Hello and welcome to the Week in Tech, your weekly roundup of the top technology news stories from across the globe.
This week, we bring you the latest UK tech investment news, Paypal’s acquisition of iZettle, Tech Nation’s 2018 report into the state of the country’s technology industry and more.
INCOPRO gets $21m
Anti-fraud firm INCOPRO landed $21m from Highland Europe to develop its technology.
The technology is intended to protect brands from piracy and counterfeits. Through machine learning, the tech (dubbed ‘TALISMAN’) will be used to ‘automatically’ identify and remove IP violations.
Tackling each identified infringement typically takes between eight and 24 hours, with a 99% success rate, the company claims.
Based in London, INCOPRO was founded in 2012 by Simon Baggs, CEO and IP protection lawyer, and Bret Boivin, CTO and system architect.
Thread lands $22m to grow its AI-powered styling service
This latest funding will be used to be grow its leadership team and strengthen its global presence.
Sam Brooks and Gajan Rajanathan from Highland Europe will also join the INCOPRO board as part of the deal.
Adzuna lands £8m
Adzuna, a job search engine, closed a £8m Series C round led by Smedvig Capital.
The money will be used to grow in the UK and internationally and invest in the firm’s proprietary technology.
How to innovate and invent the next best thing in UK tech
Adzuna currently claims to have 10 million monthly site visitors from 16 different countries, resulting in revenues of £1m.
The company was founded in 2011 by ex Gumtree, Zoopla and Qype employees.
TransferGo’s $10m Series B
Money transfer company TransferGo secured $10m in a Series B round led by Revo Capital. The investment will be used to fuel TransferGo’s international expansion.
The CEO of TransferGo, Daumantas Dvilinskas, predicts that the company will see growth of up to 150% and the number of transactions reaching 2-3 million in the next year next year.
Cyber-security firm Garrison scores record $30m backing
The London-based company has raised a total of $20.6m to date.
- This startup wants to change how products are built and just raised £350,000
- Clear Review secures £500,000 to help track employee performance
- PropTech giant Zoopla bought by US investor Silver Lake in £2.2bn bid
PayPal buys iZettle in $2.2bn deal
PayPal has acquired iZettle, a Swedish mobile payments company for $2.2bn (£1.6bn).
PayPal’s chief executive, Dan Schulman spoke of the deal: “Small businesses are the engine of the global economy and we are continuing to expand our platform to help them compete and win online, in-store and via mobile.”
iZettle claims to have developed the world’s first mini chip card reader and software for mobile devices.
This move will enable PayPal to increase it’s in-store presence, as when the acquisition is complete, the firm will have a presence in 11 markets in Europe and Latin America.
iZettle had listed its shares in its Stockholm, where it listed three weeks ago. At the time it said this listing would help it to expand and raise money.
The agreement was confirmed by Amanda Miller, a spokeswoman for PayPal, on Thursday, and will become the company’s biggest takeover.
Zuckerberg heads to Europe
Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to appear before the European Parliament to answers questions on the Cambridge Analytica scandal, as early as next week. Zuckerberg accepted The President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani’s invitation to appear in Brussels, despite earlier ignoring a threat of formal summons to come to the UK to do the same.
Facebook’s head of public policy in the UK Rebecca Stimson, wrote a letter to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, saying “Zuckerberg has no plans to meet with the committee or travel to the UK at the present time.”
The UK gov felt that the answers that Facebook’s Chief technology Officer Mike Schroepfer gave to its 39 questions were insufficient.
Zuckerberg’s appeared before US lawmakers in April, when he answered questions on data privacy after it was revealed that now-defunct Cambridge Analytica has been improperly using user data to build psychological profiles of them.
Tech Nation’s 2018 report revealed
Findings from Tech Nation’s latest report revealed how well the tech sector is doing in terms of economics. According to the report, the UK’s digital tech sector grew 2.6 times quicker than the rest of the economy between 2016 and 2017, with the industry now being worth nearly £184bn.
It found that tech employment is rising at five times the rate of the rest of the economy.
Whilst London remains as the UK’s leading tech hub, the report stated that 16 small towns across the nation have the potential to become their own tech ecosystems. Areas such as Reading, Basingstoke, Burnley, Slough were highlighted because of their above average levels of tech employment.
There were also some positive news in regards to diversity. There is an above average amount of people from black, Asian and ethnic minority (BAME) backgrounds with jobs in tech; at 15% compared with the 10% average across all UK jobs.
On the contrary, women are still underrepresented in the space. The report found that only 19% of the digital tech workforce is female, compared to 49% across all UK jobs.
Despite this, the report highlighted that concerns around Brexit remain.