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Apple’s annual conference is going remote — here’s what attendees will miss most

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Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, California on Monday, June 4, 2018.

Josh Edelson | AFP | Getty Images

When Apple‘s annual World Wide Developers Conference kicks off later this month, it will look markedly different than its previous 30 iterations. Instead of a in-person conference held in San Jose, California with parties, sushi dinners, and hands-on workshops, WWDC will be held online this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

For the public, the draw is Apple’s so-called “keynote” on the first day of the conference where CEO Tim Cook and other executives reveal the latest version of iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac software, which will come out in the fall. Like in earlier years, the keynote presentation will be streamed online around the world. 

But for developers who have nicknamed the gathering “Dub Dub,” a significant draw is the opportunity to receive detailed technical help with their current projects after the keynote ends. This year, instead of one-on-one time with Apple employees, they’ll be watching recorded videos, applying for limited videoconferencing spots and asking questions on Apple’s developer forums. 

“WWDC is when developers around the world fly into a high production-quality event, to learn things, ask questions at labs, get the idea and so forth. So if you want to launch a big idea, like moving to SwiftUI, you have to get developers together, to ask questions, and get things solved and move on,” Paul Hudson, author of Hacking With Swift, and a four-time WWDC attendee, said. 

Apple is not the only big tech company to move its developer conference to an online, video-first format this year — Google and Microsoft did the same, and Facebook canceled its entirely. But WWDC is a critical event for Apple as well as its only public-facing conference, and the success of its new format will partially determine how many apps optimized for the new operating systems will launch alongside the new software this fall. Apple said in its most recent annual filing that its future financial performance depends in part on support from third-party software developers. 

‘Straight from the horse’s mouth’

Not all developers go to WWDC — last year, most tickets were distributed through a lottery, so some people who wanted to go couldn’t.

77.5% of respondents to an iOS developer survey conducted in December and January said that they believe it’s important to follow along with Apple’s videos and news remotely, and only 10% said it was important to attend if they had a ticket. 

But for the 6,000 people who would have attended an in-person WWDC this year, the remote format eliminates two of the biggest draws for the conference: face time with Apple engineers who built the software and networking with similar-minded people and friends. 

Apple said earlier this week that it will upload over 100 videos featuring Apple engineers during WWDC week. A batch of videos will be uploaded each morning at 10am, and can be viewed on the web or in Apple apps. These are a replacement for class-like “sessions” on topics like Apple’s App Store review process or the specific peculiarities of under-the-hood software that were traditionally held at the conference center.

“Dub Dub, one of the best things about it is that all the talks are done by the engineers that who made the stuff. They’re not done by marketing or product managers,” Hudson said. “The folks on stage, they’re saying ‘I coded this feature pretty much,’ and you’re getting it straight from the horse’s mouth.”

In addition to sessions, Apple holds “labs” which gives attendees the chance to get in-person help from an Apple engineer on a specific topic. This year, to replace the labs, Apple is turning to videoconferencing. Anyone who has a registered Apple developer account will be able to request a lab appointment, and availability is limited, Apple said.

Apple will also redesign developer forums on its website to make it easier for people to ask questions of Apple engineers remotely. The new design will launch on June 18.

The remote format will also limit the social aspects of the conference. In previous years, attendees have gone to events including morning runs, sushi dinners, and even trips to Costco during WWDC week. Attendees have played games like collecting a full set of free enamel pins that Apple gave out. This year, all of that is cancelled. 

Many developers are responding by trying to create community online by creating Slack groups, wrangling developer blogs, and scheduling online Zoom meetups. On Kickstarter, Apple fans have paid over $15,000 for unofficial WWDC enamel pins. 

Adrian Eves, an iOS developer based in Alabama, said he plans to take all of WWDC week off work so he can follow along with the videos and announcements. He’s created a Slack group called WWDC Lobby to discuss the announcements in real-time with other fans, including Apple employees. 

“Since everything’s remote, we need a way to adapt ourselves to this experience. I’ve been to different conferences, and the best thing is, besides the subject matter, the networking,” Eves said. 

On the plus side, developers will save a lot of money by not traveling to San Jose. Hotels are frequently fully booked during WWDC week, and in past years, a ticket to the conference cost $1,599 per person.

For independent developers and companies that send several people, the savings could be substantial.

“WWDC moving online is terrific for smaller developers, particularly those based abroad. Even for us, WWDC being online will save us upwards of $100,000 on event sponsorships, travel, and accommodation, since most of our team is based in Europe,” said Oleksandr Kosovan, CEO of MacPaw, a software developer focused on Apple products. 

Because there won’t be 6,000 people pumping money into the restaurants, hotels, and bars near the San Jose convention center, Apple said in March that it planned to give $1 million to local San Jose organizations to offset revenue loss. An Apple representative declined to give further information on the donation.

Even with the high cost of attending and potential safety risks associated with the ongoing pandemic, there is significant demand from developers if WWDC goes back to a in-person event next year. Eves said he would “absolutely” go next year.

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/14/apple-wwdc-2020-goes-remote-what-developers-will-miss-most.html

Crunchbase

The Briefing: RVShare raises over $100M, Google disputes charges, and more

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Here’s what you need to know today in startup and venture news, updated by the Crunchbase News staff throughout the day to keep you in the know.

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RVShare raises over $100M for RV rentals

RVShare, an online marketplace for RV rentals, reportedly raised over $100 million in a financing led by private equity firms KKR and Tritium Partners.

Akron, Ohio-based RVShare has seen sharp growth in demand amid the pandemic, as more would-be travelers seek socially distanced options for hitting the road. Founded in 2013, the company matches RV owners with prospective renters, filtering by location, price and vehicle types.

Previously, RVShare had raised $50 million in known funding, per Crunchbase data, from Tritium Partners. The company is one of several players in the RV rental space, and competes alongside Outdoorsy, a peer-to-peer RV marketplace that has raised $75 million in venture funding.

Funding news

  • BrightFarms closes on $100M: Indoor farming company BrightFarms said it secured more than $100 million in debt and new equity capital to support expansion plans. The Series E round of funding was led by Cox Enterprises, which now owns a majority stake in the company, and includes a follow-on investment from growth equity firm Catalyst Investors.
  • Anyscale inks $40MAnyscale, the Berkeley-based company behind the Ray open source project for building applications, announced $40 million in an oversubscribed Series B funding round. Existing investor NEA led the round and was joined by Andreessen Horowitz, Intel Capital and Foundation Capital. The new funding brings Anyscale’s total funding to more than $60 million.
  • Klar deposits $15M: Mexican fintech Klar closed on $15 million in Series A funding, led by Prosus Ventures, with participation from new investor International Finance Corporation and existing investors Quona Capital, Mouro Capital and Acrew. The round brings total funding raised to approximately $72 million since the company was founded in 2019. The funds are intended to grow Klar’s engineering capabilities in both its Berlin and Mexico hubs.
  • O(1) Labs rakes in $10.9M: O(1) Labs, the team behind the cryptocurrency Mina, announced $10.9 million in a strategic investment round. Co-leading the round are Bixin Ventures and Three Arrows Capital with participation from SNZ, HashKey Capital, Signum Capital, NGC Ventures, Fenbushi Capital and IOSG Ventures.
  • Blustream bags $3M: After-sale customer engagement company Blustream said it raised $3 million in seed funding for product usage data and digital transformation efforts for physical goods companies via the Blustream Product Experience Platform. York IE led the round of funding for the Worcester, Massachusetts-based company with additional support from existing investors.Pillar secures another $1.5M: Pillar, a startup that helps families protect and care for their loved ones, raised $1.5 million in a seed extension to close at $7 million, The round was led by Kleiner Perkins.

Other news

  • Google rejects DOJ antitrust arguments: In the wake of a widely anticipated U.S. Justice Department antitrust suit against Google, the search giant disputed the charges in a statement, maintaining that: “People use Google because they choose to, not because they’re forced to, or because they can’t find alternatives.”
  • Facebook said to test Nextdoor rival: Facebook is reportedly testing a service similar to popular neighborhood-focused social Nextdoor. Called Neighborhoods, the feature reportedly suggests local neighborhood groups to join on Facebook.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

Venture investors and leaders in the fintech space can visualize a future where such startups will move toward again rebundling services.

Root Inc., the parent company of Root Insurance, launched its initial public offering and is looking at a valuation of as much as $6.34 billion.

Clover Health posted rising revenues and a narrower loss in its most recent financial results, published in advance of a planned public market debut.

Crunchbase News’ top picks of the news to stay current in the VC and startup world.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/briefing-10-21-20/

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Crunchbase

Syte Sees $30M Series C For Product Discovery

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Online shopping has become the norm for most people in 2020, even coaxing traditional retail brands to up their presence to stay competitive. However, now that shoppers can’t see and touch products like they used to, e-commerce discovery has become a crucial element for customer acquisition and retention.

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Enter Syte, an Israel-based company that touts creating the world’s first product discovery platform that utilizes the senses, such as visual, text and voice, and then leverages visual artificial intelligence and next-generation personalization to create individualized and memorable customer experiences, Syte co-founder and CEO Ofer Fryman told Crunchbase News.

To execute on this, the company raised $30 million in Series C funding and an additional $10 million in debt. Viola Ventures led the round and was joined by LG Technology Ventures, La Maison, MizMaa Ventures and Kreos Capital, as well as existing investors Magma, Naver Corporation, Commerce Ventures, Storm Ventures, Axess Ventures, Remagine Media Ventures and KDS Media Fund.

This brings the company’s total fundraising to $71 million since its inception in 2015. That includes a $21.5 million Series B, also led by Viola, in 2019, according to Crunchbase data.

Fryman intends for the new funding to be put to work on product enhancements and geographic expansion. Syte already has an established customer base in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and will now focus expansion in the U.S. and Asia-Pacific.

Meanwhile, Syte has grown 22 percent quarter over quarter, as well as experienced a 38 percent expansion of its customer base since the beginning of 2020.

“Since we crossed $1 million annual recurring revenue, we have been tripling revenue while also becoming more efficient,” Fryman said. “We can accelerate growth as well as build an amazing technology and solution for a business that needs it right now. We plan to grow further, and even though our SaaS metrics are excellent right now, our goal is to improve them.”

Anshul Agarwal, managing director at LG Technology Ventures, said Syte was an attractive investment due in part to its unique technology.

“They have a deep-learning system and have created a new category, product discovery that will enable online shopping in a way we never had the ability to do before,” Agarwal said. “The product market fit was also unique. We believe in the strong execution by the team and the rapid growth in SaaS. We looked at many different companies, and the SaaS metrics that Syte showed are the strongest we’ve seen in a while.”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

Venture investors and leaders in the fintech space can visualize a future where such startups will move toward again rebundling services.

Root Inc., the parent company of Root Insurance, launched its initial public offering and is looking at a valuation of as much as $6.34 billion.

Clover Health posted rising revenues and a narrower loss in its most recent financial results, published in advance of a planned public market debut.

Crunchbase News’ top picks of the news to stay current in the VC and startup world.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/syte-sees-30m-series-c-for-product-discovery/

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Coinpedia

GenTech Proudly Secures Deal with TruLife Distribution to Drive Growth in SINFIT Digital Sales

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Denver, CO, October 21, 2020 – OTC PR WIRE – GenTech Holdings, Inc. (OTC PINK: GTEH) (“GenTech” or the “Company”), an emerging leader in the high-end Premium Coffee (www.secretjavas.com), Hemp Wellness (www.hakunasupply.com) and Functional Foods (www.SINFITnutrition.com) marketplaces, along with its SINFIT Nutrition brand (“SINFIT”), is excited to announce that the Company has signed a new marketing, sales, and distribution agreement (the “Agreement”) with TruLife Distribution (“TruLife”) (TruLifeDist.com), a leader in marketing, distribution, compliance, e-commerce, and advisory services in the Functional Foods marketplace. The main focus of the new Agreement will be to accelerate the growth of e-commerce sales of SINFIT products, particularly over the Amazon.com platform.

TruLife provides direct access to sales on Amazon, Walmart, Rakuten, Wish, TopHatter, and other top e-commerce platforms, allowing clients to instantly list, ship, and sell products through any major platform, with an experienced team of experts and a proven track record of success in brand placement and digital sales strategies.

“We have already demonstrated a significant & expansive growth curve since taking control of the SINFIT brand in June,” commented Harold Vaca, VP Domestic Sales of SINFIT. “But the vast majority of that growth has been driven by large purchase orders from major distribution partners, both domestic and international. We are also committed to aggressively pursuing end-market consumer direct purchases through our e-commerce footprint, which will provide additional growth and diversify our cash flow ecosystem, making our overall strategy less dependent upon any one source of demand, while driving further growth in total sales.”

Management notes that e-commerce sales represent a sizeable portion of overall retail sales growth worldwide, with more than $3.5 trillion in online sales accounting for over 14% of total pre-pandemic global retail sales. Since the onset of the global health crisis, that ratio has shifted decisively further in favor of e-commerce sales, which is not likely to entirely revert back upon the advent of a viable and widely accessible vaccine.

Vaca added, “We have seen an epic process of market penetration for e-commerce platforms this year as major online retailers have begun to reach a much wider base of consumers – people who haven’t ever shopped much online, but have been forced to during recent months out of personal health concerns. Many of them will almost certainly continue to make use of e-commerce now that they have tried it out, at least to some extent, making e-commerce an essential sales channel for SINFIT products. TruLife has the network, team, experience, and resources to dramatically augment our e-commerce performance.”

SINFIT branded products registered over $2.2 million in global sales in 2019, and are now approved for sale and available for purchase on the Walmart.com and Amazon.com e-commerce platforms as well as in over 2,500 GNC locations in North America and over 10,000 global physical and e-commerce stores across more than 10 countries around the world.

SINFIT products as well-positioned relative to peers and to the long-term macro tailwind defining the functional foods market, which saw sales top $267 billion in February of this year on a global basis, with sales in the US reaching $63 billion, according to Euromonitor 2020. This trend is part of a larger supportive momentum in the general category, with global sales of organic food and drink topping $105 billion in 2018 (Ecovia 2019). U.S. organic food sales also reached $47.9 billion, up 5.9% in 2018 (OTA 2019). In 2019, 77% of U.S. adults used dietary supplements, an all-time high (CRN 2019). U.S. supplement sales are estimated to have reached $49.3 billion in 2019, up 6.2% (NBJ 2019).

About GenTech Holdings, Inc.:

GenTech Holdings, Inc. is a publicly traded company under the symbol GTEH. The Company launched a high-end Coffee Subscription service in early 2020 called Secret Javas, owns a Functional Food company, SINFIT Nutrition and recently closed its acquisition on Products-Groups’ “Hakuna Supply”.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release may contain forward-looking statements, including information about management’s view of GenTech, Inc.’s future expectations, plans and prospects. In particular, when used in the preceding discussion, the words “believes,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “anticipates,” or “may,” and similar conditional expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Any statements made in this news release other than those of historical fact, about an action, event or development, are forward-looking statements. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause the results of GenTech, its subsidiaries and concepts to be materially different than those expressed or implied in such statements. Unknown or unpredictable factors also could have material adverse effects on GenTech’s future results. The forward-looking statements included in this press release are made only as of the date hereof. GenTech cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. Accordingly, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Finally, GenTech undertakes no obligation to update these statements after the date of this release, except as required by law, and also takes no obligation to update or correct information prepared by third parties that are not paid for by GenTech.

Corporate Contact:
invest@gentech.group

www.gentechholdings.com

Source: https://otcprwire.com/gentech-proudly-secures-deal-with-trulife-distribution-to-drive-growth-in-sinfit-digital-sales/

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