PropTech reaches ‘critical mass’ as funding soars
The UK is leading the way in PropTech investment in Europe, according to Oxford Saïd Business School. The report, compiled using data from Unnisu and Crunchbase, found that as of June 2019 over $5 billion was invested in 805 UK PropTech companies – five times more than Germany for instance.
Mastercard to hire 1,500 for Dublin tech hub
Mastercard is planning to hire 1,500 staff in Dublin as it looks to establish its European Technology Hub in the Irish capital. The payments giant is planning to treble its Irish workforce for the new campus in Leopardstown over the course of the next three to five years.
OneTrust raises $210m at a $2.7bn valuation
OneTrust has announced a $210 million Series B funding led by Coatue and Insight Partners. Following OneTrust's $200 million Series A, the new round brings the total investment to $410 million and valuation to $2.7 billion.
Government backs £65m package for 5G trials
Nine projects across the UK will receive a share of £35 million from rural and industrial 5G competitions, and a new £30 million open competition will look at how 5G can create new opportunities in industries including film, TV, video games, logistics and tourism. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) noted that “none of the winning projects, or future projects, will use equipment from high risk vendors”, meaning Huawei will not be participating.
UK Google users to lose GDPR protections
Google is planning to move its UK users’ accounts out of the control of European Union privacy regulators, placing them instead under US jurisdiction. According to sources cited by Reuters, the search giant intends to require its British users to acknowledge new terms of service.
Mobilus Labs debuts two-way bone conduction device
Mobilus Labs has launched the world’s first two-way bone conduction communication device, delivering audio and voice communications hand and ear free. The startup delivered the first batch mobiWAN TR headsets to positioning and navigation technology firm Trimble, to go alongside its XR10 with HoloLens 2. Together, built into an industry-standard hardhat, these products offer a mixed-reality experience which aims to increase safety and efficiency in extreme working environments.
European Commission proposes AI strategy
The European Commission has unveiled its plans for a European data strategy and policies to ensure that development of artificial intelligence (AI) technology is human-centric. A key pillar of the plan outlined by EU commissioner Thierry Breton is the creation of a €2 billion European cloud platform alliance.
Tech talent visa cap removed
The Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa route is being expanded and renamed as the Global Talent visa, specifically to make provisions for science and research, while continuing to be open to promising applicants within digital technology. According to Tech Nation, the UK network for tech entrepreneurs which remains the endorsing body responsible for processing applications on behalf of the Home Office for the sector, the cap on the visa route has been removed.
ICO consults on AI auditing framework
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has launched a consultation on draft guidance for an artificial intelligence (AI) auditing framework. The guidance contains advice on how to understand data protection law in relation to AI and recommendations for organisational and technical measures to mitigate the risks AI poses to individuals. It also provides a methodology to audit AI applications and ensure they process personal data fairly.
97% believe insider data breaches are ‘a major concern’
New research has revealed that 97 per cent of IT leaders think insider breach risk is a significant concern – with 78 per cent believing employees have put data at risk accidentally in the past 12 months and 75 per cent reckon employees have put data at risk intentionally. A survey of more than 500 IT leaders and 5,000 employees across the UK, US and Benelux regions last month on behalf of security solutions provider Egress found that 41 per cent said financial damage would be the biggest impact of such a breach.
National Technology Awards shortlist announced
The shortlist has been announced for the fourth annual National Technology Awards. Celebrating the pioneers of technology and encouraging excellence across 29 categories – from retail to cyber security, telecoms to finance.
OTB Ventures launches $100m tech fund
OTB Ventures has launched an early growth technology fund with $100 million in commitments from international institutional investors, including the European Investment Fund. Focusing on early stage, post-product, startups in the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region - spanning cyber security, BigData, FinTech, Internet of Things, cloud and software-as-a-service industry verticals - the fund is targeting investment in a total of 16 companies to comprise its portfolio by the end of 2022.
Shetland Space Centre gets £2m funding boost
Shetland Space Centre’s (SSC) plan to build and operate the UK’s only satellite launch site has been given a major boost by a £2.05 million investment from private equity firm Leonne International. The cash injection, which gives Leonne a 20 per cent stake in the business, will be used for future growth of the company, such as the development of the launch site and ground station at the most northerly tip of Britain – the island of Unst in Shetland.