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Helpster, a platform for temp job seekers in Southeast Asia, raises 2.5M

Helpster, a two-year-old startup that connects blue-collar workers with employers in Southeast Asia, has closed 2.5 million in new funding. The startup operates in Thailand and Indonesia with around 50 staff split between Bangkok and Jakarta. It aims to disrupt the temporary worker industry, which is dominated by giants like Adecco and Manpower, by vetting its workers closely and using Read More

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Paddle, the software sales platform founded by a Thiel Fellow, raises 12.5M

Paddle, a U.K. startup that offers software companies a single platform for the entire software sales process including trials and licenses, payments, and analytics has raised 12.5 million in further funding. Read More

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Finiata, the finance platform for SMEs, freelancers and the self-employed, bags 18M funding

Finiata, the finance platform targeting SMEs, freelancers, and the self-employed that was founded by Sebastian Diemer, who previously co-founded credit scoring and loans company Kreditech, appears to be on somewhat of a roll. The company, formerly known as Bezahlt, has picked up 18 million of financing of its own, and already claims 5,000 customers. Read More

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Teabox raises 7M for its global tea-commerce business

Teabox, the company pioneered the concept of selling tea to direct to consumers online, has served up 7 million in fresh funding to grow its five-year-old business. This new infusion of capital last tea joke, I promise is a Series B round that takes Teabox, which has head offices in India and Singapore, to just shy of 15 million in funding to date. The round was led by Read More

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China‘s CCTV surveillance network took just 7 minutes to capture BBC reporter

It took Chinese authorities just seven minutes to locate and apprehend BBC reporterJohn Sudworth using its powerful network of CCTV camera and facial recognition technology. This wasn‘t a case of a member of the media being forcibly removed from the country.The chase was a stunt set upto illustrate just how powerful and effective the Chinese government‘s surveillance system Read More

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Exec who reportedly said Netflix doesn‘t believe Danny Masterson‘s accusers no longer works there

The Netflix executive who reportedly told one of Danny Masterson‘s alleged rape victims that the company doesn‘t believe them is no longer employed there. Andy Yeatman, Netflix‘s director of global kids content, was fired on Monday, reports The Hollywood Reporter. Read More

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SoundCloud resuscitates home screen with personalized playlists

After laying off 40% of its staff and securing 169 million in emergency funding, SoundCloud‘s first product push is a much needed step in the right direction. It‘s filling its home page with personalized playlists and best of collections from top genres rather than other content like it‘s feed. The hope is to make SoundCloud instantly accessible to new users and a more Read More

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Crunch Report | Glow-in-the-Dark Plants

Blue Origin‘s Crew Capsule 2.0 takes first flight, scientists at MIT make glow-in-the-dark plants and Google is opening an AI center in China. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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Samsung refreshes its Notebook 9 laptop line

They say Christmas season gets earlier every year, and the same seems to apply to CES. The year‘s biggest tech show is a little less than a month away, yet Samsung‘s already showing off what‘s likely to be two of its bigger debuts for the show. Both are updates to the company‘s solid Notebook 9 line of Windows PCs. Read More

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Wizeline expands its outsourced IT services business into southeast Asia

Wizeline, a provider of outsourced programming services, is expanding its global footprint with agreements to partner with a slew of development shops across Southeast Asia. Founded in 2014, the company‘s vision is to provide programming jobs for developers in emerging markets to unlock the local talent pool and expose a new generation and geographies to the startup world. Read More

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The price is right! Pace raises 2.5M to automate hotel room pricing based on demand

Pace, a London startup that has developed tech that uses machine learning to let hotels set room prices dynamically based on demand, has raised 2.5 million in seed funding. The financing round is led by InterGlobe, with participation from Seedcamp, Speedinvest, and Amadeus Capital Partners. The company says it will use the new capital to invest in its tech and marketing teams. Read More

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Plenty of Fish adds new conversation features to differentiate itself from Tinder

Match Group, which houses a large portfolio of dating app brands - including most notably, Tinder, Match, and OKCupid - is prepping a notable upgrade to one of its older brands: Plenty of Fish. The dating service, often dubbed POF‘ by its users, was founded in 2003 then sold to Match Group in 2015 for 575 million. But it has since remained fairly quiet, in terms of Read More

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Microsoft looks to make Bing results smarter with new AI-powered features and Reddit partnership

At a special AI-focused event today in San Francisco, Microsoft announced a number of feature updates to Bing that it hopes will make results smarter leveraging the company‘s AI research as well as a new partnership with Reddit. The company laid out the ways its injecting AI-smarts into its Bing search engine, which a Microsoft exec reiterated is actually used by a good amount of Read More

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Microsoft looks to make Bing results smarter with a little help from Reddit

At a special AI-focused event today in San Francisco, Microsoft announced a number of feature updates to Bing that it hopes will make results smarter leveraging the company‘s AI research as well as a new partnership with Reddit. The company laid out the ways its injecting AI-smarts into its Bing search engine, which a Microsoft exec reiterated is actually used by a good amount of Read More

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Microsoft makes Azure Bot Service generally available for developers

Microsoft introduced the Azure Bot Framework over two years ago and companies have building chatbots for a variety of scenarios ever since. Today, the company made the Microsoft Azure Bot Service and Microsoft Cognitive Language Understanding service (known as LUIS) generally available. Making these two services generally available on Azure simultaneously extends the capabilities of Read More

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The new reality of mobile AR and computer vision venture capital

Mobile AR from Apple, Google and Facebook and computer vision/machine learning (CV/ML) are focusing the minds and wallets of VCs in Silicon Valley, China and beyond. The2.5 billion invested in AR/VR so far this yearwas balanced across AR and VR, but now mobile AR and CV/ML are the new hotness. I spoke to a few friends about how the investment market has evolved. Read More

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Half of Amazon app users have been switched to a new, swipe-based 1-Click checkout

Has Amazon‘s one-click‘ checkout on mobile looked a little different to you lately? A number of users of Amazon‘s mobile applications have recently reported seeing a new checkout option that replaces the click - well, on mobile, the tap - with a swipe instead. As it turns out, the option is part of a fairly large-scale test Amazon has underway. Currently Read More

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PuTTY Begone! Microsoft will ship an OpenSSH client

The first thing I download on a new Windows machine - after Chrome, of course - is PuTTY. This tried-and-true OpenSSH client has served millions of devs quite well for the past twenty years and I‘m sure it will still remain a favorite but Microsoft has added its own ssh client to Windows, a move that points to more openness on the part of Redmond. The folks at ServeTheHome Read More

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39 Senators tell FCC: ‘Abandon this radical and reckless plan‘

In a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, 39 Senators (all Democrats, though Republicans have also voiced concern) urge the agency to stop its plan to eliminate net neutrality rules. Where the objections have come in ones and twos before, this is the largest official complaint we‘ve seen against the FCC‘s proposal, which is due to be voted on tomorrow. Read More

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Redbox unveils its service for digital movie purchases and rentals

Redbox, the company behind the ubiquitous supermarket kiosks for renting DVDs, is moving into the world of digital streaming. Technically, Redbox On Demand is still in beta, but this marks the broader launch of the streaming service that Redbox was testing last year. It‘s available on the web, Android, iOS, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku and LG and Samsung smart TVs. To be clear, this Read More

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Comcast reiterates a shifting promise of ‘no paid prioritization‘

Comcast has promised before that it does not and will not engage in paid prioritization, and today the company has reiterated that stance after being called out for having apparently weakened it over the last year. Read More

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Gfycat wants to fix your low-fidelity GIFs with machine learning

We all love to share GIFs and there are plenty of ways to do that, through online portals or keyboards but often times because there is so much content, you‘ll end up surfacing up a lower-fidelity GIF. There can be plenty of copies of the same video clips as a GIF, or maybe it‘s just difficult to capture and upload, but Gfycat hopes that it can be solved at a Read More

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Security robots are being used to ward off San Francisco‘s homeless population

Is it worse if a robot instead of a human is used to deter the homeless from setting up camp outside places of business? One such bot cop took over the outside of the San Francisco SPCA, an animal advocacy and pet adoption clinic in they city‘s Mission district, recently, to deter homeless people from hanging out there causing some people to get very upset. Silicon Valley game Read More

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INSIKT raises 50 million to lend to low-income communities

Loans can be the hardest to get for the people who need them the most. Anestimated 45 million Americans don‘t have a credit scoreand others have trouble bringing up their scores, even if they are in a better financial position than in years past. While most lenders would consider low-income families with bad credit scores to be too risky, a startup called INSIKT believes that it Read More

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