After beating the world’s elite Go players, Google’s AlphaGo AI is retiring

 Google’s AlphaGo — the AI developed to tackle the world’s most demanding strategy game — is stepping down from competitive matches after defeating the world’s best talent. The latest to succumb is Go’s top-ranked player, Ke Jie, who lost 3-0 in a series hosted in China this week. The AI, developed by London-based DeepMind, which was acquired by Google… Read More

Nintendo shares hit 8-year high as cult title Monster Hunter is announced for Switch

 Nintendo is unleasing a monster title on the Switch — quite literally — after Capcom revealed plans to bring its Monster Hunter franchise to the console with the upcoming Monster Hunter XX title. (That’s “double cross” not “XX,” by the way.) While it might not be mainstream in the West, Monster Hunter is a huge franchise in Japan. Where do we start? Read More

Payment firm Soft Space raises $5M to expand in Southeast Asia and Japan

 Soft Space, a payment provider in Southeast Asia, has close its $5 million Series A as it looks to expand across the region, and potentially into Japan. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia-based Soft Space works with large enterprise customers, typically banks, to offer customized solutions for mobile payment, both at point-of-sale and other parts of the process. Typically these solutions are white-labeled. Read More

Even the world’s largest bitcoin exchange couldn’t handle this week’s cryptocurrency boom

 For those operating a bitcoin exchange — where people can buy cryptocoins — you’d imagine that the current surge in value for bitcoin and others like Ethereum’s ether coin is a dream come true. The answer is yes and no. Coinbase, the world’s most funded bitcoin exchange, was dragged offline by the massive increase in interest in the space. Users have… Read More

Xiaomi’s second bezel-less Mi Max smartphone claims a two-day battery

 Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi made a big splash when it announced the the Mi Max, its much-heralded device with a near bezel-less display, last year — now we have a follow-up phone. The Mi Max 2, unveiled today at an event in Beijing, will be available in China from June 1 priced upwards from RMB 1699, that’s around $247. Xiaomi claims it sold over three million of the… Read More

Acko is an ambitious digital play to disrupt India’s $10B insurance industry

 Acko is an under-the-radar startup that wants to disrupt India’s insurance industry through a digital-only model. This week it stuck its head above the parapet and announced that it has raised $30 million to get started on its bold plan. Founded by Varun Dua, the man behind insurance comparison site Coverfox, Acko is designed as a wholly digital take on insurance in India. The… Read More

Bitcoin just surged past $2,000 for the first time

 The world’s most popular cryptocurrency is now worth over $2,000 per coin. It took  That’s according to a range of bitcoin exchanges, including Coinbase and Kraken. That valuation puts the total market cap of bitcoin — the total number of coins in circulation — at $32.92 billion. Bitcoin has been on a tear this year, as this chart from Coindesk shows. Bitcoin first… Read More

SoftBank’s massive Vision Fund raises $93 billion in its first close

 SoftBank’s huge $100 billion investment fund — the largest tech fund in history — announced its first close today… and it’s huge. The Japanese telecom giant revealed that its VisionFund has closed an initial commitment of $93 billion from a bevy of high profile backers. They include Apple, Qualcomm, UAE-based Mubadala Investment Company, Saudi Arabia’s… Read More

Spotify buys AI startup Niland to develop its music personalization and recommendations

 Spotify has made its fourth acquisition of the year after it announced that AI startup Niland has joined its ranks. Paris-based Niland offered an API-based product focused on providing more accurate search and recommendation options for music. Spotify said the French company will join its R&D team which is based in New York to help hone its personalization and recommendation features… Read More

Restaurant guide Zomato got off lightly after a hacker grabbed 6.6M user passwords

 Restaurant guide and food delivery service Zomato looks like it is getting off lightly after it suffered a hack that compromised personal information belonging to 6.6 million users. The India-based company, which offers services in more than 20 countries worldwide, set off alarm bells when it revealed that a hacker had made off with 17 million user records. Read More