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Tag Archives: digital

PayPal leads $50M round for PPRO, a profitable cross-border payment specialist

As payments companies continue to look to the long tail of global markets to expand their businesses, a startup that helps them do business in disparate economies is getting a strategic investment from one of payment world leaders. PayPal is leading a $50 million investment into PPRO , a London-based business that is focused on cross-border payments for merchants, specifically by offering the merchants a seamless way of accepting payments from customers using whatever the most popular payment form happens to be in a particular country. To date, the PPRO platform covers some 140 payment methods, and the plan will be to add more countries, and more payments, into the mix. The deal comes at the tail end of a wave of acquisitions from PayPal as it looks for new ways of expanding its business as growth tails off in its more established markets and established business lines. Between mid-May and now, it has acquired iZettle  for $2.2 billion to expand its mobile point-of-sale opportunities; AI-based CRM specialist Jetlore ; AI-based fraud and risk management firm Simility  for $120 million; and gig economy payment facilitator  Hyperwallet for $400 million. This PPRO investment also includes participation from new investor Citi Ventures and previous backer HPE Growth Capital. PPRO is not disclosing its valuation but Simon Black, its CEO, said in an interview that it’s definitely up on its previous funding and described it as a “minority investment” in the company. Interestingly, PPRO has raised only around $10.6 million since its founding in 2006; it is already profitable; it has around 200 employees; and it competes with the likes of Adyen, which recently went public at a valuation of over $8 billion — to give you an idea of the opportunity and value of the company. The challenge PPRO — pronounced “pea-pro” — is addressing is an interesting and complicated one. While the growth in e-commerce has been a global phenomenon, like a plant, it has grown differently and adapted to each market depending on local conditions. In the case of payments, that has meant a disparate range of payment methods that are standard in some countries, but not others. While credit cards or debit cards, for example, are very standard in the US and UK, in Japan , a lot of people pay for items purchased online by cash on delivery, or at convenience stores. In the Netherlands, there is a system called iDEAL that routes payments directly through your bank account. And so on. For a merchant that is based in one country but interested in selling to people in another, this can pose a problem, if it doesn’t accept whatever the local payment method happens to be. That’s where a company like PPRO comes in

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Some of the biggest meme accounts on Instagram have gone private in recent months as their owners say it’s a new way to gain followers on a crowded…

Taylor Lorenz / The Atlantic : Some of the biggest meme accounts on Instagram have gone private in recent months as their owners say it's a new way to gain followers on a crowded platform   —  Over the past six months, some of Instagram's biggest meme pages—like Shithead Steve, with more than 2.5 million followers …

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Headout, a mobile travel app for booking last-minute tours, activities, and tickets to local events, raises $10M Series A to grow from 21 to 100…

Catherine Shu / TechCrunch : Headout, a mobile travel app for booking last-minute tours, activities, and tickets to local events, raises $10M Series A to grow from 21 to 100 cities globally   —  Imagine being in a new city with a few hours to kill, but no idea what to do.  Headout is a travel app that enables tourists …

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Smule rebrands its Sing! Karaoke app, which lets users record music videos solo or as duets with other users or artists, to Smule, says the app has…

Joan E. Solsman / CNET : Smule rebrands its Sing! Karaoke app, which lets users record music videos solo or as duets with other users or artists, to Smule, says the app has 50M MAUs   —  Smule wants everyone to know its name.  —  The company, a San Francisco-based startup named from a portmanteau of “sonic” and “mule,” runs a collection of music-related apps.

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Online game creation platform Roblox, which is reportedly raising at a $2.4B valuation, says it’s on track to more than double developer payouts to…

Matt Weinberger / Business Insider : Online game creation platform Roblox, which is reportedly raising at a $2.4B valuation, says it's on track to more than double developer payouts to $70M in 2018   —  - Roblox, the video-game app that's wildly popular with younger players, is on track to pay out $70 million to its developers this year.

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Germany’s highest court rules that the parents of a teenager who died in 2012 should inherit access to her Facebook account, including private…

Hanna Kozlowska / Quartz : Germany's highest court rules that the parents of a teenager who died in 2012 should inherit access to her Facebook account, including private messages   —  Germany's highest court ruled Thursday (July 12) that the parents of a teenager who died in 2012 after being hit by a train should be allowed …

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Inside the growing phenomenon of "local Twitter" in the US, which is mostly made up of teens posting generic status updates that sometimes…

Taylor Lorenz / The Atlantic : Inside the growing phenomenon of “local Twitter” in the US, which is mostly made up of teens posting generic status updates that sometimes go viral   —  A decade ago, if you were a bored teen looking to post about suburban life, relationship problems, Starbucks, or fleeting thoughts like …

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Interview with Panos Panay and other Microsoft execs on how the Surface Go was made, and why they think it has an edge over Chromebooks and the iPad…

Lauren Goode / Wired : Interview with Panos Panay and other Microsoft execs on how the Surface Go was made, and why they think it has an edge over Chromebooks and the iPad   —  PANOS PANAY IS the betting type.  You can see the evidence in Microsoft's Building 37, where two $1 bills stick out from beneath a Surface tablet sitting on a shelf.

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Interview with Panos Panay and other Microsoft execs on how the Surface Go was made, and why they think it has an edge over Chromebooks and the iPad…

Lauren Goode / Wired : Interview with Panos Panay and other Microsoft execs on how the Surface Go was made, and why they think it has an edge over Chromebooks and the iPad   —  PANOS PANAY IS the betting type.  You can see the evidence in Microsoft's Building 37, where two $1 bills stick out from beneath a Surface tablet sitting on a shelf.

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Interview with Panos Panay and other Microsoft executives on how the Surface Go was made, and why they think it has an edge over Chromebooks and the…

Lauren Goode / Wired : Interview with Panos Panay and other Microsoft executives on how the Surface Go was made, and why they think it has an edge over Chromebooks and the iPad   —  PANOS PANAY IS the betting type.  You can see the evidence in Microsoft's Building 37, where two $1 bills stick out from beneath a Surface tablet sitting on a shelf.

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How widespread use of translation apps like Google Translate helped bring international fans and locals together during the World Cup in Russia (Rory…

Rory Smith / New York Times : How widespread use of translation apps like Google Translate helped bring international fans and locals together during the World Cup in Russia   —  MOSCOW — On a warm, sticky morning in Kazan, Russia, a couple of weeks ago, a British journalist decided to brave the heat and go for a run.

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As Facebook and Instagram crack down on explicit content, Twitter has become the platform of choice for nudists as it allows content with full or…

Taylor Lorenz / The Atlantic : As Facebook and Instagram crack down on explicit content, Twitter has become the platform of choice for nudists as it allows content with full or partial nudity   —  Since Martin Belcher, a 50-year-old customer-services adviser based in the U.K., joined Twitter in 2012, he's tweeted out thousands …

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