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AgraFlora Organics and International Cannabis Corp. Partner To Bring Native Colombian Cannabis Strains to the Global Marketplace

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AgraFlora Organics International Inc.  (“AgraFlora” or the “Company“) (CSE: AGRA) (Frankfurt: PU31) (OTCPK: PUFXF), a growth oriented and diversified international cannabis company, and ICC International Cannabis Corp. (CSE: WRLD.U)(FWB: 8K51)(OTC: WLDCF) (“ICC” or “International Cannabis”), have entered into an agreement whereby AgraFlora will transfer its portfolio of exotic, native Colombian cannabis genetics to ICC for international marketing and distribution purposes.

“This partnership further equips International Cannabis with the ability to provide highly coveted Colombian cannabis flower to its global distribution network of approximately 39,000 pharmacies and retail outlets,” said Eugene Beukman, Chief Executive Officer and a Director of International Cannabis. “The transfer of these native Colombian strains will also allow for the continued differentiation of the International Cannabis brand in an increasingly generic and homogenized market.”

“Pure Grow has assembled a unique genetic library of cannabis native to Colombia which we believe is poised to become a valuable asset for our company,” said Derek Ivany, President & CEO, AgraFlora Organics International Inc. “With the aim of maximizing the value of our genetics portfolio, we have confidence in our new partnership with ICC as they have built an extensive infrastructure across the value chain in the international cannabis marketplace.  Their vast international presence consists of distribution networks and various licenses in multiple jurisdictions that will assist in introducing our genetics library to the marketplace.”

In May 2018, AgraFlora formed a wholly owned subsidiary, Pure Grow Medicinals S.A.S. (“Pure Grow”), to pursue cannabis cultivation and genetics opportunities in Colombia. Pure Grow has since been working in concert with a Cannabis Cup winner whose strain “Medellin Gold” has received industry accolade and has, since formation, acquired a select library of rare and exotic native cannabis seed varieties from various regions in the country.

The Companies genetics portfolio consists of rare, native cannabis strains from the regions of Valle del Cauca, Cauca, Magdalena and Antioquia in Colombia. Under the agreement, Pure Grow is transferring to International Cannabis a library consisting of 20 unique strains that include both prominent tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”) and cannabidiol (“CBD”) varietals, including highly sought-after strains such as:

  • Caucana,
  • Purpura,
  • Medellin Gold,
  • Maroc.

As both the World Health Organization and many countries around the world shift their stance in favour of medical use of CBD-dominant cannabis oils and CBD-derived products, the demand for high-yield CBD strains is expected to increase geometrically.

Under the terms of the agreement, AgraFlora will retain the rights to the genetics library for its own uses within North America, and International Cannabis is granted exclusive rights elsewhere globally.  In consideration for the transfer of the genetics library, ICC will issue one million common shares to AgraFlora. The valuation of the shares will be based upon the five-day VWAP of ICC’s common shares for the five trading sessions prior to the announcement of the agreement.

 

SOURCE AgraFlora Organics International Inc.

Amazon listed as Visionary Leader by 360Quadrants in AI in Fintech

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360Quadrants powered by MarketsandMarkets™, the world’s only comparison platform that combines expert analysis with crowdsourced reviews, has released a quadrant on AI in Fintech Solutions to help businesses make quicker and more informed decisions.

AI in Fintech refers to the theory and development of computer systems capable of performing finance-related tasks that usually require human intelligence. It is an application of AI technology used in the financial sector to design investment strategies, detect anomalies with pattern & voice recognition, and conduct market analysis with data mining. The AI in Fintech solutions market for this quadrant is defined as the summation of AI-enabled Fintech solutions and services.

For this quadrant, the components of AI in Fintech are mainly segmented into solutions and software. Major application areas of AI in Fintech solutions are virtual assistants, business analytics & reporting, and customer behavioral analytics. These solutions have been analyzed based on cloud and on-premise deployment. Amazon has been identified as a visionary leader in the AI in Fintech space given its high product quality and reliability. 25 top companies in AI in Fintech are listed on the quadrant.

Amazon has been identified as a visionary leader in the AI in Fintech space given its extensive product features, high product quality, reliability, suitable channel strategy, and wide geographical footprint. 360Quadrants also lists competitors of Amazon in the AI in Fintech space.

AI in Fintech offerings from Amazon aims to deliver valuable insights and intelligence from data. The company has an established product portfolio with a robust market presence and business strategy. Some of the major developments of the company in the AI in Fintech space include:

AWS is a preferred cloud provider to Guardian Life Insurance

The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian) chose AWS to provide cloud to migrate production workloads to AWS. The Guardian is closing its operated data centers and is reducing its IT operating costs.

AWS is a cloud provider to Active.Ai

Active.Ai chose AWS as its preferred partner to provide cloud through its TRINITI platform to power the delivery of conversational AI capabilities. This platform runs on AWS to provide customers an enhanced experience. It also helps financial institutions and insurance companies support voice-based transactions in the cloud.

AWS is a strategic cloud provider to the National Australia Bank

The National Australia Bank (NAB) chose AWS to provide cloud on a long-term basis, to migrate a number of applications. A cloud-first strategy is adopted by NAB to deliver financial outcomes for a number of customers globally. NAB also deployed an intelligent threat detection service, Amazon GuardDuty that monitors any malicious activity and helps protect customer data available in the cloud.

 

SOURCE MarketsandMarkets

Legal Barriers Falling for the Cannabis Market’s Rampant Growth

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The cannabis market has begun to garner worldwide attention as more countries move to adopt cannabis legislation. Primarily, most countries are looking to adopt medical cannabis laws. Countries that have adopted medical legislation are leveraging cannabis to treat certain medical applications such as cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease. Throughout the past year, the cannabis industry has made significant milestones as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its first cannabis-derived drug to treat epilepsy in children. Shortly after, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency removed CBD, or cannabidiol, off the Schedule 1 list. CBD-based products that have less than 0.1% THC concentrate will now be considered a Schedule 5 drug, as long as the medication has been approved by the FDA. Furthermore, the FDA recently scheduled a public hearing to be held in May as the agency looks to legalize CBD in food and drinks. The combination of these events has led to the exponential growth of the overall cannabis market. Moreover, as legalization efforts continue, other countries are expected to be influenced and potentially follow in legalizing cannabis. According to data compiled by Grand View Research, the global legal marijuana market was valued at USD 9.3 Billion and is expected to reach USD 146.4 Billion by the end of 2025. Additionally, the market is projected to register a CAGR of 34.6%. CLS Holdings, USA Inc. (OTC: CLSH) (CSE: CLSH.U), Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. (OTC: CWBHF) (CSE: CWEB), Cresco Labs Inc. (OTC: CRLBF) (CSE: CL), Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZYNE), Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT)

Research and studies conducted within the cannabis industry have helped in adding credibility to the plant. However, the FDA ruled that due to the lack of large-scale and efficient clinical trials, the agency cannot approve cannabis as a registered treatment, yet. Now, researchers and companies involved within the industry are expanding their studies to help expand the cannabis market further. The FDA’s concern over cannabis becoming a legitimate medicine alternative signals the steps the market has taken. Decades ago, cannabis was internationally illegal. Now, countries including AustraliaCanadaColumbiaGermanythe NetherlandsSpain, and the U.S. have all adopted cannabis legislation of some form. Moving forward, as more governments and regulatory agencies focus on the topic of cannabis legalization, the cannabis industry can become the next emerging global market. “It’s critical that we address these unanswered questions about CBD and other cannabis and cannabis-derived products to help inform the FDA’s regulatory oversight of these products — especially as the agency considers whether it could be appropriate to exercise its authority to allow the use of CBD in dietary supplements and other foods,” outgoing FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb recently said in a statement.

CLS Holdings, USA Inc. (OTCQB: CLSH) (CSE: CLSH.U) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: CLSH.U). Earlier last week, the Company announced that, “since acquiring Oasis Cannabis Dispensary in Las Vegas, Nevada, CLS Holdings USA, Inc. (OTCQB: CLSH) (CSE: CLSH.U) has been working to elevate the entire customer experience behind cannabis. The catchphrase “New Oasis, Same Faces” assures customers that they will still receive the same care and attention they’ve come to expect from Oasis Cannabis, only now in a totally redesigned, modern, and fresh facility. The new space is more accessible, inviting and vibrant, with the same friendly and knowledgeable staff. Over the past few months, walls have been torn down and the color scheme have been modernized from lime green to bright white with blue accents, evoking a vibrant and calming feel. LED lit display cases are purposefully and openly situated, allowing customers ample room to explore products. The large white bud bar hosts the budtender, who is able to curate a better user experience through education and a diverse product selection. At the heart of the renovation is improving customer experience – but the company’s dedication to education, compassionate care, and community enrichment remain the same.

All are welcome to join the Oasis Cannabis Grand Reopening Party, which will take place at the dispensary on Saturday April 6th 2019 from 12:00pm – 10:00pm. The event will feature vendors on-site, live art, live music, food trucks, and special prices. The dispensary is located at 1800 Industrial Rd #180, Las Vegas, NV 89102.

About Oasis Cannabis: Oasis Cannabis has operated a cannabis dispensary in the Las Vegas market since dispensaries first opened in Nevada in 2015 and has been recognized as one of the top marijuana retailers in the state. Its location within walking distance to the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown Las Vegas in combination with its delivery service to residents allows it to efficiently serve both locals and tourists in the Las Vegas area. In February 2019, it was named “Best Dispensary for Pot Pros” by Desert Companion Magazine.

In August 2017, the company commenced wholesale offerings of cannabis in Nevada with the launch of its City Trees brand of cannabis concentrates and cannabis-infused products. http://oasiscannabis.com

About City Trees: Founded in 2017, City Trees is a Nevada based cannabis cultivation, production and distribution company. Offering a wide variety of products with consistent results, City Trees is one the fastest growing wholesale companies in the industry. Its products are now available at 40 dispensaries. https://citytrees.com

About CLS Holdings USA, Inc: CLS Holdings USA, Inc. (OTCQB:CLSH) (CSE:CLSH),  is a diversified cannabis company that acts as an integrated cannabis producer and retailer through its Oasis Cannabis subsidiaries in Nevada, and plans to expand to other states. CLS stands for “Cannabis Life Sciences,” in recognition of the Company’s patented proprietary method of extracting various cannabinoids from the marijuana plant and converting them into products with a higher level of quality and consistency. The Company’s business model includes licensing operations, processing operations, processing facilities, sale of products, brand creation and consulting services.”

For our latest “Buzz on the Street” Show featuring CLS Holdings, USA Inc. recent corporate news, please head over to:

 

Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: CWBHF) (CSE: CWEB) is the market leader in the production and distribution of innovative hemp-based cannabidiol wellness products. Recently, Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. surpassed 3,000 retail locations across the United States. At the end of 2017, Charlotte’s Web products were sold in approximately 2,000 locations. The Company had recently that it surpassed its 2018 year-end goal of 3,000 locations during the 3rd quarter. With CBD gaining mainstream market momentum, Charlotte’s Web, the industry pioneer and category leader in hemp-based CBD, has expanded its suite of product offerings across a wider variety of retailers, from small specialty health food stores to now including regional pharmacy and grocery chains. “Firstly, I would like to commend our incredible and committed staff who worked tirelessly to achieve this milestone,” stated Charlotte’s Web Chief Executive Officer Hess Moallem. “I would also like to thank our dedicated retail partners for their continued support of our mission and for valuing the trust that is closely associated with our brand name.”

Cresco Labs Inc. (OTCQX: CRLBF) (CSE: CL) and CannaRoyalty Corp. d/b/a Origin House (CSE: OH) (OTCQX: ORHOF) recently announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement, pursuant to which Cresco Labs will acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Origin House. Under the terms of the Agreement, holders of common shares of Origin House will receive 0.8428 subordinate voting shares of Cresco Labs for each Origin House Share. Origin House has become a leading distributor and provider of brand support services in California, the world’s largest regulated cannabis market. Origin House’s proven strategy has been to build relationships with established dispensaries, build partnerships with established market-leading brands, develop promising cannabis product companies, and then leverage its full suite of support services to transform those products into strong California consumer brands. Origin House delivers over 50+ cannabis brands to more than 500 dispensaries in California, representing approximately 60% market penetration. “The acquisition of Origin House is another example of our focused and disciplined approach to creating a meaningful presence in key cannabis markets through excellence in brand development and distribution,” said Cresco Labs Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder Charlie Bachtell.

Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZYNE) is the leader in pharmaceutically-produced transdermal cannabinoid therapies for rare and near-rare neuropsychiatric disorders. Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. recently announced that it has initiated the Phase 2 BRIGHT (An Open-Label Tolerability and Efficacy Study of ZYN002 Administered as a Transdermal Gel to Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder) trial. The trial will assess the safety, tolerability and efficacy of Zygel (previously referred to as ZYN002) for the treatment of child and adolescent patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The Company expects to present topline data from this study in the first half of 2020. Clinical and anecdotal data suggest that CBD may modulate the EC system and improve certain core social and behavioral autism-related symptoms, including social avoidance and anxiety. “Autism spectrum disorder can have a devastating impact on a child and their family,” said Armando Anido, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Zynerba. “The medical need is significant and unmet despite high awareness and advocacy efforts. Though there has been an accelerating rate of diagnosis, to date there are only two FDA approved products indicated for the treatment of ASD symptoms.”

Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT) specializes in the extraction, purification and formulation of health and wellness products. Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. recently announced that it had completed its initial commercial production lots and is now shipping cannabis extracts from its licensed, GPP facility in Sherbrooke, Quebec. “The quality of the extracts in Neptune’s first production runs at our state-of-the-art facility has been terrific, and we are proud to begin deliveries. This marks an important step forward in the execution of our vision to lever our decades of extraction and wellness industry experience towards becoming the world’s leader in the extraction, purification and formulation of value-added, differentiated cannabis products,” said Jim Hamilton, President and Chief Executive Officer of Neptune.

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SOURCE FinancialBuzz.com

Blackmoon and BLOCK 30 Labs Form Global Strategic Partnership to Launch BLOCK 30 Exchange Traded Index (ETX)

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Blackmoon Financial Group, a blockchain Financial Service and Fintech firm, and BLOCK 30 Financial (a wholly owned subsidiary of BLOCK 30 Labs), today announced that they have formed a global strategic partnership to create a BLOCK branded suite of Exchange Traded Index (ETX) products on the Blackmoon platform.

The new relationship between Blackmoon and BLOCK 30 will enable the two blockchain and FinTech financial services firms to work very closely together to create an ETX that tracks thirty of the top digital assets in one digital asset basket for global investors.

Introducing Blackmoon’s Exchange Traded Indexes (ETx)

“BLOCK 30 Financial is thrilled to partner with the Blackmoon team to expand our reach to global investors,” said Brian Foote, CEO of BLOCK 30 Labs + BLOCK 30 Financial. “We’ll start first with the BLOCK 30 Index ETX and move quickly across a variety of BLOCK indexes across multiple asset classes, in this unique tokenized, digital format.”

“We did 16 months of due diligence around cornerstone global partner selection for the BLOCK 30 Index ETX launch and we just came away feeling like the financial engineering and product agility at Blackmoon is literally years ahead of the traditional markets,” Foote said. “We’re honored to partner with them.”

“Blackmoon and BLOCK 30 Labs share a vision and it’s because of this that we are pleased to have discovered such an incredible organization to associate with…We are eager to release the BLOCK ETX products as soon as possible to offer this amazing investment opportunity to eligible investors globally,” said Oleg Seydak, CEO of Blackmoon

“Whether its tokenizing the Lyft IPO for investors outside of Silicon Valley or challenging the ‘yet another Mutual Fund mindset’ of Wall Street, Blackmoon is exactly where we wanted to be in terms of offering new financial products for global Millenials + Gen Z,” said Jeff Hinshaw, COO of BLOCK 30 Financial.

“57% of customers around the world are not investing in the markets right now. They’re tuning out on white collar fee loads, product redundancy and a lack of imagination in the financial markets…Blackmoon is paving a new way forward with Exchange Traded Index (ETX) products and we wanted to work with them to deliver that for millions of potential customers around the world.”

 

SOURCE Blackmoon and BLOCK 30

Top Companies Team Up With Federal Agencies And Nonprofit To Launch First-Of-Its-Kind Cyber Talent Initiative To Protect Against Cyberattacks

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Mastercard (NYSE: MA), in collaboration with Microsoft, Workday and the nonprofit, nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service today launched the Cybersecurity Talent Initiative – a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership to recruit the nation’s best minds to defend against global cyberattacks. The launch of this initiative serves as a call to action for leading companies, federal agencies and higher education institutions to come together and help grow the talent pipeline of cybersecurity technologists to protect the nation and support our digital economy.

With more than 313,000 cybersecurity job openings in the U.S. between September 2017 and August 2018, the talent deficit is significant and the need for a skilled workforce is steadily expanding. The Cybersecurity Talent Initiative is a new program to help reduce the critical talent gap and support the next generation of motivated, mission-driven cybersecurity leaders.

A selective cross-sector opportunity for highly qualified, recent graduates in cybersecurity-related fields, the Cybersecurity Talent Initiative helps to jumpstart careers and provide the training and experience needed to lead the nation’s cyber defense across the public and private sectors. Participants selected for the program will be guaranteed a two-year placement at a federal agency with cybersecurity opportunities. Before the conclusion of their federal service, participants will then be eligible for full-time positions with the program’s private sector partners, and once hired, will receive up to $75,000 in student loan assistance.

The Cybersecurity Talent Initiative includes an unparalleled group of private sector companies and government agencies that play a vital role in protecting the nation and digital economy.

Founding partners in the program’s inaugural year include:

  • Mastercard
  • Microsoft
  • Workday

Participating federal agencies include:

  • Central Intelligence Agency
  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Federal Election Commission
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Naval Intelligence
  • Small Business Administration

“Cybersecurity is a critical issue facing our world today. It will take a true collaboration between the public and private sectors to get the right resources in place to address the threat,” said Ron Green, chief security officer, Mastercard. “We invite more corporations and government agencies to join us in this critical endeavor and give the best and brightest talent an opportunity to get a step up, enhance their skills and pave their own career paths.”

Throughout the program, participants will engage with subject matter experts from the public and private sectors, build an interagency network of cybersecurity colleagues across government and attend leadership development sessions. By working for government organizations and innovative private sector companies, participants will gain an understanding of the complexity of cybersecurity challenges and develop the necessary skills needed to overcome threats to the nation’s digital infrastructure.

“The Army is pleased to join the Cybersecurity Talent Initiative and partner with top companies and universities across the country to develop cybersecurity talent and provide them with opportunities that help support our nation’s defense,” said Brig. Gen. Jennifer Buckner, director of headquarters Department of the Army’s Cyber, Electronic Warfare and Information Operations. “This program reflects not only our emphasis on, but also the immense value we see in public-private partnerships to collaboratively address the country’s cyberspace talent deficit.”

The federal government’s ability to deliver important services to the American people, protect privacy and safeguard classified information requires an effective and secure digital infrastructure overseen by highly skilled cybersecurity professionals. As of June 2018, only four percent of federal cybersecurity employees are under the age of 30, compared to nearly 14 percent of federal cybersecurity employees over the age of 60, according to federal workforce data.

“It is critical for our government to attract and hire highly skilled workers capable of securing federal computer networks and building defenses against the thousands of cyberattacks that occur every year,” said Max Stier, president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service, the organization operating the new initiative. “The federal government has fallen more and more behind in the race for cyber talent, and this program will help get it back on track.”

“The Cybersecurity Talent Initiative is an important way for the George Washington University and other top universities to help build a first-class cybersecurity workforce,” said Thomas LeBlanc, president of The George Washington University. “This program offers a unique opportunity for our students to gain invaluable leadership skills and hands-on experience in the public and private sectors, while alleviating the burden of student loan debt.”

Candidates can apply now on the website through October 18. Agencies will make offers by spring 2020 and participants will start in the summer or fall of 2020.

Visit CyberTalentInitiative.org to become a corporate sponsor.

 

SOURCE Partnership for Public Service

String of Legal Victories Puts CBD and Cannabis into International Spotlights

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Over the past couple of years, cannabis has become a major topic in many countries’ agendas due to its therapeutic benefits. Regulators worldwide are now exploring opportunities within the cannabis market as it can be used as an alternative to certain traditional medical treatments. In particular, the U.S. marketplace is expected to be one of the most explosive markets. Despite cannabis still being federally illegal within the U.S., certain states, such as California and Colorado, which have legalized recreational cannabis contribute billions of dollars in revenue annually. Moreover, cannabidiol or CBD-based products have become increasingly common across the U.S. In late 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump signed the U.S. Farm Bill into effect, allowing the production of hemp. Shortly after, convenience stores and pharmacies began carrying hemp-derived CBD products. Even major pharmaceutical chains have begun to carry CBD products, promoting their healthcare benefits such as treating medical conditions and pain relieving properties. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also approved the first cannabis-derived drug, Epidiolex, which is already being used to treat epilepsy in children. Overall, the combination of all of these recent events has exponentially accelerated the CBD marketplace. Moving forward, the CBD market is expected to continually grow as more countries began to adopt cannabis legalizations. According to data compiled by Brightfield Group, the U.S. CBD market is expected to reach USD 22 Billion by 2022. SinglePoint Inc. (OTC: SING), PotNetwork Holdings, Inc. (OTC: POTN), MassRoots, Inc. (OTC: MSRT) mCig, Inc. (OTC: MCIG), Medical Marijuana, Inc. (OTC: MJNA)

CBD is primarily being advertised as a medical supplement, however, some companies have taken the opportunity to integrate CBD into other products. Consumers can now find CBD in products such as beauty products, beverages, and even pet treats. Consumers can also take CBD purely for recreational purposes, to relax, as well as use it for medical applications. The wide range use of CBD creates a versatile market and expands outwards to many consumers. “A few years ago almost no one knew what hemp-derived CBD was, it was sold by mostly small brands of tinctures online and through head shops. All of a sudden, CBD is everywhere – it is both a trendy, new ingredient in drinks, face creams and pet treats and an answer to the prayers of so many people suffering from medical conditions ranging from epilepsy to anxiety and chronic pain. It rides the waves of so many global food and health trends, as a substitute for opioids, towards more natural health alternatives and functional ingredients,” said Bethany Gomez, Managing Director at Brightfield Group.

SinglePoint Inc. (OTCQB: SING) today announced, “the filing with the SEC of the Company’s first annual report as a fully reporting issuer. SinglePoint ended 2018 with total sales of $1,154,671 an increase of 344% compared to the previous year. The increase is largely due to the success of SinglePoint executing on its acquisition strategy. Over the last year the Company has solidified its’ financial position as well as become a fully reporting, audited issuer.

SinglePoint plans to continue its momentous growth with its latest Asset Purchase Agreement with Direct Solar. Direct Solar has seen tremendous growth over the past few months. SinglePoints’ auditing firm is currently reviewing the financial statements and upon completion will finalize the acquisition.

“We have spent a lot of time and effort to put the Company in a position to turn a profit in the very near future. With the anticipated acquisition of Direct Solar and the explosive growth we are seeing that goal could become a reality. We are excited about the future of SinglePoint and are in a stronger position now than we have ever been,” states Greg Lambrecht CEO.

About SinglePoint Inc: SinglePoint Inc (SING) is a technology and investment company with a focus on acquiring companies that will benefit from the injection of growth capital and technology integration. The Company portfolio includes mobile payments, ancillary cannabis services and renewable energy solutions. Through acquisitions into horizontal markets, SinglePoint is building its portfolio by acquiring an interest in undervalued companies, thereby providing a rich, diversified holding base.”

PotNetwork Holdings, Inc. (OTC: POTN) is a publicly traded company that acts as a holding company for its principal subsidiaries, First Capital Venture Co., the owner of Diamond CBD, Inc., the maker of Diamond CBD products. Diamond CBD Inc., wholly owned subsidiary of PotNetwork Holdings, Inc. recently announced that it is presenting its popular line of Diamond CBD oils, edibles, and creams to several large pharmacy chains. Recently passed federal legislation that legalizes industrial hemp production in the United States has generated increased mainstream acceptance of CBD-based products and drawn interest from retailers looking to capitalize on the public’s desire for products that reduce stress and anxiety. “Our array of CBD products already play an active role in the wellness routine of thousands of Americans,” said Kevin Hagen, Chief Executive Officer of Diamond CBD parent company PotNetwork Holdings, Inc. “That’s why we are happy to present the benefits of CBD and our popular oils, edibles and beauty products to several large pharmacy chains in the days ahead.”

MassRoots, Inc. (OTCQB: MSRT) is a leading technology platform for the regulated cannabis industry. Marijuana Company of America recently announced that the Company’s wholly-owned subsidiary hempSMART™ has entered into a strategic marketing agreement with MassRoots, Inc. to promote its hemp CBD formulated product line. Under the terms of the agreement, MassRoots agreed to participate as an associate in the Company’s associate marketing platform, to help promote and sell hempSMART™ products on www.massroots.com, as well as MassRoots’ app and other social media outlets. “We’re excited to begin educating MassRoots’ community of over a million cannabis consumers about hempSMART’s™ innovative line of CBD products,” stated MassRoots’ Chief Executive Officer Isaac Dietrich. “We look forward to driving our audience to a company that focuses on providing consumers with the highest-quality of ingredients and products, which is ultimately why we’re partnering with MCOA.”

mCig, Inc. (OTCQB: MCIG), headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, is a diversified company servicing the legal cannabis, hemp and CBD markets via its lifestyle brands. mCig, Inc. recently announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, CBJ Distributing, is expanding its sales reach by introducing to its clients in Nevada and California a new in-house developed product line of hemp pre-rolled cigarettes and CBD vape pens with a proprietary terpene rich formula. CBJ Distributing saw its sales increase dramatically during the last year. The company distributes its line of cannabis supply items, such as: labels, jars, childproof envelopes, vape pens, to almost all dispensaries in Nevada, while enlarging its market share in southern and central California. After carefully analyzing the CBD market, CBJ Distributing decided to expand its product line by joining this huge opportunity of selling hemp products to smoke shops and dispensaries around the Country. “We have a strong team of professionals with boots to the ground, following the trends, growth, and needs of the market through client-based communication and customer service. Since its acquisition in May 2018, CBJ Distributing has consistently been the strongest division of MCIG, with a constant and continued growth in sales and profits. Our management team at CBJ Distributing gets results!” said Paul Rosenberg, Chief Executive Officer of MCIG. Mr. Rosenberg went on to say, “During the past month, the MCIG officers and Board of Directors have had multiple meetings in our Las Vegas office with the CBJ management team where we have identified the direction MCIG must take in order to be a top cannabis company going forward.”

Medical Marijuana, Inc. (OTC: MJNA) mission is to be the premier cannabis and hemp industry innovators, leveraging our team of professionals to source, evaluate and purchase value-added companies and products, while allowing them to keep their integrity and entrepreneurial spirit. Medical Marijuana, Inc. recently announced that its subsidiaries Kannaway®, HempMeds® and Dixie Botanicals all received Certification Seals from the U.S. Hemp Authority. To receive this seal, companies must have met several stringent industry standards laid out for quality and safety. The certification is intended to educate hemp farmers and producers about Food and Drug Administration Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) to guarantee that consistent quality is achieved. The U.S. Hemp Authority Certification Program is administered by experienced quality assurance and verification professionals from industry-leading food and agricultural companies. “We are honored to have received these Certification Seals for several of our subsidiaries,” said Medical Marijuana, Inc. Chief Executive Officer Dr. Stuart Titus. “Our customers’ safety is our priority and we are proud to have our high-quality manufacturing processes confirmed so that consumers understand that buying from us means that they have access to safe and accurately labeled hemp-derived products, including fiber, seed and extracts, such as cannabidiol (CBD).”

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AI Lender Upstart Raises $50M and Announces New Bank Partnerships

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Upstart, the leading artificial intelligence (AI) lending platform, today announced a $50M equity investment from Progressive Investment Company Inc., Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan, and First National Bank of Omaha.

Upstart has raised more than $160M since inception and has more than $100M in cash and equity capital on hand. Additionally, Upstart will be the newest offering in the Progressive portfolio of Advantage Products, which are third-party products offered to meet consumers’ changing needs. Upstart loans will be available through www.progressive.com in the near future.

“We started on this journey because credit is not just a cornerstone of our economy but a fundamental ingredient in the lives of Americans,” said Dave Girouard, Upstart co-founder and CEO and former president of Google Enterprise. “For hundreds of years, credit has represented opportunity and mobility for those seeking what’s next in their lives. Whether it’s to learn a new skill, to relocate to a new city, to start a new business, or to buy a new home or car, the price of credit is the price of opportunity and mobility. It’s the price of what’s next.”

Upstart co-founder Paul Gu added, “Credit is generally overpriced and unfairly distributed, because it relies on techniques developed before the advent of modern computing. But technology and data science, in the form of AI, have the opportunity to change all of that.”

After more than $3.3B in loans originated in the last five years, Upstart has demonstrated loss rates less than half those of peer platforms for borrowers with similar FICO scores. Furthermore, a study comparing Upstart’s model to those of several large U.S. banks showed that Upstart could cut their loan losses by three-quarters or almost triple their approval rates.*

Thus far in 2019, more than 60% of Upstart originations were entirely automated and approved in real time, an unprecedented feat in installment lending. On the back of strong unit economics and exceptional credit performance, Upstart grew revenues by about 80% in 2018 and reached profitability in the second half of the year.

Upstart’s business is designed not to compete with banks but to partner with them. Upstart launched its first partnerships with Customers Bank and its BankMobile division. Today, the company announced it has signed “Powered by Upstart” partnership agreements with First National Bank of Omaha, First Federal Bank of Kansas City and Accion Chicago. With Powered by Upstart, banks and other lenders can leverage Upstart’s AI platform in the form of a white-labeled lending application to power their own lending programs. The Powered by Upstart platform allows banks and other lenders to enforce their own credit policy and lending terms while benefiting from Upstart’s patent-pending risk modeling and automation.

“We chose to partner with Upstart because their approach to modernizing lending is well aligned with FNBO’s focus on a customer-centric experience,” said Marc Butterfield, senior vice president of enterprise digital solutions and emerging business at First National Bank of Omaha. “Upstart’s AI/ML-based pricing engine and automation will allow us to profitably serve a broader set of customers, within a great digital onboarding experience, than we could before.”

“Our mission at First Federal Bank of Kansas City is to help people build a better financial future,” said J.R. Buckner, president and CEO of First Federal Bank of Kansas City. “Fulfilling this mission means we must find innovative new ways to more effectively engage with current and prospective customers. Our partnership with Upstart is a key part of this strategy and will allow us to extend our products and services to a broader customer base that is more digitally savvy.”

“Accion Chicago’s mission is to help neighborhood entrepreneurs grow, which is why we provide our low-cost microloans to minority- and women-owned businesses who create jobs and wealth in underserved communities throughout Illinois and Indiana,” said Brad McConnell, CEO of Accion Chicago. “We believe that partnering with Upstart is the most creative, careful, and cost-effective way to lend to these inspirational small business owners that other lenders overlook.”

While personal loans are the fastest growing segment of credit, they’re far from the largest. With this equity round completed, Upstart expects to expand its AI platform to other types of credit. The company recently launched the first ever Upstart-powered credit cards with Customers Bank’s BankMobile division. Upstart partnered with BankMobile to develop two credit cards: the BankMobile Classic Mastercard and the BankMobile Rewards Mastercard, both available now via online application.

“We were excited to partner with Upstart as their vision of making credit more accessible aligns with our focus on low-cost banking services to low/middle-income Americans who have been left behind by the high-fee model of ‘traditional’ banks,” stated Luvleen Sidhu, Co-Founder, President and Chief Strategy Officer at BankMobile. “Upstart’s focus on automating the customer experience combined with their modeling capabilities further our goal of adding breadth to our growing banking products and services available to our customer base.”

Upstart CEO Dave Girouard will be on stage with Marc Butterfield, SVP from First National Bank of Omaha, at 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9 at LendIt Fintech USA 2019, taking place in San Francisco, California.

 

SOURCE Upstart

Synchron Initiates First-ever Clinical Trial to Evaluate Thought-to-Text™ Brain-Computer Interface Technology in Patients with Severe Paralysis

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Synchron, Inc. today announced the initiation of the first clinical trial for the Stentrode™, a minimally-invasive neural interface technologybeing investigated for restoration of communication in people with severe paralysis. The trial will evaluate the safety of Thought-to-Text™ technology in patients, by assessing the Stentrode implant in combination with BrainOS™ software. The Stentrode is designed to record brain activity and stream thoughts wirelessly, and is the only investigational technology of its kind that does not require open brain surgery. BrainOS is a modular training software powered by artificial intelligence that enables patients to control assistive technologies directly through thought.

“The initiation of this trial is a milestone for the technology industry and points towards a new form of treatment for people with paralysis. There is currently no means for recovery for patients beyond the natural healing process,” said the study director and CEO of Synchron, Associate Professor Thomas Oxley, MD, PhD, and Neurointerventionalist, Department of Neurosurgery, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City. “The coupling of the Stentrode with our BrainOS technology represents a potential solution to enable people to regain control of their world: but with digital means. For people who have lost the ability to communicate, this technology could be life changing.”

The trial is a feasibility study to evaluate the safety of the Stentrode as well as to assess the stability of high-fidelity signals from the brain to external communications technologies. Synchron has received approval to recruit five patients with loss of motor function from paralysis due to a range of conditions including spinal cord injury, stroke, muscular dystrophy, or motor neuron disease (ALS).

The trial will take place in Melbourne, Australia at The Royal Melbourne and Bethlehem Hospitals.

The Stentrode system is small and flexible enough to safely pass through curving blood vessels in a procedure called cerebral angiography, eliminating the need for open brain surgery. By using blood vessels to deliver the technology to the brain, the technique may reduce risk of brain tissue rejection of the device, which has been a significant problem for other techniques.

Pre-clinical studies have demonstrated the Stentrode’s long term safety, as well ability to pick up particular electrical frequencies emitted by the brain. The technology utilizes artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms that directly interface with and predict brain activity. BrainOS is a suite of stepwise modular training programs that will enable to patients to learn to control digital outputs. This digital output language forms the basis for a human API for patients to control 3rd party assistive technologies.

 

SOURCE Synchron, Inc.

Geminare Announces the Launch of mezzanine.ai, Connecting Enterprise Data to Industry Leading Pre-Trained Machine Learning Models

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Geminare, a leader in delivering data curation, resiliency and IT orchestration solutions, announced today the availability of mezzanine.ai as a standalone platform. Mezzanine.ai facilitates impactful, curated business outcomes through the use of readily available pre-trained machine learning models from key industry AI leaders including Google Cloud, IBM Watson, AWS and Microsoft Azure.

Mezzanine.ai is a new approach for businesses looking to engage with machine learning. It empowers your data to be seamlessly and securely evaluated through multiple pre-trained machine learning models through a sophisticated, wizard-driven, orchestration and automation platform. Mezzanine.ai delivers on the promise of bringing AI and machine learning capabilities directly to businesses, with absolutely no need for in-house AI or machine learning knowledge, specialized technology or data scientists. By leveraging a multiplicity of machine learning models simultaneously, the detail and volume of data insights increase exponentially. Through its comprehensive application integration library, mezzanine.ai’s underlying patented platform establishes secure synchronizations between business applications and data, whether hosted or on-premises, allowing companies to instantly leverage the power of machine learning.

Joshua Geist, Geminare’s CEO, commented, “Machine learning is a transformational force for businesses, but like so many other technologies before it, access is limited to those with significant budgets and expert knowhow. Mezzanine.ai changes that by enabling businesses to access whichever models are best suited for their needs from the platforms of their choice, whether it’s just a single pre-trained model or all of them at the same time. With mezzanine.ai, businesses can test and evaluate the results of their data as it’s run through pre-trained ML models, almost instantaneously. Results with customers such as MovieComm have been outstanding and exactly what we had hoped for when launching mezzanine.ai – immediate access to machine learning – quickly and easily.”

Customer Case Study: Mezzanine.ai powers MovieComm’s exponential growth in data capture and analytics within the media and entertainment industry.

MovieComm helps thought leaders inspire and engage others by using Hollywood movie clips to make communications come alive. Customers work with MovieComm to obtain clips with specific references or themes for projects ranging from embedding high-value content into multiple communications platforms including: internal communications platforms, presentations, email and text messages. With a published goal of over 1,000,000 documented clips to provide to the market, leveraging the power of AI and machine learning was a clear necessity and represented a potentially big win for MovieComm. However, the required machine learning models were dispersed across different vendor platforms including Amazon Rekognition, Google Video Intelligence and Microsoft Media Services, creating a barrier to entry for MovieComm – one that mezzanine.ai was able to resolve with ease.

Through mezzanine.ai, multiple machine learning models were used in parallel to extract data from movie clips. Insights gleaned include Sentiment, Unsafe Content, Objects, and Celebrity Recognition – items that customers use in their searches for the ideal clip, as well as audio transcripts allowing for translation and specific search terms. Machine learning models were orchestrated to be leveraged in sequence in order to gain the most insight from the tools available. Extracted data was then automatically populated back into the MovieComm platform.

“All machine learning models are not created equal,” Scott DiGiammarino, CEO of MovieComm stated. “Using mezzanine.ai and its machine learning orchestration opened up new insight into our data and has been a game-changer for us. MovieComm is now able to deliver a vastly superior end-user experience, and fully leverage the value of our films’ assets. Overnight, we’ve gone from a usable database of tens of thousands of searchable items to millions, and from a cataloging time of weeks to just minutes. Our experience with mezzanine.ai capabilities has been invaluable.”

 

SOURCE Geminare

Mayor John Tory proclaims Toronto Blockchain Week

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Toronto Mayor John Tory has proclaimed the week of April 22nd Toronto Blockchain Week, celebrating and promoting blockchain innovation in the City of Toronto.

From April 22 – 28thToronto will welcome thousands of the world’s leading thinkers, builders, practitioners, investors, and researchers in blockchain. Together, Toronto’s leading companies will host a series of conferences, award shows, hackathons, seminars and more. The week will culminate in the inaugural Blockchain Revolution Global, the world’s largest blockchain conference targeted at enterprise transformations, where Mayor John Tory is scheduled to offer welcoming remarks, alongside Ontario Minister of Finance, Vic Fedeli.

Toronto has become a globally recognized hub for blockchain technology,” says Toronto Blockchain Week co-founder, Addison Cameron-Huff.  “Toronto Blockchain Week is a celebration for our startups, enterprises, professional firms, and research networks.  Blockchain Revolution Global is the anchor conference for the week that will showcase the transformative potential of blockchain technology.”

“Council has made it a priority to make Toronto an attractive place for innovators and entrepreneurs by supporting an innovation-friendly business environment and livable communities,” said Mayor John Tory.  “Supporting Toronto Blockchain Week is an extension of that work, and a sign of our city’s commitment to supporting tech and innovation.”

In 2017, the City of Toronto became a founding member of the Blockchain Research Institute (BRI), an independent think tank studying enterprise blockchain applications for business and government.

“With the City’s support, we’re working to make Toronto the global hub for blockchain innovation,” said Don Tapscott, co-founder and executive chairman of the BRI. “Toronto Blockchain Week will accelerate that work, creating a more enmeshed network of innovators, investors, and enterprise leaders.”

 

SOURCE Blockchain Revolution Global