Taking too long? Close loading screen.
Connect with us

Tech

Affirm files confidentially to go public

Published

on

This afternoon Affirm, a startup focused on providing point-of-sale credit to consumers making online purchases, announced that it has filed to go public.

The filing is confidential, so there’s little to be gleaned about the company’s performance from the news. That Affirm was exploring a public offering was reported by the Wall Street Journal back in July. In the aftermath of that news, TechCrunch tried to understand the valuation that Affirm was said to be targeting in its debut, which we placed at as much as $10 billion.

Affirm has been richly funded throughout its private life. The fintech unicorn has raised private funds in excess of $1 billion, including a $500 million Series G in September of 2020, a $300 million Series F in April of 2019, and a $200 million Series E in December of 2017. Affirm also raised more than $400 million in earlier equity rounds, and a $100 million debt line in late 2016.

Many venture bets are therefore riding on the success of Affirm and its future liquidity.

The company was valued at $2.9 billion at the time of its $300 million Series F last year according to PitchBook data. The company’s most recent valuation is not known. How much of a step-up a $10 billion public valuation would be, therefore, from its final private valuation is not clear.

Affirm will enter warm public markets if it chooses to list in short-order. The third quarter of 2020 was a bonanza of public-market liquidity, as the United States saw its most active quarter of public offerings since at least 2016, partially driven by the craze around SPACs. With retail investors and larger checkbooks alike active in their interest for growth-focused shares, unprofitable tech startups have done well in their recent debuts.

Those that make money have done even better, certain outliers like Snowflake aside.

After a confidential filing, Affirm will wait to hear back from the SEC on its application, and then will have the choice to file a non-confidential S-1 when it is ready. There is no set timeline here, but once the company’s numbers are public, we’ll be diving into them. Affirm joins other recent companies like Palantir who filed their public offerings confidentially first, before later making them public.

Source

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tech

How to Create Custom Emoji Mashups on Android

Published

on

There are so many emojis at your fingertips nowadays, they’ve practically become their own language. Even still, sometimes you’ll find that there isn’t one that quite fits what you’re trying to say. The solution? Mash up two to create your own.

Advertisement

All you need to do is get your hands on the Gboard keyboard Android, which allows you to mix two different emojis to create new ones via its “Emoji Kitchen” feature. (iOS users will have to use a website to create their mashups.)

Illustration for article titled How to Create Custom Emoji Mashups on Android

Screenshot: Brendan Hesse

Advertisement

The Emoji Kitchen launched back in Februrary, but now that it’s been out for a while, we checked back in to see what sorts of mad scientist-like creations you can cook up.

For example, you can add a head-exploding effect to the yawning emoji to add even more emphasis when your friend shares a secret, or you can get extra creepy Halloween vibes by mashing a skull together with the jack-o-lantern face.

However, know that your powers of combination aren’t limitless. The Emoji Kitchen only supports certain emojis, and most of them just add faces to inanimate objects or change an emoji’s expression. You also can’t directly edit the final product—Gboard does the editing and gives you a selection of mashups to choose from.

Every face emoji seem to work, plus a handful or often-used inanimate objects like hearts, but you’ll see a ghostly “Nothing to see here” animation if you can’t combine your selected emoji with another.

Advertisement

How to create new emoji in Gboard’s “Emoji Kitchen”

Even if you can’t use certain emojis or directly edit the end results yourself, the hybrid emoji stickers Gboard spits out are pretty good, and it’s a neat way to personalize your messages without using an extra app or third-party website.

Advertisement

  1. Open an app with text input, and then open Gboard’s emoji section. (Note: Gboard needs to be your default keyboard app).
  2. Tap on an emoji. Make sure you test out a few of the emojis to see which ones are supported. If you do not see any combination suggestions, that means the app you’re using doesn’t support the Emoji Kitchen feature.
  3. If the emoji can be customized or combined with another, Gboard will offer up some suggestions in a menu above the keyboard. This might take a moment to show up.
  4. Slide through the suggested combos and select the new emoji to insert it into your message.

Advertisement

Update 10/22/20: We originally published this story in February of 2020. We have updated it in October 2020 with new examples (and a little help for iOS users who are missing out on all the fun).

Source

Continue Reading

Tech

Give Your Car a Spark of Life With an Anker Roav Jump Starter

Published

on

Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Anker Roav Jump Starter | $66 | Amazon

Because of a price drop, you can get your hands on an Anker Roav Jump Starter for a low $66. It’s 12V and can recharge gas engines up to 6.0L and diesel engines up to 4.0L. What are you waiting for? It’ll get you out of a pinch, and when you don’t need to get your car running, you can use it as a charger for your phones and chargers. Grab it before it’s gone.

Advertisement


Source

Continue Reading

Tech

Tesla’s ‘Full Self-Driving’ beta is here, and it looks scary as hell

Published

on

This week, Tesla began pushing its “Full Self-Driving” (FSD) update to a select group of customers, and the first reactions are now beginning to roll in. The software, which enables drivers to use many of Autopilot’s advanced driver-assist features on local, non-highway streets, is still in beta. As such, it requires constant monitoring while in operation. Or as Tesla warns in its introductory language, “it may do the wrong thing at the worse time.”

Frankly, this looks terrifying — not because it seems erratic or malfunctioning, but because of the way it will inevitably be misused.

Early reactions to the software update range from “that was a little scary” to full-throated enthusiasm for CEO Elon Musk’s willingness to let his customers beta-test features that aren’t ready for wide release. This willingness has helped Tesla maintain its market leader position at the forefront of electric and autonomous vehicle technology, but it also presents a huge risk to the company, especially if those early tests go wrong.

[embedded content]

A Tesla owner who goes by the handle “Tesla Raj” posted a 10-minute video on Thursday that purports to show his experience with FSD. He says he used the feature while driving down “a residential street… with no lane markers” — a function that Tesla’s Autopilot previously was unable to do.

Right off the bat, there are stark differences in how FSD is presented to the driver. The visuals displayed on the instrument cluster look more like training footage from an autonomous vehicle, with transparent orange boxes outlining parked cars and other vehicles on the road and icons that represent road signs. The car’s path is depicted as blue dots stretching out in front of the vehicle. And various messages pop up that tell the driver what the car is going to do, such as “stopping for traffic control in 75 ft.”

The car also made several left- and right-hand turns on its own, which Raj described as “kind of scary, because we’re not used to that.” He also said the turns were “human like” in so far as the vehicle inched out into the opposite lane of traffic to assert itself before making the turn.

Another Tesla owner who lives in Sacramento, California, and tweets under the handle @brandonee916 posted a series of short videos that claim to show a Tesla vehicle using FSD to navigate a host of tricky driving scenarios, including intersections and a roundabout. These videos were first reported by Electrek.

The vehicles in both Tesla Raj and @brandonee916’s tests are driving at moderate speeds, between 25 and 35 mph, which has been very challenging for Tesla. Musk said Tesla Autopilot can handle high-speed driving with its Navigate on Autopilot feature and low speeds with its Smart Summon parking feature. (How well Smart Summon works is up for debate, given the number of Tesla owners reporting bugs in the system.) The company has yet to allow its customers hands-off driving on highways, like Cadillac with its Autopilot competitor Super Cruise. But these medium speeds, where the vehicle is more likely to encounter traffic signals, intersections, and other complexities, is where Tesla has encountered a lot of difficulties.

For now, FSD is only available to Tesla owners in the company’s early access beta-testing program, but Musk has said he expects a “wide release” before the end of 2020. The risk, obviously, is that Tesla’s customers will ignore the company’s warnings and misuse FSD to record themselves performing dangerous stunts — much like they have done for years and continue to do on a regular basis. This type of rule-breaking is to be expected, especially in a society where clout-chasing has become a way of life for many people.

Tesla has said Autopilot should only be used by attentive drivers with both hands on the wheel. But the feature is designed to assist a driver, and it’s not foolproof: there have been several high-profile incidents in which some drivers have engaged Autopilot, crashed, and died.

“Public road testing is a serious responsibility and using untrained consumers to validate beta-level software on public roads is dangerous and inconsistent with existing guidance and industry norms,” said Ed Niedermeyer, communications director for Partners for Automated Vehicle Education, a group that includes nonprofits and AV operators like Waymo, Argo, Cruise, and Zoox. “Moreover, it is extremely important to clarify the line between driver assistance and autonomy. Systems requiring human driver oversight are not self-driving and should not be called self-driving.”

Source

Continue Reading

Trending