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TikTok will automatically tag AI-generated content created on platforms such as DALL·E 3

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A laptop keyboard and TikTok logo displayed on a phone screen are seen in this multiple exposure illustration photo taken in Poland on March 17, 2024. (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The company announced Thursday that TikTok is beginning to automatically tag AI-generated content that was created on other platforms. With this modification, if a creator posts content created using a service like OpenAI’s DALL·E 3 on TikTok, it will automatically have an “AI-generated” label attached to it, informing viewers that it was created using AI.

The social video platform does this by implementing Content Credentials, a technology developed by the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA), co-founded by Microsoft and Adobe. Content credentials attach specific metadata to content, which TikTok can then use to immediately recognize and mark AI-generated content.

As a result, TikTok will begin automatically labeling AI-generated content that’s uploaded to the platform with content credentials attached. The change will go live on Thursday and will apply to all users worldwide in the approaching weeks.

While TikTok already tags content created using TikTok’s AI effects, it will now tag content created on other platforms which have implemented content credentials, such as OpenAI’s DALL·E 3 and Microsoft’s Bing Image Creator. Although Microsoft, Adobe and OpenAI already use content credentials, Google promised to handle content credentials.

Image credits: ICT Tok

While TikTok already requires creators to reveal after they post content created or enhanced using AI, the corporate told TechCrunch that it sees the brand new change as an extra technique to be sure that AI-generated content is flagged, while also considering the pressure on creators .

In the approaching months, TikTok will also begin attaching content credentials to AI-generated content created on the platform using TikTok’s AI effects. Content credentials metadata will include details about where and the way the AI-generated content was created or edited and will remain attached to the content once downloaded. Other platforms that accept content credentials will give you the option to automatically mark content as AI-generated.

So while TikTok has committed to labeling AI content on its own service, additionally it is attempting to help be sure that AI content created on TikTok can be properly labeled when published on one other platform.

“AI-generated content is an incredible way to be creative, but transparency for viewers is crucial,” Adam Presser, director of operations and trust and safety at TikTok, said in a press release. “By collaborating with others to flag content across platforms, we make it easier for creators to responsibly view AI-generated content while continuing to deter harmful or misleading AIGC, which is prohibited on TikTok.”

TikTok touts that it’s the first video-sharing platform to implement content authentication. This is value mentioning (*3*)Meta announced back in February that it plans to make use of the C2PA solution so as to add content origins.

In Thursday’s announcement, TikTok said it’s committed to combating using fraudulent AI in elections and that its policies strongly prohibit misleading AI-generated content – whether it’s flagged or unlabeled.

This article was originally published on : techcrunch.com
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Can high-speed commerce overtake e-commerce in India?

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Even as high-speed trading startups exit, consolidate or close down in many parts of the world, the model is showing encouraging signs in India. Urban consumers benefit from the convenience of getting groceries delivered to their homes in as little as 10 minutes. The corporations that make these deliveries – Blinkit, Zepto and Swiggy’s Instamart – are already charting a path to profitability.

Analysts are intrigued by the potential for 10-minute deliveries to disrupt e-commerce. Goldman Sachs recently estimated that Blinkit, acquired by Zomato in 2022 for slightly below $600 million, is already more priceless than its parent company that delivers decacorn food.

According to HSBC, earlier this 12 months Blinkit had a 40% share of the fast trading market, followed by Swiggy’s Instamart and Zepto. Walmart-owned Flipkart plans to enter the fast commerce space next month, further proving the industry’s potential.

Investors are also showing great interest in the industry. Zomato boasts a valuation of $19.7 billion despite minimal profitability, fulfilling around 3 million orders a day. By comparison, the market capitalization of Chinese giant Meituan, which processes greater than 25 times more orders per day, is $93 billion. Zepto, which achieved unicorn status lower than a 12 months ago, is finalizing recent financing value greater than $3 billion, in response to people conversant in the matter.

Consumers are also buying the convenience of fast trading. According to a recent study by Bernstein, adoption was highest amongst millennials aged 18 to 35, with 60% of those aged 18 to 25 preferring fast trading platforms over other channels. Even the 36+ age group uses digital channels – over 30% prefer fast trading.

UBS’s estimate for the Indian market.
Image credits: UBS (screenshot)

While India’s rapid urbanization makes it a first-rate high-speed trading destination, the industry’s unique operating model and infrastructure needs may limit its long-term growth and profitability. As competition intensifies, the impact of high-speed trading is more likely to be felt more acutely by India’s e-commerce giants. But what makes the Indian retail market so attractive to fast trading players and what are the challenges it faces?

Possibility of fast trading in India

According to industry estimates, e-commerce sales in India were between $60 billion and $65 billion last 12 months. That’s lower than half of the sales generated by e-commerce corporations throughout the last Singles’ Day in China and represents lower than 7% of India’s total retail market value greater than $1 trillion.

Reliance Retail, India’s largest retailer, posted revenue of about $36.7 billion in the fiscal 12 months ending March, at a valuation of $100 billion. The unorganized retail sector – neighborhood stores (popularly referred to as kirana), that are positioned in hundreds of Indian cities, towns and villages – continues to dominate the market.

“The market is huge and, on paper, ripe for disruption. So far, nothing has been done to significantly harm the industry. So every time a new model shows signs of functioning, all stakeholders shower it with love,” said a seasoned entrepreneur who helped construct a supply chain for one in every of the leading retail ventures.

In other words, there is no such thing as a shortage of room for growth.

Modern retail’s share of total grocery spending in India stays significantly lower than in most other large countries and HSBC believes that is more likely to remain in order customers migrate directly from unorganized to high-speed retail (HSBC).
Image credits: HSBC (screenshot)

Fast trading corporations are borrowing many features from Kirana stores to develop into relevant to Indian consumers. They have developed a brand new supply chain system, creating tons of of inconspicuous warehouses, or “dark stores”, strategically placed inside a couple of kilometers of residential and business areas, from where a lot of orders are placed. This allows corporations to make deliveries inside minutes of placing an order.

This approach differs from that of e-commerce players akin to Amazon and Flipkart, which have fewer but much larger warehouses in town, often positioned in towns where rent is cheaper and farther from residential areas.

The unique characteristics of Indian households further enhance the attractiveness of fast trading. Indian kitchens typically have a bigger variety of SKUs in comparison with their Western counterparts, requiring frequent replenishment purchases which might be higher served by local stores and fast-trade relatively than modern retail. Additionally, limited space for storing in most Indian homes makes monthly bulk grocery purchases less practical, with customers preferring to buy fresh food, which easily enables quick trade.

According to Bernstein, quick-trade platforms can price products 10 to fifteen percent cheaper than brick-and-mortar stores while still maintaining a gross margin of about 15 percent by eliminating middlemen. Dark fast-trade stores quickly increased their SKU count from 2,000 to six,000, with plans to further increase it to 10,000 to 12,000. According to store managers, these stores restock their inventory two to 3 times a day.

Fight against e-commerce

Zepto, Blinkit and Swiggy’s Instamart are increasingly expanding beyond the grocery category, selling a wide range of products including clothing, toys, jewelry, skincare and electronics. TechCrunch evaluation found that almost all of the products listed on Amazon India bestseller list can be found on fast trading platforms.

FSR has also develop into a crucial distribution channel for major food brands in India. Consumer goods giant Dabur India expects high-speed trading to account for 25% to 30% of the corporate’s sales. Hindustan Unilever, the Indian arm of British Unilever, described fast trading as “an opportunity we will not let go of.” And for Nestle India, “Blinkit is becoming as important as Amazon.”

While high-speed commerce may not expand beyond the grocery category, itself a market value greater than half a trillion dollars in India, their expansion into electronics and fashion is more likely to be limited. According to analyst estimates, electronics account for 40% to 50% of all sales on Amazon and Flipkart. If high-speed trading manages to crack this market, it is going to pose a major and immediate challenge to e-commerce giants. Goldman Sachs estimates that the entire market addressed to grocery and non-food stores for quick-trade corporations in the 40-50 largest cities is roughly $150 billion.

According to an e-commerce entrepreneur, selling smartphones and other expensive items is more of a marketing gimmick that can not be carried out on a big scale.

Blinkit sells high-end smartphones and the PlayStation 5 console, its founder and CEO announced on social media.

“It doesn’t make any sense. Fast trading is sweet for forward trading. However, smartphones and other expensive products are inclined to have quite a low rate of return. … They do not have the infrastructure to accommodate reverse logistics,” he said, requesting anonymity because he’s one in every of the early investors in the leading high-speed trading company.

The current fast trade infrastructure also doesn’t allow the sale of huge devices. This means you may’t buy a fridge, air conditioner or TV via flash trade. “But that’s what some of these companies are suggesting and analysts confirm,” the investor said.

Falguni Nayar, founding father of skincare platform Nykaa, highlighted at a recent conference that fast commerce is principally taking share from Kirana stores and is not going to find a way to keep up as much inventory and assortment as specialist customer education platforms.

The history of high-speed trade in India stays an urban phenomenon concentrated in the 25–30 largest cities. In a recent evaluation, Goldman Sachs wrote that demand in smaller cities is probably going making the fresh food economy tougher to appreciate.

E-commerce giant Flipkart will launch its fast commerce service in limited cities next month, seeing a possibility to draw Amazon India customers. Most of Flipkart’s customers are positioned in smaller Indian cities and towns.

Amazon – increasingly limiting its e-commerce investments in India – has thus far shown no interest in high-speed commerce in the country. The company, which offers same-day delivery to Prime members on certain items, has questioned the standard of products from “fast” delivery corporations in a few of its marketing campaigns.

A recent survey of Indian consumers by Bank of America (BofA)
Image credits: BofA Global Research (screenshot)

As brands increasingly give attention to fast commerce as their fastest-growing channel, and more consumers appreciate the convenience and value of 10-minute deliveries, the stage is ready for a fierce battle between India’s fast commerce and e-commerce giants.

This article was originally published on : techcrunch.com
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From sperm freezing to accounting tools: Finaloop founder earns $35 million to solve e-commerce sellers’ accounting problems

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Yellow Calculator On Purple Background; financial model to forecast fundraising

For consumers, one in all the most important benefits of e-commerce is convenience: you may shop anytime, anywhere, and now you pay with the faucet of your finger (and pay almost any way you would like). But underneath that there is loads of fragmentation and complexity, and it’s always retailers who take it on the chin. The so-called startup Final goals to improve this example for e-commerce corporations – using accounting software – and has raised $35 million in funding thanks to strong growth.

Lightspeed Venture Partners is leading the Series A, which also includes participation from Vesey Ventures, Commerce Ventures and former backers Accel and Aleph. Finaloop, based in New York but with roots (and R&D) in Tel Aviv, previously raised $20 million. It doesn’t disclose the valuation.

CEO and Founder of Finaloop Lioran Pinchevski is an accountant by training, but an entrepreneur at heart. Before founding the corporate, he worked in senior positions at PwC for nearly a decade, mainly coping with sensitive accounting issues arising within the strategy of mergers and acquisitions. He built startups on the side.

The latest was a direct-to-consumer health tech startup focused on sperm freezing Spare.me, which has scaled to “seven-figure” sales, he said. It was a hard-won success:

This is what inspired Pinchevski to use his accounting knowledge and located Finaloop.

E-commerce has exploded over the previous couple of years and is predicted to proceed to accomplish that exceed $6 trillion in global sales this yr, says eMarketer. This is thanks to changing consumer shopping habits and the ubiquity of smartphones and other screens, but in addition the event of marketplaces like Amazon, social media platforms and platforms like Shopify that make it easier to open online storefronts.

But under the hood, retailers have loads of work to do to run their businesses, and that is what Pinchevski found to be burdensomely time-consuming and never leveraging the identical skills and interests that led them to turn into e-commerce founders in the primary place.

“Every online seller needs to keep accounting, both from a compliance and business visibility perspective,” he said. Typically, small e-commerce corporations either do their very own accounting or work with a 3rd party to accomplish that. In each cases, accounting could be performed using software equivalent to QuickBooks, NetSuite or Xero and would potentially be very complex, not least because e-commerce sellers currently use many various channels to source, sell and distribute goods.

“But e-commerce creators can be young and dynamic people who are digital-first, so they hate it,” he said.

The Finaloop solution is a platform that uses background automation to track transactions with three different functions in a single: a business ledger that records all transactions; accounting work to detail these transactions; and inventory spreadsheets, that are used not only to track what’s being sold, but in addition to create future projections of what could also be needed.

This integrates with a big selection of platforms an organization can sell on – equivalent to Amazon, Walmart, and even TikTok – or use for payments, shipping, or other services. While there are indeed many accounting tools available for smaller businesses today, Pinchevski said that is the one tool designed specifically for smaller e-commerce businesses and covering your complete scope of their accounting and bookkeeping needs.

SaaS price list starts at $65 monthly and drops monthly for an annual subscription, or increases for those who add tax solution.

The growth of corporations like Finaloop is notable within the context of the innovation cycle we’re observing.

While the frontiers proceed to shift in areas equivalent to artificial intelligence, quantum computing and food technology, and what may come tomorrow, there may be a growing interest in solving rather more pressing problems for corporations operating on today’s platforms.

At the identical time, Finaloop has a probability to attract more users due to the subsequent technological change. E-commerce rollups, financed by lots of of thousands and thousands of dollars, once promised smaller e-commerce corporations higher economies of scale in the event that they sold to them. This is identical highly fragmented market that Finaloop wants to consolidate because lots of these rollups have struggled and disappeared. Finaloop potentially gives smaller e-commerce corporations one other avenue to exist on their very own as independent corporations.

It is showing some signs of success, growing its customer base by 400% last yr, reaching $13 billion in GMV managed on its platform by 1000’s of consumers. The numbers will help seal the deal on this funding round.

“Finaloop is disrupting an industry that has not seen significant change in over 30 years. They are leading the way in transforming accounting and bookkeeping for e-commerce, solving the biggest problems,” Lightspeed partner Tal Morgenstern said in a press release. “We are excited to support the Finaloop team in their quest to provide e-commerce companies with real-time financial data, giving them an invaluable competitive advantage.”

This article was originally published on : techcrunch.com
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India’s Oyo, once valued at $10 billion, finalizes new financing at $2.5 billion valuation

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Masayoshi Son Delivers Keynote At Annual SoftBank World Event

Oyo, an Indian budget hotel chain startup, is finalizing a new fundraising of around $100 million to $125 million, bringing its valuation right down to $2.5 billion, two people conversant in the matter told TechCrunch.

This marks a pointy decline in the worth of the Gurgaon-based startup, which was price $10 billion in 2019. The startup, struggling to draw institutional investors, has been aggressively acquiring wealthy individuals in recent months.

“We really think this asset makes a whole lot of sense today. Profitability and discount @70% in comparison with the previous valuation. IPO expected in 18-24 months – a representative of InCred, a financial company cooperating with Oyo, forwarded a message (displayed by TechCrunch) to the startup’s founder.

Early last month, TechCrunch reported that Oyo was looking for to boost funding of $3 billion or less. Oyo vehemently denied the “rumours, including valuation rumors” at the time. The size of the new round is more likely to be larger, said the above-mentioned sources, who asked to not be identified since the matter will not be public.

The new funding comes after Oyo shelved its IPO plan last month. The startup – which counts SoftBank, Peak XV Ventures, Lightspeed, Airbnb and Microsoft amongst its backers – has withdrawn its IPO application from India’s markets regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, twice within the last 4 years.

Oyo initially filed papers with SEBI for a 2021 listing but withdrew it and re-filed in 2023. The company, which has raised over $3 billion thus far, sought to boost $1.2 billion at a valuation of $12 billion as a part of an initial public offering in 2021.

Oyo, once considered one of India’s hottest startups, runs an operating system of sorts that helps hoteliers accept digital bookings and payments. The startup once operated in dozens of markets, including the US and Europe, but has since limited its international presence.

Observed net profit of $12 million within the fiscal 12 months ending March, based on founder and CEO Ritesh Agarwal.

Agarwal took out $2 billion in debt in 2019 to extend his stake in Oyo, then valued at $10 billion. It invested $700 million as core capital in Oyo and spent $1.3 billion on secondary purchase of Oyo shares. The startup has not commented on its debt status since then.

Indian newspaper Economic Times also reported in regards to the new financing on Monday, adding that the startup will seek approval from current shareholders for the financing this week.

This article was originally published on : techcrunch.com
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