Author: Mike Butcher

DataSine raises $5.2M led by Pentech and Propel for its AI content marketing platform

By now, most of us should be familiar with the concept of the tailored news feed. Right now my Facebook feed (yes, I’m still there, alas) has been messed up because I’ve clicked on too many posts about Brexit, but I digress. My point is that content has long since fallen to the tyranny of tailoring and personalization, and content marketing (that stuff that marketers like pass-off as editorial) is a big business. Making that content so enthralling as to be practically addictive is the aim of this industry, but right now all those poor copywriters have to do...

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Commuters become crypto users, as DOVU signs loyalty deal with rail service

While blockchain emerged first as a platform for currency and value, its employment in the tokenization of data and information has become recognized as being of at least, if not more, underlying value. You could perhaps even use it to track movements on a grid associated with mobility. That was the underlying idea behind the launch a couple of years ago of DOVU, a London-based startup which aims to become “the global marketplace for transport data.” DOVU is backed by seed funding from InMotion Ventures, Jaguar Land Rover’s investment arm, and Creative England, a fund backed by the UK...

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After challenger banks comes the wave of anti-fraud startups

The sheer scale of global financial crime is not to be underestimated. The UK’s National Crime Agency recently observed that it’s “in the hundreds of billions of pounds” annually, and that’s just in the UK. In the US, domestic financial crime, excluding tax evasion, generates approximately $300 billion of proceeds each year for potential laundering. This is a conservative estimate. So with the rise of startup banks, it only makes sense that the next phase of this FinTech evolution will be detecting financial crime and fraud. It’s, therefore, no surprise that Mimiro, which was previously known as ComplyAdvantage and was founded by the co-founder and former CEO of Marketinvoice, closed a $30m (£22.8m) funding round this week. The raise was backed Index Ventures and Balderton Capital. And guess where they previously laid their fintech cards? Yes, in the fintech/banking-style startup Revolut. The trick with Mimiro is that it uses AI to analyze the risk of financial crime for banks, building a database of risk profiles for both companies and individuals. Mimiro is not the only startup making hay in this hot space of fraud and identity. Onfido, which started off checking the credentials of Uber drivers, was recently selected by PensionBee to streamline its KYC processes and add more customers without manual intervention. It’s even moved into the area of identity verification services for crypto platforms. Onfido has already...

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Tradeshift says it’s seen a ‘huge drop’ in UK transactions amid Brexit uncertainty

The UK is experiencing a significant and drastic fall in the volume of business-to-business transactions, according to the CEO of one of the world’s largest B2B payments and supply chain logistics platforms.In an exclusive interview with TechCrunch at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland, Tradeshift CEO and co-founder Christian Lanng said: “We see the numbers. There has been a huge drop in the purchase orders in the UK in December last year. Especially in retail. But it’s cross-sector. It’s manufacturing, retail, logistics.”Tradeshift is a cloud platform for supply chain payments, marketplaces and apps which is one of Europe’s...

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World Economic Forum warns of AI’s potential to worsen global inequality

Tech and political leaders sounded the alarm bell today about the potential for artificial intelligence to exacerbate huge inequalities across the world. The mood music coming out of the World Economic Forum is that AI is seen as having great potential to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues (such as climate change), but if individual organizations and countries implement AI systems and others do not, then they will race far ahead, spreading inequality between economies and leading to unforeseen consequences for the planet. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland, the President of Colombia (Iván...

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Knotel acquires Deskeo, Paris’s largest agile office space operator

Breathing down the neck of WeWork is Knotel, which in 2017 raised a Series A round of $25 million, then another round of $70m, and then another $5m in debt. It says it has one million square feet in New York versus WeWork’s four million.It’s now pushing out internationally. Last year it acquired Ahoy!Berlin, a workspace operator in Berlin, Germany, after setting up an operation in London.And today it has announced that it has acquired Deskeo, the largest office space rental operation in Paris, catapulting Knotel to become the biggest operator in the city. It is about 10 times...

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Invoice finance platform MarketInvoice raises $33.5M from Barclays, Santander

London, with its huge FinTech hub, is continuing to attract investment and that is no better represented today than with the news that MarketInvoice, arguably Europe’s largest online invoice finance platform, has raised £26M ($33.5M) in a Series-B funding round led by Barclays and fintech fund Santander InnoVentures, alongside participation from European VC Northzone, which previously invested. In August last year Barlcays took a minority equity stake in the company and rolled out the service to its large SME client base.Technology credit fund Viola Credit, which also participated, will additionally provide a debt facility of up to £30m to...

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Stung by criticism, Facebook’s Sandberg outlines new plans to tackle misinformation

Stung by criticism of its widely reported role as a platform capable of spreading disinformation and being used by state actors to skew democratic elections, Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg unveiled five new ways the company would be addressing these issues at the annual DLD conference in Munich, staged ahead of the World Economic Forum. She also announced that Facebook would fund a german university to investigate the eithics of AI, and a new partnership with Germany’s office for information and security.Sandberg laid out Facebooks five-step plan to regain trust:1. Investing in safety and security2. Protections against election interference3. Cracking...

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