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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Cleo, the ‘digital assistant’ that replaces your banking apps, picks up $10M Series A led by Balderton

When Cleo, the London-based “digital assistant” that wants to replace your banking apps, quietly entered the U.S., the company couldn’t have expected to be an instant hit. Many better-funded British startups have failed to “break America.” However, just four months later, the fintech upstart counts 350,000 users across the pond — claiming more than 600,000 active users in the U.K., U.S. and Canada in total — and says it is adding 30,000 new signups each week. All of which hasn’t gone unnoticed by investors.

Already backed by some of the biggest VC names in the London tech scene — including Entrepreneur First, Moonfruit founder Wendy Tan White, Skype founder Niklas Zennström, Wonga founder Errol Damelin, TransferWise founder Taavet Hinrikus and LocalGlobe — Cleo is adding Balderton Capital to the list.

The European venture capital firm, which has previously invested in fintech unicorn Revolut and the well-established GoCardless, has led Cleo’s $10 million Series A round, in which I understand most early backers, including Zennström, also followed on. One source told me the Series A gives the hot London startup a post-money valuation of around £30 million (~$39.7m), although Cleo declined to comment.

In a call with co-founder and CEO Barney Hussey-Yeo, he explained that the new capital will be used to continue scaling the company, with further international expansion the name of the game. Hussey-Yeo says Cleo will be targeting Western Europe, the Americas and Australasia, aiming to launch in a whopping 22 countries in the next 12 months, as Cleo bids to become the “default interface” for millennials interacting and managing their money.

Primarily accessed via Facebook Messenger, the AI-powered chatbot gives insights into your spending across multiple accounts and credit cards, broken down by transaction, category or merchant. In addition, Cleo lets you take a number of actions based on the financial data it has gleaned. You can choose to put money aside for a rainy day or specific goal, send money to your Facebook Messenger contacts, donate to charity, set spending alerts and more.

However, in the context of traction and Cleo’s broader global ambitions, it is the decision not to become a bank in its own right that Hussey-Yeo feels is really beginning to bear fruit. His argument has always been that you don’t need to be a bank to become the primary way users interface with their finances, and that without the regulatory and capital burden that becoming a fully licensed bank brings, you can scale much more quickly. I have a feeling that strategy — and its pros and cons — has a long way to play out just yet.


Source: TechCrunch

Watch how Tesla Model 3 earned NHTSA’s top safety rating

The Tesla Model 3 has had its share of struggles, from CEO Elon Musk’s well-documented production hell to more recent logistic “nightmares” that have slowed deliveries to customers.

There’s one area where the Tesla shines: crash safety tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And the Tesla Model 3 is no exception. Check out the videos below to watch the crash tests.

The rear-wheel-drive version of the Tesla Model 3 earned an all-around five-star safety rating from NHTSA, the highest possible issued by the agency. These tests cover frontal, side and rollover crashes. The Model 3 received five stars in each category, as well as sub categories such as side barrier and pole crashes.

Tesla’s crash rating is buoyed by the absence of an internal combustion engine. For instance, without a motor in the hood, there’s more room for a forward crumple zone. Tesla vehicles also tend to be resistant to rollovers because the battery pack is located at the bottom of the vehicle, giving it a low center of gravity. The risk of a rollover in a Tesla Model 3 is 6.6 percent, according to NHTSA.

Tesla Model 3 is not the only vehicle to earn the highest rating. There are other 2018 model year vehicles that have earned a five-star rating from NHTSA, including the Subaru Legacy and Toyota Camry four-door hybrid. It’s also worth noting, as Musk did Thursday, that five-star ratings only mean the vehicle meets a certain threshold. Injury probability stats, which are expected soon, indicate by how much.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also conducts crash tests on vehicles to determine safety ratings. The IIHS, which represents automobile insurers, has not published ratings on the Model 3.


Source: TechCrunch

Audible brings its audiobook library to the Apple Watch

Didn’t get your fill of Amazon news among the 70 or so announcements at today’s Alexa event? Good news, Audible’s got something to add to the deluge. The Amazon-owned audiobook site just announced the availability of its Apple Watch app.

The offering brings pretty much what you’d expect. You can listen to audiobooks and manage your library directly from the small screen. It’s a pretty logical next step for the service, given the focus Apple has put on smartwatch audio, between last year’s addition of an LTE version of the watch and the recent announcement of a native podcasting app for the platform.

This also goes a ways toward justifying the recent addition of Aaptiv fitness routines, which Audible added a few weeks back. The offering made some sense on the phone, but bringing the course directly to a fitness/health-focused product like the Apple Watch helps complete that vision. Those workout and meditation offerings are free to Audible users through September of next year.


Source: TechCrunch

Así le manipulan las noticias falsas según su nivel de alerta

El poder de engaño de los bulos divide a la sociedad en tres grupos: los que no saben que existen las noticias falsas, los que son sí lo saben pero son incapaces de identificarlas y los que las detectan al instante. El simple hecho de saber que existen reduce su capacidad de manipulación
Source: MIT

La IA está cerca de pilotar aviones, siempre que no lleven personas

El sector aeroespacial ya emplea inteligencia artificial, aunque nunca en vuelo. Boeing cree que dentro de poco la tecnología podría asistir a pilotos en condiciones complicadas e incluso gobernar aeronaves para el transporte de mercancías. Y está invirtiendo mucho para lograrlo
Source: MIT

Everything Amazon Announced: Echo Plus, Alexa Microwave, Echo Sub

Today, Amazon announced more Alexa-powered products than you’ll ever need—with the hopes you’ll get at least one.
Source: Wired

Amazon's Alexa Can't Know Everything, But It Can Go Everywhere

A heap of new Alexa devices—a microwave! a wall clock!—show Amazon’s strategy to put its voice assistant in everything.
Source: Wired

Smart Reply not smart enough? Desktop Gmail users can soon opt out

Google will soon give desktop Gmail users the ability to opt out of Smart Reply. If you’d prefer to compose a short email the old-fashioned way, you can do so without seeing the auto-generated suggestions in the future.

The post Smart Reply not smart enough? Desktop Gmail users can soon opt out appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Documentation shows data recovery possible for Macs with T2 coprocessor

New documentation from Apple shows that data recovery is indeed possible for Macs with T2 Coprocessor thanks to internal diagnostics software, giving users of the 2018 MacBook Pro new hope in the event of a system failure.

The post Documentation shows data recovery possible for Macs with T2 coprocessor appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Amazon’s new Echo Dot, up close and hands-ons

If the Echo Show was the Amazon device most desperately in need of a makeover (please and thank you), the Dot was certainly a close second. After all, while the cheapest (and best selling) Echo device has already been through a couple of iterations, the hardware wasn’t exactly the sort of thing you’d proudly display on the coffee table.

The thing that strikes you immediately upon seeing the redesigned version of what Amazon calls “the best selling speaker” is how much the new generation of the product is influenced by Google’s Home Mini. In fact, Google’s influence was evident all over the place here.

That said, I actually prefer the design on this one. The new Dot has a similar form factor to its predecessor, keeping the rough dimensions and button layouts in tact. The biggest difference from the design perspective, is the cloth speaker that surrounds the perimeter of the device. The product takes the whole “speaker” part of “Smart Speaker” a bit more seriously.

The new version tops out at about 70 percent louder than the original Dot. The company played a pair of the products in tandem for me (the Ed Sheeran, for the record, was not my choice), with each one splitting the left and right stereo channels.

The effect was solid, though I’m not rushing out to replace the Google Home Max in my apartment at the moment. That said, you can piece together a decent Amazon-only system with products like the Sub and Link.

The most impressive bit in all of this is, naturally, the price. Amazon managed to improve the hardware without charging more. That would have been a mistake, of course. The $49 price tag is kind of the whole point of the Dot. This is the gateway drug into the Alexa ecosystem (Echosystem?).

At that level, you’ve got a low cost entry into multi-room audio. It’s all part of the company’s approach to home audio. By circumventing high ticket items like the HomePod or Google Home Max, Amazon is letting users build their home audio system piece by piece.


Source: TechCrunch

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