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June 17, 2019

Google Assistant gets improved voice models for Dutch, Indian English, Indonesian, Norwegian, and Japanese

Google Assistant is an incredibly powerful tool in the US, and as of late, the personal helper is getting better all around the globe with an ever-growing number of supported languages and actions. This goes hand in hand with Google’s recent announcement that it wants to massively expand Assistant all over the world, which has already led to a plethora of new and improved languages. Now, another round of updated and new voices have arrived for even broader international support.

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Google Assistant gets improved voice models for Dutch, Indian English, Indonesian, Norwegian, and Japanese was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

 
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June 12, 2019

Go-Jek doubles down on India with yet another talent acquisition

Go-Jek may be based in Southeast Asia, but the multi-billion-dollar ride-hailing firm continues to tap India for engineering talent. The Indonesia-headquartered firm announced today that it has acquired AirCTO, a recruitment platform based in Gurgaon.

The acquisition, the price of which has not been disclosed, is a talent grab. AirCTO’s platform uses a mix of AI and humans to help companies hire “top” developer talent — that’s of interest to Go-Jek because the company intends to double down on India, which houses a significant number of its R&D workforce already thanks to prior acquisitions.

Indeed, the company said that AirCTO’s entire team [...]

 
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June 6, 2019

Line teams up with Visa to boost its mobile payment service

Messaging app Line has partnered with Visa to bring traditional financial clout to its mobile payment service.

The deal will see Line Pay become compatible with Visa’s 54 million merchant partner locations worldwide, boosting the service outside of its native Japan, where it has been pitched heaviest so far and where Line claims 80 million users.

The tie-up will allow Line users to use the app’s payment system even where Line Pay isn’t accepted. That’s through a ‘virtual’ visa card that’ll show up in the chat app.

Beyond that, the two sides said they will explore “ways for merchants to interact with the Line Pay service” and its digital [...]

 
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June 1, 2019

Startups Weekly: Will the real unicorns please stand up?

Hello and welcome back to Startups Weekly, a newsletter published every Saturday that dives into the week’s noteworthy venture capital deals, funds and trends. Before I dive into this week’s topic, let’s catch up a bit. Last week, I wrote about the sudden uptick in beverage startup rounds. Before that, I noted an alternative to venture capital fundraising called revenue-based financing. Remember, you can send me tips, suggestions and feedback to [email protected] or on Twitter @KateClarkTweets.

Here’s what I’ve been thinking about this week: Unicorn scarcity, or lack thereof. I’ve written about this concept before, as has my Equity co-host, [...]

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