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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

The 65-inch TCL TV everybody wants drops to $700 – CNET

The top-rated 65R615 has never been priced this low.
Source: CNET

How a facial recognition ban could come to your city soon – CNET

Activists across the country are pushing local governments to forbid the use of facial recognition.
Source: CNET

Neil Gaiman: Making Good Omens was Terry Pratchett's last request – CNET

Gaiman, David Tennant, Michael Sheen and Jon Hamm discuss what it’s like bringing about the apocalypse.
Source: CNET

Grilling Over Charcoal Is Objectively, Scientifically Better Than Grilling Over Gas

Cooking on a gas grill is more convenient than cooking with charcoal. It’s also a lot less special.
Source: Wired

Grilling Over Gas Is Objectively, Scientifically Better Than Grilling Over Charcoal

A gas grill rules. But the real debate should be whether charcoal is necessary at all…
Source: Wired

The EU’s Far-Right Is Surging—No Thanks to Steve Bannon

Trump’s former campaign guru said he would unite Europe’s nationalists and show them how to fight Big Tech. Instead, they’ve dismissed Bannon, embraced Big Tech—and are poised to expand their ranks in Parliament.
Source: Wired

Hiking or Camping? Take the Bus to the Trail This Summer

Transit agencies and nonprofits are teaming up to expand access to parks and recreation areas.
Source: Wired

Airbnb and New York City Reach a Truce on Home-Sharing Data

Airbnb agreed to turn over information on 17,000 residences, so city officials can look for signs of illegal short-term rentals.
Source: Wired

Crypto exchange Binance prepares to add margin trading ‘soon’

Binance, the world’s most prominent crypto exchange, says it is close to adding a much-anticipated margin trading feature to its service following weeks of speculation.

The company tweeted confirmation of the upcoming feature in a screenshot which subtly teases the imminent arrival of margin trading options. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (pictured above) first revealed that the feature was headed to Binance during a live stream following a hack earlier this month that saw Binance lose around $40 million in Bitcoin.

TechCrunch understands that margin trading has been beta tested among selected users. A Binance representative declined to comment on the specifics, but did confirm that margin trading will be available on Binance.com “soon.”

 

Margin trading, which lets traders use their balance as collateral to super-size their buying power, is seen by many as an important growth vector for crypto trading. Binance is often the world’s largest exchange based on daily trading volumes — though it is currently ranked second, according to Coinmarketcap data — but it has avoided margin trading to date. Instead, exchanges like BitMex, Huobi Pro, Poloniex, Kraken and Coinbase’s GDAX have run with the ball and offered the functionality. Coinbase has also considered adding it for regular, retail customers.

The new feature is part of a number of expansions from Binance as it aims to broaden its reach. The company has added support for purchasing crypto using fiat currency in three countries — Jersey (for the UK), Uganda and most recently Singapore — while it also released an early version of its ‘decentralized’ exchange (DEX) to offer further trading options.

Despite that hack, which saw Binance pause withdrawals and deposits for a week, the crypto market remains bullish on the company. Binance’s BNB token passed a $30 valuation this week for the first in its history. Its worth is up 8 percent over the last 24 hours — that’s better than Bitcoin (5 percent), Ethereum (6 percent) and XRP (4 percent), which are crypto’s three largest tokens based on ‘coin market cap.’

There’s been excitement around Bitcoin’s rally in recent weeks, which saw its price briefly pass $8,000 a coin this month, but BNB has been the pick of crypto’s top tokens in 2019. Its value has increased more than five-fold since January 1, when it was worth $6. Today, it trades at $33, as of the time of writing.

Binance’s BNB token has been a standout performer for crypto investors in 2019 [Chart via Coinmarketcap.com]


Source: TechCrunch

Nigeria’s Gokada raises $5.3M round for its motorcycle ride-hail biz

In many large cities across Africa, motorcycle taxies are as common as yellow-cabs in New York.

That includes Lagos, Nigeria, where ride-hail startup Gokada has raised a $5.3 million Series A round to grow its two-wheel transit business.

Gokada has trained and on-boarded over 1000 motorcycles and their pilots on its app that connects commuters to moto-taxis and the company’s signature green, DOT approved helmets.

The startup has completed nearly 1 million rides since it was co-founded in 2018 by Fahim Saleh—a Bangladeshi entrepreneur who previously founded and exited Pathao, a motorcycle, bicycle, and car transportation company.

For Gokada’s Series A, Rise Capital led the investment joined by Adventure Capital, IC Global Partners, and Illinois based First MidWest Group. Coinciding with the round, Nigerian investor and Jobberman founder Ayodeji Adewunmi will join Gokada as co-CEO.

Gokada will use the financing to increase its fleet and ride volume, while developing a network to offer goods and services to its drivers. “We’re going to start a Gokada club in each of the cities with a restaurant where drivers can relax, and we’ll experiment with a Gokada Shop, where drivers can get things they need on a regular basis, such as plantains, yams, and rice,” Saleh told TechCrunch.

The startup differs from other ride-hail ventures in that it doesn’t split fare revenue with drivers. Gokada charges drivers a flat-fee of 3000 Nigerian Naira a day (around $8) to work on their platform. The company is looking to generate a larger share of its revenue from building a commercial network around its rider community.

“We don’t do anything with the fares. We want to create an Amazon prime type membership…and ecosystem around the driver where we’re going to provide them more and more services, such as motorcycle insurance, maintenance, personal life-insurance, micro-finance loans,” Saleh said.

“We’re trying to provide a network of great services for our drivers that makes them stick with us, and not necessarily see a reason to switch to other platforms,” said Saleh.

Competition among those platforms is heating up, as global players enter Africa’s motorcycle taxi market and local startups raise VC and expand to new countries.

Uber began offering a two-wheel transit option in East Africa in 2018, around the same time Bolt (previously Taxify) started motorcycle taxi service in Kenya.

Rwanda has motorbike taxi startups SafeMotos and Yegomoto. Uganda based motorcycle ride-hail company Safeboda expanded into Kenya in 2018 and this month raised a Series B round of an undisclosed amount co-led by the venture arms of Germany’s Allianz and Indonesia’s GoJek.

Safeboda will use the round to further expand in East Africa and Nigeria in the near future, the startup’s CEO Maxime Diedonne confirmed to TechCrunch.

In Nigeria, Gokada faces a competitor in local startup MAX.ng, which offers mobile based passenger and logistics delivery services.

Overall, Africa’s motorcycle taxi market is becoming a significant sub-sector in the continent’s e-transport startup landscape. Two-wheel transit startups are vying to digitize a share of Africa’s boda boda and okada markets (the name for motorcycle taxis in East and West Africa)—representing a collective revenue pool of $4 billion and expected to double to $9 billion by 2021, according to a TechSci study.

“There is a formalization of an informal sector play here…to make it safer and higher quality,” Gokada investor Nazar Yasin of Rise Capital told TechCrunch.

The appeal to passengers is the lower cost of motorbike transit compared to buses or cabs ($1.85 is Gokada’s average fare) and the ability of two-wheelers to cut through the heavy congestion in cities such as Lagos and Nairobi.

A notable facet of motorcycle ride-hail companies in Africa is better organizing a space with a reputation for being somewhat chaotic and downright dangerous (see Nigeria’s past bans on the sector entirely due to safety).

For Gokada that includes training courses and certification of riders, the ability to track trips and safety stats from the app, and quality control for motorcycles—something that’s been lacking in East and West Africa’s non-digital moto-taxi space.

The company’s rider program offers a way for drivers to buy, own, and maintain their motorcycles as they earn. Gokada has entered into partnership with Indian motorcycle maker TVS Motors to create a custom version of the company’s TVS Apache motorcycles for Gokada drivers.

Gokada is also experimenting with adding sensors to its fleet to better track safety standards. “We’re looking at seat sensors and another GPS sensor to track things like ‘did this driver add more than one passenger on the bike’ and all that data will feed back into our servers,” Saleh said.

The company won’t enter any new countries in Africa in the near future. “We plan to expand all over Nigeria. We think its a large enough market for now,” said Gokada CEO Fahim Saleh. Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation (190 million) and largest economy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Source: TechCrunch

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