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Pointy raises $12M Series B to help bricks and mortar retailers fight Amazon

Pointy ​,​ the​ ​startup​ ​that​ offers tech to help ​bricks and mortar​ ​retailers put their stock online so that it can be discovered via search engines, has picked up $12 million in new funding. The Series B round is led Polaris Partners and Vulcan Capital, and brings total funding for the Irish company to $19 million. Founded on the premise that people often resort to e-commerce behemoths like Amazon because they can’t find the same item locally, Pointy has developed a hardware and cloud software solution that makes it easy to create a bespoke website as means of making local stock discoverable online. Specifically, the ​”Pointy​ ​box”​ hardware ​gadget connects to a store’s barcode scanner and automatically puts scanned items on a Pointy-powered website for the store. Store pages are then optimised for search engines, so that when you search for products locally — say your favourite artisan beer — a Pointy-powered result shows up and encourages you to visit the store and make a purchase. In other words, this is about helping local retailers drive more footfall, but with very little additional overhead. Pointy CEO and co-founder Mark Cummins says the Series B round will be used by the startup to accelerate growth and build on an increased uptake by U.S. retailers. It currently counts 5,500 retailers using Pointy in total, with 70 percent from the U.S, and the remaining in Canada, U.K. and Ireland.

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These are the top iPhone apps of all time

Ahead of the 10th anniversary of the iOS App Store on July 11th, App Annie has today released a retrospective of the top iOS apps of all time, along with key milestones in App Store history. Its report tallies up the top apps of all time by both downloads and revenue, as well as the top apps by year starting in 2010 – when App Annie started tracking this data, and more. The result is a fairly comprehensive look back at the App Store, which has now seen over 170 billion downloads and over $130 billion in consumer spend on apps since July 2010. And now, today’s App Store includes some 2.2 million apps, even after Apple’s big cleanup . For its analysis, App Annie split “apps” into both games and traditional applications – similar to how the App Store now gives these two categories their own sections and top charts in its iOS App Store app following the App Store makeover in fall 2017. App Annie then broke down the “top” games into those that were the most downloaded and those that made the most money. Games Across both charts, you’ll find classics like Clash of Clans, Candy Crush Saga, and Honour of Kings. However, some of the App Store’s most memorable games – like Temple Run and Angry Birds – didn’t make the top 10 by consumer spend. Instead, the number one game by revenue is Clash of Clans, followed by Candy Crush, which was also the most downloaded game of all time. While App Annie can reveal all the download numbers or revenue figures because of client relationships, it could say that Candy Crush has been downloaded over 280 million times worldwide from July 2010 through May 2018.

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Italian grocery delivery service Supermercato24 picks up €13M Series B

Supermercato24 , an Italian same-day grocery delivery service, has raised €13 million in Series B funding. Leading the round is FII Tech Growth, with participation from new investor Endeavor Catalyst, and current investors 360 Capital Partners, and Innogest. Similar to Instacart in the U.S. and claiming to be the leader in Italy, Supermercato24 lets customers order from local supermarkets for delivery. The startup uses gig economy-styled personal shoppers who go into the store and ‘pick’ the products ordered and then deliver them same-day, or for an added cost within an hour. The company charges a delivery fee to consumers, but also generates revenue from fees charged to partnering merchants, and, notably, through advertising. Supermercato24 says it has more than 15 partnerships with merchants, and has more than 50 consumer packaged goods customers (CPGs) advertising on its platform. “Our customers represent that increasing share of the population that would love to spend their time differently rather than doing grocery shopping,” says Supermercato24 CEO Federico Sargenti, who was previously an Amazon Executive and launched the Amazon FMCG Business in Italy and Spain. “Going to the store, pushing a cart through the alleys, queuing up, checking out and lifting heavy grocery shopping bags from the store’s register all the way up to your apartment can take lots of energy and up to 3 hours every week. Plenty of people would prefer to do all of that in a few minutes”. Specifically, Sargenti says that Supermercato24’s customers span “hip youngsters to elderly people, single professionals to parents and working couples,” and that more than 65 percent of customers are women. “Customers have high expectations on their groceries, because they are used to choosing from a wide product range at supermarkets, with competitive prices and qualitative fresh products. Plus, they expect a comfortable, convenient and same-day delivery.

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Google puts an end to Chrome extension installs from third-party sites

Google today announced a major change to its Chrome Web Store policy that aims to shield users from websites that try to fool them into installing their Chrome extensions. Until now, developers who publish their apps in the Web Store could also initiate app and extension installs from their own websites. Too often, though, developers combined these so-called “ inline installs ” with deceptive information on their sites to get users to install them. Unsurprisingly, that’s not quite the experience Google had in mind when it enabled this feature back in 2011, so now it’s shutting it down. Starting today, inline installation will be unavailable to all newly published extensions. Developers who use the standard method for calling for an install from their site will see that their users will get redirected to the Chrome Web Store to complete the installation. Come September 12, 2018, all inline installs of existing extensions will be shut down and users will be redirected to the store, too. Come December and the launch of Chrome 71, the API that currently allows for this way of installing extensions will go away. “As we’ve attempted to address this problem over the past few years, we’ve learned that the information displayed alongside extensions in the Chrome Web Store plays a critical role in ensuring that users can make informed decisions about whether to install an extension,” James Wagner, the product manager for the extensions platform, writes in today’s update. “When installed through the Chrome Web Store, extensions are significantly less likely to be uninstalled or cause user complaints, compared to extensions installed through inline installation.” As Wagner notes, inline installations have been an issue for a long time. Back in 2015 , for example, sites that tried to deceive users into installing extensions by getting them to click on fake ads or error messages were the main issue.

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