The Dow fell 365 points Wednesday, primarily driven by fears about the ongoing oil price plunge and the effects of China's currency devaluation, experts say. The S&P 500 was down 2.5% and the Nasdaq lost 3.4%.
** The Colombian government sold its 57.6 percent controlling stake in power generator Isagen to Canada's Brookfield Asset Management for $1.99 billion, Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas said. ** Swiss private bank J. Safra Sarasin has agreed to buy Ticino-based peer BSI from Brazil's BTG Pactual , Swiss newspaper Handelszeitung said on its website.
GoPro has announced that it has reduced its workforce by 7 percent in an effort to “better align resources to key growth initiatives.” This news comes at the same time as its weak guidance for the fourth quarter, where it provided preliminary financial results of $435 million in revenue — Wall Street analysts expected $520 million.
The specific number of people getting laid off was not disclosed, but GoPro said that at the end of 2015, it had more than 1,500 employees. By making this move, GoPro says that it’ll incur up to $10 million of restructuring expenses in the first quarter of 2016, most of it due to severance costs.
Chief executive Nick Woodman told CNBC in an interview that the cuts were “a difficult and deeply emotional decision,” but also a “necessary one.” GoPro will be announcing its fourth quarter earnings on February 3.
Shares in the company were briefly halted in after-hours trading today after ending the day up 0.07 percent at $14.61. Following the news, the price has just tanked, where it’s currently down more than 26 percent. In the past year, GoPro has seen its stock price drop considerably, from a 52 week high of $65.49 down to its current state. And while it has announced several product announcements, it’s also facing an investigation centered around whether its officers “violated securities laws by issuing misleading information to investors.”
In other company news, GoPro also revealed that senior vice president Zander Laurie has resigned his post at GoPro Entertainment and will be joining the company’s board of directors.
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Gamers have a new place to gather on Twitter. The social network has launched @TwitterGaming, a new way for gaming enthusiasts to discover, follow, and join conversations about gaming.
The new handle shows that gaming is just getting too big to ignore. There are already thousands of gaming-related tweets send on Twitter each day.
“Whether folks are discovering a new game, Tweeting at a gaming personality, keeping up with gaming news or following their favorite eSport, we want to make it easy for gaming fans to find and join the most vibrant conversations about games,” Twitter said in a statement.
Twitter recently launched its Gaming vertical and hired YouTube veteran Rodrigo Velloso to be its first Director of Gaming. In this role, he will support the avid gaming community and help the top gaming organizations and personalities deliver high quality content to and engage with their fans on Twitter, the company said.
In a tweet, Velloso said that Twitter users are 72 percent more likely to talk about gaming than the average Internet user.
ScribbleLive has figured out which people, brands, products, and categories commanded the most attention at the 2016 International CES, the big tech trade show in Las Vegas last week. The company analyzed data from more than 100 million articles from news, blog, and social media sources to identify what grabbed the most attention.
The CES Influence Report says Apple, Samsung, and Blackberry gathered a lot of attention at the show. Gamers in particular were glued to news about the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. Apple didn’t actually appear at the show (as it never shows up), but it stole some of the attention when Apple executive Phil Schiller announced that the company generated $20 billion in sales in 2015 from the App Store. Samsung scored attention for its 11-inch Chromebook 3, and Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey drew a lot of attention for his comments around the Oculus VR’s launch and pricing.
Here’s the verdict below on the categories that got the most attention. Mobile was the winner, but gaming, cybersecurity, computers, and VR also ranked pretty high.
And here’s the rankings on people. Not all of that attention was good. Palmer Luckey, founder of Oculus VR, stirred some controversy when he said the $599 pricing for the Oculus Rift was cheap. He had to backtrack and apologize, as the price was actually above what a lot of people were expecting. Ford CEO Mark Fields came in second. That makes sense, since he opened the show with the first press conference and noted that Ford would launch 13 electric vehicles by 2020.
And here’s the top brands that had the biggest impact. Ford, as we noted, had the first press conference and grabbed a lot of notice from it.
ScribbleLive said it identified opinions and reactions to the various product categories, people and brands featured at the event. It calculated a proprietary influence score (the “attention index”) based on the people or entities that reacted to an announcement. This was weighted by their influence on a given theme; the credibility of the outlet where the reaction was published or consumed; and the volume of reactions generated by the opinions within the studied timeframe of January 1-8, 2016.
A new version of Bluetooth wireless networking could have a much longer range and allow you to control many devices. In a demo at the 2016 International CES in Las Vegas last week, San Jose, California-based chip maker Cypress Semiconductor showed that you could use the Bluetooth smart mesh to turn on or off all of the lights in your home.
Bluetooth had a limitation in the past where you could only connect from a smartphone to a device. On top of that, the range was only around 30 feet.
In the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, engineers are changing that so every Bluetooth device will be able to talk to each other. This is how you can control multiple sets of devices around your house or enterprise. A single smartphone could control 20 or 30 devices that are chained together in a mesh, which extends the range of the Bluetooth network. The overall range can be as much as 1.5 kilometers. That’s more than enough range to reach every Bluetooth in a home, even outdoor lights that are powered by solar cells.
“Each one will be able to talk to each other,” Eran Sandhaus, a vice president at Cypress, in an interview with VentureBeat. “This works for industrial lighting, outdoor lighting, or any other uses.”
At CES 2016, Cypress showed a working demo of the mesh. Cypress created a chip with CapSense motion-sensing technology. If you wave your hand over a pad, the chip can sense it. It then causes a bunch of Bluetooth-connected light bulbs to go off or on. The light bulbs were connected to each other and to the smartphone chip via a Bluetooth smart mesh. The mesh technology could be on the market as early as April, and one of Cypress’ customers is already making bulbs based on the technology.
Here’s a short video of the demo working.
Here’s a list of today’s tech funding stories, updated as the day unfolds. Tip us here if you have a deal to share.
Zerto closes a $50M round
Zerto has raised more than $110 million in financing.
Envelop VR, which is creating virtual reality software for enterprises, has closed its series A round of $5.5 million.
The newest investor in this round is Google Ventures, which recently branded as GV. Envelop VR previously announced the initial investors in the round, which was led by Madrona Venture Group. The deal shows that VR — expected to become a $30 billion market by 2020, according to tech advisor Digi-Capital — continues to be a hot market for investors.
In the ecommerce world, there’s a flurry of activity around startups eager to increase adoption of their services. If Stripe, PayPal, and Shopify have taught us anything, it’s that the best way to get into a company is to show developers ways to integrate technology into their existing infrastructure. One of the latest such services to emerge is Moltin, which just raised $2 million in seed funding to help developers build customizable ecommerce solutions using its API.
Backed by Frontline Ventures, venture capitalist Gil Dibner’s AngelList Syndicate, Y Combinator, and Funders Club, Moltin will be using the investment to establish partnerships with global brands and to further develop its technology. The company already counts over 5,400 developers and agencies using its platform.
This list will be updated with breaking funding news all day. Check back for more.
Aside from powering Microsoft’s browsers, Chakra also helps power Azure DocumentDB, Cortana, Outlook.com, TypeScript, Node.js in Windows 10 IoT Core, as well as universal Windows 10 applications across Xbox consoles, smartphones, and PCs.
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