These 5 latest stories from the tech space will keep you updated with trends today.
1) Google launches COVID-19 page and search portal
Tech giant Google has launched an online portal dedicated to the COVID-19 cause, featuring safety tips, official stats and general data updates on the situation report of the pandemic.
Google confirmed that coronavirus has become its biggest search topic by a country mile this year.
Hence, to continue its efforts to harness that attention in the best possible way, late on Friday, March 20, the company launched the new information web page dedicated to the pandemic as well as facilitate an improved search experience for desktop and mobile. To this end, the portal will continue to expand its base as more queries are made by the inquiring population. Ordinary, essential details and basic information from trusted health organisations have been provided.
2) UK car dealer portal Cazoo raises $116M
Cazoo, The UK used-car retailer portal, Cazoo, has announced raising £100 million funding from investors. The approximately $116 million funding is expected to see to Cazoo’s expansion and business growth across existing and new regions.
As a startup modelled on the Vroom/Beepi-type model, Cazoo buys used cars and then sells them to interested customers online. The fresh £100 million raises the company’s funding profile to £180 and displays the 18 month old success milestone. Cazoo says its mission is to deliver the best experience for car buyers across the UK by delivering better selection, value, convenience and quality.
3) Covid-19 forces Facebook, Disney to downgrade streaming quality in Europe
The persisting rise in COVID-19 cases across the globe has led to the downgrading of streaming quality on Facebook and Disney. Facebook and Disney are doing this to ensure internet infrastructures are not strained but optimised.
This became important as more individuals are home with many needing the internet as a medium to carry on with their respective jobs. Facebook is, therefore, temporarily downgrading the quality of video streaming in Europe on its social platforms Facebook and Instagram.
Recall that a call for this action came last week from the European Commission, citing internet infrastructure strain as challenge to checkmate in this products. Disney, on the other hand, has also announced plans to shrink bandwidth used by its streaming service Disney+, taking effect from Tuesday, March 24, 2020. This development is in line with decisions taken by Netflix, YouTube and Amazon last week to switch to SD streaming by default in the region.
4) Jumia adapts business to support government’s effort to contain COVID-19
Popular Pan-African e-commerce company Jumia has reacted to the uprising COVID-19 outbreak by adapting operations of its digital retail network to curb the spread of COVID-19. According to the Nigeria headquartered ecommerce platform, its management will also support the cause to contain the spread by donating certified face masks to health ministries in Kenya, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Nigeria and Uganda.
Jumia has equally offered African governments the use of its last mile delivery network for distribution of supplies to healthcare facilities and workers. According to the management, the ecommerce company will also reduce fees on its JumiaPay finance product to encourage digital payments over cash, which, according to experts, “can be a conduit for the spread of coronavirus”.
5) Uber and its rival Ola terminate ride operations in India’s capital
Leading ride-hailing platforms in india, Uber and Ola have suspended all ride options in Delhi till March 31. The Indian ride-hailing firms entered into this development of restricting ride options across the country in a bid to slow the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the reports, the said suspension of their services in India’s capital was in compliance with the local state government’s lockdown order that went into effect earlier Monday, March 23. Uber’s rival platform (Ola) in India has, however, added that it is restricting ride options across the country but would offer a “minimal network of vehicles to support essential services.”
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