Lime, a bike and scooter service, has recorded 11.5 million rides

Lime, a bike and scooter company that operates in the US and Europe, has announced that it has recorded 11.5 million rides through its service since deploying its first bike in 2017.

  • Lime currently operates in over 100 markets in the US and Europe. The company plans to open up in 50 additional cities by the end of the year.
  • Lime’s Juicer program, a scheme in which anyone can make additional money from charging scooters overnight, has paid out millions of dollars.
  • In its latest funding round, that was led by GV and saw participation from Uber, Lime was able to raise $335 million, bringing its total funds raised to $467 million.
Facebook Dating launches today in Colombia

Colombia has been chosen to test the dating feature, which uses an algorithm to create suggested romantic matches based on the data Facebook has collected on its users.

  • When it fully launches in a users country, an invitation to try Facebook Dating will show up at the top of their News Feed. Facebook will also add a shortcut to their bookmarks menu.
  • “We wanted to make a product that encouraged people to remember that there are people behind the profiles and the cards that they’re seeing,” said Facebook Dating’s product manager Nathan Sharp. “We wanted a system that emphasizes consideration over impulse. We want you to consider more than that person’s profile photo.”
  • Facebook Dating is currently only available through Facebook’s mobile apps. It is only being released in Colombia for now.
Circle, a crypto finance company, adds educational feature to Circle Invest app hoping to increase female investors in cryptocurrency

Circle has added a new feature to their Circle Invest app that leads users to educational resources regarding cryptocurrencies, hoping to attract new investors.

  • Circle surveyed 3,000 people in the US  and found that Millennial men are more than twice as likely to invest in cryptocurrencies in the next year then Millennial woman.
  • Millennials expressed a greater interest in buying cryptocurrencies over the next year, “more than 10 times the rate of Baby Boomers,” according to Circle’s study.
  • “We at Circle believe crypto technology will enable powerful ways to create and share value for everyone, across all generations and genders,” said Circle about the announced

 

 

Israel and Switzerland announce partnership to work on cryptocurrency and blockchain regulation

The announcement comes after the Swiss Minister of Finance Ueli Maurer and State Secretary for International Financial Matters Joerg Gasser visited Israel, looking to improve access of Swiss banks to trade in Israeli markets.

  • The two countries have agreed to work together when it comes to financial technology, cryptocurrency, and blockchain technologies. Gasser has submitted a report to the Swiss Parliment outlining regulatory action involving blockchain that he hopes will see a vote by 2019
  • Israel, a major tech hub in the region, has courted investment by cryptocurrency mining company Bitmain to triple its development in its offices in western Israel.
  • Switzerland’s central bank has been reluctant to accept the industry, closing down bank accounts associated with cryptocurrency fundraising schemes.
MariaDB, a MySQL drop-in replacement database company, purchases Clusterix for undisclosed price

MariaDB has announced the purchase of Clusterix, a MySQL drop-in replacement database which focuses on scalability.

  • According to a statement by MariaDB, the purchase of Clusterix “adds scale-out capability that runs on premises with commodity hardware or in any cloud environment, with greater scalability and higher availability than other traditional distributed options such as Oracle RAC.”
  • MariaDB CEO Michael Howard also announced that ServiceNow, a cloud computing company, is also investing in the company. ServiceNow supports about 80,000 instances of MariaDB, with their SVP of Development and Operations Pat Casey joining the MariaDB board.
  • “You can hire a lot of smart people individually, but not necessarily have that experience built into their profile,” said Howard. “It typically takes about nine years, to get a brand new, thorough database technology off the ground.”
WalkMe, an on-screen guidance technology company, raises $40 million in Series F funding round

WalkMe is an Israeli-based company working to bring their software to app developers to help user’s while using the application to ensure efficiency.

  • The Series F  round was led by Insight Venture Partners with participation from Mangrove. The round was able to raise $40 million. Total funds raised by WalkMe have been reported at $207.5 million.
  • WalkMe says it will use the funds to expand its platform into local markets. The software uses machine learning and data analytics together with technologies to read and guide users through a program or application.
  • WalkMe has over 2000 international customers, including Delta, HP, T-Mobile, and Microsoft.

 

GoPro announces new camera line Hero7

GoPro, a portable video camera company, has announced its Hero7 line. The Hero7 White, Silver, and Black are available for $199, $299, and $399 respectively.

  • GoPro also announced that it will discontinue production of their older camera lines.
  • The higher priced Hero7 Black can take 12-megapixel HDR photos, live stream, and comes with GPS.  All versions are waterproof up to 10m.
  • Hero7 White, Silver, and Black cameras are available for purchase today.
Brazil's Administrative Council for Economic Defense investigating banks for restricting cryptocurrency operations

The Administrative Council for Economic Defense in Brazil has started to investigate banks over claims of monopolistic practices against cryptocurrency exchanges.

  • The Brazilian Association for Cryptocurrency and Blockchain requested the investigation in June after bank accounts for the company Atlas Quantum were closed.
  • The Administrative Council for Economic Defense believes that banks are “imposing restricting and even prohibiting… access to the financial system by cryptocurrency brokerages.”
  • “However, it does not seem reasonable for banks to apply such restrictive measures a priori on a straight-line basis to all cryptocurrency companies, without examining the level of compliance and the anti-fraud measures adopted by individual brokerage firms conferring unlawful treatment per se on businesses brokering cryptocurrencies,” said Administrative Council for Economic Defense officials when discussing the potential for illicit activity.
Amazon launches Scout to help filter products for customers

Scout is a new shopping tool released by Amazon that uses visual imagery, a thumbs up and down voting system, and machine learning technology to direct customers to products they are looking to purchase.

  • Amazon has implemented Scout in its furniture, kitchen, dining, home decor, patio items, lighting, bedding, and woman’s shoe departments. The company is looking to also add clothing and handbags.
  • “This is a new way to shop, allowing customers to browse millions of items and quickly refine the selection based solely on visual attributes,” said Amazon. “Amazon uses imagery from across its robust selection to extract thousands of visual attributes for showing customers a variety of items so they can select their preferences as they go.”
  • Amazon hasn’t officially announced Scout but users have noticed the option while shopping on the site. A link to “Scout Style Explorer” will bring customers to the tool.
UK Treasury Committee calls for Bitcoin to be regulated

The UK Treasury Committee has asked the Financial Conduct Authority to regulate crypto asset in the UK.

  • The Treasury Committee cites volatile prices, minimal consumer protections, money laundering, and hacking while calling crypto assets a “Wild West industry.” There are currently 1500 different crypto assets being traded on about 190 exchanges.
  • “As the government and regulators decide whether the current Wild West situation is allowed to continue, or whether they are going to introduce regulation, consumers remain unprotected,” said the Treasury Committee.
  • “It’s unsustainable for the government and regulators to bumble along issuing feeble warnings to potential investors, yet refrain from acting,” said Committee chair Nicky Morgan. “At a minimum, regulation should address consumer protection and anti-money-laundering.”
US judge in Georgia rules that e-voting allowed, rebukes state officials for not dealing with problem sooner

US District Judge Amy Totenberg in the state of Georgia has ruled that e-voting machines used in the upcoming elections were allowed despite concerns of possible election interference.

  • The lawsuit was filed against Georgia’s Secretary of State in May of 2017 and claims that hackers could look to infiltrate the Direct-Recording Electronic (DRE) systems to influence the election.
  • The judge remarked that the lawsuit came at the “11th hour”, with the ruling coming only two months before the November elections, limiting the ability to implement a paper-based voting system in time.
  • “The court is gravely concerned about the state’s pace in responding to the serious vulnerabilities of its voting system – which were raised as early as 2016 – while aging software arrangements, hardware, and other deficiencies were evident still earlier,” said Totenberg.
Ripple price increases 36 percent in two day rally

Since September 18th, Ripple’s price has increased more than 36 percent while the crypto market as a whole added $2 billion.

  • During the summer, the price of Ripple decreased by 46 percent. By contrast, Bitcoin only decreased by nine percent in the same period.
  • Ripple’s announcement of a RippleNet, a new cryptocurrency product payment system, is speculated to be fueling the gains.
  • “RippleNet’s newest corridors have a combined potential market that totals over $2 Billion in inflows over the last year: InstaReM and RationalFX opened up new corridors from the United Kingdom to Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Remitr and FlutterWave established a RippleNet corridor to Nigeria from Canada, the first connection on RippleNet in Africa,” said Marcus Treacher, Ripple’s global head of strategic accounts. “BeeTech and InstaReM created corridors from Brazil to Spain, Italy, Germany, France, and Portugal
The European Commission sets end of year deadline on Facebook to implement changes or face sanctions

The European Commission has issued a warning calling on Facebook to release more information about what it does with user’s data or face sanctions. Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova has said that Facebook has not acted quick enough to implement changes to its terms of service agreement.

  • Facebook and Airbnb were both called in February to make sure that their terms of service agreements conformed to European regulations. Jourova believes that Facebook has made “very limited progress.”
  • Facebook states that data gathering is used to improve the user’s experience.  Facebook also said that it had made changes to its terms of service in May and that included changes recommended by the Commission.
  • “If we don’t see progress, the sanctions will come,” said Jourova. “This is quite clear. We cannot negotiate forever, we need to see the results.” Facebook has till December 31st to make the changes or face sanctions.
Equifax fined 500,000 GBP for data breach

The United Kingdom’s Information Commissioner’s Office has issued a 500,000 GBP fine to Equifax. The credit reporting agency reported about 15 million British citizen’s data stolen in a breach.

  • The US Department of Homeland Security warned Equifax in March of 2017 of vulnerabilities to its systems. The ICO reports that Equifax did not take appropriate steps to fix the issue.
  • The investigation was done under the Data Protection Act of 1998 and the ICO issued the 500,000 GBP fine, the highest possible fine under the act.
  • “The loss of personal information, particularly where there is the potential for financial fraud, is not only upsetting to customers, it undermines consumer trust in digital commerce,” said Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham.
Google's Home Mini device sales beat Amazon's Echo Dot in this years second quarter report

Strategy Analytics announced that Google’s Home Mini device was the top-selling smart speaker globally for this years second quarter.

  • The Amazon Echo and the Google Home Mini accounted for 38 percent of global shipments of smart speakers, according to Strategy Analytics.
  • A total of 11.7 million smart speakers were shipped during the second quarter. 80 percent of them were either Amazon Echo or Google Home Mini devices.
  • Competitor Apple’s HomePod accounted for six percent of global shipments, putting it way behind the pack in smart speaker sales.
Local government payment sites across the US hacked and user's credit data stolen

FireEye, an internet security firm, announced that a web payment portal Click2Gov used by local governments to collect payments has been compromised stealing user’s credit card details.

  • The hackers are said to have had access to the portal for a period of “weeks to numerous months,” according to FireEye’s principal threat intelligence analyst Nick Richard.
  • Superion, the owner of Click2Gov, had reported a data breach in June but assured customers that there was no evidence the portal was unsafe to use, issuing patches after customers complained their credit data was stolen.
  • “Any web server running an unpatched version of Oracle WebLogic would be vulnerable to exploitation, thus allowing an attacker to access the web server to manipulate Click2Gov configuration settings and upload malware,” said Richard.
Leena AI, a company which develops HR chatbots, receives $2 million in seed funding

Leena AI is a recent Y Combinator graduate. The Lenna AI chatbot help employees with questions they might have about employer concerns and answers them. The funds raised will be used to increase their customer base.

  • The company was originally started in India and didn’t have the HR focus. It wasn’t until after some research did they see the need for an HR chatbot in the market, so they developed Lenna AI.
  • The chatbot helps also answer questions about policy. While employees may have the policies of the companies, Leena AI helps to answer specific questions that might arise.
  • The Leena AI chatbot is supported by Oracle, SAP, Netsuite, and other backend HR systems
The European Union competition commission looking into how Amazon uses merchant data

The announcement was made in a press conference held today by competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager. No formal antitrust action has been announced.

  • “We are gathering information on the issue and we have sent quite a number of questionnaires to market participants in order to understand this issue in full,” said Vestager.
  • The Commission is examining whether third-party sellers are at a disadvantage to Amazon’s own products listed on the marketplace.
  • “These are very early days and we haven’t formally opened a case,” adds Vestager. “We are trying to make sure that we get the full picture.”
Twilio, a communication service, wants to employ a 50 percent female workforce by 2023

Twilio announced in a diversity report it released that it intends to employ a workforce that is comprised of 50 percent female workers in the next five years.

  • Global Head of Culture and Inclusion LaFawn Davis is moving to also include a 30 percent black, Latinx, two or more races, Pacific Islander or Native, LGBTQ+ in Twilio’s workforce goals.
  • According to Twilio, it currently employs a workforce that is 31 percent female, 22 percent Asian, three percent Latinx, and one percent black.
  •  “It’s more about accommodations or having an environment where they feel included, feel like they belong and feel supported,” said Davis. “What we’ve been working on is more exposure, programs, more understanding of what their needs are before asking for demographics from that population. The same goes for our veteran population.”

 

Newegg, an online electronics retailer, says customers credit card data stolen in month long data breach

Newegg, a US-based online electronics retailer, experienced a data breach between August 14th and September 18th.

  • Hackers were able to upload 15 lines of card skimming code on Newegg’s payment page, stealing credit card information and sending it to a server with a similar domain name controlled by the hackers.
  • While the code is believed to have worked on desktop and mobile customers, it is not clear if mobile customer’s information had been stolen.
  • Newegg reported $2.65 billion in revenue in 2016. The company states that it has traffic of more than 45 million monthly visitors.