Hi there 👋. This is a daily newsletter that covers the top business, tech and finance stories for today.
- Larry Page-funded startup is shutting down
- TikTok’s BeReal clone app is available outside the US
- Binance secures license in Dubai
- Telecom-as-a-service platform secures funding
- Wipro Sacks 300 Employees
Larry Page Funded Startup is Shutting Down 🔒
Kittyhawk, the ambitious “flying car” startup funded by Google co-founder Larry Page, is winding down.
- Founded in 2010 by autonomous car pioneer Sebastian Thrun, Kittyhawk received the backing of Google co-founder Larry Page to explore the frontier of then-new electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aviation.
- In 2017, after years of stealth research and development in several test facilities and labs, the company began revealing some of the projects that it had been working on.
- In 2018, the company showcased a flying car model called Flyer that could hold one person and fly up to 20 miles. Kittyhawk announced a strategic partnership with airplane manufacturer Boeing the following year.
- However, by 2020, the company announced plans to shut down its Flyer program and shifted focus to its electric aircraft, Heaviside.
- Now, in September 2022, Kittyhawk is finally winding down.
“We have made the decision to wind down Kittyhawk. We’re still working on the details of what’s next,” the company confirmed in a brief post on LinkedIn.
TikTok’s BeReal Clone App is Available Outside The US 🌏
TikTok recently launched its BeReal clone, TikTok Now, as an independent mobile app outside the United States, largely on iOS devices.
About the App:
TikTok Now was released on September 18. The app sends a notification to users once a day, asking them to click a photo or shoot a video to share with friends, and just like the ascendant BeReal, users can’t see what their friends have posted until they share their own content.
TikTok adds a 10-second video feature; however, BeReal only allows still images — but otherwise, the two are nearly similar.
According to analytics firm Sensor Tower, TikTok Now ranks in the top 10 social networking apps in 39 countries and is in the top 100 apps in 24 countries.
Why does this matter? 🤔
The app, which was launched across the global markets, gained traction in the days following its release on September 18.
The global rollout speaks a lot about TikTok’s ambitions in the social media market.
Binance Secures License in Dubai 📜
Crypto exchange Binance has received a license from Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority to offer a range of crypto-related services in the city.
- The new Minimal Viable Product license will allow Binance to open a domestic bank account to hold clients’ funds locally, operate a crypto exchange, and offer payments & custody services.
- Binance secured Minimal Viable Product from Dubai’s VARA after getting in-principle approval for the MVP license in March.
- Earlier in March this year, the exchange also received a Virtual Asset License in Dubai that allowed it to “extend limited exchange products and services” to qualified investors.
What does this mean?
The news comes as Binance looks to expand its global footprint, specifically within the United Arab Emirates, a hotspot for the emerging crypto market where only a few crypto-related firms have pursued regulatory approval.
The regulatory approval also shows Binance’s desire to be a regulated crypto platform with robust compliance & security controls that have market integrity & consumer protection at its core.
Telecom-as-a-Service Platform Secures Funding 💰
Gigs, a telecom-as-a-service platform, has raised $20 million in its Series A funding round.
Gigs secured the funding from Google’s early-stage venture capital arm Gradient Ventures and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.
What will Gigs do with the funding?
Gigs plan to use the funds to expand its product range and services.
Founded in 2020, Gigs is the world’s first telecom-as-a-service platform, created from the belief that connectivity will be key to unlocking the greater innovation potential.
The startup launched with an API and white-label product that lets businesses offer fully-fledged phone plans on any network globally.
Currently, the company offers a range of products, including payments and analytics — to customers through a unified platform and simple API.
Gigs also offer a software suite called Gigs Connect, a hosted checkout optimized for high-end-user conversion.
Wipro Sacks 300 Employees ✂️
Indian IT services firm Wipro has fired 300 employees in recent months who were found to be moonlighting for competitors, said chairman Rishad Premji, who has been a vocal critic of moonlighting.
Speaking at the 46th edition of the All India Management Association convention, Premji said Moonlighting is a “complete violation of integrity in its deepest form.”
That’s a wrap for today, ladies & gents. See ya next week!
If you like the content in this newsletter, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll like my podcast, “Success Story”, where I unpack the playbooks of entrepreneurs, executives and other high performing individuals.
This is a daily newsletter that covers the top business, tech and finance stories for today.