More tech Stories

Upcoming Events

In Brief

The online food-ordering service Just Eat is planning to go public on the main London Stock Exchange or its High Growth Segment in April, the company said Monday. According to the Financial Times, the IPO should give Just Eat a valuation of between £700-£900 million ($1.16-$1.5 billion) with a planned haul of £100 million. Just Eat’s main rival is the Berlin-based Delivery Hero, which took in a whopping $88 million in Series E funding back in January. Though Just Eat was founded in Denmark, it is these days part of London’s “Tech City” hub, and its flotation would provide major validation for that scene.

In Brief

Vodafone may buy Ono, a major Spanish cable company, for around $10 billion. According to sources quoted by Reuters and Bloomberg, Ono has postponed a planned IPO announcement to allow further negotiations over the Vodafone bid. Two previous offers have been rebuffed for being too low. The British mobile carrier group is on a fixed-line acquisition spree after Verizon bought out its stake in Verizon Wireless for $130 billion — it bought Kabel Deutschland in Germany last October for $10.4 billion, and it plans to use that buy as a “hub” for further non-mobile expansion.

loading external resource
In Brief

Liberty Global, the largest cable company outside China and a voracious acquirer of European cable firms, is reportedly planning to launch a more mobile assault on the continent. Liberty SVP Manuel Kohnstamm told Bloomberg that John Malone’s company wants to create a “pan-European” mobile network based on mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) deals — in other words, it will resell actual network operators’ connectivity on a country-to-country basis, with the same unified billing system and back-end that supports Liberty’s fixed-line efforts. This “deep MVNO” network will begin in the U.K., the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Austria. Kohnstamm also said Liberty was still looking out for likely acquisition targets.

In Brief

In the two months since Overstock started accepting Bitcoin payment, the e-commerce giant has accepted $1 million worth of sales in the cryptocurrency. What’s more, the firm, which partnered with Coinbase to handle the payments, said late Tuesday it now expects Bitcoin-based sales of between $10 to $15 million this year, which is twice or three times what it originally estimated. It’s still a small proportion of Overstock’s revenue, but it comes as validation for Bitcoin during troubled times, particularly as Overstock and Coinbase noted how low Bitcoin transaction fees improve net profitability for the retailer.

In Brief

A Belgian magistrate has mulled blocking Apple’s websites there, according to local reports on Tuesday, as spotted by Tech.eu. This was as a result of the still-ongoing kerfuffle over Apple and warranties – although EU law says consumer goods should automatically come with a two-year warranty, and although Apple acknowledges as much on a webpage, the firm still advertises its gadgets as being covered by a one-year warranty and tries to upsell customers to a two-year AppleCare plan. The reports suggest the magistrate may have realized blocking Apple’s sites would mess with iTunes and other services, so is still considering his next move.

In Brief

Ask.fm now has 100 million registered users, the Latvia-based social network said on Monday. The service is apparently used in 150 countries and questions posted there – Ask.fm is kind of like Quora, only skewed more towards the teen demographic – now generate a billion answers a month. Bearing in mind that you don’t have to be registered to use it, Ask.fm also said it gets 190 million unique visitors each month. The 4-year-old service has unfortunately been associated with a number of teen suicides (though not always accurately) and the firm also used Monday’s announcement to promote its Safety Centre advice hub, stressing that it has recently improved cyber-bullying reporting mechanisms and boosted its moderator numbers.

In Brief

DueDil, a rather clever London-based outfit that uses open (and purchased) datasets to provide due diligence services, has raised another $17 million in a Series B round. The cash came from existing investors Notion Capital, Passion Capital and round leader Oak Investment Partners, and it comes on top of the $5m I reported on in April last year. In those 10 months, the “real-time decision intelligence” firm said, it has gained traction among most of the FTSE 100 companies. Customers can currently use the DueDil API to find out information about companies and directors in 22 countries, and the fresh capital injection should help spread that coverage.

In Brief

Just how accountable is the U.K.’s GCHQ spy agency, which has tapped the world’s communications infrastructure, hacked activists and snooped on webcam chats? Every time it’s challenged, GCHQ says it submits to “rigorous oversight” from the intelligence services commissioner and Parliament, but on Thursday Parliament’s home affairs select committee had to take the unusual step of ordering that commissioner to show up for questioning about the Snowden leaks. Sir Mark Waller, who is supposed to be a watchdog, refused to respond to the customary polite request for an appearance, and this is the first time during this government’s rule that the committee has had to order someone to show up.

In Brief

Google and Yandex, its main rival in Russia, have formed a partnership around real-time bidding for display advertising. The deal gives Google access to Yandex’s substantial ad inventory for the former Soviet states in which it operates, while Yandex’s ad clients can now bid for ads in the inventory of Google’s DoubleClick AdExchange partners. According to a blog post from the Russian firm, the two companies’ advertising pools in the region “don’t overlap much,” so both ad outfits will see a boost in inventory. Yandex reckons this “gives a new kick to competition,” as real-time bidding works better when there are more bidders and sellers.

123428page 2 of 28