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YuLife picks up $120M at an $800M valuation as it expands its gamified, wellness-focused approach to life insurance

YuLife originally made a name for itself in its home market of the U.K. for its new approach to the provisioning of life insurance: yes, sell a policy that provides financial security to your people in the event of your death; but do so with a focus on improving the policyholder’s current life with wellness opportunities, and encourage use of that with gamification — a model that not only is aimed at benefitting the policyholders more, but increases engagement on the platform and provides a complementary revenue for YuLife, which offers deals on the wellness services. Its idea took off — it is now used by more than 500 businesses, including Co-op, Del Monte, Jaguar Land Rover, Santander and CapitalOne, which in turn provide plans to their employees, one of three of whom engage on the app daily on average. And now the company has raised $120 million to expand the idea. Today the app covers group life insurance, critical illness protection and income protection, but YuLife is now rapid

Happeo lands $26M to provide a central intranet portal for employees

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As companies adopt new tools to accommodate remote ways of work, it’s becoming tougher for their workforces to keep track of and manage information across internal services. It’s not just the C-suite that’s being challenged — lower-level employees, too, are having to wrestle with employers’ now-sprawling catalogs of apps. According to Statista, the average enterprise uses 110 software-as-a-service apps today, up from eight in 2015. Coveo found that, as a result, workers spend just over 3 hours a day searching for information in 2022, an hour more compared to a year ago. If you ask Perttu Ojansuu, the answer is an intranet, or a company-specific, digital portal that centralizes much of a businesses’ software and documentation in one place. Ojansuu recognizes his bias — he co-founded Happeo , a startup developing intranet software to connect employees with company tools. But Ojansuu says that his view was shaped by his experiences working with customers at Gapps, a Finland-based Googl

28% of Americans still won’t consider buying an EV

More than a quarter of Americans say they would not buy an electric vehicle, according to a Consumer Reports survey released Thursday. Price, range and access to charging stations have remained as primary barriers to buying an EV. But Consumer Reports has identified a new factor: a lack of education around EVs. The survey of 8,027 adults found that 14% would definitely buy or lease an electric-only vehicle, 57% would consider one, and 28% would not consider getting an electric-only vehicle. Age, income and education levels correlated with willingness to drive one. A lack of education around available tax incentives, environmental impact, and how an EV works is a significant factor in EV adoption, according to the survey. Nearly half of Americans (46%) have not heard about any incentives available for EV owners. “Some of us have questions about the transition to electric vehicles, as many of us are unfamiliar with them,” said Dr. Quinta Warren, associate director of sustainability p

Japan’s gaming blockchain builder Oasys raises $20M in private token sale

Veterans from the established gaming world are flocking to web3. Whether they do it out of a fear of missing out or genuine belief in blockchain technologies, the trend appears irreversible at least for now, as investment keeps pouring into the industry. Oasys, a Japan- and Singapore-based startup that’s building a blockchain for gaming developers, has just raised $20 million. The round was led by Republic Capital with participation from Jump Crypto, Crypto.com, Huobi, Kucoin, Gate.io, Bitbank, and Mirana Ventures. Rather than a traditional equity round, the capital came in a private token sale, which “doesn’t dilute the equity of our project that we firmly believe in” and “allows us to reach a broader base of backers than a traditional equity fundraiser will,” Daiki Moriyama, director at Oasys, tells TechCrunch. The founding team is deeply rooted in the Japanese gaming industry but picked Singapore as the firm’s other home because Japan “has regulatory issues regarding crypto asse

Octopus keeps stuff out of Indonesia’s crowded landfills

According to the World Bank, Indonesia produces 4.8 million tons of plastic waste each year that is “ mismanaged ”—meaning it ends up uncollected, chucked into dumpsites or leaked from improperly managed landfills. Octopus wants to reduce that number with a platform that makes it easier to collect back waste products from consumers and recycle it into raw materials that brands can reuse. The Jakarta-based startup announced today it has raised an oversubscribed round of $5 million led by Openspace and SOSV. Octopus was founded last year by Mohammad Ichsan, Hamish Daud, Niko Adi Nugroho, Rizki Mardian and Dimas Ario, who have known each other for over a decade. After recently launching in Jakarta, it will use its new funding for “aggressive expansion,” including five sorting facilities and 1,700 checkpoints in four cities: Jakarta, Bandung, Bali and Makassar, with the aim of handling 380 tonnes of waste, ranging from plastics to electronic appliances, each month. Ichsan said one reas

Things get messy for Elon Musk with report about new twins he shares with Neuralink exec

Last month, Insider published an explosive report about a former SpaceX flight attendant who accused SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk of propositioning her for sex in 2016 and to whom the company paid $250,000 to keep quiet. Musk immediately labeled the story “a politically motivated hit piece,” while SpaceX president and COO Gwynne Shotwell came to Musk’s defense in a company-wide email covered by CNBC in which she wrote: “Personally, I believe the allegations to be false; not because I work for Elon, but because I have worked closely with him for 20 years and never seen nor heard anything resembling these allegations.” Alas, a new and far more damaging Insider report is putting Shotwell — and every other executive insider Musk’s various companies — in an even more uncomfortable position. According to the story, published late this afternoon, “court documents obtained by Insider show that the tech mogul Elon Musk quietly had twins last November with one of his top executives, Shi

Review: Espresso Display is the ultraportable second monitor for road warriors

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After a successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2019, the Espresso Display is back with version 2 of its USB-C powered, ultraportable second monitor for people who love to get things done while on the road. Darrell tried out a preproduction unit of the original version of the display a couple of years ago , concluding that “the Espresso Display manages to stand out,” and it looks like the company took a winning formula and doubled down on it. I took a closer look to see how the display performs on a 32,000 km trip to the other side of the world. There are many different ways of getting work done. Some people are able to use a laptop as their sole tool for everything they do. Sadly, I’m utterly spoiled by my at-home setup; two 27-inch 4K monitors mean I have near-infinite screen real estate, and ho boy do I like to spread all those windows all over the place. I’m writing this in Australia — 16,000 km away from my usual home — and you’ll be unsurprised to learn that my regular gaming

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