Riot Games to Start Monitoring 🔍 Valorant Voice 🔈 Chats Soon

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Riot Games to Start Monitoring 🔍 Valorant Voice 🔈 Chats Soon

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Riot Games, the developer & publisher of free-to-play first-person hero shooter game — Valorant, will start collecting in-game voice communications in North America in a bid to fight disruptive behavior.

“On July 13 we will begin a background launch of the voice evaluation system in North America/English-only to help train our language models and get the tech in a good enough place for a beta launch later this year,” said the company.

“Voice evaluation during this period will not be used for disruptive behavior reports,” it added.

The company noted that the recordings would only be evaluated when a report for negative behavior is submitted.

Riot believes that the report should help it determine whether the reported player violated its policies and take action accordingly.

While the system will only be used to monitor English-language chats in North America, the company has not detailed how this change will affect other players from across the world that may be in a North American region.

Investor Group Acquires Software Maker Zendesk For $10.2 Billion 💰

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A group led by global investment firms Permira and Hellman & Friedman has entered into an agreement to acquire software maker Zendesk for $10.2 billion.

The all-cash deal will take the company private.

In a press release, Mikkel Svane, founder, chairman & CEO of Zendesk, said, “This is the start of a new chapter for Zendesk with partners that are aligned with the strength of our agile products and talented team and are committed to providing the resources and expertise to continue our growth trajectory.”

“With Hellman & Friedman and Permira’s support, we’ll continue to execute on our long-term strategy with our customers as our top priority, taking full advantage of the opportunity we see to help businesses navigate the ever changing expectations and demands of their customers,” Svane added.

The deal will pay Zendesk shareholders $77.50 per share, representing a premium of about 34% over Zendesk’s closing stock price on June 23.

Apart from Hellman & Friedman and Permira, the investor group also includes a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and GIC.

The acquisition should get completed in Q4, pending Zendesk stockholder approval and customary closing conditions.

Crypto Trading Platform Bitpanda Lays Off ✂️ Over 250 Workers

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Austrian crypto and stock trading platform Bitpanda is reducing its headcount from nearly 1,000 employees to 730 amid the crypto winter as cryptocurrencies crash.

The company, backed by billionaire entrepreneur Peter Thiel has also quashed offers they made recently.

“We unfortunately needed to announce that we’re letting part of the team go during a call earlier today. We made this incredibly difficult decision to ensure that we stay true to Bitpanda’s mission and keep building the leading investment platform in Europe and beyond,” the company said in a blog post.

It added saying, “While this is a tough decision to make, it was nonetheless necessary to make sure we’re robustly well-capitalised to navigate the storm and get out of it financially healthy, no matter how long it takes for markets to recover, without compromising on product quality and customer experience.”

Bitpanda said it will support laid-off employees by offering them packages beyond the employment law requirements in their markets.

Gifting Platform &Open Nabs $26 Million in Series A Funding 💰

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&Open, an Ireland-based renowned corporate gifting platform, has raised $26 million in its Series A funding round.

The funding was led by Molten Ventures along with participation from First Round Capital, LocalGlobe, and Tribal VC.

New investor Middlegame Ventures, payments company Trustap, and payroll technology firm Payslip also participated in the round.

&Open was co-founded in 2017 by Ciara Flood, Jonathan Legge, and Mark Legge.

It is a customer loyalty platform for modern brands that allows corporate users to send digital and physical gifts at scale to people worldwide, boosting customer loyalty, retention, and engagement across sales, marketing, and CX teams.

The platform handles the process on behalf of the sender and offers data to clients through a reporting dashboard that outlines the performance of each campaign, inventory, and feedback from recipients.

The startup plans to use the capital further to add headcount to its sales & engineering team, expand its operations, and open a new office in the United States.

Around the Web 🌐

ANZ’s A$DC Stablecoin Used to Buy Tokenised Carbon Credits: ANZ Banking Group’s A$DC stablecoin has been used by its institutional partner Victor Smorgon Group to buy tokenized Australian carbon credits (BCAU). The carbon credits were tokenized by blockchain-based carbon trading platform BetaCarbon, which issues digital security assets dubbed BCAUs.


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