Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya and Square CFO Sarah Friar are coming to Code Commerce
- But we’re still adding more impressive industry leaders to the lineup of speakers you’ll hear from during the event on September 17 and 18 in New York City, and I’m extremely pumped about the two we are announcing today.
- Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya took a defunct Upstate New York factory and a style of yogurt foreign to most Americans and transformed them in just a decade into a grocery industry empire with annual sales north of $1.5 billion.
- We will also be joined onstage in September by Sarah Friar, the chief financial officer of Square, perhaps the most innovative payments and financial services company on the planet right now.
- There’s a ton to discuss, from Square’s increased investment in its fast-growing Square Cash consumer service to its ambition to complement its brick-and-mortar payments business with more online commerce offerings.
Why Raising More Than $100 Million in Funding Is Not a Big Deal Anymore
- Slack, the workplace chat platform, snagged $427 million in funding at a $7.1 billion valuation.
- The company last raised money in September when it said it landed $250 million, with SoftBank’s Vision Fund contributing the bulk of the capital.
- Also based in San Francisco, carsharing platform Getaround raised a whopping $300 million in Series D funding.
- SoftBank led the round, and was joined by investors including Toyota Motor Corporation.
- And finally, mobile bulk shopping startup Boxed raised $111 million in funding.
- Japan’s Aeon Co led the round and was joined by investors including Alpha Square Group, CDIB Capital, Gabriel Naouri and existing investors.
- SoftBank, which has invested in both Slack and Getaround, poses the following question to CEOs before they write a check from their mammoth $100 billion Vision Fund: If money was not a constraint, what would you do differently in the next five to 10 years?
Tinder's latest feature, Tinder U, is only for college students
- Once enabled, students with a .edu email address will be able to register with their school, then swipe on students who also attend their school or others nearby.
- Students will still be able to view each others’ profiles, swipe right and left to match or pass, message mutual matches, use Super Likes, and more.
- To use Tinder U, students will first have to be geolocated on campus and log in to the Tinder app using their .edu email address.
- After completing this process, users will be in the Tinder U experience the next time they launch the app.
- And of course, there’s the fact that Tinder itself got its start on college campuses – a market that’s young, single, and more willing to adopt mobile dating apps than other, older demographics.
FiftyThree, Maker of Popular Paper and Paste Apps, Gets Acquired
- Back in 2012, a Seattle-based startup named FiftyThree launched a drawing app designed for iPad, with a name that sounded like it was designed specifically for an Apple crowd: Paper.
- Tech writers described it as “the next great iPad app”, “a superbly designed sketching app,” and “a fresh canvas ready and waiting for your ideas, inspiration, and art.” FiftyThree later expanded to include an iPhone app, an optional subscription called Paper Pro, and Paste, a collaboration app.
- WIRED spoke to FiftyThree cofounder and CEO Georg Petschnigg about why he sold FiftyThree, the biggest changes he’s observed in the app economy over the past several years, and why he and his team ignored the words of Steve Jobs and made a stylus anyway.
- WIRED: So one of the things I’m hearing you say is Paper is a profitable program, Pencil was profitable for you...is FiftyThree profitable at this point in time?
Best Amazon Device Deals (2018): Echo, Fire TV, Fire Tablets
- Updated on Aug. 21, 2018: Amazon has a bunch of deals going on for Echos and Fire TVs. We've updated the entire article below to spotlight the latest deals.
- 3. Read our WIRED Best Echo & Alexa Speakers guide for recommendations on which Amazon Echos we think are worth your hard-earned money.
- Fire HD 7 Kids Edition for $80 (Was $100) - Read our review before buying this weaker Fire Tablet.
- It wirelessly charges the 8-inch or 10-inch Fire HD tablets and turns them into Echo Show speakers of sorts, bringing Alexa to the forefront.
- Amazon's latest Fire TV supports hands-free Alexa and some advanced features like 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos sound.
- Fire TV 4K with Alexa Voice Remote for $40 (Was $70) - WIRED Best Streaming Device Pick.
- They're Amazon's small little Wi-Fi enabled clickable buttons that you can stick around your house to easily re-order items.
Gmail’s undo send feature hits Android
- Four months after arriving on desktop, Gmail’s potentially job/relationship/self-respect-saving self-destruction feature is finally available on Android.
- The new feature, which was spotted by Android Police, arrived as part of the version 8.2 update.
- When you send a message, a small progress bar pops up at the bottom of the screen, with the word “Undo” on the right side.
- From there, you’ve got approximately seven seconds to reconsider your life choices through a cinematic-style montage of increasingly horrific butterfly effects that will unfold over the coming months and weeks until you’re left dead in by the side of the road in a pit of jagged glass and self-loathing.
- I’m not saying you shouldn’t send any emails, ever.
- I’m just saying choose your words a bit more careful next time is all.
- The feature is live now, though it appears to only work with emails sent from Gmail addresses within the app.
Tencent, Softbank, Deny Investing in Bitmain’s Latest Funding Round
- Hong Kong-based financial publication AAStocks reports that both Tencent and Softbank have issued public statements denying their participation in the bitcoin mining giant’s latest funding round, which multiple outlets had said was expected to raise $1 billion.
- Chinese publication QQ had earlier reported that Softbank, Uber’s largest shareholder, and Tencent, China’s largest technology company, were headlining Bitmain’s final pre-IPO financing round, intended to earn the firm a $15 billion valuation before it files for its public offering in Hong Kong.
- The media outlet further said that Bitmain expected to debut on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) with a $30 billion market cap.
- According to sources cited in a recent Bloomberg article, this latest funding round appears to be intact, albeit without Tencent and Softbank as headliners.
Braavo raises $6M for its app financing business
- Braavo, a startup that provides financing to mobile app developers, is announcing that it has raised $6 million in Series A funding.
- The might not seem like much compared to the $70 million that Braavo announced raising last year, but that was debt financing, used to loan money to developers.
- Co-founder Mark Loranger told me Braavo was founded in 2015 in response to the “new dynamics” of mobile app businesses.
- Loranger described Braavo’s newer product as “more exciting” and “more data-driven.” It looks at user acquisition, user engagement and revenue, projecting how revenue would grow if a developer had more money for user acquisition — and then it can provide debt financing for that growth.
China reaches 800 million internet users
- China’s internet population has now grown beyond 800 million, according to the latest data from the Chinese government.
- A new report [in Chinese] issued by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) put the number of people in China with access to the internet at 802 million.
- The agency — which is a branch of the Ministry of Industry and Information and is responsible for controlling the .cn country code — estimates that 29.68 million people in China came online for the first time in the second half of 2018.
- The new statistic takes internet adoption in the country to 57.7 percent, with 788 million people reportedly mobile internet users.
- The growth of China’s internet also puts pressure on the government to maintain its policy of control over information that appears online.
Behind the Scenes at the World's Most Fascinating Workshops
- In 2015, German-born photographer Katrin Korfmann was living in China; her husband, sculptor Jens Pfeifer, was doing a three-month artist’s residency there.
- One day, Pfeifer gave Korfmann a tour of the factory that was fabricating some of his sculptures.
- Thus began three years of travel that took Korfmann around the world: a marble production company in Carrara, Italy; a ballet rehearsal in Amsterdam; an 11th-century tannery in Morocco; a glass factory Anxi, China.
- At each location, Korfmann mounted her camera on a 20-foot-high tripod and, over the course of several hours, took hundreds of photos of the workspace—a process she likens to “scanning” the location with her camera.
- Back in her studio, Korfmann then digitally stitched together the photos to create a single, bird’s-eye view of the various fabrication processes, a technique that took her and her assistants anywhere from a week to a month.