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News

Beauty buffs who frequently find themselves opening multiple tabs in the name of online research may have found the answer to their prayers, in a newly-launched search engine called Mira.
 


The extensive search engine has been specifically designed to empower users to find beauty products that meet their needs, with the aim of championing transparency and inclusivity in the industry.

 

Mira lets users compare multiple beauty products, assess their ingredients, access millions of customer reviews and click through to purchase what they want from a selection of retailers, with price comparisons.

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Digital brands remain top of mind for consumers, but its the luxury sector that saw the most growth in 2019, according to the latest Interbrand ranking of the Best Global Brands, released on Thursday. 

 

According to the Interbrand report, Apple, Google and Amazon retained their hold on the top three rankings. Facebook, however, which first entered the Best Global Brands report in 2012, dropped five places from #9 in 2018 to #14 this year.


 
Other tech names that dominated the top 10 include Microsoft at #4, as well as Samsung at #6, while other long-standing favourites were also able to hold their positions - Coca-Cola (#5), Toyota (#7), Mercedes-Benz (#8), McDonald’s (#9) and Disney (#10) – as top brands. 

 

Still, the power of luxury should not be underestimated, as this sector saw the highest average brand value change against last year’s figures, recording an 11 percent growth rate.


 
Top performers include Gucci, which ranked #33, jumping 23 percent compared to last year, with a valuation of USD $15,949 million.  


 
Louis Vuitton was equally in the top 25 at #17, before Chanel, which took home the #22 spot. 

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Investment into UK legal technology startups reached £61m in 2018, more than doubling the £22m invested in the previous 12 months, shows Legaltech Startup Report 2019, a report by Thomson Reuters and Legal Geek.

 

The report shows that investment in UK legaltech startups has risen dramatically over the last five years – less than £1.5m was invested in 2014.

 

Legaltech startups have received at least £62m so far this year, through the first nine months of 2019, surpassing the 2018 total.

 

The UK is the hub of European legal technology, with UK legaltech startups making up 44% of all legaltech startups in the EU. This is far higher than the UK’s share of the European legal services market (23%). Thomson Reuters and Legal Geek research tracks and analyses investment into 34 of the UK’s fastest-growing startups in the legal technology industry where reliable investment data is available. These businesses have received more than £175m over the last five years with 70%, or £122.5 million, invested since the beginning of 2018.

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London and Luxembourg based Hiro Capital has launched a €100m fund to back UK and EU leaders in the global Games, Esports and Digital Sports sectors.

 

The founding team includes:
– Ian Livingstone CBE, the game industry legend who co-founded Games Workshop,
– Luke Alvarez, Inspired Entertainment co-founder, and
– Cherry Freeman, Britain’s ‘Coolest Female Founder’ and co-founder of LoveCrafts.

 

They will use the fund to accelerate the growth of about 20 UK and European Games and Sports innovators.

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It may come as a surprise to some, but Millennial men in the UK spend more time shopping for fashion than women do. That's according to a survey of 2,000 consumers by footwear retailer Deichmann.

 

The company said that millennial men take as many as 15 days to find the perfect clothes for a party, night out or special occasion. That compares to the 12 days that women spend. And it’s interesting that men also speak to their friends more for advice about fashion. The research showed that the young British men spent 63 minutes a month on average speaking to friends about fashion and what they’re planning to buy, while women spend 55 minutes doing the same.

 

And it goes further, with young British men also taking more time to look at blogs for fashion inspiration (58 minutes per month compared to 52 minutes for women) as well as watching fashion shows on TV (51 minutes compared to 45 minutes).

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E-tailer Notonthehighstreet said Friday that a more targeted approach to marketing started to pay off in the year to the end of March. The company managed to increase its active customers to 2.6 million and said that its performance improved in the second half with operating profits up.
 

While total sales came in just short of the previous year's £35.2 million, as the business focused on customers with greater long-term value, this resulted in revenue growth in the second half.



Operating profits (EBITDA) almost doubled, from £1.7 million to £3.1 milion, benefitting from that more targeted marketing strategy.

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ParkingPerx, an innovative new app which seeks to boost high street footfall through customer rewards, has secured more investment and announced new partnerships with brands including H&M and Adidas.

 

The startup, led by Chris Reed, has secured an £80,000 investment from his appearance on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den as well as £250,000 from Mercia Technologies to further develop the concept and create six new jobs over the next four months.

 

ParkingPerx has teamed up with a list of national chains and retailers including Adidas, Asda, H&M, John Lewis, Primark, Ted Baker and Nike. These collaborations will enable the free parking app to offer shopping discounts and rewards with major retailers across the UK.

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The first biometric fingerprint credit card issued by a UK bank has begun its three-month national trial.

 

The bank has previously piloted biometric debit cards, but this will be the first-time credit cards have been issued. NatWest is piloting cutting-edge, biometric fingerprint technology with 150 customers, in partnership with Mastercard and Gemalto.

 

The biometric credit cards will offer contactless payments using fingerprint verification for transactions up to £100, an increase on the current £30 limit.

 

As well as retaining contactless functionality, the fully integrated card can be used as normal in ATMs and for online shopping.

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77% of UK workers admit that they have never received any form of cyber skills training from their employer, according to a new study from Centrify, a provider of cloud-ready Zero Trust Privilege to secure modern enterprises.

 

The news comes at the start of European Union’s CyberSecMonth, designed to raise awareness of cybersecurity threats, promote cybersecurity among citizens and organisations; and provide resources to protect themselves online, through education and sharing of good practices.

 

The survey of 2000 UK workers in professional services, conducted by independent survey company Censuswide, also found that 27% of workers use the same password for multiple accounts, including work email and social media, putting both their personal security and that of their company at risk from hackers.

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Rapyd, a London-based fintech-as-a-service provider, raised $100m in financing.

 

The round was led by Oak HC/FT with participation from Tiger Global, Coatue, General Catalyst, Target Global, Stripe and Entrée Capital.

 

Rapyd’s global platform provides a number of capabilities including:

  • The ability to accept cash, bank transfers, e-wallets, and local debit card payments in over 100 countries
     
  • Disbursements in over 170 countries
     
  • Multi-currency settlement to a single file across 65 currencies
     
  • Advanced real-time foreign exchange services, that on average, provide a lower cost to clients and their consumers, and are more profitable, due to advanced FX hedging technology
     
  • Comprehensive global Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti-Money Laundering (AML), and Counter Financing Terrorism (CFT) services

 

The company, which raised $40m in Series B financing earlier this year, intends to use the funds to build out its platform and to further build out the Rapyd Global Payment Network.

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