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Former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson: I’m increasingly convinced that COVID-19 is a creation of the media/technology complex. (NO – I do not mean it’s not real or was bioengineered)

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Alex Berenson is a former reporter at the New York Times known for his coverage of coronavirus on Twitter. He has written extensively debunking fearmongering claims related to the lockdowns. Berenson later wrote a book titled, “Unreported Truths about COVID-19 and Lockdowns.”

We covered Berenson back in June after his ebook, “Unreported Truths about COVID-19 and Lockdowns,” was censored and banned by Amazon. The retail giant said the book “did not comply” with their (undisclosed) guidelines. Amazon finally backed down and allowed the book to be sold after Elon Musk tweeted to complain about Amazon monopoly.

Now, Berenson just came out in a series of tweets to denounce mainstream media fearmongering and the role of big tech companies. In the first tweet, Berenson said: “I’m increasingly convinced that #SARSCoV2 is a creation of the media/technology complex. (NO – I do not mean it’s not real or was bioengineered.) What I mean is: aside from a couple of weeks in a handful of cities worldwide – including, sigh, the world’s media capital…”

In the second tweet, Berenson said: “The overall effects of this epidemic have essentially been impossible for the average person to see without a microscope. Hospitals are not overflowing. Bodies are not piling up in the streets. Most of us will never know anyone under 55 (65? 70?) who has died of #Covid.”

“But instead many people feel like the world is ending? Why? More than anything else, it’s the obsessive – almost sordid – fascination with death counts, updated in real time and presented without context (average age of victims, how many people generally die in a year, etc)…,’ Berenson said.

Why are we counting deaths this way? We’ve never done this for any other illness. Never. And there are lots of reasons, but maybe the most important is that we’re doing this largely because we can – because the technology now exists to aggregate these counts almost instantly.

And then both conventional and social media are blasting out these figures not just every day but every second – from the @cnn deathmeter to @nytimes heatmaps to everyone screaming on Twitter. True story: at this point #SARSCoV2 worldwide is slightly worse than a bad flu year…

And the 700,000 people it has killed worldwide are less than half the number who have died or traffic accidents OR diarrhea OR tuberculosis this year, less than 2% of all deaths.

There has never been anything like this before, but not because of the virus.


Source: https://techstartups.com/2020/08/13/former-new-york-times-reporter-alex-berenson-im-increasingly-convinced-sarscov2-creation-mediatechnology-complex-no-not-mean-not-real-bioengin/

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Unity, a gaming startup and maker of software used to create 50% of all new mobile games, raises over $1.3 billion in IPO at $13.6 billion valuation

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Last month, we wrote about Unity Technologies (Unity) after the gaming startup filed to go public. For the first time, Unity also revealed its financials after it filed its S-1 statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. As of 2018, Unity software is used to create more than 50% of all new mobile games.

Today, Unity finally made its public debut. Its stock surges as shares of Unity opened at $75 in Friday morning trading, up 44% from its initial-public-offering price of $52 a share. The initial public offering (IPO) price came above a raised expected range of $44 to $48 a share. Unity share later settled at $68.85 raising more than $1.3  at a $13.6 billion valuation.

The San Francisco-based Unity makes 3D gaming software and tools that enable developers to create games and other computer-generated entertainment, and its game engine runs thousands of console, mobile, and PC titles. As of 2018, Unity has been used to create 60 percent of augmented reality and virtual reality content.

Unity’s rival, Epic Games, is currently in a fight with Apple after the Fortnite game’s maker announced new payment options that allow players to buy in-game credits direct from Epic Games. Epic has since sued Apple in court. The ongoing saga with Apple could put Epic’s Unreal Engine in jeopardy and open more opportunities for Unity to increase its market share.

Unity was founded in Denmark in 2004 by David Helgason, Joachim Ante, and Nicholas Francis as Over the Edge Entertainment. The company later changed its name to Unity Technologies in 2007. Unity is the creator of the world’s leading real-time 3D development platform, giving users the most powerful and accessible tools to create, operate, and monetize experiences for the real-time world. The 16-year old gaming startup boasts business from game makers such as EA, Microsoft, and Zynga. Unity is based in San Francisco. It has 3,379 employees as of June 30. Backers include DFJ, Sequoia Capital, and Silver Lake Partners.

Unity’s technology software is by over 1.5M monthly active creators. In 2019 more than half of the top 1,000 games in the App Store and Google’s Play Store were built with Unity, the company said in Monday’s filing. In addition to offering the game engine for development, Unity derives revenue from service that can help companies monetize their content, including through advertising. Customers include BMW, EA, Microsoft, Niantic, Sony, Tencent, and Zynga.


Source: https://techstartups.com/2020/09/18/unity-gaming-startup-maker-software-used-create-50-new-mobile-games-raises-1-3-billion-ipo-13-6-billion-valuation/

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FBI finally arrested NS8 founder and CEO Adam Rogas after SEC fraud investigation found he defrauded investors of $123 million

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A little over a week ago, we wrote about cyber fraud protection tech startup NS8 after SEC started a fraud investigation about the startup and its CEO following the company’s $100+ million summer financing. A week earlier, NS8 CEO, Adam Rogas, abruptly left the company and the company laid off hundreds of employees.

Finally, justice is about to be served. Today, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that “Adam Rogas, founder, and CEO of a cyber fraud prevention startup has been arrested and charged with the securities fraud scheme.” DOJ said, “Adam Rogas allegedly raised $123 million from investors using financial statements that showed tens of millions of dollars of revenue and assets that did not exist.”

According to DOJ, ROGAS, 43, of Las Vegas, Nevada, is charged with one count of securities fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, one count of fraud in the offer or sale of securities, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, and one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.  The maximum potential sentences, in this case, are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

In a statement, DOJ said:

Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced today that ADAM ROGAS, the co-founder and former CEO, CFO, and member of the board of directors of Las Vegas-based cyberfraud prevention company NS8, Inc. (“NS8”), was charged in a Complaint in Manhattan federal court with securities fraud, fraud in the offer and sale of securities, and wire fraud. ROGAS used fraudulent financial data to obtain over $123 million in financing for NS8, of which he personally obtained approximately $17.5 million. ROGAS was arrested today in the District of Nevada and is expected to be presented before a judge there tomorrow.

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “As alleged, Adam Rogas was the proverbial fox guarding the henhouse. While raising over $100 million from investors for his fraud prevention company, Rogas himself allegedly was engaging in a brazen fraud. Today’s arrest of Rogas ensures that he will be held accountable for his alleged scheme.”

FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said:  “It seems ironic that the co-founder of a company designed to prevent online fraud would engage in fraudulent activity himself, but today that’s exactly what we allege Adam Rogas did. Rogas allegedly raised millions of dollars from investors based on fictitious financial affirmations, and in the end, walked away with nearly $17.5 million worth of that money. Within our complex financial crimes branch, securities fraud cases remain among our top priorities. We’ve seen far too many examples of unscrupulous actors engaging in this type of criminal activity, and we continue to work diligently to weed out this behavior whenever and wherever we find it.”

Back in June, we wrote about NS8 after the fraud prevention startup raised $123 million Series A funding to provide online fraud detection and prevention for small-and-medium-sized businesses. The round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and AXA Venture Partners (AVP).

Founded in 2016 by Adam Rogas, NS8’s fraud prevention platform combines behavioral analytics, real-time scoring, and global monitoring to help merchants of all sizes optimize order processing and minimize risk. Built on the Protect API, this app integrates directly into NS8’s platform and allows merchants to begin fighting fraud within minutes.

ADAM ROGAS was a co-founder of NS8 and served as its CEO, CFO, and a member of its board of directors.  ROGAS was also primarily responsible for the company’s fundraising activities.  NS8, based in Las Vegas, Nevada, is a cyberfraud prevention company that developed and sold electronic tools to help online vendors assess the fraud risks of customer transactions.  In the fall of 2019 and the spring of 2020, NS8 engaged in fundraising rounds through which it issued Series A Preferred Shares and obtained approximately $123 million in investor funds.


Source: https://techstartups.com/2020/09/18/fbi-finally-arrested-ns8-founder-ceo-adam-rogas-sec-fraud-investigation-found-founder-cyber-fraud-prevention-tech-startup-defrauded-investors-123-million/

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Berlin-based Infarm raises $170M to bring urban farming to cities so everyone can grow fresh produce right in their neighborhoods

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Infarm, a  Berlin, Germany-based AgTech startup announced that it has raised $170 million in Series C funding that it will use for infrastructure, R&D, and hiring. Infarm said it expects to raise an additional $30 million for a total of $200 million in Series C funding.

The round, which the company’s total funding to date to more than $300 million, was led by LGT Lightstone, with participation by investors Hanaco, Bonnier, Haniel, and Latitude, and was supported by existing Infarm investors Atomico, TriplePoint Capital, Mons Capital, and Astanor Ventures.

The company’s massive funding underscores consumer and retailer appetite for Infarm’s innovative approach to fresh, sustainable, and local food production in the wake of this year’s pandemic. By 2025, Infarm’s farming network is expected to reach more than 5,000,000 square feet to become the largest distributed farming network in the world as it builds towards helping cities become self-sufficient in their food production.

Founded in 2013 by Osnat Michaeli and the brothers Erez and Guy Galonska, Infarm builds and distributes highly efficient vertical farms throughout cities to grow fresh produce right in their neighborhoods. The farms are placed in various locations in the city, like supermarkets, restaurants, and distribution centers, so that vegetables grow and are harvested close to the moment of purchase or consumption.

Infarm combines highly efficient vertical farms with IoT technologies and Machine Learning, to offer an alternative food system that is resilient, transparent, and affordable. The company distributes its smart modular farms throughout the urban environment to grow fresh produce for the city’s inhabitants. With cutting edge R&D, patented technologies, and a leading multi-disciplinary team, Infarm was founded on a visionary mission: helping cities become self-sufficient in their food production while significantly improving the safety, quality, and environmental footprint of our food.

Infarm said it will also use the fresh capital infusion to deepen the regional and local penetration of Infarm’s global farming network and complete development of Infarm’s new generation of vertical cloud-connected farms.

Commenting on the funding, Erez Galonska, Co-founder and CEO of Infarm, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has put a global spotlight on the urgent agricultural and ecological challenges of our time. At Infarm, we believe there’s a better, healthier way to feed our cities: increasing access to fresh, pure, sustainable produce, grown as close as possible to people. As we scale to 5,000,000 sq ft in farming facilities across Europe, North American and Asia by 2025, this investment will help us make a truly global impact through our network, preserving the thousands of acres of land, millions of liters of water, and ultimately change the way people grow, eat and think about food.”

With operations across 10 countries and 30 cities worldwide, Infarm harvests 500,000+ plants monthly and growing while using 99.5% less space than soil-based agriculture, 95% less water, 90% less transport, and zero chemical pesticides. Today, 90% of electricity use throughout the Infarm network is from renewable energy and the company has set a target to reach zero emission food production next year.


Source: https://techstartups.com/2020/09/18/berlin-based-infarm-raises-170m-bring-urban-farming-cities-anyone-can-grow-fresh-produce-right-neighborhoods/

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