European Seed Fund Accelerator Seedcamp Raises Another $30 Million


Europe’s most active seed investment firms, Seedcamp, has raised $30 million in order to further scale operations. The early stage investment firm is now looking to expand further from its image of being a startup accelerator to a much bigger startup camp housing, and helping companies scale to a massive scale.

Seedcamp, based in the UK, has been working with startups from all over Europe. The startup accelerator has secured an initial amount of $28 million of the $30 million funding round in order to further expand its operations. The money will help Seedcamp to expand its operations and take its companies to the next level.

Around half of the raised funds will come from the European Investment Fund which is a part of the European Investment Bank. The rest of the money would come from a number of professional investments funds comprising of Index Ventures, WhiteStar Capital, Caiza Capital, Connect Ventures, and other individual angel investors including Skyscanner’s Barry Smith, Teleport’s CEO Sten Tamkivi amongst others.

Seedcamp has labelled its third round of funding as “Seedcamp 2.0”. It plans to support more than 100 startups over the next 4 years. That’s approximately the total number of startups that Seedcamp has already backed so far. Seedcamp now comprises of a huge network of mentors, entrepreneurs, angels, and investors across Asia, US, and Europe. It is continuously expanding its network in Asia and US currently.

According to a statement released by Seedcamp, “In our experience, providing the first $75,000 investment and a three-month program to support the growth of a $10m business is not good enough anymore. Breakout success is all about scale and getting the $200,000, $2M, and $20M of investment that will help build a $1B business.”

It’s quite obvious how the European startup scene is growing stronger by the day. Silicon Valley may be housing some of the biggest names in technology, but European startups are slowly gathering a lot of momentum. It’ll be interesting to see more startups rising as mobile ecosystems further evolve.


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Mobile Apps Usage Now At Its Peak, With Post-PC Era Starting To Show Its Effects


Mobile app usage is on a surge. According to a report by research firm ComScore, mobile app usage has crossed 51% of all the time spent on digital media. Users are now spending over 60% of their time on the Internet on mobile devices, most of which is naturally spent on apps.

This is an interesting nugget of information. The time spent on mobile apps is now at its peak. It’s bound to grow further with more apps, hardware, and ecosystems continuously evolving. Another interesting statistic worth mentioning here is that more people use services and tools like online radio, social media, photos, etc., on their mobile phones than on the PC.

The mobile app report from ComScore takes its data from around 10 billion minutes of recorded user engagement on apps for the month of May this year. Last year’s numbers engagement of mobile platforms was around 50%, which has now jumped to around 60% this year.

According to the report, digital radio seems to be the most used app across all the users. 96% of the user engagement comes from mobile devices and the Pandora app leads the market in this space. 96% of the engagement comes from photos where apps like Flickr and Instagram are currently ruling.

Other apps like maps, IMs, are also extensively used on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. ComScore wrote in its report, “Amazingly, but perhaps not altogether unexpectedly, a couple of important categories have shifted almost exclusively to mobile.”

Now that’s a very interesting move. The post-PC era is finally starting to show its effects. People have taken to their mobile devices to perform certain actions which were previously only limited to their PCs. Rich apps have certainly helped transform user experience, with a huge number of users now doing payments, online entertainment, and communication on mobile alone.


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Google Update Chrome Canary On The Mac To A 64-Bit Version


Less than a week after releasing 64-bit beta versions of its Chrome web browser on the Windows platform, Google today shipped a version of the 64-bit edition of Chrome for the Mac. The company didn’t make a formal announcement, but users on the Canary build of Chrome could notice the big shift.

The company has switched Chrome Canary, the developer version of Chrome, to 64-bit. Users who now download a new installation of Chrome Canary for Mac will get the 64-bit version by default. The company had released 64-bit builds of the web browser in the Developer and Canary channels for Windows about a few months back.

Although the Windows version was quick enough to move from Canary to a much more stable beta version, we could expect the same from the Mac variant as well. There would be its due share of bugs in the current release of the 64-bit version of Chrome Canary. But once it ships in the beta suit, it’ll be a much better version than the current 32-bit everyone is using.

As we reported earlier, 64-bit web browsers would be really great for today’s working environment. The software will be capable of using more physical memory on a computer, and therefore be able to perform a lot better. Meanwhile developers will be able to build much powerful and richer web apps, that can do a lot more.

On the Mac, Google competes directly with Apple’s Safari web browser. While Safari is all set to get a major upgrade in the upcoming OS X release titled Yosemite, Chrome will be betting big on the 64-bit variant to outperform Safari.

Google’s Chrome web browser currently has a little over 20% of the entire market share when it comes to web browsers on all platforms. Internet Explorer, no doubt, still remains the top web browser used, but its dominance is slowly coming down. It’ll be interesting to see how Chrome can compete with Safari in the long term, on Mac.

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Salesforce Announces New Mobile Reports And Dashboards Tool has announced a new mobile reports and dashboards tool that will run on the company’s Salesforce1 platform. The tool will enable employees working in sales to access information on the move. This information shall be visible in custom user interface that will be set according to a customer’s requirement.

The new mobile reports and dashboards tool will enable sales workers who are mostly in the field, to get the right information they need, whenever they want it. The product has been designed in such a way to enable information on mobile devices in an efficient, secure, and quicker way.

Salesforce users can create custom dashboards with the data that they need, drilling down into specific views of data. Customers can also use third-party graph creation tops like D3 open-source or even Google Charts to add extra functionality.

The tools will have APIs that will allow customers to use third-party products and services, bringing data from other companies like SAP or even the other way around — taking Salesforce data to other third-party apps.

Salesforce wants to give its customers access to the data that matters the most to every single individual in the company, right on their mobile device. This eliminates the requirement of going back to the desktop every single time a piece of data needs to be referenced.

These new tools are likely to be launched for tablet devices too. But then it first makes sense to strike the ultra portable devices, also known as, smartphones. Going up from the smartphones seems like a perfect strategy.

Customers now want access to their data at all times, be it in any location, or device. Zendesk launched its insights tool earlier this year which was more or less packed with similar functionality. The key to these tools is offering a better user interface that is not only easier to use but is also more customizable according to a customer’s need.

Source: PR

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Box Brings Its Collaborative Note Taking Feature To iOS Devices


Box is bringing its cloud based word processing feature to mobile devices. The company today announced that its Notes feature will be available on iOS devices like the iPhone and the iPad starting today. The simple application allows users to collaborate on a document in real-time.

The feature was previously available to Box users on the desktop. The feature supports real-time annotation and collaboration. The feature puts Box amongst the likes of Google Drive and other cloud based documentation providers. Dropbox still doesn’t offer a similar feature.

What’s more? Box’s new feature is built for business users. Box Notes comprises of the same security, encryption, and sharing permissions you’d normally expect from a typical Box based cloud storage solution. The feature allows users to use and create notes alongside documents in their Box account like presentations, spreadsheets, images, or any other documents.

According to an official statement from the company, “At its core, Box Notes is about making it easy to work with others. It promotes the sharing of information and collaboration. Live, concurrent editing lets everyone read and make changes instantly together.”

The app is currently available on iOS devices only. The company is promising support for Android devices later during summer this year. The company claims, “Notes are automatically available to collaborators of the folder, so there’s no need to share each individual note with the people who need it.”

As we reported earlier, Box filed for an IPO earlier in March this year. The cloud based services company is looking to raise $250 initially. While Dropbox is closely following it up, with a likely IPO filing later this year, Box might just raise enough money to fuel the next wave of customer base. The company is actively pursuing acquisitions too.

Microsoft and Google, meanwhile, have dropped the prices on their cloud based storage services recently. Box could end up doing that as well, but it wouldn’t want a hole in its pocket for now. Not until Dropbox proceeds with the current trend of cutting prices.


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Google Will Now Sell Google Earth Imagery To Enterprise And Government Agencies


Google’s mapping services for the enterprises and government organizations called Google Maps for Business today announced that it will sell the company’s aerial imagery directly to its customers. Customers can use this data to map public service projects, study environmental impact on a project or even evaluate a specific property.

This is the first time Google is allowing businesses to buy and use Google Earth imagery since launching the services back in 2005. The purchase will provide customers with high-resolution aerial imagery that comprises of the entire continental United States. Even government organizations are set to benefit from this, since they won’t need to carry on their own aerial operations.

In an official statement, Google said, “Using Google Maps Engine, organizations can quickly obtain Google Earth imagery as soon as it’s available and share it with colleagues or customers. By relying on Google’s cloud, they can bypass traditional delivery systems, such as FTP or disc, while also avoiding costs of maintaining their own data centers.”

There are several ways to access imagery from Google Maps for Business. These include:

1. Desktop GIS system using WMS

2. Google Maps v3 JavaScript API web app inclusion

3. Overlaying directly inside Google Earth

4. Native mobile apps and websites

Google has maintained a great reputation when it comes to navigational imagery. The company promises accurate, comprehensive, and useful maps with its Google Maps for Business services. Organizations will now be able to get their hands on commercial, high-quality satellite imagery directly from Google. The company’s cloud will certainly help its customers in managing a massive repository of high quality satellite imagery.

The company’s Maps product has been highly successful in both the desktop and the mobile markets. Google Maps for Businesses imagery will now allow the company to bring in the extra revenue it has been sitting on for quite some time now. It’ll be interesting to see if other providers like Here and Bing Maps also jump onto the enterprise maps services.


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Raspberry Pi Announces The New And Improved Model B+


It’s been two years since the first Raspberry Pi Model B was announced. The Raspberry Pi foundation today announced a new hardware — Model B+ — which isn’t as significant to be called the Raspberry Pi 2, but it’s quite decent enough for an upgrade.

The Raspberry Pi Model B Plus comprises of the little improvements that users have asked for over a period of time. Model B Plus will be available starting today itself, for the same price of $35 that made the initial Raspberry Pi computing project popular.

The improvements include a new GIPO header with 40 pins with the same pinout for the first 26 pins as we saw with the Model B. There are now four USB 2.0 ports on the Model B+ as compared to the two USB ports on its predecessor. The new ports also come with much better hotplug and over-current behavior. There’s a new micro SD version card socket which is a significant improvement over the previous friction-fit socket.

Power consumption will be much lower on the Model B+ version with switching regulators instead of the previously used linear versions. Power consumption will drop anywhere between 0.5W to 1W. The improved audio will make use of a new dedicated low-noise power supply. The form factor has also been improved with the USB connectors aligned with the board edge, and the composite video has been moved on the 3.5 mm jack, along with four additional square-shaped mounting holes.

Production for the Model B+ is being assured to be kept on until the demand remains. Customers can start placing their orders via Raspberry Pi’s hardware vendors right away. We earlier reported how Raspberry Pi’s sales have well crossed the 1 million mark last year itself. We’re expecting that number to hit the 3-4 times mark by the end of this year.

Earlier this year, the Raspberry Pi Foundation had announced the Compute Module, targeted at business and industrial users. The Raspberry Pi credit-card sized computing boards have been a phenomenal success so far, inviting deep interest from both hardware enthusiasts and young students.


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Project Zero – Google Wants To Make The Internet A Safe Play For Everyone


Google today announced a new project aimed at creating a team to prevent some of the worst online security attics ever. Titled Project Zero, the company’s new efforts is the latest move in a serious of attempts to improve the overall security of users on the internet.

Project Zero comprises of a whole new team which comprises of security engineers who are assigned the major task of finding zero-day vulnerabilities across the web. This is crucial, because that’s what most high profile attackers seem to take advantage of, at least initially. These security loopholes may be present on websites, desktop software or existing standards on the internet.

The most recent case of a major security loophole is the Heartbleed bug. It affected a large number of online users as well as companies, including Google itself. In a blog post on the company’s online security blog, the company explained, “Project Zero is our contribution, to start the ball rolling. Our objective is to significantly reduce the number of people harmed by targeted attacks.”

They further added, “We’re hiring the best practically minded security researchers and contributing 100% of their time toward improving security across the Internet.” Google claims it won’t be placing any specific limits to the project, so it will apply to just about any software used by the masses on the internet.

Once the company’s security researchers asses a threat, they will notify the company behind the service or the product first. Once a fix is released by the company, Google will notify everyone on a public database so that everyone else can be aware of the issue and how to resolve it. The company is actively hiring for Project Zero.

Project Zero is based on the idea that the internet should be safe to use for just about anyone, no matter what tools and services they’re using. It’ll also make things harder for malicious users who were earlier targeting zero day exploits to hit a massive amount of users across the globe.


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IBM and Apple Join Hands For The First Time Ever To Shake Enterprise Mobility


In what could be a highly significant deal for Apple, the Cupertino based company has inked a deal with IBM to transform enterprise mobility. Both the companies today released a joint statement announcing an exclusive partnership. Apple and IBM are collectively looking to “transform” enterprise mobility using a new class of business apps.

According to the statement released by Apple, the deal is likely set to, “redefine the way work will get done, address key industry mobility challenges and spark true mobile-led business change-grounded in four core capabilities.”

These four core capabilities comprise of:

1. A new class of around 100 industry-specific enterprise solutions such as native apps that have been designed and developed exclusively from scratch for iOS devices like the iPhone and the iPad.

2. IBM cloud services that are unique and optimized for the iOS, comprising of device management, security, analytics, and mobile integration.

3. A new set of AppleCare services where support will be tailored to the enterprise market. AppleCare has been a phenomenal success, driving millions in revenue for the company in return for the promise of better support services.

4. Packaged offering from IBM for enterprise settings like device activation, supply, and management.

IBM’s MobileFirst for iOS solution will be built in an exclusive collaboration that brings the best of both the companies together — big data and analytics from IBM along with the company’s expertise in the enterprise sector and Apple’s great consumer experience in hardware and software along with developer platforms. This combination is likely to fuel growth for the next generation of enterprise-ready apps that will transform the way businesses operate over mobile platforms.

Apple’s CEO, Time Cook, said in a statement, “iPhone and iPad are the best mobile devices in the world and have transformed the way people work with over 98% of the Fortune 500 and over 92% of the Global 500 using iOS devices in their business today. For the first time ever we’re putting IBM’s renowned big data analytics at iOS users’ fingertips, which opens up a large market opportunity for Apple.” Cook further admitted that it is a radical step ahead for the enterprise market, a task that only Apple and IBM could do together.

The deal is no doubt revolutionary on a lot of levels. The pre-Steve Jobs Apple wouldn’t have come an inch closer to IBM. But the new Apple, after Steve Jobs, has become a lot softer on its ruthless pragmatism when it comes to picking business partners. It’ll be interesting to see the partnership delivering results for enterprises later this year.


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Google Offers 2TB Free Storage To Developers In Partnership With Panzura


Google today announced a partnership with cloud storage company Panzura along with a free storage option for developers. The company will offer 2TB of storage for free, valid for a full year. The move is expected to push the company’s cloud storage offerings even further as it looks to compete with the likes of Amazon, Microsoft, and others.

The latest news will attract app developers who are looking at the cloud for their storage needs. 2TB seems to be a safe starting point for small to medium sized app developers. If you clock the same amount of storage at Amazon, the prices would come out to be around $240 per year.

Google Cloud Platform is offering the free 2TB of storage through Panzura, a startup. App developers rely on cloud based storage providers rather than setting up their own infrastructure in today’s fast faced development environment. For many app developers setting up their own data centers means a whole lot of trouble and money needed upfront. That’s impossible for small development houses.

Microsoft charges 2.4 cents for 1GB of data per month as part of its plan for the first TB of data stores on its cloud based storage services. Amazon’s service charges come out to be around $120 per TB per year if developers pick the recently introduced service which allows them to access the most frequently used up data for a cheaper price. Google beats both of its competitors hands down with the new free pricing tier.

This is also a way for Google to grab some potential as well as existing smaller Amazon Web Services customers. Most individual app developers would want to go with Google for just the free storage tier. App developers looking to validate their idea initially wouldn’t have to spend a lot of their initial seed funds on storage.

Source: PR

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