Top tech startup news for Monday, April 17, 2023: Apple, Impossible Cloud, Rovio, Sega, TruthGPT, and Wedio
Good evening! Below are some of the top tech startup news stories for Monday, April 17, 2023.
Apple launches its high-yield savings account with a 4.15% interest rate
Apple announced Monday the launch of its Apple Card savings accounts with a 4.15% annual percentage yield. The iPhone giant first announced its plans for Apple Card Savings Account back in October, but the company didn’t share any details or a specific timeline on when the feature would actually launch.
Apple said the new high-yield savings account requires no minimum deposit or balance, and users can set up an account from the Wallet app on their iPhones. Users must have an Apple Card in order to open the new savings account, which Apple launched through Goldman Sachs.
In a press release, Apple said the Daily Cash rewards obtained through the use of Apple Card would be deposited directly into the savings account. Apple Card’s reward program, Daily Cash, provides up to 3% cash back on purchases. Users have the flexibility to modify their preferred deposit destination for Daily Cash anytime, and can also add additional funds from their bank account to augment their earnings.
According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the average APY for savings accounts nationwide is a mere 0.35%. Compared to this, Apple’s APY of 4.15% is significantly higher. However, customers can also find competing savings accounts with large credit unions, online banks, and traditional brick-and-mortar banks that offer a noteworthy APY.
Japanese gaming giant Sega announced Monday it planned to acquire the maker of the Angry Birds puzzle game, Finland’s Rovio Entertainment Oyj, for 706 million euros ($776 million) to bolster its mobile gaming business.
The announcement comes three months after Israeli gaming company Playtika offered to buy the company for 683 million euros ($737.50 million), but the deal fell through after talks were called off last month. The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that the Rovio deal was expected to be worth around $1 billion.
The shares of Rovio rose as much as 18.8% in early trade in Europe immediately after the announcement. In a statement, Rovio CEO Alexandre Pelletier-Normand said: “Combining the strengths of Rovio and Sega presents an incredibly exciting future.”
Pelletier-Normand added that Red, the lead character in Angry Birds, and Sonic the Hedgehog were “two globally recognized and iconic characters made by two remarkably complementary companies, with a worldwide reach that spans mobile, PC/console, and beyond.”
Danish startup Wedio raises €1.25M to grow its camera-sharing community for ambitious content creators
With brands seeking to grow their reach and competing to attract the same customer segment, some have turned to visual storytelling to create original and authentic content using visual means such as photographs, videos, illustrations, and other forms of visual media. But creating visual stories is not as easy as it seems on the surface.
Creators need the right tools and equipment to create compelling visual content. Daniel Sand experienced this problem first-hand during his time as a freelance filmmaker back in 2018. He had to turn down many film projects because he couldn’t afford to access the needed gear. It was this that led him and his friends Kasper Vesth and Morten Aebeloe to start Wedio, a Denmark-based tech startup that helps filmmakers and photographers rent professional film equipment — with global insurance.
Fast forward five years later, Wedio is now the fastest-growing European camera-sharing community with almost 100,000 monthly creators. Despite the ongoing funding drought and the current economic climate, Wedio was able to secure millions of dollars in funding, a testament to investors’ confidence in the company.
In March, Wedio secured €1.25 million in its seed investment round from two Danish venture capital firms, VF Venture and Founderment. In addition, Wedio also raised over €150k via a crowdfunding campaign on the platform, Wefunder. With fresh capital of €450k, this brings the total seed round to €1.25 million. Wedio has experienced exponential growth since its inception in 2018 and now plans to expand its community to other European markets.
Impossible Cloud unveils new decentralized cloud storage solution to disrupt the cloud industry and pave way for web3 adoption
Web3 startup Impossible Cloud has launched its new decentralized cloud storage solution that will not only disrupt the cloud industry but also pave the way for ubiquitous web3 adoption.
Today, Impossible Cloud announced the official release of its enterprise-level cloud storage solution, which leverages decentralized web3 technology to offer all the features of conventional cloud storage while delivering significant advantages in terms of speed, affordability, and security. The solution is now available to the general public start, and businesses can expect to save anywhere from 50% to 75% in costs compared to traditional cloud providers.
What’s noteworthy about the new Impossible Cloud enterprise-grade, native cloud storage solution is that they can be purchased using fiat currencies, without the need for tokens or cryptocurrency. This eliminates a significant barrier that has hindered the adoption of web3 technologies in B2B settings.
The news comes just a month after the startup closed a $7.6M seed round of funding that was co-led by prominent web3 investors HV Capital and 1kx, and joined by Protocol Labs, TS Ventures, and very early Ventures.
“Businesses of all sizes, including global corporations, have been largely ignored in the push to web3,” said Dr. Christian Kaul, Co-Founder of Impossible Cloud. “Our solution delivers all the benefits of web3, but without the technical complexity that has held back mainstream business adoption. This solution is designed to unlock the B2B potential of web3 and has never been more timely, as traditional cloud providers continue to raise pricing while underperforming in their delivery.”
Impossible Cloud’s Object Storage solution is a highly scalable and cost-effective option for organizations that need reliable and secure storage capabilities. It supports virtually limitless capacity and is designed specifically for enterprises and SMBs that use centralized public cloud providers like AWS S3, as well as on-premises private clouds.
By utilizing underutilized capacity from top-tier data centers, Impossible Cloud provides disaster-resistant storage that is Kubernetes-friendly and S3-compatible. The platform ensures fast uploads and downloads with millisecond throughput speeds, low latency, and 100% durability without any single point of failure, which guarantees a higher than industry standard 99.95% availability.
In February, Elon Musk said he was exploring the development of an alternative to ChatGPT. The billionaire revealed he had contacted AI researchers to start work on the project. To spearhead the effort, The Information reported that Musk has been recruiting Igor Babuschkin, a researcher who recently left Alphabet’s DeepMind AI unit and specializes in the kind of machine-learning models that power chatbots like ChatGPT.
Two months later, Musk announced on Monday he’s launching an artificial intelligence (AI) platform that he calls “TruthGPT” to challenge ChatGPT and counter AI ‘bias.’
“I’m going to start something which I call ‘TruthGPT’, or a maximum truth-seeking AI that tries to understand the nature of the universe,” Musk said in an interview with Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson to be aired later tonight.
“And I think this might be the best path to safety, in the sense that an AI that cares about understanding the universe, it is unlikely to annihilate humans because we are an interesting part of the universe,” Musk added.
In the past few weeks, Musk has criticized Microsoft-backed OpenAI, the firm behind chatbot sensation ChatGPT, of “training the AI to lie” and said OpenAI has now become a “closed source”, “for-profit” organization “closely allied with Microsoft.”
Late last year, Musk also suggested that OpenAI’s technology was an example of “training AI to be woke.”