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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

The Dell G5587 Nvidia GTX 1060 gaming laptop just dropped to $799 at Walmart

Gone are the days when you had to spend a grand or more to get a great gaming laptop. PC makers like Dell are cranking out some excellent and affordable machines today like the Dell G5587, which is on sale right now for just $799.
Source: Digital trends

Monzo, the UK challenger bank, raises £113M Series F led by YC’s Continuity fund at a £2B post-money valuation

Monzo, the fast-growing U.K.-based challenger bank with more than two million account holders, has raised £113 million (~$144m) in additional funding.

Confirming TechCrunch’s scoop in April, the Series F round is led by Y Combinator’s “Continuity” growth fund, and gives the company a new £2 billion (~$2.5b) post-money valuation. That’s double the £1 billion valuation it garnered in October last year.

A number of other new and existing investors have also participated in the Series F. They include Latitude, General Catalyst, Stripe, Passion Capital, Thrive, Goodwater, Accel, and Orange Digital Ventures.

The investment by London-based Latitude, the growth fund from prolific seed investor LocalGlobe, is particularly noteworthy given that LocalGlobe itself didn’t previously back Monzo. The same might be said of YC’s Continuity, considering that Monzo isn’t a YC alumni (although GoCardless, Monzo co-founder Tom Blomfield’s previous startup, did take part in the Silicon Valley accelerator).

The take-away: a growth fund attached to an early-stage fund can be a great antidote to the anti-portfolio (the list of successful companies a VC firm either missed, were unable or chose not to invest in).

Meanwhile, Monzo’s new funding round and YC’s backing should be viewed within the context of not only fast growth and increasingly convincing product-market fit in the U.K. — the challenger bank is currently adding 200,000 new sign-ups for its current account each month — but also recently unveiled plans to tentatively launch across the pond.

We first reported that Monzo was busy assembling a U.S.-based team over five months ago, and the U.K. company made its U.S. plans official last week. This will see a U.S. Monzo app and connected Mastercard debit card available via in-person signups at events to be held soon. The rollout will initially consist of a few thousand cards, supported by a waitlist in preparation for a wider launch.

The U.S. launch is being done in partnership with a local bank, but in the longer term Monzo plans to apply for its own U.S. bank license, similar to the strategy it employed in the U.K. so as to own and operate as much of its technical, product and regulatory infrastructure as possible.

In the U.K., this has helped Monzo achieve an NPS score of 80, which Blomfield previously told me is unusually high for a bank. This is seeing 60% of U.K. signups remain long-term active, transacting at once per week. As a counterpoint, however, the percentage of Monzo users that pay a salary into their Monzo account sits at between about 27% and 30% of active users, suggesting that a significant number of Monzo customers aren’t yet using it as their main account (Monzo’s definition of salaried is anyone who deposits at least £1,000 per month by bank transfer).

Success in the U.S., therefore, isn’t a given, conceded Blomfield when I had a call with him earlier this month. Instead, he argued that the key to cracking North America will be creating a fully localised version of Monzo based on carefully listening to U.S. users and once again finding product-market fit. He says there are obvious and less obvious cultural and technical differences in the way Brits and Americans save, spend and manage their finances, and this will require significant product divergence from the U.K. version of Monzo. Today’s new £113 million injection of capital is clearly designed to provide some of the breathing space required to achieve that.

As a side note, there are encouraging signs from other London-based fintechs that have ventured across the pond. One recent example is the financial “digital assistant� chatbot Cleo, which entered the U.S. around a year ago and has been more successful than the company anticipated, seeing Cleo add 650,000 active U.S. users to date. In fact, the U.S. currently makes up more than 90% of new Cleo users, prompting one source to describe the U.K. startup as effectively a U.S. company now.


Source: TechCrunch

At last, a camera app that automatically removes all people from your photos

As a misanthrope living in a vibrant city, I’m never short of things to complain about. And in particular the problem of people crowding into my photos, whatever I happen to shoot, is a persistent one. That won’t be an issue any more with Bye Bye Camera, an app that simply removes any humans from photos you take. Finally!

It’s an art project, though a practical one (art can be practical!), by Do Something Good. The collective, in particular the artist damjanski, has worked on a variety of playful takes on the digital era, such as a CAPTCHA that excludes humans, and setting up a dialogue between two Google conversational agents.

The new app, damjanski told Artnome, is “an app for the post-human era… The app takes out the vanity of any selfie and also the person.” Fortunately, it leaves dogs intact.

Of course it’s all done in a self-conscious, arty way — are humans necessary? What defines one? What will the world be like without us? You can ponder those questions or not; fortunately, the app doesn’t require it of you.

Bye Bye Camera works using some of the AI tools that are already out there for the taking in the world of research. It uses YOLO (You Only Look Once), a very efficient object classifier that can quickly denote the outline of a person, and then a separate tool that performs what Adobe has called “context-aware fill.” Between the two of them a person is reliably — if a bit crudely — deleted from any picture you take and credibly filled in by background.

It’s a fun project (though the results are a mixed bag) and it speaks not only to the issues it supposedly raises about the nature of humanity, but also the accessibility of tools under the broad category of “AI” and what they can and should be used for.

You can download Bye Bye Camera for $3 on the iOS App Store.


Source: TechCrunch

Netflix alternative Tubi passes 20 million monthly active users – CNET

Users of the free streaming service also watched more than 94 million hours of content in May, the company says.
Source: CNET

Huawei says it'll increase its 5G investment – CNET

That’s despite the US ban of Huawei products.
Source: CNET

Apple fires back: Spotify pays fees on less than 1% of its members – CNET

Spotify has largely opted out of the Apple systems that require fees, specifically because it claims Apple abuses the power of the App Store to stifle rivals.
Source: CNET

Space X's Launch Tonight, An Illegal Airbnb Empire, and More News

Catch up on the most important news from today in two minutes or less.
Source: Wired

Facebook fugitive Paul Ceglia freed by Ecuador's president – CNET

New York man disappeared in 2015 after being charged with trying to extort billions of dollars from Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg.
Source: CNET

Drone Racing League is raising $50 million

The enterprise drone space has been heating up over the past couple years, but a startup in the entertainment drone space is raising the big cash now.

The Drone Racing League is in the process of raising up to $50 million from investors in a Series C round according to SEC docs published today. The startup has already raised over $26 million of that figure and is looking to secure additional investors to close out the rest. Investors in the new round appear to already include Lux Capital and RSE Ventures.

We reached out to Drone Racing League for comment.

The company had previously raised $32 million in funding from backers including Sky, CRCM Ventures and Hearst Ventures. Drone Racing League closed a $20 million Series B in 2017.

The startup, as the name implies, is in the business of speedy drone racing. It was founded in 2015 with the goal of capitalizing on some of the excitement around the technology, while aiming to build out a league that captured the thrill of airborne Formula-1 racing.

We did a deep dive on the company’s efforts back in 2016 and the surrounding drone racing enthusiast space. The athletes fly custom-built hardware at 90 miles per hour in tourneys that take place at sites ranging from empty warehouses to professional sports arenas. Races have been broadcast on NBC Sports, Twitter, Sky Sports and FOX Sports Asia according to the startup.

 


Source: TechCrunch

See all the Stranger Things season 3 photos so far – CNET

From Eleven in a scrunchie to shirtless Billy the lifeguard, take a look at all the images from the next season of the Netflix hit.
Source: CNET

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