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Tag Archives: credit

Riskified prevents fraud on your favorite e-commerce site

Meet Riskified , an Israel-based startup that has raised $64 million in total to fight online fraud. The company has built a service that helps you reject transactions from stolen credit cards and approve more transactions from legitimate clients. If you live in the U.S., chances are you know someone who noticed a fraudulent charge for an expensive purchase with their credit card — it’s still unclear why most restaurants and bars in the U.S. take your card away instead of bringing the card reader to you. Online purchases, also known as card-not-present transactions, represent the primary source of fraudulent transactions. That’s why e-commerce websites need to optimize their payment system to detect fraudulent transactions and approve all the others. Riskified uses machine learning to recognize good orders and improve your bottom line. In fact, Riskified is so confident that it guarantees that you’ll never have to pay chargebacks. As long as a transaction is approved by the product, the startup offers chargeback protection. If Riskified made the wrong call, the company reimburses fraudulent chargebacks. On the other side of the equation, many e-commerce websites leave money on the table by rejecting transactions and false declines. It’s hard to quantify this as some customers end up not ordering anything. Riskified should help you on this front too.

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A conversation with Sarah Cannon and Mark Goldberg, Index Ventures’ new partners

Index Ventures — a firm with investments in companies like recent IPO Dropbox, a series of successful gaming companies like King, and others including Slack and coming IPO Zuora — has seen a lot of moves in the past few months. There was the  departure of partner Ilya Fushman earlier this year, but the firm also brought on Sarah Cannon from CapitalG as one of their recent big hires. Index has also promoted former Dropboxer Mark Goldberg to partner. Prior to joining Index, Cannon led investments in companies like Looker, MultiPlan, Oscar and Care.com. Cannon will primarily be focusing on growth stage, and is also now a board observer for Slack. Goldberg has been at the firm for around three years and worked on deals like Nova Credit and CoverWallet. We sat down with the two new partners to discuss some of their plans, as well as some broader parts of the venture ecosystem. Here’s the interview, which has been lightly edited for clarity. TC: What does the investment committee decision process look like these days? Mark Goldberg : In the last stage, we have a partner presentation, where the entrepreneur presents and we debrief. Then it’s a vote at the partner level.

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MyHeritage breach exposes 92M emails and hashed passwords

The genetic analysis and family tree website MyHeritage was breached last year by unknown actors, who exfiltrated the emails and hashed passwords of all 92 million registered users of the site. No credit card info, nor (what would be more disturbing) genetic data appears to have been collected. The company announced the breach on its blog , explaining that an unnamed security researcher contacted them to warn them of a file he had encountered “on a private server,” tellingly entitled “myheritage.” Inside it were the millions of emails and hashed passwords. Hashing passwords is a one-way encryption process allowing sensitive data to be stored easily, and although there are theoretically ways to reverse hashing, they involve immense amounts of computing power and quite a bit of luck. So the passwords are probably safe, but MyHeritage has advised all its users to change theirs regardless, and they should. The emails are not fundamentally revealing data; billions have been exposed over the years through the likes of the Equifax and Yahoo breaches. They’re mainly damaging in connection with other data. For instance, the hackers could put 2 and 2 together by cross-referencing this list of 92 million with a list of emails whose corresponding passwords were known via some other breach. That’s why it’s good to use a password manager and have unique passwords for every site. MyHeritage’s confidence that other data was not accessed appears to be for a good reason: Credit card information is not stored on MyHeritage to begin with, but only on trusted third-party billing providers (e.g. BlueSnap, PayPal) utilized by MyHeritage

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No-fees mobile bank Chime raises $70M Series C, valuing its business at $500M

Chime , the San Francisco-based challenger bank known for its consumer-friendly features and lack of fees, has raised $70 million in Series C financing, led by Menlo Ventures. The round, which also included existing investors Forerunner Ventures, Aspect Ventures, Cathay Innovation, Northwestern Mutual, Crosslink Capital, and Omidyar Network, brings the company to over $100 million in total funding to date and values the business at around $500 million. The startup is one of several challenger banks gaining popularity with a younger, millennial audience who sees no need for a bank with physical branches, and who are sick of being penalized by hefty fees for things like overdrafts or dropping below a minimum balance – fees that take advantage of consumers at their most vulnerable points in their financial lives. As Chime points out, traditional banks charged consumers over $34 billion in fees in 2017 . Its service, on the other hand, drops the consumer-facing fees. There are no monthly fees, no minimum balance fees, no overdraft fees, no international transactions fees, and it has a network of nearly 40,000 free ATMs  Instead of gouging customers, Chime generates revenue from an interchange-based business model involving its accompanying debit card, where it earns about 1.5 percent in interchange revenue from Visa. While the no-fee structure is a huge draw for consumers, Chime is popular also for its innovative feature set. Thanks to a founding team with a combination of both startup and finance experience, the app looks like something built by a technology company, not an old-fashioned bank. Chime’s co-founder and CEO Chris Britt previously worked at Flycast, was an early comScore employee, and did time at Visa and Green Dot; co-founder and CTO Ryan King  hails from Plaxo and Comcast. “I started this company because Green Dot was really focused on the unbanked and under-banked people who couldn’t get bank accounts because they had bad credit or bad checks – that sort of thing,” explains Britt. “It was really not a full-featured bank account. And so what I wanted to do with this company was create a product that would serve more mainstream consumers – people who actually had accounts at Bank of America and Wells Fargo, but just aren’t particularly satisfied with those guys for variety of reasons – probably first, and foremost, the way they structure the products are quite punitive,” he says. Chime launched to consumers in mid-2014, but didn’t offer the suite of features that would allow people to use Chime as a primary bank account until early 2016, Britt says. Today, that feature set includes an automatic savings option that will round up purchases, and one that socks away 10 percent of your paycheck into your Chime savings account. It also has a popular no-fee paycheck advance feature that will make your direct deposited paycheck available to you early – as soon as the deposit is initiated by the payroll provider and the bank is alerted.

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Tradeshift Raises $250M Series E, Goldman Sachs joins the round

Tradeshift , a supply chain payments and marketplaces late-stage startup which recently added blockchain to its armoury, has today raised $250 million in a Series E funding round led by Goldman Sachs and Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments). Additional participation comes from HSBC, H14, GP Bullhound, and Gray Swan, a new venture company established by Tradeshift’s founders. The new round of financing brings Tradeshift’s total funding to more than $400 million. The company claims it’s valuation has now passed $1.1 billion. The new investors join existing backers, including HSBC, American Express Ventures, the CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund, Notion Capital, Santander InnoVentures, and others. Mikkel Hippe Brun, Tradeshift’s GM of China and Co-Founder, will join Tradeshift’s board of directors. Tradeshift CEO and Co-Founder Christian Lanng said in a statement: “We have always believed that the future of supply chains is 100 percent digital and that connecting trade is just the first step to a digitally connected economy. This investment will enable us to continue our rapid growth and consolidate our leadership position.” “Given the rapid increase in B2B online transactions, online marketplaces are no longer just for consumers. Tradeshift has established itself as a leader in supply chain commerce by enabling corporations around the globe to take greater control of their supply chains,” said Darren Cohen, global head of Principal Strategic Investments at Goldman Sachs.

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MoviePass competitor Sinemia can’t keep up with demand

A number of people are complaining about Sinemia not delivering them their movie membership cards within the seven-day timeframe the company said it would. Although Sinemia has charged people for their memberships, the company has not been able to deliver the membership cards in a timely manner. “We have seen strong demand for our new Sinemia membership plans and, while our processing operations have increased production, delivery times can be expected to be longer than usual,” Sinemia CEO Rifat Oguz told TechCrunch in a statement. “We greatly appreciate our subscribers’ patience while we work on preparing their cards. Please note that subscribers first month of service will not begin until their card arrives.” Please contact us via DM with brief explanation of your problem. We will be happy to help you. — Sinemia (@SinemiaApp) May 17, 2018 Sinemia, which launched its low-cost plans earlier this month , says to expect your card to be delivered within seven days. Here’s the full text of the email Sinemia sends customers after their purchase: We have received your payment. We are now preparing your private card for your  Sinemia  Premium membership. Your card will be delivered to the shipping units within generally in 7 days, although it can vary depending on the campaign periods. Please note that the estimated time of delivery may also vary depending on the destination and workload of the shipping company at the time.

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Interview with Google News VP Richard Gingras on data privacy, Google’s internal culture and politics, criticism ahead of the GDPR, and rethinking…

David Skok : Interview with Google News VP Richard Gingras on data privacy, Google's internal culture and politics, criticism ahead of the GDPR, and rethinking journalism   —  The head of Google News discusses the news ecosystem, responds to GDPR criticism, and answers the question: Is Google really a child of the open web?

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Lawmakers introduce a bipartisan bill, The Secure Data Act, which aims to block government from mandating encryption backdoors (David Ruiz/Electronic…

David Ruiz / Electronic Frontier Foundation : Lawmakers introduce a bipartisan bill, The Secure Data Act, which aims to block government from mandating encryption backdoors   —  This welcome piece of legislation reflects much of what the community of encryption researchers, scientists, developers, and advocates have explained for decades …

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Silver Lake to buy ZPG, owner of UK property portals Zoopla, PrimeLocation, and SmartNewHomes, for about £2.2B, a 30% premium on its Thursday…

Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch : Silver Lake to buy ZPG, owner of UK property portals Zoopla, PrimeLocation, and SmartNewHomes, for about £2.2B, a 30% premium on its Thursday closing price   —  The UK housing market has cooled down on the heels of the EU/Brexit referendum vote, but that hasn't stopped M&A activity around property market companies.

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Nvidia says it earned $289M from sales of its chips to cryptocurrency miners in Q1 of 2018, but expects crypto revenue to decline by two-thirds in Q2…

Jeran Wittenstein / Bloomberg : Nvidia says it earned $289M from sales of its chips to cryptocurrency miners in Q1 of 2018, but expects crypto revenue to decline by two-thirds in Q2   —  Nvidia Corp. revealed for the first time how much revenue it generated from chip sales to the cryptocurrency market — and said that figure will be much smaller in the second quarter.

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