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lendup.com

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Founded Year

2012

Stage

Dead | Dead

Total Raised

$365.5M

About LendUp

LendUp's mission is to provide anyone with a path to better financial health. With its proprietary software, it designs safe, transparent products that expand access, lower costs, and provide credit-building opportunities for the population of Americans who have limited options within the traditional banking system because of low credit scores and income volatility.

LendUp Headquarter Location

225 Bush St. 11th Floor

San Francisco, California, 94104,

United States

Latest LendUp News

CFPB blasts VCs in ordering LendUp to stop lending

Dec 22, 2021

CFPB blasts VCs in ordering LendUp to stop lending Rohit Chopra name-checked GV, Kleiner Perkins and Andreessen Horowitz for backing the fintech startup. CFPB Director Rohit Chopra said LendUp, a controversial lender backed by major VC names, would hsut down. Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images December 21, 2021 The Consumer Financial Protection said online lender LendUp will stop lending operations and pay a penalty for practices that the agency said misled and deceived consumers. The California-based online lender will cease issuing loans and collecting on outstanding loans, and will pay a $100,000 penalty for engaging in “illegal and deceptive marketing,” the CFPB said. The controversial company had been a fintech trailblazer, with CFPB Director Rohit Chopra noting that it had received significant backing from major venture capital firms, including GV (formerly Google Ventures); Kleiner Perkins; Andreessen Horowitz; PayPal and QED Investors. “LendUp was backed by some of the biggest names in venture capital,” Chopra said in a statement. “We are shuttering the lending operations of this fintech for repeatedly lying and illegally cheating its customers.” A LendUp spokesperson said the company is "pleased to have fully resolved its litigation with the CFBP," noting that "LendUp did not admit liability in the settlement agreement." LendUp's parent company, LendUp Global, launched a neobank, Ahead Financials, in December 2020. That business will not be affected by the settlement involving LendUp, which will "wind down its operations in early 2022," the spokesman said. LendUp, which billed itself as an alternative to payday lending, was accused of misrepresenting the benefits of its product and violating fair lending regulations. A Kleiner Perkins spokesperson said the firm had no comment. Google Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, PayPal and QED Investors could not immediately be reached for comment. X SOURCE CODE Want your finger on the pulse of everything that's happening in tech? Sign up to get Protocol's daily newsletter. Email Address Source Code Thank you for signing up. Please check your inbox to verify your email. Email me an authentication link A login link has been emailed to you - please check your inbox. Benjamin Pimentel ( @benpimentel ) covers fintech from San Francisco. He has reported on many of the biggest tech stories over the past 20 years for the San Francisco Chronicle, Dow Jones MarketWatch and Business Insider, from the dot-com crash, the rise of cloud computing, social networking and AI to the impact of the Great Recession and the COVID crisis on Silicon Valley and beyond. He can be reached at bpimentel@protocol.com or via Signal at (510)731-8429. A Discord server run by recently launched gaming NFT marketplace Fractal was hacked, scamming 373 of its members out of a a total of 800 in Solana cryptocurrency, worth $150,000, the company announced Tuesday . The startup said in its announcement that it will fully compensate the victims of the hack, in which an unauthorized user posted a fake minting link in Fractal's "#announcements" channel. Fractal said that other Discord channels may have also experienced a hack at the same time, and that it is "working with them to compare notes and track down the hacker." Fractal launched just over a week ago, and has already become a big name in the NFT world. "With over 100,000 members in our community, it’s quite impressive that the hacker only managed to dupe .3% of our community," the said in a statement. In a Twitter video , co-founder Justin Kan encouraged Fractal members to "always be using a burner" for their crypto wallets, and to always be on the lookout for scams like this one. Scammers like this have become a staple of the crypto industry, whether they're "rug-pulling" and taking buyers' money or just trying to convince users to give them access to their wallets. And for now, there's not much companies like Fractal can do other than encourage users to be diligent. "We must use our best judgement as there’s no “undo button” in crypto," the company said. Starting in January, Americans should be able to order at-home COVID-19 tests through a government-run website, said Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, in a press conference on Tuesday. The specifics of the program and website are still murky, as the government is currently "working through ... very important details," including how many tests a family can order at one time and what the website will look like, Psaki said. The website will be available as soon as the at-home tests are available, she said. The White House announced Tuesday that it is working to ship out as many as 500 million at-home test kits to Americans and is opening new testing sites as cases begin to spike due to the quickly-spreading omicron variant of COVID-19. This isn't the first time the government had bold plans for a large-scale testing website. In the early stages of the pandemic, former president Trump had plans for a website in partnership with Google to determine whether people should get tested, but the website quickly fell short of the capabilities that Trump had promised. Keep ReadingShow less The market for mobility companies continues to be hot, and Via is the latest to take advantage: It filed to go public in a confidential statement with the SEC, the company announced on Tuesday . Via said in its announcement that it hasn't determined how many shares it will offer or the price range for the shares. The company is expected to make its public debut in early 2022, TechCrunch reported. The filing follows Via raising $130 million in Series G funding in late November, bringing its total funding to more than $777 million, according to Crunchbase , and its valuation to $3.3 billion. Founded in 2012, Via works primarily with governments on improving their public transit systems with buses and shuttles. It has more than 500 partnerships in 35 countries, with major cities including Los Angeles, Jersey City and Miami on its roster. Via follows in the footsteps of mobility companies like truck maker Xos, EV car developer Rivian and charging company EVgo, which have made public debuts in the past year. Keep ReadingShow less Microsoft's acquisition of Nuance Communications was approved by the European Commission on Tuesday, according to Reuters . The $19.7 billion acquisition will be one of the largest ever for Microsoft, eclipsed only by its $26.2 billion purchase of LinkedIn. The acquisition, which was announced in April , had already been approved in the U.S. and Australia, according to Reuters. Nuance provides AI-based communications services for health care providers, which sit on Microsoft Azure. Microsoft's move is part of the company's strategy to expand in the health care space. Longtime rival Oracle is looking at similar territory, agreeing to a $28 billion deal for health care records provider Cerner just this week. Keep ReadingShow less Turns out, Vlad Orlov is a bot. The supposed "Orlov" and other senders sent emails like the one sent to a website managed by Audrey Eschright, a Portland, Oregon-based writer, community organizer and software engineer. The messages went something like this : “My name is Vlad Orlov, and I am a resident of Moscow, Russia. I have a few questions about your process for responding to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) data access requests.” The problem is, they’re not real, and website admins and small business managers are not happy about them. The emails were sent automatically by a team of researchers at Princeton attempting to learn about how websites respond to requests for data access under Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation and California’s privacy law. “You have wasted 1000s of hours of people’s time and probably caused thousands of dollars in legal fees. This was a monumental [misjudgment],” U.K. software developer Andy Brice tweeted on Dec. 19. Brice, who runs software consultancy Oryx Digital, added that his friends at other companies also received the automatically generated emails requesting to learn information about how companies process GDPR data access requests and what personal information people need to provide in order to process the requests. “Where do I send my invoice?” asked Brice rhetorically. I run a 2 person company and I got 2 of these emails. Lots of my friends in other companies got these emails. You have wasted 1000s of hours of people's time and probably caused thousands of dollars in legal fees. This was a monumental misjudement. Where do I send my invoice? — Andy Brice (@Andy Brice) 1639915546 Now the Princeton-Radboud Study on Privacy Law Implementation — at least in its original, bot-like form — is kaput. Its principal investigator, well-known privacy researcher Jonathan Mayer, said his team stopped sending automated inquiries on Dec. 15. Mayer issued an apology on a Princeton site associated with the study: "I have carefully read every single message sent to our research team, and I am dismayed that the emails in our study came across as security risks or legal threats. The intent of our study was to understand privacy practices, not to create a burden on website operators, email system operators, or privacy professionals. I sincerely apologize. I am the senior researcher, and the responsibility is mine." The project has raised lots of questions and social media discussions around research ethics, why the study passed muster with the Princeton University Institutional Review Board and the obligations of stakeholders when laws create detailed compliance obligations. For Mayer and other researchers, the project is a learning opportunity. Mayer said his team might send follow-up emails to initial bot-email recipients telling them to disregard the previous automated data access requests. And, he said, “I will use the lessons learned from this experience to write and post a formal research ethics case study” and “I will teach that case study in coursework.” Keep ReadingShow less The Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday evening released new demands for greater disclosure from Chinese companies listing on U.S. stock exchanges. Specifically, the SEC’s new guidance requires Chinese companies using the so-called variable interest entity (VIE) scheme to raise funds abroad to provide “clear and prominent” information about the companies’ structure and risks associated with such structure. The SEC also calls on Chinese companies to disclose additional legal, regulatory, operational and enforcement risks associated with being based in China or having their main operation in China. The VIE is a legal structure that many Chinese tech giants have used for the past two decades to bypass China’s foreign investment restrictions on overseas listings. The SEC’s new guidance for Chinese companies come at a time when both American and Chinese securities regulators are seeking to clamp down on Chinese VIEs in light of Chinese ride-sharing company DiDi’s delisting. DiDi, which was compelled to delist from the New York Stock Exchange, is also listed in the U.S. through a VIE. Beijing is reportedly drawing up a negative list that will include Chinese startups in sensitive sectors that plan to go public in overseas stock exchanges through the VIE scheme. And the SEC recently has finalized amended rules that can force all Chinese companies to delist from American exchanges if they don't comply with U.S. auditing requirements. Keep ReadingShow less TikTok’s latest video-production tool is said to be violating open-source licenses: The company’s new Live Studio Windows app, which launched last week, is using code from the Open Broadcaster Software project’s popular OBS Studio app and other open-source projects without adhering to the respective open-source licensing terms, according to allegations that first surfaced on Twitter late last week. Open Broadcaster Software business development manager Ben Torell confirmed that his team had found “clear evidence” for these violations when contacted by Protocol. Torell said the project had already reached out to TikTok, but hadn’t gotten a response yet. A TikTok spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to Protocol's request for comment. TikTok released its Live Studio app without much fanfare last week. The Windows-based app is supposed to help people produce high-quality livestreams, and allows broadcasters to incorporate video game streams, image and text overlays and more. The app is currently only available to a few thousand users in a couple of markets, the company told TechCrunch . OBS Studio is a popular broadcast app that is used by many livestreamers. A number of companies, including Reddit, have also used OBS Studio code to build their own livestreaming software. Under the terms of the GPL, which OBS Studio is released under, those companies have to make any modified source code available publicly under the same license as well. If a company doesn’t follow those rules, it can be taken to court. However, Torell said on Twitter that Open Broadcaster Software was looking to avoid a legal confrontation. “We have a commitment to dealing with GPL violations in good faith, and in the case of TikTok/Bytedance we would be happy to have a friendly working relationship with them as long as they comply with the license,” he said. Keep ReadingShow less Rocket Companies, which runs several financial services businesses including Rocket Mortgage, will acquire personal-finance app Truebill for nearly $1.3 billion, the company announced Monday. The purchase is more than double Truebill's previous valuation of $500 million from a fundraising round the smaller company announced in June. Rocket will pay for the acquisition in cash, and the deal is expected to close by the end of the year. Truebill's financial technology, which monitors bank and credit card statements for subscriptions and other recurring charges, will add to Rocket Companies' real estate, home financing and automotive sales business lines, the company said in its announcement. "Truebill's work helping Americans keep track of their finances and providing guidance that leads to better financial outcomes follows the same philosophy as Rocket Companies — leveraging the power of technology to remove the friction from complex transactions – and applies it to everyday life," Jay Farner, CEO of Rocket Companies, said in a statement. Rocket Companies, which runs fintech businesses including Rocket Mortgage, Rocket Homes and Rocket Loans, saw its stock drop in mid-morning trading following the announcement, dipping to around $14.25 after opening at $15.17. A Rocket Companies spokesperson said Truebill's 150 employees will join its workforce. Rocket, which is the largest employer in its headquarters city of Detroit, will retain Truebill's Silver Spring, Maryland, headquarters. Since Truebill was founded in 2015, the company has attracted 2.5 million users, doubling its user base in 2021. The company analyzes $50 billion in monthly transactions and claims it has saved its users more than $100 million in its six years of operation. Keep ReadingShow less Oracle has reached an agreement to buy Cerner for $95 per share or $28.3 billion in equity, it announced on Monday. The enterprise software company will acquire the medial records giant in what would be its largest acquisition ever, according to CNBC . The Wall Street Journal was the first to report on Friday that Oracle was in talks to buy Cerner, and the deal was officially announced in a joint statement by both companies on Monday. The acquisition is part of Oracle's strategy to move into the health care space and is expected to close next year. According to the statement, Oracle thinks Cerner will boost revenue as part of a strategic move to digitize electronic health records. Cerner also already operates on the Oracle Database and will join Oracle as a dedicated industry business unit upon completion of the deal. Keep ReadingShow less China’s top ecommerce influencer Huang Wei, commonly known as Viya, was fined 1.341 billion RMB ($210 million) for tax evasion, the local taxation authority said Monday , and her social media accounts, which have more than 120 million followers combined, have been taken down. For more coverage of the people, power and politics of China's tech scene, subscribe here. In recent years, Viya has emerged as powerful force in livestream ecommerce, a new shopping method that has taken China by storm and dwarfed traditional ecommerce activities . On the evening of Oct. 20 alone, Viya sold $1.3 billion worth of products in her livestream. She has also become an entertainment celebrity, even performing for the most important national holiday celebration . Among all livestream influencers, Viya not only stood out for her sales numbers but also for how closely she has aligned with China's government. She was co-opted as a member of the All-China Youth Federation and won a National Poverty Alleviation Award for the voluntary work she has done in promoting China’s rural ecommerce products. According to Zhejiang Provincial Tax Service, from 2019 to 2020 Viya failed to report taxes mounting $110 million. Her $210 million fine includes the unpaid taxes, late fees and penalties. Beijing has been increasingly cracking down on tax evasions by prominent influencers as the sky-high sales numbers have attracted public attention. Last month, two other A-level livestream influencers have also been fined heavily and suspended on social media for tax evasion. Keep ReadingShow less Amazon workers, investors and lawmakers are all seeking answers from Amazon about how six people died after a tornado collapsed an Edwardsville, Illinois facility earlier this month. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other progressive lawmakers sent a letter to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy on Monday, asking that the company detail the events of the warehouse collapse and explain its safety policies. A series of tornadoes killed more than 80 people on Dec. 10 in Illinois and Kentucky, including the six workers at the Edwardsville facility. Since their deaths, some workers have shared that they were urged to continue working despite expressing concerns about regular warnings of severe weather in the area. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is conducting an investigation into whether anyone is at fault for the collapse (which is a routine OSHA procedure in the event of workplace deaths). “We’re reviewing the letter and will respond directly, but right now our focus remains on taking care of our employees and partners, the family members of those killed by the tornado, and the communities affected by this tragedy," Kelly Nantel, an Amazon spokesperson, wrote to Protocol. Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Sherrod Brown also sent a letter to Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh Monday calling for a federal investigation into Amazon's labor practices, including the company's high injury rates and its safety procedures surrounding the tornado deaths. "Amazon can afford to treat its workers well, and should be held accountable to do so. Today, approximately one out of every 170 U.S. workers is an Amazon employee, underscoring our particular interest in ensuring that the company’s employment practices are fair," the senators wrote in the letter. A few hundred Amazon workers in New York and other mid-Atlantic facilities also began to circulate a petition on Monday to demand Amazon end a policy of banning cell phones in the workplace. While the policy was temporarily suspended because of COVID-19, the company was reportedly planning to begin reinstating it in January 2021. Workers at the Edwardsville facility were allowed to have access to their cell phones, according to Amazon. The petition also demands a clear inclement weather policy from the company and asks that it include paid time off for shifts cancelled for weather. "Management puts off deciding whether to cancel the shift until we’ve already arrived at work, then tries to get us to take [Voluntary Time Off] and agree to go home early without pay for the rest of the shift. Often, the official decision to close is made so late that workers end up stranded far from home in now-dangerous weather," the workers, organized by Amazonians United, wrote in the petition. Some activist shareholders, led by Domini Impact Investments, have also filed a resolution asking Amazon's board of directors for an audit of workplace health and safety. The resolution will likely come up for a vote at the company's annual shareholder meeting in 2022, though few shareholder proposals of this nature successfully win votes at shareholder meetings. Update: This story was updated with a comment from Amazon and the letter from Rubio and Brown. Keep ReadingShow less The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing is investigating Google following allegations of harassment of and discrimination against its Black female employees, Reuters reported. The DFEH has been interviewing Black women about their experiences working at the company, with interviews taking place as recently as last month. Interviewees include both those who have and haven't filed formal complaints against Google, according to the report. Though Google has claimed it's working to build " sustainable equity " for what the company calls its "Black+ community," its retention rate for women of color has dwindled. Employees who identify as "Black+ female" left Google at the second-highest rate of any racial-gender group last year, with those identifying as "Native American+ female" leaving at the highest rate, according to Reuters. The investigation marks the latest of Google's recent run-ins with harassment allegations. Timnit Gebru, a Black former AI ethics researcher for the company, claimed she was fired late last year after criticizing its diversity efforts — a claim which the company reportedly denied . In April, 500 Google employees signed a letter to the company claiming it doesn't "provide a safe environment" for those who have experiences workplace harassment after Emi Nietfeld, another former employee, detailed allegations of sexual harassment in a New York Times op-ed . The investigation also adds Google to DFEH's list of tech companies it is challenging. The agency has ongoing lawsuits against Tencent, Riot Games and Activision Blizzard due to allegations of harassment and discrimination. Keep ReadingShow less Lina Khan, the chair of the Federal Trade Commission, said she wanted the agency to consider regulations tackling "lax security practices, data privacy abuses, and algorithmic decision-making that may result in unlawful discrimination." While Khan, a prominent tech skeptic, has previously suggested the FTC look at a broad rule-making on data issues, she outlined more specific concerns and detailed her own interest in the issue in a letter to Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, whose office released the message on Friday. "I applaud Chair Khan for committing to support a rule-making strengthening consumer privacy," said Blumenthal, who pushed for the move after years of congressional failure to pass a law on the issue. Khan has also spent months streamlining the commission's rule-making procedures ahead of the move, which is likely to be time-consuming and prompt expensive pushback from big business. The FTC, which currently has two commissioners from each party, is also facing political gridlock. Khan would likely need the votes of a third Democratic commissioner to begin working on regulations. Alvaro Bedoya, whom President Biden has nominated for the slot, is one of the agency picks still awaiting confirmation from the Senate. Keep ReadingShow less A bill aimed at putting pressure on tech supply chains by making companies prove goods from China’s Xinjiang region weren't produced using forced labor will likely soon become law. The House and Senate have both passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act — named for the western region's Turkic Muslims, who have been subject to what the U.S. describes as a genocide — and the White House has indicated President Biden will sign it. The bill bans imports from the region, where Chinese authorities have set up detainment camps. To bring in goods from Xinjiang, companies must convince U.S. border officials "by clear and convincing evidence" that the products weren't made using forced labor — an exacting standard. Apple had previously lobbied on other versions of the bill in what media reports described as an effort to weaken its provisions. The company sources parts from all over the world, but Australian researchers last year found four sites in Apple's supply chain that appear to have made use of forced Uyghur labor. Some of the sites appeared to supply other tech companies as well. Apple at the time said it condemns forced labor and that it had investigated its suppliers in China and found "no evidence of forced labor on Apple production lines." The company said it would monitor the issue. Its lobbying included efforts to "educate policymakers on how Apple prevents forced labor in its supply chain," according to the filings. Keep ReadingShow less TikTok’s Chinese original, Douyin, launched an independent shopping app on Thursday called Douyin Box, taking on established ecommerce giants like Alibaba. The Chinese short-video sensation, which has amassed more than 600 million daily active users, is entering a new business dominated by Alibaba, JD.com and Pinduoduo. Its ecommerce product, Douyin Box, will focus on selling fashion products, targeting China’s youth. 2021 marks a year of expansion into ecommerce for ByteDance, the world’s most valuable startup and the parent company of TikTok and Douyin. Just last month, ByteDance rolled out an ecommerce app targeting European consumers called Fanno. It seems likely at some point that TikTok will follow suit in the U.S. market, pushing out a shopping app to take on challengers such as Facebook and Amazon. Keep ReadingShow less The FTC is taking a closer look at Meta’s proposed acquisition of Within, the Los Angeles-based immersive media startup behind the VR fitness service Supernatural, the Information was first to report late Thursday . The proposed deal would value Within between $400 and $500 million, according to multiple reports — enough to raise some red flags with regulators. “Our partnership with Within will bring innovation to the virtual reality community in a dynamic and competitive space,” a Meta spokesperson told Protocol Thursday. “Meta and Within together will offer people greater experiences and better services through this deal." Meta's spokesperson declined to comment further on the probe. The increased scrutiny comes as Meta is doubling down on the metaverse; the company announced its plans to acquire Within a day after it changed its name from Facebook. Prior to this, Facebook had acquired a handful of AR and VR content startups, generally for a lot less money. Within launched Supernatural as a VR fitness service in April 2020. CEO Chris Milk told Protocol at the time that the startup was seeing fitness as a way to broaden the appeal of VR beyond gaming. “Our larger hope is that we can bring in a whole new type of audience into virtual reality that might not have been interested in it for the use case it has been promoted for thus far,” he said. Keep ReadingShow less Affirm, Afterpay, Klarna, PayPal and Zip have been asked for information and data by the CFPB. The CFPB is looking into both consumer debt as well as consumer protection laws and what data these companies are collecting, according to its announcement of the inquiry. "Buy now, pay later" companies have grown quickly as an alternative to credit cards. But they've sought to avoid regulation by seeking to not classify shorter-term payment deals as loans. This has raised concerns from regulators, as advocates have pointed out the deals can raise risks for consumers because of how companies often approve consumers for offers without doing full credit checks . Keep ReadingShow less Muddy Waters Research said Thursday it has taken a short position on HE Holdings, a major Chinese online platform for housing transactions and services, because the short-seller believes the company is “ a substantial fraud like Luckin Coffee .” Muddy Waters said it found that HE Holdings, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange as BEKE, inflated its new home sales GTV (gross transaction volume) by more than 126% and that its commission revenues by up to 96%. Additionally, Muddy Waters found “massive discrepancies” between transaction volumes, store count and agent count between the company's SEC filings and Muddy Waters’ own due-diligence investigation. HE Holdings defended itself in an emergency statement , asserting that the company can guarantee “the authenticity and standardization” of its financial data and welcomes investigations, but adding that it “resists malicious shorting by any institution.” Keep ReadingShow less Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs is being grouped into Google, company CEO Dan Doctoroff wrote in a letter on Thursday. Doctoroff also announced that he's stepping down because of a likely ALS diagnosis. "While I will dearly miss working with the incomparable Sidewalk Labs team, I couldn’t be more excited to see Google accelerate the development of our products and technology to achieve their sustainability mission — not a moment too soon for the world," Doctoroff said. The smart city project originally began as part of Google and eventually broke off into its own company under Alphabet. Sidewalk Labs has had a tough year; in May, it dropped its project to build a tech-focused city in Toronto after facing criticism and failing to get a sign-off from local government leaders. The company's products — Pebble, Mesa, Delve and Affordable Electrification, which were designed to accomplish sustainable goals like saving energy and managing parking space — will become part of Google, Doctoroff said. Sidewalk Labs President of Urban Products Prem Ramaswami and CTO Craig Nevill-Manning will continue overseeing the projects. Update: This story was updated to include more information about Dan Doctoroff's likely diagnosis. This story was updated Dec. 16, 2021. Keep ReadingShow less TikTok doesn't want its users to see more of the same types of content. The platform is tweaking its recommendation algorithm so one topic, like extreme dieting or breakups, doesn't overtake a user's For You page, according to The Wall Street Journal . The goal is to give users more autonomy over their feed and prioritize mental health. In addition to shifting its algorithm, TikTok is working on a tool that would give users more of a say over their feed by choosing words or hashtags related to content they don't want to see. TikTok tweaking its algorithm before being required to puts the company in stark contrast with Facebook. The company recently made changes, such as giving users more control over what they see, but only after leaked documents revealed everything from Instagram's role in perpetuating poor body image to the way Facebook's News Feed pushes harmful content . At the same time, TikTok is testing its success here. TikTok recently surpassed 1 billion monthly active users, and it primarily wants to keep those people on the platform — and increase the amount of time they spend on it — with a formula that takes likes, comments and viewing time into account. While platforms like Facebook have tried feeding users more of the same content to keep them around, TikTok seems to be testing whether it can do just as well by doing the opposite. Keep ReadingShow less The value of crypto scams jumped this year, propelled by a growing trend of users who buy into new tokens that are then abruptly abandoned by their creators, a new report said. The amount of money lost in crypto scams topped $7.7 billion, up 81% from 2020, according to Chainalysis , a blockchain data research and services company. More than $2.8 billion of the loss, or 37% of the total, came from so-called rug pulls, in which developers roll out “what appear to be legitimate” crypto projects “before taking investors’ money and disappearing,” the report said. “In rug pulls, the developers eventually drain the funds from the liquidity pool, sending the token’s value to zero, and disappear,” the report said. The biggest rug-pull scam this year featured Thodex , a Turkish exchange where users lost over $2 billion after its CEO suddenly disappeared. The Thodex rug pull represented 90% of the value lost through rug pulls. One scam that drew a lot of media attention featured the Squid token based on the popular Netflix series “Squid Game,” in which users lost an estimated $12 million in value, the report said. Keep ReadingShow less AI doesn’t just want to eat your lunch — sometimes it wants to deliver it, too. Driverless tech provider Motional and Uber Eats plan to add a dash of autonomy to food delivery next year in Santa Monica, serving up meal kits from select restaurants. The news was first reported by AiThority. The plan is for food deliveries to come via Motional’s all-electric Hyundai IONIQ 5-based robotaxis. Motional said this will be the first time its vehicles are used to deliver food. It's not clear whether humans or robots will bring the meal kits to customers' doorsteps. This isn't the first partnership with a ride-sharing company for the Motional, though. It has already paired with Uber competitor Lyft. Motional and Lyft are set to put driverless Lyft vehicles on the road in 2023 in Las Vegas, a city that has become a petri dish for AI and emerging urban tech experimentation. Keep ReadingShow less Reddit has confidentially submitted a draft registration with the SEC for an initial public offering of stock, the company said Wednesday. The social media company said in August that it was worth more than $10 billion after a new funding round. Founded in 2005, Reddit sold itself in 2006 to Condé Nast, the magazine publisher that owns Wired. In 2011, it spun out and became a separate company owned by Advance Publications, Condé's parent company. Advance remained the majority shareholder through several rounds of financing, but by 2019, its stake was reportedly reduced to 30-35%. It wasn't clear how much Advance owns today. Reddit co-founder Steve Huffman, who quit the company in 2009, returned in 2015 as CEO. Co-founder Alexis Ohanian, now a venture capitalist, also returned that year, but reduced his involvement over time and quit his board seat in 2020. Changes to SEC rules in 2017 allowed all companies to submit draft IPO registration statements confidentially. Reddit was not required to disclose its confidential filing, but many companies choose to announce such filings anyway, to avoid the possibility of the news leaking out. Reddit will have to publicly disclose its financials and other details as it approaches the actual offering, provided it decides to proceed with listing its shares. One subreddit, r/WallStreetBets, has become a popular forum for discussing stocks, and its users have been known for propelling the shares of companies like GameStop and AMC to astounding heights. A public Reddit could become that forum's next big topic of discussion. Keep ReadingShow less Google will fire employees who refuse to get vaccinated for COVID-19, CNBC reported. Workers who haven’t complied with the vaccine mandate — by either sending in proof of vaccination or qualifying for a religious or medical exemption from Google — will go on paid leave for 30 days starting Jan. 18. They had until Dec. 3 to send proof of vaccination or to apply for an exemption. Google won't accept testing as an alternative to vaccination, according to a company memo cited by CNBC. After the 30-day leave, Google will place workers on unpaid leave for up to six months, and then fire them. In a statement emailed to Protocol, a Google spokesperson said the company’s vaccine mandate is “one of the most important ways we can keep our workforce safe and keep our services running.” “We’re committed to doing everything possible to help our employees who can get vaccinated do so, and firmly stand behind our vaccination policy,” the statement read. Google's vaccination policy hasn't inspired widespread controversy among its more than 150,000 employees, with some exceptions. By late November, at least 600 workers had reportedly signed a manifesto opposing the company's mandate. Google plans to require most of its workforce to come to the office three days a week, but will allow around 20% of its employees to continue remotely long term. Even remote workers will need to get vaccinated unless their role doesn't directly or indirectly relate to a federal government contract, according to the new memo. Keep ReadingShow less

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Expert Collections containing LendUp

Expert Collections are analyst-curated lists that highlight the companies you need to know in the most important technology spaces.

LendUp is included in 3 Expert Collections, including 2018 Fintech 250.

2

2018 Fintech 250

498 items

D

Digital Lending

1,332 items

This collection contains companies that provide alternative means for obtaining a loan for personal or business use and companies that provide software to lenders for the application, underwriting, funding or loan collection process.

F

Fintech

7,256 items

US-based companies

LendUp Patents

LendUp has filed 1 patent.

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2/25/2015

Credit, Identity documents, Personal finance, Debt, Business intelligence

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2/25/2015

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Related Topics

Credit, Identity documents, Personal finance, Debt, Business intelligence

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LendUp Web Traffic

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