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INSIKT raises $50 million to lend to low-income communities  Loans can be the hardest to get for the people who need them the most. Anestimated 45 million Americans don’t have a credit scoreand others have trouble bringing up their scores, even if they are in a better financial position than in years past. While most lenders would consider low-income families with bad credit scores to be too risky, a startup called INSIKT believes that it… Read More
Twitter says Russians spent ~$1k on six Brexit-related ads  Twitter has disclosed that Russian-backed accounts spent $1,031.99 to buy six Brexit-related ads on its platformduring last year’s European Union referendum vote. Read More
Here are the deadlines for all your online holiday shopping orders  While some folks still head to the stores on Black Friday and throughout December, many of us are turning to the web for Christmas shopping. Just one complication: shipping tends to bottleneck during the holidays and some gifts simply don’t arrive on time. But we’ve sorted all that out for you. Here are the order deadlines for folks buying their gifts online who want them delivered… Read More
Pepsi one-ups Budweiser brewer by ordering 100 Tesla electric semi trucks  PepsiCo is the latest company to reveal that it’s placed orders for Tesla’s forthcoming electric semi-truck – and also the company with the largest order so far. The beverage company has ordered 100 of the trucks per Reuters, meaning it’s placed at least a $20,000 deposit for each of those since Tesla rose the downpayment amount for its original $5,000 starting… Read More
Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso just raised venture funding for her new company  Sophia Amoruso famously founded the retailer Nasty Gal, growing it from an Ebay store that sold vintage items to a darling of the fashion world that was seeing more than $300 million in sales at one point. Somewhere along the way, however, Nasty Gal lost its way. After raising $65 million over its ten years of operation — including from Index Ventures and renowned retail executive Ron… Read More
Commission Impossible, part two: How enemies gathered around net neutrality  One would think that the classification of internet providers as telecoms or not, and which federal agency has authority over them, is about as in the weeds as it gets. But it is a symptom of the times in which we live that no issue, however technical, provincial, or jurisdictional, can escape being swept up in the eternal hurricane of partisan politics. Read More
Google Assistant is coming to older Android phones and tablets  The Google Assistant has long been available on most modern phones and tablets. But given the fragmentation of the Android ecosystem, many older devices will never get the newer versions of Android that feature built-in support for the Assistant. Google is now bringing support for its voice-activated helper to phones running Android 5.0 and tablets running Android 6.0 and 7.0. Read More
Why content crowdfunder Patreon is halting its hated fee change  Overhauling the creative economy turns out to be quite tricky. Following massive backlash, Patreon is at least temporarily pausing its plan to change its payment processing fee structure on December 18th from charging creators 2%-10% on the first of the next month to charging patrons 2.9% plus $0.35 per transaction up front and on the monthly anniversary of their first pledge beyond the 5%… Read More
Aurora Flight Sciences demonstrates a fully autonomous helicopter in action  Aurora Flight Sciences is a company working on making full-scale autonomous combat craft a reality, and now some of its work is ready for prime time. The company showed off an autonomous helicopter created to demonstrate its Autonomous Aerial Cargo Utility System contribution for the Office of Naval Research’s ongoing work in the field, and it successfully navigated a UH-1H helicopter… Read More
Fanchest raises $4M in seed funding to become the best gift for sports fans  Here’s a great present for a sports fan this holiday season: Fanchest is a Brooklyn-based startup that curates and sends team-themed gift boxes as gift. The boxes start at $59 and include about $80 worth of apparel and gear from whatever pro or college team you choose. Today the startup has announced $4M in seed funding with a diverse group of investors like New Orleans Saints… Read More
Lily raises $2M from NEA and others for a personal stylist service that considers feelings, not just fit  One of the reasons recently IPO’d Stitch Fix became so popular among female shoppers is because of how it pairs the convenience of home try-on for clothing and accessories with a personal styling service that adapts to your tastes over time. But often, personal stylists bring their own subjective takes on fashion to their customers. A new startup called Lily aims to offer a more… Read More
Mario Bear has come to save 2017  It’s been a long year – it feels like it actually spanned about 50, in fact. But now, at the end, some relief: Mario Bear. Yes, it’s just a bear from Build-A-Bear Workshop. And a ‘brand collaboration,’ that horrific thing that usually just means some executives get a larger Christmas bonus and more people are convinced to part with their hard-earned money for… Read More
Aiming to be the LinkedIn for creatives, The Dots raises 4m  Professional social networks like LinkedIn have long been a mainstay of business, but what if you are more of a creative bent where LinkedIn looks pretty stuffy? In the US, Behance, a network for creatives previously raised $6.5 million and now the general idea has moved across the pond in the shape of The Dots. Aimed at the so-called ‘No Collar’ professionals (creatives in… Read More
Berlin’s Joblift raises €10M to attack legacy sites, in a round led by DN Capital  Joblift, a European job site in the UK, Germany, France and the Netherlands, has raised €10 million in a funding round led by the London/Berlin VC DN Capital. The round was joined by Picus Capital and existing investors Cherry Ventures, btov and TruVenturo. The fundraising brings the total raised by two-year old Joblift to €12m. The Berlin-based startup aggregates jobs data from multiple… Read More
Click-to-WhatsApp messaging buttons are now rolling out in Facebook ads  WhatsApp has always said that it has no plans to put ads into its own app, but this is not stopping Facebook, which now owns WhatsApp, from figuring out other ways of monetizing the hugely popular messaging service, which has around 1 billion daily users. Today, Facebook is launching a new ad unit that will let businesses create a link between the two platforms: advertisers can now include… Read More