services

“Expanding India’s Wealth Management and Stock Broking Market: Jio Financial and BlackRock Join Forces”

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Jio Financial and BlackRock to tap India’s wealth management and stock broking marketJio Financial Services, part of the Indian conglomerate Reliance, is forming a joint venture with U.S. asset manager BlackRock to set up a wealth management and stock broking business in India, the two firms said Monday. The announcement follows BlackRock and Jio Financial launching a joint venture last year to offer asset management services in India. The two companies plan to invest $150 million each in the joint venture, they said last year. The expansion of BlackRock and Jio Financial’s partnership underscores Reliance’s growing ambitions in the financial services sector. Since its public debut in August, Jio Financial Services has already expanded to insurance and lending businesses.

“Tokyo Hub Welcomes OpenAI: Introducing GPT-4 Model Specifically Designed for Japanese Language”

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OpenAI is expanding to Japan, with the opening of a new Tokyo office and plans for a GPT-4 model optimized specifically for the Japanese language. Japan is the current G7 chair and President of the G7’s Hiroshima AI Process, an initiative to promote AI safety, including stronger AI governance. EnterprisingAs president of OpenAI Japan, Nagasaki will be tasked with building a local team on the ground to double down on OpenAI’s business in the country. OpenAI says ChatGPT is also being used by local governments to “improve the efficiency of public services in Japan.”ChatGPT has long been conversant in multiple languages, including Japanese. For now, OpenAI is giving early access to the GPT-4 custom model to some local businesses, with access gradually opened up via the OpenAI API “in the coming months.”

“Exploring the Reinvention of the Internet: TikTok and Meta’s Recent Actions Reflect a Rise in Commercialization”

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TikTok is working towards launching a new app called TikTok Notes that will allow users to post images in an apparent bid to rival Instagram, a service best known for its static-photo sharing feature. Instagram, of course, has expanded into video and stories itself, taking pieces of other services and incorporating them into its own product. As is nearly every social service you can imagine. If it works for one social media service, expect the rest to follow in some manner at some point — probably sooner rather than later. Expanding a feature set can bolster engaged time, and therefore how much revenue a social media service can earn.

“From Roadside Fueling to Revolutionary Transportation: The Evolution of Yoshi Mobility”

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Yoshi Mobility has come a long way since gassing up cars on the side of the roadAlmost 10 years ago, Bryan Frist, Nick Alexander and Daniel Hunter had an idea to inject some technology into the automotive industry. Using the initial entry point of gas, they started the Yoshi Mobility app to deliver gas to San Francisco-area consumers on their day of choice for $20 per month. Expansion and new businessToday, Nashville-based Yoshi Mobility is settled into three business lines: preventative maintenance, virtual vehicle inspections and electric vehicle charging. It has boots on the ground in 15 states, but can offer vehicle services to customers in all 50 states. Yoshi Mobility has increased its revenue 10x monthly since its Series B in late 2020, Frist said.

“Unleashing the Power of AI: Multiverse’s Apprentice Unicorn, Searchlight, Takes the Lead”

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The company has bought Searchlight, a startup and recruitment platform that uses artificial intelligence-based technology to source talent. The plan will be to use Searchlight’s tech to build new AI products for Multiverse to expand its professional training services. After that, the plan will be to wind down Searchlight’s recruitment services as they focus on Multiverse’s business. Some people will use AI to speed up what they do; others will claim that AI is taking over certain jobs altogether. “From the start, Anna and Kerry have been thoughtful about building Searchlight’s AI models to complement their vision,” Keith Rabois, who led the Series A, said in a statement provided to TechCrunch.

“Artificial Intelligence Mastermind Demis Hassabis Receives Knighthood for Contributions at Google DeepMind HQ in UK”

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Alongside Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman, who Microsoft hired from AI startup Inflection AI last week, Hassabis founded DeepMind out of London in 2010. So it does make sense that the U.K. would seek to honor one of its most high-profile AI figureheads. Other notable figures from the technology world to receive knighthoods include Apple’s Jonathan “Jony” Ive back in 2011 for “services to design and enterprise.”Delighted and honoured to receive a Knighthood for services to AI. It’s been an incredible journey so far building @GoogleDeepMind over the past 15 years, helping accelerate the field and grow the UK & global AI ecosystems. the king or queen at that given time — technically making the final decision on who receives them.

Acquisition of EarlyDay by Wonderschool, backed by a16z

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Wonderschool, a startup that provides software and support to help individuals and local governments spin up childcare businesses, has acquired EarlyDay, which operates an early childhood educator marketplace. TechCrunch has covered Wonderschool since its infancy, including both of its seed rounds and its Series A (led by Andreessen Horowitz). Back in early 2022, Wonderschool raised a $25 million Series B at a $165 million post-money valuation, according to Crunchbase data. Indeed, a quick search for “childcare crisis” will show you just how worried parents of young kids are and how strapped they are for affordable options. If the Wonderschool-EarlyDay deal works out, we could see an increase in the supply of childcare services.

“Staff Reductions at Synctera: The Newest Player in Banking-as-a-Service Industry”

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Banking-as-a-service startup (BaaS) Synctera has conducted a restructuring that has resulted in a staff reduction, the company confirmed to TechCrunch. While Synctera did not share how many employees were impacted, a report in Fintech Business Weekly pegs the number to be about 17 people, or about 15% of the company. Synctera built a platform designed to bring together fintech companies and sponsor banks. Treasury Prime slashed half its 100-person staff in February, a year after it announced a $40 million Series C raise. Meanwhile, Piermont Bank reportedly cut ties with startup Unit, FinTech Business reported.

“Developers Can Now Access Over 20 Cutting-Edge APIs from Adobe’s Firefly Services”

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Adobe today announced Firefly Services, a set of over 20 new generative and creative APIs, tools and services. Firefly Services makes some of the company’s AI-powered features from its Creative Cloud tools like Photoshop available to enterprise developers to speed up content creation in their custom workflows — or create entirely new solutions. In addition, the company also today launched Custom Models, which allows businesses to fine tune Firefly models based on their assets. Custom Models is already built into Adobe’s new GenStudio. In addition to these AI features, Firefly Services also exposes tools for editing text layers, tagging content and applying presets from Lightroom, for example.

OKX Crypto Trading Halts Operations in India

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Crypto exchange OKX is ceasing services for users in India, it said in an email to customers Thursday, advising them to withdraw their funds by April-end. The move follows Apple and Google pulling the eponymous app of OKX in the country after an Indian government agency said many crypto exchanges were operating illegally in the South Asian market. Financial Intelligence Unit, the government agency, named Binance, Kraken, Huobi and Gate.io among apps operating “illegally” in India but hadn’t named OKX in its public statement. OKX has advised customers in India to close all their active margin positions and withdraw all funds by April 30. While India-based crypto exchanges continued to require rigorous know-your-customer verifications before onboarding new users, the same hasn’t been true of many global platforms.