The Briefing on Technology

The latest news, trends and data on technology

In Data:

Technology News in Numbers

16 billion

The number of transistors on Apple’s M1 chip, the tech giant’s first in-house processor that will power its future Mac computers. Based on designs developed by UK semiconductor firm Arm, the M1 marks a step-change for Apple as it moves away from Intel processors to Apple Silicon.


The percentage of workers who fear job insecurity as a result of working from home, according to a survey by anonymous workplace networking app Blind. Blind surveyed 2,300 of its 3.8m verified users in light of the shift to remote working caused by the pandemic.


Microsoft’s revenue for the first quarter of the 2021 fiscal year, ending 31 September, an increase of 12% year on year. The company said that revenue has been driven by the success of its commercial cloud products.


The amount raised by Tel Aviv-based startup Deci in in seed funding. Lead by venture capital firms Emerge and Square Peg, the funding will go towards Deci’s AI-based platform that can be used to optimise deep neural network solutions.


The percentage by which the number of new Netflix net paying subscribers decreased between Q2 and Q3 of 2020. In Q2 Netflix added 6.8m subscribers as a result of the pandemic. This fell to 2.2m in Q3, bringing Netflix’s total paying subscriber count to 195m.


The fine BA will receive from the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) after the original fine of £183m was downgraded. The fine relates to a 2018 data breach that exposed the personal and financial data of 400,000 customers. The ICO has said that it considered the economic impact of the pandemic on BA when deciding on the fine.

Top Stories

The Key Moments in Technology in Recent Months

NASA confirms presence of water on the Moon’s surface

NASA has announced that water has been discovered on the sunlit surface of the moon. Previously, water has been detected in cold environments near the lunar poles, but not in more exposed areas. The discovery was made by NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a modified Boeing 747SP aircraft carrying a 2.7m reflecting telescope.


Sopra Steria cyberattack hits “all geographies”, will take “several weeks” to recover

French IT services provider Sopra Steria was hit by a ransomware attack that targeted its Active Directory infrastructure. According to internal emails seen by Verdict, it  will “inevitably take several weeks” to fully recover from. Early reports suggested Ryuk ransomware was behind the attack, which Sopra Steria later confirmed.


Uber regains London licence from TfL, declared “fit and proper”

Ride-hailing company has Uber has regained its licence to operate in London. This follows a decision by Transport For London (TFL) to remove the company’s licence due to concerns over passenger safety. Uber successfully appealed this decision, with the judge ruling that Uber was now “fit and proper” to operate.


Startup Funding:
Key Industry Announcements

Menlo Micro nets $44m funding for “truly disruptive” Ideal Switch technology

Menlo Micro has raised $44m in a Series B funding round to scale up production of its Ideal Switch technology. Based in California, the company uses material science to develop microelectromechanical systems switches. The funding round was led by 40 North Ventures, with additional investment from Paladin Capital Group, Vertical Venture Partners, Future Shape and Piva.


Silent Eight boosts financial crime-detecting AI funding to $15m

Artificial Intelligence (AI) startup Silent Eight has secured additional funding to brings its total capital investment to $15m. The company uses machine learning to detect money laundering and terrorism financing in financial transactions, and the additional funds will be used to support R&D and expansion into new markets.


PrimaryBid scoops $50m to expand retail investor platform

London-based startup PrimaryBid has netted $50m in a Series B funding round. The company has developed a platform for retail investors to buy equity in public companies and will use the funds for expansion in Europe and North America. The funding round was co-led by Draper Esprit and Omers Ventures, with the London Stock Exchange Group also providing funds.


Arable Labs nets $20m funding to digitise agriculture

Farming data startup Arable Labs has raised $20m in Series B funding for its agriculture digitisation solutions. The company deploys sensors to provide real-time data on crop development, weather, soil conditions and more, which provide insights to farmers, researchers and processors. The funding round was Prelude Ventures, with additional investment in Arable coming from Nassau Street Ventures, Tridon and M20.


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