A newly-launched startup from California is being billed as the world’s first search engine for drinking water. Plastic water bottles are a major source of pollution globally, but finding a public spot to fill reusable canteens can be tricky. The Tap app currently features a database of 34,000 filling stations in 30 countries around the world. The company is also hoping to crowdsource its userbase so that the water companies operating the filling stations know which locations need maintenance or are highly trafficked, opening up an important, user-driven revenue stream in the process.
The makers of the world’s most popular video game, Fortnite, have just landed a staggering $1.25 billion in funding- believed to be the largest ever investment round for a video game company. A battle-royale style game, Fortnite has proven wildly successful thanks largely to its business model – users can download the title for free and revenue is generated through in-game micro-transactions. And it’s paying off. Sales are expected to top $2 billion by the end of the year, and publisher Epic Games has been valued as high as $8 billion. The company’s success was already unprecedented prior to this latest injection of cash, leaving industry experts to ponder just how big Fortnite can grow.
Tech giant Apple revealed this week it’s taking its space-saving display innovations to the iPad. The company’s latest version of the iPhone famously ditched its home button and finger print detector in an effort to increase screen size, opting instead for a facial recognition sensor. Now, the same approach is being applied to its latest series of tablets. CEO Tim Cook announced the news at the Brooklyn Academy of Music as part of an effort to market the sleeker, updated iPad to a more artistic and creative audience. Apple’s tablet line so far has not generated the same amount of revenue as the iPhone, but the company hopes more targeted marketing and design techniques may help them establish a new, devoted customer base .
McLaren this week has finally revealed its long-awaited Speedtail supercar, and it may just take the industry in a new direction. Dubbed the hyper-GT, the next instalment in McLaren’s Ultimate Series features a unique three-seat, driver-centered passenger setup that can reach speeds of up to 250 miles per hour. The carmaker has revealed few of the special gas/hybrid combination engine details, but it does boast more than 1,000 horsepower and can go from zero to 186 mph in just 12.8 seconds. The Speedtail doesn’t skimp on futuristic detail – its side mirrors have been replaced with small video cameras, and its wheels are covered by stationary shields. In that sense, the car is designed for luxury as much as for outright speed, a decision that appears to have paid off: despite its $2.25 million price tag, all 106 of the vehicles expected to be built have already been sold .
For small and medium-sized enterprises, dealing with contracts is a never-ending headache. That pain is only amplified as projects, staff sizes and legal teams grow. San Francisco-based Concord has developed a platform that can streamline that process. It provides templates and workflows that vary based on contract size, and can be easily amended and (perhaps most importantly) tracked as projects change. Their solution to an often-expensive endeavor this week earned the company some $25 million in new funding. CEO Matt Lhou-meau said Concord’s success is a sign that companies increasingly see the need to bring their “entire finance, procurement and sales environments onto the platform,” adding that this kind of “horizontal growth will have a powerful effect” on the firm.