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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Instacart expands ALDI partnership

After pilot programs in Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles and Chicago were “overwhelmingly positive,” per Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta’s statement, the grocery delivery service has decided to expand its partnership with U.S. grocer ALDI.

As of Thanksgiving, Instacart users in 35 states and 5,000 ZIP codes will be able to fill their virtual carts with ALDI groceries.

ALDI is in the process of completing a $5 billion remodel, with plans to expand its store count to 2,500 in the next four years. The grocer initially entered into an agreement with Instacart last fall.

Since raising another $150 million in April, Instacart has doubled down on expansion efforts. Last week, the company announced a new partnership with Walmart Canada that put an additional 17 Walmart locations across Toronto and Winnipeg into the Instacart network. Before that, Instacart confirmed it would bring its service to 75 additional Kroger markets by October.

The company, valued at $4.3 billion, is available in 15,000 different stores in more than 4,000 cities, or 70 percent of all U.S. households. Instacart’s goal, according to a 2017 company announcement, is to reach 80 percent of American homes by the end of this year.


Source: TechCrunch

Withings returns from the dead with Steel HR Sport watch

Any time a smaller company is gobbled up by a larger one, you assume the worse. In the case of Nokia buying Withings, that’s more or less what happened. First Nokia launched a handful of products under its own name and ultimately dropped the French health hardware company altogether.

Four months ago, one of Withings’ co-founders bought the brand back from Nokia. And today, the innovative French hardware company returns with a new take on an old product. The Steel HR Sport. It’s a welcome return for what had become one of my favorite fitness trackers, prior to the brand’s untimely demise, back in May.

The Steel line’s simplicity has always been among its most appealing features. The original, launched in 2014, was one of the early hybrid smartwatches — a fairly standard analog timepiece that hides some smart features below the surface. The devices feature a small monochrome display up top for notifications and menus, along with a small secondary gauge embedded in the face that displays the percentage toward a daily fitness goal.

The Steel HR Sport brings some key updates to the line, including the ability to track 30 different activities, including yoga, volleyball, rowing, boxing, skiing and ice hockey. The watch also provides “Fitness Level Assessments,” which gauge things like VO2 max to provide a better overall picture of health. And while there’s no GPS built in, the watch uses the phone to track distance, elevation and pace and map runs.

Aside from the aesthetic appeal, battery life has always been one of the biggest upsides of these hybrid devices, and the new watch certainly fits the profile with 25 days on a charge, plus an additional 20 days in standby mode. That means that, unlike much of the competition, the watch actually can track daytime and nighttime activity, without needing to recharge.

Unlike the Steel HR, which came in both 36 and 40mm sizes, the HR Sport is only available in the latter — though that’s still quite a bit more compact than a number of smartwatches on the market. It’s available today for $200.


Source: TechCrunch

How Apple Makes the AI Chip Powering the iPhone's Fancy Tricks

In a rare interview, Tim Millet, Apple’s leading chip architect, describes building artificial intelligence into the new A12 processor.
Source: Wired

Google partners with Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi to put Android into millions of vehicles

Google will partner with Renault -Nissan-Mitsubishi, the largest auto alliance in the world by vehicle sales, to put Android-based infotainment systems into millions of cars, the companies told Wall Street Journal. The alliance’s next-generation infotainment system and dashboard displays will use Android and launch in 2021.

Drivers will be able to access Google’s maps, app store and voice assistant from their vehicle’s dashboards. The new partnership is a giant step forward for Google’s ambitions to get its operating system into more cars (the alliance sold a combined 5.5 million vehicles in the first half of this year, putting it ahead of Volkswagen and Toyota Motor).

The alliance’s executives told WSJ that they decided on the partnership because many of their customers are accustomed to using Google Maps and other apps and prefer sticking with them instead of using software developed by automakers when they drive.

Auto executives have also become more comfortable with Google, which made its software open source in 2007. Kal Mos, the alliance’s vice president of connected vehicles, told the Wall Street Journal that “the trust was built in the last few years.”

By partnering with Google, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi ups the ante on rival automakers to partner with tech companies instead of developing their own software ecosystems. While this may win customers over, it also means potentially ceding control over valuable user data to companies like Google and Apple. Mos told WSJ that Google will have access to data collected from its in-car apps, but must ask for user permission first.

Other automakers that are already integrating Google apps into their vehicles include Volkswagen, which put Google Earth into the Audi’s in-car navigation system, and Volvo Cars, which said its next in-car infotaintment system will run on Android.


Source: TechCrunch

Artists we want SpaceX to take on its first private moon mission – CNET

SpaceX’s first moon tourist wants to take a group of artists on his trip into lunar orbit. He hasn’t chosen the final, lucky few yet, but we have some humble suggestions…
Source: CNET

2019 Audi E-Tron keeps it pretty normcore – Roadshow

Its $74,800 starting price doesn’t attempt to hide its luxury-car roots.
Source: CNET

Why SpaceX's billionaire space tourist is taking artists to the moon video – CNET

SpaceX has its first moon tourist. Watch Yusaku Maezawa discuss his big plans for travelling to space.
Source: CNET

Elon Musk Says SpaceX Will Send Yusaku Maezawa (and Artists!) to the Moon

Elon Musk introduced the Japanese billionaire as the mystery passenger who booked a trip to the moon aboard SpaceX’s BFR rocket, along with a half-dozen artists he plans to invite.
Source: Wired

Ola raises $50M at a $4.3B valuation from two Chinese funds

Ola, the arch-rival of Uber in India, has raised $50 million at a valuation of about $4.3 billion from Sailing Capital, a Hong Kong-based private equity firm, and the China-Eurasian Economic Cooperation Fund (CEECF), a state-backed Chinese fund. The funding was disclosed in regulatory documents sourced by Paper.vc and reviewed by Indian financial publication Mint.

According to Mint, Sailing Capital and CEECF will hold a combined stake of more than 1% in Ola . An Ola spokesperson said the company has no comment.

Ola’s last funding announcement was in October, when it raised $1.1 billion (its largest funding round to date) from Tencent and returning investor SoftBank Group. Ola also said it planned to raise an additional $1 billion from other investors that would take the round’s final amount to about $2.1 billion.

At the time, a source with knowledge of the deal told TechCrunch that Ola was headed toward a post-money valuation of $7 billion once the $2.1 bllion raise was finalized. So while the funding from Sailing Capital and CEECF brings it closer to its funding goal, the latest valuation of $4.3 billion is still lower than the projected amount.

Ola needs plenty of cash to fuel its ambitious expansion both within and outside of India. In addition to ride hailing, Ola got back into the food delivery game at the end of last year by acquiring Foodpanda’s Indian operations to compete with UberEats, Swiggy, Zomato and Google’s Areo. It was a bold move to make as India’s food delivery industry consolidated, especially since Ola had previously launched a food delivery service that shut down after less than one year. To ensure the survival of Foodpanda, Ola poured $200 million into its new acquisition.

A few months later after buying Foodpanda, Ola announced the acquisition of public transportation ticketing startup Ridlr in an all-stock deal. Outside of India, Ola has been focused on a series of international launches. It announced today that it will begin operating in New Zealand, fast on the heels of launches in the United Kingdom and Australia (its first country outside of India) this year.


Source: TechCrunch

Audi partners with Amazon and Electrify America to help kickstart its EV ecosystem

Audi is partnering with e-commerce giant Amazon and VW Group unit Electrify America as the automaker prepares to deliver its first all-electric SUV to U.S. dealerships next year.

The Audi e-tron, which was unveiled Monday night in San Francisco, kicks off the German automaker’s electric vehicle ambitions. The e-tron is the first of three battery-electric vehicles that Audi plans to debut by 2020.

The e-tron SUV joins a growing list of luxury electric vehicles trying to take aim at Tesla. The partnerships with Amazon, Electrify America and utility service Arcadia Power are meant gird Audi’s bet on EVs.

These days, it’s not enough to produce an all-electric vehicle, even a nice-looking one. Customers considering a switch from gas-powered to electric-powered vehicles or from their Tesla to, say an e-tron, will want access to a network of fast chargers and other conveniences. These partnerships are supposed to making owning an e-tron easier from setting up a home charger and to “fueling up” the electric vehicle when it’s on the road.

The partnership with Amazon will give e-tron owners the option to use Amazon Home Services to prepare their homes for an installation of a home charger. This is Amazon Home Service’s first ever collaboration with an automaker to deliver turn-key in-home charging, according to Amazon.

Amazon Home Services will provide Audi e-tron owners with a place (meaning online) to learn about EV home charging installation and equipment, pricing for electrical services and the ability to schedule an electrician to install an EV charger.

Audi is also offering 1,000 kilowatt-hours of power  to e-tron owners over four years through Electrify America’s chargers. By July 2019, this network will include 500 fast-charging sites (completed or under development) the 40 states and 17 metro areas, according to Audi.

That’s still behind Tesla, which has 1,342 fast-charging stations with 11,013 superchargers. But it’s an important start for Audi if it hopes to compete.

In a third partnership announced with Arcadia Power, the digital utility service will allow Audi e-tron owners offset their home electricity consumption with renewable energy. E-tron owners can connect their electricity bill to Arcadia Power and select a renewable energy project to support. Subscribers then receive savings their monthly electricity costs, depending on the project’s energy production, according to Audi.


Source: TechCrunch

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