TECH NEWS: Amazon, GitLab, Facebook, Google…
Amazon aims to open 3,000 cashless stores by 2021. The American giant is considering a wider expansion of Amazon Go, a grocery shop concept that has no cashiers and uses an artificially intelligent motion-tracking system to record what shoppers buy. It is targeting about ten openings in the United States by the end of the year. To reach this objective and achieve profitability, Amazon will have to quickly reduce its operating costs. The first Amazon Go store, located in Seattle, required an investment of more than $1 million for computer equipment alone. By multiplying this figure by 3,000, the bill could quickly reach several billion dollars. Amazon is considering positioning itself in the fresh, locally prepared food and small grocery segment. It has injected considerable resources into its grocery business in the past 15 months, including purchasing Whole Foods, the upmarket organic grocer, for $13.7 billion last summer.
Following its latest round of funding, which reached $100 million, the GitLab coding platform is now officially a unicorn. Its valuation now stands at $1.1 billion. This should help the company go public by November 2020. CEO Sid Sijbrandij told Techcrunch that GitLab’s original plan was to raise a new funding round at a valuation over $1 billion early next year. But since Iconiq came along with an offer that pretty much matched what the company set out to achieve in a few months anyway, the team decided to go ahead and raise the round now. Microsoft’s acquisition of GitHub earlier this year helped to accelerate those plans, too.
User data: Facebook is getting on the European Union’s nerves. "My patience has reached its limits," said Vera Jourova, the European Commissioner for Consumer Affairs. Back in February, the EU stated that some social media companies still had not sufficiently aligned their terms of service with EU requirements. "The "progress" made by Mark Zuckerberg's company has since been "very limited", even though the company changed its conditions of use in April, Brussels noted. These new conditions "contain a misleading presentation of the main features of Facebook's services", the Commission explains. "In particular, Facebook is now telling consumers that their data and content are only used to improve their overall experience and does not mention that the company is using this data for commercial purposes," she added.
Connected speakers: Google is narrowing Amazon’s lead. Google Home Mini accounted for 20% of the market in the second quarter, with 2.3 million units sold. Amazon nevertheless remains the market leader in connected speakers, with a 30% market share for both Echo and Echo Dot models, but Google is getting closer, with 27% for Home (5th in sales) and Home Mini.