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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Far-right social network Gab goes offline after GoDaddy tells it to find another domain registrar

Gab, the far-right social network that the suspect in Saturday’s mass shooting at Pittsburgh synagogue used to share anti-Semitic posts, has gone offline after GoDaddy gave it 24 hours to find a new domain provider. GoDaddy’s decision comes after PayPal, Medium, Stripe, and Joyent banned Gab’s accounts over the weekend.

Bowers may face the death penalty after being charged with 11 counts of murder and multiple hate crimes in connection to the attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, which the Anti-Defamation League said it believes is the deadliest against the Jewish community in U.S. history.

On his Gab profile, Bowers had written “jews are the children of satan” in his biography and repeatedly shared anti-Semitic content and other hate speech. Shortly before the shooting, Bowers allegedly wrote “HIAS [an organization that aids Jewish refugees] likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.”

In an emailed statement, a GoDaddy spokesperson said Gab was told to move after breaking the domain registrar’s rules against violent content:

“We have informed Gab.com that they have 24 hours to move the domain to another registrar, as they have violated our terms of service. In response to complaints received over the weekend, GoDaddy investigated and discovered numerous instances of content on the site that both promotes and encourages violence against people.”

Gab now displays a message claiming it “is under attack” and has been “systematically no-platformed by App Stores, multiple hosting providers, and several payment processors.”

This is not the first time Gab has run afoul of its online service providers. Last year, Gab was banned from the Apple app store and Google Play for content violations. In August, Microsoft threatened to boot it from Azure web services if two anti-Semitic posts were not removed (the posts were taken down and Microsoft continued serving Gab).

After being suspended by Joyent, Gab said through its Twitter account that it would “likely be down for weeks,” but later tweeted that it would “be back soon.”

GoDaddy also stopped providing domain services to white supremacist site Daily Stormer in August 2017 after it posted an obscene article about Heather Heyer, who was killed while protesting last year’s Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Source: TechCrunch

Same car, better value – Roadshow

The Acura ILX undergoes its second refresh, bringing better styling and more standard safety tech to the party. But is it enough?
Source: CNET

Walmart’s test store for new technology, Sam’s Club Now, opens next week in Dallas

Walmart’s warehouse club, Sam’s Club is preparing to open the doors at a new Dallas area store that will serve as a testbed for the latest in retail technology. Specifically, the retailer will test out new concepts like mobile checkout, an Amazon Go-like camera system for inventory management, electronic shelf labels, wayfinding technology for in-store navigation, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence-infused shopping, among other things.

The retailer first announced its plans to launch a concept store in Dallas back in June, which was then said to be a real-world test lab for technology-driven shopping experiences.

Today, the company is taking the wraps off the project and is detailing what it has planned for the new location, which goes by the name “Sam’s Club Now.”

Like other Sam’s Club stores, consumers will need a membership to shop at Sam’s Club Now. But how they shop will be remarkably different.

Instead of cashiers, the store is staffed with “Member Hosts,” who will act more like concierges, the company says.

And instead of scanning items at a point-of-sale cashier stand, customers will use a specialized Sam’s Club Now mobile app.

The app leverages Sam’s Club existing “Scan & Go” technology, which is used today across its retail locations to help speed up checkout. With the current Scan & Go mobile app, shoppers can opt to scan items as they place them in their cart, then pay right on their phone. At Sam’s Club Now, however, the use of mobile scan-and-pay is required, not optional.

The Sam’s Club Now app will also be infused with other features the company wants to try out, including an integrated wayfinding and navigation system, augmented reality features, an A.I.-powered shopping list and more.

At launch the app will offer a built-in map for finding the right aisle for a given product, but over time, this mapping system will be upgraded to use beacon technology and will be tied to the customer’s shopping list to map their best route through the store.

The shopping list will also be powered by A.I. Using a combination of machine learning and customer purchase history, the list will be pre-populated with customers’ frequent purchases. Those items can be removed from the list, if not needed.

This way, customers won’t forget things they usually need to buy, the retailer says.

Meanwhile, the app will allow Sam’s Club to test augmented reality as a way of highlighting “stories’ about the products being sold and their features, as well as providing a way to find out how items are sourced. This seems more gimmicky, though, as it’s unlikely that customers are interested in this sort of “infotainment” when just trying to get their shopping done.

But at very least, the test store gives the retailer a chance to confirm that supposition with real world data.

The app will also allow members to place pickup orders that will be ready in just an hour, or place same-day delivery orders.

The lack of cashiers won’t be the only difference between this Sam’s Club Now and other locations. The store will also be just a quarter of the size of an average club, at 32,000 square feet. That means it will feature, in some cases, smaller pack sizes than at the other warehouse club locations.

Because of the smaller size, it will also feature a quarter of the usual staff at 44 associates. But the goal is not to eliminate staff and replace them with technology, the retailer claims.

“Eliminating friction doesn’t mean replacing exceptional member service with a digital experience,” said John Furner, Sam’s Club President and CEO. “We know our members expect both.”

The company says it will include a range of products like meats, fresh foods, frozen items, beer and wine and meal solutions.

More importantly, it will also include a new inventory management and tracking technology. Down the road, a system of over 700 cameras will be used to help the retailer manage the inventory and optimize the store layout.

On the shelves, it’s also testing electronic shelf labels that will instantly update prices, eliminating the need to print out paper signage.

These are not third-party systems, the retailer says.

“The vast majority of technologies that we’re building here are technologies that we’ve developed in house. There may be pieces of modules of things that we’re using from third parties. But the majority are systems that are building on the technology that we’ve developed here,” said Jamie Iannone, CEO of SamsClub.com and EVP of Membership & Technology. “That allows us to iterate and move pretty quickly with it,” he noted. 

By “quickly,” the retailer means things can change in a matter of weeks. The store plans to rapidly iterate on new and different experiences across computer vision, A.I., A.R., machine learning, and robotics.

The winners will then be rolled out to other Sam’s Club locations across the U.S.

The retailer says Dallas was selected as a test market because it’s an easy trip from Walmart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, and because of Dallas’ tech talent and the recruiting potential. The company today has over 100 engineers in the area, and it plans to hire more in the areas of machine learning, A.I. and computer vision.

It’s worth noting, too, that Sam’s Club Now has been set up, developed and made ready for opening in just five months.

The store will officially open to on an invite basis to local members for testing as soon as next week. The grand opening to the public is tentatively scheduled for a couple weeks out.

Source: TechCrunch

Star Wars Resistance episode 5: Trip to The High Tower reveals danger and intrigue – CNET

Kaz gets closer to the First Order in the best episode so far.
Source: CNET

IBM Buying Open Source Specialist Red Hat for $34 Billion

The deal could bolster IBM’s position in cloud computing.
Source: Wired

Silicon Valley’s sovereign wealth problem

It’s time to bring the conversation about where Silicon Valley gets its money from out into the open. Following recent revelations into Saudi Arabia’s extensive reach and influence in the US technology sector, the willful ignorance that has defined the relationship between venture capital firms and the limited partnerships (LPs) that fund them for years now isn’t going to cut it anymore.

According to the latest reports from the Wall Street Journal, Saudi Arabia is now the single-largest source of funding for US-based tech companies. Since 2016, the Saudi royal family has invested at least $11 billion into US startups directly, and in August, the Saudi Arabian government committed $45 billion to Softbank’s $92 billion Vision Fund. To put that into context, the total amount of funding deployed across all VC deals so far in 2018 is $84.3 billion — a record for the industry, but a paltry sum relative to the wealth of the Saudi Kingdom.

Backlash is rising — and that’s a good thing. With tech companies now capturing the lion’s share of global wealth creation, we should absolutely want to know where that money is going. For one, it’s a matter of ethics. The US tech industry generates billions of dollars in returns annually for investors. When that money is being funneled into the coffers of a country with a total lack of respect for basic human rights, that’s a problem. It’s not good for Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and it’s not good for the country as a whole.

That’s not to say all sovereign wealth is at issue. Not in the least bit. But when it comes to funds that support nation states with questionable track records on human rights, there’s no debate.

This is a critical moment for Silicon Valley. It’s a wake up call to venture capitalists and entrepreneurs alike to start being more mindful about their sources of funding. There are plenty of better institutions and more impactful causes you can be helping to enrich – research initiatives at top public children’s hospitals, financial aid programs at historically black colleges and universities, public pension funds, and the list goes on – you just have to make the effort and be intentional about it. As an industry, we can and should be doing more to support these groups. If fact, it’s one of the very reasons why Jyoti Bansal and I founded Unusual Ventures and raised our entire fund from a diverse set of LPs.

If history is any guide, however, it will take more than the better nature of entrepreneurs and their investors to make a real impact.

Gender parity in the tech industry is a fitting example: While advocates have been calling for greater gender diversity in senior leadership positions at tech companies for decades, gender inequality continues to pervade the entire sector. In September, California took steps to remedy the issue by passing a law requiring public companies to have at least two female directors on the executive board. Since then, we’ve seen some improvements – although there is still far, far more that needs to happen.

Similarly, what’s likely needed to move the needle on transparency in venture funding is common sense regulation. For instance, we should consider a law that requires – at a minimum – transparency around how much funding VC firms raise from foreign sources.

This already exists for VC funding raised from public US institutions. When VCs raise capital from public universities, endowments, pension funds and others, they are required to report it under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Ironically, this mandate has contributed to the rise of sovereign wealth funds in the tech sector. That is, the additional reporting requirements that come along with raising money from public institutions drives VCs to “easier” sources of funding, such as sovereign wealth and billionaire family offices. Translation: transparency isn’t just common sense – it’s effective too – so let’s level the playing field.

Just like with any society-level issue though, fixing Silicon Valley’s sovereign wealth problem won’t happen overnight. For one, drafting legislation and enacting it into law takes time. It’s also extremely difficult for VCs to make changes around their investment base in the short term. If change is going to take root, the big moments to watch will be the start of the next funding cycle (ie. when VCs are out raising their next fund) and future legislative sessions, especially in the California state legislature.

In the meantime, entrepreneurs need to start asking VCs about where their money comes from. Nothing is going to happen without the industry’s best entrepreneurs stepping up and putting the pressure on VCs. So long as they are willing to accept funding without asking where it comes from, there is little incentive for the VC industry to change.

But if the entrepreneur community in Silicon Valley takes a stand on transparency in VC and starts asking the right questions, there is nothing stopping this moment from becoming more than just another news cycle. It will become a movement the VC industry cannot ignore.

Source: TechCrunch

Forget Watson, the Red Hat acquisition may be the thing that saves IBM

With its latest $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat, IBM may have found something more elementary than “Watson” to save its flagging business.

Though the acquisition of Red Hat  is by no means a guaranteed victory for the Armonk, N.Y.-based computing company that has had more downs than ups over the five years, it seems to be a better bet for “Big Blue” than an artificial intelligence program that was always more hype than reality.

Indeed, commentators are already noting that this may be a case where IBM finally hangs up the Watson hat and returns to the enterprise software and services business that has always been its core competency (albeit one that has been weighted far more heavily on consulting services — to the detriment of the company’s business).

Watson, the business division focused on artificial intelligence whose public claims were always more marketing than actually market-driven, has not performed as well as IBM had hoped and investors were losing their patience.

Critics — including analysts at the investment bank Jefferies (as early as one year ago) — were skeptical of Watson’s ability to deliver IBM from its business woes.

As we wrote at the time:

Jefferies pulls from an audit of a partnership between IBM Watson and MD Anderson as a case study for IBM’s broader problems scaling Watson. MD Anderson cut its ties with IBM after wasting $60 million on a Watson project that was ultimately deemed, “not ready for human investigational or clinical use.”

The MD Anderson nightmare doesn’t stand on its own. I regularly hear from startup founders in the AI space that their own financial services and biotech clients have had similar experiences working with IBM.

The narrative isn’t the product of any single malfunction, but rather the result of overhyped marketing, deficiencies in operating with deep learning and GPUs and intensive data preparation demands.

That’s not the only trouble IBM has had with Watson’s healthcare results. Earlier this year, the online medical journal Stat reported that Watson was giving clinicians recommendations for cancer treatments that were “unsafe and incorrect” — based on the training data it had received from the company’s own engineers and doctors at Sloan-Kettering who were working with the technology.

All of these woes were reflected in the company’s latest earnings call where it reported falling revenues primarily from the Cognitive Solutions business, which includes Watson’s artificial intelligence and supercomputing services. Though IBM chief financial officer pointed to “mid-to-high” single digit growth from Watson’s health business in the quarter, transaction processing software business fell by 8% and the company’s suite of hosted software services is basically an afterthought for business gravitating to Microsoft, Alphabet, and Amazon for cloud services.

To be sure, Watson is only one of the segments that IBM had been hoping to tap for its future growth; and while it was a huge investment area for the company, the company always had its eyes partly fixed on the cloud computing environment as it looked for areas of growth.

It’s this area of cloud computing where IBM hopes that Red Hat can help it gain ground.

“The acquisition of Red Hat is a game-changer. It changes everything about the cloud market,” said Ginni Rometty, IBM Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, in a statement announcing the acquisition. “IBM will become the world’s number-one hybrid cloud provider, offering companies the only open cloud solution that will unlock the full value of the cloud for their businesses.”

The acquisition also puts an incredible amount of marketing power behind Red Hat’s various open source services business — giving all of those IBM project managers and consultants new projects to pitch and maybe juicing open source software adoption a bit more aggressively in the enterprise.

As Red Hat chief executive Jim Whitehurst told TheStreet in September, “The big secular driver of Linux is that big data workloads run on Linux. AI workloads run on Linux. DevOps and those platforms, almost exclusively Linux,” he said. “So much of the net new workloads that are being built have an affinity for Linux.”


Source: TechCrunch

These 14 startups — endorsed by the seed-stage investment firm Pear — just hit the fundraising trail

Earlier this week, in a beautiful garden in Woodside, Ca., the team at the five-year-old, seed-stage venture firm Pear hosted it fifth annual demo day. It’s an event that’s limited to roughly 100 VCs who year after year happily fill the space to see what Pear — which has written early checks to the “unicorn” delivery service DoorDash and newly public Guardant Health, among others — has up its sleeve.

As with last year, what those investors wound up seeing on Tuesday was 15 teams, most of them six months old or younger and led by current students or recent graduates who’d been invited by Pear to build companies over ten weeks in its Palo Alto offices. These ranged from a startup with ambitious plans to build a new commercial space station, to a machine learning-powered cloud video platform that makes it far easier to edit video clips, to a startup that used AI to negotiate salary discussions on behalf of its clients.

But in a bit of a twist, this time around, Pear also featured a sprinkling of young companies that are now ready for Series A funding, including a solar design and sales platform for residential and commercial photovoltaic systems and a company that thinks its check-out free shopping technology could help all kinds of Amazon rivals compete with the giant’s growing number of surveillance-powered, no-checkout convenience stores.

In case you’re an investor or just someone interested in keeping your thumb on the pulse of what’s happening in emerging tech, herewith is a quick snapshot of each of the companies that were featured as part of the program. (Well, all but one that expressly us not to write about what it’s working on, though we’ll tell you it’s a kind of social network and, remarkably, it feels fresh.)

If you’re interested in reaching out to any of these folks, you can find of all of their email addresses here.

Pre-Seed / Seed

Orion Span

Tagline: The World’s Private Space Station

Describes itself as: What was once the domain of governments is now the domain of private industry. So it was with aviation and now, too, it is with space travel. SpaceX revolutionized the launch business and is worth $27 billion today. Orion Span will do the same with the destination business. Orion Span’s Aurora Station’s patented IP and operational concepts emphasize simplicity, cutting costs in extraordinary ways and improving accessibility in ways never seen before in space station design.

Location: San Mateo, Ca, and Houston, Tx.

Employees: 5

Metrics: Twenty-six space tourists have agreed to put $80,000 each to be on the waitlist; 1,578 media outlets worldwide have covered us; and four partners are signed with three more on the way.

Team: Orion Span includes some of the folks who built the International Space Station. Its CEO is a marketer and entrepreneur with a few startups under his belt. Its architect designed the ISS Enterprise module. It CTO designed and built spacecraft systems for the ISS. And its COO oversaw the build of NASA Orion spacecraft as a former general manager.

Young Alfred

Tagline: Home Insurance Marketplace

Describes itself as: Young Alfred turns the nightmare experience of shopping for home insurance online into an informed, 15-minute transaction. As a customer, you get your top three curated home insurance options from a list of more than 20 carriers and can purchase with just one click. A marketplace model drives transparency, saves money, and leads to five times higher purchase conversion than a single-carrier model.

Locations: Philadelphia and New York

Employees: 6

Metrics: Thousands of applications for home insurance a month, with 24 direct carrier relationships across 13 states.

Team: The founders met during their first week at Wharton Business School. David comes from private equity and has experience acquiring and growing businesses. Jason is an engineer turned high frequency trader who has built trading systems for the likes of Citadel and DRW.

Aligned Carbon

Tagline: Next 1000x computing revolution using carbon nanotube

Describes itself as: Aligned Carbon is the first company to sell carbon nanotube wafers in a way that seamlessly fit into the nanofabrication requirements of the integrated circuit industry. The large historical gains in performance due to continued shrinking of silicon transistors are now only realizing marginal improvements with exponentially increasing costs. This has come at a time with the push for faster and lower power computing capabilities continue to grow rapidly due to AI, AR, big-data analytics and other memory-starved workloads. Monolithic 3D integration is the nanoelectronics industry’s next paradigm for computing and the sequential integration of carbon nanotube logic with traditional silicon logic and memory is the leading technology. Performance and efficiency improvements of over 1000x are anticipated, and Aligned Carbon’s products solve the carbon nanotube materials problem to revolutionize a $500B industry.

Location: Silicon Valley

Employees: 3

Metrics: Aligned Carbon has worked with over a dozen companies and universities while developing their unique carbon nanotube products of interest to the largest chip manufacturers in the world.

Team: Co-founded in 2018 by J Provine, Greg Pitner, and Cara Beasley, three Stanford scientists who met over a shared love for nanotechnology. Collectively they have over 35 years of nanofabrication research experience with universities, start-ups, and corporate giants.


Tagline: Mirra creates products and experiences to make no-bullshit skincare easily accessible.

Describes itself as: Mirra is a skincare platform of more than 100,000 beauty nerds who believe that the most important ingredient is transparency. By marrying content, community and commerce, Mirra empowers millennial women with the tools they need to decode the unregulated, $14 billion skincare industry. After releasing a weekly skincare newsletter that grew to more than 100,000 subscribers without ad spend, Mirra is now launching an exclusive line of skincare products.

Location: San Francisco

Employees: undisclosed

Metrics: Mirra’s first product is a weekly skincare newsletter which has grown exponentially without ad spend. Now, after listening to the holes in its readers’ routines, Mirra is launching its own exclusive line of skincare products next year.

Team: Mirra is founded by Katia Ameri, a 26-year-old Stanford alumna with a background in venture capital and consumer products.


Tagline: AI-powered cloud video: the power of video, with the ease of text.

Describes itself as: Reduct makes a machine learning-powered cloud video platform that anyone can use. If you can write a text document, you can search, edit, and share video with Reduct. By making tools for video creation accessible to everyone, the company aims to turn everyone’s favorite medium of consumption (the average American watches six hours of video a day) into a ubiquitous mode of communication. The company is currently enabling design & UX research teams to incorporate video into workflows and will create a horizontal product targeting professionals whose profession isn’t video editing.

Location: San Francisco

Employees: 4

Metrics:  Since January, the company has acquired 35 paying business customers, including Fortune 500 companies and several technology companies valued at more than $1 billion. It says it has also processed more than 50,000 minutes of video, and customers report time savings of more than ten times what they experience when using traditional video tools.

Team: CEO Prabhas Pokharel studied computer science at Harvard and product design at Stanford, and has spent the last decade creating human-centered products. CTO Robert Ochshorn is a machine learning researcher who has given talks at Google Brian, Apple and Stanford. He is an alum of Cornell CS, and has held research positions at MIT, Harvard, and Alan Kay-initiated CDG Labs.


Tagline: A platform that empowers companies to make better product decisions in emerging markets.

Describes itself as: Zubale connects companies directly with consumers on their smartphones to crowdsource multiple digital tasks in exchange for rewards. Companies can crowdsource tasks like in-store audits, product trial activations, and market research studies, and receive real-time intelligence from consumers to make faster and more confident decisions. Consumers complete tasks and earn mobile phone credit and other digital rewards that they can redeem through making online purchases.

Location: Mexico City, Mexico

Employees: 10

Metrics: Zubale launched its mobile app three weeks ago and says it has had more than 20,000 branded tasks completed already by consumers.

Team: The founders, Allison Campbell and Sebastian Monroy, have over 15 years of expertise developing and selling new products to consumers at Walmart and Procter and Gamble. Allison launched and ran businesses for Walmart in India and led strategic initiatives across 25 countries. Sebastian led sales teams for P&G in Mexico and across Latin America to distribute products to reach the millions of mom and pop shops that make up 50 percent of spend.


Tagline: Your career advocates – helping the $2.3T job changer market

Describes itself as: Riva builds automation to help the 41 million people who changing jobs every year — and the 5 million college seniors who graduate — negotiate their job offers. Nearly two-thirds of people do not negotiate their job offers. And research shows that women especially tend to suffer in the negotiation process, furthering the gender pay gap. Riva builds software that can predict an employee’s worth and generate negotiation emails and phone scripts that can be used by the employee to negotiate with the employer.

Location: Palo Alto, California

Employees: 7

Metrics: The average increase per negotiation is $23,000. The company is already working with several large partners including schools, engineering communities, and nursing associations to get its product to the mass market.

Team: CEO Stephanie Young has four degrees from Stanford, including an MBA and graduate degree in computer science. She previously helped launch Google AdWords Express’ first ever mobile app.


Tagline: A shared living community offering per-room leases in furnished property.

Describes itself as: LivingLab is a platform that enables co-living in any rental property, making it easy for professionals to find community in shared housing. Our technology matches individuals to bedrooms in beautiful homes and then configures those properties to include furnishings, WiFi, utilities, housekeeping and community events. We can complete this process in 48 hours. By individually pricing rooms and offering flexible lease lengths, LivingLab is able to collect 30 percent of rent for its services.

Location: Durham, North Carolina

Employees: 6

Metrics: LivingLab says it has placed 500 users into 45 residents across 10 properties, generating on average $2,280 in recurring revenue per customer per year.

Team: CEO Mitchel Gorecki, CTO Patrick Wickham, and COO Colin Tai.

Kick It Labs

Tagline: Building consumer apps for high schoolers and college students inspired by youth culture.

Describes itself as: A creative lab that’s launching new consumer social experiences every week, inspired by youth culture, for high schoolers and college students in the pursuit of building the next billion person consumer product.

Location: Palo Alto

Employees: Undisclosed

Metrics: The company says its most promising and exciting experiments to date have centered around street wear, high school social products, and men’s fashion.

Team: Cofounders Akshar Bonu and Sathish Nagappan among others have graduated from Harvard, Cornell, and Stanford and have been building apps for high schoolers and college students for over a decade, they say. They have also spent time at Andrew Ng’s AI Lab, Nervana Systems, Amazon, Google and Intel.

Series A

Aurora Solar

Tagline: Building the operating system of the power source of the future.

Describes itself as: More than $200 billion per year is spent on developing solar projects through a fragmented network of solar installers, who work with financiers, equipment manufacturers, engineering service providers and more. Aurora’s software is used by thousands of solar installers to precisely quote, design and sell solar projects, without visiting the site. With the solar industry forecasted to grow over five times its curren size over the next decade, Aurora will be the platform through which every new solar project is designed, sold, financed and serviced.

Location: San Francisco, CA

Employees: 43

Metrics: More than 50,000 solar projects a month (totaling $3 billion in value) are created on the platform each month. More than1,500,000 solar projects have been created in the company’s software, it says.

Team: CEO/CTO: Christopher Hopper, is a Stanford MBA and MEng from Imperial College; COO/CRO Samuel Adeyemo, is a Stanford MBA/MSc and former portfolio manager for JPMorgan’s  Chief Investment Office.


Describes itself as: Thinknum creates datasets from a broad array of public online sources, capturing ephemeral information on the products, operating markets and labor markets of 400,000-plus global companies across sectors, and provides rich toolsets for extracting intelligence. Data sets include pricing trends for individual products at specific retailers, such as electronics and restaurant menu items, to hiring activity across macro industries and particular companies down to the location.

Location: New York, NY

Employees: 18

Metrics: The company says it’s currently seeing $3 million in ARR, thanks to its work with more than 150 corporations and investment firms.

Team: The founders met at Princeton University and worked at Goldman Sachs and a hedge fund before starting Thinknum.


Tagline: Real estate tech brokerage in Brazil

Describes itself as: EmCasa is the only brokerage in Brazil that offers 3D tours in the vast majority of its listings, helping buyers and sellers avoid unnecessary visits. Also, EmCasa is the only brokerage in Brazil that built a proprietary algorithm that offers online property valuations, better managing customer price expectations and providing more accurate listing recommendations. Finally, EmCasa is the only brokerage in Brazil that charges a 3 percent commission on full-service, which is half of what other companies charge.

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Employees: 18

Metrics: The company says it has 650 active listings currently, versus just 20 in January; it also says its revenue growth rate of 118 percent CQGR.

Team: EmCasa’s CEO, Gustavo Vaz, is a Harvard MBA and was formerly COO of Easy Taxi and Chief Strategy of Frontier Car Group; Gabriel Laet, the company’s CTO/CPO, founded and sold Doubleleft, a gaming and software development company; and Lucas Cardozo, EmCasa’s COO, was a former Bain & Company consultant and the VP of strategy at Brasil Brokers, the second largest Brokerage firm in Brazil.


Tagline: Big brains in small devices

Describes itself as: Polarr is a computational photography company that’s focused on computer graphics, computer vision and artificial intelligence. The company has created one of the most successful and two-time best of Apple App Store winning pro photography app; in the meantime, it’s developing its own Polarr Vision Engine for internal usage, as well as helping others to build immersive C.V. experiences on the edge.

Location: San Jose, CA, Beijing, China

Employees: 25

Metrics: Profitable, tripling revenue every year.

Team: Polarr’s CEO, Borui Wang has an M.S. in AI and HCI from Stanford, and is an ex-Googler at Youtube. Polarr’s CTO, Derek Yan, has an M.S. in EE from Stanford, and is an ex-Googler in ATAP.


Tagline: Checkout-free shopping for every store.

Describes itself as: Zippin’s vision is to transform retail by banishing checkout lines and self-scanners for good using patent-pending AI, machine learning and sensor future technology. Its technology platform provides checkout-free shopping experience for retailers looking for a solution rivaling Amazon Go’s approach.

Location: San Francisco, CA

Employees: 10

Metrics: Working store in downtown San Francisco, and POCs with several globally recognized retail brands and real estate owners.

Team: CEO Krishna Motukuri has spent more3 than 20 years in retail and e-commerce, including with Amazon and Naspers. Chief Scientist Motilal Agrawal is a computer vision expert from SRI International, where he led and contributed to several products used by U.S. Defense and intelligence agencies. The company’s head of engineering, Abhinav Katiyar, previously spent more than 15 years with VMware.

Pictured above: Pear founders Pejman Nozad and Mar Hershenson.

Source: TechCrunch

Creative's Super X-Fi Amp heads to the US – CNET

The sound-expanding dongle will be available for sale in the US on Nov. 1.
Source: CNET

Vacunas personalizadas contra el cáncer: un sueño cada vez más real

Esta es la historia de dos investigadores que lograron convencer a una gran empresa de que era posible crear inmunoterapias individuales para el tumor de cada persona. Ahora, solo falta demostrar que el enfoque es escalable y viable a nivel económico y logístico 
Source: MIT