Month: January 2020

Latin America Roundup: Loft raises $175M, SoftBank invests in Mexico’s Alphacredit and Rappi pulls back

Sophia Wood
Contributor

Sophia Wood is a principal at Magma Partners, a Latin America-focused seed-stage VC firm with offices in Latin America, Asia and the U.S. Sophia is also the co-founder of LatAm List, an English-language Latin American tech news source.

Brazil’s famously tricky real estate market has long drawn international investors to the region in search of tech solutions. This time, Brazilian startup Loft brought in a $175 million Series C from first-time investor in the region, Vulcan Capital (Paul Allen’s investment arm), alongside Andreessen Horowitz. Loft is also a16z’s first and only Brazilian investment. 

Co-founded by serial entrepreneurs and investors Mate Pencz and Florian Hagenbuch in 2018, Loft uses a proprietary algorithm to process transaction data and provide more transparent pricing for both buyers and sellers. The startup uses two models to help clients sell properties; either Loft will value the apartment for listing on the site, or they will offer to purchase the property from the buyer immediately. Many real estate platforms in the U.S. are shifting toward a similar iBuyer model; however, this system may be even more apt for the Latin American market, where property sales are notoriously untransparent, bureaucratic and tedious.

Loft will use the capital to expand to Rio de Janeiro in Q1 2020 and to Mexico City in Q2, bringing on at least 100 new employees in the process. It also plans to scale its financial products to include mortgages and insurance by the end of the year. 

AlphaCredit raises $125M from SoftBank

Mexican consumer lending startup AlphaCredit became SoftBank’s new Mexico bet this month, with a $125 million Series B round. AlphaCredit uses a programmed deduction system to provide rapid, online loans to individuals and small businesses in Mexico. To date, the startup has granted more than $1 billion in loans to small business clients in Mexico and Colombia, many of whom have never previously had access to financing. 

AlphaCredit’s programmed deductions system enables the startup to lower default rates, which in turn lowers interest rates. For more than eight years, AlphaCredit has encouraged financial inclusion in Mexico and Colombia through technology; this round of investment will enable the platform to consolidate its holding as one of the top lending platforms in the region. The investment is still subject to approval by Mexico’s competition authority, COFECE, which has previously blocked startup deals such as the Cornershop acquisition in 2019. 

SoftBank’s biggest bets back off in Latin America

While SoftBank is still rapidly deploying its Latin America-focused Innovation Fund, some of its largest companies are stepping on the brakes. In particular, SoftBank’s largest LatAm investment, Rappi, recently announced that it would lay off up to 6% of its workforce in an effort to cut costs and focus on their technology. The Colombian unicorn has been expanding at a breakneck pace throughout the region using a blitzscaling technique that has helped it reach nine countries, with 5,000 employees in just two years, including Ecuador in November 2019.

Rappi has stated that it will focus on technology and UX in 2020, explaining that the job cuts do not reflect its long-term growth strategy. However, Rappi is also facing legal action for alleged intellectual property theft. Mauricio Paba, José Mendoza and Jorge Uribe are suing Rappi CEO Simon Borrero and the company for stealing the idea for the Rappi platform while providing consulting for the three founders through his firm, Imaginamos. The case is currently being processed in Colombia and the U.S. 

One of SoftBank’s biggest bets in Asia, Oyo Rooms, is facing similar challenges. Just months after announcing their expansion into Mexico, Oyo fired thousands of employees in China and India. Oyo plans to be the largest hotel chain in Mexico by the end of 2020, according to a local spokesperson.

Argentina’s Agrofy breaks regional agtech records

With a $23 million Series B from SP Ventures, Fall Line Capital and Acre Venture Partners, Argentine agricultural supply marketplace Agrofy has raised the region’s largest round for an agtech startup to date. The platform provides transparency and ease for the agricultural industry, where users can buy everything from tractors to seeds. In four years, Agrofy has established itself as the market leader in agricultural e-commerce; it was also Fall Line Capital’s first investment outside of the U.S.

Agrofy is active in nine countries and receives more than five million visits per month, 60% of which come from Brazil. However, the startup faces the challenge of low connectivity in rural areas, where most of its customers live. The investment will go to improving the platform, as well as integrating new payment types directly into the site to help clients process their transactions more smoothly. 

News and Notes: Fanatiz, Pachama, Moons, Didi and IDB

The Miami-based sports-streaming platform Fanatiz raised $10 million in a Series A round from 777 Partners in January 2020 after registering 125% user growth since July 2019. Founded by Chilean Matias Rivera, Fanatiz provides legal international streaming of soccer and other sports through a personalized platform so that fans can follow their teams from anywhere in the world. The startup provided the Pope with an account so that he could follow his beloved team, San Lorenzo, from the Vatican. Fanatiz has previously received investment from Magma Partners and participated in 500 Startups’ Miami Scale program.

Conservation-tech startup Pachama raised $4.1 million from Silicon Valley investors to continue developing a carbon offset marketplace using drone and lidar data. Pachama was founded by Argentine entrepreneur Diego Saez-Gil in 2019 after he noticed the effects of deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon. After participating in Y Combinator in 2019, Pachama now has 23 sites in the U.S. and Latin America where scientists are working alongside the startup’s technology to certify forests for carbon sequestration projects. 

Mexico’s Moons, an orthodontics startup that provides low-cost invisible aligners, has raised $5 million from investors such as Jaguar Ventures, Tuesday Capital and Foundation Capital and was recently accepted into Y Combinator, bringing the startup to the U.S. Moons provides a free consultation and 3D scan to patients in Mexico to determine if they are a good fit for the program, then supplies them with a year-long invisible braces regime for around $1,200. With 18 locations in Mexico and two in Colombia, Moons is expanding rapidly across the region, with ambitions for providing low-cost healthcare across several verticals in Latin America. 

Chinese ride-hailing startup Didi Chuxing recently launched a sustainable fleet of over 700 electric and hybrid cars for its Mexico City operations. After two years operating in Mexico, Didi announced that it would establish its headquarters in the capital city to manage its new low-emissions fleet. The company will provide financing to help its drivers acquire and use the vehicles, in an effort to reduce Didi’s environmental impact.

The IDB Lab released a report on female entrepreneurs in Latin America, finding that 54% of female founders have raised capital and 80% plan to scale internationally in the next five years. The study, entitled “wX Insights 2020: The Rise of Women STEMpreneurs,” finds that female entrepreneurship is on the rise in Latin America, particularly in the areas of fintech, edtech, healthtech and biotech. Nonetheless, 59% of the 1,148 women surveyed still see access to capital as the most significant limitation for their companies. However, as women take center stage in Latin American VC, such as Antonia Rojas Eing joining ALLVP as Partner, we may see funding tilt toward female-founded firms.

This month has set 2020 on a course to continue the strong growth we saw in the Latin American ecosystem in 2019. It is always exciting to see international investors make their first bets in the region, and we expect to continue seeing new VCs entering the region over the coming year.

7 Best Low Impact Cardio Workouts

Regular training provides an opportunity to strengthen the cardiovascular system, increase endurance, and keep the body in good shape. Any workout that makes the heart work in a fast mode is related to cardio loading.

Here are the best low impact workouts for your cardiovascular health:

Treadmill

low impact cardio workouts treadmill

If you like running but do not want to train outdoors in bad weather, you can head for a treadmill. It allows you to exercise in a more comfortable environment, particularly during the winter season.

Choosing a bowflex treadclimber, you will burn more calories than you would on an exercise bike, stepper, and rowing machine. If you compare the track with an elliptical trainer, there is no consensus on which one burns more calories. The figures are approximately equal.

See Also: Get To The Grind: Hop on, Hop off Treadmill Sprinting

Elliptical Trainer

An elliptical trainer will appeal to those who do not like running but want to burn as many calories as possible. This trainer simulates climbing stairs or skiing.

With an elliptical trainer, you can move large handrails, reducing the load on the legs and increasing the tension of the body and arms.

Some elliptical trainers can work in stepper mode.Their movements resemble stair climbing.

Exercise Bike

Compared to running on a track, the load on the joints is minimal when exercising on a stationary bike. This is one of the reasons why it’s considered a gentle and safe form of cardio even for people recovering from injuries.

However, only the lower body works on the exercise bike. The arms, shoulders, and body are devoid of even the insignificant load that falls on them while running or using simulators like the elliptical and rowing ones.

Running

Although it looks like it provides the simplest and most natural load for the body, running is not suitable for everyone. Any person can start running, but whether he will benefit from it depends on many factors.

If you are overweight, have problems with your legs joints or have poor physical fitness, you need to be very careful when choosing a load. If you prefer running, you need to gradually increase the intensity of your training. Although running will not help you build up muscles, it can be enough to keep them in good shape.

Running at the slowest pace requires more effort than quiet cycling. This makes cycling a great start for people with poor physical fitness. Unlike running, there is no shock load on the legs while cycling. This is another pro for people who are not accustomed to serious workloads. Moreover, cycling at speeds up to 15 kilometers per hour is helpful for people with varicose veins.

See Also: How Runners Can Easily Improve Their Foot Strength

Swimming

low impact cardio workouts swimming

Swimming is a perfect workout for overweight people and those who have problems with joints. The probability of getting injured while swimming is low since the load on the joints is minimal.

Swimming can help strengthen the legs, arms, shoulders, and back. It can strengthen your abdominal muscles, too.

Any cardio load has a positive effect on the respiratory system, but swimming definitely outperforms other sports. While swimming, exhalation is not carried out into the air, but into the water.

It’s a denser environment, which requires more effort. The swimmer needs to hold his breath for a certain time after inhalation. Due to this training, the lungs’ capacity increases and breathing becomes fuller and deeper.

Stepper

This trainer simulates climbing stairs.

There are several types of steppers:

  • The classic compact simulator — it comes either without handrails or with two types of handrails and a display.
  • Balancing stepper with expanders — this enables you to turn from side to side while allowing both legs and arms to be involved in the movement.
  • Rotary stepper with a rotating handle — it allows you to completely rotate the body from side to side while walking.

Depending on the simulator, different muscle groups are trained.

The classic stepper mainly loads the legs muscles, calves, hips, and buttocks. The simulator with expanders, meanwhile, provides pressure on the arms and abs. It also improves your sense of balance. In addition to the legs, the rotary stepper also trains the muscles on your back, chest, and shoulders.

Aerobics

This is a great option for someone bored with doing cardio exercises alone.

Aerobics includes active walking, jumping, exercises for stretching, and working out different muscles on the floor. Dance aerobics can include elements of a variety of dance styles. Examples include Latin dance, mamba, hip-hop, zumba (this is just a mix of aerobics and dance) and many others, at the discretion of the coach.

Step aerobics is a popular choice as well. The exercises are performed on elevations and include active walking on the steps with tilts of the body and hand movements.

Why Cardio Training Is Important

Cardio training develops the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. It also improves the endurance and aerobic capabilities of a person.

Moreover, they are needed for:

  • Weight loss
  • Increasing stamina
  • Increasing the intensity of the cardiovascular system

Cardio exercises are necessary for everyone. The right choice of cardio load and the right intensity can increase aerobic performance without compromising muscle.

The post 7 Best Low Impact Cardio Workouts appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Facebook will remove some coronavirus conspiracy theories

Facebook will remove some coronavirus conspiracy theories

Facebook is cracking down on coronavirus rumors and conspiracy theories.

The company said that its fact checkers will debunk false claims about the coronavirus, and that it will remove some posts pushing conspiracy theories about it.

“We will also start to remove content with false claims or conspiracy theories that have been flagged by leading global health organizations and local health authorities that could cause harm to people who believe them,” the company wrote in a statement

“We are doing this as an extension of our existing policies to remove content that could cause physical harm.” Read more…

More about Tech, Facebook, Coronavirus, Tech, and Social Media Companies

Microsoft will now pay up to $20k for Xbox Live security exploits

Think you’ve found a glaring security hole in Xbox Live? Microsoft is interested.

The company announced a new bug bounty program today, focused specifically on its Xbox Live network and services. Depending on how serious the exploit is and how complete your report is, they’re paying up to $20,000.

Like most bug bounty programs, Microsoft is looking for pretty specific/serious security flaws here. Found a way to execute unauthorized code on Microsoft’s servers? They’ll pay for that. Keep getting disconnected from Live when you play as a certain legend in Apex? Not quite the kind of bug they’re looking for.

Microsoft also specifically rules out a few types of vulnerabilities as out-of-scope, including DDoS attacks, anything that involves phishing Microsoft employees or Xbox customers, or getting servers to cough up basic info like server name or internal IP. You can find the full breakdown here.

This is by no means Microsoft’s first foray into bounty programs; they’ve got similar programs for the Microsoft Edge browser, their “Windows Insider” preview builds, Office 365, and plenty of other categories. The biggest bounties they offer are on their cloud computing service, Azure, where the bounty for a super specific bug (gaining admin access to an Azure Security Lab account, which are closely controlled) can net up to $300,000.

How to Get Familiar With Your New City After a Long-Distance Move

Whether you’re moving a town over, a state over, or across the country, leaving everything familiar can be overwhelming. Maybe you had an unexpected obligation pull you away, or you got an offer for your dream job. Don’t panic. As long as you have the right attitude and our tips, you’ll find yourself settling in a new city just fine.

Download Local Apps

moving in a new city

Spend a little time researching the local area and figure out which apps are useful and popular in your new city. You could find public transit apps, restaurant ordering apps, on-demand grocery delivery services, and more. Chances are, every service in your city will have a mobile app. These apps can make it convenient to travel or exist for the first few weeks.

Join Organized Groups

From kickball leagues to nonprofits, even if you don’t normally go join activities, joining an organized group is an excellent way to meet new people. Start with something you like or a hobby, and search for a group. If you’re an animal lover, check out the local humane societies and shelters. Better yet, try something you’ve never done before. Being new at something lets you connect with other newcomers.

Start Off on the Right Foot

A move, no matter the size, is stressful. However, you don’t want to start your move out on the wrong foot. Don’t try to do it yourself. When you search online, make sure to add in your location. For example, search Google for reputable long distance movers in Dallas. These movers will ensure your pending move goes smoothly, and they’ll coordinate everything. In turn, this frees up your time to concentrate on your new city and everything you have to do when you get there.

Stay Somewhere Comfortable

For at least the first six months, concentrate on staying somewhere comfortable. You don’t have to be in a rush to find out the best bars, restaurants, or areas in the city. Instead, work on creating a safe space around your home. Pick out a few different areas and learn all about this. Maybe you want to live with a relative or friend for a few months before branching off on your own. Whatever it is that makes you comfortable, do it for six months.

Mark Out Important Properties

When you get to your city, you’ll be able to settle in better if you mark out where the local stores are in your neighborhood that can meet your needs. Look for your new go-to grocery store, pharmacy, gas station, drug store, and coffee shop. Once you map everything out and know right where it is from your home, your new city will start to feel more like home.

Look for Co-Living Opportunities

settling in a new city co living space

If you’re not quite ready to live by yourself, check into co-living spaces. Most co-living areas give you your own bathroom, kitchenette, and studio apartment. There is a larger family room, living area, and kitchen for all of the other inhabitants. Co-living facilities offer fun events, mixers, and outings. This will help you make new friends, and most co-living spaces are geared toward a certain demographic like young professionals or families.

Say Yes

You’re in a new area. This is why you have to start saying yes to everything to help you find your life essentials. Going out and going to events will help you find a few friends, a best friend, and activities to keep you entertained. You won’t find this sitting home waiting for it to come to you. Join events, go to date nights, galleries, wine tastings, or whatever interests you, and meet people.

Give Yourself a Year

At the bare minimum, give yourself a year in your new space. Settling in a new city takes time, but it should eventually feel like home. Anything you find yourself doubting yourself or where you’re at, remind yourself that you’re still in transition. Moving is hard, and leaving everything is harder. But, you deserve to give yourself a year before making any judgments.

Keep in Touch

inviting friend in a new city

You may have left your old town, but don’t forget your friends, connections, and family there. Make an effort to keep in touch with them. Go back to see them every once in a while. When you get comfortable, invite them out and show them the city. You never know, they may even fall in love with it and decide to move out by you.

Set up Dates

Before you move, go to your Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter to see which connections live in your intended area. Send them a quick message and ask to meet up once you get moved in. Ask your current friends and family if they know anyone in your area. You may just be surprised at what you find.

Know Your Transportation Options

Many small or rural towns don’t have public transportation, but larger cities do. It’s important that you learn about your new transportation options. Find out about bus transit lines, subway systems, ridesharing services, and bike-sharing programs. It may take a little trial and error to find the best routes to your work or around the city, but it’s worth it.

Look up the Area on Reddit

Almost every city has an area on Reddit. To find your particular city, look under reddit.com/r/cityname/ and see what comes up. Look through the historically popular questions, and ask any burning questions you have. Reddit will tell you about potentially unsafe areas you want to avoid, opportunities to meet people, and how friendly the locals are. What’s even better, you’ll get honest answers.

Bottom Line

Moving to a new city can be overwhelming, but there are several things you can do to help the transition process go smoothly. When you’re settling in a new city, just remember to take it slow. You’ll eventually find your routine, and it’ll feel like home.

See Also: 7 Things to Consider When Moving to a New City

The post How to Get Familiar With Your New City After a Long-Distance Move appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Stephen Colbert unpacks one Trump lawyer’s latest argument. It’s absolutely bananas.

Stephen Colbert unpacks one Trump lawyer's latest argument. It's absolutely bananas.

As Republicans freak out very slightly in the face of actually having to call some witnesses in Donald Trump’s post-impeachment Senate trial — such as John Bolton, former NSW advisor and author of the spiciest tell-all of the upcoming fall publishing season — their star lawyer Alan Dershowitz launched a wild new “legal” “defense”. 

Basically: Presidents want to get elected because they think they will be the best president for the country, and therefore anything they do to get elected, no matter how shady it is, is totally kosher.

I’m barely paraphrasing.

An incredulous Stephen Colbert unpacked that argument line by line in Wednesday night’s Late Show monologue, and it’s worth watching just to make sure you’re hearing Dershowitz correctly. Read more…

More about Donald Trump, Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Impeachment, Alan Dershowitz, and Culture

Kleiner Perkins has already blown through much of the $600 million it raised last year

Kleiner Perkins, one of the most storied franchises in venture capital, has already invested much of the $600 million it raised last year and is now going back out to the market to raise its 19th fund, according to multiple sources.

The firm, which underwent a significant restructuring over the last two years, went on an investment tear over the course of 2019 as new partners went out to build up a new portfolio for the firm — almost of a whole cloth.

A spokesperson for KPCB declined to comment on the firm’s fundraising plans citing SEC regulations.

The quick turnaround for KPCB is indicative of a broader industry trend, which has investors pulling the trigger on term sheets for new startups in days rather than weeks.

Speaking onstage at the Upfront Summit, an event at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. organized by the Los Angeles-based venture firm Upfront Ventures as a showcase for technology and investment talent in Southern California, venture investor Josh Kopelman spoke to the heightened pace of dealmaking at his own firm.

The founder of First Round Ventures said that the average time from first contact with a startup to drawing up a term sheet has collapsed from 90 days in 2004 to 9 days today.

Josh Kopelman of First Round Capital: we can look at every company we’ve ever funded, and learned that the time from first email/contact to term sheet has shrunk from 90 days in 2004 to just 9 today.

— Dan Primack (@danprimack) January 29, 2020

 

“This could also be due to changes in the competitive landscape … and there may be changes with First Round Capital itself,” says one investor. “It may have been once upon a time that they were looking at really early raw stuff… But, today, First Round is not really in the first round anymore. Companies are raising some angel money or Y Combinator money.”

At KPCB, the once-troubled firm has been buoyed by recent exits in companies like Beyond Meat, a deal spearheaded by the firm’s former partner Amol Deshpande (who now serves as the chief executive of Farmers Business Network) and Slack.

And its new partners are clearly angling to make names for themselves.

“KP used to be a small team doing hands-on company building. We’re moving away from being this institution with multiple products and really just focusing on early-stage venture capital,” Kleiner Perkins  partner Ilya Fushman said when the firm announced its last fund.

Kleiner Perkins partner Ilya Fushman

“We went out to market to LPs. We got a lot of interest. We were significantly oversubscribed,” Fushman said of the firm’s raise at the time.

In some ways, it’s likely the kind of rejuvenation that John Doerr was hoping for when he approached Social + Capital’s Chamath Palihapitiya about “acquiring” that upstart firm back in 2015.

At the time, as Fortune reported, Palihapitiya and the other Social + Capital partners, Ted Maidenberg and Mamoon Hamid would have become partners in the venture firm under the terms of the proposed deal.

Instead, Social + Capital walked away, the firm eventually imploded and Hamid joined Kleiner Perkins two years later.

The new Kleiner Perkins is a much more streamlined operation. Gone are the sidecar and thematic funds that were a hallmark of earlier strategies and gone too are the superstars brought in by Mary Meeker to manage Kleiner Perkins’ growth equity investments. Meeker absconded with much of that late stage investment team to form Bond — and subsequently raised hundreds of millions of dollars herself.

Those strategies have been replaced by a clutch of young investors and seasoned Kleiner veterans including Ted Schlein who has long been an expert in enterprise software and security.

“Maybe at this point they think they can raise based on the whole story about Mamoon taking over and a few years from now they won’t be able to raise on that story and will have to raise on the results,” says one investor with knowledge of the industry. “Mamoon is a pretty legit, good investor. But the legacy of the firm is going to be tough to overcome.”

All of these changes are not necessarily sitting well with limited partners.

“LPs are not really happy about what’s going on,” says one investor with knowledge of the venture space. “Everybody thinks valuations are too high since 2011 and people are thinking there’s going to be a recession. LPs think funds are coming back to market too fast and they’re being greedy and there’s not enough vintage diversification but LPs … feel almost obligated that they have to do these things… Investing in Sequoia is like that saying that you don’t get fired for buying IBM .”

How to Clean Wood Bathroom Cabinets: Top Tips You Can Try

Wood cabinets are the superstars of the cabinet world. They are elegant, classy, and extremely good looking. This is why many homeowners choose them over other materials for their kitchens, bedrooms, and bathrooms.

But everything pretty comes with one rule – you must maintain it.

Regular maintenance is the only way to protect the charm and ensure longevity. When it comes to bathroom wood cabinets, this becomes a rule.

Bathroom cabinets are subjected to the most wear and tear along with consistent moisture. Neglected cabinets can, thus, get ruined in no time. We all know what that can lead to.

Don’t worry, though.

Maintenance is not an arduous task as long as you do it regularly. It involves daily cleaning with safe ingredients and disinfecting whenever the need arises. In this article, we shall help you with the best tips on how to clean wood bathroom cabinet.

Let’s begin.

Use soap and warm water.

This is the easiest way to clean your bathroom wood cabinets.

Mix mild dish soap with warm water and use a clean sponge to wipe the cabinets down. One teaspoon of soap is enough for a cup of water. You can increase the quantities based on how many cabinets you have.

This combination is useful for everyday cleaning. However, you must be sure not to use too much water. Use just how much is needed for gentle wiping and then use a dry cloth to wipe down one last time. This will remove all the unnecessary moisture.

Use vinegar and water.

how to clean wood bathroom cabinets with vinegar

Mix equal quantities of vinegar and water. Use a soft cloth or cheesecloth to wipe the surface of the cabinets.

Vinegar is safe to use every day since diluting it with water makes it a mild solution. It also safeguards the finishing of the cabinets.

However, some homeowners may not like using it due to its strong odor. In this case, you can always fall back to soap and warm water for daily cleaning and restrict vinegar to once a week.

Use baking soda and water.

how to clean wood bathroom cabinets with baking soda

Baking soda is quite mild and makes a wonderful cleaning agent. All you have to do is to make a paste by mixing just enough water and then use a cloth to clean your cabinets.

While following this cleaning method, though, you should be very careful. Baking soda, despite being mild, is an abrasive. Being harsh while cleaning can tarnish the wood. Be gentle and don’t rub the paste in too much.

If you are unable to remove a particular stain, rubbing may make it worse. We advise you to apply the paste and leave it for 20 minutes instead. Wiping it down will be easier this way.

Get a wood cleaner.

If you would rather buy a product to keep your cabinets clean, we recommend a wood cleaner that’s soap and oil-based. These cleaners are specifically formulated for wood and, thus, do the job really well.

Also, apart from knowing how to clean wood bathroom cabinets, you should also know how often you should clean them.

Ideally, you won’t need to clean the cabinets every single day with these. Regular cleaning, maybe once a week, would be enough.

The best method to clean your bathroom’s wood cabinets totally depends on the usage. If you don’t use the bathroom regularly (happens when you have multiple bathrooms at home), you can stick to cleaning once a week or so.

Bathrooms that are used every day must also be cleaned every day. Make sure you regularly check the insides and keep them clean, too. You can use the same aforementioned solutions. Under no circumstances, though, should you use strong detergents or abrasives.

What are you waiting for? Choose a method and start cleaning your cabinets!

See Also: How to Effectively Remove Mold From Your House

Author Bio:

I am Sharon. As a professional, I am a content writer. I like to write about interior design, gardening, home improvement, and all new things. I also like to share new stuff, knowledge.

The post How to Clean Wood Bathroom Cabinets: Top Tips You Can Try appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Looking to new products, Bev adds strategic investors and redoubles focus on women entrepreneurs

Looking for fellow travelers to join in on its mission to transform the beverage business, the Los Angeles-based startup Bev has taken on fresh capital from a slew of strategic investors. 

The company has added Erin and Sara Foster, creative heads of Bumble BFF and Bumble Biz, to their investor and creative talent pool along with other notable names like Rich Paul, Simon Tikhman, Keith Sheldon and Chief Zaruk.

The new capital will help support the launch of Bev’s new ‘Made By Chicks’ media platform and podcast, which will be hosted by the Foster sisters in their first official partnership with any brand, according to a statement from the company.

In addition to the new media platform, Bev is also planning to launch two new beverages into its boozy stable of canned wines. Expect two white wines to join the company’s Rose on store shelves within the year, according to company founder and chief executive, Alix Peabody.

“We’re partnering with Bev because we’re comfortable buying the product ourselves and telling our friends to buy it,” said Sarah Foster in a statement. “Our community trusts us to be authentic to ourselves and our brand, and we strive to do that. Bev’s female-oriented mission and movement align with our personal interests. We’re very inclusive, rather than alienating, and we’re thrilled to be a part of ‘Made By Chicks.’”

Peabody is one of several entrepreneurs in Los Angeles and beyond looking to upend the market for beverages worldwide — an industry that’s expected to hit $1.9 trillion, according to data provided by the company. Wine alone is expected to be a roughly $450.5 billion dollar business by 2024, according to bev.

“Legacy brands tend to sexualize alcohol consumption, and objectify women on TV, billboards, and in print,” said Peabody, in a statement. “That’s what we’re changing. We want women to know that drinking can be fun, inclusive, and safe.”

Together with Peabody, the Fosters will develop media like podcasts, videos, and events that center on entrepreneurial women. It’s a format similar to the media property Girlboss, founded by Sophia Amoruso and now owned by Attention Capital.

Stories and advice columns from the new platform will range from topics like asking for a raise to managing a company while pregnant.

“When I first met Alix and her team, I immediately gravitated to her incredible founder story, ambition to challenge the alcohol industry’s outdated status quo, and sheer tenacity to spark a movement through an empowering brand like Bev,” shared Simon Tikhman, the CEO and co-founder of The Core Entertainment, a partner of Live Nation, and new Bev brand investor, in a statement. “I also knew by partnering with Bev that I wanted to assemble an unrivaled strategic group with expertise and business acumen in diverse sectors. Erin and Sara Foster, Rich Paul, Keith Sheldon, and Chief Zaruk bring so much to the table.”

Kumail Nanjiani got a 10-year subscription to PornHub for his shirtless pics

Kumail Nanjiani got a 10-year subscription to PornHub for his shirtless pics

Nobody was ready when actor and comedian Kumail Nanjiani revealed he was incredibly jacked in December, thanks to his role in the upcoming Marvel tentpole, Eternals. Millions were suddenly struck with a mighty thirst — including, apparently, PornHub. 

The popular purveyor of pornography was so impressed that it made Nanjiani the face of its Muscular Men category, right alongside “Mature” and “MILF.” It’s a pretty immense compliment, considering the website has definitely seen enough half-naked men to know good pectorals.

Speaking to Conan O’Brien about his sudden foray into the adult industry, Nanjiani stressed that he hasn’t received any money for having his shirtless torso plastered across the porn site. However, the explicit website had found other ways to show its appreciation. Read more…

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Are Biometrics The Future Of Security?

Biometric security is rapidly emerging into mobile technology and today, 57% of apps feature a biometric login option.

Biometric security uses physical and behavioral markers to identify authorized users and detect impostors. 46% of Americans use biometrics because they are more secure and 70% of Americans say biometrics are easier than traditional security.

Since 2013, the global biometrics market has risen to become a $14-billion industry. On top of using biometrics to secure their devices, biometric payments have become the next hot thing with consumers.

About 86% of Americans choose biometrics in verifying their identities or approving payments.  With that, it’s easy to find yourself asking if the safety of biometrics is better than passwords and PINs.

Thanks to the rise in biometric payments, 48% of Americans have used this technology.

To paint a better picture, imagine approving an Apple Pay, Venmo, Cash App or Google Pay transaction with your fingerprint.

Convenient and safe, right?

That’s the same reason why about 42% of Americans refuse to use banking apps that don’t have biometric authentication. 63% say they prefer this technology when physically shopping, too.

Interestingly enough, 80% of those with iPhones use biometrics, 25% of Android users, 12% of laptop users, and 11% of tablet users do the same. Regarding preference, 63% of Americans default to fingerprint scanners, 14% prefer facial recognition, 8% prefer the old ways of doing things, and 2% use voice recognition as often as possible.

Biometrics don’t just rely on your physical traits.

The technology also analyzes your behaviors for authentication. Your face, fingerprints, retinas, and voice are among the physical identifiers mentioned in the definition.

How, when, and where you use your device, how you hold it, how you move, and how frequently you use your device are examples of behavioral identifiers embedded into biometric security.

biometrics safety

46 of Americans feel biometrics are more secure.

So, what makes them so tough to hack?

For one, biometric security isn’t standardized. Each device requires a unique approach to use. It requires a unique approach to hacking.

This means biometrics take far longer to hack into than passwords. With it being difficult to go unnoticed in biometric hacking attempts, hackers must act wisely. Creating a fake to dupe the biometric system is possible but requires large amounts of user data — despite what you’ve seen in the movies.

On this note, it’s undeniable that it looks easy to hack this type of technology in the movies. Sean Connery was able to fool a scan in the 1971 movie Diamonds Are Forever and Ethan Hawke bypassed a blood test in Gattaca (1997).

Real-life instances of duping biometrics have occurred.

Let’s discuss:

Masks can be used to trick facial recognition biometric software, unlocking a device or granting access to information/applications. A cybersecurity firm in Vietnam called Bkav used a 3-D printed mask, paper tape, and silicone to crack facial recognition. Siblings, a mother, a son, and even distant cousins have also been able to unlock each other’s iPhones using Face ID.

Photos can also do the trick literally.

Certain Android devices have been shown to be fooled by just holding up a photo or another device showing a photo. This includes devices from manufacturers including Motorola, Samsung, Huawei, and Sony.

Fingerprints — what 63% prefer to register into biometrics — can also be faked. The latest top-of-the-line Samsung smartphone boasts an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor. While this technology is hailed as less hackable than other similar technologies, 3-D printed fingerprints have been shown to do the trick.

safety of biometrics fingerprint

Here is a scenario in which biometric sensors can be easily hacked:

When your face doesn’t unlock your phone, this raises a prompt for the user password. A correct code prompts the software to update its facial metrics. Unfortunately, if someone, such as a family member or close relative, looks like you and aware of your password, the software could eventually be programmed to recognize them instead of you.

See Also: 6 Foolproof Tips for Creating Powerful Passwords

Final Words

Although the safety of biometrics is  better than traditional passwords, using the technology doesn’t make your device bulletproof. Using 2-step authentication, choosing the best technology, knowing how your security fails, and proper supervision can help you maximize your security.

To read more on biometric security, check out the infographic below.
Biometric Security
Source: Computer Science Zone

The post Are Biometrics The Future Of Security? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

InterviewBit secures $20M to grow its advanced online computer science program in India

InterviewBit, a Bangalore-based startup that runs an advanced online computer science program for college graduates and young professional engineers, has raised $20 million in one of the largest Series A financing rounds in the education sector.

The nine-month-old startup’s Series A round was led by Sequoia India, Tiger Global and Global Founders Capital among others, it said. The startup said it is also rebranding its online coding program, earlier called InterviewBit Academy, to Scaler Academy.

InterviewBit operates on an income-sharing model, where students have the option to pay after they have landed a job. The concept, also known as human capital contract, has been around for decades but is beginning to see some traction now.

The startup said more than 2,000 students have enrolled in its six-month program to date. It had received over 200,000 applications. And “several hundred” of those who enrolled in the program have landed jobs at tech companies such Google, Amazon, and Microsoft.

Students enrolled in Scaler Academy are mentored and taught by tech leaders and subject matter experts working with organisations including Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Netflix.

The startup, which is part of Sequoia India’s Surge accelerator program, will use the new fund to scale up its enrollment and launch in new markets. It also plans to invest in its curriculum and in live teaching product.

Indian newspaper Times of India first reported about the financing round last year, and said the round would value InterviewBit at over $100 million.

“Within a short period of time, Scaler Academy has made a huge impact on the capabilities of our students, who spend, on average 4-5 hours/day on our online and live learning platform,” said Abhimanyu Saxena, co-founder of InterviewBit. “We are very excited that our work results in a step function change in the careers of our students — and so we have rebranded it to Scaler Academy, a platform for pursuing excellence in software programming.”

A recent National Employability Report Engineers 2019 report highlighted that the employability of Indian engineers continues to be as low as 20%. “With that in mind, Scaler Academy’s meticulously structured 6-month online program effectively enhances the coding skills of professionals by creating a modern curriculum with exposure to the latest technologies,” the startup said.

Take a detailed video tour of the International Space Station with your new space dads

Take a detailed video tour of the International Space Station with your new space dads

2020 marks 20 years of continuous human presence on the International Space Station, and it has evolved significantly over the decades. On Sunday, the European Space Agency released an ISS tour video hosted by ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano and NASA astronaut Drew Morgan, who point out every detail like a pair of house proud dads FaceTiming their kids.

Filmed around New Year’s Day, this is the first time a tour of the ISS has been shot with two astronauts presenting, as well as the first time it’s been done in one take. The hour-long video isn’t one continuous shot though, switching between the two cameras Parmitano and Morgan used to film. Read more…

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5 Top Tech Entrepreneurs You Must Follow

Everyone wants to be an entrepreneur nowadays.

People get motivated by the stories of some of the successful entrepreneurs who have become millionaires with their unique ideas. Unfortunately, it is not easy to do so.

Some of today’s successful entrepreneurs are fortunate enough to come from wealthy and influential families. Others, however, need to put in a lot of hard work and determination before they can be successful.

Below are the top tech entrepreneurs who worked really hard to get to where they are today.

Evan Spiegel

evan spiegel

Evan Spiegel is an American entrepreneur who co-founded Famous Snapchat Application along with Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown. He is the acting CEO of the Snapchat Inc.

Snapchat is an image messaging and multimedia mobile application, which was initially released in September 2011.

Evan Spiegel was born into a wealthy family and was privileged. He studied at Stanford University along with Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown. He was a product design major. With Brown, Spiegel started the prototype for Snapchat as a project for his classes.

Slowly, Spiegel became more enthusiastic in developing the prototype. Along the way,  he dropped out of school.

When he launched the app in 2011, it made him a billionaire. His defiance to settle for anything less than what he or his company deserves is what made him a successful entrepreneur.

Steve Huffman

steve huffman

Steve Huffman is an American web developer, entrepreneur, CEO and the founder of the social news accumulation and discussion website Reddit. He co-founded the Reddit along with his college roommates Aaron Swartz and Alexis Ohanian.

He created the website along with Ohanian in 2005 and sold it for millions in 2006. In 2011, Reddit became an independent subsidiary of Conde Nast Publications.

Steve Huffman, along with author and software engineer Adam Goldstein, co-founded the Airfare search-engine website called Hipmunk.

Huffman is now one of the board of advisers for the Anti-Defamation League’s Center for Technology and Society. A campaigner for net neutrality rules, he’s also an instructor on web development for the E-learning platform Udacity.

Ma Huateng

ma huateng
Via britannica.com

Ma Huateng is a Chinese business magnate, engineer, investor, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is the co-founder and the CEO of the gaming company Tencent. It’s one of the enormous internet and technology companies in the world.

He graduated with a BS in Computer Science from Shenzen University and worked in some telecommunications companies as well. He established the Tencent in 1998, along with his college classmates.

In 1999, ‘Tencent’ launched ‘QICQ’, an instant messaging service which resulted in a huge success. Over the decade, ‘Tencent’ developed and enlarged its services in various departments, such as E-commerce, media and entertainment, gaming, online payments and digital advertisements. Ma Huateng was named one of the Time’s ‘100 Most Influential People in the World’ three times recently. As of now, he is the richest man in China and the 14th richest man in the world.

Brian Acton

brian acton
Via businessinsider.com

Brian Acton is an American internet entrepreneur and computer programmer and the co-founder of WhatsApp. He graduated from Stanford University with a computer science degree. He began his career as a system administrator for Rockwell International and further moved on to work with various companies like Apple, Adobe Systems, and Yahoo Inc.

Along with Jan Koum, Acton left Yahoo and gradually went on to develop the messaging application and sold the WhatsApp to Facebook in February 2014 for $19 billion. In September 2017, Acton departed Facebook-owned WhatsApp and started a new organization with American Computer Security researcher Moxie Marlinspike called ‘Signal Foundation’. By far the largest acquisition of Facebook is purchasing WhatsApp and it is also the biggest one made by any venture.

Sergey Brin

sergey brin

Sergey Brin is an American computer scientist, internet entrepreneur, and co-founder of Google Inc. He studied mathematics and computer science in college before pursuing a PhD in computer science from Stanford University. Brin was interested in the extraction of information from unstructured sources and search engines. Later on, he met a fellow research scholar, Larry Page. Together, they connected on their creativity level and started designing the new search engines in the university computers after dropping out of university.

At first, they called their project ‘Backrub’ and it was funded by the National Science Foundation. After that, they went on and created the PageRank algorithm which is used by Google to rank pages. Andy Bechtolsheim pitched in the initial funding to Google with a cheque for $100,000.

He was also the co-founder of Sun Microsystems and later, he incorporated their company Google Inc.

Many people have the dream of becoming a successful entrepreneur with education playing a very important role behind every successful business model.

Most of today’s successful entrepreneurs are MBA holders. There are MBA specializations to make you a thorough professional in one field.

As Richard Branson (founder of Virgin Group) once said, “ Business opportunities are like buses, there is always another one coming.”

See Also: 10 Unstoppable Entrepreneurs Share Their Advice For Success

The post 5 Top Tech Entrepreneurs You Must Follow appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Will Ferrell’s ‘Downhill’ is like a feature-length AITA post

Will Ferrell's 'Downhill' is like a feature-length AITA post

Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Downhill isn’t based on a true story — it’s an English-language remake of the 2014 Swedish dramedy Force Majeure.

If you’ve spent any time at all browsing subreddits like r/relationships and Am I the Asshole?, though, you may feel like it might as well be. The film plays out like a cinematic adaptation of one of those posts, bringing a marital conflict under the microscope and inviting everyone around them, us included, to cast judgment on who went wrong where.

Ferrell and Louis-Dreyfus play Pete and Billie, an American couple on an Austrian ski vacation with their two adolescent sons. From the opening moments, it’s possible to see the hairline cracks in this picture-perfect family portrait. Irritations flare up around the language barrier, a hectic hotel welcome, or Pete’s iPhone addiction. Read more…

More about Movies, Julia Louis Dreyfus, Sundance, Will Ferrell, and Downhill

LA tech industry mourns Kobe Bryant

The Los Angeles startup community is joining the rest of the world in mourning the death of NBA superstar, entrepreneur and investor Kobe Bryant who was killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., shortly before 10 a.m. on Sunday.

Reports indicate that Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant, and seven other passengers were on board a helicopter traveling to Bryant’s basketball training facility Mamba Academy. There were no survivors.

The 41 year-old NBA All-Star, Olympic medalist, Oscar winner and father of four was most famous for his achievements on the basketball court, but had established himself as an entrepreneur and investor whose reach extended far beyond the Los Angeles area that he called home.

“Kobe was loved in Los Angeles,” wrote Mark Suster, managing partner of the Los Angeles-based venture capital firm Upfront Ventures, in a private message to TechCrunch. “He not only played at the peak of his sport but everything he did was quality from film, to books to philanthropy. It’s truly a sad day in LA.”

Bryant launched his venture career with partner and serial entrepreneur Jeff Stibel back in 2013, according to Crunchbase. The pair made a mix of early- and late-stage investments in Los Angeles-based companies like LegalZoom, Scopely, Art of Sport, The Honest Company, RingDNA, FocusMotion, DyshApp and Represent.

Last year, the investment firm expanded with a $1.7 billion investment vehicle that was launched in partnership with the private equity fund, Permira, according to a report in USA Today.

“We are mourning this terrible loss and still searching for the words,” wrote Mattias Metternich, co-founder of Bryant’s grooming startup, Art of Sport, in an email. “As a founding partner to [Art of Sport] he was woven into the very fabric of our company and its vision and DNA. As a mentor we drew on his wisdom, passion and drive everyday… In the short term our thoughts and hearts are with him, Gianna and his surviving family.”

Jessica Alba, the co-founder of The Honest Company, took to Twitter earlier in the day to share her own reaction to the news. And Scopely’s official Twitter account shared a reaction, as well.

An all-time legend, and our friend and supporter. Our thoughts are with all of the families affected by the tragic accident today. You will be missed, @kobebryant. pic.twitter.com/FzhNl5ndau

Scopely (@scopely) January 26, 2020

During his time with the Los Angeles Lakers, the MVP and 18-time All-Star set records and helped architect runs to five national championships. Together with Shaquille O’Neal, Bryant helped make the Lakers the dominant team in the NBA in the early 2000s.

“Kobe was the rare combination of God-given talent on-and-off the court with a competitive athlete mindset that was unrivaled to the point it was called the ‘mamba mentality’. Whatever he put his focus turned into excellence, whether it was an NBA championship, an Oscar, entering the VC game or — most importantly — fatherhood,” wrote Upfront Ventures general partner Kobie Fuller. “This loss is shocking and puts into perspective how precious our moments on this earth really are. My heart goes out to the Bryant family during this incredibly difficult time.”

While Bryant’s sports career was storied, and his post-sports career in media and investing successful, his legacy is complicated by a sexual assault allegation in 2003, which was later settled and for which Bryant apologized, but did not admit guilt.

Uber, Lyft are officially up and running in British Columbia

Uber, Lyft are officially up and running in British Columbia

People in Vancouver, British Columbia no longer have to feel left out when it comes to ride-sharing. Anyone going out this weekend can finally snag an Uber or Lyft home in the wee hours of the night.

Less than 24 hours after both ride-share companies were given the green light to operate in Vancouver, their respective apps officially went live, Global News reports.

Heads up #Vancouver, we’ve officially landed! 🚗

Now 2 am you, and 8 am you, and 5pm you can grab a Lyft to your favourite bar, grandma’s house, a museum, the market, Rogers Arena, a bridge, the Seawall, a park… you know, wherever. It’s all in the apppic.twitter.com/h35oop7lfu

— Lyft (@lyft) January 24, 2020 Read more…

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Startups Weekly: Tech layoffs spread (a bit)

Are January layoffs just a few post-WeWork jitters?

TechCrunch has found itself writing about layoffs at a few notable tech companies this week — and not just Softbank-backed ones. The focus is very much profits, as Alex Wilhelm summed up on Thursday, especially after the failed WeWork IPO and subsequent valuation and headcount decimation. We’ll be digging into the topic more soon but there does seem to be a certain consumery thread here. And perhaps some fears of negative macro trends bubbling up?

23andMe cut 16% or 100 people, citing slowing sales for DNA tests. Quora reduced an undisclosed number to focus on revenue. 

Plenty of tech investors have criticized Softbank’s approach to writing large check for large valuations, but they can’t avoid the same fears these days. So does Mozilla, which had to cut 70 people this month after struggling to build revenue products.

It still all seems sort of normal given the very high valuations and recent reconsiderations, at least so far. Layoffs may very well continue this year in a way that is necessary and even healthy in the long run.

More on TechCrunch, from Alex:

23andMe  and Mozilla are not alone, however. Playful Studios cut staff just this week, 2019 itself saw more than 300% more tech layoffs than in the preceding year and TechCrunch has covered a litany of layoffs at Vision Fund-backed companies over the past few months, including:

Scooter unicorns Lime and Bird have also reduced staff this year. The for-profit drive is firing on all cylinders in the wake of the failed WeWork IPO attempt. WeWork was an outlier in terms of how bad its financial results were, but the fear it introduced to the market appears pretty damn mainstream by this point. (Forsake hope, alle ye whoe require a Series H.)

Image: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

2019 venture data had soft spots, maybe

Fresh data sets are in on last year from Crunchbase, as well as PitchBook and the NVCA. Alex identified a few key takeaways: slightly lower early-stage fundings, a big global year overall, and some of the above WeWork-attributed drops already surfacing in the Q4 data over on TechCrunch.

I have to wonder what we really know right now, though. These are the best publicly-accessible funding databases out there, but many companies have stopped filing Form Ds with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in recent years, as Danny Crichton has been covering in this ongoing series. That was a main data source, especially about early-stage stealth companies.

The Crunchbase report goes over the global trend for the year, and that’s another confounding factor, actually — how trackable are startup funding dollars across borders these days? And how do you account for remote teams in that mix? And how do you account for crypto…?

If you are building a company now at any stage, the financial signs out now are not in my humble opinion ones to have any fear over. Especially relative to the other problems that are almost certainly in front of you.

There is a lot of money in VC now regardless of anything else, as the Pitchbook-NVCA report notes, and there will be for a long time.

How to handle a recession

As if on cue, we had a couple guest columnists provide articles about capital efficiency and recession-proofing your company. Shin Kim has a two-parter on TechCrunch and Extra Crunch, where he breaks down why most tech IPOs are not WeWork (in a good way) and how to pace your own fundraising regardless of anything else going on

Schwark Satyavolu, meanwhile, digs into the best practices for startups in the next recession for Extra Crunch, starting with this brutal real-life intro:

I founded my first startup, Yodlee,  in a strong economy with almost 20 competitors. Ten years and a painful recession later, we were the only game in town. Critical to our success was acquiring our largest competitor, something we never could have done in a strong economy because they never would have been willing to sell. The recession made it untenable for them to fundraise, enabling us not only to buy them, but to do so without cash in an all-equity deal.

A proclamation about board diversity

Board representation is a hot topic for companies of all sizes and none other than Goldman Sachs said this week that it would only take companies public that had at least one underrepresented board member.

CEO David Solomon said that companies that had gone public in the last four years with at least one female board member did significantly better than those without, but Megan Dickey notes for Extra Crunch that’s not quite all the way towards the goal:

But the lack of people of color on boards is perhaps a more urgent issue. Late last year, a Crunchbase study found that 60% of the most funded VC-backed startups don’t have a single woman on their board of directors. But there are even fewer black people, let alone black women, on boards. A 2018 Deloitte study found that of the Fortune 100 companies, white men held 61.4% of board seats, white women held 19.1%, men of color had 13.7% of board seats and women of color had just 5.8% of board seats.

Connie Loizos, meanwhile, writes for TechCrunch that boards themselves are not all of the way towards the goal:

Let’s be real here. Directors of public companies typically meet just four times a year to review quarterly results. It’s important and necessary, sure. But beyond ensuring that strategic objectives are being met and hopefully making useful introductions to the company, these roles are assigned more importance by industry watchers than they should. (They often pay ludicrous amounts given the work involved, too.)

Even pledging that Goldman is only going to take public companies that give back — say 1% of future profits to the NAACP, as one idea — would instantly put the bank in pole position for those founders and investors who truly want to be progressive. Goldman might miss out on a lot of business in the immediate term, we realize, but we’re guessing it’s a gamble that would pay off over time.

Around the horn

Lame LPs, founder referenceability and the future of VC signaling (TC)

Why is everyone making OKR software? (EC)

Should tech giants slam the encryption door on the government? (TC)

Where top VCs are investing in adtech and martech (EC)

US mobile app subscription revenue jumped 21% in 2019 to $4.6B across the top 100 apps (TC)

Relativity Space could change the economics of private space launches (EC)

Can a time machine offer us the meaning of life? (TC)

#EquityPod

Alex and Danny are back on Equity this week, here’s a menu before you listen to the episode here (and if you haven’t subscribed yet, you can do that here).

  • Why Front’s latest investment (a $59 million Series C) is a pretty big deal. Not because of how much money it has raised — the firm has raised more in a single, preceding round — but because of who put the capital to work.

  • On the venture capital front, Danny and Alex also chewed over signaling risk in venture, and why bigger funds are writing earlier and earlier checks.

  • Also on the docket was the latest from Lambda School, which our former co-host and friend Kate Clark wrote. The gist is that regardless of how you feel about the company, your views are probably a bit too negative, or a bit too positive. (More on the company’s ilk from Extra Crunch here, and here.)

  • And three media deals, including The Athletic’s latest investment ($50 million), who might buy the company behind the hit podcast “Serial” and why Spotify might buy The Ringer. Which is about sports, it turns out.

    Want Startups Weekly in your inbox each week? You can sign up for this and TechCrunch’s other newsletters here.

Samasource CEO Leila Janah passes away at 37

The startup community has lost another moral leader today.

Leila Janah, a serial entrepreneur who was the CEO and founder of machine learning training data company Samasource, passed away at the age of 37 due to complications from Epithelioid Sarcoma, a form of cancer, according to a statement from the company.

She focused her career on social and ethical entrepreneurship with the goal of ending global poverty, founding three distinct organizations over her career spanning the for-profit and non-profit worlds. She was most well-known for Samasource, which was founded a little more than a decade ago to help machine learning specialists develop better ML models through more complete and ethical training datasets.

Janah and her company were well ahead of their time, as issues related to bias in ML models have become top-of-mind for many product leaders in Silicon Valley today. My TechCrunch colleague Jake Bright had just interviewed Janah a few weeks ago, after Samasource raised more than $15 million in venture capital, according to Crunchbase.

In its statement, the company said:

We are all committed to continuing Leila’s work, and to ensuring her legacy and vision is carried out for years to come. To accomplish this, Wendy Gonzalez, longtime business partner and friend to Leila, will take the helm as interim CEO of Samasource. Previously the organization’s COO, Wendy has spent the past five years working alongside Leila to craft Samasource’s vision and strategy.

In addition to Samasource, Janah founded SF-based Samaschool, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to helping low-income workers learn critical freelancing skills by helping them negotiate the changing dynamics in the freelance economy. The organization has built partnerships with groups like Goodwill to empower them to offer additional curricular resources within their own existing programs and initiatives.

Janah also founded LXMI, a skin-care brand that emphasized organic and fair-trade ingredients, with a focus on sourcing from low-income women’s cooperatives in East Africa. Founded three years ago, the company raised a seed round from the likes of NEA, Sherpa, and Reid Hoffman according to Crunchbase.

Across all of her initiatives, Janah consistently put the concerns of under-represented people at the forefront, and designed organizations to empower such people in their daily lives. Her entrepreneurial spirit, commitment, and integrity will be sorely missed in the startup community.

Our editor Josh Constine had this to say of Janah’s impact. “Leila was propulsive. Being around her, you’d swear there were suddenly more hours in the day just based on how much she could accomplish. Yet rather than conjuring that energy through ruthless efficiency, she carried on with grace and boundless empathy. Whether for her closest friends or a village of strangers on the other side of the world, she embraced others’ challenges as her own. Leila turned vulnerability into an advantage, making people feel so comfortable in her presence that they could unwind their personal and professional puzzles. Leila is the kind of founder we need more of, and she’ll remain an example of how to do business with heart.”

Vine cofounder finally releases his next viral video app: Byte

Vine cofounder finally releases his next viral video app: Byte

If you’re still mourning the loss of Vine, you now have a new video app to fill the void and, no, I’m not talking about TikTok.

That’s because Vine cofounder Dom Hofmann is finally launching byte, the video app that’s meant to be a successor to the video app that was mercilessly killed by Twitter in 2016. Hofmann has been teasing the app, which he has described as a “follow-up” to Vine, since 2017, though the self-funded project has run into delays.

“Today we’re bringing back 6-second looping videos and a new community for people who love them,” the company wrote on Twitter. “It’s called byte and it’s both familiar and new. We hope it’ll resonate with people who feel something’s been missing.” Read more…

More about Tech, Twitter, Vine, Byte, and Tech

12 Mind-Blowing Tips for Increasing Your Overall Positivity

Positive thinking has been often used in a wrong connotation. People abuse the power of this great practice and suggest that it will attract you money, wealth, and abundance.

“Be positive and you’ll have anything you want!”

No, you will not.

That’s nonsense and that’s not the purpose of exercising your mind to think this way. This is exactly one of the main criticisms for the movie The Secret. Just by feeling good, you can’t have anything you want.

The benefits of thinking and feeling positive emotions, however, are actually very beneficial and they will trigger other positive phenomena in your life. You’ll put both your spirit and body in a phenomenal vibration.

Happiness and joy will radiate from you everywhere you go. Life will seem much better. Your attitude will improve immensely and in turn, it will improve the world’s attitude towards you.

The reward is a blissful life full of enthusiasm and inspiration.Also, it will certainly help you in your financial endeavors. However, just the positive thinking alone won’t earn you any money.

These are some of the great practices that will put you on the right track in life:

Start Singing Even If You’re Bad Singer

Whenever life hits you hard or you experience a disappointment, start singing. Pick a song that really makes you feel great and start playing it in your head until all worries and stress go away.

The song can be one which makes you feel happy. It can be one which provokes laughter and joy in your heart.

Is there any song that you can think of which simply puts a smile on your face every single time you hear it? Probably a song you used to love when you were young child?

Good music has always been and will always be a great tool for changing the mood. It will never fail to make you more positive so consider singing whenever you can.

Turn “Belly Breathing” Into a Habit

Did you know that our consciousness is highly connected to our way of breathing?

Yogis and monks have discovered a long time ago that our thoughts are directly connected to the way we breathe.

When we start breathing slowly and deep in our belly and by exploiting 100% of our lungs capacity, our thoughts seem to slow down and we become more relaxed. Therefore, this is used in almost every meditative technique. Life simply slows down, all stress leaves both the mind and body, and the individual who breathes this way gains clarity and mindfulness.

This practice will not only calm you down, it will affect your health and your overall blood circulation, too. It will boost the activity of your brain and it will never fail to improve your mood.

Breathing is the essence of life, so start doing it properly.

Simply start exercising this until it becomes a constant habit. Breathe deep in your belly and fill it like a balloon. Instead of inhaling shallow breaths in the chest only, expand your belly as much as you can.

The longer you practice this technique, the deeper and more effective your breaths will become. Your consciousness will clear and clarity and inner peace will take place.

Smile and Laugh More Often

Assuming that smiling and laughter are the opposite of crying and feeling bad or negative, just by forcing this into your life, you can’t avoid not feeling good.

Our body is the instrument of our mind. However, it it is also true that our thoughts and attitude are very much related to our body because of the way we operate. We tend to think and feel by what we see, hear, taste, smell, and touch.

So if you smile, you can instantly feel it and your mind will respond to this. You will start feeling good and positive. It will not only lift up your mood, but it will also affect everyone else that comes in contact with you.

You can decide to smile just for the sake of it or you can think of a situation, an event, a person or literally anything that puts a big smile on your face. Either one of them will work very well.

You can just go over to your mirror, look at yourself and force yourself to laugh. This works extremely well. Very soon, it will become contagious and you won’t be able to stop it.

Let’s try this right now…

Think of a little toddler trying to walk. He is learning to walk outside in the yard of his parent’s house and there’s a little puppy waiting for him just a few meters away from him.

As he is walking, he is pointing to the puppy with his tiny little fingers and he suddenly falls like a ball on the grass. He tries to stand up but he simply keeps falling down again and again. Everybody laughs and enjoys the picture.

Finally, our little toddler manages somehow to stand on his tiny feet and starts walking like a penguin towards the puppy. The moment he comes to him, he tries to kiss him with his little lips. Again, as he bends down, he loses control and falls on the ground next to the puppy. The puppy even gets scared and jumps from fear.

Now, I just totally made all that up. I couldn’t think of anything else that could make me smile at the moment. If you’re like most people, you’d probably smile when having the picture of the little toddler learning how to walk.

After thinking about this, I feel very good and very positive. You can do the same.

Smile more often and your positivity will keep increasing more and more every time you do it.

Make Your Surroundings Highly Positive

have fun with friends

What are your friends and the people you associate with like? Is their nature positive? Are they being fun and humorous or not really?

Good company always helps!

If you happen to be around negative and depressive people, you can afford to change your lifestyle. It is very important that your surrounding is highly positive, because you will receive this energy.

It will affect you every single time!

Engage in Meditation and Yoga

These two activities will never fail to boost your positivity. They will help you to gain control over your thoughts and your awareness will be heightened.

You will become aware of the present moment and what’s going on in your mind. Positive thoughts will become natural as you practice these skills.

See Also: Yoga and Health: From Better Mental Health To Improved Sleep Quality

Make Walking Outdoors a Habit

Although very simple, the effect of this single activity can be powerful. I am working from home and most of the time, I am in front of my computer.

Sometimes, this can get overwhelming and the first thing I do is go outdoors.
I walk for 40 minutes in the nearest park and just observe the people, birds, trees and so on. When I come back, I am a completely new person.

I have two times more energy and I am working 3 times more productive. Just do it and see the results!

Be Helpful To Others

You know, it’s not all about you. I realized this not very long time ago. While I’ve never been too much egoistic in nature, I always cared for my feelings and my interests.

When I tried for a moment to completely shift my attention to other people’s needs and really try to help them (from the bottom of my heart), what came back to me was quite shocking.

Help other people and truly care. Don’t do it just for the sake of it, but really show some empathy and compassion. Try putting yourself in their skin and view the world through their perception. Then, do your best to help them.

You have no idea what this can do for you…

Some ideas to help you get started can include:

• Visiting the orphanage and do something special for the kids. Make them happy and prepare some intriguing surprise.
• The next time you go to the subway or when you’re on a bus, be kind and give your seat to a person that needs it more than you do.
• Go to the local supermarket buy some bread, some salami and cheese. Get some fruits and bottles of fresh water and perhaps some extra ingredients you’ll need. Prepare some tasty sandwiches and then go to any shelter with homeless people and give it to them wholeheartedly.

Express Gratitude 3 Times a Day

Create your gratitude journal or simply write on a sheet of paper 10 things that you’re grateful for. Then, read this list 3 times in the day – in the morning, at noon and at night.

The more things you can include in the list, the better. These things should make you feel good and positive about yourself and life in general.

Gratefulness is the secret to a peaceful, happy and positive lifestyle.

Understand that You’re Responsible for Everything That Happens To You

You cannot blame others for the results you get in your life. All our results come as a direct result of our actions and behavior in life. Our actions and behavior, on the other hand, is the direct result of our thoughts and feelings.

Only you have the power to control your attitude. You choose what you give your attention to. So instead of whining and complaining, stop blaming the circumstances, the government, the economy and God knows what else not.

It is your fault that you’ve let these things, people,and events influence you.

The good news is that you can stop it. Take full responsibility and your life will become much more positive.

Make a Contribution and Start Volunteering

Think of the ways you can improve your community. Perhaps help in cleaning the streets in your neighborhood? What about helping individuals in the local library?

This one will be bizarre but certainly interesting:

How about you visit prisoners and just help in making contact? Perhaps you’ll befriend them and make their day better?

Remember,  the more you give in life, the more it comes back. Life will always reward you tenfold for every good thing you do. Decide how you can give back to the community, and then just do it!

Positivity will become your natural mindset that seems to make you company at all times.

See Also: 5 Reasons Why You Should Volunteer

Give Compliments On a Regular Basis

If criticizing makes people feel bad, then the opposite which is giving compliments has to make them feel good. Not only will it make the person you compliment feel amazing, it will come back to you as well.

When was the last time you gave a sincere compliment to someone which comes straight from the heart?

If you can’t remember it, maybe it is about time to consider doing this the next time you see someone on the street.

Remember, if you’re looking for the good sides in others, this is a reflection of the good sides in you. And please don’t do this just for the sake of it. Be really genuine and honest when you compliment people.

Exercise and Take Care of Your Physical and Mental Health

partner to exercise

Yes, this is important. Pick any activity that you love and exercise regularly.
You can run, hike, go to the gym or take classes in martial arts. Your imagination is the only limit.

Not only will you be more fresh and energetic, but your mood will change accordingly as well There’s no way how this activity cannot make you feel positive. Just do it!

To Conclude

Most of the time, we are being surrounded with a ton of negativity in our lives. We’re constantly being bombarded with pressure and stressful situations, but it is our choice how we are going to respond to them.

We can choose to take responsibility and decide to be in full control over our attitude or we can live day by day and let the waves of life take us wherever they want to go.

I certainly won’t recommend the second option!

Choose to live your life the way you want to live it! Stop being a victim of outside circumstances and decide to gain a positive outlook on life.

And remember, it is the small things that make all the difference! So take a deep breath right now and say how grateful you are for everything in your life!

The post 12 Mind-Blowing Tips for Increasing Your Overall Positivity appeared first on Dumb Little Man.