Category: Money

Google’s self-driving biz Waymo eyes expansion with $2.25B cash injection


In a blog post yesterday, Alphabet‘s self-driving project, Waymo, announced it has secured $2.25 billion in its latest funding round. Most of the cash came from external investors, it’s also worth noting this is the first time the company has welcomed external investment. Investors included VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, auto part maker Magna, and American auto retailer AutoNation. Google‘s parent company Alphabet also injected more cash into the project, New York Times reports. [Read: The 6 levels of autonomous driving, explained as fast as possible] According to Waymo CEO John Krafcik, the cash will be used to further develop Waymo‘s…

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10 questions to consider before entering a startup accelerator


In recent years the number of startup accelerators and incubators has increased hugely — in the UK alone the number of start-ups in these programs has grown by 78% each year since 2014. Accelerators, for the uninitiated, are programs which bring startups and corporates together for a short, but intense period; typically between around 10 weeks and three months. The corporate could be a company which wants to explore how startups could help deliver their strategy, or it could be a consultancy which will connect the startups with their customers. The key is that both parties should benefit. The corporate gets…

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Etsy’s new mandatory ad policy cuts into sellers’ profits


Etsy this week revealed a new promoted advertising policy that essentially allows them to take a generous cut of sales, and sellers with successful stores won’t be able to opt out. The new measure will add yet another mandatory fee for sellers — if the advertising works, of course. According to Etsy’s announcement, it’s instituting a new Offsite Ads program, in which it’ll promote items on sites like Google, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Whenever a buyer clicks on an ad and buys the product shown, Etsy will collect either a 12% or 15% fee on the sale on top of…

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Toyota saddles up for self-driving future with $400M investment into Pony.ai


One of the world’s largest car makers, Toyota, has further demonstrated its intent on supporting self-driving vehicles. The Japanese carmaker is planning to invest $400 million into Pony.ai, a Chinese self-driving car startup that’s based across Silicon Valley in the US and Guangzhou in China, Bloomberg reports. [Read: New algorithm for self-driving vehciles has a bold ‘collision-free guarantee’] With the latest round of funding, Pony.ai is reportedly now valued at around $3 billion. Alongside Toyota, existing investors injected an additional $62 million. Not only did Toyota make the largest cash injection in this round, it also didn’t request any kind…

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Monzo is bringing back premium bank accounts to help turn a profit


In an attempt to become profitable, British-based digital bank startup Monzo is shaping up to have a second crack at paid accounts after failing first time round, Reuters reports. Back in April last year, Monzo launched its “Plus” premium package which allowed customers to buy add-ons, such as travel insurance and extra cash withdrawals while abroad, for their accounts. [Read: German fintech N26 to leave UK — because Brexit] By September the company pulled the product from its app because of poor customer feedback. Many customers criticized Monzo’s premium accounts for being a brazen money making attempt and taking key…

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Apple Pay accounts for 5% of global card transactions, growing to rival PayPal


Apple Pay, the company’s mobile wallet, is gaining a notable chunk of payment transactions around the world. So much so, competition watchdogs are starting to pay attention. As it stands, Apple Pay is responsible for around 5% of card transactions, globally. However, over the next five years this is expected to grow to 10%, Quartz reports. Eventually, Apple Pay could be competing with the likes of payment processing mainstay PayPal. [Read: How to add Apple Pay to your Watch ahead of your next gym visit] Analysts from research firm Bernstein say it’s plausible Apple might attempt to shake up the…

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Volvo Cars is reportedly being merged with China’s Geely


Swedish carmaker Volvo Cars and Chinese brand Geely Automobile are reportedly planning a merger that would have a knock on effect for both companies. Announced yesterday, the merger could see Volvo back on public markets for the first time in over 20 years. It would also make Geely China‘s first global car brand, Financial Times reports. The merger comes as an attempt to integrate the two brands. It would undoubtedly lead to vehicles sharing common components, and could even see the firms co-develop technologies for electric vehicles and autonomous driving. [Read: Tesla nosedives in Norwegian consumer satisfaction rankings — but…

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Tesla posts first annual profit — still loses $862M


In light of its popularity and strong sales figures, Tesla seems to have turned a corner recently after posting its first annual profit, kind of. According to CNN, in operating terms, Tesla posted a $386 million profit across the last three months of 2019. This meant it finished the year $35.8 million in the black. That said, when considering the full company accounts, Tesla actually posted a loss for the whole year. In fact, it lost $862 million, The Verge writes. A notable improvement over the $1 billion loss it posted in 2018, though. [Read: Tesla becomes America’s first $100B…

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US to inject $300M into research for cleaner transport tech


The electric vehicle market looks like it’s going to get a boost in the United States. The Trump administration has just announced that it’s set up a $300 million grant to research clean vehicle technologies. Mark Menezes, an official from the US Department of Energy announced the grant earlier today at the Washington Auto Show, Washington Examiner reports. The DoE is also partnering with an energy utility research group. [Read: Tesla Model 3 drives surge in UK’s battery-powered vehicle registrations] Most of the money, $133 million, will go toward research of electric and battery technologies. Whilst another $100 million will…

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Tesla becomes America’s first $100B publicly listed carmaker


Elon Musk appears to have built a venerable financial fortress around his electric vehicle company Tesla. On Tuesday it became the first US carmaker, that publicly sells shares, to be valued at over $100 billion. Late last night, at around 2330 CET (1730 EST) Tesla‘s share price jumped to $554. This bumped the company’s overall market capitalization to over $100 billion. [Read: Tesla says there’s no unintended acceleration in its vehicles, blames short seller] Tesla‘s valuation far outranks other publicly traded US carmakers like General Motors and Ford. At the time of writing, General Motors market cap is around $49…

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