Drone Startup Sky-Futures Secures $3.8M From MMC To Scale Up Oil And Gas Inspections


Startups dealing in the world of Drones have been given a boost today with the news that Sky-Futures, which flies drones around oil rigs and gas pipelines, has raised $3.87m (£2.5m) in a Series A from London-based venture fund MMC Ventures. The funding is believed to be Europe’s largest ever drone investment to date.

Although it’s been running since 2009, Sky-Futures has grown in recent years to work with over 30 of the biggest oil and gas companies in the world. It operates in the North Sea, the Middle East, South East Asia and North Africa. The company also has an office in Houston, Texas to serve clients in the Gulf of Mexico, having been one of the first companies to receive FAA regulatory approval to operate in the US. Their drones collect HD video, stills and thermal imagery data, which is analysed and delivered to their clients

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Android Users Can Now Pre-Register For Upcoming Apps On Google Play


Google has introduced an interesting new feature to the Google Play Store after it began allowing users to pre-register for upcoming Android apps.

Terminator Genisys: Revolution from Glu Mobile — the company that recently took investment from China’s Tencent — is the first title to take advantage of the feature, as the folks at Android Police noticed. Interested users simply tap the pre-register icon (which is where ‘download’ would usually be) to show their interest.

Pre-registration is free for Android customers, and there’s no obligation to download or buy the app once it is live. The process sets up an alert that prompts a user once the app is available. It is not a lock-in, since users can cancel their interest if they have a change of heart.


Pre-registration isn’t for your average developer, but it could be useful for games that are timed for release alongside films — i.e. Terminator — or sequels or big budget productions…

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The Philippines To Introduce Regulations For Ridesharing Apps


The Filipino government is working on a new category of regulations specifically tailored for ridesharing apps like Uber. According to an announcement on the Department of Transportation and Communications, the rules will be introduced later this week and include guidelines on vehicle safety and driver screening.

The new regulatory framework will benefit Uber and local rivals like Tripid, which ran into trouble with Filipino law last year because they did not first secure a franchise, or the permit companies need in order to operate public utility vehicles. Other competitors like GrabTaxi and Easy Taxi sidestepped the issue by partnering with existing taxi fleets that already have franchises.

Fast-growing ridesharing apps like Uber have faced legal headaches in other countries because local laws have not caught up with their expansion, making it unclear how these startups are supposed to be regulated under laws originally designed for traditional taxi fleets.


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Meet Hello Alfred, A Single Portal For Your Home Service Needs


Alfred has had a busy year. In the six months since winning our Disrupt Battlefield SF in September, the company has raised $12 million+, set up shop in NYC, and tripled the number of employees on the team. And at Disrupt NY last week, Alfred announced that it would be introducing a new service called Hello Alfred across the country.

Alfred is a service layer that sits on top of your usual on-demand services (groceries, laundry, packages, etc.) and coordinates those services together through a weekly visit from your very own, trusted Alfred. This person has a set of your keys and over time learns how long it takes for you to go through a carton of milk or where your dry cleaning goes in your closet. Instead of ending up with grocery bags and boxes, you come home to a closet full of clean clothes, a stocked fridge…

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