Facebook can win back FS support: Libra chief
Facebook is optimistic that it can win the support of payments and financial firms for its Libra digital currency project once it is able to provide assurances over regulatory concerns, its head of Libra has said. David Marcus told a panel at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) conference in Washington that he understood why a number of major payments and financial players - including Visa, PayPal, Mastercard and Stripe - had decided to exit the project in recent weeks, following mounting pressure from governments and regulators over money-laundering and data privacy concerns.
Scottish in-flight MedTech bags funding
MIME Technologies, a MedTech firm spin-out from the University of Aberdeen, has raised a combined £255,000 from first round investment and a Scottish Enterprise grant. The investment, led by Equity Gap investors and the Scottish Investment Bank, will be used to accelerate customer growth and create new operational and technical jobs in the firm.
DfE and Nesta launch £5.75m digital challenge
The Department for Education and Nesta are set to launch a £5.75 million initiative aimed at developing tech innovations to help adults in England gain the skills they need for the automated and digitised workplaces of the future.The CareerTech Challenge, is aimed at helping to fund and scale entrepreneurs and technologists to come up with solutions to the digital skills gap in industries such as retail and manufacturing, which are expected to experience automation in the coming years.
AI HealthTech lands $56m
Healx, an artificial intelligence (AI) driven HealthTech startup, has landed $56 million in Series B funding. The Cambridge-based company will use the money to launch a global accelerator programme for the detection of rare diseases, as part of clinical-stage portfolio including treatments for fragile X syndrome, the leading genetic cause of autism.
British Land backs PropTech firm WiredScore
British Land and Patrizia have become the latest investors in WiredScore, a PropTech company focused on digital connectivity accreditation. The funding forms part of a €3.6 million round supporting the UK-based startup’s plans to expand its Wired Certification offering.
National Technology Awards open for entries
The National Technology News Awards 2020 are now open for entries, with a deadline of 10 January next year. The fourth annual celebration of the best and brightest across the tech world will take place on 7 May 2020 at the Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square.
CEV launches first clean energy tech fund
Clean Energy Ventures (CEV), an investor in early-stage energy startups, has announced the close of its first fund. The $110 million Clean Energy Venture Fund targets the current capital gap for seed and early-stage investments in promising advanced energy innovations.
Libra down to 21 members after FS exodus
Facebook’s Libra project yesterday confirmed that 21 firms have signed the Libra Association charter, following an exodus of financial services firms from the initiative amid regulatory concerns.The formal announcement of a governance structure and charter for the digital currency project confirmed the continued membership of tech giants Uber, Spotify and Vodafone, but revealed that major early backers Mastercard, Visa, eBay, Booking Holdings and Mercado Pago have now followed payments firms PayPal and Stripe in abandoning the project.
NICE seeks digital transformation partner
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has put out a call for a strategic supply partner to assist with its digital transformation programme over the next couple of years. A statement explained that it has already carried out an expert review on its data management practices, focusing on its use of data and Microsoft software.
Brexit concerns have not ‘deterred IT investment’
Nearly half (49 per cent) of IT decision makers in the UK believe that uncertainty surrounding the outcome of Brexit has not impacted their company’s decision to invest in IT infrastructure. A survey of more than 2,450 global senior IT professionals for connectivity firm Equinix found that political uncertainty was not deterring companies from making longer-term decisions on digital transformation.
Thoma Bravo to buy Sophos for $3.9bn
US private equity firm Thoma Bravo has made an offer to acquire UK cyber security provider Sophos for $7.40 per share, representing an enterprise value of approximately $3.9 billion. The board of directors of Sophos have stated their intention to unanimously recommend the offer to the company’s shareholders.
UNICEF launches cryptocurrency fund
UNICEF will now be able to receive, hold and disburse donations of cryptocurrencies Ether and Bitcoin, through its newly-established cryptocurrency fund. In a first for United Nations organisations, UNICEF will use cryptocurrencies to fund open source technology benefiting children and young people around the world.
Lloyd's of London warns of ‘supply chain catastrophe’
A new report from Lloyd’s of London and risk modelling firm AIR Worldwide has set out guidelines for risk managers and insurers aiming to close the ‘protection gap’ before the next catastrophic supply chain disruption occurs.The method is outlined in a new report that analysed data from almost one million disruption events. It stated that insurers can expect claims made up entirely of ‘business interruption’ and ‘contingent business interruption’ losses in the future.