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Day: June 28, 2023

Day: June 28, 2023

OpenAI brings the competition to DeepMind’s doorstep with new London office

OpenAI is expanding overseas. To London, specifically. Today, the Microsoft-backed AI startup announced that it plans to open an office in London, its first international outpost. When OpenAI’s London location opens its doors, it’ll focus on advancing “research and engineering capabilities” while balancing collaborating with “local communities and policymakers,” according to CEO Sam Altman. “We see this expansion as an opportunity to attract world-class talent and drive innovation in AGI development and policy,” Altman, who reportedly had floated Poland and France as alternatives for the office, said in a canned statement. “We’re excited about what the future holds and to

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Snowflake and Databricks are putting the data stored in their services to work

Snowflake and Databricks are surely similar companies. While each positions itself a bit differently, both provide data storage, processing and governance in a cloud context. Both are holding customer conferences this week, and both are looking for ways to help customers build generative AI and other intelligent applications on top of the data stored in these platforms. If that wasn’t clear before, it became even more apparent this week when Databricks announced it was acquiring MosaicML for a cool $1.3 billion. That’s a lot of money for a startup, even a well capitalized one like Databricks. The move came weeks

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Google introduces a new shop tab for rentals and purchases on Android TV

Google today announced a new “Shop” tab on Android TV to let users browse titles that are available to purchase and rent. The company is rolling out this feature on all Android TV devices in the U.S. starting today. While the new tab will let you explore new titles, a section called “Library” with a carousel of thumbnails will show you movies and TV shows you’ve already purchased from Google Play Movies & TV, YouTube, Google TV or Android TV. Users can also buy titles from Android TV and then use their phone or tablet to download it through Google

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Quandri raises $8.5M Series A to bring process automation to insurance brokers and agencies

Robotic process automation (RPA) has been a buzzword for a while now, but most of these tools that try to help businesses automate their workflows tend to be generalists. Quandri, a Vancouver, Canada-based startup, is taking a very different approach with its digital workers for the insurance industry. The company today announced that it has raised an $8.5 million Series A round led by FUSE, with participation from Defined Capital and existing investors Aviso Ventures, Rebellion Ventures, N49P and Good News Ventures. In total, the company has now raised $10 million. The company was co-founded by brothers Jackson (CEO) and

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Shadow revamps its cloud computing offerings in Europe

Shadow, a French company that offers a gaming PC in the cloud (among other things), has announced in a press conference that it is updating its offerings for Shadow PC in Europe. Essentially, the company is raising the prices of its two flagship subscription plans and slightly improving what you get for that price. The company had already rolled out a similar change in the U.S. Shadow’s cloud computing service lets you access a full-fledged computer in a data center near you. It runs Windows and you can install anything you want on it. For instance, you can install games

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US Patent and Trademark Office notifies filers of years-long data leak

The federal government agency responsible for granting patents and trademarks has confirmed it inadvertently exposed about 61,000 filers’ private addresses in a years-long data spill. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) said in a notice sent to affected trademark applicants that their private domicile address — often their home address — inadvertently appeared in public records between February 2020 and March 2023. U.S. law requires applicants to include their private address when submitting a trademark application in efforts to crack down on fraudulent trademark filings. USPTO said the issue was discovered in one of its APIs, which allows apps

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Legacy automakers suffer another blow as Aston Martin spurns Mercedes-AMG’s electrified tech

Few places exemplify the peak of the internal combustion engine better than the Mercedes-AMG factory in Affalterbach, Germany. There, individual workers assemble entire engines by hand, capping each one off with an emblem bearing their signature. The company’s philosophy? “One man, one engine.” For decades, that philosophy helped build AMG’s brand. The Mercedes subsidiary is known for taking luxury cars and turning them into the German equivalent of muscle cars: fast, loud and a bit brutish. Its hand-built engines were sought after not only by consumers, but other companies. A decade ago, it signed a deal with Aston Martin to

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TikTok could soon bring its new e-commerce store to the US

TikTok could be launching an online retail store in the U.S. as early as next month. The in-app shopping section would feature TikTok’s own line of products — supplied by manufacturers in China — allowing the company to compete directly with Amazon, Shein, Temu and other major e-commerce platforms. As reported by Semafor, TikTok’s new store will sell products like toys and kitchen gadgets, among other items within the platform via the new online store, as well as a dedicated e-commerce tab in TikTok Shop, an existing feature where businesses pay a commission to sell their products on the app.

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Nubank’s CEO explains what the US could learn from LatAm fintech

Hello, and welcome back to Equity, a podcast about the business of startups, where we unpack the numbers and nuance behind the headlines. All the cool kids are filling out the Equity listener survey. We want to hear from you! This is our Wednesday show, where we niche down to a single person, think about their work and unpack the rest. Mary Ann is taking over today’s interview with David Vélez, the co-founder and CEO of Nubank, the $35 billion São Paulo, Brazil-based digital bank that offers credit cards, checking accounts and life insurance to consumers. Equity listeners know that digital banking has

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Hello Alice, Global Entrepreneurship Network unveil $70M Equitable Access Fund

Hello Alice, a fintech helping small businesses access capital, and entrepreneurship ecosystem Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) created a $70 million Equitable Access Fund designed to bridge the financing gap experienced by women and BIPOC-owned founders. “There’s an estimated $40 billion gap among the BIPOC community alone,” Elizabeth Gore, Hello Alice co-founder, told TechCrunch. “Also, the biggest gap we saw to growing businesses was lack of credit history.” She also noted that many small business owners don’t have the generational wealth or collateral to put up for loans. Some turn to credit; however, just 25% of small business owners have applied

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