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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Google pulls controversial anti-gay religious app from the Play Store

The same day the Human Rights Campaign downranked the company in its index of the best LGBTQ-friendly employers, Google decided to yank a controversial app accused of promoting conversion therapy from the Play Store.

On that list, known as the Corporate Equality Index, the HRC, a prominent LGBTQ rights organization, included a footnote that it was aware of the conversion therapy-style app by Living Hope Ministries in the Google Play Store. The app’s removal was first reported by Axios. TechCrunch confirmed that links to the Living Hope Ministries app are no longer functional.

“… Conversion therapy can lead to depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness, and suicide,” the HRC wrote in its index. “Pending remedial steps by the company to address this app that can cause harm to the LGBTQ community, the [Corporate Equality Index] rating is suspended.”

TechCrunch has reached out to Google for details about its decision and what specific rules the Living Hope Ministries app was found to violate.

Living Hope Ministries, based in Arlington, Texas, denies that it promotes conversion therapy, an institutionally denounced practice in which a usually religious group tries to “correct” an individual’s same-sex attraction. Living Hope Ministry’s website states that it “speaks to thousands of people each year about how they, as Christ-followers, might respond redemptively to those who are struggling with same gender attraction.” The group also notes that it specializes in supporting the “wives of men who struggle with same gender attractions.”

Apple pulled the Living Hope Ministries app in December after facing public pressure and a campaign against the app by the organization Truth Wins Out. Amazon soon followed suit, but the app remained live in Google Play until today.


Source: TechCrunch

The FT is buying another media startup: Deal Street Asia

Fresh from picking up a majority stake in Europe-based The Next Web, the Financial Times is buying another tech blog. The newspaper, which was founded in 1888, is adding Singapore-based Deal Street Asia to its roster with a deal expected to close in April, according to three sources with knowledge of discussions.

Founded in 2014 by Indian journalists Joji Thomas Philip and Sushobhan Mukherjee, Deal Street Asia mixes Asia startup news with updates from Asia’s financial markets and business verticals. It has around a dozen reporters across Southeast Asia and India, as well as a license to use content from wires. Its investors include Singapore Press Holdings, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder of Alibaba-backed Paytm, the Singapore Angel Network and Hindustan Times, the Indian media firm that operates Mint, which is a Deal Street Asia content partner.

The company never disclosed its total fundraising, although TechCrunch wrote about an undisclosed round that closed in late 2015.

The deal is led by Nikkei, the Japanese parent of the FT, which has agreed to buy at least one-third of Deal Street Asia, one source told TechCrunch, but the total stake could reach 51 percent (as was the case with The Next Web) depending on which investors decide to sell. A separate source said the investment is worth at least $5 million. That would represent a positive return for all investors with early backers potentially banking 4-5X. That’s a pretty handsome result for an investment in a media business, which are often efforts to spark an ecosystem or at least include a lower expectation on a return.

“The FT is not involved in plans to acquire Deal Street Asia,” an FT spokesperson told TechCrunch.

Deal Street Asia declined to comment. At the time of writing, Nikkei’s press department had not responded to a request for comment that was sent yesterday at 20:31 Japanese time.

TechCrunch understands that the deal for Deal Street Asia will be similar to that of The Next Web. That’s to say that one of the primary interests is adding the company’s events business to its roster to help to break into the conference scene in Southeast Asia.

Deal Street Asia’s events are targeted at a business crowd. For example, its main summit in Singapore in September costs upwards of $1,000 and features senior executives from the likes of DBS, Grab, Sea, GGV, Allianz and IFC.

The startup uses a subscription business for its website, which is priced upwards of $89 for three months of complete access. Its paywall is a selective one that keeps some stories locked for subscribers, whilst others are left open for all readers.

Deal Street Asia’s upcoming Asia PE-VC Summit takes place in Singapore in September

This far from it for the FT in terms of deals. TechCrunch understands that the company is actively seeking acquisition and investment opportunities in media startups across the world. Beyond augmenting its existing events business, one source told TechCrunch that the FT is considering a new media subscription business which could bundle some of its acquisitions together. That’s very much an ongoing work in progress as it seeks additional deals to plump up that potential subscription offering.

Aside from The Next Web and Deal Street Asia, the FT has acquired content startup AlphaGrid, intelligence service GIS Planning and research firm Longitude. The FT itself was bought by Nikkei from previous owner Pearson for $1.3 billion in 2015.

Disclaimer: The author is a former employee of The Next Web


Source: TechCrunch

Investment platform Ellevest raises $33M Melinda Gates’ Pivotal Ventures, Valerie Jarrett & PayPal

Ellevest, a digital investment platform specifically focused on helping women meet their financial goals, has raised an additional $33 million in a new round led by Rethink Impact and PSP Growth. The funding includes a handful of notable, new investors including Melinda Gates’s investment fund Pivotal Ventures; PayPal; Wynn Resorts co-founder Elaine Wynn; former Google and Alphabet chairman Eric Schmidt; former top aide to President Obama, Valerie Jarrett; Gingerbread Capital, founded by Linnea Roberts; and Mastercard.

The startup was founded by former Citigroup CFO Sallie Krawcheck, and launched in May 2016 at TechCrunch Disrupt NY after having previously raised its $10 million in seed funding.

As Krawcheck explained at the time, women were in need of a financial platform that took into account specifics related to their lives – like the fact that their salary arc over a lifetime is different from men, because women typically live longer; or because there are salary differentials between women’s and men’s pay; as well as other factors that some women face – like choosing to take time off from a career to focus on children.

Women also have a different approach to investing, at times. Some may be more risk “aware,” then end up holding onto money as cash for longer – which isn’t always the best move in terms of creating wealth. Ellevest speaks to women in terms they can relate to without “dumbing it down,” Krawcheck says.

Following its 2016 launch, Ellevest raised a $34.6 million Series A in 2017.

Today, the company says it has clients in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, and their average age is 34. It didn’t disclose how many customers it has, however.

Ellevest also recently launched a new product, Ellevest Private Wealth Management, designed for high net worth clients, which now has $100 million in assets under management. Another newer feature is its Premium Service offering, which connects clients with executive coaches and certified financial planner pros.

Speaking in a TV interview with CNBC, Krawcheck said the company’s suite appeals to a range of women at different financial stages.

“The response to what we’re doing has been so great. We started with digital investing, then high net worth women said ‘I want in,’” and women who weren’t ready to invest said ‘I want in,’” she said. “So the more we can help women get in financial control, the stronger our mission, the stronger our economy.”

“When the status quo isn’t meeting women’s needs, it deserves to be disrupted, and that’s what this platform created by women for women aims to do,” said Melinda Gates, in a statement. “Women’s lives and realities are different than men’s, and I think we’ll see more and more of a demand for products designed to reflect that. This is an important market opportunity that Ellevest is well-positioned to tap into.”

Ellevest says it plans to use the capital to accelerate its growth by investing further into its technology, expanding its product categories, and its financial education offerings.

“I’m so pleased to support Ellevest as it leads the way to help women become financially stronger and meet their money goals,” said Valerie Jarrett, co-chair of the United State of Women, in a statement. “When women are stronger financially, that means a stronger economy and a stronger society. We need this change right now.”

 

 


Source: TechCrunch

Physicists build donut-shaped magnet to find 'ghost-like' dark matter particle – CNET

The ABRACADABRA experiment sounds like magic but it may help uncover an elusive, invisible particle.
Source: CNET

Borderlands 3 trailer revealed by Gearbox video – CNET

The long-awaited Borderlands sequel has finally been announced.
Source: CNET

See Boston Dynamics robot stack warehouse boxes like a Tetris pro – CNET

The upgraded Handle robot can lift 30-pound boxes to stack pallets with ease.
Source: CNET

Apple's Cook, Qualcomm's Mollenkopf make list of possible trial witnesses – CNET

The two CEOs, as well as other top execs from their companies, Samsung and others, may testify in next month’s battle over Qualcomm’s licensing practices.
Source: CNET

MSI GS75 Stealth review

The MSI GS75 Stealth builds off the success of last year’s GS65. Not only does it maintain the same incredible portability, it also tweaks the formula with a larger touchpad, individually-lit RGB keys, and a revamped thermal solution.

The post MSI GS75 Stealth review appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Game of Thrones hid real thrones around the world and all 6 have been found – CNET

HBO tweets out the victors of its game of social media.
Source: CNET

NASA will pay you $19,000 to stay in bed — and be spun in a centrifuge – CNET

NASA wants Earth-bound volunteers to test how artificial gravity might help keep astronauts healthy in space.
Source: CNET

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