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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

2019 Volkswagen Jetta: Made for America – Roadshow

The seventh-generation Jetta was built for the US market, and it shows, packing qualities that should definitely have it on your radar.
Source: CNET

UK-based vTime raises $7.6 million to get people to create memories inside VR

After a few years of hype, a lot of the noise within the VR industry has died down, but with so many pushing social experiences as one of the platform’s most endearing user cases, there has still managed to be a feverish amount of activity to own the social networking space.

One such startup, Liverpool-based vTime, has been shooting to accomplish this for quite a while — it introduced its social app in late 2015.

The app allows groups of up to four users to jump into VR and talk in what is essentially a private chat room. Users can customize an avatar and select a 3D environment to host the chat inside. Unlike other platforms, vTime seems to be focusing entirely on promoting discussions rather than the shared social gaming experiences.

vTime has just closed a $7.6 million Series A round. This latest bout of funding was led by Deepbridge Capital with participation from MSIF.

“Our most important thing right now is to learn how people are using the app and how they are deriving genuine use and value from it, because I think that’s the key thing in terms of the really long-term viability of apps in the consumer space,” vTime Managing Director Clemens Wangerin told TechCrunch.

Nevertheless, the company has more than 40 full-time employees so it’s fair to say that the startup can’t afford to think about its central app as merely a trial run indefinitely. Like its competitors, vTime is in the fairly undesirable position of competing directly with Facebook in the social VR space, the experience of the starup’s app has been copied quite closely in the product Facebook Spaces, where groups of up to four users can meet up and chat.

“Our horizon is set very differently to what Facebook is probably thinking about,” said Wangerin. “I think there’s plenty of green space for us to follow our own path.”

The startup did not give me active user stats, but did note that it was nearing one million downloads.

Though the user base of social VR networks seems to be quite small for the time being, the involved companies have been quite active. Altspace VR, one of the more recognizable stateside VR social networks, sold to Microsoft after spending through its cash. VRChat experienced some major growth in late 2017 after it become virally popular with streamers on Twitch and YouTube. Against Gravity, which makes the popular social game Rec Room, raised $5 million from Sequoia Capital and First Round last year.

Though the small startups are currently fighting over what is likely just a few million monthly active users, investors are keeping an eye on the long-term opportunity, which they believe could by massive.

vTime’s multi-platform social experience boasts a home on quite a few different systems currently including Windows Mixed Reality, Google Daydream, Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift, Android and iPhone.


Source: TechCrunch

Lexus teases new ES sedan for Beijing – Roadshow

It’s not a huge surprise, given the current model’s age.
Source: CNET

Some senators just don’t get Facebook – CNET

Tuesday’s five-hour hearing highlighted one thing: Relatively few senators understand Facebook’s business.
Source: CNET

Can Facebook's new hires take on troll farms and data privacy? – CNET

CEO Mark Zuckerberg promises the social network will hire 10,000 new security and content moderation employees this year. Can they make changes users want?
Source: CNET

HP targets gamers on a budget with new Pavilion notebooks, desktops, and more

HP introduced a new family of notebooks, desktops, and even a 32-inch display under its Pavilion Gaming brand. The new family relies on eighth-generation Intel “U” and “H” processors, second-gen Ryzen CPUs from AMD, and more.

The post HP targets gamers on a budget with new Pavilion notebooks, desktops, and more appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

HP’s mainstream Pavilion PCs refreshed with latest AMD Ryzen, Intel Core CPUs

HP refreshed its entire family of Pavilion-branded devices spanning its 2-in-1s, laptops, and tower desktops. The devices now support new eighth-generation Intel Core and second-generation AMD Ryzen processors.

The post HP’s mainstream Pavilion PCs refreshed with latest AMD Ryzen, Intel Core CPUs appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Zuckerberg faces more Cambridge Analytica questions from Congress – CNET

The Facebook co-founder and CEO weathered intense and sometimes inane questions from the US Senate. Now he needs to rebuild trust.
Source: CNET

RAVPower Power Bank Exclusive Deal

A WIRED deal on an outstanding battery pack, Air Force-grade smartwatch, and other gadgets galore.
Source: Wired

TravelTriangle raises $12M to digitize India’s travel bookings

TravelTriangle, a startup that is digitizing travel agencies and travel bookings in India, has raised a $12 million Series C round led by Fundamentum.

The startup operates like a travel booking platform to allow holidaymakers to choose and secure their travel plans online. It also works with offline travel agents to help them offer services, such as tailoring a trip, to customers as they do when they walk into their offices in person. The company also offers a suite of back-office services designed for agencies to help bring them on to its platform and generate additional revenue.

The deal marks the first investment from Fundamentum, a new $100 million fund established by Nandan Nilekani, a co-founder and the former CEO of $33 billion IT services giant Infosys, and Helion Ventures partner Sanjeev Aggarwal .

When the fund launched last July, Nilekani told TechCrunch it is aimed at turning promising Indian startups into unicorns. Notably, Nilekani confirmed that Fundamentum has looked over some 50 deals before electing to back TravelTriangle.

Fundamentum led the round — and may perhaps hog the limelight a little given the circumstances — but the firm was joined by existing TravelTriangle backers SAIF Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners and RB investments who also took part.

TravelTriangle closed a $10 million Series B in February 2017, since then it has seen its site traffic jump from two million to 2.5 million per month, while it has grown the number of active travel agents on its platform to “close to 700.”

Sankalp Agarwal, TravelTriangle’s CEO and one of three co-founders behind the business, told TechCrunch that the money will be spent on product R&D. In particular, he said, a recommendation engine is being developed that will help customers get holiday ideas based both on their own history and the type of trips and destinations that other customers who are similar to them have taken.

On that front, TravelTriangle is also working to broaden its selection of destinations that it offers from the current total of 65. That means finding new partners outside of India.

Agarwal said, too, that a chunk of the new capital will towards marketing campaigns aimed at growing Travel Triangle’s brand and generating awareness among consumers.

He said there’s no immediate plan to focus on expanding the business overseas. He did acknowledge, though that already the service has picked up some overseas customers — particularly in Sri Lanka — and that, as an online platform, it would be possible to replicate overseas.

Most likely, international expansion would be something that is two to three years away, he added, as Travel Triangle is aiming to reach double-figures of market share within India’s travel industry. Outbound tourism alone is tipped to reach $45 billion by 2022, according to research, while in-country travel accounts for the majority of trips.


Source: TechCrunch

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