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Top international tech headlines on Friday 20th October

Hello and welcome to your weekly roundup of top international tech headlines.

Today, we bring you the latest on SoftBank’s investment plans, Lyft’s staggering $1bn round and more.

SoftBank’s investment plans

Following reports that SoftBank was looking to raise an additional tech investment fund, CEO Masayoshi Son recently told Nikkei that the vehicle was planning to invest $880bn in tech firms through at least three more iterations of its Vision Fund.

SoftBank is already credited with being the world’s biggest private equity fund after it raised $100bn for its first investment vehicle earlier this year.

“We will briskly expand the scale,” Son told the publication. “Vision Funds 2, 3 and 4 will be established every two to three years.”

The CEO went on to note that he was planning to invest in approximately 1,000 technology companies working across sectors such as AI and robotics over the next decade.

Lyft’s £1bn round

San Francisco-based ridesharing company Lyft has raised $1bn in a round led by CapitalG – Alphabet’s growth investment fund – meaning the firm is now valued at $11bn.

A company issued statement claimed Lyft’s services were now available to 95% of the US population – representing a 54% increase when compared to the beginning of 2017.

It comes as Lyft seeks to compete against Uber, which recently made headlines due to a string of scandals that ultimately resulted in Travis Kalanick’s, the founder’s, resignation.

Twitter’s promises

In other news, Twitter admitted it had failed to improve the way in which it protects users from harassment and threats made on its platform.

The company said in a blog post: “Far too often in the past we’ve said we’d do better and promised transparency but have fallen short in our efforts.”

It comes after Jack Dorsey, the CEO, recently took to Twitter to promise improvements following significant backlash for temporarily shutting down actress Rose McGowan’s account after she accused fellow actor Ben Affleck of lying about his lack of knowledge about Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual harassment.

Facebook readies to testify

Facebook is sending general counsel Colin Stretch, a former Washington lawyer and US Supreme Court clerk, to testify in a probe relating to Russian-purchased election ads.

It comes after the lawmaker overseeing the committee expressed an interest in hearing from one of the firm’s technical experts.

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO, and Sheryl Sandberg, the COO, will not appear at the hearings.

Tech giants rally together

Reuters exclusively revealed that technology giants and other businesses are planning to launch a coalition to lobby for legislation that would enable young, illegal immigrants to receive permanent residency in the US.

Alphabet, Microsoft, Facebook, Intel, Uber and IBM are listed as members.

According to Reuters, Intel, Uber and Univision Communications confirmed their membership.

That’s all for now, see you next Friday!