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Google expands its Cloud Platform region in the Netherlands

Google today announced that it has expanded its recently launched Cloud Platform region in the Netherlands with an additional zone. The investment, which is worth a reported 500 million euros, expands the existing Netherlands region from two to three regions. With this, all four of the Central European Google Cloud Platform zones now feature three zones (which are akin to what AWS would call “availability zones”) that allow developers to build highly available services across multiple data centers. Google typically aims to have a least three zones in every region, so today’s announcement to expand its region in the Dutch province of Groningen doesn’t come as a major surprise. With this move, Google is also making  Cloud Spanner ,  Cloud Bigtable ,  Managed Instance Groups , and  Cloud SQL  available in the region. Over the course of the last two years, Google has worked hard to expand its global data center footprint. While it still can’t compete with the likes of AWS and Azure, which currently offers more regions than any of its competitors, the company now has enough of a presence to be competitive in most markets. In the near future, Google also plans to open regions in Los Angeles, Finland, Osaka and Hong Kong. The major blank spots on its current map remain Africa, China (for rather obvious reasons) and Eastern Europe, including Russia.

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Detectify raises €5M for its crowdsourced website vulnerability scanner

Sweden-based Detectify , which offers a website vulnerability scanner that is in part powered by the crowd, has raised €5 million in new funding. The round was led by New York-based venture capital and private equity firm, Insight Venture Partners. Existing investors, Paua Ventures and Inventure, also participated. Founded in late 2013 by a self-described group of “white-hat hackers” from Sweden, the now 20-person strong company offers a website security tool that uses automation to scan websites for vulnerabilities to help customers (including developers) stay on top of security. The more unique part of the service, however, is that it is in part maintained — or, rather, kept up to date — via the crowd in the form of Detectify’s ethical hacker network. This sees top-ranked security researchers submit vulnerabilities that are then built into the Detectify scanner and used in customers’ security tests. The really clever part is that researchers get paid every time their submitted module identifies a vulnerability on a customer’s website. In other words, incentives are always kept aligned, giving Detectify a potential advantage and greater scale compared to similar website security automation tools. “Companies are building applications and users happily enter their data into these applications, but the applications are built from mix of technologies that are changing rapidly (open source, plugins, funky js-frameworks), without a clear vendor “responsible” for the security,” says Detectify co-founder and CEO Rickard Carlsson, explaining the problem the startup set out to solve. “As no clear vendor is responsible for communicating about security as compared to a Windows patch, for example, the knowledge sits in the community.

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Hootsuite raises $50M more for its social media management platform, passes 16M customers

Over the last several years, social media has become a critical and central way for businesses to communicate, and market to, their customers. Now, one of the startups that help spearhead this trend has raised a round of growth funding to expand its horizons. Hootsuite , the Vacouver-based social media management company that counts some 16 million businesses as customers, said today that it has raised $50 million in a growth round from CIBC Innovation Banking. We asked Ryan Holmes, the co-founder and CEO, for details about its valuation and funding, and said that there will be more acquisitions in the near future, and that for now the valuation is unchanged. “We opted for to go with non-dilutive credit at this point and found a great partner and terms in CIBC,” he wrote in an email. “The company is cash flow positive and the facility will primarily be reserved for M&A purposes. There is no associated valuation, however our latest 409a is up from last year and growth is very strong.” Notably, the last time Hootsuite raised money — way back in 2014 — the company was already valued at $1 billion . For some context, at the time it had 10 million businesses as customers, and today it has 16 million including what it says is 80 percent of the Fortune 1000, so it’s likely that its valuation has grown as well. “This financing is a testament to the strong fundamentals behind Hootsuite and our ongoing commitment to innovation and growth as the clear leader in social media management,” said Greg Twinney, CFO of Hootsuite, in a statement. “The additional capital will help us scale even faster to bring the most innovative products and partnerships to market globally and help our customers strategically build their brands, businesses and customer relationships with social.” The funding, according to the release, will also be used to expand its business in Asia Pacific, Europe and Latin America. It also plans to add in more tools to serve the needs of specific verticals like financial services, government and healthcare. You may not know the name Hootsuite but you might recognise its mascot — an owl — and more specifically its corresponding shortened link — it starts with ‘ow.ly’ — that is used a lot on Twitter, the social network that gave Hootsuite its first customers and ubiquity. Things have moved along quite a bit since those early days, when Hootsuite first started as a side project for Holmes, who himself was running a marketing and advertising agency when he started it

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