👋 LinkedIn is Pulling the Plug on its Stories Feature

08/01/2021

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LinkedIn will close down its “Stories” feature by the end of September as it aims to develop a new video experience for the platform.

Just within a year of the launch, the company is shutting down the feature as it believes that “Stories” has no future.

Following the announcement, Liz Li, Senior Director of Product at LinkedIn, said that “In developing Stories, we assumed people wouldn’t want informal videos attached to their profile, and that ephemerality would reduce barriers that people feel about posting.”

Furthermore, in a separate blog post, the company explained how this move could change things for advertisers using the platform, saying “Any image or video ads that you’ve planned to run in between Stories will instead be shared to the LinkedIn feed.”

The post further added that users who promoted or sponsored a Story directly from their page will need to recreate them as an image or video ad.

While the professional networking company is closing the Stories feature, it is said to be working on a Clubhouse-like audio feature, in addition to the “short-form, rich interactive video format.”

Dutch E-Bike Company Van Moof Raises $128 Million

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Van Moof, the Dutch electric bicycle maker, has raised $128 million in Series C funding, making it one of the most well-funded e-bike manufacturers in the world.

The funding round was led by Asian-based private equity firm Hillhouse Investments, with the former CEO of Booking.com, Gillian Tans, also participating.

Some existing investors such as Felix Capital, Norwest Venture Partners, Balderton Capital, and TriplePoint Capital also participated in the funding round.

With the latest C-series funding, the company takes a big leap from its previous B-series funding rounds. The company has now raised more than $180 million across several rounds of funding in less than two years.

Van Moof will use the additional funding to expand its production capabilities and reinvent the way of making hardware and software components, in addition to making its e-bikes more accessible to consumers.

With its improved financial capabilities, consumers can expect updated products with refined designs, custom parts, and increased stores and service centers around the world.

Xiaomi Completes Registration of Its Electric Vehicle Unit

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In a significant development, Chinese tech giant Xiaomi announced that it has completed the official business registration of its electric vehicle business.

The new business unit will be called Xiaomi EV, and it has been set up with a previously announced registered capital of 10 billion yuan ($1.55 billion).

Xiaomi also informed that it has conducted over 2,000 interview surveys and also paid visits to more than 10 industry peers and partners to take forward its electric vehicle ambitions.

However, they have not completed disclosed its product strategy or vehicle types it plans to launch.

The company recently also acquired an autonomous driving technology startup Deepmotion for $77 million to enhance its research and development capabilities.

Moreover, Xiaomi’s technological advantage in innovative materials, artificial intelligence, among other fields will form a collaborative support point to its automotive business, taking it to the next level quickly.

Slovenian Finance Authority Prepares to Impose 10% Crypto Tax

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The Slovenian tax authority has put forward a proposal to modify its current tax rules in the country.

Their latest changes aim to introduce a 10% tax rate for transactions that involve spending and converting cryptocurrency into fiat money.

The Financial Administration of the Republic of Slovenia (FURS) claims that it would considerably simplify the way cryptocurrency-related income is taxed in their country.

The authority intends to implement the new tax laws through the adoption of legislative changes.

By introducing the new law, the authorities would no longer have to examine numerous transactions made by a taxpayer between the purchase and sale of the cryptocurrency as well as the cryptos a taxpayer has purchased, sold, or converted.

Under the existing regulations in Slovenia, the taxable income from operations with digital currencies depends on the circumstances in each case. At times, FURS has to check hundreds of transactions in some cases.

However, under the new taxation law, it can streamline the process by focusing on the purchase of goods and services or the conversion of crypto assets into fiat currencies.

Around the Web

📅 Google Calendar to Show Time Spent in Meetings: Google Calendar has announced that it will soon launch a new feature to its Calendar, called “Time Insights.” This new feature will show users information on time spent in meetings, names of people you spend time with the most, and much more.

💰 Databricks Raises $1.6 Billion: The data and AI company, Databricks has raised $1.6 billion in its latest funding round, taking the company valuation to $38 billion. The latest funding round will help the company accelerate innovation and adoption of the data lakehouse, as the data architecture’s popularity across data-driven organizations continues to grow at a rapid pace.

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