Good morning! Here’s the tech news you need to know this Friday.
1. Google Fibre, the high-speed internet-access business owned by Alphabet, has bought Webpass for an undisclosed sum. The deal will help Google expand its service into dense, urban areas like apartment buildings with multiple units.
2. Twilio, one of the few tech companies testing the IPO waters in 2016, just priced its offering at $15 (£10) a share, which is above its previously targeted range. The company, which provides phone and text-message services to app developers, is now valued at $1.23 billion (£833 million), beating the company’s last private valuation of around $1 billion (£677 million).
3. Palantir, the secretive $20 billion (£13.5 billion) data-mining startup cofounded by Peter Thiel, is buying $225 million (£152 million) of stock back from employees. The catch is that employees and “certain” ex-employees are eligible for the buyback offer only if they agree to a variety of conditions, including no talking to the media.
4. Investors backed more artificial intelligence (AI) companies in the first quarter of 2016 (Q1’16) than in any other quarter, according to research from venture capital analysis firm CB Insights. The research supports the theory that AI is the next major revolution in computing.
5. Google used the UK version of its popular search engine to honour MP Jo Cox on what would have been her 42nd birthday. The search giant published a link to Cox’s memorial fund on its website.
6. Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures has invested $11 million (£7 million) in London startup Lystable. The startup provides software for companies to help them manage their contract and freelance workers.
7. Bitcoin-based payment app Circle has raised $60 million (£40.8 million) as payments over its app hit $1 billion (£680 million) a year. The company counts Goldman Sachs among its investors.
8. DeepMind has urged the UK government to consider funding AI degrees. The Google-owned research lab made the plea in a document submitted to a parliamentary inquiry.
9. A startup called Eleven James has raised $8 million (£5 million) to be the Netflix of luxury watches. The company rents out Rolex, TAGs, and Breitling watches, among others.
10. Pinterest has a new office in San Francisco, California. The company, whose platform allows people to create their own picture boards, has moved into a building in the city’s trendy SoMa district.
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