SpotHero snaps up rival Parking Panda to boost its B2B credentials and expand into Canada

 

Lucas Roh’s next act is all about big data

Lucas Roh is taking a big step with his newest startup, coming out of stealth mode.

Roh’s new company, Bigstep, launched four years ago in London, is looking to make it easier for companies to tackle big data projects using the cloud. He’s betting that he can help companies make the leap by offering them better security and ease of use than Amazon, Microsoft and Google.

Bigstep is launching its product in the United States, opening a data center and office in Chicago, where Roh is based.

Levyx Raises $5.4M to Supercharge Big Data Processing Platforms Like Apache Spark

PALO ALTO & IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Levyx Inc., whose high-performance processing technology dramatically reduces infrastructure costs associated with big-data applications, today announced the closing of a $5.4 million Series A round led by Chicago-based OCA Ventures. Additional investors include Palo Alto, Calif.-based Amino Capital (a.k.a. zPark Capital) and Sumavision USA Corporation, as well as individual executives from leading technology companies like EMC and SAP.

Start-Ups Aim at Overlooked Demographic: The Unbanked

Last summer Jimmy Chen walked the streets of San Francisco trying to do simple financial transactions without a bank account, a task millions of Americans face.

It cost him $4 to cash a $20 personal check and $5 to send $30 to a relative — activities that would have been free with a bank account. When he needed to retrieve a money transfer, the process of verifying his identity took so long he almost gave up.

Ally Financial Announces Acquisition of TradeKing Group

DETROIT, April 5, 2016 — Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE: ALLY) today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire TradeKing Group, Inc., a digital wealth management company. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter and includes an online broker/dealer, a digital portfolio management platform, and educational content and social collaboration channels. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and compliance with the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, as well as satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

“The addition of wealth management is the next key step in Ally’s digital product evolution and will create a powerful combination of segment-leading direct banking and innovative investment services in a single integrated customer experience,” said Ally Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Brown. “This transaction presents a compelling opportunity for customers and a logical growth opportunity for Ally.”

The strongest players in carbon fiber 3D printing today

Incredible strength and stiffness, chemical and temperature resistance, electrical conductivity, and low weight on par with plastic parts: carbon fiber 3D printing has it all, and its poised to be the next major trend in industrial additive manufacturing.

While metal 3D printing has been skyrocketing in terms of popularity, market share, and high-demand applications for the past year, and will certainly continue to do so, 3D printing with carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) offers unique properties that are increasingly sought out in the aerospace, military, motorsports, robotics, automobile, and energy sectors. Namely, carbon fiber composites, which are made of extremely thin carbon fibers measuring about 5-10 microns in diameter, have a higher strength-to-weight ratio than almost any other manufacturing material. Imagine a conductive 3D printed part that is stronger than steel yet as light as plastic, and with a beautifully smooth surface finish: that’s carbon fiber 3D printing for you.

3-D Printing Promises to Change Manufacturing

Atoms, unlike bits, are hard to manipulate. Advances in how we rearrange them come slowly, but the payoff can be enormous.

Think new, never-before-seen products mass-produced from materials that once seemed exotic. Next to microchips, there is no more powerful unlocking technology than materials science.

Not long ago I held the product of such a potentially game-changing technology in my hands—a small, intricately detailed component for a valve. It looked like the shell of a nautilus from an alien planet. With its combination of lightness, strength and finish, the component felt very much like the future. And not just the next five years, but the next 50.

The object I held was unusual for two reasons: what it was made of, and how it was made.

One less hassle after a car accident

In the hands of motorists, smartphones can lead to car wrecks. They also can reduce the hassle of a post-accident repairs.

Using an app called SnapSheet, drivers can photograph their damaged vehicles and send the pictures to Snapsheet’s team of appraisers, who work with auto insurers including USAA, MetLife and Hartford to speed things along. Newer tools include a payment processing system, an app that helps salvage yards assess the value of totaled cars and a network of specialized appraisal photographers for insurers that prefer third-party images.

Solovis Raises $3.25M to Accelerate Growth of Institutional Portfolio Platform

Solovis, a multi-asset class portfolio management and reporting solution for foundations, endowments, pensions, OCIOs and family offices, today announced it has raised $3.25 million in equity financing led by Edison Partners and including MissionOG, OCA Ventures, Timberline Venture Partners, Northwestern University, and technology entrepreneur Jeremie Bacon. Solovis will use the funding to support continued company growth and drive product innovation.