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How a Rubik’s cube helped this founder leave his coconut farm in India and get $3 million in funding for his startup in less than two years | Markets Insider

Digital Brain cofounder Kesava Kirupa Dinakaran grew up on a coconut farm in India and holds the Guinness world record for most rubiks cubes sol……

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Digital Brain

  • Kesava Kirupa Dinakaran was supposed to be a coconut farmer in India.
  • His world opened up when he stumbled upon the Rubik’s cube and began breaking world records.
  • Dinakaran began to dream big for himself and up and moved to San Francisco in 2019 with the dream of starting a company. At one point, he had only $9 in his bank account.
  • He just raised $3.4 million in seed funding for his startup Digital Brain. The round was led by ex-Twitter exec Katie Jacob Stanton’s firm Moxxie Ventures.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
  • Kesava Kirupa Dinakaran grew up on a coconut farm in rural southern India that had been in his family for generations. He was expected to marry after high school, have kids and take over the family farm.

    But everything changed when he discovered the Rubik’s cube in middle school.

    Solving the cube became Dinakaran’s addiction. He went from winning local competitions to becoming the team captain for India’s national team. At one competition, he solved 290 Rubiks cubes in one hour — a Guinness world record he still holds today.

    In March 2019, Dinarakan was flown to New York by a charity organization for a young leaders summit. After the event, he spontaneously decided to spend five days in the Bay Area, crashing with a friend in a dorm room at Stanford.

    Dinakaran described first arriving in Silicon Valley as a sort of enchantment, a place where he met founders and technologists who shared his desire to build something that would transform the world — the next Uber, Snapchat, or Facebook. 

    “I realized something magical could happen,” he told Business Insider.

    Just one month after the summit, Dinakaran gave up his college dreams, and instead packed his bags and moved to San Francisco. He didn’t even have a startup idea. 

    He met his cofounder Dmitry Dolgopolov by chance at a hackathon they both attended in May. Dolgopolov is something of a child prodigy himself, having learned to code at age 14 by recreating games sold on the App Store from scratch and publishing them on the Google Playstore. 

    Now, a little over a year later, they have secured a total of $3.4 million in seed funding for Digital Brain, startup that helps customer service agents get through support tickets faster. The product they built is a layer that sits on top of customer service software like Zendesk, transforming the software’s interface to help streamline tasks and automate workflows for those agents.

    That funding rounding was led by Moxxie Ventures, the venture firm founded last year by ex-Twitter exec Katie Jacobs Stanton. And his other backers include big-names like Unshackled Ventures and Scribble Ventures, as well as angel investors from the founders of companies like Twitch, Mercury, Notion, and Rappi. 

    Dolgopolov immigrated to the US from Russia in 2016 and does most of the coding for Digital Brain while Dinakaran is the product idea man and designer. 

    “Most people are quite shocked,” he said. “It’s like a fun party trick that works everywhere.”

    October 7, 2020

    One of the hardest things Dinakaran faced as a founder was being a Silicon Valley outsider. When he arrived in San Francisco last year, he knew it would be impossible to start a successful company without first building a strong network of investors, operators, and engineers.

    He was “emailing hundreds of people every day,” he said, setting up coffee chats and meetings while signing up for hackathons and seeing whether the products he and Dolgopolov built at those competitions were viable startup ideas — which included an Uber for mental health and a carbon footprint tracker. 

    initial version

    As they interviewed more companies, Dinakaran and Dolgopolov realized it was a problem that cropped up everywhere. 

    “We’ve spoken to a hundred plus support teams, all the way from your basic, small startup where the founder does support, all the way to companies like Cisco,” Dinakaran told Business Insider. “People did not enjoy their customer service set up.”

    Digital Brain

    The duo’s first big breakthrough came when were accepted into Y Combinator’s summer class. Dinakaran says his experience at the prestigious startup accelerator was life-changing.

    While fundraising can be a grueling and demoralizing process for many founders, Dinakaran wowed potential investors by focusing on his life story as much as he did on his company’s product. And of course, it didn’t hurt to show off his Rubik’s cube skills.

    “At seed stage, when people are making bets, they’re betting on people,” he told Business Insider. “A lot of people believed that if they were investing in us, then we would make the most out of it and really, really work hard to get it into fruition.”

    Dinakaran knows that his journey is far from over. His company has already hired two more people and already counts clients ranging from small startups to larger enterprises, although he declined to name any customers.

    The ultimate goal, he says, is to become the “Superhuman for customer support agents,” a reference to the startup that helps people sort through cluttered inboxes and is used by countless founders. 

    “The sheer fact that nothing has changed back in my hometown or with my family is a fundamental reminder every single day that I need to keep working harder,” he said.

    “I know that if I continue to do that, it will change the lives of many people in my community,” he added. 

    Now read:

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    The Sway Boys rose to TikTok fame on dance videos and pranks. Now the 18- and 21-year-olds are VCs, wooing startup founders at their opulent LA mansion

    Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/founder-used-rubiks-cube-to-raise-millions-for-his-startup-2020-11-1029803971

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    Annual Report and Sustainability Report 2021: New Wave Group AB

    KUNGÄLV, Sweden, April 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — New Wave Group AB today published the Annual Report and Sustainability Report for 2020 on www.nwg….

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    KUNGÄLV, Sweden, April 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — New Wave Group AB today published the Annual Report and Sustainability Report for 2020 on www.nwg.se.

    The printed version of the Annual Report and Sustainability Report can be ordered by email [email protected]

    Gothenburg, Sweden, 14 April 2021

    For more information, please contact:

    CEO
    Torsten Jansson
    Phone: +46 31-712 89 01
    E-mail: [email protected]

    CFO
    Lars Jönsson
    Phone: +46 31-712 89 12
    E-mail: [email protected]

    This information is information that New Wave Group AB is obliged to make public pursuant to the Securities Markets Act. The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the contact persons detailed above, at 9:00 a.m. CET on 14 April 2021.

    If you want to sign up for, or unregister from, future messages from New Wave Group, please send an email to [email protected]

    This information was brought to you by Cision https://news.cision.com

    https://news.cision.com/new-wave-group/r/annual-report-and-sustainability-report-2020-new-wave-group-ab,c3324550

    The following files are available for download:

    https://mb.cision.com/Main/932/3324550/1400837.pdf

    Annual report 2020 (PDF)

    https://mb.cision.com/Public/932/3324550/a895ddad28ba0b60.pdf

    Sustainability report 2020 (PDF)

    Cision View original content:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/annual-report-and-sustainability-report-2021-new-wave-group-ab-301268497.html

    SOURCE New Wave Group

    Markets Insider and Business Insider Editorial Teams were not involved in the creation of this post.

    CEO
    Torsten Jansson
    Phone: +46 31-712 89 01
    E-mail: [email protected]

    Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/annual-report-and-sustainability-report-2021-new-wave-group-ab-1030302165

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    Elon Musk’s Neuralink scientists are not the first to get a monkey to control a computer with its mind

    Elon Musk. Britta Pedersen-Pool/Getty Images Elon Musk's Neuralink showed off its technology allowing a monkey to play video games with it…

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    GettyImages 1229892421Elon Musk.

    Britta Pedersen-Pool/Getty Images

    • Elon Musk’s Neuralink showed off its technology allowing a monkey to play video games with its mind.
    • Scientists have been able to get monkeys to control computer cursors via neural interfaces since 2002.
    • It’s an important test of Neuralink’s technology, but not a revolutionary piece of science.
    • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

    This week, Neuralink, a company founded by Elon Musk that specialises in neural interface technology, unveiled a fairly astonishing example of its work.

    In a video released Thursday, the company showed off how far its come testing its technology on primates. In the video, a macaque monkey named Pager, which Neuralink claims has had a chip implanted in his brain for six weeks, is able to play video games like Pong purely via the chip. Playing the games correctly meant Pager was rewarded with a sip of banana smoothie.

    This is, objectively, pretty amazing. As Musk put it in an excited tweet on Thursday: “A monkey is literally playing a video game telepathically using a brain chip!!”

    Perhaps even more amazing: monkeys have been playing video games with their minds for almost 20 years.

    “Brain-control of computer cursors by monkeys is not new,” Professor Andrew Jackson of the University of Newcastle told Insider, adding that the first comparable demonstrations of technology like Neuralink’s took place in 2002.

    A group of researchers in 2002 were able to show they could get a monkey to move a cursor on a computer screen at will, noting at the time that the technology could be used to help paralyzed people control screens in a similar way.

    Jackson added the idea behind the technology dates back as far as the 1960s. In 1969, a researcher called Eberhard Fetz connected a needle on a meter to a single neuron in a monkey’s brain, and was able to train the monkey to move that needle using only its brain activity.

    Neuralink, which was founded in 2016, is developing a microchip, which theoretically, would be implanted in a person’s skull, from which wires would fan out into their brain. These wires would be able to record brain activity, as well as stimulate areas of the brain.

    The idea is that these chips could help study and treat neurological diseases and conditions in the near term. In the long term, Musk says they form part of his ideal of a “symbiosis” between human consciousness and AI (although experts have frequently expressed skepticism about this part).

    Musk has been hyping up the monkey for years – but neuroscientists haven’t been that impressed

    Musk first gave the world a hint about Neuralink’s tests on monkeys during a streamed presentation of the company’s designs in 2019.

    “A monkey has been able to control a computer with its brain, just FYI,” he said, appearing to take Neuralink president Max Kodak by surprise with the announcement. “The monkey’s going to come out of the bag,” Musk joked.

    Andrew Hires, an assistant professor of neurobiology at the University of California, told Insider in 2019 that he was not surprised Neuralink had been able to achieve that result – and accurately predicted the kind of telepathic monkey computer-usage which Neuralink showed off in its video on Friday.

    “The monkey is not surfing the internet. The monkey is probably moving a cursor to move a little ball to try to match a target,” Hires said. This pretty well exactly matches one of the games Pager was shown playing in the video released Thursday.

    Musk started to hype up the monkey again earlier this year. “We’ve already got a monkey with a wireless implant in their skull … who can play video games using his mind,” he said during an interview on Clubhouse on January 31.

    Musk is a canny marketer, and he’s very familiar with using his own peculiar brand of fame to merchandise and advertise his companies. It’s worth noting that at the end of the video with a call for people to apply for jobs at Neuralink – making for an ingenious recruitment strategy.

    Neuralink is still doing new things, and the monkey is important

    While neuroscientists have said the underlying science of getting a monkey to play video games with its mind is not revolutionary, they have praised the engineering of Neuralink’s wireless chip.

    Speaking to Insider in September 2020 (following a presentation in which Neuralink showed off its technology working after being implanted in the brain of a pig) Professor Jackson said the development of any neural interface technology that doesn’t require wires to protrude out of the skin is a good thing, as it reduces the risk of infection.

    “Just from a welfare aspect for the animals, I think if you can do experiments with something that doesn’t involve wires coming through the skin, that’s going to improve the welfare of animals,” he said, adding that further down the road it could have benefits for humans as well.

    Elon Musk Neuralink pigsElon Musk showed off Neuralink’s tech in a pig in August 2020.

    Neuralink YouTube

    Responding to the video released on Thursday of Pager the monkey, Jackson said while it’s not earth-shattering, it is an important proof of concept.

    “I certainly do not mean to criticise them for demonstrating something that has been done before. It is a sensible way to validate any new technology. If you invent a new telescope, it makes sense to first point it where you know what you will see. So they are following a very sensible route to validate their device,” Jackson said.

    Rylie Green, a bioengineering researcher at Imperial College London, told Insider: “The best thing I can see from that video is that the macaque is freely moving. There’s also no visible package connected to it. I would say that is definitely progress – not super innovative but a nice positive step forward.”

    This week, Neuralink, a company founded by Elon Musk that specialises in neural interface technology, unveiled a fairly astonishing example of its work.

    Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/elon-musk-neuralink-not-first-scientists-monkey-control-computer-mind-2021-4-1030291418

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    Fintel Connect Introduces Fintel Check, an AI-Powered Content Marketing Compliance Tool

    VANCOUVER, B.C., April 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Performance marketing technology company Fintel Connect announced the launch of its latest offering…

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    VANCOUVER, B.C., April 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Performance marketing technology company Fintel Connect announced the launch of its latest offering for the financial services industry, Fintel Check, a regtech tool to help financial brands keep their content marketing compliant. More than 50+ financial brands and fintechs are already leveraging Fintel Connect’s technology to enhance their marketing through its performance marketing network and tracking and reporting capabilities. Fintel Check represents the latest in a product suite designed to ensure financial institutions and their partners can meet emerging regulatory requirements in their marketing.

    Fintel Check is designed specifically for banks, financial institutions and fintechs to monitor their product and brand content and ensure that critical information like interest rates, terms and conditions, and more are accurately represented in marketing campaigns.

    The financial services space is highly regulated, with brands required to abide by strict laws and policies that govern advertising and consumer protection. According to Deloitte’s survey on regulatory and compliance trends in 2021, 91% of responding financial institutions expect to increase their use of automation and analytics to address regulatory compliance issues. Recognizing the steep challenge to continuously manage this across all marketing partners and digital channels, the team at Fintel Connect developed its monitoring tool to give marketers a way to more easily manage campaigns over time and scale their marketing efforts safely.

    “Financial institutions are looking to scale their digital growth, and a key friction point to achieving this is marketing compliance,” explains Nicky Senyard, CEO and Founder of Fintel Connect. “Fintel Check gives our partners the efficiency and transparency with their marketing efforts and content management in a way that cannot be achieved in-house. We take the friction points and heavy-lifting out of scaling digital partnerships.”

    Fintel Check uses AI and proprietary machine-learning algorithms to monitor, identify and report a brand’s mentions from publisher partners. Built-in reports provide complete transparency on coverage, as well as automatic screenshots that are stored in the company’s secure database and can be retrieved for auditing purposes.

    The tool follows the launch of the company’s performance marketing platform Fintel Performance, released in January 2020. Through Fintel Performance, brands are provided a scalable, cost-effective channel for digital customer acquisition. Fintel Check augments this channel by integrating a layer of safety and content monitoring checks.

    Plans are in place for the product’s next release in Q3 2021, which include added features such as custom compliance rules, expanded scanning capabilities, and more.

    Banks, financial institutions, and fintechs that are interested can visit the website to learn more about Fintel Check or schedule a demo.

    About Fintel Connect
    Fintel Connect is a leading performance marketing company dedicated to serving the financial services and fintech space. Based in Vancouver, Canada, the team at Fintel Connect support a wide range of tier one banks, community banks and financial technology companies through its extensive network of publishers and fully scalable tracking and reporting technology.

    If you’re:

    Press and would like to connect, please contact Gilian Ortillan at 604.783.1724 or [email protected]
    A merchant and would like to know more, visit https://fintelconnect.com/merchants.
    A publisher that would like to join our network, visit https://fintelconnect.com/publishers.

    Cision View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/fintel-connect-introduces-fintel-check-an-ai-powered-content-marketing-compliance-tool-301262922.html

    SOURCE Fintel Connect

    Markets Insider and Business Insider Editorial Teams were not involved in the creation of this post.

    The tool follows the launch of the company’s performance marketing platform Fintel Performance, released in January 2020. Through Fintel Performance, brands are provided a scalable, cost-effective channel for digital customer acquisition. Fintel Check augments this channel by integrating a layer of safety and content monitoring checks.

    Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/fintel-connect-introduces-fintel-check-an-ai-powered-content-marketing-compliance-tool-1030277042

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