Open-source leader Confluent raises $125m on $2.5b valuation Technology 

Open-source leader Confluent raises $125m on $2.5b valuation

Confluent, the commercial company built on top of the open source Apache Kafka project, announced a $125 million Series D round this morning on an enormous $2.5 billion valuation.

The round was led by existing investor Sequoia Capital with participation from Index Ventures and Benchmark, who also participated in previous rounds. Today’s investment brings the total raised to $206 million, according the company.

The valuation soared from the previous round when the company was valued at $500 million. What’s more, the company’s bookings have scaled along with the valuation.

Graph: Confluent

While CEO Jay Kreps wouldn’t comment directly on a future IPO, he hinted that it is something the company is looking to do at some point. “With our growth and momentum so far, and with the latest funding, we are in a very good position to and have a desire to build a strong, independent company…” Kreps told TechCrunch.

Confluent and Kafka have developed a streaming data technology that processes m..

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Connecting African software developers with top tech companies nets Andela $100 million Technology 

Connecting African software developers with top tech companies nets Andela $100 million

Andela, the company that connects Africa’s top software developers with technology companies from the U.S. and around the world, has raised $100 million in a new round of funding.

The new financing from Generation Investment Management (the investment fund co-founded by former Vice President Al Gore) puts the valuation of the company at somewhere between $600 million and $700 million, based on data available from Pitchbook on the company’s valuation following it’s previous $40 million funding.

Previous investors from that financing, including the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, GV, Spark Capital, and CRE Venture Capital also participated.

“It’s increasingly clear that the future of work will be distributed, in part due to the severe shortage of engineering talent,” says Jeremy Johnson, co-founder and CEO of Andela. “Given our access to incredible talent across Africa, as well as what we’ve learned from scaling hundreds of engineering teams around the world, Andela is able to provide the..

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How To Make Money Online 2019! ($200 A Day!) Video 

How To Make Money Online 2019! ($200 A Day!)

Source: Youtube How To Make Money Online 2019! ($200 A Day!) ►Join My Affiliate Team And Get $3,000+ Worth Of Training: Last video: SUBSCRIBE►►► ◄◄◄SUB ___________________________________ Credits to: Rainbow by JayJen Music Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Music promoted by Audio Library Keywords: make money online money cnnmoney earn money passive income $100 a day $500 a day make money fast get rich builderall review builderall earn money online fast Inspired by Andrew Monheim’s video: How To Make Money Online 2019! ($300 A Day!) #money…

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Sustainable Ocean Alliance nets $1.5 million donation from Benioffs Technology 

Sustainable Ocean Alliance nets $1.5 million donation from Benioffs

Healthy oceans are on the minds of Marc and Lynne Benioff, and they showed it today with a $1.5 million donation to the Sustainable Oceans Alliance, a new non-profit attempting to promote and incubate conservation-focused startups. The money will considerably expand the organization’s upcoming Ocean Solutions accelerator.

Benioff is due to appear Wednesday evening on a panel at Davos about the “ocean economy,” at which he seems likely to mention the donation. He joins rather a powerhouse lineup to address the issues of environmental dangers threatening wallets as well as whales: Michelle Bachelet (U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights), Enric Sala (an Explorer-in-Residence at National Geographic), Actress Michelle Yeoh (who also does U.N. work), and indefatigable environmental crusader Al Gore. I certainly wish I could attend.

It’s clear that the Salesforce founder is as concerned about environmental issues as he is about social ones, and as ready to write a check when there’s a co..

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Facebook agrees to do more to tackle scam ads after celebrity defamation lawsuit Technology 

Facebook agrees to do more to tackle scam ads after celebrity defamation lawsuit

Facebook has agreed to plough more resource into combating the use of its advertising platform by scammers, saying it will do more to tackle scam ads that use well-known public figures to try to trick consumers.

It plans to launch a dedicated scam ad report button in the UK, slated to go live in around three months’ time, as well as set up a specialist, locally-based team to monitor ad reports, keep an eye on scammer trends and generally work on getting celebrity-exploiting scam ads taken down more quickly than its current AI-aided ad review systems have been doing.

The new measures were announced in a joint press conference with UK consumer advice personality, Martin Lewis, who launched a defamation lawsuit against Facebook in April, saying the social network giant had failed to stop scammers using his image on scores of ads that aimed to swindle consumers, thereby damaging his reputation.

Some of the ads had tried to use Lewis’ image to promote crypto scams.

Lewis filed suit afte..

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World Economic Forum warns of AI’s potential to worsen global inequality Technology 

World Economic Forum warns of AI’s potential to worsen global inequality

Tech and political leaders sounded the alarm bell today about the potential for artificial intelligence to exacerbate huge inequalities across the world. The mood music coming out of the World Economic Forum is that AI is seen as having great potential to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues (such as climate change), but if individual organizations and countries implement AI systems and others do not, then they will race far ahead, spreading inequality between economies and leading to unforeseen consequences for the planet.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland, the President of Colombia (Iván Duque Márquez), Marc Benioff (chairman and co-CEO of Salesforce) and Kai-Fu Lee (the Chinese venture capitalist, and an artificial intelligence expert) backed a new WEF initiative to expand its network of “Centres for the Fourth Industrial Revolution” to Columbia and other emerging economies. Joining Columbia will be Israel and the UAE, and other affiliate centres a..

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Brandless introduces a $9 price point with the launch of baby and pet products Technology 

Brandless introduces a $9 price point with the launch of baby and pet products

Since launch, Brandless has looked to make shopping for everyday items simple by pricing everything at $3. Today, for the first time since the company came on the scene, Brandless will be adding new items that exceed its own $3 limit.

The e-commerce brand is adding baby and pet products to its portfolio.

Baby products include Premium Diapers with no latex, lotion fragrance or chlorine processing, organic baby food pouches and cruelty-free baby care products like baby wipes, lotion, shampoo and diaper rash cream. Pet products include protein treats, supplement chews, non-toxic toys, hemp collars and pet cleanup waste bags made with a TDPA technology material that breaks down faster in landfills.

Though some of these products won’t wear the $3 pricetag as a uniform like other Brandless goods, the company says that 90 percent of its products still fall into the $3 category. Products that are not $3 or less will be $9.

Brandless recently introduced a subscription, giving users a sticki..

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Steemit, crypto’s answer to Reddit, gets a new boss to rebuild after widespread layoffs Technology 

Steemit, crypto’s answer to Reddit, gets a new boss to rebuild after widespread layoffs

Steemit, an early blockchain startup that’s developing an alternative to Reddit, has a new chief less than two months after laying off most of its staff as part of cost-cutting measures.

Celebrated as an early success story in the crypto world, the company shed 70 percent of its employees back in November on account of the ‘crypto winter’ which has seen the price of Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies plummet by 90 percent or so. Steemit is far from the only blockchain startup forced to restructure, and now its rebuilding plans rest in the hands of newly-appointed managing director Elizabeth Powell.

Formerly the company’s head of communications and advocacy, Powell has replaced former CEO Ned Scott — who is now executive chairman — at the helm of the business, which has 12 full-time staff.

“We recently published our updated Mission, Vision and Values, as well as its roadmap focusing on increasing ad revenues, protecting Steem assets’ value and cost reductions. My job is to ..

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Dog cancer treatment startup raises $5 million from Andreessen Horowitz and others Technology 

Dog cancer treatment startup raises $5 million from Andreessen Horowitz and others

One in every three dogs gets cancer, according to the National Canine Cancer Foundation. OneHealth, a startup that just raised a $5 million seed round led by Andreessen Horowitz’s Bio fund with participation from Lerer Hippeau and Y Combinator,aims to make it easier for humans to treat canine cancer, which is the number one disease killer of pups.

“Prevalence and incidence for cancer is much higher with dogs,” OneHealth founder and CEO Christina Lopes told TechCrunch over the phone.

OneHealth’s Fidocure product is designed to make treating your dog’s cancer more accessible and affordable. It specifically utilizes next-generation gene sequencing to better understand the genetic mutation that is causing an individual dog’s cancer. From there, Fidocare offers recommendations and an action plan to the human, outlining the best therapeutic implications and targeted treatment.

“The purpose of the company is actionability,” Lopes said. “The test is the first step. From there, if there’s a ..

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LG hints at gesture interface for smartphone flagship next month Technology 

LG hints at gesture interface for smartphone flagship next month

LG has put out a gesture-heavy hint ahead of the annual unveiling of new smartphone hardware at the world’s biggest mobile confab, Mobile World Congress, which kicks off in a month’s time.

The brief video teaser for its forthcoming MWC press event in Barcelona, which was shared today via LG’s social media channels, shows a man’s hand swiping to change on screen content, including the message “goodbye touch”.

The title of LG’s teaser video includes the name “LG Premiere”, which could be the name of the forthcoming flagship — albeit that would be confusingly similar to the mid-tier LG Premier of yore. So, hopefully the company is going to make that last ‘e’ really count.

Beyond some very unsubtle magic wand sound effects to draw extra attention to the contactless gestures, the video offers very little to go on. But we’re pretty sure LG is not about to pivot away from touchscreens entirely.

Rather we’re betting on some sort of Leap Motion -style gesture control interface being added t..

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