec…

Facebook and Zenimax Settle Oculus VR Legal Battle

Video game company Zenimax has settled its legal battle with Oculus parent Facebook putting an end to a 4 year clash between both companies over allegations of Oculus using "trade secrets, copyrighted computer code, and technical know-how relating to virtual reality technology" provided by Oculus CTO John Carmack who previously was at Zenimax after its acquisition of id Software, the video game developer he co-founded.
After the $3 billion Oculus acquisition, Zenimax took Facebook to the courts over alleged use of its intellectual property in development of key parts of Oculus technology, It claimed that Carmack helped hire several former ZeniMax/id Software employees who possessed technical knowledge of its VR technology that allowed them to rapidly fine-tune the VR testbed system used in creating the Oculus Rift.


Zenimax said in its filing that it "invested tens of millions of dollars in research and development" into virtual reality technology and claimed "…

Medium Said to Express Interest in Acquiring New York Magazine

Online publishing platform Medium has reportedly expressed interest in acquiring New York Magazine and other media properties to beef up its content. Bloomberg reports its chief executive Evan Williams who previously led Twitter has made discussions with Pam Wasserstein, the CEO of the magazine's parent company, New York Media.
According to Bloomberg, the talks were preliminary and unlikely to go further. Even if it crumbles, it signals Medium is serious about boosting content on its platform in the coming year. The blogging platform switched to a subscription model last year and laid off about a third of its staff. Williams termed the ad system “broken” at the time saying it served the interest of corporations and not users.

The Wall Street Journal reported New York Media was considering a sale this August which implies possibility of an acquisition in coming time. Even if Medium doesn't do this, Media properties have been scooped up by notable buyers in previous times, Sale…

Postmates Unveils New Delivery Robot, 'Serve'

Postmates has unveiled a robotic delivery device built from the ground up to deliver small items over short distances effectively. The new autonomous robot, Serve pairs a patented "Socially-Aware-Navigation system" with proprietary Postmates software to join the Postmates fleet of over 350,000 couriers in delivering items to its users.

It runs on electricity and moves at walking speed, enabling it to route deliveries away from crowded streets and onto sidewalks. "7 years and hundreds of millions of deliveries later — we realized that we are in unique position to create our very own autonomous delivery vehicle" A post from Postmates read..."By developing an in-house, design-first approach, Serve was built to respect cities, meets customer demands, and helps local businesses sell even more."

The new robot contain advanced set of sensors including Velodyne Lidar and makes use of an NVIDIA XAVIER processor for interaction with the environment. Customers can i…