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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Copilot is a subscription personal finance tracker aiming to kill Mint

When Intuit acquired Mint more than a decade ago, mobile was in a different place — as were tech-enabled financial services. There hasn’t been much progress for the personal finance tracker app category in the meantime. Mint has stumbled along with integration issues and tiresome data misclassifications. For many, the best alternative has been firing up a spreadsheet.

Copilot is a new personal finance-tracking app from a former Googler that seems like it could garner a following based on its slick design and ease of use. The subscription iOS app lets you load your financial data, create custom categories for transactions and set budgets. It has been invitation-only for the past several months, but is launching publicly today.

Founder Andrés Ugarte told TechCrunch that he started the effort after eight years at Google — most recently inside its Area 120 experimental products division — because of slow progress in the personal finance space since Mint’s acquisition.

“I’ve been trying to use personal finance apps for the last eight years, and I eventually ended up giving up on them,” Ugarte says. “I was willing to make them work, and create my own categories and fix the data so that stuff was all categorized correctly. But I was always disappointed because the apps never felt smart because they would make the same mistakes again.”

I spent a few hours poking around Copilot over the past couple of days and I like what I’ve seen. The design is friendlier than other options, but its major strengths are that you can easily re-categorize a transaction that didn’t automatically fall in the bucket that you wanted it to, mark internal transfers between accounts and exclude one-off purchases from your tracked budget. Other apps have also allowed these functionalities, but Copilot lets you denote whether you want every transaction with a particular vendor to route to a certain category or bypass your budget entirely, so it actually learns from your activity.

In some ways, the killer feature of Copilot is just how great Plaid is. The app relies heavily on the Visa-acquired financial services API startup, and I can see why the startup was so successful. The integration’s intuitiveness alongside Copilot’s already smooth on-boarding process gives users early indication for the app’s thoughtful design.

Copilot has its limitations, mainly in that the team is just two people right now, so those holding out for desktop or Android support might have to wait a bit. Some may be turned off by the app’s $2.99 monthly subscription price, though there are more than a few reasons to avoid free apps that have access to all of your financial info. Copilot maintains that users’ financial info will never be sold to or shared with third parties.

Ugarte has largely been self-funding the effort by selling off his Google shares, but the team just locked down a $250,000 angel round and is searching for more funding.


Source: TechCrunch

La aceleración constante no sirve para viajar a la velocidad de la luz

A pesar de que las películas de ciencia ficción siempre muestran una gravedad artificial generada por una fuerza ‘g’ constante y que, teóricamente, podríamos usarla para alcanzar esta velocidad, lo cierto es que el cuerpo humano no está diseñado para soportarlo
Source: MIT

Un nuevo fallo de Windows afecta a más de 1.000 millones de dispositivos

El error ha sido detectado por la NSA que, por primera vez, se ha atribuido el hallazgo públicamente para ganarse la confianza de la industria. Aunque Microsoft ya ha lanzado un parche para arreglarlo, podrían pasar meses hasta que todos los aparatos se hayan actualizado correctamente
Source: MIT

A Smart Contact Lens, Trouble for Water Bears, and More News

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

Visa’s Plaid acquisition shows a shifting financial services landscape

When Visa bought Plaid this week for $5.3 billion, a figure that was twice its private valuation, it was a clear signal that traditional financial services companies are looking for ways to modernize their approach to business.

With Plaid, Visa picks up a modern set of developer APIs that work behind the scenes to facilitate the movement of money. Those APIs should help Visa create more streamlined experiences (both at home and inside other companies’ offerings), build on its existing strengths and allow it to do more than it could have before, alone.

But don’t take our word for it. To get under the hood of the Visa-Plaid deal and understand it from a number of perspectives, TechCrunch got in touch with analysts focused on the space and investors who had put money into the erstwhile startup.


Source: TechCrunch

Facebook abandons plan to sell ads on WhatsApp, report says – CNET

The company still aims to bring ads to WhatsApp’s Status feature, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Source: CNET

Investors like Sundar Pichai; they just pushed Alphabet into the trillion dollar club for the first time

Alphabet this afternoon became the fourth tech giant to join the highly exclusive trillion-dollar club, one whose original member, Apple, saw its market cap soar past $1 trillion for the first time in August 2018 and which has since welcomed — and pushed back out — Amazon, which passed the $1 trillion mark in September 2018 but is now valued at $931 billion; and Microsoft, a charter member since August 2019 and now worth $1.27 trillion.

Saudi Aramco, the petroleum and natural gas company that went public last month, also now has a market value of $1.19 trillion.

That Alphabet would be the next tech giant to crack into the ranks is hardly surprising. The now 22-year-old company has grown like gangbusters since its second year in business and has exploded in value since going public in 2004. Still, it’s impossible not to draw a line between today’s development and the news in early December that the company’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, were handing over day-to-day control to Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Alphabet’s Google since 2015. (That’s when Alphabet itself was incorporated as a holding company.)

For one thing, investors seem to like that much of Pichai’s compensation is tied to the company’s performance. According to an SEC filing from last month, Pichai — now the CEO of both Google and Alphabet — will receive $2 million in salary per year, but he’s poised to earn much more — at least $150 million — if the company hits certain performance targets this year, next year, and in 2022.

Analysts have also said they’re hopeful the leadership transition will see Alphabet become more transparent when it comes to reporting its financials to investors. Indeed, despite the company’s many holdings — from YouTube to Waymo, its self-driving car business — Alphabet has been famously vague when it comes to explaining plainly how its various bets are panning out.

Not last, there’s a widespread expectation that Alphabet will become more amenable to larger share buybacks, or that it might institute a dividend payment for the first time because so much of Pichai’s bonus is tied to share performance.

Naturally there are broader trends that have led to this moment. Alphabet has long been the biggest beneficiary of the ongoing shift online of global advertising and marketing spending, and it has only tightened its grip on the market over time. Just Tuesday, its Google unit announce plans to phase out support for third-party cookies in Chrome within the next two years, which could be the death knell for the rest of the long-suffering online ad industry. Meanwhile, despite questions about some of its subsidiaries, including Waymo, whose progress has been slower than expected, its 2006 acquisition of YouTube has proven one of the smartest and most lucrative deals in Internet history.

Either way, as the WSJ notes, citing Dow Jones Market Data, it took Alphabet nearly two years to rise from a company with an $800 billion market cap to one that enjoyed a $900 billion market cap. In contrast, it has jumped from $900 billion to $1 trillion in just the last several months.


Source: TechCrunch

Google parent company Alphabet hits $1 trillion in market cap – CNET

It joins an exclusive club of US companies to reach the threshold, alongside Apple, Amazon and Microsoft.
Source: CNET

Falling chunks of huge asteroid pose a future threat to Earth – CNET

A binary asteroid has been leaking dust into our atmosphere, but if it totally cracks up we could have problems.
Source: CNET

Best home security systems of 2020 (plus DIY kits, video doorbells and more) – CNET

Yes, shopping for a home security system can be a headache. Good thing we’ve done a lot of the legwork for you.
Source: CNET

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