Author: Ingrid Lunden

PayPal starts deeper integration with Google; users can now pay directly in Gmail, YouTube and more

TECHCRUNCH Google earlier this year rebranded all of its payment services under Google Pay to help it double down on making transactions across its platform more frictionless (and more used). Now comes another development: PayPal and Google are kicking off a deep integration, where users who add their PayPal details to their Google Play accounts will be able to pay bills and for other items, using PayPal, without logging in and without leaving the Google services. The integration, when it goes live later this year, will cover apps like Gmail, YouTube, Google Store and any services using Google Pay — and it will include not just payments but also peer-to-peer transfers. This is not the first time that Google and PayPal have worked together — the latter has been a payment option in Google Play since 2014, in-store, and in online transactions that were managed by Google and a Google Pay option since last year. And similarly, Google itself has a number of other partners from the payments world, including Braintree, Sripe, Cybersource, Vantiv, Visa and Mastercard. This new phase of the relationship is interesting for how it benefits both sides. For Google, it will mean that users are less likely to leave Google sites to complete a transaction, potentially never to return; and will give users one more option for how to pay for things, making Google’s own sales more...

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Airbnb quietly launches its own Stories for users to build video montages of their travels

TECHCRUNCH The stories format has been one of the most sticky features of social apps like Snapchat and Instagram, letting users stitch together video, photo and text overlays to convey moods and experiences to friends and followers; even Google has incorporated stories into its services. Now Airbnb is becoming the latest adopter of the format: the travel and accommodations startup has quietly launched a new feature called Travel Stories, a way for guests to create video sequences of their Airbnb experiences to post on the site. The company has sent out invitations for a beta of the service to...

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Adyen confirms an IPO in Amsterdam, valuing the payments giant at $7B-$11B

TECHCRUNCH The floodgates are definitely open for IPOs in the tech world right now, and the latest is coming out of Europe. Adyen, a company that powers payments for large and smaller e-commerce merchants and others, has said that it plans to publicly list on the Euronext Amsterdam exchange, keeping the company’s financial future close to where Adyen itself was founded and is based rather than taking it to the US markets as some other European unicorns, like Spotify, have opted to do. The news comes in the wake of reports that it was planning to announce its plans this...

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Microsoft and Publicis unveil Marcel, an AI-based productivity platform for the ad giant

TECHCRUNCH Microsoft under CEO Satya Nadella has refocussed to double down on enterprise, artificial intelligence and cloud services, and today the company took the wraps a new project for advertising giant Publicis that shows how it is leveraging all three to expand its business. At an event in Paris, the CEOs of the two companies unveiled Marcel, a new platform comprised of multiple apps using AI, social networking mechanics, voice recognition, predictive analytics and more aimed at getting Publicis’ 80,000 employees to be more productive and work together better. The first three apps on Marcel — named after Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet,...

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Square brings its Stand for iPad tablets to the UK

TECHCRUNCH Square, the company that provides payments and other business services to merchants, is today taking another step in its gradual expansion outside of the U.S. Stand — one of Square’s key pieces of hardware, turning an iPad into a point of sale system — is launching in the U.K. It will sell for £64 (+VAT) and will be sold alongside existing products that Square offers in the U.K. — Square Reader, its Point of Sale app, Instant Deposit, Virtual Terminal and Cash app. (Square Register, the company’s all-in-one product for larger businesses that sells for $999, is not...

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Tango Card raises $35M for its ‘rewards as a service’ gift card aggregation platform

TECHCRUNCH Gift cards today are a $100 billion business annually, and as they continue to grow as a key way for companies to incentivise people in our too-often unengaged digital world, a startup that is helping corral the long tail of retailers, and match that up to the wave of businesses that want to offer the cards — a model that it’s dubbed “rewards as a service” — has raised a substantial round of funding. Tango Card — which brings together some 500 companies’ gift cards so that they can easily be used by companies like Microsoft, Chevron and...

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Realeyes, which uses AI and a front-facing camera to read viewers’ emotions, raises $16.2M

TECHCRUNCH One of the more interesting applications of AI to the world of advertising and marketing has been in how it’s being used to help measure and ultimately shape campaigns. Now, a company providing the technology to do that has raised a round both to expand its business in adtech as well as to tackle new applications in healthcare and education. Realeyes, a London-based startup that uses computer vision to read a person’s emotional responses when they are watching a video as short as six seconds long, and then using predictive analytics to help map that reading to the...

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PayPal confirms that it is buying payments startup iZettle for $2.2B in an all-cash deal

TECHCRUNCH PayPal is taking its biggest bet yet on point-of-sale transactions, small businesses, and markets outside of the US, as it looks to raise its game against Square, Stripe and others in the world of payments: the company has confirmed that it is buying iZettle — the Stockholm-based payments provider commonly referred to as the “Square of Europe” — for $2.2 billion in an all-cash deal. The deal — which is expected to close in Q3 2018 — will see iZettle’s co-founder and CEO Jacob de Geer stay on leading iZettle. He will report to PayPal’s COO Bill Ready. Others...

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