VC firm Otium Venture becomes Frst and raises new fund

It’s a breakup of some sort, but with no hard feelings. The team behind Paris-based VC firm Otium Venture is creating a new management company called Frst and raising a new fund. But first, let’s talk about Otium Venture. Smartbox founder Pierre-Edouard Stérin’s family office created Otium Venture and Otium …

Alibaba pumps $100 million into Vmate to grow its video app in India

Chinese tech giant Alibaba is doubling down on India’s burgeoning video market, looking to fight back local rival ByteDance, Google, and Disney to gain its foothold in the nation. The company said today that it is pumping $100 million into Vmate, a three-year-old social video app owned by subsidiary UC …

High skill women dominate surge in freelance work

A 334,000 (63 percent) rise in highly-skilled female freelancers has driven the UK’s freelance revolution over the last 10 years according to new research from IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed. The increase takes the number of senior-level women freelancing in the UK to 863,000. The professions …

Solo.io wants to bring order to service meshes with centralized management hub

As containers and microservices have proliferated, a new kind of tool called the service mesh has developed to help manage and understand interactions between services. While Kubernetes has emerged as the clear container orchestration tool of choice, there is much less certainty in the service mesh market. Solo.io announced a …

Government treading carefully with proposed plans for gig workers

Leaked government plans to protect the working rights of people operating in the gig economy will help to stop unscrupulous employers from exploiting low-paid workers by stamping out false self-employment. But it is questionable whether this goes far enough. Plans revealed earlier this month suggest the government intends to adopt a …

Bankrupt Maker Faire revives, reduced to Make Community

Maker Faire and Maker Media are getting a second chance after suddenly going bankrupt, but they’ll return in a weakened capacity. Sadly, their flagship crafting festivals remain in jeopardy, and it’s unclear how long the reformed company can survive. Maker Media suddenly laid off all 22 employees and shut down …

Devices built with Intel’s Ice Lake and Project Athena specifications will be available in time for the holidays

Even before Computex officially launched today, AMD and Qualcomm threw down the gauntlet at Intel with a new chip and a 5G PC, respectively. Today Intel responded in kind during its keynote presentation in Taipei, introducing new processors and laptops, in addition to unveiling Ice Lake, its 10th generation Intel …

Serverless monitoring startup Espagon expands to cover broader microservices

When Espagon launched last Fall, the Israeli startup had an idea to monitor serverless, architectures, specifically AWS Lambda. But the company didn’t want to confine itself to monitoring a narrow class of applications, and today it announced it is now able to monitor a broader set of microservice development approaches. …

May Mobility reveals prototype of a wheelchair-accessible autonomous vehicle

Autonomous transportation startup May Mobility is doing more than just talking about accessibility when it comes to self-driving transportation tech development. The company recently began developing a wheelchair-accessible prototype version of its autonomous shuttle vehicle, and just concluded an initial round of gathering feedback from the community of people in …

Insight Partners bags threat intel company Recorded Future for $780M

If you haven’t noticed, security companies are a pretty hot commodity these days. Just yesterday, Palo Alto Networks bought two security startups. Earlier this week, FireEye bought Verodin for $250 million, and today, private equity firm Insight Partners announced it was buying threat intelligence vendor Recorded Future for $780 million. …

Google launches CallJoy, a virtual customer service phone agent for small businesses

Google is combining several technologies including virtual phone numbers, audio transcriptions, automated reporting and analytics, in a new effort to help small business owners better manage their inbound phone calls. The company’s latest project from its in-house incubator is CallJoy, launching today.  Aimed at the U.S.’s 30.2 million small business …

Take a video tour of Facebook’s election security war room

Beneath an American flag, 20 people packed tight into a beige conference room are Facebook’s, and so too the Internet’s, first line of defence for democracy. This is Facebook election security war room. Screens visualize influxes of foreign political content and voter suppression attempts as high-ranking team members from across …

Men’s wellness startup HIMS has launched a line of women’s health products called HERS

Exactly one year to the day since it launched its line of men’s health products, HIMS is announcing its foray into women’s wellness. The company is using its mountain of venture capital to support the new brand, called HERS. In September, HIMS raised another $50 million in a round led by …

BlackBerry is buying Cylance for $1.4 billion to continue its push into cybersecurity

BlackBerry was best known for keyboard-totting smartphones, but their demise in recent years has seen the Canadia firm pivot towards enterprise services and in particular cybersecurity. That strategy takes a big step further forward today after BlackBerry announced the acquisition of AI-based cybersecurity company Cylance for a cool $1.4 billion. …