The Bulletin
18H
IBM appoints Howard Boville as cloud chief
Howard Boville, ex-CTO for Bank of America (BoA), has been named as the head of IBM's cloud business. The news came on Arvind Krishna's first day as IBM CEO. Boville worked closely with IBM in his BoA role, creating a financial services-specific cloud technology. His departure from BoA was first announced last month, bringing an eight-year stint at the company to an end.
21H
Fintech Yapily scoops $13 million in Series A funding
Yapily, the startup which offers an open API for businesses to connect to banks, has pocketed $13 million from its Series A funding round. Revolut-backer Lakestar led the investment. Yapily raised $5.4 million from its initial seed funding last year. The firm, founded by Stefano Vaccino (pictured), already works with Fortune 500 companies but will use the extra finance to expand across Europe.
21H
Paul Cormier named as Red Hat's new CEO
Red Hat has promoted Paul Cormier to replace Jim Whitehurst as CEO. Cormier was previously the open source giant's product and technologies chief. Whitehurst is taking over as President of IBM, which acquired Red Hat for $34 billion last year. Cormier joined Red Hat in 2001 and is widely credited with ideating its hugely successful subscription model. "I am honoured to lead the company," he said.
23H
Microsoft Ignite 2020 conference to go digital-only
Microsoft Ignite is the latest industry event that will be a digital-only programme. The conference was due to take place from 21-25 September in Orlando, Florida, but has been changed because of the continuing spread of the coronavirus. Microsoft said the digital event will show companies innovative ways to build solutions, migrate and manage infrastructure, and connect with Microsoft experts.
1D
IBM launches AI-powered tools to battle coronavirus
IBM has launched two AI-powered services to help fight the spread of coronavirus. One is an interactive molecular explorer tool to understand their characteristics and relationship to COVID-19 and identify candidates that might have desirable properties to be further pursued in drug development. The second is Deep Search, a search engine to help researchers find data in COVID-19 research papers.
3D
Data unicorn Collibra raises $112.5 million
Collibra, the data intelligence firm, has picked up $112.5 million in new investment against a valuation of $2.3 billion. It owns tools for data management and analysis and was previously backed by Alphabet. Google's parent company involved itself in this funding round too. "We further strengthen our position to unlock the value of enterprise data," said Collibra's CEO Felix Van de Maele.
3D
Revolut fast-tracks crypto services
Revolut has made its cryptocurrency services available as standard. The economic crisis caused by the coronavirus outbreak is the reason behind the move, the fintech said. Revolut had planned to make this change later in 2020. The crypto services were previously reserved for Premium and Metal tier users of the banking app. Last week, Revolut launched its platform across the United States.
3D
Lunar banks another $20 million
Challenger bank Lunar has raised a further $20 million in its Series B funding round. The Nordic firm launched its mobile-only bank last month after being granted a full European licence. It claims to have more than 150,000 users locally. The Series B total is now $46 million having been supported by Seed Capital and others. Former Monzo product chief Ole Mahrt is also joining Lunar as a director.
4D
China Mobile hands out $5.2bn in 5G contracts
China Mobile has awarded $5.2 billion of 5G contracts, with the lion's share going to Chinese firms. Huawei is the big winner, with local media reporting 57.3% of the total value of the tender going to the company, ZTE 28.7%, Ericsson 11.5% and CICT 2.6%, according to Light Reading. Huawei is tasked with building 133,000 basestations. Nokia reportedly bid for the contracts, but was unsuccessful.
4D
Zoom CEO "deeply sorry" for security and privacy issues
The CEO of video conferencing platform Zoom has said he is "deeply sorry" for the privacy issues that have been uncovered. Eric Yuan said all future development will be frozen for the next three months to focus on security and privacy fixes. The service has come under strain in recent weeks, with Yuan revealing the number of paid and free users has risen from 10 million to 200 million per day.
4D
Binance buys CoinMarketCap
Binance has completed the acquisition of cryptocurrency data site CoinMarketCap. The deal brings together two of the biggest brands in the crypto industry. Binance is the world's largest digital asset exchange. It was keen to emphasise that they will maintain a "strict policy of independence from one another". Binance founder Changpeng Zhao says the pair share the same "access-to-crypto" vision.
4D
Notion scoops $50 million funding for its collaboration software
Notion is now worth $2 billion after completing a $50 million funding round. The collaboration software startup had been against further outside investment but relaxed its position in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Index Ventures led the latest funding efforts. Notion has seen a surge in demand for its tools due to an increase in remote working. It now has more than four million users.
4D
SOS Online Backup exposes 135 million user records
SOS Online Backup, which provides cloud backup, has exposed 135 million user records. Security researcher vpnMentor says the data was exposed last November, with the incident mitigated by December. Names, email addresses and phone numbers were among the information types left unsecured. SOS Online Backup's website claims it is “the world’s most secure online backup”.
5D
Slack adds Microsoft Teams and Slack integration
Work collaboration tool Slack has added integration for Microsoft Teams calls and Zoom. On its homepage, Slack said: "Gone are the days of fumbling for meeting links—join Teams meetings directly from calendar reminders in Slack, using the Outlook or Google Calendar apps." The COVID-19 pandemic has seen an explosion in the use of work collaboration tools and video conferencing platforms.
5D
LinkedIn makes tools freely available to firms fighting COVID-19
LinkedIn is to allow companies battling coronavirus to post jobs for free for the next three months. It said hospitals and nonprofits working on Coronavirus disaster relief and essential services (such as supermarkets, package delivery and warehousing companies) would be able to list mission critical jobs. It will also be tagging critical jobs and placing them "front and centre" on its homepage.
5D
Marriott hotel group suffers another data breach
Marriott Intenational has confirmed that it suffered a data breach in January. It says 5.2 million customer records were stolen by a third party which gained access with the login details of two employees. Names, addresses and phone numbers were among the details hacked. A hack in 2014 saw the data of 500 million Marriott customers breached. The chain say it has launched an investigation.
5D
T-Mobile closes Sprint merger
T-Mobile has completed its merger with Sprint to create "The New T-Mobile". As the long-awaited deal finally closed, a statement said the company would build "a transformative 5G network". John Legere has handed over the CEO reins to Mike Sievert. The New T-Mobile will compete with Verizon and AT&T in the US. "I cannot wait to see what this entire team does next," said the departing Legere.
5D
Palo Alto Networks to buy CloudGenix for $420 million
Palo Alto Networks has agreed to pay $420 million to acquire CloudGenix, a cloud-delivered SD-WAN provider. Palo Alto Networks will integrate CloudGenix’s cloud-managed SD-WAN products to accelerate the intelligent onboarding of remote branches and retail stores into Prisma Access. The acquisition is expected to close during Palo Alto Networks’ fiscal fourth quarter, it said in a statement.
5D
Xerox calls time on pursuit of HP, cites coronavirus
Xerox has called time on its long-running pursuit of rival HP, citing the economic downturn that is being fuelled by the coronavirus pandemic. Xerox said it will withdrawing its offer to acquire HP, as well as its proposal to replace HP’s board of directors. Xerox hinted that it could revisit the deal in time, saying there remains long-term financial and strategic reasons to combine the companies.
6D
Exscientia will use AI to scan 15,000 drugs for COVID-19 treatment
A UK firm is working with the country's national science facility to scan drugs using AI. The aim is to learn of their potential effectiveness to treat COVID-19. Exscientia, based in Oxford, hopes to find a suitable drug that could be ready in the next six to 12 months. It expects to have a complete dataset inside eight weeks. Exscientia recently signed a $25 million AI research deal with Celgene.
6D
Reports: Apple finalises $200 million Japan Display investment
Apple has injected $200 million into Japan Display, report Reuters. Its supplier is struggling in the wake of the move away from LCD screens. The money is for the purchase of LCD manufacturing equipment, helping to keep its long-term supplier afloat as it races to build OLED displays. As of last year, Japan Display owed Apple more than $800 million after the tech giant helped fund a new factory.
6D
O2-led consortium to build UK 5G accelerators
A consortium led by O2 has won a contract to build a number of 5G accelerators in the UK. The three 5G accelerator facilities in Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton will comprise of centrally-located office and demonstration spaces with access to cutting-edge 5G technology, both indoors and outdoors. The other consortium members include Deloitte, Wayra and Digital Catapult.
6D
WeWork sells social media platform Meetup to AlleyCorp
WeWork is selling its social media platform Meetup - which encourages people to get together in person - to AlleyCorp and other private investors. The value of the deal has not been disclosed, but a report from Fortune says that the amount is a "fraction" of the $156 million WeWork paid for Meetup in 2017. Meetup was founded in 2002 as a platform for finding and building local communities.
6D
Huawei releases open source framework for AI development
Huawei is rivalling Google's TensorFlow with its open-sourced AI app development framework. MindSpore has now been fully released after being developed alongside a number of partners. Huawei says it will scale across devices, cloud and edge and that it uses 20% fewer lines of code than other AI frameworks. It has also released MindInsight to create visualisations of AI training processes.
7D
Spain's 5G spectrum auction postponed due to coronavirus
Spain has put its 5G spectrum auction on hold because of the coronavirus outbreak. The country has been hit hard by the virus, with close to 90,000 cases as of early on Tuesday. It was due to hold the auction before June 30th but it has now been postponed. Austria took similar measures last week while France looks set to do the same. Spain has said it will agree a new deadline with the EU.
7D
NHS teams up with tech giants to better understand COVID-19 data
NHS England is to create a data store to bring multiple data sources into a single, secure location to battle the COVID-19 crisis. The body said it is working with the likes of Microsoft, Palantir, AWS and Google to better understand its data. Metrics such as A&E capacity and patient levels in intensive care will be analysed from the national level down to individual NHS trusts and hospitals.
7D
Facebook announces $100 million funding for publishers
Facebook is to donate an additional $100 million to support journalists — including $25 million in emergency grant funding for local news through the Facebook Journalism Project. It has pledged $75 million in marketing to get money to publishers around the world at a time when advertising revenues are down. The first round of funding will go to organisations in the U.S. and Canada.
7D
Azure usage up 775% for Microsoft
Microsoft says it has seen a 775% increase in cloud usage on Azure. The figure applies to regions where social distancing has been instructed in the wake of the coronavirus. This comes after it was revealed Teams now has 44 million daily users. Additionally, Windows Virtual Desktop has seen its usage grow three-fold. Due to these traffic increases, Microsoft is now prioritising certain services.
7D
Microsoft turns its back on facial recognition investments
Microsoft has bowed to pressure and taken a step back from facial recognition technology. It will sell its stake in controversial Israeli company AnyVision and halt any further investments in companies building facial recognition software. AnyVision's technology was reportedly being used to surveil Palestinians on the West Bank. Microsoft was part of its $74 million funding round last year.
7D
Alphabet makes $800 million COVID-19 commitment
Google's parent company Alphabet has become the latest tech giant to make a COVID-19 pledge. CEO Sundar Pichai (pictured) said his organisation will donate $800 million to combat the spread of the coronavirus. Funds will support the production of medical equipment, while part of the commitment is ad credits to governments and healthcare organisations. Pichai made the announcement in a blog post.
10D
Digital Dollar Project forms advisory group
The Digital Dollar Project, a group exploring the viability of a US central bank digital currency, has appointed 22 new members to its advisory group. Leading lights from the world of fintech have been selected. Accenture is acting as lead technology partner for the Digital Dollar Foundation, which set up the project. Draft bills for COVID-19 stimulus recommended the use of a digital dollar.
10D
Coin Metrics raises $6 million for blockchain analytics
Coin Metrics has secured $6 million in new funding. The blockchain analytics startup has developed a series of "cryptoasset data products" that allow enterprises to track activity occurring on public blockchains. With the fresh injection of cash, it will expand its team and enhance its coverage of digital assets. The funding circle was led by Highland Capital Partners but also included Coinbase.
11D
Digital Transformation Institute launches, sets sights on COVID-19
C3.ai, Microsoft, and a number of leading universities have launched the C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute. The group's first initiative is to call for research proposals to fight COVID-19, and advance the knowledge, science, and technologies for mitigating future pandemics using AI. It is the first in what will be a series of bi-annual calls for digital transformation research proposals.
11D
Facebook names Robert Kimmitt as an independent director
Robert Kimmitt, the former Deputy Secretary of the US Treasury, has been appointed as an independent director on Facebook's board. Kimmitt will link CEO Mark Zuckerberg with the rest of Facebook's directors. "Bob has deep experience working in business, technology and public policy," Zuckerberg said in a statement. It was also revealed that current board member Jeffrey Zients is to step down.
11D
Tencent and Huawei to develop cloud gaming platform
Tencent has agreed a deal with Huawei to set up a laboratory to develop a cloud gaming platform, the companies have confirmed. The partnership will leverage the computing power of Huawei’s Kunpen processor to build Tencent’s cloud gaming platform, GameMatrix, according to Technode. The companies will also look into technologies such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality for games.
11D
Microsoft to buy Affirmed Networks
Microsoft is acquiring Affirmed Networks, one of the leaders in virtualised mobile networks. Affirmed Networks uses software to give operators more control over their networks and services. The buyout boosts Microsoft's Azure offering for operators as 5G ubiquity edges closer. "We intend to empower the telecoms industry as it continues its move to 5G," Microsoft VP Yousef Khalidi wrote in a blog.
11D
Eight major telcos to share data for coronavirus tracking
Some of Europe's biggest telcos have agreed to share data with the European Commission to help it track the spread of the coronavirus. Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom and Orange are among those who will release anonymised data to determine mobile locations. The GSMA said the data will be deleted once the worst of the crisis passes. Anonymised data doesn't fall under normal EU data protection laws.
11D
Security experts form group to combat COVID-19-related hacking
Experts from the world of cybersecurity have formed a group to prevent hacks related to COVID-19. The COVID-19 CTI League covers more than 40 countries and includes security professionals from the likes of Microsoft and Amazon. Their aim is to combat hacks that have been targeting medical facilities and communications networks. 400 experts have so far signed up to the COVID-19 CTI League.
12D
AWS allows customers to connect AWS Outposts to AWS GovCloud
AWS has told government customers and commercial organisations in government-regulated industries that they can now connect their AWS Outposts to the AWS GovCloud (US) Regions. With this launch, users in AWS GovCloud (US) Regions can get a consistent AWS experience by accessing the same AWS infrastructure, services, APIs, and tools across on premises and the cloud.
12D
Ericsson wins 5G RAN contract with COSMOTE Greece
Ericsson has been selected by Greece’s largest mobile communications service provider COSMOTE as its sole 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) vendor under a major network modernisation deal. 5G RAN technology from the Ericsson Radio System portfolio will be deployed in the COSMOTE network as part of a transformation to 5G. COSMOTE is targeting 2021 for the commercial launch of 5G services.
12D
WHO links up with tech giants for COVID-19 hackathon
The World Health Organization has arranged a COVID-19 hackathon with leading technology companies. The #BuildforCOVID19 hackathon will involve Microsoft, Facebook, Giphy, Pinterest, Slack, TikTok, Twitter and WeChat. The aim is to rapidly develop new solutions that will help in the coronavirus fight. Project submissions will open on Thursday. More than 2,000 developers have already registered.
12D
Equinix opens $74mn data centre, fourth in the country
Equinix has announced the opening of its fourth data centre in Singapore, which it says will help the county achieve its 'Smart Nation' vision. The $74 million facility is located in Tai Seng Industry Estate and will offer an initial 4,220 square metres of colocation space. When fully built-up, this will increase to 132,180 square metres, which would have capacity for around 4,000 cabinets.
12D
Microsoft puts the brakes on Inspire 2020 event
Microsoft has confirmed it will not be holding Microsoft Inspire 2020 as an in-person event. The event was due to take place in Las Vegas in July. Microsoft is likely to pivot to an online event, as many other companies have done. "We are exploring alternative ways to bring our partner community together to connect and learn. Stay tuned for more details to come," it said in a blog posting.
12D
Tech startups to get help as France creates $4.3 billion fund
Early-stage tech firms in France will have access to a new $4.3 billion support fund. Ministry of State for Digital Affairs, Cédric O (pictured), announced the refinancing and liquidity measures as startups struggle in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. President Emmanuel Macron, who has launched a wider support programme in response to the crisis, wants to turn France into a "startup nation".
13D
Court filing reveals AWS gripes in JEDI saga
AWS has accused the Pentagon of "gerrymandering" in its efforts to resolve the Project JEDI debacle. The cloud giant has launched a legal case contesting a US government $10 billion contract award to Microsoft. The Pentagon has promised a review but AWS says this would only give Microsoft a "do-over". AWS went on to list the parts of the agreement with which it has taken particular issue.
13D
Facebook targets stake in Reliance Jio
Facebook has held talks with Indian telco Reliance Jio about acquiring a 10% stake, reports the Financial Times. A subsidiary of Reliance Systems, India's biggest company, Reliance Jio has amassed 360 million subscribers in India. By taking a multi-billion stake, Facebook would be able to connect with Reliance Jio's users. Negotiations have taken a backseat due to coronavirus outbreak.
13D
Revolut launches in the US
Revolut has launched its banking app in the United States. The fintech has more than 10 million customers in Europe and announced its plans to go stateside last year. As of Tuesday, its services are available to anybody in the United States. Revolut is valued at $5.5 billion after raising $500 million in a February funding round. It says it will also offer crypto trading in the near future.
13D
Nokia and LG Uplus build fully automated IP transport network for 5G
Nokia is working a leading operators in the world to upgrade its IP transport for 5G services. It will help Korean operator LG Uplus automate its IP transport and core networks, allowing the operator to launch 5G services faster while providing higher speed, reliability and security. The software-defined networking automation deployment is specifically designed for 5G cloud architectures.
14D
Google launches Game Servers in beta test mode
Google Cloud has made its 'Game Servers' available in beta test mode. The managed service uses a service called Agones, an open-source game server hosting and scaling project which has been built on Kubernetes. The company said Game Servers will make it easier to deploy, manage and scale servers based on demand. Game Servers supports all CPU types available to Kubernetes, Google said.
14D
Toyota and NTT pen $1.8 billion smart city agreement
Toyota and NTT have reached an agreement on the development of smart cities. They will co-invest $1.8 billion and take a small stake in each other. The pair plan to develop a smart city data platform, with the intention of building a new smart city in 2021 on the site of a former Toyota plant in Japan. Toyota and NTT also own a joint project for the development of connected car technologies.