Global LinkUP: PayPal is acquiring a startup for $2.2 billion

May 18, 2018
2 min read

The Global Linkup is a summary roundup of important tech news curated from around the world. On this week’s edition of the global news round-up, PayPal is acquiring a Swedish payments provider, babies are no longer named Alexa, Facebook stories now have ads and IBM is launching a digital coin. Read on.

Alexa Babies

The year Amazon’s Echo range of smart speakers became really popular, 6,050 babies were reportedly named Alexa in the United States of America.

Recode reports that after the speaker and its “Alexa” voice prompt were introduced, Alexa as a baby name dropped by 33% in the US.

Last year only 3,883 babies were named Alexa.


Meanwhile Amazon has added 8 new voices for developers to build skills with on Alexa.

Fortune says the voices have different accents and mean the users get to interact with more voices than one.

IBM issues digital coin

Even though it has been involved in a lot of blockchain-based projects, IBM recently ventured into digital tokens.

To successfully execute this, IBM is partnering with a blockchain company, Veridium Labs Ltd. to transform carbon credits into digital tokens that can be traded on a decentralised exchange. Bloomberg has more on this.

PayPal acquires Swedish startup

In a seeming bid to up its game against payment processors Stripe and Square, PayPal has concluded plans to acquire iZettle a Swedish payments provider.

TechCrunch reports acquisition of the Stockholm-based startup will be in a $2.2 billion all cash deal and is expected to close in Q3 2018.

This is PayPal’s biggest acquisition yet and key members of the iZettle team will stay on to run the business.

Facebook Stories gets ads

Fourteen months after launch, Facebook Stories announces 150 million daily active users on the platform. TechCrunch reports Facebook has already started testing 5 to 15-second ads on the platform in US, Brazil and Mexico.

The ads do not yet have a call to action but Facebook will add that in the coming months.

tech. media. startups. africa. vc | Twitter: @victor_ekwealor
tech. media. startups. africa. vc | Twitter: @victor_ekwealor
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