Freelancer banking service Shine switches to paid subscriptions

French startup Shine wants to be the only professional bank account you need if you’re a freelancer. So far, 25,000 people have signed up to the service, and the company recently raised a $9.3 million funding round.

Shine wants to help freelancers in France all steps of the way. After signing up, the app helps you fill out all the paperwork to create your freelancer status. You then get a card and banking information.

This way, you can generate invoices, accept payments and also pay for stuff. Creating an account and basic transactions have been free so far, but starting on January 21st, freelancers will have to pay €4.90 to €7.90 per month depending on their status.

Freelancers who generate less than €70,000 (so-called “auto-entrepreneurs”) will pay €4.90 per month, while others will pay more. This is still cheaper than most professional bank accounts. Existing users won’t have to pay anything.

The company mentioned premium plans in the past, but Shine now wants to create a single plan with a unified feature set for everyone. If you’re more serious about your indie lifestyle and generate a lot of revenue, you’ll pay a bit more.

In addition to that change, the startup is working on some new features. Soon, you’ll be able to generate better exports for accounting purposes. You’ll be able to deposit checks, control your account from a web browser, generate better invoices and more.

But Shine doesn’t just want to build an endless list of bullet points with as many features as possible. The company wants to create the best banking assistant for freelancers. You get notifications for admin tasks and you can ask the support team any question you have when it comes to the administrative part of your work.

It’s not just customer support for the product — it’s customer support for French paperwork. And that has some value by itself.

Computer vision startup AnyVision pulls in new funding from Lightspeed

While there have been a few massive surveillance startups in China that have raised funds on the back of computer vision advances, there’s seemed to be less fervor outside of that market. Tel Aviv-based AnyVision is aiming to leverage its computer vision chops in tracking people and objects to create some pretty clear utility for the enterprise world.

After announcing a $28 million Series A in mid-2018, the computer vision startup is bringing Lightspeed Venture Partners into the raise, closing out the round at $43 million.

“When you have a company with the technology AnyVision has, and the market need that I’m hearing from across industries, what you need to do is push the gas pedal and build an organization which can monetize and take on this opportunity to grow massively,” Lightspeed partner Raviraj Jain told TechCrunch.

Right now the 200-person company has its eyes on the security and identity markets as it aims to bring its computer vision technology into more industry-tailored solutions.

The company’s “Better Tomorrow” product delivers camera-agnostic surveillance insights from its object and human-tracking tech. “Sesame” is the company’s consumer-facing play for bringing mobile banking authentication to hundreds of millions of phones. The company is still looking to release a retail analytics platform to customers, as well.

What3words breaks the world down into phrases

If you’re down in ///joins.slides.predict you may want to visit ///history.writing.closets, or if you’ve got a little money to spend, try the Bananas Foster at ///cattle.excuse.luggage. Either way, don’t forget to stop by ///plotting.nest.reshape before you fly out.

If things go what3words’ way, that’s how you’ll be sending out addresses in the future. Founded by musician Chris Sheldrick and Cambridge mathematician Mohan Ganesalingam, the company has cut the world into three meter boxes that are identified by three words. Totonno’s Pizzeria in Brooklyn is at ///cats.lots.dame, while the White House is at ///kicks.mirror.tops. Because there are only three words, you can easily find spots that have no addresses and without using cumbersome latitude and longitude coordinates.

The team created this system after finding that travelers found it almost impossible to find some out-of-the-way places. Tokyo, for example, is notoriously difficult to traverse via address, while other situations — renting a Yurt in Alaska, for example — require constantly updated addresses that do not lend themselves to GPS coordinates. Instead, you can tell your driver to take you to ///else.impulse.broom and be done with it.

The team has raised £40 million and is currently working on systems to add their mapping API to industrial and travel partners. You can browse the map here.

“I organized live music events around the world. Often in rural places. HeIfound equipment, musicians and guests got lost. We tried to give coordinates but they were impossible to remember and communicate accurately,” said Sheldrick. “This is the only address solution designed for voice, and the only system using words and not alphanumeric codes.”

Obviously this will take some getting used to. The three words might get mispronounced, leading to some fun problems, but in general it might be a good to way to get around the world in a post-modern way. After all, some of the spot names sound like poetry, and if you don’t like it you can always just go to ///drills.dandelions.bounds.