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Asia-based recruitment app GetLinks nabs investment led by Alibaba’s Hong Kong fund

Asia-based recruitment app GetLinks nabs investment led by Alibaba’s Hong Kong fund

GetLinks, a Thailand-based startup that offers a job finder app in six countries Southeast Asia and neighboring regions, has closed new funding led by Australia’s Seek group and Alibaba’s Hong Kong Entrepreneur fund.

The size of the investment was not disclosed. GetLinks previously raised $500,000 in 2016, and it later added $150,000 more to that round. GetLinks said Thailand’s SCG and a number of existing investors also took part in the round,

The deal seems highly strategic for the young company given those two lead investors. Publicly listed in Australia, Seek operates employment services in 19 countries, including popular Southeast Asia portals JobStreet and JobsDB. Its interest is centered around GetLink’s digital focus, which includes community events and a mobile app for job-seekers.

Alibaba started its Hong Kong fund, which has a total budget $130 million, in 2015. Its mandate is to support Hong Kong-based companies or ventures led by Hong Kong Chinese founders.

GetLinks doesn’t immediately seem spring to mind — its founder Djoann Fal is French and it was started in Thailand — but the company has an office (and entity) in Hong Kong, while co-founder and chairman Keenan Kwok is from Hong Kong.

The Alibaba fund — which is distinct from Alibaba Group and its e-commerce business — has typically invested in companies that can leverage its massive online retail footprint, but in GetLinks case the two companies are looking to pool their resources around the use of AI and machine learning in education.

GetLinks is planning to expand from recruitment into offering skills and talent training. That, plus is core business, are areas where Alibaba may help with its AI might. The Chinese firm launched a $15 billion initiative into emerging technology, including AI, last year and GetLinks could be one partner to help train its core AI tech and systems.

More generally, Alibaba is also working to build a footprint in Southeast Asia, and GetLinks fits into that focus. Alibaba owns e-commerce firm Lazada, has invested in Indonesia’s Tokopedia and — as we reported earlier this month — it is in talks to invest in Grab. In addition, its fintech affiliate Ant Financial has been busy striking deals across the region.

GetLinks claims to have 500,000 registered job seekers, with 3,000 companies on its platform.

Asia-based recruitment app GetLinks nabs investment led by Alibaba’s Hong Kong fund
Source: TechCrunch

Sign up for Startup Alley in Tel Aviv

Sign up for Startup Alley in Tel Aviv

Hey startups! TechCrunch Tel Aviv 2018 is just about 6 weeks away, and we’re coming back to the Mediterranean for our inaugural day-long conference at the Tel Aviv Convention Center on 7 June. The agenda is now released and this year’s event will be bigger and better than ever. The conference is focused on mobility, and we’ll also have an expanded expo area called Startup Alley, where hundreds of rock-star startups from ALL verticals demo their products to attendees.

Why should you join Startup Alley? TechCrunch events are the ideal place to show off your company to prospective customers, gain media attention, meet investors and take your startup to the next level. If you’re a pre-Series A early-stage startup, we want to see you on our showcase floor.

For 1,700 ILS, you’ll get one full day to exhibit, two tickets to TechCrunch Tel Aviv 2018, a demo table, Wi-Fi, power, linens and a branded table-top sign. Ready to join us? You can secure your exhibit spot here.

Buy yours before we run out — space is limited; feel free to email startupalley@techcrunch.com if you have any questions. The TechCrunch Team can’t wait to make our way to Israel and meet you in June!

Sign up for Startup Alley in Tel Aviv
Source: TechCrunch

Facebook reveals 25 pages of takedown rules for hate speech and more

Facebook reveals 25 pages of takedown rules for hate speech and more

Facebook has never before made public the guidelines its moderators use to decide whether to remove violence, spam, harassment, self-harm, terrorism, intellectual property theft, and hate speech from social network until now. The company hoped to avoid making it easy to game these rules, but that worry has been overriden by the public’s constant calls for clarity and protests about decisions. Today Facebook published 25 pages of detailed criteria and examples for what is and isn’t allowed.

Facebook is effectively shifting where it will be criticized from individual incidents of enforcement mistakes like when it took down posts of the newsworthy “Napalm Girl” historical photo because it contains child nudity, to the underlying policy. Some groups will surely find points to take issue with, but Facebook has made some significant improvements like no longer disqualifying minorities from shielding from hate speech because an unprotected characteristic like “children” is appended to a protected characteristic like “black”.

Nothing is technically changing about Facebook’s policies. But previously, only leaks like a copy of an internal rulebook attained by the Guardian had given the outside world a look at when Facebook actually enforces those policies. These rules will be translated into over 40 languages. Facebook currently has 7500 content reviewers, up 40% from a year ago.

Community Standards. These reports are reviewed by our Community Operations team, who work 24/7 in over 40 languages. Right now, we have 7,500 content reviewers, over 40% more than the number at this time last year

Facebook also plans to expand its content removal appeals process, It already let users request a review of a decision to remove their profile, Page, or Group. Now Facebook will notify users when their nudity, sexual activity, hate speech or graphic violence content is removed and let them hit a button to “Request Review”, which will usually happen within 24 hours. Finally, Facebook will hold Facebook Forums: Community Standards events in Germany, France, the UK, India, Singapore, and the US to give its biggest communities a closer look at how the social network’s policy works.

Facebook’s VP of Global Product Management Monika Bickert who has been coordinating the release of the guidelines since September told reporters at Facebook’s Menlo Park HQ last week that “There’s been a lot of research about how when institutions put their policies out there, people change their behavior, and that’s a good thing.” She admits there’s still the concern that terrorists or hate groups will get better at evading Facebook’s moderators, “but the benefits of being more open about what’s happening behind the scenes outweighs that.”

 

Facebook reveals 25 pages of takedown rules for hate speech and more
Source: TechCrunch

Pivotal CEO talks IPO and balancing life in Dell family of companies

Pivotal CEO talks IPO and balancing life in Dell family of companies

Pivotal has kind of a strange role for a company. On one hand its part of the EMC federation companies that Dell acquired in 2016 for a cool $67 billion, but it’s also an independently operated entity within that broader Dell family of companies — and that has to be a fine line to walk.

Whatever the challenges, the company went public yesterday and joined VMware as a  separately traded company within Dell. CEO Rob Mee says the company took the step of IPOing because it wanted additional capital.

“I think we can definitely use the capital to invest in marketing and R&D. The wider technology ecosystem is moving quickly. It does take additional investment to keep up,” Mee told TechCrunch just a few hours after his company rang the bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

As for that relationship of being a Dell company, he said that Michael Dell let him know early on after the EMC acquisition that he understood the company’s position. “From the time Dell acquired EMC, Michael was clear with me: You run the company. I’m just here to help. Dell is our largest shareholder, but we run independently. There have been opportunities to test that [since the acquisition] and it has held true,” Mee said.

Mee says that independence is essential because Pivotal has to remain technology-agnostic and it can’t favor Dell products and services over that mission. “It’s necessary because our core product is a cloud-agnostic platform. Our core value proposition is independence from any provider — and Dell and VMware are infrastructure providers,” he said.

That said, Mee also can play both sides because he can build products and services that do align with Dell and VMware offerings. “Certainly the companies inside the Dell family are customers of ours. Michael Dell has encouraged the IT group to adopt our methods and they are doing so,” he said. They have also started working more closely with VMware, announcing a container partnership last year.

Photo: Ron Miller

Overall though he sees his company’s mission in much broader terms, doing nothing less than helping the world’s largest companies transform their organizations. “Our mission is to transform how the world builds software. We are focused on the largest organizations in the world. What is a tailwind for us is that the reality is these large companies are at a tipping point of adopting how they digitize and develop software for strategic advantage,” Mee said.

The stock closed up 5 percent last night, but Mee says this isn’t about a single day. “We do very much focus on the long term. We have been executing to a quarterly cadence and have behaved like a public company inside Pivotal [even before the IPO]. We know how to do that while keeping an eye on the long term,” he said.

Pivotal CEO talks IPO and balancing life in Dell family of companies
Source: TechCrunch