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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Self-Driving Cars Finally Get an Easy-to-Read Rule Book

Inrix’s ‘Road Rules’ platform lets cities compile details about things like stop signs and school zones in a computer-friendly format that any self-driving developer can fold into its software.
Source: Wired

ClassPass is headed to Asia via an imminent launch in Singapore

U.S fitness startup ClassPass is headed to Asia after it announced plans to go live in Singapore, its first city in the continent.

Four-year-old ClassPass allows its users to book fitness classes and packages across a multitude of gyms. The company claims to work with more than 10,000 fitness partners across over 50 cities globally. That’s mostly in the U.S. but it has also forayed into Canada, the UK and Australia and now it is seeking out additional growth opportunities.

The move into Asia has been expected for some time after ClassPass hired a head of international in May. The company told TechCrunch at the time that it would soon arrive in three countries in Asia and Singapore, which has many similarities to the West in terms of economics and culture, is a logical pick as the starting point. Added to that, the country’s sovereign fund, Temasek, led ClassPass’s $70 million Series C funding round last year so you could say that is an extra factor.

The identity of the other two cities remains unclear at this point, but you’d imagine that Hong Kong will be one of them.

ClassPass hasn’t given a specific date for its launch other than it will come to Singapore “in the lead-up to National Day” — that’s August 9. In the meantime, it has opened up a Singapore waitlist which can be found here.

The U.S. startup was the first to pioneer the fitness subscription model but it already has competition in Singapore and other parts of Asia. Singapore’s own GuavaPass operates in 12 countries across Asia and the Middle East, having previously raised $5 million, while another rival called KFit is present in four cities in Southeast Asia.

Actually, the case of KFit shows that fitness subscription is challenging in Asia. KFit raised more than $15 million from investors and scaled to over a dozen cities before it pivoted its business to Groupon-like group deals in a strategy that included the actual purchase of Groupon businesses in Southeast Asia.

The KFit business still operates but it has been scaled back significantly in response to a tough business landscape. ClassPass itself has experienced similar setbacks — including price hikes and a management reshuffle — while it is said to have seen its valuation decline for that Series C round.

With all those factors in mind, it’ll be interesting to see how ClassPass fairs when it does touch down in Asia. 


Source: TechCrunch

Best Amazon Prime Day 2018 deals: Laptops, PCs, Chromebooks, tablets, monitors and more – CNET

Prime Day is in full effect: jump on these top deals on PCs, accessories and peripherals.
Source: CNET

Amazon Prime Day 2018: The best deals so far (updated) – CNET

Prime Day has officially started! Here’s everything you need to know, including our picks for the best deals.
Source: CNET

The weather looks fine on this nearby Earth-like planet – CNET

Ross 128 b is the second-closest rocky planet beyond our solar system, but it may be the nearest exoplanet worth checking for aliens.
Source: CNET

Coinbase reportedly gets approval from U.S. regulators to start listing tokenized securities

Coinbase shared big news Monday that federal regulators are allowing the popular cryptocurrency exchange to proceed with plans to sell cryptocurrency tokens that are deemed securities.

Last month, Coinbase acquired Keystone Capital, a California-based FINRA-registered broker-dealer that operates as an alternative trading system. With the announcement, the SF-based cryptocurrency exchange disclosed that it would still need to get regulatory approval to operate under the Keystone licenses.

Today, the Securities and Exchange Commission and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority gave Coinbase just that, Bloomberg reported, approving that deal alongside the acquisitions of Venovate Marketplace and Digital Wealth.

Today’s news opens up the scope of Coinbase’s ambitions to the billions of dollars that have been raised in initial coin offerings over the past several months. With permission to trade tokenized securities, Coinbase users could soon have the ability to move beyond the limited cryptocurrency options currently available to be traded on the site’s central exchange which currently just lists Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin.

The company announced last week that it was exploring adding five new tokens to its exchange, including Cardano, Basic Attention Token, Stellar Lumens, Zcash and 0x. In a blog post, the company specified that the announcement did not necessarily deem that these tokens were not securities and that classification might vary by jurisdiction.


Source: TechCrunch

Aiming to make billboard advertising more programmatic, Adquick raises $2.1 million

Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Initialized Capital and an investor in Adquick, a new service that’s looking to bring billboard advertising into the internet age, bought his last billboard ad just this year.

For several years, the Reddit founder had turned to outdoor advertising as a tool to troll politicians and advocate for various positions (and celebrate his famous wife). The last political billboard, in 2012, was to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act.

It was also the impetus for his investment in Adquick. “I’d seen pitches from a number of competitors that were all just static websites on top of the single business,” says Ohanian.

What he was looking for, and what he eventually found in Adquick was a company that had managed to map all of the billboard advertising options available in the U.S. and was offering would-be advertisers a way to digitally distribute their ads and book inventory.

“For us the reason why it was such an exciting initial investment was because we saw the opportunity and the talent of the team,” Ohanian says.

Matthew O’Connor, Adquick’s chief executive previously worked at Instacart and it was there that he and his team first learned about dragging traditional businesses into the online world.

“This team had come out of Instacart… they came well recommended by the founders over there,”Ohanian said. “Working with them now I’ve just gotten more and more impressed.”

So impressed, that Ohanian doubled down on his firm’s initial investment into the company with a new $2.1 million round.

There’s an undoubtable opportunity in outdoor advertising. O’Connor estimates that it’s a $33 billion global market with $8 billion spent on outdoor ads in the U.S. alone.

“They are aggregating from hundreds of vendors across the U.S. and they’re making it easy for companies to sell those ads and manage that inventory and bringing a ton of transparency to a system that is mostly phone calls and emails,” Ohanian said. 

Bringing those efficiencies to an old industry can only help what’s been the only non-digital ad channel to actually grow in the U.S. “It’s the oldest channel in the world that’s about to undergo a resurgence,” O’Connor says.

“It’s the last frontier of advertising,” says O’Connor. “This is a real world channel that can have a lot of tailwinds if we can bring these great modern technologies to it which is what we’re doing.”


Source: TechCrunch

The Galaxy S10's key feature will reportedly be ultrasonic – CNET

Because ultrasonic is way cooler than optical — and might make for easier logins.
Source: CNET

Amazon.com suffers outages at start of Prime Day 2018 – CNET

At least the 404 pages have cute dogs on them.
Source: CNET

Best Amazon Prime Day 2018 gaming deals: Switch, Xbox and PC accessories – CNET

Discounts on the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One S, PC hardware and more.
Source: CNET

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