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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

So You Want to Harness Evaporation From a Manmade Lake

There are much better ways to generate electricity than this proposed scheme in Egypt, but here’s how it would theoretically work.
Source: Wired

Nike's Self-Lacing Adapt BB Basketball Shoe Is Actually Smart

The Adapt BB isn’t just an impressive riff on a sci-fi dream—it’s a lightweight, NBA-ready kick that’s ushering in a new age of smart footwear.
Source: Wired

Is ’Oumuamua an Alien Spaceship? Sure! Except, No

People love ‘Oumuamua because it’s an antidote to our cosmic loneliness. And that’s ok!
Source: Wired

'Onimusha: Warlords' Reminds Us of the Power of Small Stories

Games like the now-remastered 2001 title may have disappeared, but their plainness is an appealing antidote to today’s excesses.
Source: Wired

As Tech Invades Cycling, Are Bike Activists Selling Out?

Now in the cycling business, Uber, Lyft, and others are co-opting the experience of longtime safe streets advocates.
Source: Wired

The 2009 vs. 2019 Meme Is a Gift From Our Smartphones

Nearly everyone now has a decade of photos in their pockets.
Source: Wired

Cities Are Tucking Climate Change Fixes Into New Laws

Across the country, cities are implementing new housing and transit laws that, oh by the way, lower their emissions of greenhouse gasses.
Source: Wired

Tom Cruise lights the fuse on two new Mission: Impossible movies – CNET

Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie will follow the smash hit Fallout with two films shot back to back.
Source: CNET

Contabilizei raises $20 million to ease Brazilians’ tax pain

Online tax filing and accounting service, Contabilizei, has raised $20 million in a new round of financing led by Point72 Ventures, the early stage investment arm associated with hedge fund guru Steven Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management.

Smart money in both the venture and private equity space has been long Brazil for a bit, and the new investment provides even more firepower to the thesis that Brazil’s startup ecosystem is on the move.

“For the Brazilian ecosystem, the investment represents the trust and the opportunity that we have here in the Brazilian market. For quite some time it was difficult to attract this kind of investment from abroad,” says Contabilizei chief executive Vitor Torres. Even though we had a recession there are technology companies that are growing,” Torres says, saying that the company has already staved off acquisition offers and will eventually eye a potential public offering in U.S. or domestic markets.

Though it was only founded five years ago, the company already has 200 employees and more than 10,000 customers throughout Brazil.

Contabilizei has already audited more than 2 billion reals in customer revenue and saved its users over 500 million reals in taxes. For new companies, Contabilizei will also offer free business registration and formation filings. So far, the company has helped 5,000 new businesses get their paperwork done around the country.

“In Brazil, one of the greatest frictions for a small company is meeting its tax reporting requirements,” said Pete Casella, Head of Fintech & Financial Services Investments at Point72 Ventures. “By building an automated tax accounting service that can deliver services at a fraction of the cost of a traditional accountant, we believe that Contabilizei has established the high trust relationships that will enable it to serve customers in many new ways over the coming years.”

New investors also contributed to the round including the International Financial Corp., an investment arm of the The World Bank, and Quona Capital, Quadrant, and the Fintech Collective. They joined existing company backers Kaszek Ventures, e.Bricks, Endeavor Catalyst, and Curitiba Angels.

“Our goal is to simplify the entrepreneur’s routine so they can focus on their own business and not on bureaucracy. We are only at the beginning, and in three years we want to grow 15 times more,” said Vitor Torres, chief executiver and founder of Contabilizei, in a statement. “We were pioneers in the debureaucratization of accounting in the country and we managed to do it with a quality that surpasses 98% of our customers’ satisfaction.”


Source: TechCrunch

Digital insurance firm Singapore Life raises $33M ahead of Southeast Asia expansion

Digital insurance firm Singapore Life has started 2019 with a bang after it raised $33 million across two investments as it eyes new market expansions in Southeast Asia.

The company pulled in $20 million from NYSE-listed Aflac Investment on December 31 and then it added a further $13 million this week via an investment from Aberdeen Standard Investments, a Scotland-based asset management firm with 50 offices worldwide. These deals take the company to $97 million to date, which included a massive $50 million Series A last year.

Singapore Life was started in 2014 by Walter de Oude, who left HSBC after seven years in charge of its insurance business in Singapore. The idea is a 100 percent digital insurance firm that removes piles of paperwork and passes the cost savings from dispensing with traditional business models on to users. The firm secured a license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore in 2017. It went live later that year and then gathered steam through the acquisition of Zurich Life Singapore’s business portfolio.

Today, its services including life insurance, family coverage, endowment plans, wealth portfolio services and more. The company also offers digital-focused products that includie an activity tracker and fitness program, a chatbot service and flash sales.

Singapore Life said that both of these new deals are strategic in nature. Aflac said it has inked a reinsurance agreement with the company “on certain protection products” while Aberdeen Standard Investments is “exploring new opportunities to bring our asset management expertise to a broader client base in the region,” according to Hugh Young, its head of Asia Pacific.

With this new money in the bank, Singapore Life is planning to expand into other markets in Southeast Asia, the fast-growing digital region with over 600 million consumers. The company said it plans to begin expanding into new markets and other verticals “over the coming year,” although no further details were provided.

In addition to competing with traditional insurers, Singapore Life’s rivals include venture-backed CXA Asia. Digital insurance and financial services has taken off in some Western markets and, of course, China, where internet giants like Alibaba and Tencent have jumped in. Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong is welcoming digital-only brands that include Bowtie and OneDegree, both of which have raised capital from VCs.


Source: TechCrunch

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