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Cyvatar Raises an Additional $9 Million in Series A Round

Cyvatar

Cyvatar today announced that it has raised $9 million as part of its Series A financing to help scale and serve its rapidly growing customer base and continue to drive the adoption of its innovative cybersecurity-as-a-service (CSaaS) model. Escalating cybersecurity breaches and the need to address vulnerabilities across systems, networks, and apps fuel the security services market, expected to reach $193 billion by 2028. Additionally, the growth in hybrid and remote workers coupled with unsecured and unpatched BYOD devices further underscores the need for on-demand cybersecurity resources that include human talent, proven processes, and best-of-breed technology delivered from a single intuitive platform. Cyvatar has grown more than 200% since its debut in October. ATX Venture Partners led the round with additional participation from existing customer CORTEC and longtime Cyvatar investor Bill Wood Ventures. Cyvatar closed a $3 million seed round late last year, bringing the total amount raised over the last eight months to $12 million. “We’ve seen fundraising explode in the security space, in part as a result of the raft of ransomware, email compromise, and phishing attacks that have made people more aware of the problem and increased the need to fix it quickly and effectively,” said Chris Shonk, partner at ATX Venture Partners. “Cyvatar is an exciting addition to our dynamic portfolio and a natural fit alongside our other rapidly growing organizations. No other company we evaluated solves the problems of cybersecurity like Cyvatar. With Cyvatar CSaaS, security becomes as effortless as turning on the lights. There’s no better value for customers.” Cyvatar CSaaS offers security in a box for organizations of any size and any level of cybersecurity expertise--already more than 150 platform members have started the security journey with Cyvatar. Its mature sales and marketing engine makes it easy for new members to join and offers ongoing education and support for existing customers to continuously remediate evolving threats, safeguard critical systems, and boost compliance scores. "I can tell you that after implementing just three Cyvatar solutions, our security confidence is a lot stronger than it was before and our company as a whole is far more secure,” said Brent Fanguy, vice president of technology at CORTEC. “We applaud Cyvatar for pricing by employee count because it’s so easy to calculate and fit into our budget -- no counting servers or workstations, which is a nightmare. Cyvatar has delivered consistent value from our security spend, and we look forward to continuing to grow our partnership with them.” Whether customers need to speed their sales cycles, remediate after a breach, prevent future incursions, or respond to a third-party risk assessment, Cyvatar helps them achieve superior business outcomes every day. Click HERE to get started free and learn more about how Cyvatar is making cybersecurity effortless for every business. About Cyvatar Cyvatar is committed to effortless cybersecurity for everyone. As the industry’s first subscription-based, cybersecurity-as-a-service (CSaaS) company, it’s our mission to transform the way the security industry builds, sells, and supports cyber solutions. We empower our members to achieve successful outcomes by providing expert advisors, proven technologies, and a strategic process roadmap to guarantee results that map to their business drivers. Our approach is rooted in proprietary ICARM (installation, configuration, assessment, remediation, maintenance) methodology that delivers smarter, measurable security solutions for superior compliance and cyber-attack protection faster and more efficiently, all at a fixed monthly price. And because we’re a subscription, members can cancel anytime. Cyvatar is a global organization with operations around the world. Begin your journey to security confidence at cyvatar.ai and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube. About ATX Venture Partners ATX Venture Partners is an early-stage venture capital firm specializing in the South-Central US. The firm’s seed and Series A investments focus on software-as-a-service, IoT, e-commerce, AI, frontier commercial technologies and mobile applications. ATX Venture Partners brings institutional-grade funding, process and rigor to early-stage venture capital investments, and is the partner to propel portfolio companies forward to larger growth capital. The firm was founded in 2014 and is based in Austin, Texas. Visit www.atxventurepartners.com, and follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Contact Details Cyvatar KC Higgins +1 303-434-8163 kc@cyvatar.ai ATX Ventures Meg Brigman +15127666462 meg@atxventurepartners.com Company Website https://cyvatar.ai/

June 17, 2021 07:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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CDFI Coalition Praises Biden Administration and Congress for Release of Rapid Release Funding for CDFIs.

CDFI Coalition

The CDFI Coalition applauds the release of $1.25 billion in emergency funding for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), which will use these new resources to provide patient capital and technical assistance to businesses and projects in low-income rural and urban communities. “ Our mission is to encourage fair access to financial resources for America’s underserved people and communities,” said John Holdsclaw IV, President of the CDFI Coalition and Executive Vice President of the National Cooperative Bank. “The hard work and efforts of our CDFI Coalition members have forged an achievement today that will pay dividends across underserved, hard-hit communities and businesses. I’m proud that our voices brought action at the highest levels of government to the needs that exist.” Over the last 18 months, as the coronavirus was upending small community businesses, the CDFI Coalition worked with Congress to support and enhance the work of CDFIs in low- and moderate-income communities and communities of color. Congress ultimately provided new resources for CDFIs through a Paycheck Protection Act (PPP) set-aside and $12 billion in new funding for the CDFI Fund. The idea to significantly boost support for CDFIs originated in the House Appropriations Committee in 2020. HR 6800, The HEROS Act, included $1 billion in financial assistance for CDFIs to support businesses and communities impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Later, in the December 2020 coronavirus relief package, the House provision grew to $1.25 billion in financial assistance for CDFIs, which was awarded Tuesday by the Treasury Department through the Rapid Response Program. The December 2020 legislation also included $1.75 billion through the Emergency Support and Minority Lending Program to support financial services in communities of color, as well as an additional $9 billion for the Emergency Capital Investment Program to support capital and services in low- and moderate-income, historically disadvantaged communities impacted by COVID-19. In total, Congress provided a record $12 billion to the CDFI Fund. These resources will significantly enhance the work CDFIs are already doing in low-income communities. In FY 2020, CDFI Fund financial assistance recipients made over 1,000,000 loans or investments totaling more than $25.4 billion. [1] The average size of each loan or investment was under $25,000. CDFIs also financed over 41,000 affordable housing units. CDFI loans and investments include $10 billion for consumer loans, $6.5 billion for home improvement and purchase loans, $3.9 billion for business and microenterprise loans, and $2.2 billion for residential real estate transactions. CDFIs also helped ensure PPP resources reached underserved communities, but not without some changes to the program. The initial round of PPP left many economically distressed communities behind. In April 2020, the Coalition led the way to establish a set-aside for CDFIs and other mission-driven lenders ­– Community Financial Institutions (CFIs). Newly armed with a PPP set-aside, CFIs went to work. According to data from the Small Business Administration (SBA), as of May 31, 2021, CFIs had made 1.6 million PPP loans (21% of all PPP loans) for $34 billion in PPP funds (11% of PPP loan funds offered). Loans made through CFI lenders had an average PPP loan size of $21,254, compared to $41,560 across all lender classes, demonstrating the focus of CFI lending to small and micro-businesses. In addition, nearly 40% of CFIs’ loans reached businesses in low and moderate-income communities, compared to 28% across all lending sources. Both the Rapid Response Program and the PPP set-aside helped CDFIs expand their reach in communities hardest hit by the coronavirus. CDFIs are using these resources to promote job creation, business opportunities in low-income, minority, rural and tribal communities across America. [1] Audit of the CDFI Fund’s 2020 financial statements by the Treasury Dept. Office of Inspector General About the CDFI Coalition The CDFI Coalition is the unified national voice of community development financial institutions. Formed in 1992 as an ad-hoc policy development and advocacy initiative, the Coalition of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI Coalition) is the lead national organization in the United States promoting the work of community development financial institutions (CDFIs). Through its 150+ member organizations, the Coalition represents CDFIs working in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and includes community development loan funds, community development banks, community development credit unions, microenterprise lenders, community development corporations and community development venture capital funds. The CDFI Coalition coordinates industry-wide initiatives to increase the availability of capital, credit, and financial services to low-income communities across the nation. Read more at cdfi.org. Contact Details CDFI Coalition Greg Wilson +1 571-239-7474 greg@curleycompany.com Company Website https://cdfi.org/

June 16, 2021 03:12 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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NHS Test and Trace strengthen their cyber defences with Risk Ledger

Stockwood Strategy

NHS Test and Trace has selected British cyber security company Risk Ledger to manage cyber security risks in their supply chain as a proactive measure to mitigate the increasing risks the NHS and other critical national infrastructure organisations face from supply chain cyber-attacks. The Risk Ledger platform will give the UK government funded service all the tools they need to manage cyber security risks in their supply chain at speed for a low per-supplier cost - at least 60% cheaper than traditional solutions. Cyber security risks in the supply chain can include third parties failing to encrypt sensitive data when it is being transferred. NHS Test and Trace, established to track and help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus in England, will take advantage of Risk Ledger's key innovation which is its secure 'social network' allowing organisations to connect and share risk data securely, quickly, and easily. This gives organisations like NHS Test and Trace unparalleled visibility of their supply chain and a comprehensive set of data to identify, measure and mitigate supply chain security risks at scale. Major supply chain cyber security breaches at Solarwinds and Microsoft in recent months have put the challenge of securing supply chains at the top of the agenda for organisations around the world. Minister for Digital Infrastructure, Matt Warman MP said: “The government is working tirelessly to secure the nation online and grow the UK's £8.9 billion cyber security industry as we build back better from the pandemic. We're helping SMEs develop innovative products and services and it's great to see Risk Ledger, one of the firms we've supported, win this contract to protect the Test and Trace system and support the national effort against coronavirus.” Risk Ledger's client base includes organisations like BAE AI, City of London Police, Telenor, Schroder's Personal Wealth and ASOS. Risk Ledger CEO and Co-Founder Haydn Brooks said: "NHS Test and Trace is essentially the biggest new start-up in the UK healthcare market so we are delighted they have chosen to take advantage of our ability to provide enhanced visibility of their supply chain risks. I am proud we will be part of the effort to secure this incredibly important supply chain. "Healthcare organisations and their supply chains handle lots of highly sensitive data and have a high rate of data breaches. We have already seen during the COVID-19 pandemic that bad actors are actively targeting supply chains to access data and cause disruption” added Haydn Brooks. Risk Ledger is a rising star of the UK's growing cyber security scene having won competitions run by the UK Government's National Cyber Security Centre, the tech industry body TechUK and most recently a winner in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport’s ‘Most Innovative UK Cyber SME of the Year’ competition in May. The company is also a member of the UK Government backed LORCA programme (London Office of Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement). About Risk Ledger Risk Ledger is a British company that manages cyber security risks in supply chains. Th process of supply chain security risk management ensures third parties who deliver critical services, have access to data, corporate networks, or any other status of business trust, maintain a good base level of cyber security controls to prevent bad actors using the third party as an attack vector. In 2019, Risk Ledger won the ‘Cyber Den’ competition at the 2019 CyberUK event run by the UK Government’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). At the time, Ian Levy, Technical Director at the NCSC said: ‘Our mission is to make the UK the safest place to do business online. We run the Cyber Den competition with DCMS to identify and provide a springboard for the most promising cyber security start-ups in the UK. Risk Ledger beat some excellent competition at this year’s Cyber Den event because their platform approaches supply chain security in a novel way that could revolutionise the way organisations understand the cybersecurity of their supply chains which is at the root of so many security incidents.’ Notable achievements - Risk Ledger was a finalist in the 'Most Innovative New Technology Award' category at the 2021 Water Industry Awards. - In March 2021, Risk Ledger won the South Summit Industry 4.0 innovation competition. - In May 2021, Risk Ledger was announced as a runner up in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport’s ‘Most Innovative UK Cyber SME of the Year’ competition. Contact Details Risk Ledger Bilal Mahmood +44 7714 007257 b.mahmood@stockwoodstrategy.com Company Website https://riskledger.com/

June 16, 2021 05:15 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Velocity Global commits $1M to First Descents to expand adventure programs for young adults coping with multiple sclerosis

Velocity Global

First Descents (FD) has announced a transformative $1 million contribution from Velocity Global to support the expansion of adventure programs for young adults living with multiple sclerosis (MS). Funds will support program development and help reach more than 1,000 MS participants over the next 5 years. “First Descents serves people first to fill a gap in psychosocial supportive care for young adults living with MS. Velocity Global is honored to support the expansion of these programs through this donation and volunteer efforts from our global team,” said Ben Wright, founder and CEO of Velocity Global. “I have witnessed the healing impact of First Descents programs firsthand, and am proud our company is in a position to advance this important work.” Velocity Global and First Descents share a special partnership that transcends financial support. The two Colorado-based companies began as office neighbors at INDUSTRY Denver in 2014. Over the years, Velocity Global employees have volunteered on First Descents programs and fundraised while competing in the Ragnar Snowmass Relay and the TransRockies Run. In 2018, Velocity Global contributed $150,000 to pilot MS programming which began with a whitewater kayaking experience in Tarkio, Montana. “Velocity Global’s support will help us to serve more than 1,000 young adults living with MS in the coming years while investing in vital partnerships with patient advocacy groups and neurology clinics nationwide,” observes Ryan O’Donoghue, CEO, First Descents. “We want MS patients to learn about First Descents closer to the time of diagnosis and know that we are here for them. Velocity Global’s leadership support will make this vision a reality.” The National MS Society indicates there are approximately 1 million people living with multiple sclerosis in the United States with approximately 10,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Typically, MS is diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with a median age of diagnosis at 34. Young adults living with MS can experience significant physical, neurological and psychosocial changes that often disrupt important developmental milestones. In addition to the complexities of clinical treatments and lifestyle implications, the relapsing and progressive nature of MS can be daunting, and can result in significant psychosocial distress. According to the National MS Society, clinical depression ranks among the most common comorbidities associated with MS. These realities have been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic where prolonged social isolation and apprehension for the future have taken a significant toll. First Descents is working with several renowned patient advocacy groups, including the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) to reach more people coping with MS. “There is an important need to support young adult MS patients with age appropriate programming that can improve their outlook and quality of life,” observes Gina Ross Murdoch, CEO, Multiple Sclerosis Association of America. “Staying fit and active - especially with peers living with MS - can greatly benefit patients’ mental and physical health. We are excited to work with First Descents and Velocity Global on the launch of these programs.” First Descents’ all-inclusive programs are free of charge to participants. All programs ensure ADA lodging compliance, a tailored Wahls protocol nutrition program, and fully-accessible outdoor activities. Further, programs are designed with careful consideration to mitigate heat sensitivity, balance issues, and fatigue. Ultimately, First Descents creates an environment where young adults with MS can reclaim their physical agency, explore new activities, and nurture lifelong supportive peer relationships. ### ABOUT VELOCITY GLOBAL Velocity Global accelerates the future of work beyond borders. Its platform enables businesses to employ remote teams and expand internationally through global expertise, best-in-breed technology, and scale. More than 700 brands rely on its Employer of Record model and infrastructure, also called an International PEO (Professional Employer Organization), in 185 countries and all 50 United States to compliantly employ thousands of supported employees, access global talent, and grow revenue. Named a “Leader” in Global Employer of Record services by prominent analyst firm NelsonHall, Velocity Global is a strategic partner to its clients through additional comprehensive services including Immigration, Independent Contractor Compliance to assess a workforce, and Agent of Record (AoR) to streamline payments to contractors globally. Founded in 2014, the company is headquartered in Denver, Colorado, with regional headquarters in Amsterdam, Bogotá, and Singapore, with local employees in 16 countries. ABOUT FIRST DESCENTS First Descents (FD) is a leader in adventure-based healing. Through outdoor adventure, community building, and lifestyle development, FD improves long-term survivorship and quality of life for young adults impacted by cancer, multiple sclerosis, and other serious health conditions. Headquartered in Denver, First Descents has served more than 10,000 participants over the last 20 years. Beginning in 2020, First Descents launched programs for healthcare workers on the frontlines of COVID-19. All services are fully-adaptive and free of charge. A Guidestar Platinum-ranked nonprofit, First Descents has been recognized on CNN Heroes and Outside Magazine's Best Places to Work. RESOURCES: First Descents MS Program Page Contact Details Velocity Global John Hall +1 720-650-4348 johnhall@velocityglobal.com First Descents Ray Shedd +12034999633 ray.shedd@firstdescents.org Company Website https://velocityglobal.com/

June 15, 2021 07:02 AM Mountain Daylight Time

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Secta Finance innovates the £10b private school fees model, making affordable finance options for parents

Stockwood Strategy

Fintech business Secta Finance has launched today to transform how private school fees are paid. Families are spending circa £10b every year to pay school fees for over 620,000 children and over the years there has been no innovation on the termly bill payments. Secta Finance has set out to change this and become an enabler for many more families considering private schooling but feel it is currently unaffordable. In collaboration with a number of financial institutions, Secta Finance has created a range of flexible and highly competitive finance plans that enable parents (and would-be parents) to spread the cost of private school fees over many years in a simple affordable way. The Secta Flexiplan enables parents to use the equity in their home to secure a facility that allows parents to draw funds flexibly within the first 5 years. Parents only pay interest on the amount they actually drawdown. If they don’t need to draw funds there is no cost. Parents can decide how much they draw; their monthly repayment amounts (subject to a minimum) and the term they repay over (up to 30 years). Also, there are no early repayment fees if they choose to repay in full. Below is an example* of how a Secta Flexiplan could be used to finance 5 years of private education. This example is based on one child, annual school fees of £15,000 per year and with the Secta Flexiplan being repaid over a period of 10 or 20 years. However, the amount borrowed, the term over which it is repaid and the monthly repayments can be adjusted to suit individual circumstances and preferences. Secta Finance has made it quick and simple for parents to get indicative quotes from their online platform. Thereafter they can engage with a qualified advisor to discuss their options and tailor a plan to suit their needs. Joe Hill, founder and CEO of Secta Finance commented: “How parents pay for private school fees is no longer fit for purpose. They are still paying large lump sums, sometimes, with expensive and inflexible means using credit cards or unsecured loans, that simply is not sustainable. Secta has set out to challenge this approach with a fresh lens and a clear pathway for parents to handle this significant expense. We want to create manageable and affordable finance solutions for school fees, much like the financial products people consider when buying a house or a car.” Contrary to popular belief, private education is not confined to the wealthy, but many middle class parents place a very high value on it and want to provide the benefits of a private education for their children. However, the costs can be prohibitive, especially for families with more than one child. Annual average school fees are in excess of £15,000 for day schools and in excess of £30,000 for boarding schools. Factoring in additional costs, a private education can cost an average of £325,600 per child for day school and £469,700 for boarders starting their schooling in 2019. Unsurprisingly, many parents find this a struggle. Research completed by Killik and Co suggests that private day school fees have increased by 403% since 1990. “Many parents make significant sacrifices to give their children a private school education. But it doesn’t have to be that way. It makes sense to have a solution whereby parents can spread the cost over a longer period of time if they wish (up to 30 years), to reduce the strain on their finances, but still be able to give their children a private education,” added Joe Hill. There are more than 2,500 independent schools in the UK catering for approximately 620,000 pupils. This represents about 7% of all UK school children and 18% of pupils over aged 16 years and older. The estimated school fee market value is approximately £11 billion. Secta Finance is working closely with schools who are keen to offer meaningful finance options for their parents. The company is also collaborating with independent financial advisors who are seeking flexible, efficient options for their clients. Parents are also directly engaging with the online platform to find out more about the options available to them. Looking ahead Joe Hill added: “We are creating opportunities for parents, for schools and for children. By offering finance solutions which are affordable, simple to understand, we will create a sustainable path for better outcomes. Our strategic aim is to expand the opportunity of private education to many more families and enable a sustainable relationship for parents and schools through the products that we offer”. ENDS *This is an indicative quote and does not constitute an offer or advice. Interest rate and solution terms will depend on your circumstances and the amount of the loan. Before you make a loan application, we will carry out a full review to establish your needs and preferences and if you meet the criteria, we will give advice and make a recommendation to you. All loans are subject to status. Please note that our product calculators show an indicative rate only and may not be suitable for you. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up with your repayments. About Secta Finance Our mission is to relieve the pressure of private school fees by providing innovative, affordable finance solutions to parents. In doing so, we bring the outstanding benefits of private education within the reach of many more families, everywhere. Secta Finance Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Contact Details Secta Finance Bilal Mahmood +44 7714 007257 b.mahmood@stockwoodstrategy.com Company Website https://www.sectafinance.co.uk/

June 15, 2021 04:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Pennsylvania Video Gaming Association (PaVGA) Advocates for Transition of Skill Games to Regulated Video Gaming Terminals (VGTs)

Pennsylvania Video Gaming Association (PaVGA)

The Pennsylvania Video Gaming Association (PaVGA), the statewide trade association representing manufacturers, distributors and operators of video gaming terminals, continues to support legislation to ensure that skill games are subject to the same regulatory requirements as gambling devices. Currently, skill games are not regulated by any state agency and are not subject to gaming taxes on net revenues as are slot machines, video gaming terminals (VGTs) and iGaming platforms. “Regulation would provide much-needed revenue to small businesses like bars, restaurants and veterans’ clubs, which would benefit from VGTs in those locations. The anticipated revenue from VGTs versus skill games is substantial,” stated PaVGA Executive Director Denise Calabrese. The operation of these games in bars, clubs and restaurants will provide a viable, sustainable revenue stream for struggling establishments who have been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a stable base of new revenues to the Commonwealth. “Because there has been no alternative sustainable option to gaming revenue for bars, veterans’ clubs, and restaurants throughout Pennsylvania, those venues have turned to the skill game industry for that revenue,” Calabrese explained. “The issue is that these devices, and the companies that own and manufacture them, are not regulated and there is no oversight of those companies, the individual’s who own those companies, or the devices. Pennsylvania’s bars, restaurants and veterans’ clubs, Pennsylvania Operators, and the thousands of consumers who choose this form of entertainment, deserve to know that their gaming options are being overseen by a government agency and that proper protocols are in place to protect them.” PaVGA believes that the Pennsylvania General Assembly needs to pass legislation with urgency to resolve this issue and ensure that any gaming devices operated in the Commonwealth are subject to the full oversight of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). During a Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee hearing on June 7, a Pennsylvania Senator stated there could be as many as 55,000 unregulated skill games currently in operation in Pennsylvania. While opponents to skill game regulation warn of detrimental impacts to the Pennsylvania Lottery and casinos, both continue to realize record high revenues. Furthermore, the same operator-based model PaVGA is advocating for in Pennsylvania has been successfully implemented in Illinois with negligible impact on the revenues of the lottery or casinos. “All we want to do is bring these unregulated games under the purview of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to ensure that adequate protections are in place for consumers, establishments and operators,” Calabrese said. “This is more about applying equal standards to skill and gambling operations in the Commonwealth than it is VGT expansion. We have a statutory and regulatory structure already in place in the Commonwealth that provides for the safe, fair and equitable operation of VGTs. Skill games should be brought under that construct and be treated just like current gambling devices.” Contact Details Michelle Keyser Director of Communications +1 717-724-9166 communications@pavga.org

June 11, 2021 11:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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SCIENTISTS WORLDWIDE PLEDGE THEIR TRUST IN SCIENCE IN CELEBRATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF LIGHT

International Day of Light Steering Committee

The UNESCO International Day of Light on May 16 th celebrated the worldwide campaign promoting the importance of science and the scientific process for society and sustainable development. The Trust Science pledge saw supporters of science worldwide join together to affirm their appreciation for science. Notable signatories include Nobel and Breakthrough laureates, UNESCO prizewinners, CEOs, representatives from scientific societies and academies, individual scientists and students from nearly 100 countries. “After a year in which we have seen science lead the global response to the coronavirus pandemic, we thought it was essential to highlight the importance of trusting its methods in guiding decisions,” said Steering Committee Chair John Dudley. “The pledge focuses particularly on science’s role in improving quality of life, a sentiment that clearly resonates around the world.” The International Day of Light recognizes the value of light science and technology and its role in providing clean energy, clean water, high-speed connectivity and medical treatments. The day was celebrated with events and hands-on activities in more than 55 countries. The International Day of Light also highlighted the achievements of a number of Champions of Science, individuals from all fields whose work is changing the world. “As a scientist, seeing this kind of support for the scientific process is inspiring,” said Neysha Lobo-Ploch, FBH Berlin, UVphotonics NT GmbH, Germany and LightDay 2021 champion. “I’m honored to have my work acknowledged in this way.” After its initial launch with the International Day of Light, the #TrustScience campaign will continue throughout 2021, and scientists worldwide will be organising targeted actions throughout the year. Dudley explains, “A central aim of this initiative has been to remind members of the scientific community that we share a responsibility to ensure that the public has confidence in science and its outcomes. It is up to us to explain how science works and why it can be trusted.” The Trust Science campaign is organized by the IEEE Photonics Society, SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, and The Optical Society (OSA), together with the International Day of Light Steering Committee. To sign the pledge and to learn more, please go to https://www.trust-science.org Contacts For questions about how you can engage with the campaign, please contact: info@trust-science.org For media inquiries, please contact: pr@trust-science.org Social media: please share using #TrustScience and #LightDay2021 Social media links: Facebook; Instagram; Twitter About the International Day of Light The International Day of Light (LightDay)is a worldwide initiative that provides an annual focal point for the continued appreciation of light and the role it plays in science, culture and art, education and sustainable development, and in fields as diverse as medicine, communications and energy. The International Day of Light is administered from the International Basic Science Programme (IBSP) of UNESCO by a Steering Committee that includes representatives from a broad range of international partners: the American Institute of Physics (AIP), the American Physical Society (APS), Bosca, the China International Optoelectronic Exhibition (CIOE), Chinese Optical Society (COS), the European Centres for Outreach in Photonics (ECOP), the European Photonics Industry Consortium (EPIC), the European Physical Society (EPS), the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), the IEEE Photonics Society (IPS), the International Commission on Illumination (CIE), lightsources.org - the international network of accelerator based light sources, Light: Science and Applications, The Optical Society (OSA), Tampere University, SPIE, the International Society for Optics and Photonics, SESAME, Signify, Tampere University, Thorlabs, Transitions, the Université de Franche-Comté and Velux. For information about the International Day of Light, please visit www.lightday.org Contacts for IDL: John Dudley and Joseph Niemela Bethany Downer 2021 Steering Committee Chairs 2021 Communications Coordinator Email: contact@lightday.org Email: contact@lightday.org Media Contact for Trust Science: pr@trust-science.org About IEEE Photonics Society The IEEE Photonics Society is the professional home for a global network of scientists, engineers and allied professionals who advance laser, optoelectronics, and photonics technology. As a technical society representing the IEEE, it is a vital part of the world’s largest technical professional organization of more than 400,000 members dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, educational activities, and humanitarian initiatives, the IEEE Photonics Society provides its members in more than 160 countries the opportunity to grow professionally and stay on the forefront of transformational breakthroughs in photonics. PhotonicsSociety.org About SPIE SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, was founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. Serving more than 255,000 constituents from 183 countries, the not-for-profit society advances emerging technologies through interdisciplinary information exchange, continuing education, publications, patent precedent, and career and professional growth. SPIE annually organizes and sponsors approximately 25 major technical forums, exhibitions, and education programs in North America, Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific. In 2020, SPIE provided more than $5 million in support of education and outreach programs. www.spie.org About The Optical Society Founded in 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional organization for scientists, engineers, students and business leaders in light science and technology. The society serves over 432,000 customers and 22,000 members from more than 100 countries who fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate achievements in the field. OSA provides quality research, inspired interactions and dedicated resources for its extensive global network of optics and photonics experts through world-renowned publications. For more information, visit osa.org. Contact Details pr@trust-science.org +1 703-907-0010 pr@trust-science.org Company Website https://www.trust-science.org

June 08, 2021 09:58 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Haystack Analytics attracts investment, powering tech teams globally and addresses developer burnout

Stockwood Strategy

Engineering insights tool Haystack Analytics, backed by Y Combinator, today announced it has secured a US$1.2m funding round which included participation from Founders Club, Y Combinator, Soma Capital, Entrepreneur First and investors Dan Siroker and Blaine Vess. Founded in 2020 by Julian Colina and Kan Yilmaz, Haystack helps build elite developer teams by providing engineering metrics and alerts proven to drive performance. Haystack improves developer productivity and software quality. Through their integration with GitHub, Haystack is able to provide live data insights that illustrate the entire delivery process from commit to deploy, being able to highlight bottlenecks like code review and team productivity. Using this feedback loop, Haystack users have increased production deployments by 58% and achieved 70% faster cycle times on average. In less than 12 months since launch, Haystack is being used by more than 7,000 developers at tech teams in GoDaddy, Microsoft, The Economist, Indiegogo and Truebill among others as revenues have increased by an average of 36% month on month. Julian Colina, CEO and co-founder of Haystack Analytics commented: “Tech teams and engineers around the world are key assets to any company and shipping software is the heartbeat and competitive advantage they seek. The efforts of developers are at the heart of processes, products and, effectively, the bottom line. Until now, it was difficult for CTOs and engineering managers to objectively know what their roadblocks are or have insights into resourcing levels. Haystack gives visibility by providing metrics and alerts to make sure nothing continues to be stuck. We are helping developers to ship faster and improve their satisfaction”. Research 1 has shown that elite performing engineering organisations are twice as likely to achieve their organisational goals and achieve a 50% higher growth rate over 3 years. It isn't just business objectives that do better, employees of elite performers are almost twice as likely to recommend their team as a great place to work. “Companies with strong technology teams are outperforming those which don't. Technology teams which follow DevOps best practice are less likely to see developers being burnt out, whilst allowing new product ideas to be experimented faster and shipping business value more reliably” added Julian Colina. The funding advances Haystack’s commitment to building intuitive one-click dashboards and alerts using GitHub data. Haystack plans to expand its offering to a greater range of data sources whilst providing an ever greater variety of user-friendly alerts and insights. As companies move to hybrid office/home working environments, Haystack provides insights that teams need to experiment with their workflows to prevent developer burnout whilst shipping faster. “Our mission is to bring the competitive advantage data-driven engineering teams like Google have to everyone. We help teams track their delivery process and optimization opportunities instead of relying solely on gut feelings - resulting in 70% faster delivery on average. It’s been an incredible 12 months and we are well set to achieve much more in the next year” concluded Julian Colina. Ends 1 DevOps Research and Assessment, State of DevOps report About Haystack Analytics Haystack was founded in 2020 by Julian Colin and Kan Yilmaz for tech teams to learn more about roadblocks to their work, improve productivity and importantly identify burnout issues with developers. Haystack helps build elite developer teams by providing engineering metrics and alerts proven to drive performance, improve developer productivity and software quality. Through their integration with GitHub, Haystack is able to provide live data insights that illustrate the entire delivery process from commit to deploy, being able to highlight bottlenecks like code review and team productivity. Using this feedback loop, Haystack users have increased production deployments by 58% and achieved 70% faster cycle times on average. Contact Details Haystack Analytics Bilal Mahmood +44 7714 007257 bilal@usehaystack.io Company Website https://www.usehaystack.io/

June 07, 2021 11:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Global investors back fintech KTrade - the ‘Robinhood’ of Pakistan

Stockwood Strategy

Leading Pakistani fintech stock trading app KTrade today announced it has raised $4.5m in a funding round from a range of global investors and institutions led by Hong Kong-based TTB Partners, and HOF Capital from New York. German fintech investor Christian Angermayer, the Managing Partner of German bank Berenberg David Mortlock, and leading Pakistani business families also participated in the round. KTrade is the fintech retail trading app created by KASB Securities, the leading stock brokerage in Pakistan. KTrade provides easy access to financial markets for retail investors much like its global peers such as XP in Brazil, Zerodha and Groww in India, Tiger in China, Flatex in Germany and Robinhood in the US. Since launching in 2019, KTrade has over 200,000 users and aims to reach 10 million Pakistani’s at home and abroad by 2023 to invest in stocks, bonds, commodities and mutual funds through its mobile platform. The Karachi Stock Exchange Index (KSE100) has rallied by 19% per annum over the past 20 years despite regular market cycles. The volumes have increased by 7x over the last 18 months driven by regulatory reforms and increase in retail investor participation. Retail investors now account for over 65% of overall trading volume compared to around 45% 24 months ago. KTrade aims to provide users quick and easy accessibility to this investment opportunity. Ali Farid led the creation of KTrade. He was previously the CFO of UK listed fintech company SafeCharge (acquired by Nuvei) and a Partner at Autonomous Research (acquired by Alliance Bernstein) in London. Ali is a Rhodes Scholar and has been a top ranked Technology Analyst in Europe since 2013. Ali Farid, Co-founder of KTrade commented: “People in Pakistan have traditionally turned to gold or real estate when they consider investment options. However, as the regulatory approach, authority and credibility of the Karachi Stock Exchange has grown, more people are getting comfortable with stock market investing. This is an exciting trend but accessibility to these markets remains a hurdle for millions. KTrade will enable this mobile-first population to participate in the investment opportunity. By connecting these people to companies we can drive capital trapped in unproductive assets into the formal economy which would eventually drive a virtuous cycle of economic growth and higher investments”. Pakistan is emerging on the radar of global investors as the next Indonesia. A large, young and growing middle class and high smartphone penetration have created ideal conditions for technology led disruption. KASB’s aim is to provide retail savers access to financial education, information and financial products and to help them make better financial decisions. “Most people in Pakistan lack access to formal financial products and their savings in real estate or gold offer inferior returns, are inefficient and have high transactional costs. We aim to democratise access to the capital markets and enable them to make stock market investments. The strong demand for KTrade shows that the market is ready for this transformation. Other regional and emerging markets have seen similar evolution led by successful fintech companies” added Ali Farid. “Pakistan and South Asia have some of the most exciting market dynamics and demographics globally, and KTrade is well positioned to take advantage of the democratisation of finance in the region” said Jonathan Bond, Managing Partner TTB Partners who were lead investors in the funding round. “We are delighted to be investing in the latest round of funding for KASB, and to support Ali and his first-class team on their continued journey. We have been extremely impressed by what KASB has built over the past few years, both from a tech perspective and from the educational overlay to investing, which the company has embraced. In particular, we believe that in KTrade, the company has a stellar solution to expanding stock market participation across Pakistan” added Jonathan Bond. About KASB Securities KASB is the leading stock brokerage in Pakistan. It is a member of the Pakistan Stock Exchange and Pakistan Mercantile Exchange and regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan. KASB’s mission is to democratise investments by giving people in Pakistan easy access to financial information, education and products. It operates KASB Varsity, an online MOOC, and KTrade, the leading stock trading application in Pakistan. KASB’s goal is to channel capital to financial markets by broadening the breadth of the capital markets. Further information visit: https://kasb.com or follow the company on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and through YouTube. Contact Details Stockwood Strategy Bilal Mahmood +44 7714 007257 b.mahmood@stockwoodstrategy.com Company Website https://kasb.com/ktrade/

June 07, 2021 07:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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