Category: Business analyst

Very Good Security raises $60 million to make data force fields for DoorDash, Brex

When Mahmoud Abdelkader ceded his last company, Balanced, a financial tech, or fintech, firm where he worked as chief technology officer, to longtime rival Stripe in 2015, the surrender meant only temporary defeat.

At the time, Abdelkader was building payments rails for online marketplaces. But solutions to the thorny problem of securely transferring money over the Internet had broader potential than he first presumed, he realized. “It’s not about moving money. It’s about moving value, which is represented by pieces of data, securely,” he says.

That insight formed the foundation of Abdelkader’s next act: the amusingly named startup Very Good Security, or VGS, which he cofounded a year later with Marshall Jones, Balanced’s VP of engineering. (Abdelkader says the name is an homage to Pretty Good Privacy, an influential and at one time controversial data encryption program developed in the ’90s.)

Now VGS is receiving a boost. Investors, … Read the rest

It’s time for progressive white women to do more for racial equality

It is now well-known that a narrow majority of white women, once again, voted for Trump this November. There’s a lot to unpack. 

In my Wonder Media Network podcast, White Picket Fence, I do a deep dive into the topic, exploring the many influences on white women’s identities and politics. What I’ve discovered is that moving our national conversation about race, gender, and politics to something more constructive requires more than “hot takes” on exit polls. We should be concerned by the growth of a base ginned up on misinformation and white grievance. But the overwhelming focus on white women who vote Republican shifts some of the responsibility from where it needs to be: on the shoulders of progressive white women. 

I am one of those progressive white women, And the more I’ve examined white women’s identities and politics, the more I’m convinced that building a more just and equitable … Read the rest

Mike Pompeo: Russia was ‘pretty clearly’ behind SolarWinds cyberattack on government and business

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said late Friday that Russia was “pretty clearly” behind the gravest cyberattack against the United States on record. Pompeo is the first administration official to publicly tie the Kremlin to the widespread intrusion at a time when President Trump has kept silent on the failure to protect government and private-sector computer networks.

It’s not clear exactly what the hackers were seeking, but experts say it could include nuclear secrets, blueprints for advanced weaponry, COVID-19 vaccine-related research and information for dossiers on key government and industry leaders. 

“We’re still unpacking precisely what it is, and I’m sure some of it will remain classified,” Pompeo said in an interview late Friday with radio talk show host Mark Levin. “But suffice it to say there was a significant effort to use a piece of third-party software to essentially embed code inside of U.S. government systems and it now … Read the rest

Biden wants to change how credit scores work in America

Our mission to make business better is fueled by readers like you. To enjoy unlimited access to our journalism, subscribe today.

The credit industry isn’t working if you ask consumer advocates. The Big Three credit agencies—Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian—are black boxes, gathering and selling consumer data, grading us on our financial behavior without letting us in on how they do it, and perpetuating damaging racial disparities while they’re at it. 

That’s why consumer advocates are calling for a public credit reporting agency, and why President-elect Joe Biden has adopted a proposal for just that from left-leaning think tank Demos.

The proposal suggests building a publicly run credit reporting agency within the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that would eventually, over the course of seven years, replace the current for-profit credit system in America. The agency would be steered by consumer need rather than the bottom line, according to proposal … Read the rest

All that’s redacted in the Texas lawsuit against Google

This is the web version of Data Sheet, a daily newsletter on the business of tech. Sign up to get it delivered free to your inbox. 

That old expression that the second time is a charm may apply in antitrust. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and nine fellow AGs dropped a 130-page lawsuit against Google on Wednesday that’s quite a bit more interesting than the Justice Department’s lawsuit filed in October.

As you may have guessed from the page count, this one is a Texas-sized doozy of blockbuster allegations that Google has illegally monopolized each and every part of the market for digital advertising: the ad servers that host the ads, the exchanges where online publishers sell space for ads, the networks where advertisers list ads, and the tools everyone uses to help them manage the complex system in real time.

Unfortunately and bizarrely, the Texas complaint is … Read the rest