Microsoft and Xioami to collaborate on AI, cloud computing and hardware

 After Microsoft signed a deal to test Windows 10 on Xiaomi devices in 2015 and then Xiaomi bought a trove of patents to help run other Microsoft services on its devices in 2016, today the two companies announced another chapter in its collaboration. Xiaomi and Microsoft have signed a Strategic Framework Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work more closely in the areas of cloud computing,… Read More

Momo buys Tantan, China’s Tinder, for $600M as Chinese social networks consolidate

 WeChat is far and away the biggest messaging platform in China at the moment, and that is helping to drive a push among the smaller players to get together for better scale. Today, Momo, the Chinese location-based social networking app that has more recently made a big push into dating services and is traded on Nasdaq with a market cap of around $6 billion, announced that it has… Read More

Google debuts AdSense ‘auto ads’ with machine learning to make placement and monetization choices

 Google is today unveiling a new ad unit for AdSense that taps into the company’s big push to add more artificial intelligence into its business, and to potentially bring on more publishers who might consider ramping up their advertising efforts but don’t have the time or other resources to manage them. Google is debuting “Auto Ads” — not commercials for cars, but… Read More

Facebook inks music licensing deal with ICE covering 160 territories, 290K rightsholders on FB, Insta, Oculus and Messenger

 Facebook today took its latest step towards making good on paying out royalties to music rightsholders around tracks that are used across its multiple platforms and networks. The company has signed a deal with ICE Services — a licensing group and copyright database of some 31 million works that represents PRS in the UK, STIM in Sweden and GEMA in Germany — to provide music… Read More

Apple joins LG and Valve investing up to $10M in OLED display maker eMagin

 Quietly, Apple has been bringing together a number of moving parts in its strategy around virtual and augmented reality hardware; and now one more element of that has come to light. eMagin, a maker of OLED miniature displays, says that Apple, along with LG, Valve, VR entertainment maker Immerex (which now appears to be operating publicly as Luci), and Stillwater Holdings, are collectively… Read More

YouTube will remove ads, downgrade discoverability of channels posting offensive videos

 After barring Logan Paul earlier today from serving ads on his video channel, YouTube has now announced a more formal and wider set of sanctions it’s prepared to level on any creator that starts to post videos that are harmful to viewers, others in the YouTube community, or advertisers. As it has done with Paul (on two occasions now), the site said it will remove monetization options on… Read More

Factmata closes $1M seed round as it seeks to build an ‘anti fake news’ media platform

 While large companies like Facebook and publishers continue to rethink what their role is in disseminating news these days in the wake of the growing influence of ‘fake news’ and the ever-present spread of misleading clickbait, a London-based startup called Factmata has closed a seed round of $1 million in its ambition to build a platform using AI to help fix the problem across… Read More

Trifacta nabs $48M from Google and others for its AI-based approach to ordering data

 Trifacta, a big-data business intelligence startup that is building tools to help businesses structure and analyse data that gets generated in their networks through customer interactions and other actions, is today announcing that it has closed out its Series D round at $48 million, with a notable list of strategic and financial investors that includes Google, Ericsson, the Deutsche Börse,… Read More

Privateer closes $100M round at $600M+ valuation to invest in cannabis startups

 It’s high times for the marijuana industry, which has been flourishing in recent years as more regions move to decriminalise the use of it for medical and other purposes. Now, Privateer Holdings, one of the big investors in the space, has raised $100 million to back more cannabis startups and capitalise on that trend. This Series C brings the total raised by Privateer to $200 million… Read More

Berlin’s Blacklane raises $40-45M for its high-end transport on demand service

 Transportation-on-demand startups betting on growth by honing in on specific market segments continue to play strong with both investors and customers looking for alternatives to traditional taxis and Uber. Today, Blacklane, a Berlin-based business that offers limousines and other high-end cars for airport and other medium-length journeys, is announcing that it has raised a significant round… Read More