Tag: takes

03
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Cannabis VCs explain what it takes for startups to get their attention

  • As the cannabis industry matures, winners have begun to separate themselves from the pack and position themselves as leaders in their categories.
  • VCs are taking notice. They said they’re shifting their investment dollars from early stage firms to growth stage companies that already have a proven track record.
  • According to data from PitchBook, VC investment in cannabis startups cratered this year, as the cannabis bubble burst and investors pulled back during the pandemic.
  • Many investors told us they’re still open to new exceptional startups, however.
  • Business Insider talked to six VCs who say that for a startup to get their attention, the company would need to have solid leadership, an idea that would completely innovate or create a category, and the ability to scale quickly, among other qualities
  • Subscribe to Insider Cannabis for more stories like this.

The crowded cannabis market has thinned out since its boom in late 2018, and investors are becoming more reluctant to invest their cash.

So far this year, VCs have invested about $512 million in cannabis companies, a sharp decline from the $2.1 billion they put to work during the first nine months of 2019, according to data from PitchBook. And the money has shifted somewhat away from early-stage companies to later-stage businesses.

In the first quarter of 2020, VCs invested $71 million into angel- and seed-stage startups, or 46% of the total. In the second quarter of this year, that amount fell by more than half to $32 million. This quarter, angel and seed-stage firms have raised about $39 million, or 20% of the total funding.

Read more: Here are the top 14 venture-capital firms making deals in the cannabis industry, and where they’re looking to place their next bets

Many investors told us that they’re still open to startups with short track

03
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Andrew Yang takes lead in California data privacy measure

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Fitbits on our wrists collect our health and fitness data; Apple promises privacy but lots of iPhone apps can still share our personal information; and who really knows what they’re agreeing to when a website asks, “Do You Accept All Cookies?” Most people just click “OK” and hope for the best, says former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang.

“The amount of data we’re giving up is unprecedented in human history,” says Yang, who lives in New York but is helping lead the campaign for a data privacy initiative on California’s Nov. 3 ballot. “Don’t you think it’s time we did something about it?”

Yang is chairing the advisory board for Proposition 24, which he and other supporters see as a model for other states as the U.S. tries to catch up with protections that already exist in Europe.

The California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 would expand the rights Californians were given to their personal data in a groundbreaking law approved two years ago, which took effect in January. The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 was intended to give residents more control over their personal information collected online. It limited how companies gather personal data and make money from it and gave consumers the right to know what a company has collected and have it deleted, as well as the right to opt out of the sale of their personal information.

But between the time the law was passed and took effect, major companies have found ways to dodge requirements. Tech and business lobbyists are pressuring the Legislature to water it down further, with proposals to undo parts of the law, says Alastair Mactaggart, a San Francisco real estate developer who spearheaded support for the 2018 law and is behind the effort to amend

01
Oct
2020
Posted in programming

Local Air Cadets program launches brand new website, takes programming online

Shelburne’s local 164 Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron has launched a website and is now offering their program virtually for the remainder of 2020.

“We hope the website will help other families in our community learn about what a great program the cadets is,” said 164 Commanding Officer, Captain Ruth Garwood.

The website, which is directed specifically to the 164 Air Cadets, has been developed over the last six months and looks to inform cadets, their families, and community members about the program. The site, as it expands, will include pictures, upcoming activities, and 164 Air Cadets apparel.

“In the past, we’ve had a closed Facebook group, that’s where we’ve kept a lot of our pictures and we have always communicated with our cadets that way, but now they’ll be able to show their extended family and friends what we do and how much fun we have,” said Garwood.

The 164 Air Cadets is headquartered by the Shelburne Royal Canadian Legion Branch 220. Capt. Charles Burbank founded the program in 1975 and according to the 164 Air Cadets website, has since had over 1,500 cadets go through the program. Last year, the program had between 30 and 35 cadets, from Shelburne, Orangeville and other surround areas in Dufferin County.

“It involves thousands of cadets and adult leaders across the country, focusing on building leadership skills, citizenship, and community awareness,” said Garwood talking about the cadet program.

Along with creating a website, the 164 Air Cadets have also made the move to a virtual program. Back in March, during the cusp of COVID-19, the cadets program switched from in-person to fully virtual, a change that Garwood says happened in a matter of days.

Since then, Staff Officers and Cadet Instructors have been developing a plan to continue teaching lessons from uniforms

30
Sep
2020
Posted in internet

Facebook takes its first step toward Zuckerberg’s ‘privacy-focused’ internet

  • Facebook announced Wednesday it’s integrating its Messenger chat with Instagram direct messages, pushing it toward its goal of a unified messaging system. 
  • Facebook first announced its plan to integrate Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp functions last January.
  • The move to bring the sister companies together could raise antitrust concerns over its messaging dominance.



graphical user interface, text, application: Facebook is integrating Instagram and Facebook Messenger.


© Provided by CNBC
Facebook is integrating Instagram and Facebook Messenger.

Facebook announced Wednesday it’s integrating Messenger chat with Instagram direct messages, pushing it toward its goal of a unified messaging system across its three messaging apps.

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Facebook users can now message Instagram users without needing to download a new app, and vice versa, although they can also opt out of the feature.

The move is part of Zuckerberg’s plan to pivot Facebook towards private communication, as opposed to the open broadcasting by users in the News Feed. The ultimate goal, according to Zuckerberg, is to integrate the messaging services in Instagram, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

“I believe the future of communication will increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where people can be confident what they say to each other stays secure and their messages and content won’t stick around forever,” Zuckerberg said last March.

Wednesday’s announcement is Zuckerberg’s latest move to exert control over all three apps, which were originally intended to operate independently under the Facebook umbrella. Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion in 2012, and it bought WhatsApp in a $16 billion deal in 2014.

The founders of Instagram and WhatsApp have all quit the company since then — giving up hundreds of millions of dollars — and Zuckerberg has since installed loyalists in their place. WhatsApp founders Brian Acton and Jan Koum left over disagreements that included Facebook’s plans to integrate advertising and other monetization methods. Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike

29
Sep
2020
Posted in software

‘I monitor my staff with software that takes screenshots’

Shibu PhilipImage copyright
Shibu Philip

Image caption

Shibu Philip’s firm has used the software Hubstaff for the last year and a half

Shibu Philip admits he knows what it’s like to “maybe waste a bit of time at work”.

Shibu is the founder of Transcend – a small London-based firm that buys beauty products wholesale and re-sells them online.

For the last year and a half he has used Hubstaff software to track his workers’ hours, keystrokes, mouse movements and websites visited.

With seven employees based in India, he says the software ensures “there is some level of accountability” and helps plug the time difference.

“I know myself. [You can] take an extra 10-minute break here or there. It’s good to have an automatic way of monitoring what [my employees] are up to,” says Shibu.

“By looking at screenshots and how much time everyone is taking on certain tasks, I know if they’re following procedures.

“And, if they’re doing better than I expected, I also study the photos and ask them to share that knowledge with the rest of the team so we can all improve,” he says.

Employees are fully aware that the software is in use and can delete time spent visiting websites that might have been logged by accident during their break, for example, Shibu adds.

Home ‘shirkers’?

With more of us than ever working from home during the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a spike in demand from employers for surveillance software.

US-based Hubstaff says its number of UK customers is up four times year-on-year since February.

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Media captionIs your boss spying on you as you work from home?

Another company called Sneek offers technology that takes photos of workers through their laptop and uploads them for colleagues to