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Tag Archives: india

Mesh Wi-Fi router company Plume now requires customers agree to a $60/year subscription fee before buying its hardware (Jacob Kastrenakes/The Verge)

Jacob Kastrenakes / The Verge : Mesh Wi-Fi router company Plume now requires customers agree to a $60/year subscription fee before buying its hardware   —  You have to subscribe even to buy a router  —  A Wi-Fi router startup is trying to shake up how we think about home Wi-Fi in a major way: by turning it into a subscription service.

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Google Translate expands offline translation support to 59 languages including Italian, Greek, Norwegian, and Swahili (Frederic Lardinois/TechCrunch)

Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch : Google Translate expands offline translation support to 59 languages including Italian, Greek, Norwegian, and Swahili   —  Currently, when the Google Translate apps for iOS and Android has access to the internet, its translations are far superior to those it produces when it's offline.

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Uber bets on developing world growth with low-data Uber Lite

“The next hundreds of millions of riders for us are going to come from outside of the United States”, Uber’s head of rider experience Peter Deng tells me. The transportation giant already sees 75 million riders per month and 15 million rides per day. But to grow in the developing world, it had to rethink its app to work on the oldest phones and slowest networks. So Deng’s team traveled the globe asking people what they needed from Uber, but also what they didn’t. The result is Uber Lite. It’s launching today in India before rolling out to more countries, though there’s still a waitlist form instead of a download link. The Android app takes up just 5 megabytes. “You delete three selfies, you have room for Uber” Deng laughs.  300-millisecond response time means its quick to hail a ride, even for the 4 percent of users in India on sluggish 2G networks. And by streamlining the design and only showing maps by request, it won’t burn much data for users on a budget. Uber needs to score growth in developing markets after retreating while cutting deals with local winner like Didi in China, Grab in Southeast Asia, and a forthcoming arrangement with Yandex in Russia. India’s Ola rideshare service already has a ‘Lite” app that’s just 1 megabyte and a 45% share of the taxi market, compared to Uber’s 35%. Uber has reported has talked with Ola about a possible merger in India, sources have told TechCrunch and others. With the country making up 10% of Uber’s rides, it’s a market it can’t forfeit. To reach its full potential, Uber has to start out-competing homegrown competitors. Success with Uber Lite could give it leverage with Ola and path to gaining more of it around the world

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CapitalG leads $21.5M investment in Aye Finance, its first deal in India

India is a major part of Google’s global focus. The company  launched a new product in India last week as its program to bring free WiFi to the public registered its 400th railway station . Now, the U.S. tech giant is continuing to deepen its focus after CapitalG — its venture arm formerly known as Google Capital — made its first investment in India by backing micro-loan startup Aye Finance. CapitalG led the $21.5 million Series C round which also included participation from existing investors SAIF Partners and LGT, who were part of a $10.5 million investment in 2016 . Since that round, Aye Finance has raised over $30 million via a series of debt investment-based deals, according to data from Crunchbase . Aye Finance offers micro-loans to small businesses in India that are not on the radar of banks and traditional financing companies, and also don’t qualify for programs run by the likes of Flipkart and Amazon. The firm aims to digitize the market of informal money lending and loan sharking. Its disbursements are typically used as working capital for SMEs. Over its four years of operations, the startup claims it has payed out more than 60,000 loans. Today, it claims to cover 10 states in India through a network of 72 branches.

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Taiwan-based M17 Entertainment, maker of livestreaming and dating apps, delays NYSE debut after raising ~$60M in IPO roadshow, which was below the…

Mars Woo / DealStreetAsia : Taiwan-based M17 Entertainment, maker of livestreaming and dating apps, delays NYSE debut after raising ~$60M in IPO roadshow, which was below the $115M target   —  Taiwan-based M17 Entertainment, the parent company of Singapore's dating and networking app Paktor, has delayed its scheduled trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

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Airbnb to pilot new Open Homes program in San Jose, CA that will let residents register as "standby" hosts for emergencies, attend in-person…

Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch : Airbnb to pilot new Open Homes program in San Jose, CA that will let residents register as “standby” hosts for emergencies, attend in-person training, more   —  Airbnb — the travel startup that lets individuals rent out private homes or rooms in private homes to people as an alternative …

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EA is testing a multi-device game streaming service, announces Origin Access Premier, a $14.99/mo tier for its subscription program with access to all…

Laura Kate Dale / Kotaku UK : EA is testing a multi-device game streaming service, announces Origin Access Premier, a $14.99/mo tier for its subscription program with access to all new games   —  During EA's E3 press conference today, the company made a pair of small announcement about the future of how you'll be able to play their games.

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Unproven facial recognition tech is the latest tool that is being increasingly marketed by security contractors to US schools terrified of school…

Drew Harwell / Washington Post : Unproven facial recognition tech is the latest tool that is being increasingly marketed by security contractors to US schools terrified of school shootings   —  The facial-recognition cameras installed near the bounce houses at the Warehouse, an after-school recreation center in Bloomington …

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Profile of Indian IT outsourcing giant Infosys, which dominates H-1B visa applications and is facing new challenges amid rising automation and Trump’s…

Rollo Romig / The California Sunday Magazine : Profile of Indian IT outsourcing giant Infosys, which dominates H-1B visa applications and is facing new challenges amid rising automation and Trump's rhetoric   —  Indian IT companies keep US businesses running.  But is the Indian IT miracle over?

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Quebec halts all new cryptocurrency mining permits as Hydro Quebec power plant struggles to fulfill 17K MW of new power demand without raising prices…

Allison Lampert / Reuters : Quebec halts all new cryptocurrency mining permits as Hydro Quebec power plant struggles to fulfill 17K MW of new power demand without raising prices for locals   —  MONTREAL (Reuters) - Canada's Quebec province said on Thursday it has halted approvals for new digital currency mining projects …

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Jessica Alba’s Honest Company raises $200M from a LVMH-affiliated private equity firm L Catterton for a minority stake, to help expand the business…

Bloomberg : Jessica Alba's Honest Company raises $200M from a LVMH-affiliated private equity firm L Catterton for a minority stake, to help expand the business globally   —  - $200 million investment will help Honest boost supply chain  — L Catterton focuses on consumer brands, owns Bliss, Elemis

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iOS 12 allows developers to create extensions to report call and SMS spam from call and message logs, possibly addressing concerns of India’s telecom…

Aroon Deep / MediaNama : iOS 12 allows developers to create extensions to report call and SMS spam from call and message logs, possibly addressing concerns of India's telecom regulator   —  In an apparent compromise, Apple has updated their OS to natively support SMS and call spam reporting, clearing the way for TRAI …

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Although Lyft has reportedly agreed to acquire Motivate, possibly for $250M, a source says Uber is considering its own bid for the bike-sharing…

Kia Kokalitcheva / Axios : Although Lyft has reportedly agreed to acquire Motivate, possibly for $250M, a source says Uber is considering its own bid for the bike-sharing startup   —  Uber is considering a takeover offer for Motivate, the bike-share company behind such programs as CitiBike in New York and Ford GoBike in San Francisco, Axios has learned.

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Bad Robot, J.J. Abrams’ media production company, to partner with Tencent to form a new company, Bad Robot Games, to make games for PC, console, and…

Devin Coldewey / TechCrunch : Bad Robot, J.J. Abrams' media production company, to partner with Tencent to form a new company, Bad Robot Games, to make games for PC, console, and mobile   —  Bad Robot, the media production company headed by famed nostalgia-lord J.J. Abrams, is expanding into the games industry with help from Chinese tech conglomerate Tencent.

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