This line-up of stories will help you discover the latest happenings around the tech world, today.
1. New York’s Ramp acquires procurement startup, Venue
A finance automation platform, Ramp, has announced the acquisition of Venue, a procurement startup based in New York.
Ramp CEO, Eric Glyman, confirmed this in a statement seen by Ripples Nigeria on Monday, February 5, 2024.
The acquired startup complement Ramp’s existing offerings, which include corporate cards, working capital, expense management, and accounts payable products.
Before the acquisition, Venue specializes in aiding companies in managing vendor costs throughout the procurement lifecycle.
Speaking on the development, TK Kong, CEO, and co-founder of Venue, noted that the company remains committed to creating a seamless purchasing experience for employees and enabling businesses to make in-policy purchases.
Ripples Nigeria gathered that the acquisition has prompted a revamp of Ramp’s procurement function.
Trivia: Which of the following might also be referred to as a glyph?
See Answer below
2. Starlink faces setback as Botswana rejects satellite internet application
Despite achieving licensing success in Zambia, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Malawi, Elon Musk’s SpaceX-owned satellite service, Starlink, has encountered hurdles in its Southern African market expansion efforts.
According to Starlink, its ambition to operate in Botswana faced a setback as their application, submitted in May 2023, was recently denied by the Botswanan regulator.
The rejection, preceding their anticipated Q4 2024 launch, was attributed to Starlink’s failure to provide all required information, with the specifics remaining undisclosed.
Speaking on the development, a source from Botswana’s Communication Authority noted: “There were some deficiencies in the application that we flagged. They haven’t addressed these concerns yet.”
Ripples Nigeria gathered that Botswana’s operation qualifications mandate applicants like Starlink to pay a P5,600 application fee, an annual license fee potentially amounting to P386,000 (~$28,500), and 3% of their annual operating revenue.
The South African government similarly rebuffed Starlink’s application, citing non-compliance with the mandatory 30% ownership by historically disadvantaged individuals.
Zimbabwe also joined the list of refusals, rejecting Starlink’s application and attributing it to an EU probe into X, another Musk-owned entity.
3. Amazon enhances customer experience via Rufus launch
In a bid to respond to the positive reception of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Amazon continues its innovation streak by introducing Rufus, a cutting-edge AI-powered shopping assistant.
The e-commerce giant officially announced the launch of Rufus in a blog post seen by Ripples Nigeria on Monday, February 5, 2024.
Rufus, according to Amazon, empowers users to engage in conversational searches and pose questions like “What distinguishes trail and road-running shoes?” or “Compare drip and pour-over coffee makers.”
Leveraging Amazon’s extensive product catalog, customer reviews, and Q&As, the AI assistant delivers insightful responses.
Currently undergoing testing within a select group in the U.S., Rufus is slated for a broader rollout across the country in the upcoming weeks.
Ripples Nigeria understands that the new development signals Amazon’s dedication to refining and expanding its technological offerings.
Trivia Answer: Character
A glyph is an individual letter, number, punctuation mark, or other symbol in a font. The term is sometimes used interchangeably with “character,” although it is more accurate to say that a glyph is the graphic representation of a character.
Every font is made up of a set of glyphs that represent characters as defined by the Unicode standard
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