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Visa to buy Swedish fintech Tink for $2.2 billion

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By Iain Withers and Anna Irrera

LONDON (Reuters) -Visa Inc said on Thursday it had agreed a 1.8 billion euro ($2.2 billion) takeover of European open banking platform Tink, months after it ditched a planned acquisition of the startup’s U.S. rival Plaid.

Founded in 2012, Sweden-based Tink enables banks and other financial firms to share and access consumer financial data more easily. It is used by more than 3,400 banks and other institutions, as well as over 250 million customers in Europe.

Visa terminated a planned $5.3 billion deal with U.S. data-sharing platform Plaid in January, following a U.S. government lawsuit aimed at blocking the deal on antitrust grounds.

European Union rules on open banking require banks to allow access to customer data by registered third party providers to boost competition.

The rollout of the rules has provided fertile ground for fintechs, such as Tink, which provide technology to help third parties and banks to access customer data.

Some financial technology experts said the Tink acquisition could face antitrust concerns, similar to the failed Plaid deal.

“Europe is a very different open banking market to the USA,” said Simon Taylor, head of ventures and co-founder at fintech consultancy 11:FS. “But Tink is one of the largest players, and many of the concerns that led to the investigation into the Plaid-Visa deal may apply here.”

The deal is part of Visa’s push to diversify revenues beyond credit card payments, where it is one of the world’s dominant players. Card companies have been facing increased pressure from regulators on fees, especially in Europe.

If completed, the transaction could mark another success for Sweden’s financial technology startup sector which has created several large companies over the past few years.

Buy now pay later company Klarna was valued at $46 billion in its latest fundraising round earlier this month, while Payments startup iZettle was acquired by PayPal Holdings Inc for $2.2 billion in 2018.

“With Tink and iZettle, Sweden has now produced two of Europe’s largest ever fintech M&A exits,” said Josh Bell, general partner at Dawn Capital, a venture capital firm who backed both firms.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Iain Withers and Anna Irrera in London; Additional reporting by Anna Ringstrom in Stockholm. Editing by Edmund Blair and Barbara Lewis)

Image Credit: Reuters

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://datafloq.com/read/visa-buy-swedish-fintech-tink-22-billion/15758

Big Data

How much Mathematics do you need to know for Machine Learning?

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Mathematics For Machine Learning | Maths to understand ML Algorithms





















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Source: https://www.analyticsvidhya.com/blog/2021/07/how-much-mathematics-do-you-need-to-know-for-machine-learning/

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If you did not already know

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ML Health google


Deployment of machine learning (ML) algorithms in production for extended periods of time has uncovered new challenges such as monitoring and management of real-time prediction quality of a model in the absence of labels. However, such tracking is imperative to prevent catastrophic business outcomes resulting from incorrect predictions. The scale of these deployments makes manual monitoring prohibitive, making automated techniques to track and raise alerts imperative. We present a framework, ML Health, for tracking potential drops in the predictive performance of ML models in the absence of labels. The framework employs diagnostic methods to generate alerts for further investigation. We develop one such method to monitor potential problems when production data patterns do not match training data distributions. We demonstrate that our method performs better than standard ‘distance metrics’, such as RMSE, KL-Divergence, and Wasserstein at detecting issues with mismatched data sets. Finally, we present a working system that incorporates the ML Health approach to monitor and manage ML deployments within a realistic full production ML lifecycle. …

Guided Zoom google


We propose Guided Zoom, an approach that utilizes spatial grounding to make more informed predictions. It does so by making sure the model has ‘the right reasons’ for a prediction, being defined as reasons that are coherent with those used to make similar correct decisions at training time. The reason/evidence upon which a deep neural network makes a prediction is defined to be the spatial grounding, in the pixel space, for a specific class conditional probability in the model output. Guided Zoom questions how reasonable the evidence used to make a prediction is. In state-of-the-art deep single-label classification models, the top-k (k = 2, 3, 4, …) accuracy is usually significantly higher than the top-1 accuracy. This is more evident in fine-grained datasets, where differences between classes are quite subtle. We show that Guided Zoom results in the refinement of a model’s classification accuracy on three finegrained classification datasets. We also explore the complementarity of different grounding techniques, by comparing their ensemble to an adversarial erasing approach that iteratively reveals the next most discriminative evidence. …

UniParse google


This paper describes the design and use of the graph-based parsing framework and toolkit UniParse, released as an open-source python software package. UniParse as a framework novelly streamlines research prototyping, development and evaluation of graph-based dependency parsing architectures. UniParse does this by enabling highly efficient, sufficiently independent, easily readable, and easily extensible implementations for all dependency parser components. We distribute the toolkit with ready-made configurations as re-implementations of all current state-of-the-art first-order graph-based parsers, including even more efficient Cython implementations of both encoders and decoders, as well as the required specialised loss functions. …

Sparse Constraint Preserving Matching (SPM) google


Many problems of interest in computer vision can be formulated as a problem of finding consistent correspondences between two feature sets. Feature correspondence (matching) problem with one-to-one mapping constraint is usually formulated as an Integral Quadratic Programming (IQP) problem with permutation (or orthogonal) constraint. Since it is NP-hard, relaxation models are required. One main challenge for optimizing IQP matching problem is how to incorporate the discrete one-to-one mapping (permutation) constraint in its quadratic objective optimization. In this paper, we present a new relaxation model, called Sparse Constraint Preserving Matching (SPM), for IQP matching problem. SPM is motivated by our observation that the discrete permutation constraint can be well encoded via a sparse constraint. Comparing with traditional relaxation models, SPM can incorporate the discrete one-to-one mapping constraint straightly via a sparse constraint and thus provides a tighter relaxation for original IQP matching problem. A simple yet effective update algorithm has been derived to solve the proposed SPM model. Experimental results on several feature matching tasks demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of SPM method. …

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Source: https://analytixon.com/2021/07/29/if-you-did-not-already-know-1461/

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Nokia lifts full-year forecast as turnaround takes root

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HELSINKI (Reuters) -Telecom equipment maker Nokia reported a stronger-than-expected second-quarter operating profit on Thursday and raised its full-year outlook as promised, thanks to a turnaround of its business.

The Finnish company’s April-June comparable operating profit rose to 682 million euros ($808.51 million) from 423 million euros a year earlier, beating the 408-million euro mean estimate in a Refinitiv poll of analysts.

Shifting geopolitics and a sharp round of cost cutting have put Nokia firmly back in the global 5G rollout race just a year after CEO Pekka Lundmark took the reins, allowing it to gain ground on Swedish arch-rival Ericsson.

“We have executed faster than planned on our strategy in the first half which provides us with a good foundation for the full year,” Lundmark said in a statement on Thursday, but added that Nokia still expects the 2021 second-half results to be less pronounced.

Nokia said it now expects full-year net sales of 21.7 billion-22.7 billion euros, up from its prior estimate of 20.6 billion-21.8 billion euros, with an operating profit margin of 10-12% instead of the 7% to 10% expected previously.

The company had announced on July 13 that it would raise its outlook, but did not provide any details.

($1 = 0.8435 euros)

(Reporting by Essi Lehto; editing by Terje Solsvik and Sriraj Kaluvila)

Image Credit: Reuters

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Source: https://datafloq.com/read/nokia-lifts-full-year-forecast-turnaround-takes-root/16713

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Robinhood, gateway to ‘meme’ stocks, raises $2.1 billion in IPO

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By Echo Wang and David French

(Reuters) -Robinhood Markets Inc, the owner of the trading app which emerged as the go-to destination for retail investors speculating on this year’s “meme’ stock trading frenzy, raised $2.1 billion in its initial public offering on Wednesday.

The company was seeking to capitalize on individual investors’ fascination with cryptocurrencies and stocks such as GameStop Corp, which have seen wild swings after becoming the subject of trading speculation on social media sites such as Reddit. Robinhood’s monthly active users surged from 11.7 million at the end of December to 21.3 million as of the end of June.

The IPO valued Robinhood at $31.8 billion, making it greater as a function of its revenue than many of its traditional rivals such as Charles Schwab Corp, but the offering priced at the bottom of the company’s indicated range.

Some investors stayed on the sidelines, citing concerns over the frothy valuation, the risk of regulators cracking down on Robinhood’s business, and even lingering anger with the company’s imposition of trading curbs when the meme stock trading frenzy flared up at the end of January.

Robinhood said it sold 55 million shares in the IPO at $38 apiece, the low end of its $38 to $42 price range. This makes it one of the most valuable U.S. companies to have gone public year-to-date, amid a red-hot market for new listings.

In an unusual move, Robinhood had said it would reserve between 20% and 35% of its shares for its users.

Robinhood’s platform allows users to make unlimited commission-free trades in stocks, exchange-traded funds, options and cryptocurrencies. Its simple interface made it popular with young investors trading from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Robinhood enraged some investors and U.S. lawmakers earlier this year when it restricted trading in some popular stocks following a 10-fold rise in deposit requirements at its clearinghouse. It has been at the center of many regulatory probes.

The company disclosed this week that it has received inquiries from U.S. regulators looking into whether its employees traded shares of GameStop and AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc before the trading curbs were placed at the end of January.

In June, Robinhood agreed to pay nearly $70 million to settle an investigation by Wall Street’s own regulator, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, for “systemic” failures, including systems outages, providing “false or misleading” information, and weak options trading controls.

The brokerage has also been criticized for relying on “payment for order flow” for most of its revenue, under which it receives fees from market makers for routing trades to them and does not charge users for individual trades.

Critics argue the practice, which is used by many other brokers, creates a conflict of interest, on the grounds that it incentivizes brokers to send orders to whoever pays the higher fees. Robinhood contends that it routes trades based on what is cheapest for its users, and that charging a commission would be more expensive. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is examining the practice.

Robinhood was founded in 2013 by Stanford University roommates Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt. They will hold a majority of the voting power after the offering, these filings showed, with Bhatt having around 39% of the voting power of outstanding stock while Tenev will hold about 26.2%.

The company’s shares are scheduled to start trading on Nasdaq on Thursday under the ticker “HOOD”

Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan were the lead underwriters in Robinhood’s IPO.

(Reporting by Echo Wang and David French in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler)

Image Credit: Reuters

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Source: https://datafloq.com/read/robinhood-gateway-meme-stocks-raises-21-billion-ipo/16712

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