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How sending handwritten letters created a $1bn firm

Image copyright Celonis Image caption Alexander Rinke came up with the idea for the business while at university The BBC’s weekly The Boss series profiles different business leaders from around the world. This week we speak to Alexander Rinke, co-founder of German technology company Celonis. When Alexander Rinke wanted some of the world’s biggest companies to employ his small start-up business he came up with a novel approach – he would send their bosses handwritten letters. “We knew if we sent an email it could just be deleted,” he says.…

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Israeli software firm DriveNets raises $110 million in first funding round

TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Israeli networking software company DriveNets said on Thursday it raised $110 million in its first round of financing led by Bessemer Venture Partners and Israel’s Pitango Growth, with the participation of several private investors. The new financing will help the company expand its product portfolio and penetrate new markets, it said. DriveNets said its software allows communication service providers to handle growing demand without sacrificing profitability. Bringing networking to the cloud can accelerate new service rollouts, it said. DriveNets was founded in late 2015 by Ido…

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Venture capital firm uses AI to seek out start-ups across Europe

LONDON (Reuters) – A London-based venture capital firm that uses artificial intelligence to find promising start-ups across Europe said on Tuesday it had raised 53 million euros (£46.6 million) for its biggest fund to date. InReach Ventures was founded by Roberto Bonanzinga and John Mesrie, both previously at Balderton Capital, and Ben Smith, formerly at Microsoft’s teamworking tool Yammer. InReach has spent three years developing its own proprietary AI technology to discover, evaluate and support its investments. Bonanzinga said European start-ups were scattered across the continent, meaning that many early…

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Venture capital firm uses AI to seek out start-ups across Europe

LONDON (Reuters) – A London-based venture capital firm that uses artificial intelligence to find promising start-ups across Europe said on Tuesday it had raised 53 million euros (£46.6 million) for its biggest fund to date. InReach Ventures was founded by Roberto Bonanzinga and John Mesrie, both previously at Balderton Capital, and Ben Smith, formerly at Microsoft’s teamworking tool Yammer. InReach has spent three years developing its own proprietary AI technology to discover, evaluate and support its investments. Bonanzinga said European start-ups were scattered across the continent, meaning that many early…

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Sweets industry stands firm against sugar backlash

Image caption The fair is the same size as 15 Wembley Stadium football pitches The world’s biggest trade fair for sweets is a Willy Wonka-esque display of tempting indulgences, but how is the industry adapting to a growing backlash against sugar? Suddenly the nougat-covered pretzel I had for breakfast doesn’t seem like such a good idea. It’s 10:00 and I’m standing in the middle of a Technicolor palace of sugar. A human-sized fizzy bottle wiggles past, proffering a bottomless bucket of sweets but before I can take one, a man…

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Raspberry Pi: Hi-tech firm goes for high street experience

The co-founder of the pocket-sized Raspberry Pi computer chose to open his first high street store because “there are things you can do in the physical world that you can’t do online”. The Cambridge store stocks the British-designed computer and accessories, which have mainly been sold online since launch in 2012. Primarily unveiled as an educational tool for programming, more than 25 million units have been shifted around the world. Eben Upton said he decided to buck the trend of high street decline by offering a store “experience”, saying: “I…

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Revolut: ‘single-shaming’ ad firm accused of faking data

Image copyright Iona Bain A financial technology company whose “single-shaming” advertising campaign drew protests is facing scrutiny from the City watchdog over the issue. Revolut, which offers app-based current accounts, sparked complaints with a “spoof” ad addressed to people who ordered a takeaway meal for one on Valentine’s Day last year. It admits that the figures in the ad should have been labelled fictitious. The complaints have now been forwarded to the Financial Conduct Authority. Revolut launched in 2015 and bills itself as an alternative to banks. It has apologised…

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Canada securities watchdog says crypto firm Quadriga beyond its purview

(Reuters) – British Columbia Securities Commission, the province’s securities regulator, said on Thursday that it does not regulate Quadriga CX, the Vancouver, B.C.-based digital platform whose founder died in December, trapping millions of dollars in cryptocurrencies in its accounts. The Canadian regulator said it has been aware of the company’s operations since 2017 but has not had any indication that it was trading in securities or derivatives or if it operated as an exchange, which would put it under its purview. “As such, BCSC does not regulate it,” spokesman Brian…

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Wirecard says law firm found no findings of criminal misconduct

FILE PHOTO: People walk past the Wirecard booth at the computer games fair Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, August 22, 2018. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Wirecard on Monday said that an external law firm it brought in to investigate actions by a member of its finance team in Singapore made no conclusive findings of criminal misconduct by any employee of the company. The payments firm contested articles from the Financial Times about alleged financial irregularities, which had sent its shares down 40 percent since Jan. 30. Wirecard said that in…

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China to execute driver who killed passenger of ride-hailing firm Didi

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Didi Chuxing is seen at a Didi station in Beijing, China January 2, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo BEIJING (Reuters) – A Chinese court on Friday sentenced a man to death for raping and killing a female passenger of ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing last year, while he was employed as a driver. The crime triggered fierce public and government criticism of Didi – whose backers include Uber Technologies Inc, Apple Inc and Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp – and led to a safety overhaul at the company.…

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