Teen Chat App Raises Almost $100 Million in Cryptocurrency

Kik, a chat app popular with teens, raised almost $ 100 million by selling its own cryptocurrency during an initial coin offering, or token sale, the company announced on Tuesday.

According to a Kik blog post, the company sold Kin, Kik’s cryptocurrency based on the Ethereum blockchain, to 10,000 people from 117 countries. TechCrunch reports that Kik users bought $ 47.5 million worth of Kin, which is tied to Ethereum’s price, currently around $ 282. Back in August, Kik closed a presale round of $ 50 million to investors, including Blockchain Capital, Pantera Capital, and Polychain Capital, which brings the total amount raised through the token sale to $ 97.5 million.

Kin, according to CEO Ted Livingston, who wrote about Kik’s move into cryptocurrency in a post on Medium, will be the default currency inside Kik. “By integrating Kin into our chat app Kik, we hope to spark the creation of a new ecosystem of digital services that is open, sustainable, and compelling,” says Livingston. The company, which is based in Ontario, wants to build an economy inside the app based on “buying and selling stickers, hosting and joining group chats, creating and using bots, and much more.”

Kik, which is backed by China’s Tencent, says that it hopes to build an ecosystem similar to China’s mega-popular chat and payment app WeChat. Users can pay at restaurants using WeChat, a function known as “social commerce.”

Companies are using ICOs to raise money without giving away equity or registering with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Startups are excited about the unregulated ICO space, although ICOs pose major risks to investors. In Q2 2017 alone, startups raised nearly $ 800 million through ICOs, according to a report from CoinDesk, a cryptocurrency news site.

Kik initially set out to raise $ 125 million, but it set limits to the number of tokens each user could buy.

Tech

Amazon affiliate to buy $27.6 million stake in Indian retailer Shoppers Stop

MUMBAI (Reuters) – An affiliate of Amazon.com Inc has agreed to buy a 1.79 billion-rupee ($ 27.6 million) stake in Indian retailer Shoppers Stop Ltd, the Indian company said in a filing.

Amazon.com NV Investment Holdings LLC, a foreign portfolio investor, will subscribe to about 4.4 million shares, equivalent to an about 5 percent stake, in the Indian retailer at 407.78 rupees apiece on a preferential basis, Shoppers Stop told the stock exchanges late on Saturday.

On Friday, Shoppers Stop shares had closed 3 percent lower at 418.10 rupees on the National Stock Exchange.

The Amazon affiliate will not take a board position, Shoppers Stop, which operates large department stores and other retail outlets, said in the filing.

Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Sam Holmes

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Tech

Goodbye Graveyards: Mylestoned Closes $1.5 Million Seed Funding to…

Founder Collective and Boston Seed Capital bet on death tech and Balter’s vision that, “Death is the New Wedding.”

(PRWeb March 21, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/03/prweb13274394.htm


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New Obama initiative wants to provide broadband for another 20 million low-income homes

obama-speech

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s news that the FCC would begin to subsidize broadband in low-income households, President Obama voiced support for the FCC’s ‘Lifeline’ subsidy and detailed a desire to expand the initiative to get 20 million low-income households subscribed to high-speed internet service by 2020.

This announcement further drives this administration’s desire to treat broadband internet as a utility that should be extended to all residents. Obama previously cited a “homework gap” that saw many students unable to complete school assignments that required internet access.

“All of America’s students should be able to get online, no matter where they live or how much their parents make,” Obama said. “We’re calling this effort ConnectAll — and it’s not just good for students, it’s good for folks looking for jobs or workers hoping to learn new skills.”

With an average cost of approximately $ 52.50 per month, broadband is out of reach for many low-income families. The results of this broadband gap have a significant economic impact in many communities across the US.

The White House released a report detailing these economic effects — one that focused largely on the disadvantage job seekers face without internet access. Job seekers who search online find employment 25 percent faster than those who use traditional job search methods.

Connecting 20 million more people would bring broadband adoption in the US to 82 percent, up from 76 percent at the end of 2014.

Obama Seeks Broadband for 20 Million More Low-Income Subscribers [NY Times]


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Onshape’s Cloud-Based CAD Tool Gets $80 Million in Funding

Onshape’s Cloud-Based CAD Tool Gets $ 80 Million in Funding

The cloud-native company wants to redesign the CAD market.

The post Onshape’s Cloud-Based CAD Tool Gets $ 80 Million in Funding appeared first on WIRED.



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