The Briefing on Technology

The latest news, trends and data on technology

In Data:

Technology News in Numbers


The amount the UK government is contributing to a cross-network partnership to significantly boost rural mobile coverage in the country. The project will see operators bring reliable mobile 4G to 95% of the UK within five years, reducing digital inequality and boosting local economies.


The number of times the UK Home Office breached General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) while handling EU citizens' data between 30 March and 31 August 2019. This is according to an investigation by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, which described the findings as "concerning". The significant rate of breaches has been blamed on the volume of data the Home Office has had to handle in the run up to Brexit.

Seven in Ten

The percentage of UK businesses that will invest in 5G by 2023, according to research by EY. At present, just 15% of businesses in the country invest in 5G. However, many remain unclear about the potential applications of the technology, or what advances it provides beyond a simple speed increase, with 70% believing it only to provide increased speeds.

2 Exaflops

The speed of a new supercomputer that will be delivered by Hewlett Packard Enterprise to the US Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration in 2023. The computer, dubbed El Capitan, is expected to be the fastest supercomputer in the world, and will be used to ensure the security of the US' nuclear stockpile.


The percentage of IT infrastructure that will be on the public cloud by 2025, up from today's 45% according to research by Barracuda Networks. However, security concerns remain a barrier, with 75% of those surveyed saying they had already been the target of a cyberatttack, and 70% saying they had limited their public cloud adoption over such concerns. 


The amount allocated by the UK government in March to Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs), which will provide funding for PhD students in the UK to further research in STEM fields. The project will see the UK government fund up to 11,000 students across 40 UK universities, with some money set aside to widen access for students from non-traditional backgrounds.

Top Stories

The Key Moments in Technology in Recent Months

Cyberspace Solarium Commission report urges action

Along-awaited report by the US Cyberspace Solarium Commission has been published, warning of a “catastrophic cyberattack” that leaves the nation in tatters. The report begins with an unorthodox start: a piece of fiction entitled “A Warning From Tomorrow” that describes the US in the aftermath of a severe, multifaceted cyberattack.


Dorsey to "reconsider" Africa move

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has said that he plans to “reconsider” his planned six-month visit to Africa, citing the coronavirus as a key concern, at Morgan Stanley’s Tech, Media and Telecom Conference. Many have speculated that he is also referring to the current attempts by activist hedge fund Elliott Management to oust him as CEO, which has cast doubt on the viability of his Africa plans.


Coronavirus recession will produce “new world” driven by technology

A recession triggered by the COVID-19 coronavirus is now almost guaranteed, and will fundamentally change the way do business, placing a greater focus on technology than ever before. This is according to Nigel Green, CEO of independent financial advisory firm deVere Group, who argued that it would accelerate the adoption of Industry 4.0.


 Ordnance Survey hacked, exposing 1,000 employees’ data

A hacker stole the personal data of 1,000 employees of the Ordnance Survey, the government-owned mapping agency for Britain. The agency, which produces digital and paper maps for businesses and consumers, confirmed the breach to Verdict but was unable to go into detail about the type of personal details that were compromised.


Startup Funding:
Key Industry Announcements

 Snap VP backs social planning startup Zyng

Zyng, a startup taking on social planning, has announced that it has raised £197,000 in a pre-seed funding round, attracting support from major UK tech investors, including a VP at Snap. Claire Valoti, VP International at Snap, and Amir Nooriala, chief strategy officer at Callsign, both have invested in Zyng, with Valoti also joining the company as a non-executive director.


 Instanda raises $19.5m to bring no-code to insurance

Insurtech startup Instanda has raised $19.5m in a Series A funding round in order to expand its no-code customer and policy management platform for the insurance industry. The funding round was led by Assembly Capital Partners, and will enable the startup to build on its already impressive growth by expanding to new markets. Instanda is already operating in 12 countries.


Don’t expect a Bolt IPO any time soon, says CEO Markus Villig

Estonian ride-hailing startup Bolt doesn’t plan to go public in the “near term”, the firm’s CEO and co-founder Markus Villig has said, as it learns from the failed IPOs of rivals Uber and Lyft. Bolt, formerly known as Taxify, has more than 30 million users across 35 countries in Europe and Africa. It has raised more than €250m in funding since it launched in 2013.


Tractable raises $25m to harness AI for disaster recovery

Startup Tractable has announced that it has raised $25m in a Series C investment round to further its AI to assist with accident and disaster recovery. Tractable AI uses computer vision to assess damage to vehicles, buildings and infrastructure and provide rapid predictions of repair costs, speeding up the recovery process. The funding round was led by Georgian Partners.


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