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How Robinhood’s IPO “roadshow” was different from most

Robinhood seems to pride itself on doing things a little differently.For one thing, the company is among those trying to change the finance landscape by opening it up to retail investors with its commission-free trading app. As it gears up for an initial public offering expected on July 29, it also took an unorthodox approach to the usual “roadshow”...

The pandemic slowed down, but Twitter and Snapchat did not

The pandemic was a boon for social media platforms. Virtual worlds served their users well when the physical world became less hospitable. But as Covid-19 cases fell this spring in the US and much of the world, the pandemic’s effects on our social media usage did not reverse, according to recent earnings reports.Snapchat and Twitter, two stock market...

More than 450 airlines can now use IBM’s blockchain-based vaccine passport

In April, travelers at London’s Heathrow airport had to wait as long as six hours to be cleared to fly. The bottlenecks were a result of airline agents struggling to make sense of the various Covid-19 health clearances travelers were presenting. Imagine small cards, stamped documents, and digital apps in various languages and formats. The lack of standardization...

Paytm lists being seen as a “foreign-owned and controlled” company as an IPO risk

For several years now, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, a first-generation Indian billionaire who founded what is now the country’s most valued tech unicorn, has batted for “indigenous” ventures. From calling Facebook the “most evil company in the world” to being at the front of forming an app developers’ association to lobby against global technology giants,...

Why Indian jobseekers should keep an eye on Zomato now more than ever

Food delivery unicorn Zomato’s IPO may bear good news for India’s jobseekers.After going public, “the company is likely to hire more and script a new chapter in its business expansion plans to remain competitive in the Indian online food delivery market,” Ajay Kumar Thalluri, business fundamentals analyst at analytics firm GlobalData, said in a July...

The Anthony Bourdain audio deepfake is forcing a debate about AI in journalism

By now, using machine learning to simulate a dead person on screen is an accepted Hollywood technique. Synthetic media, known widely as “deepfake” (a portmanteau of “deep learning” and “fake”) technology has used been famously on Carrie Fisher in a Star Wars movie and Heath Ledger in “A Knight’s Tale”. In 2019, footage of comedian Jimmy Fallon eerily...

Once a go-to for gamers, Discord is vying to be a chat app for all

Picture a combination of Slack, AOL Instant Messenger, Zoom, and a sketchy chat room, and you have something approximating Discord. It’s essentially an all-purpose chat app, built around closed communities—called “servers”—that speak to different interests.After launching in 2015, Discord caught on first with gamers, who use it to discuss games and...

Nigeria’s ride-hailing startups are trying to survive their worst days 

It was January 2020, and the ride-hailing business in Nigeria was booming.Dopemu Abiola had just signed up to become a driver on ORide, one of the leading motorbike-hailing companies in Lagos. But just a week before he was set to start, he discovered an unusual crowd gathered around the stall of his favourite newspaper vendor.They were discussing news...

The real opportunity in space business is data, not tourism

The most important news in space business aren’t Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos’ suborbital joy rides. It’s the decision by Planet, the satellite data company, to go public after being bought by a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC), DMY Technology Group.Planet is the most mature space company to come to market—it had more than $114 million in...

Why are India’s biggest billionaires social media shy?

Many legacy companies in India have been trying to get with the times and make their businesses savvier. But the people at the helm of these companies aren’t walking the talk.Fewer than one in five Indian CEOs are active on Linkedin and Twitter, a 2019 study had revealed. Among the most notable absentees is Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man and head...

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