Swedish start-up Soundtrack Your Brand is looking to expand its geographic footprint and further develop its technology after successfully completing a $22 million investment round. The Stockholm-based firm, which boasts leading streamer Spotify as an investor, as well as a former Spotify business development head as a co-founder, boasts a streaming platform delivering custom background music to the likes of stores, eateries, hotels, bars and museums.
There’s never been a riskier time to run a sharing economy company. That’s in part because regulators are getting increasingly tough on the segment, tightening up rules and also going ahead and enforcing them. Plus legal rulings in areas such as employment regulation are set continue challenging existing business models, says PwC in its sharing economy forecast for 2017.
The Dubai authorities are looking to embrace disruptive innovation as a fundamental mantra to ‘actively shape’ the future and place itself 10 years ahead of all other cities. The government reckons its new Dubai 10X initiative will deliver on that objective – the ‘X’ is a symbol for experimental, out-of-the-box, ‘future-oriented exponential thinking’ that will transform Dubai into ‘the world’s largest laboratory for the governments of the future’.
With Brexit looming, start-ups are busy working out how to respond to the challenge, and one in five say they are considering establishing EU outposts, while 17% say they may well move their headquarters out of the UK, according to the UK Startup Outlook Report from Silicon Valley Bank. And in the long wake of last year’s EU exit vote, one-third of British start-ups say their major concerns are the worries of non-UK employees regarding their long-term opportunities in the country.
UK software engineer salaries are among the lowest in the world – and even when factoring in cost of living, London tech workers make 25% less than their counterparts in San Francisco, and are down 30% than those toiling away in New York. In addition, over one-quarter of candidates receiving offers from UK companies come from outside that market, and the average relocation offer is 28% above than that of local British engineers, according to the 2017 State of Global Tech Salaries report from Hired.
YouTube is busy developing a first batch of original content for its highly popular YouTube Kids platform. The YouTube Kids channel was born two years ago and has since racked up more than 30 billion in-app views. Some 8 million active viewers engage each week with its mix of DIY tutorials, language learning, scientific experiments, magic tricks and animated shows.
Sportsnet is partnering with Canadian beer brand Molson to roll out a 360 virtual reality initiative to broadcast NHL hockey games in VR for the first time. Audiences can watch games live on Sportsnet.ca and via the Sportsnet app custom VR viewfinders, available in select cases of Molson Canadian product across Canada. The first game on the platform with the Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks is scheduled for February 18.
Amazon is putting the finishing touches to its new drive-up grocery store in the Ballard neighbourhood of Seattle – its home metro – with another under construction over in the city’s SoDo district. On completion, consumers will be able to purchase their items online in the usual manner before scooting off to the new stores at a scheduled timeslot to pick them up.