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
There is no doubt that Arm Holdings, the UK chip designer, plays in the big league now. The Cambridge-based company’s designs are in most smartphones, and in coveted Apple products such as the iPad.
So it is appropriate that they have a weighty name for their new chairman. Sir John Buchanan, knighted in the recent New Year’s honours list, is chairman of Smith and Nephew, which makes artificial knees and hips. Read more
The frenzy to invest in mobile payments providers continues with Boku, the San Francisco-based start-up raising $35m, in a funding round led by Telefónica Digital. It will take the total raised by the mobile transactions company to more than $75m since 2008.
Investors in this round also included New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Andreessen Horowitz, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, Index Ventures and Khosla Ventures. Read more
A little bit of much-needed consolidation is finally taking place in the European Venture Capital industry. On Wednesday DFJ Esprit and Tempo Capital announced plans to merge their secondary investment businesses.
Tempo is a specialist in this market of buying existing venture capital investments, and DFJ has been dipping its toes in since 2007 when it bought out Cazenove’s venture capital fund. Read more
Companies are not exactly beating down Icann’s door to get their hands on a new .anything domain name, it seems.
One month into the application process, just 100 companies have so far registered to apply for a new top level domain name such as .coke or .london. It is the first indication of what the uptake will be like of the controversial expansion of internet names by Icann. Read more
A delegation from Russia’s proposed ‘Silicon Valley’ development, Skolkovo, came to the UK this week in an effort to persuade UK businesses to invest in the high-tech hub being built on the outskirts of Moscow.
They faced awkward questions, however, about the political landscape that companies might face if they transferred operations to Russia. Denis MacShane, Labour MP for Rotherham, wrote to Lord Green, the trade minister, criticising the UK’s Department of Trade and Industry for hosting the conference, and pointing to the difficulties that many UK companies had faced in Russia. Read more
The small detail in a planning application has led to speculation that Google might be opening its first retail store, at its European headquarters in Dublin.
Google is revamping the Montevetro office block on Dublin’s Barrow Street, and the plans submitted to Dublin City Council include a provision f0r some retail space in a snazzy new, attention-grabbing mezzanine development. Could this be an experiment by Google to see if a physical store – where they could demonstrate the workings of Chromebooks, or display Android phones – would work for them? Read more
Kaspersky Labs is one of a group of European IT security companies that has been talking about floating since at least 2007. But Eugene Kaspersky, the company’s founder and majority shareholder, has now announced the company is planning to stay private after all.
He is buying back the 20 per cent stake General Atlantic bought in the company a year ago, and preserving all the freedom and flexibility that unlisted status affords. Read more
There was more bad news in France for Google on Wednesday as a Paris court decided that the internet company had abused its dominant position in online mapping tools.
The decision comes as we await the bigger decision by the European Commission over whether Google has behaved anti-competitively in the search market. Read more
Venture capital investors appear to be growing increasingly wary of European companies. In 2011, they put just E4.4bn into 1,012 start-ups in the region, a 14 per cent drop from the previous year, according to Dow Jones VentureSource.
This was the lowest annual deal count since Dow Jones began tracking investments in Europe in 2000. Read more
Norwegian public sector organisations will be banned from using Google Apps after the Norwegian data protection authorities ruled that the service could put citizens’ personal data at risk.
The data protection authority said Google Apps did not comply with Norwegian privacy laws because there was insufficient information about where data was being kept. The decision came from a test case in Narvik, where the local council had chosen to use Google Apps for their email. Read more
Google’s enterprise unit is jubilant after snaring its biggest customer win to date, as BBVA, the Spanish bank, said it was going to migrate all its 110,000 employees onto Google Apps.
It’s about twice the size of Google’s next biggest customer wins with Rentokil and Ahold, and there is kudos in having a security-conscious bank place its trust the company’s cloud offering. Read more
Marvell, the US semiconductor company, has bought Xelerated, the Swedish maker of networking infrastructure chips, in a deal understood to be worth around $100m.
Meanwhile, UK-based Picochip was bought by Mindspeed Technologies, a US chip vendor, in a deal valued at up to $76.8m, including a $51.8m in cash and shares and up to $25m earn-out. Read more
Tech news from around the web:
Yahoo, the struggling internet company, is on the verge of appointing a new chief executive, writes Kara Swisher of AllThingsD, with Scott Thomson, president of eBay’s PayPal business, expected to get the nod. An announcement could come as early as Wednesday. Yahoo has been without a permanent CEO since firing Carol Bartz last September. The company has been run by its board and Tim Morse, its former chief financial officer, while looking at a range of strategic options including a sale of all or part of the company. Read more
Karsten Nohl, the celebrity mobile cryptography expert, has been at it again. Two years ago he caused a stir by showing that the secret code that protects GSM mobile handsets was easy to crack, leaving phone calls open to interception by third parties.
This year, he is due to show that handsets can also be hijacked to make unauthorised calls and send text messages, running up huge bills without their owners’ knowledge. GSM networks, which are vulnerable to this flaw, are used by around 80 per cent of the world’s mobile users. Read more