Retail Technology Platform Relex Raises $200M From TCV

Retail technology platform Relex raises $200M from TCVIngrid Lunden / TechCrunch - 1 month ago
  • Amazon’s formidable presence in the world of retail stems partly from the fact that it’s just not a commerce giant, it’s also a tech company — building solutions and platforms in house that make its processes, from figuring out what to sell, to how much to have on hand and how best to distribute it — more efficient and smarter than those of its competition.
  • Now, one of the startups that is building retail technology to help those that are not Amazon compete better with it, has raised a significant round of funding to meet that challenge.
  • Relex — a company out of Finland that focuses on retail planning solutions by helping both brick-and-mortar as well as e-commerce companies make better forecasts of how products will sell using AI and machine learning, and in turn giving those retailers guidance on how and what should be stocked for purchasing — is today announcing that it has raised $200 million from TCV.
  • Relex is not disclosing its valuation but from what I understand it’s a minority stake, which would put it at between $400 million and $500 million.

Alibaba’s Singles Day Sales Dwarf Amazon’s Biggest Day

Alibaba’s Singles Day sales dwarf Amazon’s biggest dayJon Porter / The Verge - 4 months ago
  • Alibaba’s 10th annual Singles Day sale, which took place yesterday on 11/11, racked up $30.8 billion in sales and set a new record for the platform, reports CNBC.
  • The figure dwarfs the revenue taken during similar major shopping days of US retailers.
  • Although it’s useful to compare the two, Alibaba is less of a traditional retailer than Amazon.
  • Disputes over the validity of GMV matter because of the challenges facing Chinese retailers.

US Christmas Retail Sales To Surpass $1 Trillion This Year

US Christmas retail sales to surpass $1 trillion this year CNBC - 5 months ago
  • The report comes amid concerns over the future of brick-and-mortar retailers, with the likes of Sears and Toys 'R' Us facing bankruptcy — although the latter's lenders recently cancelled a bankruptcy auction and plans to revive the brand.
  • Not to mention the fact that several retailers are closing hundreds of stores across the country as the threat of increased competition from e-commerce firms like Amazon and eBay continues to put pressure on the industry.
  • The research said the sector would see a 4.4 percent gain year-on-year in in-store sales, rising to $878.38 billion, and that brick-and-mortar would be a "bright spot" for the retail industry as a whole for the 2018 Christmas holiday period.
  • "While e-commerce will continue to see strong double-digit gains, brick-and-mortar retail should be a particular bright spot this holiday season," Andrew Lipsman, principal analyst at eMarketer, said in a statement Tuesday.

AMD’s Stock Jumps After Deal With AWS And New 7-nanometer Data Center Chips

AMD’s stock jumps after deal with AWS and new 7-nanometer data center chipsMaria Deutscher / SiliconANGLE - 5 months ago
  • The chipmaker also unveiled what are hailed as the world’s first data center processors and graphics cards to feature a leading-edge 7-nanometer architecture.
  • AWS said that the new cloud instances run on customized central processing units from AMD’s Epyc line but didn’t disclose the model. The virtual machines are organized into two families, M5a and R5a, that cost up to 10 percent less than comparable instances running Intel Corp.
  • The M5a series comes in six sizes that all target workloads such as application servers.
  • AWS’ new R5a machines, meanwhile, target analytics applications and other data-intensive workloads that require even more RAM than what M5a offers.

Amazon Reportedly In Advanced Talks To Place HQ2 At Site In Northern Virginia

Amazon reportedly in advanced talks to place HQ2 at site in Northern VirginiaJohn Cook / GeekWire - 5 months ago
  • The New York Times reported last month that Crystal City is the front runner in the much ballyhooed process, which includes 20 finalist cities ranging from Los Angeles to Denver and Chicago to Miami.
  • Crystal City — technically a neighborhood in Arlington County — fits that mold, with stations on the D.C. metro and close to the airport.
  • Northern Virginia has long been a front runner for HQ2, and many betting sets have it in the lead for this one-of-a-kind sweepstakes.

Amazon Waives $25 Minimum Spend To Offer Free Christmas Deliveries For All U.S. Customers

Amazon waives $25 minimum spend to offer free Christmas deliveries for all U.S. customersPaul Sawers / VentureBeat - 5 months ago
  • Amazon has announced its latest plan to cash in on the lucrative Christmas shopping extravaganza: free deliveries for all customers, with no minimum spend required.
  • The ecommerce giant has dabbled with various minimum-spend thresholds over the years.
  • While Amazon’s recent Q3 earnings beat Wall Street estimates, its revenue and Q4 estimates — which include the Christmas period — fell short of estimates, causing its shares to plummet 10 percent.
  • It’s worth noting that Amazon’s Prime members already qualify for free same-day and two-day deliveries on certain goods, including Whole Foods orders, but this latest announcement opens things up to those who have yet to join Amazon Prime.

CVS Tests Membership Program, CarePass, As Amazon Threatens Drugstores

CVS tests membership program, CarePass, as Amazon threatens drugstores CNBC - 5 months ago
  • CVS is piloting a program in Boston that includes free delivery on most prescriptions and online purchases, access to a pharmacist helpline, a 20 percent discount on all CVS-branded products and a monthly $10 coupon.
  • Though still just a pilot in one city at this point, CarePass is a bold attempt to fight Amazon — and may even put the retailer ahead.
  • "We think it's a one-of-a-kind in the marketplace, but the reason for doing it is the direct response of the interest that our customers have shown us in the program," CVS Pharmacy President Kevin Hourican told CNBC.
  • Online shopping has already hurt drugstores' revenue as fewer consumers come in to buy everyday items.

Atlassian Sells Jitsi, An Open-source Videoconferencing Tool It Acquired In 2015, To 8×8

Atlassian sells Jitsi, an open-source videoconferencing tool it acquired in 2015, to 8×8Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch - 5 months ago
  • The online retail giant announced this morning that it’s made $100 million in charitable donations through the program, since launching almost exactly five years ago.
  • Amazon hasn’t broken down how much each participating charity has raised through the campaign, only that “hundreds of thousands of charities have been able to expand their meaningful work thanks to the donations they’ve received through AmazonSmile,” according to Amazon CEO Worldwide Consumer, Jeff Wilke.
  • After announcing earlier this year that it planned to shut down HipChat and Stride and sell the IP of both to Slack, today enterprise software company Atlassian made another move related to its retreat from enterprise chat.
  • Atlassian originally acquired Jitsi and its owner BlueJimp for an undisclosed sum in 2015 with the intention of adding video communications to HipChat, and later Stride (which launched in 2017).

IBM To Acquire Open-source Software Firm Red Hat For $34B

IBM to acquire open-source software firm Red Hat for $34BSteven Musil / CNET - 5 months ago
  • IBM has agreed to acquire open-source software company Red Hat for $34 billion, the company announced Sunday.IBM hopes the acquisition will help it expand its position in the enterprise cloud computing market to better compete with the likes of Amazon, Google and Microsoft.
  • The Raleigh, N.C.-based software company will operate as a distinct unit within IBM's Hybrid Cloud team.
  • 5G is your next big upgrade: Everything you need to know about the 5G revolution.NASA turns 60: The space agency has taken humanity farther than anyone else, and it has plans to go further.

How Top Online Retailers Are Offering What Amazon Can’t

How top online retailers are offering what Amazon can’t CNBC - 5 months ago
  • Bucci said even 10 years ago that "Amazon was the great white shark," and the only way to compete against it is knowing what the online giant isn't good at.
  • That means creating a multitouch — sometimes multimonth — journey for the customer.

Amazon Revenue Grows 29% To $56.6 Billion In Q3 2018, AWS Up 46%

Reuters / VentureBeat - 5 months ago
  • on Thursday forecast holiday season sales that disappointed Wall Street, attributing what would be its lowest growth in years more to accounting issues than to any slowdown in business for the world’s largest online retailer.
  • Amazon’s third-quarter sales and its forecast for fourth-quarter operating profit missed analyst estimates as well.
  • For years, Amazon has made expensive bets on new technology and programs, like its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods in 2017 to storm the U.S.
  • Amazon’s more subdued expectations for this year’s holiday shopping season, which runs from the U.S.

Amazon Posts Record Profits Again, But Stock Drops As Revenue Of $56.6B Falls Short Of Expectations

Amazon posts record profits again, but stock drops as revenue of $56.6B falls short of expectationsNat Levy / GeekWire - 5 months ago

The Razer Phone 2 Is Now Fully Verizon Compatible After Initial Issues

The Razer Phone 2 is now fully Verizon compatible after initial issuesDamien Wilde / 9to5Google - 5 months ago
  • While we are still awaiting a review unit for the Razer Phone 2, the company has confirmed that it is now fully compatible with Verizon in the United States.
  • We’re sure that this will be music to the ears of many users feeling deceived by Razer, who initially claimed full compatibly with Big Red.
  • Now, if you want to use the Razer Phone 2 on the Verizon network, you’ll be able to purchase the device SIM-free from stores such as Best Buy and Amazon, then add the device to your Verizon account.
  • To activate the Razer Phone 2 on your Verzion account head to Verizon Wireless, choose My Devices, select Activate or Switch, choose Switch.

Bezos And Other Amazon Execs Back Colorado Republican’s Senate Re-election Campaign

Bezos and other Amazon execs back Colorado Republican’s Senate re-election campaign Monica Nickelsburg / GeekWire - 5 months ago
  • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and other executives donated thousands of dollars to the re-election campaign of Sen.
  • Bezos and his wife MacKenzie each donated $5,400 to Gardner’s campaign, the maximum allowed for an individual contributor.
  • Amazon’s David Clark, Doug Herrington, Brian Olsavsky, and Jeff Wilke also each donated the maximum amount to Gardner’s campaign.
  • Gardner’s home state, Colorado, has a city contending for Amazon’s $5 billion second headquarters.
  • It isn’t clear why Amazon is backing Gardner but as CNBC notes, he has co-sponsored several bills that the Seattle tech titan supports.

Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post Plans Greater Push Into Tech Reporting — Including Amazon

Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post plans greater push into tech reporting — including AmazonNat Levy / GeekWire - 5 months ago
  • The Washington Post is expanding its coverage of the technology industry, including a focus on Jeff Bezos’ other company.
  • The Post posted openings for 12 jobs this morning for editors, reporters and video producers.
  • The expansion of tech coverage from the Post comes amid growing concerns about the industry’s impact on society in a variety of areas.

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"]Amazon pitched its facial recognition to ICE, released emails show [Updated]Sean Gallagher / Ars Technica - 5 months ago

Amazon Adds To Business Prime Benefits, Including New Credit Card And Faster Shipping

Amazon adds to Business Prime benefits, including new credit card and faster shippingNat Levy / GeekWire - 5 months ago
  • Amazon is adding some new perks for its Business Prime program, headlined by a new credit card offered with American Express.
  • The credit card has no annual fee and includes the choice of 5 percent back or 90-day interest free payments for Business Prime members on purchases from Amazon Business, Amazon Web Services, and Whole Foods stores.
  • Business Prime members in more than 8,000 cities can now get one-day and same-day shipping on more than 1 million items for orders over $35.
  • Spend Visibility gives users the ability to visualize their company spending, powered by AWS QuickSight.

Tim Cook Calls On Bloomberg To Retract Story Of Alleged Supermicro Hack

Tim Cook calls on Bloomberg to retract story of alleged Supermicro hackYoni Heisler / BGR - 5 months ago
  • Earlier this month, Bloomberg published a bombshell report claiming that agents from a Chinese intelligence organization successfully planted malicious hardware on Supermicro servers that eventually were put into use by companies like Apple and Amazon.
  • What’s more, both Amazon and Apple issued strongly worded responses unequivocally denying all aspects of the story.
  • Apple’s denial reads in part: “On this we can be very clear: Apple has never found malicious chips, “hardware manipulations” or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server.
  • A few weeks later, Tim Cook is now calling on Bloomberg to retract the story altogether.

Amazon Says It Will Add 1,000 More Employees In The UK, Bringing The Total To 28,500, Bucking The Brexit Chill

Amazon says it will add 1,000 more employees in the UK, bringing the total to 28,500, bucking the Brexit chillIngrid Lunden / TechCrunch - 5 months ago
  • Amazon said it also plans to add more people to its R&D bases in Edinburgh and Cambridge — respectively known for developing search technology as well as the AI technology that powers Alexa, among other things.
  • The government is positioning Amazon’s news as a win at a time when many have been criticising how it has been handling Brexit negotiations.
  • The news was announced today as the company presented an “Innovation Day” to journalists, showcasing some of the different areas that are the focus of its R&D hubs in Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain and the U.K.
  • For example, in one demo the company showed off today, a new computer vision-based system Amazon is building in Berlin will allow robots to identify what produce is ripe or rotten so that automatic pickers can select more robust fruit and vegetables to pack off to consumers, and identify what needs to be discarded.

Trump’s Latest China Threat Could Crush The $8 Billion Amazon Competitor Wish. Here’s Its Plan To Fight Back.

Trump’s latest China threat could crush the $8 billion Amazon competitor Wish. Here’s its plan to fight back.Jason Del Rey / ReCode - 5 months ago
  • Wish CEO Peter Szulczewski built an $8 billion e-commerce juggernaut on the back of bargain-basement pricing made possible by cheap shipping rates for low-weight goods sent to the U.S.
  • But now, the Trump administration is threatening to withdraw from the United Nations agency that oversees those rates — throwing the future into question for one of the few U.S.
  • The Trump administration has argued that the cheap rates give Chinese manufacturers and merchants an unfair advantage over their American counterparts, and have resulted in scenarios where it is at times cheaper to ship items from China to the U.S.
  • A Trump administration official also told the Wall Street Journal yesterday that China’s subsidized rates cost the United States $300 million a year.