Coffee and techies go together like donuts and policemen, one the voracious consumer of the other. They have named programming languages after the stuff. And so the alliance between Starbucks and Jack Dorsey’s Square mobile payments start-up seems quite natural.
Starbucks has never been shy of experimenting with technology, having been one of the first US coffee shop chains to offer customers free wi-fi access. Starbucks also has its own mobile app, which allows customers to pay for their coffees using a phone. Although these mobile payments are still just a tiny fraction of overall revenues, it is considered one of the most successful mobile payments systems in use so far. Read more
The mobile phone is emerging as the technology winner in the Olympics, with more and more stats to show that this is how vast numbers of people are finding out information about the games.
Google published some data on Tuesday showing that Olympics-related searches over mobile phone increased 10-fold in the first week of the games, and mobile is trumping any other technology at key moments. Read more
After the excitement of Facebook’s $104bn IPO and the subsequent fall in its shares, something more modest is coming onto London’s alternative investment market.
Incadea, an Austrian company that provides software for BMW and other car dealerships, will raise around £17m on Friday, in a stock market float expected to value the company at £47m.
It’s a lot smaller than Facebook, but it is a rare technology listing in London, where the tech IPO market has been considered closed for a long time. Read more
Funding Circle, a UK-based online marketplace where individuals lend directly to small businesses raised $16m of Series B financing from joint investors Index Ventures and US-based Union Square Ventures. This brings the total amount raised by the company to $21m. Launched in August 2010, the company now facilitates around £1m in loans each week. The company is planning to use the funds to double its staff over the next year.
Dragonplay, a Tel Aviv-based games developer raised $14m in a Series A funding from Accel Partners. Dragonplay specializes in makes card, casino and board games for smartphones and social networks and is best known for Live Holdem Poker Pro, which has more than 2m monthly active players. The company will use the investment to expand its portfolio of games. Read more
The complexity – one is tempted to say complete muddle – of the European patent system was highlighted on Wednesday when Nokia and HTC won a key victory in their intellectual property battle with IPCom.
IPCom, which is based in Germany, has waged a battle for several years to get mobile handset companies to pay it royalties for some technology it owns related to how mobile phones connect to 3G networks. Some handset makers have bought licences from IPCom, but Nokia and HTC strongly denied the validity of the patents and refused to pay up. Read more
The deadline to apply for a new top level domain name has been extended by just over a week to Friday, April 20th after the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) was hit by software problems.
The deadline to apply for new, generic internet suffixes such as .london and .nyc was meant to close at midnight on Thursday, but California-based Icann said there had been technical issues with the software handling applications. Read more
London’s Tech City project got a big boost on Thursday when Google officially opened Campus, its first hub offering start-up technology companies desk space and mentoring.
Opened to great fanfare by George Osborne, chancellor, the seven-storey building will house 100 start-up companies and organisations such as Seedcamp, the technology incubator, and TechHub, the original provider of co-working space in the Shoreditch area. Read more