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Egyptian startup Convertedin raises $3M, caters to e-commerce brands in MENA and Latin America

Convertedin , an Egyptian startup that operates a marketing operating system for e-commerce brands, has raised $3 million in a seed round led by Saudi Arabia-headquartered Merak Capital. Other participating investors include 500 Global and MSAS. The company, in a statement, said it plans to utilize the funds for strategic hiring and further development of its platform. When brands shift to e-commerce sales, they operate with vast amounts of fragmented data that need to be unified to drive informed decisions and growth. As such, platforms like Convertedin become essential because it caters to brands and businesses with one, some, or all of these objectives: drive personalized and scalable campaigns, convert customers, achieve measurable results and grow revenue. CEO Mohamed Fergany founded the company with Mohamed Atef and Mustafa Raslan in 2019 after working with several brands in companies such as Speakol Ads and Vodafone. His time as an employee opened his eyes to the opportunit

Elon Musk sells nearly $7 billion in Tesla shares

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is at it again selling shares of his electric vehicle company, per regulatory filings. Since Friday, the executive has sold 7.9 million shares, which totals about $6.9 billion. This is the first time Musk has sold shares in Tesla since April, when he disposed of 9.6 million shares, worth about $8.5 billion . Musk, usually an avid tweeter, has been mum on social media as to why he’s shedding his stake in the company yet again. Over the last ten months, Musk has sold around $32 billion worth of stock in Tesla. Tesla shares were down 2.44% today but are trading relatively flat in after-hours, suggesting the stock sales are yet to have an effect on Tesla’s share price. Tesla’s stock took a hit late last year when Musk sold off more than $16 billion worth of sales after polling his Twitter fans on whether he should trim his stake, a move that got him in hot water with the Securities and Exchange Commission . When Musk sold stake back in April, TechCrunch mulled the po

The DOJ is reportedly prepping an antitrust suit against Google over its ad business

The Department of Justice is preparing a second major antitrust suit against Google, according to new reporting by Bloomberg . The DOJ could sue Google “as soon as next month,” according to the report, which details that the lawsuit will be filed in federal court in either Washington or New York. Unlike the first major Google antitrust case the federal government initiated during the Trump administration, the new lawsuit would focus on the company’s command of the digital ad market. Bloomberg reports that DOJ antitrust lawyers are in the process of wrapping up interviews with publishers after “years of work” that will ultimate culminate in the coming lawsuit. In 2020, the DOJ sued the tech titan over its dominance in the online search market, accusing the company of “unlawfully maintaining monopolies in the markets for general search services, search advertising, and general search text advertising in the United States.” At the time, Google pushed back against the suit, arguing tha

Former Twitter employee found guilty of spying for Saudi Arabia

A former Twitter employee suspected of spying on behalf of Saudi Arabia was found guilty, Bloomberg reported Tuesday . The employee, U.S. resident Ahmad Abouammo, was also convicted by a jury of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, falsifying records and money laundering. He faces up to 20 years in prison. Abouammo worked on media partnerships in the Middle East at the company from 2014 to 2015. According to the federal complaint , he and another Twitter employee, Ali Alzabarah, were approached by the Saudi government and offered cash and luxury goods for their cooperation collecting personal information on Twitter users of interest. Alzabarah, an engineer at the company, fled to Saudi Arabia and evaded trial. In light of his connection to the Saudi government, Twitter sent out warnings to some users that their accounts had been targeted by state-sponsored actors in 2015. In the trial, the prosecution argued that a prominent member of Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman’s government

SpaceX’s Starship hits another milestone with booster static fire test

SpaceX just got one step closer to the first orbital test flight of its launch system Starship with the successful static fire test of a prototype Super Heavy booster late Tuesday afternoon. That booster, “Booster 7,” was rolled to the launch pad overnight last Friday. The successful test is a notable milestone for SpaceX, which has been working on its Starship program from its Boca Chica development facility in southeast Texas. It comes just a few weeks after a previous booster test resulted in an explosion at the launch pad — though the damage was clearly not catastrophic, as this same booster was tested today. Just a single Raptor 2 engine was fired during the test, rather than the 33 engines that will ultimately lift Starship to orbit, and the entire test lasted only a few seconds. During a static fire test, the engines spin up to ignition, but the rocket stays on the pad, so engineers can get a good sense of an engine’s performance prior to an actual launch. NASA Spaceflight l

Facebook helps cops prosecute 17-year-old for abortion

Meta provided user information to police in Nebraska that led directly to the prosecution of a 17-year-old girl for alleged crimes relating to an abortion, court documents show. The company could have challenged the legal order, but instead provided the teenager’s direct messages to cops, who are now charging the girl with three felonies for using a mail-order abortion pill and burying the miscarried fetus. According to court documents first published by Motherboard (the case itself was first reported by the Lincoln Journal-Star), a Nebraska detective was investigating “concerns that a juvenile female… had given birth prematurely supposedly to a stillborn child.” He apparently did not believe that the child was stillborn, though an autopsy (after exhuming the body seemingly without reason) was consistent with the story, showing that the fetus had never had air in its lungs. But because it was in a plastic bag, he asked Meta to provide all the girl’s Facebook messages, photos and ot

Accel backs Produze to help agri-producers in India export globally

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Accel has led a $2.6 million funding in Produze, an Indian startup that is attempting to help local agri producers sell to international retailers, the latest in a series of bets as investors and entrepreneurs look to bring efficiency to supercharge one of the world’s largest agri producers. “We are helping agri-producers to reliably access international markets where they can make more margins for their produce,” said Ben Mathew, who previously worked at Ninjacart, a Flipkart-backed startup that operates a business-to-business platform to connect farmers, manufacturers and brands to retailers. Mathew teamed up with former colleague Gaurav Agrawal, entrepreneur Rakesh Sasidharan and Y Combinator alum Emil Soman earlier this year to start Produze. He said Produze works similarly as ‘Fulfilled by Amazon,’ offering a digital supply chain infrastructure that comprises of customer acquisition, last-mile distribution, export-import port operations and source logistics. In the tradition

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