Eventbrite acquires Spanish ticketing platform Ticketea

Eventbrite has been shopping again in Europe — announcing today that it’s picked up Spanish ticketing firm, Ticketea. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

The Madrid-based events discovery and ticketing platform lets people find and book tickets for a variety of live experiences — including festivals, concerts and performing arts shows. It focuses on Spanish speaking countries and small and mid-sized event organizers.

Eventbrite said the acquisition will help expand its global footprint in music events, including via the Arenal Sound, Viña Rock, Low Festival, and Dreambeach festivals.

It also flagged Ticketea’s “robust ecosystem of third-party integrations” — selling tickets for prominent entertainment events and brands, such as The Billy Elliot Musical, Cirque du Soleil, and Museo Nacional del Prado — as another attraction.

In a statement on the acquisition Julia Hartz, CEO and co-founder of Eventbrite, lauded Ticketea’s approach to solving the event industry’s challenges — saying its “robust discovery platform” was of interest, along with the company’s “strong leadership position” in the southern European market (not just Spain).

“There is incredible synergy between our two companies from a business, platform, and brand perspective,” added Hartz. “We’re thrilled to welcome their talented team, who shares our core mission of bringing people together through live experiences, to the Eventbrite family.”

Javier Andres, co-founder and CEO of Ticketea, is joining Eventbrite as country director for Spain and Portugal.

“We have been building a significant market presence in Spain for nearly a decade. It’s exciting to be recognized by the global leader in event technology as they invest more heavily in our growing market,” he said in a supporting statement.

“We look forward to extending the impact of both our team and technology far beyond country borders, to the more than 180 countries and territories where their powerful platform gives rise to millions of events today.”

According to Crunchbase Ticketea has raised just $5.7M since being founded, all the way back in 2009, so its

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Rylo brings some new software tricks to their not-a-360 camera

Rylo wants people to use 360 cameras to capture everything around them, then use software to determine what exactly they want after the fact. Today, the startup is adding a new feature to the app, a new feature to the camera and a new camera effect to keep things interesting on the company’s 360 camera that’s not really a 360 camera.

When it comes to functioning like an action camera, there are a few things 360 cams really aren’t suited for. For instance, when you’ve chest-mounted the camera, you can fairly expect that about half of its footage is not going to come out very well. For such situations, Rylo is building a 180-degree mode for its camera. The company said that mode will offer “increased resolution and better image quality.”

Indeed, 180-degree video has earned a few headlines since YouTube introduced a VR180 mode last year with the goal of making an immersive format that did more without forcing creators to reinvent all of the workflows. While Rylo’s single lens take will not be able to do so in 3D, the company’s focus is still more on punching out a traditional letterbox format rather than building content ripe for viewings on VR headsets.

For the camera’s time-lapse mode, Rylo is also going to be adding a cool new “motion blur” effect that seems pretty apt for creating the perfect montage.

Another feature coming to the Rylo will be Bluetooth remote capture. This is a fairly expected feature for a 360 camera, and will allow you to start and stop recording from your app over Bluetooth. What’s more useful is that users will also be able to switch modes so they can switch to snapping photos or dive into the new 180 mode without physically tapping on the camera itself.

These aren’t the biggest feature upgrades in the world, but count them as continued refinements to one of more interesting spherical cameras out there. These updates go live today on the company’s Android and iOS apps.

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Intel abandons Vaunt smart glasses project

It might just be time for Intel admit that’s not great at this whole wearables thing. A few months after their flashy online debut, the Vaunt smart glasses are dead, the chipmaker has confirmed. Some things, it seems, are just too beautiful to live — or receive sufficient investment from their parent company.

The news originally surfaced via a report from The Information, which also notes that this reportedly marks the final nail in the long, drawn out of death of the company’s New Devices Group.

The department appears to have been struggling for a while now — in late 2016, the group was hit with layoffs, and ultimately some key projects in its hardware pipeline, including the latest Basis fitness tracker. This latest move is likely to result in “some layoffs” to the 200 person team, according to the source.

The company confirmed the end of Vaunt (codenamed Superlight) in a statement offered to TechCrunch.

“Intel is continuously working on new technologies and experiences. Not all of these develop into a product we choose to take to market,” Intel writes. “The Superlight project is a great example where Intel developed truly differentiated, consumer augmented reality glasses. We are going to take a disciplined approach as we keep inventing and exploring new technologies, which will sometimes require tough choices when market dynamics don’t support further investment.” 

It is, indeed, a tough call to make. Intel’s been pretty open about its failure to sufficiently embrace mobile the first time around, losing significant marketshare to companies like Qualcomm. Intel has certainly made its share of investments in hopes of owning a share of wearable tech, but none have really paid off, and with the category plateauing a bit over the past year, it’s probably a good time to cut its losses.

The Vaunt seemed promising, but the online glimpse we got of the product of one didn’t appear to be fully thought out. Of course, companies experiment with hardware prototypes all the time — but most of these things never see the light of day.

Open Mineral plans to disrupt commodities trading with blockchain

Commodity trading is a very old industry which focuses on raw materials, like lead or copper, that are worth hundreds of billions. These materials are constantly moving from producers to consumers in a global market worth about $80bn, but it often lacks efficiency and transparency. Meanwhile, intermediaries make a lot of money just by acting as the middlemen. That’s where blockchain could, in theory, be applied, but introducing great transparency.

Open Mineral, a physical commodities trading platform, has now closed an investment round ($2.25 million) to do just that.

The idea is to increase the efficiency of the market for base and precious metal raw materials using blockchain. Its digital platform, Open Mineral Exchange, will bring together sellers and buyers, mining and metals companies, allowing them to transact directly and securely, without intermediaries. It will also digitize and streamline the complicated and paper-heavy process.

These newer trading platforms for physical commodities have been appearing in the last couple of years. Tradecloud, for example, addresses the refined metal market, while Metalshub focuses on ferroalloys. None of the current platforms use blockchain.
The Open Mineral model will rely on a success-based fee which will depend on the value/chemical composition of the material and the volume transacted. The platform currently focuses on zinc, lead, copper, gold and silver concentrate markets, but could expand into other concentrates in the future.
Open Mineral became the first startup to join Thomson Reuters Incubator based in Zug, which is famously spinning out blockchain startups. Investors include Goldcorp, Canadian gold mining company, and Xploration Capital.
The company is founded by Boris Eykher and Ilya Chernilovskiy. Before co-founding Open Mineral, Eykher and Chernilovskiy both worked at Glencore, the largest commodity trading house in the world. The company is headquartered in Baar, Switzerland with operations in Beijing, Lima, and Moscow.

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Lyft invests millions of dollars to offset its effect on climate change

Lyft, recognizing the impact of its ride-hailing platform on the environment, is making a “multi-million” dollar investment in carbon offsets. Within the first year of this effort, Lyft says it expects to be able to offset about one million metric tons of carbon.

“The stark reality is that transportation is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions,” Lyft co-founders Logan Green and John Zimmer wrote in a blog post. “As a growing part of the transportation ecosystem, we are holding ourselves accountable to being part of the solution.”

Lyft is doing this in partnership with 3Degrees. In general, some carbon offset solutions entail capturing and destroying methane from landfills and animal manure, as well as sustainable forestry that absorbs carbon from forests. Lyft, however, is specifically putting its money toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions from an automotive parts manufacturing process in Michigan, hydrodec oil recycling in Ohio and other projects.

For a lot of people, Lyft, Uber and other ride-hailing companies effectively act as stand-ins for public transport, biking or even walking. In New York City, the volume of people using Lyft, Uber and other ride-hailing apps tripled to 500,000 rides per day since 2015, according to a 2016 report from Schaller Consulting. That increased trip volume and mileage resulted in the addition of about 550 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. That’s the equivalent of energy consumption emissions from more than 26,000 homes in one year.

Until autonomous ride-hailing networks hit the mainstream, more rides means more miles driven, which means a greater carbon footprint.

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