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GoPro to license camera lenses and sensors to third party manufacturers

GoPro is today announcing a multi-year deal with Jabil that aims to put GoPro technology in everything from police body cameras to video conferencing solutions. Through this agreement, Jabil will license GoPro’s design and intellectual property for use in approved third-party devices. This is the first time GoPro is letting other manufacturers build products with GoPro parts. The products will not be branded GoPro at this time.

GoPro has worked with Jabil since the GoPro Hero4, which was released in 2014. Jabil is a United States-based manufacturing firm that operates 90 facilities across 23 countries. Financial terms of this new agreement were not announced.

Irv Stein, Jabil’s vice president of Jabil Optics, said in a released statement that it sees “early market feedback indicating strong demand in the enterprise action camera segment for applications in smart homes, military, fire, police, rescue, and security.” And that’s just the beginning.

GoPro CTO Sandor Barna sees opportunity for GoPro to provide the lens and image sensors for video conferencing solutions, robotics and self-driving cars.

It seems GoPro is ready to expand from the action camera market and leverage its brand in other segments. This agreement allows for licensing a range of GoPro’s products and service including digital imaging and consumer products. At this time, third party action cameras are not allowed as the agreement only covers products that do not compete with GoPro’s products.

GoPro, whose stock is at an all-time low of less than $5.00, is struggling to stay afloat. The company just laid off a good chunk of its drone division and has struggled to find its footing even as the company releases new and improved products. This move could put GoPro on solid ground. Even though GoPro undeniably makes the best action cameras on the market, the company keeps losing value. It’s a smart move to leverage its brand through a partner to brand out into new markets.

Ansarada gets $18M in Series A funding to help companies better prepare for major deals

Australian startup Ansarada, which provides tools for companies preparing for a major transaction, will expand in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Africa after raising an $18 million Series A. The funding was led by Ellerston Capital, with participation from Tempus Partners, Belay Capital and Australian Ethical Investments. A noteworthy detail about the raise is that all advisory fees from the deal will be donated to Ugandan and Nepalese charities through Ansarada’s partnership with Adara Partners, a corporate advisory firm made up of financial services experts who donate their fees to help women and children living in poverty.

Ansarada provides data rooms, or secure virtual spaces that enable companies about to undergo a complex event or transaction, like a merger or fundraising, gather all relevant data and files in one place. This allows the process of performing due diligence, legal compliance, writing contracts and other tasks to go more smoothly and also lets companies track who accesses which documents. Ansarada’s clients have included some of the biggest names in tech and financial services, including Google, VMWare, Sony, Microsoft, Deloitte, PwC and KPMG. The Sydney-based company, which claims up to 80% of deals in Australia happen through its platform, will use its new funding for sales and marketing in its target countries, especially the United States, and on product development.

Other virtual data room providers include Firmex, Intralinks and Merrill Corporation, but Ansarada chief executive officer Sam Riley says one of its competitive advantages is its recently launched Material Information Platform (MIP), which serves as a complement to its data rooms. MIP uses machine learning and natural language processing algorithms trained with a dataset gathered from more than 20,000 transactions to give companies information that can potentially reduce deal risks and improve their ongoing business operations. These include an algorithm that Riley says is “up to 97% accurate by day 21 into an M&A deal at benchmarking a bidder’s behavior, scoring their engagement levels and predicting their likelihood to submit an offer and win.” It also scores the completeness of material information and tracks if risk and compliance requirements are being met.

“We’ve seen thousands of companies find out their biggest risks and opportunities too late in their life cycle, which prevents them from performing better pre-deal and ultimately getting less-than-ideal outcomes when they sell or raise capital,” Riley told TechCrunch in an email. He added “We define readiness as being able to express the value of your company very well and very fast, especially to an investor, advisor, auditor or any party that’s critical to success in your company’s most important events. Companies get control and visibility over their most important information and ensure improvement by scorecarding and assigning accountability to their management teams.”

As one would expect, Ansarada used its own products while raising its Series A.

“We eat our own ice cream, so even using the product for our own capital raise resulted in less time by our management team to prepare for the deal and more time spent executing our strategy,” said Riley. “We are now using the platform to give our board an objective score over how well our vital information and key risks are being managed. Simultaneously we are now ready for the next event on our calendar, which is likely to be a financial audit.”

The founder of business banking startup Tide plans to step down as CEO

Changes are afoot at Tide, the U.K. fintech startup that offers banking services for small businesses. TechCrunch has learned that founder George Bevis is planning to step down as CEO, and that the nearly three-year old company is actively headhunting for his replacement.

It comes at a time when Tide — which counts 30,000 small business sign ups — is said to be entering ‘scale-up’ mode, with a headcount approaching 100 employees, and ambitions to expand internationally. Earlier this week the service saw a rebrand, including a new ‘vertical’ design for the Tide card and the slogan “Do Less Banking,” a reference to the startup’s mission to make the lives of small business owners easier.

The company also announced that it had got a regulatory upgrade and is now authorised as an electronic money institution by U.K. regulator the FCA. This gives Tide more direct access to banking infrastructure and means that over time it will be less reliant on third-party providers and can have more flexibility in how it serves customers, although it still hasn’t (yet?) chosen to apply for a fully fledged bank license.

Confirming that Tide is recruiting a new CEO, founder Bevis gave TechCrunch the following statement:

“I’m a small business-focussed guy who’s had the privilege of building an amazing company serving small businesses. Now our own business isn’t small any more it’s time for me to think about bringing in someone who knows at least as much about international scale-ups as I know about U.K. startups. Tide will stay focussed on saving small business owners time — in future all across the world. I’m looking forward to continuing to play a key role, both inside the business and on the board”.

I’m told by sources close to the company that the decision to start recruiting for a new CEO was instigated by Bevis in discussion with the Tide board, who are fully supportive. The thinking from the Tide founder is that now is a good time to look for a CEO experienced in scaling a company as the early-stage founding job is materially complete, including developing the core Tide product and finding market fit.

Meanwhile, I understand from a source that the new CEO will be tasked with executing Tide’s growth plans, which, along with international expansion, will include evolving the startup to a full SMB banking platform play that will see it continue to plug into providers of other bank related services for small business and further commercializing through revenue-share deals. The idea is that by creating a Tide ecosystem, the company “can scale far beyond the size of any single individual provider”.

To that end, Tide has secured over $16 million in funding to date from VCs including Creandum, LocalGlobe, Passion Capital and fintech specialist, Anthemis, as well as well-known angel investors including Errol Damelin (Wonga), Alex Chesterman (Zoopla/ZPG) and William Reeve (Lovefilm, Graze, and currently CEO of Goodlord).

Revolut launches disposable virtual cards

Fintech startup Revolut is launching a new type of virtual cards — disposable cards for online purchases. While you could already generate additional virtual cards for a fee, this is a different kind of virtual card as it gets destroyed after each transaction.

If you usually shop on Amazon or if you have a Spotify subscription, those services first asked you to enter your card number and they keep charging the same card.

But what if you end up on a dodgy-looking site but you really want to buy that funny pair of socks? Chances are you won’t ever purchase anything again on this website. And you don’t want to give them your actual card information.

Now, you can generate a virtual card in Revolut and enter it on that weird site. After the transaction, Revolut will disable this card forever. If the website wants to charge you again, the transaction will fail.

And if you’re on a shopping spree, Revolut generates a new disposable card seconds after the existing one is used. So you won’t be able to use those disposable cards for online subscriptions and recurring payments. But disposable cards can be useful to prevent fraud. You need a premium subscription to access disposable cards.

There’s no change to permanent cards. When you create a Revolut account, you get a virtual card for free. You can get a physical card for £5/€6 or you can subscribe to a Revolut Premium account to get it for free. Additional cards (physical or virtual) cost £5/€6, with a maximum of five cards in total.