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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Soldo scores $61M Series B for its ‘spend management’ platform for businesses

Soldo, the U.K. fintech that offers a multi-user spending account for businesses, has closed $61 million in Series B funding.

Leading the round is Battery Ventures and Dawn Capital, with participation from previous backers Accel and Connect Ventures. In addition, a small portion is debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank. It brings total raised by the London-based startup to $82 million.

Founded by Carlo Gualandri, who previously helped create Italy’s first online bank, Soldo offers a multi-user spending account for businesses of all sizes — from SMEs to much larger enterprises — that need to deploy and manage expenses across an entire organisation.

It enables departmental and employee spending to be managed in real time by combining a Soldo account, central dashboard, apps for iOS and Android and virtual wallets or physical “pre-paid� MasterCards that can be handed out to employees, departments and even external consultants or contractors.

In addition, Soldo offers granular spending controls that are at the heart of its tech stack. This allows for different expense criteria for each employee, contractor or spending department, with permissions set and all spending trackable centrally. It also lets users capture receipt data, while the whole system integrates with commonly used business accounting packages such as Xero, Quickbooks, Concur, Expensify, NetSuite, Zucchetti and SAP

Asked what the biggest challenge for Soldo has been over the last 12 months, Gualandri says “educating the market,” something that he doesn’t see changing any time soon.

“When you don’t know that a solution exists, you don’t even call it a “problem” but you consider it just a ‘fact of life’,” he says. “Spend management is a new category that replaces many old and outdated processes. [It] allows companies to distribute access to money with control, enabling flatter and more agile organisations. It will take time for the market to fully realise its transformational power”.

To that end, Gualandri says the most gratifying thing over the last year has been the results achieved within the companies that have started adopting Soldo. “We have been recognised by thousands of companies from small to very large as an innovative and reliable provider of financial services,” he tells me. “No small achievement in the traditionally more conservative world of business”.

Soldo isn’t profitable yet, but Gualandri says it could be within one or two years if that was the goal. However, this would mean choosing “slower, more organic growth” and given there is a very large market in front of Soldo it “would not be the right choice”. The majority of companies in Europe are still using “reimbursable expenses, spreadsheets and manual processes to manage the expense management cycle” and Soldo’s competition largely remains the status quo way of doing things (although Denmark’s Pleo, for example, operates in a similar space).

“We are a company with a fixed cost base and good unit economics so the break-even point is dependent on how much we invest and grow the fixed cost base (because most of our investment is people) and the volume of customers and spend managed by our system,” he says. “So by deciding to invest in product and sales we are in effect targeting a larger revenue and profit base but later on”.

Meanwhile, Soldo’s Series B round will be used to further grow in the U.K., where it claims a “leadership position,” and in Italy and Ireland. The company also plans to enter new European markets and double its workforce over the next 12 months. Gualandri says Soldo will continue to invest in its product, too, in order to tackle additional spend management “pain points”.

“Travel expenses is the most common need but procurement, purchasing goods and services, subscriptions, mobility expenses, employees benefits are all areas that can be innovated and are an expression of the concept of company spend management,” he says.

Meanwhile, Soldo recently secured an e-money licence from Ireland’s central bank in addition to the license it holds in the U.K. so that it can continue trading within the European single market post-Brexit and in the event of “no-deal”. “It’s crazy to think we’ve been forced to work for a year and a half on a hugely complex project, mostly duplicating something that we had already, to prepare our business for something that may or may not happen,â€� Gualandri told TechCrunch at the time of announcing its newly acquired Irish license.


Source: TechCrunch

Lenovo drops a $475 discount on the Yoga C930 laptop, today only

Lenovo is offering one of its 2-in-1 laptops at a $650 discount. This Lenovo Yoga C930 laptop comes with a 2TB solid-state drive, a digital pen, a fingerprint reader, and a Dolby Atmos sound bar.
Source: Digital trends

El plan de Huawei para plantar cara a EE. UU.

La compañía invertirá 265 millones de euros anuales en laboratorios universitarios en todo el mundo para avanzar la I+D y mejorar sus productos. La estrategia también le ayudará a fortalecer lazos con otras regiones del mundo y reducir su dependencia frente a Estados Unidos
Source: MIT

La IA aprende a traducir lenguas muertas automáticamente

Se trata de un avance extraordinario que podría llegar a descifrar idiomas antiguos que se han perdido. El enfoque se basa en poner límites a la inteligencia artificial más allá de los datos disponibles. El algoritmo ni si quiera necesita saber qué significa cada palabra
Source: MIT

El éxito cinematográfico del universo Marvel, según la ecología

Las herramientas matemáticas desarrolladas para analizar las interacciones entre especies en los ecosistemas naturales permiten explicar por qué ‘Vengadores: Infinity War’ recaudó tanto dinero mientras que ‘Hulk’ costó más de lo que generó
Source: MIT

Prime Day 2019: Echo speakers, iPads and AirPods already on sale (updated) – CNET

Spend $10 at Whole Foods, score $10 to use on Prime Day. Plus, deals right now on iPads, AirPods, Echos, the Fire TV Recast and more, and tons of money-saving tips and tricks.
Source: CNET

Amazon Prime Day 2019: All of the best deals on laptops, Chromebooks and tablets – CNET

Score major discounts on computers from Acer, Asus, Google, Lenovo, Samsung and others.
Source: CNET

Amazon Prime Day 2019: Where to find the best deals on smartwatches and fitness trackers – CNET

Prime Day starts next week, but there are already some notable sales on wearables.
Source: CNET

Volkswagen’s ID R electric race car keeps breaking records, this time twice at Goodwood

It took 20 years to break the Goodwood Festival of Speed hill climb record. And it happened twice in the same weekend.

The new record holder is Volkswagen’s ID R electric race car. The vehicle, driven by driver Romain Dumas, broke the record by completing the 1.86-kilometer track (1.15 miles) at Goodwood in the south of England in 41.18 seconds. Dumas then broke his own record the following day by completing the track in 39.90 seconds.

The previous record at the famous hillclimb was set in 1999 by Nick Heidfeld who was driving a 780-horsepower McLaren-Mercedes MP4/13 with a combustion engine. Heidfeld completed the run in 41.6 seconds.

The Volkswagen ID R (and Dumas) has been on a tear as of late setting records at Nürburgring-Nordschleife and Pikes Peak. The ID R set a new electric vehicle lap record at Nürburgring-Nordschleife by completing the course in 6:05.336 minutes. The previous record was set in 2017 by Peter Dumbreck, who was driving a Nio electric vehicle.

The Volkswagen ID R was modified to best suit the Goodwood hill climb. A vehicle was outfitted with a smaller battery, which helped reduce the weight, and the power output was optimized for the short sprint. A drag reduction system designed for high-speed sections of the Nürburgring.

Why does all of this matter? This race car is a testbed and a flagship for Volkswagen’s ID electric vehicle platform.

Volkswagen has been showing off its ID line of concept electric vehicles for several years. The company is preparing some of them for production, beginning with the ID.3. VW aims to sell 100,000 ID.3 vehicles annually.

The ID.3 hatchback is the first model to be built on the automaker’s new Modular Electric Drive Toolkit, or MEB, electric-car architecture. Introduced in 2016, MEB is a flexible modular system — really a matrix of common parts — for producing electric vehicles that VW says makes it more efficient and cost-effective.

Others will soon follow. VW plans to have a portfolio of more than 20 full-electric models. The automaker’s goal is to sell 1 million electric vehicles annually by 2025.


Source: TechCrunch

Disney Channel star Cameron Boyce dies at 20: 'Our hearts are broken' – CNET

Adam Sandler and others remember the young actor, who starred in Descendants and Grown-Ups.
Source: CNET

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