#USA Index Ventures, Stripe back bookkeeping service Pilot with $40M

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Five years after Dropbox acquired their startup Zulip, Waseem Daher, Jeff Arnold and Jessica McKellar have gained traction for their third business together: Pilot.

Pilot helps startups and small businesses manage their back office. Chief executive officer Daher admits it may seem a little boring, but the market opportunity is undeniably huge. To tackle the market, Pilot is today announcing a $40 million Series B led by Index Ventures with participation from Stripe, the online payment processing system.

The round values Pilot, which has raised about $60 million to date, at $355 million.

“It’s a massive industry that has sucked in the past,” Daher told TechCrunch. “People want a really high-quality solution to the bookkeeping problem. The market really wants this to exist and we’ve assembled a world-class team that’s capable of knocking this out of the park.”

San Francisco-based Pilot launched in 2017, more than a decade after the three founders met in MIT’s student computing group. It’s not surprising they’ve garnered attention from venture capitalists, given that their first two companies resulted in notable acquisitions.

Pilot has taken on a massively overlooked but strategic segment — bookkeeping,” Index’s Mark Goldberg told TechCrunch via email. “While dry on the surface, the opportunity is enormous given that an estimated $60 billion is spent on bookkeeping and accounting in the U.S. alone. It’s a service industry that can finally be automated with technology and this is the perfect team to take this on — third-time founders with a perfect combo of financial acumen and engineering.”

The trio of founders’ first project, Linux upgrade software called Ksplice, sold to Oracle in 2011. Their next business, Zulip, exited to Dropbox before it even had the chance to publicly launch.

It was actually upon building Ksplice that Daher and team realized their dire need for tech-enabled bookkeeping solutions.

“We built something internally like this as a byproduct of just running [Ksplice],” Daher explained. “When Oracle was acquiring our company, we met with their finance people and we described this system to them and they were blown away.”

It took a few years for the team to refocus their efforts on streamlining back-office processes for startups, opting to build business chat software in Zulip first.

Pilot’s software integrates with other financial services products to bring the bookkeeping process into the 21st century. Its platform, for example, works seamlessly on top of QuickBooks so customers aren’t wasting precious time updating and managing the accounting application.

“It’s better than the slow, painful process of doing it yourself and it’s better than hiring a third-party bookkeeper,” Daher said. “If you care at all about having the work be high-quality, you have to have software do it. People aren’t good at these mechanical, repetitive, formula-driven tasks.”

Currently, Pilot handles bookkeeping for more than $100 million per month in financial transactions but hopes to use the infusion of venture funding to accelerate customer adoption. The company also plans to launch a tax prep offering that they say will make the tax prep experience “easy and seamless.”

“It’s our first foray into Pilot’s larger mission, which is taking care of running your companies entire back office so you can focus on your business,” Daher said.

As for whether the team will sell to another big acquirer, it’s unlikely.

“The opportunity for Pilot is so large and so substantive, I think it would be a mistake for this to be anything other than a large and enduring public company,” Daher said. “This is the company that we’re going to do this with.”

from Startups – TechCrunch https://tcrn.ch/2VSKCHz

#Blockchain Statistics Show Bitcoin Cash Is a Strong Contender After Crypto Winter

Statistics Show Bitcoin Cash Is a Strong Contender After the Crypto Winter

Over the last few weeks, bitcoin cash (BCH) and the network itself have been shining brightly after a year of bearish sentiment and the blockchain split last November. Most notably, this month BCH has shown a significant increase in daily transactions, the price has doubled, and today the network has produced the second highest value of onchain transactions settled in the last 24 hours.

Also read: Strong Evidence Suggests a Single Entity Mined More Than 1 Million Bitcoin

Bitcoin Cash Network Processes More Onchain Value Than Most Blockchains

Bitcoin cash has been on a tear lately and it’s not just the markets that have seen significant improvements. The network itself has shone greatly this month by processing a lot more transactions per day and settling roughly $940 million in onchain value over the last 24 hours. The only cryptocurrency ahead of BCH today is bitcoin core (BTC). BCH has processed 2x more transactions than ETH and 4x more than LTC. This has been a consistent trend ever since BCH doubled in price not too long ago. In addition to the onchain settlement, cryptocurrency exchanges have been swapping a lot more BCH than they had months prior. Exchanges like Hitbtc, Binance, Coinbene, Lbank, Coinbase, and Huobi are contributing to the $1.2 million in global trades swapped in the last day. Bitcoin cash has also consistently captured the sixth most traded coin by exchange volumes within the entire cryptoconomy for a few weeks in a row.

Statistics Show Bitcoin Cash Is a Strong Contender After Crypto Winter
The BCH network has confirmed roughly $940 million in onchain value over the last 24 hours.

After the blockchain split in November, we mentioned in our Q1 BCH markets and network report that the Bitcoin Cash hashrate was recovering after the overall hashrate dropped below one exahash per second in the middle of December. At the time, news.Bitcoin.com detailed that BCH miners were processing 1.8 exahash per second at the end of Q1. Since that report was published, the hashrate has continued to climb significantly.

Statistics Show Bitcoin Cash Is a Strong Contender After Crypto Winter
The Bitcoin Cash network hashrate has increased rapidly to roughly 2.5-2.78 exahashes per second every 24 hours after sinking below 1 exahash in December 2018.

According to Coin Dance BCH statistics, miners have gathered 2.5-2.78 exahashes per second on a daily basis. Moreover, since the price doubled, the profitability between mining BTC and BCH has leaned more toward the BCH side in the last three weeks. Meanwhile, unlike other cryptocurrencies that see their fees rise when the price per unit spikes, BCH network fees are still incredibly cheap. At the time of writing it is 188.95x more expensive to transact on the BTC chain.

Statistics Show Bitcoin Cash Is a Strong Contender After Crypto Winter
BCH/USD 30-day statistics.

Increased Transactions and Development

There’s been an increase of BCH usage since the price jumped 91% as there’s been a great number of new projects lately pushing real-world use. The BCH network has seen daily transaction data also increase significantly at the end of March and during the first two weeks of April. On various occasions this week the total number of BCH transactions per day has surpassed coins like dash, litecoin, and dogecoin. The data for Thursday, April 18 according to Fork.lol shows that the BCH chain processed 41,852 transactions in the last 24 hours and around 1,750 per hour.

Statistics Show Bitcoin Cash Is a Strong Contender After Crypto Winter
BCH transactions per day top dash, doge, and litecoin.

As mentioned above, there’s been a lot of development lately within the BCH ecosystem and this has contributed to the increase in onchain transactions. There’s the influx of SLP tokens and some of the latest tokens are now held on exchanges with real-world value. The micronation of Liberland’s SLP token, merits (LLM), has a market valuation of $952,253 at the time of writing. Moreover, BCH enthusiasts have made hundreds of SLP tokens onchain and users have been trading these coins for fun. Lots of other development has taken place with projects like Badger Wallet, the Last Will Platform, Cashshuffle, Blockupload, Crescent Cash, Bchgallery, Menu.cash, SLP Lode Runner, Neutrino, Lazyfox, and Taskopus. Cashshuffle has been very popular and there was a total of 2,027 BCH ($622,289) shuffled according to statistics recorded last week. Furthermore, BCH supporters are looking forward to Schnorr Signatures this May. Between Schnorr, Neutrino, and Cashshuffle, the BCH network will be packing a whole lot of privacy protocols.

Statistics Show Bitcoin Cash Is a Strong Contender After Crypto Winter
Many BCH supporters have been using Cashshuffle since it was launched on the Electron Cash wallet. The application will also be ported to the Bitcoin.com Wallet soon which will add more liquidity to the platform.

Additionally, the BCH application Cointext, an SMS-powered BCH wallet that enables permissionless access to borderless cash by allowing people to text bitcoin cash to any mobile phone, is now supported in 42 countries. Overall, across social media and forums, most BCH fans are pleased with the market and network achievements over the last few weeks, deeming these metrics a lot more meaningful than the vitriol that various cryptocurrency factions have expended on Twitter lately.

What do you think about the bitcoin cash network and market activity lately? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, @tracyspcy, Bitinfocharts.com, Coin Dance Cash, and Markets.Bitcoin.com.


Now live, Markets.Bitcoin.com. A comprehensive, real-time listing of the cryptocurrency market. View prices, charts, transaction volumes, and more for the top 500 cryptocurrencies trading today.

The post Statistics Show Bitcoin Cash Is a Strong Contender After Crypto Winter appeared first on Bitcoin News.

from Bitcoin News http://bit.ly/2Gl9SQf Statistics Show Bitcoin Cash Is a Strong Contender After Crypto Winter

#USA Working backwards to uncover key success factors

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If you’re a SaaS business — you’re likely overwhelmed with data and an ever-growing list of acronyms that purport to unlock secret keys to your success. But like most things — tracking with you do has very little impact on what you actually do.

It’s really important to find one, or a very small number, of key indicators to track and then base your activities against those. It’s arguable that SaaS businesses are becoming TOO data driven — at the expense of focussing on the core business and the reason they exist.

In this article, we’ll look at focusing on metrics that matter, metrics that help form activities, not just measure them in retrospect.

Most of the metrics we track, such as revenue growth, are lagging indicators. But growth is a result, not an activity you can drive. Just saying you want to grow an extra 10% doesn’t mean anything towards actually achieving it.

Since growth funnels are generally looked at from top to bottom, and in a historical context — a good exercise can be the other way around — go bottom-up, starting with the end result (the growth goal) and figure out what each stage needs to contribute to achieve it.

You can do this by looking at leading indicators. These are metrics that you can influence — and that as you act, and see them increase or decrease, you can be relatively certain of the knock-on effects on the rest of the business. For example — if you run a project management product, the number of tasks created is likely to be a good leading indicator for the growth of the business — more tasks created on the platform equals more revenue.

from Startups – TechCrunch https://tcrn.ch/2IIqowb

#USA Uber, Lyft implement new safety measures

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Uber and Lyft instituted new safety features and policies this week.

The move follows the death of Samantha Josephson, a student at the University of South Carolina, who was kidnapped and murdered in late March. She was found dead after getting into a vehicle that she believed to be her Uber ride. The murder, which has garnered nationwide media attention, seems to have spurred action by the ride sharing behemoths.

In response, Uber is launching the Campus Safety Initiative, which includes new features in the app. Currently, the features are in testing, and they remind riders to check the license plate, make, and model of the car, as well as the driver’s name and picture, before ever entering into a vehicle. The test is running in South Carolina, in partnership with the University of South Carolina, with plans to roll out nationwide.

Lyft, which went public on March 29, has implemented continuous background checks for drivers this week. (Uber has had in place since last year.) Lyft also enhanced its identify verification process for drivers, which combines driver’s license verification and photographic identity verification to prevent driver identify fraud on the platform.

Uber, prepping to debut on the public market, is taking the safety precautions seriously. The new system reminds riders about checking their ride three separate times: the first is a banner at the bottom of the app once the ride has been ordered, the second is a warning to check license plate, car details and photo, and the third is an actual push notification before the driver arrives reminding riders to check once more.

Alongside the reminder system, Uber told is also working to build out dedicated pickup zones in the Five Points district of Columbia, with plans to roll out dedicated pick-up zones at other U.S. universities.

That said, Uber has also warned investors ahead of its IPO about a forthcoming safety report on the company, which could be damaging to the brand. The report is supposed to be released sometime this year, and will give the public its first comprehensive look at the scale of safety incidents and issues that occur on the platform.

“The public responses to this transparency report or similar public reporting of safety incidents claimed to have occurred on our platform … may result in negative media coverage and increased regulatory scrutiny and could adversely affect our reputation with platform users,” said Uber in its April 14 IPO paperwork.

Indeed, the issue of safety on platforms like Uber and Lyft, or really any app that asks you to be alone with total strangers, goes well beyond any single incident. A CNN investigation found that 103 Uber drivers had been accused of sexual assault or abuse in the last four years.

from Startups – TechCrunch https://tcrn.ch/2Pg1xBr

#USA Y Combinator grad Fuzzbuzz lands $2.7M seed round to deliver fuzzing as service

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Fuzzbuzz, a graduate of the most recent Y Combinator class, got the kind of news every early-stage startup wants to hear when it landed a $2.7 million seed round to help deliver a special class of automated software testing known as fuzzing in the form of a cloud service.

Fuel Capital led the round. Homebrew and Susa Ventures also participated, along with various angel investors, including Docker co-founder Solomon Hykes, Mesosphere co-founder Florian Leibert and Looker co-founder Ben Porterfield.

What Fuzzbuzz does specifically is automate fuzzing at scale, says co-founder and CEO Andrei Serban. “It’s a type of automated software testing that can perform thousands of tests per second,” he explained. Fuzzbuzz is also taking advantage of artificial intelligence and machine learning underpinnings to use feedback from the results to generate new tests automatically, so that it should get smarter as it goes along.

The goal is to cover as much of the code as possible, much faster and more efficiently than human testers ever could, and find vulnerabilities and bugs. It’s the kind of testing every company generating code would obviously want to do, but the problem is that up until now the process has been expensive and required highly specialized security engineers to undertake. Companies like Google and Facebook are able to hire these kinds of people to build fuzzing solutions, but for the most part, it’s been out of reach for your average company.

Serban says his co-founder, Everest Munro-Zeisberger, worked on the Google Chrome fuzzing team, which has surfaced more than 15,000 bugs using this technique. He wanted to put this type of testing in reach of anyone.

“Today, anyone can start fuzzing on Fuzzbuzz in less than 20 minutes. We hook directly into GitHub and your CI/CD pipeline, categorize and de-duplicate each bug found, and then notify you through tools like Slack and Jira. Using the Fuzzbuzz CLI, developers can then test and fix the bug locally before pushing their code back up to GitHub,” the company wrote in a blog post announcing the funding.

It’s still early days, and the startup is working with some initial customers. The funding should help the three founders, Serban, Munro-Zeisberger and Sabera Hussain, to hire more engineers and bring a more complete solution to market. It’s an ambitious undertaking, but if it succeeds in creating a fuzzing service, it could mean delivering code with fewer bugs, and that would be good for everyone.

from Startups – TechCrunch https://tcrn.ch/2VauF2e

#Blockchain PR: MoneyToken Launches VIP Services for Big Crypto Investors

MoneyToken Launches VIP Services for Big Crypto Investors

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

Some great news today for all crypto-holders and investors: top crypto-lending platform MoneyToken has just released a unique VIP Customer Service Program for major asset holders and institutions.

MoneyToken’s VIP clients gain exclusive access to their own Personal Manager who will provide them with a 24/7 high-quality service and access to a list of benefits not found anywhere in the crypto lending world.

This service has been specifically created to cater for busy asset holders that don’t have time to constantly manage their assets alone. If the client is busy or doesn’t have time to effectively manage his/her assets, managers will take all asset management issues, saving your time and efforts.

With this, MoneyToken becomes the only crypto lending platform that offers a VIP level of customer service, at a global scale.

Presenting a whole new level of client service to the crypto lending market, MoneyToken makes VIP service free of charge for those clients, whose assets exceed $50,000 and making it more than affordable for smaller assets with $300 monthly fee.

Through the MoneyToken VIP Service, clients gain access to the following list of exclusive features:

1. Lending services
With access through your VIP account to MoneyToken lending services, you can borrow credit funds using your crypto assets as a collateral.
Or you can safely and securely lend your assets through MoneyToken and receive daily interest revenue by getting your investments to work for you.

2. Crypto assets and collateral trading
This is a pure crypto lending innovation: with full control over your assets, you are able to make collateral trading and account operations with the help of your Personal Manager at any time and from any location.

3. Short selling
For experienced traders who hold a VIP account with MoneyToken, use short selling to earn money on the volatile cryptocurrency market: if you foresee rises and falls in the market, you can consult your Personal Manager and look for ways to benefit from upcoming potential price changes.

4. Hedging
Hedging is a series of complex actions implemented by experienced traders and investors to lower the risks on their investments. You can convert your assets to fiat or stablecoins to protect them from sudden price falls. This includes futures, short selling and perpetual swaps – all of which can be effectively implemented with the assistance from your Personal Manager.

5. Private token sales
All VIP clients get immediate access to closed private token sales; it gives clients the ability to make smart investment decisions and benefit for the significant discounts that private sales can offer.

6. OTC services
A great option for VIP clients to quickly convert their crypto-assets into fiat currency with no additional hassle, fees or transaction limits.

Focus on what you need and leave your day-to-day asset management to the experts in the MoneyToken VIP Customer Service Team.

27/4 Portfolio Access

MoneyToken VIP clients have access to their personal portfolio anytime from any location and on any device, with individual 24/7 assistance by contacting your Personal Manager via phone call, email or Telegram.

B2B & B2C Management

For major crypto-asset organisations, MoneyToken offers the perfect B2B levels of client service. Large asset holders require an individual approach that meets various business demands and that provides a fast, professional assistance.

At the same time, the MoneyToken VIP Customer Service account works for the individual asset holder, meeting your individual demands; you can take a vacation or throw yourself into your work, leaving asset management tasks to our VIP Customer Service Team to complete on your behalf.

A VIP-level of Customer Service for serious asset holders and a new experience in the cryptocurrency. For more information, go to MoneyToken website.

Contact Email Address
h.black@iconic.info

Supporting Link
https://www.google.com/url?q=http://moneytoken.com/?utm_source%3DBitcoin.com%26utm_medium%3Darticle%26utm_campaign%3Dvip&sa=D&ust=1555595272524000&usg=AFQjCNF7Tv8MbK18FE8S5zPWXAn5vPTD_w

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

The post PR: MoneyToken Launches VIP Services for Big Crypto Investors appeared first on Bitcoin News.

from Bitcoin News http://bit.ly/2UqoWRi PR: MoneyToken Launches VIP Services for Big Crypto Investors

#USA Marketing platform startup Adverity raises $12.4M in round led by Felix Capital

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Marketers get a lot of incoming from the data they have to deal with, bound up in hundreds of spreadsheets and reports, making it time consuming and tricky to get value out of. Tech companies like Datorama and Funnel.io have appeared to try and lighten this load.

Adverity is a data intelligence platform also playing in this space by applying AI to produce actionable insights in real-time.

Founded in 2015, it’s a cloud agnostic SaaS platform compatible with Amazon, Google and Microsoft which provides data to destinations such as SQL databases, Snowflake, AWS Redshift, SAP HANA. Its business model is based on yearly subscription fees.

It’s now closed an €11 million ($12.4 million) Series B funding round, bringing the total amount raised to date to €15 million ($17 million). The investment is led by London-based Felix Capital, with participation from Silicon Valley’s Sapphire Ventures and the SAP.iO fund. The company now plans to use its war chest to expand into the US market.

In addition to the latest round of investors, Adverity continues to be backed by existing investors including, Speedinvest, Mangrove Capital (early backer of Skype, Wix.com and Walkman), 42cap, and local Austrian company the AWS Founders Fund.

Adverity’s latest AI-powered product Presense is currently under closed beta testing for selected clients and will be launched later this year.

Alexander Igelsböck, CEO and Co-Founder of Adverity, commented: “Every company wants and needs to be data-driven. This is especially true in marketing where the fragmentation of data, and complexity in getting insights from it, poses a huge challenge for CMOs. Adverity’s mission is to solve those challenges by eliminating the hurdles facing companies today.”

Adverity’s clients include companies such as IKEA, Red Bull, Mediacom, Mindshare and IPG. Headquartered in Vienna, Austria, the company has offices across London, Sofia and Frankfurt.

Sasha Astafyeva, Principal at Felix Capital, commented: “Data is a powerful tool for engaging customers and Adverity helps marketers harness the power of their data to make better decisions, grow their business and better serve their customers.”

The company’s founding members are Alexander Igelsböck, Martin Brunthaler and Andreas Glänzer. Igelsböck previously headed a startup incubator in Austria (KochAbo GmbH) and prior to that was VP Product Management at VeriSign Inc, where he met Brunthaler, who was Director of Engineering. Glänzer’s experience was gained in a sales role at Google and as Regional Head of iProspect. The three previously founded a price comparison technology company that was acquired by Heise Media in Germany.

from Startups – TechCrunch https://tcrn.ch/2VaCRzE

#USA The different playbooks of D2C brands

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Over the past half a decade, the tidal wave of niche brands delivering new kinds of products to consumers and doing so online has changed the retail and CPG landscapes forever.

This shift has in some way caused a shakeout in traditional retail, with once-popular retailers announcing store closures (JCPenney, Sears) or even liquidation (Payless, Toys R Us) and has sent fashion houses and CPG brands on a soul-searching journey. The changing demographics and desires of shoppers have also fueled the decline of traditional brands and their distribution mechanisms.

This bleak scenario of incumbent consumer brands is in stark contrast to the rapid emergence of a host of digitally-native Direct to Consumer (D2C) brands. A few D2C brands have been successful enough to become unicorns! Retailers like Walmart, Nordstrom, and Target have quickly adapted to the D2C era.

Walmart has made a string of acquisitions beginning with Jet.com and Bonobos. Nordstrom has broadened its assortment to include D2C brands, Target has partnered with Harry’s, Quip, and Flamingo – all of which have rolled out their products in Target’s stores across the country. Target has also invested in Casper, which is the latest D2C brand to become a Unicorn.

Venture capital firms have invested over four billion dollars in D2C brands since 2012, with 2018 alone accounting for over a billion. With investment comes pressure to scale and deliver profits. And this pressure is bringing the focus on some pertinent questions – How are these D2C brands going to evolve and how could they sustain as businesses?

Like always, the pioneering companies find their path and we then derive the playbooks out of them. From PipeCandy’s analysis of several D2C brands, we see the following approaches taken by D2C brands.

  • Playbook 1: Brand’s purpose anchored around one product category
  • Playbook 2: Brand’s purpose anchored around multiple product categories
  • Playbook 3: Brand’s purpose anchored around aggregation of other brands (for sale or rent)

We discuss the market size and capital availability factors that influence the paths and the outcomes.

Table of Contents

  1. D2C playbooks
    1. Playbook 1: Brand’s purpose anchored around one product category
    2. Playbook 2: Brand’s purpose anchored around multiple product categories
    3. Playbook 3: Brand’s purpose anchored around aggregation of other brands (for sale or rent)
  2. Access to capital and how D2C playbooks are impacted
  3. The VC route to scale
  4. The non-VC route to scale
  5. Outcome without hitting scale
  6. Roll-ups by strategic buyers
  7. Roll-ups by financial buyers
  8. Brand incubators

Brand’s Purpose anchored around one product category:

Many of these D2C brands that have experienced early success owe their rise largely to an authentic relationship with consumers that is built on the promise of one product. In many ways, focusing on one product line and a small set of SKUs makes total business sense.

Design, Production, Marketing & Customer Support complexities can stay manageable with such deliberate narrowing down of focus.

In some categories, you could stay focused on one product line for a long time and build a successful company.

from Startups – TechCrunch https://tcrn.ch/2Uqjj5C

#USA Phantom Auto raises $13.5M to expand remote driving business to delivery bots and forklifts

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Remote driving startup Phantom Auto has raised $13.5 million of financing in a Series A round led by Bessemer Venture Partners — capital used to expand a logistics business targeting sidewalks, warehouses and cargo yards, all the places where autonomy and teleoperation are being deployed today.

The startup, founded in 2017, has raised about $19 million to date. Byron Deeter and Tess Hatch from Bessemer have joined Phantom’s board.

The so-called “race” to deploy self-driving trucks, robotaxi services and other applications of autonomous vehicle technology on public roads has encountered a speed bump of sorts that has sent ripples throughout the nascent industry.

In short: autonomous vehicles are hard and everyone seems to be waking up to that fact.

As deployment timelines have moved, companies have quieted. Some have pivoted, shuttered, or been snapped up in acquisitions by other better capitalized companies looking for talent. Other companies, like Phantom Auto that are adjacent to the industry, are expanding into new areas as they wait for autonomous vehicle developers to catch up.

Phantom Auto co-founder Elliot Katz emphasized that the company is still working with customers deploying autonomous passenger and commercial vehicles on public roads. This new logistics business, however, holds more near-term potential. 

“We continue to be designed into our customers’ stacks who are focusing on AVs on public roads, but it will take some time for autonomous passenger vehicles and commercial trucks to be deployed at scale,” Phantom founder Shai Magzimof said in a statement.

The company is working with some of the largest logistics companies in the world, Katz said. Phantom Auto isn’t providing a full list of customers yet. One named partner is Dutch yard truck manufacturer Terberg.

Katz told TechCrunch that customers include companies launching autonomous delivery robots. They’re also using the platform to remotely operate forklifts and yard trucks equipped with its teleoperation software. Yard trucks are used by major retailers, for example. 

There has been zero innovation with yard trucks in the past 40 years,” Katz said. “And customers in this segment, are itching to gain efficiencies. That’s that’s the name of the game for them. They see this as a path to get there.”

Phantom Auto’s teleoperation platform allows a remote driver, sometimes located thousands of miles away, to take control of an autonomous vehicle if needed. The platform, which uses public cellular networks, isn’t designed to take over in a split second in hopes of avoiding an accident. Instead, it’s used as a safety backup to take control of the vehicle if it encounters a difficult scenario and gets confused, or is even involved in an accident.

In the logistics application, the Phantom Auto system is used in low speed environments. A remote control center could control a company’s yard trucks anywhere in the country.

Phantom Auto isn’t employing the remote drivers in this use case. Instead, Katz said these logistics customers typically want to train their own employees how to use the platform. And this doesn’t necessarily replace drivers who are on the ground operating these yard trucks or forklifts. The system is seen as a way to use workers at one location that is experiencing a lull in activity to remotely operate a busier spot farther away.

For delivery robots, the platform can be used to help the vehicle handle tricky situations like stairs or other complex environments.

from Startups – TechCrunch https://tcrn.ch/2vbZZiy

#Blockchain Darwinos Burger Joint Hosts Colombia’s Second Point of Sale and Crypto ATM

Three months, ago news.Bitcoin.com reported on Panda Exchange launching a hybrid point-of-sale (PoS) and cryptocurrency ATM in Bogotá, Colombia. Since then, the Panda team has also helped Athena Bitcoin install a crypto ATM in Cúcuta, Colombia to serve as a crypto gateway for Venezuelans. On April 17, Panda announced the installation of its second digital currency PoS terminal at Cúcuta’s most popular burger restaurant, Darwinos.

Also read: Strong Evidence Suggests a Single Entity Mined More Than 1 Million Bitcoin

Panda Exchange Launches Another Exeler BTM in South America

Spreading cryptocurrency throughout Latin America is a big deal to the Panda Group team and the company’s founder Arley Lozano. Panda Group provides cryptocurrency solutions globally and operates the trading platform Panda Exchange. Last January, news.Bitcoin.com spoke with Lozano about the hybrid PoS terminal and cryptocurrency ATM installed in Bogotá, at La Tortata sweet shop.

Darwinos Burger Joint Hosts Colombia's Second Point of Sale and Crypto ATM

Panda calls the device the Xeler BTM and the terminal allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, as well as the ability to process payments for products purchased with BCH, BTC, and DAI. This week, Lozano told our newsdesk about the latest Xeler installation which took place in Cúcuta Colombia at the well-known burger shop Darwinos. Lozano explained that Darwinos serves the best burgers in Cúcuta and the team saw a good turn out the day the Exeler was installed. Now users can buy food and beverages with crypto and also purchase digital assets in exchange for Colombian pesos.

Darwinos Burger Joint Hosts Colombia's Second Point of Sale and Crypto ATM
Panda Group founder Arley Lozano installing the Xeler terminal at Darwinos burger joint in Cúcuta.

Lozano and Panda are no strangers to the Cúcuta region which is very close to the border of Venezuela. On March 18, Lozano and his team consulted the ATM company Athena Bitcoin and helped them install a cryptocurrency ATM in the city of Cúcuta. Athena’s blog post says that Panda Exchange was responsible for coordinating the logistics for the installation of the Athena ATM. Both teams hope that the ATM serves as a cryptocurrency gateway for not only local residents but also bordering Venezuelans as well.

Darwinos Burger Joint Hosts Colombia's Second Point of Sale and Crypto ATM
Panda Group helping the Athena Bitcoin team coordinate the ATM installation in Cúcuta which is very close to the Venezuelan border.

Cúcuta, otherwise known as San Jose de Cúcuta, is a metropolitan area that borders the economically stricken country of Venezuela. Since the economic hardships and civil unrest under Maduro’s authoritarian regime, many Venezuelans have sought refuge in Cúcuta. The city has acted as a hub of commerce in the Norte de Santander region and this is why Athena Bitcoin and Panda Exchange have been making strides in this area.

Spreading Cryptocurrency Accessibility to the Unbanked in Colombia and Venezuela

The Darwinos installation is now the second portable cryptocurrency terminal in Colombia and Lozano tells our publication that the team hopes to have about 100 of these devices distributed throughout Colombia and Venezuela by the year’s end. Roughly 20 of those devices will be installed in the region at a well-known chain of pharmacies. The company also detailed that there’s no regulatory guidelines at the moment in Colombia that require users to declare taxes when they use the Xeler BTM. There is a minimum of about US$15 worth of crypto that can be purchased and Panda does take a small commission from digital currency purchases and PoS transactions. Further, the Xeler has an integrated KYC system which requires the user to verify their identity for ATM transactions and a single record is made per user. Panda integrated the Xpay payment processor with Xeler which allows merchants to process payments with cryptocurrencies.

Darwinos Burger Joint Hosts Colombia's Second Point of Sale and Crypto ATM
The day the Xeler machine and Xpay was integrated at Darwinos saw a lot of customers.

Lozano and Panda believe that spreading peer-to-peer digital currencies throughout the region will help economic freedom flourish for people who need it most. Not only does the latest terminal provide more accessibility to bordering Venezuelans seeking refuge in Cúcuta, the machine also helps locals a great deal. The company told news.Bitcoin.com that roughly 55% of Colombians are unbanked, so the Exeler PoS terminal and crypto ATM solution is focused on buying and selling digital assets with Colombian pesos.

“At Panda Group we are happy to spread cryptocurrency adoption in Cúcuta and it’s also my hometown,” Lozano stressed. “Moreover, many Panda team members have a heart and soul for our friends and family in Venezuela Deploying Xeler with our Xpay solution will help our brothers and sisters be able to buy cryptocurrencies direct during these hard economic times.” The Panda Group founder concluded:

Our next plan is to deploy more Xeler terminals and Xpay throughout a variety of supermarkets and pharmacies. Panda Group was born to help our brothers and sisters with crypto solutions and provide accessibility to real people.

What do you think about Panda Exchange launching another Exeler terminal in Cúcuta Colombia? Let us know what you think about this project in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Panda Exchange, Athena Bitcoin ATM logo, Arley Lozano, and Darwinos.


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The post Darwinos Burger Joint Hosts Colombia’s Second Point of Sale and Crypto ATM appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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