PayPal reaches for fintech’s final frontier — the cash under your mattress

To capitalize on a massive global market of people who don’t use banks, PayPal and other fintech companies are offering mobile-only banking options.

Conor Grant • April 16, 2018

White Castle moves into the future with Impossible Foods’ meatless burger

After 97 years selling beef, the cult flavorite fast food chain has added Impossible Foods’ plant-based Impossible Burgers to its menu. Most notably, as a substitute to put on their world famous sliders — a product Time magazine once called “the most influential burger of all time” — in 140 of its 340 locations. They […]

Wes Schlagenhauf • April 13, 2018

SoftBank plays ball with $25B plan to globalize FIFA's Club World Cup

According to the Financial Times, Japan’s SoftBank has joined a consortium of investors backing a plan to create global soccer tournaments for FIFA (the sport’s governing body) and solidify soccer’s place as the most popular sport on the planet. The current Club World Cup is held every year with 7 teams from around the world […]

Lindsey Quinn • April 13, 2018

Danone, the massive yogurt company, just became the largest B Corp in the world

It’s official, folks: The company that makes Dannon yogurt has become a certified B Corp, making it the largest socially driven company in the world. B Whuuut? A B Corp certification measures and reports a company’s environmental and social performance, from carbon emissions to diversity, giving companies that pass muster a new legal status. Danone […]

Wes Schlagenhauf • April 13, 2018

Underwater, Japan discovers enough rare metal to supply the world for 400+ years

On the floor of the Pacific Ocean, Japanese scientists discovered a 965-square-mile mud patch containing 16m tons of rare-earth metals — enough to meet global demand “on a semi-infinite basis.” And we’re not talking gold doubloons here. This sunken treasure includes materials vital to smartphones and electric cars — and positions Japan to challenge China’s […]

Conor Grant • April 13, 2018

MLB teams are valued more than last year, despite record-low attendance in 2017

Last year, attendance at America’s pastime dropped below 73m for the first time since 2002, and in an effort to speed the game up, it actually got slower, with new rules like umpire reviews, and still no rules regarding how long a pitcher can stand on the mound picking his butt. But, according to Forbes, […]

Wes Schlagenhauf • April 12, 2018

Court orders Apple to pay a $503m troll toll 

Apple just lost a $503m battle against VirnetX Holding Corp. for patent infringement, according to Bloomberg. But, before you go trumpeting praise about the little guy finally getting a win over a sue-happy IP powerhouse, save your toots — this isn’t a case of David vs. Goliath… it’s more of a troll vs a giant. […]

Lindsey Quinn • April 12, 2018

Spotify has some tricks up its sleeve in the war for subscription dominance

Yesterday, news broke that Apple Music reached 40m subs, closing the gap behind Spotify in the battle for user-ears. While they’re still 30m ahead, Spotify isn’t taking any chances: Yesterday they announced a new discounted bundle deal with Hulu. Now, instead of paying $9.99 a month for a commercial-free subscription to Spotify, users can pay […]

Wes Schlagenhauf • April 12, 2018

Hearings prove Zuckerberg can play DC’s game — but politicians can’t play Facebook’s 

What could have been a harsh trial for Facebook’s chief ended up a ax-grinding session for politicians — that involved only surface-level discussion of Facebook’s data security policy. Addressing scripted criticisms and and some pretty cringe-worthy questions from less-than-tech-savvy politicians — Zuckerberg drove FB stock to its best day in 2 years after 2 days […]

Conor Grant • April 12, 2018

To manufacture NECCO-mania, America’s oldest candymaker turns to the rumor mill

Last month, after the Boston Globe reported the potential closure of the New England Confectionery Company — the country’s oldest continuously operating candymaker and the producer of the (in)famous NECCO wafer — America’s sweet tooth began to ache. In response to the announcement, sales of NECCO’s chalky candy wafers — which typically get (at best) […]

Conor Grant • April 11, 2018

The EU wants to hang with the big dogs, but their new $2.6B VC fund-fund is small change 

Yesterday, the EU announced VentureEU, a new “fund-of-funds program” to make the bloc of nations more competitive in the startup economy. But is it enough?

Lindsey Quinn • April 11, 2018

Francisco Partners takes Verifone private for $3.4B

A group of investors headed by private equity firm Francisco Partners has agreed to buy payments technology company Verifone Systems Inc. for around $3.4B. Founded in 1981, Verifone paved the way for point-of-sale card readers, bringing check books to extinction and becoming a key staple in the payments universe.  But unfortunately, as technology progressed, the […]

Wes Schlagenhauf • April 11, 2018

Relentless suitor Bayer wins permission to partner with Monsanto in a $62.5B deal

The US Justice Department finally gave its blessing for pesticide-peddler Bayer to take seed-slinger Monsanto’s hand in merger. By overcoming a final DOJ antitrust review (1 month after similar EU scrutiny), Bayer has scored the deal of their dreams — and history’s largest cash buyout. Reps from both companies argue that data-driven chemical agriculture will […]

Wes Schlagenhauf • April 11, 2018

Uber acquires bike-share startup JUMP

In the first official purchase under CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber has acquired the electric bike-share company Jump for an undisclosed amount, rumored to be around $200m. Currently operating in San Francisco and Washington, DC, Jump raised about $15m in funding prior to the acquisition, becoming the first in SF to receive a permit for dockless […]

Wes Schlagenhauf • April 10, 2018

Demand for surveillance tech drives facial-recognition company’s value to $4.5B

SenseTime, a Chinese facial-recognition technology company, just pulled a piping-hot $600m of funding out of the oven — making the company nearly twice as valuable as the 2nd-hottest AI startup, Shanghai-based Yitu. The Chinese State Council’s 3-step strategic plan for AI-domination by 2030 has positioned SenseTime for lucrative government contracts and investment from Chinese heavyweights […]

Conor Grant • April 10, 2018

Keystone oil leak, 2x larger than initially reported, was just a drop in the barrel 

TransCanada, the oil company that operates the controversial Keystone Pipeline, admitted to the Aberdeen News that their November oil leak was twice as large as initially reported — about 9.7k barrels of oil. The revised estimate makes the leak one of the 10 largest onshore oil spills in America since 2010. TransCanada has some experience […]

Conor Grant • April 10, 2018

Sex marketplace Backpage gets backhanded by the feds, founder charged with 93 counts 

On Friday, the FBI shut down Backpage -- a site used primarily to solicit sex -- amidst new legislation that holds platforms accountable for trafficking.

Lindsey Quinn • April 10, 2018

Orion Span Inc. announces plan to open the first ever luxury hotel… in space

Looking to book a trip? Say no more. The future is (almost) here, and when it arrives, you’ll be looking at a pretty out of this world vacation package. As first reported by Bloomberg, Houston-based Orion Span Inc. announced plans to open the first-ever space hotel to give normal, everyday millionaires the chance to feel […]

Wes Schlagenhauf • April 9, 2018

Offering $300m for a billboard company, Netflix proves the ’boards are back in town

Reuters reports that Netflix has offered a competitive $300m bid to purchase Regency Outdoor Advertising, a billboard company in LA. For Netflix, which describes itself as “leading the way for digital content since 1997,” the purchase of an old-school billboard company is not only ironic — it’d be the largest acquisition in company history. Why […]

Conor Grant • April 9, 2018

In a world where major hacks are a regular occurrence, one industry will stop at nothing…

Cyberinsurance. It’s not the newest Michael Bay film but, as WIRED reports, it is a burgeoning, multibillion-dollar industry. And, now more than ever, a must-have for companies who don’t want to get “breached” out of business. If it’s risky, insurers will come As of 2016, cyberinsurers made about $3.5B in premiums worldwide — merely an […]

Lindsey Quinn • April 9, 2018

Ice Cube and his 3-man-basketball league are suing Qatari investors for $1.2B

Get money, spend money, no money: The Washington Post reports that Big3 basketball league founders Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz are suing a group of their own investors for $1.2B. The 33-page suit alleges the investors, which include associates of Qatari royalty (like the half brother of Qatar’s emir), bragged of connections to the royal […]

Wes Schlagenhauf • April 9, 2018

EVERYONE REMAIN CALM: Self-care apps are on the rise

According to app store intelligence reports, apps in the “self-care” category (for things like mindfulness and meditation) are really getting in ~the zone~.  In Q1 of this year alone, the top 10 grossing self-care apps with names like “10% Happier,” and “Stop, Breathe, and Think,” brought in $27m in revenue worldwide, with US consumers contributing […]

Lindsey Quinn • April 6, 2018

Data-hungry owner of MoviePass swallows Moviefone whole, spits out theaters’ bones

MoviePass’ parent company, Helios and Matheson Analytics, bought online movie-guide Moviefone for $23m to satisfy their appetite for moviegoer data. Wait, Moviefone is still around? Yes — and with 6m monthly users, it’s a surprisingly juicy morsel that kept meat on its bones by updating its telephone service (c. 1989 AD) to a digital platform […]

Conor Grant • April 6, 2018

As customers bark for healthy foods, Smucker’s buys $1.9B pet-food company

The jam company Smucker announced its $1.9B purchase of Ainsworth Pet Nutrition while simultaneously confirming plans to sell its baking division, which includes brands like Pillsbury and Hungry Jack. Mass-produced foods are going to the dogs Smucker Co. has already spent some serious money trying to appeal to its collar-wearing customer base, buying Big Heart […]

Conor Grant • April 6, 2018

It’s not you, it’s… ok, it’s you. MIT cuts ties with brain preservation startup

MIT is pumping the brakes on their highly criticized relationship with Nectome, the small biotech company who wowed the neuroscience world with their insane idea of “backing up” people’s brains for the possibility of future digital upload. All the procedure cost was your life — and a one-time waitlist fee of $10k. Wait, what was […]

Wes Schlagenhauf • April 6, 2018

Admitting bigger breach, Zuck updates terms and invites you to scream into your pillow

Hours before admitting that “most” of Facebook’s 2.2B users have had their data stolen, Facebook announced its first major update to its user terms since 2015. Facebook claims the terms update was in the works before the Cambridge Analytica breach that they now believe affected 87m users (up from an estimated 50m) — but they’re […]

Conor Grant • April 5, 2018

How do you make economy flights seem less sh*tty?

Answer: Basic economy. At first glance, basic economy seems like a win for consumers — competition must have forced major airlines to offer cheaper flights for stoic travelers willing to give up legroom. Right? Not quite. Big airlines like United, American and Delta actually created basic economy to scare frequent fliers into shelling out inflated […]

Conor Grant • April 5, 2018

Hershey wants to clean up the chocolate trade

About 95% of global cocoa output is produced by small farmers — 70% of whom come from West Africa. It’s a precious natural resource for the entire region, and a tremendous part of personal livelihoods. But make no mistake, from slavery and child trafficking to dire environmental implications like mass deforestation, there’s a very dark […]

Wes Schlagenhauf • April 5, 2018

Google employees petition to pull out of Pentagon AI project

Thousands of Google employees signed a petition calling for the search giant to end a partnership with the Pentagon to improve AI and image-recognition tech that could be used for drone strikes.  The letter, which has made the rounds at Google for weeks, has more than 3k signatures and is addressed specifically to Sundar Pichai, […]

Wes Schlagenhauf • April 5, 2018

Crypto cool-kid Seoul announces plans for a citywide cryptocurrency called ‘S-Coin’

Residents of the South Korean capital will soon use a city-funded cryptocurrency called S-Coin for everything from subway rides to kids’ allowances — part of a master plan to create a comprehensive blockchain bureaucracy in Seoul. “As Seoul is the world’s leading city in the field of information and communications… I think we should study […]

Wes Schlagenhauf • April 4, 2018

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