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WorkRamp Lands $17M Series B

Enterprise learning platform WorkRamp has raised $17 million in a Series B round led by OMERS Ventures.   WorkRamp is aiming to disrupt the traditional learning management space. The company, which started as an onboarding product, is a platform that turns traditionally boring tasks, like compliance training, into bite-size learning activities.    WorkRamp’s platform is […]…

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Enterprise learning platform WorkRamp has raised $17 million in a Series B round led by OMERS Ventures.

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WorkRamp is aiming to disrupt the traditional learning management space. The company, which started as an onboarding product, is a platform that turns traditionally boring tasks, like compliance training, into bite-size learning activities.

WorkRamp’s platform is meant for both a company’s internal and external uses, so a business can use it for continuing training for employees or to educate their customers.

With the COVID-19 pandemic and so many people working from home, good tools for training are arguably more important than ever.

“The pandemic has really accelerated digital transformation for all companies and we’re saying, ‘Hey in order to do that, you have to make sure your people are ready,’” CEO Ted Blosser said in an interview with Crunchbase News..

The company plans on focusing the investment into its product and is working improving WorkRamp for both internal training and for customer education, Blosser said. It’s also investing in customer success by building out a client outcomes team and a professional outcomes team. Those two new teams within the customer success team are intended to be like a “mini Deloitte” or “mini Accenture” within the organization.

In terms of expansion, WorkRamp is focusing on Europe, one of its fastest-growing markets, and India. The company plans on doubling its headcount over the next year or so, going from an employee base in the high-30s to about 80 or so employees by the end of 2021.

The company has seen its product usage and revenue accelerate this year as well. In the first nine months of 2020, WorkRamp has tripled its product usage across the board, Blosser said, with year-over-year revenue more than doubled so far this year. WorkRamp counts companies like Zoom, Box, and PayPal among its customers.

“We’ve just seen the acceleration of how much people are training in this environment and with that we’re seeing people consolidate their multiple learning platforms on to one platform,” Blosser said.

The company wasn’t looking to fundraise, Blosser said, but Eugene Lee of OMERS Ventures was looking to invest in a learning provider and found WorkRamp.

“OMERS was a great firm to partner (with),” Blosser said. “We worked with a partner, Eugene Lee and he was literally on the hunt because they’re very thesis-driven in terms of their investment strategy…he was on the hunt for the next great learning provider, LMS provider.”

Blosser recalled getting off one of the first calls with Lee, and telling his co-founder that he may have found an investor who knew more about the learning management space than he did.

“The pandemic has forced adoption of a digital-first approach towards customers and employees across virtually all industries,” Lee said in a statement. “WorkRamp’s platform is foundational to empowering both of these important audiences today and in the future.”

The new round brings WorkRamp’s total funding to more than $27 million. The company last raised money with an $8 million Series A in June 2019.

Disclosure: OMERS Ventures led Crunchbase’s Series C.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

With the COVID-19 pandemic and so many people working from home, good tools for training are arguably more important than ever.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/workramp-lands-17m-series-b/

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ZDNET

Apple releases emergency update for older iPhones and iPads

If you’re running iOS 12, this is an update for you.

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Apple is getting pretty committed to the idea of pushing out security updates to older iPhones and iPads. Not only will the company continue to support iOS 14 come the release of iOS 15, we are also seeing a trickle of patches for older versions of iOS.

If you have an iPhone or iPad that’s still running iOS 12 — because that was the end of the line for your device — then Apple has released an emergency update that you need to download and install as soon as possible.

Why?

Because of the three security fixes contained in this update, two “may have been actively exploited.” In other words, the bad guys might already be using the vulnerabilities to compromise smartphones and tablets.

Must read: Apple will finally give iPhone and iPad users an important choice to make

iOS 12.5,4 is available for the following devices:

  • iPhone 5s
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPad Air
  • iPad mini 2
  • iPad mini 3
  • iPod touch (6th generation)

To check what version your device is running, tap on Settings > General, then on Software Update. Here you will see what version your iPhone of iPad is running along with any updates.

Note that if you have stayed on iOS 12 but the device is compatible with later versions, then this update will not be available to you. Your path is to upgrade to the latest release of iOS 14 or iPadOS 14.

There have been several high-profile security issuers plaguing iPhone and iPads over the past few months, and while for some there’s a hesitancy to install updates, it is the first and best line of defense against attack.

And iOS 12 and later will do it for you. Tap on Settings > General > Software Update > Customize Automatic Updates and then turn on Install iOS Updates.

Because of the three security fixes contained in this update, two “may have been actively exploited.” In other words, the bad guys might already be using the vulnerabilities to compromise smartphones and tablets.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/apple-releases-emergency-update-for-older-iphones-and-ipads/

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Crunchbase

Macrometa Locks Down $20M To Be The Amazon Prime Of Edge Computing

Palo Alto, California-based edge compute company Macrometa closed a $20 million Series A less than eight months after announcing its $7 million seed funding.

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Palo Alto, California-based edge compute company Macrometa closed a $20 million Series A less than eight months after announcing its $7 million seed funding.

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The round was led by Pelion Venture Partners, with participation from existing investors

DNX Ventures, Benhamou Global Ventures (BGV), Partech Partners, Fusion Fund, Sway Ventures and Shasta Ventures. Founded in 2017, the company has raised $29 million to date.

Macrometa allows developers to build and run data-heavy cloud applications using real-time information and analytics at the edge — speeding up the process by bringing it closer. Co-founder and CEO Chetan Venkatesh compared what Macrometa does for developers in edge computing to what Amazon Prime did for the retail space.

“Amazon Prime created local caches of local goods,” he said. “We are doing the same thing for data and applications.”

In edge compute terms, that means getting developers the data they need faster and in real-time.

“We are big data meets fast data,” he added.

Fast growth

The 62-person company began last year with a few hundreds-of-thousands of dollars in revenue, but by the end of the year saw several millions of dollars in sales, Venkatesh said. It was then he started to think about raising a fresh Series A to help scale up the company.

Chris Cooper, general partner of Pelion, already had expressed interest in leading such a series and jumped at the chance to invest in another infrastructure and cloud-related company — having prior investments in companies like Cloudflare, Red Hat and Riverbed.

“To me, this smelled like and sounded like the thing that helped build our firm,” he said.

Venkatesh said the company will use the money to continue to build its solution and go-to-market strategy. The company expects to grow revenue 3x to 4x this year, and add to its customer base that already includes about a half dozen large enterprises, he said.

Using other forecasts as guidelines, Macrometa estimates the market for data services in the cloud to be about $50 billion. However, many solutions, such as those offered by SAP, Oracle, AWS and Google, are cloud-centric, not edge-native, Venkatesh said.

That difference could help the company dominate an edge compute market just coming into focus, he added.

Cooper said there are aspects of Macrometa that remind him of Cloudflare early on.

“We didn’t know what Cloudflare could truly be back then,” he said “But these are companies that change the way we interact with data.”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias.

Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.

Macrometa allows developers to build and run data-heavy cloud applications using real-time information and analytics at the edge — speeding up the process by bringing it closer. Co-founder and CEO Chetan Venkatesh compared what Macrometa does for developers in edge computing to what Amazon Prime did for the retail space.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/macrometa-locks-down-20m-to-be-the-amazon-prime-of-edge-computing/

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Cointelegraph

Crypto miners eye cheap power in Texas, but fears aired over impact on the grid

Can Texas meet the electricity demands of migrating Chinese Bitcoin miners?

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The recent crackdown on crypto mining in China has seen concerns expressed over the potential impact a hashrate migration could have on Texas’ unreliable electricity market, as an increasing number of dislocated miners eye the Lone Star State.

Texas’ abundant sources of renewable energy and highly deregulated power grid make the state an obvious choice for migrating miners from China and elsewhere, with 20% of Texan electricity being generated by wind as of 2019.

Speaking to CNBC, Brandon Arvanaghi, a former security engineer at crypto exchange Gemini, predicted Texas will see “a dramatic shift over the next few months” as miners look to set up shop.

“We have governors like Greg Abbott in Texas who are promoting mining. It is going to become a real industry in the United States, which is going to be incredible,” he said, adding:

“Texas not only has the cheapest electricity in the U.S. but some of the cheapest in the globe.”

Castle Island Ventures’ founding partner, Nic Carter told CNBC that half of the world’s hashing power could ultimately exit China’s borders and will need new homes, stating:

“Every Western mining host I know has had their phones ringing off the hook. Chinese miners or miners that were domiciled in China are looking to Central Asia, Eastern Europe, the U.S., and Northern Europe.”

Global hash rate has fallen by one-third since early May following reports that China’s mining industry would be subjected to stricter supervision.

But is the Texan power grid up to the challenge of providing power for an influx of more crypto miners? The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has just requested that Texans curb their electricity usage amid the recent heatwave that saw many residents turning up their air conditioners earlier this week.

Roughly 12,000 megawatts of generation capacity was offline as of Monday — enough to power 2.5 million homes. ERCOT described the scale of forced outages as “very concerning.”

The regulator warned that a failure to heed the request could result in a repeat of the widespread winter power failures that left 69% of Texans without electricity, and roughly half without water in February. According to Buzzfeed, February’s outages could have resulted in up to 700 deaths in the state.

Angela Walch, a Texas research associate at University College London’s Centre for Blockchain Technologies, tweeted her concerns regarding the share of Texas’ electricity being devoted to Bitcoin mining, emphasizing that her family has been “asked to reduce our air conditioning use, not run washing machines & dryers, etc.”

Obviously, Bitcoin is not the sole cause of this cluster*^% that our poor political leadership in Texas has caused.

But, I am curious to know the portion of the grid it uses. Maybe Bitcoin miners are the first to be shut down in times of grid stress.

— Angela Walch (@angela_walch) June 15, 2021

However Tierion CEO Wayne Vaughan responded by asserting that much of the electricity used to power Texan mining operations comprised stranded resources that “would never be able to reach your home to power your appliances.”

Others argued that wholesale Bitcoin mining operations could actually alleviate Texas’ power issues, with Texas’ seasonal surges in electricity demand incentivizing miners to sell power back to the state’s grid that otherwise go uncaptured.

In September 2020, the Peter Thiel-backed crypto miner Layer1 in West Texas reported it had reaped profits exceeding 700% by selling renewable electricity back to the grid amid surging summer demand.

While up-to-date data for global hashrate distribution is not available, the Cambridge University’s Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (BECI) estimates that China represented 65% of the world’s hashing power as of April 2020.

Earlier this month, district regulators in Western Xinjiang and Yunnan issued notices mandating the suspension of virtual currency mining enterprises. BECI estimates the two regions account for 40% of the country’s hash rate.

Castle Island Ventures’ founding partner, Nic Carter told CNBC that half of the world’s hashing power could ultimately exit China’s borders and will need new homes, stating:

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/crypto-miners-eye-cheap-power-in-texas-but-fears-aired-over-impact-on-the-grid

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