Dementica Brittanica… Written on Brexit last July.

I originally wrote this in July for The Memo, which published a watered-down version. After recent events, I thought I’d publish it in its original form here. It’s quite angry and contains swearwords, although I use wanker when I really mean cunt.

dementica

In World War II, the Nazi propaganda machine wanted the world to know that the British were starving and running out of food. They used the term Dementica Brittanica to describe this so-called state of being.

Some would say that leaving the EU was a similarly demented act and as we live through this important summer, it’s easy to think of The Reprieve, Jean-Paul Sartre’s second book in his Parisian trilogy leading up to and during World War II. Continue reading

BullGuard reveals 200 million IoT devices vulnerable

BullGuard says last Friday’s DDoS attack proves how vulnerable IoT devices are to hacking. Future attacks, however, are likely to get much worse.

BullGuardThe latest data from BullGuard’s IoT Scanner, a free tool that allows consumers to check if their connected devices are secure, suggests the recent DDoS attack could will be the first of moany.

The company has scanned more 100,000 consumer unique IPs using it IoT Scanner, and while 4.6% revealed holes, the scale of the IoT that makes this figure alarming. Continue reading

Uber and Hotels.com sign up on travelling

Hotels.com customers can now ride to their hotel at the touch of a button

hotels.comHotels.com has integrated Uber into its mobile app, enabling customers to book an Uber to take them directly to their hotel at the touch of a button.

This integration is powered by Button, the app discovery platform, so customers using the Hotels.com Android app can now book an Uber in 30 different languages and in all countries that Uber operates in.

Customers staying at any of the properties available through Hotels.com will see an Uber Button appear in their app on the day their hotel stay begins, both on the homepage and in the reservation section. When a user taps the ‘Ride there with Uber’ button, their current location and hotel address is automatically pre-populated within Uber’s application, making the entire experience seamless.

Hotels.com is a leading lodging expert and its best-in-class mobile app has more than 50 million downloads. Dan Craig, Senior Director of Mobile for Hotels.com brand explained.

“Like us, Uber are technology leaders in their field and together we’re making it easy for travelers to get to their hotel in a hassle-free way, so they can start their trip sooner. We’re always looking for ways to enhance our in-stay mobile offering”, he said.

Button is the marketplace behind the integration and offers a simple and efficient way to scalably build partnerships on mobile; that add complementary services and drive revenue, all with a great user experience.

Emerging markets are worth $70 billion to digital brands

The 2016 Developing Markets Mobile Commerce report says that tech brands need to address these markets strategically.

emerging

A new report has revealed that engaging consumers in high growth markets could offer a $70 billion revenue opportunity to digital services providers. The findings, however, also show that tech brands need to address the intricacies of each market and adjust their strategy accordingly.

The 2016 Developing Markets Mobile Commerce report, commissioned by Upstream, a leading mobile commerce accelerator in high growth markets, reveals that if cost wasn’t an issue, Netflix is the brand that consumers across the markets questioned would like to access most via their mobile device.

More than a quarter (26%) named Netflix, ahead of Apple Music (25%), BBC News (20%), Amazon Prime (17%) and Spotify (13%) as the biggest mobile brand. The report reveals that the top factors which influence the decision of consumers in emerging markets to purchase a digital mobile service are pricing adjusted to local currency (88%) and low data charges (87%).

The data also reveal that 61% of consumers in the markets questioned feel unsatisfied with their current mobile connection, with 25% stating it is unreliable and 36% stating it is slow. As a result, over a third of consumers (40%) want brands to provide ‘lite’ versions of their digital services.

The findings highlight that localisation of content is key for consumers in emerging markets; with more than 75% wanting the digital services they consume to have a substantial local feel. In Brazil, video services are used by 62% of consumers, with 92% of respondents requiring at least a balanced mix between local and international content in their preferred streaming services.

* The study was carried out in January 2016 by YouGov on behalf of Upstream and was based on 5,215 consumers in Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Nigeria and South Africa. The survey sample was age and gender representative of each of the markets covered.

UK investment in FinTech up 35% to $901 million

UK investment for FinTech firms increased by 35% to $901million across 72 deals in 2015, according to Innovate Finance, the not-for-profit membership association for global FinTech.


In the UK, the FinTech industry is booming.

In the UK, the FinTech industry is booming.

The rise in UK investment was led by large funding rounds from Funding Circle, Transferwise, WorldRemit, eToro, RateSetter, Azimo, The Currency Cloud, MoneyFarm and Seedrs.

In 2015 global VC investment in the UK kept pace with 2014, with lower deal volume indicating a trend of larger deal sizes globally. There were 860 deals globally, attracting $12.5 billion in investment.

The UK attracted the highest volume of deals outside the US and third in terms of total investment behind US and China. Of the Top 20 global deals, two were from the UK – Atom Bank, which secured $125 million and Funding Circle, which raised $150 million.

The highest proportion of deals was in the $1-$5 million category globally. Funding Circle, Atom Bank, Ebury Partners, Transferwise and World Remit round up the Top 5 FinTech deals – all more than $50 million.

More than 60% of the UK VC investment in FinTech was in the peer-to-peer, alternative finance and payment and remittance segments, with challenger banks pushing investment volume to over 74%. The balance of investment was spread across Wealth Management (Robo-Advice), Capital Markets, Data Analytics, crowdfunding, and a number of emerging categories.

““One of the big trends in 2015 was investment in FinTech by financial institutions in incubators, accelerators, labs, talent, partnerships, digital M&A, and corporate venture funds. A couple of years ago, entrepreneurs in the community were looking for introductions to VCs. Last year, they were interested in introductions to institutions”, said Lawrence Wintermeyer, CEO of Innovate Finance.

London’s history and tradition as the home of global banking is doubtlessly responsible for this influx of capital, but with other global cities innovating in peer-2-peer, this investment will need to continue if London is to stay ahead of that oft-mentioned curve.