Max Levchin’s Affirm raised $200 million at nearly $2 billion valuation

 Affirm, the platform that helps consumers find financing is getting some financing of its own. The San Francisco-based company confirmed that it’s raising $200 million, led by GIC, a Singaporean sovereign wealth fund. Existing investors Khosla Ventures and Spark Capital are also participating. Affirm’s valuation is estimated to be between $1.5 billion and $2 billion, as first… Read More

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Menlo Security raises $40 million to help companies block malware


Cybersecurity startup Menlo Security has closed a $40 million series C round of funding from American Express Ventures, Ericsson Ventures, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, General Catalyst, Sutter Hill Ventures, Osage University Partners, and Engineering Capital.

Founded out of Menlo Park, California in 2013, Menlo Security’s raison d’être is to protect organizations from cyberattacks by blocking malware from the web, documents, and email. The Menlo Security Isolation Platform (MSIP) basically sits between the end user’s device and the internet. All web access requests are proxied via the MSIP, which connects to a site and then streams a safe version of the website to the end user’s device.

The company claims “millions of users” at “hundreds of companies” are currently protected by its cloud-based platform, including Macy’s and Fujitsu.

The company had previously raised a total of $45 million and with its latest cash injection said it plans to grow its sales and marketing efforts globally.

“Customers are demanding more durable approaches to malware prevention, versus a long legacy of solutions that remain perennially vulnerable to the latest attacks,” said Menlo Security CEO Amir Ben-Efraim. “This funding allows us to respond to this opportunity by continuing to expand our deployments globally to meet this growing demand, while delivering on our vision of eliminating the phishing, ransomware, and malware risks from email, web, and document downloads.”

Investments

Cybersecurity has emerged as a major focus of investment in recent years. A few months back, risk-monitoring platform SecurityScorecard raised $27.5 million from Google’s venture capital arm, GV, along with Intel and Sequoia, among others. Elsewhere, Attivo Networks announced a $21 million raise, Darktrace grabbed $75 million, and SentinelOne nabbed $70 million.

With the gargantuan Equifax data breach still fresh in everyone’s minds, countless malware attacks permeating the digital world, and the global cybersecurity workforce estimated to be short nearly 2 million workers by 2022, investments in companies such as Menlo Security are likely to increase.

“An environment free from malware is absolutely essential in fostering innovation, collaboration, and discovery,” added Albert Kim, head of Ericsson Ventures. “At Ericsson, we seek to continuously improve our networking solutions, and state-of-the-art security is a key feature of global communication networks. We view Menlo’s isolation technology as a way to make all networks more secure.”

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VR industry could post decent holiday sales to ease sting of a disappointing year


There’s no getting around the fact that 2017 was a big letdown for the virtual reality industry. But at the tail end of a year that saw far fewer sales of VR headsets than projected, the holiday season is set to offer a bit of good cheer.

The folks at SuperData recently updated their holiday projections for sales with numbers that are slightly more optimistic. Just a couple of weeks ago, SuperData was projecting a year-over-year decline in sales for the holiday quarter for the top VR headset makers.

But thanks to some new sales data on Oculus Rift and Playstation VR, the firm is now projecting a slight increase. Not a giant one, mind you, but at least the numbers are heading in a better direction.

Overall, SuperData had been projecting sales of only 2.345 million headsets for the quarter, down from 2.57 million sold one year ago over the holidays. That would have been a surprising drop, considering it included about 100,000 units projected for Windows Holographic.

Now the firm has bumped that number up to 2.77 million for the quarter, largely because it appears the Rift and Playstation VR are selling better than expected.

Overall, sales for 2017 should be around 8.5 million, up from 6.2 million 2016, according to SuperData. The new numbers don’t erase the missteps. But they’re a silver lining for a grim year that has been cause for much reflection throughout the industry.

“Year over year, we do see growth,” said Stephanie Llamas, head of Immersive Tech Insights at SuperData. “But the predictions and expectations overall now are much different, are much lower. The problem now is that many of the people interested in purchasing these devices already have.”

In part, hype last year spiraled out of control as headsets came to market after extended waits. The high costs and absence of compelling content limited the appeal to early adopters, Llamas said.

But over the long-term, Llamas remains optimistic. The firm is projecting mild growth in sales for 2018. But it’s in 2019 that headset sales are projected to really accelerate.

Llamas believes more enterprise users are starting to embrace virtual realty. And more content will be released in 2018 as hardware prices continue to slide. But it will be the next generation of many of these products, plus wider adoption of Microsoft’s Holograph, that will really spur greater adoption, she believes.

“We’re seeing a lot more determination in the industry,” Llamas said. “How can we make these more standalone devices? The tethering to a PC is a huge inhibitor.”

She added: “I think there’s disappointment still. But people have reset their expectations. We’re really looking at mainstream penetration in two to five years.”

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7 Tips for Building a Career in Marketing (Advice and Insights From Top Founders and Investors)

“How did you get into marketing?”

At Buffer, members of our marketing team are often asked this question. And the truth is, the path looks different for each of us:

  • Alfred was in the army
  • Arielle was a health coach
  • Kevan, our Marketing Director, was a sports reporter

But for those of you out there who want to start a career in marketing or maybe build from where you are in 2018, we’d love to help you figure out:

  • How can you transition from your current role into marketing?
  • What should you focus on learning?
  • What skills do you need?

To help answer these questions (and more!), we’ve teamed up with Product Hunt, who recently published their first book on careers. The book highlights the best insights from top founders and investors on mentorship, overcoming challenges, and the best and worst career advice they’ve received.

In this post, we’ll share some of the insights from Product Hunt’s book – including lessons from Tim Ferriss and Reddit co-founder, Alexis Ohanian- as well as some advice on building a career in marketing from the Buffer marketing team.

Ready to jump in?

7 Tips for building a career in marketing

1. Form habits around your strengths

You are the average of the five people you associate with most. Also, you don’t need to get much right to be and feel successful. Just form habits around one or two strengths.

Tim Ferriss

In Product Hunt’s book, Tim Ferriss’ #1 piece of advice for anyone looking to kickstart their career is to “Form habits around a few strengths.”

And at Buffer, we’ve built our marketing team around our individual, core strengths. For example, as an Editor, I focus mainly on my strengths in content marketing and SEO:

As Kevan explains in our t-shaped marketer post:

Generally-speaking, everyone on the Buffer marketing team will have all the base knowledge and marketing foundation skills; plus, each teammate will have chosen at least one main channel in which they are an expert.

Try to form habits around whatever discipline of marketing you’re most excited about:

  • If you’re into video, download some stock footage and start editing it
  • If you want to become an SEO master, try reading as much content as possible from places like Moz, Ahrefs and Backlinko
  • If writing is your thing, set aside time in your calendar each day to sit and write

It can be daunting to look at marketing and think you need to fully master: analytics, data, CRO, SEM, advertising, copywriting, SEO, community and more.

But in reality, to be a successful marketer, you don’t need to be an expert in every channel: one or two areas of expertise will be enough.

However, before diving right in and choosing an area or two to focus on, experiment with a bunch of different skills to see what’s the best fit for you.

2. “No” is just a starting point

The best piece of advice I ever received was that “No” is often just the starting point, and most careers worth having involve a fair amount of determination, grit, and just general “try, try again”-ing.

Kathryn Minshewf, Founder of The Muse

When it comes to kickstarting a career in marketing-or even climbing the ladder, you’ll likely hear “No” and a lot more than “Yes”.

From pitching editors content ideas to applying for various roles and freelance gigs, throughout my career, I’ve been told “No” plenty of times.

But what I learned along the way was that each “No” was bringing me a step closer to a “Yes”. For example, each article pitch I had rejected helped me to eventually land my first paid writing gig with Crew.

And When I landed my role at Buffer, it was actually the second time I applied – Kevan, who’s now our Marketing Director, was also unsuccessful in his first Buffer application

Kevan used the above note as motivation and failing to land his dream job helped him to realize where he could focus his energy to improve.

Treat each “No” as an opportunity to learn and refine your skills.

3. Focus on timeless skills

Write every day. Even if you’re not a writer, I find this practice to be clarifying for many things.

MG Siegler, Partner at Google Ventures

There are certain skills that will never become outdated in marketing. To name a few:

  • Communication
  • Writing
  • Storytelling

These skills will always be valuable.

For example, whether it’s a blog post, copy for a landing page or captions for a video, writing will always be a key skill for marketers to have.

And before joining Buffer, Kevan used to write 2,000 words minimum every day to help improve his craft. Alfred also challenged himself to write every day before he worked at Buffer and again when he first transitioned into a content-focused role.

Try to find opportunities in everyday life where you can practice these timeless skills.

For instance:

  • Treat every tweet or email you send as a chance to improve your writing skills
  • Next time you’re speaking with a customer service agent, think about how you can make your communication really clear and easy to understand
  • The next time you compose a Facebook status, think about how you can effectively tell the story you’re looking to share (these storytelling formulas may help)

4. Pursue side hustles

If you’ve got things you want to build, just build them for the sake of learning a new thing.

Alexis Ohanian, Co-founder of Reddit

At Buffer, we love side projects.

And when it comes to marketing, side projects can be a great way to learn new skills and embrace areas you’re passionate about.

For example, when our content crafter, Alfred, was keen to learn more about design and coding websites, he set out on a mission to redesign his personal site and code the changes himself.

Jury Finds Salt Lake Comic Con Violated San Diego Comic Con’s Trademark

Article URL: https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900005378/jury-finds-salt-lake-comic-con-violated-trademark.html

Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15884786

Points: 1

# Comments: 0


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7 Tips for Building a Career in Marketing (Advice and Insights From Top Founders and Investors)

“How did you get into marketing?”

At Buffer, members of our marketing team are often asked this question. And the truth is, the path looks different for each of us:

  • Alfred was in the army
  • Arielle was a health coach
  • Kevan, our Marketing Director, was a sports reporter

But for those of you out there who want to start a career in marketing or maybe build from where you are in 2018, we’d love to help you figure out:

  • How can you transition from your current role into marketing?
  • What should you focus on learning?
  • What skills do you need?

To help answer these questions (and more!), we’ve teamed up with Product Hunt, who recently published their first book on careers. The book highlights the best insights from top founders and investors on mentorship, overcoming challenges, and the best and worst career advice they’ve received.

In this post, we’ll share some of the insights from Product Hunt’s book – including lessons from Tim Ferriss and Reddit co-founder, Alexis Ohanian- as well as some advice on building a career in marketing from the Buffer marketing team.

Ready to jump in?

7 Tips for building a career in marketing

1. Form habits around your strengths

You are the average of the five people you associate with most. Also, you don’t need to get much right to be and feel successful. Just form habits around one or two strengths.

Tim Ferriss

In Product Hunt’s book, Tim Ferriss’ #1 piece of advice for anyone looking to kickstart their career is to “Form habits around a few strengths.”

And at Buffer, we’ve built our marketing team around our individual, core strengths. For example, as an Editor, I focus mainly on my strengths in content marketing and SEO:

As Kevan explains in our t-shaped marketer post:

Generally-speaking, everyone on the Buffer marketing team will have all the base knowledge and marketing foundation skills; plus, each teammate will have chosen at least one main channel in which they are an expert.

Try to form habits around whatever discipline of marketing you’re most excited about:

  • If you’re into video, download some stock footage and start editing it
  • If you want to become an SEO master, try reading as much content as possible from places like Moz, Ahrefs and Backlinko
  • If writing is your thing, set aside time in your calendar each day to sit and write

It can be daunting to look at marketing and think you need to fully master: analytics, data, CRO, SEM, advertising, copywriting, SEO, community and more.

But in reality, to be a successful marketer, you don’t need to be an expert in every channel: one or two areas of expertise will be enough.

However, before diving right in and choosing an area or two to focus on, experiment with a bunch of different skills to see what’s the best fit for you.

2. “No” is just a starting point

The best piece of advice I ever received was that “No” is often just the starting point, and most careers worth having involve a fair amount of determination, grit, and just general “try, try again”-ing.

Kathryn Minshewf, Founder of The Muse

When it comes to kickstarting a career in marketing-or even climbing the ladder, you’ll likely hear “No” and a lot more than “Yes”.

From pitching editors content ideas to applying for various roles and freelance gigs, throughout my career, I’ve been told “No” plenty of times.

But what I learned along the way was that each “No” was bringing me a step closer to a “Yes”. For example, each article pitch I had rejected helped me to eventually land my first paid writing gig with Crew.

And When I landed my role at Buffer, it was actually the second time I applied – Kevan, who’s now our Marketing Director, was also unsuccessful in his first Buffer application

Kevan used the above note as motivation and failing to land his dream job helped him to realize where he could focus his energy to improve.

Treat each “No” as an opportunity to learn and refine your skills.

3. Focus on timeless skills

Write every day. Even if you’re not a writer, I find this practice to be clarifying for many things.

MG Siegler, Partner at Google Ventures

There are certain skills that will never become outdated in marketing. To name a few:

  • Communication
  • Writing
  • Storytelling

These skills will always be valuable.

For example, whether it’s a blog post, copy for a landing page or captions for a video, writing will always be a key skill for marketers to have.

And before joining Buffer, Kevan used to write 2,000 words minimum every day to help improve his craft. Alfred also challenged himself to write every day before he worked at Buffer and again when he first transitioned into a content-focused role.

Try to find opportunities in everyday life where you can practice these timeless skills.

For instance:

  • Treat every tweet or email you send as a chance to improve your writing skills
  • Next time you’re speaking with a customer service agent, think about how you can make your communication really clear and easy to understand
  • The next time you compose a Facebook status, think about how you can effectively tell the story you’re looking to share (these storytelling formulas may help)

4. Pursue side hustles

If you’ve got things you want to build, just build them for the sake of learning a new thing.

Alexis Ohanian, Co-founder of Reddit

At Buffer, we love side projects.

And when it comes to marketing, side projects can be a great way to learn new skills and embrace areas you’re passionate about.

For example, when our content crafter, Alfred, was keen to learn more about design and coding websites, he set out on a mission to redesign his personal site and code the changes himself.

New court filings show Manafort made substantial edits to Ukraine op-ed he denied ghost-writing

FILE PHOTO: Paul Manafort, former campaign manager for U.S. President Donald Trump arrives for a bond hearing at U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

  • Newly unsealed documents show that Paul Manafort had an integral role in editing an op-ed written by a pro-Russia Ukrainian operative.
  • The discovery prompted special counsel Robert Mueller to pull out of a bail agreement his office reached with Manafort’s lawyers.
  • The court filings show that Manafort did more than just read the draft op-ed and fix typos: He inserted big-picture themes that painted himself in a positive light.

New court documents filed by special counsel Robert Mueller’s office and unsealed on Friday show that Paul Manafort made extensive edits to an op-ed written by a pro-Russia Ukrainian operative that painted a flattering picture of Manafort’s highly controversial lobbying work.

Mueller abruptly pulled out of a bail agreement his office had reached with Manafort’s legal team when one of his special agents, Brock Domin, discovered that Manafort had been helping to write an op-ed in violation of a court gag order.

Domin obtained an email from Manafort to his longtime associate Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian-Ukrainian citizen believed to have ties to Russian intelligence. In that email “was a printed copy of the Microsoft Word file attached to Manafort’s e-mail, which contains the draft ‘op ed’ for Oleg Voloshin,” Domin wrote.

“The Microsoft Word document has red tracked changes, of which ‘paul manafort’ is listed as the electronic author.”

The author of the op-ed, which was published by the Kyiv Post on Thursday, was Oleg Voloshyn, a former spokesman for Ukraine’s ministry of foreign affairs under the pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych.

Voloshin initially told Bloomberg that Manafort had “absolutely nothing to do” with the article.

“It is totally mine,” he said. He added that he had written it because he was angry about a McClatchy report published late last month detailing Manafort’s many trips to Russia between 2005-2011, while he served as a top Yanukovych adviser.

“I was just annoyed at a McClatchy publication that falsely claimed Manafort had derailed Association Agreement with the European Union,” Voloshin said.

‘That money we have is blood money’

The court filings unsealed on Friday show that Manafort did more than just read the draft op-ed and fix typos: He inserted big-picture themes that portrayed him as having advised Yanukovych to befriend the west and move away from Russia.

“Also, during these early months, VY [Viktor Yanukovych] implemented other important policy changes that signaled he was serious about moving Ukraine into the western orbit,” Manafort wrote.

“HERE NEED TO ADD a couple of major reforms VY brought to country in order to position Ukraine to apply for membership,” he continued. “Reforms that changed a Soviet based legal economic framework to a western one (increase of NATO exercises/nuclear deal/”

He also added the line: “Even at the end of the process Manafort was engaged in helping the Europeans and the Ukrainians negotiate the final terms” of Ukraine’s prospective association agreement with the EU.

Manafort’s allies have insisted that his work in Ukraine was centered around drawing it closer to the West. But when Yanukoych was ousted in 2014 over his decision to derail the EU Association Agreement in favor of working more closely with Russia, Manafort continued to align himself with Yanukovych’s cronies. He helped form a political party, the Opposition Bloc, that was even more aligned with Russia than Yanukovych’s disbanded Party of Regions.

One of Manafort’s daughters, Andrea, went so far as to indicate in a text message that Manafort had advised Yanukovych to order the bloody crackdown on protesters in 2014.

“That money we have is blood money,” she wrote in a series of texts that were hacked and published online earlier this year. Her father confirmed to Politico that the texts were authentic.

“You know he has killed people in Ukraine? Knowingly,” she continued, according to the texts. “As a tactic to outrage the world and get focus on Ukraine.

The text exchange continued: “Remember when there were all those deaths taking place. A while back. About a year ago. Revolts and what not. Do you know whose strategy that was to cause that, to send those people out and get them slaughtered.”

A ‘carnival atmosphere’

Mueller’s office wrote in a court filing that they were asking the court to unseal the draft op-ed and Domin’s Declaration because it had already been published (Voloshin gave it to TPM earlier this week.)

“Because the op-ed has now been published, the reasons for sealing the declaration have been rendered moot, and we submit that public docketing of those materials is appropriated,” the government wrote. “Counsel for Manafort does not consent to the filing of the attached response and has not taken a position on the unsealing request.”

Mueller’s office also asked the court to deny Manafort’s request to modify his conditions of release from house arrest and GPS monitoring. The government pulled out of the modified bail agreement proposed last week when it learned that Manafort was still making changes to the op-ed as recently as November 30.

Manafort’s attorney argued on Thursday that Mueller was violating Manafort’s First Amendment “rights to defend himself and his reputation, and to correct the public record” by making edits to the op-ed.

The government wasn’t buying it.

“That is incorrect,” prosecutors wrote on Friday. “The ‘substantial [governmental] interest in preventing prejudice to an adjudicative proceeding’… does not disable a district court also from shielding against prejudice caused by ‘the creation of a ‘carnival atmosphere’ in high-profile cases,’ even when the defendant-rather than an attorney-is the one creating that atmosphere.”

They concluded that because Manafort’s conduct “raises serious concerns about his trustworthiness,” the court should deny the motion to release him from home confinement.

“Bail is fundamentally about trust,” they wrote.

You can read Domin’s Declaration with the tracked changes made by Manafort below:

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