Alternative lenders such as Lending Club are now well known for having created new kinds of securities for investors looking for high yields. But it’s not just Silicon Valley’s larger start-ups courting hedge funds with new financial instruments.
Michael Ginty, former head of global security for Uber, used to spend his days thinking about how to keep the ride-hailing company’s facilities and staff safe as it opened new offices and angered taxi drivers in hundreds of cities around the world.
This week, the former military special agent is starting a new job protecting far smaller charges. He has left Uber to figure out how to protect primary school children at Altschool, a venture-capital backed start-up opening new schools in the San Francisco area that integrate technology into the curriculum.
A German start-up is trying to change America’s reluctance to long-distance ride-sharing by partnering with Uber to make it more convenient, even in the sprawling US.
Munich-based carpooling is launching today in the US with an app that lets drivers offer spare seats to passengers for rides. The model has proven a hit in Europe, with multiple start-ups in the same field, but it has not taken off in the US, where cities are further apart and public transit within most cities fairly meager. Blablacar, carpooling’s French rival, told the Financial Times last week that it would not launch in the US. Read more
Uber’s been investing heavily in lobbying politicians around the country to allow it to operate, but new data out suggests that, at least in one respect, politicians are already big fans of the group. Read more
Spanish bank BBVA has struck up a partnership with payments start-up Dwolla as the Spanish group continues trying to figure out how to integrate new digital technology into its core banking business.
The number of California residents whose personal data was stolen by hackers jumped six-fold between 2012 and last year, with nearly half of California’s residents affected by one of the year’s many data breaches, according to a new report by the state’s attorney general.
London’s burgeoning fintech scene is about to get a bit bigger as a US start-up with a board of former Wall Street chief executives starts expanding internationally.
Orchard, a online direct lending platform, just raised $12m in venture funding with plans to open an office in London to tap into the UK’s growing demand, and government support, for direct lending.
Start-up Product Hunt, not yet one year old, may be setting new records for fastest fundraisings and longest list of big name investors.
One of the early investors in payment processing start-up Stripe is upping its investment. Not in the company itself, valued earlier this year at near $2bn, but in the ecosystem of other start-ups that is slowly coalescing around it.
General Catalyst, an early investor in Stripe, is putting up $10m fund to invest in start-ups that offer services, like analytics or other business analysis tools, tied to the company’s Stripe Connect platform. Read more
Payments start-up Square is raising at least $100m in a funding round that valued the group at $6bn, up from a $5bn valuation earlier this year, according to a new company filing.
Paypal will soon start to enable merchants on its payments processing network to accept bitcoin, a sign of the growing acceptance and maturation of the volatile digital currency sometimes derided as magic internet money.
It’s already obvious that investment into start-ups is booming, and new data out today shows just how loudly the market is roaring. Read more
A new tie-up between a payment company affiliated with Chinese e-commerce group Alibaba and a US-based payments processor could soon make it far easier for Chinese shoppers to buy online from overseas retailers.
Stripe, a San Francisco start-up that handles payments for online retailers, has started to let online retailers accept purchases made through Alipay, an Alibaba-affiliated payment method that is by far China’s most popular way of paying for goods bought online. Read more
What can a company that proposes using drones to deliver goods instantaneously do to impress?
Amazon tried hard with its Fire phone, the first smartphone ever from the e-commerce giant. It sort of succeeds, but the best thing about the phone is the vision of what it could become after a few rounds of refinements and tweaks. Read more
A win for online education and sensible sanctions regulation. Today, online course provider Coursera says it is able to re-open the majority of its classes to Iranian students, a few months after US sanctions on Iran and certain other nations forced the start-up to block learners in those countries from its site.
Google’s first ever public report on its diversity is out, and the numbers are not hugely shocking. Women make up less than a third of its workforce globally, while 5 per cent of its US staff are black or Hispanic.
More notable: The fact that Google admits it was in the wrong not to have released this data earlier. Read more
Famed internet analyst Mary Meeker’s latest prognostications on how the internet is developing were out today. The key — perhaps unsurprisingly — is mobile, and how it’s reshaping what gadgets we buy, what we use them for, and where exactly those users are from.
Here are five key figures from her report: Read more
After the correction in tech stocks in recent weeks, investors would be forgiven for being surprised by the performance of two tech IPOs in New York this week. Read more
As the fight around net neutrality heats up in Washington DC this week, a well-known internet entrepreneur and activist is taking to the streets of the US capital to get people focused on what can sometimes seem a bit of an arcane fight over telecom regulation. Read more