Day: May 11, 2021

Elderly caretech platform Birdie gets $11.5M Series A led by Index

SaaS-maker Birdie has closed an $11.5 million Series A round of funding led by Index Ventures. Existing investor Kamet Ventures also participated.

The UK-based caretech startup has raised a total of $22.9M since being founded back in 2017 (a 2018 raise that was called a Series A at the time is now being classed as a seed expansion). It’s focused on building tools for social care providers to drive efficiencies in a chronically under resourced sector.

Birdie isn’t a care provider itself (so it’s not a direct competitor to a startup like Lifted); rather it aims to support care providers with a suite of digital tools intended to reduce admin costs and makes it easier to manage the care being provided to individuals — doing away with the need for paper-based records, and enabling real-time visibility such as via carer check-ins and medication-related notifications.

The wider mission is for the platform to support care providers to offer more co-ordinated, personalized and — the hope is — preventative care so that older adults can be supported to live for longer in their own homes.

“Technology can completely transform the way we look after the elderly and help them to age at home much longer, healthier and happier,” says CEO and co-founder Max Parmentier, explaining the founding premise. “We position ourselves as a solution to uniquely offer a full support for the elderly to age at home… So we started off with the people closest to the elderly and caring for (Read more...)

Jamf snags zero trust security startup Wandera for $400M

Jamf, the enterprise Apple device management company, announced that it was acquiring Wandera, a zero trust security startup, for $400 million at the market close today. Today’s purchase is the largest in the company’s history.

Jamf provides IT at large organizations with a set of management services for Apple devices. It is the leader in the market, and snagging Wandera provides a missing modern security layer for the platform.

Jamf CEO Dean Hager says that Wandera’s zero trust approach fills in an important piece in the Jamf platform tool set. “The combination of Wandera and Jamf will provide our customers a single source platform that handles deployment, application lifecycle management, policies, filtering and security capabilities across all Apple devices while delivering zero trust network access for all mobile workers,” Hager said in a statement.

Zero trust, as the name implies, is an approach to security where you don’t trust anybody regardless of whether they are inside or outside your network. It requires that you force everyone to provide multiple forms of authentication to prove their identity before they can access company resources.

The need for a zero trust approach became even more acute during the pandemic when employees  have often been working from home and have needed access to applications and other company resources from wherever they happened to be, a trend that was happening even prior to COVID, and is likely to continue after it ends.

Investor Taxes and Stock Prices: Threading the Needle!

In my last post, I looked at the Biden Administration's proposal to increase corporate taxes, to provide funding for an infrastructure bill, and concluded that while there is room for raising corporate taxes, it would be more efficient and fairer to do so by reducing the tax credits and deductions in the code, than by raising the tax rate. In the weeks since, the administration has come up with its follow-up  proposal, this one funded by increases in individual taxes, primarily on the wealthy. While one part of the proposal, reversing the 2017 tax cuts for those in the highest tax brackets from 39.6% to 37%, was anticipated, the other one, almost doubling the capital gains tax rate for those making more than a million dollars in investment income, was a surprise. While supporters of the increase point to the fact that only a very small portion of individuals will be affected by the change, those individuals, through their wealth, own a significance percentage of financial assets, and how they react to the change, assuming it happens, will determine whether their pain will become all of ours. In this post, I will start by looking at investment income and how it is taxed today, compare it to how it was taxed in the past, and finally look at how individual investor taxes play out in stock prices. 

The Taxation of Investment Income

In much of the world, income from investments (interest, dividends) is treated differently than earned income (salary, wages), (Read more...)

It’s Rare to Have Competing, Viable, Scientific Theories

This post is by naval from Naval

General relativity vs. Newtonian mechanics is a recent example

Naval: There’s also Solomonoff’s theory of induction. I don’t know if you’ve looked at that at all?

Brett: I’ve heard of it, but I haven’t investigated it.

Naval: I’m going to mangle the description. It says that if you want to find a new theory that explains why something is happening—in this case something that’s encoded as a binary string—then the correct one is a probability-weighted theory that takes into account all possible theories and weighs them based on their complexity. The simpler theories are more likely to be true, and the more complex ones are less likely to be true. You sum them all together, and that’s how you figure out the correct probability distribution function for your explanation.

Brett: That’s similar to Bayesianism, isn’t it? In both cases they’re assuming you can enumerate all the possible theories. But it’s very rare in science to have more than one viable theory. There was the Newtonian theory of gravity and the theory of general relativity. That’s one of the rare occasions where you had two competing theories. It’s almost unknown to have three competing theories to try and weigh.

Naval: What confuses people is that induction and Bayesianism work well for finite, constrained spaces that are already known. They’re not good for new explanations.

Bayesianism says, “I got new information and used it to weigh the previous probability predictions that I had. Now I’ve changed my probability based (Read more...)

The International Entrepreneur Rule – At Long Last

It only took four years, eight months, and ten days, but the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER) is now set to unleash new entrepreneurial energy in the United States. It is said that good things come to those who wait. But waiting is not enough in policy advocacy: IER is here today due to a sustained campaign of support from NVCA and others across the startup ecosystem.

A Brief History

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed the International Entrepreneur Rule in August 2016 once comprehensive immigration reform was out of reach. NVCA strongly supported the draft rule and recommended key changes. We were pleased to see the Obama Administration finalize IER just three days before President Trump took office.

Given President Trump’s immigration rhetoric, we knew we had a fight ahead. I got a call on one of the final days of the Obama Administration. It was from Doug Rand, one of the main architects of IER who served in the Obama Administration. Knowing Trump was unlikely to support IER, Doug said: “If you want the International Entrepreneur Rule, you’re going to have to fight for it.” So, we did. We received a tremendous amount of help from Doug along the way and without his grit and encouragement we might not have this outcome.

NVCA got to work and lobbied the Trump Administration. We prevailed upon the Trump Administration to embrace IER as a way to spread entrepreneurship in the United States, including pockets of the country that have (Read more...)

The Last Gameboard raises $4M to ship its digital tabletop gaming platform

The tabletop gaming industry has exploded over the last few years as millions discovered or rediscovered its joys, but it too is evolving — and The Last Gameboard hopes to be the venue for that evolution. The digital tabletop platform has progressed from crowdfunding to $4M seed round, and having partnered with some of the biggest names in the industry, plans to ship by the end of the year.

As the company’s CEO and co-founder Shail Mehta explained in a TC Early Stage pitch-off earlier this year, The Last Gameboard is a 16-inch square touchscreen device with a custom OS and a sophisticated method of tracking game pieces and hand movements. The idea is to provide a digital alternative to physical games where that’s practical, and do so with the maximum benefit and minimum compromise.

If the pitch sounds familiar… it’s been attempted once or twice before. I distinctly remember being impressed by the possibilities of D&D on an original Microsoft Surface… back in 2009. And I played with another at PAX many years ago. Mehta said that until very recently there simply wasn’t the technology and market weren’t ready.

“People tried this before, but it was either way too expensive or they didn’t have the audience. And the tech just wasn’t there; they were missing that interaction piece,” she explained, and certainly any player will recognize that the, say, iPad version of a game definitely lacks physicality. The advance her company has achieved is in making the touchscreen (Read more...)

Nextdoor’s Sarah Friar | Tech to Reflect the World

This post is by Greylock Partners from Greymatter

To keep growth and user engagement up, most social platform avoid any features that could cause friction to the user. But Nextdoor is willing to take some risks. The company, which has taken on a greater role during the pandemic, has deployed tools that CEO Sarah Friar admits may impact growth, but are ultimately, "the right thing to do in order to build communities." These tools include the Kindness Reminder, which prompts users to stop and reconsider potentially offensive posts, as well as a more specific pop-up notification to stop racist statements. Sarah Friar joined Greylock general partner and Nextdoor board member David Sze on Greylock's Iconversations speaker series to discuss how the company strives to reflect the communities of the world.

Which U.S. Generation Wields the Most Cultural Power?

This post is by Carmen Ang from Visual Capitalist

The Generational Power Index
The Generational Power Index
Introducing our new index, which ranks U.S. generations on their economic, political, and cultural influence.

>> Download the Report (.pdf)

GPI Cultural Power by Generation Main Image

Can I share this graphic?
Yes. Visualizations are free to share and post in their original form across the web—even for publishers. Please link back to this page and attribute Visual Capitalist.
When do I need a license?
Licenses are required for some commercial uses, translations, or layout modifications. You can even whitelabel our visualizations. Explore your options.
Interested in this piece?
Click here to license this visualization.

Which U.S. Generation Wields the Most Cultural Power?

This year, our team put together Visual Capitalist’s inaugural Generational Power Index (GPI), which looks at power dynamics across generations in America.

We considered three categories in our quest to quantify power: economics, political, and cultural. And while it turns that out Baby Boomers dominate when it comes to economics and political factors—the are of cultural influence is a different story.

Here’s a look at which U.S. generation holds the most cultural power, and how this power dynamic is expected to shift in the coming years.

Generations and Power, Defined

Before we get started, it’s important to clarify which generations we’ve included in our research, along with their age and birth year ranges.

GenerationAge range (years)Birth year range
The Silent Generation76 and over1928-1945
Baby Boomers57-751946-1964
Gen X41-561965-1980
Gen Z9-24 (Read more...)