Microsoft and the second SoftBank Vision Fund as another play for corporate cloud dominance

It looks like the return of SoftBank’s Vision Fund may be less reliant on murder money and more reliant on Microsoft’s money-making machine for its backing. The rumored involvement of Microsoft in financing SoftBank Vision Fund II (electric boogaloo?) is interesting for what it may indicate about how the relationship between venture investors, startups and […]

Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic will be the first publicly traded company for human spaceflight

The race to become the first publicly traded company dedicated to human spaceflight is over, and Virgin Galactic has won. The company will be listing its shares on the New York Stock Exchange through a minority acquisition made by Social Capital Hedosophia, the special purpose acquisition company created by former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya as […]

Manipulating an Indian politician’s tweets is worryingly easy to do

Here’s a concerning story from India, where the upcoming election is putting the use of social media in the spotlight. While the Indian government is putting Facebook, Google and other companies under pressure to prevent their digital platforms from being used for election manipulation, a journalist has demonstrated just how easy it is to control […]

Scooter startup Bird tried to silence a journalist. It did not go well.

Cory Doctorow doesn’t like censorship. He especially doesn’t like his own work being censored. Anyone who knows Doctorow knows his popular tech and culture blog, Boing Boing, and anyone who reads Boing Boing knows Doctorow and his cohort of bloggers. The part-blogger, part special advisor at the online rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation has written […]

Indonesia e-commerce leader Tokopedia raises $1.1B from Alibaba and SoftBank’s Vision Fund

Indonesia-based e-commerce firm Tokopedia is the latest startup to enter the Vision Fund after it raised $1.1 billion Series G round led by the SoftBank megafund and Alibaba. SoftBank and Alibaba are existing investors in the business — the Chinese e-commerce giant led a $1.1 billion round last year, while SoftBank recently transitioned its shareholding […]

Payment service Toss becomes Korea’s newest unicorn after raising $80M

South Korea has got its third unicorn startup after Viva Republica, the company beyond popular payment app Toss, announced it has raised an $80 million round at a valuation of $1.2 billion. This new round is led by U.S. firms Kleiner Perkins and Ribbit Capital, both of which cut their first checks for Korea with this […]

SoftBank to wait on Khashoggi murder investigation before deciding on second Vision Fund

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son says the company won’t walk away from its existing commitment with the Saudi Arabian royal family — the largest LP in its $100 billion Vision Fund — but the firm will wait on the outcome of an investigation into the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi before deciding on whether to continue the […]

A Twitter employee groomed by the Saudi government prompted 2015 state-sponsored hacking warning

An explosive report in The New York Times this weekend sheds new light on the apparent targeting of Twitter accounts by “state-sponsored actors” three years ago. It comes in the wake of the confirmed death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Friday, two weeks after he disappeared in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Khashoggi […]

Inside the pay-for-post ICO industry

In a world where nothing can be trusted and fake news abounds, ICO and crypto teams are further muddying the waters by trying – and often failing – to pay for posts. While bribes for blogs is nothing new, sadly the current crop of ICO creators and crypto projects are particularly interested in scaling fast […]

Apple is rebuilding Maps from the ground up

I’m not sure if you’re aware, but the launch of Apple Maps went poorly. After a rough first impression, an apology from the CEO, several years of patching holes with data partnerships and some glimmers of light with long-awaited transit directions and improvements in business, parking and place data, Apple Maps is still not where it […]