Tag Archives: tech

Tech in Africa: Uber expands mapping project, Google launches a startup bootcamp, and more

Kenyan mobile money service M-Pesa has long been held up as a prime example of African innovation, and has made its owner Safaricom a leader in the Kenyan telecoms space. However, it now has serious competition. The Kenya Bankers Association (KBA), the umbrella body of the banking industry, last month unveiled PesaLink, a digital payments platform it says will cut the cost of transactions and transform the way consumers interact with banks. PesaLink enables customers to make payments between banks in real-time, without having to go through intermediaries like M-Pesa. Mobile money has a challenger. Tech is being used in…

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The Next Web

TNW’s tech person of the year

How many problems can one man try to solve in a year? What if the problems aren’t your garden variety problems – like a broken faucet − but rather the earth’s most serious and existential problems? Maybe one? What if the problems are fossil fuel dependence, global warming, the future of artificial intelligence, and the colonization of other worlds? Maybe none? In 2016 Elon Musk took on all of these problems.  It was his incredible ambition to change the world in 2016 that enabled him to outstrip all of the other contenders for The Next Web’s Tech Person of the…

This story continues at The Next Web

The Next Web

These were the 10 biggest European tech stories this week

Euros - Funding in Europe European currencies

This week, Tech.eu tracked 23 technology M&A transactions, one IPO and 62 tech funding deals (totalling €255 million, not counting the £2.4 billion pumped into London-based data centre operator Global Switch by Chinese investors) in Europe, Turkey and Israel.

Here’s an overview of the 10 biggest European tech news items for this week:

1) Nokia said on Wednesday it had filed a number of lawsuits against Apple for violating 32 patents.

2) Russian carrier Megafon is acquiring a majority stake of 63.8% in Mail.ru for £602.21 million (about $ 738 million).

3) The European Commission Monday released the non-confidential details behind its ruling in August that Ireland gave illegal tax benefits to Apple worth up to €13 billion.

4) German meal delivery startup HelloFresh, a Rocket Internet company, has raised €85 million from a new unnamed investor along with previous investor Baillie Gifford.

5) Japanese electronics giant Panasonic is to acquire a majority stake in Belgian supply chain and mobility solutions company Zetes for €149.6 million.

6) Israeli startup Lumus, a developer of wearable augmented reality (AR) displays, has closed a $ 45 million Series C round.

7) Global Switch, a London-based data centre company, has sold a 49% stake to a consortium of Chinese investors for £2.4 billion.

8) BMW has partnered with IBM to add Watson’s cognitive computing capabilities to its cars as it plans a campus for autonomous driving near Munich.

9) Rightware, an automotive software company from Finland, has been acquired by Chinese firm Thundersoft for €64 million.

10) French book publisher Hachette Livre has acquired a majority stake in UK mobile app developers Brainbow, makers of Peak.

Bonus link: Inside Facebook’s Berlin-based team in charge of policing content on the social network

This post originally appeared on Tech.eu

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Deals – VentureBeat

These were the 10 biggest European tech stories this week


Happy Friday! This week, Tech.eu tracked 9 technology M&A transactions, one IPO and 46 tech funding deals (totaling €158 million, about $ 167 million) in Europe, Turkey and Israel.

Here’s an overview of the 10 biggest European tech news items for this week:

1) US-based GoDaddy, a domain name and hosting provider, said on Tuesday it would buy its European rival Host Europe Group (HEG) for €1.69 billion, including debt.

2) Europe’s largest carmaker, Volkswagen, has launched a new digital business division called MOIA to take on services such as Uber, shifting its focus beyond selling cars to catering for customers who prefer to pay for use rather than own a vehicle.

3) In related news, BMW will test autonomous vehicles in Munich next year as it seeks to keep up with ride-hailing firms … like Uber.

4) German hotel booking site Trivago updated its plans for a US IPO in a filing that came out on Monday. The company expects to price its shares between $ 13 to $ 15, a $ 428 million offering at the top end of the range.

5) Germany’s Lilium Aviation, a startup that develops lightweight, electric planes, has raised a €10 million Series A funding round from Atomico. The investment will help to commercialize the Lilium Jet, which is a lightweight commuter aircraft that can take off and land vertically.

6) US tech giants like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft will have to act faster to tackle online hate speech or face laws forcing them to do so, the European Commission has said.

7) Facebook has secured an e-money license in Ireland, paving the way for Messenger payments in Europe.

8) VC firm Partech Ventures has closed its newest €100 million seed fund, Partech Entrepreneur II, to invest in 80 European and US startups at seed stages.

9) eFounders has raised €5 million from 40 investors to help build eight new startups at its two startup studios in Brussels and Paris over the next two years.

10) Germany-based fintech startup N26 is expanding its business to 17 European countries, opening new locations in Spain, Italy, Greece, Ireland, and Slovakia.

Bonus link: Balderton profiled almost 15,000 employees in over 1,000 venture-backed companies in Europe, and produced a report on the ‘European Talent Landscape’ (highly recommended read)

This post originally appeared on Tech.eu

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Deals – VentureBeat

These were the 10 biggest European tech stories this week

European currencies

Happy Friday Saturday! This week, Tech.eu tracked 5 technology M&A transactions, one IPO and 63 tech funding deals (totalling €125.5 million) in Europe, Turkey and Israel.

Here’s an overview of the 10 biggest European tech news items for this week:

1) Skyscanner has been acquired for £1.4 billion by Chinese online travel company Ctrip (mostly in cash). The Edinburgh-based flight meta search company will continue to operate independently.

2) Facebook will hire an extra 500 workers in the UK when it opens a new headquarters in London, increasing its British workforce by half.

3) Microsoft is set to gain EU approval for its $ 26 billion buy of professional social network LinkedIn with tweaks to concessions aimed at addressing competition concerns, sources told Reuters.

4) France-based Wynd has secured €30 million from Sodexo Ventures, Orange Digital Ventures, Bpifrance and others to take its point-of-sale solution to international markets.

5) PM Theresa May to announce £2 billion annual fund to boost UK tech and science.

6) Paris-based Agricool has raised $ 4.3 million to harvest fruits and vegetables in shipping containers.

7) German interactive music TV channel tape.tv has filed for insolvency.

8) Paris, France-based investment firm Idinvest Partners has held the initial closing of its second capital growth fund at €250 million.

9) Monsanto has agreed to acquire VitalFields, an Estonian farm management software company, for an undisclosed amount.

10) Latvia has passed a new ‘innovation and startup tax law’ to double venture capital in the country.

Bonus link: Europe’s software industry brings a total value-added GDP of €910 billion to the EU’s economy, whether direct, indirect, or induced, according to a report from BSA, The Software Alliance.

This post originally appeared on Tech.eu.

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Deals – VentureBeat

26 Last-Minute DIY Halloween Costume Ideas for Tech Geeks & Marketers

office halloween-1.jpg

Halloween is a fun holiday, and it doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Halloween doesn’t have recognizable songs or vacation days associated with it, and it falls on a busy time of year for most people in the workforce. (For example, here at HubSpot, we’re currently gearing up for INBOUND 2016.)

But that doesn’t mean you should skip the festivities at your office Halloween celebration. How many days of the year are you encouraged to dress up and goof around at work? Probably zero. Download free Halloween-themed stock photos here to dress up your content.

We want you to have fun this Halloween, so we’re taking the work out if it for you. We’ve compiled a list of DIY Halloween costume ideas that are easy to put together, inexpensive, and work appropriate. As a bonus, many are marketing and technology-themed, so even if your family and friends don’t get your costume, your colleagues definitely will.

26 Last-Minute Office Halloween Costumes for Marketers & Tech Geeks

Evergreen Office Costumes

1) Alt Text

This was our Director of Content Corey Wainwright‘s office Halloween costume a couple of years ago. It’s great because you don’t even look dressed up if you have a casual office dress code, so you can just blend in.

All you need is to dress in 90s alternative garb — she went with black jeans, combat boots, and a flannel — and tape a piece of paper to yourself that says something like img2017.jpg. Or if you want to follow best practice for good alt text, you can put something more descriptive, like “alt_text.” Your choice, you SEO rebel you.

2) SEO Ninja

Speaking of dorking out on SEO, you could be everyone’s favorite LinkedIn title — the SEO ninja. Dress in all black, put on a black ski mask (kinda creepy if you already have one, but we don’t judge here), and tape keywords all over yourself.  

3) Mobile App

Wander around holding an appetizer — candy, cheese and crackers, chips and dip … whatever you have on hand. Boom. You’re a mobile “app.”

This costume also doubles as a great way to introduce yourself and make friends at a party.


Source: Opportunity Max

4) Instagram

Another way to turn handing out food into a costume: Dress up like a hipster and hand out graham crackers.

5) Ghostwriter

Grab a white sheet and cut a hole for your head and arms. Dob some black ink spots on the sheet, get a book and one of those feather quills (or just get a feather, I suppose), and you’re a ghostwriter.

6) White Space

Dress in all white — add white face paint and a white wig if you’re ultra-committed. Then add a hint of color somewhere on the outfit, like a colored tie or scarf, or even a paint splotch. That color splotch will make the white space more prominent, transforming you into “white space.”

7) Error 404 Page

You’ve most likely encountered a funny error 404 page before, and you can make it a funny costume, too. Grab a sheet of paper, write “Error 404: Costume Not Found,” and tape it to your outfit.


A photo posted by RachAel Klopfenstein (@theklopf) on Sep 5, 2015 at 12:33pm PDT

8) (Monty) Python

If you’re into programming code, British comedy, and low-effort costumes, being (Monty) Python is perfect. Dress up in anything remotely snakelike in your closet: olive green clothing, snakeskin accessories, and fake vampire teeth that can serve as your fangs.

Then, to amp up the dork factor on this costume, add two coconuts or a gold chalice to embody Monty Python on his quest for the Holy Grail. 

9) Facebook

Grab face paint or eyeliner and write “book” across your cheeks. Just like that, you’re the world’s biggest social network for Halloween.

And for your sake, we hope your colleagues actually get it:

10) Unicorn

Here’s another tech-friendly, double-entendre costume: Be your own version of a tech unicorn. Here at HubSpot, we love this tech icon, and you can easily make your own version of a unicorn horn with help from this article.


A photo posted by Claudia Valles (@clapvalley) on Feb 12, 2016 at 6:05am PST

11) Phishing Emails

Phishing emails are nothing to joke about — they can seriously threaten your technology and data security. But on Halloween, you can dress up as a play on phishing emails for an easy DIY costume. All you need are a stick, a piece of string, and an envelope. Bonus points if you own a bucket hat and vest to complete the ensemble.

12) Copycat

Here’s a technology spin on a classic Halloween costume. All you’ll need are cat ears, eyeliner-drawn whiskers, and a sheet of paper. Write “Control + C” on the paper, tape it to your outfit, and you’re a copycat.


Source: BuzzFeed 

13) Fully Vested

If you work in a company where people would get the joke, put on a bunch of vests (at least three, but even more is encouraged) and that’s about it. You’re fully vested.

14) Nerd

What I love about the nerd costume is that it’s effortless and always unique — there are many ways to be a nerd in this day and age. Are you a tech nerd, a video game nerd, or a book nerd? The sky is the limit with this costume. Show up wearing glasses with your favorite accessory, such as a magic wand, book, or lightsaber, to complete the effect.

Topical Office Costumes

15) Pokémon GO Trainer

Pokémon GO had roughly 45 million people walking around in cities glued to their phones in summer 2016 (and I was among them). To pay homage to the explosion of this tech trend, you’ll need a t-shirt that’s red, yellow, or blue. Using fabric paint or permanent marker, write Valor (for red), Instinct (for yellow), or Mystic (for blue) on your shirt. Spend Halloween walking around pointing your phone at objects, and you’re the spitting image of a Pokémon GO trainer. Gotta catch em all, right? 


A photo posted by Odinia (@marshmallowsie) on Aug 9, 2016 at 4:44pm PDT

16) Beyoncé Singing “Hold Up”

If you work in content or social media marketing, you’ve probably read by now that video is growing in popularity among your audience. Beyoncé knows it too — she released her second visual album, Lemonade, earlier this year. Channel Queen Bey in her video featuring the song “Hold Up” by wearing an all-yellow outfit and carrying a toy baseball bat around.


Source: SheFinds

17) Peach

Peach was introduced in early 2016 and never really took off. Pay tribute to the social networking app that experienced the circle of life more quickly than some others by dressing up as a peach. If you don’t have an all-orange outfit on hand, print out this picture of a peach emoji that served as their logo, and you’re done.


Source: The Next Web

18) Barb from Stranger Things

Here’s another Netflix costume idea. Barb from Netflix’s hit new series Stranger Things is universally beloved, and it’s a bonus that her signature look is a comfortable and easy-to-assemble costume. Rock your best Barb with your finest plaid tucked into high-waisted jeans, glasses, pinned-up hair, and a notebook.


Source: Bustle 

Group Office Costumes

19) Google Algorithm Update

Find a couple of office buddies for this one — one panda, one penguin, and one pigeon. You might be thinking, “what the heck is the pigeon algorithm update?” 1) It’s a thing, and 2) we checked Amazon for hummingbird costumes and there aren’t any cheap ones available. 


Source: Opportunity Max

20) Black and White Hat SEO (aka Westworld‘s Man in Black and William)

This is another SEO-related costume, and I think you can figure this one out on your own. I recommend an all black outfit for one, and all white for the other — but the hat’s the most important part.

If you’re a TV nerd like me and want to make this costume work on two levels, make sure your black and white hats are western hats to pay tribute to two big characters on HBO’s popular new sci-fi show, Westworld.

21) Dancing Girls Emoji

If you’re the owner of one of the nearly 600 million Apple iPhones sold worldwide, you’re probably familiar with the girls emoji:

Screen Shot 2016-10-25 at 2.13.14 PM.png

Source: Brit + Co

The easiest version of this costume is to find a buddy and dress all in black together. If you’re committed to emoji authenticity, buy black bunny ears to complete the look.

22) Series A Round of Funding

Get a bunch of people together, write the letter “A” on your shirt, and line up. (You could do subsequent funding rounds using the same principle, too.) 

23) Snapchat Filters

Here’s another group costume idea that pays tribute to Snapchat’s filters feature. 

There are numerous options that you and your team can choose from to embody this costume. You could dress up as vomiting rainbows, cat and dog ears, a flower crown, or a face swap, and this could be as DIY or store-bought as you’re interested in pursuing. For example, here’s some inspiration for a couple of the dog filters:

Source: PopSugar

24) BuzzFeed Reactions

Here’s an easy group costume for a big crew. Everyone dresses in yellow and writes one of the following in big black letters on their shirt. 

Just be sure to sign up for a reaction fast, or you’ll be dressing up as “fail” this year.

BuzzFeed Reactions.png

25) Snapchat Ghosts

Snapchat has exploded in popularity this year, so put a marketing spin on a classic Halloween costume by arriving as a Snapchat ghost. You’ll all need a white sheet and to pick which ghost you like the most. 


Source: YouTube

26) Instagram Filters

For this group costume, you’ll need white t-shirts and fabric markers. Draw an Instagram photo frame on the front of your shirts, and each teach member can write a different Instagram filter‘s name inside the photo frame. Or, create frame props with different filters on them like the group did below:


Source: Nails Magazine

Is your office dressing up this year? What costume will you be sporting? Share with us in the comments section below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2013 and has been updated for freshness and comprehensiveness.

get free halloween stock photos

  Download free Halloween-themed stock photos here to dress up your content.

HubSpot Marketing Blog

These were the 10 biggest European tech stories this week

europe european union flags

This week, Tech.eu tracked 12 technology M&A transactions, one IPO and 86 funding deals (totaling €280 million, about $ 307 million) in Europe, Turkey and Israel.Here’s an overview of the 10 biggest European tech news items for this week:

1) Cork, Ireland-based tech startup InfiniLED has been acquired by the Facebook-owned virtual reality company Oculus.

2) Rocket Internet-backed Wimdu is merging with its competitor, accommodation booking platform 9flats, in hopes to rival Airbnb in Europe.

3) Daniel Ek has replaced Spotify co-founder Martin Lorentzon to become both Chairman and CEO – which means Spotify likely won’t IPO in Sweden.

4) France has adopted a ‘Digital Republic Act’, which includes changes to laws surrounding net neutrality, data portability, video games, and copyright.

5) Navya, a Lyon, France-based company that builds electric, self-driving shuttles for use in urban areas, airports, amusement parks and whatnot, has raised €30 million.

6) Swedish media group MTG has invested in Hamburg-based online game developer, InnoGames,acquiring a 35% stake in the company at a €260 million valuation.

7) Estonian Funderbeam, a blockchain-based startup for trading in growth companies, has raised $ 2.6 million from Draper Associates, Thomson Reuters, and IQ Capital.

8) Founders Factory, the London-based accelerator/incubator founded by Brent Hoberman, Henry Lane Fox and Jim Meyerle, have partnered with and received a ‘multimillion pound’ investment from Chinese private equity holding CSC Group.

9) Uber will offer takeaway meal delivery services in Berlin in 2017 using bicycle courier services.

10) The crisis at Ericsson deepened on Wednesday when the world’s biggest maker of mobile network equipment reported a 94% plunge in quarterly operating profit and tumbling sales.

Bonus link: Early-stage investment firm Seedcamp is having a stellar year so far, which prompted it topublicly share (excellent) performance data for its first fund, which it raised all the way back in 2007.

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This post originally appeared on Tech.eu.

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Deals – VentureBeat

These were the 10 biggest European tech stories this week

europe european union flags

This week, Tech.eu tracked 12 technology M&A transactions, one IPO, and 86 funding deals, totaling €199 million (about $ 224 million), in Europe, Turkey, and Israel.

Here’s an overview of the 10 biggest European tech news items for this week:

1) Dutch food delivery company Takeaway.com went public on Euronext Amsterdam today. Its shares were priced at €23 in its IPO, giving it a market cap of around €1 billion upon opening.

2) Spotify had quite a lot of news to announce this week, like its introduction of Daily Mix, its launch in Japan, and a new board member (Netflix’s content boss). But the biggest news came from the FT, which reported that Spotify is close to buying Berlin’s SoundCloud.

3) Qualcomm is reportedly in talks to acquire The Netherlands-based NXP Semiconductors, a deal that likely would cost more than $ 30 billion and accelerate a consolidation rush in the semiconductor industry.

4) German enterprise software giant SAP has earmarked $ 2.2 billion for the expansion of its Internet of Things portfolio. As part of that overall effort, SAP also says it is acquiring Italian IoT firm Plat.One and Norwegian analytics software maker Fedem Technology.

5) Salesforce urges EU to probe Microsoft, LinkedIn for antitrust issues.

6) This week saw the creation of Europe’s first Automotive-Telecom Alliance. The Alliance includes six leading sectorial associations, as well as 37 companies, including telecom operators, vendors, automobile manufacturers, and suppliers for both cars and trucks. Its main goal is to promote the wider deployment of connected and automated driving in Europe.

7) Apple’s new UK HQ will be in London’s iconic Battersea Power Station.

8) Renault’s carmaking alliance with Nissan is partnering with Microsoft to develop cloud-based services for cars, a step toward the group’s plans to build self-driving automobiles by 2020.

9) German fintech pioneer Smava has raised a $ 34 million round.

10) France’s Lydia raised €7 million for its peer-to-peer payment service.

Bonus link: Map shows VCs invested €23.8 billion in European startups since 2014.

This post originally appeared on Tech.eu

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Deals – VentureBeat

These were the 10 biggest European tech stories this week

Flags of the United Kingdom and European Union

(Tech.eu) – Happy Friday! Here’s an overview of the 10 biggest European tech news items for this week:

1) Big exit in European tech: Antivirus software company AVG Technologies was acquired by rival Avast Software for $ 1.3 billion.

2) The Privacy Shield agreement between the U.S. and Europe that will regulate data transfer between both regions has been signed off on by member states of the EU, and could come into effect very soon.

3) U.K.-based security startup Darktrace and Germany’s Brillen.de raised the two largest rounds of funding in Europe for the week, at $ 65 million and $ 49 million, respectively.

4) Swedish payments company iZettle announced revenue growth of 81 percent last year, but its operating loss widened because of heavy spending to attract customers.

5) Also on the payments front, Stripe launched its “Connect” product in the U.K., Ireland, and several Nordic countries to help startups receive payments from any country where Stripe is live.

6) Reactions to Brexit continue, as technology giants like Facebook say that their opinion should be taken into consideration in Brexit talks. Will Emerald City be the new startup hub in Europe?

7) One of the bigger worries of U.K.-based technology companies has to do with access to talent, and London tech heavyweights call for European talent to remain in the capital following Brexit vote.

8) French automotive giant PSA Groupe is to launch a €100 million venture capital initiative.

9) Remember the EU’s cookie law? The tech industry gangs up on the European Commission, calls for cookie law to be scrapped.

10) The EU this week proposed stricter rules on Bitcoin and prepaid cards as part of efforts to fight terrorism. Ars Technica is worried that this could undermine fundamental rights.

Bonus link(s): A German political party explained why it drove a van around London encouraging startups to move to Berlin.

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Nike HyperAdapt Self-Tying Sneakers to Go on Sale This Year

Nike HyperAdapt 1.0

Image Credit: Nike

These are pretty cool, although I don’t know if self-tying is the best description.

Nike’s first official self-tying sneakers go on sale this year

Nike made a number of new product announcements at a glitzy event in New York recently, but perhaps the most exciting revelation was that the company is finally bringing a pair of self-tying sneakers to market — just like in that movie. While Nike has teased prototypes and versions of the Back to the Future 2 shoe in the past, with the HyperAdapt 1.0 the American sports apparel giant is finally bringing a pair of the futuristic wonders to market for anyone to buy. The sneakers sport…
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