UK Reported Data Breaches Increase 400%
London, England: The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has reported a 400 percent increase in cyber-security incidents being disclosed to it, following the implementation of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
In the period from April to June 2018, there were 414 reports of “cyber-incidents” made to the ICO from various industries. This compares to 97 in the previous quarter.
Meanwhile, in the broader category of data security, the ICO said that in the same period, there were 3,146 “incidents”, equating to a rise of 228 percent compared to 957 in the preceding quarter.
The increase coincides with the commencement of GDPR rules in May 2018, requiring all incidents be reported to the ICO within 72 hours.
EU Approves Microsoft’s USD 7.5 bn GitHub Deal
Brussels, Belgium: The European Commission has announced that it has given the green light to the USD 7.5 billion acquisition of Github by Microsoft.
The Commission said that effective competition in the relevant markets would remain and that Microsoft would have no incentive to undermine the open nature of GitHub’s platform which has a 28 million developer community worldwide.
Lyft buys UK Start-up to Advance Self-Driving Vehicles
London, England: US ride-hailing company Lyft, has bought UK technology start-up, Blue Vision Labs.
Blue Vision was founded in 2016 by a team from the University of Oxford and Imperial College London and raised $17m from investors including Alphabet’s, GV, Accel and Horizons Ventures.
The acquisition gives Lyft the expertise in computer vision to develop maps of the environment surrounding a vehicle.
Blue Vision’s 40-person staff will join Lyft and will remain in London. Lyft’s London presence in is in addition to the Munich base it opened last year to advance its mapping technology.
US Fortinet Cybersecurity makes EU Acquisition
Edinburgh, Scotland: US-based cybersecurity firm, Fortinet has acquired ZoneFox – an insider threat detection and response company headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland.
ZoneFox, a spin-out from Edinburgh’s Napier University, was established in 2010 and focuses on providing security systems that tackle the growing issue of insider threats to organisations across the globe. Its customers include healthcare firm Craneware, Zenith Bank, Rockstar Games, Bede Gaming, Pinsent Masons and Virgin Care.
ZoneFox’s team will join Fortinet as part of the agreement, while its technology will be implemented in the FortiClient endpoint security solution.
Uber Surcharge in London to Subsidise Electric Cars
London, England: Uber is planning to add a surcharge to all fares booked via its app in London in a move to assist drivers to buy electric vehicles.
The fee, expected to be 15p ($0.20) per mile, will be introduced “early” in 2019.
The surcharge will add about 45p (($0.59) to the cost of an average London journey.
Uber says drivers working for 40 hours per week could generate a contribution of up to £1,500 ($1950) a year via the top-up fee and says it expects the scheme to raise more than £200m ($260m) over the “next few years” to assist its drivers to switch to electric vehicles and that the scheme will also contribute towards plans to curb air pollution in the London capital.
The initiative comes soon after the UK government cut the subsidies available for purchasing greener cars. From November, grants for plug-in hybrids will cease and those for all-electric cars will drop from £4,500 ($5,850) to £3,500 ($4,550).
Facebook Hires Former UK Deputy Prime Minister
London, England, / Menlo Park, California: Facebook has hired former UK Deputy Prime Minister, Sir Nick Clegg, as head of its global affairs and communications team.
The 51-year-old politician was leader of the Liberal Democrat Party and formed a coalition government with the David Cameron led Conservative Party in 2010.
Ironically, Mr Clegg whas not been a past advocate of Facebook, commenting that he was “not especially bedazzled by Facebook and I actually find the messianic Californian new-worldy-touchy-feely culture of Facebook a little grating, nor am I convinced that companies such as Facebook really pay all the tax they could – though that’s as much the fault of governments who still haven’t got their tax act together.”
However, these past sentiments do not seem to have hindered either his recruiters or his own decision to join the company now.
Sir Nick’s new job title will be VP Global Affairs and Communications. He will start immediately and he will move permanently to California with his family in the New Year.
Berlin-based scooter rental start-up raises €25M
Berlin, Germany: Berlin-based tech company, TIER has secured a €25 million ($32.5) funding round.
TIER’s co-founders include Lawrence Leuschner, CEO, who founded and ran reBuy; Julian Blessin, CPO, an experienced Angel investor who worked with the electric road scooter start-up COUP; and Matthias Laug CTO, a lead consultant at Thought Works in Berlin and former CTO at Takeaway.com.
Last week, 250 of their green electric scooters hit the streets of Vienna as TIER launched its first scooter-hire scheme. The company says it is planning to expand into other, yet unspecified European cities.
Its current fee for the scooter rental is €1 to unlock the vehicle and €0.15 per minute of riding.
Similar to the US-founded pioneers Bird and Lime and Sweden’s Voi Technologies – recently raised €2 million – TIER offers low-cost rental of electric push scooters scattered around the city streets. Users unlock a TIER scooter via an app and then leave it behind, wherever, once their journey is complete.
Stockholm-based AR/VR Start-up Raises $7.5 million
Stockholm, Sweden: Stockholm-based start-up, Resolution Games, has raised up $7.5 million in Series B funding at an $87.5 million valuation.
The round was led by MizMaa Ventures with participation from GV, GP Bullhound, Fly Forever, David Helgason, Partech, Bonnier Ventures, Creandum and Sisu Game Ventures. To date, the company has raised $13.5 million.
The studio has been primarily building for headset based experiences and has been among the first adopters for many of the emerging platforms.
Resolution Games has titles for Magic, Leap, Oculus Rift, Gear VR, Daydream and HTC Vive, though most of their work has been focused on mobile VR systems.
The company is also working on a follow-up to their Bait fishing title which brings gameplay to mobile via ARKit.
German travel platform GoEuro Secures $150m
Berlin, Germany: GoEuro, a Berlin based booking platform for trans-European travel has raised $150 million, doubling the company’s total capital raised to date.
Founded 5 years ago as a metasearch engine, GoEuro operates a multi-modal transport booking platform in Europe, making direct sales on its platform for 80% of its transport providers.
Headquartered in Berlin with over 300 employees, the company plans to use the fresh capital to advance its vision of unifying transport globally, by accelerating product innovation and expanding into new markets.
The investment values the company at between $900 million and $1 billion according to estimates.
TravelPerk secures $44 million funding
Barcelona, Spain: Travelperk, a startup which turned into one of the fastest growing ‘Software as a Service’ companies in Europe, has secured $43.7 million (€38 million) in a Series C funding participated in by some of the world’s most successful tech investors including Kinnevik, Yuri Milner and Tom Stafford.
This new funding will primarily be used to expand into new markets and accelerate growth towards its ambition to become the world’s leading corporate travel platform.
Founded in 2015, TravelPerk says it is simplifying the travel management process for hundreds of thousands of travellers, by cutting the time needed to manage a trip, from 3 or 4 hours to just 10 minutes.
The company says that its streamlined process saves companies more than 20% in annual travel costs.