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NEW
Regent raises $9m to develop electric flying ferries
Boston start-up Regent is currently working on developing an "electric seaglider" that will make travel between coastal cities faster and more sustainable. This electric ferry would motor out of a harbour on a hydrofoil, take off at a low speed using the water as a runway and fly over the waves at 180 miles per hour. The startup has raised $9 million in seed funding to develop the technology.
NEW
Instagram takes steps to tackle hate speech and abuse
Instagram is rolling out a new feature which aims to tackle hate speech and abuse. The tool will filter offensive words, phrases and emoji. It will be able to be customised by users, and activated or deactivated via an individual's settings. Instagram also plans to make it harder for blocked users to contact individuals through new accounts. The features will be rolled out in the coming months.
NEW
Tiktok sued on behalf of millions of children over data protection practices
England's former children's commissioner Anne Longfield has filed a lawsuit against Tiktok claiming that the social media app illegally collects the personal information of its child users. The claim was filed on behalf of 3.5 million UK and EU children under 13 that use the platform. If successful, the children affected could each be owed thousands of pounds. Tiktok has denied the accusations.
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UK government launches public sector innovation plan
The UK government has published a strategy to "get greater value from public sector knowledge assets". It is creating the Government Office for Technology Transfer, which will work with public sector organisations to identify knowledge asset opportunities. A report last year said that government faces "several barriers" to managing its knowledge assets. A key focus will be put on the use of data.
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CoLearn lands $10m for edtech platform
CoLearn, the Indonesian edtech platform with financial backing from Sequoia Capital, has raised $10m from a new funding round. Its app has one million active users after launching last August. CoLearn initially began life as an offline business but its app now offers pre-recorded videos to help learners with homework. The Series A was co-led by Alpha Wave Incubation and GSV Ventures.
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E-scooter startup Dott raises $85m
Belgium-based e-scooter micromobility Dott has raised a new $85 million in a Series B funding round to expand into e-bikes. The round was a mix of equity and asset-backed debt financing in which Belgium's investment company Sofina is leading the investment. Dott currently operates a fleet of 30,000 electric scooters in five countries that users can access through the company's mobile app.
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Amazon becomes Europe's top corporate buyer of renewable energy
Amazon has revealed. its plans to invest in nine large-scale wind and solar energy generation projects to support its goal of switching entirely to green power by 2025. The new investments in the US, Canada, Spain, Sweeden and the UK have allowed the company to become the top corporate buyer of renewable energy in Europe, with more than 2.5 GW of renewable energy capacity.
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NASA's Ingenuity successfully makes first flight on Mars
NASA has made history by flying for the first time a helicopter on Mars. Scientist remotely directed the Ingenuity helicopter while the Perseverance rover filmed the flight. Powering flights on Mars is a huge challenge due to the thin nature of the Red Planet's atmosphere, which significantly complicates the creation of a rotor-powered craft like Ingenuity that can actually use it to produce lift.
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Lithium-metal battery developer SES completes $139m funding round
SES, one of the leading manufacturers of li-metal rechargeable batteries used in electric vehicles, has raised $139m in Series D funding. The round was led by General Motors. "This new round of funding will help accelerate technology development, significantly expand our technical, business and manufacturing teams, and expedite the commercialisation of Li-Metal batteries," said SES CEO Qichao Hu.
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White House partners with social media platforms for vaccine eligibility campaign
The White House is launching a targeted media blitz in partnership with social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Snap to promote vaccine eligibility. From April 19th all United States residents aged 16 and older will be eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The Biden administration hopes to use this campaign to reach populations who may have higher rates of vaccine hesitancy.
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