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Tuesday 01 December 2020

CGI to develop 5G innovation hub with ESA

CGI CGI logohas been awarded a contract by the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop a 5G facility at the European Centre for Space Applications & Telecommunications (ECSAT) at the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire: “the 5G Hub will provide an engineering facility for researchers and companies to experiment with hybrid satellite/terrestrial capability using a 5G radio network backhauled to ESA’s 5G core over European geostationary satellites.”

CGI’s will develop management and orchestration software to enable satellite networks, including Low Earth Orbit networks, to be seamlessly integrated into terrestrial public and private communications networks, creating new business opportunities for application developers, network operators, and equipment providers.

CGI already has a strong relationship with ESA alongside industry partners – see CGI flies into ESA to support satellite monitoring. And its work to date has highlighted the importance of demonstrating the ability of integrated 5G and satellite communications networks to help accelerate the delivery of 5G in the UK and across Europe. As a result, the company has invested in its own 5G Accelerator Lab, which will enable it to integrate hybrid satellite and 5G comms into its capabilities as a global SI. The ECSAT 5G hub builds on that as a foundation and will develop and accelerate potential use cases.

CGI will develop initial demonstrations to showcase the potential of 5G in enabling smart cities, the Internet of Things, and augmented reality.

We love to see this kind of arrangement from CGI. It builds on the company’s years of experience in delivering complex, mission-critical, space software systems for clients. And it demonstrates how this has the potential to set the company apart from its competitors in target sectors where digital progression will depend on a reliable and safe communications network to support connectivity. Use cases are growing – from autonomous vehicles to smart cities to smart manufacturing. And it can only be a positive that CGI is at the heart of the drive to bring closer the potential benefits of satellite integration into 5G networks.

According to the release, “as part of the development, CGI is also working with BT, Avanti Communications and the University of Surrey to explore the requirements and set-up of an optimised Mobile Network Operator-focused value chain for 5G and satcoms capability.  The project will explore ways that the satellite value chain can be better optimised for MNOs so that benefits, such as deep rural connectivity, can be delivered to the end-users in an affordable way.”

Posted by: Georgina O'Toole

Tags: contract   space   iot   smartcities   satellite   5G   autonomousvehicles  

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Tuesday 01 December 2020

Atos to provide advanced data archive solution to AWE

Atos logoAtos has signed a new contract with the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), after a competitive tendering process,  to install new SpectraLogic TFinity Tape Libraries: “The new systems will be based upon both LTO8 and LTO9 tape technology utilising Spectra Logic’s Swarm technology, which removes the need for a Fibre Channel based infrastructure.” The new tape libraries will provide more storage capacity in less space than the previous libraries.

According to the release, as the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty prohibits emission of nuclear yield, AWE relies on a science-based and computational programme to assess the safety, security, and effectiveness of the stockpile. High performance computing (HPC) is a critical underpinning technology of the vast majority of the science-based programme. The UK Ministry of Defence has responsibility for the programme at AWE, which is operated under contract by AWE Management Limited.

Atos has had a relationship with AWE – through the Bull brand – since 2008, providing several generations of supercomputers and data intensive systems. Most recently – in 2017 – it signed a supercomputer deal (for the installation of the Bull Sequana supercomputer) with the establishment – see Atos' signs new AWE supercomputer deal  to enable HPC solutions to boost next-generation scientific modelling. The new advanced data archive solution is designed to work in harmony with the existing supercomputing facility.

Atos’ relationship with AWE is strongly aligned to its decarbonisation agenda; the company views decarbonisation as one of its four main strategic medium-term growth drivers (see here). At AWE, through its commitment to low-carbon technologies, like its Direct Liquid Cooling solution, which minimises global energy consumption, and other environmentally responsible technologies in the BullSequana supercomputer, Atos is supporting AWE in its commitment to minimising the footprint of its operations.

Posted by: Georgina O'Toole

Tags: publicsector   contract   defence   storage   HPC  

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Tuesday 01 December 2020

DeepMind achieves grand challenge breakthrough

DeepMind logoFor decades, scientists have been trying to devise a way to reliably determine how a protein’s amino acid sequence dictates its three-dimensional atomic structure. Although significant progress has been made in recent years, the “protein folding problem” has long been considered one of biology's grand challenges. Yesterday it was announced that DeepMind's AlphaFold system has proved capable of determining the shape of many proteins and has arguably solved the core aspects of the protein folding problem. It is a huge breakthrough in biological science and the application of machine learning.

All living organisms are defined by the proteins that help it function at the molecular level. The shape of a protein is closely linked to its function, so by understanding these shapes researchers will be able to devise more effective treatments for disease and design synthetic proteins for a wide range of applications.  

Since 1994, the Community Wide Experiment on the Critical Assessment of Techniques for Protein Structure Prediction (CASP) has been conducted to help advance the methods of identifying protein structure from sequence. Teams taking part in the CASP challenge are given the amino acid sequences for a set of approximately 100 proteins. Scientists study these proteins in the laboratory to determine their shape experimentally, whilst other teams try to do the same using computer modelling. Approximately 100 teams from 20 countries took part in this year's challenge (CASP14).

DeepMind's AlphaFold system proved capable of determining the shape of about two-thirds of CASP14 proteins and did so to a level of accuracy comparable to that achieved with expensive and time-consuming laboratory experiments.

Earlier this year, DeepMind, which was acquired by Google in 2014 and officially joined the Google Health family in 2019, used AlphaFold to make structure predictions for proteins associated with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 (see Using AI to fight COVID-19). It describes AlphaFold as one of its most significant advances to date but admits there is more to learn.

The performance of AlphaFold in CASP14 is hugely significant and once again demonstrates the incredible potential for artificial intelligence to accelerate scientific discovery. 

Posted by: Dale Peters

Tags: health   lifesciences   AI   machinelearning  

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Tuesday 01 December 2020

Zooming drives booming quarter for Zoom

Zoom logoZoom delivered another booming quarter as coronavirus infections continued to surge, pegging many workers at home and heavily reliant on video conferencing to keep business flowing. Q321 revenue (to 31 October 2020) was up a massive 367% yoy to $777.2m. It follows an equally staggering H1 where revenue grew 370%. 

Confident of ongoing demand the company increased its full year outlook to $2.575bn-$2.580bn for fiscal year 2021, which would represent approximately a 314% yoy increase. Reassuringly, the video conferencing specialist is progressing profitably too because income from operations during Q3 was $192.2m, compared to a loss from operations of $1.7m in the year ago quarter. Net income hit $198.4m compared to $2.2m. 

Other highlights included approximately 433,700 customers with more than 10 employees, a 485% increase; and 1,289 customers contributed more than $100,000 in trailing 12 months revenue, up approximately 136%.

The only negative was market reaction to the results. The share price dropped - because investors were expecting even more than the super strong performance Zoom delivered. 

Given various lockdowns and restrictions plus the holiday season and potential aftereffects, it’s hard to see demand slackening off any time soon and even vaccines (assuming they are approved for use) will take several months to roll out among populations. There again, even when infection risks reduce, many of the changed working practises will remain, maintaining video conferencing demand even though the rate of growth is likely to reduce. 

Posted by: Angela Eager

Tags: results   software  

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Tuesday 01 December 2020

Navenio raises $1.1m for its “indoor GPS”

NavenioNavenio spun out of Oxford University back in 2015 and raised £9m Series-A funding back in March (see here) and has now added another $1.1m in funding to the pot from investors Future Planet Capital.

Navenio provides indoor location services for a range of applications that use existing smartphone devices to localise people within different contexts, buildings or markets. 

In particular the tech is gaining a foothold in the healthcare sector where it is already being used by a number of NHS hospitals to better utilise their staff. For example, by understanding where teams of cleaners and porters are located within a hospital complex it’s possible to reduce the amount of time spent waiting for cleaning or portering tasks – no doubt a bottleneck during the current pandemic. Navenio describes this as being “a bit like Uber, but for Healthcare Teams”. This is clearly a hot area for the business and earlier this month Navenio secured a £400k grant from the UK Government and Innovate UK to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on hospitals (see here).

By using regular smartphones and building maps Navenio can locate people within a site without the need for expensive hardware or digital surveys. Whilst Healthcare is where the business has gained most traction the potential of Navenio’s tech is much broader and you could see how it could apply to any large workplace be it a shopping mall, a Las Vegas Casino, an airport or indeed an Army base – take your pick.

Posted by: Marc Hardwick

Tags: funding   location   healthcare   covid-19  

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Tuesday 01 December 2020

Jacobs sees a cracker in PA

LogoA majority stake in PA Consulting is to be acquired by Jacobs, an internationalLogo engineering and technical professional services business. The move will see the Dallas-HQ’d group purchase a 65% holding in the 77 year-old advisory firm for just shy of £1.2b. The remaining 35% stake will be held by PA employees. The announcement comes some fifteen months after the sales process was initiated by the consultancy’s 51% owner, private equity house The Carlyle Group (see here).

PA Consulting, which was originally established to boost workforce productivity during the Second World War, specialises in strategy, technology and innovation. The last two years have seen the firm regain its growth mojo. Back to back annual double digit top line increases lifted company revenues to just over £500m in 2019. This performance was supported by a return to the acquisition trail along which five complementary businesses were bought.

Jacobs provides engineering, technical, professional and construction services, as well as scientific and specialty consulting. The group’s annual turnover is currently around $14b and it employs more than 55,000 personnel worldwide. The company already has a substantial presence in the UK comprising 25 offices. Its customers here include The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, Highways England and Affinity Water.

In our Engineering and R&D Services – the next goldrush report last year we looked at the increasing convergence between the engineering and IT services domains. This is being driven in part by digital advances in areas including 5G-driven compute power, robotics, IIoT and geospatial technology. To date Capgemini’s acquisition of Altran for €3.6b in April has been the largest scale indicator of this emerging trend.

Jacobs’ investment in PA marks another significant milestone along this path. At first blush, the tie-up appears to make sound market sense and we will follow with interest the progress of this new strategic partnership. It also represents a pretty good deal for Carlyle, which will net a c.80% increase in the value of the stake it took in PA five years ago. 

Posted by: Duncan Aitchison

Tags: acquisition   consultancy   engineering  

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Tuesday 01 December 2020

Funding detected at business verification start-up Detected

logoThey’ve lifted off bang on time!

Earlier this year, London-based business verification start-up Detected was running a countdown clock on its website with launch day marked today, 1st December 2020 (see Countdown detected for e-commerce verification domination).

The self-styled ‘world's first agnostic business verification platform’ (religious businesses need not apply?) is now open for business, having completed a £600k seed funding round led by Hong Kong based EmergeVest and various angels.

Detected modestly claims it ‘has the ability to pull together thousands of international data points on every company on earth’ and can alert clients on any changes to the credentials of the organisations they are validating. And all this in just six months from idea to launch.

Management at the likes of Experian and Equifax must be quaking in their boots!

Posted by: Anthony Miller

Tags: funding   startup  

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Tuesday 01 December 2020

Acquisitions drive iomart H1 gains

Acquisitions drive Iomart H1 gainsA reduction in iomart’s organic first half revenue was offset by the company’s acquisitions of Memset and ServerChoice at the back end of FY20, pushing the cloud service provider's overall turnover up 2% year on year on £56.3m.

Adjusted EBITDA fell 4% to £20.8m however and pre-tax profit was down 29%, symptoms which reflect higher depreciation and software amortisation charges and customers buying lower margin cloud solutions reported new CEO Reece Donovan.

Having seemingly avoided any major impact on its business from Coronavirus induced lockdown restrictions in the last quarter of FY20, iomart is definitely feeling the pinch this time round. The six month period ending in September saw reductions in on-premise and self-managed infrastructure (private cloud) projects shave around £2.8m of organic revenue off the books, with spending particularly subdued amongst smaller clients feeling the financial squeeze.

Branching out into managed security services (MSS) should help grow iomart’s revenue in the longer term after the AIM-listed company launched its first security operation centre (SOC), but we think iomart will be doing well if it maintains the same 2% rate of growth into the second half of FY21, a long way short of the 9% yoy expansion it enjoyed in FY20.

Posted by: Martin Courtney

Tags: results   privatecloud   H1   cybersecurity   cloudserviceproviders  

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Tuesday 01 December 2020

Facebook increases business customer services with Kustomer

Facebook logoIn a bid to expand the services it provides to businesses who use its platform to connect with buyers and followers, Facebook is acquiring New York-based startup Kustomer in a deal that according to media reports is worth close to $1bn.

Kustomer was founded in 2015 and its estimated to have raised funding of around $174m. Tackling  omni channel customer relations, its specialism is providing contact centre agents with unified data drawn from social media and other channels, which has the benefit of encapsulating an individuals’ interactions with a company over an extended period of time. Now that Facebook and particularly WhatsApp are starting to be used by customers to engage directly with businesses, this acquisition plays to a  small but emerging area of activity. Some 174m users use the Facebook platform to engage with businesses who use Facebook pages as their main customer facing channel in place of a website or mobile app of their own, or use Facebook messaging apps like WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger for direct conversations with customers. 

Kustomer will also enable Facebook to spread its wings outside its own platform. There is also scope to create a new revenue stream by selling a range of business services to its business customers, which would add to its main advertising revenue stream. How this type of expansion will sit alongside the recent recommendation by a committee of the US House of Representatives that Facebook (among other major big tech companies) should be broken to reduce monopolistic power (see Breaking up Big Tech) remains to be seen.

Although large, the proposed acquisition is far from Facebook’s largest. It appears to be on par with the $1bn paid for Instagram, but substantially lower than the $19bn WhatsApp price tag, the $2.3bn for Oculus VR, plus several others in the $50m to $200m range.

Posted by: Angela Eager

Tags: acquisition   socialmedia   customerexperience   customerservice  

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Tuesday 01 December 2020

Backers help 'inclusive' Homeppl help landlords exclude risky tenants

logoIts website says ‘Homeppl creates rental inclusion’ when arguably it does the precise opposite. The platform is designed to let landlords pick and choose potential tenants ‘based on their true rental abilities’.

In other words, Homeppl is a tenant referencing platform. Its USP is that it ‘leverages Open Banking, proprietary behavioural analysis and fraud detection tests to assess the financial situation of potential tenants and ability to afford rent.’

Incorporated in London in 2016 by an Israeli ex-military intelligence officer, Homeppl recently raised £1.5m in a seed funding round backed by Ascension Ventures, Fair By Design, and JLR Star. Homeppl had previously raised £1.1m in June 2019 (Source: CrunchBase).

Tenant referencing is usually included as part of a wider service by agencies and start-ups. For example, earlier this year London-based property lettings platform Goodlord acquired husband-and-wife led tenant reference platform Vouch for just that purpose (see Goodlord vouches for Vouch). Taking a different angle, rental deposit insurance start-up Canopy also does tenant referencing through a partnership with credit reference agency (and backer) Experian,(see Backer throws a £2m canopy around Canopy).

Whether Homeppl can cut it with a point solution is the question. As its website also says, “Welcome to the future”!

Posted by: Anthony Miller

Tags: funding   startup   PropTech  

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Tuesday 01 December 2020

*NEW RESEARCH* Wipro: Thierry Delaporte’s next challenges

picIt was precisely 134 days after assuming the role of CEO at Bangalore-based top-tier offshore services firm Wipro that ex-Capgemini CXO Thierry Delaporte presented his strategic priorities to the analyst community along with the operating model that will take Wipro through to 2025.

Wipro has lagged most top-tier peers on both growth and profitability for much of the past decade. The changes that Delaporte has signalled look eminently sensible – arguably long overdue. But further challenges lie ahead.

Subscribers to the TechMarketView Foundation Service can read Managing Partner Anthony Miller’s assessment of Delaporte’s plan in OffshoreViews Q3 2020 by clicking here.

Now in a new ‘presentation-style’ format, OffshoreViews also includes our regular summary of the top-tier and mid-tier Indian Heritage Provider (IHP) reporting season, along with insightful charts showing aggregate 3-year trends for the Top Tier players.

Posted by: HotViews Editor

Tags: offshore  

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Tuesday 01 December 2020

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Posted by: HotViews Editor

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Monday 30 November 2020

ULS Technology sells subsidiaries

ulsULS Technology, the AIM listed provider of online B2B platforms for the UK conveyancing and financial intermediary markets, has sold its Conveyancing Alliance (Holdings) Limited and Conveyancing Alliance Limited ("CAL") businesses for a cash consideration of £27.3m. The buyer is Project Ophelia Bidco Limited, a company that controls O'Neill Patient Solicitors LLP, the largest conveyancer on the CAL panel.

In the year to 31 March 2020, CAL generated revenue of £8.9m with a pre-tax profits of £2.4m.

Following the disposal of CAL, the Group has one cash generating unit, its main operating brand eConveyancer, which delivered c£5m of EBITDA in the year to 31 March 2020 (based on unaudited management estimates).

The reason for the disposal is to bring greater focus to the firm’s strategic objectives to create more touch points with homebuyers/owners - which is also core to its DigitalMove proposition. DigitalMove was launched at the beginning of the year and is designed to help bring the conveyancing process into the digital age via the use of a secure portal for all consumer and solicitor communication.

The firm is working on “an accelerated plan” for a platform that can be used by consumers to arrange the various financial and legal administration necessary to complete a house purchase. There would also be the possibility to make arrangements for insurance and utilities suppliers in the new home. In sum, all of the things that can cause so much stress and take so much time to arrange otherwise. ULS has a new CEO starting in early 2021, when plans will be “finalised”.

Posted by: Kate Hanaghan

Tags: acquisition   conveyancing  

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Monday 30 November 2020

CentralNic on point in first 9 months

CentralNicResults in from CentralNic, the AIM-listed provider of internet domains for the first nine months of the year, confirm the merits of its acquisition-led growth strategy. Total revenue for the Group for the first nine months grew by 118% to $168.5m (Sep 2019 YTD $77.1m) with adjusted EBITDA up by 68% to $22.1m (Sep 2019 YTD: $13.1m), all helped in no small part by the four acquisitions made in H2 2019 (see herehere and here).

Organically, revenue grew by a record 17% to $169.9m (pro forma YTD Sep 2019: $145.1m) supported by domain name monetisation and most importantly by the impact of the Team Internet acquisition. Since Covid its reseller business (supplying domain names to the likes of domain sellers like GoDaddy) has seen an uptick in small businesses and lone traders boosting their online presence. 

This is however the lower margin part of CentralNic’s portfolio, which partially explains why adjusted organic EBITDA only grew by 4% to $22.2m (pro forma YTD Sep 2019: $21.4m). Investment in (senior) hiring will also have made an impact here.

Q4 has already continued in similar fashion with the $36m addition of Codewise and the assets of Krakow-headquartered Zeropark and Voluum. Both businesses should help improve margins - Zeropark is an Ad Exchange platform offering real-time-bidding solutions, connecting marketers with domain investors and publishers via its marketplace. Voluum is a SaaS online marketing management suite for small/medium businesses and brands, enabling online ad analytics, tracking, and media buying.

Another good set of results from CentralNic showing both how resilient the business has been during this year’s ups and downs and the logic behind its acquisition led growth strategy.

Posted by: Marc Hardwick

Tags: results   internet   domainservices  

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Monday 30 November 2020

The Panoply hits organic revenue growth target

The Panoply logoThe buy and build firm – The Panoply  – that describes itself as a “technology-enabled services group focused on digital transformation” has achieved its goal of achieving 10-15% organic revenue growth in the six-month period to 30th September, in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Group had set out is aim as part of the three-year commercial vision laid out in March 2020 – arguably before the full potential impact of the pandemic was fully understood.

Total revenues grew 58% to £21.2m, with like-for-like organic revenue growth of 18%. Adjusted EBITDA was up 142% to £2.9m, while actual EBITDA was a £0.1m loss. Organic like-for-like adjusted EBITDA growth was 37%. Despite some positive impact from COVID-19 restrictions, the growth is still pleasing.  

The public sector is an increasingly important contributor to Group revenues – now representing 70% of the total (vs. 59% in H120). Healthcare now represents 16% of the total. More importantly, larger deals are becoming a feature. This is being enabled by the growing size of the Group, and the expanded capabilities, with 420 people now employed – achieved via numerous acquisitions including those of Arthurly (see The Panoply gets Arthurly) and Difrent during the period (see The Panoply takes Difrent route to healthcare expansion) – as well as the progress of its brand consolidation programme (see The Panoply launches Foundry4). Two full service brands have been created: FutureGov, focused on “CEO/COO-type economic buyers looking at digital transformation through the lens of organisational change and end-to-end service design including technology”, and Foundry4, focused on “CTO/CIOs looking to enable digital transformation through the adoption of hyper scale cloud, data analytics, AI and machine learning and automation”. A third brand focused on “Heads of Digital, primarily in commercial or not-for-profit organisations who are focused on revenue generation, customer acquisition and customer lifetime value” is due to be launched in due course. The result of moves taken so far is that the Group reported record levels of new business over the period (£25m in total), which included several higher value deals such as at HM Land Registry – see The Panoply announces significant Land Registry wins.

The Group’s KPIs continue to instil confidence in future performance. Long-term customer relationships are defining the business. The customer base increased in H121 with 225 customers billed (vs 209 a year previously), 84% of customers billed in the half were also billed in one of the previous three financial years, and client concentration has lessened with 34% of revenues (vs 42%) coming from the Top 10 clients.

Posted by: Georgina O'Toole

Tags: results   publicsector   digital  

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Monday 30 November 2020

Landmark $3m LiveData Migrator Azure contract for WANdisco

WANdisco logoWANdisco has announced a large and welcome contract for its recently launched LiveData Migrator product that will bring in $3m and provide a valuable proof point of the products’ ability to migrate massive datasets. 

In this case “one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies” selected LiveData Migrator to migrate a 13PB on-premise data lake to Microsoft Azure. And there is further opportunity over the next few years because the telco has a requirement to migrate over 30PB of data and to deploy to a multi cloud solution. This is a landmark win for WANdisco and one that was made possible because of the engineering relationship between itself and Microsoft. Interestingly, as a “key partner of Microsoft” the customer is offsetting the WANdisco purchase “through its ongoing expenditure commitment to Azure”. Dollars will flow to WANdisco however and the majority of the contract will be recognised during 2020. This will be a timely boost given that H1 was not a great period for the company.

As well as being large scale, this was a complex project involving Hadoop datasets where the data was undergoing constant changes. It will further boost WANdisco’s credentials in terms of undertaking the hard task of moving active live data with no downtime, via a product that tackles it in a fairly hands-off way. During H1 the company secured its first Amazon Web Services LiveData Migrator customer - GoDaddy. With the bulk of organisations’ data still on-premise, there is huge potential for cloud migration and WANdisco is well placed to capture a sizable chunk. 

Posted by: Angela Eager

Tags: contract   cloud   software   data  

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Monday 30 November 2020

Libra hints at possible January 2021 launch

FB LibraAccording to reports that first appeared in the Financial Times on Friday, Facebook’s digital currency “Libra” may be set for launch early in 2021, with January suggested as a possible date. The launch of Libra requires approval from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) and this application is currently pending.

Domestic currencies are inextricably linked to the economic performance and power of nation states. Governments and regulators are therefore understandably nervous of the potential impact of “independent” digital currencies on their ability to influence the global economic system. Libra has revised its approach following a hostile reaction to its initial plans for a multi-currency version.

In September, HSBC’s former CEO, James Emett was appointed as MD of Libra Networks with the brief of driving the project forward (see: ...Facebook’s Libra Dream Progresses). Reports indicate that Libra now plans to start by launching a single "stablecoin" that is underwritten by the US dollar on a like for like basis. Over time additional currencies would be added, with a final composite version of Libra backed by a basket of currencies, launched at a later date.

With Libra's initial bold strategy having backfired, the single-currency version in response to the concerns of regulators, is an imperfect solution, that does not fulfil the original ambitions of the project. However, if it comes to pass, it will provide an important foot in the door that will almost inevitably lead to the further development of the currency.

Meanwhile, the attitudes of international regulators are evolving as their knowledge of digital currencies grows. Governments also appear to recognise the inevitability of technology-led change to the concept and function of money. However, whilst several projects are already in train, central banks are typically well behind in respect of the development of domestic digital currencies. In Europe, the ECB and various member states have only recently started to seriously explore the development of a digital Euro.

Posted by: Jon C Davies

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Monday 30 November 2020

Backers help Proptech Metrikus map its way back to business

logoThere’s an interesting back story to London-based building sensor software start-up, Metrikus.

It started life as Asset Mapping back in 2012 but fell into administration early in 2019 owing £3m to failed lending house London Capital & Finance. Asset Mapping COO Michael Grant bought the business from the administrators and relaunched it as Metrikus with new investors, including ex-banker and entrepreneur, Gary Cottle, now CEO (Source: PlaceTech).

Metrikus has now completed a Series A funding round which doubled total funding to £5m. The round was underwritten by Spanish financial services group, RentaMarkets, which brought along a network of investors who aim to use their contacts to help Metrikus expand internationally.

The Metrikus platform integrates, maps and displays data from any type of sensor installed in commercial buildings, providing the proverbial ‘single pane of glass’ view of a ‘smart’ building. While this seems like a ‘smart’ idea, you would think that the Metrikus R&D team would have its work cut out writing APIs for every type of sensor that its customers might want to install in their buildings, despite ‘open standards’.

I couldn’t find out why Asset Mapping failed, but let’s hope that Metrikus’ management and investors are confident they have fixed the underlying problems.

Posted by: Anthony Miller

Tags: funding   startup   PropTech  

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Monday 30 November 2020

*NEW RESEARCH* Transforming Britain’s Building Societies “Keeping the Dream Alive”

BuildingSocietyTransformationThe UK’s building society sector has been around for more than 200 years and is part of Britain’s financial services fabric. However, the sector is facing an existential threat to its long-term survival.

As the wider industry evolves rapidly and technology-led modernisation transforms service provision and operating models, the ability of building societies to embrace change is ultimately governed by the characteristics that define them.

Subscribers to FinancialServicesViews can discover more by downloading Transforming Britain’s Building Societies “Keeping the Dream Alive”.

The report discusses the challenges facing the sector and explores the vendor landscape and the technology options available to societies as they look to mitigate the risks associated with change.

If you are not currently a subscriber and would like access to Transforming Britain’s Building Societies “Keeping the Dream Alive” please contact Deb Seth to learn more.

Posted by: Jon C Davies

Tags: financialservices   buildingsocieties   nationwide  

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