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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

HoneyBook, a client management platform for creative businesses, raises $28M Series C led by Citi Ventures

HoneyBook co-founders Oz and Naama Alon

HoneyBook, a customer-relationship management platform aimed at small businesses in creative fields, announced today it has raised a $28 million Series C led by Citi Ventures. All of its existing investors, including Norwest Venture Partners, Aleph, Vintage Investment Partners and Hillsven Capital, also returned for the round. Citi is a strategic partner for HoneyBook and this will enable it to offer new financial products to freelancers, its co-founder and CEO Oz Alon told TechCrunch.

This brings HoneyBook’s total raised so far to $72 million. It is using the funds to grow its teams in San Francisco and Tel Aviv and build new features for its user base, including small companies, people who work by themselves (“solopreneurs”) and freelancers. Like other CRMs, HoneyBook helps them develop relationships with potential new clients, manage projects, send invoices and accept payments, but with tools scaled for their business’ needs.

Alon told TechCrunch in an email that one segment HoneyBook is focused on is millennials (he cites a survey that found 49 percent of people under 40 plan to start their own business). HoneyBook currently claims tens of thousands of customers and has passed $1 billion in business booked using its software, along with 75,000 members in Rising Tide, the company’s online community for creative entrepreneurs.

Other management software platforms competing for the attention of entrepreneurs and freelancers include Tave, Dubsado and 17hats. One of the main ways HoneyBook differentiates is by enabling its users to accept online payments without integrating with a third-party service. Thanks to this, its users “transact more than 80 percent of their business online, significantly more than any other payments platform serving this audience, Alon said. It’s partnership with Citi will also allow the company to develop more unique services for its target customers, he added.

In a prepared statement, Citi Ventures’ Israel director and venture investing lead Omit Shinar said “We are in the midst of a period of extensive changes in societal structures and economic models. The fintech ecosystem is producing more and more breakthrough innovations that serve the needs of modern consumers, and we believe, as a pioneer in its space, HoneyBook can become a market leader in the U.S.”


Source: TechCrunch

It's a Short Hop From 'Fortnite' to a New AI Best Friend

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney knows exactly what he’s doing with the battle royale juggernaut: charting a path to the virtual metaverse.
Source: Wired

Facebook admits it stored ‘hundreds of millions’ of account passwords in plaintext

Flip the “days since last Facebook security incident” back to zero.

Facebook confirmed Thursday in a blog post, prompted by a report by cybersecurity reporter Brian Krebs, that it stored “hundreds of millions” of account passwords in plaintext for years.

The discovery was made in January, said Facebook’s Pedro Canahuati, as part of a routine security review. None of the passwords were visible to anyone outside Facebook, he said. Facebook admitted the security lapse months later, after Krebs said logs were accessible to some 2,000 engineers and developers.

Krebs said the bug dated back to 2012.

“This caught our attention because our login systems are designed to mask passwords using techniques that make them unreadable,” said Canahuati. “We have found no evidence to date that anyone internally abused or improperly accessed them,” but did not say how the company made that conclusion.

Facebook said it will notify “hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users,” a lighter version of Facebook for users where internet speeds are slow and bandwidth is expensive, and “tens of millions of other Facebook users.” The company also said “tens of thousands of Instagram users” will be notified of the exposure.

It’s believed as many as 600 million users could be affected, about one-fifth of the company’s 2.7 billion users.

Facebook didn’t say exactly how the bug came to be. Storing passwords in a readable, plaintext is an insecure way of storing passwords. Companies, like Facebook, hash and salt passwords — two ways of further scrambling passwords — to store passwords securely. That allows companies to verify a user’s password without knowing what it is.

Twitter and GitHub were hit by similar but independent bugs last year. Both companies said passwords were stored in plaintext and not scrambled.

It’s the latest in a string of embarrassing security issues at the company, prompting congressional inquiries and government investigations. It was reported last week that Facebook’s deals that allowed other tech companies to access account data without consent was under criminal investigation.

It’s not known why Facebook took months to confirm the incident, or if the company informed state or international regulators per U.S. breach notification and European data protection laws. We asked Facebook but a spokesperson did not immediately comment beyond the blog post.

More soon…


Source: TechCrunch

Facebook found millions of passwords stored in plain-text in internal investigation – CNET

The social network expects to notify hundreds of millions of users whose passwords were not encrypted on Facebook’s internal servers.
Source: CNET

Facebook explains why its AI didn't catch New Zealand gunman's livestream – CNET

It dives into the challenges of using artificial intelligence to flag videos like the one that streamed the attack on mosques in Christchurch.
Source: CNET

T-Mobile launches invite-only home internet pilot in rural areas – CNET

It aims to connect 50,000 homes this year.
Source: CNET

Disney Is Building a Box Office Death Star

The Mouse House just took in a Fox and the ‘Masters of the Universe’ movie might’ve found its He-Man.
Source: Wired

Veteran tech journalist Dan Frommer launches his own subscription publication, The New Consumer

Dan Frommer has worked at some of the best-known publications in tech and business journalism — he was editor in chief of Recode, an editor at Business Insider and he’s even done some writing and chart-making for TechCrunch. But he’s also started his own things, including the tech news site SplatF and the mobile travel guide startup City Notes.

Now, five months after leaving Recode, Frommer is launching a new publication, The New Consumer — an umbrella term he’s using to describe the changing landscape in e-commerce, online advertising and direct-to-consumer brands.

The goal, he said, is to become the first thing that industry executives read in the morning, whether they’re CMOs at Fortune 500 companies, or the founders of direct-to-consumer startups or “anyone who’s in the professional world [trying to figure out] what’s next, how are people using technology differently, how is technology influencing how people spend money differently.”

These are all topics covered by the major tech news sites and general interest publications, but Frommer said he will focus less on “covering the day-to-day moves at tech companies” and more on “the messy lines between the announcements,” and on what is and isn’t working.

“That thing that this company announced a few weeks ago, is it actually working?” he said. “Are people actually using it, is it successful or not and why? What are we learning from it?”

Dan Frommer

Dan Frommer

The core product at The New Consumer will be the Executive Briefing, a newsletter that Frommer plans to put out twice a week, and that you’ll need to pay a $200 annual subscription fee to read. He said that this month will be a “paid beta,” where you’ll need to subscribe to read the newsletters, but you’ll get 13 months of access for your money, rather than 12.

Frommer also plans to publish non-paywalled feature articles (like this piece about cookware startup Great Jones), and to organize events such as industry dinners as well.

He added that he’s hopeful that the subscription model can allow him to build a sustainable operation that he can spend all or most of his time on.

“I’m committed to this for the long term,” he said. “This is a job I’d love to be doing for 10 years, 20 years. But I also recognize that I have to iterate a little bit to meet the market where it is.”

The New Consumer is starting out as a one-man operation, with Frommer citing Ben Thompson’s Stratechery as one of his inspirations to build an “individual news agency” that’s focused on newsletters and supported by subscriptions. At the same time, he’s interested in expanding the team if things go well.

“Consumer spending represents the majority of all money around the world,” he said. “This is something that could eventually stretch to all kinds of verticals, from sports to entertainment to personal finance.”


Source: TechCrunch

Best compact SUVs for the money in 2019 – Roadshow

Take a look at Roadshow’s favorite small SUVs that are available now.
Source: CNET

Take selfies from the sky with the DJI Spark: Just $235 – CNET

That’s the lowest price to date on DJI’s amazingly capable quadcopter, which can be controlled using just your hands. Plus, a portable wireless power bank for $28.
Source: CNET

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