Europe

French startup BlaBlaCar is announcing plans to acquire Ouibus, the bus division of France’s national railway company SNCF. For the first time, BlaBlaCar is moving beyond carpooling and plans to offer both long-distance carpooling rides and bus rides. BlaBlaCar already ran a test with Ouibus for the past six months on popular corridors. It looks
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Netflix has persuaded everyone’s favorite naturalist, David Attenborough, to voice its forthcoming original nature documentary series, Our Planet, which is slated to put conservation squarely in the frame, not just offer glorious animal eye-candy. It’s a timely moment to focus on conservation with climate change posing existential threats to global biodiversity — unless humans act to
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RealtimeBoard, a visual collaboration tool particularly suited to distributed teams, has picked up $25 million in Series A funding. Accel led the round, with participation from existing investor AltaIR Capital. The 150 person-strong company — which itself is distributed across offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, and Perm — says it will use the
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Infarm, the Berlin-based startup that has developed vertical farming tech for grocery stores, restaurants and local distribution centres to bring fresh and artisan produce much closer to the consumer, is expanding to Paris. Once again, the company is partnering with Metro in a move that will see Infarm’s “in-store farming” platform installed in the retailer’s
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The UK’s privacy watchdog has asked Facebook’s lead EU regulator to look into ongoing data protection concerns about its ad platform — including how its platform is being used to target and spread fake adverts to try to manipulate voters. Facebook’s international HQ is in Ireland so the regulator in play here is the Irish
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Portify, a London fintech startup that offers an app and various financial products to help gig economy workers better manage their finances and in turn improve financial wellbeing, has raised £1.3 million in seed investment. The round is led by Kindred Capital, and company builder and investor Entrepreneur First (EF), with participation from various unnamed
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Language learning company Reverso is launching a new product on the web and mobile. Reverso Synonyms is a thesaurus service that lets you learn new words and improve your vocabulary. You may have found this feature in the main Reverso translation app already. If you translate a word or a group of words, there’s a
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The UK government has announced an investigation into personalized pricing practices in online retail following growing concerns that vulnerable consumers are at risk of price discrimination through the use of ecommerce technologies that vary prices for products such as cars, holidays and household goods via the use of personal data points. The Competition Markets Authority (CMA) will
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An app that the UK’s governing party launched last year — for Conservative Party activists to gamify, ‘socialize’ and co-ordinate their campaigning activity — has been quietly pulled from app stores. Its vanishing was flagged to us earlier today, by Twitter user Sarah Parks, who noticed that, when loaded, the Campaigner app now displays a message informing users
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Well, you have to admire a staggered PR plan. Monzo, the U.K. challenger bank that just announced £85 million in Series E funding and its entrance into the fintech unicorn club, is rolling out a new feature today. The banking upstart is adding interest-earning savings accounts as an upgrade to its existing “Pots” functionality that
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French startup Lendix is changing its name to October. The company is using this opportunity to redesign its branding assets and refresh the design of the website for new users. The product remains the same — a lending platform connecting individual and institutional investors with small and medium companies. October had to change its name for
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Two separate parliamentary committees, in the UK and Canada, have issued an unprecedented international joint summons for Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg to appear before them. The committees are investigating the impact of online disinformation on democratic processes and want Zuckerberg to answer questions related to the Cambridge Analytica-Facebook user data misuse scandal, which both have been
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