The Vanishing Variants: Lessons from Gamma, Iota and Mu

Studying the coronavirus variants that have faded away could help us prepare for what comes next, scientists say.

#colombia, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-delta-variant, #coronavirus-omicron-variant, #genetics-and-heredity, #gisaid-nonprofit, #south-america, #your-feed-health, #your-feed-science

Shriek! Slap! Pow! The Small Bat Wins.

In this video of a bat fight, is the tiny one a bully, or is it just meting out justice up the food chain?

#animal-behavior, #bats, #behaviour-journal, #central-america, #panama, #research, #south-america, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

Dinosaurs May Have Been Socializing Nearly 200 Million Years Ago

A trove of fossilized eggs and skeletons in Argentina revealed that some dinosaurs likely traveled in herds and socialized by age.

#animal-behavior, #animals, #argentina, #dinosaurs, #endangered-and-extinct-species, #fossils, #paleontology, #research, #scientific-reports-journal, #south-america

Perilous, Roadless Jungle Becomes a Path of Desperate Hope

The recent surge at the Mexican border is likely to grow, as more migrants, mostly Haitian, risk everything negotiating the notorious Darién Gap on their way to the U.S.

#colombia, #darien-gap, #haiti, #immigration-and-emigration, #mayorkas-alejandro, #panama, #south-america, #united-states

Covid Ravaged South America. Then Came a Sharp Drop in Infections.

South America was the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic early this year. Experts are trying to find out why new infections and deaths are falling so fast.

#argentina, #bolsonaro-jair-1955, #brazil, #chile, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-delta-variant, #disease-rates, #south-america, #vaccination-and-immunization

Stipop offers developers and creators instant access to a huge global sticker library

With more than 270,000 stickers, Stipop’s library of colorful, character-driven expressions has a little something for everyone.

The company offers keyboard and social app stickers through ad-supported mobile apps on iOS and Android, but it’s recently focused more on providing stickers to developers, creators and other online businesses.

“We were able to gather so many artists because we actually began as our own app that provided stickers,” Stipop co-founder Tony Park told TechCrunch. The team took what they learned from running their own consumer-facing app — namely that collecting and licensing hundreds of thousands of stickers from artists around the world is hard work — and adapted their business to help solve that problem for others.

Stipop was the first Korean company to go through Yellow, Snapchat’s exclusive accelerator. The company is also part of Y Combinator’s Summer 2021 cohort.

Stipop’s sticker library is accessible through an SDK and an API, letting developers slot the searchable sticker library into their existing software. The company already has more than 200 companies that tap into its huge sticker trove, which offers a “single-day solution” for a process that would otherwise necessitate a lot more legwork. Stipop launched a website recently that helps developers integrate its SDK and API through quick installs.

“They can just add a single line of code inside their product and will have a fully customized sticker feature [so] users will be able to spice up their chats,” Park said.

Park points out that stickers encourage engagement — and for social software, engagement means growth. Stickers are a playful way to send characters back and forth in chat, but they also pop up in a number of other less obvious spots, from dating apps to ecommerce and ridesharing apps. Stipop even drives the sticker search in work collaboration software Microsoft Teams.

The company has already partnered with Google, which uses Stipop’s sticker library in Gboard, Android Messages and Tenor, a GIF keyboard platform that Google bought in 2018. That partnership drove 600 million sticker views within the first month. A new partnership between Stipop and Coca-Cola on the near horizon will add Coke-branded stickers to its sticker library and the company is opening its doors to more brands that understand the unique appeal of stickers in messaging apps.

Park says that people tend to compare stickers and gifs, two ways of wordlessly expressing emotion and social nuance, but stickers are a world unto themselves. Stickers exist in their own creative universe, with star artists, regional themes and original casts of characters that take on a life of their own among fans. “Sticker creators have their own profession,” Park said.

Visual artists can also find a lot of traction releasing stickers, even without sophisticated illustrations. And since they’re all about meaning rather than refinement, non-designers and less skilled artists can craft hit stickers too.

“Stickers are great for them because it [is] so easy to go viral,” Park said. The company has partnered with 8,000 sticker creators across 25 languages, helping those artists monetize their creations and generate income based on how many times a sticker is shared.

Stickers command their own visual language around the world, and Park has observed interesting cultural differences in how people use them to communicate. In the West, stickers are often used in place of text, but in Asia, where they’re used much more frequently, people usually send stickers to enhance rather than replace the meaning of text.

In East Asia, users tend to prefer simple black and white stickers, but in India and Saudi Arabia, bright, golden stickers top the trends. In South America, popular stickers take on a more pixelated, unique quality that resonates culturally there.

“With stickers, you fall in love with [the] characters you send… that becomes you,” Park said.

#android, #api, #asia, #coca-cola, #e-commerce, #gif, #google, #instant-messaging, #microsoft, #social, #software, #south-america, #sticker, #tc, #y-combinator

How Peppers Proliferated Around the Planet

In the world’s plant gene banks, scientists studied how so many varieties of the humble capsicum worked their way onto our plates.

#central-america, #genetics-and-heredity, #international-trade-and-world-market, #peppers, #portugal, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #research, #south-america, #your-feed-science

Covid-19 Delta Variant Widens Gulf Between Vaccinated and Unvaccinated

Data from overseas, particularly Britain, suggest the spread of the virus will set vaccinated and unvaccinated communities on very different paths.

#astrazeneca-plc, #australia, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #deaths-fatalities, #disease-rates, #england, #europe, #great-britain, #immune-system, #india, #infections, #israel, #nature-journal, #oregon, #pfizer-inc, #scotland, #seasons-and-months, #south-africa, #south-america, #southern-states-us, #states-us, #united-states, #vaccination-and-immunization, #western-states-us, #your-feed-science, #youth

Brazilian HR startup Flash raises $22M in a Tiger Global-led Series B round of funding

Flash, a startup that has developed a flexible benefits platform for Brazilian companies and employees, has raised $22 million in a Series B round of funding led by Tiger Global Management.

Monashees (which led Flash’s Series A), Global Founders Capital (who backed Flash’s seed round), Citius and Kauffman Fellows also participated in the financing.

Founded in 2019 by childhood friends Ricardo Salem, Guilherme Lane and Pedro Lane, Flash is out to revamp what it views as an antiquated way of offering benefits to employees in South America’s largest country.

The São Paulo-based company has built a flexible benefit management app provided with a Mastercard in an effort to replace what has historically been provided in the form of “outdated, commoditized and mandatory” meal/food and transportation “vouchers.”

“Our first product was a reinvention of the voucher that by Brazilian labor law, was something of a mandatory benefit for all companies to give as part of compensation,” Salem said. “There are four traditional incumbents, owned by the banks, that held 95% of the market with very outdated products and fat margins, and exploitation all over.”

Beyond that, Flash took its offering a step further by giving companies a way to configure their benefits offering so employees can “choose and manage their benefits as they want” via Flash’s app marketplace and card, noted Salem.

The company must be doing something right.

Since its inception, Flash has grown its customer base to 4,000 companies, ranging from startups and SMEs to enterprises.

Last year, Flash grew “10x” by all metrics. It went from 10,000 employees to 100,000 using its platform. So far, this year that number has already swelled to 250,000. While the company declined to reveal hard revenue figures, Lane said the growth in customers is reflected in the company’s GMV. Flash has also grown from about 50 to 200 employees over the past 8 months.

Image Credits: Flash

At the beginning of the pandemic when companies were sending employees home and wanting to help them pay bills for electricity and utilities, there wasn’t any instrument to help them do so, Salem said.

“So we built one in our app, which leverages our wallet and it was able to read the bar or QR code of the utility provider,” he added. “It became a very popular benefit.”

Within that same wallet, Flash has built another product — an incentive and rewards platform..

Even with all its early success, Flash has just a 1% market share so believes “there’s plenty of room to grow.” And, it views itself as “much more of a horizontal play than a geographical play.”

“We’re solving other pain points for companies in Brazil now, and that’s our plan for the short term,” Lane said.

“In the beginning, we saw this as a very cool thing very modern tech companies wanted,” Salem said. “But last year proved that this is not just a midsize tech company product. This is for every employee from tech employees to blue collar workers to CEOs Everyone has a flexible benefit need and different lifestyles and need a product adapted to all of those.”

Global Founders Capital’s Fabricio Pettena led Flash’s seed round back in 2019. He said he had been searching for disruption in the space for “a long time.”

“Since it is a big market in Brazil due to regulation, the incumbents really rip off restaurants and others,” Pettena told TechCrunch.

He said he knew immediately he wanted to invest in Flash.

“Flash’s team actually took an active role in the regulation change that allowed for flexible benefits, instead of just playing passive,” he said. “When we first met, within 15 minutes, it was clear that, apart from a couple of details, we already shared a common vision for how this disruption would take place.”

#brazil, #computing, #electricity, #employee-benefits, #flash, #global-founders-capital, #sao-paulo, #south-america, #tc, #tiger-global

Mercuryo raises $7.5M for crypto-focused cross-border payments after crossing $50M in ARR

Mercuryo, a startup that has built a cross-border payments network, has raised $7.5 million in a Series A round of funding.

The London-based company describes itself as “a crypto infrastructure company” that aims to make blockchain useful for businesses via its “digital asset payment gateway.” Specifically, it aggregates various payment solutions and provides fiat and crypto payments and payouts for businesses. 

Put more simply, Mercuryo aims to use cryptocurrencies as a tool for putting in motion next-gen cross-border transfers or as it puts it, “to allow any business to become a fintech company without the need to keep up with its complications.”

“The need for fast and efficient international payments, especially for businesses, is as relevant as ever,” said Petr Kozyakov, Mercuryo’s co-founder and CEO. While there is no shortage of companies enabling cross-border payments, the startup’s emphasis on crypto is a differentiator.

“Our team has a clear plan on making crypto universally available by enabling cheap and straightforward transactions,” Kozyakov said. “Cryptocurrency assets can then be used to process global money transfers, mass payouts and facilitate acquiring services, among other things.” 

Mercuryo began onboarding customers at the beginning of 2019, and has seen impressive growth since with annual recurring revenue (ARR) in April surpassing over $50 million. Its customer base is approaching 1 million, and the company has partnerships with a number of large crypto players including Binance, Bitfinex, Trezor, Trust Wallet, Bithumb and Bybit. In 2020, the company said its turnover spiked by 50 times while run-rate turnover crossed $2.5 billion in April 2021.

To build on that momentum, Mercuryo has begun expanding to new markets, including the United States, where it launched its crypto payments offering for B2B customers in all states earlier this year. It also plans to “gradually” expand to Africa, South America and Southeast Asia.

Target Global led Mercuryo’s Series A, which also included participation from a group of angel investors and brings the startup’s total raised since its 2018 inception to over $10 million.

Image Credits: Left to right: Alexander Vasiliev, Greg Waisman, Petr Kozyakov / MercuryO

The company plans to use its new capital to launch a cryptocurrency debit card (spending globally directly from the crypto balance in the wallet) and continuing to expand to new markets, such as Latin America and Asia-Pacific.

Mercuryo’s various products include a multicurrency wallet with a built-in crypto exchange and digital asset purchasing functionality, a widget and high-volume cryptocurrency acquiring and OTC services.

Kozyakov says the company doesn’t charge for currency conversion and has no other “hidden fees.”

“We enable instant and easy cross-border transactions for our partners and their customers,” he said. “Also, the money transfer services lack intermediaries and require no additional steps to finalize transactions. Instead, the process narrows down to only two operations: a fiat-to-crypto exchange when sending a transfer and a crypto-to-fiat conversion when receiving funds.”

Mercuryo also offers crypto SaaS products, giving customers a way to buy crypto via their fiat accounts while delegating digital asset management to the company. 

“Whether it be virtual accounts or third-party customer wallets, the company handles most cryptocurrency-related processes for banks, so they can focus more on their core operations,” Kozyakov said.

Mike Lobanov, Target Global’s co-founder, said that as an experiment, his firm tested numerous solutions to buy Bitcoin.

“Doing our diligence, we measured ‘time to crypto’ – how long it takes from going to the App Store and downloading the app until the digital assets arrive in the wallet,” he said.

Mercuryo came first with 6 minutes, including everything from KYC and funding to getting the cryptocurrency, according to Lobanov.

“The second-best result was 20 minutes, while some apps took forever to process our transaction,” he added. “This company is a game-changer in the field, and we are delighted to have been their supporters since the early days.”

Looking ahead, the startup plans to release a product that will give businesses a way to send instant mass payments to multiple customers and gig workers simultaneously, no matter where the receiver is located.

#africa, #app-store, #articles, #asia-pacific, #bitcoin, #bitfinex, #blockchain, #co-founder, #cross-border-payments, #cryptocurrencies, #cryptocurrency, #decentralization, #digital-asset-management, #digital-currencies, #funding, #fundings-exits, #latin-america, #london, #money, #payments, #recent-funding, #saas, #series-a, #south-america, #southeast-asia, #startups, #target-global, #united-states, #venture-capital

The Sunday Read: ‘Finding My Father’

A father’s mysterious disappearance fuels one writer’s quest for identity.

#audio-neutral-immersive, #audio-positive-nostalgic, #cuba, #madrid-spain, #parenting, #south-america, #travel-and-vacations

Google announces the Firmina subsea cable between the U.S. and Argentina

Google today announced its plans to build a new subsea cable that will connect the East Coast of the U.S. and Las Toninas, Argentina — with additional landings in Brazil and Uruguay. The idea here is to provide users in South America with improved low-latency access to Google’s portfolio of consumer and cloud services.

The closest Google data center in the region (and its only one in South America) can be found near Santiago, Chile, which is connected to the U.S. West Coast through Google’s Curie cable.

The Firmina cable, named after Brazilian abolitionist and author Maria Firmina dos Reis, will augment Google’s existing cable investments in the region. The Tannat cable, a joint venture between Antel Uruguay and Google, for example, already connects the same locations while the Monet cable connects the U.S. and Brazil, where Google’s Junior cable already connects various parts of the country.

Image Credits: Google

The new cable doesn’t just add capacity but also resilience to Google’s existing network. Specifically, one technical feat that makes this new cable, which consists of 12 fiver pairs, stand out is the system’s ability to power the cable from a single-end power source.

“With submarine cables, data travels as pulses of light inside the cable’s optical fibers,” Google explains. “That light signal is amplified every 100 km with a high-voltage electrical current supplied at landing stations in each country. While shorter cable systems can enjoy the higher availability of power feeding from a single end, recent longer cables with large fiber pair count have made this harder and harder.” To achieve this, the Firmina cable is supplied by a cable with a voltage that is 20% higher than previous cables.

 

 

 

#argentina, #brazil, #chile, #cloud, #east-coast, #google, #south-america, #subsea-cable, #technology, #united-states, #uruguay, #west-coast

Kushki, an Ecuador-based fintech, raises $86M to build financial infrastructure in Latam

Just about every week there’s a blockbuster round coming out of South America, but in next door Central America, which mostly is less affluent, things have been more hush hush. However, Kushki, a Quito, Ecuador-based fintech, is bringing attention to the region with today’s announcement of a $86 million Series B and a $600 million valuation.

“We never thought that we would return home [from the U.S.] and build a company that was more valuable in Ecuador than we had built in the U.S.,” said Aron Schwarzkopf, CEO and co-founder of Kushki.

Schwarzkopf and his business partner, Sebastián Castro, had previously built and sold a fintech called Leaf in the U.S. in 2014. The two are originally from Ecuador but moved to Boston for college, where they met watching soccer.

Unlike many other fintechs in Latam that are out to help the unbanked, Kushki works behind the scenes building the tech infrastructure that companies like Nubank use to transfer money. Some of the functionalities they build enable both local and cross-border payment players in credit and debit cards, bank transfers, digital cash, mobile wallets, and other alternative payment methods.

“We realized there was a gigantic opportunity to democratize and create infrastructure to move money,” Schwarzkopf told TechCrunch.

The company, which was founded in 2017, already has operations in Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile. The Series B will be used to accelerate growth and expand to Brazil and nine other markets in Central America.

Generally, expanding to Brazil is an expensive proposition, and therefore not a path that all companies can take, even though it can be an extremely profitable move if done right. Some of the challenges include the need to translate everything into Portuguese followed by the varying financial regulations.

That’s why Kushki’s approach has to be somewhat custom in each country.

“We focus on going into the markets and we basically rebuild an entire infrastructure, so we put everything into one API,” said Schwarzkopf.

Products similar to Kushki have been successful in other regions around the world, such as in India with Pine Labs, Africa with Flutterwave, and Checkout.com that now has 15 international offices.

To build all this infrastructure, Kushki, which means “cash” in a native Andes dialect, has raised a total of $100 million from SoftBank, an undisclosed global growth equity firm, as well as previous investors including DILA Capital, Kaszek Ventures, Clocktower Ventures, and Magma Partners.

“From now until 2060, people will need servers and ways to move money, and we knew that the existing payment infrastructure couldn’t support that,” said Schwarzkopf.

#africa, #bank-transfers, #brazil, #central-america, #chile, #clocktower-ventures, #colombia, #dila-capital, #ecuador, #finance, #funding, #fundings-exits, #kaszek-ventures, #magma-partners, #mexico, #mobile, #payments, #peru, #softbank, #south-america, #startups, #united-states

Sprout.ai raises $11m Series A led by Octopus Ventures to apply AI to insurance claims

It was way back in 2018 that Omni:us appeared to disrupt the insurance market by applying AI to this most legacy of all industries. It has now gone on to raise $44.1 million. In a similar vein, Shift Technology in France has raised $100 million.

Now a UK startup aims to do something similar, but this time it will be coming out of the key market of the UK, where the insurance industry is enormous.

Sprout.ai is an insurtech startup that use AI to help instance companies to settle claims within 24 hours. It’s now raised £8m/$11m Series A round led by Octopus Ventures. The round was joined by existing investors, Amadeus Capital Partners, Playfair Capital and Techstars. It was Seed funded buy Amadeus in 2020.

Sprout.ai supplies global insurers, such as Zurich, with a product that applies NLP and OCR to insurance claims (which might involve such as handwritten doctors’ notes for instance) to enable them to be resolved faster, in not a dissimilar fashion to Omni:us and SHift. Sprout.ai says it now has deployments in Europe, South America and APAC.

Niels Thoné, CEO of Sprout.ai, said in a statement: “Sprout.ai’s mission is to revolutionize customer service within global claims automation. Our innovative and industry-leading AI claims engine is poised to solve the current market inefficiencies, allowing insurers to focus on customers in their moments of need.”

Nick Sando, early-stage fintech investor at Octopus Ventures, said: “We are often at our most vulnerable when we submit insurance claims, and it doesn’t help when we then have to wait another month for it to be processed. Sprout.ai empowers insurers to process claims in a fraction of the time, creating much better outcomes for customers when they need it most.”

As we can see, the market is hotting up for this kind of service, so it will be interesting see if these startups end up ‘land-locked’ to their language markets or not. Certainly, I can see M&A opportunities for whoever starts to lead the pack.

#amadeus-capital-partners, #artificial-intelligence, #ceo, #europe, #france, #insurance, #ocr, #octopus-ventures, #playfair-capital, #shift-technology, #south-america, #sprout, #tc, #techstars, #united-kingdom, #zurich

alt.bank, Brazil’s latest fintech targeting the unbanked, raises $5.5M

It looks like everyone and their mother is trying to reinvent the Brazilian banking system. Earlier this year we wrote about Nubank’s $400 million Series G, last month there was the PicPay IPO filing and today, alt.bank, a Brazilian neobank, announced a $5.5 million Series A led by Union Square Ventures (USV).

It’s no secret that the Brazilian banking system has been poised for disruption, considering the sector’s little attention to customer service and exorbitant fee structure that’s left most Brazilians unbanked, and alt.bank is just the latest company trying to take home a piece of the pie.

Following Nubank’s strategy of launching a bank with colors that are very un-bank-like, signaling that they do things differently, alt.bank similarly launched its first financial product in 2019 — a fluorescent-yellow debit card which the locals have endearingly dubbed, “o amarelinho,” meaning, “the little yellow card.”

The company, founded by serial entrepreneur Brad Liebman, follows the founder’s $480 million exit of Simply Business, which was acquired by U.S. insurance giant Travelers in 2017.

Unlike many fintechs, alt.bank has a strong social mission and pays commissions for referrals that last for the customer’s lifetime. 

“Most fintechs just help wealthy people get wealthier, so I thought let’s do something with a social mission,” Liebman told TechCrunch in an interview.

To drive home the mission, and really target the unbanked, Liebman and his team of 80 employees have designed an app that can be used by the illiterate. Instead of words, users can follow color-coded prompts to complete a transaction. The company also plans to launch credit products soon.

According to the company, close to a million people have downloaded the android app since launch, but Liebman declined to disclose how many active users the company actually has.

Today, the company’s core offerings include the debit card, a prepaid credit card, Pix (similar to Zelle), a savings account and even telemedicine visits via a partnership with Dr. Consulta, a network of healthcare clinics throughout the country. The prepaid credit card is key because online stores in Brazil don’t accept debit card purchases.

In addition to the perk of ongoing commissions, alt.bank has also partnered with three major drugstores, allowing their users to get 5-30% off any item at the stores, including medication.

While the company is based in São Paulo and São Carlos, Liebman and his family are currently based in London due to regulations around the pandemic.

The investment in alt.bank marks USV’s first investment in South America, solidifying a trend by other major U.S. investors such as Sequoia who only in the last several years have started looking to LatAm for deals.

“The bar was high for our first investment in South America,” said Union Square Ventures partner John Buttrick. “The combination of the alt.bank business model and world-class management team enticed us to expand our geographic focus to help build the leading digital bank targeting the 100 million Brazilians who are currently being neglected by traditional lenders,” he added in a statement. 

 

#android, #apps, #bank, #banking, #brazil, #credit-card, #debit-card, #finance, #financial-services, #funding, #fundings-exits, #mobile, #nubank, #online-stores, #payments, #recent-funding, #sao-paulo, #serial-entrepreneur, #south-america, #startups, #unbanked, #union-square-ventures

After a Year of Loss, South America Suffers Worst Death Tolls Yet

If the world doesn’t stop the region’s surging caseload, it could cost us all that we’ve done to fight the pandemic, said one health official.

#argentina, #brazil, #colombia, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #disease-rates, #hospitals, #pan-american-health-organization, #peru, #south-america, #uruguay, #vaccination-and-immunization

Announcing the Agenda for TC Sessions: Mobility 2021

TC Sessions: Mobility is back and we’re excited to give you the first look at who is coming to the main stage and what we plan to talk about. The event will be virtual, but never fear, we will bring you the same informative panels and provocative one-on-one interviews and networking you’re used to.

The new format has provided one massive benefit: democratizing access. If you’re a startup or investor, you can listen in, network and connect with other participants here in Silicon Valley. Plus, you’ll be able to meet all of the attendees through our matchmaking platform, CrunchMatch.

You’ll need to make sure you have your ticket to join us at the event online. Our Early Bird savings end in just a couple of days, so make sure to book your $95 pass now, and save $100 before prices go up.

TechCrunch reporters and editors will interview some of the top leaders in transportation to tackle topics such as scaling up an electric vehicle company, the future of automated vehicle technology, building an AV startup and investing in the industry. Our guests include Scale AI founder Alexandr Wang, Zoox co-founder and CTO Jesse Levinson, Amy Jones Satrom of Nuro, famed investor Reid Hoffman, Joby Aviation founder JoeBen Bevirt, GM’s vice president of innovation Pamela Fletcher, Karl Iagnemma of Motional and Aurora co-founder and CEO Chris Urmson, to name a few.

Don’t forget, Early Bird Passes (including $100 savings) are currently available for a limited time; grab your tickets here before prices increase.

AGENDA

Self-Driving Deliveries with Ahti Heinla (Starship), Amy Jones Satrom (Nuro) and Apeksha Kumavat (Gatik)

Autonomous vehicles and robotics were well on their way transforming deliveries before the pandemic struck. In the past year, these technologies have moved from novel applications to essential innovations. We’re joined by a trio of companies — each with individual approaches that span the critical middle and last mile of delivery.

Supercharging Self-Driving Super Vision with Alexandr Wang (Scale AI)

Few startups were as prescient as Scale AI when it came to anticipating the need for massive sets of tagged data for use in AI. Co-founder and CEO Alex Wang also made a great bet on addressing the needs of lidar sensing companies early on, which has made the company instrumental in deploying AV networks. We’ll hear about what it takes to make sense of sensor data in driverless cars and look at where the industry is headed.

Will Venture Capital Drive the Future of Mobility? with Clara Brenner (Urban Innovation Fund), Quin Garcia (Autotech Ventures) and Rachel Holt (Construct Capital)

Clara Brenner, Quin Garcia and Rachel Holt will discuss how the pandemic changed their investment strategies, the hottest sectors within the mobility industry, the rise of SPACs as a financial instrument and where they plan to put their capital in 2021 and beyond.

From Concept to Commuter Car — and Beyond with Jesse Levinson (Zoox)

Zoox unveiled the design of its fit-for-purpose autonomous vehicle for the first time, after years of development and much anticipation. Meanwhile, the company was also acquired by Amazon in a high-profile deal that looks to give the company ample runway, while keeping its operations independent. We’ll hear from co-founder and CTO Jesse Levinson about what it’s like building an autonomous car company in the shadows of a commerce giant.

EV Founders in Focus with Ben Schippers (TezLab)

We sit down with the founders poised to take advantage of the rise in electric vehicle sales. We’ll chat with Ben Schippers, co-founder and CEO of TezLab, an app that operates like a Fitbit for Tesla vehicles (and soon other EVs) and allows drivers to go deep into their driving data. The app also breaks down the exact types and percentages of fossil fuels and renewable energy coming from charging locations.

The Future of Flight with JoeBen Bevirt (Joby Aviation) and Reid Hoffman (Reinvent Technology Partners)

Joby Aviation founder JoeBen Bevirt spent more than a decade quietly developing an all-electric, vertical take-off and landing passenger aircraft. Now he is preparing for a new phase of growth as Joby Aviation merges with the special purpose acquisition company formed by famed investor and Linked co-founder Reid Hoffman. Bevirt and Hoffman will come to our virtual stage to talk about the how build a startup (and keep it secret while raising funds), the future of flight and, of course, SPACs.

Equity, Accessibility and Cities with Tamika L. Butler (Tamika L. Butler Consulting), Tiffany Chu (Remix) and Frank Reig (Revel)

Can mobility be accessible, equitable and remain profitable? We have brought together community organizer, transportation consultant and lawyer Tamika L. Butler; Remix co-founder and CEO Tiffany Chu and Revel co-founder and CEO Frank Reig to discuss how (and if) shared mobility can provide equity in cities, while still remaining a viable and even profitable business. The trio will also dig into the challenges facing cities and how policy may affect startups.

The Rise of Robotaxis in China with Tony Han (WeRide), Jewel Li (AutoX) and Huan Sun (Momenta Europe)

Silicon Valley has long been viewed as a hub for autonomous vehicle development. But another country is also leading the charge. Executives from three leading Chinese robotaxi companies (that also have operations in Europe or the U.S.) will join us to provide insight into the unique challenges of developing and deploying the technology in China and how it compares to other countries.

Sponsored by Plus: Delivering Supervised Autonomous Trucks Globally with Shawn Kerrigan (Plus)

Plus is applying autonomous driving technology to launch supervised autonomous trucks today in order to dramatically improve safety, efficiency and driver comfort, while addressing critical challenges in long-haul trucking — driver shortage and high turnover, rising fuel costs, and reaching sustainability goals. Mass production of our supervised autonomous driving solution, PlusDrive, starts this summer. In the next few years, tens of thousands of heavy trucks powered by PlusDrive will be on the road. Plus’s COO and Co-Founder Shawn Kerrigan will introduce PlusDrive and our progress of deploying this driver-in solution globally. He will also share our learnings from working together with world-leading OEMs and fleet partners to develop and deploy autonomous trucks at scale.

Driving Innovation at General Motors with Pam Fletcher (GM)

GM is in the midst of sweeping changes that will eventually turn it into an EV-only producer of cars, trucks and SUVs. But the auto giant’s push to electrify passenger vehicles is just one of many efforts to be a leader in innovation and the future of transportation. We’ll talk with Pam Fletcher, vice president of innovation at GM, one of the key people behind the 113-year-old automaker’s push to become a nimble, tech-centric company.

AVs: Past, Present and Future with Karl Iagnemma (Motional) and Chris Urmson (Aurora)

TechCrunch Mobility will talk to two pioneers, and competitors, who are leading the charge to commercialize autonomous vehicles. Karl Iagnemma, president of the $4 billion Hyundai-Aptiv joint venture known as Motional, and Chris Urmson, the co-founder and CEO of Aurora, will discuss — and maybe even debate — the best approach to AV development and deployment, swap stories of the earliest days of the industry and provide a few forecasts of what’s to come.

EV Founders in Focus

We sit down with the founders poised to take advantage of the rise in electric vehicle sales. This time, we will chat with Kameale Terry, co-founder and CEO of ChargerHelp! a startup that enables on-demand repair of electric vehicle charging stations.

Sponsored by: Wejo: Making Mobility Data Accessible to Governmental Agencies to Meet New Transportation Demands with Bret Scott (Wejo)

Wejo provides accurate and unbiased unique journey data, curated from millions of connected cars, to help local, state, province and federal government agencies visualize traffic and congestion conditions. Unlock a deeper understanding of mobility trends, to make better decisions, support policy development and solve problems more effectively for your towns and cities.

Mobility’s Robotic Future with James Kuffner (Toyota Research Institute)

More than ever, automotive manufacturers are looking to robotics as the future of mobility, from manufacturing to autonomy and beyond. We’ll be speaking to the head of robotics initiatives at one of the world’s largest automakers  to find out how the technology is set to transform the industry.

TICKETS

As a special “Easter egg” thank you for making it to the end of the article, you can save an additional 15% on tickets with promo code “agenda2021“. Put it in the ticket widget below, and save! Early Bird pricing ends in a couple of days so be sure to book your passes today for maximum savings.

 

#africa, #alex-wang, #alexandr-wang, #amazon, #articles, #artificial-intelligence, #asia, #australia, #automotive, #autonomous-car, #autotech-ventures, #av, #ben-schippers, #ceo, #chargerhelp, #chris-urmson, #clara-brenner, #crunchmatch, #driver, #europe, #frank-reig, #gm, #james-kuffner, #jesse-levinson, #jewel-li, #joeben-bevirt, #karl-iagnemma, #motional, #nuro, #plus, #quin-garcia, #rachel-holt, #reid-hoffman, #reinvent-technology-partners, #robot, #science-and-technology, #self-driving-cars, #self-driving-truck, #south-america, #tc, #tc-sessions-mobility-2021, #technology, #tesla, #tezlab, #tiffany-chu, #toyota-research-institute, #united-states, #urban-innovation-fund, #zoox

Colgate-Palmolive, Coca-Cola and Unilever join AB Inbev’s sustainable supply chain accelerator

A clutch of the world’s largest consumer products and food companies are joining Budweiser’s parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev in backing an investment program to support early stage companies focused on making supply chains more sustainable.

The Earth Day-timed announcement comes as companies and consumers confront the failure of recycling programs to adequately address the problems associated with plastic waste — and broader issues around the contributions of consumer behavior and industrial production and distribution to the current climate emergency.

The AB InBev program, called the 100+ Accelerator, launched in 2018 with the goal to solve supply chain challenges in water stewardship, the circular economy, sustainable agriculture and climate action, the company said. These are problems that the alcohol manufacturer’s new partners — Colgate-Palmolive; Coca-Cola; and Unilever are also intimately familiar with.

Since the launch of the accelerator and investment program, AB InBev has backed 36 companies in 16 countries, according to a statement. Those startups have gone on to raise more than $200 million in follow on financing.

The accelerator program creates funding for pilot programs and offers opportunities for early stage companies to consult with executive management at the world’s top consumer brands.

Since the program’s launch, AB InBev has worked with startups to pilot returnable packaging programs; implement new cleaning technologies to reduce water and energy use in Colombian brewing operations; provide insurance to small farms in Africa and South America; collect more waste in Brazil; recycle electric vehicle batteries in China; and upcycle grains waste from the brewing process to create new, nutrient rich food sources.

As pressures from outside investors and regulators mount, companies are beginning to shift their attention to focus on ways to make their industrial processes more sustainable.

These kinds of collaborative initiatives among major corporations, which are long overdue, have the potential to make a significant contribution to reducing the environmental footprint of business, but it depends on the depth of the commitment and the speed at which these businesses are willing to deploy solutions beyond a few small pilot programs.

Applications for the latest cohort will be due by May 31, 2021.

 

#africa, #anheuser-busch, #brazil, #breweries, #china, #coca-cola, #companies, #consumer-products, #earth-day, #food, #south-america, #supply-chains, #tc, #unilever

Latin America’s Former Presidents Have Way Too Much Power

It’s time to take them down from their pedestals.

#central-america, #correa-rafael, #democracy-theory-and-philosophy, #ecuador, #elections, #lasso-guillermo, #latin-america, #mexico, #peru, #south-america

Kindred Spirits: 2 Collections of Native Mythology for Children and Their Adults

In “Ancestor Approved” and “The Sea-Ringed World,” sacred stories provide comfort by bringing people together.

#ancestor-approved-intertribal-stories-for-kids-book, #books-and-literature, #bowles-david-1970, #central-america, #children-and-childhood, #esperon-maria-garcia-1964, #indigenous-people, #mesoamerica, #mijangos-amanda, #myths-and-mythical-creatures, #native-americans, #north-america, #smith-cynthia-leitich-1967, #south-america, #the-sea-ringed-world-sacred-stories-of-the-americas-book

Miami-based Ironhack raises $20 million for its coding bootcamps as demand for coders continues

Ironhack, a company offering programming bootcamps across Europe and North and South America, has raised $20 million in its latest round of funding.

The Miami-based company with locations in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Lisbon, Madrid, Mexico City, Miami, Paris and Sao Paulo said it will use the money to build out more virtual offerings to compliment the company’s campuses.

Over the next five years, 13 million jobs will be added to the tech industry in the U.S., according to Ironhack co-founder Ariel Quiñones. That’s in addition to another 20 million jobs that Quiñones expects to come from the growth of the technology sector in the EU.

Ironhack isn’t the only bootcamp to benefit from this growth. Last year, Lambda School raised $74 million for its coding education program.

Ironhack’s raised its latest round from Endeavor Catalyst, a fund that invests in entrepreneurs from emerging and underserved markets; Lumos Capital, which was formed by investors with a long history in education technology; Creas Capital, a Spanish impact investment firm; and Brighteye, a European edtech investor.

Prices for the company’s classes vary by country. In the U.S. an Ironhack bootcamp costs $12,000, while that figure is more like $3,000 for classes in Mexico City.

The company offers classes in subjects ranging from web development to UX/UI design and data analytics to cybersecurity, according to a statement. 

“We believe that practical skills training, a supportive global community and career development programs can give everyone, regardless of their education or employment history, the ability to write their stories through technology,” said Ariel Quiñones, co-founder of Ironhack.

Since its launch in 2013, the company has graduated more than 8,000 students, with a job placement rate of 89%, according to data collected as of July 2020. Companies who have employed Ironhack graudates include Capgemini, Siemens, and Santander, the company said.

 

#amsterdam, #barcelona, #berlin, #capgemini, #co-founder, #companies, #education-technology, #europe, #european-union, #ironhack, #lambda-school, #lisbon, #madrid, #mexico-city, #miami, #north-america, #paris, #santander, #sao-paulo, #siemens, #south-america, #tc, #united-states, #web-development

Suriname Could Be Latest Big Oil Find as Industry Cuts Costs

The small South American country has become a hot prospect for oil companies looking to produce fossil fuels while spending less.

#apache-corp, #brazil, #drilling-and-boring, #exxon-mobil-corp, #guyana, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #petronas-petroliam-nasional-berhad, #politics-and-government, #poverty, #prices-fares-fees-and-rates, #production, #royal-dutch-shell-plc, #south-america, #suriname, #total-sa

A Battle of Singing Stars,With Wings and Feathers

Bird song competitions — a pastime that is closer to meditation than to competitive sports — are big in Suriname. Success requires years of training and an appreciation for a slower pace of life.

#birds, #paramaribo-suriname, #south-america, #suriname

Warren gets $1.4 million to help local cloud infrastructure providers compete against Amazon and other giants

Started as a side project by its founders, Warren is now helping regional cloud infrastructure service providers compete against Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, Google and other tech giants. Based in Tallinn, Estonia, Warren’s self-service distributed cloud platform is gaining traction in Southeast Asia, one of the world’s fastest-growing cloud service markets, and Europe. It recently closed a $1.4 million seed round led by Passion Capital, with plans to expand in South America, where it recently launched in Brazil.

Warren’s seed funding also included participation from Lemonade Stand and angel investors like former Nokia vice president Paul Melin and Marek Kiisa, co-founder of funds Superangel and NordicNinja.

The leading global cloud providers are aggressively expanding their international businesses by growing their marketing teams and data centers around the world (for example, over the past few months, Microsoft has launched a new data center region in Austria, expanded in Brazil and announced it will build a new region in Taiwan as it competes against Amazon Web Services).

But demand for customized service and control over data still prompt many companies, especially smaller ones, to pick local cloud infrastructure providers instead, Warren co-founder and chief executive officer Tarmo Tael told TechCrunch.

“Local providers pay more attention to personal sales and support, in local language, to all clients in general, and more importantly, take the time to focus on SME clients to provide flexibility and address their custom needs,” he said. “Whereas global providers give a personal touch maybe only to a few big clients in the enterprise sectors.” Many local providers also offer lower prices and give a large amount of bandwidth for free, attracting SMEs.

He added that “the data sovereignty aspect that plays an important role in choosing their cloud platform for many of the clients.”

In 2015, Tael and co-founder Henry Vaaderpass began working on the project that eventually became Warren while running a development agency for e-commerce sites. From the beginning, the two wanted to develop a product of their own and tested several ideas out, but weren’t really excited by any of them, he said. At the same time, the agency’s e-commerce clients were running into challenges as their businesses grew.

Tael and Vaaderpass’s clients tended to pick local cloud infrastructure providers because of lower costs and more personalized support. But setting up new e-commerce projects with scalable infrastructure was costly because many local cloud infrastructure providers use different platforms.

“So we started looking for tools to use for managing our e-commerce projects better and more efficiently,” Tael said. “As we didn’t find what we were looking for, we saw this as an opportunity to build our own.”

After creating their first prototype, Tael and Vaaderpass realized that it could be used by other development teams, and decided to seek angel funding from investors, like Kiisa, who have experience working with cloud data centers or infrastructure providers.

Southeast Asia, one of the world’s fastest-growing cloud markets, is an important part of Warren’s business. Warren will continue to expand in Southeast Asia, while focusing on other developing regions with large domestic markets, like South America (starting with Brazil). Tael said the startup is also in discussion with potential partners in other markets, including Russia, Turkey and China.

Warren’s current clients include Estonian cloud provider Pilw.io and Indonesian cloud provider IdCloudHost. Tael said working with Warren means its customers spend less time dealing with technical issues related to infrastructure software, so their teams, including developers, can instead focus on supporting clients and managing other services they sell.

The company’s goal is to give local cloud infrastructure providers the ability to meet increasing demand, and eventually expand internationally, with tools to handle more installations and end users. These include features like automated maintenance and DevOps processes that streamline feature testing and handling different platforms.

Ultimately, Warren wants to connect providers in a network that end users can access through a single API and user interface. It also envisions the network as a community where Warren’s clients can share resources and, eventually, have a marketplace for their apps and services.

In terms of competition, Tael said local cloud infrastructure providers often turn to OpenStack, Virtuozzo, Stratoscale or Mirantis. The advantage these companies currently have over Warren is a wider network, but Warren is busy building out its own. The company will be able to connect several locations to one provider by the first quarter of 2021. After that, Tael said, it will “gradually connect providers to each other, upgrading our user management and billing services to handle all that complexity.”

#asia, #brazil, #cloud-computing, #cloud-infrastructure, #distributed-cloud-platform, #enterprise, #estonia, #europe, #fundings-exits, #south-america, #southeast-asia, #startups, #tc, #warren

Bogota’s Tül raises $4 million to improve the supply chain for construction in Latin America

With a new $4 million round, the Bogota-based supply chain logistics technology developer Tül is prepping to expand across the Latin American region.

Founded by Enrique Villamarin Lafaurie and Juan Carlos Narváez, Tül’s technology connects construction manufacturers to the small businesses across Latin America that are responsible for handling half of the inventory for construction jobs in the region, Lafaurie said.

Lafaurie previously spent ten years working in the construction industry for Cementos Argos, the Colombian company responsible for a huge chunk of cement sales in North and South America.

“We’re connecting big construction companies in the back to hardware companies at the front end. It’s a way where producers can connect to those stores and can talk to those stores and do promotions straight to those stores,” said Lafaurie. 

By digitizing what had been a primarily analog industry, the company has managed to hit a $10 million run revenue run rate and sign up 3,000 stores since its launch 8 months ago.

And that’s just in Colombia alone, said Lafaurie. The company will soon open up operations in Ecuador, which Lafaurie said was the second largest hardware market (per capita) in Latin America.

The company now counts nine employees on staff and expects to ramp up hiring significantly with the new capital.

“Colombia, was the most locked down country in the whole world. People were not allowed to leave their houses, but construction was deemed an essential business,” said Eric Reiner, an investor with Vine Capital Management, which led the company’s seed round. “Tül allowed hardware stores to ship products directly to the construction workers. With their logistics network they started a separate brand delivering sanitation equipment so that schools and laundromats could become sanitation stations.”

As Lafaurie describes it, Tül’s online service became a lifeline for the industry.

“The whole industry just shut down and we managed to keep those business open by not only helping them deliver straight to the jobsite, but by becoming the sanitation stations in the neighborhood. The outcome of that is very loyal customers to us that we helped,” he said. “We have huge retention of customers just from that.”

#articles, #colombia, #ecuador, #hygiene, #latin-america, #logistics, #north-america, #sanitation, #south-america, #tc

Indigenous Colombians, Facing New Wave of Brutality, Demand Government Action

“If we don’t stand before the world and say, ‘This is happening,’ we will be exterminated,” a protest leader said. After a long civil war, a new type of violence is sweeping Indigenous communities.

#bogota-colombia, #colombia, #drug-abuse-and-traffic, #duque-ivan, #peace-process, #revolutionary-armed-forces-of-colombia, #south-america

What Happened to South America’s Missing Mega-Mammals?

South America is filled with mammals from North America, but why more didn’t survive the reverse trip has been a natural history mystery.

#endangered-and-extinct-species, #mammals, #north-america, #panama, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #sloths-animals, #south-america, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

These Hummingbirds Take Extreme Naps. Some May Even Hibernate.

To adapt to life in the Andes Mountains, some South American species go into exceptionally deep torpor to save energy.

#andes-mountains, #biology-letters-journal, #evolution-biology, #hibernation, #hummingbirds, #research, #south-america, #your-feed-science

‘Fixing the Damage We’ve Done’: Rewilding Jaguars in Argentina

Bringing back the top predator to Argentina’s wetlands could restore the health of an entire ecosystem. But inducing five felines with troubled pasts to hunt, and mate, is not easy.

#amazon-jungle, #animals, #argentina, #conservation-of-resources, #endangered-and-extinct-species, #jaguars, #parks-and-other-recreation-areas, #south-america, #tompkins-douglas-1943, #wetlands

Waymo’s Boris Sofman and TuSimple’s Xiaodi Hou to join us at TC Sessions: Mobility 2020

One of the areas of autonomous driving technology with the most potential to have a near-term and dramatic impact remains trucking: There’s a growing lack of drivers for long-haul routes, and highway trucking remains a relatively uncomplicated (though still very challenging) type of driving for AV systems to tackle.

Many companies are pursuing the challenge of autonomous trucking, but TuSimple and Waymo are leading the pack. TuSimple CTO Dr. Xiaodi You, who co-founded the company in 2015, and Waymo’s Boris Sofman, who leads the company’s autonomous trucking engineering efforts, will both join us at TC Sessions: Mobility on our virtual stage. The event takes place October 6-7, and we’re excited to hear from these two technology leaders working at the forefront of the industry.

TuSimple has accomplished a lot since its debut five years ago, including recently laying the groundwork for a U.S.-wide network of shipping routes in partnership with UPS, Xpress, food service supply company McLane and Penske Truck Leasing. The company is also seeking a sizable new funding round to help it scale, while actively testing with regular routes between Arizona and Texas.

Waymo, which originated at Google as that company’s self-driving car project before spinning out under parent entity Alphabet, adding self-driving trucks to the list of technologies it’s developing in 2017. Sofman joined in 2019, when Waymo hired on much of the engineering talent from his prior company, smart toy robotics maker Anki. Sofman’s resume also includes developing off-road autonomous vehicles, which likely comes in handy as Waymo seeks to roll out testing of its autonomous long-haul trucks across Texas and New Mexico.

In case you’re wondering, this won’t just be one long webinar. We have some technical tricks up our sleeves that will bring all of what you’d expect from our in-person events, from the informative panels and provocative one-on-one interviews to the networking and even a pitch-off session. While virtual isn’t the same as our events in the past, it has provided one massive benefit: democratizing access.

If you’re a startup or investor based in Europe, Africa, Australia, South America or another region in the U.S., you can listen in, network and connect with other participants here in Silicon Valley.

Get your tickets for TC Sessions: Mobility to hear from Bryan Salesky, along with several other fantastic speakers from Porsche, Waymo, Lyft and more. Tickets are just $145 for a limited time, with discounts for groups, students and exhibiting startups. We hope to see you there!

#africa, #alphabet, #anki, #arizona, #articles, #australia, #automation, #av, #boris-sofman, #cto, #emerging-technologies, #europe, #google, #lyft, #new-mexico, #porsche, #science-and-technology, #self-driving-cars, #self-driving-truck, #south-america, #tc, #technology, #texas, #transportation, #united-states, #ups, #waymo, #x, #xpress

Google is building a new private subsea cable between Europe and the U.S.

Google today announced its plans to build a new subsea cable with landing points in New York in the U.S. and Bude, UK and Bilbao, Spain in Europe. The new cable, named after the pioneering computer scientist Grace Hopper, will join Google’s various other private subsea cables like Curie between the U.S. and South America, Dunant between the U.S. and France, and Equiano between Europe and Africa.

The new cable is scheduled to go online in 2022 and will be built by SubCom, which Google also contracted for work on its Dunant and Curie cables.

Image Credits: Google

Google plans to launch a new Google Cloud region in Madrid in the near future, so it’s maybe no surprise that it is also looking at how it can best connect the region to its global network. The new cable marks Google’s first cable to Spain and its first private subsea cable route to the UK.

The cable will feature 16 fiber pairs, which is a pretty standard number, but as the Google team stresses, it will be the first to use a new switching architecture the company developed in cooperation with SubCom. This new system is meant to provide increased reliability and to enable the company to better move traffic around outages.

Grace Hopper will be Google’s fourth wholly-owned cable. In addition to these private cables, the company is also a member of a number of consortiums that jointly operate cables around the world. In total, Google has now announced investments in 15 subsea cables, though it is also reportedly part of the upcoming Blue-Raman Cable that will run between India and Italy via Israel. The company has yet to confirm its participation in this project, though.

#africa, #cloud, #companies, #europe, #france, #google, #grace-hopper, #india, #israel, #italy, #madrid, #new-york, #oceans, #south-america, #spain, #tc, #technology, #united-kingdom, #united-states

Vampire Bats Self-Isolate, Too

When these mammals are ill, they have fewer interactions with family and friends, new study suggests. “It’s like us,” said one researcher.

#bacteria, #bats, #biology-letters-journal, #central-america, #infections, #research, #south-america, #viruses, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

How a Saber-Tooth Marsupial Blinded Us With Its Bite

The extinct South American animal made us believe it was as fierce as a saber-tooth cat, but a new study suggests it was a mere scavenger.

#argentina, #cats, #mammals, #marsupials, #paleontology, #peerj-journal, #research, #skull-body-part, #south-america, #teeth-and-dentistry, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

What’s Killing Jaguars in Central and South America?

Poaching of the big cats is on the rise, and a new study links their slaughter to corruption as well as investment from Chinese companies.

#belize, #bolivia, #brazil, #central-america, #china, #conservation-biology-journal, #conservation-of-resources, #endangered-and-extinct-species, #international-trade-and-world-market, #jaguars, #morcatty-thais, #nijman-vincent, #poaching-wildlife, #research, #south-america, #suriname, #your-feed-science

Coronavirus Rips Into Regions Previously Spared

As the West settles into a grinding battle with the disease, the virus surges across the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and South Asia.

#africa, #bangladesh, #bolsonaro-jair-1955, #brazil, #cairo-egypt, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-reopenings, #deaths-fatalities, #egypt, #hospitals, #latin-america, #middle-east, #putin-vladimir-v, #quarantines, #ramaphosa-cyril, #russia, #sisi-abdel-fattah-el, #south-africa, #south-america, #south-asia

First Frog Fossil Found on Antarctica

The specimen is some 40 million years old, and is probably related to species currently living in South America.

#antarctic-regions, #chile, #fossils, #frogs, #mors-thomas, #paleontology, #research, #scientific-reports-journal, #south-america, #your-feed-science

A Visual Trek Through the Sweltering Jungle: In Search of Colombia’s ‘Lost City’

Ciudad Perdida, an ancient city that predates Machu Picchu by several hundred years, has become one of South America’s most rewarding adventure destinations.

#archaeology-and-anthropology, #bogota-colombia, #colombia, #eco-tourism, #kidnapping-and-hostages, #machu-picchu-peru, #national-liberation-army-colombia, #south-america, #travel-and-vacations