China has seen another high profile funding round, Uber’s secret tools have been unveiled, while Facebook is making another change of its algorithm
U2’s Bono (left) and The Edge at the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Awards
The Rise Fund has invested in California-based fintech startup Acorns, according to anonymous sources familiar with the matter.
U2 lead singer Bono co-founded the private investment firm in 2017 with private equity firm TPG; it has raised US$2 billion to focus on businesses with social or environmental impact. The investment marks the firm’s first foray into fintech.
Acorns build a stock-investing app for people with “small amounts of disposable income.” In addition to the latest funding round by The Rise Fund, the startup is also backed by Sound Ventures (which was founded by actor Ashton Kutcher and basketball star Kevin Durant.
Acorns spokesperson has declined to comment while The Rise Fund did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Chinese agritech startup Meicai has raised a US$450 million in funding round led by Tiger Global Management and China Media Capital, with participation of Genesis Capital, according to anonymous sources familiar with the matter.
The Beijing-based startup, which utilises a mobile app to help farmers sell vegetables directly to restaurant, is reported to have valued at US$2.8 billion following the funding round.
Meicai CEO Liu Chuanjun has declined to comment on the funding round.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced in a post that the company will change the filter of its News Feed to prioritise contents shared by users’ “friends and family” and reduce the amount of non-advertising content from publishers and brands.
The change followed criticism on Facebook and other social media platform, which is said to have influenced the 2016 American election and political discourses in other countries, as well as leading to addictive viewing habits, with their algorithms.
Facebook VP John Hegeman also stated in a separate occasion that the changes will not affect advertising on the platform.
Following up a recent Bloomberg report about the existence of Ripley, a software that Uber used to thwart police raids in foreign countries with its ability to remotely change passwords and lock up data on devices own by the company, TechCrunch revealed about the existence of uLocker.
According to an anonymous source, the programme’s intention was to “utilise a ransomware cryptolocker exploit and randomize the tokens” so that when the company is raided, it would “cryptolocker its own devices in order to render data inaccessible to oversight authorities.”
File-sharing company Dropbox is reported to have filed confidentiality for an IPO in the US, according to anonymous sources familiar with the matter.
Aiming to list in the first half of the year, Dropbox has appointed Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase to lead the potential listing. It is also talking to other banks to fill additional roles of the IPO.
Valued privately at US$10 billion, Dropbox has been reported to be profitable.
Representatives of all the companies have declined to comment.
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The post Today’s top tech news, Jan 12: The Rise Fund, co-founded by U2’s Bono, makes first fintech investment appeared first on e27.