A record-breaking number of people watched Drake play a video game in the middle of the night — and it was an incredible cultural moment


  • Drake jumped on a Twitch stream Wednesday evening with prominent streamer, “Ninja.”
  • The stream reached over 600,000 viewers at one point — the highest-ever concurrent viewership on the Amazon-owned live video streaming service.
  • Drake and “Ninja” played “Fortnite” together, an enormously popular online shooter.

What happens when an enormously popular musician teams up with an enormously popular video-game streamer? 

In the case of Drake teaming up with game-streamer “Ninja” on a Twitch stream late Wednesday night, the result was record-setting numbers: Over 600,000 people tuned in to watch them take on dozens of other players in “Fortnite.” 

The stream broke records on the Amazon-owned Twitch streaming service — no one stream has ever drawn as many concurrent viewers. It nearly doubled the previous record.

Drake doesn’t appear on the stream as a visual, but instead joins via chat (using the Discord chat service). 

But it wasn’t just “Ninja” and Drake playing “Fortnite”: Rapper Travis Scott and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster also jumped on the stream at various points to play.

*Drake revives Travis*

“Bless me with the hands. 3. 2. 1. God’s Plan. Let’s get it.” – Travis

This is the most amazing shit ever pic.twitter.com/P2xx8GIaqT

— (浪人 (@LordBalvin) March 15, 2018

The crew of four played “Fortnite: Battle Royale” as a squad, which pits teams of four against each other in the game’s hugely popular “Battle Royale” mode. Drake played on PlayStation 4, while “Ninja” played on PC — the game is playable across some platforms, though not all.

You may be wondering if Drake’s any good at “Fornite” — turns out he is! You can check out the entire stream below.

The record-setting stream is representative of the bigger cultural interest in streaming video games. More people than ever are watching video games played live, and it’s no surprise that major stars like Drake and Travis Scott would get in on the action — even in the middle of the night, the presence of Drake was able to crush previous Twitch records. 

SEE ALSO: Amazon’s streaming service Twitch is pulling in as many viewers as CNN and MSNBC

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Goldman Sachs is launching an incubator to create a startup engine within the Wall Street giant (GS)

Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein speaks at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York, U.S., September 20, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

  • Goldman Sachs has launched a new incubator program, according to a memo seen by Business Insider. 
  • The point of the program is to keep good ideas within the firm by providing resources to help people turn out-of-the-box ideas into real businesses. 

On Wall Street, they say a company’s most valuable asset walks out the door at the end of the work day. 

So how does a large bank like Goldman Sachs hold on to its people who want to swap their suit jacket for a Silicon Valley hoodie? It launches an incubator. 

That’s exactly what Goldman has done, according to a memo seen by Business Insider. In an internal memo, chief executive Lloyd Blankfein and president David Solomon announced GS Accelerate, a new incubator that’ll provide employees with capital to help turn out-of-the-box ideas into to real businesses within the bank.

Goldman’s chief strategy officer Stephanie Cohen will work with leaders across the bank to select teams for the incubator, the memo said. 

“By applying to GS Accelerate, you will have an opportunity to submit ideas that can deliver best-in-class solutions for our clients, take Goldman Sachs into new business areas, manage risk and tackle inefficiencies in our operations,” the memo said. 

Of course, this isn’t just a human capital play. Keeping good ideas within the firm could translate into new businesses that drive growth, cut costs, or generate returns.

Ideally, those business will experience the same amount of success as Goldman’s retail lending arm Marcus, launched in 2016, which was able to originate more than $1 billion in loans quicker than any of the bank’s small fintech rivals. 

“If we’re creative, imaginative and learn from what did and didn’t work, GS Accelerate can become a powerful engine to bring important ideas to life and continue our long tradition of pioneering innovations that eventually become standard in our industry,” the memo said. 

How will it work?

At a firm like Goldman Sachs, it can be hard for new ideas to make their way through the red-tape, especially if it’s an idea that’s tangential to the main business. GS Accelerate attempts to address that.

For instance, let’s say a FICC trader has a new idea for the bank’s burgeoning retail business. Typically, that would be difficult – if not impossible – to get through the traditional chains of command. Through GS Accelerate, however, that trader could submit their idea online, which would then be reviewed by business leaders at the firm.

Ultimately, that idea could be picked alongside others for the program, which provides the necessary resources and access to mentors. At this point, it’s not clear how many teams will go through the incubator.

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The next big thing in airplane tech is becoming a nightmare for some airlines (UTX)

FILE PHOTO: Bombardier's CS300 Aircraft, showing its Pratt & Whitney engine in the foreground, sits in the hangar prior to its test flight in Mirabel, Qubec, Canada February 27, 2015.   REUTERS/Christinne Muschi/File Photo

  • Pratt & Whitney’s new PurePower geared turbofan engines are designed to be cleaner, quieter, more powerful, and more fuel-efficient than existing jet engines.
  • The engines will power the next generation of narrow-body airliners from Airbus, Bombardier, Embraer, Mitsubishi, and United Aircraft Corporation.
  • However, the engines have been plagued by a series of teething problems that have slowed down aircraft deliveries, increased maintenance costs, and even a forced the Indian Government to ground a fleet of planes.
  • Fortunately, Pratt & Whitney is expected to overcome these issues. 

Pratt & Whitney’s new PurePower line of geared turbofan engines is the next big thing in airplane tech. For commercial aviation engines, it’s supposed to be the biggest step forward in 30 years. They are set to power the next generation of narrow-body commercial airliners from Airbus, Bombardier, Embraer, Mitsubishi, and Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation.

In fact, Pratt & Whitney PurePower is the sole engine supplier for Bombardier’s revolutionary composite C Series airliner.

In 2016, Richard Anderson, then CEO of Delta Air Lines called the engine “the first true innovation” to hit airline industry since the Boeing Dreamliner revolutionized carbon composite airframes.

Thus far, the Connecticut-based subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation has committed a couple of decades and roughly $10 billion to develop its geared turbofan (GTF) technology.

Unfortunately, it looks like we’ll have to wait a bit longer for this piece of newfangled equipment to hit its stride.

Even though PurePower engines entered service in 2016, the number of aircraft using the engine remains limited due to a series of teething problems.

Airbus A321neo _First_Flight_with_Pratt___Whitney_Hamburg_Christian_Brinkmann__2_The first issues came to light that year when Qatar Airways’ Airbus A320neos experienced uneven cooling in their GTF engines. Uneven cooling could lead to deformations and parts rubbing against one another while prolonging turnaround times between flights. As a result, the airline deemed the engines unable to meet its performance requirements. 

In December, Qatar replaced its troubled order for 50 A32oneos with an order for 50 larger A321neos. This time around, the airline is expected to use engines from rival CFM International instead of Pratt & Whitney. 

In February, IndiGo, an Indian low-cost airline, announced that it had to replace 69 engines in 18 months on its fleet of around 30 A320neo jets, Bloomberg reported.

Around the same time, Airbus had to temporarily halt deliveries of GTF-powered jets due to on-going issues with the engine.  

The problems culminated with India’s aviation authority, DGCA, grounding 11 PurePower GTF-powered Airbus A320neo jets. According to the Economic Times, the decision was made after GTF powered Airbus jets suffered three mid-flight engine failures in two weeks. The failures have been attributed to an issue with a seal located inside the engine’s high-pressure compressor.

Pratt & Whitney PW1100G JM Production Line West Palm BeachIn a statement to Business Insider, Pratt & Whitney said it was aware of the decision made by the DGCA and that it, along with Airbus, is fully committed to maintaining the airworthiness of its planes.

The statement went on to explain that Pratt & Whitney took immediate action last month after identifying an issue related to the knife edge seal in the high-pressure compressor of 43 PW1100G-JM engines designed for the Airbus A320neo. Pratt received “all necessary approvals” from European aviation regulators for the changes it made to the engine by February 21, the company said. According to Pratt & Whitney, it began shipping updated engines by March 1. 

It should also be noted that modern twin-engined jetliners are designed to be able to operate on a single engine. 

Pratt & Whitney’s new geared turbofan engine is still a gamechanger for the industry

The idea of a geared turbofan engine centers around the principle of a bypass ratio. Modern turbofan engines produce thrust in two manners.

First, there are the compressors and combustion chamber at its core. It’s the part of the engine we most commonly associate with a jet. Then there’s the fan at the front of the powerplant that’s driven by the jet core. It directs air through bypass compartments around the core of the engine. 

The bypass ratio is the proportion of the air that bypasses the core versus the amount that goes through it. Generally speaking, a higher bypass ratio means quieter, more efficient, and more powerful engines. 

Pratt & Whitney PW1100G JM Production Line 06In conventional turbofan engines, a bypass ratio reach can reach as high as 9:1. Pratt’s PurePower GTF engines have a bypass ratio of 12:1.

To increase bypass ratio, engine manufacturers have to increase the length of its fan blades. However, if elongated enough, the speeds achieved at the tip of the blades will be so fast that it generates unwanted vibrations.

This is where the “gear” in geared turbofan comes into the picture, aviation industry analyst Richard Aboulafia told Busines Insider. 

“You can get as high as eight or 10:1 without a gear, but to move beyond that ratio you need something to slow down the fans so they don’t go too fast basically,” Aboulafia said. “And the gearbox does that for you.”

According to Pratt & Whitney, its engine’s gearbox doesn’t just slow the fan down, like the transmission in a car, it helps the fan spin at its optimal speed.

And the results are incredible.

Bombardier CS300Compared to current generation engines, Pratt claims it can achieve 16% better fuel efficiency, 50% lower emissions, and is 75% quieter.

In fact, SWISS and Air Baltic have reported their GTF powered C Series jets have returned even better fuel economy than Bombardier’s projections.

Fortunately for Pratt & Whitney, all of the problems the company’s next-generation engines have encountered do not point to fundamental flaws with the technology and can be fixed, Aboulafia said. 

It’ll just take time. 

SEE ALSO: RANKED: The 10 best European Airlines

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NASA astronaut Scott Kelly shared what it was REALLY like live in space for a year

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly

  • Astronaut Scott Kelly spent a year aboard the International Space Station (ISS) to study the effects of space travel on the human body.
  • His identical twin brother and former NASA astronaut, Mark Kelly, remained on Earth.
  • NASA’s Twins Study confirmed preliminary findings that 7% of astronaut Scott Kelly’s DNA no longer matches his identical twin brother’s after landing two years ago.
  • During a Reddit AMA while he was still aboard the International Space Station, Kelly shared some of the more nuanced details about what it’s like to live in space for a year.


What’s it like to not walk on solid ground for a year?

That’s one of the questions NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and companion Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko set out to answer during their year-long mission on board the International Space Station (ISS).

In 2016, the men succeeded in their mission to discover how a long-term, low-gravity environment affects the human body, becoming the first humans to ever spend a year in zero gravity. Their mission was twice as long as typical US missions, and their journey of more than 143 million miles is considered critical in preparing astronauts for future expeditions to Mars. Kelly’s identical twin brother and former NASA astronaut, Mark Kelly, remained as a control subject on Earth.

When Kelly initially returned from space two years ago, he was 1.5 inches taller, slower and less accurate, and his genetic code had changed significantly. While most of that returned to normal, preliminary findings from NASA now show that that 7% of his DNA has not returned to normal after landing and no longer matches his identical twin brother’s.

During a Reddit AMA while he was still aboard the International Space Station, Kelly shared his observations about life in space. Here are some of the most interesting things the astronaut revealed:

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Space isn’t as scary as you might think

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“I don’t feel alone or afraid. I was up here for six weeks as the only American on the US side of the space station and I was fine. I have been afraid when the ground has called and privatized the audio generally meaning something bad has happened. So I have been a little afraid.”

This is a response to the question, Do you ever feel alone/afraid? If so, how do you combat those feelings?

The Bahamas are just as beautiful from space

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“My favorite spot on Earth to see from space is probably the Bahamas. The brilliant and varied colors of the blue water and contrast from here is pretty spectacular.”

This is a response to the question, What is your favorite part of Earth to see from space?

Kelly’s first meal upon returning to earth wouldn’t be fast food

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“The first thing I will eat will probably be a piece of fruit (or a cucumber) the Russian nurse hands me as soon as I am pulled out of the space capsule and begin initial health checks.”

This is a response to the question, What will be the first thing you eat once you’re back on Earth?

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

‘Trainspotting’ director Danny Boyle confirms he will be directing the next James Bond movie

Danny Boyle Getty

  • Director Danny Boyle has confirmed that he will be directing the upcoming James Bond movie.
  • He’s currently working on a script with longtime screenwriting collaborator John Hodge.
  • If all goes according to plan, Boyle will begin shooting the movie by the end of this year.
  • The 25th Bond movie is slated for release November 2019 and will mark Daniel Craig’s last time playing 007.

After months of rumors, Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle has confirmed that he will be directing the upcoming James Bond movie.

Boyle talked about the project to Metro US Wednesday night in New York during a screening of his upcoming FX series, “Trust.” It seems he’s trying to make the Bond movie after he’s done with a project he’s about to work on, which has a script by “Love Actually” screenwriter, Richard Curtis.

“We are working on a script right now,” Boyle said. “And it all depends on that really. I am working on a Richard Curtis script at the moment. We hope to start shooting that in six or seven weeks. Then Bond would be right at the end of the year. But we are working on them both right now.”

“We’ve got an idea, John Hodge, the screenwriter [for the James Bond movie], and I have got this idea,” Boyle continued. “And John is writing it at the moment. And it all depends on how it turns out. It would be foolish of me to give any of it away.”

Hodge has been a longtime collaborator of Boyle’s. He wrote “Trainspotting” and the 2017 sequel, as well as “Shallow Grave” and “The Beach.”

The 25th Bond movie currently has a release date of November 8, 2019. It will mark the final time Daniel Craig will play 007.

Business Insider contacted MGM for comment but did not get an immediate response.

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Julius Dein used to perform magic tricks at weddings — here’s how he amassed 20 million online followers and a six-figure income in just two years

Julius Dein

  • Social media star Julius Dein has developed an online following of 20 million subscribers across four platforms in just two years.
  • Dein, a street magician and performer, said he owes his online success to his knowledge of SEO analytics and his devotion to magic tricks.


Two years ago, Julius Dein was a college student performing magic tricks at weddings and bar mitzvahs to make some extra cash. Now, he’s an internet sensation with an international online following of 20 million subscribers across four platforms, and he tells Business Insider he’s making over six figures.

Julius Dein is the impresario of the eponymous Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and Facebook accounts, where he performs comedic pranks and magic tricks to crowds of incredulous onlookers. His meteoric rise to internet stardom is a byproduct of what he describes as his two obsessions: magic, and social media. 

This is Dein’s most popular YouTube video, which has over three million views:

And people can’t seem to get enough of him:

Wait! @JuliusDein was in Mexico City last week and I didn’t know 😢

— Ronald | QueParió! (@QuePariocom) March 5, 2018

🔥🤯😂 @JuliusDein blowin minds in Blackpool. pic.twitter.com/71EZ53l9PV

— Chris Ramsay (@chrisramsay52) February 18, 2018

Look who I bumped into today, TWICE!! 🙌📸 @JuliusDein pic.twitter.com/kV8yoxGFNs

— frankie g. (@fgebeck) January 12, 2018

On a recent trip to India, Dein scheduled a meetup in a public square in Mumbai. Dein said that the turnout shocked even him. Here’s what happened:

India Meetup! Great meeting you! ❤️ @goubtube

A post shared by Julius Dein (@juliusdein) on Nov 14, 2017 at 3:38pm PST on

While Dein’s videos speak to a global audience, he said the majority of his subscribers are from the US and Mexico, and they’re huge supporters of Dein’s online antics.

The British 23-year-old said he was attracted to magic at a young age for the amazed reactions his tricks elicited.

“It was like a drug,” Dein told Business Insider, “To get those freak out, screaming reactions. I love pushing the boundaries of possibility.”

Julius Dein with Logan Paul at the Team 10 house.

Head over to Dein’s Instagram page and you’ll find a comprehensive video collection of Dein performing his mischievous brand of magic tricks.

Dein — who, with his compact stature, unruly hair, and signature glasses, looks like a cross between Elijah Wood’s Frodo and Daniel Radcliffe’s Harry Potter — is often captured at rowdy public events with a crowd of curious bypassers observing as he executes some sleight of hand.

Disappearing coins, bouquets procured from thin air, and levitating objects are all within Dein’s repertoire, and even when a trick falls flat, he laughs it off with characteristic good humor. The reactions from Dein’s audiences are largely the same: shrieks of horror or delight, confounded ponderings (“How did you do that, dude!?”), and cries of profanity. 

There’s a Logan Paul roguery to Dein’s online presence, as well. (In one of Dein’s videos, he hangs out with Paul at Team 10’s LA headquarters.) One YouTube clip features Dein wandering around London with two gay friends, hurling homophobic slurs to see how bypassers “react to homophobia.” In another, he demos a set of electric toothbrush heads in the guise of Apple earbuds to a crowd of concert-goers.

Dein’s subjects are attractive, bikini-clad women reclining beachside: the modern day equivalent of the magician’s stilettoed assistant. Dein has an entire series devoted to capturing a woman’s attention: There’s “How to impress a girl with magic tricks!“, “How to kiss a girl with a magic trick,”  and “How to blow a girl’s mind with FAKE magic!

Julius DeinMaking magic tricks palatable to an internet-savvy audience isn’t easy, according to Dein.

“Magic isn’t very cool,” he said. “It’s actually quite niche, and it’s difficult to make it relatable. People say I’m like the new wave of magic, not like that old-school David Blaine stuff.”

Dein said older magicians who aren’t yet wise to social media will soon be replaced by a new order of Instagram elites. He asked me to consider the Instagram followings of some of the world’s most famous magicians to that of his two million: David Blaine has 463,000, Penn and Teller have under 50,000, and even David Copperfield, the highest-paid magician today, boasts a paltry online following of under 100,000. (It’s a similar story on Facebook, where Dein’s 13+ million followers eclipse those of the aforementioned magicians.)

Isn’t this just a generational thing? I asked Dein. Established magicians might perform on live TV shows or in schmaltzy Vegas showrooms, but that doesn’t mean the up-and-coming Instastars of today are going to replace them altogether.

Dein disagrees. “It’s not even that Blaine is from a different generation,” he said. “He was big, like, seven years ago, whereas I’m using social, which is the new big thing. Social media is how the new generation of superstars are being made.”

Julius Dein

Dein’s meticulous obsession with social media shines through in our conversation. At the beginning of our phone call, he rhapsodizes about SEO analytics, social media, and content distribution with the sort of raw enthusiasm that most people typically reserve for their favorite pet. 

More than once, he suggested a potential headline during the course of the interview. “You know what a good headline would be?” he said. “”How this magician became the biggest magician in the world.’ Or, what about, ‘How this magician became the biggest magician in the world in only two years’?”

Julius DeinLike any internet star with a sizable online following, Dein spends a great deal of his time thinking about what people would or wouldn’t click on. 

“I’m utterly obsessed,” he said. “It consumes my entire life. I think about it from the moment I wake up and grab my phone to the moment I go to sleep at night.”

But even with his growing online presence and resolute devotion to social media, Dein said he’s considering opting into a medium that’s just a tad more old-school: television. While he envisions social media as being his primary platform for now, Dein said that his material would do well for something like “a badass show on Netflix.”

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ESPN boss who shocked the media world by resigning says he did it because of a cocaine extortion plot

John Skipper

  • John Skipper resigned suddenly as ESPN president in December, citing a long struggle with “substance addiction.”
  • In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Skipper shed light on the days leading up to his resignation, a time he said included being caught up in an extortion plot over a cocaine purchase.
  • Skipper said he resigned after disclosing the extortion to Disney CEO Bob Iger, agreeing at the time that he had “placed the company in an untenable position.”

In December, John Skipper resigned suddenly from his role as president of ESPN and cochairman of Disney Media Networks, citing a long struggle with “substance addiction.”

The move came as a shock to the sports-media world at the time. But in a new interview with the ESPN historian James Andrew Miller for The Hollywood Reporter, Skipper described the difficult days leading up to his resignation, which he said included being caught up in an extortion plot over a cocaine purchase.

In the interview, Skipper said he had been an “infrequent” cocaine user and that his drug use did not interfere with his work at ESPN. When Miller pressed him on that, saying the behavior Skipper described didn’t sound like an addiction, Skipper said that in December someone he had not previously bought cocaine from “attempted to extort” him and that this ultimately brought about a discussion with Disney CEO Bob Iger that led to his resignation.

“They threatened me, and I understood immediately that threat put me and my family at risk, and this exposure would put my professional life at risk as well,” Skipper said. “I foreclosed that possibility by disclosing the details to my family, and then when I discussed it with Bob, he and I agreed that I had placed the company in an untenable position and as a result, I should resign.”

“It was inappropriate for the president of ESPN and an officer of The Walt Disney Co. to be associated in any way with any of this,” he later said. “I do want to make it clear, however, that anything I did in this regard, and anything else resulting from this, was a personal problem. My drug use never had any professional repercussions, but I still have profound regret.”

Skipper described spending the day after his resignation by himself in New York City, crying as he “realized the profundity of what I’d done to myself, to my family, and that I’d given up the best job in sports on the planet.”

He went on to call James Pitaro, the man who replaced him as ESPN president on March 5, “a good, smart executive” whose “style will work at ESPN.”

Read the interview here.

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How Improbable raised $502 million from SoftBank — and why one UK investor skipped the deal


  • British software startup Improbable raised a record funding round when it took $502 million from SoftBank last May.
  • The startup enables third parties like researchers, gaming studios, and the US and UK military to create vast simulations that run on its SpatialOS software.
  • The massive round raised eyebrows in the UK and Europe, with one investor telling Business Insider that Improbable’s corporate structure meant he couldn’t invest.
  • Chief executive Herman Narula believes SoftBank invested because of a grand vision that people will live through gaming.

When UK software startup Improbable raised a massive $502 million (£360 million) funding round from SoftBank last May, it stunned the wider tech community.

It was the first time a private British firm received such a massive amount of funding in a single round — and that it came from the newly established SoftBank Vision Fund was even more intriguing. The Vision Fund is the Japanese tech giant’s $100 billion (£72 billion) war chest to fund big bets, and it’s put money into Uber, used car startup Auto1, and coworking company WeWork.

But what was also notable was the lack of participation from European investors in that round, though the firm has had earlier funding from LocalGlobe and Amadeus Capital Partners.

SoftBank and Improbable are making a massive bet we’ll all be gamers in the future

During an interview with Business Insider, Improbable chief executive Herman Narula said there were several reasons why SoftBank was willing to commit so much funding, and it boils down to his predictions about the future importance of gaming in our culture.

The company’s main technology is its cloud-based distributed operating system, SpatialOS, which allows third parties to build complex, highly detailed simulations. That could mean massively multiplayer games such as Bossa Studios’ “Worlds Adrift,” or military training simulations.

“I think the tech has always been the thing that’s been most compelling, what we’re trying to accomplish and the team we’ve assembled to go do that,” Narula said. One of the heavy hitters on the team is Bill Roper, chief creative officer and former executive at Blizzard Entertainment.

Narula added: “We believe in a future where games and virtual worlds become basically the most important part of human culture. That might seem like an insane prediction but the market [is worth] $100 billion today.”

It could be worth a lot more, Narula thinks, as people’s perception of gaming shifts away from something young people do in their spare to something that might earn them money. “Underneath the veneer of culture that it’s just for [people] our age, or the generation below, games mean something really different that’s very hard to perceive. People are looking at places where they can earn a living as streamers or content creators.”

He also thinks gaming will be worth more than social media, which he describes as “the regurgitation of interaction and information that concerns the real world.” Gaming, on the other hand, can involve creating new experiences. “People are interacting with each other in ways that are not supported in the real world,” Narula said.


“There are lots of people who looked at Improbable perhaps and gone, ‘How have they raised so much money, what are they doing here?'” Narula added. “Part of the confusion is that the general zeitgeist in tech is very much about AI, for example. What we are doing seems to be weirdly off the beaten track. I think that’s where the value lies, in things that are off the beaten track.”

Improbable has an unusual corporate structure that put off at least one European investor

According to one UK investor, SoftBank as a megafund was one of the few backers that could really afford to put sufficient money into Improbable.

The investor, who preferred to remain anonymous, negotiated with Improbable but said the firm’s corporate structure meant they couldn’t invest.

“When we’re investing a meaningful amount, we want board seats and representation rights,” the investor said. “[Narula] didn’t want to give us any of that. There was a risk … he could have washed us out.”

According to the firm’s public financial filings, Narula retains control of the firm’s board and voting rights. The son of an Indian construction billionaire, he also loaned the company £1.2 million, which was repaid last year.

SoftBank’s massive investment has given the company a board seat on Improbable, though not a controlling stake.

The UK investor described Narula as “inspiring,” and a “talent magnet” and added the SoftBank funding made sense for the firm’s ambitions.

For Narula, SoftBank was all about fit.

“For us, the money and the terms, we learnt this very early, they are not as important as they might seem,” he said. “We can raise more money later, or go to a higher valuation later. The focus is always: Are these people the right partners. … The key thing for us as a company was making sure we were actually able to get that ability to go global.”

SEE ALSO: Buzzy startup Improbable will use part of its $502 million cash pile to fund a new game called ‘Scavengers’

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A woman who shot her boyfriend in the chest for a YouTube prank has been jailed for manslaughter

perez grab

  • Monalisa Perez shot Pedro Ruiz in the chest with a Desert Eagle for a YouTube prank in Halstad, Minnesota, last year.
  • Perez was holding a thick encyclopaedia which the pair thought would stop the bullet.
  • It didn’t, and Perez died at the scene in front of a large crowd who were watching.
  • Perez struck a plea deal with Minnesota authorities and will spend 90 days in jail and 90 under house arrest.

A woman who shot her boyfriend in the chest and inadvertently killed him while trying to film a prank video for YouTube has been jailed.

Monalisa Perez, 20, was convicted of second-degree manslaughter for firing a Desert Eagle handgun into the chest of Pedro Ruiz, 22, outside their home in Halstad, Minnesota.

Ruiz was holding a thick encyclopaedia, which the pair thought would stop the bullet and leave him unharmed. Instead, the bullet pierced the book and killed him.

Perez called 911, but medics couldn’t do anything for Ruiz.

Perez, who was pregnant with Ruiz’s second child at the time, was being watched by their three-year-old daughter and a crowd of 30 other people at the time, according to the BBC. Cameras were recording from two different angles.

She posted this tweet in the build-up to the stunt:

Me and Pedro are probably going to shoot one of the most dangerous videos ever😳😳 HIS idea not MINE🙈

— Monalisa Perez (@MonalisaPerez5) June 26, 2017

Authorities in Minnesota agreed a plea deal with Perez, which stipulated a 180-day term of confinement. She will spend 10 days in prison then 10 days under house arrest until the sentence is over.

She has also been permanently banned from owning firearms.

The sentence is below the usual minimum guidelines, but was allowed to stand on the grounds that the stunt was mostly Ruiz’s idea.

SEE ALSO: A teenager allegedly shot her boyfriend who was trying to catch a bullet with an encyclopaedia for YouTube

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Alibaba is reaping the rewards of skyrocketing online sales in China (BABA)

Jack Ma, Chairman of Alibaba Group, speaks during the Computing Conference in Yunqi Town of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China October 11, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer

E-commerce is skyrocketing in China, the country’s National Bureau of Statistics said Thursday, and Alibaba is reaping the rewards.

Online retail sales in the country grew 37% in the first two months of 2018, NBS reported, up from 32% growth the prior month. Meanwhile, traditional retail sales grew just 9.7% — falling just short of the expected 9.8%.

“Taking into consideration normal seasonality pattern, this gives us a higher level of comfort in our Alibaba’s FY18 GMV growth estimate of c.30% with potential upside,” Jefferies analyst Karen Chan said in a note to clients Thursday, reiterating her buy rating and $325 price target.

Jefferies is one of the Alibaba’s biggest bulls, with a price target 41% above the Wall Street consensus of $230 per share. 

“We believe the strong online retail sales in spite of weak seasonality could be attributed to: 1) a longer-than-usual shopping window prior to Chinese New Year holiday; 2) increased rural consumption spending over CNY from post-80s with smart home electronics and imported fresh goods showing fast growth; 3) step-up in online-offline promotional efforts, e.g. red packets, Taobao-RTmart (SunArt) promotion; 4) enhanced logistics service for fresh goods, e.g. Hema,” Chan said.

The Wall Street Journal also reported early Thursday that the company was seeking to move its stock listing home to mainland China, citing people familiar with the matter. Alibaba has traded on the New York Stock Exchange ever since it went public in 2014 in the world’s largest IPO.

Shares of Alibaba are up 4% in early trading Thursday and 85% in the past year.

SEE ALSO: Alibaba wants to dominate food delivery in China

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