Let's get straight to it – here's the standout tech and industry stories from August that had us nodding with enthusiasm.
Some good PR from Facebook for a change — the social giant pledge to run their entire business on renewable energy by 2020. A lofty ambition? Probably not... they met their 2018 goal a year early, and since 2013 they've already used 3 gigawatts of solar and wind energy. Great scott. And some surprising news in dinosaur banking land too... RBS have enlisted the help of Starling to develop their digital banking services. It's no secret that online and app offerings from the big banks are seriously falling behind their disruptive counterparts, but analysts are praising the logic of this strategy, which will have myriad benefits for both businesses. If you can't beat them, join them, etc.
Here's the big headlines...
Bumble have launched a fund for female-led startups
As pointed out in our entry into the Agency for Good category at the Wirehive 100 Awards, women are statistically disadvantaged when it comes to securing funding and leadership positions in the tech industry, and we, like Bumble, firmly believe that this needs to change. Female-founders received just 2% of overall startup investment last year, but Bumble are fighting to shift the imbalance by investing between $5,000 to $250,000 in early-stage startups – primarily, companies founded and run by women from ethic groups and others from underrepresented areas. Bumble, a workforce that are 85% women, have already committed over $1 million.
Revolut announce an all-metal debit card
An all-metal debit card is one of those things that you don't realise you want until you see it. For me at least. Check out the very Apple-esque teaser video above. Revolut announced the shiny new thing via their website, which outlines a whole host of features. The exclusive benefits include cashback, which can be paid in crypto currency, a dedicated concierge service to facilitate ticket and travel purchases, plus all of Revolut's premium services such as unlimited foreign exchange, free international money transfers and ATM withdrawals, and access to travel insurance. Yours for £120 a year.
Monzo are stepping into equity crowdfunding
Monzo have raised £111m of funding during their journey so far, but to get closer to their estimated $1bn valuation from new investors later this year, they plan a new round of equity crowdfunding. £20m to be exact. Monzo have already raised £4m from crowdfunding investors and have historically used Crowdcube to do so. If successful, this round will be the second highest in the UK next to Scottish craft beer brand BrewDog who are known for their ongoing Equity for Punks campaign. Crowdfunding is a 'fruitful' way for a brand to build a relationship with its customers, and has been a common choice with many companies in the fintech arena and beyond.
Rails 5.2.1 has landed
Last but by no means least, Rails 5.2.1 is here and is expected to be one of the final few, if not the last, release(s) before we see Rails 6. I asked our Head of Development, Nick, for a quick lowdown on what's big and new in 5.2.1 but he just said "Ben, it’s mainly a release that just fixes a few things (minor point releases usually are)."
Our development teams have already upgraded some of our projects to the latest version, including Erica, who found it problem-free for any already running 5.2.0. "We noticed that projects not using the latest version of Ransack (a Ruby gem used for search) resulted in some failing specs, as the Rails upgrade required this gem to be updated too. But on the whole, upgrades have been straightforward for applications that were already up-to-date with newest Rails release." Interested in the release notes? Link below.
And in case you missed it...
Until the next one. ✌🏼