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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

We are giving away two Xbox One Xes and then some! – CNET

It’s GDC week, so we joined forces with GameSpot to give away consoles, SCUF Infinity1 controllers and even a PUBG crate. This sweepstakes ends March 31, 2018.
Source: CNET

Travis Kalanick is already back running a company with a $150M investment

Travis Kalanick, the former Uber CEO who was shown the door in June last year amid a series of major controversies, has already found his next leading role following his announcement of a new investment fund just weeks ago.

Kalanick said on Twitter that his fund would be investing $150 million to take a controlling interest in City Storage Systems, or CSS. He will also be running the company as CEO, according to Recode. It’s a holding company focused on redevelopment of distressed real estate. Kalanick resigned from Uber after facing a lawsuit with Waymo over trade secrets, an ongoing battle with existing shareholders Benchmark Capital, and the fallout from a harassment probe led by former attorney general Eric Holder. Uber brought on new CEO Dara Kosrowshahi in August last year.

Travis announced that he would be starting a new fund with his windfall from Uber shares sold in its most recent major secondary round. At the time, Kalanick said the new fund — called 10100, or “ten one hundred” — would be geared toward “large-scale job creation,” with investments in real estate, ecommerce, and “emerging innovation in India and China.” CSS has two businesses, CloudKitchens and CloudRetail, which focus on redevelopment of distressed assets in those two areas.

The former is pretty interesting given that Uber has its own food delivery service, UberEats. Should Kalanick’s new venture find ways to acquire distressed food-related real estate — kitchens around a city, for example — there may be a natural overlap with his experience at Uber as it started to explore food. Having massive operating kitchens located in one area with a delivery fleet associated with it is one thing, but having an array of smaller kitchens redeveloped through a company like CSS could provide a kind of distributed network that might make it easier to get food from one kitchen to its delivery in a shorter period of time.

It’s not that we know CSS is focusing on that explicitly, but Amazon also bought a bunch of buildings for $13.7 billion, and now it has a two-hour delivery service in major metropolitan areas. Of course, Travis was shown the door at Uber, so it remains to be seen how this one is going to play out. The Information notes that CSS was owned by a friend of Kalanick’s as well as having a loose connection with Uber.


Source: TechCrunch

After selling his company to Facebook for $19 billion, Brian Acton joins #deleteFacebook

Brian Acton, the co-founder of messaging service WhatsApp (which Facebook bought in 2014 for $19 billion) is now joining the chorus of the #deletefacebook movement.

A tipster alerted us to the fact that Acton made the same call… on Facebook… as well.

Since the sale of Whatsapp (which has made Acton an incredibly wealthy man), Acton has been actively financing more secure (and private) messaging platforms for users.

Acton has already used some of his Whatsapp wealth to give $50 million to the Signal Foundation.

While some may say it’s hypocritical to reap millions from Facebook and then call for users to jump sip, Acton has always had a penchant for supporting privacy. Back in its earliest days, WhatsApp’s stated goal was to never make money from ads.

June 18, 2012 — WhatsApp blog: Why we don’t sell ads:

No one wakes up excited to see more advertising, no one goes to sleep thinking about the ads they’ll see tomorrow. We know people go to sleep excited about who they chatted with that day (and disappointed about who they didn’t). We want WhatsApp to be the product that keeps you awake… and that you reach for in the morning. No one jumps up from a nap and runs to see an advertisement.

Advertising isn’t just the disruption of aesthetics, the insults to your intelligence and the interruption of your train of thought. At every company that sells ads, a significant portion of their engineering team spends their day tuning data mining, writing better code to collect all your personal data, upgrading the servers that hold all the data and making sure it’s all being logged and collated and sliced and packaged and shipped out… And at the end of the day the result of it all is a slightly different advertising banner in your browser or on your mobile screen.

Remember, when advertising is involved you the user are the product.

It may be that this latest scandal was the straw that borked the camel’s back.

I’ve reached out to Acton for comment.

 


Source: TechCrunch

Chargebee raises $18M to help businesses manage subscriptions

The subscription model is growing in popularity as a way to monetize a service, netting in trends in SaaS, media, e-commerce and other verticals that are in search of more predictable, recurring revenues. Now, a startup built to provide a subscription platform to businesses has raised a round of funding to grow. 

San Francisco and Chennai-based Chargebee has raised an $18 million Series C round to help companies manage recurring billing. The funding was led by Insight Venture Partners, with participation from Accel Partners and Tiger Global Management.

Chargebee works with payment platforms like Stripe, Braintree, PayPal, Adyen and others to help its 7,000 customers keep tabs on recurring revenue, with customers that include Okta and Freshworks as well as other businesses in digital media, e-commerce and SaaS. It also helps companies manage accounting and taxation compliance across 53 countries.

Chargebee has similarities to Zuora, which recently filed to go public. But Krish Subramanian, co-founder and CEO, tells TechCrunch that the two companies focus on different-sized customers. “Our focus on a business-user-first billing system that delivers a way to manage any exceptional billing scenario via the user interface makes us different from payment gateways as well as other billing systems.”

He also acknowledged that Chargebee competes with in-house billing solutions, but ultimately he hopes that its API integrations like those with Xero and QuickBooks help set it apart. “Just like how businesses don’t build their own CRM / help desk, we believe that businesses don’t need to build their own billing systems,” said Subramanian.

Harley Miller, vice president at Insight Venture Partners, is joining the board. They invested because they “saw a strong macro trend toward recurring revenue business models and their underlying need for flexible billing/invoicing solution not being well served.”

Subramanian is also very bullish on more businesses shifting to subscriptions. “You can see that even legacy technology businesses like SAP and Oracle are shifting towards recurring revenue model and it’s just the beginning of the shift of a $500 billion software market.”

But in competitor Zuora’s recent IPO filing, the company warned that there are no subscription market growth guarantees. “If the shift by companies to subscription business models, including consumer adoption of products and services that are provided through such models, and, in particular, the market for subscription management software, develops slower than we expect, our growth may slow or stall, and our operating results could be adversely affected.”

The funding round brings Chargebee’s total raised to $24.7 million since it was founded in 2011.


Source: TechCrunch

'Delete Facebook' hashtag trends as social users fume – CNET

The massive social platform appears to have lost control over user data, leading to a firestorm of red-hot #DeleteFacebook tweets.
Source: CNET

Head of Xbox still wants Banjo-Kazooie in Super Smash Bros. – CNET

Fans have been waiting for years to see Banzo-Kazooie in Super Smash Bros. Maybe now is the time?
Source: CNET

Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and data mining: What you need to know – CNET

The world’s largest social network is at the center of an international scandal involving voter data, the 2016 US presidential election and Brexit.
Source: CNET

Are driverless cars safe? Uber fatality raises questions – CNET

Authorities might be rethinking the race to get autonomous vehicles onto public roads after a self-driving car kills a woman in Arizona.
Source: CNET

Marvel is coming to three Disney parks and I'm not mad about it – CNET

Commentary: A Bug’s Land is out, Avengers are in. I’ve been on Hong Kong Disneyland’s Iron Man Experience, and Disney has earned my trust on this one.
Source: CNET

How to Block Calls and Texts on iPhone in iOS 11

Unwanted calls and messages arriving on your iPhone? Block ’em all with our guide.
Source: Wired

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