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Israel Digest: Avante acquires fintech startup Sling, eBay acquires SalesPredict - DealStreetAsia

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Brazilian company Avante acquired Israeli fintech startup Sling in an undisclosed deal while eBay announced that it will be acquiring predictive analytics startup SalesPredict. Brazilian micro-credit giant Avante announced on Monday that it has acquired Israeli startup Sling, a company that enables a micro-entrepreneurs to access a slew of financial services directly from their smartphones. Details of the acquisition have not been disclosed but its valued at 10 million. Sling allows micro-business from street vendors and therapists to the self-employed, to unlock a series of financial services without the need for hardware, complicated contracts or an upfront costs. In addition, Sling merchant have access to digital card payments, frictionless installments, clearance and micro-fleet management capabilities.


Scala: A Hybrid Language for Big Data

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Scala is a highly scalable general purpose programming language that combines aspects of both object-oriented and functional programming. It's become increasingly important in the world of data science, rivaling more established languages like Java and Python. One of the main drivers of Scala's rise to prominence has been the explosive growth of Apache Spark (which is written in Scala), giving Scala a well-earned reputation as a powerful language for data processing, machine learning, and streaming analytics. What is Scala, and what makes it so well suited to handling big data? In this article we're going to look at what sets Scala apart as a programming language, why it's becoming increasingly important to data scientists, and what skills you should look for in a Scala developer.



Philips Lighting joins $7 million round for smart building sensor maker PointGrab

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Israel's PointGrab has raised $7 million in funding for its sensors for smart buildings. The investors include lighting company Philips Lighting; Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Co. (MUCAP), a venture capital arm of Japan's largest financial group; and existing investors ABB Technology Ventures (ATV) and others. Israel-based PointGrab makes CogniPoint, a smart-sensing solution that detects people in buildings and shuts off lighting if there's no one around who needs it. The goal is to enable effective building management and save money through energy efficiency. By embedding deep learning neural networks technology into cost-effective, miniature, and connected optical sensing devices, PointGrab's CogniPoint sensing solution provides analytics in the detection of occupants' locations, count, and movements.


M&A roundup - week ending 7/16/16

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Google acquired Kifi, an app for collecting links from across the Internet, which teams could then collaborate on. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed. The Kifi service and data will not become part of Google. The service will remain fully functional for existing users for a few more weeks, before its shut down. The company is no longer accepting new registrations.