September 30 – 5 Key Stories From The Digital World

By September 30, 2019 Insight

1. Latin America roundup: SoftBank bets on Brazilian unicorns and Konfio raises $250M for lending plans

  • Softbank…investments in Brazil from the past two months alone far outstrip Latin America’s venture capital funding in all of 2016
  • Mexican challenger bank Klar, a Chime clone, recently raised over $57.5 million in debt and equity in one of Mexico’s largest seed rounds
  • Mexican property-tech startup Flat is taking the Opendoor model to Latin America…Besides Mexican e-scooter giant, Grin, Flat’s  pre-seed is the largest ever for Mexico

2. AI Builds AI: Startup’s AI Generates Compact Neural Networks

  • provides a platform for developers to generate slimmed-down models from neural networks…offers a quicker way for developers to spin out multiple networks with smaller data footprints
  • It’s estimated that by 2025 some 150 billion machine sensors and IoT devices will stream continuous data for processing
  • GenSynth platform helped Audi developers train models 4x faster and slash GPU processing time by three-fourths

3.  China digital consumer trends in 2019

  • This year, online retail sales are expected to swell to $1.5 trillion, representing a quarter of China’s total retail-sales volume, and more than the retail sales of the ten next largest markets in the world—combined
  • The country’s 855 million digital consumers—among some of the most avid users of mobile phones and social media in the world—represent one of the biggest prizes for global marketers
  • increasingly crowded marketplace has led to fierce competition among brands, pushing up the cost of acquiring new customers and retaining them…cost per thousand user views (CPM) of advertisements placed on Tmall’s baby channel has increased on average by 60 percent since 2017

4. Elon Musk says SpaceX Starship rocket could reach orbit within six months

  • prototype vehicle, dubbed Starhopper, has completed two low-altitude flights, or “hops,” kitted out with a single Raptor engine
  • detailed plans for Starship “orbital refilling,” which would allow fuel to be transferred between spacecraft in orbit
  • Musk showed off promo art of a potential future for Starship that would have it head farther out into the solar system

5. What McDonald’s new US marketing model means for agencies, holding companies, and big advertisers

  • Three years after consolidating its US marketing business with a dedicated agency created by holding company Omnicom, McDonald’s moved lead creative duties to indie shop Wieden and Kennedy
  • The move led analysts and observers to ask if the industry was too focused on data over creativity
  • Wieden and Kennedy leadership told staff that the decision was a victory for traditional, back-to-basics storytelling