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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

A Potent Cancer Therapy, an Instagram Hoax, and More News

Catch up on the most important news from today in two minutes or less.
Source: Wired

Ford’s Bid for Safer Scooters? Tracking College Kids

Partnering with the Virginia Tech, Ford-owned Spin is gathering data from its scooters to see where things get dangerous and how to keep riders safe.
Source: Wired

Gmail’s A.I. grammar and spell-checker will save you from embarrassing emails

Gmail now sports smarter spell-check and automatic detection of grammar issues. The feature rolled out automatically to all users starting August 20.
Source: Digital trends

Which Ryzen CPU should you buy?

AMD’s Ryzen CPUs have had a huge impact on the PC industry, from gaming to productivity, but which ones are the best? To find out we put some of the chips through their paces and came out with some solid recommendations.
Source: Digital trends

Asus’ exclusive leather-clad Zenbook 30 Edition is ready for pre-order

According to the manufacturer’s website, Asus’ flashy, limited-edition Zenbook 30 Edition laptop is now available for pre-order. The device, which celebrates the company’s 30 years of business in the desktop and mobile OEM sphere, features a broad range of all of Asus’ premium design and functional elements, including its razor-thin NanoEdge bezels, a behemoth 1TB […]
Source: Digital trends

Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Extreme ultrabook knocks $1,350 off its price

The ThinkPad X1 Extreme could be the best modern ThinkPad you can buy today, and Lenovo has it on sale.
Source: Digital trends

An Old Instagram Hoax Fools a Bunch of Celebrities

Instagram users like Usher, Martha Stewart, and Rick Perry posted a meme warning about a new rule that doesn’t actually exist.
Source: Wired

The Cost of Rising Seas: More Than $400 Billion (and Lots of Angst)

Coastal US cities will need massive new infrastructure to protect against climate change—and someone has to pay the bill.
Source: Wired

Raspberry Pi 4 Review: A Powerful New Pi

You can buy the latest Raspberry Pi as a Desktop PC Kit if you want, making it more useful than ever.
Source: Wired

PayPal-backed money lender Tala raises $110M to enter India

Tala, a Santa Monica, California-headquartered startup that creates a credit profile to provide uncollateralized loans to millions of people in emerging markets, has raised $110 million in a new financing round to enter India’s burgeoning fintech space.

The Series D financing for the five year-old startup was led by RPS Ventures, with GGV Capital and previous investors IVP, Revolution Growth, Lowercase Capital, Data Collective VC, ThomVest Ventures, and PayPal also participating in the round.

The new round, which takes the startup’s total fundraising to $215 million, valued it above $500 million, a person familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. Tala has also raised an additional $100 million in debt, including a $50 million facility led by Colchis in last one year.

Tala looks at a customer’s data on texts and calls, merchant transactions, overall app usage, and other behavioral data through its Android app to build their credit profile. Based on these pieces of information, it provides instant loans in the range of $10 to $500 to customers.

The loans are approved within minutes and disbursed via mobile payment platforms. The startup has lent over $1 billion to more than 4 million customers to date — up from issuing $300 million in loan to 1.3 million customers last year, Shivani Siroya, founder and CEO of Tala, told TechCrunch in an interview.

The startup, which employs more than 550 people, will use the new capital to enter India, Siroya, who built Tala after interviewing thousands of small and micro-businesses, said. In the run up to launch in India, Tala began a 12-month pilot program in the country last year to conduct user research and understand the market. It has also set up a technology hub in Bangalore, she said.

tcdisrupt ny17 8861

Shivani Siroya (Tala CEO) at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2017

“The opportunity is very massive in India, so we spent some time customizing our service for the local market,� she said.

According to World Bank, more than 2 billion people globally have limited access to financial services and working capital. For these people, many of whom live in India, securing a small size loan is extremely challenging as they don’t have a credit score.

In recent years, several major digital payment platforms in India including Paytm and MobiKwik have started to offer small loans to users. Traditional banks are still lagging to serve this segment, industry executives say.

Tala goes a step further and takes liability for any unpaid returns, Siroya said. More than 90% of Tala customers pay back their loan in 20 to 30 days and are recurring customers, she added.

The startup also forwards the positive credit history and rankings to the local credit bureaus to help people secure bigger and long-term loans in the future, she added.

Tala, which charges a one-time fee that is as low as 5% for each loan, relies on referrals, and some marketing through radio and television to acquire new customers. “But a lot of these users come because they heard about us from their friends,� Siryoa said.

As part of the new financing round, Kabir Misra, Founding General Partner of RPS Ventures, has joined Tata’s board of directors, the startup said.

Tata will also use a portion of its new fund to expand its footprint and team in its existing markets — East Africa, Mexico, and the Philippines — and also build new solutions.

Siroya said the startup has identified some more markets where it plans to enter next. She did not disclose the names, but said she is eyeing more countries in South Asia and Latin America.


Source: TechCrunch

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