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How IBM Watson Plays in the Fintech Space
Benzinga's Fintech Focus Podcast features conversations with the biggest names in fintech. Subscribe to the Fintech Focus newsletter to get a roundup of industry news delivered to your inbox weekly, and check out upcoming programming at Benzinga events. The Fintech Focus podcast takes a look at the burgeoning world of fintech—as per usual—but through another lens. Typically, when people think
Amazon Invests in a Hot Self-Driving Startup
It was really only a matter of time before Amazon eventually entered the autonomous driving space. Having already entered the retail grocery market, the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare - in addition to conquering bookselling, movie streaming and a lot of other things we're probably forgetting - the e-commerce giant has joined Sequoia Capital in a $530-million Series B round for
Why the Culture of Cybersecurity is Broken–and How to Fix It
Last year saw some of the largest security breakdowns of all time. Half a billion Marriott Starwood customers had their personal data compromised. More than 100 U.S. university research programs had valuable intellectual property stolen. Ransomware attacks disrupted municipal services in Atlanta and Baltimore. In the midst of these spectacular failures, spending on cybersecurity exceeded $80 billion in 2018, more
Alphabet’s Jigsaw Extends its Cyber Protections to Europe’s Upcoming Elections
Jigsaw, the Alphabet unit that aims to make the world safer through technology, is expanding its Project Shield technology that protects against distributed denial of services attacks to European political organizations, campaigns, and candidates, the company said Tuesday. Project Shield already defends news and human rights organizations against the attacks, which overwhelm servers with bogus traffic so legitimate requests can’t
Uber CEO Says Some Furloughed U.S. Federal Workers Became Drivers to Make Ends Meet
With the U.S. government in the midst of its longest shutdown in history - now 33 days as of this writing - more than 800,000 federal workers have been furloughed and gone without pay for over a month. It's not surprising then that Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told CNBC in an interview from the World Economic Forum in Davos that
Google Buys Smartwatch Tech and Know-How From Fossil
Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG)(NASDAQ: GOOGL)'s Google unit said Thursday it's buying about $40 million worth of smartwatch technology from watch maker Fossil Group Inc. (NASDAQ: FOSL), which is throwing in the R&D employees who developed it as part of the deal. What We Know While neither Google nor Fossil said what, exactly, the new technology is, the head of Google’s Wear
WeWork Rebrands as SoftBank's Planned Investment is Radically Cut
We already knew the two biggest outside investors in SoftBank's $100-billion Vision Fund were opposed to a massive investment Chief Executive Masayoshi Son was planning to make in co-working startup WeWork, and now word comes that Son appears to have acquiesced and drastically cut the planned funding. After the Vision Fund had initially planned to make a $16 billion investment
E-Cigarette Industry Has its First Billionaires
Altria Group announced a $12.8 billion investment in Juul Labs Inc., acquiring a minority stake in the popular e-cigarette company and valuing it at $38 billion. The investment by Altria makes Juul's founders Adam Bowen and James Monsees the first e-cigarette billionaires, according to Bloomberg. The Bloomberg Billionaires Index notes that - assuming Altria's transaction dilutes the holdings of current
Mary Meeker Leads $250M Funding Round For Newly Minted Fintech Unicorn
Fast-growing fintech startup Plaid Inc. announced that it had closed a $250-million Series C round led by prominent venture capitalist Mary Meeker, who will also join the company's board of directors as part of the deal. While Plaid is not disclosing its current valuation, a source tells Bloomberg that the latest funding round makes the San Francisco-based startup worth about
Why an AWS Spin-Off Could Be Amazon's Best Strategic Move
Big U.S. tech companies are facing increasing regulatory scrutiny for their size and influence in the American economy. New York University marketing professor Scott Galloway said on Monday that spinning-off its Amazon Web Services cloud business could be the perfect solution for Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN). Creating A Cloud Pure-Play Galloway, who has a track record of predicting Amazon would