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U2 band members invest in Irish tech fund seeking to raise $112 million

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Adam Clayton, Bono, the Edge and Larry Mullen Jr. of Irish rock band U2, arriving at Mumbai international airport for the “Joshua Tree Tour” on December 12, 2019 in Mumbai, India.

Prodip Guha/Getty images

David Howell Evans, known as the “the Edge” and Adam Clayton, from the rock band U2, are backing a new technology fund in Ireland, which is aiming to raise 100 million euros ($112 million). 

A spokesman for Dublin-based VentureWave Capital, the investment firm behind the fund, confirmed lead guitarist “the Edge” and bassist Clayton were both investors.

The fund, “Impact Ireland,” received between approximately 20 million euros and 30 million euros in the first round of fundraising, which launched in September 2019 and closed in May 2020. The second round of fundraising is now underway. 

It will invest in companies from Ireland producing global “technology for good.” More specifically, it will target cloud-based technology companies in sectors such as education, healthcare, food and agriculture as well as energy and the environment. 

Impact Ireland will invest in up to 15 “high-growth potential and scaling Irish companies,” putting between 1 million euros and 25 million euros into each of those businesses. 

The fund will be a combination of private equity and venture capital investments. 

According to Pitchbook, while both are subsets of the private market, venture capital tends to invest in startups and other young tech-focused companies via a minority stake. 

Meanwhile, private equity often funds more mature companies in traditional industries, typically to take a majority stake in those businesses. 

VentureWave Capital said the fund is the first Irish signatory of the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation’s “Operating Principles for Impact Measurement,” which gauges the social benefit of the investments. 

Impact Ireland will also invest in “profit-driven” companies advancing the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. 

Former Irish leader Enda Kenny is chair of the fund’s global advisory council.

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/29/u2-band-members-invest-in-irish-tech-fund-hoping-to-raise-112-million.html

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ESPN+ will stream La Liga soccer starting next season

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ESPN+ is expanding its soccer lineup once again. After losing Italy’s Serie A to Paramount+, the streaming service has announced a deal with Spain’s La Liga for next season. Revealed during Disney’s earnings call along with an MLB deal for 30 regular season games, the La Liga arrangement is an eight year deal covering 380 matches per season

Before now, La Liga was broadcast in the US on beIN Sports and could be streamed from services like fuboTV and Sling TV. Hundreds of matches will be ESPN+ exclusive, with “select” games airing on ESPN networks also. In total, ESPN now offers fans more than 2,900 matches per season. ESPN+ GM Russell Wolff said in a statement that “This agreement creates a true home for LaLiga in the U.S. for years to come and cements ESPN+ as the premier platform for soccer.”

For a while now, ESPN+ has been a no-brainer for soccer fans. The service has been home to the German Bundesliga, English FA Cup, English Carabao Cup, EFL Championship (England’s 2nd division), MLS, USL (US 2nd division, Dutch Eredivisie, UEFA Nations League and several more. That’s a lot of soccer for $5.99 a month or $59.99 per year. La Liga brings two of the biggest clubs in all of Europe to ESPN+: FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. Of course, the former is the current home of Lionel Messi, one of the best active players in the world. 

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Source: https://www.engadget.com/espn-plus-la-liga-soccer-rights-005834427.html

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Elon Musk efficiency tweet pushes Dogecoin prices up again

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Last weekend the price of Dogecoin (a meme-inspired cryptocurrency that was developed “in about two hours” in 2013) fell sharply after Elon Musk said on Saturday Night Live that cryptocurrency is a “hustle.” Now, possibly confirming that statement, Musk has followed up his announcement that Tesla is “suspending” accepting payments in Bitcoin because of its inefficiency, by tweeting about “potentially promising” improvements in Dogecoin.

Naturally, his tweets have increased speculation that Dogecoin could have a future use and Coinbase reports its value shot up 18 percent, before falling again. The Tesla reveal indicated the company would look for more energy efficient options than the “insane” usage trend shown by Bitcoin, although Musk’s apparent surprise at this widely known fact made the whole thing feel like a stunt. Like Bitcoin, Dogecoin relies on less efficient “proof of work” blockchain technology, and more efficient cryptocurrencies are already available, but that hasn’t stopped speculators from chasing the dream of Tesla, SpaceX and Doge.

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Source: https://www.engadget.com/doge-musk-233459058.html

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SpaceX charts a path for Starship’s first orbital test flight

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Following the successful landing of SN15, SpaceX now plans to attempt to fly a Starship prototype into orbit. In a filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the company details how it hopes its next test flight will unfold.

According to the document, a Starship craft fitted with a Super Heavy booster will lift from the company’s Boca Chica, Texas launch facility. Approximately three minutes into the flight, the booster stage will separate and splash down in the Gulf of Mexico about 20 miles from shore. The Starship rocket will pass over the Straits of Florida before entering orbit and then returning to Earth and attempting to make a soft ocean landing approximately 62 miles off the northwest coast of Kauai. If all goes according to plan, the entire flight from start to finish should take about 90 minutes to complete.

Before SN15, all of SpaceX’s Starship test flights had ended with one of the prototype super-heavy rockets exploding. The flight was an important step for SpaceX. And if the company can successfully pull off this latest test, it will be that much closer to realizing its vision of using Starship to ferry humans to the Moon and beyond. It will also be an important show that NASA was right to trust SpaceX to deliver a useable Starship lunar lander in time for its upcoming Project Artemis missions.

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Source: https://www.engadget.com/spacex-starship-orbital-flight-plan-222943282.html

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Pinterest will test livestreamed events with three days of creator workshops

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Starting on May 24th, Pinterest will host a three-day online event that will see the company livestream content from some of its most popular content creators. Pinterest shared the details of how the test, one of its first public attempts at livestreaming, will unfold with TechCrunch.

The only way to watch the videos will be through Pinterest’s app — though you can see a preview of each session on the company’s website. In all, there will be 21 workshops covering topics like how to repurpose a pair of leggings and make the perfect bowl of guacamole. As someone watching the streams, you’ll have the chance to comment on what’s going on and chat with the person hosting the sessions. They’ll be moderators on hand to ensure everyone in chat stays civil. But what you won’t find is a shopping component attached to the experience.

Technically, this isn’t Pinterest’s first foray into livestreaming. Last year, the company tested a feature called Class Communities that allowed people to sign up for online Zoom classes through its app. However, outside of the signup mechanism, the Pinterest app was mainly to help those hosting the classes to organize materials for their students. Pinterest didn’t tell TechCrunch how it sees livestreams factoring into its future plans. The company is relatively late to the format, with other platforms having had livestreaming components for years now.  

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Source: https://www.engadget.com/pinterest-livestream-test-220509437.html

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