Weekend takeaway: 10 tech stories you need to read right now

5 Dec 2014

Ten nuggets of knowledge to take away for the weekend, including Collison brothers’ Stripe valued at US$3.5bn, all EU cars to be fitted with eCall technology from 2018, and 20 years of the PlayStation.

1. Collison brothers’ Stripe raises US$70m – now valued at US$3.5bn

Limerick brothers turned Silicon Valley kingpins Patrick and John Collison have seen their e-payments start-up Stripe raise US$70m in an investment round that values the company at around US$3.5bn.

The company, in just the past year, has landed major partnership deals with tech giants Twitter, Facebook and Apple.

Patrick (25) and John Collison (23) were recently listed in Forbes magazine’s top 30 under 30 pioneers in tech list. They formed a start-up called Shuppa in 2007, which later became known as Auctomatic, attracted funding from Silicon Valley venture-capital firm Y Combinator, and just a year later Canadian firm Live Current Media acquired the company for US$5m (€3.2m), when the brothers were just 17 and 19, respectively.

2. All EU cars to be fitted with eCall emergency comm system from 2018

To improve safety and response time for emergency services to a car accident, all cars sold in Europe will be fitted with an eCall communication system from 31 March 2018.

3. Hoxton Ventures creates exclusive €6m venture-capital fund for Irish start-ups

Hoxton Ventures, a venture-capital company focused on bridging the gap between Europe and Silicon Valley, is to establish a new side fund worth just under €6m in Ireland.

4. Psy’s Gangnam Style video breaks YouTube after views exceed countable figure

YouTube has been forced to update its systems after South Korean K-Pop singer Psy’s popular Gangnam Style video hit so many views it exceeded the number the video-sharing platform could count.

5. 500 Startups in deal with Enterprise Equity to fast-track Irish start-ups

One of San Francisco, California’s most pre-eminent start-up accelerators has forged an alliance with venture-capital firm Enterprise Equity to help fast-track the applications of Irish start-ups who want to join.

6. The Interview: Christian Chabot, Tableau Software

If data is the oil of the 21st century, then Christian Chabot, CEO of Tableau Software, wants to put the keys to the refinery in the hands of every worker, student and leader on the planet.

7. Research investment in Ireland more than double world average – EU

Investment in R&D by companies based in Ireland is up 13.6pc, which is more than double the world average of 4.9pc and vastly ahead of the EU average of 2.6pc, according to the European Commission.

8. 20 PlayStation videos that define its 20 years so far (part 1)

Having first been launched all the way back in 1994, the Sony PlayStation went from being an ambitious newcomer to one of the most dominant gaming devices on the planet. It has now reached its 20th anniversary.

9. 20 PlayStation videos that defined its 20 years (part 2)

Part 2 of our round-up of 20 videos that sum up the 20-year history of Sony’s PlayStation gaming console, first launched back in December 1994.

10. The curious case of Texas’ missing brains leaves minds wandering

Reports that 100 brain specimens went missing from the University of Texas, Austin, have spawned a number of theories – but the university’s investigation has quickly stopped minds from racing.

Takeout image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years