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Facebook has formed a new financial group to focus on payments that will oversee Facebook Pay, Whatsapp Pay, and other Facebook payments commerce projects.

RELATED: Apple and Google Launch Contact Tracing “Apps”

Facebook Payments Unify

Facebook Inc. wants to delve deeper into commerce opportunities, so the new Facebook Inc. group has been unveiled to pursue payments and ultimately increase revenue.

In Charge

Facebook logo on the smartphone screen and the brochure with Libra logo | Facebook Gets Its Own Financial Unit | In Charge

Co-creator of its Libra cryptocurrency project, David Marcus is in charge of the group. Stephane Kasriel, the former Upwork Inc. Chief Executive Officer, has been hired by Facebook to the role of vice president.

Marcus’s job before Facebook was as president of PayPal Holdings Inc., so he’s a veteran within the field. He was hired by Facebook in 2014 and ran Messenger for four years before starting on the Libra project.

Unification

The unification of payments among the company’s various platforms, i.e., WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram, will merge under one roof. The idea behind the planning is to unify the framework operating its various networks.

As users make Facebook payments on Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp, the advertising will become more valuable, and customers will spend increased time within the overarching company’s apps.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said in a recent earnings call that he wants to grow in-app transactions stating:

“As payments grow across Messenger and WhatsApp, and as we’re able to roll that out in more places, I think that will only grow as a trend.”  

Over the last few years, Zuckerberg declared plans to merge all the company’s messaging services, and the tech giant has re-branded Instagram and WhatsApp, so people know Facebook owns them. This latest stage is a companywide effort to bring Facebook’s separate products and apps closer together.

The Project

It has been called F2 internally, which is short for Facebook Financial. 

The new team will run all payments projects, including the company’s own e-commerce universal payments system, Facebook Pay, which is intended to be built inside all of its apps. 

The Facebook payments pitch is simple: 

  1. Connect your chosen payment card, or PayPal, to your Facebook account.
  2. Connect the function to WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram.
  3. Send or receive money from any of the platforms from anywhere in the world.

Other projects that the team will deal with include Novi, formerly called Calibra, a digital wallet designed for Libra, the cryptocurrency/payment network outfit. Although the project didn’t entirely take off as hoped, it was scaled back, facing many hurdles and regulatory scrutiny. 

WhatsApp Pay continues to expand, getting payments running in countries like India and Brazil. The in-chat payment feature allows users to make financial transactions through WhatsApp to people in their contact list. It was launched in India in February 2018, initially as a trial to a million users under a partnership with ICICI Bank, who could send and receive money via WhatsApp Pay. Approval to roll out to 10 million more users was granted earlier this year.

Rollout

a woman holding the credit card and the phone in front of the laptop | Facebook Gets Its Own Financial Unit | Rollout

Although the payments system will take time to be approved by regulators and will need to be rolled out across various countries, Marcus will have prior financial services regulation experience during his time getting Libra off the ground. The role involved sorting cross border payments and negotiating with different bodies.

Marcus said that “it’s helpful to have specific expertise in financial services regulation to build things the right way from the get-go.”

“In the financial services world, it’s very different from traditional technology companies that are not regulated.” 

“We have a lot of commerce stuff going on across Facebook,” … “It felt like it was the right thing to do to rationalize the strategy at a company level around all things payments,” he said.

Final Words

F2 will be running all of Facebook’s financial projects. Unifying all of the company’s different payment systems under one roof makes sense as the financial payments sector grows as a trend. Keeping users inside Facebook payments apps, rather than Google Pay, Apple Pay, and PayPal, will support the advertising revenue.

How do you see the future of Facebook payments and payment systems in general? Do you think they are a safe platform? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Faraday Future is an American startup technology company that focuses mainly on developing electronic vehicles. Founded in 2014 by Yueting Jia, Nick Sampson, and Tony Nie, with its tremendous growth potential, the company grew to over 1000 employees by the year 2016. However, after that, no one really knows what happened to Faraday Future the following years. Let’s find out what really happened.

RELATED: 6 Ways to Benefit from Digital Money

Faraday Future Has Been Through a Lot Since It Was Founded

Faraday Future Factory

A Tesla car with the sunset background | Faraday Future Factory | What Happened to Faraday Future?

A Chinese businessman named Jia Yueting founded a company that focuses on designing and manufacturing electronics vehicles. This startup company followed the wake of Tesla in the new modern technology-driven industry. The CEO was so full of confidence and ambitions that he even dared to challenge the successful Tesla, and you can be sure the founder of SpaceX is not too happy about it. 

Faraday Future announced that by the end of 2015, they would invest up to 1 billion dollars into their first management facility. They decided that the location for its manufacturing site would be in North Las Vegas, and in charge of building the 500 million dollar site was AECOM. Construction began in April 2016, but soon after, everything went on hold due to the company’s current financial issues.

In one of their statements, Faraday Future said they have entered the bidding process and solicited five bids from both US and international contractors. However, it was announced right after they had been behind on payments to AECOM to the tune of $21 million. A spokesperson also stated that Nevada’s facility had been downsized from 3 million square feet to approximately 650.000 square feet.

Vehicle Concept

At first, the company planned to launch its first fully electric vehicle in 2017 and possibly produce a broader range of vehicles after that. In addition, they have also planned to explore different aspects of the technology and automotive industries like in-vehicle content, usage models, and autonomous driving.

In July 2015, Motor Trend wrote an article stating that Faraday Future proposes that their electric vehicles will have more energy than the Tesla Model S, by 15%. Also, their model is going to have a modular design to improve the mass production process. And by the end of 2015 in the LA Auto Show, Richard Kim, former head of design of Faraday Future, talked about his interest in building a vehicle including build-in in-car entertainment, internet access, and aromatherapy technology.

And in January 2016, they finally revealed to the public their concept vehicle. The model was a sports car called FFZERO1; it had 1000 horsepower (750Kw), 200 miles per hour (320 km/h) with only 1 single seat. However, besides that information, they have never really put out any other details on potential car designs or production timeline.

This has seriously upset the public as they bombed posts on social media related to the reveal of FFZERO1. They were disappointed because the reveal is only a brief tease of a high-end concept race car that would never actually be produced.

Financial Issues

In 2018, Faraday Future’s CEO was accused of trying to break an investment deal with an investor after spending $800 million in just 6 months. The company was sued by the investor and as a result. Faraday Future had just only $18 million left in the bank at the start of September of the same year. 

According to the information shared by Faraday Future’s finance vice president, we know that the amount was just 2 million dollars more than the monthly cost. The cost includes payroll and supplier while they owed at least more than $59 million. So in October 2018, Faraday Future began a streak of salary reductions, rolling layoffs, and furloughs. To make the matter even worse, many top western executives quit, including the co-founder and former Tesla engineer Nick Sampson.

Not only that, the company tried to hide the problem from the public eye, but Jia, the CEO, also hid all the financial troubles from executives and staff until the last minute. With that kind of attitude and way of thinking, Jia has put a considerable strain on the company’s image and any potential solutions that might save the company. As new investors have lost their interest in Faraday Future and their trust in the CEO, they refuse to give any second chances as long as Jia is still in charge.

The Current State

a Tesla is charging | The Current State | What Happened to Faraday Future?

Faraday Future, a company that burst out of nowhere in 2014, made wild claims that upset the whole electric vehicle market. Especially when people didn’t know who they were and arrogantly challenged the market’s most powerful competition. Now they don’t have a substantial achievement to back them up, and they have yet to produce any production vehicle.

That is the fundamental cause of pushing the company into a spiral of troubles and gaining market trust. The CEO declaring personal bankruptcy is just the cherry on top.

The prototype only gets collectors’ attention and is only usable for the sole purpose of test driving or display only.

Faraday Future has already been through a lot, and they ended up selling their headquarters to help keep the company running. Issues have mainly been caused by the too-bold statement, bad management, and the even worse approach. Will Faraday Future sustain itself and find a way to gain more funding and solve its financial problems.

What do you think about Faraday Future’s way of doing business? Let us know in the comment section below.

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The first leg of the billionaire space race has been won by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, or should we call it Elon Musk Air Force? 

RELATED: SpaceX Crew Dragon Splashdown

Will Elon Musk Air Force Be a Thing?

Elon Musk Air Force

The first leg of the billionaire space race has been won by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, or should we call it Elon Musk Air Force? The U.S. Air Force (USAF) contract will use his Falcon rockets for launch services in a deal worth $653 million and over 30 missions, starting from 2022 to 2026. 

The USAF also awarded United Launch Alliance (ULA) a slice of the deal for 60 percent of the missions, beating challengers Blue Origin and Northrop Grumman. ULA, a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin, has had a 100 percent success rate over two decades.

Space Force officials made clear that the companies were sourced because of past performance and the elite offerings available, and heaven knows SpaceX has proven itself.

However, Musk took to Twitter to vent his concerns over his co-competitor, ULA. “Because their rockets are not reusable, it will become obvious over time that ULA is a complete waste of taxpayer money,” Musk said.

The lucrative contracts expect to see the Pentagon spend around $1 billion each year on launches.

Saving Tax Payer’s Money

The U.S. Government has been looking to maintain a competitive launch market that is beneficial to the government to reduce costs in the industry and push innovation boundaries on assured access to space.

SpaceX

SpaceX Company | SpaceX | Elon Musk Closer to Becoming Long-Term Military Launch Provider

SpaceX was founded in 2002 to colonize Mars and reduce space transportation costs.

The Space Exploration Technologies Corp. already has an existing relationship with the government, saving them huge sums of money, which may have put the company in better favor. SpaceX announced it’s first launch contracts with the Department of Defense in 2012 – two USAF programs:

  • Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) – launched on Falcon 9 in 2015.
  • Space Test Program 2 (STP-2) – launched on Falcon Heavy in 2019.

Before that, in 2005, SpaceX was awarded a contract allowing the USAF to purchase up to $100 million worth of launches. Since then, different launch vehicles have been certified, allowing for any payloads classified under national security. Other deals have seen SpaceX launch national security missions. Resupply the ISS, handle U.S. Militaries satellite launch requirements, and more recently launched, and recovered, the world’s first privately funded spaceflight to send a crew to space.

As well as introducing innovations like reusable launch vehicles, SpaceX, with its novel business strategy, has even been able to underprice the Chinese in commercial competitions.

The Tender

In 2018 the U.S. decided to stop using Russian engines because of international affairs following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and opened up for bids.

The cut-off date for buying the Russian RD-180 engines is December 31, 2022, so after that date, the U.S. Department of Defense will not be allowed to acquire any more of the technology in keeping with Senate amendments in June 2016.

The door was opened to space-tech companies to enter bids for the contract.

Bezos out of the Running?

Blue Origin rocket | Bezos out of the Running? | Elon Musk Closer to Becoming Long-Term Military Launch Provider

Blue Origin and Bezos can take some comfort knowing that the company’s BE-4 engine technology was used in the ULA’s pitch.

Bezos described the engine as a “remarkable machine,” adding that “it’s built and tested and designed and engineered 100 percent in the United States.”

The transition from the Russian RD-180 engines will mark a new era in space technology.

It is likely Bezos won’t be out of the space business for long and still could impact the launch market in the next few years. No doubt, both companies will continue to be each other’s most significant competition and one that drives them both in many areas.

SpaceX has certainly bought launch innovation and space travel into a new epoch and seems to be connecting everyone in the industry. Even Tom Cruise recently confirmed his seat onboard SpaceX Crew Dragon to film on the ISS scheduled for October 2021. 

Weird Social Distancing “Tech”

Although a gag, we love how one German restaurant gave its customers’ pool noddle hats to don in a funny way to stay a safe distance apart. 

Also, in Germany, some Burger King restaurants have given out gimmicky giant crowns that are six feet in diameter.

With a vaccine still at least a year away, and rising numbers of cases, social distancing could be our best way to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Working from home and studying remotely might buy us time to work on treatments, but practically and economically, that can’t go on forever. Hopefully, the tech industry will keep stepping up and creating ways to keep us safe.

If you had the money, would you join the SpaceX Crew Dragon? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Workplaces are using emerging tech or different kinds of tech to stay afloat during the pandemic. Although out of the norm, it seems relatively straightforward to implement new strategies to ensure social distancing guidelines are adhered to in the workplace. 

But, as social animals, how do we maintain our communal interactions and still stay 6 feet away from each other?  

This is where social distancing tech comes into play. To meet the current moment, developers and tech companies think outside of the box and innovate some weird and fun products that enforce social distancing. 

RELATED: Tech Conferences Still Set For 2020

4 Social Distancing Tech Ideas

Proximity Alarms and Contact Tracing Tech

Smartphone giants Apple and Google have built their COVID-19 contact tracing software right into your phone. The update makes it easier for government health agencies to monitor and implement contact tracing and help slow the virus’s spread. Still, employers are going further than that and enforcing ways to keep their staff safe.

Many companies are creating proximity devices that are worn at work, for example, clipped onto belts or hardhats, which sound an alarm if someone comes within 6 feet of another. 

These social distancing tech solutions allow businesses to manage their contact tracing and help reduce the risk of exposure for their workforce. 

Zebra MotionWorks Proximity, Triax’s Proximity Trace, and LociLabs Safe Space all alert employees to maintain a safe distance and collect data of worker interactions if someone does contract Covid-19.  

Amazon Distance Assist was designed to keep workers safe with A.I. The camera software watches the space between people, and a monitor displays live footage with an overlaid green circle around people. If people are too close to each other, the circle turns red. Already deployed in Amazon warehouses, they have made the social distancing tech available to the public.

Restaurant Social Distancing

three people are eating separately in the restaurant | Weird and Fun Social Distancing Tech of 2020

Establishments around the world are trying to reopen and get back to normal after months of disruption. Most are opting for fewer tables or plexiglass dividers, and while not quite high tech, some ideas are rather funny and deserve mention. 

A three Michelin starred restaurant in Washington, Virginia – The Inn at Little Washington – puts dressed up mannequins sitting at unoccupied tables to maintain social distancing. 

Similarly, the Maison Saigon Restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand, deploys large stuffed panda bears as seat fillers.

A Baltimore-based company called Revolution Event Design & Production has invented so-called “bumper tables” for diners to enjoy their meal while staying socially distant. The inflatable inner tube design lets the diner sit in a cut-out circle in the middle of the ringed table, a bit like sitting in a giant inflatable rubber ring. Wheels attached to the bottom means epicureans can move around during the meal but always remain 4-6 feet apart.

Integrated Social Distancing Software for Hotels

Multiple hotel groups utilize tech to upgrade their booking systems, allowing guests to check-in and out using a smartphone, thus limiting human contact. The technology company P3 Hotels’ software, is used by the Dalata, Jurys, and Sarova chains.

The Solay mobile app, by Resort Technologies, is being offered free to resorts as an inventory management system. The software organizes overnight guests with reserved seats that are placed six feet apart at beaches and pools. 

Arlo Pro 3 -- Best Wireless Home Security Camera

The Arlo Pro 3 makes a good first impression with its supremely easy setup; if you’ve got adhesive, it takes literally a few seconds to get up and running.

The camera also has night vision, and the floodlight also built-in makes color night vision possible. The motion detection is extremely sensitive; among the best on the market. Finally, it is one of the most durable home security cameras out there.

Weird Social Distancing “Tech”

Although a gag, we love how one German restaurant gave its customers’ pool noddle hats to don in a funny way to stay a safe distance apart. 

Also, in Germany, some Burger King restaurants have given out gimmicky giant crowns that are six feet in diameter.

With a vaccine still at least a year away, and rising numbers of cases, social distancing could be our best way to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Working from home and studying remotely might buy us time to work on treatments, but practically and economically, that can’t go on forever. Hopefully, the tech industry will keep stepping up and creating ways to keep us safe.

What weird or fun social distancing tech would you invent during these crazy times? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Digital money (or cryptocurrency) like Bitcoin, Litecoin, or Etherum has been hitting the news. If you’ve jumped onto this digital bandwagon, you’ve probably realized several benefits of using these invisible tokens.

RELATED: Investing In Technology — A Beginner’s Guide

6 Ways to Benefit from Digital Money

Introduce Digital Wallets

One of the easiest ways to leverage digital money is to let people pay you via digital wallets. This is more applicable when you own a small business that sells unique products or services to a particular clientele.

Conduct a bit of research to identify those open-minded clients who regularly use crypto coins and then assess their willingness to make these coins’ transactions to your wallet.

Start by introducing a digital wallet that allows buyers to make payments with their preferred coins, and you’ll be one step closer to making handsome benefits from using digital money.

Avoid Fraud Chargebacks

Another way this can benefit you is by avoiding fraud from chargebacks. Sometimes customers purchase your products/services, use them, then ask for a full refund from the credit card company – many times for falsified reasons. Business owners often take this as a cost of doing business.

With crypto payments, there are no chargebacks. The sale is complete when you receive the transaction from the customer. As a good business practice, if there’s good reason to refund if you deem it a business-worthy decision, and it’s way more convenient that there’s no requirement to give any chargebacks if you suspect a fraud is involved.

RELATED: 4 of the Best Security Technologies

Lower Transaction Fees

People sending and receiving money wireless with their mobile phones | Lower Transaction Fees | How To Benefit From Using Digital Money

It’s undeniable that credit card charges can sometimes be very steep, especially in international transactions. Charges can range from 2 percent to 5 percent or even higher in a single transaction.

Paying a few hundred dollars as transaction fees has been a norm for business when accepting overseas clients’ payments. Nevertheless, such pain can be eliminated just by using blockchain technology, bitcoin, or other digital money. The fees will be much lower, sometimes zero.

Trade

If you’re a numbers person, one who is comfortable with analyzing charts and trading, swapping digital currencies can earn you a lot of profit. You can even land a full-time job as a trader, but the profession itself can also be a dangerous slippery slope.

Arbitrage is the process of buying one digital currency on an exchange at a low price, holding onto them, and eventually selling them on another higher price. The price will vary greatly depending on the demand for a particular currency in certain markets.

Trading digital money can be pretty lucrative if done right. However, there’s a fine line between earning and losing: price can fluctuate drastically around thousands for some currencies. That’s why professional traders always take extra care to the price variations and follow the markets’ changes closely.

Before making a presence in the crypto markets, spend some time studying technical analysis methods and charts. The markets operate 24 hours a day and seven days a week. So it’s never too late to have the fundamental knowledge to play the highs and lows correctly.

ICOs from Well-Established Businesses

Along with the initial public offering (IPO) in the stock market, there’s another initial offering with digital currencies – initial coin offering (ICO). New start-up ventures receive their fundings through ICOs. Fundings involve crypto coins and the blockchain – the underlying fabric of most digital money.

ICOs pose an opportunity to earn these coins at base price when they’re first introduced and later give returns in multiples to your original investment.

Take this one modest ICO; for example, the coin BitSerial was first introduced at just $0.75 (Nov 2017) and peaked at $7,95 (Dec 12, 2017). That is well over 10 times gain or 1000% in your ROI (return on investment).

But then, most ICOs are start-up ventures with no history (BitSerial fell miserably and now sits at just $0.0004), so it’s necessary to monitor the market’s reactions when new digital money is introduced. Consequently, it will be easier for you to picture the value variations and whether you should hold or sell.

Lending Programs/Platforms

Anxious with trading and want a steady and daily stream of side income? Lending platforms (or high yield investment platforms(HYIPs)) give you a chance with just minimal effort.

Get started with acquiring crypto coins (earn or buy) then lend your coins to a lending program. The greatest attribute of lending programs is that there will never be a negative return (variable daily profits from 0.00% up to 2%), which provides a better alternative to trading – as with trading, there are days of losses.

Bitconnect is the pioneer and well-known platform in crypto lending. Its business model makes it possible to gain a sustainable passive income stream from digital money volatility. Since Bitconnect’s collapse, there has been a wave of new lending platforms, so some research is worthwhile before starting any lending properly.

With its outstanding advantages, digital money is increasingly proving its position. Which of these smart options will you choose to make handsome profits with digital money? Let us know your choice in the comment section!

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Are you interested in bringing technology products and services to consumers and start your own business? If you want some low-cost, high-profit, and flexible money-making solutions, check out these tech startup ideas.

RELATED:  Investing In Technology — A Beginner’s Guide

Make Money from These Tech Startup Ideas in 2020

Cybersecurity Consultant

Security technologies protect businesses from risks associated with the internet and data storage. As one of the fastest-growing requirements for all businesses, experts are required to impart their cybersecurity knowledge in systems and networks. Working knowledge of internet protocol (IP) and transmission control protocol (TCP) is needed, which can be learned from textbooks, but gaining experience and then opening your own consulting business is an excellent route to follow.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the average pay for a Security Analyst in 2019 was $43.33 per hour salaried, and that the career field is expanding. As a freelancer, you can expect to charge anything from $40-$70 hourly. Consultants on large projects can charge up to $150 per hour, and senior consultants charge up to $500 per hour.

Small to medium-sized businesses should look to spend anything from $1,000 to $10,000 for a well-functioning website.

In 2020, a web designer’s average going rate to build a small business website is typically $3,000-$6,000. This can be as much as $20,000, but that largely depends on the number of pages and the amount of customization needed.

If you’re starting off, there are plenty of tutorials and free courses offered online that teach you how to learn the basics and turn them into functional websites. You can build up from your first clients and gain experience without any formal education or degree.

Once you can build a website, you can start to think about incorporating your own business ideas, anything from a new travel booking website to a social media page.

Website monetization, the process of making money from traffic to a website, can also earn good income once the work is put in.

Computer Repair

At least 74% of American households own a computer as of 2019, and there’s a huge demand for repairs and upgrades when things go wrong. Many people are not tech-savvy when it comes to software issues or viruses and turn to computer repair technicians for help. Good freelance technicians charge anything from $60-$130 per hour for repairs and technical support.

Suppose you don’t open a physical outlet or shop, and instead opt for mobile business. In that case, you will be able to visit customers in their home, which is probably more convenient for them, reducing expenses. Without a physical location, you’ll need to market your business and set up online marketing and social media marketing. Networking in your area is also a good idea to generate business and target the less tech-savvy crowd who may not have a social media presence. Additionally, you can provide services to small businesses for setting up their computers or provide basic training to employees.

Chatbot Developer

a hand is touching a phone and the image of a robot head | Chatbot Developer | 4 Tech Startup Ideas for Entrepreneurs

Small businesses and large companies alike are turning to AI chatbots to become the main point of contact for customers. As AI develops and becomes more advanced, chatbots are being infused into every experience, and nowadays, customers almost expect a chatbot.

According to statistics, 74% of customers prefer to use chatbots for simple queries, and 90% of businesses report recording significant improvements in the speed of complaint resolution when using chatbots.

Creating chatbots is a lucrative vocation to get into, and if you’re skilled, or just interested in coding, this business could be an easy one to get into. Various websites can connect you to business owners looking for a freelance developer to build their own custom website chatbots. Customer chatbots can cost, on average, $30,000.

Final Note

Starting your own business can be daunting, but the tech industry has so many options for beginners interested in physical technology. The trade is ever increasing with new trends and opportunities that can be taken advantage of. Tech-based jobs tend to be profitable because they don’t require much expense, and people pay a premium for something they can’t do themselves.

If you start your own tech startup, don’t forget to register your business as a legal entity and get all your legalities in order.

Are you inspired by one of these tech startup ideas? What would you choose? Let us know in the comments section below.

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It wasn’t until the 1980s that companies were being purchased for over 1 billion dollars, and the first transaction value over $100 billion was in 1999. We list some of the most lucrative technology mergers and acquisitions in history.

RELATED:  SpaceX Crew Dragon Splashdown

Technology Mergers and Acquisitions Over $100 Billion

In the tech industry, takeovers are a common occurrence and are usually regarded as part of a company’s growth strategy and to increase profitability. Whether the purchasing company is set to develop a new product line or target geographical outreach, mergers, and acquisitions can occur at domestic or global levels.

Apple is valued at $352 billion, making it the largest technology company in the world. They are known to have acquired more than 100 companies, though this number is unconfirmed because they don’t reveal details unless discovered by the media.

The technology industry has a high number of mergers and acquisitions because of the fierce competition – smaller firms often join forces with larger companies to be able to compete better and survive poor economic conditions.

Mannesmann by Vodaphone -- $183 billion

a flag has Vodafone logo

The British telecommunications company Vodaphone (VOD) is responsible for the largest ever merger and acquisition (as of March 2020) and the first to top $100 billion. The 1999 takeover of German industrial conglomerate Mannesmann accepted an offer for $183 billion, worth $281 billion if adjusted for inflation today.

The record deal was expected to reshape the global telecommunications world and made Vodafone the largest mobile operator. Unfortunately, the merger failed spectacularly, and Vodafone had to write off billions of dollars in the following years that destroyed vast amounts of shareholder wealth.

Time Warner by American Online -- $182 billion

At the height of the dotcom bubble, in 2000, the web portal and online service provider AOL bid to acquire the mass media and entertainment conglomerate Time Warner. The $182 billion deal meant Time Warner shareholders owned 45 percent, and AOL shareholders owned 55 percent of the new company.

As a result, the $350 billion mega-corporation held a dominant cable and internet industry position until the dotcom bubble burst. The company’s clashing management styles forced them to go separate ways spinning off as independent companies.

Vodafone Group by Verizon Communications -- $130 billion

Verizon Communications, stylized as Verizon, the American multinational telecommunications conglomerate, paid $130 billion to buy Vodafone Group out of its U.S. wireless business. The deal brought an end to the often tense 14-year relationship. Verizon took full control of Verizon Wireless, a company that began in 1999 due to Vodafone’s Airtouch and Bell Atlantic’s mobile division merger.

Investors pocketed around $87 billion collectively in shares, cash, and U.S. stock.

Seemingly interlinked with the top three most significant technology mergers and acquisitions, Verizon later acquired AOL in 2015 and Yahoo in 2017, amalgamating into Oath Inc, also known as Verizon Media.

Raytheon by United Technologies -- $120 billion

The Massachusetts multinational conglomerate Raytheon Technologies Corporation merged with United Technologies Corporation, or UTC, recently in 2020. The new entity continued with the name Raytheon Technologies in an all-stock deal that took almost a year to finalize.

Top Technology Mergers and Acquisition Deals That Failed to Complete

a logo of Qualcomm and 5G | Top Technology Mergers and Acquisition Deals That Failed to Complete | The 4 Biggest Technology Mergers and Acquisitions in History

Sprint by MCI WorldCom — $129 billion

In 1999 this telecommunications giant was stopped on competition grounds with the Department of Justice filing a lawsuit against the merger. A few years later, in 2002, an accounting scandal helped force the company to file for bankruptcy. Verizon Communications later acquired it.

Qualcomm Inc by Broadcom Ltd — $121 billion

In this 2018 deal, Qualcomm felt that their business was undervalued, and the initial offer of $140 billion (with debts) was rejected. After meeting with Broadcom officials, the offer was reduced to $117 billion because of another bid for NXP Semiconductors. Eventually, the deal was blocked by The Trump administration due to national security issues.


It’s clear that while technology mergers and acquisitions are common, they aren’t always successful longterm. Often occurring during an economic bull run, many factors may or may not be under the parties’ control.

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Do you think the majority of technology mergers and acquisitions are overvalued? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Nowadays, phones have become an essential part of our everyday lives, and there’s an app for almost anything. When it comes to travel, the preparation can sometimes be overwhelming, but luckily there are many travel apps to assist. Now it’s even easier to know where to go, what to do, and where to eat. From booking flights to finding accommodation the best deals, these best travel apps can help you with all of that.

RELATED: Microsoft Confirms Talks to Buy TikTok From Chinese

Check out These Best Travel Apps to Help You Plan Your next Trip

AirHelp

Have you ever been in a situation where you painfully waited for a flight only for it to get delayed, canceled, or overbooked?

According to US and EU law, you’re entitled to receive compensation in such cases, even if the procedures, processes, and details differ. The claims process can be complicated, so most passengers don’t follow through to get the compensation they deserve.

AirHelp simplifies the claims process and turns it into something you can do easily by yourself in just a few minutes. All you have to do is enter your flight information and some descriptions about the situation, then AirHelp will take charge of the rest. The company will take 25% of the payout, and you get to keep the rest of the claim if it is successful, but if you’re not successful, then there are no fees to pay. In addition, you can get a referral bonus for referring anyone who is on the same flight or has similar issues as you.

Airbnb

A girl and a man having a greeting with the beach behind | Airbnb | Top 7 Best Travel Apps

This is one of the best and most well-known travel apps out there. We do not need to talk much about this app, as many of you will already know a lot about Airbnb. For those unfamiliar with Airbnb, this app helps you search for the best available place to stay during your trip. It also suggests various options suitable for you, whether you are renting individual rooms or the whole apartment in local areas.

Whether you like to stay in a comfy hotel room or even homestay with the locals, Airbnb can help you with all of it. With a wide range of accommodation for you to choose from, Airbnb is one of the best travel apps that you should have on your phone.

Hostelworld

An accommodation app that, besides helping you do routine filtered searches, also offers you a much more interactive and easy to use interface. The full-screen map makes it a lot easier to see if the hostel you like will be anywhere near where you are traveling. The app also gives you insightful reviews from previous guests of the hostels.

Skyscanner

A Flight booking app that helps you solve the problem of finding suitable flights at a cheap price. It searches millions of flights from thousands of sources and suggests the best options that suit your demands. Skyscanner’s features allow you to look for destinations within your budget and desired schedule. The chart feature lets you view the best available options, and if there are any changes to the price, the app will notify you.

Tripadvisor

Tripadvisor has been around for some time and has amassed a lot of different reviews from many travelers based on their personal experience. With more than 830 million reviews of flights, accommodation, excursions, and restaurants, this app will help you plan the perfect vacation.

You can also follow the tips or recommendations from friends or travel experts with the same interests as you. Then you can share your own tips, advice, and experience for other travelers to read. On top of that, the app is available in 28 languages.

Alltrail

If you love nature and enjoy walking or hiking, then this is definitely the app for you. Alltrails can list all the trails available for hiking. The app provides you with pictures, maps, and directions for you to follow. There are over 100.000 curated trails for you to choose from, and you can download the direction for easy use. You can even create your own custom routes to enjoy walks with friends. This is an excellent app for finding the best outdoor trails, especially when you are in an unfamiliar area.

OpenRice

Going to different places and trying many kinds of food is the joy of traveling. If you’re planning to go to any Asian country, you really need to consider downloading this app onto your phone.

OpenRice is considered the Yelp of Asia. It displays the most popular local restaurants, their menus, and ratings. The app can even help you with booking tables and making reservations. All the Asian cuisine for you to try is just only one tap away.


Phone apps are constantly changing and making everyday tasks effortless. Traveling is no different, and with the help of technology, you can have an easier time planning and preparing everything for your next trip. Try downloading the above travel apps for your next expedition or outing and see which ones help you.

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Apple and Google have launched an entirely opt-in contact tracing system that has the potential to save lives and slow the coronavirus pandemic’s spread as states and regions emerge from lockdown.

RELATED: Microsoft Confirms Talks to Buy TikTok From Chinese

Coronavirus Contact Tracing Software Rolled Out Directly onto Your Phone

Smartphone giants Apple and Google have built their COVID-19 contact tracing software right into your phone.

The update makes it easier for government health agencies to monitor and implement contact tracing and, no doubt, saves money that can be put to better use.

a healthcare staff is checking Covid infection for a woman | Apple and Google Launch Contact Tracing “Apps”a healthcare staff is checking Covid infection for a woman | Apple and Google Launch Contact Tracing “Apps” |

Usually, smartphone users around the world would be encouraged to use contract tracing apps to track their proximity to others in an effort to slow down the COVID-19 pandemic. They would then make up their mind, likely based on privacy concerns, whether to seek out and download an app made by a public health authority.

Historically, the manual method for trying to ascertain where patients have traveled and who they might have passed the contagion on to would simply be done through a series of interview questions and detective work. This would be done by government health agencies who’d hire an army of workers.

Apple initially introduced the contact tracing system in iOS 13.5, but the original application needed a third-party app developed by a government health agency or which there were very few.

However, the new system, dubbed Exposure Notification Express (ENE), enables the same public health groups to send warnings to users at risk without having to develop and run an actual app.

The iOS Exposure Notifications feature is powered by an Application Programming Interface (API) jointly developed by Apple and Google. It uses Bluetooth smartphone signals from those who have opted to determine proximity to another and how long the phones, or users, were nearby. It does this without collecting data about the identity or location of the users.

The new software is included in iOS 13.7 for iPhones (and the iOS 14 update this coming fall), and Google will follow later this month with their Android software update. When users update their phones, the feature is disabled by default.

When states opt into the system, most iPhone and Android phones in that state will get an invitational push notification inviting the owner to take part in the system.

Opting in will activate the new ENE feature, and the system uses anonymous digital tokens or randomly generated ID numbers to exchange data with other phones via short-range Bluetooth. Personal identity and location data are neither collected nor sent to states.

If one user self-reports that they test positive for COVID-19, the system notifies other participating phones that have been in the vicinity and may have been exposed to the virus.

Some iPhone owners have turned to social media to express their fears over using the contact tracing system and are refusing to install the iOS 13.7 update because they see it as something sinister. Overlooking the benefits of contact tracing, they see it as a way for the government and Apple to keep tabs on us and nothing but a government spy tool.

a hand holding phone in the middle with red and green human symbols | Security | Apple and Google Launch Contact Tracing “Apps”

Despite the claims that the system is “Big Brother,” Apple and Google have created the system around strict privacy policies. The random ID numbers are designed so that they cannot reveal any personal information like your name, location, age, etc.

The digital tokens or randomly generated ID numbers are generated cryptographically and update every 24 hours.

Knowledge is power. If you know that you have come into contact with someone with the virus, you have the chance to get tested yourself and warn others that you have been around. You can take steps to avoid passing the disease to others. The importance of the contact tracing system has real benefits to you, your family, and friends. It has the potential to save lives.

If you can, take advantage of the contact tracing software updates, you could just save a life.

What are your views on the new contact tracing system? Will you opt-in or out? Let us know in the comments section below.

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