The head honcho at the Bank of England borrows a line from Gwyneth Paltrow, the ride-hailing startup Lyft investigates if their employees snooped on celebrities and a leading bitcoin CEO doesn’t trust ICOs
Photo credit: Tinseltown/Shutterstock.com. Gwyneth Paltrow was paraphrased by the Bank of England’s governor this week when talking about the UK’s future.
Bank of England’s governor bullish about the UK’s post-Brexit trade prospects
It’s not every day that Gwyneth Paltrow is paraphrased in conversations about the economy. But that’s exactly what happened when Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, was asked about the future of the British economy on BBC Radio 4’s Today show.
While he noted that growth in the UK has slumped below half of the global average of 3.9% in the last year, he seemed bullish about potentially recovering lost ground in 2018. Blaming the current slump on the Brexit referendum, Carney continued: “There’s the prospect this year, as there's greater clarity about the future relationship with Europe, and subsequently, the rest of the world, for [...], if I can [borrow a term] from Gwyneth Paltrow, a conscious recoupling of the UK economy with the global economy."
Famously using the phrase to describe her amicable divorce from Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin in 2016, the Iron Man actress received plenty of ribbing from the public for her highfalutin sentiments. But while Carney may be a little late to the party, it’s encouraging to hear his optimism about British trade after the country leaves the EU.
Lyft investigates claim about staff spying on their partners
Ride-hailing startups don’t have a perfect track record when it comes to protecting customers’ privacy. For instance, last summer Uber agreed to 20 years of oversight by American authorities after it was revealed that its software enabled employees to spy in real time on customers. And now similar accusations have been made against Lyft.
The story started when someone claiming to be a former member of staff alleged on Blind, the anonymous workplace community, that Lyft employees had used customers’ data to spy on current and former romantic partners, as well as celebrities like Mark Zuckerberg. Following these claims, Lyft has begun an official investigation into the accusations, saying that these actions, if found to be true, would be cause for immediate termination.
Given governments around the world are increasingly getting serious about how companies protect people’s private data, it seems as if ride-hailing startups need to double-check if their safeguards require a tune-up.
DN Capital raises £177m to back early-stage tech firms
Launching a startup isn’t for the faint-hearted. If they are to become successful, not only must budding entrepreneurs have a great idea but they also need to ensure bring in enough capital to ensure their businesses have sufficient runway for the months ahead. Fortunately, finding funding might have gotten a little easier: DN Capital this week raised a new £177m fund to back startups’ seed and series A rounds.
The VC firm is planning to use its fourth fund to date to back companies innovating in areas like SaaS, fintech, digital health and consumer mobile apps. But entrepreneurs in Britain aren’t the only ones who can rejoice about this new raise: as well as investing in the UK, the investors will also look at companies in Germany, the Nordics, France and the US.
Counting Shazam, the music-recognition app recently acquired by Apple, among its previous investees, it’s safe to say that receiving a vote of confidence from DN Capital will bring in more benefits for scaling businesses than just bolstering their balance sheet.
Chinese bitcoin CEO: ‘ICOs won’t get my dough’
While the market value of bitcoin is fluctuating faster than anyone can say ‘bubble’, the dawn of digital currencies has provided startups with the opportunity to raise money through initial coin offerings (ICOs). However, this practice has been met with calls for greater regulatory protection for investors. And this week the CEO of BTCC, the Chinese bitcoin company, joined the choir of voices promoting caution.
Speaking with Business Insider, Bobby Lee, said: ”Unfortunately I’m very conservative, I’m very old school. I don’t touch altcoins, I don’t touch ICOs. It’s just too risky. It just doesn’t make sense to invest in those guys. Maybe I’ll change my mind next month, next year, I don’t know."
And when even the leader of China’s first cryptocurrency business is urging entrepreneurs and investors to be careful, then they may want to listen.