The Berlin-based company is backed by Li Ka-shing, one of Asia’s richest men and Peter Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal and an early investor in Facebook, along with other investors including Berlin’s Earlybird Ventures and Zurich-based Red Alpine.
The company, which received its own banking license from German financial regulator Bafin this year, offers online accounts for cash withdrawals, savings and insurance services that users manage on their mobile phones.
Without the expense of branches or legacy computer infrastructure and by relying on selective outsourcing, mobile-first banks can challenge established banks by promising lower lending rates and higher rates on savings.
Established banks have responded by plowing more money into upgrading their own computer systems, rolling out mobile apps of their own, closing retail bank branches and investing in fintech startups.
N26, which first launched in 2015 in Germany and Austria, then moved into Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Ireland and Slovakia, is now adding the Benelux countries, the Baltics, Finland, Portugal and Slovenia.
“We have built Europe’s most modern mobile bank,” Number26 Chief Executive and co-founder Valentin Stalf said in a presentation at the TechCrunch Disrupt London conference.
“We are getting closer to building a truly European bank.”
Oracle plans to purchase internet performance and DNS provider Dyn in an effort to boost its cloud-based offerings as well as challenge infrastructure and platform service leaders like Amazon and Microsoft.
Dyn, in the news last month when it was targeted in a massive distributed denial-of-service attack, operates a global network that makes 40 billion traffic optimization decisions each day for more than 3,500 enterprise customers, including Netflix and Twitter.
Dyn monitors and optimizes internet applications and cloud services with the goal of delivering faster access and reduced page-load times. Dyn’s services will give Oracle a one-stop shop for enterprise customers looking for infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS), Oracle said in a press release Monday.
Oracle has made an aggressive play in the cloud in recent months, with Executive Chairman Larry Ellison promising in September to give Amazon’s AWS “serious competition.” Some observers have questioned whether the company can catch up to Amazon and Microsoft, however.
Oracle has invested heavily in its cloud platform and has ambitions to be a market leader, but its strength right now lies in cloud support of its own applications, said Paul Miller, a senior analyst at Forrester.
“Oracle’s cloud makes most sense to customers already heavily invested in Oracle’s ecosystem of tools and applications,” Miller said.
Many existing Oracle customers also have a big investment in their own data centers, and that isn’t likely to change for several years, Miller added. So Oracle “mostly tells a hybrid cloud story in which some workloads run in public clouds, and others run on a customer’s premises, in a customer’s chosen co-location facility, or wherever,” he said.
In the hybrid service model, the Dyn acquisition makes sense, Miller said. Dyn’s network optimization services can help Oracle speed up its own network traffic and help the company and its customers “optimize the flow of data between Oracle’s data centers and a customer’s own facilities,” he added. “That optimization makes data flow faster and also saves everyone money.”
Customers should keep an eye on Oracle, he said.
“With a clear commitment to public cloud platforms and a strong history of success, clients would be foolish to write off this provider,” Forrester said in a report last month. “For those already invested in Oracle’s platform and applications, there may be no better choice.”
Oracle declined to comment on the acquisition and didn’t release terms of the deal.
It has been rumored that Dell is working on a PC class x86 Windows smartphone, but it looks like a picture has finally tipped up, just as the project was abandoned.
Evan Blass has found a snap of what appears to be the PC phone that Dell was supposed to be shipping with an Intel processor. Some thought it was Microsoft’s much-anticipated Surface Phone but it turned out that it was Dell’s rather cool, but abandoned project.
Specifications of the cancelled phone are thin on the ground, but the fact it had a x86 processor suggests that it would be the most powerful smartphone in history.
It would have run Windows 10 Mobile which already supports Intel X86 processors and Vole’s Continuum feature could have taken advantage of the beefy specs. Continuum feature works with the HP Elite x3. It means that the x3 can have a full desktop experience by virtue of connecting an external display, a dedicated keyboard and a mouse.
Now if Dell had got all this to go on a mobile with Continuum it would mean a perfect desktop on a phone. There would be no need for a separate laptop, because all you would need is a laptop dock.
It is not clear why Dell walked away from what would have changed everything in the mobile world. It might have been that it would have been because it could have killed its PC business, but it is also possible that Chipzilla shafted the project with its cancellation of Intel’s low-end segment as a restructuring move in May.
Either way it is rather sad.
The Powerpack 2 doubles the power capacity over the original Powerpack from 100 kilowatt hours (kWh) to 200kWh.
Powerpack 2 is also now matched with a new inverter, designed by Tesla and manufactured at the Gigafactory.
The original Powerpack contained 16 individual battery pods, each with an isolated DC-AC converter. The “pod” architecture and onboard power electronics allowed for individual units to be easily swapped out, Tesla said.
Tesla is betting on solar and battery storage systems, having partnered with Panasonic to manufacture batteries in its Gigafactory outside Reno, Nev., and having announced its intent to acquire SolarCity, the nation’s largest residential rooftop solar installer.
Research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) forecasts massive growth in the energy storage market, first in utilities, then in corporations seeking to reduce their overhead costs.
The “Global Energy Storage Forecast, 2016-2024” shows that the annual investment in energy storage systems will increase six-fold to $8.2 billion in 2024.
The Powerpack 2 is a redesigned and reengineered system that integrates a bi-directional inverter without a transformer that, while doubling the electricity capacity, keeps the same system footprint as the original.
Tesla’s new inverter, which is the electronic device that changes direct current (DC) electricity coming from solar photovoltaic panels to usable alternating current (AC), is modular; uses updated power electronics that offer better performance; delivers 99% peak efficiency; and responds faster to commands.
The improvements in the Tesla inverter contribute to a higher power density per square foot. The inverter can operate in grid-tied or off-grid (behind the meter) applications, and can switch between both conditions.
“It is the lowest cost, highest efficiency and highest power density utility-scale inverter on the market,” Tesla stated in a blog posting. “It also significantly simplifies the installation process of the entire Powerpack system by integrating a number of previously independent components into the inverter itself.”
The original Powerpack system retailed for $25,000 each. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said the Powerpack can scale infinitely, even powering small cities.
The full price of the Powerpack 2 will be available on Tesla’s website and will combine the battery, inverters and cabling/site support hardware.
Troubled phone maker LG has seen its third quarter operating profit fall 3.7 percent from a year earlier.
Once again, its bottom line is being dragged down by a record quarterly loss for its mobile division. The outfit said in a regulatory filing its July-September profit was $248 million which was pretty much the misery it predicted earlier this year. Revenue for the quarter dropped 5.7 percent.
LG’s mobile division reported its worst-ever quarterly operating loss of $382.17 billion, its sixth straight quarter in the red, offsetting a record $334.21 profit for the telly division.
LG said its fourth quarter profit would be weaker than the third quarter’s due to higher promotional expenses and weaker earnings for its appliances business due to seasonal weakness.
The company is a bit of a tragedy because it makes rather good mobile products but for some reason can’t get a lucky break. Its TV business is doing well too.
Toyota Motor Corp on Friday announced that it has invested in U.S. car-sharing firm Getaround, a move that comes as global automakers seek to shore up their presence in new technology sectors amid growing competition from transport startups.
The world’s biggest-selling automaker confirmed in an email to Reuters that it has invested in the San Francisco-based start-up through its investment fund, Mirai Creation Investment Limited Partnership, but declined to offer further details.
Earlier on Friday, Japan’s Nikkei newspaper reported that Getaround was believed to have received around $10 million from the fund.
Established last year, the fund which also includes Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) as an investor, also invests in artificial intelligence and robotics.
Getaround has been operating its on-demand car-sharing service in San Francisco, Chicago, Washington D.C., and other U.S. cities since 2013. It claims to have more than 200,000 members.
Automakers have been scrambling to partner with tech firms to head off competition from self-driving cars and car sharing services that threaten to eventually trim demand for car ownership.
Toyota’s investment follows similar moves this year by other automakers who have partnered with car sharing service providers, including General Motors Co and Lyft Inc, and Volkswagen and Israel’s Gett.
Toyota already has a partnership with Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL], through which the automaker leases vehicles to Uber drivers, and plans to work with the ride-hailing service to accelerate mobile technology research.
The company announced on Thursday that its quarterly revenue for the three-month period ending in September was flat overall at $20.5 billion. The company’s net profit was down 4 percent year-over-year from $4.9 billion to $4.7 billion.
Those results were driven by quarterly revenue from the company’s Intelligent Cloud segment, which includes Azure and Windows Server, and its Productivity and Business Processes segment, which includes Office 365 and Dynamics. Intelligent Cloud revenue grew 8 percent year-over-year to $6.4 billion, while Productivity and Business Processes segment revenue grew 6 percent to $6.7 billion.
It’s another positive sign for the cloud-focused strategy that the company adopted under the leadership of CEO Satya Nadella.
Azure revenue grew by 116 percent year over year, and Microsoft revealed for the first time that its profit margin from its cloud platform is 49 percent. The company continues to keep the exact revenue and profit numbers from its public cloud platform under wraps, however.
Office 365 commercial revenue grew 51 percent year-over-year. Microsoft reported it now has more than 85 million commercial monthly active users of its cloud-based productivity suite as a service offering.
Surface sales were another bright spot for Microsoft. The company’s line of tablets and laptops brought in $926 million over the past quarter, compared to $672 million during the same period in 2015. Phone revenue continued to drag the company down for another quarter, however — revenue from that division dropped by 72 percent year-over-year.
Microsoft’s non-GAAP results of $22.3 billion in revenue and earnings of $0.76 a share blew past analyst expectations for the quarter. The consensus of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters was an expected $21.7 billion in revenue and earnings of $0.68 a share. Investors rejoiced at the news, sending the company’s stock to an all-time high above $60 per share, beating a previous high set in 1999.
Tesla Motors Inc has plans to introduce a ride share services program and will announce details next year, the luxury electric vehicle maker said on its website, a service first outlined by Chief Executive Elon Musk in his master plan in July.
News of the Tesla Network was in a disclaimer about the self-driving functionality on new Model S vehicles. Musk said last week Tesla is building new vehicles with the necessary hardware to eventually enable full autonomy, although the software is not yet ready.
“Please note that using a self-driving Tesla for car sharing and ride hailing for friends and family is fine, but doing so for revenue purposes will only be permissible on the Tesla Network, details of which will be released next year,” read the disclaimer.
Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for more detail.
Car makers have rushed to invest in so-called mobility services, hoping to capture the potential trillions of dollars in revenue from selling both vehicles and such on-demand services, while carving out a stake in the industry dominated by Uber.
Barclays analyst Brian Johnson wrote in a note to investors on Thursday that although a Tesla Network could “excite the market” over its potential earnings stream, it was a costly proposition.
“While we think ride-sharing/hailing is the future of mass-market mobility, we have some financial concerns with the idea of an OEM-owned fleet,” Johnson wrote.
Venture capitalists and corporate investors had poured nearly $28 billion into the ride services sector in the past decade as of June, according to a Reuters analysis.
General Motors has made the biggest bet, investing $500 million in Lyft in January. GM’s upcoming electric Chevrolet Bolt was designed expressly with car sharing in mind, executives have told Reuters.
Money-losing Tesla lacks the deep pockets of GM, and ride services companies like Uber and Lyft burn billions of dollars in price wars to secure regional dominance, as occurred with Uber in China before it ceded to local rival Didi Chuxing.
In his “Master Plan, Part Deux” in July, Musk outlined a system in which a Tesla owner could add a car to a shared Tesla fleet using a phone app, allowing it to “generate income for you” and lower the cost of ownership.
Musk said that in cities where car ownership is lower, Tesla would operate its own fleet.
According to Piper Jaffray Companies, a recent survey of 10,000 U.S. teenagers showed that 52% used Facebook at least once a month this fall, compared to 60% who used it monthly in the spring.
“Factoring out shifts in the population surveyed, core Facebook usage likely declined by three basis points, which indicates Facebook is gradually becoming less relevant versus Instagram and Snapchat,” Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster wrote in a research note to investors.
The same survey, however, showed that teen use of Facebook-owned Instagram has gone from 70% to 74% in the same time frame — and rose from 75% to 80% for rival Snapchat.
When asked what their favorite social network was this fall, 35% said Snapchat; 24% said Instagram; and 13% said Twitter and Facebook (which tied for third place).
While older users – say anywhere from 35 to 65 years old – have shown to be loyal Facebook users, the site isn’t pulling in enough users 24 and younger to offset losses as older users die off.
“Well, think about it,” said Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research. “If Facebook just lost 8% of all teens, that’s millions of users…. Over time, they need to keep the funnel of users coming in on the younger side. I think it creates a huge issue down the road. It’s not likely they can add users that are of older generations. They probably have all they will get from anyone 30 and older.”
Facebook certainly has been working to draw in younger users.
In August, Facebook unveiled its Lifestage stand-alone app. Designed for iOS devices, the app enables teen users to share videos with other people in their schools.
Lifestage was born as a rival to Snapchat and basically a video version of an early stage Facebook.
Also, in March, the company bought face-swapping app Masquerade or MSQRD. The app enables users to dress up their photos and selfies with an Iron Man helmet or a panda outfit.
Facebook hoped that by being able to add special effects to their pics, teens and young adults would be pulled onto Facebook — or at least one of the apps. But so far, at least, those efforts don’t appear to be panning out.
Just moments after Samsung officially confirmed that it is stopping production of Note 7 and halting all sales, the first realistic Galaxy S8 rumors have emerged.
According to a leak on the Weibo social network there will be two variants of the Galaxy S8 – the 5.1-inch and 5.5 inch. We are quite sure that the 5.5-inch version comes with an edge shaped screen and it is likely to be imaginatively called the Samsung Galaxy S8 Edge.
According to the leak, both versions of the S8 will use Super Amoled screens. The 5.1 version comes with a QHD (2560×1440) while the 5.5 version might have a 4K display.
As we indicated before, there will be two processers powering the Galaxy S8 phones. One is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 830 while the other is the Exynos 8895. The Snapdragon 830 can be safely called the 10nm successor of Snapdragon 820. The Exynos 8895 will likely use the same processor.
It is likely that Samsung will offer Exynos powered phones in the European market and leave us with a less attractive modem. The US and some other markets will end up with the better Qualcomm variant.
The Galaxy S8 comes with two main cameras, that is the current trend for high end phones and it will incorporate the UFS 2.1 flash storage.
One not so surprising announcement is that the Samsung’s S Voice might be replaced by the Viv assistant. Samsung just bought Viv – the digital assistant that was created by one of the people who gave the world Siri.
Most of the leaked information make sense, but again, we will have to wait and see if the information is really accurate. It would make a lot of sense to see Galaxy S8 phones with the specifications mentioned above. Some colleagues are confident that the phone may launch on February 26 2017. We are confident the launch might take place a day or two before the Mobile World Congress 2017, that takes place in Barcelona and starts on 27 February.
Samsung Electronics Co cut its quarterly profit estimate by a third on Wednesday, absorbing a $2.3 billion hit from ditching its flagship smartphone in what could be one of the costliest product safety failures in tech history.
Quantifying the financial pain of Tuesday’s move to scrap the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone after a global recall and weeks of mounting problems, the world’s top smartphone maker said it expects its July-September operating profit was 5.2 trillion won ($4.7 billion), down from the 7.8 trillion won it estimated five days ago.
Samsung said in a statement the 2.6 trillion won ($2.3 billion) guidance cut reflects the sales and earning impact it currently expects from the decision to permanently halt sales of the $882 Note 7 device. Its third-quarter revenue estimate was also cut to 47 trillion won from 49 trillion won previously.
The new earnings guidance is 30 percent below third-quarter 2015’s operating profit, and left investors and analysts pondering the longer impact on Samsung’s brand and earnings. Rival suppliers of smartphones that use the Android operating system, like Samsung’s, stand to benefit if the Note 7 damage drive consumers elsewhere.
“It’s possible there could be additional profit impact in the fourth quarter but it likely won’t be as large as the third quarter,” said Park Jung-hoon, a fund manager at HDC Asset Management, which owns shares in Samsung. “I think it’s possible for fourth-quarter profits to come in as much as the high 7 trillion won range.”
Samsung shares ended down 0.7 percent on Wednesday, with the Seoul market closing before the earnings guidance cut was announced.
Salesforce.com Inc is still mulling over whether it should make an offer for Twitter Inc in the face of resistance from Salesforce shareholders over the strategic merits and valuation of such a deal, people familiar with the matter said.
Twitter shares have lost as much as a third of their value since Oct. 5 on concerns the company has attracted less interest from potential acquirers than previously envisaged. It now has a market capitalization of $12 billion.
Salesforce is deliberating whether it is worth making a lowball offer for Twitter in the coming days based on Twitter’s stock performance and any news of other bidders, the people said.
Other potential acquirers such as Alphabet Inc’s Google and Walt Disney Co have backed away from making offers for the Internet company, the people said. There may however be other companies contemplating offers for Twitter whose identity has not yet been reported, some of the sources suggested.
The sources asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential. Salesforce declined to comment while Twitter, Google and Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Reuters previously reported that Twitter aimed to conclude deliberations about selling itself by Oct. 27, when it reports its third-quarter earnings.
Salesforce.com, run by CEO Marc Benioff, is focused on cloud-based sales and marketing software. Unlike Twitter, its main product is aimed at business users, not consumers. Under Salesforce.com, Twitter could become a corporate tool used to power sentiment analysis and nurture customer relationships.
A potential acquisition of Twitter has weighed down Salesforce’s stock since news broke on Sept. 23 that it was vying for Twitter. Its shares rose as much as 7 percent on Monday after a weekend report by Bloomberg News suggested Salesforce was unlikely to make an offer.
Some analysts and investors have questioned why Salesforce would need to own Twitter, when it already licenses the Twitter “firehose” for its new artificial intelligence platform, Einstein.
Los Angeles start-up ildockgear has designed and created a Lightning adapter that allows iPhone 7 users to charge their device and listen to music over analog headphones at the same time. The device is about the size of a U.S. quarter.
The company began a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter for its ILDOCK, and it has already garnered more than $20,000, four times its original goal.
In addition to the basic ILDOCK adapter, which contains a 3.5mm headphone jack and a Lightning charging port, the company has also produced an ILDOCK Plus, which adds an SD card slot, a microSD slot and USB ports.
Users can connect up to a 128GB flash card with ILDOCK Plus or connect to any size USB drives, the company states in its marketing material.
Early-bird backers can reserve an ILDOCK for a pledge of $5 and currently can get two ILDOCK Plus adapters for $18. (A $15 single ILDOCK Plus offer has already sold out.)
The ILDOCK and ILDOCK plus come in four iPhone 7-mimicking colors: Silver, gold, rose gold and “space” gray.
In addition to compatibility with the headphone jackless iPhone 7, the ILDOCK also works with any iPhone or iPad with a Lightning port.
The ILDOCKs are expected to begin shipping in November.
High-tech computing firm Nutanix has purchased two startups to enhance its data and storage services, as the firm continues to grow its business despite a protracted delay in its initial public offering.
San Jose, California-based Nutanix said on Sunday it bought PernixData, a software company that facilitates data storage, and Calm.io, a development and automation startup, both also located in California.
Adding the new technologies will enable Nutanix to improve the speed of its cloud computing platform and enhance or create new software products, the company said.
The chief executives of both acquired companies said their company culture and technology were complementary with Nutanix’s.
“One thing that keeps both these companies going is innovation,” PernixData CEO and Co-founder Poojan Kumar said on a call with reporters.
The deal is a move to grow Nutanix’s business while remaining in the private market, despite the company filing for an IPO in December. At the time, the company estimated raising $200 million in the deal, but has not yet priced shares.
Investors expected Nutanix – valued at $2 billion after its last financing round – to be among the first companies out in January, but a volatile market battered public technology stocks and put the IPO market into a deep freeze. The market remains challenging, with just 59 deals pricing this year, down 55 percent from the same time last year, according to Renaissance Capital, a manager of IPO-focused funds.
Technology IPOs have been particularly difficult, as buyers are reluctant about valuations. There were no technology IPOs this year until April, and there have been only seven since.
Some experts say the acquisitions will further kick out Nutanix’s IPO, as the companies will need time to integrate their employees and technology.
“Larger transactions … push out IPOs as integration and other aspects of a deal can create one more thing for investors to understand and management teams to articulate,” said Kapil Venkatachalam, principal at Technology Crossover Ventures, who was not part of the Nutanix deal.
“The acquisitions of Calm.io and PernixData are completely independent of any IPO process and have no impact on any plans,” a Nutanix spokesman said.
“Our board, with the assistance of independent advisors, determined that this transaction, upon closing, will deliver immediate, significant and certain cash value to our stockholders,” said Graham Weston, co-founder and chairman of Rackspace, in a statement. “We are also excited that this transaction will provide Rackspace with more flexibility to manage the business for long-term growth and enhance our product offerings.”
The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter.
Rackspace, based in Texas, has been known as a significant player in the cloud market, competing in the same company as Alphabet’s Google, Microsoft and AWS. It is also known as a web hosting provider.
However, Rackspace has focused on virtual private data centers, which are an extension of a private data center, while the cloud market is leaning heavily toward the pay-as-you-go, consumption-based pricing of the public cloud.
That change has been tough on Rackspace. In May 2015, the company’s stock was over $50 per share. Today it’s just over $30.
By being acquired, Rackspace will transition from a public to a private company that no longer will have stockholders, who likely would be unhappy with the costs and tumult that transitioning the company to a public cloud provider would entail.
“Rackspace has had a big brand and now they need to go through a transition,” said Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research. “Going private can help companies make necessary transitions without worrying about quarterly numbers.”
Taylor Rhodes, president and CEO of Rackspace, said in a blog post that the acquisition will help the company grow.